basics

Here's to a great bento year! Open thread for your questions and comments about bentos

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Happy New Year everyone!

The start of a brand new year is the time for resolutions of course, and many of you reading this may have made bentos part of your plans for 2013. If you’re new to bentos, going through the hundreds of articles on this site might be a bit intimidating. So, if you have any questions or comments about bento-ing - anything at all - this is an open thread post for you to pose them. continue reading...

Food doesn't always have to be hot to be nourishing

Pondering the prejudice in many cultures against ‘cold’ food. continue reading...

Maki's Top 10 Bento Rules

Pink, green and yellow spring bento

To round out Back To School Week, here are my top 10 rules for bento making. They are the rules or philosophies that guide all the content that you see on JustBento. A version of these rules appear at the top of The Just Bento Cookbook too. They’re the rules I try to live by in my daily bento life.

Sometimes I stray away from them when my life goes haywire - like trying to renovate an old house in a foreign country, and then getting infected by an insect bite which turns into a zombie bite…well you know, things happen. But I when I can return to these rules, I know that life is nice and normal again. continue reading...

Weekly Bento Planner and Menu Planner forms now available in German

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The Weekly Bento Planner and Weekly Menu Planner with Bento printable forms have both been downloaded thousands of times. Now, they are available in German too, thanks to Antje. She has also offered to create other language versions too, if she is provided with the translations. So if you’d like to see the planner forms in your language, please download the original forms from their respective pages (Weekly Bento Planner link: Weekly Menu Planner with Bento link) and send in your translations to maki at makikoitoh dot com, and I will forward them to Antje.

Der Wochen-Mahlzeitsplaner und der Wochen-Bentoplaner, welche schon tausende male heruntergeladen wurden, sind nun in deutscher Sprache verfügar; vielen Dank, Antje!

Quick tip: Cooking pasta and noodles in just a little water

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A few weeks ago, there was an article in the Food section of the New York Times about cooking pasta in a reduced amount of water (registration required), written by Harold McGee aka The Curious Cook. (In case you don’t know, Harold McGee is a very interesting food writer, who approaches cooking from a scientific angle. If you are of a geeky bent or love reading about the hows and whys of food in general, I highly recommend his book On Food and Cooking.) The gist of the article is that it’s possible to cook pasta in far less water than is usually recommended, and that you can even start from cold water!

While the rationale in the article for reducing the amount of cooking water is to save energy, I was intrigued by the possible time saving benefits, especially when making bentos. continue reading...