Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Year's Last Bento and Arigatou

♪ And so this is New Year's Eve. And what have you done?? Another year over. And a new one just begun ♪
I'm singing haha! Hello to all! Tomorrow is New Year's Eve here in Japan. I can't believe it! How fast time flies... sigh. Well although I don't have much time today --- still have to do housecleaning actually, all anyhow I need to post to say hi to you guys! I just want to say, thank you so much for visiting and commenting each time! All have really been encouraging and motivating me so I sure hope to keep going. I am grateful to everyone for being supportive. Wishing you all a happy and lovely year, thank you again, yoi otosio 良いお年を everyone!!

Bento on Christmas.


Yakiniku bentos


The last bentos this Year. I put together odds and ends from the fridge. I only had one fillet of chicken leg, leftover vegetables and slices of pork sausage from the breakfast. Despite the last bentos of the year, these have gotten poor ones lol! I tried to cover it up with the smiling faces though haha.

Let's have a fun blast-off to the New Year!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Almost Christmas... and A Bit Bento

Hey there! Glad to get back to bento posting yay! I realized again how much I love bento in the meantime. Bento is a little world, like a treasure box, isn't it?? It may be a bit exaggerated expression though hehe. By the way I am sorry that I've been late to visit my favorite blogs, I've recently had a hard time getting enough time for the Internet. I think y'all are also in the same situation in this season.

Well, these are bentos I made recently, which contain cheese omelet slices, daigakuimo (fried purple potato), meat balls, boiled broccoli and rice! Yea I wanted to make snowball-shaped-rice, in a word, it is a *rice ball* haha. I sprinkled a bit of argent and black sesame on the daigakuimo to liven up.

These are bentos Yuppi made all by her self. They contain bean sprout/pork stir fry, broccoli/bacon stir fry, daikon/kanikama salad, yogurt with apple jam for dessert and rice topped with cutouts of bell pepper and fried egg white. Maybe she meant Xmas colors.

This one is also Yuppi's creation. I'm sure she just woke up to fun of bentomaking. This contains boiled egg and vegetables, lotus root stir fry, bacon/onion ketchup stir fry, teriyaki chicken slices atop rice. Mmm she likes doing stir fry at the moment, I guess...

In the meantime, we're baking lots of baked goods as Xmas presents for our friends. Hopefully I'm going to make some cakes today if I can have time. Here are cookies we've already finished. You can check it out in detail on my flickriver
Christmas Cookies

I guess everybody is having a fun time going off to Christmas. I'm still getting ready for our Xmas. I wonder what they will make for the feasts?  Anyway just hoping you all have a happy Christmas wherever in the world you are!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Third Snow and Last Bento??

Hey everybody! Actually I haven't made bento at all for a while. My hubby has run to work lately so he doesn't want to carry bento boxes on his back. He only takes onigiri to work every day. So this is (perhaps) the last bento, featureless one though! But don't worry maybe I would make bento again sometime soon haha! ANYWAY I thought I'd have to post because it snowed here yesterday. We've had a lot of snow and been excited, wheee! Look at the snow around my place!!

Obento 2010.11.22
Chicken nanbanzuke
Chicken/simeji mushroom stir-fry
Carrot/spinach/naruto salad
Hopefully I'll share this nanbanzuke recipe some of these day.

It was somewhat gloomy weather this day...





This girl loves swimming in snow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hoarded Bento Pictures and Second Snow

This contains...
Roasted mayo/cheese salmon
Simple omelet
Sauteed pork rolls
Boiled broccoli
Mushroom stir-fry
and 4 onigiri.

Carrot, pork, spinach and rice. Orin apple and persimmon for dessert. Don't you think something yellow is lacking? Yes I forgot to put egg in this bento!

Pork/shrimp chahan!

I meant to make a traditional style bento like ones available at convenience stores. Yeah conveni-bento.
This has sweet tamagoyaki slices (MUST), pink kamaboko slices, stir-fried shredded carrot, ginger pork (STANDARD), ume/cuke salad, salty sockeye salmon (benijake) and rice.

Roasted mayo/cheese chicken tender
Potato kimpira (recipe here)
Chili sauce shrimp
Boiled flower-shaped carrots
Chunks of salty sockeye salmon
Usuyaki-tamago and edamame on the rice.

Mushroom rice
Mashed purple sweet potato
Spinach/carrot/corn salad with sesame dressing
Grilled syoyu chicken.

♪Today's simple cooking....♪

babykins' mushroom rice recipe
Some kinds of mushrooms you like (as much as you want)
Aburaage - fried thin tofu (as much as you want)
A little of shoyu and mirin and rayu (red hot sesame oil) or brown sesame oil chili powder
Cooked rice (as much as you want)

1) Cut the mushrooms and the aburaage into small bite size.
2) Place it in a pan then add a few pinches of salt then braise it for a few minutes until get watery.
3) Drain it (remove the extra water) then replace it in the pan.
4) Add all the seasonings and stir-fry it until the excess water dries off.
5) Add it into freshly cooked rice or microwaved leftover rice then mix them together. At this point if it tastes light, add a little more shoyu or salt. Done!!

