Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bento 295 and Yum-Yum Bento Box review

Last week, I received a copy of Yum-Yum Bento Box for review from their publisher
- Quirk Books.

Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches, by Crystal Watanabe (Adventures in Bentomaking) and Maki Ogawa (cuteobento).

I've posted close to 300 bentos in this blog over the last three years and seldom do you find charaben in my posts. No, it's not that I have anything against charaben but limitation of time, effort and creativity does douse any enthusiasm. Imagine trying to be creative at 6.00a.m. in the morning or close to midnight the night before drawing and plotting a charaben bento for the next morning.

I am a practical, no frills bento box packer and it's almost come to the end of my journey packing for my second daughter who is in her first year of college. All was well until she had her braces fitted and it's made her even more selective of what she eats. Of course each new semester welcomes a new and more active timetable, sometimes with classes back to back from one end of the long corridor to another.

I now have another challenge...to begin packing for my 11 year old girl. She's picky and selective about what she puts in her mouth. This year has been a little better because she's learn to eat a few new types of food besides her regular fish, soup, rice, tuna sandwiches and fried drumsticks. She's eating hamburgers, hot dogs, "bak kut teh", lasagna, chocolate muffins, bacon sandwiches and one or two more variety. She's okay with some fruits and some biscuits. With all the limitations, it's been really difficult to even think of beginning to pack for #3!

I think Yum-Yum Bento Box comes as almost an answer to my prayer. It's got a whole variety of cutesy display of food in colors, shapes, sizes and flavor. I doubt I will replicate any bento exactly (limited by food choices) but I should be able to use the authors ideas and variety to pack some 'eye candy' bento for #3.

I found this cute Ladybug Picnic bento on page 64 and I started out making it since I had some sushi stuff left from last night's dinner.

Hehehe! It didn't quite end up there though. I thought that punching twice using the eye and mouth puncher from 100 Yen would suffice instead of working with all the Lady bug spots and Nori accessories. So, I got something different and I'm just as happy because for me it was easy and fast.

Inside the pink balls (sakura denbu) of sushi rice is some chopped Tonkatsu and Mayo. There are two chocolates and a sliced orange.

Instead of cutting the sausages into Tulips, I simply used some cute skewers (which are usually in a drawer somewhere) to enhance the aesthetic view.

I worked on another bento box for #2. Usually, I would just chop up all the ingredients and mix it with the sushi rice to make it a "Chirashi sushi" style.

This time it's sushi balls filled with chopped Tonkatsu and Mayo surrounded with the various fillings for sushi. There's sliced simmered mushrooms, some edamame beans, sliced tamagoyaki, some skewered kyuri and carrots and left over Tonkatsu.

Picture taken with the box closed with a clear cover.

Food tastes better when they look good!

Yum-Yum Bento Box even appeals to a non charaben bento packer like me because I see that it provides me a variety of ideas, options, easy or detailed, to expand the way I want to with the availability of food and colors which appeals to my growing child.

I'm not sure if it's available locally at the major book stores but I'm sure you can order via Amazon.com or Kinokuniya at KLCC.

#3 came home ecstatic about her first 'charaben' bento today. LOL! She said that she wanted the same bento for dinner. *faints*

Other reviews or information found here:
Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook
Maisie Eats Bento
Mothering Corner
Yum-Yum Bento Box


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