Sunday, March 31, 2013

Frog month bento

Did you know that April is national frog month? In honor of these little jumping critters I did a frog bento.

This frog themed bento includes two frog cutezcute sandwich sealed with panda sandwich maker (one jam one cream cheese). The fruit side has grapes, strawberries, guava, dragon fruit, and kiwi lily pads. On a bed of spinach. 

The is also apple frog pies and a pandan coconut mochi with sugar eyes.

Products used in this bento.

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More Totoro! Pies this time

Ok so I love studio ghibli films, if you hadn't already guessed. So as I was making a batch of mini pies for kids lunches I thought I would try and make some Totoro ones.

Not too bad for first attempt but I will experiment some more. These are apple.  I used the Totoro cookie cutter I made along with scissors to snip the patterns and straw to make the eyes. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Totoro cutout sandwiches

Just a quick use of the Totoro cookie cutter I made to make sandwiches. These are white and dark rye with either cheese or jam inside and a babybel served with yoghurt raisins, homemade cookies and fruit. I just used an oval cutter for the belly and swapped them.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spirited Away Bento

In line with the other Ghibli homage bentos here is one to Spirited away. I chose to do bou nezumi (fat mouse) being carried by Yubabas little bird and some soot sprites (susuwatari) and some konpeito sugar candy.

The mouse is made from ham and cheese. The bird is cheese and nori. On a background of rice, brocoli and bro follower trees,   cauliflower clouds. Savory soot sprite side is onigiri rice balls with carrot konpeito on a bed of mini sweet corn and spinach.

The sweet side is strawberries, guava, kiwi and blackberries and chocolate soot sprite cookies with real konpeito.

All in a Monbento box.

Chocolate Totoro cookies

Just a quick update to the previous post. I made a chocolate version of the cookie dough by substituting 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 cup of Dutch unsweetened cocoa. I just cut out the oval and swapped for a plain dough oval.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dog bento

As two of three kids got new lunch boxes yesterday they all wanted different themes.
I did the Domo and Shaun the sheep ones as I knew exactly what I was going to do beforehand but by number three I had run out of energy and inspiration.

 She wanted a dog themed one. At this point the pet dog over excited by the scraps of ham and smell of pepperoni from the first two was not cooperating. So this it what it turned out like.

Looks more like a sheep and its not packed very well but I will do another dog or wolf one for her soon.

Not sure how that grape got there, was not intentional!
The strawberries right now are huge had to cut up just to shut the lid.

I did find her this new bento box though in my local supermarket H.E.B. for $7.97 it's quite a large one and comes with a fork and spoon and carrying handles its by my bento meal. I will do a review soon

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shaun the sheep and naughty pig bento

Spring has sprung so here are some spring Shena-a-anagins with Shaun the sheep and a naughty pig.

My daughter is a huge fan of Shaun and Timmy and I love Wallace and Grommit so this will probably be the first of several on this theme.

Shaun sandwiches using sealed bear sandwich maker upside down. Shaun is a little on the round side and is looking a like Sheena shaped. Head is cut out from Cheese and Nori. The naughty piggy is from ham ( what else!) with nori eyes.

In a monbento box.

Bento Lunch

Domo kun sandwich bento

I got a new bento box today that I won from the very talented Ming at Bentomonsters.

It's a Trudeau Fuel. It has a container for a knife and fork in the lid. I also got a matching insulated carry bag. Ever since I knew it has been on the way my son has been asking when his new box would arrive as he claimed it.

So put it into action with a Domo kun sandwich.

Dark rye bread with cut out for mouth. Inside cheese. I just cut out the teeth part in the middle of the slice. Under that is pepperoni. Then black grapes for the eyes.

The sun is a cuties orange, the ground is Texas shaped cheese and bacon crackers (oh oh Domo you in trouble you messed with Texas!) more grapes to fill in.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cat and Mouse bento

Quick bento using cutezcute cat cutter and  panda sandwich press on dark rye and white jam sandwiches.

Some left over veggies with cheese mouse from playdoh cutters and cat cookie again from playdoh cutters.

All in a black Monbento box.

Need to get some nicer boxes for the other two kids.

Products used in this bento.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Patricks day bentos

Well since its St Patricks day today I made St Patrick's day bentos for the kids lunches tomorrow.

All slightly different.

 This one has clover cut out sandwich with Derby sage cheese and a spinach tortilla clover on spinach and cherry tomatoes.

Other side has rainbow fruit sticks and a Totoro cookie. It should have been a clover cookie but the kids ate those!

 This one has a clover cut out sandwich with jam, rainbow fruit stick, babybel, and a Totoro cookie. 

This one has clover cut out sandwich with Derby sage and a cheese stick(because I think he will turn his nose up at the green cheese) fruit cup and Totoro cookie.

 I know the napkins are union flags but they were all the napkins I had.

 Happy St Paddys day.
go visit bento blog network for other St Patricks Day Bentos
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Totoro cookies

I wanted to make Totoro cookies this weekend as I have been introducing them to all the studio Ghibli movies in the last couple of weeks. Highly recommend them all.

 Totoro cookie cutters are almost impossible to find. There are some at warpzoneprints which I may have to get along with the super cute adipose Dr Who cutter.

However I wanted to make them today so I followed the tutorial at annathered to make my own. I used a slightly bigger wilton cutter the 4" as my starting circle. All you need is pipe cleaners, pliers and sharpies.
 I also used a small oval cutter the wrong way round to make the impression for the belly. Straw and a pick for eyes and a star cutter to make triangles for nose and stomach.

