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July 31, 2007

Mahimahi and 10k!!!

Celebrations are in order for today my blog passed 10,000 hits!! Woohoo!! I will have to go celebrate by heading to Marukai or something. :D Thanks to everyone who comes back to see what I eat. I'd never have thought when I started that doing a bento blog could be so much fun. I hope I've helped spread my love of lunch to many!

I'm back to counting points today. Nothing like getting on the scale and seeing that you've gone back up above 130 to light the fire under your ass. I count this lunch as 2 points, one for the rice and one for the mayo in the tuna (leftover from yesterday). The meat in the middle is leftover mahimahi from last night. There are some steamed zucchini slices underneath it propping it up so that it stands nicely. I added some sliced takuan for color in an orange Miffy food cup and then some shelled edamame. The soy sauce fishie is for the mahi.

Today's lunch is packed in one of the bento boxes I got at the discount store in Little Tokyo. The cover is cute, though there was no matching band for it. :( It's a great size though and I love the color.

Today we took Baby Girl to the preschool open house and boy is this going to be a rough week. She wouldn't let go of my leg and wouldn't say hi to any of the other kids or the teacher. The good news is that one of the girls in her class is from her Gymboree class. Didn't do much good though, she stuck her head between my legs and then loudly proclaimed she would like to go play outside. *sigh* Also, looks like I'll be doing bento for her only when she goes on field trips. Mr. Pikko doesn't want to make her feel entitled or something. They had brownies and cookies out along with butter mochi.... but I resisted!

July 30, 2007

Tuna fish w/ celery

I hate to cause heart attacks for people who come here every day looking to drool over yummy looking bentos, but I've been having a craving lately for tuna fish and celery sticks, so that's what's for lunch today. It's mixed up with some Miracle Whip Light, black pepper, and sweet onion then topped with parsley and bell peppers.

People allergic to veggies may want to look away right now, for here is a layer consisting solely of celery sticks. Eeeee! The other layer has a piece of toast sliced into little strips. This is for my vegetable soup that I brought to eat. It's just boring ole' Campbell's alphabet soup, but sometimes you just want to eat something. I brought my red soup Tupperware and will heat it up in that.

Inside the little Hello Kitty container is some peanut butter, which I intend to use on the bread and some of the other celery sticks. I brought extras because really, that's a whole lot of tuna! As you can see, I packed up one of Baby Girl's little toy knives to spread the peanut butter around. It fit into the cover perfectly! I even added in a small handful of Honey Nut Cheerios. Quite a handy box! I got this one at Marukai in LA.

The box was actually plain white on the front, but it was pretty boring so I went and I fished out some of my old Korean Morning Glory stickers. I found three that I liked and tacked them on. Looks much better if you ask me!!

July 29, 2007

Obon & Garden Update

I had planned on trucking the family to Jikoen Hongwanji Temple on Saturday but further reflection with Mr. Pikko resulted in us decided we really did not want to be wandering around Kalihi in the dark at night with two little kids. Instead we went back to the Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission obon that we attended last year. When we got there me and Baby Girl got out while Mr. Pikko and Buddy went to park and the first song we hear is Fukushima Ondo!

I was excited and tried to get Baby Girl to go in with me, but no go. It was just as well, it's definitely not the same as Hilo style betcho. The moves are slightly different and of course no one chants the betcho lines back. I started chuckling thinking about what a rude reception it would get should people show up and do it. I could so imagine Oahu obon dancers gasping at kids prancing around screaming, "Aji-aji-ajinomoto, aji... aji... aji nomo boto." Bwahaha!

Sunday I got a whole lot done, including transplanting all the rest of my tomato plants into bigger pots. Boy did that take a lot of back breaking work!! I also planted 4 corn, 5 shiso seeds, and 1 oregano. You can see from my pictures that a bigger pot made a huge difference.

I'd suspected maybe 3 weeks ago that the reason my poor plants were so stunted was because of lack of room. Plus, with such a small pot area the soil would dry up super fast, practically roasting the roots every day. The plant on the left is the one I transplanted a while ago and the one on the right is how the rest of them look. It took only a few days for the bigger one to take off, so I should have a bunch of healthier tomato plants soon!

July 27, 2007

Pot Roast Pork

I had wanted to do a Harry Potter bento for bentochallenge but I just haven't felt the inspiration and last night I was bummed out over something so I ended up just watching King Kong and doing my bento this morning. I am definitely getting better at that by the way. We still end up late, but not as bad as before. Yay?

