Super Complicated Envy Evoking Idea Stealing Bento

>> Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1. Ikea meatballs with gravy and a potato
2. Ikea lingonberry preserves
3. crepes filled with lemon curd
4. blueberries

Look at the tiny crepes! Aren't they nice? How very, very clever of me to totally steal that idea from Jeanine at The Healthy Lunchbox.

Try to tear your eyes away from the wonder that is the Ikea meatball and go take a look at what Jeanine does. She makes lunch for her kids out of mostly organic, mostly local and largely vegetarian food and manages to pack it in a way that doesn't generate any additional waste. And I think she might be posing nekkid in her profile picture. If I knew her in real life I'd probably call her stuck up and act like I didn't like her - or follow her around like a puppy.

Speaking of issues, I took a lot of crap for this lunch at work. Much of the time I eat at my desk, but this day I ate with the group. You would think I'd sculpted a scale model of the Eiffel Tower from a Vienna sausage instead of bringing in leftovers. Seriously people - Ikea meatballs. They come frozen in a bag. Gravy powder sold seperately. While it's true I don't make crepes every day they are really just pancakes with runnier batter. You just have to wonder what exactly people are eating that is "easier" or "quicker" than that! Probably they're just jealous that they don't have mad lunch packing skills like me and my new bff Jeanine. (oh my God do you think she'll read this??? hope she doesn't think I'm some psycho stalker woman!) Or maybe it was the mint ...

Dessert Crepes

1 egg
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1/8 cup of sugar
2 T melted butter
tiny pinch of salt

Blenderize until smooth and stick it in the fridge for 1/2 hour (or longer). Spoon a little bit of batter in the center of a heated non-stick pan and swirl it around dramatically while talking loudly to noone in particular in a fake French accent. Cook on medium high heat for about 30 seconds or so or until the edges start to pull up from the pan. Flip and cook another 15 seconds or so until you like the color. Lay the finished crepe flat on a plate and repeat. Makes something like 2376 tiny crepes. Small ones are easier to turn than big ones - plus you get more!


Bucket O' Beans Bento

1. pinto beans with ham in the thermal bowl
2. blueberry picks
3. cheese wedge
4. star shaped biscuits
5. last remaining lemon meringue pie


Double Pie Bento

>> Monday, January 28, 2008

Pizza pie! We don't have pizza very often, and we do there's usually none left, so pizza bento alone would be pretty durn exciting, but wait! there's more! Pie that is. Lemon Meringue. Daring Bakers. Golden Curd. Uhm, nevermind.

1. left-over pizza
2. blueberries on sticks
3. quail egg (not eaten)
4. almonds
5. green jelly
6. itty bitty lemon meringue pie

But look at it, isn't it cute? The pie I mean. Flaky Crust. Towering Meringue. Sorry.


Daring Baker Challenge #2 - Lemon Meringue Pie

Jen, the Canadian Baker, challenged the Daring Bakers to focus our collective fierceness this month on the unassuming Lemon Meringue Pie. Today we celebrate the victories...and the defeats.

Mine turned out pretty good actually. Not that I could prove it with the pictures. Probably couldn't have traded my soul for a clear shot that day. Not that it really matters, cause the pies were tiny and cute - not to mention freakin' delicious.

I do love me some lemon. And pie.

I ate 4!

The crust was almost sugar-cookieish. Yes. That's a word.

Here's the money shot. I'm going to pretend it's not so blurry.

Here's the list - now go look at some prettier pictures!


Everykid's Bento Lunch - Dispelling Bento Myths One Meal at a Time

>> Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Hey Boo, what sounds good for lunch tomorrow?"

"Peanut butter sandwich cut in some cute shape, some jellies, and something chocolate."

Hmmmm, easy enough.


1. peanut butter sandich cut with a dog cookie cutter - that's a little nori circle for the eye, carrot for the collar and tomato for the nose
2. bread scrap bone stuck on with a bit of peanut butter
3. 3 bite size jellos
4. blueberries and kiwi cause Sister doesn't always get everything her way
5. little container of chocolate chips cause Sister usually gets everything her way

I've heard People (and you know who you are) say they don't have time to make "stuff like that", or that their kids "won't eat stuff like that", or "I don't know where to get/can't afford to buy that stuff" - all the while drooling on my lunch. Seriously? You can do this! It's a sandwich! Packed in a little plastic container from the dollar store. (I don't know what to say about kids that won't eat peanut butter) The whole thing took less than 5 minutes, 3 of those I probably spent trying to find chocolate chips in that black hole of a pantry.


