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!


  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.

  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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