This is some pot roast pork leftover from dinner last night along with a bit of rice, some poke, and green beans. 3 points for this lunch: 1 for the rice and 2 for the meat since I couldn't get all the fat to come off. My bottom layer is here:

Tofu cubes and some shelled edamame. The last time I had tofu cubes my buddy Exodus made a comment, "Oh, tofu cubes, neat. What's it made of?" LOL! You crack me up, cheese man! I'm not really feeling all that wordy today, so I'm just postin' the lunch and gonna hele on out to frolic on the internets while I do work.

Hopefully I'll have bon dance and garden pics this weekend!

July 26, 2007

Fukushima Ondo! (& Mochiko Chicken)

Ever since I moved to Oahu in 1997, I've longed for that old feeling of excitement and fun from a bon dance song that us Hilo hicks only ever refer to as "becho". I'd been to a couple during summers when I'd go home and last year I went to one in Wahiawa, one in Manoa Valley, and another at Pearl City Hongwanji. The Wahiawa one was a wash, no becho to be found. Same with the Manoa one, which turned out to be more of a little Japanese carnival in which they got you to pay incredibly ridiculous amounts of money on scrips for food or neon fans or towels. I called up my dad and asked him to call up his friend Reverend Bruce and see if these silly Oahu folk simply don't do becho, but apparently they do. It's just they either play it after I leave or simply don't, I dunno. We finally went through the hassle of parking in a really dark and muddy area under the freeway to go to the Pearl City Hongwanji dance and they played a version of becho and I was somewhat happy.

Final Fantasy began their Sunbreeze Festival today and it means Tarutarus dancing around in their yukatas with music playing at night. This led me to YouTube where I found the following:

THAT my friends, is the becho I know from a decade ago. And now I finally know the name of the song, Fukushima ondo! Oh I feel so good today! :D If you've never been to one, I urge you to go. You don't have to be Japanese. You don't have to know how to dance. You can just go to watch, to eat the good food, to hang out, to watch people honor the dead. It's a great experience!

Ok so on to the bento. I totally pigged out at our Korean food luncheon so I weighed almost 129 today. Gah! I took home vegetables and packed them into today's lunch. The bean sprouts namul was really really good, but it's probably really bad for a WW dieter cause it's like, laced with sesame oil. Hee. Extreme close-up!

We had mochiko chicken last night, so that is what is in the middle. I've included furikake rice, corn, and some kim chee. My veggies below are the sprouts I mentioned and some cabbage:

I may end up listening to this song all day... it brings back so many great memories. Also reminds me that times change. Last year my aunty told me Hilo Hongwanji held their bon dance indoors. What the... Half the fun is when you get rained on dancing becho. Oi yoi yoi!

July 25, 2007

Fruity Bento

Nothing much to offer today because we're having a luncheon at work. I still had to pack snacks though, so I've taken a picture of my fruit bento. In it there are slices of some Jonagold apples, which I bought at Costco because they were the cheapest ones. They're pretty good, interesting taste and a little tart. There are also peaches and banana flowers. I put the rest of the banana slices and flowers on the mini Eggo waffles for the kids this morning and they went bananas over it, haha!

I know, boring. But I figured it was better than nothing at all! ^_^

July 24, 2007

Chicken Curry w/ Croquette

I'd like to start off today's post with a quote from my daughter. I had bought a pair of sunglasses while in LA so that I didn't look like I had slits for eyes and now I wear them in the mornings to block out the sun so that I can sleep on the way in to work. (they're way cooler than using Mr. Pikko's black sock) On the way to dropping off the kids she likes to ask if she can use them and this morning I asked her why she needed it and her answer was simply:

"The sun is trying to kill my face!"

I can't argue with that kind of logic, so of course I gave it up. She totally cracks me up. She starts preschool next week Wednesday so I am trying to think about whether I should base the one bento I will make for her each week on a specific day (ie every Friday) or on days when I know she'll have a hard time with what they serve. I guess we'll see! Should I make her one on her first day to help her cope or just let her plunge head first into school?

Yesterday we had Zippy's frozen stuff for dinner, which never disappoints. For the first time I had their chicken curry and it was really good. I'd had their hamburger curry once before so I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised, but I hadn't eaten it in like 8 years so I forgot what it tasted like. I took leftovers and was at a complete loss this morning on how to dress it up. When I first started it was just boring rice and curry.

I ended up adding a cream corn croquette. This is actually the second one I fried. The first one I made the big mistake of sitting down at my comp instead of watching it and remembered the poor thing 2 threads later. But I ate the first one so it wasn't a complete loss. After a while I thought it was still too boring so I scooped out some of the rice and added sliced sanbaizuke. It made sense because whenever we eat at Curry House (Coco Ichibanya) they include brown pickles anyway and of course this one tastes worlds better than the bitter stuff they serve there. Then I finished it off with some nori flakes and crackers from a ochazuke flavor packet.

Instead of a KCCA salad today, I packed another bento with tofu cubes and ahi shoyu poke. To add color I put in a red tomato soy sauce bottle and some chopped green onions onto the poke.

