Montag, Januar 30, 2012

Bento #13- reminiscence of summer

Weather is grey and cold here and the weather forecast bears no good news either: they expect up to -20 degrees Celsius here. And anyway, I am stuck inside preparing for a big exam that is coming up.
So today I decided to treat myself to some nice summer inspired Italian bento. I think I really deserved it.
Actually it is the first time I have used this new box. After admiring Bentobird's box for ages I got lucky and found a used on eBay. It is a bit worn, but it still looks fine I think.

It features Gorgonzola ravioli, radicchio salad, courgette and oyster mushrooms  braised in honey , salt and white aceto balsamico, fennel Italian style and some mini mozzarella coated in honey and thyme.
I love fennel and raddicio but have used it for ages. After this delicious meal I think I am going to make some more radicchio and fennel dishes. Somehow writing this blog entry makes me crave some fennel risotto right now :-) Oh, I think  I must have the leftover ravioli and fennel now.

Bento #12 - Phildadelphia won't work

I still have problems making vegetable cutouts stick on bread or rice. Someone from the Nekobento forum suggested using Philadelphia-but apart that it looks messy it also didn't work at all. But there was a great side effect: Little One refuses still refuses to eat any cheese but when I used the Philadelphia to stick the vegetable on the bread she demanded Philadelphia cheese bento for today. So at least I get something else to use besides only butter or salami.

Most people use nori to make cute faces, but Little one won't eat nori or cheese so I am doing my best to make faces out of carrots, peas,... but it simple won't stay in place.

By the way , this is Little Ones favourite bread and her favourite cutter-the crown somehow makes her feel like a little princess. I rarely use toast for bento, because it doesn't contain much healthy or nourishing ingredients.

Kids love it sweet and colourful

During the last few weeks of grey and cold weather me and Little One somehow have taken comfort in making muffins. Baking together is a lot of fun with us and I can easily cater to her food dislikes: blueberry, raspberry muffins are all for me and she gets apple, carrot cake or chocolate muffins. Somehow winter calls for lots of cinnamon and other Christmas spices. I put cinnamon nearly in all our muffins. And we either use different  coloured paper muffin  containers and often also decorate hers with Gummibärchen and other sweets so they are easy to tell apart. I personally don't need any frosting or decoration( I find frosting rather to sweet), but Little One loves decorated muffins. And anyway with little means I achieve a big impact: a happy child with a big smile.
I don't really have the time during the week to go shopping for any special ingredients so we mostly improvise depending on what we have got in our pantry and on our mood. Right now I am hoked on raspberry chocolate muffins.

So I am curious: what muffins are you doing and what  is your favourite muffin recipe?

Bento #10 +#11 - Thank God for baran and food picks

Making school bento for my Little One every morning has become a routine and sometimes rather boring. I wish I could have more freedom and use tomatoes, cheese, berries,... But my Little One is perfectly content with her bentos. I guess it is like with their favourite story, kids do not get tired of having their favourite thing over and over.  Actually she doesn't want any food variety, she is perfectly happy simply choosing different cutter or food picks every day.
I guess I should be grateful that she is so easy to please, but by now I feel like crying: no more apples carrots and wholemeal bread anymore please.
The other day I kept looking at bento pics at another blog and particularly liked how you can pimp up a plain bento and add some colour by using baran. I have several kinds of baran at home, but somehow I never used them before.
Ok, so I can use baran and some new food picks, but come on I am going on a bento strike soon if she insists on bread, carrots and apples only.  Maybe I can sneak some variety into her bento without her realising it. When she was a baby I used all leftover vegetable side dishes  to make vegetable patties, maybe that will do the trick for her.

And here comes Bento #11 from the following day. Can you spot any difference?  I  hardly can. I cannot stand making carrot, apple and sausage bentos for her anymore. I want variation and more choice.

