Bento #33: Mid Autumn Festival

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you all!
祝大家中秋节快乐!

It totally slipped my mind that today is mid-Autumn festival. Life has been especially busy for us since we came back from a 2.5 months of summer vacation in Singapore, and kids went back to school shortly after. Now that the kids are more or less settled back to their daily routine, I re-started my long overdue de-cluttering project again. This time, however, I’m not just working around my home, but my mind too. 🙂

Anyway, here’s the impromptu lame attempt of a mid-autumn festival theme bento that I prepared for my daughter today. 🙂

mid autumn festival bento

Snack : steamed taro bun and apple (in case you are wondering, that is a chinese lantern pattern!)
Lunch: Char Siu (BBQ pork) rice

Back to school! (Bento #42)

My firtborn is now a 4th Grader! How time flies!!

To make her first day of school a special one, I started doing my research on pinterest (Join me if you haven’t do so!) for inspiration and made this back-to-school bento yesterday. 🙂

Lunch box:
back-to-school bento

Contents:
Fried rice wrapped in white egg sheet, school bus made with cheese, grapes and homegrown cherry tomatoes. 🙂

Snack box:
back-to-school bento

Contents:
Pencil shaped cheese stick (decorated with nori), Kueh Lapis (aka thousand layer cake which I got from Singapore. 🙂 ), apple and a book origami lunch box note.

If you are interested in making the book origami for your little one, here’s a pretty good tutorial video. Check it out!

Bento #41: Apple Galette

Overdue post… :p Made this bento last October, and only get to post this up today. LOL.

IMG_7334

Lunch box: Ham and lettuce wrap with strawberries.
Snack box: Apple Galette and raspberries.

Made the apple galette when it was apple season. I was craving for the Apple Galette, that my friend D made from scratch, using the test kitchen’s recipe. Of course, being the lazy SAHM, I cheated and made a simpler and fuss free one with store bought puff pastry. To be honest, unless you love homemade and like to experience making things from scratch, I would say… skip the work, just use the store bought pastry! There is really just a slight difference in taste and texture. 😉

IMG_7330

Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients:

1 pkg of store bought puff pastry (make 6pcs)

Apple filling and Glaze:

Apples (2-3 medium size) – slice thinly, about 0.5cm thickness.

2Tsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces

1/4 cup sugar (may be reduced according to your preference)

2Tsp apricot preserves

1Tsp water

Instructions:

1. Unroll the puff pastry on a floured parchment paper and dust with  more flour. If you like, you can roll one full sheet into a rough rectangle about 12×5″ long or do what i did, cut the dough where the folds are and make them into individual sized galette. 😉

2. Roll the sides of the dough up to about 1-2cm and pinch the sides to create some kind of border. Then, gently prick the dough with a fork several times to prevent puffing.

3. Now, it’s time to assemble the fillings.

Arrange the apple slices, starting in one corner, shingle the diced apples to form an even row across the bottom the dough, overlapping each slice by one-half. Continue to layer the apples in rows, overlapping each row by half. Dot the apples with butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until bottom of the tart is deep golden brown and the apples have caramelized, 45 to 60mins at 375F.

4. To glaze the galette

While the galette is baking, combine the apricot preserves and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium power till the mixture begins to bubble, about 1min. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any large apricot pieces. Brush the baked galette with the glaze and cool on a wire rack for 15mins. Transfer to a cutting board and cut them into individual portion, serve.

Bento #39-40

Made this simple ‘doggy sausage bun with orange slices’ snack box for the girl when she had an early release school day two weeks ago.

IMG_7177

Sweet buns is one of my favorite ‘make ahead’ snacks for the family. This recipe I used is very versatile. It can be made into sweet or savory treats, and because they freeze well, I always double the quantity and stock them up in the freezer. My kids favorite sweet buns fillings are vienna sausage and red bean paste.

Bento #40
IMG_6996
Lunch content: Chives and Egg sushi, corn and baby carrots.
Snack content: Flower shaped toast bread with sausage, orange, carrot and grapes.

The chives in the sushi and baby carrots are from my garden and I got the corn from our local farmers market. 🙂 This year I have been quite good in making healthier choices for my family. I hope to add more vegetables and fruits to our diet. 🙂

Bento#38: Back to School!

How time flies! My first born is now a 3rd Grader! This year she is finally eligible for the free bus ride to school. Boy was she excited.

So, for her lunch, I made her a school bus sandwich. I got the idea from pinterest. Sorry, can’t remember who shared it!

IMG_6974

Lunchbox content: Ham and Cheese Sandwich, baby carrots and grapes

For her snack box, I decided to make it a school themed.
IMG_6973

I carved the ABC on the apple, made a pencil out of mozzarella cheese stick and folded an origami book lunch box note (in it, some jokes to lighten up her first day of school. :)) and added some crackers and baby carrots.

The girl was really happy with her lunch and snack box, she polished off them clean! 🙂

Bento #36 & #37: Easter themed – Rabbit & Chick!