Although I've been cheating by eating cream cheese brownies I made Sunday, my high vegetable intake seems to be working slowly. I'm back down to 127.2 from hovering around 128.5 for the last week or so.

July 23, 2007

Grilled Asian Chicken Stir-fry

Last night I decided to try to make it up to my family for ignoring them for basically 16 hours while I plowed through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by pulling out a cookbook and making something new. I ended up using my All Recipes cookbook and chose the Grilled Asian Chicken.

I took the kids with me to Foodland and as soon as we enter, there's some Harry Potter books at the door. Baby Girl very loudly yells, "LOOK MOMMY! There's the book Daddy stood in line for!!" If only I'd known that Foodland was going to have a midnight book sale of Deathly Hallows I would have sent my poor Mr. Pikko there instead of Borders. /guilty

Anyway, I get home and I'm starting to get the marinade ready when I realize that I can't find my garlic and I'm out of sesame oil. Gawd was I pissed. I had to go back and buy more, grrr!! It turned out wonderful though. Mr. Pikko said it smelled really really good and I really enjoyed the taste. I sliced it up and stir fried half of it with fresh veggies I'd been chopping while the meat marinated.

Veggies included are: Celery, snow peas, sweet onion, broccoli, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and sakura shaped carrots. Extreme close-up! The key to cooking veggies like this is to never overcook them. I thought I stopped soon enough but turns out I didn't and so the veggies are a little less vibrant in color than I'd intended. The heat can always cook it more, so it's best to just lightly cook the veggies then let it sit in it's own heat to finish cooking. I boiled the extra marinade and added it to the veggies and this was REALLY good. Included in the corner is a small bit of rice and furikake. To accompany my bento I have a KCCA salad and a yellow peach from Costco.

I had tried to find ready-made stir fry veggies but couldn't find any so I got the fresh stuff and that was great for taste. The snow peas were some disgustingly high price like $6.00 a pound but thankfully, the handful I bought only cost a dollar, so I guess the price wasn't too bad after all. I bought some green onions and planted the stalks outside in our garden! Also, Baby Girl's string bean plants have finally sprouted more beans and she should have 5 more coming along soon. Hooray!

July 20, 2007

Shoyu Chicken Rice

Dinner was very yummy last night and I got to peek at the recipe card my mother-in-law had out on the counter. It was such a simple recipe yet such a nice comfort food! Unfortunately my limited brain power has already forgotten the measurement of one ingredient so that recipe will need to wait until I've finally gotten around to building up with a recipe section.

While I was packing up lunch I got a little bored with the regular kind of arrangement, so I decided to save me some hassle of keeping the food all separate and just mush it all together like a toddler meal. I chopped up the chicken then squished it all together with the rice and corn then added some furikake and voila! Shoyu chicken rice. This morning I added some garnish to make it prettier. Extreme close-up!

In my botton layer I added some sliced kiwi and mango. I liked Nexa's idea of storing food in the cover too, so I snuck some Honey Nut Cheerios into a baggie and tucked them under the lid.

Yesterday Mr. Pikko sent me a "kinda cool" link as he called it. I took the test, putting in what info I knew that was optional and filling in all the required stuff. The result?

Your healthy weight range is 99-121 lbs.

You are overweight.

You can suck my ass, Joanne Larsen. Anyway... this guilt tripped me into going back to the Core diet. I am 7 pounds away from being healthy and I think my WW vacation has gone on long enough. *sigh* Today's lunch is 1 point because of the rice. YaY! This morning I also returned to my Core breakfast of eggs with sauteed bell peppers and onions. Usually I use egg beaters but today I actually read the container and it said to use it "within 7 days of opening". The rest of my cartons were frozen, so I had to use regular eggs. Boy did I royally mess that up. I don't know what it is about me, but I just cannot seem to cook eggs nicely. They always end up brown or black or crunchy.

Yes, I said crunchy.

Long story short, they came out black and gross but I ate it anyway. I remember once a couple years ago I cooked some scrambled eggs for my daughter at my grandma's house and she looked into the pan while I wasn't there and commented to my mother that I make "interesting eggs". She is such a kind woman. I really need a "Frying Eggs for Dummies" book.

July 19, 2007

Teriyaki beef

I had put this bento into the same Bonnie Bear box from yesterday but then decided that with the broccoli, I'd do one more green entry for bentochallenge and so moved it into the same kind of box, only green. The box is rather amusing, the saying on the front is, "Classy Croaky... is funniest and dedicated, his the best player on the team." lol!

I added a drop of green food coloring to a bit of water and then mixed the rice in. Doesn't it look so freaky?!? I added a packet of green furikake but it turns out it's not that green. Not a very exciting bento, but you can't deny it's very green!! Extreme close-up!

