Bentolicious #032
My Monday's bento always the quick and simple one. This week is an exam week for the kids, as I mentioned before. I made this bento mistakenly because I forgot that the kids actually will dismiss from school at 12pm this week and will be having their lunch at home. I put the letter JIA YOU 加油 on the top of the rice + furikake. These words are simple exclamation to cheer up someone, so in my case ... I was cheering up the kids to do their best for exam. And BTW, those letters were from egg sheet (color orange was from tomato sauce that I mixed with the egg). I put asparagus wrapped in thin sliced porks that I cooked with pineapple sauce, sausages, baby carrots, and sweetened red cherries. Put yellow stars from radish pickles and those small dots on the top of parsley were from cheese. Tomorrow I will only prepare the snack bento. My head is starting to think what kind of snacks that I should put on the kids' snack bento hehehe ... :o)
Fried Chicken Parsley
I marinated some chicken drumlettes today and made fried chicken parsley. I always love the simple and quick way because it's saving my time around the kitchen. This fried chicken parsley is really easy and quick to make. Just follow the following recipe. It can be served for breakfast-lunch-dinner, potluck, snack time, picnic and perfect for bento also. And oh by the way, my kids wanted me to pointed out that those were their small teddy bears on the picture.
> 1kg of chicken drumlettes <
> fresh parsley, chopped finely <
> 2 tea spoons of salt <
> 2 tea spoons of chicken powder <

| How to Cook |
(1) Marinate the chicken drumlettes with chopped parsley, salt and chicken powder
for about 30-45 minutes in the fridge.

(2) After that, take out from the fridge and deep fried them
until they are turning golden brown.
(3) Ready to serve.

I always use my 'shield' for deep-frying as you can see on the above pictures ... otherwise the oil sometimes will be everywhere.
Tips - Egg Mold
Today is a public holiday in Indonesia. So we have a long weekend this time. I didn't make any bento for the kids but instead we were making cute shapes boiled eggs with my egg molds. The following are my egg molds collection. Some of them are quail eggs mold. These egg molds are great for making different kinds of shapes from boiled chicken egg or quail egg. Kids just love to eat them rather than the usual boiled egg shapes. From those who are not familiar to use the egg mold, you can see the tips below.
(1) Boil the eggs for 5-10 minutes after the water boiling point.
(2) After that run the tap water over the hot eggs and quickly peeled them.
(3) Put the peeled egg in the egg mold and close / lock them tightly.
(4) Put the egg mold inside cold water for about 15 minutes.
(5) Open the egg mold to get the cute shapes from the egg mold.
(6) Some highlights that you want to remember are :
- Don't wait until the boiled egg cold to put them in the egg mold. The boiled egg should be hot / warm so it can be shaped.
- Sometimes the boiled egg get the ugly shapes because the size of the egg is too big or the boiled egg is not formed because the size of the egg is too small.
You will know what size of the egg you need to use for each egg mold after you try one.

Bentolicious #031
I only prepared snack bento this morning. Andrew got fever from last night so he is staying at home, absent from school. He had been saying that he didn't feel well and had a headache since dinner time last night. But I thought he was playing the trick for not finishing his dinner. Luckily last night we checked him in his bedroom and he really got fever. So he slept with me in my bedroom, I felt really bad last night ... I made some porridge for him this morning for breakfast before he ate his medicines. Hope he will have a quick recovery as Monday he will start his exam.

Inside the snack bento was 2 little star shape egg-rice, star carrots+quail eggs. Seaweed rolls and tofu sandwich were from the fridge, put them in the boiled water for couples of minutes. Put zigzag zucchini, tiny orange, strawberries, and sweetened green cherries.

And I would like to thanks RACHEL for giving me an award. I feel honored to receive another award for blogging. Rachel is a very talented mom and very loving mom. I love her passion for baking, cooking, and bentoing of course. She always involves her little princess in baking and cooking processes. It seems so much fun and bonding between her and her little princess. Her blog is one of my favorites to visit. And I will pass this award to some wonderful blogging moms and please pass it to another moms also.

