Mr and Mrs Panda

A bit of an improvement of the last Panda bento I made!

Hadn’t made tamagoyaki in a very long time and fancied it so made some to pack with the onigiri. The onigiri are filled with umeboshi, and I completed the bento with some vegetables.

I love this  Russian doll bento box, should use it a bit more often as it comes with it’s own bento bag and has a matching set of chopsticks (you can see the bag in this post). So cute! The only downside is that it is quite small, more geared towards a child than an adult.

Meanwhile, I am busy preparing the cake I am making for the Wonky Supper Club later this week. The design of it will be vegetable & fruit inspired and today I started to create some of it. I will share some photos later this week, either here or or on Instagram

Panda Bento

This is my panda bento attempt! I think it looks more like a teddy bear than a panda, probably because of the ears…. but oh well…it looks sort of cute.

Was feeling like I wanted to make a kawaii/qwiyomi type lunch as it has been quite some time that I made one, I think the last one was this Miffy bento so I guess I need to practice my skills again 🙂

The panda-teddy is made from onigiri and I filled it with an umuboshi plum and added details with nori. He is holding a carrot flower and is “standing” on some Korean meatballs I made & froze earlier this year (I pack these frozen as they will keep my bento nice and cool and will be defrosted and at room temperature by lunch time).

The other container has some tamagoyaki, more carrot flowers, cherry tomatoes and some raisins, plus there are various bits and pieces of veggies/leaves tucked in around the main items.

Will try and make another panda bento soon!

I now also share more (food) photos on Instagram

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.

Hello Kitty enjoys some Watermelon

Hello Kitty enjoys some watermelonDo you like watermelon? Hello Kitty does ^*^!

The slice of watermelon was created using white and pink rice (I used sushi vinegar powder for the pink rice and also added a drop of red food colouring). The watermelon rind is made from chopped up broccoli and the pips from nori. I also created a few smaller watermelons from cucumber and watermelon 🙂

I still have most of the watermelon waiting in the fridge to be used. Nigella has this salad which combines watermelon, black olives and feta, not something I would immediately think of to do, but I can imagine it would work. Or maybe I will make some watermelon sorbet…. Plenty of ideas.

Although… I do like eating it just on it’s own, as it is always so sweet & refreshing.  We had a party the other weekend, one of those -everyone brings food- lunches that turns into a dinner..because you keep going back to the buffet to eat some more and in the end you get to lazy to move….  Anyway, part of our contribution was this huge watermelon, and initially I was wondering how I would be able to cut it up. It was huge, I think 13 kg!! In the end, I kept it simple and just took off the top third, put some ice cream scoops and small bowls with it and let everyone scoop their own bit. It was a big hit, and I suppose that if there are no kids, you could consider making a “drunken watermelon” version… >.<
watermelon.jpg

Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori Sandwiches

Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori

Do you know Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori?

I had never heard of them before until I started making bentos and encountered these cute little characters.

Apparently Rilakkuma means “bear in a relaxed mood” and he mysteriously appears in the female office lady Kaoru’s apartment one day. He is a soft toy bear who has apparently decided to take up residence there.  He was first seen in a series of picture books called Rilakkuma Seikatsu produced by San-X but since has become equally popular as a soft-toy character.

Rilakkuma is often accompanied by Korilakkuma “a mysterious white bear cub” . Kiiroitori fictionally named her Korilakkuma because she looks like little Rilakkuma (“ko” means a little child in Japanese.). She also mysteriously appeared at Kaoru’s house.

Kiiroitori is a yellow chick who lives at Kaoru’s house. Kiiroitori means “yellow bird” in Japanese.  (source Wikipedia)

My Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori characters are made from bread and cheese sandwiches, with cheese, carrot, nori and strawberry face decoration. I “glued” some of the parts together with a tiny bit of mustard, or you could use mayo. Rilakkuma turned out slightly smaller than Korilakkuma, because I cut the bread first before toasting it, not realising that this actually shrinks the bread!

Below you can see how I packed it into a bento, adding some more strawberries. This bento lacks vegetables, but I packed some cherry tomatoes separately, just forgot to include them in the photo.

Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori bento