Monday, June 30, 2008

Rhino in the Forest Bento

Our most recent hike turned into a wild animal safari for the Monkey. He put on his best safari hat, grabbed his trusty binoculars and off we went into the wilderness. He did really well on the hike, spotting all sorts of wildlife. He even says he saw a rhinoceros hiding among some trees.

left: Hummus spread on oatmeal bread, carrot flowers, fruit leather rhino, broccolini trees and a graham bunny
right: hummus in cup, yellow pepper strips, blueberries and a strawberry, cheese stick, and more graham bunnies

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ducks Don't Eat Avocado

We decided to visit Stone Mountain before our season pass expires at the end of the month. We had bought our passes the year before anticipating the new water park and winterland that were scheduled to open, but both were postponed due to the drought.
We typically go to hike and ride the sky cab or train. Today we decided to do the things we have not yet tried. We played miniature golf, traversed the obstacle course (Monkey's favorite), and went down by the lake afterwards to eat some lunch.

Lion Case:
left: avocado, hummus with edamame, cherry tomato, and yellow pepper slices
right: plum, cheese stick, and 2 ww pita pockets

These lunches were packed in about 6 minutes as we headed out the door to the park. Always save a little bread for the ducks, as they don't eat avocado. Who knew.

Umbrella Case:
left: apple slices, avocado, cherry tomatoes, panda cookies
right: babybel cheese, blueberry muffin, 1/2 pb&j sandwich

Friday, June 27, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #19

Today is the final day of MOTH's boot camp. He says he feels great, I mean here he is jumping for joy: MOTH. I thought I would honor him on this landmark day with a BTB Bento. Congratulations, you made it!

top: ww blueberry muffin, 2 cherry tomatoes, and jicama-orange salad with mint
bottom: BTB cheese quesadilla on black beans and rice
side car snack: not today

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bento Boxes Have Arrived!!!!

Well that was fast! Hop on over to see what has come in: Cooking for Monkeys Store. Drop me a line if you are interested, nearly a quarter of the shipment is gone!

Tiger Bento

Okay, is this strange? The monkey only likes his avocado with salt and pepper. he will not eat it until I put some on. I had to include a packet of each in his lunch. Where do they they learn this stuff?

top: corn on the cob, pretzel sticks, sunbutter in cup, asian pear, dried apricot, and 2 panda crackers
bottom: cheese and fruit leather tiger on whole grain bread with avocado

Boot Camp- Bento #18

top: baked artichoke chicken
bottom: corn on the cob, tomato salad
side car snack: apples and peanut butter, tiger cheese (a different attempt) with leftover frittata underneath.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Countdown to Bento Boxes!

My shipment of bento boxes finally left Japan last night! I will be doing a countdown until they arrive. You can check out what is on the way over here: Cooking for Monkeys Store. This is a sister site that will continually be updated with recipes, tips, and bento related goods and information. Links to the site are also available at the top right of this page.

Boot Camp- Bento #17

top: kohlrabi and green apple slaw and mushroom saute in filo
bottom: artichoke & lemon frittata with chicken and apple sausage and cherry tomato
side car snack: broccolini, yogurt cup, pumpkin seeds, and raspberries

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #16

top: roast turkey breast in ww wrap with red pepper
bottom: oven roasted crispy okra alongside mushy carrots
side car snacks: peanut butter with apples, cheese, and a peach

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kung Fu Panda Bento

This bento was requested by the Monkey. We went to see Kung Fu Panda at the Starlight Six Drive In Theatre this weekend. We set up the a big comfy bed in the back of the van and all snuggled together to watch the film. It was a lot of fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The movie was great as well, with none of that oh so prevalent sarcasm that you get in many movies today. Very refreshing. Most of all, I am ecstatic that he is as much of a Kung Fu fan as I am! Yipee!

left: smoked salmon roll ups, sugar snap peas, daikon radish "Po" panda with nori accents
right: strawberry jello cup, dried apricots, panda cookies alongside homemade dao sar pau (steamed bun with red bean paste)

Boot Camp- Bento #15

top: smoked salmon sushi rolls in brown rice
bottom: sugar snap peas with carrot
side car snacks: walnuts, kiwi and blueberries, monterrey jack cheese, and cherry tomatoes

Friday, June 20, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #14

top: buckwheat noodles with shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, ginger and scallion
bottom: spicy mandarin orange shrimp and snap peas with shaved daikon radish
side car snacks:
nut bar (not shown); kiwi, blueberry, and grape salad; hummus with cucumber and red pepper