Crab Cakes & Quail Eggs

>> Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The only big news here is that I made a face on a quail egg. I totally copied that idea, but I still smiled every time I thought about the little chick in my lunch bucket! Boo didn't get one, frankly she was horrified. Traumatized even. She may not ever eat eggs again. It retrospect I probably shouldn't have called them little "baby" eggs. It wouldn't surprise me if she comes home tomorrow and announces she's decided to be vegan - but she probably wouldn't even eat tofeggs at this point.

1. crab cakes
2. potato salad
3. peas
4. container of chipotle mayo
5. tomatoes
6. rice balls
7. quail egg chick

1. crab cakes
2. potato salad
3. peas
4. container of ranch
5. little cake


Lust for Lunch

>> Friday, January 18, 2008

Provocative title for a bowl of leftovers, no?

New word! Concupiscent. It's weird to know that you'll die not knowing all the words in your native language. Anyway, on to lunch.

1. leftover pad thai with a little cup of chopped peanuts and lime
2. blackberries
3. grape tomatoes
4. yellow pepper strips
5. bánh bò
6. bread with Muhammara spread

The lovely Yvo asked "What's banh mo?" I guess she's too polite to say "hey dumb butt - it's Bánh Bò !". She's such a sweetheart :) Bánh bò is a Vietnamese steamed rice cake made with coconut milk. It's a little sweet with a very cool springy/spongy texture. And it comes in pretty colors. Banh mo probably translates to "bread with poo on it".

Barbara from Tigers & Strawberries was the source of the Muhammara recipe. How can you resist something described as sexy, naughty and vegan? Especially if you happen to have leftover walnuts and pomegranate molasses from the never-ending fesenjan...but that's another story. (By the way, you -can- make this in a blender, but it sure wouldn't be my first choice.) I'm so in love with this stuff. If I had a vat of it I'd climb in and wallow. Or ask it to marry me. It's really that good!

Note to self: Break down and buy a stupid food processor. And a rice cooker.


Croissants and Chocolates

>> Thursday, January 17, 2008

For me:

1. croissant with herbed cream cheese, sprouts, and yellow pepper
2. apple slice with a couple of blackberries
3. little wedge of cranberry stilton
4. dark, dark chocolate squares

For Boo:

1. croissant sandwich with herbed cream cheese and a chicken tender
2. blackberry stuffed apple
3. mango jelly
4. white, white chocolate chips


Well, We Got Apples!

>> Tuesday, January 15, 2008

For the Boo:

1. apples slices
2. kamaboka
3. candy
4. pudding bite
5. blackberries
6. spicy peanuts

Boo's Mom's salad bento:

1. mixed lettuce
2. kamaboko
3. yellow peppers
4. apple slices
5. grape tomatoes
6. raisins
7. spicy peanuts
8. oil and citrus vinegar
9. bean sprouts
10. blackberries


Not Lee's Sandwiches

>> Friday, January 11, 2008

I love me some Lee's Sandwiches. Specifically grilled pork, "Number 5" I like to call it. I love that sandwich. Fatty gristly pork, pickled carrot and radish, cilantro, jalapeno slices and some kind of mayonnaise. Not to mention dirt cheap. Seriously, what's not to love? What is that mayo stuff anyway? That's what I really wanted for lunch today. Well, that and one of those coconut raisin croissants. That my friends is good eatin'. But that wasn't meant to be. Instead I made do with this.

1. carrot and daikon pickle
2. spicy marinated pork cutlet
3. rice
4. mint and basil leaves
5. banh mo

About that pickle...Lee's Sandwiches is kinda chintzy with the toppings. You literally get 1 stem of cilantro and a couple of strands of the pickle on each sandwich. Not that you can really complain at $2.50 a pop, but still. Anyway, I always ask for "extra pickle" and the cashier/order taker person -always- feels compelled to tell me that it's not the sort of pickle that I think it is. Then I'm forced to explain that I understand what it is and that I really do want extra on my sandwich. It's really more bother than it's worth and rarely results in any appreciable difference on the sandwich. But there is hope! As you might can imagine, I was pretty freakin' excited to find it at my local Asian megamart this week. More about my LeeLee love later - in the meantime I bought a big old bag of this stuff (apparently called do chua) yesterday and I think I've eaten enough to satisfy any "pickle" cravings for the next couple of months.

Not sure how I feel about the pork. I don't think I care for the texture of pork cutlet. It was like the pork equivalent of the chopped "steak" that your parents always ordered for you at the local steak house because you were just a snot-nosed kid and rib eyes were for adults. But I digress. Pork shouldn't be mushy. It's wrong. I think I'll try this again with real meat, the marinade was incredible.

