Spice Up Your Life With a Taste of Japan

*Fun Bento Box**Cute and Natural Food From California*


Hello Kitty Cake 3D

What did you make for a xmas party?
I had a fun time with my husband's family in socal! They got 5 girls, so decided to make a hello kitty cake for them. I thought about making it more xmasy, like coloring  the ribbon with green x red, making a nose with red chocolate or something like that. However, I just felt like making a original version after all.

Hello Kitty Chocolate Cake (9in)

-9in sponge cake ( I made chocolate one)
-Chocolate cream
         350ml  Heavy whipping cream
         160g  Chocolate (chopped)
-Whipped cream
         one pint Heavy whipping cream
         70g   Granulated sugar
         a little, vanilla extract
-Fruits (optional, but strawberries go well with this cake I think)

-Pocky (whiskers)

1. Slice a sponge cake into 4. Line a 9in bowl with plastic wrap. Cut the 2 slices of the cake to line the bowl as shown in the picture 1. It's like a puzzle, kinda..

2. Make chocolate cream. Put 160g chocolate and 160g whipping cream in another bowl. Mix then in a double boiler. Slowly melt the chocolate. When chocolate melt, take the bowl out from the double boiler and add the rest of the whipping cream. Mix carefully until thicker. Pour it in a bowl from step 1. (picture 2)
Make ears with a slice of the cake.  Lay the extra cake between cream. (picture 3) Put fruits if you want. Pour the cream to the top. (Picture 4).

3. Put a lid with the 4th slice of the cake. Refrigerate for a couple hours.

4.  Take it out on a cake plate. ( picture 6)

                        *I took this picture when I made a smaller size cake.
5. Connect the ears and the face with Pocky.

6. Make whipped cream by mixing heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Pipe around the face.

7. Make the face parts. (eyes & ribbon: chocolate, nose: ;lemon cream covered almond)



Edible Gift,Tofu Meatloaf

How about healthy(?) tofu meat loaf as a holiday gift? :)

Tofu Meat Loaf
(If you don't want to use tofu, see Meat Loaf Cake. )

300g Ground beef
200g Tofu ( I used soft tofu, but medium or firm would work too)
1/2 Onion
1 Egg
1cup Panko
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the meat on it to make a square shape.
3. Bake at 350F for about 20 mins.

 4. Cut off the edges to make a nice square. Cut into 4 small squares.
 5. Stuck 4 pieces on a plate.

8tbs Ketchup
8tbs Worcester sauce

1. Mix all the ingredients in a pot.
2. Put the sauce on the meat.


3 ham
Fried pasta

Make a ribbon with a slice of ham as shown. Connect the s sides of the ham with fried pasta.

Create the rest of ribbon strings with 2 hams. See the final picture.

Found this cute meat loaf idea on Cookpad (Link in Japanese)
Thought this would be a perfect gift for holiday party:)


Freezable Mini Lasagna for Bento, Christmas version

Made meat sauce gratin for dinner last night. I made too much white sauce so decided to make a big batch of mini lasagna for bento.

White Sauce

2tbs Butter
2tbs Flour
250~300ml Soy milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a pan and melt butter. Add flour and mix.
2. Add soy milk little by little and mix over medium heat.
3. Cook until thick and add salt and pepper to taste.

Mini Lasagna 

White sauce
Pasta sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Put white sauce in paper cups and lay cooked penne.
 2. Put pasta sauce on top.
 3. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cook in a toaster oven until cheese will melt.
 4. If you want to freeze some of them, put in a container and freeze before cook. You could add cheese later when you defrost it. Defrost in a toaster oven.

To make xmas tree, layer green peas and put corn on top!


Moo Moo Marshmallow

It's officially a marshmallow season!!!!!!!
Hot cocoa with warm milk and marshmallow is a must item of this season♪
(for me, warm soy milk^^)
Make your winter drink warmer with moo moo cow marshmallow.

Here is my favorite hot chocolate recipe. Adapted from Hot Chocolate recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup 1% milk, divided  (I used 1/2 soy milk + 1/2 vanilla flavor almond milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I skipped this)
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

  1. Mix sugar, cocoa and 2 tablespoons cold milk in a mug until smooth. Heat the remaining milk in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a 2-cup glass measure in the microwave until steaming hot but not boiling. Stir in the cocoa mixture and vanilla.
  2. To froth the hot chocolate, whirl a whisk in it by rubbing your hands back and forth. (Alternatively, pour the hot chocolate into a blender, cover with the lid and a kitchen towel and blend until frothy.) Pour it back into the mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.

This cow marshmallow is great for decorating your cake too.
Especially when you make white, black or marble cake!
Try this soft and moist steamed cake. It's daily free^^

Daily Free Steamed Cake (about 6 cupcakes)

White batter
100g Flour
30g Sugar
1tsp Baking powder
pinch, Salt
110ml Soy milk

Black batter
100g Flour
30g Sugar
1tsp Baking powder
pinch, Salt
2tsp Cocoa powder
110ml Soy milk

1. Make white and black batters. Mix dry ingredients and then add soy milk.
2. Put paper or silicone molds in ramekins. Pour the white batter into each cups.
3. Drop the black batter on top with a spoon. Gently mix with a tooth pick or something like that.

4. Put a little water in a pot and place the ramekins. Boil water and then put a lid. (cover the lid with a towel. See the older post.)Steam for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

Let's make marshmallow cows!

