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August 31, 2007

Furikake Wasabi Salmon (102)

A few months ago my mother in law had brought back from one of her sorority group meetings a recipe book that contained all of their best recipes. She's been trying recipes from this book this week and last night tried an easy microwavable Furikake Wasabi Salmon. The salmon steaks are topped with mayonnaise, wasabi, drizzled with Mr. Yoshida's sauce (this is a brand of sauce), and then sprinkled with Aji Nori furikake. I did not eat this last night as they'd also bought some pork eggplant and beef with black beans that I couldn't resist. I just love eggplant dishes so I ate mostly that for dinner!

I didn't take much rice, so this will only count as 1 point. On the right side I have more of the above-mentioned eggplant and some of the bell peppers from the beef dish. The eggplant was rather oily from the pork, so I'll add another point on for that. The salmon was a bit oily too, but since this oil came from the salmon itself, I count that as a healthy oil. The mayo I will add another point, which brings this to a 3 point lunch. By the way, the (102) is the number of my bento. I need to keep better track!

I went to Marukai yesterday and learned it pays to scour every aisle up and down for things. Their bento accessories section has been lacking for the past 3 trips I've made down there but this time I was able to score on some really cuuuute bento boxes!! I've used it in today's lunch and here it is all covered up:

Isn't it beautiful!? A complete steal at $1.99! And best of all, it's made in Japan. With all the China recalls lately even I am getting paranoid about all China products. I saw a lonely four boxes hiding in between stacks of silly useless looking plasticware. I snatched them all up! I will sell one on eBay and have two to sell for $2.99 in my store, though I haven't taken a picture. Actually, if you're interested in it, you can simply e-mail me at pikkopots at and place a reserve on it, then pay with PayPal once I confirm I still have it available. I have a matching drawstring bag for both of them, also $2.99. I took the photo on a matching furoshiki that I found buried under a box. It was only $.99 because it was out of the package and dirty and gross. I figured I can always wash it...

I also got another good cheap find yesterday. Today Baby Girl needed to wear a certain color and she didn't have it, so we went to Ross after leaving the in-laws. I found a set of red and blue silicon baking cups for $3.99! That's a lot cheaper than the $8.99 ones I saw at Walmart and at least this one had two colors! So yeah... very happy. I also bought a walking at home exercise DVD because Mr. Pikko has expressed concern about me running in the dark.

Speaking of the store, I added in more of the Hello Kitty stuff again as well as some additional accessories. I have a crapton of bento supples to sell in the store at home but am just too lazy to put a lot of it up. Amazingly, Mr. Pikko, who calls everything to do with any of my hobbies my "junks" refers to my bento stuff as "bento stuffs". Maybe he silently approves??

Tomorrow is the big day! Our first football game of the season! I bought Buddy a #15 toddler shirt and Baby Girl a UH windbreaker jacket so that she wouldn't get cold wearing the cheerleader outfit. This is our first year with season tickets so I really hope that we are sitting in a family friendly area. We bought staff tickets which should up the chances of getting seats by old timer football fans. I just hope they don't mind kids. So while I'm talking about football, I should mention the horrifying new haircut that Colt Brennan has.

Dude, we get you love Hawaii, but who got you drunk and took you to the barber? I suppose it's still better than the dreadlocks though... Also, unless he plans on looking at his feet everywhere he goes, when he puts his head upright the Hawaiian islands are upside down... Oi ya yoi!

I'm looking forward to our first football bento. I think I will pack cone sushi, dashimaki tamago, spam musubi, and hash patties. There will be 6 of us there with the two kids. We'll see if we actually get to watch the game or if this will be another season of "I want to go walking." and "I want a smoothie." Hopefully they have andagi this year!

August 30, 2007

Pineapple Chicken w/ No Face

The title sounds kinda weird/gross no? Haha! Well I have done another みやざき (Miyazaki) themed bento for bentochallenge. It's not terribly creative since it's just nori and cheese cutouts, but I still wanted to do it as he's another of my favorite characters from Spirited Away. When I think about it though, what character from Spirited Away couldn't qualify as a favorite?? ^_^

As you can see I've used my leftover blue rice from yesterday's 100 bento to make my fried rice. In it I put some chopped up imitation crab, my carrot fishies, sliced kamaboko, my bell pepper corals all chopped up, and the okra sliced up. I cracked an egg into it, but that didn't go so well. My egg curse continues. As I mentioned, I only ate the sushi and hot dogs yesterday and with this bento today I've used up almost everything that was left. There's just a bit of rice left.

On the right I have some leftover pineapple chicken which was a new recipe my MIL tried last night from one of her friends. It tasted great! It's very soft, has a teriyaki flavor with a slight sweet taste. There are chopped up green bell peppers as well as chunks of pineapple.

As I said, No Face is made out of nori and cheese. His face was quite a challenge to cut out, especially his eyes. I had to cut three versions of those before I got them right. Here is a closer picture of him:

All this Miyazaki bento has made me want to watch the movie again. Unfortunately my DVD is damaged and the PS2 doesn't read it anymore so I have to watch it on my computer, which I don't like much. Though maybe it'll be better now that I have a widescreen monitor!

I started up a Guestbook yesterday, so feel free to sign it! It's on the right sidebar. I had a lot of wonderful comments yesterday both here and on Live Journal and I want to thank all of you for the lovely things you all said. It was definitely worth the work!

August 29, 2007

Bento #100!!!!!

After long, tiring, endless, painful hours of planning (2 hours this afternoon) and a quick tossing together in the kitchen tonight (3 1/2 hours) I have finally completed my 100th bento! It's a sealife theme featuring some creatures that I've seen before on the crazy Japanese bento site

The corners each hold 3 pieces of maki: 1 cucumber, 1 ume, and 1 avocado. Tucked inside the three pieces is a piece of okra. I have no idea what it tastes like, but it looks cute. heh. The ocean water in the middle is made of white rice dyed blue and green to give it a more aqua look. Click this close-up picture to enlarge.

At the bottom I have some furikake "sand" with a crab hotdog on it with cheese/nori eyes. I learned tonight that Redondo Hawaiian Winners, though nice and bright red, do not make for good bento hot dogs. They're very difficult to cut due to the little balls of fat. Plus, finding little balls of fat is gross in itself. I'll stick with turkey hot dogs!

