Total calories (approx): 510 (how calories are calculated)
Time needed: 25-30 minutes to decorate the muffins (muffins are pre-made and frozen)
Type: Not Japanese, theme bento, vegetarian
I have been pretty sick the whole week with the flu, and have not been doing any cooking, or eating for that matter. This is the first day that I’ve felt like even getting up and puttering around the house. The Guy needed lunch though, and fortunately I had a small stash of homemade vegetable soup concentrate and Buttermilk Corn Muffins in the freezer. Now, if I had just put the two together in a box it would have been a less-than-5-minute assembly bento. But the golden brown color of the muffins somehow inspired me to turn them into tigers, to commemorate the Year Of The Tiger. (I’m refraining from mentioning that other Tiger. Well, maybe 2010 will be his year again or something. Anyway.)
The faces are simple, though a bit fiddly. They are cut out using scissors and the Niko Niko Face Punch 3 nori punches. I had some trouble making the nori stick to the slightly rough surface of the muffins, so I tried a sort of ‘glue’ made by mixing a spoonful of clear honey with a spoonful of water. I just dipped the nori pieces in the honey-water, then laid them carefully on the muffin top. It worked. (I used tweezers.) Since there is so little nori, you can barely taste it so it doesn’t really affect the overall taste of the muffins. Incidentally, I took the muffins out of the silicon liners to decorate them, but slipped them back in to protect them from the greenery that cushioned them in the box. (I think the frilly yellow makes them look like baby bonnets. Well, the Year of the Tiger is still very young, so why not baby tigers?)
Note: To make this bento really nutritionally complete, you may want to add a wedge of cheese.
The Guy loved this lunch, even though he laughed at the tigers. Pfff.
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