AppleRabbit

They smile at me, then I eat them.

Snowman Bento #5 Plus a Giveaway! January 8, 2012

Filed under: cute,onigiri,Vegetable — applerabbit @ 11:18 am
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So normally I don’t consider myself a charaben maker.  They’re adorable but I’d feel a little silly opening one up at work.  My daughter wasn’t really looking forward to going back to school after break, so I thought now would be the time to break out the “cute” skills and try my hand at a bento that might cheer her upon her first day back.

If you like charaben and haven’t checked out Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches I’d recommend it.  It’s a great way to get started in learning how to form characters and it includes step-by-step instructions to make all the bentos pictured in the book.  My only complaint with it is the lack of a recipe index.  There’s a short recipe section in the back but doesn’t include all the recipes in the book.  For example,  if you want the miso chicken recipe you have to flip through the whole book to find the bento that included it instead of having some way to look up what page it’s on.  Other than that minor problem though, I love this book and use many of the recipes for sides in my daily bentomaking.

There’s a supercute snowman bento in the book and it seemed like a good choice for a chilly winter day.  My daughter detests nori so I dad to try to come up with something else to make the snowman’s features out of, so I went with some sesame seeds.  The scarf is made from fruit leather, and the little bells are made of cheese with sesame seed eyes.  I snuck nori mouths onto them to see how it would go over, and I didn’t get any complaints so I think I may try more nori bits in her bentos for decoration in the future.

The bento box came back completely empty and V told me how happy Frosty made her, so I may have to make charaben a more frequent choice for her lunch.

I’m having my first giveaway!  Recently I had a chance to sample Madhava’s Organic Coconut Sugar through the Mom’s Meet program and really enjoyed it. We were concerned it would make everything we put it in taste like coconut, but it just tasted and had a texture similar to turbinado cane sugar.  It was great in coffee and for baking; the only application it didn’t seem suited to was mixing up powdered drink mix, it gave it an odd flavor.  So my readers can try it too, I’m giving away a 5.5 oz. shaker to two readers.  All you need to do is comment on this post and let me know what you’d like to see in the future, and include your email address.  One entry per person please!  If the winner happens to also be a twitter follower I’ll include a little something extra as a thank you gift.  I’ll accept entries until Noon on Sunday, January 15th.  Good Luck!

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Frittata and Gyoza – Bento #3 October 24, 2011

Filed under: Egg,Vegetable — applerabbit @ 3:30 pm
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I love eggs. Such a versatile and tasty protein, they’re beloved in our household for every meal.  An often used bento recipe for me is an old standby from lunchinabox.com, Biggie’s Stovetop Mini Frittata is a great use for veggie scraps or when you’re at a loss for a protein.  Instead of cooking them in a frypan I typically toss them in the toaster oven at 325° for about 5  minutes or so until they’re set.  These had some leftover broccoli tossed in, but really they’ll hold  just about any veggie or meat just dandy.  Toss in a couple of gyoza and carrot sticks and this is a lickety-split bento for my little hedgehog kidlet.

 

Bell Pepper Truce – Bento #2 June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,Vegetable — applerabbit @ 7:37 pm
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Bento

Contents of bento:  Crispy shrimp and cherry tomatoes on a bed of shredded cabbage, orange segment, edamame, and orange-chili sauteed bell peppers.

So if you had asked me yesterday what my least favorite vegetable was, I would have told you bell peppers.  It’s not like I haven’t tried to like them.  They’re bright and crunchy, and if you like their flavor they’re the perfect way to lend texture and color to your recipe.  There’s just something about their taste that’s too strong for me, and if they’re mixed or cooked into a dish it seems to be all I can taste.  It always grossed me out watching the host on Iron Chef take a huge bite out of a bell pepper in the opening sequence, in fact if I were to be on one of those reality shows where you have to eat something disgusting for money I’d much rather eat a worm than have to chomp down on a raw green pepper.

I was perfectly happy with my distaste for them until yesterday.  My daughter and I were in the grocery store and in an effort to get her out of her limited vegetable eating, I let her select a few types of produce to take home and cook with. Her selections were cucumber (yay),  cherry tomatoes (picking those up if she hadn’t), and yellow and red peppers (*gasp*).  I held back my horror as she proudly placed the peppers in the cart, and immediately panicked because I had no idea what to cook them in.  I know maaaaaany recipes call for them, but anything I make on a regular basis I’ve long ago found a replacement for either the color or texture of bell pepper in the dish. I hunted around on the internet when I got home and found a few tips about preparation like making sure all the white of the ribs are removed when taking out the seeds, roasting them sweetens them, etc., but that didn’t solve my problem of only being able to taste the peppers when they’re mixed with other foods.  So then I thought, “Why mix them in?  Why not just cook the bell peppers as a side dish on their own?”

Orange-chili Sauteed Bell Peppers

2 Bell Peppers (any color), thinly sliced vertically

¼ tsp Salt

1 Clove Garlic, minced

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Orange Juice

Sriracha Sauce to taste

In a sauté pan, heat oil and garlic over low heat.  Add bell peppers and cook 15 minutes  until peppers soften and become sweet.  Add orange juice and chili sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Now, I’m not saying bell peppers will become a daily part of my veggie intake, but at least cooked like this they’re sweet and lose the bitterness I dislike so much.  My daughter?  She said it was too spicy, so I’ll try again but tone down or leave out the chili sauce.