Simple Easter themed bentos that I made for the girl last week…

#36: Easter Rabbit

Easter Rabbit themed bento

Snack box: Rabbit shaped nutella sandwich, grapes and blackberries.
Lunchbox: Roti Prata with Egg and blackberries
Time to prepare: <15mins

#37: Easter Chick
Easter Chick themed bento

Snack box: Chick shaped cheese sandwich, kiwi and blackberries.
Lunch box: Egg and Ham pinwheel sandwich, grapes, blackberries and mandarin orange.
Time to prepare: <15mins

Bento#35 : Teasing

IMG_1572

This morning as I was packing the glutinous sticky rice lunch for the family, I casually told the girl that I will be making sandwich lunch for her instead because I was worried that the Chinese sticky rice kind of smells and may cause her embarrassment or make her a target of teasing at lunch. Upon hearing what I said, she told me,”Mama, It’s ok for people to say whatever they want to. I love sticky rice and I do not think it smells. If anyone says anything about my food smells, I will tell them that my food smells good and it is nutritious and very yummy and that they are just being rude.” Wah…. U can’t imagine how happy I was and how proud I am of my daughter! Seriously, i never expected those words from her!

I never mentioned it before here, but since beginning of the school year, my little second grader has been a target of bully at school. A girl from school always give her unexpected hostile or mean treatment. There are many instances where the girl just walked up to my daughter with a very crossed look (when my daughter did not do anything to/with her) and said to her something along the line “I’m so angry with you now but I don’t know why. Go away. ” And of course, my sensitive girl who sees friendship as a very important part of her life, would often come home crying about it.

We have been working with the teachers and also taking the opportunity to teach the girl how to deal with such kind of situations. For a while, the bullying did stop but these few weeks, we started to hear stories about that girl, passing teasing remarks about my daughter’s bento smells at lunch time. Like the recent case, she complained about my girl’s lunch smells when all my girl had was just plain chicken nuggets with fruits. -_-” Sigh.

As we know, kids typically don’t discover their self-identity until much older, they would simply want to blend in with groups, well… my daughter is no different too. Because of that, I try to make a conscious effort in packing food that do not smell too strong so that she will not be teased at lunch time. I also try to encourage my girl to be more confident in speaking up for what she believes.

That’s why when she said those things to me this morning, I feel so happy and proud of her because she has finally learn to stand up for herself! 🙂 Ah… Just by typing this post, I feel so good again. Maybe I should go and look at the recipes in “MyDish” and find something to bake for her tomorrow! 😉

Bento #34: Dr. Seuss – The Lorax

Today is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, the girl requested a special Dr. Seuss’ snack box, so I made this simple “The Lorax” bento for her.

The Lorax Bento

Content: Cream Cheese and Strawberry Jam sandwich, Grapes

This bento only took me less than 15mins to make. The sandwich is just plain old strawberry cream cheese sandwich. I used two toned american cheese for the lorax cutout and applied more cream cheese to “glue” it to the sandwich. Since I don’t have any other materials (except the grapes) that I could use to make the pretty truffula trees, I added some flowers (using Picnik software) around the border of this bento.
Now this bento look more “The Lorax”-like, right? 😉

Bento #32-33: Valentine’s Day themed

Woo hoo!! I just realized that I can actually use some of my old craft ideas on my bento too!! This is such a great time saver for a lazy person like me who do not like to plan ahead of time. 🙂

#32: Froggy Love! Idea from thumb print froggy craft (I really love how happy those froggies looked!! 🙂 )

Valentines day themed Bento

Content: Cream cheese & Ham sandwich with Strawberries
Time used to make this bento: <15mins

#33: Heart-y Mice! Idea from the Heart-y Animals (2010) craft

Valentine's day themed Bento

Content: Cream cheese & Ham sandwich with Strawberries
Time used to make this bento: <15mins

Bento #30-31: Lazy day Bentos

When laziness strikes, this is kind of bento I would pack for the man…

IMG_0037
Egg and Ham sandwich with fruits.

Because the man doesn’t like his sandwich to turn too soggy at lunch, I always pack his bread separately in another box. He will assemble his own sandwich when he is ready to eat them. 🙂

Since this morning the kids were really cooperative by finishing their breakfast early, they get to draw something on the hard boiled eggs for their daddy. The boy drew a smiley face and a heart and the girl drew a flower. Hopefully the man felt our love for him when he had his bento lunch today. 🙂

As for the girl’s bento… Since Friday is “get Pizza lunch from school” day for the girl, I just packed a simple snack box for her.

Berries berries & lucky fortune cookie and lunch box note

Content: Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and a fortune cookie (to give her some luck with her friend who has been very difficult with her lately … Sigh.) and an origami heart lunch box note. 🙂

To cheer her up, this is the note I wrote for her to read at snack time…
IMG_0038

I’m pretty sure this note will help lighten up her mood when she gets to read it later! 😀