Archive for the 'admin' Category
The holidays are a time for giving, and in the food blog world that’s come to mean the Menu For Hope food blog annual fundraising campaign, now in its 6th year. Started by Pim of Chez Pim, Menu for Hope raises money for the United Nations World Food Programme, the world’s largest food aid agency (it raised over US$250,000 over the last three years for the program!). Specifically, this year’s donations will go to the WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P), a new initiative that helps smallholder and low-income farmers supply food to WFP’s global operations, improving farming practices and putting more cash into their pockets.
In Menu for Hope, food bloggers around the world offer a variety of food-related items for the online raffle. Every US$10 you donate earns you one “ticket” to bid on an item of your choice. At the end of the campaign, tickets are drawn and results are announced on Chez Pim on Monday, January 18, 2010.
A full list of bid items is will be posted at Chez Pim, and the Western U.S. regional prizes will be shown at Gluten-Free Girl. A mere US$10 gives you a shot at some pretty cool food-related prizes! Check them all out and see what appeals to you.
I’m happy to offer another bento kit for bidding this year, with products courtesy of Skater Company, Japan’s largest manufacturer of bento boxes, and ZESPRI, the New Zealand kiwifruit company. I’ll also give each of the winners a personal tour of San Francisco’s Japantown if you’re in town (details below).
- “Winnie the Pooh Goes Bananas” Bento Box Kit and tour of San Francisco’s Japantown, by Biggie (me).
Pack adorable lunches with unusual Winnie the Pooh food shaping tools and a banana-themed “Putifresh” bento set. The yellow bento set includes a watertight bento box, two matching bags, chopsticks, elastic bento belt and a Zespri “spife” (spoon/knife combo) for packing whole kiwifruit. The tools include a boiled egg shaper, sandwich cutter, onigiri rice ball shaper, vegetable cutter, pancake ring and silicone food cups, all shaped like Winnie the Pooh. The Pooh-themed tools are high quality, direct from the Skater Company in Japan. Make lunch as tasty as your own pot of honey! (prize code UW20)
Published by Biggie on December 14th, 2009 tagged SF Bay Area local, admin, bento, giveaway, shopping | 461 Comments »
While watching Shimajiro, a popular Japanese cartoon of a tiger cub that teaches kids little songs, manners and safety, I stumbled across an uncommon variation of the classic Bento Box Song (”Obento Bako no Uta”) that features more Western food — sandwiches! It’s kind of a chant with hand motions referencing food words that sound similar to numbers in Japanese. It’s less of a counting exercise than the original, but fun nonetheless. I also dug up a comedy show riff on the bento box song that Japanese speakers may get a kick out of — the Osaka comedienne in the video clip takes issue with the vagueness of the original lyrics and makes up new ones after bullying her fellow singers.
I don’t want to infringe on the Shimajiro copyright, so I made a quick YouTube video of me singing the song and doing the associated hand motions (what was I thinking? Thanks to my Twitter followers for humoring me!). Full lyrics and an English translation follow. While I was at it, I made a little video for the original Bento Box Song to show the hand motions, and added it to the old post.
Published by Biggie on November 16th, 2009 tagged admin, bento, for kids | 577 Comments »
My apologies to everyone for dropping off the face of the earth lately — it’s been a weird time and I’ve been going through something of a crisis. (Arg.) Time to get back on the bento ball! Lots of updates today; with Ichiban Kan closing its online store and opening a new San Bruno retail location in the Tanforan Mall, a kiwifruit recipe contest that I’ll be judging with a US$2,500 grand prize, a recent Lunch 2.0 round table blogger discussion I moderated, a new bento cookbook that’s out, and more.
1. Ichiban Kan closes online store
First off, I’m sad to say that Ichiban Kan recently closed its online store, although its retail stores in the SF Bay Area remain open. They were a good US source of cheap bento gear (like US$1!), and I’m sad to see them go. Products seemed to fly off the shelves, so there’s hope that they’ll be back — check their blog for updates. Fingers crossed that they change their business model and reopen the online store, maybe at increased prices to remain viable. I mean, cheap is good and all, but not if it drives them out of business!
In any event, Ichiban Kan has opened a new retail store in the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno, CA, so if you’re nearby you might want to check that out (1150 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066, tel: 650-244-9920). For additional sources, check out my list of online stores for bento gear, as well as the Bento Store Locator with Google Maps and reader feedback for retail sources near you. (Read on for details of a recipe contest with $2,500 prize, a Lunch 2.0 round table that I moderated, a new bento cookbook, and the upcoming BlogHer ‘09 panel on food blogging.)
Published by Biggie on July 17th, 2009 tagged Amorette, Laptop Lunchbox, admin, giveaway | 397 Comments »
Bento lunches are starting to attract a lot of mainstream attention outside of Japan, with bentos appearing more often in the popular media, new bento books and classes, panels at anime and blogging conferences, new and active bento forums, and an explosion of bento blogs. Great news, right?
On a concerning note, I’ve started hearing from talented bento bloggers who have been approached by authors putting together bento books compiling photos and recipes by people in the bento community, but offering little to no compensation for their contributions. Now, it can be flattering and exciting to get attention like this for the first time, and being published does give you exposure and opens doors. But make sure you don’t underestimate your own worth when entering negotiations! Remember that you’re providing something of value that the book “author” and publisher will be making money from, so make sure you’re properly compensated and legally protected with a detailed contract. Don’t be exploited and regret it later — go in with your eyes open and make your own decisions about what you find acceptable.
A prominent bento blogger, whose work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, recently approached me about this issue and offers the following advice so others can benefit from her experiences. She wishes to remain anonymous so as to not alienate publishers she works with, but I know and respect her work. (Read on for her tips and mine on protecting your work online, tracking where your posts and photos are being used, and how to file effective legal complaints.)
Published by Biggie on May 8th, 2009 tagged admin, tips | 43 Comments »
So my news is that I’ll be speaking at this year’s BlogHer ‘09 Conference on the food blogging panel, “Identity/Passions: FoodBlogging in the Time of Recession“. This year’s annual BlogHer Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, July 23-24, 2009 in Chicago, and is the largest conference of women bloggers in the world, including women (and men) who blog about parenting, food, politics, travel, business, sex, health, etc.
I went to last year’s BlogHer conference in San Francisco (see my write-up), and it was the first time I’d met so many bloggers in person. I was struck by the sheer number of the talented women there (over a thousand), and gained valuable perspective from the sessions. I’m tickled to be chosen as a panelist this year, talking about how food bloggers can stay relevant and maybe even help people save money in this economy. (Read on for the full list of food panelists, and a recent Hong Kong Trader article quoting Lunch in a Box.)