Wednesday, August 26, 2015

End of Summer 2015

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Just wanted to say Hi and let you know I am doing well. It looks like the short summer is over and we are heading to winter already, how time flies!! Today I made for bento, sweet salty shoyu chicken, corn and red potato tossed with salt and butter, cabbage and carrot tossed with ume and mayo. These white-rice-looking things are noriben (nori layered rice). Just as always only simple dishes included.



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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Home Alone

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I'm now at home all by my self as the family is out of town. I am officially free free, woo hoooo! I'm so happy, but at the same time I feel kind of sentimental, thinking that in 3 years, Yuppi might leave home for college. This is the first time I feel this way. I never felt lonely when she wasn't home for a while for school trips or something. Child-raising time is much shorter than you think. Many thoughts and emotions are coming into my mind. I wonder how many bentos I can make for her in the future? Though, I really want to avoid a situation that I have to make her bento (and meals) forever haha!

Anyway I gotta make the most of ME TIME. Happy summer break!



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Monday, August 03, 2015

Keep on Bento

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The calendar has turned into August. Can you believe it?! Christmas is coming soon?? We are still having humid, rainy weather and it feels like the rainy season is still lingering around here in Hokkaido. I'm so missing the crisp air. In the meantime, I keep on bentoing, yes, keep on making, keep on packing, keep on eating of course haha! Hmmm maybe I have a lot to speak, but for some reason, don't know where to start. I'll be back soon. Happy summer!!



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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Pork Donburi

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Are there often those days you sleep in and feel like making nooothing? Plus you don't have any bento stashes, either. As for me, that's yesterday. Anyway I did my best. I first cooked rice, and then boiled some water in a pan and sliced half an onion. Then I parboiled pork slices in the boiling water and drained it. Placed it back with the sliced onion into the pan and dashed a little mirin, sake, shoyu and sugar over it and simmered for a while. Sitting in a chair, having a glass of iced latte I was spacing out in the meantime lol. Now that the rice and pork were done, I first put the rice in my favorite enamel container and waited for it to cool off. Then I topped the rice with the simmered pork, benishoga (red ginger) and half a shoyu egg that I'd made a few days ago. Phewww, voila!
2015-07-02
Although I thought there had been no bento stash, I just noticed that I'd had the last shoyu egg, fortunately.



While, today I made shoyu chicken (sauteed and quick-marinated in shoyu and mirin), and a cheese omelet. I found something veggy and jazzy was missing so I improvised carrot and common bean salad. Hubs didn't need his bento today and I only needed a little bit of salad for Yuppi's bento. I'm not a microwave cooking person, but I like how microwave ovens are good at cooking small amounts of food. I seasoned carrot and common bean julienne with salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds after microwaving. Most veggies turn out good with these three seasonings if you're a fan of the sesame oil flavor.
2015-07-03
Since I had cute, tiny cherry tomatoes, suggested that Yuppi get some of them in her bento. Unfortunately, she refused it. Geez...



Yuppi's roll cake. I'm now craving roll cake for some reason. I thought I'd post these pictures today. :)
Yuppi's roll cake



Yuppi's roll cake 2

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Tempura and Omusubi Dog

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Since I didn't go shopping yesterday I tried to figure out what to make for bento with only stuff I had on hand. There were some chikuwa and a sweet potato in the refrigerator and we all love tempura with them. I added black sesame seeds into tempura batter for sweet potato, and dusted chikuwa tempura with a bit of curry powder after frying. The rest of this bento, broccoli stem and chicken salad, an omusubi dog. I peeled broccoli stems and thin stalks, sliced and microwaved for a bit, combined with steamed chicken tender I had made last night, and then seasoned with ume, wasabi and usukuchi (light-colored) shoyu.
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Clinging



Lovebird couple



Blue bouquet

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bento Care in Summer

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In this bento are chicken karaage, fried sweet potato, cherries, asparagus tossed with ume and shoyu, shoyu egg halves and konnyaku. These days, I prefer simple karaage seasoned with only salt, black pepper and lemon juice to normal one with shoyu, garlic and ginger. Yuppi really is a big fan of karaage and always like this. *Mama, get me some karaage at konbini!* Since I'm not a fan of convenience store's karaage, I often need to make one for her. Every kid loves fried chicken, don't they? Yuppi is not a kid anymore though.
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For this one, I made tompeiyaki (okonomi-styled omelet), daigakuimo, broccoli stir-fried with ume, sesame seeds and salt, and a wakame omusubi.
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Asparagus and egg stirfry, pork slices tossed in shoyu and karashi, satsumaage (kamaboko) sauteed with shoyu, mirin and butter, and broiled mayo-cheese chicken tender.
2015-06-30



Of course, I didn't forget to put ice packs on these bentos. Today I want to write what I try to do besides ice packs to keep our bentos from spoiling.

1). Not to put raw vegetable (especially greens) on bento foods without dividers.
2). To use antibacterial foods and spices.
3). To drain liquid of foods well before packing.
4). To pack foods in bento boxes after cooling.
5). To use insulated lunch bags. (On a very hot day.)

These are not new and are common, but I still tend to forget to do. I decided to write down here as a reminder for myself.
As to antibacterial items, I sometimes use wasabi, karashi, umeboshi, mustard, vinegar, honey, etc as seasoning too.
It is said that the antibacterial constituents of karashi, mustard, wasabi, horseradish are so powerful and volatile a little addition of one of them to a bento food can cover the whole bento. By the way, for bento foods, I rarely use strong smelling stuff such as garlic.

So what are things you try to do for bento safety?



Our local Rilakkumas. Featuring the local products, ika (a squid) and marimo (a green moss ball).
Our local Rilakkuma and Korilakkuna



Adorable twins.
Okame twins



Primula juliana and lilly of the valley. From May.
Juliana and Lilly of the valley

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bento Unfriendly Season

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I have lots and lots of pictures to post, but for now, only a few of them. This bento is for today. In the bento are a shumai dumpling, broccoli tossed with okaka, oil and salt, syoyu pork (which I parboiled and then cooked in shoyu, mirin and grated ginger), and broiled salmon on rice.
投稿写真がいっぱいあるんだけどとりあえず今回はちょっとだけ。これはちょうど今日のお弁当。お品はしゅうまいひとつ、ブロッコリーのおかか和え、黒豚の生姜煮、焼鮭。
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It's the bento-unfriendly season right now maybe in the northern hemisphere, because of the summer heat. In Japan, plus the extreme humidity. There are some things I try to do in order to prevent bento foods from spoiling. I've never gotten any complaints from my family about their bentos spoiled. Not sure if it's just because they are insensitive or something and don't notice even if their lunches are spoiled though lol. Anyway, I think the shortest and easiest way to keep bentos safe is to use ice packs which come with cake. Keeping food cool after all. In addition to that, consuming food as soon as possible is also important. Next time, I'm going to write about some items as well that I try to use or not to use for bento to prevent bacteria from growing in bento boxes.
ちょうど今、お弁当にはちょっと大変なシーズンですね。多分北半球全域かしら。高温プラス湿度で食べ物の発酵指数が一気に上昇する様な気がします。幸いにも、今まで一度もお弁当が腐ってたっていう苦情を受けたことがありません。ただ単にあの人たちが鈍感で気付かないまんま食べてしまってるだけかも!? それでもやっぱりお弁当を安全に保つ為にいくつか注意している点はあります。一番手っ取り早いのは保冷剤を使うこと。ケーキに付いて来るやつを再利用。夏場は食べ物を涼しく保つ。作ったらなるべく早く食べる。これが優先課題。他にいくつか心がけていることは次回に!



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