Pork Marinade

1 T brown sugar
1 T soy sauce
1 T white vinegar
1 T fish sauce
1 t sambal oelek
1/2 t ginger/garlic paste
thumb sized chunk of lemongrass - smashed and cut in half

This amount was plenty for a two-serving sized piece of meat. I only let it marinate for about half an hour because that's all the time I had. Not sure that it would have been a good idea to go longer with that weird meat anyway, but you of course will use real meat.


Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

>> Wednesday, January 9, 2008

1. Sesame Noodles
2. snow peas
3. Hummus
4. sesame candy
5. White Rabbit candy

Yes, two kinds of candy, cause I've been at least two kinds of cranky. And a special bonus today - two recipes!

Sesame Noodles

1/4 pound noodles (I used whole wheat linguine)
2 T tahini
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 t brown sugar
1 t sambal oelek
1 chopped green onion
4 thinly sliced baby carrots

Cook and drain the noodles, then in the same pan add tahini, soy, vinegar, sugar and chili and toss around until the noodles are coated. Sprinkle onions and carrots on top. Tastes great cold or at room temperature. Makes 2 servings.

Blender Hummus

1 can chick peas rinsed and drained
1/4 c tahini
1 T olive oil
1 clove of garlic
big pinch of salt
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 to 1/3 c water

Dump the peas in the blender and add the garlic, oil, salt and lemon juice. Pulse adding water a little at a time until you get the right consistency. Then blend on high for at least 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.


Crack Curry, Medium Hot

1. vegetable curry
2. rice
3. airplane carrot

Fast. Easy. Delicious. Cheap. Addictive. What else is there? I'm looking at the ingredient list on the S&B box right now - it doesn't say there's crack in it, but it does list "spices", which is admittedly pretty freakin' vague. Please know that I will not be held responsible for any untoward effects of using this recipe. You've been warned.

I scaled the standard back of the box recipe down to a single generous serving, omitted the meat, and added raisins. I'll share.

Japanese Vegetable Curry

1 cup of assorted diced vegetables (onion, red pepper, carrots and purple potato)
1 tablespoon chopped golden raisins
1 teaspoon of oil
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cube of S&B Golden Curry sauce mix

Stir fry the vegetables in the oil for about 3 or 4 minutes. The onions should be starting to brown. Add the water and and simmer until the hardest vegetable is tender. Add the raisins and curry cube and stir until the cube is completely dissolved and the sauce is thick and glossy. Pour over rice and ingest orally.

I like chopped apple in this too - added at the end so it's crunchy. Sounds weird, but it's good. Try it sometime!

As for the airplane... Well, airplanes have been on my mind lately.


Centuria and Esoteric Fortunes

>> Monday, January 7, 2008

One hundredth post. If I'd realized that sooner I probably would have dressed this up a little. Cut some words out of cheese or something. Oh well.

Leftovers. From Yao. I ordered (and ate) before I remembered that I love their eggplant.

1. spicy orange peel chicken
2. rice
3. carrots
4. fortune cookie
5. honey sesame crackers

My fortune was "it must be homegrown".
I think I got censured by a fortune cookie.


Olive Garden Antipathy

>> Friday, January 4, 2008

Me and Olive Garden used to be like *first 2 fingers twisted together symbolizing mutual tightness* that. When I lived in Arkansas and got tired of red hot dogs I would sometime drive 200 miles round trip to eat at the Olive Garden and thought it was totally worth it. I loved it. But over the years we've grown apart. It's been years since I was last tempted by unending salad and breadsticks. The love had died.

He was seduced by the commercial for lasagna rollatini. With chicken. He wanted to go. We went. I had cheese ravioli. It wasn't good.

The love remains dead.

1. leftover Olive Garden ravioli
2. snow peas and roasted yellow peppers
3. leftover Olive Garden bread stick made into croutons
4. complimentary Olive Garden mint candy

A lunch that was as delcious as it deserved to be.


My Love is a Pink, Pink Rose

>> Thursday, January 3, 2008

So I'm no Irish poet. Or anykind of poet. Or Irish. But my cheese is.


1. 3 big nori-wrapped hunks of sushi rice
2. pickled ginger cleverly disguised as a rose
3. baby carrots
4. fabulous Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese slices
5. candy!
6. soy sauce in a bottle

Should have gone with an Irish theme and subbed some nice Irish whiskey for the soy, or just thrown a bottle of Bailey's in my bag. Wouldn't have tasted all that great on the rice but might have made for a more interesting work day.


Back to Back

>> Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back to work, back to bento.

1. spicy ginger rice noodle stir fry with peas, peppers, scallions and an egg
2. cilantro and lime for the noodles
3. tangerine slices
4. little mochi with red bean paste filling

I undercooked the noodles just a tiny bit so they stayed nice and firm with a little more chew than if I had cooked them to eat right away.



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