Bento Lunches In The Heart of Montana


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Posted by Kathleen on December 2, 2010 at 5:36 PM Comments comments (4)

I am so happy to be able to offer one of my great readers the most awesome 3in1 Box by EcoLunchBox.  It really has been the go to box for my daughters bentos.  The nesting box has been a dream come true for those items (like her beloved peach slices) that you don’t necessarily want touching other foods.  Read about it here.

So here is all we have to do to make this Give Away happen….by next Friday (12/10) we need 10 new site members... so spread the word and if you aren’t a member sign up now – it only takes a minute and we never send spam or sell your e-mail… AND leave a comment on any post between now and next Friday.  Easy peasy.  Best of all this box can be under your tree by Christmas.

I'll post next Thursday letting you know if we have reached 10 new members.


Good Luck!!!



Posted by Kathleen on December 1, 2010 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (1)

It has been a long couple of weeks with strep throat running rampant in our little house.  I am glad to say that everyone is on the mend, has energy and humor back and we are looking forward to Christmas. 


So the big question is:  How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you go with the traditional turkey or do something else?  AND if you did go with the turkey how did you deal with left over's?  Did any make it into your bento boxes? 


I know that Christmas provides all kind of opportunity of cute bento lunches but today was not one of them.  Today we went with just a basic sandwich made with anything other than basic bread.  Have you tried Natures Own Sandwich Rounds?  Getting kids to eat whole wheat bread can be challenging but these Sandwich Rounds are so fun and yummy it may make it a bit easier.


Today’s sandwich is just a basic bologna and cheese made with a whole wheat sandwich round,grapes, fall shaped pasta and green beans dressed with just a couple of drops of sesame oil and soy sauce and sliced peaches.


AND – spread the news….TOMORROW we’ll announce how to win a EcoLunch Box just in time for Christmas gifting.



The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Posted by Kathleen on November 23, 2010 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Holly Bento Batman!!!  Montana Bento is out sick.  The Princess came home from school on Friday looking and sounding not right - a quick trip to the clinic and we found out she has strep throat and being the giver that she is, Mommy has strep throat today.  


BUT there is good news Monday will bring details on how to win your very own 3in1 EcoLunchbox.

You've Got Mail...

Posted by Kathleen on November 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM Comments comments (0)

OK, really I’ve got mail but I’m going to share it with you so it’s almost like you’ve got mail.  Exciting right?  Well, it only gets better…


One of the things I love about bento is the complete lack of disposable items used.  Did you know that family of 3 using plastic baggies, disposables and the like creates 4,320 pieces of trash a year just during lunchtime and spends an extra $400 annually.  FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS – in the TRASH. 


One the things I have not liked about bento is how difficult it is to find a good sturdy box that I know will have longevity.  All of the bento boxes I have for the Princess are plastic.  One hinge has already broken as a result of a drop, another has a plastic hinge that you can tell is not long for this world.  Plus buying them from strangers on E-bay always seems a bit of a gamble. 


So my dear friends if you have not heard of ECOLunchbox allow me to introduce you to this shiny gem of wonderfulness!!!! 




First the gleam of this box is some kind of wonderful – but the gleam comes from the fact that it is 100% stainless steel…..SO NO BREAKING….I’m in heaven, because although I call her the Princess, she is in fact as dainty as an elephant. 


I have to say when I first saw the hinges I was concerned that she would have a hard time opening them but they hold firm and glide right open – a big bonus.  These hinges are not going to be breaking.



This particular box is the 3 in 1 Rectangle Lunch Box and has two stacking layer PLUS a little nesting box with a lid. 


When closed, the lunchbox measures 4 inches wide, 5 1/2 inches long and 2 3/4 inches high..I love that it is deeper than any of our current plastic boxes. The bottom layer is 1 inch deep and fits a whole sandwich on sliced bread or a large cut sandwich. The top layer is 1 1/2 inches deep and the the third nesting box will hold 1/2 cup of wet food. Because there are no plastics used to create a gasket the seal on this box is not liquid tight so I’ve filled it with yogurt and frozen berries.  The bottom tray has 1/2 cup of rice and 3 ozs of terriyaki chicken.  The top, a full cup of Asian cucumber and tomato salad....(Tuesday we'll talk about bento for weight loss).





I have to tell you I am LOVING this box and the size of it – Eco Lunchboxes markets it as a kids lunch box and it is perfect for that – especially if you have a kid that doesn’t like food touching.  BUT, the size is PERFECT for a traditional bento with adult portions….you know assuming the adults in your family don’t mind food touching… and the slick stainless steel design means that even they boys/men in your house won’t mind taking this box.  


SO if you are looking for one last gift to put under the tree or in the stocking THIS is one will not disappoint  and the napkin that you’ll get FREE using the code ecobento when you check out makes a perfect wrapping, watch how here:


Take a moment and check out thier website at  and oh and let Santa know that I have been a very good girl this year and would LOVE an ECOLunchette under the tree please.  If you are a working Mom or Mom on the go – this is a super stylish way to take your bento with you!!


One last bonus of – it’s a woman owned business and that ROCKS.


Posted by Kathleen on November 16, 2010 at 10:39 AM Comments comments (0)

I worry when go to movies these days.  I do enjoy the show, but I am also paying attention to details because as sure as the day is long I will receive a request for themed bento.  AND that is exactly what happened when we watched Megamind this weekend….we hadn’t even left the theater when the Princess asked for Megamind in her lunch on Monday.  I put her off until Tuesday… here he is……MEGAMIND.






