My bento buddy Ming of bentomonsters.com recently released her first bento book, Yummy Kawaii Bento. When she contacted me about reviewing her new book, I jumped at the chance! Ming is an expert at crafting kawaii bento boxes for her kids. I loved being able to see her step by step tutorials with clearly written directions and beautiful photos. Yummy Kawaii Bento contains over 70 cute bentos with directions plus several recipes for making entrées and side dishes. The book is divided into: introduction - complete with tools and techniques, rice based bentos, bread based bentos, salad and noodle bentos, special occasions, seasonal bentos, food art, and a bonus section. The entrées and side dish recipes are divided into meat, seafood & egg, vegetables, and noodle & soup categories. Many cute ideas in this book. It is a great value for a hard-covered book with over 250 pages.
The first bento from this book that I tackled was the quail egg mice. I dutifully named my version "Three Blind Mice" bento. I substituted a few things with what I had on hand and according to my child's taste preferences. Not to bad! I think the mice turned out super cute!
In this bento: crinkle cute rainbow baby carrots, green grapes, grape tomatoes-- decorated with a music note pick, buttered fall pasta, quail egg mice, and marbled cheese. The mice details are hotdog ears, nori eyes, and uncooked pasta whiskers. I did not have any peas on hand so I improvised and cut the tips off of 3 cornichons (mini pickles) and used those for the noses. I packed this bento in our book bento box.
Next, I made a spin off bento of the hot dog bunnies. My kids were excited about this one, hot dogs, enough said! I do not have the animal mouth nori punch and I am too lazy to cut out those small details with scissors. The nori punches that I have are more human facial expressions so I went with a "School Days" bento. I made little kids instead of cute little bunnies.
In this bento: hot dogs wrapped in lettuce & bread, baby rainbow carrots also wrapped in lettuce, green grapes, and mandarine orange segments decorated with a chalkboard pick. This bento is packed in our CuteZcute owl bento box.
We give Yummy Kawaii Bento two thumbs up. It will be a great addition to your bento collection. I also like that I can mindlessly follow someone else's creativity on mornings that I am just not feeling creative myself. Congrats Ming on having your first bento book published :D
Disclosure - A free copy of Yummy Kawaii Bento was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.