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September 28, 2007

BBQ Beef (120)

Yesterday we ate food from Kim Chee 7 at Westridge and that is always a winner. I packed up some of the barbeque beef, which is really good at Kim Chee. Kim Chee restaurants have the best food hands down while the vegetables at Gina's are the best. Mr. Pikko was saying that if we could combine Gina's vegetables with Kim Chee food, ohh that would be heaven.

Oh! And what is this next to my delicious pieces of beef? Could it be? YES! Tomatoes from my garden!!!!! They've been this color for several days now and I just couldn't take it already, so I picked five this morning. The reddest ones were starting to get little blemishes on them so I didn't want them to spoil or anything. They're so freakin' teeny tiny, but since I grew them myself I'm still so proud of them. I put them next to some slices of avocado and added some Kraft Free Ranch into the kitty cup for the tomatoes. They smell really great! :D

I mentioned Black Friday a couple days ago and someone commented advertising another black friday ads site, but I saw this other one that I liked too that I think I used last year for research. To those who don't know what Black Friday is, it's the day after Thanksgiving, which we all know to be the "busiest shopping day of the year". Being a last minute Amazon frenzy shopper, I'd never understood why that would be until I heard about Black Friday. It's the day all the crazy people ditch Thanksgiving dinner to go stand in line at Best Buy, Circuit City, Toys R Us, and KB Toys in order to get the smashingly good deals only available that day.

We did this last year and went to CompUSA, Toys R Us, KB Toys, and Office Depot. I had a plan too. I'd researched a whole day and made an entire excel sheet notating what toys to get and everything and what did I do? I took it to work to look at and then LEFT IT THERE. All my careful research, hosed. Anyway, we were going over the times we'd go to the store. Mr. Pikko would go to Office Depot for a monitor and tv and I would go to Toys R Us. It was 5 pm and we were headed to his MIL's house to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I told him we should drive by Best Buy and I bet there would be people there, to which he replied I was insane. We go there and there are at least 50 people waiting in line. Circuit City, same thing.

We ended up going to CompUSA first because they decided to hold their sale at 10 pm instead of 6 am like everyone else. We learned a few lessons right away. One: shop with a partner. The worst part about BF shopping is by far the checkout lines. One person should zoom around the store picking up things while the other stands in line. If you've ever been to the Pearl Highlands CompUSA you have an idea on the size of the store. Well, the line 15 minutes after they opened was wrapping around the store TWICE. Our shopping was done in 10 minutes and we didn't get out of CompUSA until midnight.

On the way back to his mom's house, I told him to stop by Toys R Us to check out the line. He told me there was no way people would stand in line for TOYS. Delusional man. *sigh* There were people there sleeping on the parking lot with their kids sleeping in shopping carts. We went home to nap and he brought me back out at 2 am and the line was looping all the way out to the road and curling back behind the store. I got in line, plopped my chair down, and ate my Zippy's spaghetti. Meanwhile, these people in front of me are joined by some of their family and they start talking really loud about how KB Toys is already open and there are NO LINES. I'm wondering if this is just a ploy to get me out of line, but then they were in front of me, so I didn't see why. After debating it for 10 minutes I finally ask one of the ladies in front of me and packed up my stuff, drove over to KB Toys at Pearlridge and sure enough. They were open at midnight and all the people at Toys R Us had no idea. I bought so many toys that I carried a bag of toys back to the car that went up past my waist. It was insane. And freakin' cheap too!

The adventure continued with me going to Office Depot with Mr. Pikko to stand in line since I was done with my shopping by 3 am and then later to Toys R Us which ended up being a BIG mistake because the lines were ridiculously stupid. They went all the way to the back of the store and people had shopping carts stacked up a few feet taller than themselves. This year I'm just beating the crowd, heading to KB Toys at midnight and then going home to sleep off my turkey and play Wings of the Goddess.

I've got it all figured out, so this basically guarantees something will go wrong!

September 27, 2007

Nuggets (119)

I know what you're thinking already. When the heck is Pikko going to use her darned fancy schmancy egg thinger!?!? I haven't had time yet. :( Maybe tonight! I keep falling asleep when I put Buddy to bed and that usually hoses my entire free time for the day. I really need to stop doing that and train the little fart to fall asleep on his own again.

I got up early this morning, 4 am! Geeeez! I cooked rice but got really lazy and so I looked in the freezer and decided to use some of my Morningstar nuggets, which if I remember correctly, are made out of vegetables but taste like chicken.

Some will look at this picture and this, furikake rice? With chicken nuggets?? This bento is actually just part of my stomach's master lunch plan. I felt like eating furikake rice this morning, but had no meat unless I wanted to eat mochiko chicken again (which by the way, my mother in law made for dinner last night!) so I used the nuggets. I'll eat some of the rice, then use the rest to put into a can of chicken noodle soup I brought along with my lunch. So this way I get nuggets, furikake rice, and soup with rice too. Oh and carrots.

Too bad I forgot to pack fruits. Way to mess up the master plan, Pikko!

Bento orders were packed up this morning and I'll go to the post office this afternoon.

September 26, 2007

Sushi Bento (118)

Today I'm breaking in a new box, my new Monokuro Boo box! This was one I bought a couple weeks ago but just haven't gotten around to using. It's a pretty small box and since I didn't have too much food to put in it, it seemed like the time was right for its debut.

