Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Bento of the Year

It feels like ages since I made a bento! I had to make one this morning, even though it cut into some of my prep time for the two hour talk show I've been doing this week. I was having bento withdrawal, hee hee.

I actually woke up dreaming about bento ingredients, so I knew I had to take the time to make one today. Magic Round Bentos are always good to help boost your bento assembling confidence. Everything just fits better in a round bento.

In this bento: steamed edamame, tamagoyaki with chopped wild arugula from Triple T Ranch, two pork and veggie gyoza (I think they are Annie Chun's brand), a hand formed onigiri rice ball, and two rabbit apples carved from Walker's Apples Arkansas Black apples.

I bought these apples from Lee Walker himself, the patriarch of the Walker family, who have been apple growers in Sonoma County for many generations. Lee is awesome and loves all kinds of apples, but he will tell you straight out which varieties he can do without. Pretty awesome. The Walkers are often at the Saturday Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market.

Have a safe and happy new year! See you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sonoma Bento 100th Bento Winner!

Sorry I did not post this yesterday! Work has suddenly become very busy with a transition that will take much of my time between now and the new year. Most of my bentos between now and then will look like this:

Certainly not yucky, but not too fancy either. Leftovers bento with sauteed zucchini in the purple cup, slices of persimmon from Redwood Empire Farms, slices of cucumber, leftover pieces of ham, baby carrots, and a slice of watermelon radish from Wild Rose Ranch. I love this set of bento boxes from Paperchase! If you have a Borders Books near by, be sure to see if they have snack boxes and bento boxes from Paperchase.

And now the big announcement! I had to put together a spreadsheet of all the entries, since some people did not separate their entries into different posts. Wanted to make sure everyone got the right amount of chances to win! The winner of my 100th Bento contest is: ALICE WANG! Congrats! I hope you enjoy all of the bento goodies and I can't wait to see what fun stuff you come up with!

To everyone who entered: THANK YOU for following this blog and for being so excited about seasonal eating and nutritious lunches. Bento boxes are great for so many reasons, including this added benefit of meeting new people. :) Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pearls Before Swine Bento

There are lots of fun guests who come through the studios at the radio station where I work. And yesterday, one of my favorite artists stopped by to spread some holiday cheer. Stephan Pastis is the creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. He is just as funny in person as his characters are in the strip. I had him sign a few things for Christmas presents (thanks Stephan!) and I also made this bento box with my favorite character from Pearls: Pig!

In this bento: pink rice in the shape of Pig with nori eyes and nostrils. Also radishes from Crescent Moon Farms, baby carrots, steamed broccoli, and pork patties. In the upper compartment: a mandarin orange from Twin Peaks, walnuts from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, and toffee made by my friends Kerry and Danielle.

Here's me and Stephan with the Pig bento. I think I like Pig the best because he is so gullible and innocent. I am pretty gullible, but not so innocent. Also, Pig tends to see the silver lining and I try to do that too.

Mmmmm, tastes like Pig ear. :)

Thanks to everyone for entering my 100th Bento contest! You still have a day to enter, and I love reading all of your suggestions for winter bentos. Now I have lots of ideas for when I get stuck. :)

Also, if you are on Facebook, CasaBento is hosting a best holiday bento contest. A few of us are finalists and would love your vote. Sheri of Happy Little Bento, Crystal of Adventures In Bentomaking, and me, Michelle of Sonoma Bento. Head to CasaBento's Facebook page to vote for your favorites.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Ol 100th Bento Blog Post

Cue the marching band! Bring out the dancing girls! Today marks my 100th Bento Blog Post! I am so happy to share this milestone with you. I started on this fun bento journey in April this year after spying some amazing bentos created by Sheri of Happy Little Bento online. I wanted to try bento lunches for myself, and incorporate the wonderful produce and artisan foods of Sonoma County. So far, I have made some great friends, learned new recipes, found a great outlet for my creative nature, and donated to the Redwood Empire Food Bank to help the hungry in my community. For every bento blog post on Sonoma Bento, I donate $1 to my local food bank. I was inspired by Susan Yuen of Hawai'i's Bento Box after I saw how she donates to her local food bank. We are so lucky to be able to create nutritious and cute lunches with a variety of delicious and seasonal foods. It is important to me to remember that not everyone has this same luxury. I encourage you to find a way to give back as well. You can donate to Redwood Empire Food Bank online, or choose to help the hungry and less fortunate in your own community.

