Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recipe Tuesday

I don't know if you are aware... but blogging everyday is HARD work. I have no idea how Amy does it.

I like to think I have a pretty good excuse. You see, I've never really worked full time. I've always had part time jobs that would occasionally give me about 30 hours a week. I'm talking rarely give me that many. Well now I'm averaging about 35, sometimes more, and sometimes a little bit less. I'm not complaining in any way. In this economy I know that I am incredibly lucky to be in this situation, however, it leaves little time for blogging.

A lot of the hours I pick up are given to me on very short notice. Because of this I don't always have time to make a lunch... so there you have it. A whole paragraph of your life wasted on excuses made by me. Yay!

You know you love it. :p

Anyways, that's not why I started this post, at least not really. I wanted to share something with you lovely folks. I thought that some recipes would be an awesome filler.

This first one I'm gonna show you will most definitely be in a bento box in the future. This meal is delicious, super easy, and shared with you via an adorable poodle!

Love it!

I know when I told my mom about this dish she made a gross face. This is because she does not like eggs. It does seem a little weird to put a poached egg on top of rice and beef... but it is amazing. The creamy yolk blends so well with the seasoned beef and adds so much to the dish. I've never tried it with pickled ginger, but perhaps I should.

If you have the means you need to make this dish. It is easy, delicious, and inexpensive to make. Next time we make this dish I'll take some pictures to show you guys how it looks when your average joe makes it.

Next I have a recipe for something I've never made that I decided I wanted to try. Flan. I had the urge to make it (and eat it) kick me in the face yesterday... and now I must try my hand at it! I have all the ingredients, so really, I have no excuse not to try!

Unfortunately this sucker is supposed to sit for a day or something ridiculous, so when I make it tonight I won't even be able to test it when it's done. Sad, I know, but we'll get through it together.

Another dessert I decided I have to try is this amazing delicacy: Chocolate Cupcakes with Flaming Strawberries. Holy crap.. it looks so cool! I can't wait to try. This is something I'm going to make for valentines day for the boy and I. I always say I'm gonna make some awesome dessert, and I never do. But this should be very easy, but still have the pizazz I want.

Oh, one more thing, in case you didn't check: Cooking with Dog has a new video out for Melonpan! And if you haven't watched the Christmas Cake recipe yet: shame on you! Watch it now!

So, do any of these recipes appeal to you? Would you eat them? Would you make them? Would you dance a jig for them? Will you actually answer these ridiculous questions?!

Let me know!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Number Yon!

This week may be an interesting one. It will probably be a lot like last week... not many posts, but I'll do my best to keep taking pictures and posting when I can. Yesterday was the first day in a 6 day stretch of work for me. Shouldn't be too bad, but I may be taking it easy when I get home, so there won't be anything special in my lunch boxes for a little while.

However, I do have a tasty lunch to share.

When we had my family here we also had Katie and Jesse over for a nice big snack night. Like we always do... we made WAY too much food. We had hot wings, hummus, pita bread, veggies, pulled pork sliders, cookies, crackers, and candy. And that wasn't even all we planned. We totally made Katie and Jesse go to the store to get supplies we didn't even need. That's right, I'm a butt head.

Because of this abundance of food sitting in my fridge, I took left overs for lunch yesterday. I chose some delicious hummus, pita bread, some left over veggies, and some pineapple.

The pineapple isn't pictured, but believe me... it was there. It was a ninja pineapple.

The boy looked at my lunch and asked: 'Where is the substance? That won't fill you up!'

But, it did. I didn't even finish it! My bento box is still half full of hummus and veggies! I even still have pita bread left and ninja pinapple! This means that it's coming back to work with me today so I can finish it off. Waste not, want not.

On another note, the poor boy has gotten sick. As I said earlier, Nana had a nasty bug, and apparently it has been passed on. I'm trying my hardest not to get sick. I've got a lot of stuff to get done... gotta be perky and happy, dangit! Wish me luck with that.

So, how does this lunch look? Do you love hummus as much as me, or perhaps more? Have you tried dipping veggies in hummus? (It's amazingly delicious)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Quick Trip

Oh gosh, where have I been?!

Well, not on blogger, that's for sure..

