Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I had a little fun today with the bentos.  I was trying to figure out something that I could do with a dino sandwich cutter that I had.  The kids were really interested in having a "dino" lunch.  I also remembered that it was pizza day for the two oldest, so if they didn't like it, it wouldn't be a big deal.  So, here's the result. 
Bentos for 3 kids:

Wow, fun stuff!  I've seen dinos eating brocoli trees before, but didn't think my kids would go for it... they loved it!  I figure if I can toss in a simple tree, I'm at least getting something in their lunch they never had before, and it's a veggie, so double wow!  Here's the lowdown.  all are two tier bentos.  Blue for boy, pink for girl, and two thinner pink ones for the 3 yr old girl.  Basic ingredients.... Good old Bologne and cheese sandwich, brocolli, strawberry, cucumber, grapes, cheese cutouts, tomatoes, and one lone chocolate mini muffin on the top left.  I found my spiral cutters, so I mad the cukes out of that, then used some christmas tree cutters for the trees.  I dunno if it worked, but they liked it.  Oh, the kids thought the dinos needed spots, so we added a few halloween sprinkles for eyes and spots.  Fun fun!
Happy Bento-ing!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grusome faces

Well, I'm trying to get a little more creative.  Today I was faced with a few bentos with circles.  The kids also wanted "monster" sandwiches.  So, I gave it to them.  Unfortunately the pictures aren't the best, but at least you get the idea.  Tomorrow I'm going to wow you with more creativity!  Wooo Hoooo! :)

Anyway, (can you tell I'm in a good mood?)  On to the Bentos!
The kids loved their bentos today.  Can you see the monster faces?  I didn't do them too crazy, because... well, I was tired, and I didn't want the kids TOO freaked out for their first mini monsters. :)
Basically 6 boxes with the same materials in each.  That duel lunch just makes things so boring.  It will be more fun when they can decide what they want to eat, instead of just saying eat everything out of 1.
Contents:  Bologna and cheese sandwich on mini hamburger buns.  (Our Independent Grocer calls them "slider buns").  Grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, mini brownie muffins, cukes, and cheese eyes.  Not to mention the jelly beans I snuck in after I took this shoot.  Not one of my best ideas either!  Darn, gotta figure out something else for these kids!

My Bento below:  apples, bologna leftovers, yogurt covered raisins, brownie muffin, grapes, cukes, tomatoes.  I also had a box with about 5 wings from last night, and some blue Cheese sauce, but I forgot all about it, until about 3 today when I was starving!  Thankfully I was home by then! :D

Okay, off to bed, so I can do more work tomorrow!  Ack!  My house is feeling this 2 workplaces problem!

Talk to you later!

Monday, September 27, 2010

First Day of Work, and a bentos during interviews.

Life is exciting around here today.  I started my first day of work of my 2nd (yes, 2nd) job.  This job I LOVE!  I was kind of chicken tho, because I was worried about bringing in a bento - and what would people say.  BUT, I HAD to bring in my bento, because I had made it part of my interview (more on that later), so I would feel like a fraud if I opted NOT to bring it.  Ahh... so, simple bentos it was... here we go.

This Bento was mine today.  I loved it!  pepperettes, apple and a new granola bite thanks to Another Lunch, which is another wonderful Bento Blog.  Things just weren't sticking so I had to add 1/4 cup flour and a beaten up egg.  The kids and hubby loved it!  Whoops, got sidetracked.  Bottom box has a kiwi, some black olives, snap peas, carrots, cucumber and a laughing cow cheese.  I brought a little tahini dip dressing to dip my veggies into, and it was great!  Loved it! 

The kids:

An easy bento x2.  Pretty much the same as mine.  Bologne and cheese wrap, grapes, black olives, cheese stars, cucumbers, mini tomatoes, carrots, and a granola bite.  Most of the bento came back empty.  My daughter tried the granola bites, and politely asked that I don't include them into her lunch, but she will eat them at home if they are warmed.  Drat!  Should have never let her have them straight out of the oven!  Oh well!  I also slipped in a few jelly beans.  Not a great idea, since they got a bit mushy and my son wouldn't eat one of his wraps because it had "jelly bean stuff" all over it.  Since when does a kid not eat something because it tastes a little like candy!  Go figure!  Oh well, it all went over fairly well, and they didn't starve!  Mission accomplished!

