Highly sought after bento items

Just Bento CookBook
just bento cookbook
Taiyaki maker
taiyaki maker
Chokotto Rice Cooker
Chokotto Rice Cooker ~ Compact Cooking
Penguin Gummy MakerPenguin Gummy Candy Maker

 

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go
Bento fever has recently swept across the West, fueled not just by an interest in cute, decorative food, but by the desire for an economical, healthy approach to eating in these times of recession. A leading light in the…
$19.95

TPP278
Penguin Gummy Candy Maker
Not only is this penguin cute, it is also a functional candy making friend! To make your own gummy candy you will need only three ingredients, fruit juice, powdered gelatin, and sugar. Mix 50ml (3.5 tablespoons) of juice and 10g…
$20.00

SEA598
Chokotto Rice Cooker ~ Compact Cooking
This handy, top-class rice cooker is the easy way to bring delicious rice to your home. The Japanese take cooking rice very seriously and have made major advancements in rice cooking technology. Just add rice and water, press the…
$20.00

NET329
Electric Taiyaki Maker ~ TAIYAKI Oyatsu Maker
For those who loved the Takoyaki maker (octopus balls maker), here’s another fun cooking item that focuses on making the popular Taiyaki treat (fish shaped pancakes filled with sweet red beans). This is an electronic taiyaki…
$30.00

Weepul Bento Sandwich Topper

Weepul Bento

Weepul Bento

I was looking at Bentovention’s site the other day and noticed that her Makkuro Kurosuke (Susuwatari) bento characters reminded me of those Weepul pom-pom stickers that you used to see everywhere in the 80’s.

weepul

Weepuls

So I thought I would make my own “Weepul sticker” out of rice and cheese! I coloured the rice purple by mixing red and blue food colouring, made the eyes from some egg white and used a hole punch on the Nori seaweed for the pupils. The cheese letters for “Have a nice lunch” were cut free hand using my pergamano needle pen. You can learn how I do my cheese colouring on my Cheese Food Colouring Bento Tutorial

This was fun and simple to do and although it’s not really a full bento today, it’s still a nice Sandwich Topper decoration to brighten up lunch! I have put this on “What’s for Lunch Wednesday” – Go have a look it’s like a bento party where you can show off your Wednesday Bento!

Did you know? I love puzzles! I love rubiks cubes, logic problems, jigsaws etc. I also love Moroccan Tilework which is called “Zelij” or (Zellij / Zellig / Zellige).  I wanted to try and do some kind of swirly mosaic and was entranced by this “How to draw Zellij” Tutorial

Islamic Tile

I ended up reading about Wang tiles / Wang Dominoes and aperiodic tiling, Penrose tiles and Quasicrystals…!

rhombsTo keep things simple, I decided to go with these Penrose Tiles to make a “tile and dart” design, from coloured cheese. It was only to experiment and play really, but I ended up making it into a Bento by adding some of the home made pizza and Ginger and Choc Chip cookies (from my trusty Be-Ro recipe Book!) that I had made previously the same day.

Penrose Tiles bento

Penrose Tiles bento

Happy Anti-Procrastination Day! Here is the special pen I use to cut my cheese:

Peacock Bento

Peacock Bento

Peacock Bento

We had a fantastic day out at “Wildtierpark Poing” in Munich (a wild animal park) on Wednesday! peacockWe were able to stroke some rabbits and guinea pigs, and feed antelope, goats, ponies and donkeys! We also saw some huge bears. There were random peacocks wandering around the picnic area as well as chickens and ducks.

Here is a bento that I made inspired by the beauty of the magnificent bird, the peacock! I also wanted to try out the sealed sandwich idea that Lia from Bentolicious blogged about.

Just Bento CookBook
just bento cookbook
Taiyaki maker
taiyaki maker
Chokotto Rice Cooker ~ Compact Cooking
Chokotto Rice Cooker ~ Compact Cooking
Penguin Gummy Candy Maker
Penguin Gummy Candy Maker

I don’t have a bread mold / sandwich shaper (apart from the toastie maker) but after rummaging through my plastics box which is mostly full of old baby bottles and lids, I thought I would try using a large teat ring and a smaller one, that seemed to nest inside each other quite well. I made some chocolate spread sandwiches from brown bread and pressed the larger ring onto it to get my first circle, then I turned it over and used the smaller ring to seal the sandwich. I was pretty impressed because they came out quite neat and tidy considering the improvised tools for the job!

These are the teat rings from the old baby bottles that I used to make the pressed sandwich with sealed edges.

rings for sealed sandwich shaperrings for sealed sandwich

And then I put coloured cheese peacock decorations on and carved the same design into a red apple. You don’t get a zoomed out photo today seeing as this was only a snack experiment bento and there isn’t really much else in it apart from some cucumber slices, but someone has been messing about with my fridge settings and the cucumber was frozen solid so it does not look how it is meant to, and I don’t have any other salad or fruits to do much bentoing with. But I’m a big believer in making do with what you have got, so here it is!