The coral is cut with an exacto knife out of bell peppers. The fishies are carved out of carrots and bell peppers. The starfish is made out of kamaboko (fishcake) and has sesame seed eyes and a nori mouth. The squid in the middle is made from a Redondo hot dog and the head is a thin slice of turkey hot dog.

Since this is an obscene amount of rice, I doubt I will be eating the ocean. The 12 pieces of maki and the two hot dog pieces are more than enough to fill me up for lunch. It sure doesn't feel like I've done 100 bentos!

Many of you know that I'm giving away some bento items in celebration of today's lunch. I wrote everyone's name on a piece of paper and folded them all up and put them into a little lacquer bento box. Baby Girl picked one out and the winner is...

Jennie from the US!

Why Jennie loves bento:

Because I need and want my children to eat healthy well balanced meals. Plus sometimes it is just cool!

Congratulations Jennie! Funnily enough, I shook those little papers around like crazy and yet the person who won was the last person to enter. ^_^ I'll be in touch for address info and what not!

My regular readers may remember that I mentioned a certain okazuya shop a couple weeks ago in Hilo called Y's Lunch Shop. My Aunty K did in fact deliver me some of their awesome fried fish and musubi and it tasted exactly as I remembered it. Having just relived the old taste memories of high school so recently, I was very sad to receive an e-mail informing me that the "Pop" of this little "Mom and Pop" okazuya store had passed away. Frustratingly, I don't remember his first name; I only knew him as "Mr. Miyamoto".

He was a very kind old man, I remember going next door to buy something to eat and sometimes he'd give me a couple extra potatoes. (probably cause he'd seen me scrounging in the car for any little coins to use) I remember sitting on the back steps watching him bring back bags of food from the downtown KTA, wondering how it was possible for him to buy ingredients at the same market we shop at and yet produce such amazing fried chicken, egg, fish, and spam musubi. They'd be there at I swear, 3 or 4 am to start cooking their addictive food. Sometimes at the end of the day when they hadn't sold everything, he'd pack it all up and give it to me or my brother. I had this massive crush on his oldest grandson who I never did get the courage to talk to during the summers he was in Hilo.

I dedicate my 100th bento to Mr. Miyamoto, who smiled a lot and gave to us whenever he could. May Y's Lunch Shop always be there on Keawe Street. Hilo just wouldn't be the same without it.

August 28, 2007

Soot Ball Onigiri

When I first started getting full on into doing bento every day, one of my favorite images was from Little Yuzu's blog in which she did some soot ball onigiri from Spirited Away. Since the bentochallenge this week is Hayao Miyazaki, I had to do one. It's been done quite a few times on other blogs I've seen such as Lunch in a Box and Kitchen Cow, but as I mentioned it's one of my favorite bentos ever so despite the unoriginality that's what I'm eating today.

Yesterday I went home with a bad stomach ache so Mr. Pikko brought me back some pork hash from dinner at his mom's and some kind of tofu carrot patty, which tasted really good. I decided to use that for the filling in my onigiri. The rice came out to just about 1 cup cooked rice, so this bento will be 4 points just like yesterday's. It may look like more, but the filling takes up a decent amount of space inside.

The eyes are made with swiss cheese and I had a hard time with it because I don't have anything circular to cut them out with that small. My first try, I used the bottom of one of my soy sauce bottles but that turned out to be too small so I used one of my thermos soy sauce bottles instead. The nori pupils were punched with my happy face punches from Japan. The stars are made from carrot, Okinawan sweet potato, and cucumbers.

I showed it to Baby Girl and she loved it but I showed it to Buddy and he immediately backed away whimpering with his scared face, so I guess big black onirigi with eyeballs staring at him is way too scary! lol

As you can see from today's and yesterday's photos I'm pretty bored with my plain white background and so have decided to put my numerous furoshiki cloths to use as prettier backgrounds. So far I am pretty happy with how it turns out. It adds more life to the photo, don't you think?

I didn't go jogging again last night because of my lingering stomachache plus my legs are so sore I can barely walk right. We'll see how I do tonight. No promises on that one since tonight I have to make #100, get more bento orders ready, and do the drawing.

August 27, 2007

California Roll & The Dreaded Ex

I have a lot to write about today but first order of business: the bento. I had a pretty wild and rampant calorie weekend, eating a total of 5 Pizza Hut slices (3 Veggie Lovers and 2 Pepperoni) as well as having some very yummy Nabeyaki Udon from Kabuki Waimalu last night. Plus Milano Freezer and cheesecake afterwards, eeps! Anyway, I have to let myself down slowly, so today I have a 4 point bento all from the rice in the sushi.

This bento has some imitation crab that I bought at Don Quijote and I've made a note never to buy their imitation crab again as it was quite smelly and some pieces were a bit slimy. I picked the best looking and best feeling one and threw the rest away. It's not even crab of a good consistency, being very rubbery and hard. I've seen the kind at Foodland which is the one that is pretty soft and you can peel the layers off. They're covered in a plastic wrap and freeze well too. I bought it from Don Quijote because I went there to get something else and was too lazy to go to two markets just for imitation crab. Though now I have to go to two anyway to get more crabso good job me!

On the side I have edamame and soy sauce in a tomato bottle. I totally love the already-cooked edamame they sell at Costco, but it freezer burns very quickly, so you kinda have to eat it fast.

Next up is the garden! I have some new pictures of my brand new tomatoes, which have finally shown themselves!! First up, a general picture of the plants now:

I had larger versions of these pictures but I forgot to upload them to my domain so I'll fix that up later tonight if I remember. Next is a picture of my corn plants:

And finally we have my little babies:

I have like around 10. I had 11 until I accidentally broke one off. :( They're growing pretty quickly as this morning when I went to check on them, they were noticeably bigger!

Ok and last but not least, the dreaded ex. No, I did not run into an ex-boyfriend! I was lying on the couch watching something when I realized that I'm having a hard time sticking to the 5 points a day Core diet so the only thing left for me is to... ugh... exercise. Apparently I mean business too because I went out last night and jogged. An entire mile. A little factoid about me: I despise jogging. I mean what's not to hate? You get tired as heck, your legs hurt, your face turns red, you sweat like mad, you feel like crap. Or at least, I do anyway. I know people who love to run feel good while doing it but I don't run, therefore I don't feel good while doing it. When I came back in last night and went to shower the person looking back from the mirror said, "Don't you ever freakin' do that to me again!" But hopefully I will keep it up. I sure do need it with my jelly belly.

