Bentolicious #091
Yesterday afternoon, I received a package from Bento & Co. I bought 3 items from the gift certificate that I won from the Spring Bento Contest 2010. I can use these 3 items for my husband and my kids. Thanks a lot Thomas for the quick shipping. I really enjoy the gift.

I should tell the truth that I have never prepared bento for my husband. This will be my first time.
I would like to thank him for being so supportive and being the one who encouraged me to start blogging :) I used the Fukuro two-tier bento box that I think quite big for the kids but would be great for my husband. This bento ended up as his breakfast because he had a lunch meeting.

Inside the box : (bottom-tier) furikake + purple cabbages sprinkled on the top of the rice and flower shaped purple potatoes. I found other kind of purple potatoes. The center was white and purple on the outer circle ring. (upper-tier) mashed sweet potatoes, scallop & celery stir fry with garlic and lemongrass, cherry tomatoes, baby corn wrapped in black smoked ham, kamaboko, and daikon & carrot flowers.

Bentolicious #090
I made this little mouse in pajama quick bento from the dinner leftover plus the omurice that I made this morning. I put chikuwa stuffed with baby carrot, carrot & chayote stir fry, and bulgogi. The white collar and the pocket of pajama were made of tofu. The little mouse were made of pink-white kamaboko that I cut with various round cutters.

Yesterday I received Susan Yuen's Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook - 2nd Course. I was really excited and my kids also. They just opened page by page and the only sound that I could hear was "wuah cute!" over and over again. And Audrey started to point out the picture on the book and said "mommy could you make this one for my lunch" ....."mommy could you make this one for my snack" Well a lot of requests there :D

Susan Yuen's book is my first bento book in English. Sure I won't miss out her second book that was just released this April. Susan put a lot of bento samples with ingredients and step by step instructions on how to make it, very clear and easy to follow. The book also contains various recipes that we can put in the bento. I learn a lot from Susan's book and blog as she is a great bento maker and she is very humble. I am sure all of you will benefit reading her books and blog. And I am happy to put these 2 great bento books in my book collections. I'm sure all of you can make fun lunches too after you reading her book.
You can buy Susan Yuen's books from :
Amazon Online Store
1st Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook - Fun Lunches For Kids

Amazon Online Store
2nd Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook - More Fun Lunches For Kids

And you can read her blog at :
Hawaii's Bento Box Cookbook, Bentos and More for Kids
Bentolicious #089
Two little brown bears for today's bento. They were made of rice - hand molded - and covered with hana katsuobushi. I put some beef sausages filled with carrots in the center and cooked with beef stock sauce, sliced kumquat, a small cup of salted edamame, and a small cup of pearl corn.
We wanted to watch Moscow Circus on Friday afternoon but unfortunately the show tickets were sold out. My husband ended up buying the tickets for Sunday afternoon. So we finally went and watched the circus yesterday afternoon.

The kids were already excited since the morning before we went to the church for the Sunday service. Just before we went to the circus, Andrew suddenly looked very ill - he has been coughing and having cold since early this week. We were so worried that if we canceled the trip to the circus, the kids would be greatly disappointed. So we prayed and asked him to take a nap on the trip from the church to the circus. Thanks God that he was better after having his lunch.

So the show was on! It was a fun experience for the kids - they have never been to one. My husband actually insisted to watch this circus because he believed that it would be a lasting memory for the kids - like when he or myself watched a circus a long time when we were kids. It was a memorable experience.

The show only lasted for 1.5 hours - they had clown performances, acrobatic shows and animal shows - the kids enjoyed all of them. Audrey was particularly thrilled with the acrobatic performance. There was one elastic little girl - her body moved as if her bones were made of rubber :) The kids were also amazed with the flying trapeze.
Below are some of the pictures that I took from the circus.

Bentolicious #088
So many things to do ... we still have about 1 month before we move to the new house. New kitchen set finished already and we will be waiting for more furniture to be set up around the second week of May. Meanwhile, my husband and I have been visiting the new house a lot; especially my husband to check the progress. Our front and back gardens are still empty, don't have any ideas yet what to put. Grass will go first and then others I think. I couldn't get online much yesterday but I tried my best to reply all the comments and checked on everybody's wonderful posts.