I put soy sauce in the little bottle but I'm unsure whether I'll use it. If anything I'll add it to the broccoli for a bit of taste. I'm so bad about shoyu like that. And here my cousin was just telling me how it's so great that I eat healthy, then I add shoyu to a bento just for the container. D: I may end up going to Marukai tonight as I have to leave early to go get screwed over by my car registration fees at Satellite City Hall today. Hopefully they're not so bare anymore!!

July 18, 2007

Pipi Kaula

Last night we had pork hash for dinner and although I really like it, the leftovers I packed for myself to arrange into a bento were just never meant to be eaten by me. I put the piece of it into my bento box and left it on the counter for when we went home. My nephew got a hold of the box and eventually it ended up crashing and the ball of pork was on the kitchen floor. Since they just got their kitchen renovated, Mr. Pikko said that it was still ok to eat. So I packed it up again and we went out to the car to leave and I put the bento box on the dashboard. The car is on an incline so it slid down and plopped open on my seat, tossing the meat out. I picked it up within 3 seconds, so everyone agreed it should still be ok. None of us knew what tragedy would occur not even 15 minutes later.

We got home and I was trying to juggle one 3 year old, two bento boxes, and Pickles the plushie frog when the bento box suicided out of my hands and landed on the pavement. It was so ridiculously hilarious that Mr. Pikko actually called up his mom just to tell her that I'd accidentally dropped it yet one more time. That pork hash simply did not want to be my lunch today.

Back when we had our UFC party I'd defrosted two packs of pipi kaula thinking I'd have to cook another but we had so many hotdogs it wasn't necessary. So I had a pack of it still in the fridge and busted it out for lunch since I couldn't find any other kind of meat to use.

The rice was leftover and the yakisoba is another serving from the freezer. I added in a boiled egg but it didn't peel very nicely or cut well so I covered it up as best I could with a little pink food divider. In a foil holder I added some simmered pumpkin. I'd bought some frozen pumpkin and just tossed it into a small pot with a recipe I found online for simmered kabocha. It was quite easy since the pumpkin was already chopped into pieces. Very convenient! The pink soy sauce container is for the egg. Extreme close-up! The box I used is one I'd found at Marukai down here about a month ago. 99 cents and thankfully, made in Indonesia!

I have I think 4 of these boxes, I'm not sure. Yellow, pink, green, and blue maybe. Not positive about the blue. They come with a cute fork though! Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I bought in case I ever want the domain. Didn't want someone to squat on it and it was cheap too. Hopefully now I can work on a page that will nicely showcase my bento box collection!

July 17, 2007

Green Eggs but No Ham

Sunday when I made the butter yaki I told Mr. Pikko that now that I'd gone through all the trouble of making butter yaki, his mom would make it sometime this week. Lo and behold, I arrive at her house last night to find them cooking... butter yaki!! I lol'd so hard. Anyway, I figure eating loads of butter and sugar 4 meals in a row isn't good diet practice, so I opted for a more healthier lunch today. The bentochallenge this week is "green" so while making my egg salad sandwich this morning, I decided to participate.

This is one of my new boxes that I got at that JP outlet store. It was only 99 cents! The sides collapse and it folds up nicely to fit right into the cover, which I forgot to photograph. It's very compact when folded up, making it a great space saver! I made the egg salad with two eggs, a bit of Miracle Whip Light, salt, pepper, and green food coloring. On the side is some sliced red bell pepper and some hummus in a little food cup with a nori face.

About to go eat it right now! :D

July 16, 2007

Butter Yaki

As I sit here once again in my freezing ass cubicle I am reminded of something odd I noticed about LA weather. When we were walking from the parking lot to the E3 hotel it was sunny, yet chilly too. It was like being in air conditioning outside! It was awesome! Something else odd is that no one in LA seems to use a/c in their cars. Taxis, my cousin, Matt from Square. Not that I'm complaining as I never broke a sweat in anyone's car, but it was just odd. I was standing out on the curb at the Honolulu airport for 5 minutes in a tank top and I started sweating!

As I mentioned yesterday, I made butter yaki for dinner which is basically veggies, meat, and shrimp cooked in butter in a pan and then dipped into a sauce and eaten with rice. VERY yummy. I'd never even heard of it until I met Mr. Pikko.

On the veggie side I have won bok (which was home to 5 stupid caterpillars that ate most of the cabbage), mung beans, eggplant, zucchini, and onions. I put the caterpillars into a little container for baby girl along with some of the won bok and she played with them until finally asking for them to be put outside in the grass near the car. The silly little things ate pretty much all through the head and I had very little to cook in the end. Grr!! On the meat side I have some beef and shrimp. Extreme close-up!

