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June 29, 2007

Meat Jun & BBQ Chicken

This morning I had the latest newsletter from J-list in my Inbox and I was so devastated to read that they've got a booth at AX! *sob* To think I could have been bento shopping while covering an FFXI event at the same time! *cry cry*

Ok I got all my emo out, on to the bento for today!

We ate takeout from Kim Chee 7 last night and I took a piece of Mr. Pikko's extremely oily but oh-so-good meat jun for my lunch. Kim Chee serves good everything. Their chicken is juicy and tasty, the meat jun is soft and well marinated, they have KILLER sauces, the shrimp tempura is HUGE and onolicious, and their soup and veggies are really good. My only "complaint" is that their cabbage and bean sprouts namul are nowhere near as good as Gina's. I've eaten at Kim Chee 2 in Kaimuki and 7 at Westridge. I have no clue where Kim Chees 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are! Haha!

This is my other new box, a 2-tier piggie bento box! (pic below) It's got a food divider, which I love. None of my other boxes have had them and I'm so giddy about it! This layer has my veggies tucked snugly into one side and that includes: cabbage, bean sprouts, daikon kim chee, seaweed, and kim chee. On the other side is more half brown half white rice with sliced BBQ chicken and the piece of meat jun. There is meat jun sauce in the little thermos.

The lower layer contains my fruits which are cherries, kiwi, and some peeled lychee. If you've never had lychee before ohhh, it's good stuff. The only problem is the peeling! Augh I hate it!! My dad will just bite into the shell and eat it like that but I find that so gross cause the shell is so bitter, yech!! But even though I like lychee a lot, I'll take rambutan over lychee any day! This paragraph needs moar !!

Here is the box all closed up and ready to go. Aren't the lil piggies so cute? I still can't believe I won this for one $5, what a steal!

I've kinda ditched my 5 points per day diet for the last few days and switched to a higher point "maintenance" allowance. I figure one week of flatlining isn't going to make me balloon up. My class reunion is this Sunday, thank goodness I've slimmed down so much. It would have so sucked to be fat at the luncheon. D:

June 28, 2007

Curry Croquette

My husband has expressed distate at being referred to as "Mr. Pikko" so for today I will refer to him as Pokko, which was the name of his character back when he played FFXI with me. After this, I'll switch back to Mr. Pikko just to be evil. *snicker* Anyway, Pokko received his call for new season tickets today and he managed to get us the amount of tickets we wanted, though not in the section he'd been told by another lady. We'll probably go buy them later this week and once we do, guess what that means?!? Solid excuses to make football game bentos for the entire UH home football season of twelve weeks! Not thirteen! *cough* hermanfraizersuxass *cough*

Two days ago my latest bento treasure arrived from Japan. I got this beauty for a very reasonable $5.00 plus combined shipping with another box I will use soon. Isn't it wonderful!??! I do believe this is the nicest one I have now.

Inside I have pan fried asparagus on one end, then a curry croquette sliced in half and laid next to some brown/white rice. I have no idea what the croquette will taste like, but it's only 2 points, which I felt was a great deal for something so big. I fried it in the leftover oil from the asparagus so there are little flecks of very tasty burnt garlic on it.

Not only was this awesomest box pretty, but it came with a matching bag!

Today I was supposed to be on a plane to Los Angeles to attend the Anime Expo 2007 but instead I am here at home. The trip had to be canceled due to another engagement I have to take care of. I'm bummed, but I've been promised some of the loot from AX so it's not a total loss! And as a bonus I was 128.6 yesterday morning!

June 27, 2007

Mango Wazowski

I think I mentioned before that character bentos were killing me. Too bad I didn't remember that earlier when I started on today's bento, which was done for this week's bento challenge. The theme this week is favorite Pixar characters so I chose Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. I debated doing Boo as well, but after finding a picture of her I decided that much cute in a bento might kill people.

Mike is made out of cigar mango skin, thus the title "Mango Wazowski". He is lying on a slice of yellow peach with some bing cherries to keep him company. There is mango on the other side so I'll definitely eat him. His eye is made out of sliced Baby Bonbel cheese with a nori pupil and mouth.

Ok... the teeth. Extreme close-up. The teeth are sesame seeds cut in half applied with some extra sticky rice and a pair of tweezers. Mr. Pikko came into the kitchen while I was applying the teeth because I was moaning and groaning about my back. When he saw me slicing sesame seeds in half with my X-Acto knife he said I was insane. I wasn't going to even post Mike because I didn't really like how he turned out, but he insisted that Mike looked fine. I realize that mango does not go well with nori and sesame seeds but give me a little leeway here.

For the smaller layer I put a little portion of yakisoba from the freezer, sliced fishcake, and oh! What a surprise! Meatballs! Haha! I'm not packing a salad or anything else because tomorrow I'm going to some work picnic and I have to help setup and cook food. I'm going to eat this before we leave so that when it's time to eat lunch I'll be moderately full already. Sadly, this layer is 5 points all by itself, so I'll have to stick to all core foods at the picnic and at dinner.

