Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bento Box Adventures

It's been a while! Hope this posting finds everyone well, probably preparing for the upcoming holidays. It is hard for me to believe that NEXT week will be Thanksgiving and then a few short weeks later, Christmas! Wow. Perhaps it's living in Hawaii where the weather only changes from sunny to rainy but the temperatures pretty much stay the same.  Maybe I'm in denial.  Whatever it is, my mind has been elsewhere and I think I need a swift kick in the butt to get moving on holiday stuff.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?

I kind of got in to another rut here.  That seems to be happening a lot more frequently these days.  A rut with creating, exercising and making/preparing food. One of my ruts was with my children's lunches.  It seemed like I was making them the same thing every day and though they eat everything (sometimes) I make them I wanted them to have something a little bit "more"  so I started doing some research, saw some pictures of friend's lunches, looked up some cookbooks on amazon.  Ever since we were stationed in Japan, I have always been fascinated by the lunches Japanese Mom's made their children, the bento box lunch.  I found a wonderful book with quick recipes and how to's at the library, the book is called  "Yum Yum Bento Box".

I am on day 2 of bento box preparations and as I was adding the finishing touches today, my oldest daughter says to me that she would like to go to school on Saturday and Sunday just so she can have a bento lunch on those days too. I couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm and encouragement.

Yesterday, I attempted my first lunch which consisted of Spam Musubi, corn, asparagus, egg and cheese blocks/cherry tomatoes.  The little heart on the Spam musubi was made from a Japanese style egg omelette of sorts. You are supposed to strain the egg to make it "fine" and add some cornstarch and sugar. It came out a little bumpy and I had a little trouble flipping it but today, the process went more smoothly and it looked more like an omelette than yesterday's attempt.

This cool contraption is a hard boiled egg mold.  Burned my fingers trying to get this to work but the bunny was well worth it. The Bear didn't work out as planned, the ears did not form but I'm sure if I change the direction of the egg, it'll work.  Here are the molds with the hardboiled egg already in them, sitting in cold water for 10 minutes.

Putting everything together with cute little picks, forks and separators was the fun part.

For tomorrow, the girls get a rice and nori ladybug (I tried coloring the rice with Paprika but my portions are not right so it has a slight brownish tint only), sausage flowers, broccoli trees, wrapped sausages and Japanese style rolled omelette eggs with a side of cucumbers and cheese and fruit.  This definitely makes preparing lunch more fun, to add a little creative tweak to something always makes it more interesting.

Until my next adventure...or until I'm feeling chatty, stay well friends and enjoy Thanksgiving!

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