This box came with matching chopsticks and two side containers. In one container is the butter yaki sauce and the other contains rice and more mung beans. They all fit nicely into a matching floral zipper bag!

I've packed a KCCA salad and a nectarine as side snacks. I pigged out at dinner last night and was 127.5 this morning. My goal of 120 is right around the corner!! Notice the pictures don't look as bad now. I tried taking pics without the stove light on, relying more on the kitchen lights. Seems to look better!

July 15, 2007

E3 and Little Tokyo!

Hello bento fans, I am back home! I had a really wonderful time and although this post will contain details about my bento shopping, it will be somewhat of an off topic post because I will describe the entire thing.

The adventure started Wednesday morning as my flight left at 8:10 am. We were running a bit late as my news story containing the E3 press kit had dead links. I'd had the news post and forum post all ready to go but then my idiot computer did an automatic Windows update overnight and restarted my comp without me asking. How typical it happens on the one day I need my computer to stay on. Thankfully, Firefox saved what I'd entered, only I forgot to check that it had the latest version of my edits. Unfortunately, it didn't, so I had to fix that then jam out of the house.

Poor Buddy started screaming as I said goodbye, I could hear him from inside the terminal! I didn't have time to pack a breakfast bento, I simply ate early and figured I'd tough it out on the flight. But much to my surprise, Hawaiian Airlines is one of the few airlines left that serves you a free meal! Not only that, they come by every half an hour offering free soda, water, and juice. I had the turkey sandwich, which was quite good. The meal almost made up for the rock hard seats. I saw The Last Mimzi on the flight and it was a wonderful children's film. I was pleasantly surprised!

I land in LAX and am picked up by my boss Draknorr (Ryan) and an Affinity Media guy we work with in IRC a lot, cyamarin (Casey). We head over to the AM office in Santa Monica where I get to meet Sybil Grieb, Casey's wife Rian, our two new programmers, and Zam President John Maffei. We had a quick dinner and I convinced Ryan to take an extremely rare photograph with me! His flight was leaving at 10:45 so we shared a cab to the airport and by chance got this freakin' hilarious cab driver. It was great to finally meet Draknorr in person and I was sorry we only had a few hours to hang out, but it's better than nothing!

I checked into my hotel and quickly got lost trying to find my room. I followed the stupid <-- arrow and kept finding sign after sign telling me to go --> then --> then -->. Finally the absolute last room I could possibly check is mine. I walked completely around the entire hotel wing. Turns out the first sign I saw had the --> arrow erased so instead of sending me straight to my room, which was right around the corner from the elevators, it sent me all the way around the other way. I swear, things like this only happen to me. (and other people who get that room..)

I called Ganiman from FFXIclopedia to schedule breakfast with him the next morning. While waiting around for him, I found my first bento box in, of all places, the hotel gift shop! It was a Hello Kitty one that came with a fork and spoon and wasn't too bad for Sanrio at $5.95. After a little confusion about which hotel I was at, we sat down to a nice breakfast and had a great chat about the game and of course, babies since he's expecting later this year. I'm always ready to talk about kids. ^_^ I took a cab back to Affinity so that I could print out my questions again since for some reason they decided to run off and hide. Then my cousin picked me up and we headed off to (YaY!) Little Tokyo.

The first place I walked into was some kind of Japanese outlet store so I knew I'd find some good things in there. I ended up getting matching containers for my apple and grape Putifresh boxes, a purple bento box, a collapsible sandwich container, some cute little mini forks which should work great for fruit, Hello Kitty sauce containers, Hello Kitty paper food cups, and a cute metal lunch box for Baby Girl. Sadly, no matching Putifresh bento straps. :( We stopped in a couple more shops before eating, then headed over to Marukai. I was wearing my "Japanee tourist hat" and so the cashier spoke to me in Japanese, even though I addressed her in English. I used my Marukai card from Hawaii and though she couldn't use it, she let me use her guest card or something. Me and Jenn were laughing about how we buy memberships then never seem to make it back to the store until it's too late. Glad I'm not the only one!! Now when it's expired next year and I've never gone back, I can look back and say, "Hey, at least I got to use it in Little Tokyo!!"

Somewhere after Marukai I lost my awesome hat, which still makes me all droopy and sad. I've had that hat for years... I think it blew off my head when we were walking back to the car and since I'd been having the feeling like it was there even when I knew it wasn't, I think I just didn't notice it was gone. Phantom hat feeling did me in!! We headed out to Universal Citywalk after that to see Harry Potter. The red carpet was out for the premiere of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and the thought of possibly of seeing Adam Sandler was really cool, but his show started while we would be inside. Bummer!

