Rainbow Tapsi bento

Rainbow Tapsi Bento
Rainbow Tapsi Bento

Today’s bento is a rainbow Tapsi, made using last night’s menu-planned evening meal!

This is my homework for the Kawaii Bento Club’s Bento Summer School!

I have mentioned Tapsi before, but I can’t remember if I gave you the receipe… it’s an Iraqi speciality and it consists of meat, usually beef, and a tomato and onion sauce, with fried sliced aubergines and fried sliced potatoes. It is one of my favourite meals ever along with Moroccan Lamb with Prunes, Fish and Chips and Mum’s Cauliflower Cheese.

homeworkTo make this rainbow Tapsi bento for my Big Lad (nearly 3 years old now!), I picked out the tomato and beef chunks from the tomato and onion sauce, and the sliced potatoes from the Tapsi, which were orangey in colour, having been cooked in the tomato and onion sauce. I put the tomato chunks to one side for the red, potato slices for the orange, some slices of Emmentaler Cheese for yellow, Cucumber for Green and yes I cheated and put blue food colouring on some more cucumber for blue – sorry but the only other blue food I can think of is Blueberries but I’m allergic to them. As in allergic to eat them. I’m allergic to most foods just to touch them, that’s why I have to wear gloves to prep the food, but blueberries actually make my mouth and tongue swell up.  Kiwis (or more correctly Kiwi fruits!) are the worst thing so far that I have found to give the worst allergic reaction skin-wise. I know tomatoes do a pretty good job at making my skin burn and itch but I have avoided letting them get me for so long that maybe the memory of the reaction has dulled over time. But I will not forget the Kiwi incident in a hurry (while I was making Kiwi Fish Bento) – it’s right up there after Natural Drug-Free No-Pain-Relief Child Birth! (I was conned!)

And finally, this wonderful curly tinted lettuce for the purple…! So it’s all natural colours apart from the blue! This was served with a nice fluffy CousCous!

And here is one I made for the Little Lad (16 months old):

mini rainbow tapsi
Mini Rainbow Tapsi

It’s the same ingredients but I shaved the skin off the cucumber for him, and only put a smudge of blue food colouring on here, and used couscous instead of cheese for yellow, though it looks more creamy white here.

On the Weight Loss Scaredy-Cat Challenge: I lost 6lbs before my trip to England, then put what felt like a Stone back on, (to see what delightful food we ate there see Bun Tin Beans) but we’ve gone back to eating relatively normally (with the occasional McVities Hob Nob here and there (it was Buy One Get One Free, you understand!) – but that’s Mcvities_Hob_Nobs_Twin_Pack_2x300gthe point; 1 or 2 biscuits and not a whole packet like I would have done in the past!)  and I’m back down to 171lbs –  I was 176lbs when I started the Scaredy-Cat Challenge, so I have made a very quick recovery really, Thanks God!  So on with the challenge – eating smaller portions and reducing fat and sugar intake and trying to do all these other Weight Loss Tips.

I think the key to success is eating Kelloggs All-Bran or Bran Flakes (known as DayVita here in Germany) for breakfast. It just makes me feel thin and energetic! And a nice strong cup of tea in a morning to wake me up!dayvita

My new Scaredy Cat Challenge is …drum roll!…to give up smoking! Since I came back from England, we have not bought or smoked any cigarettes! Last time I gave up was during my first pregnancy and I remained a non-smoker (ex-smoker) right through both my pregnancies. Unfortunately I started again last year and I thank giving up smokingthe UK Borders and Immigration for that for causing me and my family no end of stress with their award-winning pantomine act of failing to issue a simple visit visa for my husband just for a 2 week family visit to the UK… In fact just thinking about that makes me want to light up again right now.

This is partly connected to my third Scaredy-Cat Challenge which is to FACE our finances! As Flylady says: Financial Awareness Constantly Empowers! We are using Cash only for the Grocery shopping now, and the cards are staying at home. We are taking babysteps with this one and I know the results will not happen overnight, but as with anything we have to form new and better habits. And a new habit takes 3-4 weeks to form. I’m still trying to make going on the cross trainer a habit… eek not been on that contraption in a while! Though we have been going outside for walks and we even went strawberry picking on Sunday (There is a Pick Your Own Strawberries Field about 15mins walk away from our house!) – that must have burnt some calories! strawberry picking

But anyway, I think we are on the road to recovery, God Willing! I just hope this Scaredy Cat Challenge does not interfere with the first Challenge. We are into eating Sunflower Seeds now… a new addiction!

More challenges : De-cluttering – it’s becoming more of a habit now for me to see some clutter in a hot spot area and first “Stash and dash it” (Shove it all into a carrier bag or basket) then being good and remembering to “declutter the Stash and Dash bag” before bed or after dinner.  So the Living room and study and our bedroom are staying a lot tidier!