Dienstag, Januar 17, 2012

Bento #9-My child eats rice, not salami

Tonight we had Thai rice, some omelet with peas, Thai style stir fried garlic beansprouts with bean sauce and some spicy mushrooms for me. Actually I was planning to use the leftovers for my bento tomorrow. But somehow i was really successful turning my child bento crazy. She insisted on having rice and bean spouts and omelet for her school bento( they eat it for a second breakfast). I wonder how she will cope tomorrow. They eat in their classroom on their school desks while her teacher reads a story. Oh, I hope she wont make a mess and I hope the other kids won't bug her because of the strange food. My Little One already stands out because of her look, she isn't exactly one of those girls with blue eyes and blond hair and because of me being a single Mum and I guess I am being overprotective, but children can be mean and small town people here can be narrow minded and certainly are not used to kids having strange food and rice for breakfast. But she is so proud, she might as well carry it off and enjoy having some unusual to eat.

This bento also showcases a premiere: it is really pathetic: I have had these rice moulds for over a year and never dared using them. I always thought they were too complicated. But Little One just grabbed them and wouldn't take a no for an answer. And I was surprised how easy and quick it works. Never thought it was that easy. Shame on me for not using them any earlier. When making the little bear eyes I was wondering how to make them stick? What do you use to make sure that face parts stay in place in your bento?

Bento #8-Stirfried egg noodles Korean style

  When I cam home from work today at 3pm I was starving. So I made a quick stir fry of egg noodles, mushrooms, sprouts , water chestnuts and eggs with my secret weapon: the Korean chili paste sauce. When I was still a student living in an international dormitory in London  in what seems ages ago, quite a few of my  roommates were either Japanese or Korean. I never had tried or even heard of Korean food before that.
I just love that sauce, it goes well with either rice or noodles and it isn't spicy at all (well at least compared to my birds eye chili Thai cooking), but has a rather sweet taste to it.  Anyway, eating it took me right back to my student days in London. Sometimes you eat something and it takes you right back into the past. I remember how back in the old days I threw away any moulded , strange coloured and or stinky stuff . My gosh, my Korean roommate was so pissed. She had a lot of gross stinky stuff that looked really rotten. It turned out she had tried making some homemade kimchee style veg in our fridge and it was supposed to smell like that. She never forgave me for doing that. Another one of my roommates was an American-Korean echange student and I was amazed that Koreans even eat pasta or pizza with kimchee. My English Pakistani freiend similarily siad that at home she ate pizza nd pasta with curry. Wow, now I have really lost the thread.
That Korean style noodles really made me remember the good old days.
 And yeahy-I had enough leftovers so I finally can take a grownup bento to uni tomorrow and can escape the salami, carrot and apple school bento world.

Bento #07- I still hate Salami, but at least she got a new box

My Little One still is a picky eater. I am still only doing bentos for her and not for myself.
But at least she is into bentos and eats some wholemeal bread and some fruits and veg every day-even though it always is the same one. To make things less dull for myself I at least make sure to buy many different varieties of apples and some 't know heirloom varieties. People who only eat the watery crisp apples from the supermarket don*'t know the variety of flavours and textures an apple can have. I also am a passionate gardener of heirloom vegetables, especially of heirloom tomatoes. But as tomatoes are on Little One's list of yuck food I at least buy colourful carrots at the market. My favourite ones are the purple ones. I also had some purple and red potatoes in the garden this year, but we already ate them all up.
Besides the colourful vegetables from the market I also gave Little One's second bento box a try. It is a red Hello Kitty box that i got her for Christmas. But after she already got her Pink Piggy Box from the Secret Santa parcel she didn't really bother to much about the box I got her. Even though she wanted to have just that Hello Kitty box somehow a two layer box with dividers, chopsticks and a bento strap is so much cooler for her. Maybe because for her it is more like a real grownup bento in that it is two layers and has a strap? Besides, somehow the layout of the Piggy box really is much more convenient and it seems I can fit much more food into it.