Okay so quickly, how did I include a bento in my interview?  I wanted to show that I had a passion for things.  That I could think "outside the box", and that I was different.  So, I explained during the interview how I tackled problems by explaining about my son who would come back with lunches that were barely eaten.  I figured out that he didn't "have time" to open lunch containers because he was too busy chatting.  So, I worked with his normal tendencies, and tried doing bentos instead.  You don't know what bentos are?  Sure, let me show you one.  I figure that it made me memorable, and landed me the job.  Funny.  Last time I got my big job because I showed them that I was prepared for family and work because I used my slow cooker a lot.  Funny story.  You never know what will show off who you are, and how you tackle different situations.

Okay, gotta go to bed.  another big day tomorrow.  Nite!  Happy bento-ing!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lunches, Belts and Good News - Oh my!

I was super happy last night when I got the news that I would have a new job.  You see, we've been working on the basement, and need a little extra "stuff" money, so I figured it was time I worked more than 2 days a week.  So I applied for a job - and YAY, got an interview and the job!  So very happy.  So, in honor of my good news, I could only think of happy faces, so that's what I made!  The cheese happy faces were done with a circle cutter, a straw and a knife for the smile.  The "body" was actually a mistake that I looked at a second time and saw shoulders.  By the time I realized I could have added arms, I was too tired!

So, here it is...

3 kids bentos, all with the same kind of stuff.  "Sushi sandwiches" of bol & cheese, grapes, cukes, tomatoes, a brownie, raspberries, snap peas and a coin or car for the added chocolate value!  I have to make each level fairly similar (except for the todder's on the top) because the kids have 2 "nutrition breaks" instead of 1 lunch hour.  So.... boxes that are limited, but yummy!

My bento was a little different.  On the right:  I had chicken leftover from supper cut up, I added some black olives (a staple when all 3 kids love them), and some rolled up cukes.  Oh, and a "laughing cow" cheese peeking from underneath.  For the left side - well, I was inspired by the Caprese salads that I keep seeing, so I did a simple one - but no mozza, only Gouda.   It was... Goood - ah.  Yeah, I know, bad joke!  Also included - 2 figs.

Then, I made a Bento Belt for my son (or me). (sorry this photo should be portrait, but my settings are a little screwy)  I found Maple Leaves, and decided to add it to an elastic belt that I had already made.  Poof instant "canadian" belt.  My son loved it.  Hopefully I can find some felt bats, or cut some out and make belts for Halloween.  Something fun and spooky!
Have a good weekend everyone!
Edit:  Added to What's for Lunch Wednesday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The sandwich that ate... me?

I've been super tired lately, but I figured that I have to get this post out, no matter what!  So, I'm not giving much of an intro... but here are my monster sandwiches.  Watch out they may get your lunch!  BTW... do these look more like frogs, or just monsters.  The kids figured that they were frogs.

Oh, yeah... I got a new job.  So, it looks like I'll be doing even MORE bentos because me and all the kids will be going somewhere on a daily basis.  So, 4 bentos a night.  Man... I have to start doing this a little earlier!

Both Bentos have pretty much the same contents.  Bologne and cheese sandwich, grapes, tomatoes, snap peas, cukes, olive and cheese eyes, craisins (cranberry raisins) and watermelon circles. ... OH yeah... gummy worms in the boxes, and pocky in the lids.

Okay, G'night!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mini Sandwich Days

The kids liked the mini burger buns so much, that I thought I would do it again.  Yep, I'm using them up, before they start growing.  Um... I mean, yeah... the kids liked them so much!  I'm hoping that in the near future I can convince the kids to have some rice in their lunches, and then it will be a better opportunity to do some cute stuff.  Yeah, I think that I'll need a little more time and imagination too.  Well, I guess I have to go shopping tomorrow then.  I have a limited amount of things that I can shop for, but I try to think outside the box... (or is that Inside the bento box?)

Okay, enough funny stuff, here's the bentos.

Box number one is my daughters.  These things all have similar contents, so here's the big list first! 
Contents:  Bologne and cheese sandwich on thin mini burger buns, grapes, tomatoes, nectarines, snap peas, cheese shapes and mango.  OH, not to mention the mini brownie muffin.