Bentolicious #030
I got up late this morning and could only manage to make some rice balls stuffed with minced beef, decorated with edamame and nori. Inside the box for today's quick & simple bento were carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, cherry tomato, and beef balls with sweetened cherries on the top. Nothing special really on this bento. I felt so tired last night and couldn't sleep very well. Next week the kids will start their first semester exam. And this week they will be busy reviewing each subject at school and at home. The kids seem so confidence though ... but being mom always the one who do the worry things :o) I hope they can pass the exam next week with good marks.
Tips - Boiled Egg Flower
I want to share some tips about how to make a nice flower cut on boiled egg. Maybe some of you already know these tips before but still no harm to share it for them who want to know how to make the above cut. The tools that you need are small sharp knife and fruit baller. Forgive me if the pictures were not clear. I took it tonight with not enough light on my dining table. My husband was helping me to hold the egg (so his hand were all over the pictures, not mine hahaha ... ). I supposed to be the hand model and my husband took the pictures but he could not seem to do the focus, so we changed role. I have to admit ... nice hands though :o)
The following are the steps on how to use small sharp knife and the result :
1. Cut the egg with the tip of the knife ... not to deep, just say 0.5cm
2. Cut it with the zigzag pattern to create the effect,
do that for the whole round of the egg
3. Then when you have done cutting it, just pull the egg apart slowly ... otherwise, like me your husband has to eat it
4. There you go
And the steps for using fruit baller are almost the same with using small sharp knife :
For the fruit baller, you just need to press the baller into the boiled egg to create the semi round/circle effect. Do that for the whole round of the egg.
Once finished, pull it apart ... again slowly.

If you take out the egg yolk, then you can use it as food cup and fill it with some foods.
Creamy Tomato Soup
I made creamy tomato soup with sweet basil for the kids. After browsed the internet for the recipe, I found one on YumYum. Served with cheese sticks that I bought from the bakery shop. The kids seemed to enjoy the soup on the cold rainy day. Andrew usually didn't like sour foods but this time he finished his part until the last drop. Poor hubby just can watched it because he got allergic to tomato, so no soup for him. Took some pictures to keep practicing on how to make a good food photography. I know that I have a long way to go, but I am willing to learn and practice more. Have a great weekend everyone!
Bentolicious #029
Happy because today is Friday and tomorrow will be weekend again. I only made snack bento this morning. As everyone would know by now ... if I just prepare snack bento then it means my kids will eating from school catering, how nice is that? I put cheesy mashed potato on the orange food cup with Pooh shapes carrot on the top. Just realize all the colors were orange ... not so good in picture. Then I also put barbecue pork sausage, bee quail egg, pea pods, strawberries, and half of boiled egg in the snack box. The white things like vermicelli which are not ... They are konyaku jelly but with the shapes of noodle. They are tasteless but very good to put them in the soup, shabu-shabu しゃぶしゃぶ or just eat them with other foods / drinks.
I received another award from Dolly. She is a teenage baker and her blog is just really great with a lot of creative recipes. I love to visit her blog, hoping that someday I can do all the baking properly. She is also good with food photography, looking at her food pictures just make me drooling :o) This award came with requirement to state 7 things about myself and after that I will have to nominate 7 others blogger. I made my homework last night and these are 7 things about me (at least my husband think so) :

(1) I am a determined person, if I have set my mind into something, then I will not rest
until I am done with it or until I am satisfied that I have succeed.

(2) And yet, I get bored pretty easily. Once I achieve what I set to achieve,
then I move to the next thing in life, a new project, a new hobby (not a new hubby ...)

(3) I don't like to gossip or mingle in other people's business.
(4) I am a disciplined person, I like things in order.
(5) I love romantic movies and I can watch Korean serial drama until 2am.
(6) I always want to go to Japan and shop the bento tools until I drop.
(7) I am scare of cockroach.

It was hard for me to choose only 7 blogger friends that I will pass this award to. And these are 7 bloggers that I finally nominate :

(1) Sheri - Happy Little Bento
(2) Tata - Bonito Food
(3) Susan - Hawaii's Bento Box Cookbook, Bentos and More for Kids
(4) Ratri - Hana Cupcakes
(5) Megan - Bento Zen
(6) Debra - Hapa Bento
(7) Wiffy - Noob Cook

