Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Short Snack

Wednesdays are short days for the Little Goose at school due to teacher meetings or something. Thus, on Wednesdays, she only gets a short snack time rather than a full lunch. Hence, the return of the teeny tiny bento. Is it bad when the dessert pack is the same size as the lunch portion?

- Meiji Hello Panda Strawberry cream filled biscuits

- Teeny broccoli florets
- Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
- Baby Corn
- Baby Carrots
- Mini Seedless grape skewers

Yeah, it's sort of funny, the Sweet Pea certainly thought so. =)

Monday, December 18, 2006


My uncle is a fisherman and brought in some fresh tuna for us recently. It was so fresh, it was probably sushi grade or something, but not being big raw fish eaters, my parents made these awesome Vietnamese braised tuna steaks. I made the rice. =) I'm so proud.

-Sauteed bok choy with minced garlic topped with carrot flowers
-Plain rice
-Braised tuna steak topped with chives and carrot

-Seedless grapes
-Mini fuji apple bunnies
-Carrot sticks

Ooh, and here is the Sweet Pea. He said he, "Buhb eee"'d me today (translation: "love you", since we say, "I lovey you!"). First time ever (without prompting)! Hear that bento lovers? My baby loves me! Who'd of thunk?

Friday, December 15, 2006

When All Else Fails...

Make fried rice. I tried to do something fancy today but just gave up. It's amazing, but somehow, now that the quarter is over, and despite not having to worry about school (just work and family) I'm just as tired as when school was still in session. There's just something about the end of the year that just makes me want to sleep, shop, and send my little girl to the cafeteria...but I slacked off yesterday and so I had to come up with something!

-Steamed broccoli
-Chicken and veggie potsticker cut in half and topped with baby corn slices
-Fried rice with cha lua (that Viet mortadella, love that stuff), peas, carrots, and corn
-And you can't see it, but there's a section of baby corn at the bottom

-Persimmon slices
-Lychee Jelly (Yes, the kind that kids used to choke on and were banned from stores for a while. These are different from those earlier deadlier versions in the fact that they're bigger and you have to actually bite them to eat them. My husband claims that they don't seem as sweet and I think they seem a bit less firm, but it's been a long time since they sold the smaller, chokable kind.)

Ooooh, and a picture of a kid...well, Sweet Pea and his Daddy. Taken yesterday but close enough!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Woeful Wednesday

Why is Wednesday woeful? Because it's the middle of the week hump day. Wednesday's the day that demands that you work your butt off to make up for the fact that you were recovering from the weekend on Monday, slacked on Tuesday because you're mourning that it's Tuesday and have four days to go before the weekend. Thursday's a wash because you're pooped from Wednesday, Tuesday, and Monday. And Friday? C'mon...

So, in honor of woeful Wednesday, here is a woeful lunch for the Little Goose. She wanted grilled cheese. Since it's a short day for her on Wednesday, I'm using this TEENY TINY, ITTY BITTY little bento box.

-American cheese hearts in the shape of a flower with a dried goji berry center covering...
-Toasted turkey and cheese rolls wrapped in flattened multi grain wheat bread
-A few turkey and cheese rolls
-Half a mini dill pickle
-One bite macaroon

-Dried goji berries
-Sliced jackfruit
-Sliced lychee


Monday, December 11, 2006

"Exotic" Fruit Medly

Wow, it's been over a week since I've posted here. However, I have an excuse; several excuses even, but primarily, I've been extremely busy due to finals at school. While I'm not quite sure I passed, at this point I'm not quite sure I even care. (Well, I CARE, just not quite as much since it's been and exhausting week.) My poor Little Goose had to eat cafeteria food for a week!

Ever try giving lunch money to a kindergartener? The chances of that lunch money actually making it to the lunch lady aren't half bad actually. The Little Goose only forgot to pay once. Luckily, they feed your kid no matter what and just run a tab. Five years old and already running up tabs...oi.

-Red bean filled mochi
-A medly of exotic fruits
-Persimmon wedges
-Mini Guava wedges

-Stewed sweet potatoes
-Rice topped with oshinko and chive tulip
-Vietnamese braised beef (thit bo kho)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Leftovers At Last

So we finally have a leftover dinner bento. Okay, so it's not turkey, but Chinese food is just as good. Plus, the Little Goose has another new bento box. This one was only $4.99 at a trinket store in near Ranch 99 in El Cerrito (different store from the one I got the Snoopy box from, I really ought to remember these store names!)

