nutritious and fun bento box ideas and photos, healthy recipes and tips for making your own bento box lunch

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Archive for the ‘Misc.’

New Experience-Southern Cooking 9

Posted on November 25, 2011 by Debra

I recently returned from a trip to the southern portion of the US. Specifically the gulf coast. Warm weather, friendly people and good eating.  Guess what my favorite thing to eat was?

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Chicken and Rice Bento 3

Posted on November 19, 2011 by Debra


While I was on vacation last week I had the opportunity to pack a couple of real school -lunch bentos!

They were for two very sweet high school students who were gracious to indulge me with my hobby. Okay, obsession.

Their mom said they eat about anything but I kept things pretty basic with teriyaki chicken, fried rice, tamagoyaki, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes.

Luckily for me their pantry had a stash of containers and I was able find these…a perfect size!

Everything worked out great and I heard that the kids enjoyed their bentos that day!

For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

In-Flight Bento 17

Posted on August 10, 2011 by Debra

It’s a melancholy moment when I pack an in-flight bento.  But happy memories overshadow the sad good-byes especially when I include foods that are reminiscent of the fun-filled visit!

Salmon is de-riqueur for a Seattle-style lunch and Rainier cherries from our trip to the farmers market evoke happy flashbacks of a enjoyable vacation!

That alone should conjure desires for return trip…and to seal-the-deal…I added baked chicken, sautéed asparagus, steamed carrots, tomato, white rice and a luscious chunk o’ purple sweet potato!


For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Corn Butter-Mochi and More 3

Posted on June 27, 2011 by Debra

Today is the last Monday of the month which means it’s more than a Meatless Monday occasion.

It’s #twitterfoodparty day and this month’s theme is corn!

I know, right?  So many options.  Corn is in everything!  Including this butter-mochi!

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Lending Money for Hats! 1

Posted on June 02, 2011 by Debra

Last year we made our first loan with Kiva for $125.00 and so far we’ve been paid back $102.00.   So while we wait for the remaining balance, I made the executive decision to re-loan this along with an additional $100.00  to another entrepreneur!

Tsetsegmaa Darmaa can now purchase more hats for her shop in Mongolia!

I love hats, but I love that we are able lend support… even if it’s just a little bit.

If you’ve purchased any items via

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!


For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.


Easy Haupia Cake 14

Posted on May 24, 2011 by Debra

This is the cake that I created for Saba Man’s birthday.

A haupia cake— a splendid combination of island tradition and western confection!   Perfect for a non-baker like me.   And very hapa-like!  :)

“So Easy That Even I Can Make It”  Haupia Cake

or for short…

“Easy Haupia Cake”

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Decontructed Smoked Lomi Salmon 16

Posted on April 04, 2011 by Debra

I am having so much fun being a  part of Kitchen-Play‘s “National Onion Association”  Progressive Party.  This Progressive Party will feature six different courses created by six different bloggers using Fresh Dry Bulb Onions . There are many varieties of this onion and for this recipe I selected, because I live in Washington State,   the Walla Walla Sweets®!  A very large one.

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Bento4Japan Updates 4

Posted on March 26, 2011 by Debra

Hello bento fans!  If you’ve been wondering, “what happened to the bento lunches and recipes?”   Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned those efforts and will be back soon to post more yummy lunches and recipes.

Those who follow me on twitter know that we’ve been busy with the #bento4Japan fundraiser!

So far Bento4Japan has raised $2000!   The power of social media is helping spread the news of the tough living conditions in areas of Japan that are most affected.   I’ve been following along with the mainsteam news media but found it fustrating with the sensationalism and fear tactics.  Most of the information I’ve been getting has been from following Maki of JustBento.  She’s dedicated herself to cutting through the “bs” by translating the news from Japan and other sources via her twitter account @makiwi.  Maki has posted a message on her site that I think is important for those who care about what’s going on in Japan.   Her compelling message about reporting and responding in a rational manner, whether you agree with her or not, is worth a read.

So in closing, Bento4Japan is  going strong.  Please take a look at the bento box items up for bid.  100% of the winning bid is being donated to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Victims Relief Fund via Mission Fish.

I’ll “bbl” with more bento box lunches.  I promise.


For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.

Helping Japan 6

Posted on March 16, 2011 by Debra

On the day of Japan’s earthquake I was stunned, just stunned I tell you.  I could not believe the destruction taking place on live television.   Unspeakable devastation.

The next day, I fell into a slump of helplessness and sadness.

“What are these poor people going to do, what’s going to happen, how can anyone bear this catastrophe?”

I wanted to help, but how?  Yes, like the officials declared, “money is the best way”, and so we gave what we could.   But I needed to do more.

Then one evening while on twitter , a fellow bento maker Mils announced that she was going to do something!  But what?  How can a group of people, who only know each other on twitter, have any impact?

There’s no surprise that bentoists, a creative group of folks who celebrate Japan’s beautiful bento box culture,  came up with a doozy of an idea!

And so…  bento4Japan was born!

The donations and participants came pouring in and thus the bento4Japan ebay auctions began.

Taking action is good for the soul, the mind, and for the people of Japan!

Japan Earthquake Comments Off

Posted on March 11, 2011 by Debra

Our hearts go out to the people of Japan and other countries (including the USA) that are affected by this disaster. 

This catastrophe is still unfolding as heart-wrenching photos and news come across the media.

These images stir the goodness in people as well as the bad so if you are thinking of sending relief contributions.  Please be careful of con-artists that spring up whenever there’s a disaster.

Here’s a link that may help you decide on which charitible organization to go with. 

Charity Navigator

I have no affiliation with this organization nor do I benefit from any contributions.  I’m just passing it on…

Thank you and take care.

Kitchen Remodel 6

Posted on February 22, 2011 by Debra

Saba Man and I spend most of day at the Seattle Home Show, scoping our options for the long overdue kitchen remodel.

Today’s holiday (President’s Day) offered us a rare concurrent day off so we decided to take steps towards bringing our outdated kitchen into the 21st century!

We spoke with countless contractors, salespeople, and “representatives”.   Lot’s of helpful information so I’ll mark our inaugural leap as “so far, so good”.

I must say that I was overwhelmed with the offerings.  So many decisions and of course I want ALL the cool features. 

Alas, my kitchen is small and the budget is even smaller, so as much as I’d love to have one…the walk-in pantry is off the wish-list! Darn.

We’re excited for this adventure and I’ll continue posting updates for ”The Kitchen Project” on this blog.

Stay tuned…


For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.

Thankful for Dim Sum Bento 12

Posted on November 27, 2010 by Debra

Saba Man and I celebrate Thanksgiving in an unusual way.  No long-distance driving, no cooking or cleaning, and thank goodness…no airports! 

Instead we sleep late then watch football.   When we get hungry… we go out and look for something good to eat.  This year we  found dim sum.

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