Browsing Tag

bento lunch box

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Creative Hardboiled Eggs for Easter

easter eggs hardboiled shapes chicks

easter eggs hardboiled shapes chicks

With the creative work that goes into decorating eggs for Easter, it always seems a shame to crack open the colourful shells to eat the hardboiled egg inside. But it turns out you can have just as much fun decorating eggs once you’ve peeled off the shell!

  • Jenn of JustJenn Recipes tested out the Chickie Eggs from The Manga Cookbook, a popular step-by-step guide to preparing simple Japanese dishes using ingredients found in North American kitchens.
  • It takes a few tools and a bit of patience to create this carton of just-hatched chicks, but kids will love the result (it may even entice them to eat the eggs!).
  • If you’re looking for something simpler, check out Anna’s instructions for these heart-shaped eggs. They’re easier to create than you might think and a thoughtful way to show some love for your guests at Easter brunch. (You may want to stash this idea for a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast too).

Japanese Egg Molds

easter egg molds japanese bento

Easier still are these adorable, inexpensive egg molds typically used in Japanese bento boxes. Available in a variety of shapes and characters, the bunny is particularly fitting for Easter buffets.

How do you use eggs at Easter? Are they just for decorating or are eggs part of your meal too?

SOURCING:
+ Chickie Eggs via JustJenn Recipes
+ Chicken Egg Family How To from Eye Candy
+ Heart-Shaped Eggs from Anna the Red
Kotobuki Plastic Egg Mold, Amazon.com, $3.99 USD
+ Fun with Japanese Egg Molds Tutorial from Just Bento

BABY products FAMILY

I love my Ze Super Zeros

ze super zeros :: zebu the zebra plush toy

ze super zeros :: zebu the zebra plush toy

Our friend Nathalie of the Foodies Emporium blog gave us one of the most adorable plush toys at our baby shower. From the Ze Super Zeros collection, she selected Zubu the Zebra as the perfect toy for our son-to-be. A cool detail is the logo on its cape. It reads SZ and we will name our son Zack. My husband noticed that it can stand for Super Zack. We like that!

Each super zero has a mini power and a related challenge that teaches kids to embrace what makes them unique and find their inner super zero. Zebu the Zebra is a super good at hiding, using his stripes as ze camouflage! But, he is always getting lost, but his spotted cape helps his zero friends find him. These plush toys are suitable for newborns.

You can buy your own Ze Super Zeros plush toy at Itsi Bitsi in Montreal. While you are there, indulge in one of their delicious cupcakes.

One Last Thing

colors collection bento box

And if you are looking for cute bento boxes, read Nathalie’s round-up on the best bento lunch boxes available in Montreal.

SOURCING:
+ USA: Ze Super Zeros Zebu The Zebra Plush Toy $24.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]

FAMILY LIVING with kids

Dinosaur Sandwich Cutter

dinosaur sandwich cutter for a kid lunch or party

dinosaur sandwich cutter for a kid lunch or party

This is an adorable kitchen gadget to bring fun to a kid lunch. It is fast and easy to make dinosaur sandwiches for a kid’s lunch or to serve at a kids birthday party. The mold will produce two sandwich pieces when you use standard sandwich bread. A sandwich cutter, like this, reduces waste compared to most cookie cutters.

You can use it to easily design a superb bento box lunch such as Biggie demonstrated at Lunch in a Box. At a party, it means no fights with young kids that do not eat the crust. If you are hosting a tea party for a baby or a bridal shower, you may prefer the heart sandwich cutter.

SOURCING:
+ DynoBytes Dinosaur Sandwich Crust Cutter $2.99 USD
+ Dino Cutter £1.99

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

I Want to Go on a Picnic with Afternoon Tea

go on a picnic bento boxes by afternoon tea

go on a picnic collection :: picnicware by afternoon tea

You should have seen my happy face  when I entered Afternoon Tea, a Japanese retailer that sells adorable bento boxes and lunch accessories. Their collection includes you need and dream of to bring your lunch or go on a picnic in style. Their products are not only pretty; they are practical. Boxes come in several shaped and sizes.

go on a picnic bento boxes by afternoon tea

I want to buy almost everything! But I will wait until the end of my trip to buy a few items. I just hope that they do not run out of stock in stores of what I want since a few items are already out of stock on their online site.

