Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Bento

Today's lunch.  I had this elaborate breakfast idea, but none of the motivation I would have needed.  The thing in the middle is supposed to be a heart.  Has a cupcake holder with peanut butter in it.

Used: Eggo, Peanut butter, Celery, Grapes

Tips: When taking pictures, feel free to arrange stuff out of the box. I had to lay the celery down to fit it in later, but it looked much better standing up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/26 Bento

Yesterday's Bento.  I had very little time, so I threw some sandwiches together, washed the produce, and tossed them into here.  The blue toothpick/blue cupcake container combo made me happier than it should have, as did the contrast.  I used turkey for the sandwich, because my dad wants me to make sure I get my protein.  He's pretty firm about this, which is good, because otherwise, I'd probably eat fruits and veggies all day long XD

Used: White bread, Turkey, Grapes, Celery

Tips: Yay contrast! This week has been slightly more challenging in this sense, because I picked 2 green produce products.  This shouldn't limit you, just know how to use it appropriately without making your lunches bland.

No Bento Today!

I woke up 30 minutes before I had to leave for school. (Usually I give myself 2 hours.) Everyone thought (or at least hoped) school would be closed due to expected white-out conditions. I quickly prepped myself for the day, just in case I still had to go even though the television displayed no cancellations. (Usually the deadline for their announcement is right when I'm heading out the door.) I had no time for a bento today. In fact, I barely had time to even grab a Capri Sun and shove some peanut butter into a sandwich. I somhow did manage to re-find our digital camera this morning, despite spending about an hour searching for it last night. This means there will still be a bento post later today, it will just be of yesterday's lunch. Sorry for the delay...(Not that anyone really reads this anyway, it's more of an internal apology.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Back-To-Bento Moday

Phew!  Break was awesome (lotta gaming), but now it's back to school and bento making.  Not a character bento, but I like how it turned out.  Found the digital camera, which DEFINITELY makes it look better.  I used leftover rice, carrots, and filet mignon from last night's dinner at a Japanese Steak House.  Celery bits are in a disposable froggy cupcake holder and  grapes are still on a mini-wine at the top. This wasn't made in 2003.  I made it this morning, my camera just has major date/time issues.

(Haha, I already said this.  Oops.)
Used: Rice, Carrots, Celery, Filet Mignon, Grapes

Tips: Use a digital camera.  And a cool background fabric.  (I used a napkin xD)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Remember that one bento...

Feb. 5th I posted my Pikachu bento. Problem? Reaaally bad camera angle and lighting. My friend took a picture with her phone, and it turned out a lot better. Here it is!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentin's Day Bento

Valentine's Day bento, but a bit late.  It was made in 5 minutes, because I was making valentines for my friends up until when I left.  >.<  I slept over a friend's house Thursday night and animated all night, so the update is late.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of Friday's bento, which my mother made.  It looked pretty good for her first bento and it tasted good too.

Used: Eggos, Apples

Tips: Uh...have cookie cutters?  They're best for quick bentos.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winnie the Pooh Bento

Haha!  The last two days didn't go so well in regards to bento-ing, even though one was a snow day.  Leaving the chips and sandwich together in a container overnight was not a wise decision...Anyways.  Winnie the Pooh is an egg cutout, apple shirt, cucumber grass, egg sun.  I considered dying the rice blue, but didn't have time.  Speaking of time, it took me about 10 minutes to do everything for this except make the eggs.  I made those Monday night.  Because it wasn't filled up to the top, everything became jumbled, but I put it together before I ate it.  :]  Oh, it looks soooo much better when it's not at an angle.  Most of my lunches look better when you view 'em from above.  I'm still working on locating our camera...

Used: Rice, Egg, Cucumber, Apple, Licorice

Tips: prep work ahead of time if you find yourself lacking minutes in the morning.  It's a stupid tip, but I like to be consistent in everything I write here.  I made the eggs and planned out what I'd do the night before.