June 26, 2007

Mapo Tofu

My ultimate mother-in-law (she'd kick your MIL's ass in a cooking contest for sure) made us beef broccoli and her version of non-spicy mapo tofu yesterday. Her mapo tofu is one of my favorite dishes of hers, behind her spare ribs, which completely own me. I decided to take only some of the tofu because I needed a lower point lunch today to help me get back on track.

Due to my husband's claim that onions are responsible for everything from cancer to blindness, she chops green onions and then banishes them to one side of the pan. I felt bad because I know what a pain it can be to chop them so fine and with the green onions put in time-out, no one took them. I ate a bunch of them and was happy to take more to accent my lunch.

To help me make it through the day I packed a veggie bento. The top layer has asparagus fried in olive oil and garlic salt. I made too much so Mr. Pikko and I had a few of the extras. Pan frying is the best way imo. I've done them in the oven before but I get bored standing around then forget about it and by the time I get back they're past the point of no return and I end up with olive green limp stalks instead of bright green spears of goodness. With pan frying I stand there constantly flipping it around and can pick them out as they're done.

On the bottom is a small KCCA Salad. I just realized that it sounds like a radio station, haha! Speaking of radio, if any of my Hawaii readers happened to be listening to the Leaheys on Kumu yesterday, I was the Crystal that called in asking if they were going to interview BJ Penn. I get so nervous calling radio stations, but luckily didn't stutter more than once this time.

I want to thank all of the people that have been rallying and voting for me at Allakhazam. You guys have gotten me over 50 votes in just one day!! <3

June 25, 2007

Loving Turkey Sandwiches

I am famous (at least within my own little household) for buying food on sale and then forgetting that I have it until either:

a) I want to use it, but it's long expired or
b) I accidentally find it the day before expiration

"B" was the situation I found myself in last night while deciding what to make for today's bento. I'd bought two packs of the Oscar Mayer deli style turkey breast cause sometimes I like to just sit there and eat it by itself. Well it has a 'use by' date of yesterday, so I had to go with turkey sandwiches again even though I'd just recently done the star shaped turkey sandwiches.

There's a bed of sliced baby carrots underneath the sandwiches and I intend to put the tomatoes on top of the kim chee crab avocado salad I brought. And now that I mention that, I'm going to start referring to that as "KCCA Salad" just so that I can shorten it a bit. On the bottom layer is cubed cigar mango, which my dad was kind enough to buy at the swap meet in Hilo and ship over along with what seemed like my son's weight in lychee. Thanks Dad!!

Cigar mango is hands down my favorite mango, ahead of even the great revered Hayden mango! I haven't had Hayden mango in a while actually. My grandfather-in-law had a Hayden and a Puree mango tree, but since he passed away the house has been rented out and we don't get to pick those any more. :( He had some big bambucha ones too. I think the biggest I had was like the size of two softballs. I've tried to buy at the Kam swap meet but since the sellers there have all stolen their mangos they don't really know what kind they are and pretty much automatically just call it hayden. Plus some of them are so scared someone will steal them before they can, they pick them so green you might as well make pickle mango out of it. I dunno, maybe I'll have better luck this summer.

I was 131.8 this morning, so I've got my work cut out for me this week. Leave it to me to blow last week's progress all in one day! D:

June 24, 2007

Zoo Bento

As I mentioned earlier today we took a trip to the zoo so I went to Foodland earlier this morning to get a few things such as stir-fry veggies, fishcake, and some turkey hotdogs. The kidlets were driving me absolutely BANANAS so preparing the lunch took a lot longer than expected and by the time I was done it was 5 to noon, so Mr. Pikko suggested we just eat at home. It would have been nice to actually eat it out, but in the end I figured it was more convenient to eat at home anyway.

I used my large 3 tier bento box but only needed to use the top layer since we were the only ones going. There are spam musubis on the right. I made 9 musubis and then froze 5 so that next time I can just bust them out and nuke em. Same for the yakisoba, I was able to freeze 5 separate servings for future bentos.

On top of the yakisoba are some crab hotdogs! I was finally able to use them, I was so thrilled!! I mauled a couple until I got the hang of how to use it, then cooked them in the same sauce I'd used to make the spam musubi. The legs and pincers fanned out after they'd been cooked for a bit. To go with the hotdogs I made two round onigiri for the kids decorated with the new nori punches I got. For the cheeks I lightly dabbed them with some red hana ebi (colored shrimp flakes). It needed color and they looked nice and cheerful after I dabbed it on! Last of all is some sliced vegetable fishcake.

The zoo was fun, but right after the elephants some poor little girl about 6 or 7 fell down hard and was screaming something awful. Hubby suggested I go over and offer whatever I had in my little first aid kit and when I got over there it was horrifying. Her mouth was full of blood and her mom was saying that two of her teeth were gone. *CRINGE*

After the zoo we went to eat Japanese food and I had sushi. I gained four pounds today, hahahaha!! Hopefully the 2 1/2 hours of walking around the zoo with a bag full of water bottles and sleeping will bam that down to at least 131 or something so I don't have to feel like such a porker after just reaching a nice goal. But even with that weight gain, here is my picture as promised.

