Bentolicious #144
The last Halloween theme bento was made today. This snack bento wasn't prepared for school because today is Saturday. So everything inside this snack bento was from this morning breakfast. Sandwich, Indonesian traditional cakes called 'centik manis', and a few slices of orange. I decorated the sandwich with devilish girl on the top. I hope everyone who celebrate this event will have a lot of fun with their kids, families, and friends. I have been enjoying making the Halloween theme bento and saw other bento friends did. Till next year then for more.
As we don't celebrate this event, so this weekend is just like another weekend. No trick or treat, no costume party, etc. but we will still enjoy our wonderful weekend together as a family. I have been busy this morning to do gowns fitting for my brother in law's wedding on December, 2010 and my little brother's wedding on January, 2011. We have been planning for Christmas holiday too. But until today, we have no luck with the plane ticket to the destination that we want to go. We don't know yet whether we will stay in Jakarta or we will be lucky enough to go somewhere else. Wish everyone a fun weekend!
Bentolicious #143
Kids' Halloween costume party idea is for today's bento. I made 1 vampire boy, 1 frankenstein boy, and 1 devilish girl. One more Halloween theme bento to go for tomorrow which I don't have any idea yet what to make for the last one. Next month my kids will start an extra math lesson (twice a week) called Sakamoto method. Basically they will be given some worksheets to do with story, then they will have to solve the problem. I love this method and I think both kids will get benefits from the extra math lesson especially Audrey who will sit in the national examination next year. School here are much more competitive now and every subject is getting harder every year. Andrew loves to do math worksheets so this will be fun for him as well. For me, I will have to do more jobs on driving and waiting hehehe ... :D Inside the box : rice, sauteed small scallops with lemon grass & ginger sauce, quail eggs, steamed broccoli, and cat shapes carrots.
Due to the earthquake & tsunami in Mentawai and volcano eruption in Merapi, The Urban Mama (TUM) is arranging the donation that will distribute later to the victims in both areas. If you want to make a donation, please read more here.
Bentolicious #142

Made the Witch sillhoutte for today's bento. I found the picture from the internet. I copied and pasted it to a trace paper, put the trace paper on the top of the egg sheet and then cut it. This was pretty quick to do. Inside the box :rice, chicken karaage, braised five spice egg, and stir fried veggies (baby corn, carrot, green bean).
Indonesia is mourning for the earthquake with tsunami in Mentawai, Sumatera and for the volcano eruption in Merapi, Yogyakarta. There are many victims in those disasters. Hope and pray for them, hope God will give they strengths for this hard time and for them not to lose their hope. Jakarta itself had some flooding in some places in the past couple of days because of the extreme raining season. It has caused hour and hour of traffic jam. One of Jakarta's biggest problems that is never resolved yet after so many years. One only can hope that the condition is better soon. So sad all of these bad things happened in Indonesia. Although we can't avoid natural disasters but at least I think Government should have better plan to minimize the losses.

