28 May 2015

King Candy Bento

King Candy from Wreck it Ralph.  Another bento made for MomoCon.  We will be making King Candy in Sunday's workshop - crafting a villain.  Looking forward to all the fun events at MomoCon this weekend.  Next stop Atlanta!

In this bento:  King Candy sandwich (for full details see below), rocket shaped cheese crackers, a piece of peppermint stick, and Rainier cherries.

The King Candy sandwich is ham on white bread.  He is decorated with cheddar cheese (crown and shirt bottom, jack cheese (eyes, collar, and shirt), red pepper (bow tie), blue corn chip (hair and eye brows), ham (eyelids and nose), and nori (mouth).  The details on the shirt and collar are drawn on with gel food coloring.  I used a toothpick to apply the food coloring.  Most of the parts were free hand cut with a paring knife except for the circle parts, I used a small circle cutter for those.  

Items used today:
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27 May 2015

Baby Groot inspired sandwich from Guardians of the Galaxy.  This bento was made as a mock up design for MomoCon 2015 bento workshop - making a hero.  I will be on the bento panel for both of the workshops this weekend.  We will be guiding the attendees through the process of making this fun themed bento box.  If you live in the Atlanta area, you should definitely stop by and say hi!  Can't wait to meet all the bento enthusiasts there this weekend.

In this bento:  Steamed broccoli, strawberries, Annie's fruit snacks (in the bottom of the pot), alfalfa sprouts, red grapes, and a ham & cheese sandwich on wheat bread.  Baby Groot's parts are made up of:  twisted crust trunk, crust arm branches, crust mouth, olive eyes, and some alfalfa sprout foliage on his head.  The crust arms are held up by a toothpick pushed into a strawberry.

Items used today:
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25 May 2015

Introducing my book: Happy Bento!

Hello everybody!  I am so happy to share some exciting news with you.  Over this past year, I have been busily writing a bento book.  The book is now complete and was sent off to the printing press last week.  Introducing my new baby, Happy Bento!  Lunches on the go, coming soon to a book store near you.

The last time I physically held the book, it was on a USB drive :)  Things have come a long way since then.  The next time I hold my book it will be, well, an actual book!

This book is full of lunch packing inspiration.  Lots of entrĂ©e ideas for bentos.  Step by step written directions with photo tutorials of different techniques along the way.  Themed lunch ideas for almost any occasion.  Plus, tips on shopping for bento boxes and supplies.

Happy Bento! is scheduled to be released on August 11th, just in time for back to school.  Pre-order on Amazon to reserve your copy.

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21 May 2015

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day has come to America.  The official event in the US is being held on May 21st.  What is it?  Basically, a day to raise money for impoverished children through fun comedy.  We, of course, decided to show our support with a bento lunch.  Scroll on down  and you will see a picture of me sporting the official Red Nose Day red nose!

In this bento:  Strawberries, cantaloupe balls, star crackers (under the sandwich), and a peanut butter & jelly boy sandwich with a red nose!

This lunch is packed up in our mushroom shaped bento box.

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19 May 2015

How-to: Disposable Bento Lunch

The Kindergarten classes had a field trip on Monday.  The kids were asked to bring a disposable lunch.  Disposable lunches are such a hot topic.  People ask a lot of questions about them.  So, I thought I would put together a little tutorial for all of you.  There is a slide show at the bottom of the post :)

You will need a few supplies.  A disposable container of some sort, decorative print napkins, and cupcake liners.  I used a clam shell take-away container from a restaurant we ate at a couple weeks ago.  I knew the field trip was coming up, so I planned ahead.  Just wash the container after you eat your leftovers and store until you need to use it.  Berry containers are also great to use for this.  Last time I packed a disposable lunch, I used a strawberry container.

Next, pick a napkin.  Any napkin will work, I chose the surf board ones because:  1. I had them on hand, 2. they are brightly colored, 3. It's almost summer break.  

Then, find some paper cupcake liners.  I just happen to have these colorful cupcake liners that go nicely with the napkins.  These were leftover from my son's birthday party.

Completely unfold the napkin and center it on the bottom.  Divide the container into sections just as you would a bento box.  I started by placing the fruit cup (large & heavy item) into the container first.  Then I added the Z Bar below the fruit cup.  Next, I placed the paper cupcake liners in the empty areas.  I turned the cupcake liner inside out before I added the food, just to add a splash of color.  Add your other items - I packed pretzels and crinkle cut purple carrots.

Fold the napkin in around the edges.  Add any disposable utensils if needed.