If you're wondering why I took my own picture in the bathroom and why I'm not looking up, it's cause I tried to get Baby Girl to take my picture but she's too short so all the pictures ended up looking like they were taken by.. well, a 3 year old. The front view picture turned out too blurry and I'm too lazy to go take another one already. The ones where I'm looking up look kinda creepy cause I'm looking above the camera angle. I don't know how to explain it, but trust me, it looks scary.

So anyway, this is me exactly three months after joining Weight Watchers. I canceled yesterday and left them a nice feedback message. Hopefully I'll be able to reach my goal on my own and maintain successfully from there!

Garden Update

I meant to post this yesterday, but ended up going shopping for clothes with Baby Girl. When I woke up yesterday I'd done what I'd once never thought possible, I broke through 130 lbs!! As of this morning I weighed 129.2 lbs! Since I am going to the Anime Expo in Long Beach, I needed new clothes anyway. Pretty much all of my pants are falling off my waist and my dress shirts make me look like I'm wearing a small tent. This is all ok when all I do is sit in my freezing cubicle wearing a really oversized hoodie, but very different when I'm going to be covering an event where there's, you know, people.

Much to my dismay, I actually fit into a size 4 pants from my favorite store. The clerk commented, "I wish I was a size 4. Maybe in my next life." I was about to tell her that 4 months ago I was closing in on size 14, but the look on her face made me unsure of whether she wanted to hear that. We're going to the zoo today, so I'm going to be too busy packing lunch for us to take the pictures I wanted to. I'll probably get hubby to take some at the zoo.

Here are the garden pictures:

Our 2 beans!
My poor, sick tomatoes
Close-up of tomatoes

Here's a picture of a bug I saw on the beans. I don't think it's necessarily the leafminer as the pictures on the internet look very different, but that's what I see on our plants.

We have 4 teeeeeny tiny watermelons like this one:

They're like 1/2 cm long, that's how small they are!! I'm so excited though!! :)

June 22, 2007

Starry Bento

This morning as I was watering the plants, I was ecstatic to find two string beans growing on Baby Girl's plant!!! We're so thrilled!! Even though I know she doesn't like green beans, she's very excited about giving them to Grandma to cook for her dinner. I'll post a garden update tomorrow. The watermelon plant is doing awesome too. My tomatoes are unfortunately quite sickly and yellow. Damned leafminers. Grr!!

My friend went to Japan last month and I'd asked him to keep an eye out for these cute nori punches I wanted from eBay. The shipping was something stupid, like $16. A cheapy girl like me is incapable of paying so much shipping!!! Anyway, he and his girlfriend brought it by the other day and he gave it to me as a gift. Infinite thanks to you Shawn!!! Even more awesome, turns out his girlfriend is into bento too. I've used it in today's bento and I totally love it already!! This will be sooo valuable for making kids bentos! As I mentioned earlier this week, the bento challenge theme is "stars". So without further ado, my starry bento:

Two onigiri with the nori punch faces plus two meatballs to go with it, pierced with a starfish food pick. In the green cup I have some sanbaizuke pickles. Off to the side are star shaped sweet potato and bell peppers. I had to put the bell peppers because the purple stars were real hard to see, plus I wanted more color.

Someone commented in a previous post that the Aidell's meatballs are very salty. I do agree they're quite spicy and rather salty, but I'm one that puts soy sauce on plain rice and chucks salt on my food like crazy, so I apologize if I've caused people to try something with too much sodium! I've still got buttloads of meatballs to use up, so expect to see meatball bentos for a while! My deadline to use them is July 9.

I'm back down to 130.8 as of this morning, so this 4 point lunch should be ok. Can I break the 130 barrier this weekend??

June 21, 2007

Pointless Bento

I got on the scale this morning and I'd gained a pound and a half, so apparently my 3 day dessert binge this past weekend has finally caught up with me. Plus we ate sushi last night and though I didn't eat much, I ate past being satisfied then had Jamba Juice afterwards. *sheepish face* So today, I have an all Core bento, which I decided needed a nice joke to spruce it up. It's point-less. GET IT? Ahahaha! No? Well, fine then. I thought it was punny.

One side has my kim chee crab and the avocado on top. The other side has some cucumber pickles that I made this morning. I finally bought this book I'd been wanting on Amazon called Easy Japanese Pickling in 5 Minutes to One Day and though this is only the first recipe I've tried and I haven't yet eaten the pickles, the book itself looks pretty awesome. It's got lots of nifty pictures and easy instructions. The recipes themselves have very few ingredients. The one I chose today is called "Tosa Style Cucumber Pickles" and it took me less than five minutes to prepare. They're to soak for 20 minutes but I only had enough time to let them soak for 15. I figured they'd be sitting in my bento for a bit anyway so it didn't matter. It's basically a sliced cucumber with shaved bonito and soy sauce. We'll see how it tastes.

My fruit layer consists of yellow peach and a few strawberries. These are the good strawberries I have. To me there are two different varieties of strawberries and I can always tell which ones are the ones I like. At Costco I bought a big box of the yuckier ones (they look fat and the seeds stick out) to make fruit leather cause I bought a food dehydrator to preserve the Costco fruits we can't manage to eat in time. It's pretty awesome and the kids love it even though there's no sugar added.

