Paige is one day away from her summer vacation! As excited as she is to have summer here, she’s also a bit sad. At the end of the summer, her best friend is leaving to live overseas, basically on the other side of the world. Avi has been Paige’s BFF since she was 3 or maybe even before that. Those girls were always like two peas in a pod, and I have never seen two children get along as well as those two girls have. We all have so many fond memories of time spent together as families and watching the kids grow up right before our eyes. Though we will sorely miss Avi and her entire family, we are so thankful for the time that we had together. They are all such amazing people and we are very blessed to have had them in our lives!
Anyway, I’ll stop my crying now and move on to today’s bento. It includes bunny onigiri, pan-seared garlic crusted salmon, a strawberry, and a few veggies. The salmon was simple to make, I just finely grated the garlic and smeared it evenly over the top of the salmon. Then I seasoned it with sea salt and black pepper and pan seared it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Super simple but very tasty.
In Hawaii, one of the things you’ll see on all breakfast menus is Portuguese sausage, eggs, and rice. As a kid, this was probably my favorite thing to eat! Anyway, I did a bento take on my favorite childhood breakfast which includes rice, a poached egg flower with cheddar cheese, and two little Portuguese sausage people. I love to use this flower silicone egg poacher because the eggs turn out perfectly. You spray them with non stick cooking spray, crack an egg into it, then place in a pan with a 1/2 inch of boiling water (on medium heat), cover with a lid, and let cook for 7 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes so that it’s easier to handle and then invert the mold to take out the egg. It slides right out! They are available at the Executive Chef at Ward or online at Amazon. On Amazon there are two people who reviewed the poachers and said that it didn’t work for them, but I swear by this product and did not have any problems using it. I have used the poachers time and time again (following the directions given on the box) without any problems at all.
To make the cheddar cheese face on poached egg flower I used these cutters that I picked up from the Dillingham Marukai. They are super cute and come with a little booklet showing you all of the different things that you can make!
I also want to say thank you to Hannah and Lynne who came by my book signing yesterday! Hannah is 11 years old and making bentos! Isn’t that awesome?!!
After today, Paige is off for the rest of the week. We decided to make it a movie night tonight and hopefully we’ll be able to find something that both kids will agree upon. Mark and I need to go out on a date/movie night soon because I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie that wasn’t rated G or PG. I’ve been wanting to see Iron Man 2, so hopefully we can go and see that…(hint, hint- Mark).
Today’s bento is a quick PBJ sandwich bento. I cut the sandwiches to fit into the muffin cups and added on sugar eyes (love these!) and cheddar smiles and flowers.
I also wanted to mention all of the cool contests going on! Check out these fabulous bento blogs!
Hapa Bento- Hello Kitty and Cookbook Giveaway, BOMB for May
Bento Zen- New Apartment Giveaway
Adventures In Bentomaking- Little Red Riding Hood Giveaway
An American in Bento- Bento Box Giveaway
Don’t forget to enter!!!
Sorry gang, I should have put up the recipe for the savory tartlets with the earlier post but here it is!
- 1 package frozen puff pastry dough semi-thawed (still slightly frozen)
- flour for dusting your work surface
- pesto or tomato sauce
- cheese (I used asiago)
- toppings (I used thinly sliced proscuitto, sundried tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, sliced sweet peppers)
- fresh herbs to top the tartlets with after cooked (I used thyme and basil)
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface lay out your puff pastry sheet. It should still be slightly frozen which makes it easier to cut and handle. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter (mine was about 3 inches in diameter) and lay on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Use a fork to dock (make holes) in the dough. Brush the surface with pesto or tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Add on toppings and then bake for about 12-15 minutes until it is golden brown. Cool completely before packing.
Voila! Wasn’t that easy?
Yesterday, I was going through my freezer and I found a box of puff pastry sheets. I was meaning to make savory tartlets but never got around to it until today. It was super simple and I used things that I already had in my fridge- like proscuitto, mushrooms, sweet peppers, pesto, and asiago cheese. After the tartlets cooled, I packed it in this bento box that I picked up from Bento&Co. The bento box is really well made and leak proof. Another bonus is that the latches on the side make it very easy to open and close!
Hope you all are having a great week!
Last night for dinner we had grilled lemon grass chicken. Since we had a few left over pieces of chicken, I used it for Paige’s lunch today. I sliced the chicken to put on top of cold soba noodles, along with a few veggies, and then lightly dressed it with nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce). Then to make it pretty I added on a few carrot butterflies, that I cut using a metal vegetable cutter. I tried making the butterflies that were in the book that I got for Mother’s Day but they looked nothing like the ones pictured in the book. At best they were caricatures of butterflies that were either missing an antenna or part of their wing. I should have took a picture of them, they were pretty funny although Paige said that they were pretty. I haven’t given up though, I think I need to start with the much, much simpler designs.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Sean asked me for a bento today, so I made him this super simple one for his lunch. It’s a lady bug sandwich with ham, cheddar, and lettuce. I filled the box in with red seedless grapes and mandarin oranges. Sean was super happy to see his bento and asked if he could eat it already at 9 this morning, but I told him he had to wait for lunch.
For those of you who bought my new cookbook, there is an error in one of the recipes that unfortunately was edited in. It is the Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe and if you skim down to the end of the recipe it reads “To make the gravy, mix the fat with the cornstarch and water mixture and sugar.” It should read ”To make the gravy, mix the sauce with the cornstarch and water mixture and sugar.”. My apologies for that egregious error and it will be rectified in the next printing.
Large Lady Bug cookie cutter from the Executive Chef at Ward Warehouse.
Paige requested soft tacos for lunch today since we had them for dinner last night. I saved some of the ground beef and taco seasoning mix to cook this morning so that it would be hot, and stored it in a thermal container to keep warm. I cut out the flour tortillas with a Hello Kitty shaped cutter and stored them in the top compartment of Paige’s new Hello Kitty lunch box that she received from Grandma Geri for her birthday. The top tier is very shallow and is supposed to store the utensils and napkin but it made a perfect container for the flour tortillas. The rest of her lunch containers a few slices of super sweet Mandarin oranges, salsa, cheese, and lettuce.
A good friend of mine got me these fantastic cutters for bento! They sure make cute lunches quick and extremely easy to execute! I used the Pooh cutter for Paige’s ham and cheddar sandwich today. It looks like they used egg sheets to make the characters but the cheese worked really well too. I also added in a few flowers so that I could enter this into Hapabento’s May BOMB contest.
I wanted to say thank you to Joni, Shawna, Colleen, and Cookie for coming to meet me at my book signings! It was a pleasure to meet you all in person and thank you so much for your support! I also wanted to mention that my cookbook made the Honolulu Advertiser’s Best Seller’s list! A big Mahalo to everyone!
Since it was a really busy weekend, I didn’t have the chance to go grocery shopping. As a result, Paige’s lunch today consists of ready-made gyoza that I pan fried/steamed this morning, along with corn and peas. I also made two piggy onigiri using the slanted rice molds that I got from Marukai last week. I packed everything into this cute blue bento box that I got from Borders. That’s right, Borders is selling this bento box as well as the Panda one pictured below!
Hope you all had a fun Mother’s Day weekend!
With 80 posts since December of ’09, it’s that time again to make a donation to the World Food Programme and the Hawaii Food Bank!