Added this bento to "What's For Lunch" every Wednesday. Add yours too!
Bentolicious #141
Continuing on the Halloween theme bento. I chose to make a black cat for today's bento. I was supposed to make a spider web from nori but my migraine hit me again this morning. So I just gave up with the nori spider web cutting and just put a picture of spider web instead. I didn't get online yesterday, so I will have to catch up with everyone's blog post and tweets. I brought Audrey to the hospital yesterday afternoon and met her doctor. We saw the X-Ray and the broken bones has joined up. Thanks God! The cast has been opened too yesterday. Now, she only wears a thin hand band for another 3 weeks. Hope the bones will heal up and join up perfectly!
Inside the box : rice, pan fried fish, stir fried snow peas & sweet pepper, half of cherry tomato, and tamagoyaki. The brown color tamagoyaki was made by adding dark soy sauce and salt and mixed together with egg.
Bento friends, please join the fun in bento making for :
(1) The AppStore Bento Challenge at Mils' Blog - Not A Brown Bag
(2) October B.O.M.B at Debra's Blog - Hapa Bento
Bentolicious #140
I bet everyone knows Kuromi. She is one of the Sanrio characters, and is the friendly rival of My Melody. I put a little bat too for today's bento, to join the fun with other bento friends for Halloween theme bento. We don't celebrate Halloween here, although some restaurants, international schools, and some places will put the decoration and celebrate the event with Halloween costume. I still remember a couple years ago on Halloween day, some expatriate kids around our neighbourhood knocked on our door and shouted 'trick or treat'. We were confused that night because we never bought candies even for our kids. The only thing that we had was chocolates. So the kids ended up "please please give us more" ... and tried for being nice, we pulled out all our chocolate stock in the fridge and gave to them LOL :D
Inside the box : rice, chicken curry, chicken ham rolled with cucumber pickles, sauteed carrots, and slices of strawberry.
Enjoy and have fun this weekend!!
Bentolicious #139
Today's snack bento idea came from my daughter. When I asked her what should I made that was not too spooky and still cute for Halloween theme bento. She answered me directly: 'Scrump'!! I didn't have any idea what she meant until she told me Scrump is Lilo's doll in Lilo & Stitch Disney movie. And then I got it. So I used edamame rice to get the green color for the Scrump. Made 2 big rice balls for the head and body part and 4 small rice balls for the hands and feet part. All were done with hand molding. I stuffed salmon flakes inside the rice balls so I could have extra space to put the strawberries and kumquats in the box. Add 3 colors flower shapes pasta for decoration.
I didn't make a smooth egg sheet for pink ribbon and red scarf. I didn't even strain the egg mixture this time. Just because I wanted to have the effect of wrinkle fabric for both ribbon and scarf. What do you think? It does not always have to make smooth egg sheet right? hehehe ... Button eyes were made of choco egg sheet and regular somen. Small straws were used to punch out those button holes.
Bentolicious #138
I started to make the Halloween theme bento with this quick and simple one. And I decided to make the silly 'spooky wannabe' spider with the web for my girl's bento. She knew that I put this spider inside her bento box this morning. I actually did show it to her purposely. So when she open the box at the lunch time, there will be no incident because of that silly spider. Don't want to end up her dropping or throwing the lunch box hehehe :D Silly spider was made of purple potato, kamaboko, and carrot. The web was made of cha somen. The spider and the web only took 15 minutes to fix, pretty quick and don't need so much bento tools, only oval and round cutters. I cut the spider's legs with small kitchen knife.
Inside the box (as requested by my daughter last night) : thinly slices beef stir fried, bean sprouts and green onion stir fried, cherry tomato, and red paprika omelet.

Added this bento to What's For Lunch every Wednesday
Bentolicious #137
My twins niece and nephew were celebrating their 1st birthday last Sunday. They were born 3 months premature but now are very healthy. My sister prepared the birthday party with the Little Twin Stars theme from Sanrio. So I thought, it is a good idea to put Little Twin Stars in the bento too. I used colorful egg sheets, nori, and fish sausage to make them. If they are here, I will definitely send the 2 bento for them. Unfortunately they live far away ... so perhaps when I visit them next time and they are big enough to eat solid food then I will make bento for them. I was in a hurry this morning and just took the picture in my kitchen with a wrong setting in camera. So this time the picture become a little bit pinkies. Can you also spot another mistake I made in this picture?
Inside the box : sauteed tofu in dark soy sauce, sauteed veggies (peapods, corns, red paprika ), and prawn dumplings. The box was pretty deep, so I put 5 dumplings inside.