Instead of showing a boring picture of what is just lettuce in my top layer, here is a picture of my bento all packed up in my Doggie Woogie container. Though this is one of my most costly bento boxes, I've found that it was well worth it. I've used it on many occasions and it's the perfect size for taking a day's worth of food to work instead of packing 3 different bento boxes.

June 20, 2007


We had yummy tonkatsu last night and I took a few pieces for lunch today. Having fallen down a couple of stairs and twisting my ankle yesterday, it clearly rattled my brains because I forgot to bring sauce!! :( Lucky thing I have some Aloha Shoyu packets here to save the day! Since I had a hard time walking around the kitchen this morning, my bento had to be done rather quickly and I didn't have time to re-do it after being unhappy with the result.

There's a bit of corn underneath the katsu, but I couldn't fit the katsu without hiding it!

I got approval yesterday to cover the Anime Expo in Long Beach, so I will have to start planning on where I can go bento shopping. If anyone lives in LA and knows where to go, please let me know!!! Don't know where I'll be staying yet, but hopefully it's close to some bento-ish stores! I'll also have to plan my breakfast bento because last time I went to LA I got pwned by the airport food prices. $8.00 ham sandwich FTL!

June 19, 2007

BBQ Chicken

This week's bento challenge is a 'stars' theme so I made two star shaped onigiri this morning. Unfortunately I topped it with furikake so you can't even tell they're stars, so I'm not going to submit this one. I'll think of some other way to make a starry bento! My brother-in-law-to-be made us BBQ chicken last night and it was very yummy so I happily took some for my lunch today. We'd also had some stuffed chicken breasts from Costco but I didn't take that since it has shiitake mushrooms in it. (I'm allergic to mushrooms, *sob*) That tasted pretty good too though, I'd tried a piece with no stuffing on it and surprisingly, it had very little fat and calories.

Pic is a bit blurry cause I guess I forgot to sharpen the image. I can fix that later tonight. I added some sliced baby carrots and a mini Babybel, which have grown on me quite a bit. I think the yellow ones taste better, but the reds are good too. 4 point lunch today with the rice and cheese, but I had only a 3 point day yesterday, so I can afford it!

June 18, 2007

Chicken Fried Rice

I went to Marukai on Friday and it was basically a total phail trip. The only new item I found for myself was this packet of tiny Miffy paper cups for the kids and even that I found completely by chance in the gardening section. Everything else was nearly gone. Hopefully I will be luckier on my next trip, for now all I was able to accomplish was some bento box purchasing for an Allakhazam forumite. Still no egg molds, furikake bottles, reusable divider cups, or bento straps for the putifresh boxes. Bah!!

We ate out at Monterey Bay Canners and I was betrayed by my waiter. I decided to get fish and since they had Opakapaka (pink snapper) on the menu I decided to get that. There was a version "stuffed with crab salad" and so I asked how they cook it and he said they bake it then top it with the crab salad. I figured being on track meant I could splurge a bit on points and get the salad because it most definitely would come with mayo.

Well the food comes and he plops this bowl of goo in front of me. I was like, "Excuse me, I ordered the opakapaka." Turns out that IS the opakapaka, only he kindly forgot to tell me that they douse the frickin' thing in a butter cream sauce. Overall, it wasn't the greatest of experiences. The kids' chicken nuggets were way burnt, the calamari we ordered was over-fried, my sis in law didn't like her steak, and hubby said his prime rib wasn't that good. Plus it irritated me that he brought the kids food last. Meanwhile my son is so hungry he's thrashing his head against the back of his highchair. The fish was good, though I had to immediately bail it out of it's little fishing boat dish in the hopes that would help me avoid a few thousand more calories.

Lunch today is chicken fried rice simply made by chopping up some leftover Costco chicken and adding 1/2 cup of rice, a little Aloha shoyu, and then topped with furikake.

My bottom layer has asparagus and edamame. Boy do I looove the pre-cooked frozen stuff! All I do is wash the ice off and throw it in and by the time lunch rolls around it's all defrosted and ready to eat! :D Sides today include kim chee crab and avocado salad, a fruit bento with strawberries and cherries, and a crispy yellow peach.

Today was weigh-in day and despite being reeeeally naughty this weekend (Milano Freezer frozen yogurt on Friday, a Jello Cream Cheese square from Zippy's on Saturday, and Milano Freezer again on Sunday) I lost weight again! As of this morning I am 130.3 lbs! Yesterday at dinner I got told by two people in separate conversations that I look like I lost a lot of weight. My MIL said I looked really good in my jeans. I will probably be buying a points calculator and then canceling my Weight Watchers subscription to save money. The "switching to maintenance" article showed up for me and says that to maintain, I'd get 9 points a day instead of 5. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and 9 points seems SO doable to maintain my weight. I'm so so glad that I decided on Weight Watchers and I hope that anyone I inspired to start up finds the same success that I did. <3

June 15, 2007

Oyako donburi w/ fried rice

The portion of fried rice I defrosted yesterday had too much in the bag, so I'm using up the rest of it in today's lunch. We had ribs for dinner last night and I didn't want to eat that two days in a row so I was yet again lunchless last night and had to come up with something based on the contents of the fridge. Since I need to use my leftover stash because it's threatening to cause freezer asplodage, I chose the donburi.

