Thursday, 31 December 2015

Round Up 2015

To round up year 2015, here I share 15 of my favourite creations. And if you want to read the post further, you may click the link on each title below.

I would like to thank you all for your supports and for being with me in my bento journey. Looking forward to sharing more creations and recipes in 2016! 

These are my 15 favourite creations in 2015 (in random order) :

1. Rice Balls Bento

This bento has a special place in my heart because my sons and I made it together as a team. It was part of our school holiday activities and we were really had a great time together. 

I love this couscous recipe so much because it bursts with colours and is so healthy. I made this bento for my husband, and I shared the recipe in the post. Yum!

3. First Day of School in 2015

During my bento making journey, I like to mark special events by creating special bento. For this post, I especially love the cheese sandwiches with the writing on them, the penguins, and datemaki  (sweet rolled omelette).

4. Phineas Croissants Bento

I really love how the eyes food picks work. It adds extra cuteness in no time. I also love the pizza flavoured Turtle Bun. You may find the recipe here.

5. Tempura Bento

This is the first time I made tempura batter from scratch and I absolutely enjoyed the results. They looked gorgeous in my new bento box. I shared the tempura batter recipe in this post.

6. Easter Bunny Rolls Bento

Look how cute those bunnies are! No doubt it is one of my favourite post this year. I shared the recipe of the bunny rolls in this post.

7. 2015 International Bento Contest

One of my highlight is to participate in the 2015 International Bento Contest by Bento & Co. Although I did not win this time, I really enjoyed every steps of making this creation.

8. Minecraft Birthday Cakes

One of my hobbies beside making bento is making birthday cakes, especially with fondant icing. This post is special for me because I made this cake for my son's birthday. It was a special request from him as you can guess, he is one of Minecraft game fans :)

9. Pretty Sushi Bento

My sons' love their sushi. I love this post because it looks so pretty and colourful. So appetising! To learn more about sushi, you may click this post.

10. Teddies are Back to School

I love my kids. Even though they are in pre-school no more, they are still willing to bring these kind of cute lunches to school. They do not feel embarrassed whatsoever. Thank you, my sweeties!

11. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

To celebrate the Roald Dahl day, I tried to create Mr. Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl's famous book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and I was really pleased with how it turned out.

12. Baymax Onigiri Bento

It was one of my boys' favourite movie character, Baymax from Big Hero 6. The onigiri was pretty easy to make and the honey sesame chicken tasted divine. I shared the recipe in this post.

13. Cute Spiders Bento

 I remember I had so much fun making this bento for the Halloween-themed. The spiders are so cute and adorable. Love them!

14. Inside Out Birthday-themed

One of my memorable moment is making this Inside-Out birthday cake for my son. I tried to make the "Joy" figurine from scratch, and pretty happy with the result. To see his reaction is worth the effort. 

15. Rudolf Cheese Puffs

Last but not least is the Rudolf cheese puffs. I really love this recipe and to create Rudolf in the Christmas bento-themed is just so much fun!

"Happy New Year to you all..."
"Wishing you a prosperous new year and may all your dreams from the last year turn into achievements during 2016"

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Rudolf Cheese Puffs

Another Christmas-themed bento. My youngest son had a class party and we were assigned to bring a savoury dish to school.

I found a very yummy recipe from Taste which is Prosciutto and Cheese Puffs and I thought it would be perfect for the party. Since I did not have prosciutto, I replaced it with bacon.

Here I share you the recipe :

Prosciutto and Cheese Puffs
adapted from Taste

Ingredients :
 1 cup water
 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
 115g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
 1 cup plain flour
 4 large eggs
 1/2 cup (60g) finely chopped prosciutto (I replaced it with bacon)
 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, salt and butter, and bring to the boil. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until completely blended, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, stir constantly, until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the dough for 1 minute, or until it cools slightly. Add the eggs one at a time, mix well before each addition. Stir in the bacon/prosciutto and cheese, and season with salt and pepper. The dough will be very tacky.
4. While the dough is warm, place it in a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1.5 cm tip, or place into a resealable freezer bag and snip one corner of the bag to form a 1.5 cm opening. Pipe mounds of dough, each about 3cm high x 3cm wide, onto prepared trays, leaving about 2.5 cm between each. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed and deep golden brown all over.
5. Transfer puffs to a platter and serve warm.

For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Rudolf bacon and cheese puffs (with carrot, white crabstick, black sesame seeds, and pretzel)
2. Minced prawn and carrot toast (with snowflake cheese on top) with mayonaise
3. Corn on the cob
4. Watermelon for recess

Bento tools I used for this post :

"Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones" 

* Have a blessed Christmas and safe holiday *

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Lunches

My first Christmas post! Unlike few years before, this year I have a hectic schedule and haven't got any chance to create Christmas-themed bento lunches earlier. Apology for that :(

I used these Christmas food decorating that you may find here :

For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Corn fritter
2. Minced prawn and carrot toast
3. Corn on the cob
4. Pretzel
5. Rockmelon cuts for recess

His little brother had the same lunch, but he had watermelon cuts instead for recess

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Panda Wraps Bento

We had chicken roast leftover, so I decided to make wrap for the kids' lunch boxes. The wrap contains roast chicken, wrap, grated carrot, lettuce, avocado, roma tomato with cheese, sour cream and BBQ sauce. I sticked in Panda foodpick for extra cuteness.