Woohoo! In this bento: purple rice (naturally colored-it's a mix of Purple Forbidden Rice blend and white sushi rice cooked together) with a provolone and cheddar cheese 'cake' and nori and cheese candle, plus cheese 'confetti'. In the upper compartment: steamed broccoli, a radish, glazed mochiko chicken pieces, and roasted acorn squash from Ma and Pa's Garden.

To celebrate my 100th bento blog post (and coincidentally I also made it to 20,000 hits on my blog today!) I am giving away some cool stuff. You can win this cutie bento box plus the Angry Onigiri Bento Box Strap (made by me)! (The box in this photo is my bento box, but you will win an identical, brand new one.) See more cute bento box straps in my online etsy shop here.

One of my favorite bento making tools is my microwave steamer. I use it all the time for broccoli, edamame, dim sum, and other items that need to be steamed quickly. You will win this brand new one!

You will also win this craft punch to make cute faces from nori, and a set of three veggie cutters.

Here are some darling animal shaped picks that you will win, to make your bento box lunch very kawaii!

And last but not least, your very own copy of my Sonoma Bento 2011 Calendar! It's filled with adorable bento box photos along with monthly tips for making cute and nutritious bento lunches. You can order your own copy at to send to friends!

So how do you win this amazing pile of goodies?!? Glad you asked. There are a few ways to enter, so please read the directions carefully. This contest is open to EVERYONE. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. GOOD LUCK and thanks so much for following my bento adventures.

1. This part is Mandatory. You MUST be a follower of my blog. To follow my blog, simply click the Follow with Google Friend Connect button on the right side of this page, or click the Follow link located at the upper left corner of the blog. Leave a comment telling me that you follow the blog and what your Google ID or Blogger ID is.

2. Mention this giveaway on your own blog or twitter account for a second chance to win. Just post a comment here with a link to where you mentioned my contest.

3. Follow Sonoma Bento on twitter. Leave a comment to let me know that you follow me on twitter.

4. Follow Sonoma Bento on facebook. Leave a comment to let me know that you follow me on facebook.

5. For a final chance to win, leave a comment here telling what winter foods you like to pack into your lunches.

Please leave separate comments for each of your entries. Entry deadline is Sunday, December 19th, 2010 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be selected randomly from entries. Good luck!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Polar Bear Bento

This is my 99th bento blog post. Who knew I would make it this far after only finding out about bento box lunches this year?! I am so excited to hit the big #100 (for many reasons) and so here is a fun polar bear bento as number 99.

The polar bear is a little onigiri rice ball with nori face details, and a cucumber skin and radish skin holly detail on her ear. Also in this bento box: steamed broccoli, apple 'rabbits' made from Lambert's Apples, half of a radish, baby carrots, and a homemade pork patty.

I also did some festive nail art last night. This is a plum colored polish for the base, then an awesome holiday sparkle polish from OPI on top. On my thumb I drew a holly leaf with a few little berries (you can barely see them). I did it while watching the movie Inception, which I am still trying to puzzle out. What a trippy movie!

And finally, I made this little video of the first ever Bento Christmas Carol! Special thanks to dragonmamma for her edamame lyric suggestion. I hope this gives you a little chuckle. I am sure it will be the big hit of the holiday season. :)

Stay tuned for my 100th bento post! There will be a big celebration and a fun giveaway. Maybe even cake! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Meat and Potatoes Bento

My hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He still refuses to eat any bentos, except for the Non Food Bento I made a while back, which featured Slim Jims and Ho-Hos. Sigh. But I think he might go for this bento, which includes potatoes and his favorite: meatloaf.

In this bento: a slice of meatloaf (I use a recipe from the America's Test Kitchen cookbook), baby carrots, boiled potatoes, raw broccoli, slices of watermelon radish from Wild Rose Ranch, walnuts from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, and a mandarin orange.

This was a leftovers bento, and it came together really quickly. I didn't do any cute elements, but I think that the colors look good together and the balance of nutrients is quite good. And my husband might even eat this one... that is, if I made one like it for him. This one was all mine! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Edamame Xmas Tree

O Edamame Tree, O Edamame Tree, How Lovely Are Thy... Beans? Hmm, gotta work on that one. This is a quick snack sized bento I made this morning with edamame beans.

In this bento: snowy white rice, edamame beans in the shape of a Christmas Tree with a bit of apple for a star (apple is from Lambert's Apples), a pork patty, cucumber slices, and radish "ornaments". I packed another patty and the rest of the apple to go with this bento, since it is pretty tiny.