Bentolicious #028
Made 2 little boys for today's bento. The rice was molded with my sushi mold and I put minced pork cooked with sweet soya sauce from dinner leftover, in the middle of the rice. Wrapped it half with nori and decorated it with crab stick, nori, and heart shapes carrot. Inside today's bento box were steamed broccoli, fried chicken fillets, and I put tiny orange in the corner. Flower shapes carrots were used for food divider. I rarely put the fruits on the kids' bento box because they usually have their fruit-time after school at home. But this orange was really small so I just packed it for the kids to enjoy. That little red thing on the orange was sweetened red cherry that I cut to cover the hole in the middle of the orange ;o)
Bento Cupcakes
Who will not be interested in cupcakes? Their small size and cute decorations on the top just make me fall in love with them. Apparently I can't get away from anything cute hehehe ... :o) I usually try to avoid too much sugar in my snacks, but the cupcakes made by my online friend Ratri have a different story. She is very good and talented in making the details and all her designs are cute, not to mention the cupcakes tastes really good. I have been ordered couple of times for my husband's birthday, kids' birthday, friends' birthday, and last Christmas and Easter. But this time I want to reward myself and asked Ratri to make bento theme cupcakes. What? You might think this is too much ... but I love to reward myself sometimes. Make me appreciate who I am and always be grateful for my life. Enjoyed the cupcakes with the kids yesterday after school, had some quality time and of course took some pictures. The kids helped me to put Audrey's books collection of Rainbow Magic for the background. I just want to share these cupcakes with all my blogging friends. And thanks a lot for Ratri, who has been making all these wonderful super cute bento cupcakes for me.
My bento eaters are specially featured on this post ... it was so hard to take the kids' picture since Andrew always moved and laughed. They are lovely though and finally I could get their picture although Andrew's is a little blur on the picture. Well, I have to learn more and be patient to take their pictures next time.

Contact Person : Ratri
Bentolicious #027
This morning I prepared simple bento with rice and furikake on the top, omelet, veggie pickles, and star apple on the corner. I also made 3 little pigs from quail eggs, decorated with nori and ham. I joined the quail eggs and baby sausages with raw spaghetti. Something happened to my phone line today and it made my internet connection dead. So I brought my laptop to Starbucks to get the wi-fi connection hehehe ... poor me. I complained several times to my internet service provider but it seemed they were not serious to take care of this matter. I got angry with the customer service this morning because of the bad connection lately. Called my husband to make a complaint again as he is good in making complaint with all nice techniques to get the customer service to follow it up.
Bentolicious #026
I only prepared snack bento this morning because the kids will having school catering for lunch. I didn't put many inside the box just some steam veggies like baby carrots and green beans, flower shapes pork sausages, sweetened cherry, and bear shapes kamabokos. I put garlic butter on the pitta bread and rolled it with mushroom chicken ham. Cut it into half so it can fit inside the snack box. Almost forgot to mention thin slices of cucumber. I carved the apple but it seemed no space anymore in the box, so just eat it myself after the snack bento ready.
Bentolicious #025
Yesterday, Lisa posted her drawing again from my blog. This time is the baby oranges from my post on Juice #002. I am double honored that Lisa chose this baby oranges picture and my other bento (Bentolicious #022) for her drawing. She is a great artist, very kind and I love all her works. Her passions to draw can be found at The Lunch Box Project. I want to share her work here and I am sure everyone will agree how talented she is.
Bento Tools #001
I have been collecting food picks for quite sometimes, even before I did the bentos for the kids. My collections have grown after sometimes and I'm still planning to collect more if I can find the cute one. I took the pictures of my food picks this morning when the kids went to swimming lesson with my hubby. Food picks are very useful for decorating kids' lunch box. Small things but they are really great! I remembered when the first time Andrew brought that food picks on his lunch box and I told him to bring back the food picks, don't throw them away. He did exactly what I told, he didn't throw them but gave it to his friends because they love to have it.

Bentolicious #024
Arrrggh ... making a character bento will be so frustrated when the end result is not as what you expect. I made this Pikachu bento for my son's request but was not happy with the result. My pokeballs also were not very nice because I cut the crab stick in the middle to get the red & white stick together and I forgot that cut in the middle of the crab stick can cause the pokeball roll in the middle instead of flat. No time to re-do, I let it that way ... the rolling pokeball hahaha :o) I put scrambled egg on the top of Pikachu shapes rice and decorated with nori, crab stick, and ham. I pressed down the scrambled egg with my skimmer (choose the one with small holes) to get smoother texture. Inside the bento box are salted snow peas, flower shapes carrots, and doughnut shapes chicken nuggets.

I borrowed my kids' Pokemon book from their collection for the background. Audrey and Andrew like Pokemon very much. They have collected the DVD's, books, comics, the small characters, magnet stacks, and they even have the dictionary of the Pokemons. They can memorize all the names of Pokemon while I just remember Pikachu and Pichu. But they were not getting the collections free. They changed with what we call 'star reward'. Funny I'm still doing it and the kids still love it. So for every good marks in school, practicing their piano lesson, go to their swimming lesson, do their homework without been told, and other good things ... they will get a star reward. But if they do the opposite then the star reward will be deducted from their chart. I am using the star reward to teach the kids about discipline and independent. Although they already understood the concepts now, we still keep doing it because we are happy with the star rewards.
Bentolicious #023
Back to business. After taking some medicines and had a good sleep last night, I felt a lot better this morning (thanks to all sweet & nice friends too). Today's bento was Ultraman made from small rice balls decorated with crab sticks and radish pickles. Besides that I put flower sausages, edamame, leaf shapes chayotes, baby carrots, and enokitake mushroom えのき茸 wrapped in thin pork slices. I found the ready-to-use pack of edamame at the fruit store near our house, it came with original flavor and salt added flavor. This was very convenience for me.

