I came across the amazing Anna The Red's blog the other day and was blown away by the imaginative and elaborate bento (Japanese lunchbox) designs that she creates. A New York artist by way of Japan, these kyaraben (character) bento boxes are Anna's way of creating something fun out of her food. A way for parents to get their kids to enjoy eating healthy meals, Kayaben are popular in Japan, often depicting cute animals or characters from anime shows. Anna's blog details all the steps of creating these amazing scenes out of food, often detailing the entire process, from the initial sketches to the finished product. She lists ingredients, tips on important thing such as how to freeze carrot flowers, shows the tools that she uses to make certian shapes, and other of the many details that go into making these. In addition to the kayaben-style bento boxes, there are also step-by-step instuctions on creating such fun food as Totoro cream puffs (from one of the best Japanese animated movies of all time, My Neighbor Totoro) and Cylon raider cookies (from the TV show Battlestar Galactica).
Here are some of my favorite of the kayaben bento that Anna has created: