When it comes to Pillsbury ready made doughs, the possibilities for using them in bentos are endless. I made these bears and bunnies using Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits. To make them, flatten out a biscuit and spoon some of the filling into the center. Bring the edges to the center and crimp together. Roll gently into a ball and place the crimped side down on your prepared pan. I used a silpat, but parchment paper works just as well. From another biscuit take small pieces to roll into balls (for the bears) or oblong (for the bunnies) shapes for the ears. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes until golden.
The filling contains rotisserie chicken, sun dried tomatoes, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses.
Bears and bunnies before baking.
After baking and cooling, I stuck in jeweled picks for the bunnies’ noses and hat picks for the bear’s noses. If you don’t have picks, just use raisins, a chocolate chips, or something similar for the noses. Then I used the 1/2 inch sized sugar eyes and attached them with a tiny dab of peanut butter.
Kawaii Bento Club is hosting a “Rock My Bento” contest where you create a bento based on a favorite song, band, or album cover. If I had to chose one hard rock song that I remember growing up, it would be “Rock and Roll All Nite” from the band KISS. Though I loved the song, I remember the band members even more. I mean who doesn’t recognize KISS with all of their funky make-up and outer space garb! I chose to make Gene Simmons for my bento since he was KISS’s front man. Gene is basically one big musubi- molded out of rice and stuffed with chicken karaage. His hair is made from hijiki (a Japanese seaweed) that I cooked in shoyu, sugar, and mirin. Gene’s eyes and mouth are made out of kamaboko and his tongue from bologna. I also packed some grapes, broccoli, and a cherry tomato around his head. The KISS flag pick is made from a picture that I got off of the internet and attached to a pick.
Don’t forget to enter your bento into Kawaii Bento Club’s “Rock My Bento” contest for some great prizes!!! There is also tons of great information on how to make bentos as well as great packing tips and tricks. Check it out!
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! It was a nice one for us, spent with family and friends doing the usual outdoor grilling. This weekend was also the last book signing for me which is kind of nice because that means I get my weekends back with the family. However I will miss it because the book signings were a lot of fun and a great way to meet some of my readers that share the same passion of making bentos! I just wanted to say “Hi!” to Mari and Eileen who came and visited me on Sunday. This weekend, I also finally got to take a picture with Pikko of Adventures in Bentomaking too! Don’t forget to pick up Pikko’s book Yum Yum Bento Box, which is now available on Amazon and will soon be out in book stores.
I didn’t have the chance to post this last week, but this was one of Sean’s lunches- PBJ bear and heart shaped sandwiches with a few heart shaped carrots and strawberry.
My BFF Lori and Paige!
Crystal and Me! BTW, I’m not that tall…I was wearing a pair of super high wedges.
A little write up in May’s issue of Island Family Magazine.
This past Friday, the kids and I received an early Valentine’s gift from Mark! We have been wanting a dog for what seems like an eternity and we finally were able to get a puppy! Macky is a Lab mix and he is very, very sweet in nature. He also can be very rambunctious and will chase and tackle Sean whenever the opportunity presents itself. Needless to say, Sean is not pleased with Macky when he does that. Also Macky is the very reason that I have not been posting or on the computer very much. My days are now filled with housebreaking and trying to train our puppy to not eat Sean. I may even need to rent the complete collection of the Dog Whisperer.
With all of that being said, until I get Macky house- and Sean-broken, I have to pack very simple lunches, like today’s one. I used a hamburger bun for the ham and cheese sandwich and packed pretzels and a mini pear in the box. To decorate the bento I also added in a reusable cupcake butterfly pick.
Last week I picked up these fun Hamutaro and Pokeman ochazuke (hot tea rice) packets. All you have to do is add hot rice, hot water, and one of the packets to have a hot mini meal. Paige is not a big fan, but Sean loves it. I grew up eating ochazuke with ume as a kid, so this is like comfort food to me!
Yesterday I got a cool bento tool from a fellow bento enthusiast that just made my day! My first thought was of course- “I can make tigers out of this! Yipee!”. I made PBJ sandwiches today and with the help of my nifty cutter, I made all these wonderful tigers and a sweet heart too. I used chocolate sprinkles for the stripes and really big sugar eyes that I attached with a little bit of icing. After arranging them in the bento box, I thought that they really did look like cats of prey- crouching and getting ready to pounce to their next meal.
