Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Penguin Elves Bento Box Recipe and Giveaway

Penguin Elves
Picture from Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round, used with permission from Quirk Books.
As a Mom, packing lunches for my kids is one of the greatest joy.  I love it because I know what goes into the their lunch boxes and I can be certain that their lunches are nourishing and healthy.  However, packing lunches every day can also be tiring as well.  This is especially true when I ran out of new ideas on how to make their lunches interesting and different everyday.  I was so excited and happy when I received a review copy of Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round, by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa.  In the Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round, you’ll find 52 tasty and adorable in-season and health-conscious lunches.  Check out these Penguin Elves (picture above), aren’t they super adorable?  Best if all, they are quite easy to make too!  You’ll definitely fall in love with the packing tips, tutorials, side dish recipes, and gorgeous pictures from this book!  I certainly did! 

Baby Birds Nest

Picture from Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round, used with permission from Quirk Books.

With the help of this book, you'll find tones of ideas on what and how to pack fun and healthy lunches all year round!  You can invite your kiddos to join in the fun and make them together; or simply pack them yourself so they get a fun surprise when they open their lunch box!  My kids love all these adorable bentos that I've prepared for them so far!

Picture from Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round, used with permission from Quirk Books.

You can purchase a copy of the Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round by clicking here.  Or, try your luck in winning a copy of this helpful and fun book today on my blog, courtesy of Quirk Books!

Here are the details on how to enter this giveaway.

One lucky uTry.it reader (with an U.S., Canada, or U.K. mailing address) will win a copy of “
Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round”.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what’s your favorite season.  Mine is Autumn/Fall.

Deadline to enter is January 15th, 2017 by mid-night PST.  Winner will be selected through Random.org and announce shortly after the giveaway is closed.

For extra entries, do any or all of the following (leave a separate comment for each extra entry):

1) Subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking here.
2) "Like" uTry.it's Facebook Page, click here.
3) Share this giveaway on Facebook (with a link back to this post please)
4) Subscribe to my email updates and never miss a post (see the right hand side bar right below my profile picture)

There are total of 5 chances to win!  Good Luck everyone! 

Makes 1 Bento

When the holiday season arrives Santa needs lots of help. This year he had to recruit some penguins from all the way at the South Pole to help make enough toys for the Nice List.

1 fried tofu skin (aburaage)
1 tbsp. soy sauce, plus extra for seasoning
1 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 sheet nori
2 rice balls (see page 132)
1 or 2 lettuce leaves
Chikuwa Cheese Tempura (see page 101)
bento fillers such as broccoli florets, tomatoes, or boiled choy sum leaves seasoned with soy sauce
1 piece uncooked spaghetti noodle
4 corn kernels

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Use tongs to dip tofu skin into boiling water to rinse excess oil. Pat dry with paper towel. Cut tofu skin in half diagonally to form 2 triangles.

2. In a small saucepan, bring soy sauce, sake, sugar, and 3⁄4 cup water to a boil. Add tofu skins. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.

3. Use a sharp knife to cut penguin face markings out of nori. Wrap nori around rice balls.

4. Line a bento box with lettuce.

5. Wrap tofu skins around the tops of the penguins as elf hats. Arrange in bento box. Fill remaining spaces with Chikuwa Cheese Tempura and bento fillers.

6. With a nori punch, cut out 4 nori eyes and add them to the penguins. Insert a small piece of spaghetti into the back of each corn kernel. Pin them onto the penguins to form beaks.
-Fold the nori sheet in half to cut out two penguin faces at once.

Excerpted from Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round: Box Lunches for Every Season by Crystal Watanable and Maki Ogawa. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books.
Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of “Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round” for the purpose of this review.  Quirk Books is providing a copy of the book for the giveaway.  As always, all comments and opinions are 100% my own.


  1. The penguins look so vivid and adorable!

  2. I live in Florida all seasons summer lol

  3. Adorable.

    It's a good thing I don't have to make any lunches for little ones cause I just don't have the patience for those creations. I won a modest bento package in a giveaway a couple/three years ago and other than trying to cut out some bread with the bread slice cutter which all shredded, everything ended up back in the box.

  4. Amy you are the Bento and sheer cuteness queen.

  5. Fall is my favorite season. It's so spey where I live.

  6. I have previously liked the Facebook page. :)

  7. Shared it to my giveaway page.

  8. Seriously adorable! I love autumn...the crisp leaves and cool air!

  9. My favorite season is winter! I like snow in Christmas time!!! Thank u for the giveaway!!! I'm at Illinois.

  10. The Fall is my favorite season as the leaves start turning beautiful colors and a nice breeze starts developing in the air.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Congratulations, you're the lucky winner of this giveaway. Here's the link to the announcement post:

      Please email at the address below to claim your prize. Thanks!

      amy [at] utry [dot] it

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