Box number 2 belongs to my son...about the same ingredients, except we included a few tortellini.  They were a hit, except for the fact it was Pizza day during second lunch break!  *doh!*  *head to desk*.  Yep, one day I'll remember the pizza day too!

Bento #3 is for the youngest who is almost 3.  Same ingredients.  I snuck in a few gummi bears after these pictures were taken.  The daycare owner said my daughter was telling *her* that she had to eat everything first, then the gummies at the end.  Hmmm... I may have her trained yet!

Last one is mine.  Same ingredients as the kids, but I also added some black olives and a gold coin, (for my chocolate fix).  I put in some leftover chicken which was Delish!  Hmm... love these kinds of bentos.  Even showed some friends.  I love that, because bentos are never seen here in Northern Ontario.  The ladies all loved it!  hee hee hee!

Anyway, I've gotta get going... super tired, and I have to do a little shopping tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seeing double... or quadruple.

Well it seems that bentos are coming back pretty empty.  The kids are really liking what I'm cooking up, and things are good.  I tell ya, I'm starting to run out of ideas.  I have drawn a major blank on how to make these things "cute", but who really cares?  The point is that the food is being eaten!  YAY! 

The only complaint is that yesterday my son opened both layers and had no idea what to eat.  So, I have simplified yet again, and made both layers the same (the kids have 2 short lunch breaks, not just 1).  This way the kids can pick one layer and eat everything just in that tier, and same the second one for second break.

Kids Bento contents:  mini thin hamburger bun made into Bologne and cheese sandwiches, pea pods, grapes, mini tomatoes, cucumber, apple and nectarines with a gold coin as a treat..  The pink one also has figs, but she decided at the last minute that figs were not good things to eat at school.  Okay... that's fine.  So, I ate them! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Bentos! YAY!

I was so excited last night to create these bentos for my kids.  I really wonder who was more excited... me or them??!!  I really was wondering what to put in their bentos as a "first" bento, but in the end I decided to work with what was already working... good food that they love!  We'll leave the cute stuff until later.

So, fun stuff.. not too exciting.  Each bento is mostly the same, but there are a few things that are different.

Pink bento has (top) mango and fig, then cheese stars, cuke, carrots, grapes and cut up kiwi in the cup. Bottom: has 1 long wrap cut in 2,gummy worm. red tomatoes, carrots, and goldfish crackers.  Plus a pocky or two in where the chopsticks go.

Blue one (top) - Pocky in with chopsticks, cereal bar, fruit star, goldfish, tomatoes, kiwi pieces.  (bottom) cukes, grapes, carrots, wraps, and a few more carrots.

And, they are off!  wow, their lunchbags look so big, and the food so small.  But, in the end there were no major complaints.  Just a few to make sure that I don't put sticky fruit leather near REAL fruit then it won't get mushy.

YAY! Can't wait until they see this dish.  Hopefully they love it.

Edit: Added to What's for Lunch Wednesday

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's here! It's here!!

Okay I know that this will be a little longer of a post, so grab a coffee, and sit down.  I'll show you my bento, as well as my nice purchase from Texas! :)

So, lets start with the kids' bentos

 By Friday the fridge is getting a little sparse.  So, what kind of leftovers could I muster?
My daughters bento on the left has wraps, a gold chocolate coin, cucumbers, tomatoes, dried cranberries, black olives, grapes, and a few cutouts of mango.  Of course... the cheese face too! :)

My son's on the right:  the last of the meatballs, cucumbers, cheese stars, yellow tomatoes, bean sprouts, black olives, a little strawberry peeking out, grapes and dried cranberries, and a few pieces of apple with lemon juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. 

Whew... that was a lot of food in a little space.  Believe me, I was looking for something good last night in the fridge, and kinda coming up empty, but at least the lunches came back mostly empty.  Well, my son didn't eat a few of the cheese stars, because they got into the cinnamon, and "didn't taste right". (so did 2 of the meatballs)  Well, that didn't stop my youngest from chomping on the apples!!  I wonder if it was just that he was full from eating all the other goodies??

Onto the other stuff.. MY PACKAGE ARRIVED!!!  My first bento stash!  The fitjp store was great sending me the package, it's was my mother-in-law who resent it to us... that's the point at which things slowed down.  That darn Canada Post! the fitjp store doesn't ship to Canada!   But, at least I've got it! Wanna see?

