I’m Baaaaack!

10 09 2011

After a very long bento haitus, I am ready to get back to bento-ing! Initially, I just burned out on doing bentos every day…and feeling obligated to take pics every day…and feeling obligated to write something every day. Then, when my munchkin started kindergarten, I thought I’d start packing her lunches, but I was honestly not feeling up to it. However, this summer, she atteneded day camp for a few months and about that time I determined to get our eating habits under control while hubby was gone (he’s in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan…and a junk food junkie). So I started packing her lunches for day camp. I honestly didn’t try to get fancy because, being a single mom working full-time, I didn’t have much time or energy to do so, but she loved them jsut the same. Unfortunately, in the afternoon, they would put their lunch bags outside with their backpacks until the parents arrived to pick them up. It was hot out…and most of the boxes I sent with her were the locking type…and I found out, the hard way, that heat makes them explode. So after a couple of weeks, all of the boxes ended up broken. Since Ichiban Kan isn’t selling online anymore, and I didn’t feel like dropping $20-30 a box, I just made do with Glad containers.

However….all that changed when I found AllThingsForSale.com. They have a huge selection of bento boxes and accessories in a great range of prices, with boxes ranging from $2 up to $25. Perfect! So I ordered enough to start rebuilding my supply. All of this pictured was $67 total (shipping is a flat $6 anywhere in the US). I am so excited and can’t wait to start bento-ing again!

From left to right: Grey Lock & Lock Set (includes two boxes, a water bottle, spoon & fork, and bag), Leaf Shaped Silicone Dividers, Mayo Cups, Heart Picks, EasyLunchboxes Set, Bluebird Box, Pink Square Box, Sandwich Cutters, PInk Checkered Box, Swirl PIcks





Mmmmarvelous Mmmmuffins!

22 10 2008
Jasmine Green Tea Muffins

Jasmine Green Tea Muffins

I found a recipe for Earl Grey Tea Muffins at JustBento.com and just had to try it. I’m not a big fan of Earl Grey tea, so I used Jasmine Green tea instead. They turned out pretty yummy. Not very sweet though since I used regular sugar instead of the sucanat that the recipe called for. But a dab of honey on a nice hot muffin out of the oven makes it all better!

I love fall…it brings out my urge to cook and bake. 🙂





Bento…Organized!

6 10 2008

Since my bento drawer in the kitchen was packed to overflowing, I decided to retask a 4-drawer unit that I had been using for Avon samples and supplies back when I was selling it. It worked great! The only downside is that none of the drawers are completely full yet so everything slides around when I open and close the drawers. Just another excuse to buy more…bwahahaha! >:-)

Bento Storage, Will Travel (see it has wheels!)
Bento Storage, Will Travel (see it has wheels!)
At the top are variou scookie cutters, below is a sectioned storage case for my picks, sauce bottles, may cups, punches, dividers, and furikake shakers. To the right are rice/egg mold and furikake stencils.
Top drawer: At the top are various cookie cutters, below is a sectioned storage case for my picks, sauce bottles, mayo cups, punches, dividers, and furikake shakers. To the right are rice/egg mold and furikake stencils.
Antibacterial sheets, gyoza mold, various cups, decorative brads (that I plan on using to decorate some of my plainer boxes), chopsticks and case, utensil set, and belts.
Second drawer (L to R): Antibacterial sheets, gyoza mold, various cups, decorative brads (that I plan on using to decorate some of my plainer boxes), chopsticks and case, utensil set, and belts.

 

Two-tiered boxes (with the exception of the LIberty box which will, hopefully, eventually be a second tier once I get the large size)
Third drawer: Two-tiered boxes (with the exception of the LIberty box which will, hopefully, eventually be a second tier once I get the large size)
Snap lock boxes, minus the one I used for lunch today.

Bottom drawer: Snap lock boxes, minus the one I used for lunch today.





More Ichiban Kan Goodies!

27 09 2008

Just got my latest order in from Ichiban Kan. Not as big at the last couple, but still lots of fun stuff. 🙂

Gyoza maker, Mayo cups, Natural Lunch lock seal box, Natural Lunch belts, Card wallet, Tenmari lock seal box, Furikake shakers

Left to Right: Gyoza maker, Mayo cups, Natural Lunch lock seal box, Natural Lunch belts, Card wallet, Tenmari lock seal box, Furikake shakers

Comments:

  • Gyoza maker: I tried this out right after I took this pic to make some pb&j faux gyoza out of tortillas. It worked pretty well, but I doubt that I’d want to go through that much effort on a regular basis. They turned out cute, though.
  • Mayo cups: These are super-cute. They’re both divided cups, one has three sections and the other has two, so you can put more than one type of sauce in them. They also come with cute little stickers to label what type of sauces are in the cup. I wish I’d gotten more than one set. Hopefully, they’ll get more in stock.
  • Boxes: I got two more seal lock boxes because I’m really beginning to like them better than the tiered boxes.
  • Belts: Got these for the other tiered boxes I have.
  • Card wallet: This was actually extra in the box. I didn’t order it, but it will come in handy for when I’m at the gym or on Guard duty and I don’t need to carry my entire wallet/purse.
  • Furikake shakers: These are cute…they look like little houses.