Today, I wanna wish everyone ... hope all of you have a great weekend with this bugs bento. Inside the box : rice ball shaped like a bugs with nori and crab stick, baby corns, slices of kumquat, grape tomatoes, beef bulgogi & potatoes, fish balls & flower carrots, and broccoli. I rolled the thin slices beef before cook for bulgogi, made it looks a little bit different from usual bulgogi. I am very sorry to have to run again now, so I will leave it for now and will reply all your comments later at the night - after watching circus with the kids and hubby :)
Tips - How To Make Smooth Egg Sheet
Some of my bento friends asked me on how I made smooth egg sheet a while ago. I'm sorry for the delay of this post but I finally can get all the pictures taken this morning and ready to share it with all of you. Hope this post will be helpful and if there is any other different method to make it, please share it in the comment box. And please note that the ingredients I used for this post were only to make 2 egg sheets.
> 3 Chicken Eggs
> 15ml Water
> 1 tsp Cornstarch
> Tamagoyaki Pan (if you don't have it, you can also use your non-stick pan)
2 Bowls

> Small Kitchen Strainer
> Egg Whisker or Fork
> Flip Spatula

> Mix the eggs with the egg whisker / fork in the bowl.
> Mix the 15ml water with 1tsp cornstarch.
>Add the mixed water & cornstarch to the egg mixture.
> Strain the ready mixture (egg, water, cornstarch) to the new bowl. This step is very important to get the smooth egg sheet. Because when we mix the eggs, we will get a lot of bubbles in the mixture. By straining the mixture, we can get rid all the bubbles in the mixture.
If you would like to color the egg sheet, then add the food coloring first before you strain the ready mixture. You can either use the natural food coloring or the artificial food coloring. For this post, I'm using the artificial food coloring.
( Note : I measured 30ml ready mixture to make 1 egg sheet in tamagoyaki pan )
> Put a little bit of cooking oil or spray the oil on the tamagoyaki/non-stick pan.
> Use the kitchen tissue to wipe the surface. We don't want the egg sheet too oily.
> Use the small burner on your stove and put the tamagoyaki/non-stick pan. This also is very important because you can get the smooth egg sheet by using the small-slow heat on the pan.
> Pour the ready mixture into the tamagoyaki/non-stick pan right after you put the pan on the stove. Don't heat up the pan first because you will not get the smooth sheet later.
> Wait until you see the smooth top layer harden. Then you can turn off the stove and move the egg sheet to the plate or cutting board.

Hope you can try this and have fun making your own smooth egg sheet!!
Bentolicious #087
I wanted so much to use the Mickey silicone food cups so that I decided to make this Disney theme bento. I took out the smaller food cup after the photo shoot because I couldn't close the lid tightly. I turned the bigger food cup so the ears part was inside the box. Andrew is still staying at home. Last night my husband brought him to his pediatrician and luckily he could sleep well last night with no fever. He is still coughing and having a lot of phlegm so I need have to give him home nebulizer therapy and a lot of drink.

Inside the box : rice balls (flattened on the top) decorated with crab stick, boiled quail egg, mickey head shapes pork patties, carrot & corn flowers, pea pods, and mash sweet potatoes.

Debra from Hapa Bento is organizing a Japanistic Bento Box Contest. You can read all the details on her blog. Prepare your 'Garden Theme' bento now, you may enter up until midnight PDT April 23, 2010.
Bentolicious #086
My boy has been sick from yesterday with bad cough and fever. I moved him to our room last night, worried that his fever will going bad. I never had a good night sleep if the kids were sick. I woke up several times to check his temperature last night. Luckily after took some medicines and eat his porridge this morning, the fever went down a lot. He is sleeping right now. The weather is still so hot, 37 degree and will continue during this week according to weather forecast.

Only managed to prepare simple snack box for my girl with this small Hello Kitty box. Inside the box : small rice ball decorated with crab stick (red part) and nori, mini tamagoyaki, kumquats, strawberry, fish cracker, and spam with nori. I put more fish crackers in small tupperware container so they will still crunchy for snack time.
Bentolicious #085
Is it already Friday again? ... This week is surely going very fast. We had a hot weather during this week and I think it will continue as we have already entered the dry season. But I'm still hoping it will be raining this weekend.