Sorry about the delay and lack of bento box pictures, unfortunately I haven't packed any bento boxes for quite a while. I ended up picking shifts that I didn't have time to prepare lunches for and then I had my family come to visit, and so no bento lunches there either.

However, we did make a trip to our asian market Uwajimaya and bought some goodies to show you. I tried to go for interesting stuff that you probably don't see everyday, and I believe I was successful. :D
First off we bought some of this ginger honey crystal tea. Nana was feeling ill and we decided we needed something with a kick to help her get over it. Holy crap... this stuff has a kick! The ginger is surprisingly spicy but the honey adds enough sweetness that you don't need to add extra sugar. Next time we decided we'll use more water and less crystals. Still, worth a try if you're a fan of ginger.

We also got some yellow curry to try. We had some awesome Chicken and Yellow Curry in Georgia, and we've been craving more. Instead of spending a bunch of money to buy all the ingredients we're going for some canned stuff to start off with. I'll let you know how it goes.

Next we have some Korean chips called: Tako chips - Octopus flavored! My Mom didn't like them at all, and Nana refused to try... but they are quite tasty! They taste a little bit like seaweed, with a slight fishy flavor, but not too strong. The flavor is light, but the smell hits pretty strong. I'll probably stick to eating these snacks at home so I don't scare away my coworkers and customers with octopus breath.

Another snack I got were the Shrimp Flavored Chips in Hot Garlic flavor. The brand I got is an American company, but I've heard these are quite popular in Japan. They're definitely different, but very tasty. Again, Mom didn't like them, and Nana wouldn't try, but I enjoy them. They are just spicy enough to eat a whole bag without needing milk, and the shrimp flavor is a nice little tang.

If you ever have a chance I definitely suggest grabbing a bag of these interesting chips. Or any other kind of interesting chip. It's always worth trying, at least once.

What is the weirdest flavor of chip you've ever eaten? Would you eat an Octopus chip just to try, or are you lacking the bravery?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Number San!

After posting that video of such supreme bento making, and keeping in mind that I had the day off, you'd really thing I would have this incredibly cute bento box to share today.

Well, you would be wrong.

But one thing it will be is tasty.

I did spend much of the day cooking. I made fish and chips, and hot wings today with the boy. Gosh, that really proves how healthy I eat, don't it? :D

You'll start to notice a trend in how I choose what goes in my lunch box. Quick. Easy. Delicious.

And polish sausage with some fried sliced potatoes? Sign me up!

Now I know you're asking yourself: where are the real vegetables? Where are the vitamins!? Well, remember that lovely array of veggies I had in this blog post? Well, there are still some left. So they're coming back, for the sequel!

... Not much else to say... so... bye!

Day Off

Today is a magical day. Today I can sit around in PJs and knit, and watch tv, and play video games, and cook, without being rushed by time! How awesome. I do love having a day off.

Last night I didn't even get close to finishing my lunch. It was *way* full, and very delicious. So today, I'll probably end up having left over bento box for lunch, and really, that's okay with me.

Instead I thought I'd talk a little about what got me into the magical world of bento. I had heard about it a couple of times. I do really enjoy the Japanese culture (weird as it is) so I had seen bento boxes in use in a couple different ways.

But the real magic happened when I watched this video:

I actually think this is the same video that got me into Cooking With Dog. I love this You-Tube channel. It's my very favorite, and I've watched all the videos at least 3 times. If you ever want to try some great Japanese dishes, this is the cooking show to use. All the portions are meant for about 2 people, so it's perfect for the boy and I. It is a little tricky to change around some of the measurements, but that's what google is for!

Anyways, back to the bento aspect. Unfortunately, I've never made a bento box that kawaii, but seriously... look a that woman's knife skills! That bunny is just a work of art! And what cute octopus sausages! I saw this and I knew I wanted to eat like that. Someday, I will make something that cute, and I can't wait to show you when it happens.

After that video I started doing a lot of searching for other bento related pages. One of them that I found was Lunch in a Box. Unfortunately, this website hasn't updated in quite a while, however, she had a lot of really good posts to look out, plenty of resources, and some tasty recipes. Also, the forum is a really nice community for both beginners and true bento enthusiasts.

