Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Today, A had taco rice in her lunch box...  With a taste of Halloween.

In the top tier, she's got a little piece of fudge, a snowball (She made them yesterday), a couple of strawberries with boogly icing eyes, some broccoli and some Jack-o-Lantern carrots (decorated with nori)...  The bottom tier has taco rice with Jack-o-Lantern and heart cheddar cheese cut-outs.

Top tier

Taco rice tier

A's really enjoying her bentos.  Most mornings she wakes up and asks me if I am cooking her lunch (Since we only do bento twice a week I'm usually just making breakfast which is a big disappointment for her - like me, she's not the biggest breakfast fan in the world).  Most of the time on bento days I've already put her lunch together and it's already in her backpack by the time she is out of bed, so I just show her the photos on the computer.  This morning she was dying to show the photos to C as soon as she was out of bed.

I'm enjoying making them, too.  Though having the fresh ingredients on hand for bento Tuesday is usually a pain because our commissary is closed on Mondays!  This week, we lucked out pretty well - over the weekend the commissary was closed on Saturday due to a base power outage, so they were open on Monday.

Last night, I baked these AMAZING Creamy Cinnamon Squares...  I found "Gourmet Mom on-the-Go" yesterday morning and was engrossed till nearly noon.  The Cinnamon Squares, though...  They were like a taste of heaven.  I cheated and tasted them before they were completely cooled down since I was heading to bed and man-oh-man, brushing my teeth made me about want to cry - I didn't want to make the taste go away!  Definitely highly recommend that recipe.

Speaking of recipes, for non-Okinawa-familiar people, taco rice is a local favorite!  It was invented here on island to merge the servicemembers' love for Mexican food and the traditional Japanese cuisine.  It's absolutely DELICIOUS and super easy to make.

Taco Rice:

Short or medium grain white rice (I use calrose)
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
Shredded cheese
Assorted taco toppings - shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, hot sauce etc.
  1. Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.
  2. While your rice is simmering, brown your ground meat in a frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in taco seasoning and water as directed on the seasoning packet and follow those directions to make taco meat.
  3. Serve layered in bowls with rice on the bottom, topped with meat and cheese and the taco toppings of your choice.
  4. Mix it up and enjoy a delicious taste of Okinawa, anywhere in the world!

Bento Lunch

OH - and regarding the infamous baby cheek, yesterday A apologized for not eating it and said, "Maybe we can try it again."  She's too funny.


  1. You must have some pretty huge carrots. The ones here are the size of pencils. I love the cheddar pumpkins. Thanks for blogging this ;o)

  2. Kristin - the carrots in Japan are GINORMOUS! I don't know what I am going to do when we move and are without huge carrots. Seriously, I will buy some American carrots and some Japanese carrots and post a size comparison picture. Your eyes will about pop out of your head.

  3. I love your Halloween theme bento! Its so not scary! Haha and the looks downright yummy!

  4. Love the icing eyes on those strawberries!
    And your little pumpkins are sooooooo un-scary but so kawaii!

  5. Just popped over from "What's for Lunch Wednesday" and I love your pumpkins! Wish I could cruise all the cool bento shops in Japan....


  6. I love it! Taco Rice sounds really good. And the jack-o-lantern decorations are rad. :)

  7. Thanks for all the kind comments, guys! :)

  8. Taco rice sounds like just the thing to get my girls to try rice. We will have to try.


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