And speaking of jelly belly as a result of pregnancy, I had a sudden surge of hits yesterday, over 500 on a Sunday! I guess someone posted my link on a baby board and now loads of new mamas came here to read and look at my interesting hotdogs. Welcome ladies!! Hope you're all having great healthy pregnancies!! ^_^

One last thing, the bentochallenge poll is up, so if you liked my

August 24, 2007

Spaghetti & Drawing!

Bento #97 for today is a bit plain as I fell asleep early and didn't have any time this morning to do much else than boil the noodles and top it with some veggies. Last night I ate this with regular spaghetti as I was hungry but when I took some for my lunch I only took the sauce because whole wheat pasta (which I have at home) is a Core food while regular pasta is not.

I topped it with corn and bell peppers to give it better color. I was tempted to take garlic bread, but that would have been 2 whole points right there so I thankfully resisted.

Guess what! Our season tickets finally arrived in the mail today! Woohoo! First game is next week Saturday and I cannot wait to start planning our food for those games! Last night I took video of Baby Girl doing all her cheers and I'll get around to posting it before the season starts. I really hope her UH cheerleader outfit still fits cause that sucker was like $50. I have to get down to the Rainbotique and find Buddy a mini football jersey. There's this cute one with the number "1/2" on the back for little boys. It's very awww.

Since I was at the post office today shipping out bento orders, the idea came to me to have a little drawing in celebration of the big #100. So to mark the occasion, I am offering up a prize packet of one Hello Kitty bento box (I'll discuss with you color), some soy sauce bottles, and sushi grass as a prize for a drawing. All you have to do to enter is e-mail me at pikkopots gmail dot com with the following information:

Why you like bento:

Don't worry, I won't post anything except your first name, country, and why you like bento when you win. On the night I'm making #100 I will write everyone's name on a piece of paper and then have Baby Girl pick one from a bag. Hopefully she won't produce a fist full of papers and proclaim everyone winners, cause I'd go broke sending that out!

August 23, 2007

Zebra Bento & Countdown

Yet another reason why I am mental, I dragged the family to Don Quijote (formerly Daiei, formerly Holiday Mart) to look for good items to use in my bento #100, which I thought was going to be today's one. Well lucky thing I came home and triple counted my bentos cause this is actually bento #96! Oh well... the things I bought should hold up fine until then. But from today I will do a countdown. Three actually.

Bento Countdown to 100: 4!
Days until UH Football: 9!
Days until UFC 74: 2!

Granted our opening game is like the joke of all college football but hey, I'm still excited to see Colt throwing again and to see how the team is shaping up this year. A game against a seriously outmatched underdog makes me worry a lot less than opening against Alabama like last year. So, this is at the very least good for my nerves. I'm still nervous since losing to this team would ruin everything, but it's just a little teeny nervousness. What I am nervous about is our season tickets. Where the hell are they??

And yes, we're having another UFC party this weekend, so I'll have to watch what I eat tomorrow because I know I'll probably end up overeating Saturday night.

On to the bento! Today I have made an entry for bentochallenge! The theme this week is favorite song and although I don't have any one single favorite song, this one that I did is definitely high up there. The sandwich the zebra rests on is a turkey and avocado sandwich on Roman Meal Honey Oat bread, so that will count as 3 points. (since I cut off the crusts) The zebra is made out of Swiss cheese and nori cutouts. I'm quite proud of him as I did all the cutting freehand. No printouts this time! His eyes and nostrils are made out of black sesame seeds.

He's wearing a red bell pepper sweater. I wasn't sure this would be clear so that's why I added in the yellow zig zag. At the top are the letters HELLO carved out of bell peppers as well. This word is part of the hint to the song, so pay attention to that too! On the right side I put a KCCA salad for Mr. Zebra to eat. A close up view:

And now for the answer:

Take a guess!

Mr. Zebra by Tori Amos


Hello Mr. Zebra
Can I have you sweater
Cause it's cold cold cold
In my hole hole hole
Ratatouille Strychnine
Sometimes she's a friend of mine
With a gigantic whirlpool
That will blow your mind

Hello Mr. Zebra
Ran into some confusion with a Mrs. Crocodile
Furry mussels marching on
She thinks she's Kaiser Wilhelm
Or a civiliaes syllabub
To blow your mind
Figure it out
She's a goodtime fella
She got a little fund to fight for Moneypenny's rights
Figure it out
She's a goodtime fella
Too bad the burial was premature she said
And smiled

So you see, he's Mr. Zebra and he's wearing a sweater which Ms. Amos wants. :D

If you've never heard the song of course you'll think I'm nutters for liking it and that Tori Amos is clearly singing more than two bricks short of a full load, but if you listen to it, it's a really cute and chipper song. It's very short and is old school Tori back when she still sang with only her piano.

One last thing, a friend from Allakhazam is a finalist on Hunt for the Hunter so that she can be a guest star on the Sci-Fi show Ghost Hunters. Please vote for her! She is the first video displayed, Brittany Beaulac!

August 22, 2007

Turkey Croquette

Last night we had my niece's top choice for dinner, turkey croquette. It's something relatively new on my MIL's menu, popping up maybe 1-2 years ago. It's very yummy! I think she puts oyster sauce or something in it, whatever it is, there's no need for ketchup or any other kind of condiment unlike corned beef hash. Since it consists of potatoes, ground turkey, and panko I count this patty as just one point for the panko.

I took this all in one photo because I knew it would turn out bad and I didn't want to have two shameful pictures to display today. Lately whenever I take pictures in a yellow bento box or a pink bento box the picture looks really bad. Not sure what I'm doing different as my Princess Bonbon bento and Fried Ahi Poke pictures came out great.

I cut up the patty to display it better and made an onigiri bear with a mold that my Aunty K sent to me. (thank you!) I laid half a red bell pepper on top of it for color and veggies. In the bottom layer I have 1/4 an egg salad sandwich. I made this because I had the boiled egg leftover from yesterday's bento (which only contained 2 slices of egg). I had a whole 1/2 sandwich, but the kids saw me making it and busted out the protest signs until I gave them each a piece. Still, it worked out as I was able to put in more veggies and some green grapes we bought at Costco.