 Yes, there are 7 boxes.  One for each member of the family, but a slim one I wanted to check out, and an extra black one for my niece.  There are also 2 bento belts that I purchased - mostly to see what they looked like so I can sew up a few for myself.  I also got a bear and bunny egg shapers, elephant baran, and those wonderful picks that transform your mini tomatoes into balloons! :)  I've seen them everywhere!  Love them!

To give you an idea of how big these things are, I've included a couple of pictures with a ruler (sorry, metric only, I can't find the other one), and one with my hand.  Hopefully you can get the idea.

Yep, this black one is about 18cm long (approx 7 inches)

the biggest black one here is about 9.5 cm tall (3.5 inches). 

So, I knew that I would figure that they were small.  They are actually not too bad when you think about how much they will hold.  The largest holds about 1000 ml, and the smallest about 500 ml (when you add the two levels together).  Very cool!  I was so happy about the prices, and the quality of these items.  They aren't perfect, but they are really good for us to start with.  And I love how small they collapse to.  Basically the height of the top layer!  So, it shouldn't be *too* bad trying to find space in my small kitchen.

Okay, I'm going to play with these guys this weekend, and look forward to sharing REAL bentos next week.  That's not to say we won't use the lock and lock again, but we are certainly going to try these new ones.  Lets see how the kids feel about it come Monday afternoon!

**I get nothing from the store for suggesting to use them... I just love their prices.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Of Men, stars and Meatballs

Slowly I'm getting the hang of bento making.  According to my list, this is bento #36 & #37.  Wow.  I should do something fun when I hit #50.  Funny... I keep seeing other people with bento #814 or Bento # 97.  Hmm... will I make it that far? Possibly.  Especially if my new bento boxes ever decide to show up!  ARGH!  Sometimes my patience just goes out the window.  I'm hoping that they show up tomorrow, one way or another.  So, onto the bentos.
I didn't go to work today, so I only made 2 bentos for the kids.  Pretty similar, with only a few substitutions.  Bento on the left, contents:  Meatballs on my nail skewers, yellow mini tomatoes, crackers with cheese stars, fresh raw peas, craisins and grapes, leftover spaghetti squash with a red pepper and cheese butterfly.  I also snuck in a chocolate coin and later was requested to put in a brownie mini-muffin.

My daughters on the right is pretty much the same, but since she didn't want meatballs, she got her regular bologne and cheese wrap.

I'm really surprised how empty the bentos came back today (and they remembered to bring back the fork!).  I also packed the regular milk, applesauce (daughter) and granola bar (son) for the kids.  My son ate everything except the squash and red pepper butterfly and star.  He said that he "couldn't handle it".  Meanwhile my daughter's came back completely empty.  I really thought that the spaghetti squash would come back for both boxes, but I guess that when it's just that little bit, it okay.  Strange, my son really liked it for dinner the night before.  Oh well.  I guess some things are just better warm.  I'm glad that at least the red peppers were tasted!

I did a little research on some of the charaben and other fancy designs that I have been following.  I just don't understand how some things can come together - what food are they using!  Well, Anna the Red came through.  It's an egg sheet (some with colouring). It is seriously cool.  I wonder what the kids would think?  I have to put it into the back of my mind and use it at home first before I send it out there with the kids.  I mean, I'm all for making things cute, but in the end if the food comes back, then my whole reason for doing bentos is out the window.

Okay, gotta go!  I got some good news today - interview for a new job on Monday.  I'm really excited, but I'm starting to come down, and now I'm wondering what the heck I have to offer them!  EEK!  Anyway, goodnight!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flowers and Bones

Making bentos is starting to get easier and easier, but I find that if I don't have something in my mind, they all start to meld together.  I think that I'm going to go on a hunt for a few different cutters, or maybe I just have to go grocery shopping with bentos specifically in mind.  There are a few things that I wish we had around here in the markets - snap peas that are not frozen (none at the market, only in my sister's garden!).  I wish my kids liked broccoli more, then I could stuff a few of them in the bentos.  We did try some "pot stickers" (what I figure Gyozas are like), and next time I'm going to make more, so there are a few for lunches!

Lately my bentos have been coming back empty - the kids are eating everything!  This is both good and bad.  They aren't complaining that there is too much, but neither are they saying about there being too little.  Argh!  Either way I'm not happy I guess.

