Monday, May 31, 2010

Bento for a friend and contest winner :)

This bento was packed for a friend of ours visiting from California (he used to live here in Jersey, so he had lots of folks to visit!).  Having me pack a bento for him was one of the things he said was on his 'to do' list while he was here - I was happy to oblige; especially since it allowed me to finally make onigiri myself.
Kat makes it for hers fairly regularly, but believe it or not, this was the first time I've made it (I think... lol)

Inspired by Pikko and Maki's new bento book Yum-Yum Bento (links to Pikko's 500th bento where she also has a link for the book; seems wrong to link to my own Amazon affiliate account...), I decided to go with the frog onigiri - It was a debate between the walrus, the tigers or the frogs :)  I also debated between keeping it simple and just using food coloring or mixing white rice w/ green furikake - since I was unsure how green it would get w/ the furikake, I decided to just go with the food coloring and just added a few drops to it before starting the rice cooker.  By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I adore our Zojirushi NS-DAC10 Zutto Neuro-Fuzzy 5-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer  :) 

As I read in the book and have also seen on Pikko's blog and others, I used one of our bear onigiri molds and the ears then became the eyes.  I noticed after taking the picture that when I put the left eye of the top frog back on after knocking it off twice I put it back on upside down, so the pupil is lower - funny how you see things in the photos that you don't notice live.

I never really map out the bento before I start them; sometimes I wonder if maybe I should start doing so - it would probably save some time as I dig around for what else to put in...  I can't draw to save my life, so I figured it would be a futile effort to try and draw it out ;P  haha

I am still playing with the lighting for my portable photo studio - I have 3 lights here because one of the lights from the smaller one we already had burnt out. I think I will look at replacing the bulb with a higher wattage.

I still think, even with the shadows, it looks better than with the flash - at least the detailsof the egg aren't so washed out...

In the top tier we have the 2 little green frog onigiri, a bunny shaped boiled egg, 3 Aidelle's Chicken Meatballs in the Pineapple Teriyaki flavor from the freezer stash, grape tomato ladybugs, lettuce leaf lining the box, and for fillers, a grape tomato, baby carrots cut in half lengthwise and then in half at an angle widthwise and mini yellow pepper strips.

In the bottom Tier are 2 strawberries sliced, blueberries, carrot flowers as a divider and then 2 bunny mini peanut butter and fig preserve sammies; I forgot to color the edge of the press with the food markers first and tried to do it directly on the bread - does not work as well with these icing/foodmarkers.

All in all I'm happy with this cute bento - sure, it may not be appropriate for a grown man, but I think he liked it anyway - lol.  It helps that he'll be at another of his friend's homes today who has young children to see it :)   

I decided to just go with this plain bento box rather than a cute one so that if he chooses to, he can use it to pack himself bento later.  The bag is one I just got, and I think is really meant for a single tier as it was a tight fit; it is also thermal lined and has a velcro closure.

Another awesome friend in San Francisco did some shopping for me for bento sets for our upcoming workshop at the AnimeNext convention here in NJ.  This bag was in the stuff she sent, but I have a couple extra drawstring bags we'll use in place of these, simply because we thought it would be easier for the attendees to carry bags with strings/straps around the convention :)

Wow, I really have just rambled away today, haven't I?
If you've stuck with me this far, it's time to officially announce the 50 Followers Theme Bento (links to the post w/ the pics of all entries) contest winner - although you can see in the poll who won :) 
Congratulations to Angelene w/ her "Best Friends Forever" bento who won this bento set:

Angelene, please send me an email at with your shipping information :)

Thanks to all of you who entered and voted!
Look for another giveaway once I reach 100 Followers :)


  1. Adorable bento--the sweet green frogs have me grinning, Tammy!

  2. Thanks bentobird :) I always love all the beautiful flowers and herbs on your blog! :)