Li Ming Lee, a stay-at-home-mom, first began making charabens (character lunch boxes) when her firstborn had problems adjusting to elementary school. This eventually became her passion and she has since made over one thousand character boxes. Her creations have been featured in the New York Post and Huffington Post. She believes food art should taste as good as it looks, and she uses ingredients and recipes that are not only nutritious but yummy as well. She documents her creations on both her blog www.bentomonsters.com, as well as her Instagram (@bentomonsters). Here, in Bento Blast!, she shares with you more than 150 approachable and inviting recipes, complete with step-by-step pictures, so you can easily create your own food art at home.
An owl teacher welcomes your little one back to school, putting a cheerful smile on his or her face. This ham owl sits on the cover of a book, reminding your child of the importance of doing homework! Follow these step-by-step photos to craft books, with covers made from a wrap and pages made from ham and cheese.
Recipe: Back to School Bento Box
- Ham and cheese wrap
Food art ingredients:
- Tortilla wrap
- Dark colored ham
- Light colored ham
- Cooked pasta
- Dark colored cheese
- Light colored cheese
- Round cutter/straw
- Parchment paper
- Alphabet cutters
- Blackboard cupcake topper
- “You’re #1” cupcake topper
1. Using a knife, slice a wrap into two rectangles.
2. Cut out rectangles in slices of light colored ham, dark colored ham, and cheese.
3. Stack the two pieces of the wrap one on top of the other. I am creating two books here. Using a round cutter or a straw, poke holes along the left side of the wrap.
4. Tie a knot at the end of a strand of cooked pasta. Thread pasta through the holes to secure the pieces of wraps together.
5. Insert ham and cheese into the wraps and assemble them in the bento box.
6. Cut out an owl from a slice of ham and cheese using the template (p. 246). Using a nori punch, cut out feathers in nori for the owl’s breast. Use scissors to cut out circles in the nori for the eyes.
7. Use a toothpick to dab mayonnaise in the owl’s eyes to form highlights.
8. Cut out alphabets from carrots using alphabet cutters.