Here are todays bentos.

 The bentos basically had about the same things in them.  I'll start with the left one (flower) for my daughter.  Contents:  Bologne and cheese wrap, with a fruit to-go "leather" and a cheese flower, grapes, strawberries, brownie mini muffin, nectarine and cucumber.  I added some milk and applesauce to this as a side by request.

Bento #2 contents:  Meatballs on nail skewers covered with cheese bones, cucumbers, nectarine and fruit leather dog, brownie mini muffin in the corner, strawberries and grapes.  I added milk and a granola bar to this for extra carbs.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of little munchkin's bento today.  No biggie, it was pretty much the same, except it was in a pig bento.

That's it for tonight.  Here'e hoping I see those bento boxes SOON!  ARGH!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cheese and cucumber - a good combo?

Today's bentos reminded me that I can get "fancy" without using many tools.  I've really been wanting to make something "cute" but my brain isn't working so well at 10pm, when I get around to making these things.  Instead I decided to swap some flavors/centers and see what the kids thought.  So, here's what I mean:
How about some cucumber and cheese?  I knew that I would put some cucumber in the kids lunches, but the circles were almost too big for the silicone cups.  So, I decided to cut out the centers.  Then I cut out cheese shapes.  Ding - light bulb.  So, I didn't get a chance to ask the kids (totally forgot), but everything in the bento was gone when they brought them home.  So, I guess it all went over pretty well.  I'll give you a run down, using the one on the right.
Contents:  Cheese stars, and cucumber circles.  grapes, mini red and yellow tomatoes, cucumber stars, strawberry, mini brownie muffins, bologne and cheese wraps.  All went well, and they all fit.  Yum.  I also added a applesauce to my daughter's lunch, and a granola bar to my son's - you know, just in case they were still hungry.  The extras were gone.

Little munchkin came with me to an appointment, so instead of just packing up some fish crackers, I packed up a snack size bento for her as well with finger foods that she could eat, and hopefully not get herself (or anyone else) dirty.  It worked out fairly well.  Actually she fell asleep on the way home, so it was mostly her lunch too!

Contents:  Fish crackers (so, I did need to have them there!), raisins, mini tomatoes, strawberries, and a granola bar that I won't include next time because it was dipped in chocolate.  Bad idea.  Live and learn I guess.  At least she had the granola at home after she woke up.

That's it for now.
BTW... still waiting for my bento shipment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gotta have it!

I'm amazed sometimes how much the kids are liking their bentos.  The other day I told them that I wouldn't be making a bento because it was Saturday - "Ahhh... Mom...."  I couldn't believe it.  I'm packing less "junk" in their lunches, and they aren't complaining.  Everything comes back empty, and I have no worries.  I really think that this is going to stick.  (so long as I don't get sick of making them).  At the beginning of the school year I bought all the regulars - granola bars, fruit cups, pudding, cereal bars.  And, as of yet, they really haven't been into them that much.  Sure, there was the request of a pudding yesterday, but really, out of the 20 some bentos that I have made, they really aren't wanting anything extra.
It makes me think that maybe I'm taking a step in the right direction.  I can't wait until the new bentos come.  I'm hoping that then I will be able to send them some rice balls, or something else since it will be contained a little better.  And, by that I mean that I will be having a longer, skinnier box, instead of the square.  Something different is always good.  And, each of the boxes has 2 layers, so maybe I'll be able to sneak in something a little extra.
Okay, onto the bentos.

Mia asked for the piggy bento box.  It's just the sandwich box that I had before, but I make sure not to pack it too tightly.  She also had some Mac&Cheese with this.  I know that it may not be the healthiest, but I worry that she doesn't have a "tummy filler" as Wendy from Wendolonia says.  I try to add fruits, veggies, a carb "tummy filler", and a protein.  Here we have nectarines, grapes, some black olives hidden in the middle, a few "balloon" yellow tomatoes, heart cheese ontop of crachers, and yogurt covered raisins.  I also snuck in 2 sour peach candy in the ears.  I knew that it would be a little much for miss munchkin, but she ate her fill, which sometimes is the goal with her.  My finikity eater.  One day it's all good, then the next - "no way".  Ahh... lovely.

