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bento #61: summer totoro September 11, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - ghibli (totoro, etc...).
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I made kyaraben the day I left for PAX. It had been awhile since the last time I made one… but the weather was getting no so summery, and I wanted to make something before the summer was over.

Bento #61: Summer Totoro
Created and eaten on: 9/3/2009

I knew I was going to make a summer themed kyaraben. Since I really didn’t have new character I wanted to make, I picked Totoro. I did a rough sketch, but since I’ve made so many Totoro bento no matter how I change the composition, it’d look like something I’ve already done… But I always try to stay optimistic. I figured that I’d come up with some magical plan to make this bento awesome while I was making it.

As usual, I put sauteed renkon (lotus root) at the bottom of the bento first. I had meatballs which I had made and frozen so I put them in a line with broccoli. Meatballs are great for Makkurokurosuke. It’s round and dark brown, so all you have to do is to put cut out cheese and seaweed for the eyes.

Cheese eyes are more stable than fish cake.

Then I started making Totoro with rice. I mixed rice with black sesame seeds with a little bit of salt, put it on plastic wrap and molded it into a Totoro shape. Then I realized that Totoro was the only rice part in this bento… which meant that I had to make a HUGE Totoro. Since I was using the bento box sideways and there were Makkurokurosuke at the lower part of the bento, there wasn’t much space left for Totoro. I tried to squeeze him in, but there was no way his ears would fit in. T_T Oh well… I just made the white part on his stomach with plain rice, put it on his stomach and moved on.

Look how round Totoro is!

I wasn’t sure if Makkurokurosuke meatballs were enough for my boyfriend, so I made asparagus wrapped with bacon and put it on the side of Totoro. I was worried that it was already getting very crowded… But I wanted to make sunflowers to make the bento summery. So I made an egg sheet (see “how to make egg sheets”) and made sunflowers. I put sunflowers in and tried to put cooked asparagus as its stem and snowpeas as its leaves. But because Totoro was so big, there wasn’t enough space for the leaves. Then I made mini-Totoro with a hard boiled quail egg (see “how to make mini-Totoro”), and squeezed him into the bento.

I peeled the outside red part of fake crab meat, cut it to a crescent shape with a round cutter, and put it on a snowpea. Then I put black sesame seeds on the crabmeat to make it look like a watermelon.

I liked how watermelon came out.

I originally wanted Totoro to have his mouth open, but I realized that he was too small to have an opened mouth like Sleeping Totoro or Flying Totoro, so I ended up making him smile. Since there was no space for his ears, I cut dried sea kelp for the ears and stuck them in his head. I cut out fish cake for his eyes, seaweed for his eyes and nose, and cut dried sea kelp for his whiskers.

Poor Totoro's head is squished.

I was in a rush, and it shows. T_T

At this point, I noticed that there was a big empty spot on the top left part of bento. Since I didn’t put lettuce underneath the renkon, you could see the bottom of bento box, which is a big no-no for kyaraben. So I quickly made a dragonfly looking thing with cheese and fishcake and put it there to cover it up.

I wasn’t that happy with this bento because it looked very much like something I’ve made before, and I didn’t really like how Totoro looks in this bento for some reason. I really need to get back to my bento routine. Now that I have no more business trips planned for this year and the weather is getting cooler, nothing can stop me from bento-ing like crazy! I hope. 🙂

– rice mixed with black sesame seeds and plain rice
– fish cake, seaweed, dried sea kelp
– snowpea, fake crab meat and black sesame seeds for the watermelon

– quail egg, fish cake and black sesame seed

– meatballs, cheese and seaweed

– egg and sausage
– asparagus, snowpeas

Dragon fly:
– cheese, fish cake

Other food:
– renkon
– broccoli

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


bento #60: domo-kun August 4, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - anime.
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I was going to do a how-to on this and did a photo shoot on Sunday night, but it was getting late, and I was very sleepy & sloppy…
The croquettes didn’t look very good in the photos, so I decided to re-shoot some stuff again. I’ll post a how-to sometimes this week. But since I had already made them, I decided to use them for a quick regular-ish bento.

Bento #60: Domo-kun
Created and eaten on: 8/3/2009

I didn’t wake up early this day, and I was just going to put together a regular bento with a couple of Domo-kun croquettes. But the Domo-kuns were staring at me with their beady eyes, and I couldn’t resist but to make a little effort to make it look a bit nicer than a regular bento. (but not as complicated as a kyaraben)

First I put rice on the bento box.

YES, this is how much rice my boyfriend usually eats. His regular bento, like this one, might have a little more rice than a kyaraben (because a kyaraben has more non-rice food than a regular bento), but not by much. It may not look like the kyaraben I make has that much rice, but because the rice is usually molded in my kyaraben, it look like there’s a lot less rice than my regular bento. We both LOOOVE rice and eat a lot of it.

After I put rice, I put sauteed renkon (lotus root) on the side next to rice. I asked how many Domo-kun he wanted, and he said three, so I put three Domo-kuns next to the rice.

Looking a bit too crowded. Kind of like a Japanese train at rush hour.

Of course, there weren’t enough veggies, so I boiled broccoli, sprinkled salt on it and stuffed it around a Domo-kun. To brighten up the bento I added two cherry tomatoes with corns.

Rice kept falling onto Domo-kun, so I cut snowpeas with a diamond shaped cutter, and stuck them between the rice and Domo-kuns. I threw some frozen cut out carrot from the freezer (see “how to freeze carrot flowers”) to add more color.

But the rice was still more than half of the bento box… So I sprinkled black sesame seeds on top. It may look weird, but black sesame seed and a little bit of salt on rice is very common seasoning (?) for rice in Japan.

This is an amazingly half-assed bento. It probably took 30 minutes or so. Not sure this is considered a kyaraben, but since Domo-kun is a character, I thought “Oh, why not?” If I had more time, I definitely would’ve done something to the rice though. Not as exciting as my usual kyaraben, but just three Domo-kuns were cute enough to brighten up the bento.

– potato and beef croquette
– red pepper with cheese for the mouth
– cheese and seaweed for the eyes

Other food:
– rice with black sesame seed
– broccoli
– cherry tomato stuffed with corns
– renkon
– snowpeas

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

non-bento #18: rabbid sandwich August 1, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - non bento.
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My boyfriend eats a snack before he leaves for his kung fu class on Saturday, so I decided to make this.

Non-bento #18: Rabbid sandwich
Created and eaten on: 8/1/2009

I used the cutter I made for Rabbid bento and Rabbid cookies to cut out bread. I cut ham and cheese with the same cutter.

I also cut cheese for his teeth and eyes.



I wanted to make more, but I only had two slices of bread.

It took probably about 5 minutes to make this sandwich. It’s easy and super quick character snack! (charack?) Maybe I should make more cutters. 🙂

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