TIME: 9 minutes to assemble, 30 minutes to cook all items

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Evil Robot Monkey Bento (that looks nothing like an evil robot monkey)

Today's bento was inspired by Matthew Porter. I love his art. Thankfully this lunch looks nothing like his work! It did not turn out as I envisioned it, in fact I debated on whether or not I even wanted to post it. I guess I need to work on some new techniques. Anyway, it is edible and maybe the Monkey will still think its cool.

top: baby banana, black bean cake in cup with tomato and avocado, and babybel cheese
bottom: monkey/alien/ whatever it actually looks like sunbutter and jelly sandwich and veggie booty

Boot Camp- Bento #13

top: chickpea and veggies over barley with currants and cashew
bottom: turkey sandwich bites on multigrain with grape tomatoes and roasted beet
side car snacks: kiwi, blueberry and grape salad, cashews, edamame, grape tomatoes

TIME: 8 minutes

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #12

top: mini blueberry cornmeal muffin with blueberries and strawberry alongside roasted sweet potato
bottom: pork tenderloin with peach salsa and black bean cakes topped with chunky guacamole
side car snacks: cherry tomatoes with red pepper slices, cucumber, and carrot, basil frittata with roasted sweet peppers, and avocado
TIME: 11 minutes

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #11

top: blanched asparagus with lemon artichoke pesto, mushroom sauté in whole wheat filo alongside previously frozen homemade chicken-pineapple meatballs
bottom: basil frittata with a roasted balsamic sweet pepper topping and cherries
side car snacks: not today

TIME: 15 minutes (including cooking the filo pastry)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Undersea Voyage Bento

We visited the Georgia Aquarium last week and both the Monkey and I were fascinated with the new program that is being offered. We arrived there just in time to see divers on the "Dive with the Giants" tour. As we made our way through the glass tunnel we spotted them overhead. One of the divers made it all the way down to the side of the tunnel, right at eye level. He waved and smiled, making the Monkey's day.

top: avocado and grape tomato alongside blueberries and diced peach, also a few pieces of walnut oatmeal burger in cup
bottom: carrot sticks, cheese submarine and fish with edamame on top of hummus sandwich , and rutabaga fries.

Boot Camp- Bento #10

Yum, yum, and yum.

top: lemon-edamame hummus with fresh veggies
walnut oatmeal burgers in ww pita with rutabaga “fries”
side car snacks: homemade spinach, ham, and tomato pizza on ww crust, avocado, broccoli, and cherries with a peach

TIME: 15 minutes

Friday, June 13, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #9

top: cedar plank chicken salad on spinach with strawberries and toasted almond (dressing in cup)
bottom: cucumber and carrot with hummus
side car snacks: cheese stick, two previously frozen mini blueberry cornmeal muffins, pluot, edamame, grape tomatoes, and more cucumber

TIME: 10 minutes

Bento Box Update and Other Notes

I am in the process of ordering about 40 bento boxes from Japan that should be here the end of this month. For anyone interested hop over to the Cooking for Monkeys Store. I will try to post the boxes soon so that folks can see them.

Also, there have been some questions about the time the bento's take to put together, especially for the boot campers. Some items are made in the morning, however the major proteins are typically premade the evening before. And in most cases I will make the bento lunch the night before as well and just add finishing touches in the morning.

Lastly, I am really trying to get tips and recipes on the blog. I have been a bit overwhelmed this week but I will make an effort soon.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Driving to Work Bento

The Monkey waves to his Dad as he leaves for work most mornings from the front window.

left: cheese quesadilla with spinach tortilla car, olive tires, and squash bear with broccoli trees underneath
right: plum, blueberries, and apple stars alongside veggie booty, roasted squash, and surprise crackers

Boot Camp- Bento #8

The verdict is out on the zucchini and chickpea pancakes. The recipe actually uses chickpea flour which has a very bold flavor. We'll see what MOTH thinks.

top: indian spiced turkey meatballs and cherry tomatoes
bottom: zucchini and chickpea pancakes and butternut squash salad with mint
side car snacks: peanut butter and apple slices, cheese, spinach and red pepper frittata

TIME: 7 minutes

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #7

top: spinach, feta, and red pepper fritatta with golden beets
bottom: red lentil and bulgur kibbeh bites with yogurt dipping sauce and cucumber
side car snacks: peanuts, avocado, cheese stick, a bit more cucumber, pluot and peach

