Monday, March 28, 2011

New (Kind of) Bento Box Bento

I am debuting my new pink "Floral Time" bento box today! It's not technically new, since I purchased it from someone on eBay who was selling her gently used bento box. I have been trying to win some of the awesome bento boxes that are part of the Bento4Japan eBay auction, but I keep getting outbid. WHICH IS AWESOME! :) I'll keep trying though, lots of great things are up for auction. Make sure that the Bento4Japan auction you are bidding on is donating 100% of the final sale price to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund - a GlobalGiving Project. There are (sadly) some people trying to profit from the Bento4Japan auction. You can easily tell if a bento auction is legit, because it will say that 100% of the final sale price is going to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund - a GlobalGiving Project. Find Bento4Japan items by clicking here.

In this two tiered bento: leftover udon noodles with veggies and leftover chicken, a few turkey and provolone cheese rolls, and slices of radish. In the lower tier: a char sui bao from Trader Joe's, steamed edamame, a few slices of red bell pepper, steamed Okinawan sweet potato (cut in a flower shape), and a little carrot from Triple T. The leftover noodles have some asparagus from Triple T (first of the season!!) and green garlic from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market.

And here's my cutie patootie new(ish) bento box. I just love it. PINK! And the flowers on the lid are so adorable. Have a great Monday, bento friends!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pasta Bento

Today's bento is made with lots of leftovers and little bits of this and that. The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I usually start running low on ingredients right before the next market day.

In the larger container: penne pasta mixed with green garlic from the farmers market, tasso ham from Franco Dunn, red bell pepper, onion, broccoli, and some leftover chicken drumstick. I tossed the pasta with a mixture of shoyu, lime infused olive oil, mirin, sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. YUM! In the smaller container: slices of pepper jack cheese, a tangerine, and little crackers.

One of the items I put up for the Bento4Japan auction on eBay sold today! Woohoo! This lovely bento starter kit is still up for bids. Please click here to make your bid, the auction for this set will be over in 1 day. We've raised over $1500 in one week! Find out more about Bento4Japan and how you can help by clicking here.

I've featured today's bento in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog. Check out more fun lunch ideas on her blog!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mother Daughter Bento-ing Part Three

We had a really stormy weekend in Sonoma County, and my step daughter and I were stuck inside all day on Saturday. My hubby had to work, so it was just us girls. We decided to make some fun bentos and work on decorating her new bedroom. We didn't have all of the supplies for her bedroom, so I had to finish it up on Sunday. The bentos turned out great though!

My bento has easter egg-shaped pink onigiri (one decorated with nori, the other plain), greens from Earthworks, baby carrots, a chicken drumstick, hard boiled quail egg and red carrot from Triple T Farms, small tangerine from Schletewitz Family Fruit Stand, pepper jack cheese butterfly, and a few slices of red pepper.

My daughter's bento includes: more pink onigiri, chicken drumstick, pepper jack duckie and butterfly, baby carrots, greens from Earthworks, tangerine from Schletewitz Family, and hard boiled quail egg from Triple T.

And this is her room! We are still looking for a different bedspread to go with the underwater theme. We did the 'waterfall' of tulle, ribbon, and fabric together. We also worked on the fabric wall stickers together (with an idea that I saw posted by ChantaleP ~thanks!), but the fusible web I got initially didn't work so well. I had to go back to the craft store and get a different kind.

The Bento4Japan eBay auction is still going on with new items added! Please bid or put up your own items for auction to help.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish O'Bento

Get it, O'Bento?? Ha ha! Anyway, Happy St. Patrick's Day! This is an international bento, filled with corned beef and cabbage.

In this bento: boiled red potatoes, boiled carrots, boiled corned beef (from Trader Joes), and steamed cabbage. Also a cute little green monkey pick, and a monkey container filled with some mustard.

Beverage Pairing Suggestion: Guinness, natch!

Our Bento4Japan ebay auction is going strong, with more items added and some great bids. Today I added a fun bento starter kit with a handmade onigiri bento box strap. You can add your own auction items, just be sure to put Bento4Japan in the title of the auction. Get more details on how you can help at the Bento4Japan website. We hope to raise lots of money for the people of Japan who are working to put their lives back together.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The bento community is working together to raise money for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund on ebay. So far there are signed bento books, bento starting kits, bento boxes, and a cute bento box felt strap with bento box that I posted. 100% of the sale price for these items will go to the relief fund. You can also post items on ebay, just be sure to use the words "Bento4Japan" in the title of your item, and select the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund as the beneficiary. And be sure to shop for items in this auction to help raise money for our friends in Japan! Raise money and make bento! It's a win-win.

