Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Bento Days (1) & (2)

Buzz!!!!! buzz!!!!! That alarm clock sure knows when to scream when I was dreaming sweetly about a cheesecake and a fork! I think I am obsessed with food and the fact that cream cheese were on cheap sale at my local grocery this week made me yearn for cheesecake, in reality or in dreams!

Despite the unwillingness to drag out of bed early in the dawn, making Bento boxes for both Curry and Missy E is actually a very healthy early call for me. Perhaps I am too energized at times, I feel that I will lost out alot if I wake up late in the morning and go to bed early at night. Sometimes, 24 hours is just not enough and yet sometimes, I wish it will go faster, especially comes dinner time!
Still with the spring theme, I couldn't resist the baby chick figure made from quail egg and this time, I made a full grown hen too, complete with beak & crown. I got the idea from Anna the Red, whom I believe is currently the most popular Bento blogger with all her wonderful tutorials and creations of characters Bento. I like the fact that the baby chick and hen are more 3D and I will be attempting on more 3Ds characters, rather than cut outs that stay flat inside the box. The bunny face was made of ham, cut out with rice mold that also shaped the underlying and supporting rice. Kids have different views than us and Missy E said it was a kitten !

As for Curry's Bento box, I attempted the inside out sushi with the rice as the rolling ingredient, enclosing the Nori sheet with omelette, string beans and Korean kimchi. This version of sushi was first created and served in USA rather than Japan. I find it easier than the original sushi rice, probably because the soft rice is easier to roll than the sometimes dry and brittle nori sheets. The chicken slices was first marinated in a mixture of rice vinegar, Mirin (japanese sweet cooking wine), sugar, salt & pepper and pan fried till the liquid is all evaporated. In taste, this chicken side dish is sweet and juicy when bite into. The vegetable part consisted of soy sauce stir fried julienned carrot, scallion and Japanese yam cake (konyakku). The toasted sesame seeds on the sushi was sprinkled onto the rice prior to rolling.

Contents of Missy E's Bento Box :

Quail Eggs, garnished with poppy seeds and carrot;

Ham on Rice, garnished with nori, tomato & mayo;

Tomato, Broccoli, Strawberry and blanched green beans. Garnished with konyakku on carrot flowers cut out and dragonfly and frog nori punched outs;
Chicken pieces.

Missy E will graduate from pre-school in 2 months time and I hope these Bento boxes have brought her joy and fun during her lunch time in her after school programs. Without her, I will not have tried out these cute lunch boxes and although it takes a lot of time to plan and prepare one, it is worth my every effort, knowing that Missy E truly enjoys everything and always come home with an empty box.

Contents of Curry's Bento Box :
Chicken pieces marinated in Mirin, Rice Vinegar and sugar, pan fried till dry;
Soy Sauce stir fried carrot, scallion with Japanese yam cake & tomato;
Inside out sushi with sesame seed rice and nori, omelette, string beans and kimchi as fillings.
Due to the economic downturn, Curry has lost many of his lunch buddies and that means I have to pack more lunch boxes for him to savor alone in his office cubicle. Packing Bento is indeed a money saving step and a more healthier and leaner choice, which is a priority when summer is approaching, knowing that we have to dive the pool and live on sleeveless and shorts for the next few months! As they say, 'Spring has sprung', and so had my Bento making days.

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