I used two slices of the tamagoyaki I made yesterday and made me some tamago sushi along with a roll of ume maki to use up the last of my leftover rice. To add color I put in some sliced avocado and carrot sticks.

I forgot to sharpen the image this morning before uploading so the photo is a lil bit fuzzy. I have peeled rambutan and cigar mango in the bottom layer but didn't think it was exciting enough to photograph.

I do believe this is one of my very rare vegetarian bentos. I'll probably end up eating some Smart Pop today to help fill the meat void. I have heard about the whole popcorn lung thing, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop eating popcorn altogether. What I have decided is that eating a bag 3-4 times a week probably isn't a good idea anymore, so I'm limiting myself to one bag per week.

I've also got to somehow get my brain back onto the points system. I've been having difficulties ever since I dropped down past 130 because I guess part of me feels that this is the lightest I've been since 1997 so I'm really still way ahead of myself. I find myself still watching my portions but I no longer pay strict attention to how many points I'm eating. Still, I've been bouncing between 125 and 128 for the last month, so I suppose I haven't been all THAT naughty with my eating habits.

September 25, 2007

Mochiko Chicken Again! (117)

When it was game time last Saturday I kind of forgot all about my poor mochiko chicken waiting patiently in the freezer, so I took pity on it this morning and nuked a piece for lunch today. It still looks rather burnt, but smelled great. Also, since I fell asleep really early with the kids last night, I woke up at 5 am. With all that time on my hands I decided to try out Harumi's tamagoyaki recipe. I may have misread the directions and added way too much mirin because it came out incredibly sweet and tastes like the kind you eat at sushi bars, which isn't a bad thing, but I'll definitely have to use the rest of it to make me some tamago sushi. Maybe tomorrow!

Miraculously, this round of tamagoyaki cooked rather nicely. I'm not sure if it's something in her recipe, but for once my egg actually looked like a roll by the second round of egg. Could be some kind of magical egg powers her book gives me. I nuked the chicken straight out of the freezer for 1:11 and it turned out just right and good for slicing. I usually microwave things at 1:11 or 2:22 or something like that because Mr. Pikko is a pro at simplicity and efficiency (ie laziness) and taught me to microwave 1/2 of a second faster than I could before! I made some Costco fried rice from leftover rice, leftover rotisserie chicken, olive oil, soy sauce, and Seto Fumi furikake. The edamame as I've mentioned, is the pre-cooked, frozen kind from Costco so I just defrost some in water and it's ready. Baby Girl helped me to string the yellow pick and she was so proud to have helped me make my bento! I added the carrot flowers and parsley for color and garnish.

Square Enix just recently announced the release date for their new expansion Wings of the Goddess and it will ship November 20th, just a few days after the Fan Festival. Content will be released on Thanksgiving Day. AUUUGH. Maybe they thought everyone would be at home and would be happy to play right after they stuff themselves silly, but last year we ended up trying Black Friday shopping. I can't play Wings of the Goddess if I'm camped out at Toys R Us and Office Depot!! *sad*

September 24, 2007

Meatball w/ Onigiri (116)

People have been asking me WHERE I got my nori punches and the Dreamland egg thinger from and the answer is that I found it on this website. Don't ask me how I found that link because frankly, I don't remember. I clicked around randomly until I saw the Dreamland item, then I asked my friend in Japan to tell me if they shipped to the US. They don't, so he offered to buy it for me and ship it to me. Each item cost 12USD. Unfortunately, I didn't know that he was able to send it via USPS so I was afraid of how much the shipping would be if I bought more to sell, so I don't have any extras. :( I was too afraid that I'd get stuck with an item that I would end up having to charge like 20 bucks for.

Today I have two onigiri using the face punches. One looks like he's ROFLing and the other looks like a girlie wondering what he's laughing at! I have 3 Aidell's meatballs along with sliced tomato and rolled up Canadian bacon cut into 3 sections.

For my bottom layer I packed blueberries, some peeled and sliced cigar mango, and some peeled and cored rambutan. My dad brought me all of this plus two fresh coconuts. Unfortunately, some Big Island wildlife came along for the ride so now I have kobais in the house. I have no idea how to spell "kobai" but that's what we call those irritating little fat fruit flies. The Big Island way of getting rid of them is to leave out a bottle of shoyu cause those stupid bugs love to fly into the bottle and then they drown in the sauce. My brother once told me that he told his roommate this and that he was given odd looks all around. Those ceased the next morning when his roomies saw that the flies had indeed done a little suicide mission into the bottle.

The box I used to pack it can be viewed here. I found a bunch of these at Marukai and they were only 99 cents for once, so if people are interested, I'll be putting them up on the store soon for $1.99. I have different designs on blue, green, yellow, and pink boxes. Another update on my tomato garden, they're turning orange already!!

I'm so excited!!!

I received my copy of Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking last Thursday and will be trying out several of her recipes over the coming weeks and tagging those entries with "harumi". She's got a lot of great looking pictures in there and even a small chapter on bento! This excited me a lot so I'll have to try those out first for sure.

I mentioned that I had something special planned for the football game but it didn't turn out quite like how I wanted so I'm going to revise my plan and post pictures once I've settled on something I like.

