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bento#53 google chrome bento June 11, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - american.
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A little while ago, I received an email from someone who was doing a promotion for Google, asking me if I wanted to participate in a promotion for Google Chrome. The event was called “make the Google Chrome icon,” and he’d seen my bento somewhere and wanted me to make the Google Chrome icon with food. There were three conditions: the first was that I had to keep it secret until they began the event. The second was to make the Google Chrome icon with food.  The last condition was that I had to videotape myself making it.

Bento #53: Google Chrome bento (actually it was “Bento# 48.5”)

Created on: 5/17/2009

See my video and other entries on the “Make the Google Chrome icon” event page!

As I told the interviewer on Wired.com, I lack of finesse. That’s why it takes a long time for me to make a bento, and I wouldn’t make good how-to videos. So I was kinda reluctant to do this project at first, but my boyfriend was excited about it. Fortunately, he is a video editor, and the video needed to be only a couple of minutes. So I said I’d do it if he’d make everything look pretty, and he said “of course! :D”

Usually, my boyfriend is not allowed in the kitchen when I make bento. The main reason is that I like keeping each bento a surprise, but another reason is that the process of making bento isn’t as impressive and exciting as the final product.

I had a rough idea of what I’d do, but the bento box I use is a rectangle and Google Chrome icon is a circle. I doodled some flowers and bugs around the logo’s sketch, and I began making it.

I’m not going into too much detail since you can see that in the video. But, since I’m moving pretty fast in the video, I’ll just write what I did. First thing I did was to soak a hard boiled egg in red cabbage juice for the blue orb in the center. (see “how to dye eggs naturally”) I boiled broccoli for the green part, pan fried red peppers for the red part, and scrambled an egg for the yellow part.

Then I proceeded to make asparagus wrapped in bacon, sausage sunflowers (see “how to make a sunflower”), and cut snow peas. And I cut one side of ham, rolled it and made flowers.

After most of the ingredients were ready, I used a plastic bottle to mold the rice into a circle (see “how to make Totoro sandwich” for the plastic bottle cutter), and put broccoli, red pepper and scrambled egg on the rice. Then I put black sesame seeds between each color to make the black line. Finally, I put the dyed egg in the center, and carefully removed the plastic. It was nerve-wracking  to remove the plastic. I was worried that the red pepper or broccoli or scrambled egg or rice would come apart, but it held up. Phew!

Red pepper on the edge of a cliff

Then basically I just tried to fill in the spaces with everything I made, looking at the color of each food, trying to balance it out.

To pretty up the bento, I made a ladybug with seaweed on a cherry tomato, and a bee with seaweed on cheese.

A lady bug!

A bumble bee!

Looking back now, this bento seemed so easy to make. In fact, it was far less complicated from other bento I make. But when someone’s watching & video-taping me while I’m making something was very… different from what I was used to, and I felt like it took a lot longer than it should’ve taken.

I was exhausted when I finished making this, and I wasn’t sure if I was 100% happy with it. But then my boyfriend used a little magic, and voila! In the video, I’m moving at the speed of lightning and look like I know what I’m doing. 😀 Not to mention the awesome music from Giant Robo. (It’s an epic anime show from the 90’s. It is composed by Masamichi Amano, performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.) I get chills every time I hear this music, and it’s playing on the video of me making a bento! How amazing is that? My boyfriend used to work for a company that made trailers for movies, and he’s got mad skills. 🙂

I want to thank Jason for putting this event together. I guess this bento is considered a “requested bento” or “how-to bento” and it’s something that I would rarely do. But honestly, I wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t ask me to make a video of myself making it. I mean, my boyfriend and I use Google but it’s not like it’s a video game or anime. (we’d often imagine how cool it’d be to work at the Google office, though. :P) But I love a challenge, and I was also curious to see how the bento making process would look in the video. Besides, now my parents can see and believe that I really make those bento. 😀

Ta-da!

See my video and other entries on “Make the Google Chrome icon” event page, or just go straight to the Google Chrome Channel on youtube.

Unfortunately, Google used the darkest part of my video (we were losing light) in the main event video which they put all entries together and edited into one video. =/ Oh well, but it was still tons of fun. 🙂

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

non-bento#11 M-O and EVE March 28, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - american.
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My boyfriend goes to kung-fu class on Saturday. He used to get a Vietnamese sandwich after his class and eat it at home. But after we moved in, he’d just come home straight and eat whatever we have at home to save money.

Today, he came home from kung-fu, and started organizing around the house, and cleaning the windows. We’ve been working pretty hard to settle down since we moved in, and he’s been definitely doing more work than I have. 😛 So I decided to treat him with in-house snack bento!

non-bento #11: M-O and EVE
Created and eaten on: 3/28/2009

When we went to see the movie, Wall-E, I noticed he almost squealed when M-O showed up. (Yes, he loves cute things, and he’s proud of it!) He even has M-O wallpaper on his computer. I always wanted to make M-O for him, but since I couldn’t make him for the Wall-E bento, I didn’t know what to do about M-O. Then, when I was making the Totoro peanut butter sandwich, I thought maybe a sandwich would be good for M-O.

There aren’t many details I have to explain for this. I used three slices of bread and peanut butter to make the head and body of M-O (I think his head was about 2 1/2 inch long, 2 inch high). I cut a little piece out of the top layer of bread and put the crust of bread for his eye part.

I used a small circular cookie cutter to cut a piece of bread left over after making M-O’s body and head, and cut the left and right side of the circle to make his arm. Then I just put a little bit of peanut butter on the arm, and stuck them on the sides.