The other 2 basically had identical lunches.  Watermelon, cheese, yellow & red grape tomates, crackers, nectarines, and star kolbassa pieces.  There is also some cucumber and 2 sour peaches candy hiding in there.  They didn't say much about the dried mango which they "had to have" at the grocery store.  I guess if it didn't come back, it's all good!

On another note, I do want to try to make more faces, something a little more fun.  I'm trying to find a recipe to make my own candy eyes that I keep seeing on the bento blogs.  They are kinda cool, but I don't want to spend a fortune on them.  (in case the youngest munchkin finds them, and eats the whole pack!).  Plus, I'm the kind of person that never buys anything because I think "hey, I could make that".  Sure, if I knew at all how to make candy.  Then again, I think that it wouldn't be *that* hard.  I mean, a white circle covered by a smaller black one.  Shouldn't be hard... right?

Anyway, that's another project that I'll have to add to the pile.  Right now, life is good, and the kids are loving what they are eating.  That's the main point.  I'll try for more  "cute" stuff later.

Thanks for following!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Octopi

Hello Friday!  Couldn't wait for you all week!  It's been strange adjusting to routines again. I really  hadn't made lunches in the evenings for a LONG while.  I had been so used to just throwing some processed stuff together, that I didn't have much time in the morning for much else!  Now, thanks to bento building in the evening, I have some more time with my kids during the mornings.  But, then again, I don't know what the excuse was for missing writing a note to the teacher! OR... taking a picture of my son's bento this morning *slap to the head*  Oh well..can't cry over spilt milk, his bento was pretty much like the others anyway.  So off to the bentos we go!

I was just looking around... guess I should start numbering my bentos, and get an idea of how many I actually make...  this would be Bento #24 -#27.  Wow, I've made that many already... 

This bento is really a simple one.  I only added the extra container after I realized that I hadn't added a "tummy filler" carb, and there wasn't a "snack"  So, the extra container has cheese and crackers, with a mini powdered sugar donut.  The main box is grapes, hotdog Octopi, nectarines, tomatoes with cheese flowers, cukes, and ketchup in the middle.
The next bento below is pretty much similar to the bento above.  I always wonder about sending little sticks with my youngest (age 2).  So, I left out the skewars.  My sister told me during pick up that my youngest wanted to put ketchup on everything!  She wouldn't let the ketchup be covered back up, so she even ate her nectarines with it!!!  YUCK!!

The last one is a bento for me.  Again, too much food.  I really should stop when I think I may have enough.  I didn't even touch the smallest container with cheese and crackers.  The container on the right has a caprese salad (fresh mozza, tomatoes, a little salt and olive oil and basil - sorry, the basil was dried).  The largest container was grapes, orange, nectarines, hotdog octopi, and ketchup. 

All in all... a yummy lunch.  I also had fennel & passionflower tea.  Yum... can't wait to find some new teas for the fall... since I don't drink coffee..

Okay, lots to think about for the weekend.  I'll probably be back to post about the trip we had before school, and the bentos that we packed, my first try at tamagoyaki (or as my kids call it - "Tama on yukki" which translates to "this is yukky"... I think I was REALLY crazy that day! :)


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Waiting for more

It was another regular bento day today.  I didn't have much in the way of creativity, so we went with the old standards from last year.  We didn't bento last year, but I took the regular lunch I would have sent, and bento-ized it.  The kids got pretty identical bentos.  More info on a bunch of stuff... below the bentos.
As you can see, the bentos are pretty similar.  Basically Peaches, grapes, wraps, granola bar, cukes, pepperettes, tomatoes, fish crackers and cheese.  My daughter doesn't like Babybell, so I swapped it for regular cheese in her lunch.  They also had a gold coin made of chocolate.  I like putting in little treats for their lunches, this way I figure they will be excited about their coins, and forget that I didn't put in a whole chocolate pudding. 
So far the kids haven't been complaining that they don't have time to eat everything.  Both come back nearly empty at the end of the day.  It's really awesome!

On a different note, I'm waiting patiently for a shipment from the states.  I went to online and picked up bentos.  I received the message that they are on their way.  I really hope that most of what I ordered was available.  I really hope my kids bento boxes are in there.  This way I can fiddle with them for a month before we head out to Toronto, and pick up some more goodies.  (well, maybe, depending on how this goes).