We parked in a Curious George parking lot that my kids would have gone ballistic over and there was a huge painting of Curious George at every elevator. The hilarious part about this was both times that we rode the elevator I overheard people say, "We're parked on the Curious George floor!" The second time I just told the family, "Actually, he's on every floor." lol!!

Harry Potter was a really great movie. I felt for once that this wasn't a child actor attempt, but instead a real, honest adaptation of a Harry Potter novel. Seeing it on IMAX was really great, but if you ever go, know that there are no previews at all! They just start it right off! I didn't feel that the death was handled as well as it could have been and they cut out one of my favorites scenes at headquarters after it happens. Umbridge wasn't what I'd pictured but she was still exceptionally well cast. Helena Bonham Carter was freakin' made for the Bellatrix Lestrange role. The last scene with Fred and George Weasley exiting school really could have been done better, but it was instead reduced to a simple fireworks show. All of these things aside though, I still thoroughly enjoyed seeing it. We had a nice dinner at Daily Grill and I got back to my room close to 11.

With the 1up interview revealing a few things Wednesday, I needed to re-do some of my questions and come up with several new ones as well. I stayed up until 1 am doing this and met briefly with Exodus in the morning to make sure he thought they were ok. Matt picked me up at around 9:30 am and after picking up Ganiman from the wiki we had breakfast at a nice place with very yummy food. (I forget the name, Coffee Co?) We still had time to kill though, so we stopped at one of the renovated 7-11 Kwik-E-Marts! Even though I haven't watched Simpsons in forever, it was still an awesome place to visit. There was a security guard outside and he had to keep people outside if the place filled up too much. Pics are here.

Okay so I'd been seriously stressing out over this interview since it's the first one I'd ever done and it was with the people who freakin' made the game I play and all... no stress. ha. It went okay though. I had a bad case of the "umms" for the first few questions and the beginning was seriously freaky for me because for what felt like forever they're all just sitting there staring at me saying nothing and I'm like "omg omg omg wtf?" But I made it, I'm still alive, I didn't die from anxiety like it felt like I was going to. I got a great group picture to remember the experience too!

After the interview I had my first ever In-N-Out burger! It tasted really great, very fresh! I'd definitely eat there again if I ever wanted a burger but didn't want a grease sandwich. For taste though, I think I still have to give first place to W&M Burger right here in Honolulu. If you've never heard of it, it's this tiny little place in Kaimuki right behind City Mill on Waialae Avenue. They've got a teeny little parking lot that fits like 5 cars but holy crap do they have the best tasting burger ever. They put some kind of magical barbecue sauce on their patties or something and have been in business for like 60 years or something nuts like that. The burgers taste like they're really bad for you, but going once a month or so shouldn't kill ya. (just control yourself)

I flew back soon after that and boy did I learn something about transcribing. It's ass. I hate it!! If anyone ever asks me to transcribe something I'm going to make up some excuse about how my ears have been ringing for the past week or how I tend to hear the complete opposite of what people are actually saying... On the plane back I sat next to this really great lady and we talked for almost the whole last hour or so. I gave her my card and she mentioned that she thinks her son plays Final Fantasy. I thought that was hilarious. Chances are he plays one of the console ones, but I just found it so amusing to imagine her telling him she sat next to some lady named "Pikko" on the plane and it just so happens he posts on Allakhazam or something.

Bentos will resume tomorrow. I made Butter Yaki tonight and have packed it into one of my new bento boxes. This was a very expensive one, costing me $14.99 for a main box with divider, two side boxes, matching chopsticks, an ice pack, and a cute floral zipper bag. I found it in Marukai. Pics tomorrow!

My total weight gain over the course of 3 days in LA? 1 pound! Woohoo!! And this morning I weighed in at 126.6 lbs. I'm not even counting points anymore. All I do is eat as healthy and as fat free as I can. I give myself treats now and then and when I'm deciding how much to eat, I usually stop just before I reach that point. The amount I eat at meals is much less than it was before, that's the only way I can explain it. Either that or something's wrong with me, but I won't go there.

July 10, 2007

Pot Roast Sandwich

I was feeling inventive this morning and turned my pot roast leftovers lunch (courtesy of MIL) into a pot roast sandwich! I'd taken a piece of meat, a carrot, and a potato so I had plenty to work with.

I cut the crust off of two slices of Roman Meal Honey Oat bread and toasted them til they were crispy. I cut them into two pieces and then mashed up the potato and the carrot, using them as spreads on opposite sides of the bread. I pulled the meat apart (which was great for getting all the veins of fat out) and squished it together, securing it with a food pick. Let's hope it tastes as good as it looks! That is, if you think it looks good... I like it. I added some leftover edamame and a mini Babybel. This lighting issue is killing me. I have to go buy a lamp soon. It could also be some setting on my camera that appeared and I don't know how to shut off...