Then I cut the crust for his cleaning roll. I used the part that had lines so it’d have a different texture than the crust I used for his eye part. I cut a cheese single for his eyes. You can put a half of cherry tomato on his head to put him in “Foreign Contaminant” mode.

MO!

I knew this wouldn’t hold his appetite until the dinner, so I decided to add a boiled egg. I was going to make EVE like the one I made in the Wall-E bento, but that would require me to dying kamaboko (fish cake) for her eyes. Besides, it’d be kind of boring to make the same EVE, so I decided to make even simpler “EVE in hibernation mode (?).”

Directive!

After I boiled and peeled an egg, I cut seaweed for EVE’s eye part and put it on the egg. I took a small piece of lettuce and cut out a small circle using a plastic cap. Then I cut cheese with a straw, and cut the piece in half for the right and left side leaf of the “plant” symbol. Then I cut another piece of cheese with a straw and trimmed it for the middle part of the symbol. (I put a piece of bread underneath EVE to stabilize her for the photo shoot.)

This is not as complicated as Wall-E, but also the color is not accurate as Wall-E, so I’m not sure if kids will recognize it as M-O if you make it for them. If you want M-O to look more accurate, you can fry egg whites and cut it for the top layer of M-O’s head and body, and use seaweed for his eye part. You can also use cheese singles as his head and body. Not exactly as white as egg white, but it’s shinier than bread. I made this as a quick snack, but I’m still going to make a M-O kyaraben someday. 🙂

M-O:
– 3 slices of white bread (three layers of bread made the perfect depth)
– peanut butter
– cheese

EVE:
– egg
– seaweed
– lettuce
– cheese

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

bento#34 Battlestar Galactica February 7, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - american.
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I knew exactly what I was going to make this day. I had to make this on this day, no matter what.

Bento #34: Battlestar Galactica
Created and eaten on: 01/16/2009

Yes, this day was the premiere of the 2nd and last half of season 4 of Battlestar Galactica. (a.k.a. “BSG”) I had seen a couple of episodes of BSG when I had cable TV before I met my boyfriend. But I had already missed several episodes, so I decided not to watch it. Then I started going out with my boyfriend and he kept telling me how good the show was. He had, of course, boxsets of BSG, so we did a marathon on it in 2~3 weekends. I love doing a marathon on any good shows. Watching it during broadcast is good, but then if there’s a cliff-hanger in the end of an episode, you’ll have to wait for a week… and I’m very impatient. BSG is a good show to marathon, because almost all episodes end with a cliff-hanger. I was so glad that I did marathon because I was totally hooked.

I thought of making a BSG bento before, but since it’s a drama and BSG is a live action show, I didn’t know how I’d make it. The only thing I could make from the show would be… a Cylon! The Cylons were created by humans as cybernetic workers and soldiers, in other word, a robot.

The Cylon is gray, so I dyed rice with black sesame seed. (see “how to dye rice naturally”) The shape of its head looked complicated, so I drew the head on the piece of paper and marked which part was raised and which part was lower. Then I put plastic wrap over the drawing and shaped the rice into the Cylon’s head. Of course, I couldn’t sculpt the details with rice, so I cut seaweed for the shade on the face, and put it on the face/head. I sliced carrot, and using a straw cut out a tiny circular shape and put it on as its eye.

If you’ve watched BSG, you’d know this…  (it’s hard to explain if you’ve never watched BSG) but in BSG “everything has its corners cut off.” Meaning, anything that normally has four corners has “eight or six” corners in BSG. (Paper, picture, dogtags, etc…) So I made Japanese style hamburg and rice into an octagonal shape. The rice ball (?) didn’t look too convincing, so I cut seaweed into an octagonal shape and put it on the rice. Then I realized that the bento box also had four corners, so I cut ham on and put on the corners, and cut/sauteed asparagus to put in the corners.

After that, I really had no idea what else I could do. The bento looked lonely and not finished…
I decided to make Cylon Raiders (fighter craft piloted by the  Cylons) with cheese singles. I had two different kind of cheese singles, so I made one as a normal Cylon Raider, and the other one for Scar. Wiki describes that Scar was a particularly vicious and elusive raider identified by a gash on the side of its “face”. It was very easy. I just cut the cheese using a circle cookie cutter and knife to make the Raiders.

Also I wanted to try something that I thought of doing while I was dying eggs for the how-to for my blog… to make Earth! (see “how to dye eggs naturally”) Finding Earth is the main goal of BSG, so I dyed a quail egg light blue with purple cabbage, and put tiny pieces of lettuce on it.

When I finished the bento, I looked at it, and thought it was too dark… Gray, brown, black and green. So I cut out pieces from leftover cheese and carrot with a straw, took out some edamame and sprinkled them all over the bento box.
I still wasn’t sure if it looked “sci-fi” enough, so I cut our cheese with a star shaped cookie cutter and put it in. I don’t usually do this, but because Cylon head has no expression, I thought it’d be even cuter to have star shaped cheese around it.

This came out to be a very simple bento, yet super nerdy. Of course, almost all my boyfriend’s friends got it and appreciated the details, but not that many of our friends at work knew what it was, and that makes this a good nerdy charaben. 😀

So say we all!

Cylon:
– rice mixed with black sesame seeds and salt (see “how to dye rice naturally”)
– seaweed and carrot

Cylon Raiders:
– cheese singles

Scar:
– cheddar cheese singles

Earth:
– quail egg dyed with purple cabbage (see how to dye eggs naturally”)
– lettuce

Other food:
– egg sheet as background (see “how to make an egg sheet”)
– Japanese style hamburg
– rice and seaweed
– asparagus
– ham
– broccoli
– edamame

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