I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! As it’s been for the last few years, it rained here on Oahu on Easter Sunday. Seriously, what a bummer. It’s starting to feel like I didn’t really move away from Hilo.
April 1st was my birthday and although it was already made unbelievably fantastic by the new computer Mr. Pikko gave me, the casting call I got to do background work for George Clooney’s movie ‘The Descendants’, winning a category in the UH Edible Book Contest, being on the news briefly, being in the Star Bulletin, going to eat at my favorite ramen shop Kiwami Ramen, and date night with Mr. Pikko, there was still one more surprise waiting for me when we went to pick up the kids.
YES! That’s right! My first copy of Yum-Yum Bento Box!!! When I saw the Next Day Air package in our mailbox, I had to do everything I could to not scream. My editor, Margaret, had said if the copies came in early that she would try to overnight me a copy as a birthday gift and it had arrived just in time to help me close out a wonderful welcoming to 31. She’s the best. <3
Some of you might notice that I haven’t given the link to it on Amazon. The reason for this is that I’d like to ask all of you, my readers, to hold off on pre-orders until a specific date, which I’m not sure about yet. The reasoning behind this (something Mr. Pikko read about) is that when pre-orders come in big bulks, this pushes the Amazon ranking up higher and makes the book more visible and therefore sells better. Even if we don’t do this though, there’s still plenty of time until the book is released. In the meantime, let’s take a quick peek inside, shall we?
Here you can see the basic layout for each recipe. There’s a title and full photo for every item, along with some little tutorials on how to make flags and pig snouts. Seriously though, it was SO exciting to have an actual copy of the book in my hands. It even impressed Baby Girl, who has been learning to read and can now see that “Yum-Yum Bento Box” is written in part by her mommy. A couple weeks ago she asked if I’m going to be an “arthor” and if lots of people would know who I am. When I told her that yes, I’d be an author, she got really excited.
And yet, when I packed her a field trip sandwich and told her that her bento was ready, she said, “Not bento mommy, lunch.” She kills me, haha!
Alright, so let’s get to Easter. You know there are Jello eggs coming, but I made something else too: cupcakes!
Here we have my buttercream frosting. I used Bakerella’s recipe. If you’ve never made frosting and are a bit alarmed about how much confectioner’s sugar is here, you should know that this is actually the last bit of sugar I mixed in. A full 2 lb bag of the stuff went in. My thanks to the folks on Twitter who helped me figure out what “1 1b 10X” meant.
I dyed it green. I ended up using a mixture of regular green and neon green food coloring to get this color. Don’t ask me how much, cause I stopped keeping track after I passed 20 drops. I doubled the frosting recipe because usually I’m the one that has 5 cupcakes left and only enough frosting for 2 more cupcakes.
I made strawberry cupcakes, but during my second batch, the oven turned off and I had to wing it on these. They turned out flat, so I tasted one and they were fine, just not puffy.
After I frosted them, I added sprinkles, then topped them with some MONSTROUS malted eggs. In hindsight, I should have taken a better look at these in the bag and just found some mini ones instead. These ended up looking like Easter cupcakes for dinosaurs.
I made some jellybean ones too, just to see if they looked better. I thought they did. Still, the malted ones looked neat.
I ended up with 20 cupcakes and a nice amount of extra frosting for making more cupcakes and using up more expired boxes of cake. Now that I have two offices to dump sweets on, that is. Muahaha!
Here is my yearly batch of Jello eggs. I messed up my first two colors by making 4 boxes of Jello instead of 2. Oops. I ended up with an insane 75+ eggs…… I was going to make Jello beans too, but after this, I don’t think that was necessary.
I had gone to 7-Eleven at midnight to try to find handles for my cupcakes (didn’t work out) and while I was there I saw this No Spill Easter Dying Kit. The words “no spill” is like a light bulb going off in my head, so of course I bought it. It has some terrible reviews online, but I for one LOVED it. My family thought it was pure genius. Basically, with just the right amount of water in the cups, when turned upside down, the dye just goes into the special lid.
Yeah, you’ll still get a little dirty, but that’s better than whole cups of dye going SPLOOSH! all over the place in the whole “I WANTED THE YELLOW FIRST!!!!” frenzy that is Easter with Toddlers. That was five dollars well spent, especially since we’ll just store them and use em again next year! I never expected to get something like that at 7-Eleven.
These were done by Buddy with the No Spill Kit. Very nice colors, no?
Right after these were done, Buddy started “accidentally” cracking his eggs so that he could eat them. He asked over and over if he could eat another one and every time I said no, oops! “Mommy, dis one is no good. Can I eat it?”
Usually the kids will just dye the eggs in a mad frenzy and then I’ll go take some and make all fancy shmancy.
This is the one I was the happiest with. I took one of Buddy’s green eggs, drew a frog with a black crayon, then colored him in with the clear crayon and dunked the egg into the yellow dye. He’s singing happily with his other egg buddies.
But wait! Oh no! Where did he go?!? What did you do with him, Wasabi??
Overall, Easter was fun as usual. Baby Girl’s last words before falling asleep on the way home were, “I wish every day was Easter…”
I haven’t been posting much, so I have a ton of Hoodlum images to share. Here we have Kamaboko making like she’s Hello Kitty in a music box.
Then the Hoodlums have some fun at my cousin’s baby shower. Kamaboko is in their little utensil catapult and Wasabi is about to send her flying.
After that, they played some hide and seek. Tonkatsu was the first seeker.
Then it was time to eat cake. After I was done, they went nuts with the frosting. Tonkatsu just dove right in while Wasabi tried to be all civilized with a fork.
As we were leaving, they saw the faux food display at the door and wanted to take a picture to capture their little trip to Assagio.
The adventures should get interesting, as pretty soon Ume and Tobiko will be arriving…
On Friday, I went to meet with Marukai to discuss possible Irasshai work and I got to meet Richard Matsu, the smiling guy on the cover of every newsletter. That was really exciting! Hopefully you guys will see something soon! ^_^