This will be a real bento for me (by real I mean, "to go") because I took the day off to run errands and do some bento shopping for a couple people so I'm going to heat it up soon and eat it in the car during a break or something. This second layer has tofu cubes and some edamame on sticks. I forgot to pack soy sauce before I took the picture so it actually has a little piggy bottle in it.

I was 131.1 this morning, woot! Weight Watchers advises you to not get on the scale more than on your weigh-in day, but I'm more the kind of person that needs to know how I'm doing to keep the momentum so I check every single night and morning. I'd read in Reader's Digest that people have an easier time keeping the weight off when they weigh themselves daily, so I took their little tip to heart and it's been good for me so far. I'm sure it's different for others. I think next week I will take a picture of myself to show my progress at last!

June 14, 2007

Red Rabbit Bento

Someone e-mailed me yesterday saying what a great advertiser I am for Weight Watchers. Haha! That's really nice to hear! Anytime you have questions feel free to comment or e-mail me, I'll be happy to answer. We went to a wedding on Saturday and though I had an entire plate of food, almost the whole thing was Core and I ended up eating a slice of cheesecake. Just goes to show that you can eat at a buffet and still stay on track!

The chicken meatballs have been an attraction for MIL since that day at the beach so she went down to Costco and bought some for dinner last night. They're a little spicy, but taste so good! These aren't hers though... I am still nursing that second bag of meatballs that I had bought. So if you see a meatball tucked in here and there in the coming weeks, you know why.

This bento features a red rabbit egg! I used my egg mold and then intended to dye it pink but ended up putting too much food coloring, leaving me with red fingers and a red bunny. Extreme close-up!

I dug out some of my frozen kim chee fried rice for the starch. The peas looked rather pale, so I took out some frozen ones and mixed them in with the rice to look brighter. The meatballs are on lettuce and I added takuan, carrot, and daikon kim chee to fill in spaces around the red rabbit egg.

I've begun to realize that I eat a crazy amount of food during the day... I mean, I eat an omelette for breakfast, I pack a lunch, a salad, and a fruit salad too. Sometimes I eat popcorn. Then when I get home I eat another salad, dinner, then a fruit snack again. I'm thinking maybe my metabolism has perked up again. It probably helps that I'm eating a lot of fibrous foods!

June 13, 2007

Spaghetti & artichokes

I've made a really funky looking bento today because I had a specific set of things to work with, namely spaghetti and artichokes. I bought the artichokes as a bag of four from Costco 2 trips ago and keep forgetting about them because they're hiding behind the huge gallons of milk in the fridge. While trying to figure out what to put into my spaghetti bento, I finally remembered the poor lost thistles.

I hadn't eaten one since I was a kid but do remember loving them a lot. Mayonaisse was the only thing I could remember us eating it with so I looked online and every place says to eat it with mayo dang it! Since I didn't even know how to cook one, I looked around for a guide and eventually found this one. It has great pictures and step by step instructions! Adding the garlic bulb and bay leaf actually did add a lot of taste and it was quite good with no mayo at all.

Pay close attention to where it says to cut off the tips, Mr. Pikko actually poked himself on one of the thorns bringing the bag in from the car and his thumb was actually oozing blood. And now that I think about it, artichokes look a little like the Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors! zomg!

There's a bed of artichoke petals underneath obviously, then the heart is chopped up and on top of the spaghetti, which I mixed up this time. This is organic whole wheat spaghetti, so I don't need to count it as points today, though I did cave in and just eat the regular spaghetti noodles for dinner last night. I fried some chopped bell peppers with a bit of pam, pepper, and garlic powder to add color since the artichoke hearts really didn't look that appetizing. I'm also packing a small green salad that I took from dinner leftovers last night. I don't have any avocado cause the one that I bought was like half black inside, but the crab alone should taste great anyway.

While I was putting this one together it occured to me that my very first bento post was spaghetti in Baby Girl's pink Hello Kitty bento box. That was on April 26, about 1 1/2 months ago! I should go back and count how many bentos I've made since then!

Edit: I just so happen to peek outside with a flashlight at the garden and holy crap my tomato plants were doing straight leg toe-touches! I ran right outside to water the poor things and noticed white larva looking things under the leaves. Curses up on you, leafminers!!! Out of our whole garden, Baby Girl's watermelon is doing the best. They've got little vines now!

June 12, 2007

Heart-y Hamburger Stew

One of my favorite things to cook and eat is hamburger stew. I like regular beef stew too but there's just something about hamburger stew that I just love. Zippy's makes a pretty good hamburger curry too, though I've only had the pleasure of eating it a couple of times.

