Three bento Day

If you read my post yesterday you’ll know today I was planning on making three bento today.

One for myself and two for the training course tutors.

Here are the tutor’s bento:

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They are based, quite heavily, on the bento from the cover of the Just Bento cookbook.

They contain:
• Chicken and pepper stir fry
• Egg fried rice
Instant tsukemono pickles
• Cherry tomatoes and
• Broccoli

I have the same lunch in my two tier bento:

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The tutors seemed to really enjoy their lunches so that’s a bonus!

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Cute Ninja Bento Bag

Yesterday, after nearly two months, a bento bag I ordered from a seller on AliExpress arrived!

Here it is:
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It was a LOT cheaper than elsewhere and the delivery was free!

However I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about AliExpress, so if you do want to buy something I’d test the water and make a small purchase first, you don’t want to spend a lot and then not receive your item!

Quick and tasty manly bento

Today I had to be up early and I would be out for most of the day.
I had planned to make the bento last night but TV got in the way of that!!!
So this morning I woke, later than planned due to my alarm being silent, and went to making this bento:

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In my man’s bento there is, egg fried curry noodles, cauliflower cheese, spicy chicken strips and mixed stir fry vegetables.

The egg fried noodles are now my favourite snack!!!!

All you do is cook your noodles ( I use instant ramen ) as the ingredients say, but don’t put in the flavour packet yet!
When the noodles are close to cooked drain.

Crack an egg into a cup and beat. Add the flavour packet to the eggs ( add any extra flavouring to the egg)

I use a non-stick pan so I don’t need any extra oil but if you want add a little cooking oil. Fry the noodles quickly and keep stirring. Pour the egg onto the noodles and keep stirring quickly.

Once the eggs are cooked the dish is complete!!
BEST NOODLES EVER!!!!!!

Very Tasty Bento

It seems like so so long since I last made a bento.

I really need to get back on track with my bento making!!!

Anyway I finally managed to make one and it was delicious!!!!

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It contains rice cooked in homemade chicken stock, mixed stir fry vegetables, fried mushrooms, snap-peas, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, duck spring rolls, hotdog “octopi” and beansprout tamagoyaki.

Definitely one of the more varied and tasty bento I have made.

What is your favourite foods to pack for lunch?

DIY Anko and Dorayaki Recipes

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Yesterday I posted about some homemade Dorayaki and I promised I’d post the recipe so here it is 🙂

Anko

What you will need:

•Azuki Beans
•Sugar
•Water

What to do

1. Measure out your azuki beans ( I used 150 grams and ended up with a lot of anko! )

2. Measure out the same weight in sugar ( I used icing sugar, for no reason other than i had boxes of icing sugar that need using. It didn’t impact the taste or texture of the anko.)

3. Soak your azuki beans over night in three times their volume of water.

4. After 24 hours fill a saucepan with the azuki beans and enough water to cover them, bring to the boil.

5. Once the water is boiling, drain the azuki beans and rinse with cold water. Repeat again. This removes the bitter taste.

6. Now place beans back in the pan, put on lid and cover with just enough water to cover beans, cook on a gentle simmer for about an hour or until the beans can be easily crushed with your fingers. (Don’t burn yourself!)

7. Drain the beans.

8. If you want smooth, jam like anko now is the time to add the beans to a blender. Slowly add water to the beans in the blender until you have a slightly watery paste ( it will thicken up after the next few stages.) If you don’t want jam like anko jump to the next step.

9. Add the paste/beans back to the pan, put on a low heat and add your sugar one third at a time while continually mixing.

10. You will eventually end up with a sweet paste that can be stored in the fridge for about 2/3 days or frozen in portions.

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Anko goes great in Dorayaki, ice cream and most other deserts 🙂

Dorayaki pancakes

What you will need:

• 1 cup Cake flour ( I used self raising because that’s all I had and the pancakes ended up being a little too thick.)

• 2/3 cup of sugar.

• 3 tablespoons water.

• 2 large / 3 medium eggs.

• 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder ( leave out if you use self raisin flour.)

• Vegetable oil for frying.

• Frying pan or griddle.

What to do:

1. Put the eggs into a mixing bowl and give a quick mix to blend the yolk and whites.

2. Add the sugar slowly while stirring to incorporate into the eggs.

3. If using baking soda mix into water and add to the egg mixture.

4. Sift flour into egg mixture and mix til there are no lumps. ( Be careful not to overmix! )

5. Cover bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

6. After half an hour, heat up your pan ( or griddle), add a small amount of oil and using kitchen tongs and a paper towel spread the oil and remove excess.

7. Add mixture to the pan as you would normal pancakes until your desires width is achieved. ( Dorayaki pancakes are normally 4/5 inches in diameter.)

