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Topic: Bento Love  (Read 4868 times)
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ysmeine
« on: January 27, 2010 08:18:09 PM »

I have been eyeing bentos for over a year now, but haven't done anything about it yet. After seeing the Bento swap, I decided to jump in. I ordered three bentos on ebay for my kids. They should be here in about three weeks. I plan to buy a couple different ones for myself as well.

We could not wait for them to arrive before practicing making bento lunches. I bought a pack of the disposable Rubbermaid food trays and packed some lunches for the kids and a late dinner for myself.



inside I packed: assorted rice balls, mini crabcakes, a potsticker, vegetables and dip, a almond crush Pocky, a manderine, banana chips, and a thai coconut fortune cookie.

I then found a pack of three elastic bookmarks to keep it shut and secure some choptics.


I then wrapped ithem in red and white hand towels, secured with a twill tie and a "love" note.


I also bought them a goji berry and tart cherry drink to go with it.


« Last Edit: January 27, 2010 10:42:14 PM by ysmeine » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010 08:38:21 PM »

Looks yummy!  I have a an alien themed bento box for my daughter.  And I love it I really do, but I really don't like washing that thing every day...to the point that it really only get's used on special occasions.  I still go reusable, just one big container vs the little separate ones.

I hope your kids love the love notes Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010 08:40:58 PM »

There was a bento swap?!?

I have a laptop bento box. I had gastric bypass a few months ago and the little containers are perfect for housing my grub for the day. I use it every single day.
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ysmeine
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010 08:48:48 PM »

Tomorrow is the last day for sign-ups.

I think it will be easier to maintain mine as I have a sink in my office. I can just wash it out and let it dry while i am at work, then have it ready for the next day. The kids' may be more of a challenge as it is a struggle to get them to do the regular dishes.

I like the "love" note as they know what it means, but as they are in high school, it isn't embarrasing.
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010 09:56:12 PM »

CUTE! and yum! Wink
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010 03:04:06 AM »

Yum yum yum!

When I lived in Seattle I was really into bento because it was super easy to find nice boxes and "accessories", but now that I live in Minnesota and work an exhausting job I feel too lazy to put things in my box.

Maybe I'll have a little fun in the kitchen today! hahaha. You've inspired me to make a nice lunch for my boyfriend to take to work tonight.
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010 04:12:46 AM »

Sometimes I make a bento NOT because I am hungry but to look at my bento stuff.. Yours looks awesome ..did the kids like it??
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010 06:37:40 AM »

Love it! This is so great for a first attempt! Much better than any of mine. I reccomend the hard-boiled-egg shapers and the silicone reusable cupcake holders.

<3
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ysmeine
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010 01:41:23 PM »

We really want all the little accessories. Egg shapers are top of the list. of course then I need to get extras for my nephews who love hardboiled eggs.

 I barely got a grunt out of my oldest, although he did say that there wasn't anything he didn't like. The other two are not home yet. 

I really wanted to start doing this for me. I work third shift, 12 hr shifts. Which means my first and last meal of the day are often at work. I often tote gas station food, prepackaged food, or order pizza. Plus eat junk from the machines. I am gaining weight and often not enjoying what I am eating. I like the variety that a bento encorages. It looks appetizing, with the colors and textures, and it is healthy, with the well rounded parts.
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010 09:58:54 PM »

great idea and so prettily presented.
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2010 07:14:18 AM »

Awww, neat!  You get so many Cool Mom Points!
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2010 12:42:41 PM »

How cool...and healthy too! Definitely wins cool mom points! I love a good bento box lunch. Might I suggest furoshiki?http://www.env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.html
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DorianNight
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2010 02:22:41 PM »

I love the idea of a bento box... but I have a few things holding me back from buying one or even creating one and using it.

1. How do you keep things refrigerated? For me, I need protein during the day, and I also like sushi and such, but there doesn't seem to be a way to keep this cold. What does everyone else do? Or are you all eating tings that can sit out for really really long periods of time?