Stew doesn't really make for very good bento looking food, so I jazzed up my rice instead. If you're a little perplexed as to why I'd eat rice with my stew, that's what we eat stew with in Hawaii. "Stew rice" is what we call it, so original no? Or maybe I'm just a big dodo head and everyone eats stew with rice and I just didn't know about it.

I shaped my rice into two onigiri hearts to make me some "hearty" beef stew. Get it? Har har! The only ingredient in this stew that would cost points is the flour used to thicken it (and the rice obviously, but that's on the side). I don't count the hamburger because I used extra lean and WW counts extra lean hamburger as a Core food. How nice is that? So anyway, this is approximately a 3 point meal or so. There's no way I can finish all that stew in one sitting, so I'll probably split it into two smaller lunches to last me all day. I also packed cherries and strawberries, which I did not photo.

I weighed in at 132.2 yesterday and 132.0 this morning, which means my weight loss has hit 18 pounds!!! ^_^ I'd say 2.5 lbs weight loss in one week means I'm pretty good at staying on Core even without using the WW planner! All I do is give myself 5 points a day and that seems to work great.

June 11, 2007

Veggie Chicken Nuggets

Buddy is still sick with fever but Baby Girl is not, so she was kinda bummed not being able to go do anything. To help make the day more fun I made her a bento and set her up next to the sliding door with her little dollies so that she could have a little picnic lunch with her "babies". I found these things at Foodland that said frozen chik'n nuggets but the smaller print said they were actually made out of vegetables. Since my niece has so kindly taught my daughter that "vegetables are stinky" I bought them right away. She ended up eating three of em, which is really good!

I added in two shaped onigiri sprinkled with pink furikake, some steamed corn, and a mini Babybel. The Babybel turned out to be a bad idea as she decided 1 bite into the first nugget that the cheese was where the fun was at. It took a deal with Daddy, a lot of glaring, reasoning, pouting, scolding, and finally feeding to get her to eat the nuggets. Next time I put carrots in there!!!

June 10, 2007

Walk Now for Autism

I haven't had any bentos this weekend due to some sick kiddos. We are hoping to go to the zoo or beach tomorrow since it's Kamehameha Day so perhaps I'll have one to post then, if they're feeling better.

Anyway, my post today is off-topic to help my nephew reach his pledge goal in the Walk Now for Autism event. You can check the main Walk Now for Autism if you would like to participate in a local walk event this summer. My nephew is a bright, energetic, and cheerful boy and it is very hard to watch how his diagnosis has affected his family. Currently, they're trying a gluten-free, casein-free diet for him in the hopes that he shows improvement. I hope with all my heart that eventually a cure will be found.

June 8, 2007

Teriyaki/Pineapple Chicken Meatballs

Last night we ate Chinese and I am happy to report that I was successful in cramming my mouth with so much broccoli, Chinese peas, and ong choi that I didn't have much room for rice or gau gee. I think that's the key. Fill yourself up by eating tons of the veggies first, then when you get to the stuff you really want like cake noodles, gau gee, and breaded meats you can't really fit any more than a few bites for the sake of the taste on your tongue.

I have been so swamped with at-home work all week that I needed a fast and easy bento today. I ended up putting in some meatballs, soy beans, and two frozen onigiri. It took me all of 5 minutes to put together, which totally rocks!! I didn't heat it up because I figured that's easily done at work during lunchtime. Now that I look at the picture though, the arrangement looks a bit strange... Maybe next time I'll only put in one onirigi. Looks like my bento is looking at me!! I should have gone the whole way and added some pupils!

This is a 6 point lunch, kinda nuts for me on Core but I lost weight again today so I'm still confident on my progress this week. The meatballs are from Costco in case I forgot to mention that last time. Nuke for 2 minutes and they're ready. And surprisingly, they are only 1 point each meatball, probably because they're made out of chicken. Very yummy! We were at Costco again last night and unfortunately, they still didn't have any of these things in stock. If you see it, grab some! Aidell's brand. :D

June 7, 2007

Teriyaki beef

During my first trip to Marukai I bought this $1.49 bento box in a horrid orange color with 3 weird monkeys on the cover and the words, "Do you like living here? Yes I like it a lot". I have no idea what possessed me to buy it or why I bought 3 thinking I could sell them on eBay. Maybe the $1.49 price tag just fried my brain and from then on I was doomed. Anyway, that's the box I used today. The really creepy cover aside, it's a great size bento box!

We ate some very yummy teriyaki beef last night so I had to take some for lunch. I used one of my many onigiri molds to make a flower shaped musubi with an ume in the middle. Unfortunately the beef had touched the rice on the way home so some of it was brown. My poor flower has wilt! The ume also stained some of the flower because I wasn't careful as I pressed it in. These little umes are a little different from the bigger, wrinkly looking ones but they're definitely cuter. They seem crazy expensive too, like $5.00 for a small container of maybe 40 plums. I try to look at it as 40 bentos worth of ume and that makes it seem not too bad. As you can see, I put in broccoli and daikon kim chee for veggies. I also packed my crab avocado salad and two white peaches, but you already know what that must look like, lol!

