Archive for the ‘Tools & Equipment’ Category

Gearing up for Lunch?

September 5th, 2009

Has it been that long since my last post?  My tardiness has definitely got nothing to do with me not eating at all, because of course I have been eating!

However, as for preparing and packing bentos, time has not been on my side, I’m afraid.

My toddler has started school a few weeks ago, and since the school provides lunch, I only pack a small snack box for him to take along, usually consisting of cookies and muffins.  I’m considering packing his lunch though, because he doesn’t seem to eat a lot of what they serve (safe for last Friday when he downed 2 bowls of rice!)


In any case, if I were to pack lunch for my kids, I would certainly want to use an insulated lunch sack.  One that is not too bulky but yet does its job well…something like the insulated lunch sacks at Kids Konserve.  It comes in Moss and Beach designs and guess what, it’s made totally from a reusable plastic bottle!  How cool is that!?


I also like this Nesting Trio set.  It looks pretty handy and dandy, though my concern would be if my kids would be able to open the cover safely without spilling the contents.

Lovin’ these stuff from Kids Konserve simply because they look good and yet I’ll feel good knowing that I am greening the environment while using them too!  And here’s the good news: all you readers out there will get to enjoy a 15% discount off everything in the Kids Konserve Store from now till October 31 2009.  Just use the coupon code bento at checkout!

Happy bento-ing everyone!

All pictures credited to Kids Konserve.

General, Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment

Fancy Egg Moulds and a Giveaway

May 18th, 2009

My little picky eater toddler loves hard-boiled eggs.  He however, prefers the egg white to the yolk.  I’m not complaining because this means he is getting SOME protein!  When I serve him the egg, I have to cut it into bite-sized pieces for him.  I have yearned for a cool egg mould for a long time now.  One in the shape of a car like this Tomica one from New Stylish Tokyo would be great.  And my son would be absolutely thrilled!

Photo credits

There is an ongoing giveaway at A Pregnant Pause where New Stylish Tokyo is giving away 3 egg moulds, 1 Koi Japanese Style Curtain and 1 Anpanman Chocolate Mould.  Do check out details on this giveaway, if you are interested in these fantastic items, all imported from Japan.

General, Tools & Equipment

The hunt for a thermos (PLUS Kids Konserve promo!)

April 30th, 2009

I have been hunting for a good thermos that’s not too expensive and yet can keep my food warm for several hours.  Oh, and of course it has to look good too!  Just recently, I came across this potential one from Kids Konserve.

Photo credits

The Kids Konserve Thermos has a silver and green color scheme, which I totally dig!  It can hold 12oz of food and is made from 304 food-grade stainless steel.  Most importantly, I don’t need to reheat my food in the microwave when I am ready to eat a few hours after packing.

However, the one thing that’s making me rethink my decision to get it is because this thermos comes with just one compartment.  So I can either have just one warm dish
(with several other side containers to lug), or I’d have to put all my food into that one thermos.  Moreover, 12oz might not be enough to feed me either! LOL

So while I am still deciding if I should get it, I also got to check out the other cool stuff Kid Konserve is offering.  The store specializes in reusable environmentally-friendly and waste-free products for packing food and drinks or basically just to snack on the go!  Their tiffins look pretty hardy too 🙂

And thanks to Kid Konserve, all you fantastic readers out there, bento enthusiasts or not, y’all get to enjoy a discount of 10% off everything in the Kid Konserve store, from now till May 31st 2009.  Just use the coupon code bento upon checkout.

General, Tools & Equipment

Very useful cookie cutters

April 15th, 2009

I bought a set of three cookie cutters last weekend.  The set costs USD2.49 for three shapes: circle, star and heart.  And I have been using these to jazz up meals for my picky eater ever since. 

I asked him if he would like to have a star sandwich and his face lit up in amazement.  I brought out the bread and butter, spread the butter on the bread and taught him how to cut the star shape out.  He finished the entire STAR!  I’ve even used these cookie cutters to place steamed rice in, just so it creates the shapes for fun.  Sure helps a lot with eating the rice! 🙂

Yesterday I even ventured so far as to try making a happy face rice with the circle cookie cutter, and some cut up nori.  These cookie cutters sure are essential items in any bento packer’s collection!

Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment

Earth Day Bento giveaway!

April 7th, 2009

Apart from honing creativity in the process of creating meals that are pleasing to the eye and to the palate, bento-ing is also a step towards a greener earth, if we think of it that way.  You see, by packing meals in containers and bringing them to work or daycare, we are reusing these containers, and not just eating and throwing away plastic containers like the ones being sold at takeout restaurants and diners.

Isn’t that a comforting thought?

Well, being a bento enthusiast has certainly made me look at items around the house in a different light, and I find myself thinking of how to make use of an existing household item to create a pretty piece of decorative edible item for a bento.  That being said, my love for bento-ing does not stop me from yearning for additional bento products and tools.  It’s an addiction really!

And so, I am always GLAD when I stumble on fabulous giveaways for bento items.  I do so hope I will be able to organize one soon on my own 🙂

Anyway, this is one of the cool giveaways I just entered.  Mission: Vegan is organizing this April Giveaway in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22nd) and what I like about this giveaway is that every entrant has to think about what he/she will do for Mother Earth (by answering a simple question to be eligible for an entry).  There are also TWO winners instead of just one, and check out these fantastic prize packs!

Prize Pack #1

Prize Pack #2

All photos credited to Mission: Vegan

General, Tools & Equipment

A great find and an awesome giveaway!

April 1st, 2009

I stumbled on a gem of a bento blog today.  It’s called Maisie Eats Bento, and it has all these really cool and simple bentos made for a picky toddler.

Wow…that is so ironic, because I just decided today that I would start making my son’s meals a little more eye-pleasing for him in an effort to entice him to eat more nutritious food.  My three-year-old boy is a fussy little eater too, and so picky when it comes to food.

Anyway, I don’t have that many tools for making his food interesting.  Not yet anyway…so I would have to make do with whatever I have and squeeze whatever creative juices my brain can produce.

However, discovering Maisie Eats Bento has never been more timely, because to celebrate the 100th bento on that blog, Lisa (the writer) is running a mega-awesome giveaway for a little starter kit for bento packing.  Check out the prize with all its goodies:

Photo credits

Mouth-watering, innit? 🙂

I’ve entered my name in the random prize drawing – so if you haven’t and are itching to win, hurry on and do so before the giveaway closes on Sunday, April 5 2009 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

General, Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment

I’m yearning for a Kids Konserve lunch kit!

March 27th, 2009

I truly apologize for the lack of posts of late.  I have been keeping myself busy with my newborn baby girl, and since my Mom has been doing most of the cooking nowadays, I have not had a decent chance to pack many bento lunches.

Nevertheless, whenever I get the chance, I still am reading about and drooling over bentos packed by other bento enthusiasts around the world.  Oh, and of course I am taking mental notes!

One of the things that I have been concerned with (and still am) about bento packing is the usage of plastic containers.  The truth is, if the container is made of polycarbonate, it’s not BPA-free, hence not that safe if you put really hot stuff in them.  One solution is to use glass containers (like Pyrex), but those aren’t really kid-friendly.

I have been toying over the idea of investing in some stainless steel containers, because I think they look very good, they are easy to clean and PLUS they are kid-friendly too.  So when I read the review of the Kids Konserve metal lunch kit over at Lunch in a Box, I knew I had to have one of these sets!… or rather I would want one of these for my kids…or even for myself!

Photo credits

First of all, the kit doesn’t only look asethetically pleasing (LOVE the green against the silver!), it’s fully functional too!  I am not too intrigued by the cloth carrying bag though…it looks a little bit too flimsy from the picture, but I might change my mind when I see it.

In any case, what’s important is the kit components are BPA-free, including the green lids, and that IS saying a lot, if you’re concerned about health issues.

