2014-04-23

Earth Day Rain Tree Bento アースデイ・レインツリーのキャラ弁

 
A belated Earth Day Rain Tree Bento to share with you! 

I woke up yesterday with the calendar alert on my phone saying 'Earth Day'. Ahh...... But I had already planned on my Winnie the Pooh bento, so I continued with that and thought that I would still make an environment nature theme bento today. 

In this Earth Day nature theme bento, Bunny and Bear enjoys the shade beneath the Rain Tree v(*'-^*)ゞ・'゚☆
Rain Tree, a beautiful large majestic tree can be found along roadsides and highways in several parts of Singapore. In fact, Rain Tree is one of the most commonly found trees here in Singapore. It is very close to the hearts of people who grew up here, at least for me personally. 

I tried to recreate the tree's big umbrella shape! The Rain Tree was made from aburaage (fried beancurd skin) and broccoli. 

Bunny and Bear characters were made from mashed potato, some food coloring and seaweed. 

The side dishes for today's bento included baked chicken wings, sauteed hard pressed tofu squares with mushrooms, stir fry kailan vegetables, lettuce, broccoli. 

Did you also spot the leaves that I made from carrots? First I used a leaf fondant cutter, and cut the outer shape of the leaves from carrot slices. I then used a small knife to create the grooves so that it would be more three dimensional. 
今日はアースデイ・レインツリーのキャラ弁ですよ!遅ればせながらです。

昨日はアースデイだったんです。環境や自然などのキャラ弁を作ろうと思ったんです。

レインツリーはシンガポールの街路樹で多いです。とても素敵です。レインツリーはたくさんシンガポール人が好きらしいです。

そして、ツリーの大きな傘の形状を作成してみました。油揚げ とブロッコリーを使いました。

ウサギちゃんと熊さんの材料は:マッシュポテト、食色、海藻です。

おかずは:焼き手羽先、椎茸と豆腐のソテー、野菜の炒め、レタス、ブロッコリー。それに、にんじんの葉を見えますか?ワーイ♪\(^ω^\)
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This bento was packed in one of my favorite wooden bento boxes:
Take Bako box from Bento&co.
Take Bako 

2014-04-22

Winnie the Pooh & Friends Seaweed Cutting Bento プーさんや友達のキャラ弁・海苔切り弁当

 
Winnie the Pooh and friends Seaweed Cutting Bento! 

I always enjoy making seaweed cutting bento, the cutting of the seaweed is very therapeutic! Similar to all my earlier seaweed cutting bento, I used my ACTO knife to cut the seaweed. The whole process with the addition of the colors took me about 1 hour, which I did the night before. 

The side dishes in this bento included sauteed baby kailan vegetables, stir fry hard pressed tofu with shiitake mushrooms and tomato, and also grilled minced pork patties which I added a wooden stick handle, looks a little like ice cream right? :D There were also some cucumber, lettuce, carrot slices that I cut using a pooh bear cutter and a cute honey pot pasta. 

Once again, to answer your questions about how the colors is achieved. They are a result of using an oblate sheet. Oblate sheet is a paper thin edible sheet from Japan use for food decoration, it is tasteless and transparent. And as usual, I have included the link before to Amazon JP for the product. The seaweed cutting is placed and stick onto the oblate sheet and some diluted food coloring were 'painted' on using small brushes. 

If you do not have oblate sheets, you can actually stick the seaweed on cheese as well but of course your design will have to be within the size of the cheese slice.
プーさんや友達のキャラ弁を作りました。プーさんや友達は海苔切りです。オブラートのシートを使ったんです。とても楽しかったですよ。

おかず:ひき肉パティー、豆腐と椎茸ソテー、野菜炒め、レタス、きゅうり、にんじん。

Tips and notes for seaweed cutting bento
海苔切り方のポイント:
  • Print at least 2 copies of the design you wish to cut out. One will be for cutting while the other act as a reference later on when you need to assemble or lay the seaweed cutting pieces. 
  • Use a good cutting knife. I use my trusty ACTO knife. There are such similar knives sold at Popular stationary/bookstores here. 
  • Use clips to hold the seaweed and design sheet together. reducing movement will help prevent tearing and ensure that your cutting stays as intact as possible
  • Do not fret if some parts of the seaweed cutting breaks, just assemble them together and join them when you stick on either the rice, cheese or oblate sheet. No one can tell if you match the broken ends nicely!
  • Cut the tiniest parts first from inside out, this enables better control and again avoids tearing of the seaweed. 
  • Food coloring alert! If you are not comfortable with food coloring, you can simply use the seaweed cutting and avoid adding the food coloring. A black and white design is just as pretty.
Here are some photos of the process of the cutting of the seaweed for Winnie the Pooh & Friends Bento!
Oooo And Happy Earth Day today everyone! Might do a belated Earth Day bento tomorow :P OOopsss hahhah only just realised this morning when I saw my calendar. haha

