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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

spring friends bento

Today's bento features my favorite baran of happy animal friends. They share the bento with a great Trader Joe's "Harvest Grains" barley, baby chickpea and quinoa blend; a fan of regular-sized garbanzos and now a bento convert to anything miniaturized, I was quite pleased to see these golden baby ones in the TJ's mix!

This novel grain combo was cooked with wild mushroom bouillon from the Russian Gourmet in Alexandria, a cute place packed with exotic delicacies.

Under the grains is a layer of spicy chicken cooked in adjika, a delicious preserve of peppers/tomatoes/eggplant/spices also found at Russian Gourmet, blended with cream and sauteed mushrooms. A toast heart (inspired by the one in gamene's adorable bento) is decorated with cream cheese, a garden violet and beni shoga; purple cabbage with mint sprigs also inside. Blackberries, a clementine and madeleine cookie sweeten things up!

Our backyard dogwood tree in bloom:
Something about this gentle flower suggests the happiness of friendship and makes me think of having my bento buddies over for a potluck spring party under its pretty branches.

I'd love to make a deluxe pasta primavera salad with asparagus, fiddle head ferns, and fresh spring herbs in a lemony bright homemade mayonnaise dressing (and perhaps, on the side, some lobster tossed in the lemony mayo, showered with tarragon and chives--H-Mart generally has a great price for fresh lobsters). What would you bring to this spring fest, bento pals?

Ah, a friend just emailed a recipe for "Cherry Blossom Sangria" so I think I'll add that to the party menu!
The baby maple leaves have unfurled:
 
Wishing you all a lovely spring Thursday!

15 comments:

Jenn @ BentoForKidlet said...

How wonderful! The happy friends looks very hungry! Lucky that they are in a delicious bento lunch!

sherimiya said...

Mini garbanzos? But now I have to find these! And those purple cabbages are so cute as well! I love the pics of your garden, it seems to be at the same stage as mine, and I can imagine us sitting in our respective sunny patches gazing at the same sky across the country together. I'll bring the green tea lemonade and various sweet mochi. See you beside the maple tree!

tofugirl said...

Such gorgeous flowers! It would be so lovely to picnic under (or next to) any of them :D Okay maybe I'm not a bento blogger but I'll bring the cookies :D

Token (Bento-Lunch-Blog) said...

Wonderful photos and wonderful obento! I love the cute baran, too! <3 So adorable :)

bentobird said...

Cute comments, Jenn--thanks for the smile!

Lia Chen said...

Lovely! Not just the animal friends look happy but me too ... Your bento is so natural, so lively. You just set up the spring party virtually, would love to join :) More flowers pics to enjoy, great!
And Jenn, I would like to pass 2 awards for you. Please pick it up here. Thanks!

bentobird said...

Hi Sheri--I hope your TJ's carries this item! All the cute chickpea details are there, but in super-miniature! I think you'd like the rest of this healthy blend, too--so yummy.
Sweet mochi and green tea lemonade will be perfect additions to the feast!

bentobird said...

Hi tofugirl! Your homemade cookies would be a fabulous treat ;)

bentobird said...

Thanks Token, you always have the nicest comments my dear!

bentobird said...
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bentobird said...

Hi Lia! So kind of you, and I know you'd bring something amazing (and maybe too pretty to eat?) to the spring celebration! Thank you very much for the awards, I'm honored and off to pick them up!

megan said...

beautiful as usual! the baran is such a cute touch, but i'm also loving the heart toast (thanks for linking me!) and the idea of the mushroom bouillion (how lovely to have a russian grocer nearby for flavor adventures)!

bentobird said...

So nice of you, megan! Yes, much more to explore in the Russian realm of flavors...I'll be going back to that shop again soon :)

babykins said...

The animal friends look so happy to share these treats. I like chickpeas but have never seen baby ones yet. I want to get it!

Now, I learned that the white flower is called dogwood for the first time. My favorite song's name is *hanamizuki* It's Japanese name of *dogwood*.

Guess what! There's an interesting story. When Japan gifted sakura trees to Washington DC for our friendship, the United States gifted dogwood trees to Japan as return gift. How wonderful! I'm impressed with this story. :)

bentobird said...

Dear Izumi,
This story is so interesting--I was not aware of the gift of dogwood trees from my country to yours! This makes me very happy to learn...thank you for sharing!
In hanamizuki friendship, Jenn =^ ^=