Mils and Debra have put together a great website with all of the information about this international fundraiser at Bento4Japan. Thanks to Chantale for her efforts with graphics and to everyone who sells or bids in this auction!

In this bento: yakisoba made with broccoli, carrots, green garlic from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, cabbage, and chicken. Also in this bento: steamed edamame, a tangerine from Schletewitz Family Fruit Stand, and a few slices of pepper jack cheese.

We bought a ginormous block of pepper jack cheese, so I am guessing it will be featured in many bentos for the next month or so. :) This bento is also featured in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog. See what other bento makers are up to on Shannon's site!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Carrot Salad Bento

This past weekend I made matching bentos for my daughter and myself. She was at a church function during the morning, then we headed to a coworkers house to pick up some furniture for our new place, so I figured a colorful bento would be a nice treat during her busy day.

In this bento: a tangerine from Schletewitz Family Fruit Factory, a sweet pea blossom on a tatsoi leaf from Earthworks (a new vendor at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market), two Girl Scouts thin mints (!), carrot salad made with carrots, cabbage, green garlic from a vendor at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (I didn't get their name, sorry), and walnuts from the Sass Family, plus tamagoyaki made with a Sonoma Valley egg, tasso ham from Franco Dunn, and more green garlic. The lower compartment is just rice. YUM.

Here are our two bentos side by side. There's a little dish of my first attempt at tamagoyaki, which turned into scrambled eggs. :) Not enough oil in the tamagoyaki pan.

Green garlic from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market.

I have been keeping my eye on tweets by the amazing Maki of Just Bento, watching the events unfold in Japan. The world is a smaller place and my heart feels bigger today, making room for my bento friends and their families. Donations can still be made to help Japan in the aftermath of this tragedy. Visit your local Red Cross or try to help.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 8.9 magnitude hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan yesterday afternoon. Resulting tsunamis crashed into the coast lines. Many are dead, and the total damage is not yet known. Aftershocks, some of them quite large, continue to hit the country. I am praying for my friends in Japan and urge all of you to donate to the Red Cross relief effort. If you are in the United States, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. If you are not in the U.S. you can go to to find a way to donate.

Google has launched a Person Finder to help those trying to locate people in Japan, or those in Japan trying to get a message to loved ones. For those without emegencies, it is best to use twitter or skype to keep phone lines open.

I have 128 followers on this blog. If we can all donate just $10 we can make a good contribution to those who need it so badly right now, and in the coming weeks as Japan recovers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Char Sui Bao Bento

This is my 120th bento post, and that means it is time to donate to my favorite local charity: Redwood Empire Food Bank! For every 20 posts, I donate 20 bucks to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. That's a dollar per post. I like to think that my lunches are helping other people in my community enjoy a healthy meal as well. I was inspired to donate a dollar per post after seeing the wonderful example set by Susan Yuen of Hawai'i's Bento Box. She donates to her local food bank. Debra of Hapa Bento also makes donations for each bento post. We are a supportive community of bloggers, and it is great to see us making an effort to help others. I encourage you to find a charity you like and make a donation per post, or you can make a donation to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. For every dollar Redwood Empire Food Bank gets, they distribute $4 worth of food! They are very efficient.

Today's bento includes a char sui bao from Trader Joes topped with three nori hearts, a few baby carrots, steamed edamame, and fried rice with onion and carrots. I can't wait to go to the farmers market this weekend. I totally need to get more bento ingredients.

This morning I ran into dragonmamma at the grocery store! It was so fun to meet someone from the bento world in person. I know dragonmamma doesn't do bento so much, but she does have a fun blog and is in the midst of a fun 365 challenge: breaking a routine everyday. She's breaking habits left and right, and building new synapses along the way. It's really fun and inspiring, be sure to check it out.

Have a great day, bento pals!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Home Is Where The Heart Is Bento

Whew, that was a lot of work! We finally are in our new place, but still have boxes everywhere. I have pretty much located all of my bento gear, but I am sure I will continue to discover things here and there as we go through the boxes and put stuff away. Today's bento is my first one in 12 days! I missed it, and the yummy food for lunch. My hubby and I have been eating a lot of take out (which he is thrilled about) but I really long for homemade stuff.

In this bento: rice, a pepperoni heart with a cheddar cheese house, steamed broccoli from Triple T tossed with soy and black sesame seeds, sauteed shrimp marinated in lemon, soy, and honey, baby carrots, and radishes. I haven't been to the farmers market in two weeks, so I hope to be able to go this weekend and stock up the fridge with seasonal goodies.

I've included this bento in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog. Check it out for great bento ideas! I missed you guys!!!