Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hello... Penguin? World Animal Day "Zoo" Hop!

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After scrolling down to finish my agonizingly long post, check out Glory's Mischief and see what animal she chose!
Since onigiri is a more traditional bento food than what I normally use, I decided to try and pack my box to look more traditional as well! Because she'd be eating this at Baby E's preschool, as well as in the car, I didn't want to use a traditional 2-tier box, but I needed one deep enough for the very thick tuna-stuffed head! My usual go-to, EasyLunchboxes, don't look as traditional, and need so much more food than she would eat in order to look all tightly packed and carefully arranged, so I dug through my stash to see if anything else would work. Lunchbots Eco, which is larger than the other Lunchbots styles, fit all my criteria.

Chilly Willy: I used little silicone penguin-shaped cups as molds to freeze some L'il Yami lime-flavored yogurt.
And now I'm smacking myself, because I never checked the ingredients before getting it ready and it has fake colors! I ordered this with my weekly organic milk delivery, so assumed it would be safe. AAARGH! Well, that explains why she was suddenly so much rougher with her sister, screamier and frustrated-i-er, and terrible at cooperating with us after school. *sigh* I should have used a Chobani Champions Verry Berry and made purpley penguins. Dagnabbit!
I gave her 1/2 tsp of baking soda in some milk, since I read at Die, Food Dye! that that can help with an accidental additive exposure. Fingers crossed!

I added blobs of Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt on top and smoothed them around to make white bellies, and carefully placed black sesame seed eyes and little carrot triangle beaks before freezing overnight.

Gone Fishin': I used another mini fish cutter on some orange and yellow carrots, as well as a slice of golden beet, just to try her out on it. I've been making my Pink Dip out of our CSA beets (only it's been either Very Pink, or else kind of orange, depending which kind I use,) but it's much sweeter than the radishes and I don't like it as much. So I'm trying something else with our latest beet!

Hello Penguin!: The black rice was made by grinding black sesame seeds with some random roundy tool thing and a bowl a "mortar and pestle" and tossing them in with the rice before cooking. Pretty neat huh? Thanks to Ming from Bento, Monsters and Daisy Selalu for basically holding my hand through the whole process by giving me advice, suggestions, links, and spoon-feeding me a tutorial. And to all my fans and friends on Facebook and Instagram for instructing me on how to cook rice... 

After using a lot of plastic cling wrap, taking step-by-step photos of my efforts, and double checking the rice layering tutorial photos sent to me by Daisy, I managed to cobble together a decent-looking tuna-stuffed Hello Kitty Dressed As A Penguin onigiri! Wooot!
I used a little oval cutter to make a nose out of a very thin slice of yellow carrot. I tried using it on some dried seaweed for eyes, but the Trader Joe's Seaweed Snack was too brittle. My regular nori tasted funny and was sooooo old, so I threw it out last week. Doh! I ended up using my kitchen scissors freehand on the fluffy TJ stuff. 
The feet and beak were also cut freehand out of carrot, using a steak knife. I used a tiny fish cutter for the fishy she's holding, and I used bits of uncooked spaghetti noodle to secure everything in place. For the finishing touch, I added a red bow pick.

The mini fork and spoon were from Daiso, but I haven't seen the ocean set again in ages. They seem to just have the regular animals utensils set anymore. I love them because they fit in virtually any bento box! The penguin pick is from the same company, and also no longer available.
Strawberry, red grapes, orange and yellow carrots, golden beet, frozen lime and vanilla yogurt,
Trader Joe's Liquid-Tummy Penguins, tuna-stuffed black sesame and white rice onigiri
My little princess got to start in on her lunch on the way to Baby's preschool, and was super thrilled. She chipped away at the frozen yogurt and nibbled on gummies to start.
Before getting distracted by the zucchini bread snack for the mamas (she had FOUR slices!) she ate the face and attacked the head zombie-style, eating out the tuna fish braaaaaaaainsssss during E's class. That's my girl!
Braaaaaainssss!

 Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Food Cup Penguin size L Japanese Bento Accessory Food Pick Hat 3D food picks 8 pcs Japanese Bento Decoration Ham Cheese Cutter Set 9pcs Japanese Bento Decoration Ham Cheese Cutter Set 9pcs Sea Japanese Bento Accessories Ham Cheese Cookie Cutter Set of 3 Japanese Bento Accessories Mini Fork Spoon set of 8

35 comments:

  1. Sorry about the dye but they turned out super cute! I love the picture of her smiling face! Makes all the extra work totally worth it, right?

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  2. Super impressed with this!! So pro for a first time. Love it, so super cute!

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  3. Amazing! Awesome! I love this!!

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  4. This is one of the cutest penguins I have ever seen! So creative!!!:)

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  5. Mama, I love this so hard.
    You did such an AMAZING job! You are very talented - Seriously.

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  6. Seriously.. fantastic job. In the best possible way, I just want to bite all their faces off too!

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  7. What a beautiful job! Awesome first time!!

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  8. I LOVE this lunch!!!! The hello kitty is incredible. The penguins are so cute!!!! My kids would lose their minds over this lunch. It is amazing!

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  9. This is amazing! That technique of over-lapping onigiri is so hard; you made it beautifully! And I cant wait to try and freeze yogurt in a nice silicone shape! Just wonderful.

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  10. This is absolutely adorable in every way!! Great job!!

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  11. Your lunch is just AMAZING!!!! Hello Kitty turned out perfect!

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  12. I ♥ this lunch!!! Fantastic job on the rice and Hello Kitty is just plain awesome!

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  13. Oh Kendra! You never cease to amaze me with your lunch ideas. You are one such ludicrous mama! Hands down for this penguin lunch. I'm sure Z is speechless.

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  14. I seriously love your lunch! It's too cute!!

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  15. Absolutely adorable! My new meme starts at Diana Rambles tomorrow!

    Diana
    Diana Rambles
    Bento Blog Network
    Link Rink

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  16. Penguin Kitty!!!! LOOOOOOVE it

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  17. This is really awesome! Love the penguinos!

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  18. Wow, seriously this lunch just takes the cake! I love love love the frozen penguins and your creativity - I will make sure to steal that one soon, muahahah - and your first time Onigiri Hello Kitty dressed as a penguin? Squeal! So adorably cute <3 I am pinning as I type. You mega-rock!

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  19. Well what can I say....your Hello Kitty penguin turned out AWESOME. Good job :-)

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  20. ADORABLE! That is the most adorable penguin I have ever seen in a lunch. So cute!

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  21. This turned out SOOOOOOOO Great!!! good job! i think tuna stuffed onigiri sounds yummy - now I need to try it :D

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  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! You have amazing skillz woman :D

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  23. HK Penguin is crazy cute as are her little yogurt buddies. Amazing lunch, girl! And thanks for showing the carnage! :P

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  24. Thanks for the PIN MEme link up. You have been pinned!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  25. Amazing!! I love your lunch is super cute!

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  26. Adorable! I wish I could be as creative with food!

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  27. how long do the yogurt pieces stay frozen? And, I really need to try onigiri -- my daughter has been asking for it (someone in her class brought it)

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  28. Rachel - these, without an ice pack, were mush within 2 hours. If you want them to keep their shape, your best bet is to plan several days in advance. Freeze your shape. Fill serving container with different colored yogurt. Push frozen shape on top. Freeze entire container.

    The first time I did these I used a heavy duty ice pack, and it rested right under the shapes. They were still mostly frozen 2 hours later.

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  29. Love the penguin kitty! such a lovely bento!
    Always nice to meet fellow bento makers!

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  30. This is super cute especially the penguin hello kitty :)

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