Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can't stay away! Had a little "Bento party" @ home!

My 9 year old daughter had friends over for a day. I made bentos for them for lunch and it was a blast! Her friends has not been exposed to bentos before and were trilled with the array of food.

There was a mix of pizza cut into heart and fish shapes. Some broccoli florets topped with Japanese Kewpie mayo and Parmesan cheese, tuna sandwiches, nuggets, spaghetti Alio Oglio, orange bits and a chocolate for treat.

*Trying to stay away from the computer to carry out some 'motherly' responsibilities! Sorry, won't be responding to your comments till next week!*

Monday, September 29, 2008

Taking a Bento break!

It's holidays this week! Bento Pet is taking a break from Bentos! Spending some quality time with the kids!

Will be back next week (6th October, 2008). Cheerio!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

BENTO #140

A quick bento for tea before another run to the music school!
Clockwise: A silicon cup full of chopped up salad doused in Olive oil and some Balsamic vinegar, a yellow Kiwi, a freshly ripened date and a tomato.

I bought some mini cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon and I added it into the Bento box. There is another cherry tomato and finally a silicon cup of fried chicken. A lot of friendly animal faces in today's Bento box!

This is eaten at home so I don't have to worry about adjusting the animal forks to accommodate a closed box!

Oh! And there is a flask full of "lui cha" (herbal soup made up of basil, mint, peanuts, sesame, salt, pepper, bitter herbs, tea and young Jambu leaves).

#2 had a most satisfying tea break!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bento Competition

I submitted this entry for a competition organized by Bento Addiction. Her theme is "Back to school". I've taken this long to decide to submit an entry because I don't have the slightest idea how to make a "theme" bento!

I keep checking out Bento Addiction for new entries and so far has seen 4 entries posted up by her. She says that to make the competition valid, there should be at least 5 entries. What a waste of a Bento competition if it becomes invalid!

I decided to make the 5th entry regardless.

I had not the slightest idea what to do. I just rummaged my fridge and bento supplies and came up with this:

My bento is basically made up of the famous Onigiri faces of Bento world with their infamous 'eyes'!
These familiar friends are always a delight and surprise to see when one opens the Bento box.
They lay on top of some vegetables and roasted chopped peppers (left overs from the alphabet cut outs)
The bottom tier contains cut out shapes of zucchini, carrots and luncheon meats spread on a bed of left overs of the same (no wastage here either).
A short message: "School Rocks" on the cover of the Bento box serves as an inspiration of what is to come! Yeah!
I changed the cover of the Bento box to a transparent cover so that the message can be seen even when it is closed.

BENTO #139

I fried some scallops, "la la" shellfish and prawns with mushrooms and tomatoes for today's Bento box. To accompany all that was the final left over sprouts. I had made some Campbell soup for her to take in a flask but she declined it because she said that there was no time to eat due to the 'puasa' period, so she had it for breakfast. All classes are shortened and the teachers are trying to keep time. I suspect that she's using her recess time to stay in class to finish up homework!

There was takuan, an orange and a piece of Nougat for treat. #2 and I are big fans of Nougat - the hard ones! We don't mind the soft type but the hard ones are the ones we always look for. In one sitting, we can finish a whole box.

I know, I know, it's bad for the teeth and the diet! These temptations are hard to resist!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

BENTO #138

I planned this Bento last night. I didn't foresee it being so brown in this orange two tier Bento box though! Nevertheless, I think this is one of those few times that I've managed to make a Bento box without any carbo. LOL! It's packed with raw and cooked vegetables, some protein and fruits.

In the left Bento box, I had some cut yellow and green zucchini and tomatoes tossed in salad cream. There is some boiled lotus root from last night's soup.

In the right Bento box, there's the ever favorite bananas topped with cinnamon sugar - a change from the regular Kiwi that she loves. Lianne suggested bacon bits with Brussel sprouts in yesterday's post, I thought it was a great idea so I improvised with broccoli this morning! There are some meat bits from yesterday's soup which I tossed in soy sauce.

Free and easy because I remembered to do my homework! Hahaha! I also managed to work out tomorrow's menu already!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mamma Mia!

(Picture linked back to source)

Yahoo! Mamma Mia opens tomorrow at the cinemas in Malaysia! WHoooooeeeee!

