Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mac and Cheese Sandwich

Mac and Cheese Sandwich, マックアンドチーズサンド、グラタンサンド

Hi there! Yes, it is Saturday. But as usual we have Japanese school. JJ is enjoying her new kindergarten class. She also loves Mac and Cheese. I could just put Mac and Cheese in the lunch box. But for easier access, I made a sandwich. I think this turned out pretty good :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dinner in a box

Both kids were happy to buy lunch today at school. It is becoming a tradition, 
if they did well during the week, as a prize, they could buy lunch. 
I think it is fun for them to "buy" something by themselves. 
The menu was pizza and chicken quesadilla. I almost wanted to do quick dinner 
somewhere on busy Friday, but thinking what they are eating for lunch, 
I decided to make dinner to go. JJ has a violin lesson today, and we have about 
30 minutes between her private lesson and group lesson 
for dinner time. This will be easy to eat in a car or anywhere, and somewhat filling. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Curry in Tortilla

curry in tortilla, カレーのトルティーヤ

Everything looks good with googly eyes, don't you think? 
This is quesadilla curry flavor. Instead of using chili, I used curry meat instead. 
Of course with cheese! Side is salami, fruits, vege and more cheese. 
For CC who doesn't like kiwi fruit, I even put marshmallow! 
Bon Appetit! 

Dinner to go 2

This is pork chop with vege and potato. I like caramelized onions that add so much flavor! Some spices, and the end, I finished with soy sauce. It might have been a bit too salty. 
The picture was taken at night, so didn't turn out as good as I take one by the window :( 

This one is chicken ginger wit fried rice and broccoli. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giraffe Omelet and Pasta

Giraffe Omelet and Pasta, きりんの卵焼きとパスタ弁当

Here is today's lunch! Giraffe is made of egg. The typical egg omelet 
(called TAMAGOYAKI in Japanese) like this is mixed with sugar, but I don't like sweet egg. 
When I make this, I add just a tiny bit of  chicken consommé soup stock in egg mix, 
cook like pancake on frying pan, then roll up, cut as you like. 
It's been sandwich and rice balls rotation, so I made pasta for a change :) 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teddy and Bunny Sandwich

Teddy and Bunny Sandwich, くまとうさぎのサンドイッチ

Today's lunch is Teddy and Bunny Sandwich. Inside is blueberry jam and strawberry jam. One of them is Nutella. Behind those is ham and cheese sandwich. And today's special is a PUMPKIN PIE! 
I haven't seen pumpkin pie for sale this year, yet. Have you? I couldn't wait :p so while kids are at school yesterday, I made one in small cupcake size. Yummy! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Panda Wrap

Panda Wrap, パンダラップ

Tell you the truth, I wasn't prepared today. First I was planning to make sandwich. Then the bread we bought yesterday was too dry! Oh my! What am I going to do? I used that bread for French Toast this morning. But I had to change my plan. This is rice ball wrapped in Panda wrap. Isn't it cute? This reminded of me the time when my mom used color plastic wrap to wrap sandwich (I was in kindergarten). Something new is this dessert. I made milk pudding. 

On top of the situation not having bread for sandwich, our refrigerator was 
pretty much empty! No vege, no fruits... and bunch of left overs! Nothing new, 
but at least CC's favorite chili in it :) 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bacon wrapped Meatloaf

Bacon wrapped meatloaf, ミートローフベーコン巻き

I made lunch today, I did.. just forgot to take a picture! I cannot believe it. 
Anyway, so this isn't for lunch, but could be. I made meatloaf wrapped in bacon. As you can imagine, it is easy. I used cupcake tin, and it took about 30 minutes! It would be a good finger food, don't you think? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chicken Teriyaki Meat Ball Dinner