The newspapers had all been saying that Colt Brennan was going to play, but shockingly, the game starts and Tyler Graunke is the starting quarterback. His first toss, interception. We were all very disappointed but then something unthinkable happened. The HOME CROWD at Aloha Stadium begins to boo him. Mistake after mistake people keep on booing him. I simply couldn't believe it. I mean, I'm of the opinion myself that he was doing terrible, but I wasn't going to freakin' abandon him and BOO him. WTF Hawaii? He kept messing up and I knew after a while people were going to start chanting for Colt and sure enough, despite a decent lead in points, the crowd starts to chant, "WE WANT COLT! WE WANT COLT! WE WANT COLT!" It was mind boggling. Heaven forbid we actually SUPPORT him. I wonder if anyone booing thought that maybe the booing was what kept him slipping up? And then to make things even worse for Tyler, the third string QB Inoki Funaki plays the last quarter and makes him look like a chump. I felt so bad for him. =\ He looked a lot better last year.

I blame the papers. They all reported Colt was playing as of Friday and I'm guessing this was to get high attendance without Colt Brennan playing. Maybe that was just what they were told, but I'm pretty sure it ticked people off. It's sad because it means people come to see him and not the team itself, but how can you not want to see history in the making?

UH's record: 4-0!

September 21, 2007

New Bento Toys!

I'm at home sick today with the King of Headaches. I must say, he's quite the grumpy guy. With no bento, I thought I would show my spiffy new bento toys, which arrived yesterday from Mr. Pikko's friend in Japan. Thank you thank you thank you, Carl! I also would like to thank Susperia from FFXI for helping me with the instructions!

First of all, I have a new set of nori punches. I'm sure Bento Investigators out there have found images of this item before. Aren't they adorable?? I can't wait to do onigiri with them.

As exciting as the punches are though, this was what I was most looking forward to. It's called a "Dreamland" or something. It's a spiffy Japanese contraption that lets you cook eggs with shaped yolks. Isn't that just awesome?? I can't wait to try it out! It can be used for Jell-O too, wheeeeeeee.

Things finally seem to be settling down, thank goodness. I wanted to start prepwork for my football musubis tomorrow, but if his Majesty doesn't go away, I'll have to do it tomorrow morning. I have a new batch of bento orders that need packaging up to take care of too. My dad is coming to visit for the football game and he requested that I take him on an errand to... Marukai dollar store. Hahahahaha! He has to buy some kind of plastic tray and he was like, "If you cannot take me that's ok..." Hehe, no worries Daddy-O, I'll make me some time to go!

More good news: My tomatoes are ripening!!! They're quite small, which I'm guessing is due to me being too lazy to go buy fertilizer. But who cares!! They're small and cute and I grew them myself!! *beam*

And more on another plant!


September 20, 2007

Teriyaki "Butt" Chicken (115)

I am now on Day 5 of wild and crazy busy week. I can barely find the time to think lately, I'm even forgetting to blog! D: Last night we ate May's Teriyaki Chicken thighs, which I think is a Hawaii brand of foods. They make wicked teriyaki burgers too! Anyway, I packed some up and put it on the dashboard when we were putting the kids in the car. I forgot we were on a slope and the tupperware came skateboarding down onto my seat and crash landed in a violent frenzy of rice, corn, and chicken. I screeched and picked it up immediately, but Mr. Pikko still felt the need to say, "Don't worry, the only thing that goes there is my ass." Well, gee, thanks dear! Anyway, that's why I put the "Butt" in the title. It fell under the 5 second rule, so it's all good, right?!?

I added in some edamame and an umeboshi. The box I used is actually quite ugly, I bought it simply for the nice food separations inside the box. Not that it mattered today since in my haste to get into the car this morning I dropped my bento bag, causing it to land upside down. *sigh*

September 19, 2007

Mochiko Chicken (114)

As I mentioned yesterday, I had Mochiko Chicken marinating. I'm going crazy with too much to do, so I'm going to keep today's blog short and sweet. Recipe from Jean Watanabe Hee's cook book, Hawaii's Best Local Recipes:

2 lb boneless chicken thighs
4 Tb Mochiko flour
4 Tb cornstarch
4 Tb sugar
5 Tb soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tb sesame seeds
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2 eggs, beaten
oil for frying

Combine all ingredients except chicken and oil. Add chicken and marinate overnight or for at least 5 hours. Fry in oil until golden brown.

This tastes decent, but I wouldn't know just how good it is because I made the mistake of frying this while working on the Allakhazam website last night. As a result I have a whole lot of "overly golden brown" mochiko chicken, hahaha!

I ate this already and despite my hopes, it still tastes charred. I put in a bit of rice, some carrot and celery sticks, and in the bottom layer I put cheese, grapes, and banana flowers. That's all I have time for today! Bento orders were mailed out yesterday!

September 18, 2007

Curry & Veggie Croquette

I'm one of those market shoppers that go with a list but then grab things that look good or things that are on sale and as a result I have a freezer that requires grunting to close because it's so full of frozen foods that I may one day use. This morning I decided to actually USE some of it and fried up one curry croquette and one veggie croquette. These are quite yummy and easy to make. All you do is deep fry them, I like to use a tiny little pot so that it covers the whole patty yet doesn't use up a ton of oil.

Last night I made teriyaki beef for dinner and we ate it all, but still had a lot of rice left so I was a bit generous with my rice portion this morning. I topped it with Seto Fumi furikake then put the croquettes cut in half on top of it. To add color I put some little carrot sticks and some corn.

