Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tutorial Cheese Crackers Real or Fake ?

Today's tutorial is a funny one, are these cheese crackers real or fake? This is an easy tutorial which we can use as a bento space filler, or as a funny prank, or as a party snack or even something less scary for Halloween. I think the possibilities are endless and this is going to taste great with breads, sandwiches, chips, salads, etc :D

Here's what you need:
2 slices of cheddar cheese
1 slice of goat cheese (or young cheese, or any cheese that is lighter than the 2 slices of cheddar you have)
1 circular cookie cutter with scallop edge (you can also use flower shaped cookie cutters)


Here's what I did:
1. Stack the cheese slices on top of one another in this manner:
cheddar cheese - goat cheese - cheddar cheese

2. Use the cookie cutter to make the shapes. Then use a toothpick (or the end of a food pick) and poke 9 holes in the centre. Voila!!

Bento Filler: Cheese Crackers Real or Fake ?

This is also a fun and easy project to work with kids because its relatively easy and mess-free for the adults and its also easy enough for kids to grasp the instructions. So now the question is, how would you name this bento tutorial, Fake Cheese Crackers or Real Cheese Crackers? ;D

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tutorial Sweet Simmered Shiitake Bento Timesaver

Today's tutorial post is about another trick I have up my sleeve, sweet and simmered shiitake mushrooms, which is essentially a bento timesaver recipe. This is a perfect recipe if you know that you will be busy for the rest of the week and have no time to prepare every item individually in mornings. If stored well in the refridgerator, this sweet and simmered shiitake mushroom bento timesaver should last up to a week.

Sweet and Simmered Shiitake - Bento Time Saver and Space Filler


Ingredients:
10 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin (dry sherry can be used as a substitute)

How to:
1. Soak the dried shiitake in cold water until soft. This takes about 1 hour. 

Tip: Usually I'll soak the mushrooms while I'm preparing dinner. By the time Mr Bear and I have finished eating dinner and finished all the cleaning up, it will all be soft enough. If you like, you can soak the mushrooms overnight as well.

How I soak dried mushrooms

Tip: This picture shows how I soak the mushrooms. Because the dried shiitake mushrooms tend to float (which I find rather annoying), I used a dipping dish as a weight so that all mushrooms will get soaked evenly. 

Do not discard the water which you used to soak the mushrooms.

Once the shiitake mushrooms are soft, remove the stems and cut them into bite size pieces.

Tip: As shown in the very first photo, I have cut them into different shapes. This is a personal preference because I figured that if this sweet and swimmered shiitake timesaver is going to appear on me and Mr Bear's bento for the next 2 days, it might be more interesting if they don't look the same everytime we open up the bento.

2. Put the shiitake in a pot with enough soaking water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add all the other ingredients. Continue simmering until the liquid is almost absorbed completely.

Let it cool completely and portion it into little containers or small silicon cake molds. Store in the refridgerator.

This shiitake bento timesaver might taste a little sweet on it's own because it is designed as a side dish to go with rice. If you like you can serve it together with a plain salad as well.

This is how I make the Sweet and Simmered Shiitake Bento Timesaver, I hope you find the recipe and tips helpful too.

About Bento Cat

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Amsterdam, Netherlands
I'm Shanna and I enjoy bento making a lot. I'm also a wife, daughter,sister,a full-time student, previous fashion and product designer, nerd and super foodie all rolled into one. With Adventures of Bento Cat, I hope to document the daily happenings of my life through Bentos filled with Tender Loving Care and more! I can be contacted at bentokato@gmail.com
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Blog by Shanna at Bentocat.blogspot.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.