Kids requested to buy lunch at school today. So this is the only lunch (dinner) today. Although, it is busy Friday, I need to make dinner in a box for girls. Whew. Anyway, this is chicken meat balls. It is kind of like sweet and sour sauce. Soy, sugar, Mirin or Sake mix to TERIYAKI the meat balls, then finish up with 1:1 cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Penguin Bento

Penguin Bengo, ペンギン弁当

Here is today's lunch, Penguin Bento! Yay. I wanted to make a penguin. After I took a picture, though..  I realized something is missing.. yes. "beak!" Oh well.. still looks like penguin, right? Inside the penguin belly is salmon flakes. On the left, chicken meat balls in sweet and sour sauce, fruits and vegetables on the right. This one is for JJ, because for some reason, CC said "can I peal off nori and eat it?" she said she doesn't like nori. Okay, that will limit the menu again. I just simply ignore it and see what she would do? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Micky Mouse Waffle

Mickey Mouse Waffle, ミッキーマウスワッフル

Since I was making so many obento these days, I needed a break! Today was easy waffle with bunch of fruits. Chocolate sauce for JJ, and Maple syrup for CC. 

Beef Brisket Dinner

Beef Brisket  ビーフシチューディナー

This is slow cooked beef brisket. It was easy, just throw in the oven for a few hours and done! 
Beef got so tender and juicy. Yum yum yum! 

Pasta Alfredo


This is Shrimp Alfredo. One problem we always have is that CC and JJ has totally different preference. I want them to eat the same thing, but sometimes, it is easier to make two different things. So they both eat. I made this for JJ's dinner at dance last night. She was very happy. 

Salmon Rice

しゃけごはん弁当、Salmon Rice

We had a busy night. After school, I had to take two girls to dance classes. Then I had to go back to school for curriculum night. In that time schedule, we didn't have time for nice sit down dinner. So I made a quick dinner bento. It was salmon flakes on the rice, and shumai which is CC's favorite, kind of like dumplings. It was crazy situation, but still yummy dinner :) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Panda Bento


I've seen many panda bento before, and wanted to try it. I had sushi molding, so I used it to make 5 of the same shaped rice ball, kind of the shape of cylinder. The rest is just cutting nori in the shape of panda. To go with it, chicken dog in flower shape, little bit of pomegranate around boiled egg. 

Drumstick Dinner

My favorite part of chicken is thigh. So I tend to buy chicken thigh whenever I go grocery shopping. Then I end up making similar dinner. This time, I bought drumstick, hoping kids will eat this one holding it. Cooked in the oven for about 45 minutes, salt and pepper plus olive oil seasoning. It was quite good :) Oh hot dog was just a little extra. I had a little space left, and also a few hot dogs in stock.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jewel Pet and Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Jewelpet, Sanrio, Sandwich, Kidslunch

It's been a lot of rice ball lunches, so I decided to make some sandwich. Simply, ham and cheese, then added Jewel Pet accent. I used strawberry jelly and Nutella chocolate to draw the face. Girls are getting into Jewel Pet these days. JJ couldn't let me get out of the Japanese store without buying one magazine she found with Jewel Pet stickers in it. So hopefully she'll be happy to find her favorite character in her lunch! 

This is the magazine JJ couldn't let go of. I agreed that those characters are extremely cute. In fact, I love Sanrio characters. It had a lot of stickers and actually had workbook like format. I was pleasantly surprised! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rice balls with meat ball

Today is school day for Japanese school again. It is about hour away from our house, so I have to wake up especially early for Saturdays. This is typical lunch for Saturday. CC likes rice balls with topping flakes we buy at the store. And something to go with. I put some meat balls, egg, and edamame today. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Music Onigiri Bento

I uploaded a picture from my iPhone and realized that was Instagram photo. Well, I'll keep it this way this time for a change. JJ had a violin lesson in the evening and it was busy. One of those days we don't have time for dinner. So second obento of the day. I picked something they WILL EAT FOR SURE. So simple chicken nuggets with star shaped Onigiris. For decoration, a few music notes that I made out of nori punch. Oh they were hungry! It was like a picnic when we have to eat obento somewhere else. The lesson went well, they ate well. Happy evening! 

