March 8, 2006

Today I am all thrilled and stuff, because i've used my heart-shaped onigiri mold for today's bento.

Onigiri (rice balls) with tuna and mayo inside; two have toasted sesame seeds on top, while the middle one has the salt 'n spice seasoning I use when I fix tuna salad. Some sliced cucumber, sugar snap peas, and carrots (they're dry, yeah.. but I let them get that way cuz I don't like the texture when they're wet --;) with light dill dip (needs refrigeration, and after taking the photo I wrapped the little cup in plastic wrap to avoid disaster), a "spring" oreo, and a cherry-chocolate Andes mint. Also, stretch island fruit leather and a Whips! yogurt (not pictured).

Now I really want more onigiri molds, maybe in less cutesy shapes. ^^; They're insanely helpful, especially when putting in filling. No rice-y hands!

March 3, 2006

Maybe it's time for a plain old sandwich...

Hmph. Sometimes my job kind of sucks the life out of me. My dishes lately aren't that good to me, even though i'm trying lots of new things.

Ginger pork recipe from my cookbook. Also stir-fried carrots with toasted sesame seeds, rice (spinach and cucumber for garnish), mandarin oranges (in the mini bento), and no-sugar-added rice pudding with cinnamon. Mmm.
The pork came out extremely salty. I think I will use less ginger AND soy sauce next time. A lot of these recipes are painfully salty, and I don't know if that's my own sensitive taste buds or what. But AHHH, salt. :P

Turkey-not-Chicken Dumplings, plain mixed veggies, rice with sesame seeds. Mandarin oranges, and some of those yummy Cadbury mini eggs lurking in next to the main course. >)
Another recipe from the book: Chicken Dumplings. Only these are turkey, because I could not find ground chicken at the supermarket. --; They were kind of okay. Kind of too crisp; maybe I will add more egg and flour next time. And actually use chicken.

February 24, 2006

Mmmm. Salt.

Teriyaki-stir-fried veggies and chicken, white and teriyaki rice mix (spinach garnish), pickles. Also, a Babybel, and sliced Fuji apple. Mmm.

...This was supposed to start out as onigiri, but I find that reheating rice to make them doesn't work so well. When I went to grill them, they fell apart in the pan. Thus, a mix of regular rice and the stirfried ex-onigiri rice. --;;;; Alas. I wish I could make fresh rice each day but for now, I guess onigiri will have to be had on Tuesday, when I actually cook up the week's batch of rice. Bah.

February 23, 2006

Soba ni ~~~~

Zarusoba today (cold noodles) with nori on top and dipping sauce in a separate container. With carrots and the most beautiful spinach Tamagoyaki I have ever turned out .. so far. XD Mandarin oranges (in the Nyanko box) for dessert. <3

February 18, 2006

Scallops in pain!

The above is only amusing when you mistype a filename url AND your head is still fuzzy from being sick for 2.5 days. --;


So today I decided to go ahead and do teriyaki scallops for my bento, since, as I said, the last couple of days i've been home sick from work. I did a test run yesterday, and those buggers do cook up awfully fast, making them a really good item to add when pressed for time (I get up around 10am, because I work 2-midnight, so I sit around being zombie-ish for a good while before I can cook anything and usually run late).

Teriyaki scallops, snow peas, the rest of the pickled cucumber for the week (more than usual cuz I only made 2 bentos this week), and rice with sesame seeds. There was supposed to be spinach omelet in here, but I had an adventure today and discovered that you can't cook egg in the same pan after scallops, at least not well. The pan I was using is all but devoid of its original teflon coating, also, so that did not help me at all. -- It's just as well, though, because I needed to eat up the snow peas.

You also get to see that I own more than one bento box. I need more. >D Right now, it's more about accessories; I got my heart-shaped onigiri mold and my bento okazu cups (little separator cups for holding various food items within a bento box; they're reuseable and not as wasteful as cute paper cupcake wrappers) today, and now have a nice little arsenal of items to use. Soon I should take pics of all my stuff and just throw that up here.

Thought I might include some extra photos this time around. If you ever wondered what my kitchen looks like when i'm in the midst of prepping bento, it's something like this:

Ingredients all over the counter, and the box for the day sits in the midst of it all, ready to recieve the food once it's done. For sticky rice, I usually make a batch on Tuesday and stick it in the fridge. When I put more rice into a bento, I heat it up first, and then it cools to room temp in the (unlidded) bento box. It stays decently edible that way, rather than be all cold and hard as it is when refrigerated. If I lived in a perfect world I could make rice each day and have it fresh, but it won't work that way until I live with people who will eat rice that often. That, and I need a nicer rice cooker.

Cooking the scallops. I used a recipe from the Bento Box cookbook John got me for Christmas. It's a fabulous book and already bears post-its with my notes on various recipes. >) The recipe I used includes soy sauce, water, sugar, and calls for sake, but in its place I used a little bit of Mirin (sweet rice wine). Not bad, even for someone who isn't really big on scallops. I hope I don't get food poisoning. ^^;;

Next week's menu must include (HEART-SHAPED!) onigiri at some point. >D As for the rest, I need to plot that out.

February 15, 2006

Happy V-day!

And it is for me. I woke up to a lovely package from John on the kitchen table. Inside, various adorable things, including some Nyanko mini-bento boxes! I love Nyanko so much and they're perfect as part of my silly bento collection. <3

Hoorah for the crap picture. But since it's V-day I decided to make something nifty, so here's my first attempt at Oyaku (Chicken and Egg) Donburi. :3 I used spinach instead of hornwort, because I have a lot of spinach and can't find honewort anywhere. XD One of the new Nyanko containers is here, holding homemade pickles (sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds).

I was very bad today, and also ordered myself some bento divider cups (in quiet, pastel colors ^^;) and a heart-shaped onigiri mold (!).
I fear for Japan when Julie and I visit, for I am going to buy lots of stuff when we go. XD They will be cleaned out of bento and yarn.

January 18, 2006

Kosher bento!

Today's bento came out decently well; I was pleased enough with it that I wanted to put up a pic.

Salted cucumber, sweet potato latkes (pancakes) with applesauce (in the little bottles), and hardboiled egg. The garnish is just a few leaves of field greens.


I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the Mako-chan's Bento Box site. This is so adorable. XD I even got the book she recommends for Christmas (a lovely little book with lots of bento recipes and general guidelines for making pretty shiny bento XD I will have to write more about that later on).

Meanwhile, one begins to notice the healthy impact bento meals make on oneself when the lack of fresh vegetables in the house makes it hard to prepare your lunch for the day. ^^;;

January 14, 2006

Rising from the dead, like so much reanimated dead stuff...

I really, really need to write more on this thing. Now that i'm getting into a routine with my new job, I can fit in some blogging.

It's especially important to do more with it, because I have decided that I will be making my third trip to Japan this April. >D This time, I shall be traveling with my pal Jules (of "I like shiny things" fame; see link at right), and it will be swell. Yarn and bento boxes shall be cleaned from every shelf in Kyoto.

Kyoto has these great regional yummies; the one I remember best from when I was there last trip is this little pastry triangle with anko (sweet bean paste) inside it. I wish I knew what it was called so I could try to find a recipe for it. ;_; Anko is the greatest food on earth.

I'm still bringing my beloved bento lunches to work with me most days; recently I got myself some sauce containers (in the shape of fish) to add to the utter joy. XD

As you can see, my bento are looking slightly better than they used to. I still don't give half a hoot about presentation, but I at least attempt to make things look more appetizing when I think to do it.