Saturday, December 20, 2008

And the Winner IS.....

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville!

Thanks to everyone that participated. I plan to have another giveaway soon!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Grand Plans bento

Oh, I had grand plans for today’s bento. When I picked up the Monkey from school last Friday his nose was painted red and he had an antler hat on his head. I knew then and there that I was going to make a Rudolf bento come Monday. Never mind that I was cooking for a friend’s party on that same Monday, never mind that I was participating in a marketplace Saturday and Sunday night. It was going to be grand! Sweet potato snowflakes, broccoli trees with snowy branches and ornaments, wrapped presents under the tree, and of course a hand drawn gingerbread Rudolf complete with a bright red nose!

Yippee for cookie cutters.

top: veggie straws, strawberry & blueberries, edamame
bottom: sun-butter & jam sandwich, cheese snowman and trees (fruit leather accents), and 5 M&M's

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Win a Shinzi Katoh Stainless Steel Water Bottle!

I know you guys are out there, and I want to hear from you! Post a comment below to win your choice of these Shinzi Katoh Stainless Steel Water Bottles! I will pick a random winner in one week and will ship the item anywhere in the U.S. for free. Yippee!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Hawking My Wares

...or bento boxes anyway. Come see me at the 28th Annual Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes! Free Santa photo ops for the kids!

Blurb below:
It’s that time again! The 28th Annual Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes will feature 9 beautiful homes on the evenings of Saturday, December 13th and Sunday, December 14th from 6 pm to 10 pm.
As always, there will be an Artists’ Market on Saturday and Sunday from 5-9 pm with unique, handmade creations by local artisans and our yearly Children’s Celebration “Let It Snow” on Saturday only from 4-6 pm with holiday crafts, treats and photos with Santa. Bring your kids and cameras as Santa will be at the Celebration both nights of the tour! No tickets required.
For a list of local businesses selling advance tickets or to buy advance tickets online for $12, please visit Tickets available on tour dates at the tour start point: St. Paul United Methodist Church, 501 Grant Street, Atlanta, GA 30312.

Funny Face bento (Toddler)

So, I really have no explanation for this bento. It is a bit freaky, and looks somewhat Homer-esque.

left: 1/2 bagel with blueberries, cheese eyes, veggie-straw eyebrows, cherry tomato nose
right: turkey on lion pick, veggie-straws, blueberries in cup, and 2 animal crackers

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hello bento (Toddler)

top: blackberries, strawberry, avocado, graham bunnies
bottom: rice with pureed spinach, lemon, and salt with inari (fried tofu sheets) bear and snow pea & sweet potato trees

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wise Owl bento (Toddler)

left: fox cookie, cheese stick, veggie straws, maple glazed carrots with a shiitake mushroom sliced on top
right: cherries with blueberries, cheese and dried dragonfruit owl, snap pea, and sweet potato, broccoli, sunbutter sandwich (sounds yucky, but its actually good!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Silly Monster bento (Toddler)

The Monkey requested a scary monster/ghost in his lunch today.

left: cheese & fruit leather scary monster on top of sun butter and jelly sandwich
right: blueberries, pear slices, babybel cheese, yellow pepper slices, sesame sticks

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Day bento (Toddler)

Today is a rainy day.

top: previously frozen mini blueberry cornmeal muffin, veggie straws, blackberries, ketchup in bear case
bottom: sweet potato "fries", walnut-oatmeal burger in whole wheat pita, pickle, and cheese smiley face

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pre-School Snack Day #2

The Monkey gets to be leader for the day and bring snack to class once a month. Today was his day.

contents: corn muffin, cheese heart, honeyed carrot with blueberry center, 2 sugar snap peas, a veggie straw, orange, blueberries and blackberries

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cow Jumped Over the Moon bento (Toddler)

Yesterday the Monkey and I went out on a date to see the Alliance Theaters production of Goodnight Moon. We started off with some playtime at Piedmont Park with a friend and then headed over for the show. I must admit I was a bit worried that he would not be able to sit still for the one hour show without an intermission. But my worries were entirely for naught! He was entralled during the entire show. He laughed out loud, he danced, he oooh and ahhhed, he clapped enthusiastically after each song. There is only one weekend left and I would recommend the show for kids of all ages. On the way home we stopped at the original Krispy Creme for a doughnut! (hey, you gotta live a little!)