Just updated this post with the 2 pictures that my sister just emailed me tonight. The twins are Brandon and Natalie. On their 1st birthday and wearing the Mickey and Minnie Mouse clothes from us. They are super cute!
Book #006
In my opinion, Kaerenmama - Japanese Mom with 2 active boys is one of the very well known charaben bento artists from Japan along with Akinoichigo and Asami. I have collected her 3 bento books. 2 books contain all of her bento works and the other book contains a collaborative bento works between her and Asami. The bento book shown on the top is the newest release. Not like the other bento books that I collected, this bento book is the first one that come with the bento tools (1 face puncher and 5 small cutters). This is cool and brilliant! The book contains a lot of cute characters from Sanrio, San-X, Nintendo DS, NHK, and lot more. At the back pages, you can find so many tips and also tips using the free tools to decorate bento.
Second bento book is a collaboration between her and Asami. This bento book also contains a lot of cute characters, recipes, and tips; plus attached at the back of the book you can find a lot of cute characters that you can copy with trace paper. Unfortunately many of the tips are using ingredients that are very hard to find in my country. But still, the ideas can inspire us to make a cute bento.
I bought her first bento book back in September 2009. Just fell in love with this book with all colorful pages and creative charaben works in it. All of these 3 books are very useful for me as they have step-by-step pictures for each bento, mainly pointed out the important point. With those pictures, we can easily understand especially for non-Japanese reader like me. I learned a lot about bento making especially charaben bento from these books. I do hope that perhaps someday Japanese charaben bento books will be released in English too. So we are not just looking at the beautiful pictures but can understand more about the recipes and tips for each bento in every page.
If you are interested with Kaerenmama's bento works, you can visit her blog here.
Her bento books can be bought from Kinokuniya Bookstore and Amazon Japan.
Bentolicious #136
The two little bunnies for today's bento were made of rice, fish sausage, nori, and jelly balls. They held their carrots which actually food picks. After the last bento with ume somen, this time featured cha somen as the grass decorated with flower shaped carrot and edamame. I didn't make two hands for the bunny but I'm pretty happy with the result. All of you can be the judge whether this is working or not. I haven't started to make any Halloween theme bento yet. But hopefully I can get some ideas over the weekend and join the fun to make Halloween theme with other bento friends.
Inside the pink box : chicken cooked in oyster sauce with kaffir lime & lemon grass - sprinkled with sesame seeds on the top, stir fried bok choy, fried fish cakes, and red paprika omelet.
Good news for this week, our old house is sold and in the process to finish all the legal papers - hopefully soon. And Hubby will back from Seoul this Saturday. Hope we can spend our relaxing weekend together. We miss him so much! ♥
Wish all of you a wonderful weekend too!
Bentolicious #135
I always wanted to make Disney Cuties characters since long time ago but always forgot about it. So today I made one. I chose Minnie Mouse for my daughter's bento. When she was younger, she loved to watch Disney movies. But now although she still watch Disney Channel but her orientation has changed to the teen Disney movies like the Camp Rock and Hanna Montana. So before she say NO to Minnie Mouse, I decided to make Minnie bento for her.

Minnie Mouse was made of egg sheet and nori. I wanted to use cheese instead of egg sheet but it was just impossible for me to do that. I think the cheese will melt quickly because this week is quite sunny and hot day after last week rainy days. I hope all of you don't get bored to see my bento because I often use egg sheet to make a character. I added ume somen and egg flowers for decoration too. I was inspired by Sheri's ume somen bento. So far, I found 4 colors for somen : regular somen (off white), cha somen (green), ume somen (pink) and egg somen (yellow).
Inside the dark green box : crispy fried chicken, lemon, carrots, grape tomatoes, stir fry cauliflower & chayote, and mun tofu.
I linked this bento up for What's For Lunch at Shannon's blog.
Many bento friends has joined up the Pink October event organized by Bento Blog. You can check all the links here.
Bentolicious #134
I joined the October Pink by making a pink bento theme. Some of my bento friends like Chantale, Debra, Susan Yuen, Emily have posted their pink bento on their blog too. I believe many more will join to post their pink bento theme soon. One of my Aunties suffered from breast cancer and lost the battle a few years ago. I still remembered how devastated my uncle and my cousins were. Hope the Pink Ribbon will alert us about breast cancer awareness and to give support to anyone who has been affected by breast cancer.
I made pink bear from rice, kamaboko, crab stick, and nori. The pink ribbon was made of colored egg sheet. Inside the other box : tamagoyaki, grape tomatoes, flower shapes fish sausages, bean sprout & celery stir fry with ebi (dried shrimp), and chicken paprika stir fry.
Please join the Pink October event organized by Bento Blog.
For more details , you can read here.
If you are on Twitter, please add #ThinkPink and #ProjectPink when you tweet about your pink bento.
For more information about breast cancer, please check out Susan G. Komen site.
Bentolicious #133
Happy Friday all!
Weekend just around the corner and I am so occupied this week and feel this week just gone like a smoke. Simple bento for today. Only managed to make 2 green froggies and didn't have enough time to make Kuromi like my girl asked for. Hope she won't disappointed. Green froggies were cut with bear cutter and decorated with kamaboko and nori. I cooked pork belly and boiled eggs stew with Five Spices last night. My husband just drooled because the 5 spices smelled really good in the house last night. I still have a few packs of the very special homemade 5 spices powder from my hometown. The smell is very fragrance and it tastes nice too. I couldn't replace it with any other 5 spices in the market. How to make it and what are the ingredients? If you ask me, I only know that 5 spices consist of star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, and Sichuan pepper. I still remember when I was a kid and my Mom took me to buy 5 spices and I saw this lady. She grounded the spices with her giant mortar and pestle. The house smelled really nice and her secret 5 spices was very popular.

