I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting regularly, but here is my New Year’s bento of mochi, oden, and rice. Ever since I was a kid, every year at midnight on New Year’s Eve we would set off long strands of fire crackers which was hung from a long bamboo pole. Because the firecrackers were suspended in the air the noise was incredibly loud and the rubbish from the firecrackers would fly everywhere. The next morning my sister and I would have to go and rake up all of that red paper that seemed to be in everything!
I also wanted to share a few pictures of our family and friends from this year. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and a blessed 2010!
Luke 2:8- 2:14
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find this baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Merry Christmas everyone, with lots of love from the Yuen family!
Shumai, nishime, pickled vegetables, and a cherry tomato.
Baby Jesus is made with rice, wrapped in a omelet sheet, and tied with a piece of kampyo.
The Disney store has been a great place to get cute bento boxes like this Toy Story one. This particular one is a two tiered box that measures 4 x 4 x 3 1/2 inches. It looks small, but you can fit quite a lot of food into the container. It was enough to feed both myself and Sean. Whenever I share my lunch with him, I always let him eat first. Sean is like clock work and will eat all of the fruits, pickled vegetables, and the tomato first. After he’s done with that, he’ll eat a little of the rice and protein. So today I was left with a lot of rice, chicken, the two slices of tamago, and the carrots. I think I need to eat a salad now to make up for my lack of veggies.
Paige had a class potluck Christmas party, so no bento for her today. Instead I made one for Sean with some of the chicken nuggets that I had made for Paige to take as her potluck contribution. Paige also took along spam musubis with snowman and stocking cutouts, but alas I have no pictures to prove it. Sean’s bento has three mice nuggets (one is hiding under the other two), two small musubis, a few veggies, a strawberry, and a giant ume that I seeded. Yes, that’s right, Sean eats ume! He has a very unusual palate for a three year old and enjoys tart, bitter, and even spicy things.
This week Paige has been coming home with a lot of candy canes from school. One of them came along with a little message explaining the symbolism of candy canes which I thought was really neat. I’ve also read that the candy cane represents a shepherd’s crook or staff as a metaphor to Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. What a blessing Paige is, she inadvertently teaches me new things every day. Her bento today includes a fish cake snowman, fried chicken, carrots, cucumbers, a strawberry, and rice decorated with snowflakes and a rosemary Christmas tree.
On a different note, yesterday Green Magazine came out with an article on waste free lunches in which they featured one of my bentos! Thanks so much Ashley! They also had an article on where to get the best local fresh produce in Hawai`i and mentioned the KCC (Kapiolani Community College) farmer’s market. I can personally attest to the freshness of the produce because I love to go there every Saturday. Below are a few pictures of the KCC farmer’s market.
The bread is awesome, freshly baked!!!
They even have several vendors selling bentos!
The economic crisis has been far reaching, and in the news I’ve been seeing a lot of local charitable non-profit organizations taking huge cuts in funding. This unfortunately comes at a time when the community needs their assistance the most. Because food is such a basic need that no person or child should go without, I decided as one of my long term commitments that I would donate regularly to the Hawaii Food Bank and the World Food Programme. Regarding my blog, with every post I make, I will donate one dollar to those two charitable organizations. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but at this time, it’s a start. I marked this post #9 because I ‘m going to start from the beginning of the December and so far, including this post, I have posted 9 times.
On to Paige’s bento today. The last time we went to Costco they had these Bagel Bites up for sampling. Of course the kids loved them and I gave in and bought a box. You can either microwave them or heat them up in an oven or toaster oven. I wouldn’t recommend the microwave because they get hard in spots and really chewy. The oven method is the best and it turns the bites soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. Then to make them festive I added on more mozzarella cheese and cut out candy canes and stars from pepperoni.
Yesterday I roasted a huge 5 pound (almost 6 pound) chicken in the kamado for dinner. To make the chicken, I poured a little olive oil onto the chicken and used a Hawaiian seasoned salt that I rubbed all over the chicken, both inside and out. In Hawai`i we would say that you have to lomi lomi or massage the chicken to distribute the seasoning well. I also stuck a few sprigs of rosemary, that I have growing in our backyard, into the cavity of the chicken. Then I tied the legs together and put the chicken into the kamado uncovered, at 350 degrees for about an hour and 45 minutes. To gauge the temperature, I used an oven thermometer that I left right on the grill.
With the leftover chicken, I made a bento for myself and Sean to share. In the bento there was the roasted chicken, kabocha, a few veggies, kiwi slices, and rice with ume.
Before and after pictures of the chicken.
Golden 5 pound bird coming out of the kamado!
Soup and sandwich bento today for Paige! So to stay with the Christmasy theme I made a Christmas stocking turkey, bacon, and cheddar cheese sandwich along with chicken and heart shaped pasta soup. The weather has been nice and cool here on Oahu, so the soup will help to warm her up a little. Speaking of Christmas bentos just wanted to share with you a plethora of snowmen bentos from Sherimiya on Flickr. She is simply amazing with her use of fresh and healthy ingredients to make all of those adorable snowmen!
It’s really great to see all of the wonderful Christmas bentos that people are making. I loved this particular bento made by Hapabento because she posted an original story along with it. It’s a short story about a Christmas tree and I shared it with my daughter, who loved listening to it. There are also a bunch of Christmas bentos on Flickr, and the group that I often visit is called Kid Eats. Check it out, they have so many cute ideas.
For Paige’s lunch today I made a snowman out of her rice, complete with a carrot nose. I also made her chicken tofu which I packed in the thermal container to keep warm and also packed a few fruits and veggies in the other side container.
Sandwiches are always quick and easy to do because they require no cooking. I used a Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut the bread, then added a little peanut butter and jelly, and finished the sandwich with colorful ornaments (jumbo sprinkles). This old tree cookie cutter is my favorite because of it’s rounded edges. 17 more days until Christmas!