Hot Bento: ABC Soup, Quesadilla, And Veges. The Beauty of Before and After...

Maybe someday I'll click back on this post and laugh. Why? Because photographing food is tough work. Let me throw in the added stress of a morning commute, getting breakfast ready, bento being packed, my daughter dressed, making myself look presentable even though I don't step out of the car, her hair and teeth brushed (oh wait mine, too). And me, I'm worrying about photos of the process, in focus looking halfway decent photos. Three of our cameras this morning had batteries that were about to die or that needed charging. THREE. 

With that said, I hope you enjoy and maybe even get a chuckle out of these photos because it's so obvious they aren't staged or created simply for the beauty of them. Hopefully if you look beyond the crumbs, you'll see the love I have for packing a bento. With time, I also hope that my photography and bento packing become more seamless. 

I know you are screaming at the computer screen right now, why don't you just pack them at night? I don't know, I'm a morning lunch maker. Maybe that's something I'll try in the future. 

My daughter asked for soup this morning in her lunch. We have an insulated Floream bento (floral one top right of header) that my husband purchased in Japan, that contains a stainless steel container for the soup and two plastic sealing kidney shaped boxes to nestle in the lunch bag. At the top of the bag is a cute pocket for a spoon. 

With the exception of homemade soup, Annie's Organic Alphabet soup is one of the only soups my daughters will eat from a can. The beauty of the insulated hot bento is that I can heat the soup fresh in the morning and it's still warm when my daughter opens her bento at 11:30. In the photo above (click to enlarge) you will also see two little piggies. They are both accessories from Japan, to traditionally hold things like soy sauce. Well not in this bento, they are used for two very American things. The red pig contains Ranch dressing for dipping veggies in and the blue one is full of these delightful chocolate covered sunflower seeds that I recently purchased to decorate some cupcakes. Yes, I always include a little special treat in her lunch.  

My daughters are great vegetable eaters. Carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers top the list. 

To accompany the soup, I toasted in my toaster oven a Mariposa whole wheat tortilla with some Cabot vintage cheddar (we love vintage cheddar, I buy it at costco). If you catch the tortilla right when the cheese starts to melt, the tortilla stays soft and pliable. Can you guess if I caught the tortilla today before it got crispy?

I then used a medium sized butterfly cookie cutter to create butterfly shaped quesadillas. Perfect with soup!

Conveniently enough the butterflies fit perfectly into the kidney shaped boxes! Are you getting a laugh yet from my work space?

And this is what I found when my daughter arrived home from school today. A happy empty bento. A few lingering vegetables, but a fabulous job. Really that's the beauty of bento, the portions are just perfect, the waste is minimal. My goal is to show many after photos because if my daughter isn't eating what I am making for her, then I have to change my ways. 


  1. These are GREAT you guys! Someone should be paying you for this.

    We have the laptop lunch box and enjoy it very much. I like your ideas. :) - MH

  2. These are hilarious, I love it! My 3 year old just started lunch at preschool, he would love stuff like this. Where can you get a bento box?


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