Tag Archives: pasta

Kindergarten bento – Toshi-No-Se (15, 18, 19, 20, 22/Dec/17)

In Japan, it is said that “toshi-no-se,” the year-end, is bound to be busy, as everyone starts acting somehow anxious to finish off things prior to the fresh start of the new year. As mentioned before, the new year is a big deal in this country, and we do everything to make sure the new year to be quiet and special. 

This year was no exception for me also, and I was running around like a headless chicken without any time to stop and take a big breath… until we left for our Christmas holidays in the Netherlands to visit my husband’s family. Hesitantly we dropped unfinished errands, hurriedly packed our suitcases, left beautiful & sunny Tokyo, and arrived in the equally beautiful, but quite dark Netherlands yesterday. It is Christmas Eve here in the Netherlands, and things already seemed to have slowed down, and people are starting to relax for the festivity to begin. The sense of rush I was feeling in Japan is nowhere to be seen here. It’s an interesting realisation what a huge difference there is depending on which culture you’re in.

Looking back at the bento photos I didn’t have a chance to upload before our departure, I can vaguely remember how I managed all these bento making during my busy schedule. It’ll resume in the new year, but for now I’m relieved that I won’t have to do it for the next two weeks.

Happy Holidays!

15/Dec/17 – Grilled cod in saikyo-miso

18/Dec/17 – Simmered sword fish

19/Dec/17 – Nikudon-don

20/Dec/17 – Macaroni genovese 

22/Dec/17 – Chicken soboro 

Kindergarten bento – Strained back (16,17,20,21,24, 28/Nov/17)

Earlier last week I strained my back, possibly due to overstretching at yoga class, or just overworking on my translation assignment in the same sitting position for hours. It’s been haunting me for the past week. Does anyone here have good tips on how to get rid of the pain in your back?

With or without pain, bento making continues. I generally enjoy cooking bento for my daughter, but at times, especially now with the sharp pain in my back, I wish there was an alternative. I wonder if they (her school) judge me if I just put store bought bento in her backpack… In Japan we have unspoken rules everywhere, and where homemade bento is required such as at her kindergarten, it just has to be homemade bento no matter how simple it is. Also, I’m so used to making bento with different ingredients and colours I don’t know how to make them simpler and not let my daughter down too much at the same time. 

Ah, the joy of bento making!

16/Nov/17 – Onigiri

17/Nov/17 – Stirfried-tofu (my daughter ate only 1/3 of it, saying she didn’t care for it much. What a disappointment!)

20/Nov/17 – Sword fish & lotus roots

21/Nov/17 – Penne amatriciana

24/Nov/17 – Chicken soboro & scrambles egg 

28/Nov/17 – Sausage

Kindergarten bento – Another busy but short week (31/Oct, 1 & 2/Nov/17)

It’s been another busy but short week for us. Monday was a school holiday since our daughter’s school was open on last Saturday for an art event. Tomorrow, 3rd of November is a public holiday in Japan called Culture Day. As such, there’s only 3 days of school, but since I took up this translation assignment for 9000 words of text, which is due tonight, I’ve been working non-stop since Tuesday. 

Anyway I thought I’d take a break and post our daughter’s bento images because the bento making happens every day no matter what as long as her school is open!

Tuesday 31/Oct – Soboro bento

Wednesday 1/Nov – Macaroni in  tomato sauce with aubergene & bacon

Thursday 2/Nov – Picnic tortilla wrap bento 

Our daughter & her friends are on their way to the sweet potato farm for potato digging today. It’s their first time to take a chartered bus on their own, without being accompanied by their parents. Hope they’ll have fun.

OK, back to my assignment, 2000 more words to go!

Kindergarten bento – Frozen bolognese (25/Sep/17)

For the past weekend, we went for a short trip out of Tokyo. We came back to our apartment on Sunday evening, resulting in the usual problem of not having enough food in the fridge for our daughter’s bento the next day. 

In such circumstances, frozen stock comes in handy. This morning I defrosted bolognese sauce I made the other day and mixed it with macaroni. I put a lot of veggies (e.g. onion, carrot, celery, garlic) in the sauce, so it’s quite nutritious (actually I put them in the blender so that they almost get pasty, and that gives an amazing flavour to the sauce). I had a leftover cucumber and egg in the fridge, so I whipped this up:

The frozen star-shaped steamed carrots made with cookie cutters are also quite handy. I always make them in bulk with my Le Creuset Steamer and store them in the freezer. It’s really a lifesaver on a day like this!

Menu: Macaroni bolognese (steamed carrot slices on top), Cucumber sticks, Boiled egg

Japanese Nashi for dessert (also leftover in the fridge)

Kindergarten bento – Autumn colours (12/Sep/17)

Incidentally when I finished packing my daughter’s bento this morning, I realised that the colours of autumn was everywhere. Tangerine, mustard, forest green, burgundy…

Usually, I would have put a bit more green to make it brighter (afterall this is for a small child), but thought that I would keep it as it was, hoping she would get my intension to teach her the subtle expression of a changing season.

Menu: Macaroni Amatriciana with broccoli, Boiled egg, Mashed pumpkin & cucumber salad

Japanese “Mikan” orange & Kyoho grapes for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Japanese vs Italian (29 & 30 May/17)

Which bento do you prefer? Japanese bento with rice, or Italian bento with pasta?


Pork shabu-shabu salad, Nori seaweed omelet, Stir-fried potato & spinach, Cherry tomato, Rice with furikake sprinkle. Banana & grapes for dessert

Macaroni with broccoli & tuna, Steamed pumpkin tossed with chicken soboro, Cherry tomato. Apple mousse & banana for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Cold pasta (15/Mar/17)

Menu: Pasta with cherry tomato, broccoli and soboro (chicken crumble), Boiled snow peas,  Pumpkin & sweet potato mash

Syrawberries for dessert

My daughter requested pasta for bento today. I asked her if she didn’t mind eating it cold (I prepare it warm in the morning of course, but it cools down by the time she eats it around noon). She said it’s ok because it is because of time as opposed to having it cooled deliberately in the fridge. Interesting observation.

* Note: There is no microwave at school.