I went back on what I said earlier this week and have not been using the online Weight Watchers points planner like I said I would. I wanted to continue my self-regulating Core diet to see how my weight would do without a complete Snarf-fest to start off the week. So far I seem to be doing pretty good, I broke 133 lbs this morning and weighed in at 132.7! ^_^

June 6, 2007

Zippy's Chili

We ate Zippy's Chili last night, which is without a doubt the best chili to be found in Hawaii. If you are reading this from the mainland and you know what I'm talking about, are ya homesick yet? Hehe! I used to eat only the beanless chili but after finding out that chili with beans is less points than without, I decided to give bean chili a shot again and found out that it's pretty good. There was a lot leftover, so I took some for today's lunch. It doesn't look all that appealing in a bento, but hey, it really makes up for it in taste.

I dug out my very very first "bento" container from years and years ago. It's a really old fashioned stainless steel Zebra 3-tier food carrier which I'm sure Hawaii old-timers would recognize right away. I bought it forever ago at some little store at the Hilo Shopping Center. The thing had really shrunk in my mind because when I finally did dig it out I was like, "WTF! It's so huge!" Probably because it's meant to carry food for more than one person. But anyway...

I stuck my Doggie Woogie divider in there to keep the chili separate then added in a little tiny container of ahi shoyu poke and another tiny one of dried daikon kim chee. I bought the kim chee from Kim Chee when we ate there last weekend. They sold me a pretty big tub for $2.00, which is actually cheaper than the smaller tub of cucumber kim chee I buy. It's really yummy. It looks wet but is called dried daikon kim chee because it's, well, dried and then soaked in sauces and such.

No surprise here, yet another kim chee crab and avocado salad! Hehe.. For the last layer I packed a chopped fuji apple and a sliced white peach. I ate like 4 of these peaches on Sunday because eating fruit from Costco is a race against time. You stand in the warehouse looking at the box of really yummy looking fruit and you think to yourself, I can eat it before it rots... I think. And then you get home with 3 types of fruits and you're like CRAP I can't even fit it in my fridge! I'll have to eat what's left outside! *sob* And then the next time you go to Costco you see a new batch of berries and you're like, ooooo. A vicious cycle I tell ya.

I know what you're thinking: Oink! Oink! The reason I've packed so much food is because this whole week we've been getting in to work by 7:45 am so as to prepare Baby Girl for a preschool routine. This means that I'm waking up and eating breakfast two hours earlier than before so now I'm hungry by 10 or so. I'll eat the salad around 10ish, the chili at around 1, and snack on the fruits around 3 or 4. If I don't pack enough to last me all day I end up eating more at dinner, which is what I want to avoid. We ate hot dogs with the chili last night and I almost passed out after seeing the nutritional info so I just ate half of one. I'm not sure how many points the chili is, but the Wendy's chili isn't too bad, so going on that I'm still on track for the week. And hey, I'm back down to 133.5! :D

June 5, 2007

Turkey Sandwiches

I was able to make my lightbox last night and it didn't come out so good. So much for "couldn't be easier to use"! I should have known that something labeled so easy was going to have the fine print "except for short dorky Asian girls named Crystal" where I wouldn't see it. Good thing it only cost me like a dollar to make it! It's not completely sucky though, as I was able to use it for my pictures this morning. I do like the seamless white background so that I don't have to wrestle with my dirty white kitchen towels anymore. I blame me not having good lights. These photos were taken after I removed the top side tracing paper and then placed the lightbox under the stove lights.

I've really missed bread and since I had a 2 point lunch and an all Core dinner yesterday (steak, salad, onions, zucchini) it seemed ok to finally eat some. Lunch today consists of star shaped turkey sandwiches made with Roman Meal Honey Oat Wheat bread, lettuce, 96% FF turkey, bell pepper, and Laughing Cow Light Swiss used instead of mayonnaise.

The swiss is a pretty soft cheese, so I just mushed it up a little bit and then it spread onto the bread with no problems. I used bell pepper because it's a brighter red and tomatoes were going to be too messy. Filled in the spaces with some julienned baby carrots and grape tomatoes. I bought a small box of the grape tomatoes at Foodland. They were pretty expensive at $3.99 for the box, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that I won't be letting 100+ tomatoes rot in my fridge. Plus, these particular grape tomatoes are super sweet!

My sister-in-law gave us a pack of pre-cut fruits including honeydew melon, watermelon, cantaloupe, and pineapple so I sliced them up and put them into my fruit layer then added two strawberry flowers. Now that I look at the picture I'm sad that I didn't notice that my strawberry flowers don't have their seeds aligned. :(

I may be tired of lomi salmon, but I'm still not tired of Kim Chee Crab & Avocado Salad!! This stuff really is SO good and so I couldn't resist packing another one today. Mr. Pikko keeps raiding the tub of crab and saying "ohhh so good!" so I have to use it if I want to eat any! ^_^

Bento challenge this week is Sci Fi TV and though I'm dying to do some kind of Battlestar Galactica bento, I have no fracking clue what to make...

June 4, 2007

Shrimp & Broccoli Chow Mein

My in-laws gave us a bunch of frozen shrimp they couldn't use so I used it to make some thrown-together-haphazardly dinner last night. The shrimp is seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The noodles were cooked with a can of chicken broth thickened with a little bit of cornstarch to make a nice sauce. Tasted pretty good for a totally eyeballed recipe!