You need,
Sliced almonds
Dark chocolate
White chocolate

1. Cut slits where you will make ears and insert sliced almonds. Melt white chocolate and dip the marshmallow as shown.

2. Put a tooth pick on the back of marshmallow and stick to a style foam tray. Cool in a fridge.

3. Melt dark chocolates and color one ear and draw eyes and nose. See the final picture.

Santa's Reindeer Sleigh Ride Potato Sandwiches

I often use rice to make bento, but I like making cute lunch with bread too:)
I found a good Japanese potato salad recipe, so decided to make potato salad sandwiches. This recipe got more than 4000 reviews! You gotta try it ;)!

Mini sandwiches (the top picture above) are good for parties:)

Potato Salad  (adapted from Japanese recipe sites (in Japanese) )
1 Russel potatoes
1 Boiled egg
1/4~1/2 Onion
1 Japanese cucumber (Optional. I didn't use it, but it adds good texture to the salad)
1 slice Ham
1.5 tsp Vinegar
4~6 tbs  Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces. Boil water with 1tsp of salt and add the potatoes. Cook until soft.
2. Drain hot water well and mash the potatoes. Add vinegar and mix. Let it cool.
3. Thinly slice onion (and cucumber). Sprinkle a little of salt and rub by hands. Leave it about 15~30 mints and rinse with water. Chop a boiled egg.
4. Add the egg and vegetables to the mashed potatoes. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

Santa and Reindeer sandwiches 

What you need,

Potato Salad (recipe above)
Mashed potatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Sliced cheese
Nori seaweed
Sliced almonds
Twisted pasta, cooked
Dry pasta

1. Carve the bread as shown.

2. Stuff the potato salad in a hole.
3. Shape mashed potatoes into small balls in plastic wrap.
 4. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Put the mashed potatoes in between.
 5. Place santa on the potato salad. Cut a piece of seaweed to create santa's eyes. Make smaller balls with mashed potatoes and create the white part of their hat.
 6.  If you use a long bread like this, repeat step 1&2 for the back part. Place steamed broccoli.
 7. Cut a sliced cheese with a straw for eyes and snow. Put cut-out seaweed to create eyes for the reindeer. Place snow on the broccoli.
 8. Poke the bread where you will apply eyes and insert the eyes. Or use mayonnaise as glue and put the eyes on it.  Make ears with sliced almonds.
 9. Fry pasta with a little oil. (Left: before     Right: after)
 10. Connect twisted pasta and a half cherry tomato to the bread with the fried pasta to create horns and nose.


Santa Claus and Snowman Pancakes! (Vegan)

Start holidays with this healthy & happy breakfast!
I found this no daily pancake recipe on a Japanese recipe site. Original recipe here (in Japanese)
They got more than 100 good reviews!
Original recipe calls for butter to cook pancakes, but I used canola oil instead,
 I think it tastes better than store bought pancake mix.
My husband loved it too:)
I made coconut whipped cream to avoid daily. Find out recipe here.
It's much cheaper than buying soy whipped cream!
Oh don't forget to like us on facebook! You will get a free ebook, "Fun Japanese Bento Styling!"
See the review from the link on the left :)!

Daily free pancakes

150g Flour ( I used whole wheat)
10g   Potato starch
30g   Sugar (I used beet sugar)
Salt   pinch
10g   Baking powder
200ml  Water ( I used soy milk)

Mix the dry ingredients and add water.
Heat oil over medium heat and pour the batter. Brown on both sides.

You need a large round and a snowman shape pancakes to make the holiday pancakes!
Also, you need:

Raspberries (of any fruit you like)
Whipped Cream of your choice ( I used coconut whipped cream)
Chocolate syrup
Chocolate chips


1. Make a round pancake. Cool it a little bit so that whipped cream won't melt.
2. Cut strawberries and fill the top space. (about 1/3 of the top)
3. Pip whipped cream to make beard and brim.
4. Cut strawberry to make nose and draw mouth and eyes with chocolate syrup. Put marshmallow on top.


1. Make snowman shape pancake. (Just simply make small rounds next each other so that they will connect) Cool a little.
2. Put whipped cream on the pancake.

3. Make eyes with chocolate chips, nose with strawberry, buttons with blueberries and mouth with chocolate syrup. Decorate the plate with raspberries. 


Cheesy Melting Snowman

I was going make melting snowman cupcakes, but wasn't that in the mood for sweets....
Then I came across this cute cheesy melting snowman on a Japanese website!
Try this chowder recipe too. It's very easy and yummy:)


1/2 Onion
1/2 Potato
Any filling you like (corn, chicken, pork, seafood, etc...)
1tbs  Flour
200ml Soy milk
50ml Water
A little, salt and pepper
10g Oil
2tsp Vegetable broth powder

Put onion, potato in a pot. Sprinkle flour. Add your favorite fillings on top. Pour in soy milk, water and oil. Add salt and pepper. Turn on heat and mix.  Bring to a boil over medium-heat. Reduce heat and put a lid. Cook until vegetables get soft and soup becomes thick.

How to make melting snowman
You need,
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Boiled egg
Nori seaweed

1. Put the chowder in a ramekin.
2. Top with mozzarella cheese. Microwave about 30 seconds.
3. Cut a boiled egg in half and put on the melted cheese. Cut a piece of seaweed to make eyes, mouth and hands. Draw the cheeks and buttons with ketchup. (use a chopstick) Apply the face parts to the egg.

4. Cut carrot to make nose and a hat.  Use dry pasta to connect the hat and egg if you need to.