Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Panda Bear Bread!

Too cute! Recipe is located at Perfect Pandas. Hopefully, my husband and I can try this out with gluten free bread recipes. I can see our son loving these when he gets older. :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breakfast Bento: 7/22/09

Top tier: Black cherries and clementine segments

Bottom tier: Spicy shrimp kimbap sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bento Collection

I am a bento addict. I love them...

... I have too many that I don't use... and I would love room for more.

So, with that in mind, I have been gearing up to sell off a bunch. This would include various meal containers, sauce containers, ice packs, snack containers (which can also be used for a moist towelette holder), and more.

I will post more on this *hopefully* soon, though I'll probably post the items in separate entries... but we'll see.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bento Meals: 7/9/09

I apologize in advance for the blurriness of the photos. I figure it's better to have slightly blurry photos (from my cellphone) than no photos at all! :-)

Grits topped with scrambled eggs, sauted onions,
orange bell pepper, and cheddar cheese.
(I just noticed that the orange pepper pieces were a smiley face.)
Ohjinguh-Nakji Bokkeum (spicy squid/octopus veggie stirfry)
with brown rice and toasted black sesame seeds
(I love how the baby octopi looked.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bunch of bento meals

Though I haven't been updating this blog as often as I had hoped, I have continued to make bento meals. Some are prettier than others, but when it comes to packing these meals, I am more concerned about variety and nutrition than I am out how "cute" they might be. I still try to make them look appetizing, but they tend to be more serious (and less kawaii/cute) in appearance.

The bento meals below are some I've made that I thought were particularly attractive and tasty. Listed from the most recent to the least recent. Enjoy!

Breakfast bento: 7/8/09
I wish I got a picture of this bento meal. My husband made it for me. He used the top tier of our happy bunny family bento (which has dividers already in place). It consisted of a gluten free blueberry muffin he made, some small curd cottage cheese, and cantaloupe cut into small bite sized slices. Delicious, healthy, and so pretty when I openned the lid.

Bento lunch: 7/2/09
top tier:
Pickled broccoli (
Blueberries and quartered strawberries
Vanilla yogurt with a dallop of strawberry preserves

bottom tier:
Bulgogi (marinated grilled beef)
Romaine lettuce
White rice with toasted sesame seeds and utensil nori cut outs

Bento Lunch for my boss: 7/2/09
Bulgogi (marinated grilled beef)
Romaine lettuce
White rice with toasted sesame seeds and utensil nori cut outs

Breakfast Bento: 7/3/09
My husband made this for me.
Steel cut oats (gluten free) with cream and blueberries

Breakfast Bento: 6/25/09
2 pickled soy sauce hardboiled eggs
Pickled Broccoli (
2 Babybel cheeses

Breakfast Bento: 6/24/09
Kimchee scrambled eggs
Pickled Broccoli (
2 Babybel cheeses

My son's first bento meal. 6/21/09
pureed peas
3 low sodium gerbers turkey sticks
apple sauce
2 rice husks (broken into pieces)

Bento Lunch: 3/1/09
Ohjinguh bokkeum (spicy squid stirfry. over white rice
Orange segments
Specialty cheeses with gluten free crackers

IchibankanUSA is closed!

What horrible news for bento-ists! IchibankanUSA's online website is closed as of yesterday!

Such a nice online store with great prices that were very difficult to beat and wonderful shipping rates/times. Their SF location will still be open, but that doesn't do the rest of us much good. I'm actually a little surprised that they are closing their online store, given the extreme popularity they had. Items were consistently selling out, but perhaps that was the problem. Just as having too little business is not good, so is having too much. If you can't keep up with your customer demands, then you are not starving, but drowning.

Hopefully, they will re-open one day, but I do have to say that this makes me look at my bag of bento stuff I got from them with a wistful eye. I had quite a few items I was going to purchase from them soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bento for 2.11.09, breakfast thoughts, and quiche recipe!