The whole set retails for USD40 from Kids Konserve, which I feel is quite expensive, but seeing that it is stainless steel after all, I am weighing the pros and cons of getting one.  Meanwhile I am hoping and praying that I will win the set from the giveaway run by Lunch in a Box right now.  That would absolutely solve my problem, wouldn’t you think so?

General, Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment

Pyrex Bento

January 27th, 2009

One of the things that irk me most about bento-ing is the cleaning up of the bento boxes after.  It gets tougher to clean if I had prepared a bento with gravy which is rather oily, or curry.  Because most bento boxes are plastic, oil and grease tends to stick to the surface and since I only get to wash them after I get back from work, I have to use a lot of detergent (and strength!).

Most of the time, I would rinse it out with a little bit of soap after I am done with lunch at work, but that does not happen all the time.

So what do I do to minimize the hassle?

I recently bought a set of Pyrex containers, that came with covers (they were on sale!).  Pyrex is made of glass and so cleaning oil and grease off of glass is a breeze! 


The downside is, of course, glass containers tend to be rather heavy, and there is a (slight) tendency of breakage.  But apart from that, these containers work rather well.  They are safe for the freezer, microwave and steamer – just don’t put them directly over the stove though!


Yesterday I packed my hubby’s bento by including a small Pyrex bowl of Chicken Six-Flavor Soup.  In the main bento, there was some Hainanese Chicken rice, with slices of cucumber, and a side dish of leftover tofu from our restaurant outing the day before.

The Pyrex bowl is a great substitute for the thermos flask, if you are a soup-lover like me.  You’ll need to be able to heat it up before you drink it though!  And soup has such a feel-good factor to it, don’t you think so?

Adults, Tools & Equipment , , , ,

Chicken Serai with Egg bento

January 13th, 2009


Today, I made a very simple and quick bento with some leftovers of the chicken serai (lemongrass chicken) stew we had for dinner last night.  I added a hard-boiled egg and topped off my steamed rice with some gravy from the chicken serai.  I do so like gravy on my rice. 🙂

I don’t own any fancy egg moulds yet, but I am on the lookout for some, so hopefully I will get to produce some more aesthetically-pleasing hard-boiled eggs soon!

And for the first time, I used my simple white bento lunchbox.  It has 3 removable partitions: 1 large and 2 smaller ones, and I have not used it since I bought it.  It doesn’t hold much food, but it works well with me now that I am in my third trimester of pregnancy and cannot really eat a lot at one sitting.  I do so love this box because it looks so classic and neat.  Wouldn’t you agree?


Adults, Tools & Equipment , ,

What I did with Turkey Leftovers

December 9th, 2008

Yesterday evening, I roasted the pre-marinaded turkey breast I bought from the supermarket before Thanksgiving.  I believe it had herbs and spices, and because the instructions seemed so easy, I could not resist trying it out.  Besides, another reason I bought it was because I wanted it as a backup in case my Thanksgiving roast turkey failed.  But my roast turkey turned out okay, and I was left with this turkey breast to roast now.

Anyway, I roasted the turkey breast last night and we had it with steamed rice for dinner.  The flavors were just right and the meat was very tender, but since it was such a huge serving, we obviously had leftovers, which I refrigerated.

And so today, hubby and I had our lunch comprising turkey leftovers!  His was a double-decker turkey sandwich. 


I toasted the bread and spread some butter on one slice, and some cranberry sauce on the other.  Then I cut the turkey into pieces and mixed the meat with some mayo, added a piece of green lettuce and voila!   A delicious healthy lunch!  Cherry tomatoes were also added for fiber and color.


As for me, I didn’t feel like having a sandwich for lunch, so I made myself some instant noodles with some sliced turkey meat on the side.  I threw in an English muffin too, because I wanted to have that in between meals.

I used the double-decker Bento box I recently purchased from Mitsuwa, simply because it come with a pair of chopsticks.  I bought this box primarily for my hubby because it looks more masculine compared to the other ones I have.  Looks kinda stylish too, huh?


Adults, Tools & Equipment , ,