Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bento Be Mine

With Valentine's Day coming up, I've been thinking of special, unexpected ways to celebrate the holiday. Combine that with a recent lunch in Japantown and the discovery of a new Japanese dollar store, and Valentine's Day themed bento boxes seemed inevitable.

First, the sweets:

I filled my strawberry box with a few key treats. First I tucked a peanut butter cookie behind my heart-shaped brownie. Then I slipped in a chocolate covered strawberry. Earlier I had sprinkled my just-dipped strawberries with toasted sesame seeds—I like the way they mimic the look of real strawberry seeds. With a food-safe marker I drew a heart on a miniature marshmallow and placed it by the strawberry. Finally, I scattered blueberries around the edges to fill any extra space.

Next I tried my hand at a double-decker box. This time in addition to the brownie and strawberry I included a chocolate-dipped fortune cookie (I removed the paper fortune before dipping), raspberry licorice, a heart-shaped rice krispie treat, and miniature brownie hearts. It's twice the fun of the first!

Finally, because not everyone is a fan of sweets—hard to believe, I know—I wanted to whip up a savory box. I decided to fill my adorable elephant box with sandwiches and a salad.

The sandwiches, assembled on pre-cut heart-shaped bread, are like afternoon tea finger sandwiches. I chose a cream cheese and cucumber flavor, plus one with egg salad and sprouts. The rest of the box is filled with a veggie salad. To make the salad I used a tiny heart cookie cutter which I pressed through thin slices of carrot, cucumber and radish. Seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper it was a simple but adorable little salad!

Enjoy making your own portable bento box valentines!

3 comments:

  1. These are so cute! I'm totally hitting up the Japanese dollar store next time I'm in town. Your pictures look great, by the way.

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  2. i love this diea....where the boxes only a dollar? the pics do look great...keep up the good work :)

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