Top box:
-Brown rice topped with carrot flowers with mint leaves. I REALLY need to learn how to garnish with something other than carrot and in shapes other than flower (although this one I cut using a paring knife). Or at least, if I'm going to stick to the flower thing, I should make them more elaborate.
-Leftover almond chicken with a sprig of mint

Bottom box:
-Grape skewers (love those skewers!)
-Rambutan (last can!)

No kid pics because I'm busy busy busy busy busy these days and I don't see them much while they're awake. =(

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snoopy and the Caterpillar

For once I didn't have to go to eBay to get a cute bento box. This one was had from a store in the same center as the Ranch 99 in El Cerrito, CA. The Little Goose and I both love Peanuts, although, the whole thing with the adults speaking nothing but gibberish isn't quite so funny now that I'm an adult and parent.

So! On the left we have:
-BBQ pork stir fried egg noodles from Cam Huong in Oakland, CA; one of my favorite Vietnamese delis, if you happen to be in Oakland, check them out. While the food isn't spectacular, it's fast Viet food that's relatively authentic and cheaper than my uncle on Christmas (which is pretty darn cheap, you can't beat $2.50 banh mi).

On the right we have:
-Persimmon and kiwi slices arranged in the shape of a caterpillar (primarily because I couldn't really figure out how to arrange them); the eyes and antennae are made from kiwi seeds and cilantro stems.

And...ta da, I finally took a picture of one of the kids. Here is the Little Goose with one of her new books, The Magic School Bus at the First Thanksgiving, which didn't arrive until after Thanksgiving unfortunately. She loved it regardless. =)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pooh Platter

:sigh: The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is over, it's back to the grind for all of us and back to bento for this little blog. We ended up not having any leftovers from Thanksgiving and so I had to actually cook something for today's bento. It's a new classic pooh (at least, I think that's classic pooh) bento box that I ordered on eBay and it came all the way from Hong Kong. Very cute eh? The contents may seem very simple and paltry but they are some of the Little Goose's favorite comfort foods; eggs, rice, and peas. Usually, she has this combo with a bit of soy sauce in fried rice form, but I thought I'd present it a bit differently today.

Top portion:
-Asian pear with a sakura flower carved into it with a persimmon center
-Persimmon slices under the asian pear (my husband's father, paternal grandfather, and maternal grandmother each have their very own twenty something odd year old persimmon trees and it's persimmon season and so we are swimming in this delectable fruit)

Bottom portion:
-Rice topped with oshinko sakura flower with a carrot center
-Mini omlets (tamago) topped with carrot flowers

Thursday, November 23, 2006

'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

...Ah forget it. I was going to write a silly poem, but I'd much rather eat. My aunties and uncles have begun to arrive and already the men have started a poker game in the living room, the children are running around screaming and laughing (bedtime? yeah right), and the kitchen...dear GBH the kitchen! Is filled to the brim with food, glorious food. My sister is making the turkey and bringing it over tomorrow but the aunties have provided us with the above traditional fare. Fresh homemade pork cha gio (eggrolls) and bun bo (beef vermicelli noodle soup). Diet? What diet? Let the gorging begin!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Now get off the computer and go spend time with your families!

(Also posted at

Friday, November 17, 2006

Meatball Madness

Ok, so just a quick description since I'm SLEEPY. This is the first time I've been sleepy before 2am in DAYS and so I'm definitely going to just lie down and snooze for a bit and hopefully get more than 5 hours of sleep for once.

Top box:
-Steamed broccoli
-Edamame skewers
-Steamed carrot heart
-Teriyaki chicken meatballs (We just buy the pre-made kind from Costco, the Little Goose likes them and they're easy to heat up so it's perfect, next time I use them I'll note the brand as I'm rather forgetful right now.)
-Carrot flower with edamame center, broccoli stem, and edamame "leaves" over rice

Bottom box:
-Half a madeleine
-Grape skewers

Good night! =)

PS Many thanks to Ngoc over at Cooking Cute for the edamame skewer idea. Her site rocks. Check it out if you haven't already at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Busy Thursday

Ok, so I'm not being lazy today, work and school are just kicking my butt. I'm not even going to begin to think about how the baby is now sick with a cold/flu/some illness or other. It's just one of those weeks. At least we have Thanksgiving to celebrate next week and you know what that means...leftover bento! Wheee!

The Little Goose gets the whole of next week off from school though, I'm not entirely sure what we're going to do with her for all that time since the hubs and I still have to work. We'll see, maybe we could just stick her in the bathroom...I kid! I kid! More than likely, she'll be babysat with the baby with some TV books, crayons, and crafts to keep her busy. I may or may not make her fancy lunches next week. We'll see.