Yesterday I mentioned that I would be mailing orders out, but as we were driving to the post office Mr. Pikko asked me if I wanted him to try picking the three Hayden mangoes that he had seen at his gramps' house the other day. Dangle Hayden mangoes in front of me and I lose all rational thought, so we went to try to pick them. Turns out the mango tree hates short Japanese people and we couldn't get the picking stick high enough to get them. By the time we were done with this futile attempt, we had to just hele onto the freeway to pick up the kids in time. My in-laws come back today though, so I will be able to go this afternoon for sure. I apologize for the delay. ; ;

Too bad for me that this morning I started cooking dinner for tonight, not realizing that we weren't even going to be eating at home. So now I have mochiko chicken marinating and we're not going to eat it. What I'll do is fry it tonight, freeze it, then defrost for the Charleston Southern game on Saturday. This will go along great with the plan I have for the onigiri. You'll see what it is! I'm terribly excited to do it!!

In my hasty post yesterday I forgot to mention that the UH football team won against UNLV Saturday. We're now 3-0! It was pretty hilarious to see the big Hawaii crowd because they were mostly old Japanese people retired in Vegas. Someone even had an old Rainbows banner! If you didn't know, Vegas is the Florida for Hawaii. That's where people retire to.

September 17, 2007

Ham & Turkey Wraps (112)

I'm posting late today due to a lot of work, a lot of online drama, a lot of online work, and to top it all off, an internets outage when I got to work. For two weeks in a row, I've lost weight on the weekend and I once again attribute this to my two twerps destroying the house several times a day out of boredom. At one point I told the kids to go play and Baby Girl said, "Come Buddy, let's go make a mess!" *glower*

With all of this going on, I had to just make some quick wraps and toss in olives. Not exciting, I know, but at least I still packed a lunch and didn't have to buy something. One roll holds ham and the other holds turkey. I spread Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese onto snack tortilla (and now that I think about it, I forgot a wedge of cheese on my computer desk, doh!), then put the cold cuts, then layered on leaves of spinach.

I am insanely busy today, but will be taking a bunch of bento orders to ship out this afternoon. Those waiting will get an invoice from me tonight or tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!!

September 14, 2007

Oyako Donburi (111)

Last night I made oyako donburi for dinner and Mr. Pikko classified it as an "overeating food", which means he really loves it. It's a fairly simple recipe and credit goes to my Mom for this one. She's got some real winners and this one is definitely in her top 3.

I've packed with it a small amount of rice, which makes it about 1 point. The amount of sugar that goes into the entire dish is very little, so I don't count it in my portion. The kamaboko doesn't count for much either, but I'll give it 1 point. Everything else is Core, so this is 2 points total.


2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 small sweet or Maui onion, chopped
1 pink kamaboko, julienned
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use light)
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
5 eggs, scrambled
Green onions, chopped (optional)

1. Fry chicken until half cooked and set aside in bowl.
2. Fry onions and kamaboko for 1/2 minute.
3. Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Add chicken back to pan.
4. Simmer 5 minutes then add scrambled eggs. Let it simmer on low until eggs are cooked, stirring it gently if necessary. Serve over hot rice. Garnish with green onions.

Since Mr. Pikko will turn into a 2 year old and throws tantrums at the slightest sign of onions, I have to use onion powder and nix the green onions all together. I like the green onions because they add a lot of color to an otherwise very brownish looking dish. If he wasn't on such an anti-onion crusade, I'd add them in before the eggs. Garnishing works well too though.

The box I used is the same one as the black bunny one I posted earlier (which I am now out of). I have two of these if anyone is interested. I also have two small tamagoyaki pans for $2.99 each. These exact same ones sell on eBay for like 10 dollars! I've added both items to the store today. And yes, I have that EXACT same pan in that auction. And yes, I bought it for $1.99.

September 13, 2007

Chicken Parmigiana

Today's post is a bit late as the second I arrived at work this morning I got a call and had to go pick up Baby Girl. So now she's here at work with me driving me mad asking me 5 million questions an hour.

This morning Buddy woke up at 4:45 am and an hour later I got pulled in to take my turn with him. I caught him scribbling down his plans for an experiment titled, "How Hard One Has To Pull On Mommy's Pants While She's Cooking To Make Them Fall Down". He's been nearly successful and I'm positive that soon he'll come up with a strategy to achieve victory. My bento will no doubt have crooked elements on that day.

Today I have leftovers from the weekend which is Chicken Parmigiana from Costco. I've gotten one before and it tastes good but I've never understood why the instructions say to cook it in the plastic pan. This time I didn't transfer it to a metal pan and used it as the instructions said to and it turned out fine. I guess it's a hardy plastic or something. I still find it odd to cook something in the oven with a plastic container.

I put some egg noodles under it and then a cup of cucumber kim chee on one side and then another cup of blueberries on the other. Unfortunately I didn't eat much of this bento. Baby Girl wanted the blueberries and then after that insisted that she NEEDED to eat the cheese on the chicken. So I ate the cucumbers and avocado and just abandoned the chicken.

This is the box I packed it in. I finally found the fork, spoon, and cover for it. It was hidden in a little area under a table. Woot! I have a garden update from last week too. My tomato plants all have varying amounts of tomatoes and I'm very happy at the rate at which they're growing. Soon I'll be including lots of tomatoes in my bentos! ^_^

A close-up photo:

The only problem I see is suddenly having a crapload of ripe tomatoes to use and not enough bentos to use them in. I will have to get really creative with my tomato usage!