The recipe I used was from warpzoneprintsadapted from cookiecraze this works really well for cookies with stamped details

1 cup butter, softened this is 2 sticks of land o lakes
1 1/2 cups super-fine sugar (or use granulated sugar blend for 30 seconds)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (don’t use fat free) I used oikos
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour(plain)
1/2 tsp baking soda(bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 tsp salt
 Cream butter and sugar.
 Beat in egg, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.
 Blend in dry ingredients.

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 Roll dough on floured surface to about 1/2" thick
Cut into shapes.
Place cookies on un-greased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper
This recipe yields made 25 medium cookies.
Bake approximately 16-20 minutes, depending on cookie size. Mine took 16 min

I also made some cutezcute animal cookies and Clover ones for St Patricks day and a couple of others using playdoh cutters I raided from kids stash.

I want to figure out a chocolate version of this recipe and cut out the belly and use plain dough I will see if I can find one.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Animal pocket pies for Pi day 3.14

Well tomorrow is March 14 otherwise known as Pi day so i thought in celebration of this irrational number I would make pies.

I got a panda pocket sandwich maker and some cutezcute cutters last week. Looking at them I figured I could use them to make some animal pies (you can buy pocket pie makers but I haven't seen animal ones)

I am making apple pies but this would work for chicken pie or any other sweet or savory pie you like.

I cheated and used store bought puff pastry as I was in a hurry but this would work for homemade as well.

First roll out your pastry on a floured surface.

Cut pieces a little bigger than the sandwich press the base piece has to push down into the mold.

Flour the sandwich press.

Place in the pastry and gently press the pastry down to fit the shape.

Fill depression with filling, in this case peeled and chopped apples, flour and brown sugar.

Cut the face using the cutezcute cutter in the center of your top piece of pastry.

Use egg wash around the area that will stick together.

Gently place on top of filling try and line up straight.

Close sandwich and gently press together

It may or may not cut of the excess. If not use a knife to remove and give it another press to seal.

Place on a baking sheet and egg wash and add sanding sugar if you want.

The facial features act as steam vents and allow the pie to cook without exploding.

Here you can see the completed Pig pie, Cat pie, Panda pie, frog pie and of course Pi pie.

I think next time I will use regular pastry as the puff pastry distorted a little too much and fill a little less with more finely chopped apple, but not bad for my first try with these.
If you don't have a sandwich press you can just use cookie cutters to make the shapes and press together with a fork don't forget to make a hole in top of pie though.

Have fun making you favorite pies, I don't think mine will make it till tomorrow but you can freeze these cooked or uncooked and keep a batch to cook or heat through.

Panda sandwich press is available at all things for sale

Cutezcute cutters are available on amazon or at all things for sale

Monday, March 11, 2013

Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Bento

In celebration of the late great Douglas Adams birthday. I decided to do a hitchhiker a guide to the galaxy bento. I decided to do the whale and petunia plant that are created in space from the missiles by the improbability drive. Whale is cheese, petunias are cheese and hot dog. The night sky is black rice. The other size is a sandwich with cheese '42' and decorated with red peppers.

Click for more Edible geekery

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Onigiri bunny and bear

I got a few supplies I ordered from here so have been trying some out.

The first was this bear and bunny onigiri rice mold. (Available here)
It comes with two molds and four cutter sheets for decorating. I haven't tried those yet.

They worked really well and it takes quite a bit of rice when compacted down so are nice and filling. I salted mine before using and used village harvest sushi rice ( though any sushi rice or short or medium grain rice would probably work.)

I filled the bottom half in the holder to the top compacted with a spoon. Then put the top piece on and pressed down firmly. Take out the mold from the holder and wipe away any excess that has pushed out round the edges. Take off the back first and place gently on plate and ease the top piece off.

I then used these nori punches (Available here) to do accents. I am still having a little trouble with the mouths on a couple of these but I think with practice I will get them to come out. I may try a different nori as well.

The soot sprite (susuwatari) from My Neighbor Totoro was made by putting in cling film and squishing into a ball. Then wrapping in nori and re-squishing with the cling film the same way. Eyes are cheese and nori.

I will try out the cutting plates and the other items soon. The panda sandwich press has been in constant use since it came the kids will not leave it alone and I have no bread or jam left!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Neighbor Totoro sandwich bento

I saw this wonderful idea over at Maisland here is my version

The bread is white bread and dark rye with Swiss cheese sandwich underneath.
Leaf cut from spinach tortilla. Soot sprite is Swiss cheese and nori as are eyes. Side of sweet bell peppers. Fruit and snack in other layer of bento box.

Monday, March 4, 2013

First actual lunch bento: Love snails

The lovely monbento black box came in the mail today. I bought it from amazon I will do a review when I have had chance to see how it holds up.

So first bento for middle kid (she is easiest as she will eat anything)

I had to go with what was in the fridge so base of French toast. Grass is spinach tortilla. Snails are rolled up cheddar and mozarella with spinach tortilla on a quarter of a frigo cheese stick. Spaghetti eye stalks with cheese and sesame seed eyes. Heart strawberry. Ladybug is half a babybel. Toadstool is other half plus other half of cheese stick.

This is my first attempt and I am not hopeful of it reaching the destination in one piece. I need to work on some items for tighter packing. Other layer of bento has fruit and mini cookies for treat.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pokemon Diglett sausage and mashed potato

Quick fun dinner in a hurry cocktail sausages with sesame seed eyes stuck in mashed potato. My kids love Pokemon and these are a mole like creature. If I do these again I will make a mouth out of ham. Think these will be a good bento addition.

Olive penguins

These were a little appetizer I did for the holidays but unfortunately my kids do not like olives. They are so easy kids can make them though. Two sizes of olives, carrot and cream cheese