Friday, January 27, 2012

An early Valentine bento

I usually start the grocery list on Friday night so it's ready for a trip to the store on Saturday morning. One Saturday morning recently, I got the rare treat of sleeping in. sweetPea decided to help out by planning the meals and finishing the grocery list for me. I had to add a lot of ingredients she left off, but all in all, she did a pretty good job. 

One meal she chose was Beets & Greens Risotto. It's actually one of her favorites, as odd as that may sound. It's kind of a pain in the butt to make, but once I realized I could use my food processor to grate the beets it got a little easier. Risotto is especially nice because it can be shaped just like sushi rice. Plus, it's got a lovely creamy mouth feel that is accomplished without the addition of cream. 

I didn't use any kind of special shaping equipment to make the hearts. I simply put a few tablespoons of risotto into a piece of plastic wrap and manipulated it into roughly the shape I wanted. Then I used the back of a butter knife to make the indentation at the top of the heart. I added little nori hearts more for color than anything else. In the back container is a simple garden salad. I should have cut the watermelon radishes into heart shapes, but I was short on time and the salad was already made. 

She ate pretty much all of this lunch. 


Holiday Bentos

I made several cute holiday bentos that I never got around to posting. They're still cute, even if they're a little late. 

This first one is supposed to be a Christmas tree. I think I was a little late that morning and threw it together as quickly as possible. I got this idea from a friend who made a big veggie appetizer tray shaped like a Christmas tree. I figured if you can do it in a large size, surely you can make it smaller. This lunch includes broccoli, celery (for the stem - you can barely see it), red bell peppers, cauliflower, dried cranberries, and a BabyBel cheese shaped into a gift.

I had a lot of ideas for holiday bentos, but the season got away from me. So I included several ideas into this one lunch: a gingerbread sandwich with raisin buttons and a nori face, some white cheddar cheese stars, a BabyBel peppermint candy, and some broccoli and carrots scattered around. I found the food picks at Joanne's Fabric & Crafts.

School reconvened on January 2 this year so I sent her with a special Happy New Year's bento. In the back is left over slaw from a local restaurant. In the front section are strawberries and blueberries. I decorated it with cheddar cheese cutouts.