September 12, 2007

Teriyaki Ahi & Tofu Steak (109)

As I mentioned yesterday, we had teri ahi and tofu steak for dinner last night. I set aside a small piece for me to cook for my bento. It turned out pretty good even though I wasn't going by any recipe or anything. I simply cooked the tofu steaks and fish fillets in olive oil and then added Mr. Yoshida's sauce to the pan.

I have furikake rice underneath the tofu and broccoli on the side. The little fish bottle contains extra teri sauce for me to pour on the rice when I eat it today. With the small amount of rice, this bento is about 2 points. I packed this into my newest bento box that I got on eBay, a blue Doraemon box. It's a great size and has a food divider, so of course I love it! A picture of the box:

I forgot to freeze my spaghetti last night and I'm not even sure I'll be able to because my freezer is ridiculously packed with stuff. This morning Mr. Pikko called me over to it and said, "You hear that? That's the ice machine breaking." Apparently it's not good to shove packs of frozen gyoza and bagels into the ice tray. Who knew!? ^_-

September 11, 2007

Spaghetti & 20k! (108)

It looks like today I will be hitting the 20k mark, which is really something for me since I've only had this counter up since May, making it 20,000 visits in just over 4 months! Thank you to everyone for reading and I hope you keep coming back!

Yesterday Baby Girl was adamant about eating spaghetti for dinner so we headed to Foodland to do the week's grocery shopping and I picked up a McCormick packet of spaghetti this time instead of the usual ready made sauce jars. I had wanted to try something new but apparently before I do things like this I should be made to go back to elementary school for reading lessons as I cooked it totally wrong. I read "tomato sauce" instead of "tomato paste" and added 3/4 cup too much water. +_+ Pure genius. I figured the kids wouldn't care so I just fed it to them kinda watery and I was right, they ate it all up. Probably because I added the magic ingredient, Kraft cheese. I was told once that this is a Big Island habit and that elsewhere it's considered really weird. Mr. Pikko had to wait an extra hour for the sauce to burn off the extra water. *sigh*

This spaghetti is all Core because I used extra extra lean meat, olive oil, a seasoning packet, tomato sauce, and whole wheat pasta. I have some extra and will likely freeze them tomorrow into cups as Biggie has suggested on her blog. To top the spaghetti I have half a small red bell pepper thinly sliced and then topped with parsley. On the side I have the last remaining butt of garlic bread, which will count as 2 points all by itself.

On my bottom layer I have a small cup full of blueberries. Ever since I started eating them I've felt that they have a very familiar taste and last night I finally realized what it is. They taste just like waiwi (pronounced why-vee), which is a small guava that grows here in Hawaii. The picture on that page shows a red guava, but the ones that are more common on the Big Island are the yellow variety. I loooooooooooove waiwi. My dad knows that if he ever sees a big cluster of green ones that he should pick it for me and send it over. When I first met Mr. Pikko he took me to meet his grandpa and he had a yellow waiwi tree in his backyard. Unfortunately the dumb plant was growing into his water line so he had to chop it down. *sob*

I am a serious fruit fan and the best part about growing up on the Big Island is that we have all kinds of awesome weird fruits to eat including waiwi, guava, rambutan, lychee, starfruit, etc. What I miss the most though is hands down: mountain apple. Ohhh man. My grandma had a bigass tree in her yard and my dad used to climb the tree to pick it riddled with spiders and all kinds of gross crap. Lots of times they had worms in them but when you did get one that was free of stings and ripe... ohhhhh. It's times like this I really miss Hilo. Take a look at this page to see some farmer's market pictures and maybe you'll see what I mean. Hilo may have been a dumpy town to grow up in but it sure does have it's moments.

Ok so back to the bento, haha. I also have green grapes which we bought yesterday. Thankfully, most places seem to be stocking more and more USA produce. YaY! Next to that I have some diet horrors. A brownie cut in half so that it fit into the box on it's side and then half of a sugar cookie. My sister-in-law baked these and brought them over, claiming they didn't taste very good but of course she was lying, they taste like heaven. The cookies are a bit odd as they are spongy, but the best part is they taste exactly like pancakes soaked in maple syrup. I wish I could have fit a whole one in there... On the side I also have a KCCA salad and a white peach.

On the menu for tonight: teriyaki ahi with fried tofu steak! Mmmm..

September 10, 2007

Teriyaki Meatballs (107)

My two kids are going through a tornado phase right now and I'm still getting used to it. So when I asked Mr. Pikko to watch them so I could take a nap Saturday morning, I was a bit... unnerved to wake up and find that the big Costco pack of Kirkland toilet paper we had bought was busted open and used in a toilet paper fight. Also, the books on the shelf were thrown out, the mail on the table tossed about like confetti, there were tiny little papers all over the floor because Baby Girl was "playing with scissors", and lego blocks were all mixed in between for color.

All this mess was of course enough to make my brain explode, but I think there is a good side to me having to clean the house on a daily basis. For some reason this weekend I lost a lot of weight. I was 125.7 this morning! Or maybe it's more sleep? Well, whatever it is, I'm happy. Carry on kids!

I'm really unhappy with my bento today as it was done in a rush and simply don't like the way it's put together. Mr. Pikko was all cranky with me this morning for taking a long time so I'll definitely have to do this at night all the time now. I'm sick of rushing in the morning anyway.