2. I can't make sushi T_T I fail at it... and I fail at most Asian food style things... I also haven't found any simple recipes for said food. Any tips from fellow Bento box users as to what I can make/put in a bento box?

These Bento boxes turned out awesome and I am supremely jealous. In high school I would have killed to tote something so cool around. As an adult I still would like them because I am at school and work from 8am-12am and it's a 45 min drive home... So I eat all my meals on campus and the regular boxed lunches I make get old fast... Also if I make something that needs a freezer pack I have a hard time because it means I have to eat it by at least lunch because by the time I eat dinner it would be warm.. .

Once again great job and I love the fact you made awesome practice bentos that look so good!
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ysmeine
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2010 02:51:55 PM »

I do need to make a furoshiki. I did try to follow the chart when wrapping, but only had a towel at the time. I do love all the ways to wrap things. Thank you for the link.

My daughter seriously loved it and packed one for the next day. One of her class mates tried to steal it.

We still need alot of accesories, but it is fun to pactice and to find out what we like. I can't wait to try some furikake and possibly make some dumplings from scratch as those are our favorites. We could use some sauce bottles for packing. I have learned they are challenging to create. The one I made for work tonight had chicken, rice balls, and banana chips on one side with the vegetable on the other side. The colors weren't balanced. I tried mixing things up to balance the color, then remembered I had forgotton the orange. I look forward to having seperate containers for hot and cold food. as it is I will have to pull food out to microwave it.

DorianNight- first I use a flat ice pack under my box, then wrap or put in insulated bag.
I also cheated when it came to the rice balls. I used Annie Chun's rice express, sticky white rice. I plan to learn to make it myself, but until then I just microwave the bowl for 1-2 min., scoop it into a silicone heartshaped icetray. Let it cool then pop out. Leave as is or decorate with toasted sesame or nori punches. As an alternative I did roll some in nori, similar to sushi.



Here is ia picture of two lunches showing an attempt to balance the color. One works better than the other. I think I tried to over bALANCE THE FIRSTT ONE. It helps to think about color when planning. You can also make small items or buy them  in the freezer section to pack in the bento. Like the mini crab cakes, meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, mini bagel sandwhiches, etc. You can also make fried rice and pack it into one side instead of rice balls.  Use anything you want.
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Phoenyx
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010 05:39:51 PM »

I love the idea of a bento box... but I have a few things holding me back from buying one or even creating one and using it.

2. I can't make sushi T_T I fail at it... and I fail at most Asian food style things... I also haven't found any simple recipes for said food. Any tips from fellow Bento box users as to what I can make/put in a bento box?

There are probably some purists who may yell at me for this... but who said your bento just had to have Japanese/Asian food?  I've seen some pretty impressive bentos made with western dishes.   As I understand it, the most important things about a bento are the presentation and the care taken in creating it.
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blackie.sage
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2010 02:11:18 PM »

I love the idea of a bento box... but I have a few things holding me back from buying one or even creating one and using it.

1. How do you keep things refrigerated? For me, I need protein during the day, and I also like sushi and such, but there doesn't seem to be a way to keep this cold. What does everyone else do? Or are you all eating tings that can sit out for really really long periods of time?

2. I can't make sushi T_T I fail at it... and I fail at most Asian food style things... I also haven't found any simple recipes for said food. Any tips from fellow Bento box users as to what I can make/put in a bento box?

These Bento boxes turned out awesome and I am supremely jealous. In high school I would have killed to tote something so cool around. As an adult I still would like them because I am at school and work from 8am-12am and it's a 45 min drive home... So I eat all my meals on campus and the regular boxed lunches I make get old fast... Also if I make something that needs a freezer pack I have a hard time because it means I have to eat it by at least lunch because by the time I eat dinner it would be warm.. .

