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I may be late in posting my bentos but I try to keep up the pace of a bento a week.

Here are my latest bentos — both office lunches — dating from Thursday November 10th and Tuesday the 15th.

Bright Bento (#163)

Bright Bento #163

Bento #163 was full of seasonal colours. Some hearty fall food! From left to right (a click on the pic will bring you to Flickr where you can look at a larger version):

Tumbler
Garlic-sunchoke soup with parsley. Toasted rosemary bread (two slices shown, the rest packed in my SnackTaxi bag). I wanted to try bringing toast but  I’m not going to do it again because it doesn’t hold well.

Left container
Radish flowers, a scoop of Ethiopian lentil dish with faux sour cream and cucumber slices.

Middle container
Two kinds of hummus (beetroot and pumpkin) with veggies to dip: the beforementioned cukes & radishes, gherkin, carrot and lettuce. Next to that some spicy kabocha pumpkin and sundried tomato.

Right container
Sweets: a stewed pear, dried apricot, cinnamon almonds and a ‘beach ball’ apple.

I figured you might want to have a better look at the paper cups MaaikeB brought me from Japan You ask, we deliver! Cute stuff eh?

Bento gear

Jumble Bento (#164)

Jumble Bento #164
Bento #164 contained another mix of leftovers, most of which you already saw in Bright Bento.

Top tier
Stewed pear, red beet hummus, lettuce, Ethiopian lentils and faux sour cream.

Lower tier
Veggies to dip: gherkin, carrot, cucumber, red paprika, radishes and steamed green beans. Some mini Zaanse kermis biscuits for dessert. Just because I find them so cute!

The photo below shows my side container with pandan rice, Thai green curry and steamed baby cauliflower.

Jumble Bento #164 sidedish (Thai green curry with baby cauliflower)
Did you notice I’m using even more new bento gear? I found these kawaii mini loaf cups at Xenos!

Bento gear

November 1st Bento #161
Here’s the bento I had on November 1st to celebrate World Vegan Day. Apologies for the bad pic: quinoa seems to be camera shy.. ;)

Left tier
Quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, corn, bell pepper and more on a bed of lettuce. Cute red paper container with orange-basil tempeh as salad topping.

Right tier
Radish, fig, half a kiwi fruit, another kawaii container from Japan (sakura print) containg nutmix for salad (sunflower seeds, pepitas, pinenuts and pecans), apple bunny (usagi ringo) and cinnamon almonds.

The almonds had sweated and gave my apple a sweet spicy taste — nom!

Lots of proteins in quinoa, tempeh and nuts! :)

Now where did I get those nice new paper foil containers? My friend MaaikeB and her family went shopping for me in Japan! Here’s a picture of the goodies they brought back. I’m one happy grrl!

Goodies from Japan!

Find more bentos at Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday  (week 75).

This food-related post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

That I don’t have many occasions these days — nor the energy — to make bentos, doesn’t mean I can resist the occasional splurge on nice gear! So when I saw this modern tumbler at Bento & Co during their Golden Week discount, it took me only seconds to click the right buttons. ;) I bet my fellow bentoïsts can relate?!

Insulated 'Wallmug Porter'

"Microwave safe. You can reheat juicy food to enjoy them deliciously."

I’ve been wanting an insulated mug to bring along soup or noodles for ages, so I’m glad I can now cross that “WANT” off my list.

But I didn’t stop at that! Remember I’ve been doing without a picnic bento since my cute rabbit box broke during Hanami two years ago? What better than to get myself a real cherry blossom bento? I love my sakura, and I won’t say ‘No’ to a spray of gold-dust either. ;) Don’t you think this Hakoya box is lovely?

New Sakura picnic bento box for Hanami

And then there’s the “OMG they killed Kenny!” bottle (a.k.a. Wallmug Sulo) that made me giggle. It can be used for either hot or cold drinks and the snazzy insulation jacket makes it weigh less than a thermos.

"OMG they killed Kenny!" bottle

You can imagine that receiving these nice new stuffs made me eager to throw together a bento a.s.a.p. Well.. today’s the day! And heeeeeeere’s:

Pastel Bento (#142)

Pastel Bento #142 - Thermos with pasta

The tumbler contains pasta with black olives and white asparagus. I’ve made this recipe twice now, both when I had omnivore dinner guests coming over, and it certainly won’t be the last time. I microwaved the leftovers this morning and although the mug felt warm to the touch for quite sometime, I was a bit disappointed to find it had cooled down at lunchtime. I guess I’ll need an insulation bag to go with it. Or a microwave at the office. ;)

Pastel Bento #142 - Hakoya box with spring colours

Upper tier

  • Salad ingredients: oak-leaf lettuce, spring onion, radish & radish sprouts, parsley, croutons.
  • Miso-dressing.
  • Piece of corn on the cob.

Lower tier

  • Rhubarb compote.
  • Fruit dessert of pear and kiwi with coconut cream (you’ll be hearing more about that when I talk about rhubarb in another post).
  • Pickled red onion.

I hope I’ll have another bento to share with you soon!

Pastel Bento #142

Find more bento lunches at Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday  (week 52).

She notices the ladybird on his thumb. ‘Tentô-mushi.’
In his eagerness to comprehend, he mishears: ‘O-ben-tô-mushi?’
‘O-ben-tô-mushi is “luncheon-box bug”.’ She smiles.This,’ she indicates the ladybird, ‘is O-ten-tô-mushi.’
Tentô-mushi,’ he says, and she nods with a schoolmistress’s approval.