Speaking of Costco, I dunno if people have noticed this, but almost everything there is about $2 more expensive than it used to be. The romaine lettuce that used to be $3.49 is now $5.49, the bell peppers which used to be $4.99 is now $6.99, the milk which used to be $3.79 is now $4.99, the Honey Bunches of Oats looks like a smaller box, used to be $4.59 is now $6.49, etc. The prices on tons of things are going way up so be sure to be careful what you are buying there now as it's definitely NOT the price bargain place it used to be. I've only noticed this in the last month or so, but it sucks nonetheless.

Anyway, overall the lunch I count as 4 points. 1 for the panko, 2 for the onigiri, and 1 for the bread (half a slice). I have some Miracle Whip Light in the egg salad but it's so little bit it wouldn't add up to anything at all. (about 1/2 tsp)

August 21, 2007

Brown Bag Meeting

Today at work we're having a "brown bag meeting" where we meet over lunch we bring. We ate chili last night and that doesn't make for a very pretty lunch so I started from scratch this morning and made a pretty decent Core bento.

On the left side I have some small shrimps that I bought at Foodland on Saturday. Inside the little orange dog is some cocktail sauce to go with it. On the right side starting from the top left going clockwise there is: Carrot sticks wrapped in turkey, kim chee crab, avocado, two slices of boiled egg, a mini Babybell cheese, grape tomatoes, and cucumber kim chee.

In total it comes out to 2 points for the cheese. Lately my weakness has been in desserts. We had two birthdays last week which meant I kept eating cake day after day (leftovers) and plus I tend to excuse eating candy too. I've decided that I have to limit myself to 2 desserts per week and I eat a small chocolate Riesen candy to appease my sweet tooth on days I'm not eating any dessert at all. This morning I was 127.8 lbs so hopefully I can keep up with my Core bentos and stick to small dinner portions. That's another bad habit I've been feeling myself falling back into: larger portions simply for the taste. I can feel my stomach being full and yet I still eat, which is totally against what Core is about!

We're now 11 days away from the start of the UH Football season and still no season tickets in the mail! WTF? We'll go to the post office tomorrow probably (since I have a bunch of orders to send out) and see if they're waiting. They freakin' better be! Regardless, I'm really excited. Baby Girl has all her football cheers down too, maybe I'll try to take video of her doing them. So far she's got "DEE FENS!" "GO BOWS!" and "TOUCHDOWN!" all ready. I'm so proud. *sniff*

August 20, 2007

Steamed Opakapaka

I've survived the weekend with my two little tornados. I had to clean the house three times, but what can I do, they're both in their rascal phase. Saturday I took them to Foodland and while I was buying kim chee crab, spotted a really huge opakapaka for sale. This is hands down my favorite fish to eat so even though it was a whopping $28 I picked it up. Unfortunately it was probably reaching the end of it's shelf life as on the way home it really stunk the car up something awful. I'm pretty sure truly fresh fish isn't supposed to stink.

Anyway, I steamed it with my Progressive fish steamer and then poured smoking peanut oil on it followed by liberal amounts of soy sauce. I've made this once before with a small Tai Snapper and it came out good this time too! The kids ate a lot, especially Buddy, who had like 3 helpings. I took a piece with the skin still on for looks.

My grandma would be SO proud of me for serving a dinner with carrot and celery sticks. I don't remember eating dinner at her house all that often, but one thing that definitely sticks out from all the dinners I do remember is her plate of carrot and celery sticks. It was always there without fail. Funnily enough, many of those dinners I remember as being a bigass steamed fish like this one I cooked. All I needed to give my kids to complete the nostalgic dinner was a really HUGE glass of milk. Sadly, I don't have the kind of big glass cups she had. Plus cups of milk that huge are just going to end up spilled on the floor or being swished around by Buddy's milk hungry fingers. Or both! Extreme close-up!

The fish tasted really great and healthy, though I still wish it had been fresher. I added to the top some of the fattest green onions I've ever seen in my life. In my little fish bottle I have Aloha soy sauce. With fish like mahi or salmon I prefer to eat it with a strong sauce like Kikkoman or Yamasa but light tasting fish like this one just get drowned out so I got for a light taste like Aloha. I count this lunch as 2 points for the rice.

August 19, 2007

Sunday Bento & Obon

Last night me and the kids went with my father in law and my niece to the Mililani Hongwanji bon dance. They're a larger temple so they have theirs on two nights. I was so thrilled! It was a monstrous bon dance in a humungous parking lot. Tons of people were dancing and the andagi was soooo fresh and good.

One really cool thing was that Baby Girl felt brave enough to go in and dance without me carrying her. There was a flag dance and she kept saying she wanted to go close and closer until finally I asked if she wanted to go in and she did! We didn't have flags, but we just did the motions anyway; it was a really fun and easy dance. She really enjoyed it so that was awesome!

Hands down though, the best part was their Fukushima song. Finally after like 7 bon dances in the last two years I find one church that has kids in the middle. They weren't yelling "betcho!" but something else. Still, the effect was the same. There had to have been a couple hundred people dancing and they had super fast foot movements that I could only manage to do once because it's rather hard to sidestep and hop from one foot to another while carrying a 30 lb toddler. Baby Girl was content to play with her towels so I took Buddy into the line. He seemed a little perplexed and I saw lots of other people dancing with babies. Around 10 minutes in he starts frowning whenever the kids yelled, which was really cute. A couple minutes later he just put his head on my shoulder and actually SLEPT through the rest of it.

I'll definitely be going to that one next year as it was the best obon on Oahu I've been to by far. Perhaps next year if I remember the season in time, I'll finally get to go to the granddaddy of obons here: Honpa Hongwanji.

Anyway, being at home pretty much all day I made the kids a bento to eat at home. It's pretty simple as I started on it late and they wanted to eat. I cooked a can of vienna sausage along with the hot dogs as I thought Buddy would prefer that. Turned out that he really really loves crab hot dogs. He ate like three by himself!

I made some penguins too but really didn't care for them so I left them for Mr. Pikko to eat, lol!