I made the pork patties with leftover meat from the meatloaf I made this weekend. I don't have an exact recipe, but I used ground pork, two saltine crackers, an egg, soy sauce, pepper, toasted sesame oil, grated garlic and grated ginger, chopped parsley, and Sweet Lemongrass Curry spice mix from The Savory Spice Shop. Meat patties make great bento stash, just freeze them and then pop them into bentos for an easy protein source.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ham Hock n' Beans Bento

Note to self: if coworker ever offers some of her pig products again, be sure to take her up on the offer! I am a lucky duck! One of my coworkers has chickens, pigs, and lamb on her property, and she had some left over cuts of meat that she was trying to get rid of. She asked if I would like to take some smoked ham hocks off her hands. Hello?! Um, YES!

I used the ham hocks together with some heirloom dried beans from Crescent Moon Farms to make amazing ham and beans. I am not sure if I have ever made anything tastier! My hubby and I ate this for dinner, and there was enough to have some for left overs for a few days. And bonus, I still have two pieces of ham hock in the freezer, so I can make this again!

In this bento: ham and cheese sandwiches on baguette slices, a mandarin orange, watermelon radish 'flowers' from Wild Rose Ranch, boiled new potatoes, carrots, and steamed green beans. In the background is the small container with the ham hocks n' beans.

Closeup of the delicious ham hocks n' beans. The beans kept their beautiful speckled markings.

Happy me with my frozen smoked ham hocks!

If you see jars of these beans (or other dried varieties) at Crescent Moon Farms at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market, be SURE to snap some up!

Recipe for Ham Hocks and Beans

1 cup dried beans (best to use this year's batch!)
1 smoked ham hock
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrots
2 minced cloves garlic
2 bay leaves

Pick over beans to make sure there are no pebbles or other debris in them. Place beans in a pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Put pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil beans for two minutes, then cover pot and remove from heat. Allow beans to soak for 1 hour. Pour off soaking liquid. Add thawed ham hock, onion, carrots, garlic, and bay leaves. Add water to pan to nearly cover ham hock. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 hour. Check beans to see if they are done. Carefully pick meat from ham hock and add to beans, discard leftover ham hock bone and grisle. Serves 4 to 6.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Salad Nicoise Bento

I just received my prize from the Food Ninja contest ("It's a Major Award!") and I am thrilled with it. It's a ManPans frying pan with a lid. This puppy is really well made and heats up super fast. I decided to break it in with a Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe and it came out really well. I made steaks with baslamic dijon sauce, boiled new potatoes with herbs, and steamed green beans with lemon and butter. Today's bento uses leftovers from that meal (not the steaks, we scarfed those down).

In the large container: a hard boiled egg, tuna in oil, boiled new potatoes with herbs, and steamed green beans. In the smaller container: a mandarin orange, walnuts from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, and a Ghirardelli chocolate. The bento boxes are from a set of four that I picked up at Border's Books.

Here's the ManPans frying pan in action. It heated up really fast and kept the heat well. Normally my burners have cool spots in the middle, but this pan heated up evenly across the surface. And the sauce came together in a flash.

Here's our dinner. This sauce was really tasty and super easy. I recommend checking out Martha's Everyday Food section for easy dinner ideas. And big thanks to La Fuji Mama, Bella Limento, and Salty Seattle for hosting the Food Ninja contest.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Itty Bitty Taters Bento

Today's bento features cute little potatoes I got from Armstrong Valley Farm. Tom grows really great tubers and other veggies. I love his beets, garlic, and greens. These little taters are super tiny and were fun to prepare.

This bento contains: steamed edamame, tamagoyaki omelette, steamed broccoli, apple pieces and an apple "rabbit" made with apple from Lambert's Apples, and boiled potatoes tossed in a taragon vinaigrette topped with sauteed orange pepper from Quivira Winery and Farms.

My buddy and I have reviewed another Santa Rosa restaurant on our blog: Two Girls, One Restaurant. This time we went to a sushi restaurant in Railroad Square. Be sure to check it out and follow us, especially if you are in the Bay Area or plan a visit to Sonoma County.

I added this bento to Shannon's What's for Lunch Wednesdays Blog. Check it out for great bento ideas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Onigiri

It is super COLD today, and I am wearing a scarf while I write this. Today I am featuring a bento I made about two weeks ago. I needed a Christmas-y image for my super awesome bento calendar.