Isn’t it a beauty!
Can you guess what is same (besides the tiger theme) with today’s bento and the one that I made yesterday? I’ll tell you at the end of the post! Paige’s lunch today contains two tiger onigiri which I made using the red colored furikake that I posted about last week. The tigers don’t look too red because I doubled the amount of rice to the one packet of red furikake. I added in gyoza, a lady apple, and some veggies too. I think my tigers qualify as red so I’m going to enter this one in Hapabento’s “Red” themed contest. Don’t forget to get yours in by the 15th!
Okay, so if you look closely I used the same apple in both bentos. Before you gross out, after I took the picture of yesterday’s bento, Sean said he didn’t want the apple so I took it out and saved it for today. :D
Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are just around the corner so I made a bento in honor of both. I turned these Chinese roast pork baos into white tigers since this is the year of the Tiger and added in a big red heart pick for V-Day. I have to tell you that aside from Nam Fongs in China Town, Duck Lee in Kaimuki has fantastic Chinese style Roast Pork and Char Siu. Some of my other favorites at Duck Lee are the won ton mein and the Singapore noodles. If you are looking to buy these baos or steamed buns, I picked them up at Don Quijote. They come frozen and all you have to do is steam them for a few minutes or you can even nuke them in a microwave with a damp paper towel over it. The Tiger baos also contain sliced green onions and I put in a side of hoisin sauce to be added when eaten. Kung Hee Fat Choy!
This year, Chinese New Year falls on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. It is the year of the tiger and, in honor of that, I decided to do a Tiger sandwich bento for Sean! The sandwich is made of whole wheat bread and turkey, as well as cheddar and provolone cheese on top for the tiger’s head. I used fish sausage for the nose and nori for the tiger’s stripes, eyes, and ears. As for myself, I was born in the year of the boar or pig, and I am technically what you would call a metal pig. Only a half of things that describe my zodiac ring true, but the other half just makes me giggle. I know for sure that I am not extroverted or ambitious. They are kind of fun to read and if you are curious about yours just click on the link and type in your birthdate.
Paige wanted to take leftovers from last night’s dinner of beef stew. So I thoroughly heated everything up this morning and packed it in this thermal container that I got from my sister over the winter break. It’s such a cute and roomy container, that is ideal to pack stews and chili in with hot veggies at the top. It doesn’t keep the food hot like a thermos but it’s effective enough to keep it warm until lunch. :D
Sean and I had a lot of errands to run yesterday, so I packed up a small snack bento for Sean to take along. I made him a musubi stuffed with seasoned kombu and decorated it with a precut nori motorcycle. I also packed a few chicken nuggets with a side of bbq sauce in the bottom tier.
tagged me with the topic “Bento leftovers, what to do with them?”. Well, I try to utilize everything in some way. Luckily I have a few “garbage disposals” besides myself, namely Sean and our bunnies (Caramel, Chloe, and Buddy). Sean likes to watch me make bentos or watch me cook because he likes to sample as well as eat whatever scraps (like cheese, fruit, kamaboko, egg, and the list goes on). Our bunnies are the fruit and veggie scrap disposal and because there are three of them, they eat a lot! They also take care of a lot of our cuttings in the yard too.
At the beginning of summer Paige and I started an herb and cherry tomato garden. The herbs include two types of basil, two types of oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and shiso. By growing my own herbs, it won’t go to waste if I don’t use it right away. I just pick what I need to use for my bentos or for cooking.
Bread- with leftover bread, like the crusts, I store them in the freezer until I need to use them. I mostly use them for things like meat loaf, hamburgers, or meatballs. You can also find the pasta with meatballs recipe here
. I also sometimes pulse them in a food processor and use them for breadcrumbs.
Meats or kamaboko- I use them in omeletes as well as fried rice
Coffee grinds- I know this is not a bento leftover, but I drink coffee every morning and I sprinkle the grinds on our lawn or leafy shrubs because it makes everything nice and green. However, don’t sprinkle on flowering plants because they won’t flower.
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