And I have now realised that a lot (99%!) of the clutter is usually either: Clothes for the wash, Dirty pots for the kitchen, Rubbish, or Toys – so when I’m going through the Stash and Dash bag or basket, I just sort the things out into 4 piles and then put them straight where they belong. Seems so simple doesn’t it?!

Flylady will help you get rid of the CHAOS!

I can’t believe it is only 2pm and we have already had lunch and I have just finished my blog post! It saves loads of time doing my kitchen clean up at night instead of in the morning! If only Flylady would have told me that – oh, that’s right she already did! LOL 😀 Thanks Flylady! 😀

Edit: This is also featured on What’s For Lunch Wednesday

Cootie Mama Bento and Babies

Cootie bento
Cootie bento

Here are some “Cooties” to eat for lunch! Cooties (typically in the USA) means bugs, germs or infectious disease microbes, usually yelled out by kids in the playground “He’s got Cooties!!”

In England, where I come from, they generally shout “She’s got Bugs!” or “He’s got Lurgy Bugs!” 😀

I was in a gadget shop the other day looking at Fathers Day Gifts and I saw a Compact Microscope and on the label it said “there are more microscopic organisms in 1 teaspoon of soil than there are people in the world”. So it made me ponder and marvel at the awesomeness of our planet, the universe and the creations in it.

I have recently been watching Prof. Brian Cox (who started his career as a Rock Star in band D’Ream!) on his BBC series The Wonders of the Solar System. I’d highly recommend it – he’s a particle physicist who can explain science in a fascinating and easy to understand way.

Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds is thrilling to watch too. There is a video on youtube showing how to engrave a single strand of hair using an atomic laser.  You might have better luck than me at finding it – the only one I found was unavailable outside of the UK… (copyrights, nuff respect!!)

Here is one that will make you itch!

Back to my bento. My Mama Cootie or Microbe is made from a hard boiled egg cut in half for the head and tail, with processed meat and cheese for the body, and the baby cooties are made from stuffed green olives with cheese and nori seaweed eyes!

This is my homework assignment for week 2 of Bento Summer School! I have joined the KBC Cootie Club too ! 😀

Good night, sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite LOL 😀

Why not send a Bento E-Greeting Card for free!

(edit: this is now on What’s for Lunch Wednesdays too!)

Bun Tin Beans

Bun Tin Beans

We are back from our holiday in England! A grand time was had by all, spending time with friends and family, enjoying events such as picnicking, BBQ food, partying, visiting a fun fair, the seaside and a wildlife park. Food was in abundance – fish and chips, chinese and indian take-away. And Monkey Tea (PG Tips) by the bucket-load. Not to mention the Mr Kiplings, spare Easter Eggs and HobNobs! Oh and a Tesco Finest New York Cheese Cake, and scones with jam, strawberries and cream!  Good job I lost 5lbs in the run up to this trip! <scrubs off all the progress from the Scaredy-Cat-Challenge weight loss chart>

Now we are back home to Germany and it’s time to get back into my “eat like a thin person” attitude!

Seeing as it is Muffin Tin Monday AND part of Bento Summer School’s week 1 homework, I thought I would offer a version of cutely presented typically British food,  link to Muffin Tin Mom’s Monday collection, and try out my new Silicone Cupcake cases, which are from Asda, one of my favourite brit supermarkets. By the way, where I come from, we call it a “bun tray” or a “bun tin”. Buns are cupcakes, fairy cakes or muffins. Not to be confused with a “sticky bun” which generally means a cream cake, such as a “vanilla slice”, “cream doughnut finger” or an “elephant’s foot”.

For this Muffin Tin Meal, I filled the silicon bun cases with baked beans in tomato sauce, some soft boiled eggs and mini toasted “soldiers” for dipping. I shared this with my baby boy, and he seemed to enjoy it as much as I did!

I have a lot of catching up to do with my blog subscriptions reading, comments and tweeting, but I have added a couple of new Giveaways to the Bento Contests Page – Let me know if there are any others!

A big Thank You to everyone who sent in a link for the British Themed Bento Event! It was lovely to see the wonderful edible adaptations of all kinds of things British-related! 😀

Do you know anyone who would like to receive a Bento E-greeting card? You can now send them one! Try out this dinky link from bravenet.com

British Themed bentos

Tomorrow, God willing, I’m taking my babies to see their Grandparents in England!

So I will be away for at least 1 week and not able to do any bento-ing. But I thought it would be fun to have a British Themed Bento Event! You can send in a bento previously made or make a fresh one! Simply click the blue “Add your link” button to upload an image and a link, and don’t forget to link back here from your bento blog, if you have one, to spread the word! 😀

Uk Flag

Some information about Britain: from Wikipedia

UkThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It is an island country, spanning an archipelago including Great Britain, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland, and many small islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in London, the capital, but with three devolved national administrations of varying powers in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively.

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.


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: