Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bento Making 101

I've been following The Bento Mommas for some time on Instagram. I can only
imagine the amount of time they spend on making those beautiful baon boxes.
The only attempt I've had that's remotely "bento" is to make mini
sandwiches using cutters to make Hello Kitty shapes. 

Through the
SoMoms' Better Me events, Oreo and The Bento Mommas joined together and
invited a group of mommies (and kids) to a bento making workshop. My
daughter was so excited - she was counting down to the day of the
workshop (it helped that there was a very long weekend for her at that
time). Despite how daunting each bento looks - it is surprisingly easy
to make a simple bento box that is sure to delight your child come
lunchbreak. I asked my daughter recently what she remembered about the
workshop - and she gave me clear instructions on how to make animal
faces for bento boxes! And here are her instructions... see if you can
follow create a face from this. 

1. Get two small balls of rice to make ears.
2. Get one bigger ball and make that into a face.
(At this point, I asked her, can you touch the rice with your hands?)
3. Her answer: No, use a plastic bag to shape the balls.
(Kaye likes to use ziplock bags).
4. Use a little smaller flat ball to make the nose.
(I asked: how do you make the face?)
5. Cut up seaweeds into shapes to make the face.

To cut up the seaweeds - you can use clean punchers (make sure they
are for food use only). And there you go - 5 simple steps to make an
animal face. Once you have the animal face - then you can proceed to
add other "decor" all around the face. Use brocolli as "plants", use
shape cutters to shape other objects to decorate... or simply fill up
the rest of the box with apples, grapes, and Oreo cookies.

Oreo cookies are a great way to perk up the boxes because they
come in different flavors! Did you know that? I always thought that
they only come in black and white (and I have to admit, I used to NOT
eat the whites - my husband was really lucky, he got double stuffings
each time we ate Oreos). According to this page, there are more than 30 different
kinds of Oreo flavors all over the world. And they are still creating
more as I write this... the other day I was shopping for food when i
saw some Chinese Oreos with really unique stuffings! 

Even at your local grocery stores, there are non black and white Oreo cookies to make your bento stand out.

And before I end this post... let me share some other tips on how to
make your bento nice:

1. Use a combination of white and brown rice to make your rice animals
look more "alive."
2. You can put a light dab of ketchup to make the cheeks red!
3. A heart is always a cute shape to use as a nose.
4. To stick on the facial parts made from seaweeds - you can dab a
little ketchup or mayo to the back and use that as "paste."
5. For the fruit slices - soak in a bit of Sprite of 7-Up to prevent
them from browning.
6. Try to put as much color into your box as possible - use carrots,
green vegetables, colorful fruits as garnish.

This was my daughter and my entry to the create a bento animal using Oreos contest for mommas...