Chayote usually has sap. So after peeling the skin and cut it into the shape we want,
don't forget to soak in salt water for some time to clean the sap.
Bentolicious #022
I did not make any bento today because my condition is getting worse and started to get a bit feverish. But even not feeling too well, I feel really comforted with the supports from my dear friends from blogger and flickr... you are so kind to give your comments yesterday and even today. My heart is also happy because one of my bentos was chosen by Lisa Orgler. She drew picture based on my bento. She is award-winning artist and designer from Iowa, US. Her works can be enjoyed at The Lunch Box Project and her drawings are all nice, very interesting, really good art! I am really thankful to Lisa who has chosen my bento to be drawn. One of my posting - Baby Orange - will be drawn also by her. She will post it on her blog on Saturday... I will share that picture again with you in this blog.
Bentolicious #021
Nori monsters for Monday. Nothing special about these monsters really. They are made from rice balls (filled with salmon) and covered with nori on the top, decorated with white kamaboko for eyes and mouth. I put some sandwich tofu sprinkled with chili flakes, sausages, sweet potatoes, flowers ham, veggies and pink quail eggs. This weekend I didn't cook because of the bad flu, I lost my appetite so we just made some delivery orders. But I finally managed to cook spaghetti on Sunday afternoon for dinner because I felt much better after the long sleep. My husband became my sauce tester because I did not want the sauce turned out to be too sour or even tasteless. I planned to make spaghetti bento for Monday but nothing left hehehe ... I will be posting another bento tomorrow. Now I need to do some groceries shopping as my fridge is so empty, ohhh nooo :o)
Bentolicious #020
Couldn't sleep well last night because too much coffee in the afternoon and made me very sleepy in the morning. So my sleepiness gave me an idea to make a sleeping bird from my onigiri mold for today's bento. Put かつおぶしkatsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) all over the onigiri, decorated with sausages and kamaboko. Inside the box were doughnut shapes chicken nuggets, flower shapes fried tempeh, cucumbers, red cherry, flower shapes carrots. Tempeh was made from fermented soybeans and very popular in Java Island in Indonesia. It can be found almost in every supermarket.
Baby Orange Juice
Crazy in the couple of hot days. I made juice again for the kids, hope they will drink it after school or I guess my son will say something to me and find the reason to refuse it. But mom always smarter ... so I used what we called here 'Jeruk Baby' or Baby Orange which is not a baby orange for real. They had a same size with other types of orange. One thing that made them different from other oranges was this type of orange taste very sweet and we almost couldn't find that sour or kind of sweet-sour taste on it. Here, many parents gave this baby orange juice to their babies (5 months old and above). My kids still love this baby orange juice until now. Maybe that the reason we called it Baby Orange in the first place. I put the juice in the refrigerator and when the kids got home, the juice will ready cool & fresh. Oh yah BTW, that Allesi's blue orange-squeezer with goblet was from my friend Kiani. Love to use it.
Bentolicious #019
I just felt nothing special about today's bento. Perhaps the hot weather affected my mood drastically. I didn't have any inspirations at all for today's bento. The school catering is usually my savior if I don't feel or I don't have time to make bento for the kids hehehe ... Tomorrow they will have school catering for lunch. So out of my boredom I just made small onigiri decorated with nori. Inside the box were steamed flower shapes potatoes, steamed broccoli, stir-fry cabbage, yellow tofu, and tuna in tomato sauce.

Ambula Juice
This week has been very hot even though it should be rainy season now on November. Yesterday I went to my favorite local fruit store near home and found these ambarella fruits (we called it 'buah kedondong' in Indonesia). This pleasant tasting acidic fruit has a crunchy texture and good source for vitamin C. I was thinking it would be nice for kids to drink this kind of refreshing juice after they got home from school. I used my juice extractor and started to make what in Asia usually called Ambula Juice.
1 kg of Ambarella Fruits (buah kedondong), usually around 5 pieces
Melon Syrup
Sweetened Gooseberries
Sour Plums
A lot of Ice Cubs

I put the sour plums and sweetened gooseberries inside the ambula juice. The sour and sweet flavors combined together made the juice is very refreshing. Don't forget to put a lot of ice cubs ... :o) I like to add a little bit of melon syrup to the juice for the kids because they didn't like it if too sour.