Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to make Shaped Dogs for Bento (or any cutesy ocassion - even if it is just lunch at home)

Tools of the trade that you'll need:

Sharp knife
Cutting Board
Carrot (for the beak)
Pan with hot water  - A slow boil is fine, just make sure it is HOT enough to cook the dogs.
Food grade marker(s)  - Wilton makes some, as does Betty Crocker.  You can find them in the baking isle, or in the cake decorating isle at WalHell.  They run about $5 for a 4 piece set of different colors.

Cut your hotdog in half.

Now, for the PENGUIN -

Cut 3/4-2/3 of the way through the top, curved part of each piece of dog. Do NOT cut all the way through!

Next, cut from the curved end of your hotdog, down through the "cheeks" of the hot dog to the 1st cut.  You should end up with 2 small pieces per hotdog.
Starting  1/3 of the way down on your hotdog, you need to cut wings.    Using your knife, make an angled cut from the body, down to the edge of the dog.  Repeat for each side of the penguin dog.

Now, time for the carrot.  You want one thing round.  About 1/4" is plenty thick.

Cut that round in half, then remove the core.  You should have 2 rough c shapes.  These will be your penguins' beaks.

Cut a small slice in the 'face' of your penguin, between the "cheeks" you cut earlier.  Push half of the carrot c into the hole so it will stay there, but so that it looks like a beak.

Next your going to BOIL the dogs in a little hot water for about 3-5 minutes, until the wing tips curl out.  Drain on paper towels. Use your food marker and make 2 eyes, one on each side of the head.

(These are your finished product)

For the BUNNY hotdog:

After cutting your hotdog in half, as in the first penguin step, you need to make the legs.  Using your knife, slice an angled cut on one side, about 1/3 of the way from each end to the end.

Next you're going to cut the ears.  On the opposite side of the dog, at the CURVED end, about 1/3 of the way in (cutting towards the flat end), make another angled cut.  Very carefully, slice this small flap in half, length ways.  Now you have a bunny with ears, and legs.  Pop it into the boiling water for 3-5 minutes until the little legs & ears curl away from the body.  Drain on paper towels.

These are the newly boiled, draining penguins and rabbits.

Using your food markers make eyes on each bunny.  You can also draw a little fluffy tail on the cut end if you want.

These are the bunnies in their bento box, getting ready for lunch.

The complete penguin bento.  The little carrot slice on the back is supposed to be a sun.  There are globe grapes, iceburg lettuce with baby portabello mushrooms, some tortilla fish with food marker details, and a mini bag of M&Ms for a treat.

The complete bunny bento.  Iceburg lettuce, little carrot pieces cut to LOOK like little bunny sized carrots, & some baby portabello mushrooms.  There are also some celery sticks, globe grapes, a tortilla "fence", and mini M&Ms.

A slightly better view of the "fence" made by slicing a 1/4 of a tortilla into strips.

All told, making the bunnies & penguins took me less than 10 minute in prep, and cooking time.  While I was cooking to dogs, I was prepping the rest of the lunch.  Bento might seem HARD or time consuming, but really it isn't.

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