You can season mushrooms as you like. For example, salt black pepper & butter plus onion, salt & curry powder plus shrimp or chicken, and so on... Anyhow all you need to do is make a mushroom stir-fry and mix it into hot rice! Yes pretty yum! Aw do you know that autumn is the mushroom season?? You should definitely enjoy them NOW!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chicken Curry Bento and Wet Heart and Takoyaki Cakes

It rains very often these days. I've had a hard time photographing good shots. I think lack of sunlight is always bugging food-shooters. I'm sick of dull weather in the morning! So Autumnal rain wets my heart too. Oh well, a lot of my bento pictures have piled up but I'm only going to post one bento this time because I have so many pics that I'd like to share here!

This bento has...
stir-fried purple potato,
boiled spinach,
a half of boiled egg yolk
chicken curry & rice,
boiled egg white stars atop the curry.

*babykins' super quick chicken curry recipe*
I like this curry, so simple and quick that it's perfect for a busy morning. Perhaps this can't be called curry!? TOO simple to be called CURRY. So should I name it *curry flavored chicken*??

2 Chicken thighs (boneless)
Some flour
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
About 5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon curry powder
A little of salt and any spices you like or garam masala


1) Cut the chicken then dredge it in the flour a lot (this flour will thicken curry sauce afterward).
2) Sear the chicken in a pan until light brown.
3) Add all the seasonings and the water then braise it until cooked (for a few minutes).
Done!! It is super easy to make, isn't it!?


In the meantime, the omatsuri report still continues! This would continue until I satisfy myself lol! If you go to an Omatsuri you should go at dusk because you could enjoy a lot more the atmosphere.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (6)

Skewer-stuff stall is a regular, they have oden, yakitori, squid skewers and drinks.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (28)

Another regular stall is TAKOYAKI! Who doesn't like it? These takoyaki are pretty big than normal ones.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (23)
Speaking of takoyaki......

JA JAAAAN!! We made takoyaki at home the other day!DSC_0571

Haha it's a joke, not takoyaki! Yuppi and her pal tried making cake balls using a takoyaki pan. Who made them overflow?? Yes it's me. We used pancake mixture. Maybe I'll update the recipe later.

The girls stuffed and decorated these ones with chocolate. That was so fun work! The mixture is not that sweet so you could put various things into it instead of chocolate.... Cut apple or banana, fruit jam, custard cream, sweet bean paste, cheese, hum and so on. Of course you could put in cut octopus if you want, I won't judge. Only I can't assure you of the taste lol!

These ones are stuffed with teeny tiny hotdogs. Its taste is similar to corn dogs but much healthier, and yes YUM!

Aren't these cute?? Don't they look yummy??

Updated a recipe!!
babykins' takoyaki cake (pancake) recipe
400 gram (14 oz) flour
70 gram (about 8 tablespoons) brown sugar or sugar you like
2 to 3 teaspoons baking powder
520 gram (18.3 oz) mixture of egg and milk, including 4 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil

1) Put the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well with whisk.
2) Add the egg/milk mixture and melted butter into the bowl and mix until the flour disappears and the whole batter is smooth.
3) Then cook it as you like! Give it a try!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

First Snow and Late Autumn Bentos and The Rest of Omatsuri

Hey hey there whatsuup? FINALLY it snowed here a couple of days ago. Now I'm having a cup of hot soy latte. Yes winter is coming soon! Those of you on the other side of the planet should enjoy your summer by now. I'm already looking forward to skiing. By the way I feel bad being too late to respond to everyone's comment and leave my comment on their blogs. I want so badly to go round and carefully check out bentos and something of my buddies.

This bento contains...
chicken cutlet,
spinach/kamaboko salad,
scrambled egg/negi,
carrot miso kimpira
and medium polished rice decorated with green peas and something(?).
obento 2010.10.28

Tori soboro bento...
stir-fried ground chicken tender seasoned with shoyu, mirin and sugar,
scrambled egg,
mashed sweet potato,
nimono (satsumaage, lotus root)
and medium-polished rice underneath the chicken and egg.
obento 2010.10.26

What do you think the tiny pink ball-like things that I've recently put on rice are? They are garlic pickles! It hardly smells. Isn't it a bit cute??