One thing I have a tendency of doing, especially of late, is making breakfast bentos. I honestly have been making these more often than I do lunch bentos (mainly because my husband and son have been bringing me lunches he's gathered for "workday picnics"). Here, you can see some of the quick breakfast items I will make while getting ready for work.

Top tier: halved red grapes.
Bottom tier: personal pan crustless onion-mozzarella quiched (halved and stacked), 2 slices pan-fried mushroom-onion polenta (stacked).
Lid: Prenatal Multivitamin (not pregnant; breastfeeding)

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of the breakfast sushi rolls I made earlier this week. They consisted of a seasoned flat omlette (sliced, seasoned with a little rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and salt), bread and butter pickle slices, and sushi rice wrapped in nori. Very tasty and filling!

My breakfast food choices can sometimes be described as eccentric, but I feel it's just more interesting and possibly healthier that way. There's nothing wrong with putting eggs on top of rice with some pickled veggies and eating that for your first meal. I've also been known to eat smoked fish with a side of a quick avocado-salsa mix. Honestly, I don't see why that's all that strange. :-)

So here's a quick recipe for personal sized crustless onion-mozzarella quiches.

4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk (we used skim)
shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced onion
a couple tsps butter
cooking oil (olive oil or veggie oil)

Preheat toaster oven to 425° F.

Heat pan with butter. Toss in onion sliced and cook until somewhat soft and translucent. Set aside. Take mini pie pans and coat lightly with oil to reduce sticking. Place onions in the mini pie pans, filling them about 1/2 way. Add cheese to 1/2 remaining space (or slightly more, leave room at top of mini pan for expansion). Do not press down to pack tightly.

Beat the eggs and mix with the milk/cream. Pour over the cheese in the mini pie pans until it is just a little higher than the bulk of the cheese surface.

Place pans in toaster oven and cook until the tops start turning a light golden color (check after 5 minutes, and every 5 minutes after that... this doesn't take long). Turn down the heat to 350° F and cook another 15 to 25 minutes until done (check every 5 minutes after the first 15, but remember to keep watch as all toaster ovens are different). If toothpick is poked in the center and comes out clean without liquid filling the hole it left, than the quiche is done. Remove from toaster over, let cool slightly, remove from pan and serve (or put into bento!).

Like I said, I can make these while getting ready for work, and it only gets faster the more practice you get. Also, you can use muffin tins, which has sped up the cooking time for me in the past. I just love mini quiches!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pan Fried Buttered Skate

I ate skate...

It was gooooooood!

Thursday, I bought a skate wing at Wegmans (after eyeing them up for a while), asked the fish person how to cook them, and did a quick search online for more skate cooking ideas. I finally opted to cook it my own way.

Last night, as our late dinner, I took said skate wing, rinsed it off, patted it dry, and cut it into long slices across the muscle grain (which I don't think was necessary, but worked fine). In a large cast iron pan, I melted several (approx 4) Tbsps butter. I mixed some cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl and coated the skate slices before gently placing them in the pan. I turned the piece when the meat started turning opague and the bottom was a light golden brown. After the other side was browned, I removed them from the pan. (This only took a couple of minutes.) I placed them on separate plates and spooned some of the remaining butter on top. They were served with leftover our leftover Oven Roasted Green Beans and Tomatoes side dish from earlier that evening.

The skate wing was tender. Very tender. Like a mix of flounder and cooked crab meat. The flavor was delicate like that of crab or lobster. It was almost disconcerting to eat something that you know *should* have a different texture and taste but doesn't (because... well... who would think a skate would taste or feel like that?!?). Some people do more to season the meat, but I wanted to get a good feel for the actual flavor. Hence why I used only butter, cornstarch, salt and pepper.Would we eat it again??? Hell yeah!!!! I'm already thinking about different stirfries to try with it!Too bad I missed when they were selling the eels... Guess I might have to make an order some time.