August 17, 2007

3 Bento Day & Store

Today is Admissions Day, the day that Hawaii became the 50th state. It's also check-ins at UH Manoa which means that starting Monday, I'll be taking much longer naps on the way in to work. Muahaha! Anyway, while normally I'd be celebrating a long weekend, Mr. Pikko has to work so that means for the next two days I have to watch my two darlings by myself. In case it's lost in the interwebs, I say that with sarcasm. Somewhere along the way my children were replaced with Tazmanian devils. Today Baby Girl stripped and refused to put on clothes for 2 hours and Buddy spilled like 4 cups of water and 3 bowls of cheerios.

My bento today consists of all leftover things. Strawberry spinach salad on the right side topped with slivered almonds. In the strawberry bottle is some of my MIL's salad dressing that goes with this salad. On the left side I have two pieces of leftover Tiger Maki, which is basically a California roll with shrimp covering the top. Sadly, I did not make it, I bought it yesterday from Sushiman. Also on the left is edamame soaked in something that smells like Italian dressing and then in the little cup is the rest of my cucumber pickles and a grape tomato.

In the hopes that they'd calm down, I made the two little hurricanes spam musubis and put them into little bentos. Baby Girl did not do so well, eating only the sweet potatoes, cheese, and apples. I guess by the time she was done with that she wasn't hungry enough for the musubi. Though she claims she'll eat it later, I had to toss it out. She can eat one of the extras when she gets up from nap.

Buddy is very good with vegetables, so his bento is structured a bit differently. He's got spam musubi just like his sister but also has edamame sticks, chunks of apple, cucumber slices, and carrot fishies. Unfortunately since their goal for the weekend is to drive me insane, he ninja'd a sweet potato star from Baby Girl who then screeched to high heaven about it and when I convinced him to give it back to her, she then threw it back at him declaring it "Yucky!!" because "He SPIT on it!!" *sigh* Although he completely dismantled the musubi, he did eat it all. And he ate most of the veggies and all of the apples!

The store has been updated with most of the new items I have available, most notably the boxes. I have a few more accessories I have to put up, but aren't those Hello Kitty boxes adorable?!? Click the link in the sidebar to take a look!

August 16, 2007

Spare Ribs

Last night my MIL made my personal favorite of all her dishes, spare ribs. It stinks something awful due to the vinegar she puts in to soften the meat, but man is it the tastiest, most tender thing ever! As soon as we walked in the door yesterday we were like *gag*, but it was an odd mixed feeling because we knew dinner would totally rock. Unfortunately, as much as the food rocks, I was in a complete rush this morning and so the colors in this one are rather drab.

I took a medium sized rib that had a little chunk of meat stuck to it so that it would arrange nicely. In a food cup next to it I have some corn and then tucked into the sides are some Okinawan sweet potato.

I've taken the day off to take Baby Girl to a doctor appointment and will be going to Price Busters to buy some Hello Kitty bento boxes to add to the store. Once I get back, I'll take pictures and add them to the store! YaY!

August 15, 2007

Oven Baked Chicken

Just in case the media on the mainland has failed to report that Flossie is now a Wussie, I live on Oahu and am fine. I did not even feel the earthquake. Heck, I didn't even know there was one! It was gusty yesterday morning but it had died down quite a bit by the time I left work. Still, I am very happy we dodged a bullet. How demeaning would it have been to get owned by someone named Flossie??

Yesterday my MIL made us oven baked chicken and it tasted oh so greasy and oh so good! I took a piece along with some white/brown rice and topped it with some kewpie mayo. After I oozed it on I kinda regretted it because I didn't do so well on the design of it. Maybe next time I'll draw a flower. Next to the chicken are two tomato slices and the last two pieces of tamagoyaki.

On my bottom layer I have some hastily pickled cucumbers (chopped and tossed with salt), carrot flowers, grape tomatoes, sliced avocado, and underneath that there is a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss. I estimate this as a 4 point lunch: 1 for the rice, 1 for the cheese, 1 for the mayo, and 1 for the cornflake breading.

As promised, here is my Yeah! Bon Dance video from last Saturday!

That just kills me. Halfway through Mr. Pikko says something like, "Next up is It's Getting Hot in Here." Anyway, enjoy!

August 14, 2007

Leftover Chinese

My family ordered out Chinese food last night so it was a good thing I'd had an all Core day because it's very easy to overeat Chinese food. We ate from Waimalu Chop Suey and though a couple dishes weren't so great, the others were more than tasty enough to make up for those and the gau gee was so freaking gigantic it was like eating a whole one even cut in half.

Today's lunch is pretty drab, I'm basically just showing you what I'm eating. I wish I could have presented it better, but there's not much else to it. There's a mixture of a bunch of veggies as well as some pieces of chicken, beef, and pork. I took mostly vegetables as that's a good way to keep your calorie intake down when pigging out on Chinese food. Or at least, I like to tell myself that. I usually load up on tons of broccoli, won bok, ong choi, carrots, and then start picking lean meats and then last of all noodles.

I'm still trying to get my Yeah! bon dance video imported to my computer, but turns out I need a special cable, which I hope to get today. I watched it again last night on my camera and it's so hilarious.

Next week Tuesday I have a "brown bag" meeting so I will have to come up with something that looks yummy so that I can have a great lunch to talk about. I'd never even heard of such a thing, so I was pretty thrilled!

I have a few things to add to the store, but I haven't had the time to add them yet. I hopefully can get that done tonight. I have some nice 3 tier picnic bento boxes available as well as some nice small circular boxes good for packing sushi for lunch. Mr. Pikko took vacation today so I may end up going to Marukai this afternoon.

August 13, 2007

Shrimp & Avocado Salad

As I mentioned last week, we took a trip to Kona this weekend. It broke the wallet to be sure, but was definitely worth it to take a vacation and see all the family I haven't seen in forever. It probably would have been nicer if my little Buddy wasn't such a ball of terror at night, but I can't blame him for having what appeared to be a hard time sleeping in a strange place. Plus, I dragged everyone up into the boonies of Kona to go to a bon dance, so that likely didn't help, haha.

Since I wasn't home all weekend I didn't get a chance to shop for food so I ended up making a salad for today. It's just as well since I ate a whole lot of cookies and bad foods over the weekend. (we went to Mrs. Barry's Cookies) I did discover that I sure stock a whole lot of salad foods in my fridge.