Today we have in the top box:
-Vietnamese braised pork ribs (my mom made them), very yummy
-A Steamed medly of veggies including chayote, sugar snap peas, and carrots

In the bottom box:
-Asian pear
-Loacker chocolate wafer cookies

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday: Extension of Monday

I hereby declare Tuesday an addendum to lazy Monday. That is all.

Left container:
-Watermelon and apple skewers

Right container:
-Kappa maki and oshinko maki (cucubmer sushi and pickled radish sushi basically)
-Topped with cucumber and oshinko stars

And today's baby pic, :sigh: here is my Sweet Pea. This picture makes it seem like he's a big boy without much baby left. He's only 19 months old, where did my baby go??

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lazy Monday

It is Monday, my lazy day; made lazier by the fact that the Little Goose was off Friday for Veteran's Day and so I didn't have to make a lunch for Friday. Somehow on Friday, I never think that Monday will come so soon and then it does and I'm totally unprepared for it, hence this simple lunch.

For my lazier-than-thou lazy ass friend S (who is a "visual" person and refuses to read my posts, but wants to know the contents of the lunches), I've decided to list the contents in list form, easier for her to peruse.

Left container:
-Sakura flower shaped mini PB&J sandwiches on multigrain wheat toast (yes, toast, that's how we eat it in my family, don't ask, no, we won't be enlightened)
-Baby carrots
-Sakura shaped rice crackers
-Pretzel sticks
-Arare/rice crackers

Right Container:
-Orange jelly filled mini cake
-Kiwi butterflies

No kid pics today, lazy Monday remember?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ariel and the Big Ol' Butt

Despite my incredible dislike for Disney's Little Mermaid, the Little Goose loves her songs and so I had to buy this Ariel tupperware from the Disney Store. I'll have to admit it's pretty cute, but good lord, how the heck do you stuff a shell shaped container? I think I did ok, not too many open spaces.

In the top compartment we have fuji apple "rabbits", a red bean filled bao topped with a fuji apple flower and cilantro leaf, and one date. In the bottom compartment, we have two turkey and cheese rolls (basically turkey, cheddar slices, lettuce, and some mayo rolled in a tortilla and silced) topped with oshinko, carrot and cilantro flowers; baby carrots, and olives topped with more carrot.

Of course, we also have one of the lids (each container has its own and they're stackable) with the princess most in need of a good time out. I mean seriously; dude! She runs away from home at 16 and sells herself to a witch (might as well be a pimp or madam), for some dude who doesn't know she exists, whom she's only seen twice and must seduce and risks her father's business and thereby the whole ocean and therefore the WORLD. Yeah, Ariel needs some slapping. I'd break my corporal punishment rule for that. Some role model for young girls. At least she can sing.

And today's baby pic? Baby butt y'all. Is there ANYTHING cuter than a baby's butt? (Clean butt.) I'm going to miss the big butt when he's potty trained (no we're not starting yet, but it'll happen soon enough and then it'll be gone gone gone!).

Taste the Rainbow

In light of yesterday's shameful lack of green and colors outside of orange, I ran to the grocery store for some additional color for the Little Goose's lunch. And so without further ado...

On the left we have from top to bottom, a pumpkin shaped egg, to chicken teriyaki meatballs, a massive amount of steamed broccoli, and three teeny tiny onigiri stuffed with braised pork and sweet potato with tiny carrot sun, moon, and star garnish. Carrot and oshinko stars top off everything.

On the right, we have a few blueberry and rasberry skewers, a satsuma orange blossom (we still have a ton of these little oranges so I'm just trying to get rid of them; luckily the Little Goose loves them), and an orange jelly filled mini cake in the shape of a maple leaf. You gotta hand it to those crafty Japanese and their cute snacks.

For today's toddler pic, we have bed head.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Life without Green

Somehow over the last few days, our normally green veggie loving household veggie-less. Thus, this rather orange and white looking lunch. I do consider us lucky however as what would this look like witthout all those carrots?

On top we have a pear flower with a haw flake center. If someone knows what the heck a haw is, please let me know as I have no idea. I believe it's a fruit but I've yet to find an English name for it, all I know is that these flakes are yummy and I've liked them ever since I was a little girl. It's a nice feeling to pass along things that I enjoyed as a kid to my kids that aren't really all that mainstream; as if we had a secret lifestyle just between us (and a few billion other Asians around the world, but hey, this is my American fantasy that no one else exists). Anyway, we also have...lessee more haw flakes with a carrot flower for added color because if there's anything we have a lot of its carrots and we have some mini milk and honey biscuits.