In this bento: an adorable handshaped onigiri rice ball with a pink egg sheet hat with a cheese tassle, and nori facial details, slices of chicken sausage, steamed broccoli, and various cheese and egg sheet stars and snowflakes. I made the egg sheet by following tips from Lia at Bentolicious. Her tips section is really great, I highly recommend checking it out.

As I mentioned, this image is featured in my brand new bento calendar. It's filled with fun bento images and bento tips for each month. My copies arrived yesterday and I could not be happier! The quality of the paper and construction of the calendar is excellent. I really love and have used them multiple times for custom t-shirts, post cards, and more. Today is the last day to get 40% off of calendars, so if you want to pick up the Sonoma Bento 2011 Calendar, today is the day to do it! Use this code at checkout for the 40% discount: 40CLNDRS2011 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crepes Bento

Today a bunch of twitter friends having a little Twitter Food Party. It's fun: we agree on a dish, and then everyone makes their own version of it. Today it's PANCAKES! You can be loose with your interpretation, like savory or sweet, and also different cultures come into play. I thought about Pfannekuchen (a German pancake with fruit - sooooo good), but I settled on crepes.

In this bento: crepes (filled with thinly sliced white mushrooms, provolone cheese, and roasted turkey breast), baby carrots, roasted brussel sprouts with walnuts from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market and Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese, flower shaped watermelon radish slices from Wild Rose Ranch, 'rabbit' apples from Lambert's Apples, and some steamed edamame.

I got this bento box at Borders Books this past week. I saw Sheri of Happy Little Bento post some pictures of their new bento boxes (made by Paperchase) and I just had to go out and get it. This is actually the largest of 4 boxes, each nesting inside of the next. Each one has a different little xmas image on top. So darling! And I got four bento boxes (yes, the small one is pretty small) for 10 bucks! Woot!

If you are on twitter, check out #twitterfoodparty for all of the fun pancake dishes today. And join us next time for foodie fun!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Expelliarmus Bentokus!

I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 yesterday. It was pretty exciting, and I wore a temporary scar tattoo on my forehead, along with my plastic Harry Potter glasses. Yes, yes I am a huge nerd. But it's so much FUN! The movie was good, although that Harry and Hermione kiss came out of left field and made me feel bad for the 9-year-old kid who decided to celebrate his birthday at the theater. His poor little friends will be scarred for life. To commemorate the beginning of the end, I had to make a Harry Potter bento. ~8-)

This is the younger (kinder, gentler) version of Harry when he was just a little wizard at Hogwarts. Harry is made of onigiri (rice balls) with nori covering the lower onigiri, and nori for the hair, glasses, and eyes. His scar is drawn on with food coloring pens, and his mouth is part of a pink egg sheet. (It was my first try at egg sheet and it worked ok, gotta try again soon.) Harry's Gryffindor scarf is cheddar cheese and bits of red bell pepper. His wand is a pretzel stick with magical white pomegranate seeds (from De'Santis Farms) shooting out the end. There's steamed broccoli, a chunk of roasted delicata squash (from Ridgeview Farms), baby carrots, and a few Aidell's chicken teriyaki meatballs as well.

This bento also works for hapabento's November B.O.M.B. - this month the theme is Squash! I am sure I will have another bento that will fit the theme before November 30th. Check out the B.O.M.B. entries here, and be sure to submit your own.

BIG NEWS: I made a bento calendar for 2011! It's filled with lots of fun pictures of bento, and each month has a special tip to help make bento-ing easier. Check it out here! And if you buy the calendar before November 30th, it's 40% off! Use this code at checkout to get 40% off: 40CLNDRS2011

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Bento

Oh this one was so yummy! I have been using recipes from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast - a wonderful cookbook from Martha Stewart's minions. I say that because Martha does not write these books, her people do. I still love her, but I have to be realistic about these things.

This recipe is from the fall section (love cookbooks arranged by season!) and it was really easy to make. RecipeGirl also raves about this recipe and she posted it on her site. I had some leftover slices of pineapple that I did not roast along with the pork, and those slices ended up in this bento.

Besides the slices of pork and pineapple, there's a small onigiri rice ball that used up the rice we had with the dish, some cilantro sprigs (which are super tasty with pineapple), baby carrots, and fried padron peppers from Crescent Moon Farms.