Mum: Mich! Book tickets for Mamma Mia ASAP!
Mich: Cannot book lah Ma! Have to purchase and pay online! But not this week please! Having quizzes and exams all week! *sigh*
Mum: Oh! Okay, next week then! Check your dad's schedule girl!
(checks dad's schedule: Bingo! Monday night!)
Rach: But I have tuition!
Mich: But...err....
Mum: Forget about tuition!
#3: Don't I get to say anything?
Mich: Err....hello?
Mum: Shhhh......you keep out of this.
Mich: Mum! I'm still having exams ....!
Mum: Huh? Okay, Okay, Hari Raya then!! *pull a long face* *too long waiting time, Boo!*

Aiyoh! Want to watch movie also have to make so many arrangements! Life used to be so much simpler. Hubs and I will just decide which movie to go to and everybody just follows. These days we have to arrange and re-arrange our schedules just to watch a movie together! *SIGH*

I'm a great fan of ABBA and Mamma Mia starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Amanda Seyfried and others is an explosion of ABBA songs namely Dancing Queen, I Have a Dream, Voulez-Vous, and Take a Chance on Me.

ABBA is my generation kinda music and exams or not, we're going to watch that movie!

BENTO #137

We had sprouts for dinner last night because #2 kept bugging me to cook it again! No wonder she likes it so much, it is very delicious! She asked if she could finish the balance on the plate while we were half way through dinner.

Seriously, I've run out of ideas for frying sprouts. This morning, I sneaked some different 'sprouts' into her bento box - Brussels sprouts! I boiled and cut them and tossed them in a sesame seed dressing. I tried 2 pieces and it was delicious. I personally love Brussels sprouts but somehow only get to eat them at restaurants as an accompaniment with steaks or some sort of Western styled dish. I've never tried cooking Brussels sprouts and the combination of sesame seed dressing seems perfect!

Next to that are some skewered Nori meat patties and raw carrots.

In the other Bento box is a Yellow Kiwi and a smiling face tuna sandwich!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BENTO #136

This morning's picture had to be 'doctored' because I was in a hurry, I'm hosting the Mother's prayer for children session in my house. I didn't get to check the photo because everyone was running late. * Big Drama this morning! *

Simple bento today!
Left Bento: More sprouts!! #2 has requested for this everyday! She loves it and is raving about being able to eat it 7 days a week! This morning I fried them with some mushrooms and tomatoes. There is a soft dinner roll filled with egg, tuna mayo and some yellow zucchini.

The other box has a green kiwi, half a banana and an individually packed Japanese sponge cake.

#2 keeps telling me to drop the 'carbo' but I really don't know what else to pack! No rice is fine, but no breads is near impossible! Any ideas??

Back in the home ground, I prepared a large bowl of fruit salad. Forgot to take the picture! I only managed to snap these below just before the mummies arrived.

Below is the two plates of canapes which I prepared this morning for breakfast.

This is rosemary chicken sitting on yellow zucchini and crisp buttered baguette, topped with mayo and a dot of tomato sauce and a dash of freshly ground pepper.

This is a plate of egg, tuna mayo on top of green zucchini and crisp buttered baguette. For some added visual effect, I placed a tomato bit on it!

There was coffee and my favorite Green tea and lots of conversation and fellowship!!
Thank God for another day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

BENTO #135

We've not had sardines in tomato sauce for a while. When I was shopping for groceries last week with #2, she picked two small cans to sardines. I usually like the ones in oil but #2 prefers the tomato based ones.

I had an exhausting weekend and I didn't have time to work out this morning's 'menu'. This time, I was not daunted because I had just shopped for groceries and I knew I had included lots of Bento supplies.

My left Bento box this morning has a silicon cup full of fried sprouts and carrots. A piece of brownie and a sardine fish in tomato sauce, there's a shoyu sauce bottle for the hard boiled egg too. All packed together tightly to prevent shifting and spilling.

The right Bento box contains some bread slices, more brownies and a star shaped hard boiled egg.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

BENTO #134

Just a sandwich for #2 before another run. We're watching "Maid in Manhattan" right now munching the delicious sandwiches. I know it's a very old show, but the DVD has been lying around for a long while crying out 'Watch ME, watch ME!' and when #2 finally declared that she was watching "Maid in Manhattan", I made time to watch too!