Today's bento was little happy monkey with banana made from fish cake and cheese. I cut the fish cake and cheese by hand using the small kitchen knife. In the yellow box, I put red-orange kamaboko, edamame skewers, pea pods, mango, and chicken mushroom that I baked with bread crumbs. Wish everyone a great weekend! Have fun with your family! :)

Bentolicious #084
Today's bento was My Melody's friend called Piano. I made it from spam and cheese with egg and carrot flowers. It was easy to make with various cutters. In the other box, I put asparagus and carrot wrapped in thin slices of pork belly, egg flower, grape tomatoes, kumquats, and sweet potatoes flower. The sweet potatoes flower was made of sweet purple potato and sweet yellow potato. Steamed them first until soft and then mashed it with a little bit of vanilla milk. Then I combined the two colors sweet potato and shaped them. Tada ... I love the two-tone colors! Plus kids love to eat sweet potatoes.
Tips - Nori Cutter Set
I have these nori cutters in my collections for quite sometimes. As you can see, I have 4 characters which are Hello Kitty, Stitch, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie The Pooh. They come with a single box containing nori mat, big size cutter, small size cutter, and the stick to push the nori out of the big cutter. I would say that the small cutter is fun to use but the big one is not so good except for Mickey Mouse one. The big cutter is harder to use, harder to get a perfect shapes of the character, and the cut out is not very neat. I have tried in different ways but I'm still not happy with the results. I got info that the Pikachu one is out now. But I don't have plan to buy it for my bento stuffs collections.

(1) Put the nori on the top of the nori mat.
(2) Put the small / big cutters on the top of the nori, and press down to make a cut out.
(3) Use the stick to push the nori out from the big cutter.
(4) You get the nori cut out from the two cutters.
On the scale of 1-10, I will rate these cutters on 5 only.
Bentolicious #083
Today's snack bento was quick to prepare. I woke up late because I forgot to set up the alarm clock last night. I thought I turned it on already but ... oh well! I was racing with the time and managed to make pita bread sandwiches filled with chicken patties, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Put some strawberries and grapes, a quarter of sweet orange inside the sandwich box and decorated it with cheese boy on the top of pita bread sandwiches. I used wax paper inside the sandwich box to keep the foods clean. I love this sandwich box because it can be folded, so it is easy to use and store. I have some folded sandwich boxes with cute characters on the lid that I got them a couple months ago. I was in hurry to take the picture and forgot to take the picture on the lid of this box. But it was Lightning McQueen from Disney-Cars movie.

I want to thank everyone who already took time to vote for my bento in the Spring Bento Contest 2010. It was fun to enjoy this event and I hope many bento friends will join this event next year. My bento made it to the 2nd place. I'm so happy for so much support from many friends in Indonesia and from overseas. Without all of you, the Spring Fairy wouldn't make it to the TOP 10. All 156 entries are great works and beautiful! And I felt honored to be included along with all talented bento makers around the world :)
Bentolicious #082
I start the new week with this My Melody bento. I got some of the new onigiri boxes at the Sanrio shop from my last trip to Singapore. I made one big onigiri and decorated with My Melody from ham, part of hard boiled egg, crab stick, nori and small part from tamagoyaki. This time I tried to divide the egg yolk and egg white for my tamagoyaki, mixed it in 2 different bowls. And I made the layer from egg yolk first and then egg white and ... egg yolk and so on repetitively.
Inside the box : tamagoyaki, ginger-lemongrass prawns & green bean skewers, broccoli, grape tomatoes, and stir-fry carrot & ham.
The following bento was the bento I made for Asfora from Bento Box as a guest post on her blog. Some other bento friends also joined this guest post. Thanks a lot Asfora for the opportunity! Hope everyone can have some fun in bento making :)
Book #002
I mentioned before on my previous Book #001 post that one of my favorite bento book writers is Akinoichigo. Her new book 子どもがよろこぶ魔法のおべんとう was released on 19 February, 2010 and you can buy it online from or from Kinokuniya Bookstore. Her bento-making is such an inspiration for me. Bento books were my only source to learn bento making before I got into the bento blogging. I bought her first bento book from Kinokuniya and fell in love ever since. I collected all 5 books that she wrote, never missed it. If you are interested to buy her books, I have provided the links to for all of her books listed below. Unfortunately, all the books are in Japanese. I can't read Japanese too but I don't see this is as a big problem because her books are full with great bento pictures, tips, ideas and recipes. Figuring out how to make it with the limitation of foreign language is one of the challenges, IMHO.

1st Book
のわくわく! キャラクターのおべんとう

2nd Book

3rd Book

4th Book