On the left I have a dog shaped onigiri with a dog shaped slice of turkey with a nori face on top. I have the onigiri mold and cutter to make both these shapes along with the bunny and bear shape available in the store right now. Under the doggie I have two slices of fish cake made by my MIL and given to us before she left. Next to that I have two Aidel's teriyaki pineapple chicken meatballs cooked in Mr. Yoshida's sauce. Then I have corn in a Miffy cup and an orange bell pepper stuffed with Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese, something I've seen others do that I've wanted to do for a while.

I'm not sure why this pic came out so blurry but this is my fruit layer, which has slices of white peach, grapes, and some blueberries. It's a funny thing about these blueberries. I am not a blueberry fan. I love all berries but have never really taken to these much. So when I took the kids to Costco on Friday, for some reason Baby Girl wanted them in the worst way. She asked me I swear, at least 50 times to buy her a pack of blueberries, insisting she loved them and that she promised to eat them. Since her word as a toddler is about as good as a year-old-expired coupon, I said no at least 50 times.

Finally though, she cracked me and I bought one. I figured I could give them a try again and lo and behold, I did like them.

And I would eat them in a box.
And I would eat them with a fox.

Yeah, it's like Green Eggs and Ham in real life. Scary stuff. I'm eating them in a box but thank goodness I don't really have a fox to eat them with. Or I do, but he always eats at work. Anyway, that's why they're in my bento today. I haven't been able to stop eating them all weekend.

I used my pink Feel at Ease box today with the matching side container that I found in Little Tokyo in July. I have edamame in that container. The fruits were bulging out so I had to use the furoshiki in the background to tie it up tight.

I am happy to report that Hawaii won against Louisiana Tech last Saturday. It was a nervewracking game that I had such a hard time watching because I was sooooooo nervous. So much hangs on every game and to have it be that close and have so many mess-ups was very hard for a fan to watch. UNLV this weekend will probably be even harder to watch. I have a great idea for our next football bento, so stay tuned next home game for that.

As I mentioned last week, I started my Live Journal documenting my costume making effort for the Final Fantasy XI Festival coming up in November. Doing this has really got me interested in sewing again and this weekend I bought a pattern for a blouse and some materials to make my own shirts. If anyone else out there likes sewing or scrapping, I found some good coupons for shipping at from CouponChief. They also have a good one for free shipping on baby and maternity clothes from Old Navy. I always forget to check coupon sites before I go shopping so I definitely need to make a better effort in that area. "Free shipping" are magical words to a cheapass like me.

I really wish I could stop the outlines from appearing around every single image but bleh, if that's the price I have to pay for the nice green border, so be it.

September 7, 2007

Lunch Update

Well the in-laws have been dropped off and I made it down to Monarch with a ragingly mad stomach. I miraculously found parking right out front and ordered my favorite: Nori Wrapped Crab Stuffed Ahi. They normally drizzle it with a wasabi sauce but since I hate wasabi, I ordered without. Got my order in just a couple mins as I guess they have them already fried and just slice them up for the lunch rush. I was in such a hurry to get home to eat it I decided to go back out later for my errands. Anyway, pic:

I looked at it several times while at stop lights because I was so hungry and then when I got home I was struck by a maddening thought. I had no bento today. I bought my lunch. So what did I do?

I busted out a bento box and put the food in there to eat.

OMG! I know! Totally mental... I think I've just gotten so used to eating my lunch in a nice box that I just have a hard time eating from a styrofoam box. Anyway, here it is all snuggled into my sakura lacquer box:

I'm not counting this as one of my bentos and I'm certainly not counting the points as I'm writing this off as a monthly lunch splurge, though in truth the only points would come from the panko, the mayo in the crab stuffing, and the oil it was fried in. I didn't eat it all. I ate barely 1/4 the rice and there's still one piece left in the box. Still, it was a lot of food. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go flop down and die on the couch from overeating or go walk it off. Cross your fingers I end up doing the latter.

New Box, No Bento

No bento for me today as I took the day off so that I could drop the in-laws off at the airport and so that I can pick up the kids this afternoon. I have a lot of stuff to do today including stops at Fabric Mart so that I can find more material for my White Mage costume I'm making for the FFXI Fan Festival in November, the post office to mail out orders, Costco to buy fruits, Foodland or Marukai to buy food, and maybe the post office in town if I feel like going all the way down there to pick up my newest eBay purchases. What I'm looking forward to the most though is lunch.

Before I get to that though, I went to Marukai yesterday since Mr. Pikko was held up at work and said I was free to go if I wanted to so of course I had to go. They had new inventory in and had tons of this box similar to the Fine Will one everyone wanted:

I realize it doesn't look as stunning as the Fine Will one, but I still think it's a great color and a great box in general. This box is in the AIB store right now, so if you want to purchase one better grab it up soon! I don't have that many. (4) +_+ The good news of this new arrival at Marukai is that it means Marukai is buying the junk discontinued stuff from Skater, who makes awesome boxes. At least, that's what I assume happens with dollar store merchandise... I guess green isn't a very popular color in Japan? That's great news for me because I do think green is my favorite color bento box!

I had mentioned I was going to sell my Fine Will one on eBay to hopefully make a bit more money and I finally got around to doing so today. The listing can be found here.

Anyway, I mentioned lunch. Since I'm going to be at the airport, that's just a bit away from Kalihi so I'm definitely going to make a stop at Monarch Seafood. A few years ago I used to work in Kalihi and though as a little Japanese girly I was at first scared of working in what I'd only heard of as a "rough" neighborhood, I found that the plus of working there is all the great places you can eat lunch. There are tons of okazuya shops there. To the people who haven't heard of it, okazuya places are basically bento food stores where you go in and pick individual items to build your own bento lunch. You can read an article about it here.