And I wanted to take a second to introduce my brand new blog! My buddy CocoCarina and I started this hilariously named blog to review restaurants. We have one review under our belts, and will be scoping out a sushi place in the near future. If you plan on dining in the North Bay, be sure to give us suggestions for places to try, and check out our reviews before you dine. Check out Two Girls, One Restaurant here!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Godzilla Polenta Bento

Rrrawr!!! Godzilla Attacks Bento! Citizens flee in terror! Actually, this bento was really cute and fun to eat as well. I wasn't scared one bit... ok, maybe a little scared.

In this bento: teriyaki chicken meatballs from Aidell's, roasted brussel sprouts with Black Pig Meat Co Bacon, baby carrots, yellow bell peppers, white pomegranate arils from De'Santis Farms, and polenta in the shape of Godzilla.

I darkened the top of the polenta here in Photoshop so you can see the Godzilla shape a little better. I picked up the cutest little jello/custard mold at Daiso and I tried it out with a polenta recipe from Martha Stewart. It worked great! Click here to see Martha's very easy recipe for creamy baked polenta. It will firm up if you chill it in the fridge.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Flight Bentos

My lovely family came to visit this past weekend and we had a blast wine tasting, eating out, and shopping. It went by way too fast. But I saw an opportunity to make some in flight bentos for my mom, sis, and brother and had to do it! Debra of Hapa Bento makes them for her house guests all of the time, and I am so jealous of her guests! :) So I made these little snack bentos for my family to enjoy on their short flight from Santa Rosa to Seattle.

There's a heart shaped onigiri rice ball topped with a little spiral I punched out of nori seaweed in each box, plus carrot slices from Quivira Vineyards and Winery, red bell pepper slices, frozen Aidell's teriyaki chicken meatballs, and slices of persimmon tossed with lime juice to keep them from turning brown. The persimmon is from De'Santis Farms. I also used romaine lettuce and parsley (from Quivira) for decoration and to separate the different portions of the snack bentos.

As you can see, my family loved their snack bentos! And the meatballs had thawed by the time I presented the bentos, since I made them in the morning and then stowed them in the fridge until they had to leave for their flight. It was really fun to do, and wasn't hard to make three little bento snacks since I put them together in an assembly line kind of way. If you want to make in flight bentos for visitors as a parting gift, I suggest collecting a few disposable containers to use, so you don't have to part with a beloved bento box. I found these plastic containers at Daiso, but berry containers are great for this use, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rock The Vote Bento

Whew, I am tired. We did special election night coverage last night and I was at the station until midnight, then I was so amped I couldn't go to sleep so I stayed up til about 2am. Totally dragging today. But we had a great show with lots of local politicos calling in. To celebrate, a bento made quickly with leftovers and a few stars in honor of a fun election day.

In this bento: bbq pork from G&G Supermarket, a fish container of soy sauce, rice balls with nori stars, steamed edamame, a slice of mango, a piece of parsley from Quivira Winery, grapes from De'Santis, and baby carrots. I love magic round bentos!

This bento also celebrates my win in the Food Ninja contest at It was SO MUCH FUN to put together a Food Ninja video, and I am thrilled to say that my video won in the video category. My prize: 10 Inch ManPan Saute Pan (4.5 pound) by! Woohoo! Also congrats to Sheri of Happy Little Bento for winning in the photo category. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. You ROCK!

This bento is also included in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesday blog. Check it out for great lunch ideas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quivira Bento

Living in Sonoma County sure has its benefits, like amazing producers committed to the land. I had the opportunity to interview the farm manager from Quivira Vineyards and Winery last night, Andrew Beedy. He was telling me about an event coming up at the winery on Sunday, November 7th celebrating the harvest and locally raised turkeys. I also interviewed a 4H youth grower, the leader of the 4H Sonoma County Heritage Turkey Project, and the leader of Slow Food Russian River. It was a packed studio! Andrew brought along some goodies from Quivira to showcase the amazing biodynamic farm there and the wonderful things they produce. I immediately started thinking about how to use them in a bento!

I decided to do something simple while I listened to the Giants game (!!) and cooked last night: frittata. So many possibilities! I used eggs, beet greens, and rainbow chard from Quivira to make this simple frittata. I also added a bit of Black Pig Meat Co bacon, because it's delicious, and topped it with cheese. I ate part of the frittata for dinner and saved the rest for today's bento. On top of the slices of frittata are a few nori flowers. There are slices of carrot and a sprig of parsley from Quivira as well. That parsley tastes AMAZING! I think I'll have to make some tabbouleh or salsa verde to really highlight its amazing flavor. There's a rice ball, a radish from Ridgeview Farms, grapes from De'Santis, pepper slices from The Patch, and an oak leaf shaped slice of pepperjack cheese.