On the bottom where you can't see I have finely chopped romaine lettuce, celery, and edamame. On top I have cucumber slices, radish slices, sakura shaped ham, shrimp, avocado, grape tomatoes, and sakura carrots. This is a pretty big bento box so it's a nicely sized salad and with the 3 fruits (1 plum, 1 nectarine, 1 banana) I brought along with a bag of Smart Pop popcorn, that should be more than enough to tide me over for today. All Core salad, so I'm on the right track for this week!

The bon dance we went to was at this temple called Kona Koyasan Daishinji Mission (in Holualoa, up on the mountain, basically) and it was a nice, cute bon dance. We got there when they were taking a break for dinner, which oddly appeared to be free for all attendees. Mr. Pikko says he saw some lamers leaving with plates of food. We had just eaten so we didn't take anything. Their towels were free though, so I took two of those as I like to sort of collect those. They had a small yagura tower and the drummers were at the foot of it rather than inside it. They played some great songs and the drummers usually beat to each one, making them all pretty entertaining.

I took video of a lot of it and it was a good thing too because I was able to capture on camera one of the most hilarious and hip dances I've ever seen. They had a man announcing each song and he goes, "Next up we have "Yeaaaah!" and I thought eh? Then they start up "Yeah!" by Usher and all the old ladies in kimonos are dancing to Usher and saying, "Yeah!" Once I find my Adobe Premiere cd I am so putting that up for people to see. It was their favorite song, they played it three times!

Their last song was Fukushima Ondo and sadly, there was no one there to play the flute for it. Still, I got in and danced (once again carrying Baby Girl). There was a small group of kids there that were trying to get a "betcho" started, but didn't do so well since there weren't too many people. It died out right after the first "Betcho, betcho, betcho! Yo, yo, yokoisho!". Still, I was still happy to hear them trying! My dad says he saw a special on tv about the betcho and I was kinda bummed I missed it. Hopefully I can figure out who made it and find it online somewhere.

August 10, 2007

Shoyu Chicken Wings

Today I have for lunch the shoyu chicken wings that I forgot to take home the other day. I've only got 1 wing and 1 half piece of something else, I'm not sure what, but obviously I took it so that the point count wasn't so high. If my memory serves me correct, these things are like 3 points each so although my lunch looks quite healthy, I estimate it at a hefty 5.5 points. Sad, because that means that today will probably be another maintenance day and not a 5 point diet day. Unless I can restrain myself properly at dinnertime that is!

On the left side I have two slices of tamagoyaki (it's actually dashimaki tamago), the chicken, some sliced avocado, and two small onigiri (1 point). On the right side is my salad which is made out of romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, celery, edamame, cucumbers, and carrot flowers. In the Hello Kitty bowl is some Kraft Free Ranch. Everything is Core except the chicken and rice.

Today was day 8 of preschool for Baby Girl and I am one proud mama to announce that it was the first day she did not cry when we dropped her off. She smiled and went to the attendant and then happily waved to us goodbye. *sniff* *tear* Such a good girl.

We leave for Kona tomorrow and I'm pretty excited about seeing my family again, especially since one of my cousins has never met Buddy before! It'll be our first official family vacation, woot!

August 9, 2007

Tamagoyaki Attempt #3

Last night my mommy in law made her shoyu chicken wings, which are really good, but really high in points. The taste outweighed my points conservation though, so I packed 2 of them to eat for today's lunch. That would have been awesome except I forgot it on her kitchen counter! Very typical of me.

So anyway, I had to come up with something from scratch again, which I seem to be doing rather often. Unfortunately I am nowhere near as fast as the Queen of Speed bentos over at Lunch in a Box. In fact, considering the time it takes me to do these, I'm the polar opposite. I don't consider that a good thing. Okay, so I decided to try some tamagoyaki again with my expensive ass tamagoyaki pan from the local Japanese ripoff store, Shirokiya. I'd seen a cool video on YouTube and that woman's recipe included potato starch to make it roll nicer. Well, I forgot to buy potato starch last time I was at the market, so I ended up trying Biggie's recipe. She's got a super awesome tutorial here.

I read that and thought, well hey now, that's precisely what I needed, a "Tamagoyaki for Dummies" page with pictures. My first attempt came out ok, I'd done it in a frying pan and it tasted good. My second attempt was frustrating because I wasn't aware of the oiling I was supposed to do with a regular pan. I was hoping my third would land me with a standard recipe I'd use all the time. So I started things going and went out to pick (at 11 pm) green onions from my little potted stalks. (I'm running out!!)

I've mentioned before that I'm cursed when it comes to cooking eggs. This time was no exception. I followed the tutorial exactly and was getting so upset because the darned eggs were so soft and jelly like that every time I folded it over, it would simply crack and I had 3 layers of egg instead of a rolled egg. It took me a good 40 minutes to finally cook the stupid thing and shockingly, AMAZINGLY, it came out fine. Seriously, what a lot of stress. At least now I know that no matter how much I screw it up, it'll turn out okay as long as I can make it though the entire omelette without chucking it in a furious rage.

I put in more of the leftover brown fried rice. Although it has taste and the chicken is good, the ham stars I had them with previously were really good so this time I added ham flowers with a little cheese center cut out with a straw. In the middle is some microwaved pipi kaula. On the right side is half a boiled egg (though I forgot to pack soy sauce) and two wedges of above-mentioned tamagoyaki. On the left side I put some veggies: three cucumber slices, some carrot chopped into little triangles, and a grape tomato.

My cousin informed me yesterday that when I get to Kona, something totally frakin' amazing will be waiting for me: FOOD FROM Y'S LUNCH SHOP. OMG OMG OMG! To give some background, my parents used to run the family floral shop in downtown Hilo and it was right next door to this holy shrine of good food called Y's Lunch Shop. Whenever I go home and I want okazuya, my mom will take me to Hilo Lunch Shop or something across from the tennis stadium and I'm sorry, but it's just not the same. My old time favorites from Y's:

- Spam musubi!!
- Fried fish!!
- Fishcake (thin little circles, lol)
- Fried chicken!! (to die for, no joke)
- Egg (I used to just call it "egg", obviously I now know it's "tamagoyaki")
- the tiny potato fritters!! (10 cents each back then)
- Okinawan Donut (or as my husband will curtly correct me, "It's called andagi.")