Montag, Januar 16, 2012

Bento #06 - I hate salami

By now I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day ( ' Und täglich grüßt das Murmeltier'). I just hate waking up every morning making the same boring bento. Is there not a God of bento that can entice my child to eat other normal food like other kids? I dream of making nice colourful bento with little red tomatoes, some fresh green salad leaves and broccoli, some cute little cheese eor some berries. By now I really hate salami. Never thought I would grow to hate any food at my age. I have no idea what else I could out in her bento that won't make her throw up( tomatoes, bananas, berries, cheese, boiled eggs,...) or is forbidden by her teacher(any sweets like cake, cookies, even jam is off limits).
Maybe I should host a competition of who can come up with the most innovative bento for Little One.

Bento #05 Mummy, I am not hungry

My Little One isn't the best eater. She is quite tall and skinny and only eats a bit every mealtime. Early mornings are hard for her and she always says: " Mommy, I am not hungry". so we made a deal. She gets a bento for school, but she has to eat the bread ad veg leftovers from cutting out her bento. That really works out fine. <i get her to have some breakfast and she loves watching me cut out her bento.
But we always have the same problem: it is really hard to get some variety into her bento, because she always keep on asking for the same bento.
I have seen really pretty bentos with bread sealers, cutters and stamps. We have tried it, but the toast slices won't seal. Plus I want my child to have a healthy meal and I am not comfortable having her eat toast every day. So she usually takes our favourite bread: wholemeal spealt bread with sunflower seeds. And always, always salami or sausages. I miss the days when she at least still liked eating cheese.

Little One's new pink Bento Box Piggy

We just had the most amazing Secret Santa ever: fryda. And she really made Little One's Christmas by getting her her very first own bento box: the Pink Bento Box Piggy. It has two layers, a rubber strap, a divider and even some cute pink chopsticks. It is about 15x8cm and is just perfect for school.
Initially I was worried how she would cope with a two layer box or whether the plastic was durable but she gets on just fine and the material of the box seems to be quite resistant. And for Mums the layout of the  box is just perfect. No more sandwiches tasting like apple :-) No, there are two layers and I can evens separate the fruits with a divider. the only downside is that it doesn't come with a matching bento bag. So the past weeks Little One has been monopolizing my Kimono bento bag to carry her precious Pink Bento box Piggy.
I need to get that kid her own bento bag for Easter. Oh, and I have been thinking of getting another pretty two layer children's bento box. Mdes4u  has some cute ones and of course this doesn't mean indulging in my bento box addiction-no I mean I would be getting it for Little One for Easter, not for myself. But when I am already placing an order I just might  to save shipping fees place a little order for myself. I mean I cannot order only one box.

Bento #04- Little One got a new box

We had a really great Secret Santa this year around: fryda. Fyrda sent us lots of great gifts. But the gift that little One loved most definitely was a brand new pink two layer bento box. This was her ultimate Xmas gift this year and nobody was able to top it. Anyway, Little One insisted very convincingly I dare say :-) that I had to instantaneously had to make her a school bento in her new box-never mind it was Xmas break.
So this is Little One's first bento (breakfast) in her new box. It really is easy and fun to fill that box.It has two layers so I unusually fill one with fruits and the other one with bread and sausages. Plus it comes with a great divider. Little One just adores that box and proudly insists on having her school bento every day. Only that now I end up spending all time preparing her bento, instead of having breakfast myself or making myself a bent. But it is a joy to see that happy eyes.

Lucky winner: white Deligo onigiri box

December was a really busy and hectic month.And amidst all the deadlines, uni, work and Christmas preparations I took part in the Casabeno Giveaway and was the luck winner of a white Onigiri Box.
I was over the moon when I found out that I  won. Actually, I really love the Deligo design and have been wanting to get a  white Deligoo bagel box for ages and then surprise I win its sister the Deligoo onigiri box.

Casabento was really quick and I already got it in late December. I am really in love with this box-I even kept the packaging of the box because i like its design so much. The picture on the box is great because it shows how you can use the box.Inside there were even more pictures. There is a really nice glossy detailed onigiri recipe leaflet with nice little pictures.

The Deligoo box has two layers: there is the white glossy lower box, then next comes the second brown layer with a brown lid and finally the white upper part of the box. It feels nice and is much more glossy than I expected it to be.  The box is so pretty that I spent a lot of time just happily looking at it.