Watching it taught me a few things. When "Marisa" was caught impersonating who she wasn't and was asked to leave her employment, her supervisor also put in his resignation and had these last words to share with her:

"Sometimes we're forced in directions that we ought to have found for ourselves.
To serve people takes dignity and intelligence. But remember they're only people with money. Although we serve them, we are not their servants.

What we do, does not define who we are.
What defines us is how well we rise after falling".

I love the movie and will probably find time to watch it again. It's inspiring!

Anyway, back to our sandwiches. I'm using my new sandwich box and I simply adore it!
I made a triple layer turkey ham, zuchinni, red and green coral vegetables on buttered white and wholemeal bread!!! As usual, I will also add a splatter of wholegrain mustard for extra 'zing'!

Added two blocks of cheese to munch on.

Sandwich box from the side angle!

Blog post edited: Check this link for full review on collapsible sandwich case!

Friday, September 19, 2008

BENTO #133

The season of the mid Autum festival has come and gone. While I was looking for descriptive articles to link to, just so some people who are not familiar with this festival the Chinese celebrate get to understand it a little better, I found this article which I thought didn't describe the sentiments explicitly enough as having coming from 'experience' rather, it was researched.

I then remembered Terri's article which I read last year and which transported me back to the days of yore. She describes the history, the superstitions and the personal journey in the simple celebration of the mid Autum festival to the tee.

Like most Fridays, I try to end the week with #2's favorite Salmon fish. Today it's Norwegian Salmon from the can! See, I cut the moon cakes horizontally too, just to get the egg yolk even though I know in a double egg yolk moon cake I'm bound to get something! Old habits die hard!

In the same Bento box, I had some Ritz biscuits to go with the Norwegian Salmon.

I got into a little 'debate' with #2 yesterday over the 'longan' which I gave her two days ago in her Bento box. She insists that they are 'mata kuching' and I think they are 'longan'. Honestly, I have no idea what they are because "I saw, I took and I paid" for them without asking for descriptions! Anyone recognize them?

There are some juicy rolled up carrots and kyuri (Japanese cucumbers) to accompany the meal. A sweet young lady left a comment in my post about the Japanese biscuits and informed that they are called `shiroi koibito`-white lovers?- A Hokkaido speciality. I put two into the top of the Bento box just for snack-king.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Left over Bento stuff for sale!

There are some left over and new accessories up for sale! Most are from the Bento Party stock that I brought in. If you are interested to purchase them, please e-mail me for details @

BENTO #132

Didn't do my homework last night. I was doing some general spring cleaning and was too tired to plan for this morning's Bento.

Since we're going to have lunch out today, I made a quick fix. Left Bento box contains some yellow Kiwi and some homemade dry crisp bread.

In the right Bento box is some 'Longan' fruit and some baby French beans rolled in cooked salami! Very simple and nondescript!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More sushi!

Tonight, as in all 3rd Wednesdays we go for our BEC gathering in a nearby home. It's a gathering of neighboring Catholics where we come together in a time for prayer and fellowship. On days like these, each family cooks a dish and brings to the host family and have dinner after prayers.

Tonight, after a long absence, the BEC will savor my signature dish again - SUSHI! The last couple of months have been Chinese food and they've been dropping HEAVY hints about missing my sushi!

My 3 tiered Jyubako from Japan. Love to bring this box for parties!

Wish I had been a little more tidy with the cutting. If the Japanese Chef who taught me sushi saw the way I cut the sushi, he'd have a heart attack!

*I was rushing, chef, sorry!*

New Bento box?

We have a one day holiday today, so #2 is off school and there's no Bento!

Some random musings....

When my niece passed this to mum to bring back from Penang, I was quite excited. It looked like a bento box!

Unfortunately, it wasn't, and I was a little disappointed! (Sorry sweet heart, your Aunt is such a bento addict). It turned out to be a box of Japanese biscuits. She'd just returned from a stint in Japan and bought chocolates and these Japanese biscuits for mum to bring back for the cousins.

What a thoughtful thing to do. Not many young people these days 'bother' and it's nice to acknowledge the few who still remember their parents teachings and "P's and Q's".

And did I mention? This thoughtful young lady is on the way to being a doctor? Yeah!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Feel Okay Tag

"Our happiness or sadness is not determined by our past. It's determined by how we look at life. Memories are experiences. But it doesn't make who we are."