In the meantime, an earlier nature theme bento I made to share with you. Click to read the blog post!
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Today's bento was packed in Monbento original bento box (2 tier, white color) from Bento & Co.
monbento, lunch boxes


Here is the link for the Oblate sheets


This bento creation was also linked up at:
Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

2014-04-21

Rapunzel Fairytale Bento ラプンツェルのキャラ弁

A new addition to my storybook bento series – Rapunzel Fairytale Bento!

This Rapunzel Bento was fun to make! I like making and braiding her hair using the turmeric Japanese noodles. You can also use other types of yellow noodles. I also added small details of flowers and furikake for her braids, do you see them?

The tower was a mixture of rice and pork soboro (sautéed minced meat). I added the details of the windows using carrots, and added some weeds growing on the 'wall' using some green egg sheet.

In the other bento box, I packed the side dishes that included baked teriyaki drumlets, sautéed broccoli with prawns, lettuce and steamed corn on the cob.

Rapunzel, famous for her long golden hair is a character from German fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. A princess, held captive in a tall tower with only a window. There are many versions to the ending of this fairytale, in the latest adaption in Disney animation Tangled, Rapunzel eventually escapes with the help of a thief, Flynn Rider. 
ラプンツェルのキャラ弁を作りました。とても楽しかったです。

麺を使って、ラプンツェルの長い髪を作りました。別の材料は:
窓(にんじん)
植物(薄焼き卵)

おかずは照り焼きチキン、ソテーブロッコリーとえび、レタス、コーン。

ラプンツェルは、グリム童話作品のキャラクターです。髪長姫と訳されることもある。高い塔に閉じ込められる。魔女はラプンツェルの見事な長い金髪をはしご代わりに、窓から出入りしていた。


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2014-04-20

Bunny Yogurt Steamed Cake Recipe (Japanese Mushi-pan) うさぎのデコ蒸しパンのレツピ

 
Hello everyone, for those who are celebrating Easter, Happy Easter Sunday! 

It has been some time since I made mushi-pan (Japanese steamed cakes). 

I am happy to share with here on my blog, a pictorial recipe guide for this Bunny Yogurt Steamed Cakes (Japanese mushi-pan). They can be made beforehand (e.g. the night before) and will be great for a breakfast or even a snack bento if you like it. 

I was hoping that the blueberry jam will give it a nice purple hue but it ended up as a grey tone. Hmmm hahha, hope you still like it! :D 

Get creative! you can try your own designs as well if you want. 
今日はうさぎちゃんの蒸しパンを作りました。とても楽しかったんです。最近いそがしかったから、蒸しパンの作ることが時間じゃありませんでした。今度できた、嬉しいです。

レシピは見てください。ホットケーキミックスを使って、簡単だっだんですね。作ってみてください。

Bunny Yogurt Steamed Cake Recipe (Japanese Mushi-pan)


Ingredients
- Hotcake mix 150g (I used Morinaga hotcake)
- Plain yoghurt 75g (the yogurt I used this time had sugar hence I reduced the sugar amount as compared to my earlier mushipan recipes)
- Sugar 16g
- Baking powder 2 tsp
- Salad oil 1tbsp
- Egg medium size 2 (58g each)
- Blueberry jam 25g
- Plain flour 2tsp
- Dark cocoa powder 0.5tsp

Method
1) In a large mixing bowl, add in hotcake mix, yogurt, sugar, baking powder, egg, salad oil and mix well. 
2) If your jam has fruit chunks (like the one I used), please blend the jam 
Tip: I will usually blend more than I need, as some of the jam will get stuck to the sides of the blender/container.
3) From step 1, scoop out 2 tsp of dough mixture, and 4 tsp of dough mixture into two small bowls. Add the dark cocoa powder to one and plain flour to the other, mix well. 
4) To the remaining mixture in the large mixing bowl, add in the blueberry jam. Mix well. 
5) Divide the dough mixture from step 4 into 4 small muffin cups until 75% full (note that you will have some spoonful of balance dough)
Tip: Gently knock the filled muffin cups on the table to remove air bubbles that may be trapped in the dough
6) From step 3, place them in small piping bags.
Tip: I usually make my own mini piping bags using baking paper, I find that the piping bags hold well and provide greater control for the drawing of the mushi-pan designs.
7) Pipe the mouth (white dough) and facial features (eyes and nose)
8) On a sheet of baking paper, pipe long oblong shapes using the blueberry dough for the ears. Pipe the white part of the ears on top (white dough). 
9) Place the cakes from step 7 on a steaming rack and steam at low heat for 12 mins or until cooked through. Remove from pan when cooked and set on a rack to cool.
Tip: I usually use a steaming cloth to tie the pan cover. This prevents water from dripping onto the cakes while cooking and hence destroying the designs or causing it to split open
10) Steamed the piped shapes from step 8 (I place it on a metal tray) at low heat for 2 mins. Remove from pan and set aside to cool
11) Use a scrapper and gently remove the 'ears' from the baking sheet from step 10
12) Use a small scisssors and make slits at the top of the steamed cakes from step 9, slot in the ears from step 11 - Ta-Daa you are done! 