Also on my "wish" list is a rice cooker.  Maybe 8 cups, not too big.  I just finished reading an article that I heard about which talked about Roger Ebert's article about a rice cooker.  He seriously can cook almost anything in that pot.  And, what a good idea!  You bet that is going on my christmas list of things I want.  Cheap too, but then again, I would like the "timer" feature for when I leave in the morning, and want rice for supper.

Okay, I'm off to the kids open house tonight!  Have a good night!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Meatballs and 5 lunches

Meatball night last night, so we have some goodies for lunch today.  5 lunches.. I think I was crazy!  My son loves meatballs, so I thought it might be funny to skewer the meatballs with my "nail" skewers.  He thought it was funny.  Didn't have much energy last night after I made Onigiri (rice balls) for us, so they aren't that "cute" or funny.   My 2 youngest didn't want any, so they got sandwices and mac& cheese... well, enough talking, onto the bentos!

In the piggy sandwich box is mosty dessert (mac and cheese as the main course)  Nectarines, grape tomatoes, Onigiri, grapes, and black olives!

Bento #2 was middle child.  cuke slices, Bol & Cheese circles, grapes and tomatoes, nectarines cut up (4 gummies on top), strawberry and a sandwich on thin flat bread.  Plus a Fruit-to-go slipped on it's side at the top.

Bento #3 is all about circles.  (from the top) cukes and cheese circles, tomato, meatballs with cheese dots, babybell, nectarine and a few grapes with 3 gummy bears.

Bento #4 was for myself.  I made wayyy too much food.  But, this is a learning process.  It's about the same ingredients as in the kids bentos.  I did add some cheese curds and grapes in one box with Onigiri with little black olives and soysauce in the top box.  It's funny after I make everyone's boxes, by the time I get to mine, I want to have a little of everything - it's all so yummy!

Bento #5 was for hubby.  By this time I was tired, and I just tossed everything in!  Same kind of ingredients.  Yeah, by this time it wasn't very exciting.  Hubby got teased for getting gummi bears.  I didn't realize it was his bento when I was putting the gummies in, until it was too late - oh well! :)

Edit:  Included in What's for Lunch Wednesday

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of School

So, the first day of school went off with no problems.  I got the Bentos finished last night, and was worried about if the kids had enough food in them.  I only sent the bento boxes, and a container of milk.  Last year they had wraps in one container, dessert in another, and veggies in a third, so this was a little weird, not to pack their lunchpails full with containers.  But, all in all, it went well.  So, here's the Bentos!
Bento #1 was for my son.  His "monster sandwich".  Bologne and cheese on flax bread.  Black Olive eyes, and cheese centers.  Grapes and Grape Tomatoes.   Second box had a Clementine, Babybel cheese, pepperettes, mini brownie with a chocolate car treat, strawberry and cucumbers.  A Fruit-to-go was a nice little divider.  My son said that the sandwich was too big, so tomorrow we may make it a little smaller, and see where we can go from there.

Bento #2 is our nice smiley guy in a Lock & Lock!  Eyes are Bologne and Cheese sandwiches with cheese, bologne and black olive eyes.  Babybell nose, and underneath is a mini chocolate brownie.  Grape tomatoes, strawberries, clementine slices, and mini cucumber strips.  I also snuck in a chocolate car after the photo was taken.  My daughter had no complaints except she would rather applesauce instead of the clementines.  No problem!
Yay!  Success!!

I also broke down today and ordered some bento boxes from out of Texas.  They don't ship to Canada, but I have my mother-in-law coming up shortly.  Hopefully it ships in time, and I can get her to bring it up!  There were some really inexpensive bentos there.  I know that they may not work well, but at least I we get to give it a try with the inexpensive ones, and then buy really nice ones when we know what I we want.  Okay, I guess that's it for now.  I have to go make the bentos for tomorrow.  I get to make 5 of them!  Whew!  Good thing we have leftovers! :)  Yay... meatballs!  (3 kids, 2 adults).... Night!

Edit:  This entry was added at: What's for Lunch Wednesday over at Bentolunch 

Monday, September 6, 2010

The day before the First Day of School

Well, tomorrow is the first day of school, and I've made my bentos up.  I've also done some serious surfing of bento websites tonight, and found one that seemed good for supplies (out of Texas I think). fitjpstore dot com.  Nana is coming up from Chicago, and if I can get this stuff sent to her in time, I might have Bento goodies before the October trip to Toronto!  YAY!  That would be awesome.  And with prices being 2,3 or 6 bucks, I can get by with that!  I think I tallied it all up and it was around $39 .00 Great opportunity to buy a bunch of bento boxes for the kids and see how well they work size wise - before I start paying double digits for these!