Soba Bento

This is Soba Bento, and it is the first time I put soba in the lunch box. CC loves soba and she seemed to be more excited about this lunch than yesterday's Angry Bird :) Soba is Japanese noodle made of buckwheat. When you buy soba from store, just like pasta, you boil water, then boil soba for 5 minutes.  After that, cool it under running water. I normally pinch some out, then make little bunch for eating. Because when it drys, it starts stick together, and make it difficult to eat. How you eat is put the soba into Tsuyu which is a kind of sauce made out of Dashi (Japanese kind of soup stock), soy sauce, sugar. 
You can buy Tsuyu at the store, too. For lunch, I put tsuyu in a small container. 

Today they have a picture day at school. Hope pictures will be taken in the morning, just in case they spill sauce on the clothes....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Angry Bird Cheese with Quesadilla

Angry Bird, Cheese, Quesadillas

Today's lunch is chili and cheese quesadillas. For sides, JJ brought mayo pasta salad, CC brought Salamis. And for eye catcher, I made the Angry Bird out of cheese. For face, I just draw it on paper, and pasted it. I want to see her face when she opens the lunch box. She will probably laugh! 

I got a comment from CC's friend this morning. She said to me "CC's lunch is AWESOME! How did you make that?" I was happy to get a positive comment! It is very encouraging. So I showed her this picture. She gave me a bright smile, that made my day!

JJ likes this pasta salad. In fact, JJ eats a lot better than CC. So Here is a little different arrangement. 
A little treat of yogurt covered pretzels are hiding underneath. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Teddy Bear and Chicken Nuggets

Today's lunch for girls is Teddy Bear Onigiri with Chicken Nuggets. This is actually the first time I made teddy bear shaped onigiri. It was a lot of fun! To go with onigiri, I got chicken nuggets. This will be a good balanced meal :) Just in case, packed fruits for snack time. 

I wanted to add color. So added mini tomato. First, I was struggling placing them in the right place, and realized "Oh, if I cut a little parts of both, I can make heart shape!" So here it is! 

Today I had to make sure they will eat their lunch, because whenever I make lunch with faces, my girls feel bad to eat them! "Don't forget, those are just rice balls, and I can make them again!" I said to them :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mac and Cheese Bento

Today's Bento is Mac and Cheese! Tell you the truth, I couldn't think of anything last night. One difficult thing is that my girls are picky eater. I could make pretty obento, but they may not eat it. I have to find a fine line between pretty and something they eat! So here it is. 

JJ is only in Kindergarten. This is a huge obento for her. The little container with carrots are for her snack time. She also brought a box of raisins today. For CC, I forgot to take a picture, but pasta is tomato sauce. It's funny, two girls who are only 2 and a half apart has totally different preference. 

Dinner to go

My husband continues to work late, so here is steak dinner. It is kind of simple. The steak meat was marinated in garlic, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce over night. At the end, I added Japanese BBQ sauce to cook. I didn't taste it, but smelled good, and all was gone :) 

Another night, I made pork cutlet. 

Curry Dinner, Food

This one is actually left over from last night. Meat ball Curry. 
CC commented "it looks yummy!" I like how the color turn out!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Robot and Princess Grilled cheese sandwich

Happy Monday, everyone! Today, I made robot and princess grilled cheese sandwich. I had those cookie cutter I've never used, and now found a great way to decorate sandwich! What I did was just pressed cookie cutter onto bread, and that's it! 

Here is a robot for CC.