From Malaysia's first sci-fi musical entitled "No Limits".

"When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not shouting "I've been saved! "I'm whispering "I get lost - that's why I chose this way. "When I say "I am Catholic" I don't speak with human pride, I'm confessing that I stumble - needing God to be my Guide. When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not trying to be strong, I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on."

"When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not bragging of success, I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt (The debt of Christ's death on the Cross). When I say "I am Catholic" I don't think I know it all, I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught. When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I'm worth it."

"When I say "I am Catholic" I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His Name. When I say "I am Catholic" I do not wish to judge, I have no authority - I only know I am loved. "

From: World Youth Day, Sydney 2008

"It is not how powerful the curse is, it is how much power you give it"

From the movie: Penelope

Got this tag from Within small bites.
I don't normally do Tags but I like this one because I get to share what inspires me and drives me through my roller coaster days!

So now back to the tag --- * starts copy from here :-

Feel okay? Well you should be! You’ll definitely be okay if you’re going to be a part of this meme, be okay if you are about to have a chance to increase your Technorati and Google Pagerank!

1. Make others feel good: share your favorite, self made, or any quotes as you pass on this meme with the image below.

2. Make sure to come back – HERE - (ifeelokay.com) to get the master list and leave a comment that you’ve made yourself a part of this meme. This would ensure that you’ve been added to masters list.

3. Your favorites, self made, or any quotes that you shared are collected and will be linked back to your site as its source, this would give you much benefit. Put a category before your quote. (ex. Inspirational, happiness, love, sweet, time, motivational, friendship, and others), much better if you relate the quote on your blog. Ex. Fashion Blog - quotes about beauty; Personal Blog - quotes about success, life, inspirational and many more. It’s your choice.

4. Only one quote and category per blog please, make sure to tag as many bloggers possible. Please update your contributor's list more often. May we achieve thousands of quotes from different bloggers around the world. Let the fun begin. Be a part of a great collection of quotes from different bloggers around the world!!!

(12)My Touch of Heaven
(14)Momhood Moments
(15)Business Mars
(16)Within Small Bites

View the complete list of Quotes by bloggers around the world -- Here

(1)BeautyTips,(2)Emjei Says,(3)Techmobiz,(4)BlackNickel,(5)ifeelokay,(6)iAM-MAi,(7)NeuroPatch, (8)Express4Free, (9)Club101, (10)Earn4aLiving,(11)Solo-Flight,(12)My Touch of Heaven, (13)BigMoneyList (14)A Simple Life (15)Momhood Moments (16)Business Mars (17)Fun|Fierce|Fabulous (18)My Pink Shoelace (19)Rosa’s Meanderings (20)Chronicles & Tales Unlimited (RED) (21)Within Small Bites (22)My Life…. My Journey! (23)Life is good and Beautiful (24)HappyHeart (25)By Osc@r Luiz (26)Reality Notes (27)My so-called Life (28)Kwento ni Enday (29)The Fountain Of Happiness (30)Amazingly Me (31)Caring Is Not Only Sharing… (32)Onabentofrenzy (33)Denz Recreational (34)Pieces of Me (35)My Inner Thoughts (36)Emily’s Buzy World (37)Maritima Heavenly (38)YOUR BLOG!

- HERE - View the complete list of Quotes by bloggers around the world - HERE -

* End copy here

Let's share what your favourite quote is.

I'd just like to tag Emily.

BENTO #131

I decided to make my children's favorite sandwich! In the morning's #3 doesn't eat breakfast before going to school but if there is croissant, she'll request for one and this morning was the same. She had one for breakfast, wow!

It's also #1's favorite and a ham, croissant sandwich is waiting for her to come downstairs to be eaten!

The same goes into #2's box today, a ham, alfalfa and croissant sandwich cut into pieces for easy handling.

I also blanched some vegetables (sawi) and tossed them in garlic oil and shoyu. More fresh white button mushrooms with some sesame seed dressing - yummy! #2 asked to toss the mushrooms in the dressing also for easy eating. She says that it's difficult to mix anything in the box because everything is packed so tight.

A closer look at today's bento!

Monday, September 15, 2008

BENTO #130

I'm glad I responded to 'mummy's instincts' yesterday and packed a Bento for #2 when I went to fetch her after she returned from camp. I found out at dinner time from hubs that she had skipped lunch because of some chores she had to complete and thus did not have enough time to eat.