[David Mitchell: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, p.121]

New loot from Bento&Co

In my post about bento #101 I mentioned I’ll be celebrating my 3rd year as a bento-grrl next month, on June 16th to be precise. In the past years I haven’t really indulged in buying many (and more) bento boxes. I purchased four for myself in those early days — not counting Mr Gnoe’s box — and one of them broke on the way back from last year’s hanami picnic.

You could say I own a box a year ;) I’ve behaved so well all this time!

Well, up until now. I figured I deserved something new for my 3-year anniversary :) Here’s where the discount offer I had received from Bento & Co for participating in the 2010 Spring Bento Contest on JustBento came in handy… Of course I had a hard time choosing which box to buy — and ended up doubling my bento stock in one click. Many thanks Maki & Thomas! ;)

I also couldn’t resist the cute hashi (chopsticks) in kimono fabric matching my blossom bento. I feel happy now. And hope to have satisfied my lunchbox hunger for the next 3 years ;)

The last of my new furoshikis arrived this weekend: a cool blue & white dragon-fly design. I think it fits summer as well as winter :) I couldn’t say it better than Rusillio who tweeted:

i like the natural theme of the pattern, delicate but lively

The orizuru (crane) was made by my mother-in-law; I haven’t done any origami myself in a long, LONG time ;) But that might change in the near future when I’ll try this edible origami crane! Great bento dish :) But I guess I’ll need to practise first! ;)

YAY! Gimme a lunch break like today a n y t i m e ! :)

LOOK!

Call me weird but after peeling off the first layer of packaging, I left the promising boxes unopened for about 15 minutes ;)

I’ve been crazy about furoshiki’s ever since I heard of their existence. At the time that was not related to bento at all but to giving presents — hey I love gift wrapping, beautiful textiles and paper as well! Not forgetting traditions and preservation ;)

Up until now I only had 2 small furoshiki’s fitting my bento’s: 1 spring, 1 autumn. Having just that pair made me extra careful with them :\ So… now I’ve got some new Japanese wrapping cloths to play with! :)

Most bento-ers know where to find the instructable for furoshiki wrapping techniques, but for those who don’t: go to the Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan! Yes, really.

My new treasures are designed by two different artists: Ichiro Tsuruta and Sybilla. Are you tempted to see my furoshiki’s unpacked? You might soon!

*** Real fans of Japanese presents and avid readers might also like Joy Hendry’s study of Wrapping Culture on Google books! Not just about furoshiki but the whole world of gift giving :) ***

Woot! De buit is binnen! :)

ARIGATO GOZAIMASU Katie & Anita! Jullie hebben me erg gelukkig gemaakt met mijn grass dividers en sauce containers helemaal uit Tokio :)) Ik ben blij dat jullie ze niet overboord hebben gegooid omdat er geen plek meer was in de koffers!

Elma keek nogal raar dat iemand blij wordt van zoiets, but hey — mij zul je weer niet met 2 honden in een kano zien..! Natuurlijk ook veel dank aan deze grrl voor het spelen van koppelaarster annex koerier :)

Ik moet maar vast gaan nadenken over de inhoud van mijn volgende bento!

Ever since I saw my kawaii Japanese picks I have been dreaming of a mexican bento lunch. It didn’t come out exactly the way I wished, but it was nice anyway ;) I present: bento #14.

Mexican dream bento

Left tier: homemade enchilada rolls with cream cheese and chives, salsa and guacamole – held together by my new food picks. Cucumber divider, frijoles (mexican beans) on a bed of whole grain rice and topped with grated cheese. All leftovers from the night before!

Tier below: mixed salad in cup, light La vache qui rit cheese wedge (almost invisible next to the salad), organic chili tortilla crisps and container of homemade salsa picante.

On the side some seedless grapes and part of a camera-shy corn cob.

Baking the enchilada’s seemed easy but turned out ‘just OK’. I also had a hard time cutting the rolls – I really should find a way to sharpen my knives! I have some really frustrating memories of sharpening utensils that didn’t work, but I can’t just throw all of my cutlery away and buy some new, can I? How do other people take care of that?

Anyway, if I would have had just a little more time and energy I would have roasted some pepita’s (pumpkin seeds) to fill up the gaps.

As it turned out I didn’t take this bento to work because I was home sick. But this way at least I could take good care of myself! ;)

Cute Belated Birthday Cupcakes
Because my brother couldn’t come to Mr Gnoe’s actual birthday we decided to have a small after-party exactly one month later. Which was yesterday ;)

Since I had the day off I baked some cupcakes (as you can see I used the silicon cups I bought last week). They turned out really well! We couldn’t eat them all so I put some in the freezer to use as bento stash :) Hopefully they will still taste good!

Japanese Soup Bowls
Hubby got a couple of gorgeous lacquer soup bowls for a B-day present. We didn’t have any yet, so it’s a great gift! Now we have the perfect excuse to eat Japanese again real soon ;)

Since we only got some edible goodies at Shilla Delicatessen yesterday, I still have a wish-list of things to get for my bento. And what better place than to put it here? I can cross out whatever I have managed to get ;)

composition of bento accessories

  • small sauce and dressing containers!!!
  • bento box for E
  • divider grass (and/or other dividers)
  • small and lightweight cutlery (spoon and fork)
  • small picnic-cloth (just any nice cloth will do)
  • small side dish containers (for pickles)?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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