This one contains...
lotus root/umeboshi salad,
fried shrimps with a green lemon wedge,
stir-fried pork slices
and medium-polished rice topped with green peas.
obento 2010.10.27

Now I'll write one recipe. Many people often say to me *why not share your recipes?*. Although I've thought I should do that, too bad I always cook without measuring (except for baking and delicate cooking). I think that's the way home-cooking is. To be honest, measurement seems like a chore to me because I am a careless person haha. However, if possible I'd like to write my recipes in detail with some pictures on the blog but I need to make several kinds of dishes early in the morning in a short time. So I mean to share my recipes as often as I can in the future but it would be pretty simple and rough like it's been so far.

*babykins' lotus root ume-mayo salad recipe*
I think this is one of perfect salad dishes for bento. Give it a try!!

About 1 cup of thin-sliced lotus root
2 or 3 umeboshi (Japanese salty sour plum pickles)
1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1) Boil the lotus root slices for 1 or 2 minutes
2) Mince the umeboshi
3) Mix together all the ingredients
4) Done! \^.^/

As mentioned before, this time I'm going to up the rest of our Omatsuri pictures. This is goldfish scooping! It's been absolutely a necessary section for omatsuri since early times. It's a bit hard to scoop a fish with a fragile scoop. There are a few kinds of scoops. If you know some tips you could scoop easily so many goldfishes. Boy, my girl broke her paper scoop in NO time! I didn't even have time to get out my camera. She was not able to catch any goldfishes but they gave her a fish as a bonus so she only was able to take one home, yay luckily! I love this picture... a good old, nostalgic and unchanging-in-forever sight.

2010.9.16 shrine festival (25)

2010.9.16 shrine festival (27)

A toy stall. I used to get bought a fake ring and necklace as a kid, was sooo happy to be a lady.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (19)

This is a *Ringo Ame* (candy-coated apple skewers) stall. There were only apple ones and apricot ones before but nowadays they even have pineapple ones and mango ones. I was curious about a mango ame but didn't buy it because I was already filled up at that point. Ringo ame is much yummier than it looks.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (20)

Well can you guess what these snake-looking things are?
2010.9.16 shrine festival (30)

Guess what, I still have the rest of the omatsuri pictures. Of course I'm going to up it the next time. I hope that y'all won't be fed up with that lol!
Also I don't have any plans for Halloween but hope everyone else has a happy one!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Late Summer Memories and Short-time Bentos

Hey buddies konnichiwa! How's everything?? It's getting colder here so at last I turned on the roomheating today. How about your place?? The insanely hot summer has gone far faaaar away. I miss having chocolate ice cream, but the weather has been crispy recently. So many foods are yum in this season in particular. That means.... YES I find myself overeating very often!!! Autumn fruits, fresh fishes, freshly harvested rice, hot one-pot dishes, chocolates, cookies and cakes, everything is DELISH!! Oh no help meee! Get rid of my appetite somebodyyyyy!!

What am I saying!? Lol well today's bento! This one has tamagoyaki slices, sauteed chicken and green onion, potato/macaroni salad, ketchup flavored satumaage and white rice strewed with broccoli sprouts and minced koume. I think this angle is failure. It maybe hard to see the dishes.
Obento 2010.10.19

Can you see the fillings between the slices of bread? This time I made chikuwa/tuna-mayo sandwiches, ham/cheese ones, butter/sakura-honey (cherry blossom flavor) ones and apple bunnies. Have you ever heard of *a chikuwa/tuna bread*?? I really like the harmony of bread and chikuwa and tuna-mayo. If you are curious about it why don't you try making it?
Sandwich Bento 2010.10.6

This is a super boring yet oishii bento haha! All you have to do is make *sauteed pork slices and scrambled egg*. Oops don't forget to cook rice!
Buta/tama Domburi Bento

Buta/tama Domburi Bento

In the meantime, last month we went to Omatsuri (a Japanese Shrine festival). Although it's been a while since we went there, this time I'd love to share some pictures of that. Some of you may have already seen it on my flickr. Shrine festivals take place once a year at most Shinto Shrines here in Japan. This little Shrine is one that I've gone to ever since I was born.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (5)

Everybody around there was buying a fortune and checking it out. A bit nervous moment.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (4)

Both Hubby's and Yuppi's say *Excellent Luck!!*--- Everything's gonna be all right, wheeeee! Unfortunately mine was.... Average Luck---means *So So or Not Bad*. Yes so so (sigh).
2010.9.16 shrine festival (10)

These are Kompeito---Japanese classic style candies. I love the tint color. By the way, have you ever watched * Spirited Away*? The black soot balls (Makkurokurosuke--can you pronounce it properly?) are eating them in the movie. Yuppi wanted to get some but I rejected her because I thought she'd eat them so little.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (15)

Yuppi was staring at this choco/banana stand. She got a chocolate-coated banana skewer and gobbled it up while I was unaware. I only wanted to have a bite.....sob.
2010.9.16 shrine festival (18)

I'll show you the rest of pictures on the next post, stay tuned!