If you look at the list at the bottom, there are 4 places in Kalihi! I've eaten at Gulick Deli and it's a bit oily for my tastes and I went to Mitsuba once but I got there at the tail end of lunch so there wasn't much left. I tried on several occasions to get the infamous Garlic Chicken from Mitsu-ken across the street from Mitsuba but since my tightass boss then was under the impression that lunch could be inhaled in 15 minutes and the line outside that place is always ten kinds of nuts, I never did get to eat there. In fact, that's how I ended up eating at Mitsuba.

Anyway, I'm not eating at any of these places though. Monarch Seafood is this small little fish market on a corner right across from the Kalihi Bank of Hawaii that sells the most awesome plate lunches. And while you're waiting of course you drool over their big selection of poke. I haven't eaten there in several years, so that's where I'm going today. The part that sucks is that their parking is as great as Waiola Shave Ice by the zoo: they have none. I'll post pics later or tomorrow!

September 6, 2007

Teri Hamburger Salad (106)

As you may have noticed, I have snazzed up my blog a bit. It was getting stale and crusty and so I checked the Sell By date and it was pretty bad. Luckily I was able to scrape off the mold and put it in a pretty container for safekeeping for many months to come.

Doing this blog has done a lot of great things for me. I've learned a lot about cooking, I have something to look forward to every day, I lost 22 pounds thanks to Weight Watchers, and now I am getting freebies! Somewhere on the mainland a FedEx box containing the new cookbook by Harumi Kuriyama is flying over to me. I'm very very excited about it and can't wait to try out recipes and give a review on it. I didn't recognize her name at first but then when I went to Amazon to look it up I recognized her book immediately. I never bought that book though, mostly because they seemed more like dishes you cook for company. This one is on Home Cooking so I'm hoping it will have a lot of bento potential!

Last night we had teri hamburgers, which we usually eat with rice but since I was feeling in a good girl mood I decided to try it out with my salad with no rice. It was surprisingly very good. It tasted just like eating a hamburger with no bun, which I'd always though would be lame, but it wasn't. So continuing my good girl streak I've made a hamburger salad. The patty looked rather depressing though, so I added a face made out of cheese and nori.

I wasn't sure what kind of face to make so I just went with a silly face. Baby Girl saw his jaggedy mouth and announced that I was having a football bento and I guess from her angle it does look like a football. I added some grated carrot for added color and some edamame for variety. I'm going to stretch a bit and call this all Core because of the trivial amounts of things in the patty that would count for points. I mean I don't think I need to count a few bread crumbs and the lil bit of sugar. The box I'm using is a black lacquer box with gold bunnies on the cover.

I haven't had time to put this up on the store yet, but I do have two black and two red boxes like this available for $2.99 if anyone is interested. Also, be sure to check out the boxes section as I added in some of the Hello Kitty stuff that I'd run out of before. The orders I'm backed up on should go out tomorrow as I have to take the day off to pick up the kids. My in-laws are going out of town and so we'll have to cook or buy food for ourselves starting tomorrow. I think it'll be a great time to try out new dishes!

I was able to open a separate WordPress account and successfully import everything to a blog account there, but then it turns out that there are several aspects of WordPress I don't really like. For one, StatCounter doesn't work so well there, which is something I've really come to depend on. Two, I don't seem to be able to easily change fonts or colors or whatever. I'd need to change the css code and I'm not fully comfortable doing that. So for now I'm going to stay on Blogger and see what I can do around here. I'll have to think of something to do with my domain though as it seems a shame to let it rot there. Maybe a gallery! We'll see. ^_^

September 5, 2007

Mochi with Chickie Egg (105)

We ate yummy lasagna last night but I actually FORGOT to pack some for lunch. *sob* The one my MIL makes is the Stouffer's Meat and Sauce lasagna and it is sooooo yummy. I like to make turkey lasagna but this one is just so good I can never get enough of it. Too bad it's like 6 points a piece, haha! Maybe it's best I didn't take any...

Anyway, I had to start from scratch for today's bento and so I took from a recipe I saw on Kitchen Cow since I had leftover peas to use. I was freaking AMAZED. For once I fried some eggs and they turned out ok. They did not stick to the pan like Baby Girl to my legs and came out nice and crumbly. The only change I made to her recipe is that I added a bit of pepper as I like to have pepper in my scrambled eggs.

The eggs are in a baking cup in the top left. Going clockwise I have some vegetable fishcake, avocado, mochi, an egg chickie, and some imitation crab sticks. In the orange container I put some sugar, which I will use to eat the mochi. I bought a pack of frozen mochi last night and chopped it up into fourths. I'll microwave it until it's soft and gooey then eat it with soy sauce and sugar. This is different from chichidango; it's the kind of mochi that you eat at New Year's time. I'm going to guess that this one mochi is at least 4 points because a lot of rice goes into each one. That makes this bento around 5-6 points with the sugar and the fishcake.

I have been trying without much success to import my blog to WordPress so I can finally move this thing to my own domain. It's very frustrating, but hopefully soon I'll be able to post without having to worry too much about losing everything, which apparently Blogger likes to do sometimes. Scaryyyyy!!