top: cubed peach, dill pickles wrapped around shredded carrot, cherry tomato, animal cracker, broccoli sundried tomato pizza pieces

bottom: celery with sun butter and dried blueberries, jam sandwich with cheese cow and moon

PS. If you do buy tickets on-line enter in code "TARGET" to get 1/2 off of the ticket price.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Helicopter Bento (Toddler)

Monkey requested a helicopter in his lunch today...
I was not pleased with how this turned out, it is a good example of something that does not translate well from idea to lunch creation.

top: sweet potato, star fruit & grapes & pomegranate, frozen mini blueberry muffin and ketchup in container
bottom: broccoli trees, sweet potato helicopter, ground turkey stuffed pita mountains, and cheese giraffe on hummus spread bread

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hearts & Stars bento (Toddler)

This past Sunday I had a booth at the Cliff Valley School Fall Festival. It was a gorgeous fall day and the festival itself was probably the best I have been to this year! The Monkey came by to participate in the pony rides, face painting, a small petting zoo (which was really a nice one), rock climbing, sack races, inflatable’s, pizza making, crafts, ice cream & food, and my favorite the pickle eating contest! I can't wait until next year!

top: avocado, heart & star shaped cheese quesadilla, cherry tomatoes wrapped in prosciutto, and a small side of chick pea carrot salad
bottom: frozen edamame, frozen pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffin, banana, raspberries

Friday, October 31, 2008

Buried Treasure Pirate bento (Toddler)

The Monkey is dressing up as a pirate for Halloween today. Arrrrrrrrr!

top: grape tomatoes, orange pepper strips, snap pea chips, orange & strawberry, parrot cracker
bottom: sandwich with pirate ship and island scene (cheese & fruit leather)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Morning bento (Toddler)

top: hard boiled egg, snap pea chips
bottom: banana, raspberries, whole grain corn cake, M&M surprise in bird case

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jack-O-Lantern bento (Toddler)

top: sunbutter & bread bites, Gruyère cheese, raspberries, edamame
forbidden rice with sweet potato pumpkin (fruit leather accents)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Scooby Doo bento (Toddler)

Some of my favorite shows growing up were Hong Kong Phooey, Wonder Woman, and Dukes of Hazzard. But none of these shows could compare to Scooby Doo, there was (is) just something about Scooby that was (is) so entirely lovable. Apparently the Monkey feels the same as he asked to watch Scooby this past weekend. We are still baffled by the request as we have never shown him a Scooby video. But I guess it will be okay, I mean I turned out normal and everything.

top: homemade apple sauce (the Monkey and I made this last night!), roasted sweet potato pumpkins, ketchup in the blue container
bottom: roasted sweet potato, fruit leather Scooby, cheese ghost, with sun butter & jam sandwich

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bats Bento (Toddler)

It has been a busy week and I am really looking forward to a nice weekend with my family. The Monkey has been talking non-stop about Boo at the Zoo and there is a fun event at the Mercantile Grocery on Sunday including kids activities, pulled pork sandwiches and an old fashioned apple press for fresh cider!

left: plum, avocado, sesame sticks
right turkey, jam sandwich with cheddar bats (light brushing of food coloring)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Along Came a Spider Bento (Toddler)

It is Spider Week at school, eeek!
top: 2 strawberries, chocolate animal crackers, prosciutto*, and cheddar cheese
bottom: edamame, polenta, and a nori spider
*Monkey loves prosciutto, I know its weird

Friday, October 10, 2008

T-Rex Bento (Toddler)

The weather has been dreary the past few days and I have not been able to get a good shot! Sorry about the picture quality on the last few posts.

top: avocado, strawberries, mini blueberry muffin, cheese, and animal cracker
bottom: tortilla and cheese T-Rex, multi grain bread, smoked salmon roll ups, broccoli, and red cabbage

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hay Ride Bento

Autumn is my favorite season in Georgia, and October is my favorite month! There is so much to do and the weather is wonderful. This weekend we went apple pickin' in the mountains with some friends. After wandering through the orchard and filling our bags full of apples, we visited the petting farm (baby cows -or as some would say "calves", goats, bunnies, chickens, sheep) and then hopped on a tractor for a hay ride. The entire day was a hit. The Monkey was still talking about it this morning, I heard him excitedly explain to his teacher as he walked into class, "I went to the mountains and rode a tractor, and we picked apples!" I couldn't help but smile.

top: apple bunny, blueberries, cheddar bunnies, sugar snap peas, cherry tomato, and chocolate bunnies
bottom: cheese tractor with fruit leather accents, snap peas, sun butter & jam sandwich

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friendly Skies Bento (Toddler)

I do not have the patience to make my own baby food, that's why I love Jack's Harvest. I was ecstatic when I recently found it in the frozen food section of my local Whole Foods. My 10 month old always gobbles hers down with glee. I usually try some of whatever she is eating and got a inspiring thought when sampling her broccoli & sweet potato dinner. What if I tried using this as a spread for a sandwich that my toddler would eat? He doesn't typically like broccoli, but perhaps....