Once in a blue moon Mrs. Miyamoto would cook this pork tofu dish. Broke da mouth just thinking about it. I was lucky enough to eat the food when she was still cooking it, but the recipes are still the same so the only thing that would be missing is the love that she obviously put into her dishes. Needless to say, my mouth is watering over it already. I haven't eaten there in at least 8-10 years or something crazy like that. The only problem with Y's was that they were only open whenever they felt like opening. I remember all too well the many times I ran out the front door of the florist and was greeted with their door, closed. It's probably better now, but since my aunty always refers to "calling Y's to see if they open" I'm guessing not much has changed schedule wise. Hahaha!

August 8, 2007

Mapo Tofu & Beef Broccoli

I had a very stressful night last night as I had to make my bento for today ahead of time so that we could leave on time today and then I had to pack up the many bento packages for the store. I ended up going to bed at 2 am because my bento was giving me such a hard time! The colors were so drab in one layer yet vibrant in another. Eventually I just gave up and settled on one brown themed layer and one bright layer.

From left to right I have rice, beef broccoli, mapo tofu, and then a boiled egg bear. I soaked him in soy sauce for a bit to make him brown and then gave him a little brother to snuggle with. (more soy sauce)

This layer is thankfully healthier than the top layer, though not by much. I have leftover yakisoba in a food cup, sliced cucumbers (which I will eat with plain salt), carrot flowers, a grape tomato, and then my dessert. The dessert is in the cute little animal cup. There are 3 little strawberry Whoppers hidden in there. Hee!

Yesterday I tried to go down to Satellite City Hall to pay my van registration and I got lost in the Ala Moana parking lot and when I finally got there, lo and behold they'd just closed the door. So typical of me. Not wanting to let that get me down, I drove over to Marukai, heehee. I picked up a bunch of new things for the store but unfortunately, still no new bento boxes. :( I'll probably go to Price Busters today to get some of the Hello Kitty stuff.

August 7, 2007

Sun, Moon, & Stars Bento

Last night I figured I'd make my bento ahead of time so that we could leave early this morning. Since I wanted to do a low point lunch I decided to make fried rice with brown rice and the leftover Costco chicken from the weekend. I started cooking my rice at 9:45 pm and the darned rice cooker was still puffing away at quarter to midnight. This was for ONE cup of brown rice!! Finally I gave up and went to bed and just as we're falling asleep Mr. Pikko is like, "What was that??" It's the rice cooker beeping. *mumble grumble*

This week's bento challenge is a Space theme, so though when I started making my bento this morning I didn't intend to have a space theme, the ideas for it came into my head as I was arranging things and as a result, I have a Sun, Moon, and Stars bento. They're going to start offering prizes too! I'll have to work harder on my bentos!

Underneath on the bottom left is my fried rice which is brown rice, olive oil, green onions (snipped from my garden this morning!), Costco chicken, peas from dinner last night, and some Aloha Hawaiian Honey BBQ sauce. On the right is one diced fishcake, which is 1 point I think. At the top are some sugar snap peas that I lightly blanched. In the Hello Kitty mini bowl I have some Kraft Free Ranch. On top I have ham stars, a mini Babybel sliced in half for a moon, a bell pepper sun, and two grape tomatoes to give some red in the middle. Extreme close-up! Total points: 2!

I would have taken a picture of the box, but I made the mistake of letting the kids play with this box so now I'm missing the little sliding bar that holds in the fork and spoon. It's really a miracle that I still have the utensils!

My bento store has really taken off nicely! I've made 4 rather big sales so far. Hooray! Now I can tell fellow bento nuts that I'm a "bento personal shopper". Bwahaha!

August 6, 2007

Kim Chee Crab Sandwich

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I sure had a productive one! Folded a pile of laundry backed up since like February or something crazy like that, opened my bento store, went to a bon dance in Waipahu, got Rank 8 in FFXI, and I even managed to do a Pikko Pots update! Go me!

I had bought crab last week but forgot about it so I had a whole 1/2 lb tub in the fridge. I didn't want to just bring a KCCA salad for lunch so I tried something new by making my own "seafood salad" sandwich. It's quite expensive points wise, coming out to 5.5 points, just for a sandwich!! Each slice of Roman Meal Honey Oat bread is 2 points (sob) and I added 1 1/2 Tbsp of Miracle Whip Light, which is 1.5 points. Ouch!

I toasted the bread too much so it was quite frustrating to cut it. I even sharpened my knife before slicing and it was still rock hard. Plus with a sandwich that thick you know I ended up squishing everything all over the place and then shoved it back in. Anyway, I wanted to include the last of my almost dead avocado, so I mashed it up and mixed it up with my thinly sliced lettuce so that it would stay in nicely. If I'd used just plain chopped lettuce it's likely I'd have ended up flinging my sandwich around the kitchen like a wild monkey. That stuff is so hard to handle, especially when you're chopping it like that! I added some sliced bell peppers for color and to eat more veggies.

I mentioned going to a bon dance in Waipahu. It was the Waipahu Soto Zen Temple Taiyoji on Waipahu street and I thought it was a good one. They had a sizable crowd dancing and I even got to dance to Fukushima Ondo this time, though I only did the footwork because I was holding Baby Girl while doing it. That gets pretty tiring after a while obviously, so thankfully she requested we get out of line after one circle of the yagura tower. Buddy was having loads of fun driving Mr. Pikko crazy by running all over the parking lot and ramming people's feet with the stroller. Unfortunately we only stayed an hour because Baby Girl had a stomach ache. Still, first time this season I got to dance! We'll be in Kona next weekend and I'm hoping that I can convince my brother or cousins to go to the one there. It starts at 8 pm so I'm hoping maybe we could go around 10. But I'm there for my cousin's wedding reception so if there's no time, then no big deal. I just can't resist the thought of going to a Big Island one again.

Our tomato garden is really starting to pick up now and our corn plants have sprouted. How exciting!

Re: The store

I added the matching Putifresh bento bags this morning!

August 4, 2007

Store & Slideshow

Okie dokies people, today I've miraculously managed between Baby Girl's 500 questions and Buddy's 300 requests for various foods to complete a slideshow and a sorry excuse for a store to sell some bento things. It's a PayPal cart and I have the most ghetto shipping policy ever, but I hope it works anyway!