Alongside the wrap, I added bitterballens (Dutch Beef Croquettes)for them. Here I share you the recipe :


Ingredients :
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beef broth
1 beef top sirloin steak (3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used Corned beef instead)
1 small carrot, diced
1 small celery stick, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-1/3 cups dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon canola oil

Oil for deep-fat frying

Directions :
1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. 
2. Stir in flour until smooth. 
3. Gradually add broth; bring to a boil. 
4. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. 
5. Carefully add meat/corned beef, cook and stir for 2-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. 
6. Add diced carrot and celery, stir for another 1 minutes. 
7. Stir in the salt, nutmeg and pepper. 
8. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until chilled.
9. Place bread crumbs in a small shallow bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and oil. 
10. Drop meat mixture by tablespoonfuls into bread crumbs; shape into balls. 11. Dip meatballs in egg mixture, then coat again with crumbs. 
12. In a deep fryer, heat oil to 375°.

13. Fry meatballs, a few at a time, for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. 
14. Drain on paper towels.

Details for the bento boxes as below :

For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Chicken wrap
2. Bitterballens
3. Corn on the cob
4. Carrot sticks
5. Watermelon cuts for recess

My youngest son had the similar lunches with his big brother, but he had banana for recess instead.

The lunches were packed in Easy Lunchboxes and decorated with Panda foodpick. You may find them here:


Friday, 4 December 2015

Monster Brioche Bento

Brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and which high egg and butter content gives it a rich and tender crumb (Wikipedia). I love its sweet, buttery, and soft texture.
For the boys I put ham, cheese, and lettuce fillings. Then I decorated the brioche with cheese and nori for the eyes, and black sesame seeds for the nostrils. As simple as that :)

For the side, I got leftover San Choy Bow for the kids. San Choy Bow is a deliciously flavoured chicken or pork mince wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves and eaten with bare hands. For the boys, I put the salad and lettuce separately.

Here I share you the recipe :

Pork San Choy Bow

Ingredients :
1 iceberg lettuce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon shao hsing wine
1 small read onion, finely sliced
1 x 2cm piece ginger, julienne
400g lean pork mince
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
Any vegetables like carrots, bean sprouts, capsicum, string beans or even snowpeas.
A handful of coriander or Vietnamese mint, finely chopped 
2 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 spring onions, finely sliced

Method :
1. Discarding the outer leaves, carefully cut the whole leaves from the lettuce head, trim them to form cups.
2. In a bowl, mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, shao hsing wine, set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. 
4. Add mushrooms, garlic, red onion and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. 5. Add pork and cook, stir to break up any clumps of meat for 8-10 minutes or until brown and cooked through. 
6. Drain off any excess liquid.
7. Add the vegetables and stir for a few minutes. 
8. Stir oyster sauce mixture, then add to pan and stir to combine. 
9. Allow mixture to cool a little. 
10. Place lettuce leaves on serving plates and divide meat mixture between them. 
11. Drizzle hoisin sauce over meat and sprinkle with spring onions and the herbs.

For my youngest son, I prepared :
1. Ham and cheese monster brioche
2. Corn on the cob
3. San choy bow
4. Kiwi fruit for recess

His brother had the same lunch, but he had apple checker for recess instead.

The lunches were packed with Easy Lunchboxes that you may find here :

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Potato Croquettes Bento

The potato croquettes remind me of my childhood back in Indonesia. I used to go to the market with my mom, and she always bought me this croquette for a snack. Now I make them for my sons, and they are fond of them too :)
Here is the recipe :

Indonesian Potato Croquettes

Ingredients :

Potato Mash:
600 gr potatoes
1 lightly beaten egg
pinch of nutmeg
1/8 tsp white pepper

salt to taste

250gr minced chicken
1 small onion
1 large garlic clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 pcs carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas and corn
1 tsp white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

2 large eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups breadcrumbs 
+ oil for deep-frying (canola or peanut oil)

Method :

For potato mash :
1. Peel the potatoes and boil them in slightly salted water for 25 minutes until completely tender.
2. Drain the potatoes and sprinkle in the nutmeg and white pepper. Start mashing until creamy and lump-free.
3. Let the potatoes cool off a little before adding the egg. 
4. Stir in the egg. This will make it rich, creamy, and a lot easier to work with.

For the filling :
1. Chop the onion. Heat a little butter and sauté the onion until it turns soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add minced chicken and break it up with a spatula. Cook until it loses its pinkness.
3. Add the diced carrot, peas and corn.
4. Crumble in a bouillon cube, black pepper, nutmeg and pour in the kecap manis. Let it simmer for a minute or two and let the mixture cool off.

For finishing up :
1. Use 3 shallow plates and fill them with flour, lightly beaten eggs and breadcrumbs.
2. Grab about a 2 tbs mashed potatoes, flatten it a bit, place a tbsp of the meat mixture in the center, gently fold the mashed potatoes around the meat.
3. Roll the croquette in the flour and shake off the excess flour, do the same with the egg and breadcrumb.
4. Repeat for all the mixture and the mashed potatoes.
5. Cover the croquettes with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Preferably overnight.
6. Deep-fry the croquettes (don’t overcrowd the pan) at 180ºC for 4 to 5 minutes until beautifully golden brown and crunchy on the outside.

For my youngest son, I prepared :
1. Potato croquette
2. Chicken, bacon, and leek pie (recipe here)
3. Corn on the cob
4. Carrot sticks
5. Sultanas
6. Kiwi for recess


My eldest son had the similar lunch with his brother, but he had apple cuts for recess instead.

The lunches are packed in Easy Lunchboxes. You may find them here :