Inside the box : pork belly & hard boiled egg stew with five spices, baby asparagus wrapped in egg, grape tomatoes, and carrots.

October is the month of Breast Cancer Awareness.
I will join the pink bento theme event organized by BentoBlog.
Will try to find some ideas on the weekend, and hopefully can send the bento picture by Monday.
Hope you can join this event too! Read more details here.
Bentolicious #132
Back to Sanrio character bento. For today's bento, I chose Hello Kitty to put in the new 2 tiers pink box that arrived yesterday from Bento&co. I bought the white one previously and just love it. Perfect size for my kids' lunch. This bento was made for Audrey and Andrew still has his lunch from school catering. I made the Hello Kitty from the colored egg sheets except for the white and yellow part. I used food coloring to get the red egg sheet and dark soya sauce to get the brown egg sheets. The hard part was to cut those brown outlines, have to do it slowly and carefully. This time although all the egg sheets are edible, I put wax paper on the top of the rice so if my girl don't want to eat it she can easily remove the Hello Kitty by moving the wax paper from the top of the rice.

Inside the bento : tamagoyaki, pan fried pangasius fish fillet, broccoli & cheese, and sauteed potato flowers in dark soya sauce.

I linked this bento to 'What's For Lunch' every Wednesday at Shannon's blog.
You can join the fun too!

I took the picture of Andrew while he wrote something on Audrey's cast yesterday. He wrote carefully because he didn't want to hurt his sister.
Bentolicious #131
For today's bento, I made Pichu - baby Pokémon that can evolve into Pikachu and Raichu. I hope I can make other Pokémon characters later. Hundreds of them from my kids' Pokémon dictionary; it will be a good resource. But I think I just need to start with the easy one first. Pichu was made of yellow egg sheet, nori, and kamaboko. I actually can use cheese but I didn't want to ruin it because of the humidity and the hot weather here, the cheese will just melt in 30 minutes to 1 hour. Inside the orange round box : pan fried shrimps with Indonesian yellow spices, fish balls with carrots, stir fry Chinese cabbage, and raspberries.
On Sunday afternoon an accident happened in the house. Some of you knew about this from my tweets. Big A broke her left arm. She was running around in the living room downstairs while I was in my bedroom upstairs. Suddenly Little A entered my room and told me Big A fell down and her arm was twisted. She tipped over her own legs and felt down with the left arm went down first. When I saw her hand, I knew that it was broken. Me and my husband brought her immediately to the ER. That afternoon, the traffic jam was so bad that it took us 1.5 hours to arrive at the hospital. We were so blessed because in the ER there was one senior Orthopedician who happened to visit his family in ER at that time. After done with the X-Ray, the doctor explained to us that 2 bones broken and the doctor needed to do a process called reduction (moving the bones back into their correct positions) before fitted with a cast. And that would hurt a lot that Big A would need anesthesia. After that everything went so fast and we went back home around 10PM. Yesterday, she was absent from school and is back to school today. We visited the doctor again yesterday and did another X-Ray. She will need to wear a cast for 6 weeks. Hope everything is going well with her bones' recovery.
Thank you very much to all of you that have been so kind and so supportive via Twitter!