Place a sandwich on top.  The sandwich part is tricky at my house.  My daughter is in a non-sandwich phase right now.  She likes and will eat grilled cheese because apparently in her mind that is not a sandwich.  Since on Monday morning the waffle iron was already out and hot, I grilled her (non) sandwich on the waffle iron just to make my morning a little easier.  Plus, it does make the sandwich more interesting to look at.

How to make a waffle iron grilled cheese:  

   1. butter the outside of the bread 
   2. add your choice of cheese to the inside
   3. place inside the waffle maker
   4. let the lid close slowly on it's own (don't force it closed) 
   5. wait about 3-4 minutes, your sandwich is ready

*Be sure to let the sandwich cool completely before placing inside your box.  The sandwich will not be warm at lunch time but it will be crunchy.  A grilled cheese sandwich is ideal for a disposable lunch since it is better to not pack it with an ice pack (that is how it stays crunchy).  Just be sure to pack with other foods that stay safe at room temperature.

Place another napkin in the top of the box then close the lid.   I don't usually have brown paper bags around the house.  But, we just bought bagels at the local bagel shop the day prior to the field trip.  We recycled and used the brown paper bag that our bagels came home in.  I placed disposable bento lunch and a bottle of water into the bag.  Now we have a completed disposable bento lunch for our field trip.

I told my daughter to look for a recycling bin and if she saw one to place all the plastic items from her lunch inside it.

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18 May 2015

Honest Fizz Giveaway ~ Closed!

Honest fizz has recently undergone a  makeover.  Now the entire Honest fizz line is made with organic ingredients and sweetened with organic stevia.  They recently introduced the golden ginger ale flavor.  Disclosure - Honest Tea sent some samples of Honest fizz to me for a taste test.  For a zero calorie soda, Honest fizz is pretty tasty and I do not normally like diet sodas!  Now you can feel guilt free while indulging in an occasional soda.  Find it at your local natural food grocery store.

Here's lunch:

Today we have crinkle cut purple and yellow carrots, strawberries, dill pickle, and a pastrami & Swiss cheese sandwich on toasted rye bread packed in an EasyLunchbox.  Accompanying this delicious grown up lunch is a can of the new Honest fizz golden ginger ale which, by the way, packs a big ginger flavor punch.


Up for grabs is a variety case of Honest fizz.  One lucky winner will be chosen at random by random.org.  This giveaway ends Friday 5/22/15.  Open to US residents only.  To enter, simply leave a comment below stating your favorite Honest tea beverage.  My favorite is their mint limeade...yum!  My kids' favorite is Honest Kids tropical tango punch.  If you have not tried any of their beverages, visit the Honest tea website and leave a comment stating which product you would like to try.  Good Luck!

Honest tea was nice enough to sponsor this giveaway, please head on over to their Facebook page and like them!

And the winner is #6 ~ Heather Hayes Panjon!
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15 May 2015

I love the Lion King.  Back in high school, when my best friend & I would drive to the beach we would play and sing along to the Lion King sound track.  Every time I hear the song "Hakuna Matata" it takes me back to those long lost days.  I introduced my kids to this catchy tune and they are so cute trying to pronounce the phrase haknua matata :)

In this bento:  Ham & cheese Pumbaa sandwich, rocket shaped cheese crackers, sliced strawberries, yellow carrot "Hakuna" (attached to the strawberries with toothpicks), yogurt covered star cookies, mini yellow pepper, and blueberries.

If you look closely you will notice that the last "A" in "matata" is actually a #4.  I had to improvise as I only have two sets of alphabet picks.

The Pumbaa cookie cutter came with Disney Cakes and Sweets - issue 25.

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13 May 2015

Woodland Bento

A little fox in the woods.  This was a really easy bento to throw together.  I love how the lunch ended up having a warm "woodland" feel.

In this bento:  Dolmas (rice stuffed grape leaves), Babybel cheese, grape tomatoes, letter cookies, and red & green grapes.

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10 May 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sandwich

I came across this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sandwich cutter one evening when I ran into Walmart to quickly grab a couple of items.  When I saw it I had to have it.  My son has TMNT shoes and he will get a kick of a ninja turtle sandwich, so into the basket it went ;)  Which turtle is he?  Well, I added the orange cheese crackers into the compartment with the sandwich so I think I was going for Michelangelo.

In this bento:  Green grapes, Cheez-its, and a ham & cheese TMNT sandwich.  I cut the bandanna and eyes out of the heel of the bread then placed it on top of the other stamped slice of bread. I used cream cheese to hold the bandanna piece in place.

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