Okay, so anyway, I'm here's my next two bentos I made a few weeks back.  Tomorrow I'll show you what I made for the kids first day of school!
This first one was for my girls (they got exactly the same).  Mini box has perogies and sour cream.  The big box has blueberries, grapes, cukes, honeydew melon, carrots, dip, and cheese stars and bones.  They loved it!  I was so happy.  The older one even ate the perogies, but told me not to bother with the sour cream next time.
Second box was pretty much the same thing.  Carrots, Honeydew melon, blueberries, grapes, cukes, dip and cheese shapes on top.  I forgot to take a picture, but he also had perogies.

See, nothing too exciting, nothing too different, but these went over very well.  They especially liked the "bones".  Kinda cute (this was originally a cookie cutter for dog biscuits).
I also made a bunch of mini brownie/muffins.  I hope that they work out.  I made about 2 dozen, and they went straight into the freezer.  Hopefully it doesn't just dry them out.

Okay, off I go.  I have to get to bed in order to be awake for tomorrow's exciting day! :)  Hope everyone has a great day with bento making for school!

BTW... anyone out there?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Bentos

So, we've been testing the bento idea out for maybe 2.5 weeks now.  I basically use Lock&Lock lunch boxes for all my bentos.  I haven't yet picked up anything very exciting.  Here's what I've been getting by on so far...
Lock & Lock boxes (a few sizes)
Silicone muffin cups (Large and Regular size)  I've picked these up at the local Home Sense or President's Choice store.
"Nail" cocktail skewers.  Picked up at Home Sense.  I love them!
Cookie cutters & fondant cutters.  Picked up at Michaels or anywhere I can find them!

And, aside from a couple of disposible "dip" cups from the dollar store, that's about it.  Nothing exciting.  So, on to the pictures.

My first Bento for the girls - Aug 17, 2010.  Left:  Pepperettes, Honeydew melon, fish crackers, champagne grapes, cheese stars, bologne and cheese wraps, & yogurt.
Right:  pretty much the same. 

August 18:

Top:  for my son:  Bologne and cheese on flax bread (supposed to be a broomstick and bat), pepperettes, cheese stars, grapes, honeydew melon, fruit strips
Bottom:  for the girls (they had identical ones): bologne and cheese wrap cut in 2, fruit strips, cheese stars, honeydew melon, grapes, yogurt in center.

Verdict:  The girls love them.  Although Youngest girlie didn't want to eat the wrap, just everything else.  May have to send "main meal" in a separate baggie, or just tell the daycare lady to pull out the wraps so she will eat them.  Both older ones loved it!

Guess we can keep going.  I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

The beginning

... and in the beginning God created food... Well, that's not exactly how it goes, but there is food, and there is lunch, and that's where my problem comes in.  My little skinny 8yr old comes home with a lunch that is barely eaten.  It's not the food - no, he'll eat mostly anything.  I figure it's the sociability of said child.  Yep, he's a social butterfly.  So, who wants to concentrate on opening containers and baggies and stuff when you are busy talking? 
What do I do?  *insert drumroll here*  I start researching and found bento (well, re-found I guess).  I've been looking at the idea of bentos for about a year now.  I've decided to jump into the bento world this year with my (count 'em, yes) -3- kids, and start making them bentos for their lunches.  We've been practicing for about 2 weeks now, and things are looking good.  I don't make japanese food (well, not yet), I'm not japanese, and I'm not doing anything that you couldn't find in your regular pantry/fridge supply.  The idea is to send my son (and the 2 others) to school with a lunch that he will eat, and doesn't have to open too many containers.

So, welcome if I don't know you.  Hello! if someone sent you here.  And WOW, if you just stumbled onto my blog.  I'll post pictures, and get people thinking about things including bentos... and my basement. :)

Oh, and BTW, I don't live in a big city - I don't have any special things (not yet), but I do intend to make some well balanced lunches for my kids that all fits into a cute little box.  (lets hope).  Thanks for reading!