SOURCING:
+ Go on a Picnic collection by Afternoon Tea 367 yens to 5040 yens

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

Stylish Tiffins, Bowls, Cups and Trays for your Picnics

Lolita handpainted tiffin box by Nkuku

Lolita handpainted tiffin box by Nkuku

Carrying a tiffin box for a picnic, a camping trip or to use as a lunch box adds style to a functional item. The British Indian equivalent of the Japanese bento boxes enables you to carry the food neatly. Plus, the compartments act as serving bowls. Each tiffin is made up of four compartments and includes four metal plates.

Hand-painted bowls by nkuku available in two patterns lolita and eva

This metal collection is hand painted by artisans from Kashmir who works from their own homes. I kind of prefer the look of Lolita for the tiffin boxes but both are beautiful. But I would select the Eva bowls and cups. The Lolita and Eva collections also include jars and trays.

eva hand-painted tiffin box by nkuku

Unfortunately the tiffins are out of stock at Nkuku until May 10th, 2010. If you are interested, the distributor Nkuku runs an online store that ships internationally. Nkuku is located in UK. These products are also available at selected retailers but I can’t find a list. I spot them at Not on a High Street.

lolita trays and eva cups by nkuku

SOURCING:
+ Eva Hand-painted Tiffin by Nkuku £64.95
+ Lolita and Eva bowl £5.95
+ Eva hand-painted cup £5.95
+ Lolita Trays £22.95
+ via Poppytalk

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Thermos Bento Box Sets

Thermos bento kits for kids and rice with insulated bag

For when you wish to bring food that need to be kept cold or hot, Bento & Co added to their catalogue two cool products.

Bento Boxes for Kids

First, the Poka Poka Miffy set. Miffy is a popular female rabbit character from a picture kid book drawn by Dutch artist and illustrator Dick Bruna. This Bento set was designed to keep rice warm. For a breakfast on the park, you could carry warm oat meal or beans. A stainless steel Thermos box painted with Miffy, two small boxes and an insulated bag form this adorable set.

thermos nidan bento box set

Bento Boxes for Guys

The sportive guys in your home will appreciate the Thermos Nidan set. The bento boxes are large. There is plenty of room to feed a large appetite and to leave some for his friends. Both sets are produced by Thermos.

SOURCING:
+ Poka Poka Miffy set 34.80 EUR
+ Thermos Nidan set 25.80 EUR

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Stylish Bento Boxes for Him and Her

elegant masculine bento boxes

There is something about bento boxes that made them desirable. We often see the same ones. So I dig to see if I could find something different. Bento & Co carries products that are normally unavailable in the North American market. In fact, I was in awe with so many products that I will do two posts.

Bento Boxes for Him

Men do not wish to bring at work the cheerful bento boxes that we typically see here. As more people are getting concern with eating healthy food, I feel there is a market for bringing lunch at work. If you do not wish to cook your own lunch, why not plan with a local caterer a week of lunch meals? Bring your Bento boxes and ask them to set up your meal by day. One the morning, you just need to grab a bag.

Bento & Co proposes stylish masculine boxes. Select from the professional-grade stainless steel Zen boxes or the classic black boxes. The elegant fake-wood boxes go inside the microwave and are dishwasher safe.

Cool Way to Carry your Bento Boxes

chic ways to carry your bento boxes for her

Bento & Co also sells kits with one or two bento boxes, a chopsticks carrier and an assorted bag. A belt is used to secure the boxes and chopsticks carrier. It is really elegant.

