how-to

Quick tip: Cooking pasta and noodles in just a little water

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A few weeks ago, there was an article in the Food section of the New York Times about cooking pasta in a reduced amount of water (registration required), written by Harold McGee aka The Curious Cook. (In case you don’t know, Harold McGee is a very interesting food writer, who approaches cooking from a scientific angle. If you are of a geeky bent or love reading about the hows and whys of food in general, I highly recommend his book On Food and Cooking.) The gist of the article is that it’s possible to cook pasta in far less water than is usually recommended, and that you can even start from cold water!

While the rationale in the article for reducing the amount of cooking water is to save energy, I was intrigued by the possible time saving benefits, especially when making bentos. continue reading...

Apple Bunnies and More: Decorative Apple Cutting Techniques

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Apples are such great fruit - available almost any time of the year, inexpensive, and handy. While simple apple slices or even a whole apple are welcome additions to a bento box, if you just spend a few minutes cutting the pieces in decorative ways, they can really perk up your bentoscape, as Tracy showed us in the last post.

We sort of grow up in Japan knowing how to do some fairly simple apple cutting techniques. (Or at least, I remember my mother and aunties doing this sort of thing when I was little.) Here are some that you could use, from the basic to the more complicated. continue reading...

Decorate bentos with your own stickers

Bento Challenge Week 4, Day 4

As I’ve stated here on these pages several times, while I greatly admire the artistry and skill of kyaraben/charaben artists, I rarely have the time to do such cute things. Not that I don’t like to get artsy and crafty - I do. But there are much easier ways of doing that. Why bother with cute touches to your bentos? Why, to put a smile on someone’s face of course, including your own. continue reading...

How to use a single-onigiri bento box

I really, really don’t need any more bento boxes. But when I spotted these incredibly adorable little onigiri boxes, I just couldn’t resist.

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Since I have adopted them, it’s a good opportunity to show how to use this type of single-onigiri box. continue reading...

Get Started Bento Challenge: Week 5

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Welcome to the 5th and final week of the Getting Started Bento Challenge!

Where did the time go? For me, the Challenge weeks have just flown by!

Since this is the last week, the focus is on: Putting it all together, and moving forward. continue reading...

Get Started Bento Challenge: Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 of the 5 week Getting Started Bento Challenge! If you’re new to the site, see the overall objectives of this Challenge.

The Challenge officially commences on Monday January 12th (Joining in later is fine too - just catch up where you can!)

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Before we kick off Week 1, here’s a quick outline of this and upcoming Challenge weeks.

  • Each week, we’ll be focusing on a particular aspect of making tasty, healthy and cost conscious bento lunches as efficiently as possible.
  • There will be three task and goal levels: Basic, Going Deeper, and Weight Loss. Basic is what you should try to do at a minimum. Going Deeper is for people who are very motivated and want to take on more. Finally, Weight Loss is specifically for people who want to use the Challenge to kick start, or enhance, a weight loss plan.

So, on to Week 1! continue reading...

Bento Challenges

This is the top page for all Just Bento Bento Challenges. continue reading...

Quick tip: Easy cute bento components with stickers

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No patience or time to make cute bentos? How about using stickers? continue reading...