Bento #17 ~ Pork Bun…Yum!

18 09 2008
Hard-boiled eggs, grape tomatoes, edamame

Bottom: Baby carrots, BBQ Pork Bun, Grape tomatoes, Fish container of dumpling sauce Top: Hard-boiled eggs, grape tomatoes, edamame

On my mooncake run to the Asian market, I also picked up a couple of packs of dumplings. The BBQ pork looked especially good. I’ve honestly never had dumplings like this before…with the thick, steamed bread dough…usually I have the gyoza-style with the thin wrapper. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was heavenly! The dough was mildly sweet which complimented the pork very well. I didn’t even use the sauce I brought to go with it. (Actually, it’s been pointed out that my semantics are wrong….this is a bun, not a dumpling. Oops! Whatever it is, it’s yummy! ;))

Also in this bento, but not pictured, is one of my mooncakes and another market find, Fruity Jelly in mango. Both, unfortunately, were a bit of a dissapointment. The mooncake was the mixed nut variety (pictured in the previous post) and wasn’t bad. But it definitely had some kind of almond essence/paste/oil in it and, while I like almonds themselves, I don’t like the extract. It wasn’t too strong, but it was still there enough to diminish my enjoyment of it somewhat. The Fruity Jelly looked delish, but when I opened it, I was greeted with a very pungent smell of fermentation. I don’t know if they’re supposed to smell that way or if I just managed to get a bad one (despite what the bag said, there was no expiration date on the jelly). Needless to say, I didn’t touch it. I’m hoping the whole bag isn’t that way because I was really looking forward to these. They look yummy. (UPDATE: I tried another one when I got home and it was fine. I guess there was just a bad one in the bunch.)





Bento #16 ~ All A’Bloom (and More Mooncakes!)

17 09 2008

Since my last couple of bentos were paticularly uninspired, I decided to go a bit fancier with this one. I’m starting to really like the one-tier boxes better because there is so much more room to work with and I can fit things under the lid better.

Jasmine rice with grape tomato, baby corn, and nori flower, baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs on wakame (seaweed salad). Out of the box are a mooncake and mini egg pudding

Jasmine rice with grape tomato, baby corn, and nori flower, baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs on wakame (seaweed salad). Out of the box are a mooncake and mini egg pudding

 

Unfortunately, the mooncake pictured was the last of my lotus seed mooncakes. 😦 So I went back to the store today and they had all their mooncake sets marked down. Yay! Unfortunately, the only set they had that was solely lotus seed was the most expensive at 4 for $22 (after the discount). I bypassed it in favor of a 4-pack assortment for $11…one of which was lotus seed. These were the larger, more ornate kind that I had been looking for before. They also had some nice larger assortments of smaller cakes that I might go back and get when/if they do more markdowns.
 

I love the boxes these come in. They are so pretty! I might use them as little gift boxes.

I love the boxes these come in. They are so pretty! I might use them as little gift boxes.

A closeup of the mixed nut mooncake

A closeup of the mixed nut mooncake





Mooncakes!

13 09 2008

Thanks to Vanessa’s teacher, I found a store that sold mooncakes! They had a pretty decent variety, though they didn’t have any individual ones…they were all in gift boxes. So I snagged the cheapest one they had…8 for $12.99. If we weren’t so broke, I would’ve gotten one of the more expensive ones because these were just a little disappointing. For one thing, they were rather small compared to what size I though they’d be and, most of all, they were very plain. I had been looking forward to the ornately-embossed ones. Ah well…as you can see from the pics, I went ahead and ate one. It was ooohhh so yummy! The crust was very flaky…it practically fell apart when I cut into the cake…and the filling was lotus seed paste with salted duck egg yolks. I can’t even describe the taste because it was like nothing I’d ever had before…slightly sweet with a bit of saltiness from the egg yolk.

EDITED to add that apparently the box I got is a mix because the mooncake I ate last night had red bean paste, not lotus seed. I like the lotus seed better…it has a more delicate flavor to it.

 

As you can see, it came with a nice gift box and matching gift bag. Spiffy! 
 
I also picked up some choco-banana Pocky and mini-puddings. Yum yum! Sugar rush, here I come!