Manga / Anime bento

manga anime bento

manga anime bento

This is from weeks ago – must have forgotten to click “published” as I found it in my drafts… weird

I’ve been a fan of the manga / anime style for a few years. I learnt how to draw a basic manga face from a “How to Draw Manga” book, a few years ago. I haven’t drawn or sketched in a long time, but I decided to see if I could refresh my memory and make a Manga style cartoon character out of cheese for my bento. So I had some fun this afternoon, with my parchment pergamano perforating pen, and of course lashings of food colouring. I made a caulifower in cheese sauce to sit at the right hand side in a scooped out green pepper (not having any lettuce again, and having run out of broccoli… sigh! ) Then there was not much room for much fruit, just a few apple segments. Today nothing went right really, because the dishwasher wouldn’t work – Put it on last night but it just sat there defiantly refusing to wash the pots, so this morning I had to either wash everything by hand (not my style!) or wait for it to get fixed…so the pots are still waiting to be rescued from their filthy state, and I have to keep going in there to get a spoon or plate or whatever to wash it by hand… I suppose I will have to eventually get the whole lot out and do it. Can’t someone else do it?! And then my camera kept taking fuzzy/blurry pics… yeah I know a bad workman blames his tools…but I can’t understand why I have been able to get crisp photos in the past and now I can’t. Winge over! I must remember to be grateful that I have the priviledge of hot running water, a luxury that I often take for granted. In some countries, they have to wash their pots using water pumped from a well, if they even have access to water that is. It makes you wonder doesn’t it? Maybe I WILL go and wash those pots now and stop being so ungrateful! ๐Ÿ˜€

New Bento Box

Test driving my new bento box

Test driving my new bento box

I have been making bento since January 2010 and up until now I have resisted every temptation to buy any bento supplies whilst trying to make do with what I already have, such as normal food containers and tools such as cookie cutters and craft supplies. Today, the temptation got the better of me! I saw the lovely bright colours of this 4 tier (Yes 4!!) bento box and I bought it thinking it would be extra specially good for family picnics, using all the tiers, and I can mix and match 1 or 2 of the tiers to suit for normal lunch days when we are at home!

Here is a pic to show you what it looks like with the lid.

new bento box with lid

new bento box with lid

By the way, it is another Moroccan Lamb with prunes! DH made it again as a treat for me! So I put some rice in the long compartment, the Moroccan Lamb with prunes in one of the squares, and filled the remaining square with carrots and cucumber. I decorated the rice with some carrot fans. There was only me eating dinner today seeing as my boy was asleep (he was feeling under the weather) and got fed later and DH and the baby had already eaten.

Here is what the bento box looks like all stacked together:

4 tier bento box

4 tier bento box

And taken apart:

4 tiers bento box apart

4 tiers bento box apart

As you can see, the top tier is enough for a meal for 1, so today the other 3 tiers were redundant today, but I have a feeling that when the weather gets nicer, we’ll be able to get a lot more use from the other tiers for picnics / days out.

I also splashed out and bought this:

Silikomart Silicone Chocolate Moulds

Silikomart Silicone Chocolate Moulds

I have used them to try them out, but I didn’t have enough chocolate to fill them up (I just had a half packet of dark cooking chocolate in my cupboard!) so I only got half done ones, so next time I try making them, I’ll be sure to let you see what they turn out like. These look promising – professional looking, lovely smooth glossy finish to them, and they pop right out just like ice cubes! You can buy the Silikomart Moulds here.ย  Next time, I want to use some nice flavoured milk chocolate – Galaxy or Cadbury’s Dairy Milk spring to mind but I’ve no chance of getting my mits on that over here! Will see what I can find!

Also in the pipeline is a tutorial / tips / how to on the cheese colouring. Watch this space! Subscribe! Bookmark! Or do the old school thing and write my blog address on a post-it note and stick it to the wall next to your computer! ๐Ÿ˜€ The Google Reader is pretty good at handling all your favourite blogs and it keeps track of who has updated what, and when you open up Reader, you will see a list similar to your email inbox, so you can go straight to the blogs that have new posts. It saves you from having to manually check each blog to see which ones have been updated. I think it’s brill! ๐Ÿ˜€ To add all your favourite blogs to Reader, just click the orange RSS symbol Subscribe to Bento Box Blog on your favourite blogs: usually this is near the top of the blog page somewhere. If there is not one, you can also get Google Reader to create the “feed” for you, by clicking Add a Subscription in Reader and then typing in the blog’s “url” or home page address.ย  Or you can subscribe by email, then you will get an email notifying you when there is a new post. Happy Feed Reading ! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Swan Lake Cheese Crisps Bento

Swan Lake Cheese Crisps Bento

Swan Lake Bento

Yesterday I got reeled in to the world of Stumbleupon, where I found out how to make a swan from an apple, and cheese crisps! I have been a little waylaid today too, but this time because I have been watching the Gordon Brown gaffe on Youtube, where he called a pensioner a “bigotted woman”.ย  Cringeworthy stuff.

I just tried making the cheese crisps now, and wanted to post a pic of them, but as tasty as they are just on their own, I thought I would quickly put together a bento so I am not just posting random cool things, and sticking to my bento theme! So using the same method as for the swan apple, I made a swan from a tomato. And she has just swum through a cucumber heart and cocktail hot-dog rabbit archway on the lake to come and nibble the cheese crisps! Sorry about the blurred picture. Truth be told, I think my camera lens has grease on it from these low-carb cheese crisps… You know, I can just feel the weight dropping off me every time I crunch one of these salty, grilled mouthfuls of deliciousness ! ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m a Little Teapot Bento

teapot bento

I'm a little teapot, short and stout!

Today is my last full day at home before I whisk my kids off to England for a week to see their grandparents!

Of course I can’t wait to be there, but the journey is usually a nightmare. This time however, I am looking forward to seeing how the Trunki works out for us.

The Trunki is this fantastic Ride on/pull along Suitcase for toddlers and small kids. (3 different colours available here)ย  And it has these horns that they grab on to for handles and push it along with their feet. The strap

trunki

trunki

comes off and you can pull them on it too, or you can pick it up and wear it like a satchel, or they can! This is suitable in size for hand-luggage too, so the lucky kid (in my case my 2.5 year old! The one I always refer to a toddler who is fast becoming a boy, sniff sniff, I can’t call him my toddler any longer really. In fact my baby is not really a baby any more – he’s already 13 months now so really he should be the one I refer to as the toddler!) gets to keep all his toys, games,

hand made sock bunny

home made hand made sock bunny

colouring in book and comfort bunny for the whole journey!

Well anyway, sorry about that confusing side note interrupting there! Back to the bento blog!

Recently we have been watching some fun YouTube music videos for kids and this one caught my eye as something cute and cheerful that could be “bentofied”!

The children’s nursery rhyme goes like this:

I’m a little teapot, short and stout

Here’s my handle, here’s my spout!

When I see the tea-cups,

Hear me shout –

“Tip me over and pour me out!”

I made the teapot out of a big onigiri pressed rice ball, and the spout, handle and lid from cheese. I forgot to put the lid on, but if I’d put it on it probably would have fallen off anyway, because (and I should know this by now!) trying to get things to stick on the curved surface of the 3d rice ball is often disastrous for me! It is much easier to make the ball then flatten it down so you have a nice flat surface or “canvas” to work on. Well anyway I managed to get the spout and mouth to stick on with a bit of mayonnaise “glue”!

Close up teapot and cup

Close up teapot and cup

The cup is a strawberry hollowed out and filled with yogurt, which kinda makes me feel all gooey inside!In fact it makes me want to make a whole tea set from strawberries, cherries and other sweet kawaii fruits! ๐Ÿ˜€

This really did not take long to do, despite trying to cut cheese while suffering a bout of the hiccups! I made the little strawberry cup while the rice was cooking, and prepared the tuna fish and mayo, and lined the bento box with salad, all while the rice was cooking. I am using another new type of lettuce today – this kind had black tinged leaves… what do you think to it? I have never seen this kind before!

Seeing as I will not be around to make bento, I am so excited to announce that have invited some of my fellow bento friends from the online bento making community to make a Guest Post here every so often while I am gone. So please don’t forget to come back (subscribe now before you forget!) and please welcome the mystery Guests of Honour on the Bento Box Blog page! Watch this Space!

Good Friday picnic

Good Friday picnic

Good Friday picnic

It was nice and sunny today so we went to the park and took these bentos with us, to eat sitting on a picnic blanket. The kids got new buckets, spades and sieves recently too for playing in the sand. A great time was had by all, and we washed our feast down with coke and diet coke!

These bentos didn’t take too long to prepare – not much longer than preparing for a normal picnic, really, though I was trying to hurry a little, and I am not used to making 3 lots in one go. I usually only make 1 bento at a time. The main pic above with a chicken type character is the one that my toddler and I shared, and here are pics of the others – a mouse made out of a boiled egg (which DH and baby shared) and the fruit salad:

good friday bento mouse

good friday bento mouse

fruit salad bento

fruit salad bento

I like how the shrunken pic makes it look like a quail’s egg! It’s a normal chicken egg though hehe!ย  I boiled some rice,ย  pasta and eggs and made up tuna mayo. I chopped strawberries, golden kiwis and a small orange and put them into the yellow box with the grapes, and there is a yogurt in there too. I lined the other 2 boxes with a new kind of lettuce, not iceberg today because it never looks green enough! Also put some onigiri pressed rice balls in there and some nice juicy red cherry tomatoes. You will notice I left space for the cucumber then I forgot to put it in! I was too busy loading fruit juice, bottles, pampers and cutlery, wet wipes etc into the picnic rucksacks! Not to worry, it was still enough to feed us all (2 big mouths and 2 small mouths)! I took extra junior yogurts with us too, and nearly lost 2 spoons in the sand. ๐Ÿ˜€

It would have been cool to have the skill and time to make these beautiful huge compilation bento boxes that look like they would be so tasty and fun to share from Susan Yuen’s site, but I only have these 3 bento boxes, which are just regular lunch containers, nothing cute or kawaii. I really want to invest in some tiered boxes with cute designs! I must practise what I preach and get my order put in at J-List! -> click the banners to go to the J-List shop!

I am going to England in a few days for a week, God willing, so I might be absent from bento making for a little while. Looking forward to playing catch-up and joining in Not Exactly Bento’s 30 day challenge for April!

By the way, I made this padded journal the other day, I mentioned it on twitter, so here is the link to Videojug to show how to make one, (beware, gluegun involved!) and here is the finished result, minus the pics of my burnt fingers!

padded journal

padded journal

I am trying to get myself more organised and I have put my Flylady routines in there, and it’s for my daily To Do lists as well.

If we wereย  in England now, we would probably be eating hot cross buns! It’s traditional this time of year! I think I like them toasted with butter better than plain.ย  I’ll finish with a joke (it’s a groaner, you know my sense of humour!) What do you get if you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole on Good Friday? Hot Cross Bunnies!ย  LOL ROFLย ย  Ok at least it wasn’t a “pink and wrinkly” joke from the “Pink and Wrinkly joke book” we had when we were kids!

And here is the pergamano perforating parchment needle pen I keep going on about for cutting the cheese on other charabens…

pergamano needle pen

pergamano needle pen

Wishing you happy school holidays, happy Easter time, happy long daylight hours, happy Spring, and a very happy weekend! :o)