Category Archives: bento

Kindergarten bento – Chicken Balsamico (Wed 10/Oct/18)

This is my original Chicken Balsamico. It’s been highly approved by the family.

Ingredients:

500g chicken thigh (cut into bite size, put salt & pepper in advance), 2 celery storks (sliced), 1 clove of garlic (chopped), 15 – 20 cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 – 2 bay leaves, 1 table spoon of olive oil, dash of white wine, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 table spoon of honey, 100ml water, salt & pepper to taste, and a dash of soy sauce for extra flavoring

Direction:

In the medium sized pan, on medium heat, fry the celery & garlic with olive oil until golden, then add chicken, fry further until golden, and pour in white wine.

Add cherry tomatoes, water and balsamic vinegar & honey, as well as bay leaves, stir, and put the lid on, lower the heat and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or so.

Sprinkle salt & pepper & soy sauce to taste.

That’s it, easy & quick! You can either cook celery leaves together, or sprinkle it over the stew once it’s done.

Kindergarten bento – Colours (Tue 9/Oct/18)

Monday was a public holiday in Japan, and we went to this beautiful and exciting museum called Team Lab / Borderless.

As soon as you step in to the museum, the world of fantasy spreads before your eyes, with the incredible combination of darkness, exuberant lightings and dreamlike hues. Kids start squealing in excitement, and grownups get stunned, marveling the creativity put into it.

Having been inspired, the next morning I wanted to make a colorful bento for my little girl, but I totally forgot about grocery shopping. I didn’t have much in my fridge, and all I could come up with was this unflattering bento. The panda pick was my pathetic effort to give some accent. Maybe that is how the reality goes, and I accept my shortcomings to start a new week.

Kindergarten bento – Time (Tue 2, Thu 4, Fri 5/Oct/18)

Is it true that time passes in proportion to your age? I remember that a day seemed extremely long and slow when I was around my daughter’s age, longing eternally for all the fun events to happen. But now I can’t seem to catch up with the days passing in front of me, and even ordinary events fly by in light speed. And when I do stop and look back, I notice that a week has gone by just like a wind, as well as a weekend, and so begins another new week.

I don’t even remember making these bento last week. Where has the week gone?

Kindergarten bento -My first attempt (Friday 28/Sep/18)

For the first time, I packed mashed potato in lieu of rice for our daughter’s bento today. All the dishes in the bento are the leftover from the previous evening’s dinner, except for the boiled egg.

As Japanese, it required a bit of contemplation to do so – we simply don’t eat potato as much and are not accustomed to it. For me, potatoes are vegetables, and not staple food. But my half Dutch daughter didn’t seem to care at all, and the bento box came back empty without any complaints.

Kindergarten bento – Lotus Root (Wednesday 26/Sep/18)

The brownish vegetable in the bento box is stir-fried lotus root slices with chicken & sesame. I love the crunchy texture of lotus root, and it’s healthy with a full of fiber. I so wanted my daughter to eat it, but she initially refused to do so (as she always does for anything unfamiliar). But she gave in and took a bite after I sang a Japanese children’s bento song, which goes like this (translated by me):

This big / Bento-box / Onigiri onigiri / Pack your onigiri / Sliced ginger ‘n / Sesame sprinkle / Carrots / Burdoc root / Shiitake mushroom / Lotus root full of holes / Full of fiber, Fuki-root!

If you’d like to listen to the song, here is a YouTube link I found:

Kindergarten bento – Frozen (Tuesday, 25/Sep/18)

For the past long weekend, we took a short trip to Hong Kong to attend one of our best friend’s’ 50th birthday party. It was a ravishing, spectacular soirée, with more than a hundred people attending to celebrate her special day. All the guests were dressed in their beautiful chic attire including our daughter, with live music and endless flow of champagne and chatter. I wonder when I had a holiday this much fun last, and that made me feel heavy and hesitant for going back to reality.

As cruel as it can be, it was time to go home to my normal humble life. Our flight back to Tokyo got delayed by an hour, which means arriving home even later than what we thought was already late for a school night. And this means no stop over at a grocery store to replenish our empty fridge.

In the car back from the airport, I quickly assessed in my head what was left in our fridge/freezer for our daughter’s bento the next morning. I remembered about the pesto sauce in the freezer I had made a couple of weeks ago, as well as the frozen steamed carrot slices, blueberries and apple mousse. I also remembered the eggs & ham in the fridge hadn’t gone expired yet. And the outcome was a not so bad pasta bento for our little girl.