New to Bento? Guest Blog

I "met" Serene from The Mom Food Project on a food bloggers' group and started following her on Twitter. When she mentioned the phrase "guest posting" in her Tweets, I accosted her inquired politely if she might be interested in guest blogging here. To my great happiness, she had just bought her first bento box and was kind enough to share that post with me! Serene, thank you for sharing, I appreciate it!

I am not an early adopter. I got my first cellphone a couple years ago, and I still don't have a Smartphone. I tend to be late finding out about trends, and then late getting around to trying them out. So I guess it's no surprise that I just got my first bento box the day before yesterday.

I have loved reading bento blogs like this one, Vegan Lunch Box, Just Bento, etc, but I never took the step to get a bento box. Part of the reason is that I've been working part-time for a few years, and I tend to just come home at lunchtime.

A few weeks ago, though, they asked me to work longer days, and I've been staying sometimes as long as nine hours a day, so I definitely need a lunch. Buying lunch in Berkeley every day is not an option; it would break the bank, to tell the truth. Plus, I like homecooked food more than the stuff at restaurants, so I went looking for a cute bento box.

banded box

I just love this thing. I love the color; I love the rubber-band strap; I love the cute little bag. It's small, but I don't need a huge lunch, and I do have a few non-refrigerated snacks in my desk drawer if my bento isn't enough some days.


I think it will take me some time to work up to the cute kinds of creations I see in other people's boxes, but I started buying cool stuff today to add, like the dried fish you see, and some equipment for making tiny little nigiri. I'll blog my lunches from time to time on my own blog, but I thought it would be fun to share my first one here.

Here's the recipe for the broccoli salad. My family loves it, and it never fails to make me happy.

Broccoli Salad
4 slices bacon
4 to 5 cups broccoli florets
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 cup raisins
Pour boiling water over raisins to cover. Let stand 10-15 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and set aside.

Fry bacon until crisp. While bacon is frying, either blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute, or microwave it with 2 tablespoons of water for 3-4 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, onion, and rehydrated raisins. When bacon is done cooking, remove it from the bacon grease, then pour the grease over the vegetables. (The grease step is optional, but it does add to the flavor of the salad.)

Chop the bacon and add to vegetables. Then add just enough mayonnaise to moisten; if necessary, add more to taste. Serve at room temperature, or chill up to 24 hours before serving.

As we move into the cold & flu season, check out my list of what to do with sick kids, and enter to win a $100 gift card from BlogHer & Similisan.


  1. Thanks! I love your blog, and it's fun to contribute. Maybe once I figure out the cute-bento thing, I'll bother your readers again. :-)

  2. I love looking at and learning about bentos, not sure if I could do it all myself!

  3. I just think of it as a little divided lunch box. :-)


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