The rest of the bread offcuts went into a bread and butter pudding, which I am told was delicious, but I didn’t try it seeing as I am trying not to have any empty calories. 😀 I have lost 4lbs so far since I started doing my daily exercise and watching my portion sizes, using the weight loss tips on this blog post and I have proudly marked it on my progress chart on my wall! only 22lbs more to go! 😀

I recently placed a couple of orders with Cake Balls UK to have a box of Gluten Free coffee and walnut cake balls and a bag of chocolate and orange cake balls sent to my relatives in the UK as birthday gifts. As agreed the balls were sent out for delivery before the recipient’s birthday and I’m told they are really delicious and came packaged really neatly too. PippaD from A Mother’s Ramblings recommended Cake Balls on her blog and that’s where I got the idea, so thanks Pippa, and thanks Anna from Cake Balls UK for delivering the fantastic birthday gifts! You have my recommendation too!

You can follow Anna from Cake Balls Uk, Pippa from A Mother’s Ramblings and Lia from Bentolicious on Twitter and their Blogs.

I have never placed a bento items order before, I still consider myself a beginner seeing as I only started making bento in January 2010, and I have never bought any “proper” bento tools, preferring to try to make the best use of what I already have such as cookie cutters for shaping rice or cutting cheese or vegetables, craft punches for the nori seaweed and my craft needle pen for cutting the cheese. There are definitely some basic items that I would suggest could be bought as a bento starter bundle if you don’t already have any tools for making your bento. And I am very tempted to order them myself very soon too! The items I think would be the most useful are the nori face punches, the egg moulds, the  onigiri presses, the flower shaped vegetable cutters and the the decorative food picks.

Have fun and happy bento-ing!

Cupcake Bento

Cupcake bento

Cupcake bento

It’s not a real cupcake – it’s a slice of apple in the shape of a cupcake with cheese on top! 😀

There is tuna-mayo underneath the cupcake, and to the side are some rice ball mushrooms / toadstools.

I was really scratching around for ingredients today to be honest. The radishes have gone and the black olives had an incident this morning at 8am – they got yanked out of the fridge and ended up all over the kitchen floor (not mentioning any names but watch my eyes! *Looks over at baby*) 😀

So I ended up putting some digestive biscuits in there to fill in some space – they are at the back, which you cannot see in this picture, but you can in the full, zoomed out  photo.

Cupcake bento

Cupcake bento

Don’t forget to have a look at the Contests page and the Bento Book Shop

I have been collecting Bento tips, tricks and tutorials and have put all the links together on one page, for your easy reference.

In addition, there is now a Bento Articles Page and the Badge is now easier to grab.

Have a great Anti-Procrastination Day! 😀

Flamenco Feel Bento

Aubergine bento

Aubergine bento

My DH cooked again. He knows I have 2 favourite dishes of all time (apart from Fish and Chips and Cauliflower Cheese!) ; Iraqi Tapsi and Moroccan Lamb with Prunes. Well, today he made something extraordinary! He made the Iraqi Tapsi with Beef, but it had elements of the flavours of the Moroccan Lamb with Prunes, with a sort of sweet, cinnamonny taste to it, with piquant snatches of hot chili… Totally mouth watering, juicy, aubergines, sumptuously served in a thick, delicious sauce, textured with small bites of tasty beef steak and red onions… What a heavenly meal! And although I tried to be good and only took a very small second helping, I did eat more than my fair share, and as John Cage would say, I will not be disparaged! I realise my efforts to eat low fat, little and often are in vain, but you have to realise a dish like this does NOT come along every day! I am still committed to doing all the other reductions of fat and sugar and portion size, (My Scaredy Cat Challenge!) but it’s the weekend so this can count as the “treat”! And I do not feel guilty – I feel happy!  😀

And of course the leftovers went in the bento box, along with some rice, black olives, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

The olives made me think of Spain, and you wouldn’t believe the lettuce I got from the supermarket – It was like bringing home a bunch of flowers! A huge, curly, astonishingly beautiful lettuce! I have never, ever in my life been so drawn to a salad vegetable! And I carefully broke off just 1 leaf of it and held it in my hands and saw …

… a flamenco dancer!!

So I made this:

Flamenco Dancer

Flamenco Dancer

With black olives for the hair, a tomato hair flower, cheese arms and face, a cucumber body and of course the lettuce leaf for the dress.

And if you’re looking for a connection between an Iraqi-Moroccan dish and a Spanish Dancer – it’s the word “Flamenco” which is believed to have come from the Arabic word fellahmengu, meaning “fugitive peasant”,  derived from a root meaning “to flee.” The term came into use in the 14th century, and was first applied to the Andalusian Gypsies themselves, who were called either gitanos or flamencos.

You can see the Wikipedia entry about Flamenco here

Ay, ay, ay!

If you are interested in getting into bento making or want to improve or simply try out some new techniques, try this list of tricks, tips and bento tutorials