Guess what, he LOVED it! So for today's lunch we are giving it another go. It would make a nice dip too.

top: chicken apple sausage, manchego cheese plane, whole wheat corn cake with broccoli & sweet potato mash (hee hee), raspberries, blueberries, and green beans
bottom: yogurt with orange and blueberry

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why I Bento

As many of you know I began to pack bento style lunches for my son over a year ago. It was an attempt to get him to try new and healthier foods and to get out of the PB&J sandwiches or Mac N’ Cheese rut. Not that these things are bad, but I feel that they should be eaten in moderation. Sometimes he tries new foods, sometimes he doesn’t. I find that he is more willing to try something new if it is presented to him in a fun way.

It wasn’t until after I began the lunches that I realized the additional benefits of lunch bento style.

  • Environment and Health. I find that I create a lot less waste when I bento. When making a bento lunch I rarely pack anything that needs to be tossed into the trash. I also use more fresh vegetables and fruit rather than prepackaged foods.
  • Portion Control. When I got my first bento box in the mail, I almost returned it. I thought to myself, “This is way too small, how can I get an adequate lunch in here for my son, much less myself”? Well, trust me, you can. Our entire family eats bento lunches, you can find examples of both child and adult lunches I have made for my family on the website.
  • Convenience. Most of us don’t have much time to spend making lunch; frankly you shouldn’t have to spend much time. Aside from some of the more elaborate meals I make for my little Monkey, I typically spend 5-8 minutes throwing together bentos for school, work, the park, or wherever we might be going.
  • Fun. This is my favorite part. I love taking my bento out at the park and opening it to reveal the yummy goodness inside! I know my son feels the same way, at such times he grabs his bento box and opens it while saying, “Ooooohhh, what’s in heeeere.”

Bento lunches resume tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In the Spotlight at The Trendy Mommy

Trendy Mommy AwardThanks to Jen at The Trendy Mommy for featuring my blog! The Trendy Mommy is a source of information for moms and moms-to-be on everything from great products to decorating inspiration and party planning tips to weekend guides. Visit thier blog to see all sorts of great ideas and superb finds!

Other Site Recognitions:

Thanks to Alex at Neatorama
Thanks to Michelle at Kidhaus
Thanks to Katie at WeHeartBooks
Thanks to Emily at Slashfood
Thanks to Tamara at DecaturMom
Thanks to Sam & Bellie at Sam & Bellie
Thanks to Kaori at Koala Brains

And thanks to the countless other people that have posted about the blog or that have sent e-mails that make me smile!

The Elusive Forest Dragon Bento (Toddler)

Monkey has been talking about his hike all week. He keeps showing everyone his "boo boo" wherever we go. It happened as we scaled the slopes in search of the dragon lair. He slid down a small slope and scraped his palm. Even with such effort and pain we never found the dragon whose existence was evident from the many burnt trees discovered along our path. MOTH pointed out that it was probably due to a forest fire, but the Monkey and I knew better.

top: mini grapes, 2 peanut butter crackers, clementine orange, 2 cherry tomatoes, 4 salami rounds with cheddar
bottom: hummus sandwich with tortilla dragon, red pepper fire, cucumber landscape, and dried dragon fruit tree

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Broad River Trail Hike & Bento Picnic

We always seem to find our way, no matter how ridiculously inept our directions and no matter how far off track we become. So it was 2.15 hours after leaving home that we arrived at the Broad River Trail. Unfortunately, we arrived at the wrong end (really have no idea how this happened) and did not have time to hike the entire trail to see the many cascades and waterfall located near the Dicks Creek entrance. We still very much enjoyed our hike, and found a soft patch of pine needles off of the trail and set down for a picnic lunch. We did not see any other people on the hike and it was wonderful to sit and listen to the birds, frogs, and gurgling water without any other noises to compete with.

top: babybel gouda cheese, edamame,sweet & salty nut mix, raspberries and mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffin
bottom: bacon, avocado, and heirloom tomato sandwich on whole wheat