September 4, 2007

Cheeseburger Macaroni

We went to the zoo yesterday and it was OMFGHOT when we got there at 12:30. First we stopped to eat at Genki Sushi on Kapahulu and we thankfully got there just before the rush. I did nicely on control, only eating 3 1/2 plates and then a bowl of somen (which was really good!). After that nice lunch, we headed off nice and hopeful for the zoo parking lot.

Of course, hoping to park in the zoo lot was wishful thinking. We saw how many cars were hovering and then we decided I should take the kids in by myself while Mr. Pikko parked the car. This was a good idea because lately Baby Girl seems to have the attention span of a gnat, constantly whining that, "I don know what to doooo, Mommy." Drives me 10 kinds of crazy, too. So anyway, we go in and after slopping on the sunscreen (the $11.99 bottle we bought on the last trip to the zoo) we of course look at the whooping cranes first. I let Buddy loose and this led to us getting stuck at the flamingos for a good ten minutes. The sun was out to murder me and my kiddies so Baby Girl and I kept trying to convince him that the elephants were just down the walkway. He seems to love elephants so you'd think he'd take the bait. But no, he'd run off about 10 feet, point into the gift shop and scream, "ELLA!!" and then go back and look at the flamingos more. I found out as we were leaving the zoo it was because there were two little toy statues of elephants at the door. So he thought he'd seen the elephants and then went back to the birds.

It took Mr. Pikko at least 30 minutes to find parking and by that time I was so beaten down by the sun I caved in and bought a wallet ravaging Dippin' Dots for $4.00. This cooled us down enough to be able to walk again and finally Mr. Pikko arrived. Long story short, we cut the zoo trip short and went straight to the Keiki Zoo because of the heat. When we got home I was so beat that I ended up just making Hamburger Helper, which I keep in the house for emergencies such as these.

I added in peas to make it pop out a bit more and to make it healthier. I used my green Putifresh box today to match the peas and used one of my new furoshiki cloths to take the picture. On the bottom layer I have cucumber and carrot slices pickled with some rock salt, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss, and sliced avocado.

I don't know how many points this lunch is but it's definitely high considering what it is. I'm still maintaining steadily at 128 so lately I've just been making sure that I eat well enough to keep that up. I weigh myself twice a day every day.

Having a new hobby that costs money, even one that can be supplied cheaply at stores like Marukai, I need ways to make money. While I was looking around at the Blogger's Choice Awards when I first saw it, I saw a link to PayPerPost and it looked interesting. I got rejected at first because my blog was too young (you have to be at least 3 months old) but finally I remembered to re-apply and I just got approved last week so I'm trying it out now. From what I understand you pick opportunities and then as long as you meet the posting requirements, they pay you for mentioning certain things. I don't intend to talk about things I wouldn't normally talk about so don't worry that I'll be turning into a walking food advertisement blog. I'm still very new to it so I guess I'll write more about it if it turns out to be really something I enjoy. And hey, making money for more bento boxes is totally my kind of deal. If you haven't guessed already, me talking about PayPerPost is my first money opportunity. If you have a blog that's at least 3 months old I'd say give it a try.

September 3, 2007

Hawaii vs. Northern Colorado (103)

Our first football game went reasonably well, I was able to watch at least half of the game successfully, though the kids were a bit alarmed at the noise. Apparently sitting in the staff section means you get put right by the Manoa Maniacs and student section. This means all the crazies go walking up and down the stairs past us. You know, all the guys with painted bodies that make psycho faces for tv down at the bottom. Anyway, the seats are thankfully decent and I lost about a pound carrying one of the kids from Radford to the stadium.

My in laws couldn't make the game so I ended up going with just spam musubi, fishcake, egg, and hotdogs. Even this ended up being too much and sadly, no one ate the tamagoyaki but me. Mr. Pikko says it's cause the egg is a bit gross to eat by hand. The kids didn't like it either for some odd reason. Anyway, I ate maybe half of it myself. I was able to snugly fit in all but one half of my spam musubis into my black and gold lacquer box.

The egg and hotdog I packed into Baby Girl's Hello Kitty box. I added foil so that the soy sauce wouldn't leak into the egg part. The egg gave me a bit of trouble while cooking but seemed to fold much better than last time.

I didn't really care for how the hotdog came out. It's Redondo's Hawaiian Winners and I guess they're best left for bbqs and what not. Maybe we'll use them today as we may have a little pool party for Labor Day.

This is a picture of the top cover of the box I mentioned. I really like this one and I got it at a really good price at Marukai. It's a 3 tier box and the same one that I used for my 100 bento, but I still don't know how big it is. I had thought it was 500 due to the label that was on it, but now that I think about it, it can't be that small.

I have a picture of Colt throwing his first touchdown pass of the season but unfortunately he's so blurry you can't tell his number. You can see the football mid-air though! We won the game 63-6. And now I will take the time to talk about bachi. Anyone who grew up in Hawaii knows what bachi means, which is basically karma coming back to bite you in the ass. Michigan got their bachi by losing to Appalachian State. Those turds got lawyers and threw a hissy fit to get out of their game with us, getting the ball rolling for us to have the crappiest football schedule ever.

We have two away games coming up next so I have a couple weeks to plan what other kinds of food I want to bring. I don't want to end up bringing the same old things over and over and there is no way I'm going to buy food at the stadium this year. It's not like you're supporting the school by buying food and who the hell wants to pay $3.75 for one slice of Papa John's or $4.00 for a regular soda?