Thursday, March 15, 2018

Happy St. Paddy's Day Bento!

Green green green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, you guys! ☘☘☘ It's that green time of year; luckily there are lots of green foods to choose from. Too bad the protein has to deviate from the color scheme but maybe it's better that not EVERYthing is green...
Inside this cute green frog bento: stirfried chicken, baby bok choy and peas, tomato, strawberries, kiwi.

I made shamrock egg rings with green bell peppers (I looked for 4-lobed ones and sliced them about a half inch thick). You can fry the egg directly in the pepper ring and then put a lid on the pan to finish steam cooking. The rest of this Sistema bento contains: pesto spinach pasta, turkey bacon green bean rollups, a cucumber pot of pickled wakame (plus the cucumber balls), blueberries, strawberries and kiwi.

Hope you all have a fantastic St. Paddy's Day weekend! ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Happy ฯ€ Day!

We'll celebrate March 14 (3-14) with mini blackberry & raspberry pies in the kids' bento. I made the pies in jar lids, an idea I got from Sarah Michelle Gellar's book "Stirring Up Fun with Food" - they are the perfect teeny size to fit into a bentobox. Hope you guys have a great ฯ€ day!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Happy Girls' Day Pucca Bento

March 3 is Hinamatsuri, or Girls' Day in Japan. It's one of my favorite special holidays to commemorate in bento. I've made many, many, many Girls' Day bento in the past few years. This year Pucca stars in her own bento for the occasion, wearing bell pepper kimono and holding a radish fan. She appeared in a Santa suit for a Christmas bento a few years ago; she's so festive, that girl!

I missed making bento these past few months. MisterMan has been packing bento for himself and his sister so I have been taking a break from posting too. I want to keep up my bento chops though, so I will make sure to not be so remiss in the future.

Wishing our girls - and all our children - a healthy and happy year ahead. May their future be as bright as their smiles๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿป

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Smart Planet Home Glass Divided Bento Box!

Hello Bento friends!

Summer arrived a month and a half ago and instead of the lazy relaxing endless long days lounging at the pool and tennis club that I had envisioned, it seems like we have been going nonstop just as busy as before. Is it just me, or has summer vacation become super busy for you too?

Luckily, there's always time for bento! The good folks at Smart Planet Home have been kind enough to provide me with another cool lunch box that they thought I might like. You may remember I reviewed another box for them previously (check out my Ultrathin Saladbook review here). 

This one is called Pure Glass Bento Meal Container. It retails for $12.99 and is microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe (glass box only, not lid).

This one was intriguing to me because it is made of glass! If you're like many people these days, you may be conscious of the possibility that the plastic containers you're using are not good for food storage. Some might break, leak, stain, or leach chemicals.

The other cool thing about this box is that it is divided! Have you seen a divided glass box before? I don't think Lock & Lock has one available, and I have several from that company. Smart Planet Home has up to now mainly offered plastic boxes with all kinds of extra qualities like collapsibility, the option to reheat, meal planning kits, etc. 

So I was surprised to learn of this newest product. The final selling point is that the box comes with a leakproof lid, which locks with 4 latches and a silicone gasket. The box is heavyweight glass, which I assume is meant to safeguard against breakage by dropping, but it may be too heavy for young children to manage. In addition, at least for me and my fairly new unit, the latching mechanism was quite tight at first and almost too difficult to click on. It took some elbow grease to get the last one latched. Over time, it seemed to become easier to click locked. My 14 year old was able to do it without trouble.

Once it's on, the box is completely watertight. I packed a juicy fruit salad and a fresh green salad to go to one of my dreamy summery destinations, and there was no leaking of anything. Nice! It's on the large side (this one is advertised to have a volume of 52.8 oz or 1561 ml) so it would be ideal for a picnic bento or to bring snacks to share! The glass is sturdy and won't warp in the hot sun like some plastic boxes. The company offers more glass containers in different shapes, including an even larger divided glass bento box. You can check them out at their website. 

Have fun this summer and don't forget to pack bento! ๐Ÿ˜Š❤๐Ÿฑ

Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy Little Bento PBS TV Show "Lucky Chow" Episode now streaming on YouTube!