Monday, September 15, 2008

Snack Day

Today was the Monkeys' day to bring snacks to share with his class. It is a day of special honor and one that he was very excited to participate in, not only did he get to pass out the snacks but he was the "Child of the Day" and lead his class to music and play! He was very interested in what went into the snack packs and helped make the cheese elephants that were his suggestion.
snack: mini cheese elephant, mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffin, 3 edamame, 2 carrot sticks, 1 yellow pepper stick, strawberry with blueberries

My Very First Trunk Show

Yesterday was my very first EVER Trunk Show at Hoopla Kids in Decatur. Set up went smoothly thanks to help from a few friends. The show started off strong with a bunch of folks showing up right at 4:00, I was thrilled to see so many people stop by even though Sunday night can be a difficult night to get out. All in all I think it went very well, and it was a good venue to learn how these functions go. I plan on doing another show in October and will post more when I have details.

PS. I will be back to my routine posting of bento lunches in October (twice a week at least). Until then keep checking in for any random bento meals!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bento Picnic & Hike at Lullwater Park

Today we packed up some bento's and headed off to Lullwater Park by Emory. What we found is a wonderful oasis in the middle of Decatur/Emory. There is a lot of visual interest for a hike, including a small lake (complete with ducks!), large open grassy hills, a waterfall, and even a suspension bridge. After exploring for a bit we sat down to have a bite to eat.

top: baked polenta with corn, basil, tomato, and aged gouda alongside caramelized onion & walnut chicken meatballs with peach chutney, cheddar cheese (recipes soon)
edamame, cherry muffin, alongside peach, blueberry, and kiwi

The adventurer in all of us enjoyed our short trek into the wilderness, if it weren't for the occasional siren heard from the road beyond the tree line it would have been difficult to believe that we were surrounded by the city.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Trunk Show at Hoopla -September 14th from 4-6pm!!!

I am getting ready for this trunk show coming up in 1 1/2 weeks and thought I might ask if there is anything specific that folks might want to see during the event. Drop me an e-mail at with suggestions or ideas. At the very least stop by, the topics will be interesting and Hoopla always has some great merchandise! I will have bento accessories and boxes available for sale as well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Toddler Bento for the Plane Ride Home

We just got back into town from a wonderful 2 1/2 week stay in New Jersey. The weather was terrific and we gorged ourselves on the ample tomatoes and blackberries from Nana's Garden. I swear there is nothing quite like a Jersey Tomato.

I love packing bento's for plane trips, it is a fun treat to break out mid flight.

top: veggie straws, grapes, blackberries, and a cheese stick
bottom: pb & banana sandwich (and yes, its a whole one, for those who have asked if this is possible) with grape tomatoes

Monday, August 25, 2008

Toddler Donkey Bento

Yay, we finally made it to the zoo! It appears that Monday is the best day to go. No lines and ample parking.The Monkey took all of us on a whirlwind tour and it was a fun, but exhausting day.

top: watermelon with blueberries & cheddar bunnies, tomato, turkey roll
bottom: oven roasted sweet potato, pb & banana sandwich with donkey tortilla

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our Almost Visit to The Bronx Zoo

Today is
Wednesday. We had been planning to visit the Bronx Zoo since early in the week because the weather is/was cool today. (Did I mention we are out of town....) For anyone travelling to New York and planning a visit to the Bronx Zoo, let me tell you NOT to do so on a Wednesday! Or I guess I should say if you don't mind an INSANE amount of people and impossible parking/traffic, perhaps it IS the right day to go. The trade off is that on Wednesday you pretty much get into the zoo for free, donations are accepted of course.

top: carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, turkey wraps, and cheddar bunnies
bottom: ham & salami pig sandwich and blueberries

After seeing the insanity that was awaiting us at the zoo, we opted for the New York Botanical Garden. It turned out to be a lovely day.

top : blueberries with watermelon, cheddar bunnies, hummus
bottom: cucumber frog on whole wheat bread, turkey wraps, carrot, and cherry tomatoes

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Newest Shipment of Shinzi Katoh Has Arrived!

Our new on-line store is now open and receiving orders. Google checkout is available and offers payment via credit card through the website! Stop by and check it out: Cooking For Monkeys Storefront.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jungle Safari Birthday Party Success!

For the Monkeys 3rd birthday we went with a jungle safari theme.