Another way is the furoshiki wrapping technique. Here they have done the basic wrap.  The 100% cotton tea pot furoshiki looks great.

About Bento & Co

Founded by a Frenchman and his wife who lives in Kyoto, Japan, Bento & Co ships in many European countries, in Canada and in the United States. The only thing is that their site is only in French as far as I know. But there are lots of pictures for you to understand each product. They support Paypal.

SOURCING:
+ Dragon Black box 18.80 EUR, set 31.80 EUR
+ Zen 02 41.80 EUR
+ Bento Ajira fake wood 19.80 EUR
+ Furoshiki Tea Pot wrapping fabric 5.50 EUR
+ Kimono Pink Long box 17.80 EUR, set 29.80 EUR

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

The best looking and most practical picnic bags

picnic bags baskets bento lunch box picnic table

We still have a few weeks in front of us for plenty of fun picnics. I made a compilation of my favorite picnic bags. These products are not new but I taught it would be fun to see them side by side.

The beauty and practicality of multiple bags

Here you see the trendy Gourmet Gateway Lunch Tote by Built NY inside an orange Reisenthel’s CarryAll bag. A beautiful shot captured by Bea of La Tartine Gourmande, one of my top 10 blogs.

Using multiple bags is pretty practical for a picnic. Initially, you have lots of stuff. But as you eat some food, you can use the free space on the Carrybag to carry everything. Having two bags enables you to spread the load.

I already own a collapsible Reisenthel’s Carry All bag, so I am half ready. I adored the superior construction of the CarryAll for grocery shopping. And I got compliments all the time.

A cheaper copycat option to Reisenthel is the Metro Basket. Designed for picnic in mind, Metro collapsible basket features waterproof interior and expandable drawstring top.

The same company does the Metro Kart on wheel. It is supposed to easy glide across all terrains. I never tried it. The cooler can be removed for cleaning and storage, while the trolley can collapse for compact storage. The Metro Kart is not really what I am suggesting you to do. I find it big to carry around.

Think about individual bags

Instead of the usual communal bags, why not pack everything in individual meals? If you go at a big picnic, people may not eat all at the same time because of the various activities. So it is easier and healthier for your family to separate the food in individual portions at home.

If you go for the individual method, lunch boxes offer the best solutions. Everyone can carry its own lunch. You can also insert the lunch boxes in a larger bag if you are too many or if the kids are too young.

The Bento lunch boxes are great because you get three containers with well-taught separators to neatly store your food. So the food stays in place and everything will look good at the picnic. I suggest you get a different color for each member of the family.

A touch of nostalgia

The Malibu Rose shoulder bag is a nice take on an old-fashioned pattern. This bag for two can hold a good quality of food and drinks.

A friend of mine has a foldable aluminium picnic just like that that used to belong to his parents. It is a must-have accessory with kids when you go camping or to the beach. He was telling me that the table is now a family treasure that is passed along between brothers and sisters. So I was thrilled to find one at Picnic Fun.

The wooden portable picnic is on sale at $110 right now at Picnic Fun. For less, you can get a blue high strength aluminum alloy frame and polyethylene resin at only $70. Did I mention that once you fold the picnic table with 4 seats it fits in that lean carry case. A marvelous idea for family and tent campers.

Stay in touch because later this week, I will publish my menu suggestions for picnic.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Gourmet Gateway Lunch Tote by Built NY
For Americans: Reisenthel Collapsible European Market Tote available at SurLaTable.com
For Canadians: Reisenthel CarryAll bags available at GoneShopping.ca
Buy online: Metro Basket available at Picnic Fun
Buy online: Metro Kart Insulated Cooler available at Picnic Fun
Buy online: Bento Box available at Plastica Shop
Buy online: Foldable Picnic Tables available at Picnic Fun
Learn more: Malibu Rose shoulder bag by Picnic Time
Photo credit: Orange Reisenthel market tote on the beach is a picture taken by Bea of La Tartine Gourmande – rights protected picture