Friday, May 30, 2008

The Next Top Chef?

I had a little bit of help with this lunch. Actually, I can't take much credit for it. This was the Monkey's idea of a zoo lunch. I think he had more fun making it than eating it.

clockwise from top: cheese and turkey wraps with giraffe picks, strawberries and mango stars, veggie booty in elephant cup, and 2 elephant pb & j's with dried blueberry eyes. all served on a monkey plate of course!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Scary Clown Bento

I certainly did not intend for today's bento to look like some freaky version of Ronald McDonald. Hopefully this is not the beginning of a lifelong clown phobia for The Monkey.

Anyway, today is the last day of class before a two week pause. I made a sweet red bean paste at the beginning of the week that I wanted to use up, so I made doryaki in the shape of a clown. Doriyaki is basically a pancake filled with red bean paste. I used whole wheat flour and cornmeal mixture for the pancake and aside from the sugar in the bean paste (which I used minimally) its a pretty healthy meal. The feet are made from apple slices and his hair from shredded carrot.

top: baby bell cheese, blueberries, red pepper slices, and cucumber

bottom: Doriyaki clown with apple feet

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May Day

I love this city, Decatur. I love the parks, the festivals, and the multitude of other events that take place throughout the year. The problem is that I only make it to a smattering of them. Today I made it to my very first “Blue Sky Concert”.

This musical event takes place at noon in front of the Old Courthouse. Today’s artist was a children’s songwriter, so I decided it was a great day to try it out.

I packed two bento boxes one for The Monkey and one for myself, a few diapers, wipes, ice pack, juice box, water, blanket, hats, sun block, sun glasses, and my phone. I got Monkey into the stroller with a book; EGG packed into my Ergo carrier with a bink, and off we went.

We arrived a few minutes early and M began rummaging through the bag for his lunch. It was the first time I was able to see how he reacts to opening his bento while away from home. There are few things more hallmark than seeing your son tear open his bento exclaiming “Ooohhh, what’s in heeeeere!” while ignoring all the other kids playing around him. I guess he is digging the bento lunches. Yay!

Monkey's box (above) held a PB & J Sammy, laughing cow cheese, a surprise chocolate koala cookie in the green bird case, baby banana with grapes & an asian pear star, and avocado with red pepper strips.

My box held hummus, carrot, cucumber, laughing cow cheese, two hard boiled quail eggs, baby banana with grapes & an asian pear star, and avocado with red pepper strips.

The concert was fun; we were joined by Cole along with Matt, Mariah, and Claire. (Thanks for bringing the camera.) Matt took the boys to run around and play so that we girls could chat. (Thanks Matt). It was good to see Jen and family as well as Katie, Sta Sta, and Clay.

Lunch for Hubby

The hubby has been eyeing Monkeys lunches. I think I see envy in his eyes. As we all know Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. I made this bento to help assuage his bento desires.

baby banana with roaring lion sparkly sticker, grapes, laughing cow cheese, rice onigiri with red bean paste topped with panda and flowers, chicken cashew in sweet sauce, and salad of red peppers and cucumber.

Monday, May 19, 2008

MMMM Rocket Cheese

top: corn with red pepper, asian pear bunny with fruit, previously frozen blueberry cornmeal muffin.
bottom: spaghetti and tomato sauce with rocket ship and star shaped cheese and homemade chicken pineapple meatballs.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Race Horse Bento

We watched The Black Stallion last night. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola!!! That just seems odd to me. Anyway the Monkey loved it.

top: avocado with grape tomatoes, blueberries, and baby banana.
bottom: cheese quesadilla horse on black beans and rice.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Communal Dinners

Today is Thursday, and it's my day to cook. This amazing friend of mine came up with a brilliant idea. Three families do a dinner share each week. This means that two nights of the week I get a hot meal delivered to my door from their kitchens. On Thursday, its MY DAY to reciprocate.
I love this day. This week I felt inspired to make Thai food. I took a trip over to the local farmers market and grabbed the makings for what I like to call "The Tale of Two Larbs". The following is freshly made "traditional" chicken larb and a "northern" larb of pork along with green papaya salad complete with sweet sticky rice (in the back). Cucumber and cabbage are typical side vegetables. Very yummy.
Monkey kept asking for more of the chicken larb he wasn't as taken by the pork, but it was a tad spicy. All in all I say it was well received by everyone.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Hungry Octopus" Bento

The Monkey has been into nature videos lately. He has been very interested in the octopus.

top: apple flowers, apricot, and strawberry, veggie puffs with penguin cracker.
bottom: Hungry octopus PB & J, starfish shaped yellow pepper, baby bell cheese, and grape tomatoes.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bento Stash

I have searched high and low for bento boxes and supplies in the Atlanta area. I have traveled throughout the Chamblee Asian markets out to the Super H Mart in Duluth to no avail! I finally received some stash from a company based out of Japan.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bento (Crazy) Love

And here it all begins. How do I get my toddler to eat different foods? How do I keep myself interested in making him new and exciting foods? Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for presentation. I love good food, but I love looking at pretty food almost as much. And I love nicely packaged pretty food most of all. When I saw these I could not resist.

And really that is where it all began. Shinzi Katoh, I heart you.