It was nice to have this protein packed little bento so I can be fueled up for election night coverage. If there's still time where you live, GO VOTE!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fear The Sushi Beard!

Ha ha! Today is National Sushi Day in Japan and a few bento buddies are celebrating with a twitterfoodparty showcasing sushi. I have never made sushi rolls before, so this was a perfect opportunity to try it out. I have to say, for my first time, I think I did pretty well. And of course, today the San Francisco Giants could clinch the World Series in Game 5, so I had to make a Fear The Beard Bento! Two birds, one bento.

Fear The Beard refers to closing pitcher Brian Wilson and his playoff/World Series beard. It's quite the sight to behold and I am pretty sure he is dying it black with Just For Men dye.

The sushi portion of the bento has mango, coconut shrimp, and cilantro rolls, baby carrots, bbq pork from G&G Supermarket in Santa Rosa, a fish container with soy sauce, and a piece of broccoli.

The Giants portion of the bento has a Brian Wilson onigiri decorated with nori beard and ballcap, cheddar cheese bill, nori eyes, and bell pepper mouth. Also in this section: grapes from De'Santis Farms, purple bell pepper from The Patch in Sonoma, french breakfast radishes from Ridgeview Farms, baby carrots, and steamed edamame. I put a panda pick in the edamame to represent Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda for his wicked hitting skills.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Jack O'Persimmon Bento

It's the mad rush to fit in a few more spooky bentos before Halloween is over. I am following the trend of bentoists everywhere and turning more fruits and veggies into Jack O'Something-Or-Others. Today it's a fuyu persimmon.

In this bento: purple rice, a few Aidell's teriyaki chicken meatballs, steamed edamame, champagne grapes from De'Santis Farms, a few french radishes from Ridgeview Farms (it was their last farmers market this past Wednesday, goodbye until spring!), baby carrots, a Jack carved fuyu persimmon from De'Santis Farms, and two little Halloween candybars. Not that I need more chocolate or sugar today. My breakfast so far has been 1 Hersey's Nugget, 1 fun size Babyruth, and a handful of Bottlecaps and Sweetarts, and some coffee. Can you say JItTeRs?!

If you find persimmons at your farmers market, I suggest trying both the fuyu kind (which you eat hard), and the hachiya kind, which must ripen to mushiness before you eat it. Both are yummy, but the hachiya is more often used in baking.

And finally, please take a moment to vote for my entry in the Food Ninja contest! There are a few bentoists who have entered the Food Ninja contest and we would love your vote so we can win some cool kitchen swag. Debra of hapabento and Sheri of Happy Little Bento have also entered. Voting ends on Saturday, October 30th, so please take a moment to vote now, thanks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Food Ninja Vote

I am so excited that the voting for the Food Ninja contest has begun. Three fantastic food bloggers put out a call to all Food Ninjas (basically anyone who does anything rad in the kitchen or with food), and the voting has begun! I entered a Food Ninja video, showcasing my bento making skills. Here is the video, I hope you like it!

I had so much fun making this video and the resulting bento. My 10-year old stepdaughter did the photography/filming at the farmers market, and I made my hubby do the "unsolicited" testimonial at the end. The Japanese subtitles say silly things like "Don't Try This At Home" and "My Wife Is Crazy!" I filmed each of the video segments while speaking German, just to make sure my overdub wouldn't match my mouth. It took about 3 days to put this together. And serious thanks to Sheri of Happy Little Bento for her inspirational Ninja Egg. Sheri rocks!

You can head to right now and vote for the best Food Ninjas in each category. I would really appreciate a vote for Sonoma Bento in the video category. And you can vote for other bentoists as well! Debra of hapabento entered in the blog category, and Sheri of Happy Little Bento entered her awesome Ninja Egg bento in the picture category. Voting ends on Saturday, October 30th so please head over now to vote.

And just for fun, here is a Froggie Bento I made for my stepdaughter this past summer. I got the inspiration to make it from the Yum Yum Bento Box book by the wonderfully talented Pikko and Luckysundae. It's similar to another Froggy bento I made at the same time, but just slightly different. Have a great weekend, GO GIANTS!