Once again great job and I love the fact you made awesome practice bentos that look so good!

JustBento.com

This website is like, the most awesome bento site IMO.

I think her recipes are so easy to follow and she has some great ideas. For instance, I never thought of making my own furikake (tasty, salty toppings sprinkled on rice), plus she makes sure everything is safe at room temperature for a few hours just in case you don't have access to a fridge, or she will suggest an ice pack or even frozen fruit as a bento cooler. Frozen fruit!! By the time you get around to eating it, the fruit has thawed enough to eat, plus it kept all your other foods cold! Ingenious.

And Phoenyx is right, bento doesn't have to be Japanese all the time. I often take spaghetti or baked beans or mini hamburgers in my bento. Tonight's bento dinner consists of rice, strawberries, cucumber and fat free ranch dip, a hardboiled egg, and some baked beans. Not much there is very asian. But it looks adorable. haha.
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2010 12:58:35 PM »

I have Bento envy. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2010 09:52:29 PM »

Me too!!! Embarrassed
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cookielynn
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2010 11:16:46 AM »

I love the idea of a bento box... but I have a few things holding me back from buying one or even creating one and using it.

1. How do you keep things refrigerated? For me, I need protein during the day, and I also like sushi and such, but there doesn't seem to be a way to keep this cold. What does everyone else do? Or are you all eating tings that can sit out for really really long periods of time?

2. I can't make sushi T_T I fail at it... and I fail at most Asian food style things... I also haven't found any simple recipes for said food. Any tips from fellow Bento box users as to what I can make/put in a bento box?

Once again great job and I love the fact you made awesome practice bentos that look so good!

I actually have a fridge at work, but I refuse to keep my food in it. (Science experiement-worthy leftovers, stolen food, and the occasional bite taken out of a sandwich.) I haven't had any trouble at all with my Laptop Lunch and an ice pack. Though, all of my lunches have been vegan, so I don't know how meat and cheese would fare.

I'm another bento non-purist. I took rice and tofu the first time, and immediately discovered that what I really wanted was pasta salad and cookies... with fruit and raw veggies, of course. I would love to see more "American" bento... or just fancied-up lunches, if that's too much of an oxymoron.
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ysmeine
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010 12:26:25 PM »

I have recently made an americal bento. After finding these mini peperoni slices I made a personal pizza and sliced it then added snacks from my freezer, corndog bites and mini tacos (a mini burger would be better). I added the browny, grapes, and carrot sticks as traditional american lunch fare then filled gaps with cherry tomatoes and cheese.


I am planning a pasta one with antipast scewers; mozzerelle balls, cherry tomatoes, and mini peperoni skewered on a pick. Maybe a couple meatballs and a simple pasta.

I can also use more of those tacos and make quesadillas, more cherry tomatoes, and maybe rice or beans. Tostadas made with tortillas chips would be cute.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010 12:28:32 PM by ysmeine » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2010 12:49:58 PM »

For your pasta one if you like artichoke you can do skerered sausage (whatever your favorite might be) and marinated artchoke heart pieces, they are soo yummy
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ysmeine
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2010 01:14:26 PM »

yum, love artichoke. I do have some little spinach sausages in the freezer too.

We tend to like mini food in our house. We sometimes have a tapas night for dinner. Kind of a variation of the tea parties we had when they were little. So, I often have random tidbits to add to the bentos. Making bentos has added more fresh produce to our diets though. We tend to eat frozen vegies with our standard meals.
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2010 10:44:01 AM »

Wow. great bentos. Im currently craving for one because of your photos. lol
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2010 07:06:32 AM »

How creative!  I love how you "spiced up" ordinary items.  Very inspiring  Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2010 06:14:54 AM »

looks very good ^^
I have made myself a bento only 2 times... but I go back home to eat when I'm at school (it's only a 5min walk so Wink )
I love the site justbento.com! she has lot's of cool recipes and stuff.
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