His color is a bit darker than it should be and the picture doesn’t show that there is actually a little pink around his ear but otherwise I like him.  Basically he’s just a bologna sandwich but that’s OK.  The top tray has some thin sliced carrot ribbons and a bit of sliced egg.



Tomorrow….Sweet Potatoes



A Day Late But NOT A Dollar Short....

Posted by Kathleen on November 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM Comments comments (4)

Why?  Because today's post is about great finds at the Dollar Tree.  Creating bento lunches in MON (middle of nowhere) Montana means that I don't have easy access to an Asian grocery store or the ability to buy traditional bento supplies anyplace but online (or the occasional trip out of state).  So I keep my eyes open whenever I'm shopping for anything that will work or serve a bento purpose.  On a recent trip to Dollar Tree I found these:


Even if you don't want to go "full on" bento, cut sandwiches are a welcome addition to any packed lunch.  Creating a successful cut sandwich may seem intuitive but follow the easy steps found HERE for non-squished, really cute cut sandwiches.

This moon dish is actually made of oven safe silicone SOO that opens a whole world of bento possibilities from making a moon shaped sandwich with homemade bread to baked pasta that will hold it shape with out the dish, meat loaf, little cakes, or just as a eco friendly dish that can be re-used. 

More next week on the eco friendly aspect of bento and some statics that may shock you!!!

Its Turkey Time!!!

Posted by Kathleen on November 11, 2010 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (2)

Whew....I was completely running out of ideas for Halloween lunches, thank goodness we have moved on to Thanksgiving.

So today's lunch had a little turkey in we aren't cooking it yet, but I think he's too cute to cook.


So our little turkey is just a simple cut sandwich but let's talk for a minute about the pasta.  I found this great fall shapes pasta at one of my favorite stores...Cost's hard to see in the photo but the pasta is in the shapes of fall leaves.  Even better than the pasta is the great bright orange sauce made of butternut squash.  It sneaks in a little more veggie and the Princess adores it so it's a new favorite around here....and take a closer look - in with the pasta are fresh green beans.  I love adding veggies to pasta because while the Princess is not really a picky eater getting veggies in this way is just that much easier.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post about bento supplies at Dollar Tree...yep, Dollar Tree.


And The Winner Is

Posted by Kathleen on November 9, 2010 at 6:19 PM Comments comments (1)


I bet you thought I forgot didn’t you?  Well, NO WAY!!  The winner of the Wilton Color Mist Spray is (drum role please….)


Send your address to me at kathcar at and the sprays will be on their way.





The Curse of the Kitchen Gadget

Posted by Kathleen on November 3, 2010 at 8:57 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m not a big fan of the kitchen gadget….you know that thing that you must have (you know this because the infomercial says so).  It only does one thing, but does it so well as to make your life immensely easier (you know this because the infomercial says so).  It will leave you with extra time, clean hands, a handsome husband and perfect kids (you know this….) well you get the picture.  Every once in a while I get suckered in…sometimes its a good thing… the thing that sits on my shelf that looks like a giant apple slicer/corer but is actually for pineapple.  It only works on pineapple, is only used a few times a year but makes cutting fresh pineapple so much easier that it is worth having.


So when I came across this little device I knew I MUST have it….




What is it you ask….well it is for slicing your hotdogs to make this….




and this…..




and this…




and this…




and the ever elusive half hot dog shown in the back of the above photo.



Just take your hotdog, slide it in the hole and the slicing is done for you…it will save you literally seconds each morning as you are preparing an uber cool seascape bento…SECONDS I tell ya and if you add those seconds up, well that’s real time so I just knew I had to make this mine.



So, what’s the problem?  Well bento is largely an Asian idea….most of the supplies come from Asia….most of my personal supplies come direct from Japan as did my little yellow, seconds saving, gadget de jour and well our big fat American hotdogs don’t fit.


So how did I manage to make the Princess’ uber cute seascape bento?   



My good ole kitchen standby....a good sharp knife.



Montana Bento is on vacation for the next couple of days but we’ll be back on Monday with a cute bento for you AND the winner of the Wilton Color Mist….so far just one person has left a comment here so just one person is eligible to win.  Hurry go to this post and leave a comment to be eligible to win.

You've Got Mail

Posted by Kathleen on November 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM Comments comments (2)

Have I mentioned we have a great Give Away this week?  Well, it’s true AND it’s this week so here we go…..


Remember this post about Wilton Color Mist?  It truly is the easiest and quickest way to make a simple cut sandwich into something really special.  So this week, compliments of Wilton one of my lucky blog members/commenters will receive this great gift basket of FIVE SIX Wilton Color Mist Sprays.


The rules are so simple.  Just become a member of the blog..just a couple of easy steps and then leave a comment here about what Wilton products you use (even if it’s not for bento) or how you would use the Color Mist.  That’s it!!!  Friday one person will be drawn at random….then YOU’VE GOT MAIL….you know, the cool kind that doesn’t involve a bill :-)


Want an extra chance to win?  Just post a link about this Give Away on your blog or Facebook page (leave the link in the comments here) and you’ll get a second entry.  Whalla!!  Good luck everyone!!