Monday, February 11, 2008

3 Minute Monday

Made this while eating breakfast and packing my bookbag.  This was a 3 minute bento, which is why it looks rather plain.  As soon as I took the picture, I ran out to the car just before dad left.  (My dad drives me to school on his way to work everyday.)  We were halfway to school when my cell phone started ringing.  It was mom calling to tell me that school was cancelled.  >.<

Used: White bread, Peanut butter, Banana, Sweet chips, Goldfish

Tips: Stick with it!  I could've just tossed these into ziploc bags, but I stuck with the basic bento setup.  My fatal mistake in September was giving up on the bento style on the days when I had little time and just tossing my food into baggies, which led to my 5 month bento break.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweet Chips

I went to a local Asian Market yesterday in search of a bento box and cute toothpicks.  Unfortunately, I found neither, and ended up buying some random cool looking chip things.  (Picture is backward.)  It was $3 (no tax?) for the bag and it's a great sugary snack.  Problem?  I have no idea w
hat they're called.  There's a sticker-on food label in english on the back, here's the general info I deem important:
Serving: 1 oz (30 g)
# Servings: 10
Calories: 140
Fat Cal: 60
Ingredients: Wheat flour, Sugar, Palm oil, Starch syrup, Salt
I think it's made by Choripdong and it's a Korean product imported by Seoul Shik Poom Inc.
Here's a close-up:

It has a slight bowl shape, sweet tasting, a swirly thing (looks like it's rolled up with some coating on it), and it's relatively small.  Very delicious though. Very delicious.

Saturday's Snack Bento

Yesterday's snack bento.  I knew was going to be gone from 9-4 animating, and despite the food I'd get I might still be hungry.  I tossed this together in 10-15 minutes.  Mom made mini pancakes, which conveniently fit a flower cookie cutter I had on hand.  The ring around the flower fit nicely into a cupcake thinger.  Grapes have red card toothpicks in 'em.  (Card toothpicks = plastic toothpick with either a club, spade, heart, or diamond on top.)  Extra carrots because I felt like I was spoiling myself with the sugary grapes AND pancakes.

Used: Pancakes, Carrots, Grapes

Tips: Sure, eating the extra food is yummy and can help fill you up a bit, but try to get creative and use the extras every once in a while.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Moon Bento

Another On-The-Go bento that I threw together this morning in 15 minutes.  We ran out of potato bread, so I had to work with white bread my mom picked up this morning, which has smaller slices than potato bread.  I grabbed the flower-like cutter and punched one out of a slice, but found I could only make one ( :o ), which isn't enough for one sandwich.  Quick thinking (and a container of over 100 cookie cutters in the basement) led to me grabbing a crescent which made a snug cut with the bread remaining.   Two of these made me a sandwich, supported and framed by rice chex.  Rubber cupcake holders have my veggies and apples.  Don't be fooled-I only have a few apples on top.  Beneath them is a layer of baby carrots.  Extra white bread was either turned into stars or eaten.

Used: White bread, Peanut butter, Cereal, Broccoli, Carrots, Apples

This was the flower sandwich I made.  I had some extra apple bits as well as this little guy to compliment my lunch. This didn't fit in my lock&lock, so I hid the apples under and upside down cupcake holder and put the flower on top.  I didn't want my bread to become all soggy.

Used: White bread, Peanut butter, Apples (not pictured)

Tips: Stay open minded!  My original 1 flower sandwich per slice of bread didn't work out, so I made two different sandwiches with 2 slices.  My usual 'shove the extras into random tupperware' didn't work out this time either.  As cliche as it is, today's theme is think outside the (bento) box.

Dino Bento

This was yesterday's 15 minutes bento.  2 pieces of potato bread yielded 2 cookie-cutter sandwiches.  Broccoli trees?  I absolutely love fruit, but I keep it at a minimum and treat it as a dessert of sorts.  Baking cup goes all the way to bottom of lock-and-lock, but cereal keeps the (raw) broccoli and sandwiches near the top.  Unfortunately I forgot a spoon... =,=

Used: Potato bread, Peanut butter, Broccoli, Cereal, Apples

Tips: I buy one grain, one veggie, and one fruit each week.  (Notice the common thread's in this week's bentos?)  I make sure I use these main ingredients in my lunch, but I leave other options available.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

SpongeBob Bento

Lightly toasting the potato bread helps keep its shape, but causes some of the yellow to fade (the computer's auto-adjust lighting feature makes it seem bluer too). I used a toothpick to keep the nose up and the bottom of medicine measure to cut out the eyes. The spondgebob sandwich touches the bottom, but I used a layer of cereal to add more to my meal and help the spinach pop out. I had another little container, but it wasn't picture worthy and I didn't have time to snap a shot of it anyway.