The steamed cakes I made and blogged before were Totoro, Rilakkuma and Minion! :D Check out my earlier postings and the recipes here:

より前に、トトロとみミニオンのデコ蒸しパンのレシピを投稿しました。見てみてください。よろしく〜


2014-04-18

Frozen Bento Workshop キャラ弁教室「アナと雪の女王」

I have been so busy lately with several media requests as well as workshop bookings. Here is an update on one of the classes that I conducted lately - yes, it is Frozen bento! 

Frozen the movie is definitely one of the hottest topic in town now even though the movie has long stop screening at the movies. Many children (and adults) are in love with the characters from the movie, including Olaf the snowman and Elsa the Snow Queen. 

Here was the workshop that I conducted for a private group booking where they learnt to make a Frozen Bento with Elsa the Snow Queen and Olaf the Snowman characters. 

キャラ弁教室を教えるのがたのまれました。今度「アナと雪の女王」キャラベンを一緒に作りました。この映画は本当に大人気ですね
Look at all the beautiful creations they made! Good job everyone!!
A group photo of the lovely ladies and girls that attended my class! 

Thank you so much for coming!

ご参加してくださった皆様のお弁当ですヽ(*´∀`)ノキャラ弁は可愛く出来上がりました。本当に良かったね〜

みな様、ありがとうございました

Hope you like the workshop photo updates. Do also check out my Frozen Bento Posts below. Click on the images to bring you to the blog postings :)

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2014-04-17

Bunny & Little Chick Easter Bento うさぎちゃんとひよこちゃんの復活祭キャラ弁

Today I made a Bunny & Little Chick Easter Egg Bento! 

Hehe, can you spot the ‘easter egg’ rice ball in this bento? hmm... does the little chick look like a baby ducky? OOps :P

The ingredients for the characters were
Bunny (mashed potato, pink icing coloring, seaweed)
Little Chick (mashed potato, yellow and red icing coloring, seaweed)
Easter Egg (rice, pink sushi mix, flower furikake chips)

The bento side dishes were mapo tofu, sweet peas, cucumber, edamame beans and lettuce.

今日はうさぎちゃんとひよこちゃんのキャラ弁ですよ。

キャラクターの部分:
うさぎちゃん(マッシュポテト、海苔)
ひよこちゃん(マッシュポテト、海苔)
イースターエッグ(飯、ピンクの寿司ミックス、花ふりかけチップ)

お弁当のおかずは:麻婆豆腐、枝豆、エンドウ、キュウリ、レタス。
Bunny and Little Chick characters in this bento were made from mashed potato. 

Some of you who follow my blog would know that I have made several mashed potato kyarabens. 

It is a fun food ingredient as it almost feels like playing with dough that can be easily moulded into the different shapes for your characters. In addition, mashed potato is very forgiving, if you make a mistake or accidentally make a fingernail mark, just smoothen it out and re-shape it as you work.
Tips for using mashed potato for your character bento
マッシュポテトを使い方のポイントは見てみてください。
- Dice up with mashed potato and steam it. The dicing helps it to cook faster. 
- Ensure that the potato mash is smooth without chunks of potatoes (I usually use a potato masher to help me).
- Use gel or icing food colors when adding colors, this avoids adding too much moisture into your potato mash, making it hard to handle later on.
- Use toothpick to add your icing food colors, little by little each time, so that you do not ‘over color’ the potato mash.
Wash your hand in between making and rolling the potato shapes, this prevents the potato mash from sticking to your hands and also prevents the transfer of the different colors
This is probably my last Easter bento lunch for this year. Since tomorrow is a public holiday here in Singapore, I want to rest a little and take a bento break ;) I will be attending yet another cooking lesson tomorrow, so excited and look forward to share more with you. 

Have a great week and weekend ahead!

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