So, it's pretty clear that I've been on a blogging hiatus, but I can't think of a better way to get back into the groove and get some new inspiration than with this fantastic new book, Happy Bento! Lunches On the Go by Anna Adden of Becoming a Bentoholic.
book do call for some specific tools, there is plenty of room for improvisation, and also an extensive section on all the types of tools that Anna has and recommends, including a shopping list/links at the back of the book (AKA a great excuse to shop for some bento goodies). Every lunch is broken down in the book with supplies, ingredients, and directions that are thorough and easy to follow. I love the physical size of this book too... it's almost like a pocket guide that I could toss in my purse to reference at the grocery store. In fact, my daughter has taken it on a couple car trips to peruse while we ran errands.
I figured I might as well let my daughter continue flipping through the book to select what lunches to try first. She chose the one from the cover photo, which was simple, fun, and yummy! Sounds good to me. Anna's instructions for each bento are very detailed, so you can easily recreate her lunchbox ideas with ease, but you can modify them based on food preferences or materials on hand, as well. That is what we did!
Happy Bento, from holidays and special occasions to seasonal and everyday fun. Even some obscure 'fun' days are in this book. How could you not love a book that includes special lunches for Pi Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Shark Week?! As mentioned before, many of the lunches call for specific tools to create the lunches exactly, but you can use what you have on hand to make the ideas your own or use the book as a reference for your new Bento wish list!
For instance, in this lunch below, we modified again, but you can bet we have an hippo cookie cutter on the 'to get' list now! Plus, Anna's ideas reminded us about introducing some new foods. We love edamame, but it's not something either of the kids have had, so we mixed some in with something she already likes and it was a hit.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Happy Bento today! Here is the link, as well as to a couple fun tools I used in these lunches...