Here is a princess for JJ. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pork cutlet with heart onigiris

CC has school on Saturdays. She goes to Japanese school from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. So this is her obento today. My personal tip for good cutlet is Panko breading. I'm glad nowadays more people know about Panko and even sold at local grocery stores! If you don't know, Panko has bigger chunk of breading and when you deep fry, it is nice soft but crunchy at the same time!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Star Alien Pizza Lunch

This might be way too simple. But kids love pizza, right? And I found nice pizza dough at the store. It is whole grain pizza dough, and I had to try it. So I used cookie cutter to shape stars, put some pizza sauce and cheese. Easy! Just to balance that, added fruits and protein. Hope they like it! 

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad, Wish Bone Italian, Salad Supreme

I like this Pasta Salad. When you need one more thing, that works perfectly. It looks nice and taste great. Prepare your favorite pasta, and run under cold water to cool it. Add tomato, pepper, and green onion -- all chopped. Then add this Italian dressing and Salad mix. That's it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Totoro and Neko Bus (cat bus) Onigiri Bento

Totoro, Onigiri Bento, Shumai

CC requested Shumai for lunch. Shumai is like dumplings, and I didn't make it. There is a yummy one at Trader Joe's, and we buy this convenient frozen shumai for lunch, and emergency (quick) dinner. With it, I made Totoro Onigiri. She was so excited that she's already made a request to bring it to Japanese school. Well, I'll see. We'll have to wake up much earlier than normal school day. So I may have to make one the night before. 

Neko bus, cat bus, Totoro, Omlette rice bento

Here is lunch for JJ. It is supposed to be Neko Bus (cat bus) from Totoro. It is hard to make it look like it! Whew! This is ketchup rice with shrimp wrapped in omelet. Hope they are having a fun lunch time!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chili Roll Ups

Kids Lunch, Obento, Chilli roll ups
My girls love Chili. So whenever we have chili, next day is chili roll ups, or quesadilla for lunch. This time, I made chili roll ups. I realized, though it is a little trickier than quesadilla. When I roll up tortilla, somehow made too much room, as result, they look like these! Well, next time I will stay with quesadilla :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuna Sandwich

Tuna Sandwich with fruits

This is Tuna Sandwich with fruits. In the middle, a little treat of chocolate covered pretzels. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Healthy Snack -- guideline from kindergarten

Healthy Snack for Kindergarten, kids, children

JJ will start kindergarten tomorrow! It is exciting! Last week, we had an orientation and one of things we received was snack guidance. The hand out says "Research continues to show that proper nutrition enhances academic ability, improves overall school performance and decreases absences. It impacts behavior and emotional functioning and leads to higher achievement. It lowers anxiety, hyperactivity, depression and psychological dysfunction. (Action for Healthy Kids, 2004, 2009). I think it is true for everyone! So here is "do's" and "don'ts"

Whole fruit, Fruit salad, Fruit cups
Nuts (only in classrooms without restrictions)
Dried fruit
Small box of raisins
Natural fruit roll-ups without dye or added sugar
Cheese sticks, cubes, or slices
Cut-up vegetables, dip
Popcorn (low-fat, non-buttered),
whole grain low-fat crackers

Candy/yogurt covered fruit
Potato chips, cheese puffs, fried tortilla chips
Candy, cake, cookies, cupcakes
Fruit roll-ups with added sugar, dye, preservatives
Breakfast bars with high sugar/fat
Foods laden with preservatives
Processed cheese with saltines
Foods with artificial flavoring
Foods laden with preservatives
Crackers or pretzels with white flour or high fats

So what I packed was carrots (her favorite) and red pepper with hummus, green grapes and vege crackers. It might be too much for little snack time. But something she can choose and eat. I'll see how she does it tomorrow :)

Spicy Miso Stir Fry

The stir fry is easy. Cook up your favorite vegetables with little protein, add sauce, done! It is a great way to have a lot of vegetable. Today I made Spicy Miso Stir Fry. Spices are simply, soy sauce, sake, ginger, sugar, then, miso with hot sauce. The hot sauce is called "Doubanjiang" 豆板醤. It is useful and small amount give enough kick to it.
spicy miso stir fry

 Left over for lunch tomorrow.