So there you have it. The two pages that made me realize: I can totally do this! And do it, I shall.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Number Ni

I have a confession, friends. I ate lunch at work on the 1st of January. I know I know! It hasn't even been a day, and I broke my resolution? What the hell is the matter with me?!

There are reasons; let me explain. At work we occasionally have a day that is going to be especially busy. On days like that the company gives us all a free lunch. So there... it was free. I figured: I could eat this free lunch of deli sandwiches and soup, save my wings for the 2nd, and have a new bento on the 3rd! It worked out even more perfectly since I closed on the 1st, and opened on the 2nd. Ah, blissful sleep would be mine!

One of the worst things about working in retail is that you end up closing one night, and opening the next morning. This isn't so bad since my work closes at a reasonable hour, but I love sleep. 8-9 hours a night is just about right for me. So what is a girl to do when you get home from work, then have to be back in 11 hours? You definately don't want to spend that 2 hours you're not sleeping cooking. So you cheat, and move all your planned lunches back a day. Ah, the beauty of bento.

Now, as I said earlier, I'm not afraid to stick all sorts of food into my little box. It doesn't have to be Japanese, no matter how blasphemous that may seem.

I wanted something easy, tasty, and something that wouldn't make too much food. Spaghetti was what made the cut.

Took about 25 minutes to whip together, and makes a lovely little lunch.

Sadly, this wasn't some homemade sauce. I admit, it came from a jar. However, I love to spruce this stuff up.

I start with some mild italian sausage, some onion, and garlic. Saute that until the onions are tender and the garlic/sausage aromatic. I then add the sauce and heat through. Delicious! Unfortnately, I was out of spaghetti noodles, and didn't have time to make them, so fettuccine noodles did fine.

Now, what do I have with this? I decided some mixed veggies, fruit and garlic rolls were a great idea.

Broccoli, raddish, and carrots for dipping.

Yummy, sweet, tangerines.

Once again, I ask: would this be something you'd like? What do you usually eat with spaghetti? Are you having a good day?

Let me know!

Guess what time it is?! It's time to look at some more of my cute bento stuff. This is my Tomo Tomo box.
It says: Let's enjoy a time with me! Let's indeed, little box!

I love this things, it's perfect for holidng the little things that just won't fit when I stuff my box full. And, I love giraffes, even if I had to look up how to spell giraffe.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Number Ichii!

Can you believe that it is 2011 already? Most people are happy to see 2010 go, but it was a decent enough year in the world of yours truly. However, I'm always hopeful this new year will be going even better. Hope everyone had a safe and happy evening and didn't make any resolutions you can keep. I always keep mine. Always...

But you don't care about that crap. No no, you want to see the damn box, don't you. Well hold your horses, dudes. I'm getting there.

I really wasn't sure what to do for my first box. I knew it had to be awesome, but I also wanted it to be easy. Especially since I was planning it on New Years Eve. I had other things to be doing, dangit. Like playing Super Mario and watching Mythbusters. Important things, people.

New Years Eve is my dear husbands birthday, and so he got to pick what we made for our late night dinner, after I took him out for a late lunch. He wanted hot wings. Sriracha hot wings to be exact. Oh my gosh, these things are
devine! They have an awesome slow burn and yet tons of flavor. Sweet, savory, and spicy all at once. We did end up frying ours, but I'd love to try it the way the recipe states some day. I prefer to dip mine in some buttermilk ranch, but the boy loves his blue cheese.
Aaah, don't those look tasty? But... what to eat with them? I want something that's going to cool down my mouth when I'm eating something so spicy, and I'm not a fan of celery. What is a girl to do?
Carrot sticks! These guys go great in that buttermilk ranch I love so much, and also aid in the cooling down of my mouth, so they are a perfect accompaniment. Chicken and carrots didn't seem like much, but would be surprisingly filling. Still, I felt as if I should have a little more vitamins included in the lunch. So, broccoli and a couple mandarin oranges balance out this tasty bento.

Would this be a lunch you looked forward to, or would you skip out on one or all my choices? Do you think I'm blasphemous for packing hot wings in my bento box, or am I simply imaginative? Let me know!