When I passed her the Bento, she happily tucked in as she recounted her experience at camp. We had a good 45 minutes bonding time!

I love this new Bento box from the 100 Yen store. I've been coveting this 'environment friendly' color which I have seen being sold in online Ichiban-kan stores in US.

I absolutely love, love this box!
I packed a little left over of yesterday's fruit salad (notice, the apples didn't turn brown because of the orange juice) and some pineapple ham sandwiched in buttered wholemeal bread.

In the right Bento box is some Kiwi, yellow courgette and some seaweed (kombu and wakame) topped with sesame seed dressing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

BENTO #129

This evening, #2 comes back from her weekend camp. #3 asked me to get a bouquet of flowers to welcome her back but I opted to fill her tummy instead.

Welcome back sweetheart! I love you!

The left Bento is a mixed fruit salad consisting of orange, green apple, red apple, green Kiwi and Strawberries. Squeezed half an orange and mixed all the fruits up! Fortunately the orange juice was sweet and didn't require any sweetener otherwise I would have added some honey.

The right Bento contains some fresh white button mushrooms wrapped in cooked salami and plastered with some wholegrain mustard - all kept together with some skewers.

In the other half of the box, I added some flavored Korean seaweed with sesame seeds and freshly roasted Cashew nuts.

This will do for a light snack before we go out for dinner and battle with the "Buka Puasa" crowd tonight at "Mum's place" in Damansara Perdana.

Another angle of the Bento box.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Focaccia Bread

My #2 baby (I think, to most mums, our daughter's will always remain babies regardless of their age! ) is off to camp for the weekend and there's been no Bento since Thursday.

I've made Focaccia bread several times and it's turned out really good. Some people has asked for the recipe, here it is:

15g Yeast granules

300 ml lukewarm water
10 ml salt
3 sprigs (or more) fresh rosemary, chopped

90 ml of olive oil
550g bread flour
15 ml coarse sea salt

1. Mix half the lukewarm water with the yeast granules and allow it to froth.

2. Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
3. The recipe recommends to hand knead but I use the Kenwood hook and knead the flour, the frothed yeast, the balance of the water and 3/4 of the olive oil until you get a soft dough.
4. Leave to rise for 2 hours until doubled size.
5. Hand knead and knock back the risen dough, adding in the chopped rosemary.
6. Flatten into an oiled roasting tin approx 10 x 14 inches.
7. Cover with oiled clingwrap and prove until doubled.
8. Press fingertips into the dough to make deep indentations.
9. Cover again and rise until doubled.
10. Pre-heat oven to 220C.
11. Brush over the remaining oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
12. Place a tin of hot water in the base of the oven.
13. Bake the bread for 20 minutes until golden.
14. Turn out to cool, but it is best eaten warm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bento Party Part 4 - Last lot of pictures

This is the last lot of the pictures from the Bento Party! Have fun!

The lovely Terri introducing herself at the Bento Party!

Food and friendship, as a result of the Bento Party - so typically Malaysian!

The demure SueSue going through the introductions.

My high light of the day! KAWAII cup cakes by Su Yin!

Photo shopped this picture to improve it's color! Yikes! Actually looks worse!

I think this is Star gal's friend Mona with her Bento entry for the competition.

Su Yin displaying the cup cakes!

SueSue from Cooking Momster brought her friend Ms. Tan for the Bento Party.

Amy listening intently to the Bento "How to's"!

Intent crowd!

I think this is Lindsay!

"Moi" describing the food for the day and it's portions for the Bento competition.

May, introducing herself at the Bento Party!

A group photo with Ms. Tan, SueSue, Pat of Bento Pet and Jessie of Hijack Queen.

"What did we get ourselves into?" *Gasp!*

The lovely Jasmine, during introduction time.

Also Star Gal's friend, Kai San with her Bento entry!

Aiyah! Where is my camera?

A light moment with the effervescent Wendy a.k.a. Biblo!

Sake any body?

Busy, busy packing for the Bento competition.

This is also Emily - Wong!

And our Emily Chiam reminding us to RECYCLE!!!! Not only use Bento boxes and wash them, also bring your own bags and say NO to plastic bags!!!

I hope you enjoyed all the 4 parts of the Bento Party updates! Cheers!!


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