TIME: 9 minutes

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #6

top: roast chicken with cranberry dijon relish in whole wheat tortilla
bottom: cardamon laced roasted sweet potato and steamed wax beans
side car snacks: blueberry and kiwi, fresh butter bean and tomato baked with garlic, grape tomatoes, and cashews

TIME: 8 minutes

Monday, June 9, 2008

Grrrrreat PB & J Bento

Today Monkey returns to school after his two week pause. I am sending him with his absolute favorite lunch.

top: veggie booty, blueberries and strawberries
bottom: bear sunbutter and jelly sandwich, babybell cheese, carrot sticks

TIME: 4 minutes

Boot Camp- Bento #5

Sunday night is homemade pizza night, and I do not cook. MOTH is in charge of pizza night, and he makes a mad good pizza. Today's bento is leftover from last night.

top: mache salad with walnuts and tomato next to an open faced sandwich of broccoli, sun dried tomato, chicken, and basil on whole wheat crust
bottom: hummus with carrot, grape tomato, and cucumber, strawberries with blueberries next to a protein bar

TIME: 5 minutes (done night before)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shinzi Katoh Shipment Arrived

Yippee!! My first shipment of boxes arrived from Japan on Saturday. More than half are already accounted for, but I still have a few available for anyone interested. I should be getting more in the coming weeks. Here is what I have:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #4

Today's bento is made up of leftovers from dinner last night.

top: cumin scented quinoa with pistachio and mint, grilled halibut, and pineapple-mango salsa

bottom: zucchini and corn succotash with feta and cilantro

side car snacks: walnuts, grape tomatoes, 2 plums from decaturs outdoor farmers market, cheese stick, blanched asparagus

TIME: 5 minutes (done night before)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Leapin Lizards Opens in Decatur

It is hot. Actually, it is more like sweltering heat. Visiting the pool feels more like going to a sauna. Any outdoor activity is out of the equation on a day such as this. So, we decided to try out the newly opened Leapin Lizards, and were not disappointed! We walked in and the Monkey was off like a flash to jump, slide, and careen through a number of inflatables. I purchased a 10 visit card (only $35) and went to explore as well.

Everything is well laid out and easily accessible for both child and parent. The inflatables themselves are bright and well made. Marisa pointed out that the facility uses natural lighting and keeps the overhead fluorescents off, kudos! They also have a limited snack and drink bar that is inexpensive and carries good quality items. There were several other nice touches that I noticed while there. We plan to go back, alot.

We stayed about two hours and had lunch there before returning home.

top: 3 cherry tomatoes, babybel cheese, half pb & j sandwich, veggie booty

bottom: baby banana, blueberries, edamame

TIME: 6 minutes


Hi, my name is Pam, and I am a Pocky-aholic. I sneak away to my office to scarf down pocky, sometimes three at a time. If the Monkey comes to ask what I am doing, I hide the bag and act like I am checking e-mail. I think he is on to me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #3

I found an acorn squash sitting alone among several spaghetti squash. I kinda felt sorry for him. You know, like in gym class when all of the other kids were picked and then there was that one kid left that nobody picked. I thought he might be feeling sad sitting there amongst all the outcast spaghetti squash. He didn't belong with THOSE deviants. I took him home and he is now featured in today's bento lunch. My alien creation didn't work out as well as planned. But it was fun to try.

top: simple salad, leftover mashed acorn squash with chanterelle mushrooms

bottom: previously frozen chicken pineapple meatballs, acorn squash "peace out" alien, mini tortellini

side car snacks: apple and peanut butter, edamame, grape tomatoes

TIME: 15 minutes

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #2

top: leftover shrimp cakes from dinner, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes

bottom: carrot and radish salad with edamame frog, avocado

side car snacks: cubed peach, two previously frozen whole wheat banana muffins, cheese stick, and cashews

TIME: 18 minutes (including frog)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Boot Camp- Bento #1

First things first. Apparently the previously mentioned hubby wanted me to come up with something different for his blog name. I am not particularly gifted at name giving, so henceforth he will be called "Man of the House" or MOTH for short.

MOTH has signed up for some crazy fitness class called Boot Camp. He will be getting up every morning at 5:15 AM for the next month. He also has to maintain a dietary journal and eat healthy. I have no desire to get up that early unless I need to, but I am interested in sharing dietary goals. Here is bento #1 of his new regimen. He gets a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack.

top: hummus with snap pea bug, radish mushroom, carrot, blanched broccoli, red pepper strips

bottom: buffalo -bulgur bake and two mini whole wheat pitas

side car snacks: cheese stick, mango with raspberries and blackberries, half a peach, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and blanched asparagus

TIME: 22 minutes