For my fruits layer I have a chopped mango and some red grapes, which thankfully are grown in the USA. With all the food scares lately we are trying as much as possible to buy only USA or local produce.

Ok.. so I was feeling so inventive that I completely forgot about the Sanrio theme for bentochallenge, *sob*. Maybe I'll try a simple nori Bad Batz Maru onigiri tomorrow for my breakfast bento at the airport.

I totally pigged out yesterday. My lunch ended up being a whole lotta food and my tummy was ready to burst, which is really bad. Part of Core means to never eat until that point. ; ; Then when I was shopping for travel knickknacks I made the mistake of walking past the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory booth in Pearlridge and ended up getting a Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bear. It cost me almost 4 freakin' dollars but damn that was one good hunk of candy!! I ate the whole thing too, haha! Two days from now my weight will show for it. But despite all the rice and candy, I weighed in at 128.2 this morning. I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong with me. Either that or all my stairclimbing has just really helped upped my metabolism.

July 9, 2007

Fried Poke & Costco Fried Rice

We had a UFC 73 party at our place on Saturday so to make lunch easy Mr. Pikko bought a Costco chicken for the kids while he was buying food and supplies. The food was great, in addition to the edamame and pipi kaula, we grilled 3 kinds of hotdogs (1 pack of monstrous dogs courtesy of teh Gonz) on my Foreman grill and thanks to a tip from a co-worker, I was actually able to clean it easily this time. Teh Gonz also brought this awesome crab dip, Phil brought mochi rice, Sean brought some Popeye's, and Shawn brought ahi limu poke. Obviously no one knows who Gonz, Phil, Sean, and Shawn are but I mention them as a thanks for bringing foods. The fights were not bad, though they could have been better.

Anyway, Shawn's leftover poke is what I made for lunch today so that it wouldn't go to waste. I've never tried the limu one from Foodland before so I'll find out today what fried limu tastes like. (limu is string seaweed) I cut up the leftover Costco chicken this morning and fried it with the rice I'd made for the curry Sean brought from Popeye's and furikake. I added the shoyu bottle in case I didn't season it enough but since Buddy ate it for breakfast no problem, maybe I won't have to use it.

I will likely only be posting 3 bentos this week as I'm going on a trip to LA on Wednesday for E3. I'm not technically *attending* E3, but it's why I'm going. It will be the first time I miss a weekday bento I think!! Oh noes! ; ; This trip should be a test for me to see how well I hold up to my diet without a fridge full of food that I've bought or cooked or portioned. Maintenance is still going quite well, I was 129.5 this morning. I don't even really count points anymore, I just try to stay conscious of how much rice and fat I take in and it seems to work quite well. I've been well trained it seems!

July 6, 2007

Chacha Rice & Miso Soup w/ Somen

I woke up this morning and my nose is still running and now my throat is scratchy. I can feel a phlegmy cough coming and I can NOT get sick now so I upgraded myself to DEFCON 1 and have prepared various foods today to defend myself against my enemy. It's a Cold War in House of Pikko!

I made miso soup with tofu for breakfast and packed the rest of it for lunch. To eat with the soup, I packed some of my rainbow somen noodles. These noodles are cute, but there aren't really that much colored noodles so it's disproportionately white if I don't cook a whole lot. On that note, I'll have to email my mom and ask for her somen salad dressing, it's win! Added some cucumber kim chee since it's salty and may help.

In my bottom layer I have plain rice and ume. I'll eat the ume with some of the rice first and then make the tea and add the ochazuke mix. When I was a kid we called it "chacha rice" and it was a great comfort food when sick. I didn't think to bring the camera to show what it looks like once I open it, but it's flavoring, little strips of nori, and little cracker sticks. The tea is my favorite type of tea, brown rice tea.

Last of all I have some honey lemon peel that my mom made for me a couple years ago. It's been sitting in the back of my fridge all this time and the years have made it taste a lot better than it did when she first gave it to me. She had these lemon peels soaking in a jar in the yard for what must have been 5 or 6 years and they were still pretty bitter. Now that they've been drowning in honey all this time, it tastes perfect. Also, she says it's great for just adding to a cup of hot water to drink.

All of these things should help me get better. Hopefully I can nix this cough before next week or even better, by tomorrow as we're having a UFC 73 party at our house. No kids this time too, woot! Weight was 129.5 this morning.

July 5, 2007

Teriyaki Chicken

My plans for a soup and salad lunch were nixed when I stepped on the scale this morning and found that I'd lost almost 2 whole pounds overnight. Hooray for increased metabolism! That'll teach me to shovel rice into my mouth like crazy! Or wait, that makes no sense. Haha! I <3 and miss rice.