Hello Bento Friends! The show I told you about has aired this past month on PBS stations across the U.S. and now is viewable on YouTube, in case you missed it in your area. Click below to check it out! Happy Little Bento is featured on the program "Lucky Chow" Season 2 Episode 1: Trending Japanese. We appear at 8:25 - 15:00.
Thanks for taking a look! Happy bentomaking!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

PBS TV show Lucky Chow Season 2 Episode 1 preview trailer

Here is the new Season 2 Episode 1 preview trailer for the PBS TV show Lucky Chow, which will feature the Happy Little Bento family (well, 3/4 of us; me, MisterMan, and TinySprite). If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area you can catch the full episode this coming Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 9:30am on KQED. Hope you get a chance to check it out, and if you do, let me know what you think! Thanks! For other areas, please check your local PBS station listing: The show is called Lucky Chow and this is the first episode of season 2, called Japan: Food As Fetish:)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Happy Boys' Day Bento

Growing up in Hawaii, we called it Boys' Day - Tango no Sekku - (Girls' Day is in March) but it has evolved to Children's Day - Kodomo no Hi - since then. However, since I made one for TinySprite on Girls' Day, I'm making one for MisterMan now. His features a boy with a koi that symbolizes strength and determination as it swims upstream. ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐ŸŽ

In the bento: meatloaf, mixed grain rice, asparagus, carrots, raspberries, cara cara oranges, apple and cheese. Happy Boys' Day!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

BB-8 Bento

Happy Star Wars Day, or May the 4th Be With You!
A little light bento for TinySprite includes her current favorite polenta made with cornmeal, corn grits, and millet; steamed Okinawan sweet potato, little quail egg BB8, tomato, pickled cucumbers, lotus root, daikon and carrot; raspberries and mandarin.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Chef Bento Noodle Contest Results

Wow - so exciting and incredible to place first in the final 10 (of 172 worldwide entries) at the Bento & Co contest! Thank you, friends, for voting for my bento! I really am appreciative and honored! ๐Ÿ˜˜❤๐Ÿฑ

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chef Bento Noodle Contest by Bento & Co

Hello Bento Friends!

Bento & Co held a contest this past week for a Noodle Theme Bento. The contest is open to any and all, and it's a fun way to challenge yourself into making a bento using the ingredient or element called for. The company holds a similar contest every year with different themes, and I decided to enter this year (I also participated in a past contest here).

I was pleased and honored to have been selected as one of the ten finalists! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–
You can see the other nine finalists in the collage above; they are beautiful! The ultimate ranking of the 10 bento will be determined by public vote, meaning people like you! If you are so inclined, please click over to the Bento & Co website to view the entries in closeup, and cast your vote for your favorite. Voting is open until Wednesday! If you vote for me, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’•

While you're there, you can check out the super cute and practical bento and kitchen items offered in the shop. I love the quality and selection of the goods offered by this Kyoto-based company!

In case you were wondering, my entry is this one (top middle in the collage): Soba Totoro Bento! 
Hope you are enjoying a wonderful week so far! ๐Ÿ˜Š❤๐Ÿฑ

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Anpanman Turkey Burger PlanetBox Bento

Round sandwich thin in the square section. It works! And the PlanetBox Rover smushes it down just enough so Anpanman's face doesn't move around. Score! Turkey burger with melty Swiss, romaine lettuce, and varied tomato and Okinawan sweet potato decoration, An ombre selection of blood orange segments, a little cup of cottage cheese with sunflower seeds and granola, carrots, asparagus, and pickled lotus root. Oh and a tiny cup of arare (rice crackers). Happy Bento!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Lucky Chow Sizzle Reel Season 2 Preview

Hi Bento Friends!
Remember the time last summer when a film crew came over and filmed a bento segment with Happy Little Bento family? I blogged about the experience here.

It turns out they spent the rest of the year editing our shoot for a very interesting and varied Japanese food and cooking episode. Our bentomaking piece will be part of an upcoming episode in the second season of the PBS TV show Lucky Chow, which focuses on food and culture stories.

Here above (click on embedded video or link here) is the trailer preview for the season if you'd like to take a look. We show up at 1:23 for a few seconds (don't blink or you'll miss us)! It will air here in the bay area next month on our local PBS station KQED; you can check your local PBS listings for the scheduled airing dates in your area. :D