8. When small bubbles appear in the batter flip over. Once both sides are evenly browned put onto a plate and continue until all of the batter is used.

9. Take a pancake and place a teaspoon ( or more if you’re adventurous) of anko in the centre. Place another pancake on top and press the edges together to seal.

Tada Dorayaki!!

Here are my CuteZCute Dorayaki 🙂

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DIY CuteZCute Dorayaki and Review

As some of you will know, tesco started selling Dorayaki. As it was a new product ( and not well known to most Brits) it started at a half price of 75p, but now it has gone up to £1.50 for one!!

I may be addicted to them but I refuse to pay that much for one.

So I decided to make my own, but I didn’t want the standard round Dorayaki. I wanted cute Dorayaki, and what better way to make things cute than with the CuteZCute bento cutter ( it’s so good at making things cute it even has the word twice in its name!!!).

Here are my Dorayaki ( check back tomorrow for the “recipe” )

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Cute right?!

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Here’s one in half to show the anko, apparently blending the anko makes it purple :/ .

Onto the review!

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This is one of my favourite bento tools. What makes the CuteZCute a winner in my eyes is how easy it is to use! There is no need to get up hours earlier to plan, it takes only a minute or two to prepare the sandwich and cut it. The CuteZCute also negates the need for tweezers as there is no fiddly bits of nori to try and piece together.

If you want a tool that makes bento-ing easy and fast while still having choice, the set includes the panda, frog, cat and pig cutter which also act as stamps, I would highly recommend the CuteZCute.

Cost: 5/5

Available on Amazon for just under $10 ( just over £6) this has to be one of the best investments if you make bento, bake cookies or love making your children’s food fun.

For just over £6 you get one “shape” cutter, four face cutters and a tool to remote the cut outs. That’s a lot of bento goodies for little money!
( If you buy cake decorating tools you’ll know how cheap this. But by no means is it cheaply made!)

Size: 5/5

This set is perfectly sized for cookies, bento and anything else your imagination can come up with!
It will fit snugly in most places and comes in it’s own little box that can be used to keep it neat and tidy.

Ease Of Use: 5/5

All that I can say to this is ” Are cookie cutters hard to use?” If you can use cookie cutters you can use this! ( although the CuteZCute will provide substantially better cookies 😀 )

Style: 5/5

With four “face” cutters this cutter should be able to please most people. The cutter includes a pig, cat, frog and a panda face. But the possibilities don’t end there, I’ve seen people create all sorts including cute octopuses!

Pros:
• Extremely affordable but not cheaply made.
• Four face cutters.
• Easy to use.
• Very versatile.
• BEST TOOL EVER!!!!

Cons:
• Not really a con but it would be awesome if more face cutters could be made 🙂

Disclaimer
I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

Perfect Roll Sushi Maker Review

I have been putting off this review for a while, as the past few times I’ve made sushi rice in preparation it has gone horribly wrong. Imagine rice porridge covered in soggy nori. Not nice.

But anyway onto the review!!

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The smart looking Perfect Roll made by Leifheit and available from Wayfair claims to make sushi easy, and in all fairness it does make the rolling part easy. If only it helped cut the sushi ( this always goes wrong for me!!!)

Cost: 3/5
The Perfect Roll costs £15.99 £10.90 on sale at Wayfair, which if you make sushi quite often then it is worth it, however if you don’t make sushi that often it may be quite a splurge.

Ease Of Use: 5/5
This product is extremely easy to use, it comes with an included recipe book which has some great ideas as well as the best way to make sushi. It also comes with a “stencil” to help cut the nori to size.
All you need to do is cut the nori, fill the gadget with the nori, rice and fillings, clip one end of the “rolling sheet” over the sushi-to-be and pull the other end of the “rolling sheet” over and pull right. Done.

Style: 5/5
Available in 3 different colours this gadget looks very clean, professional and will look great in a multitude of kitchens.

Pros:
• Makes sushi quickly and simply.
• Looks professional and clean.
• A great alternative to the bamboo mat.
• Included stencil and recipe book.
• Can also be use to make deserts (arctic roll) and other canapés.
• Makes sushi the perfect size for bento.

Cons:
• Doesn’t cut the sushi ( this isn’t a realistic con, I’m just bitter I can’t cut sushi)

Disclaimer
I cannot cook sushi rice to save my life, nor can I cut sushi ( maybe it’s my knives ) so the poor look of the sushi is not a reflection of this product.

I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

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Here is a bento featuring the sushi I mangled made.

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This bento contains tuna,sweetcorn and cucumber sushi, two tone tamagoyaki ( rolled omelette ), two duck spring rolls and mixed vegetables all in my Black+Blum Bento.