I made teriyaki chicken last night and we had a lot of leftovers so I froze 3 portions and took some for lunch today. The rice really isn't much because these musubi are so small, so I'll count it as 1 point. I'd count it as two if I'd packed more rice in, but I didn't so there! My veggie layer:

Foodland was finally stocking cucumber kim chee that didn't look brownish, so I bought some. Most of the time I go and it doesn't look so good and the cover is bulging up and ready to pop. Eww! The corn is from those Steam Fresh packets that you microwave. I love that brand! I brought along cherries, grapes, and a KCCA salad as well. The only thing counting for points today is the rice, so that keeps me nicely on track. My friend's wedding has been pushed back to May, so I now have a whole 11 months to lose those last 10 pounds. The pressure is officially off, haha!

July 4, 2007

Pipi Kaula & Musubi

Today we were going to take the kids to the pool nearby here, but when Mr. Pikko went to check out how crowded it was, he found out that it was actually closed. Bummer! We made alternate plans to go to another pool and I ended up staying home with Buddy to finish making the food while Baby Girl and Daddy went swimming. We were going to eat chili and hotdogs so I wasn't really intending to make so much food, but as usual with picnic bentos, I got carried away. We at these at my sis-in-law's house and then the kids got to swim in a wading pool in addition to the big pool earlier. It was a nice, fun, sunny day!

It's funny how food can take you back in time. I filled these up with shoyu tuna, which I haven't eaten in a VERY long time, like maybe 12 years or something nuts like that. But anyway, even though it's been around that long, as soon as I ate some I could remember myself sitting at our table back at home reading Archies while eating some plain ole shoyu tuna with rice. The recipe is very easy. You basically drain a can of tuna and then add two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of soy sauce. (I used Lower Salt Aloha Shoyu) Mix it in a small pot and heat and you're done. The first two balls I made leaked juices when I squeezed the upper mold down so I squeezed the tuna before putting it in for all the others and that solved my problem.

The nori faces kinda drove me nuts cause the sheets I had kept ripping when I punched it. Either that or the eyes and mouth wouldn't completely cut. Plus I had to figure out a way to make 16 faces out of 3 punches.

I dug out my frozen spam musubis from the zoo bento before and reheated them. I thought they tasted fine but Mr. Pikko flipped out that I'd give people old musubis from "three weeks ago" when really it was only from last Sunday and I froze them immediately after making them. Next to that is some pan charred pipi kaula (pronounced peepee cow-lah) that my mom and grandma were so nice to give me while I was in Hilo. It's basically smoked beef and tastes so awesome when fried or microwaved. They used to come in big slabs but then some genius at Frank Foods must have been wrestling with his pipi kaula and knife when the incredible idea of pre-sliced pipi kaula came to him. Or her. Whoever it was, you're the awesome!

I weighed 128.9 this morning but am now 132.1, so tomorrow will be a light lunch with soup!

July 3, 2007

I Would Do Anything for Loaf

Last night we had meat loaf and though it is a bit hard to arrange nicely in a bento, it tastes really really good. Still, it's not nearly as good as my ingenius title pun. Right? I hope you get it, though it helps to have been into 90s music. Next to it there are green beans with sakura carrots.

I'm almost done eating this durned kim chee fried rice of mine. Next time I know not to make so much at once! I've got one last serving in the fridge but maybe I should just chuck it. Mr. Pikko saw me putting it into the box and went "Ewe." It looked really pale so I added some green peas to the top, though they were pretty badly freezer burned. As I've said in the past though, I'm a food optimist. They can't be all that bad.

The yellowish light is really starting to tick me off, if anyone can advise me on what kind of light I should buy, please let me know.

I've officially caught the family cold, dang it. Tomorrow I'll probably do a salad and miso soup with somen lunch to keep it light.

July 2, 2007

Return of the Shrimp

Having just returned last night at 9:15 pm from my trip home to Hilo for my class reunion, I was too exhausted to make a bento last night. The reunion was fun, I got to see two of my good friends from high school and got my hilarious time capsule which contained letters to myself, $21 in cash, and a report card with two Ds that I obviously never gave to my parents. I wanted to go take a picture in front of BJ Penn's gym, but didn't have time. :(

So anyway, this morning I nabbed some of my freezer food, nuked it, and woot, a quickie bento. I love this freezing food thing, it's so convenient and efficient!

I threw in a lot of edamame for more veggies and packed a box of mango, cherry, and grapes. I had planned on going back on my 5 points a day Core diet again this week, but with the Fourth coming up, I know that won't fly. I'll probably try to stick to 5 on the days I can, but do 9 on days I don't feel like it. I was 129.5 this morning, so maintenance is going quite well. ^_^

My photos are getting rather bad, so I'll need to go look into getting better lighting somehow. The stove lights are just not cutting it anymore!