The store can be accessed here. I welcome comments but please keep the laughter about the site layout to a minimum. I was really lazy and pressed for time so I just used a Dreamweaver template.

My slideshow is of my bentos obviously, but I picked out only the ones I like more than the others.

I had more to say, but I've just run my toes across a Fruity Cheerio that I apparently crushed with my chair earlier today and so now I've got to go pull out some hair and slowly count to ten while I pick the little pieces out of the carpet.

August 3, 2007

Gyoza & Onigiri

I did a count today and excluding salads and fruit bentos, today's bento will be my 83rd lunch!! Wow!! I will have to start planning to see what I will do for my 100th bento! Must go look at for ideas...

Last night we had stew for dinner and though it was good, I didn't feel like coming up with yet another creative way to arrange stew. Though now that I say that, an idea comes to mind, haha! Next time! So anyway, I had to do something from scratch and ended up pulling out my packet of frozen gyoza. This is the Ajinomoto brand pork gyoza, which is by far the best one I've tasted so far. And even better, it's cooked with no oil, just water! Each one is a point, so this lunch comes out to a big 5 points because of the rice I used in the onigiri.

The onigiri is mixed with some furikake and wrapped in a pretty tasty brand of ajitsuke nori I got at Marukai. On the side is some shelled edamame, takuan, and an ume.

I bought this box at the Windward Mall Marukai and though the cover isn't the greatest, when I saw the partitions inside I had to have it. Plus, it was calling my name having a $1.49 price tag. I took stock yesterday while being bored at home and my bento box collection has reached an alarming count of 50. I'm going to have to look into alternative storage methods in another area of the house soon. One that my rascal son cannot unpack every morning like he does with my dry oriental foods drawer. >.<

August 2, 2007

Ebi Curry Spaghetti

I'm at home sick today but since I will be venturing out to get a safety check on my van at a place nearby, I decided to go during lunchtime so that I can still do a bento today. This morning Baby Girl was really whimpery and sad about going back to school for some reason, so I took her in to school instead of her going with Daddy. She started screaming as soon as we got to the classroom and the aide had to pry her off my leg. Hopefully it really is just the dropping off part she doesn't like and this afternoon she'll be all smiles again.

I mentioned that I'd bought some packet to make Ebi Curry Spaghetti (ebi meaning shrimp) and I tried it out today. I ate what didn't fit in the box and it was pretty good!

The whole package according to the back is 2 servings at 140 calories and 1 gram of fat, which strikes me as a little odd but I guess since the serving of noodles is so small, that would be why. Whatever, something that low fat I can definitely live with!! Still, it comes out to 4 points for lunch. Not too bad, but it means I'll have to eat a pretty strict Core dinner tonight.

It was pretty easy to make, took about I dunno 10 minutes? That was probably because I sliced and cut the carrot flowers though. As you can see, there's broccoli to go with it. It looked pretty plain so I chopped up some carrot really fine to sprinkle on top. I have one more package in the fridge along with the rest of the shrimp, so maybe I'll try it out on the kids this weekend. ^_^

August 1, 2007

Tonkatsu w/ Chicken salad

The preschool drop-off today went ok with no tears while we were there! Whew! We'll see how things are tomorrow when she has to go back, heh.

As I mentioned yesterday, with 10k I wanted to reward myself so I went to Marukai. Mr. Pikko had taken the day off and I had a splitting headache by afternoon so I left about an hour early. Of course, headaches at work suck but headaches while shopping for bento things suck a bit less, so I went anyway. The only bad part about it was that while I was in the dollar store they had this horrifying music playing on their telephone speakers throughout the store. It did not help my pounding head.

Still, I found some great accessories! There were no new boxes and as usual the place looked like a ransacked trinket store, but I got a lot of cute paper food cups, some cute seafood food dividers, some animal food cups with covers, and some other animal food cups (which I have used today). I bought two of the plastic animal food cups thinking I could sell one but then later I discovered that the two packages, though identical in shapes and animals, had different colors for different shapes (meaning the triangle one was blue in one and green in another) so of course I had to keep both. Haha! I picked up a couple other things to sell as well. I hope to have a PayPal cart of extra items up soon, keep an eye out for that if you're looking to get started!

When I was up in LA my cousin and I were joking around about how we'd buy Marukai subscriptions and then by the next time we go back, it's been well over a year and the subscription is expired so basically we pay $10 a year to shop there once. Well, I am determined to change that! After the dollar store I stopped by the Marketplace next door and picked up a few things. One of the things I was excited to get was what I've seen called "kewpie mayo" on several other blogs. It was a bit hard to find and was labeled "QP Mayo" instead, but I finally have one in stock at home! I also bought two packets of noodles to make "Ebi Curry Spaghetti". Once I buy me some shrimp I will have to try that. The calorie/fat info on the back was surprisingly low! It was a bit odd. I couldn't find the front door for some reason. There was only one door that said EXIT EXIT EXIT DO NOT ENTER all over it. Finally it ended up being all the way down where it looked like a different store. And then when I checked out, they didn't bag my stuff, just put it back into a basket and shoved the bags in there! I didn't mind, it was just odd since I didn't know that's how they do it!

Today for lunch I have leftover tonkatsu along with furikake rice, veggies in the food cup I mentioned above, sliced fishcake, and romaine lettuce with cukes, tomatoes, and rotisserie chicken. I count this as 3 points: 1 for rice (since it's mixed w/ brown), 1 for the flour on the tonkatsu (fried in olive oil, pork and egg are Core), and 1 for the fishcake. I'm just guessing on the flour though. I figure it's better to overestimate. Inside the little thermos bottle is some Catalina Free salad dressing, also Core.

Lunch is packed in a new bento box that I found at Price Busters. They had the same box in three colors so of course I had to get them all... They each have different pictures and at $1.99 I can't resist. And bonus, they all have food dividers! I love boxes that come with those! :D I've found that most of these really cheap boxes are old ones as the copyright date is around 2003 or so. But I don't care if they're from the 90s. If it's cheap, I'm there!

Today is August 1st, which marks 1 month until what will be the greatest season in UH Football history. Can. Not. Wait.