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bento #59: meta knight July 30, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - video game.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I finally decided to make this after making two Kirbys in a row.

Bento #59: Meta Knight
Created and eaten on 7/29/2009

Meta Knight is from the Kirby anime / game series. I don’t actually watch the Kirby anime, but I have Super Smash Bros. Brawl (a Wii game), and I like Meta Knight. Hardcore SSBB players, don’t call me a cheese now. I suck at SSBB and I still like playing it, so give me some slack. I like him because he’s Meta Knight! I think one of the reasons is that he looks like an MS from Gundam. 😛 Also he has no mouth which I find it very cute. Anyway, Meta Knight from the Kirby anime show has way too much blue, so I decided to make the one from SSBB.

First I put sauteed renkon (lotus root) I had prepared the night before on the bento box. For meat, I put asparagus in boiling water for a couple of minutes, took them out and wrapped them with bacon and cooked it on a pan. Then I cut each of them in half and put it at the bottom of the bento box in a line. It’d be too much bacon if I filled the entire bottom part with just asparagus & bacon, so I decided to put some veggies. I cut the tip of a cherry tomato in four different directions, making 8 petals. Then I opened it up, stuffed it with loose kernels of corn, and placed them between the asparagus & bacon.

You can stuff cherry tomato with green peas, edamame, mixed vegetables, etc...

For Meta Knight, I made a rice ball with plastic wrap, and put some seasoned seaweed inside. Meta Knight is dark blue with a gray mask, so I put ground black sesame seeds around the bottom half on the side of rice ball for the blue part.

You could see that I didnt put enough black sesame seeds...

You could see that I didn't put enough black sesame seeds...

For the mask I mixed plain rice with a little bit of ground black sesame seed molded it with plastic wrap. (I didn’t put the mask on the face yet.)

For the shoulders I made small rice balls, and wrapped them with seaweed. For his hands I made plain small rice balls, and put them under each shoulder.

It doesnt look like hand and shoulder at all up close...

It doesn't look like hand and shoulder at all up close...

I boiled broccoli and sprinkled a bit of salt and put it above the asparagus & bacon. Since the renkon was brown, I was worried that the yellow/orange sword would not stand out. So I boiled and cut snowpeas with a diamond shaped cutter and put it on the background next to Meta Knight. I cut cheese into the shape of his sword and put it on the snowpeas. I used a straw to cut out a small round shape from tomato and put it on the hilt.

The sword is made with two layers of cheese.

Originally, I was going to use seaweed to make his cape (which also can turn into wings). But I was looked at the red cabbage (purple cabbage), and realized that the cabbage leaves looked a lot like his wings. So I changed my plan and decided to make his wings with red cabbage. I cut the cabbage leaf into the shape of the wing, put it in a bowl with water and vinegar (vinegar seasons it and preserves its color) and microwaved it. I put them beneath his shoulders and hands. I was pretty surprised how good they looked.

The lines on the cabbage leaf was perfect for his wing!

Finally, I made an opening on the mask with a butter knife. Then I put seaweed on the back side of the mask, cut cheese for his eyes and put them on the seaweed on the front side of the mask. For the line on the middle of the mask and sword I cut out seaweed.

"Meta Knight!"

I was thinking about making his feet with dyed quail eggs, but after I boiled quail eggs I realized that they were too small for his feet. So to make the feet I just made a small rice ball, wrapped with seaweed and put red cabbage on the rice ball.

Originally, I wanted to put a small Kirby in the bento, but I ran out of space so I just put in a star shaped carrot I had frozen previously.

No sace for Kirby. =<

I guess this bento was more for me than for my boyfriend… but he still liked it! 🙂

Meta Knight:
– rice with seasoned seaweed inside and black sesame seed on the outside for the main body
– seaweed, cheese, and rice mixed with black sesame seed for the mask
– rice and seaweed for his shoulders and hands
– red cabbage for his wings
– cheese and tomato skin for his sword

Other food:
– renkon
– asparagus wrapped with bacon
– tomato and corn
– snowpeas
– carrot

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.

new light July 28, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in Everything else.

I’ve been wanting to do a blog about this for a long time, but for some reason we never actually took good comparison photos. So we decided to do it tonight!

When I started my blog, my boyfriend was using my Canon PowerShot SD600 to take pictures of my bento. I got it because it was small enough to carry it around in my bag, and my friend was able to get it me for pretty cheap using her employee discount. My boyfriend had a much better camera (Canon PowerShot G2) but it had stopped working around the time. He studied photography in NYU before he changed his major to film, so after we started getting mentioned in other websites, it really made him want to take better pictures of my bento. Then he heard about Canon’s trade-in program. You can ship them your working or non-working Canon camera and get a refurbished camera for cheap. (not all models though) He traded in his broken PowerShot G2 and got a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT at a super discounted price!

Anyway, even with a good camera, it was very hard to work with the lighting in the kitchen. The bento is always shot in natural light, but when I did how-tos at night, the pictures would come out orange-ish. My boyfriend would try his best to color correct the photos but it’d take long, and the photos would still look very very warm. A couple of month ago, we finally decided to get a light kit. After he did some research, we purchased “Lowel EGO Digital Imaging, Tabletop Fluorescent Light Unit.” It was around $96 and came with a white reflector.

Lowel EGO Digital Imaging, Tabletop Fluorescent Light Unit

Lowel EGO Digital Imaging, Tabletop Fluorescent Light Unit

The light unit may look like a lamp from IKEA, but look at the difference between the photo taken with regular kitchen light at night, and one with the light unit! The most important difference is that the light is daylight balanced which gives a more natural look. It’s also bright enough that photos can be shot at 100 ISO speed for optimal color quality.

Regular kitchen light at night

With Lowel EGO light unit at night

A big difference, isn’t it?

Now we can do a how-to in the middle of night. If you’re crafty, you probably can make it on your own too, but we think this light unit is worth every penny!

EDIT: My boyfriend found a webpage that has more pictures comparing a regular light and Lowel EGO light unit. The review and comparison are so easy to understand (even for me) on the site. Go check out Lowel EGO lights for food photography on SteamyKitchen.

how to make a kirby sandwich July 26, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in how-to (all), how-to - characters (Ghibli, video game, Wall-E).
Tags: , , ,

I’ve already made a Kirby rice ball, but I wanted to make Kirby with more accessible food materials for those people who don’t eat rice regularly.

[How to make a Kirby sandwich]
– bread
– ham (2 ~ 3 slices)
– cheese
– seaweed
– *mayonnaise
– *ketchup

1. Use a strip cut from a plastic bottle (see “how to make Totoro sandwich” to see how I made a cutter from a plastic bottle) to cut bread into circle. You can use a glass or mug for this too.

2. Using the same cutter, cut a slice of ham.

3. Cut a slice of cheese with a smaller circular or oblong cutter. I used the plastic bottle strip for this too.

4. Cut cheese for his mouth. I used an oblong cutter and cut it in half.

6. Cut out seaweed for Kirby’s eyes. *You can put ketchup on the tip of a tooth pick and put it on Kirby’s cheeks, and mayonnaise for the sparkle in his eyes, but this is optional.

5. If you have extra ham, you can cut ham with a strip of plastic or plastic bottle cap to make his hands, but this is totally optional.

And here’s happy Kirby!

And “?” Kirby.

How to make a Kirby sandwich on my flickr

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.

If you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!