On the bottom we have a veggie char siu bao, a carrot star border, some shiu mai topped with carrot stars with oshinko centers(Japanese pickled radish), and some steamed enoki mushrooms underneath the shiu mai. On the side, we have a mini bottle of sweet and sour sauce.

For today's kid pic, we have the Little Goose herself. I still can't believe she's a kindergartener already. Sometimes I feel like I totally miss her life these days due to work and school, but sometimes I get sweet moments like this, when she'll wake up for a few minutes and make a silly face for me.

First Onigiri

Ughghgh...I hate Sunday nights. It means Monday morning which means work work work. At least I now have a hobby whereas before the hobby was parenting and work. Now I parent, work, go to school, and make lunch. Progress. =)

On top, we have a tuna (cooked, canned tuna with a tiny bit of soy sauce) mama onigiri, a baby boiled onigiri shaped egg (I used an egg mold, pretty cute and cool, but not always perfectly effective. I don't think I used a big enough egg as it didn't turn out quite as triangular as I'd hoped). Some carrot flowers with celery round out top layer. These are my first attempts at anything related to onigiri. Considering I didn't use sushi rice or anything, I don't think it will be very easy for the Little Goose to pick up and eat and so I'm going to provide her with a fork. I hope she likes it, I'm packing a little bottle of soy sauce on the side just in case it's a bit too bland.

On the bottom, from left to right, we have a red bean filled daifuku (aka mochi), rambutan (aka milder, fuzzier, lycheeish tropical fruit), and a mini orange (satsuma, I think that's how you spell it) blossom with a sour skittle center.

No photo of either kid today. 1) They weren't sitting still long. 2) We didn't think to take a photo today. 3) We suck at taking pictures of our kids. The whole point of this was to remember to take a picture a day of the children. So far? Laziness 1 Documentation 0.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm REALLY not feeling up to much today and so that means simple fare for the Little Goose, she's just a kindergartener so I'm sure it's plenty of food still. If not, she can have an extra snack when she gets home.

But hey, at least she gets some cute containers. These came from the Disney store, I love pooh bear. On the left we have the antipasto containing two types of babybel cheeses (original and cheddar) with salami, cha lua stars (mortadella), and a mini dill pickle. On the right we have a few dates and a tangerine flower with a strawberry center.

The Sweet Pea isn't having a good morning either. Don't worry, he didn't hurt his eye or anything, he was just rubbing them.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Banh Mi

I've been feeling really ill all day and had to leave work early because my body just felt like it was going to fall apart on me if I didn't. Did this stop me from making lunch for my little girl (who gave me this little bug in the first place???); of course not. Nothing fancy though.

On the top we have two mini Vietnamese banh mi cha lua, which basically means Vietnamese mortadella sandwiches. As with classic banh mi, we have sliced baguette. I've stuffed it with cha lua (mortadella), carrot and cucumber slices. I didn't dress it with anything as the Little Goose doesn't actually care for mayo or mustard or anything like that. Extra mortadella and cucumber hearts on the side.

On the bottom layer we have sliced strawberries, pear, and a cheddar babybel. The one from yesterday turned out to be a big hit, and so I might end up packing these every now and then.

I didn't take a picture of either kids today. I know, I'm a bad mommy, there's no excuse really. (Other than the fact that I'm sick and I was trying to sleep it off ever since I got home.) Therefore, here is a picture from the past, one of my favorite in fact. It was taken in February at a Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Oakland during the Lunar New Year. The Sweet Pea was still just a baby then who could only crawl, not run, and the Little Goose was still a part time preschooler. :sigh: What a difference 8 months makes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chicken curry out in the open...

A friend of mine sort of gave me a hard time about putting chicken curry under rice last week so this week, it's out there in the open. Free.

And so, on the left we have chicken curry topped with curry sweet potato stars, rice topped with curry potato flowers, and two shu mai with steamed sweet potato stars.

On the right, we have pear hearts in the shape of a flower with a strawberry tip center and pear peel leaves. Additionally, I added a babybel cheese. The Little Goose has never had these and so we'll see if she eats it or not, she generally likes cheese so I think we're ok with having it in her lunch. I ended up packing more pear and strawberry hearts in this container so that the "flower" would stay put, but I like the uncrowded simplicity or this picture and so here it is. Someone asked if the Little Goose actually finishes her lunch and the answer to that is, "rarely". She's never been a good eater, but I'm usually happy if she returns home with at least one bite taken out of everything. The bento boxes are actually a lot smaller than they look in the pictures and so it's really not that much food.