Used: Potato bread, Peanut butter, Spinach, Cereal, Cookies, Cheese, Licorice, Nori
Tips: Use your resources! I had a toothpick and a kid's medicine cup (the kind that come on top of children's motrin) lying around in a random kitchen drawer that definitely helped me with this. I've also found that licorice (which is relatively cheap) is great for random character bentos.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pikachu Bento!

(One of my friends took a much better picture of this for me, I might get that up later.)  Pikachu Bento!  I've seen waaay better bentos of this little pokemon, but I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.  (Mental Note: Brag less in school about lunches.)  I don't know where out digital camera is, so I kinda have to tilt the Mac downwards and the bento upwards, so the picture quality is usually pretty low.  (My scape-goat-ish way of saying it looked better in person.)

Used: Egg, Potato bread, Brocolli, Spinach, Apples, Licorice, Nori, Cheese

The image is small, sorry.  It's just an arrangement of the extra stuff I had but still wanted to eat. Sadly, I have yet to purchase an actual bento box.  This is kind of like my 'second tier.' (Bentos generally come as semi-tupperware-esque containers that have multiple tiers that stack up with each other, allowing for more foods.)  My favorite part of this is that dark blob on the right.  It's an egg I fried, rolled up, stuck a wavy purple lettuce-like leaf on the outside of, and then skewered with 3 orange toothpicks.

Used: Eggs, Spinach, Apples

Tips: When making a character bento out of an egg remember that you want it to stand out.  Rice has depth, but eggs don't.  Beneath the pikachu I had two slices of lightly toasted potato bread cut-outs of pikachu.  Also, don't make cut-outs without a reference!  I copied a picture off the internet, cut it into a stencil, and used that.  Once you've cut something off, it's gone!

Shark Bento?

My return to the wonderful world of bento was not quite as smooth or glamorous as I imagined.  This is my first bento of the '08 year as well as my first in 5 months.  Yesterday's 'Jaws' themed lunch didn't work out too well...Mr. Sharkie's eyes are raisins near the middle, nostrils on top, disfigured mouth at center.  He's supposed to be, like, leaping out of a sea of broccoli...or something like that.

Used: Potato bread, Turkey, Spinach, Broccoli, Apples, Raisins

Tips: Potato bread is hard to cut into shapes with a knife when in its' normal state.  I highly recommend lightly toasting it first or avoiding this type of bread altogether.

The Bentos Return

Batman took his leave, as did I.
Despite the last two posts being recent,
The bentos had been processed long ago.
Now, 5 months later, I have returned
To my bento-making ways.

Next-Gen Bentos

By this point, still in Sept. '07, I began shooting for shapes. This one was intended to looks like a flower.  (Apples petals, bread center, celery stalk and leaves.)  It was skimpy, but a notable first step.

Used: Wheat bread, Apples, Celery.

If you can't really tell what this one is, that's probably a good sign  To the left there's a rice bear with celery eyes and a celery smile.  The one major downfall of this bento is the overwhelming lack of color.  On the brighter side, the bear looked pretty cute in person and the format itself was new for me.

Used: Rice, Pistachios, Celery, Apples

The bunny brought together a number of my skills and proved that I had been gradually learning my self-taught lessons.  The animal/grass combination seems to work well.  There were clementines (a fruit that contrasts the white of rice) placed atop
pistachios to provide pizzazz.  Additionally, I am quite content with the appearance of the diagonal layout.  (Despite the fact that it was a matter of necessity, not style.)

Used: Rice, Celery, Pistachios, Clementines :]

Tips:  If you don't have sticky rice (or the money for it) use a cookie cutter to hold the shape you want instead!  Just realize that if the cookie cutter is more shallow than the container, and it could spill a bit.

First Bentos

This bento on the left was one of my first ones, from around Sept. '07.  Simple and quick, good for those on the go.  (And for those with a small appetite!)

Used: Wheat bread, carrots, apples.

This one over here on the right was also a more recent one.  I took me but a day to discover the wonder of dividers.  I picked up 10 or 12 of them from a local craft store for ~$10.

Used: Wheat bread, Carrots, Grapes ^^

Still rocking it out with dividers, I opted for a more exciting angle by cutting by grain into star shapes. Lack of color contrast bothers me, however arranging the apples next to each other would have looks worse.

Used: Pancakes, Carrots, Apples.

My style began evolving around here. Still slightly
plain with the partitioning as well as the empty
space gives it a more primitive look.  I used a cookie
cutter to emphasize the red of the apples and to hold
the rice.

Tips: Place like things across from each other and use fun dividers.