Monday, March 26, 2012

Bento and How to Make Tamagoyaki

Hi guys. Today's post has something new! I challenged a new attempt! You know what, I made a how-to video for the first time haahh! Too bad it turned out a bit too long so you'll be sick of watching, I know. Anyhow just check it out!

Here is the finished product Yuppi made. She loved demonstrating for the video instead of me. She always makes tamagoyaki this way, and I think it's a little different from the right way or mine. I usually don't use a turner or mirin. And I sometimes cook my tamagoyaki like an omelet or pancake. You can make yours freely and as you like, but by rolling up some thin tamagoyaki over and over, it comes out a fluffy and thick one. It may sound a bit difficult to make it, but I think this video shows that even my 12-year-old daughter can make it! That's why I thought I'd post the video. By the way, it's surprising for me that there are many fans of tamagoyaki outside of Japan. It's one of mom's home cooking here. There are so many variations of it. You can add a little of water or dashi (Japanese broth), which makes tamagoyaki soft and moist. And I sometimes add nori, red ginger, mock crab meat or cheese, etc for extra flavor. You find your favorite one!

This one is a bonus take (I'm sorry it's out of focus). I hope you enjoy it.



Friday, March 23, 2012

Rect Wooden Bento Box

I bought this box quite a while back but I forgot it. I like the nostalgic feel to it. But I need some more tries to get used to packing into the angular box. For this bento, I made simmered pork, tamagoyaki, and the roasty brown stuff is a potato gratin I over-burned as I was making other stuff lol.


Too bad Picnik is going to close soon. I hope we can use all the features on Google+ in the future! I've had a lot of fun with Picnik so far. So I played with a bento photo in honor of Picnik. This one is another bento in the same box above.



Back in 1950s

I forgot to write something important! There is a good replacement of Picnik! PicMonkey has pretty much similar features to edit your pictures. Here is one I played around with it!!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Folded Fried Egg Bento and Sweet Cookies

This bento contains two spiced and grilled chicken drumsticks, which are hard to see on aluminum foil though. And a fried egg, spinach namul, and tarako on brown rice. I normally fried an egg and folded in half, then dressed it with a bit of syoyu in the pan. I'm actually not a fan of normal fried eggs but love it this way because you can eat egg yolk and white at the same time. I feel it much yummier and easier to pack than a normal one. You can flavor yours as you like and make much faster than a tamagoyaki or boiled eggs. Give this a try when you are sick of tamagoyaki.

This is a kind of donburi dish, Tanin-don. Tanin means *not family* in Japanese. You know, *Oyako* of Oyako-don means family (parents and children) --- chicken and egg. As you already know, Tanindon is made with another kind of meat (pork or beef) and egg. Yes, neither pigs nor cows lay their eggs haha! If I have a chance I'll write a tanindon (and oyakodon) recipe.

As I mentioned on the last post, I pasted photos of my favorite cookie house here. They have such adorable cookies! I'm not big on cookies with super sweet icing, but they've really inspired me.






It's been a whole year since the earthquake disaster. Once again, thank you so very much for sending your thoughts at that time. I feel bad that I've been able to live as usual so far because the suffering of those affected is still lingering. I think I have to keep them in my mind on. Really feel regret that the nuclear power plant accident happened, which messed up this beautiful pure country. For all our children, we have to get back as soon as possible, safe and peaceful Tohoku, safe and peaceful Japan.

Lovely cookies!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Fried Shrimp Bento and Kawaii Stuff

Yesterday I made ebi fry (panko-fried shrimp) for bento. And After it, I fried some cut potato in the same pan, then dressed in a little tomato sauce, oregano powder and chili powder.

This bento is one I made a little while back. I cooked leftover fried shrimp (not panko-fried) along with eringi mushroom and beaten egg in shoyu broth. And of course rice underneath it.

What are these red weird things???

I have to share some pictures because most of you should like to see cute stuff. These two pictures below have been so popular where I posted them. So some of you've already seen them. These strawberries are the very best ones I've eaten in forever. Really.

These are our favorite that I get each time I go to the cake shop. The bear chan is made out of banana mousse and chocolate one. The bunny chan is made out of vanilla mousse, custard cream and raspberry puree. Yes! I gobble down these cuties omnomnom. They couldn't be any yummier!!
Scrumptious cuties

Look! Isn't this so friggin cute!?!? I discovered an adorable cookie house in the neighborhood! Besides their own homemade cookies, they sell so cute things some local craft artists made. I will post more pictures of them next time!



Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Spring-colored Bento and a bit of Photography

It's nice to get to blog after a while! I haven't made so many but bento photos have piled up. By the way, here we had the heaviest snow in 27 years this winter and every road has been terrible. But it seems like spring is getting closer bit by bit. Though, it'll be so long until I can view pink sakura blossoms. I've been in a pinky mood lately this shot came out sakura pink in color all around. The bento content is not pink at all though. I like this bento box, which is also from DAISO. I finally noticed that not expensive bento boxes always come in handy haha. Bento boxes themselves don't need to be gorgeous, right?

For this bento, I made tamagoyaki, patatas bravas, two onigiri and an iyokan orange cup.

This strawberry contains chicken soboro zushi, which is a layer of sushi rice, chicken soboro and omelet strips. And I added potato salad and ponkan orange to the bento.  

This green bento contains yakitori, spicy potato, scrambled egg on brown rice, and iyokan (as always). Fresh greens have been too expensive lately due to the weather. I've been eating potato dishes everyday haha!

There is pretty much the same photo here as the one above. I think I'll talk about photography a bit this time because I have enough time right now hehe. I'm not an expert at all but hope to share some tips about taking shots. If you are advanced you don't need to read this. Instead, could you share nice ideas you have with me? Well, guess what the difference between these two similar photos is? When I took the above shot, the sunbeam was a bit too bright and that was causing the dark shadows over the foods. Then I used thin polystyrene boards on the next shot to cut down the sunlight. That is this shot. The thin bright line is the sunlight that came out of the gap between the polystyrene boards. Which one do you like better? After all, I think it's a matter of preference haha!

While on the other hand, I took these shots in a bit gloomy room in the evening. Yuppi made some cupcakes for Hinamatsuri (Girls' Day) by the way. I had to photograph them without enough sunlight, but I didn't want to use lighting so I used the manual exposure control of my camera (which is a function every kind of camera has). I think many of bento makers have problems related to the lack of light. You can get brighter pictures even early in the morning by controlling exposure. The more you bump up the positive number of exposure control, the brighter pictures you will get, only the more easily camera-shake will get reflected on the pictures. To avoid it, a tripod and self-timer will help. You could get more clear pictures by using them. I think there are some inexpensive types of tripods out there. Maybe mine was 3000 yen or so... It might have been less than it. There are even ones you can buy for just a few hundred yen. It wouldn't hurt to have one.

Yuppi's cake
I hope all those celebrated Hinamatsuri had a wonderful Girls' Day!