We made a life sized cut out of a safari jeep and elephant along with a large wall mural with a safari scene. The kids loved having their photos taken through the windshield of the "jeep".

After running and jumping on the Leapin Lizards equipment for an hour the kids came in to enjoy some food and drinks. They donned their safari hats and sang happy birthday for the little man of honor.

Each adventurer received a safari bento box with safari jeep PB & J sandwich, alligator carrot, giraffe and lion cheese with fruit leather accents, blueberry elephant picks, and veggie booty.

IMG_4561Cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla frosting and homemade chocolate stars and animal crackers.

Safari hats and binoculars were provided to spot the local wildlife. A great time was had by all, and I am certain that many kids slept soundly that night! Mine sure did!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wildlife Camp Birthday Celebration

Today is the Monkeys 3rd Birthday!!! I made yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting for his camp mates. He will celebrate again on Sunday with friends at Leapin Lizards!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Breaking News Alert!!!

So there I was walking through the Kroger 'ethnic foods' aisle perusing the shelves; ponzu sauce, soy sauce, pocky......POCKY!!! What? I no longer have to travel to the Buford Highway Farmers Market for Pocky!? My first thought was "Yay, now I can buy Pocky whenever I want", quickly to be replaced by "Oh no, now I can buy Pocky whenever I want". I mean having Pocky far away was a good control for me. Now I can fulfil a Pocky urge by a 2 minute drive, or better yet a 10 minute bike ride.

For any of you who have not experienced the simple and addictive yummy-ness that is Pocky, now is your chance to do so in Decatur.

Garden bento (toddler)

The Monkey LOVED his camp day. It was hard to get him to leave. It really looks like a fun program, I plan to be there tomorrow to check it out and celebrate his 3rd birthday!!!!

top: strawberries and blueberries, roasted yam, veggie booty
bottom: bulgur-beef bake, peas, couscous with cheese flowers , bugs and fruit leather accents (also a graham bunny)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bi-Plane bento (toddler)

The Monkey starts a three day wildlife camp today and he is pretty darn excited about it! His favorite teacher is leading the camp and he will be participating in all sorts of fun indoor & outdoor activities including planting and animal encounters! He requested an airplane bento for his lunch.

top: cherries, blueberries, peach with cheddar alongside baked chicken with ketchup and airplane cracker
bottom: hummus sandwich with cucumber and carrot plane and broccoli

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Update on Bento Boxes from Shinzi Katoh

I guess that I ordered so many boxes from Shinzi Katoh that they have to get more in from the manufacturer and they will not ship until it will be next week before they arrive. In the meantime I am setting up a new storefront with google checkout for when they do get here. I will keep you posted.

P.S. More bento lunches this week!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Feeling Famous and Other News

Tumara over at the popular DecaturMom blog wrote a short article about Cooking for Monkeys! You can check out the article here. Her site is chock-full of interesting places to go, good places to eat, events, and classes all around Decatur. I must admit I feel a bit famous now. : )

I have officially placed yet another order for bento boxes with Shinzi Katoh. I anticipate the order will be here by the end of the week. Drop me an e-mail with any requests at .

Lastly, I am planning to do a trunk show at Hoopla in September. I will post more details soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Curious George bento (or perhaps a mouse)

It was a rough morning. Let's just leave it at that.

left: veggie booty, "jumpy" squirrel cracker, asian pear "ma" bunny, blueberries & raspberries, and mini blueberry cornmeal muffin
right: fruit leather "george" with edamame and bell pepper balloons, 1/2 pb & j sandwich, cheese stick, and more edamame.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Construction Truck bento

top: blueberries,raspberries,asian pear with cherry tomatro, and veggie chips
bottom: construction truck cheese on pb & j with pretzel sticks and snow peas

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wild Things Work Late

As if it it wasn't enough to do 95 lunch boxes in the morning Bunny, Munsing & I decided to do 16 themed birthday boxes the same evening for a Wild Things birthday party the next afternoon. Are we insane? Maybe...

An image from the book was chosen and discussed. A trip to the grocery store was made. At six that evening we sat down with some wine and dinner and finalized the elements of the box. It took about a half an hour to get the first monster just right, but then it was a breeze to put the remaining 15 together. The final boxes turned out great and were a HUGE hit at the party!

party box: cheese quesadilla monster with sea vegetable "hair" , slivered almond horns & claws, and fruit leather stripes, cheese crown, carrot & red pepper trees, asian pear moon, and edamame. (warning: monster claws hidden under trees)