Each week for the last few months, I’ve been challenging a few of my bento blogger friends to make lunches using the same three tools. My goal is to show how versatile these tools can be for making creative lunches while also showcasing some bloggers who you may not be familiar with!
Here are the tools we used this week:
- EasyLunchboxes bento box — EasyLunchboxes makes a great product for everyday bentos. It’s sturdy, versatile and economical so it’s a favorite with lots of bento packers.
- Animal mini-forks/picks — The grumpy giraffe in this set of bento picks is one of my all-time favorite picks. I don’t know why his expression amuses me so much, but it cracks me up.
- Wilton Mini Noah’s Ark Cutters — These were one of the first bento tools I ever bought and I’ve used them regularly for more than six years! They are great for little kids’ lunches and can be used on cheese, fruit, veggies, bread, lunch meat and in lots of other ways too.
And these are the lunches we made:
Let’s kick things off with this Noah’s Ark bento made by Kathy of Eclectic Lamb. Kathy made the ark sandwich from Naan bread and some softened cream cheese mixed with unsweetened cocoa powder. She used the Noah Cookie Cutters to cut the animal shapes from a flour tortilla then brushed on some olive oil, sprinkled on a mixture of cinnamon sugar and baked them at 375 until crisp (about 5 minutes but watch them closely). You can read more about this lunch on her blog.
Here’s how Kathy says she started packing bentos: “I studied the Japanese language and culture in college so I have known about the art of bento for a long time. Before starting my blog I often made cute food and sometimes bentos for my nieces and nephews. After starting my blog I made many more bentos. My 3 year blog anniversary was last week.” Kathy’s favorite thing about packing bentos is thinking about new themes and ways to present the food in a creative way. She also enjoys being the aunt that makes cute food.
Kristie Winget from Beneficial Bento is the mom behind this lunch. She made a peanut butter sandwich topped with a carrot lion, a cheese and nori panda, and a salami elephant, with strawberries on top. On the side is a checkered green apple, carrots, cucumber, and yellow tomatoes.
Here’s how Kristie got started with bentos: “I started making bentos after looking for ways to add more healthy food to my family’s lunches. I started trying out my new skills on my husband, who said, ” I don’t care if my lunch is cute as long as it tastes good.” After a few weeks, I discovered he had quietly been posting pictures of all his lunches on facebook! Our friends started asking me how I made his lunches, so I decided to start a blog to show them. I’ve been blogging since 2011, and I still make lunches for my kids, husband, and myself. And last week I made our 1 year old grandson his first bento sandwich shaped like a panda. His review? “Mmmmmm!” which put a big smile on this grandma’s face!”
You can find Kristie’s cloth napkins, bento bags, and more in her Etsy shop. Some of her lunch recipes can be found in Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Easy Lunch Boxes.
Finally we have a lunch I made for my preschooler, Augie. I made this lunch on a regular Tuesday morning, and I wanted something cute, but still fast and pretty easy. The most complicated part of this lunch was the elephant biscuit and even that was very easy. I placed the mini elephant cookie cutter on top of the biscuit, then traced around the inside of the cutter with a purple food-safe marker. After I had the basic outline drawn on, I removed the cutter and filled the rest of the elephant in with the ink. I also used the giraffe and bear cutters on a slice of cucumber which I placed on top of some short cucumber spears. I poked the picks into some blueberries and ham spirals to round out the lunch.
Do you have these tools? How do you like to use them?
|But wait! There’s more! My book, Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go is packed with ideas for fun, delicious lunches. With 50 brand new bento box lunches and step-by-step photo tutorials showing how to make them it will provide you with loads of inspiration when it’s time to pack lunch. Order today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.|