Omurice Bento

Today’s Bento is an Omurice Chick!

Omurice or Japanese Omelet rice is a fusion between fried rice and omelet. The rice is usually pan-fried with ketchup and chicken before being wrapped in thin sheet of egg and a great way to use up leftovers.

According to Hyosun from Korean Bapsang, omurice gained a lot of popularity after appearing in a Korean drama called Rooftop Prince (옥탑방 왕세자). She also gives a recipe if you would like to make this at home.

Most omurice versions will have some more ketchup drizzled on top of the omelet, but I turned mine into a chick by adding some face decoration made from carrot and cucumber. I completed this bento with some more veggies and raspberries. There is some soy sauce in the cute little chick bottle.

 

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Halloween Pumpkin Bride & Groom (mini cake)

Mr and Mrs PumpkinLast weekend we went to a wedding. Or actually, we went to a party to celebrate a wedding.

The happy couple already had their wedding last month, outside the UK, but this weekend they wanted to celebrate with all their UK based family & friends. It was a great party, we had a lovely time, lots to eat & drink, plenty of laughing and dancing and it was wonderful to be able to share this special event with the newly weds.

As part of our gift, I thought it would be nice to make them something. Knowing me, the first thing that came to mind was cake! Of course there was already plenty of cake provided at the party – including some lovely gin & tonic cupcakes which came with their own little gin filled pipette to add an extra boost! (have to admit I emptied that directly into my mouth..not into the cupcake..),  but I thought that they might like a little mini cake, just for him & her.

And because of Halloween, why not a Mr and Mrs Pumpkin?

The mini cakes are actually made from cake pop mixture – chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. I shaped the mixture into two pumpkin shapes about the size of a satsuma (his is slightly larger) and covered in orange sugarpaste. With the help of a cocktail stick and a veining (fondant modelling) tool, I then marked the “grooves” of the pumpkins. I also gave each a pumpkin stem.

After that I had much fun decorating him & her. Despite it being Halloween, I didn’t want them to look scary but happy so I gave them smiling faces. The groom was given a top hat – with white rose, and the bride has a veil, flower tiara and a small rose bouquet. The veil has some edible silver lustre on it, and I made a broderie anglaise effect with little cut outs. So funny, I only noticed later that these made the veil look like it had little ghosts (faces) on it 👻

Finally I decorated the board with some flowers, pumpkin plant trails/leaves and of course a red heart.

I was really happy how these turned out and the bride and groom seemed to like it 🙂

 

Miffy bento

Miffy Bento

It has been some time since I made a kawaii (character) bento, so I today I packed a Miffy Bento.

I do like bunnies, they are so fluffy and cute. One of my favourite blogs is Bunnyeatsdesign. Genie is a brilliant blogger and obsessed with food and bunnies. Every Tuesday her blog features her rabbit Tofu, who is incredible photogenic. A highlight on my Tuesday but on other days there are also brilliant recipes, do check it out! 

Anyway, to get back to Miffy.  Miffy was created by Dick Bruna (source about Miffy) in 1955 after telling stories about a little bunny seen in the dunes to his son. In the Netherlands, Miffy is known as “nijntje”, which derives from the Dutch word “konijntje”, meaning “little bunny”. Because “nijntje” is difficult to prounce for non-Dutch speakers and because there are so many different words for “bunny” in other languages, Dick Bruna’s little bunny is simply known as Miffy. The name doesn’t have any special meaning, but it is easy to pronounce in all languages (source about Miffy).

Initially featuring in picture books aimed at pre-schoolers she has since become hugely popular amongst pre-teenagers especially in countries like Japan where they even have a  Miffy cafe. Since 2015 there is also a Miffy museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

My Miffy was made from rice and holds a strawberry heart. There are two pieces of a courgette/salmon tart tucked away next to her, and the rest of the Bento was filled with vegetables. I also had some little bunny cutters to cut some carrot Miffy.

Cute and delicious 🙂

 

Quail Bunny – and thoughts on cute or not cute food

 

Quail rabbit

A dosirakbento with rice, cucumber, kongjaban, carrot, cherry tomatoes, some smoked salmon (this was frozen when packed, so stayed cold until ready to eat) and three bunnies made from quail eggs.

Toy Box Suburban Farm commented on my previous bento that she liked that it was a bento without faces, ie an adult one. She makes herself an adult bento every day, and although she occasionally likes cute, the main aim is to have good food.

When I started blogging about my packed lunches (wow that is already 2 years ago), I also explored a lot of other bento blogs and websites for inspiration and did notice that the majority – but not all – were aimed at making food attractive to eat for children. Apparently not only can you creative fantastic and cute (kawaii) looking creations (charaben = character bento), but by presenting (healthy) food in this way, it can help make it more attractive for children to eat. By also involving children in this process (like coming up with ideas or helping to pack it), parents could also use it as tool to teach about healthy eating.

A lot of packed children lunches that I see around on the internet are either of the charaben variety, or of the healthy variety (with often emphasis on vegan/lactose free/sugar free etc etc). The flip side of the kawaii/charaben bento is – aside from the time required –  that some schools in Japan have forbidden mums to prepare these for their kids as there was lots of unhealthy school competition of who made the cutest one….

Of course, not all bento/lunch box bloggers (and makers) feel the need to make their lunch cute, for themselves of for their children. There are a lot of adult bento/lunch box makers. After all, it is the taste that counts, or the preference to bring home made food instead of going out to buy lunch, and saving costs. Or as Toy Box Suburban Farm says, it is about good food.

What about me? Well, I am an adult and I love cute and non cute food!

That does sound a bit like Bento anynomous…my name is DB, I am an adult and I love cute bento 🙂

My lunches are a mixture of cute and non cute ones. Cutting up my food in bite size portions or using bento cutters and making onigiri, not only makes it look cuter, it is often also easier to eat – especially with chopsticks.  But, although I love playing with food, I do lack the time, inspiration and motivation to do this every day. The lunches that tend to end up on this blog, tend to be the ones that look cute, as I feel that other ones are too boring for people to look at. That is also why sometimes I take a break from blogging as I don’t have any lunches to show.

Now that I am slowly restarting my blog, I have to find that balance again that I also wrote about previously (a basic DB and thoughts on blogging).
With this specific lunch, I could have added the quail eggs as they were and/or omitted the carrot flowers, but I had the time, I like bunnies and basically I could, so why not?

The question remains of course: Did my lunch taste better because it’s cute?

…..

(probably the same)

 

P.s. I just noticed that Google doodle has some bunnies today as well, leaping ones because of leap year.

Carrot Kitty

carrot-kitty-bento.jpeg

Made a very simple bento today, but added some cute kitties!

They are easy to make, just take a slice of carrot – you can either use it raw or cook it for a few minutes – and cut out a small triangle at the top. I used some egg white and nori to create the eyes and face details.

I think the kitties are eyeing up the prawn dumplings ^*^

Panda Bento

panda-bento.jpegI only realised when I posted this photo, how gigantic the cherries look compared to the pandas!

They were very big cherries, and the pandas are quite small, so the opposite of real life. But then, in real life a panda would never fit into my bento box…nor would I want to!

My pandas were created from egg white and nori, and are resting on some omelet. The egg white kept curling, so it’s pinned together with some very thin noodle stick. Added some carrot flowers, veggies, left over omelet and those gigantic cherries 🙂