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Topic: For Bento-enthusiasts and newbies! (kind of long + now with pics!)  (Read 11354 times)
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katiekutthroat
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« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2008 06:55:36 AM »

aww hello kitty Smiley this is adorable.. and looks yummy.
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Kimberly_Star
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2008 11:50:24 AM »

I'm SO excited!  For my birthday, my mom and dad got me my first "real" bento set.  The first pic is the set itself and the second pic is the set with all the accessories they got me!









I will be working through lunch all this week (well, Mon - Wed), so I'm planning on a nice bento for every day.  I usually have time to go home and eat, but since I'm off Thurs - Fri, I need to get stuff done during lunch.  I'm so excited!!

I also got three great cookbooks, New Asian Cooking published by Bay Books and Japanese Meals on the Go Bento Boxes by Naomi Kijima from my awesome big sis and 3 Books in 1; Chinese, Thai, Japanese from my mom and dad.  All three are great and I can't stop flipping through them for ideas.


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tagisa
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2008 04:04:17 PM »

I don't think I've ever heard of bento, it's adorable!
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Kimberly_Star
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2008 09:37:11 AM »

Well, I finally got to make my first bento lunches!  I have three under my belt and I really love taking the time to do it in the morning.  Since we're leaving out of town tomorrow, I've been limited in what I can take, but I hope to get more diverse options in the pantry soon!

#1:  (This is a terrible pic, but the best I got that day)

Left; Canned salmon salad w/light mayo and fresh basil, salad greens and light caesar vinaigrette in the container
Middle, top to bottom; Kimchi, brown rice with Nori Tamago Furikake, and takuan
Lid; String cheese for an afternoon snack and a strawberry/chocolate stick for dessert.



#2:

Left; Salad greens topped with roasted red peppers and deli turkey with homemade basil vinaigrette in the container
Middle; same as #1, but reversed  Grin
Lid; same as #1, but it's lime/chocolate



#3: (The one I'm most proud of)

Left; Salad greens topped with marinated artichoke hearts and deli turkey with a roasted red pepper strip, no dressing because the marinade dresses the greens nicely
Middle; Same as #1, but I used the silicon cupcake cups and I love them!  No kimchi juice running everywhere, so I didn't have to wrap it.  Also, I got creative with the takuan and made a rose.
Lid; No string cheese, we're out, and this time it's (I'm assuming) a lemon/chocolate stick



I am hooked!  I want to keep making them every day!  They're so fun and definitely brighten up my lunch hour.  It's also such a great trick for portion control.  Bento rules!!!

Comments?  Critiques?  Give me advice if you've got it!  I'm such a newbie at all of this.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008 05:20:32 PM by Kimberly_Star » THIS ROCKS   Logged
mosli
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2008 09:40:18 AM »

those look excellent, Kimberly_Star!

I make bento a lot for myself and my partner. They don't need to be Japanese style food to be bento. If you want to get started, there's a lot of great blogs out there.
http://lunchinabox.net is awesome with plenty of make-ahead tips and a map of shops
http://justbento.com has a lot of adult bentos and recipies with health info.
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ProngsBaby
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2008 10:24:00 AM »

Those bento look fantastic, Kimberly_Star!

I think refridgerating rice for a short period of time, say a few hours, is fine. A fridge has a very dry environment which sucks out the moisture of the rice and gives it bad texture. This is why I don't refridgerate rice.


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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2008 12:54:14 PM »

i use my dry refrigerated rice to make sweet rice/ rice pudding, whatever you prefer to call it. its a great solution, and makes a nice bento dessert!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008 12:54:44 PM by OmJane » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Kimberly_Star
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2008 12:59:22 PM »

those look excellent, Kimberly_Star!

I make bento a lot for myself and my partner. They don't need to be Japanese style food to be bento. If you want to get started, there's a lot of great blogs out there.
http://lunchinabox.net is awesome with plenty of make-ahead tips and a map of shops
http://justbento.com has a lot of adult bentos and recipies with health info.

Well, sure, but this Japanese girl loves her Japanese food!   Grin

I check out both lunchinabox and justbento daily.  I also check out the bento group on live journal.

Those bento look fantastic, Kimberly_Star!

I think refridgerating rice for a short period of time, say a few hours, is fine. A fridge has a very dry environment which sucks out the moisture of the rice and gives it bad texture. This is why I don't refridgerate rice.



Thanks for the compliment!  I'm rather proud of them, for being my first three ever.  Grin Grin

I make brown rice in the rice cooker every Sunday night and freeze my 1/4 c. servings.  I thaw one in the fridge overnight and then add it to my lunch after microwaving it for 1 min. with a wet paper towel over it.  I think the texture is just fine; this might be different with traditional Japanese-style rice, but we don't eat that.  It would be nice to make my rice daily, but I just don't have the time and I only eat 1/4 c. total a day; not really an amount that can be made daily anyhow.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008 01:00:10 PM by Kimberly_Star » THIS ROCKS   Logged
kurtthesnail
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2008 04:52:44 PM »

Bento lunches are so adorable! I love the theory that "everything should be beautiful in your day"! Thank you for the intro, it was very informative. I'll have to look into this for myself...
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pinsNneedles
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2008 09:45:15 AM »

I think refridgerating rice for a short period of time, say a few hours, is fine. A fridge has a very dry environment which sucks out the moisture of the rice and gives it bad texture. This is why I don't refridgerate rice.

Without wanting to be a party pooper, I've heard bad things about storing cooked rice at room temperature.  This is from the Food Standards Agency website (UK):

"There are a few things to remember when you are storing and reheating cooked rice and grains. This is because the spores of some food poisoning bugs can survive cooking.

If cooked rice or grains are left standing at room temperature, the spores can germinate. The bacteria multiply and produce toxins that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Reheating food won't get rid of the toxins.

Therefore, it's best to serve rice and grains when they've just been cooked. If this isn't possible, cool them within an hour after cooking and keep them refrigerated until reheating or using in a cold dish."

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