Today's toddler pic:

Halloween the aftermath...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hana to Hoshi...

This actually took me a bit longer than expected, mainly because I wasn't sure what to pack for the Little Goose's lunch since we have quite a few leftovers in the fridge. I finally settled on just teriyaki chicken meatballs and rice with steamed veggies. Hopefully she likes it. The containers were from the Disney store, they're not really bento boxes, but with a thick pink rubber band they might as well be.

On the right we have steamed carrot flowers and steamed broccoli with rice, chicken teriyaki meatballs, and half a Vietnamese pork eggroll (cha gio, hidden under the two carrot flowers on the left of the container).

On the left we have strawberry filled Disney biscuits, pear stars with seedless grape centers (it actually didn't take very long to cut these out, I bought shape cutters that were originally for cutting clay and they worked beautifully), and finally strawberry stars.

Again, hope she likes it!

Today's pic (well, taken Saturday actually), the Sweet Pea was a baby doctor.:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Little Helper

The Little Goose was sick on Friday and stayed home so there was no lunch necessary. Poor girl, she's really into school right now and was very sad to have to stay home, but we felt she had to have some rest (and not spread her germs to the other kids). She's feeling much better today and was able to help me make/pack her lunch for tomorrow. The things we make keep relatively well in the fridge overnight as long as the bento is closed but I'm not sure about this one as it has asian pear in it and I'm not sure if it'll get slimy or not (will have to check in the morning).

In the top layer we have two rice hearts, a scrambled egg heart (I wanted to pack her some chicken but the Little Goose insisted on helping me scramble some eggs), some peas and carrots, and asparagus spears underneath with mini soy sauce bottle not shown.

In the bottom layer we have one sliced strawberry, asian pear slices and flowers, dried mango flowers, and chocolate mushroom cookies. I completely forgot to put some lemon juice on the asian pear so it began to brown even as I was taking the picture. This is the first "bento" that the Little Goose has helped out with (I hope I'm not offending any Japanese people who follow the true definitions of bento packing) and she wanted to have her picture taken with it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In the still of the night...

I had to leave home extremely early this morning made this at 3am while studying for a mid term. I hope the Little Goose likes it, I tried to pack some of her favorite things like fruit and broccoli (yes, I'm very lucky, I know). I'm beginning to like this whole packing lunch thing. So far so good on keeping it relatively healthy. Aside from steamed broccoli, I put in orange slices, berries, homemade tortilla chips, a few panda cookies, some mini sausages, steamed carrots, and some mini cheese quesadillas. It took only about 20 minutes to put together from start to finish (including cooking time). Not bad, maybe I should pack a lunch too...nah...I think I like eating out with my coworkers for lunch. Adult company keeps me sane. If I packed myself a lunch I'd end up eating at my desk and working.

Again, I left home really early this morning and wasn't able to say goodbye to my little Sweet Pea. He was sleeping so peacefully that this was the only picture I could take of him this morning. He's always liked sleeping on his tummy and it used to freak me out when he was a baby and everyone and their mother said that I needed to put him "back to sleep" in case of SIDS or some other nefarious childhood phantom that might take his breath away in the middle of the night. Now that he's 18 months, it's not so nerve wracking to see him roll over to his tummy at night. In fact it's rather cute with his butt sticking in the air.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First came the babies, and then came lunch...

Hello all, welcome to my new "blog". This is an offshoot from my other blog at for all the pictures that I'll be taking (theoretically) of my kids (the Sweet Pea and the Little Goose) and the Little Goose's lunch.

For example, today's lunch:

Chicken curry under rice with nori stars, cantaloupe butterflies and stars, cucumber stars, and rasberries and blackberries.

And today's baby picture...well, toddler picture:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

2nd Bento

Here is the second bento I created for my daughter. I'd start with bento no. 1, but I didn't take a picture of it. This one contains mini pb&j sandwiches cut in the shape of a tulip, a sakura flower, and a regular ole 5 petaled flower, some star cucumbers, a skewer of fresh mozarella cheese pears with some nori stars, grape and berry skewers, some disney strawberry cream filled biscuit thingies, and some heart cut outs of this japanese melon dessert I bought in Japantown at Nippon-Ya.