Extreme close-up! I didn't take too much of the noodles because that would add a lot of points to this. My second layer is just all lomi salmon, which is pretty zzz by now so I didn't take a picture. If you're sick of seeing it in my bentos, trust me, I'm sick of eating it.

I haven't weighed in yet, but I'm pretty sure I gained at least a pound this week. I blame Monday's beach pig-out and the peanut butter cookies that I baked for Mr. Pikko. It didn't help that I decided to go "rogue" from Weight Watchers this past week because of the weakened start. I kinda told myself that I needed a naughty week and was also curious on my results of being on my own while trying to follow Core. Just goes to show you how easily one can slip back into old habits. Either that or Monday was a lot worse than I thought it was. This week I am back to strict points keeping. Last week I was calculating points but not writing them down, which apparently is quite bad.

But now that I've dispensed with the bad news, the good! I bought my first pair of jeans in like 7 years this weekend and was stunned to find that I can fit into a size 6 now. I still remember that sad shopping trip years and years ago where I found that I had ventured into the double digit size range. I never bought or wore jeans again. It felt good to buy them and it gave me the encouragement I needed to get back on track. My goal weight is just 10 lbs away!

June 2, 2007

Korean BBQ Chicken

As you may have noticed to the right, I signed up for the Best Food Blog at the Blogger's Choice Awards. At first I thought it'd be incredibly lame of me to sign myself up but then Mr. Pikko said he didn't see anything wrong if others did it. I don't expect to win at all, but I like little contests like that! ^_^

We ate at Kim Chee 7 last night and though I ordered a small portion BBQ chicken, they gave me a full size so even with sharing with the two kidlets we still had leftovers. Today there's a softball tournament we're watching and so I packed up a bento for Buddy to eat and we planned to pick up something for Baby Girl. I also packed a salad for myself, but ended up eating this at home during an intermission.

On the left side there's chopped up BBQ chicken (Kim Chee has the best chicken on Oahu imo, though Gina's at Market City has the best vegetables hands down), bean sprouts namul, and kim chee. On the right is rice with Seto Fumi furikake. In addition to the food I packed fruits:

This has sliced strawberries and pitted cherries. It looks like a lot of food for an 18 month old boy, but he ate every bit down to the last tiny piece of strawberry. My salad: (click it to enlarge)

This consists of thinly sliced romaine lettuce topped with 1/4th of an avocado and some kim chee crab. The kim chee crab from Foodland is tastes a LOT better than the one at Don Quijote. It's very flavorful and really spicy so that I don't need any dressing. Lettuce and crab and avocado mixed together is so yummy!!

We're going to another game at 6, so I may pack up bentos yet again! In another type of adventure, my tomato garden is coming along nicely. Baby girl is growing beans and watermelon and her plants look pretty cool too. Problem is we've got bugs! If someone knows what is eating our poor plants and what we can do to combat them, please let me know. We have also planted the Beekeeper Mix that came with a Tori Amos album we bought years ago. It's full of various wildflowers and so far 5 have sprouted. Here are my tomato plants, I hope to have real Pikko-grown tomatoes to put into my bentos in a couple of months! :D

I have like 20 of these, so hopefully that gives me good odds on keeping at least a couple alive in time for them to give fruit!

June 1, 2007

Fried ahi poke

Note to self: a whole pound of ahi poke is too much, so don't buy a whole tub from the seafood section just because the deli is closed! With my poke fast approaching the point of tossage, I had to use it all up, so I decided to try fried poke for the first time. Even though I'd used this in two previous bentos, it was still way too much so I ate a couple pieces then gave the rest to Mr. Pikko, who said it smelled awesome. Extreme close-up!

I fried it with olive oil, but it soon became apparent that this particular poke had oil already in it because there was a lot more oil than what I'd put in. So I looked up some recipes and LO AND BEHOLD an ingredient is sesame oil. WTH! Luckily most recipes I saw call for 1 Tbsp of it for 1-2 lbs of fish. So though a tablespoon of sesame oil is 4 points, I doubt I was eating much during each meal with the portion I took. Maybe 1/2 a teaspoon or so, which comes out to about .5 points. The ingredients listed were: ahi, nut, wheat, soy.


Anyway, I stuck in more lomi salmon cause the hugeass bottle that I bought from Costco says I have to eat it by June 4th. In the middle is, durr, asparagus, fried with Pam and onion powder. I also packed some miso soup, which I will eat with the somen noodles that didn't get any love yesterday. I figure eating it with miso soup is better than eating it with a salty, sugary sauce.

On the exercise front, I've decided to always do the additional stairclimbing that I implemented this week. (i.e. yesterday *sheepish face*) I've always had thunder thighs and after the two kids they were upgraded to Category 5 Hurricane thighs, so this will hopefully put me on the path to once again being able to stand without thighs that nudge each other.

By the way, it appears that last night I got my 2000th hit! Thanks are in order for my readers! May the bento bug bite you!