New Blog

Adventures in Bentomaking has moved!

October 31, 2007

Halloween Bento (141)

Last night I had a whole lot of stuff to do and so when I laid down with the kiddos to put them to sleep, I told Mr. Pikko that I *had* to get up again to work on that stuff, so he *had* to wake me up. I distinctly remember him eventually resorting to kicking me and I never did wake up, so I must have been dead tired. It all worked out though as when I woke up to set my alarm, I set it for 4:00 am, but I ended up waking up earlier than that anyway. This actually turned out really well for me and I think I may end up doing that whenever I fall asleep early. It gives me a ton of time to work on things.

All that time still didn't help us leave early though. I had so much crap to load up into the van this morning that I made no less than 6 trips to the car. I baked cupcakes for Baby Girl to take to her Halloween party today. I had white frosting that I divided into three bowls and then dyed it with food coloring to make purple, green, and orange frosting. I was quite happy with them and Baby Girl asked me 50 times whether she could eat them before we got to school and then Mr. Pikko pulls out this note from her backpack. It was from the teacher, asking parents to please tell her what they're bringing because last year they ended up with a TON of cupcakes. So I was like, damn it!! Oh well. :(

I suspect my daughter has a little child crush on a boy in her class. She's been telling us that her favorite boy at school is Ryan. One day when we picked her up, the two of them were sitting together on the floor outside their classroom. Yesterday on the way to school she told us that "Ryan is going to be Thomas the Train for Halloween." I asked her if she told him what she was going to be and she said, "No..." so I asked if she talks to him at all and she said, "Not yet." lol! They sat together at the Halloween program. lolol! This morning when I showed her the cupcakes, the first thing she blurted out was, "Can I give one to Ryan?" lololol! It cracks me up!!

She sits next to a different boy in class and one day when she went into the room, I saw him pull out her chair for her to sit down. I thought it was so adorable so I asked her about it and she goes, "He shouldn't have touched it, that's MY chair!" O. M. G. Women's lib starting in preschool, hahaha!!

Ok anyway, my bento. I still had a lot of fried rice left, so I used it as "dirt" for a carrot pumpkin patch and also as a bed for my witch. I had intended to chop the chicken up into bite size pieces for easy eating but then when I nuked it and took it out, it looked like a face, so I sliced off the excess and used it as a witch face. The hat is made out of baked Okinawan sweet potato and a slice of cheese makes the ribbon on it. The eyes and mouth are made out of swiss cheese and nori. I couldn't figure out how to make her a nose, so let's just say she looks pissed because someone stole it or something.

This is a very high points bento because of the rice, so I probably won't eat all of it. With the chicken being fried in vegetable oil and not olive, I can't just pass that off either, so I'll have to estimate this bento at maybe 8 points. D:

It was pouring this morning. How lame is that? Raining in Hawaii on Halloween. Boo!

October 30, 2007

Wraps & Watermelon (140)

I think this is my worst bento so far. It's terribly underwhelming but all I had the time for this morning. On Sunday I wanted to eat the turkey wraps from Costco again so this holds the last 3 pieces leftover. I cut them in half to stow them away nicely but it turned out to be a pretty boring display, so I added some flower shaped sweet potato slices to the top. It still didn't turn out as nice as I wanted it to, but oh well. It'll taste good anyway! :)

On the side I have some slices of watermelon that my mom had bought us at the pumpkin patch. It had tons of seeds so I removed all of them for easy eating while I cut it all up. It's super sweet!! I included a tiny pink fork to eat them with. I bought these back during my E3 trip this past summer when my cousin took me to Little Tokyo. It's so nice to finally put them to use! Aren't they adorable! I have white, green, and pink ones.

I've been debating taking my store down for a while since I am having so much stress lately. I'm thinking maybe I could open it back up after Fan Fest when things are much calmer. Right now, I end up taking so freaking long to ship things and I feel terrible about it. I'll let you all know what I decide. >.<

I've got a hilarious kid story to share today. My son does not say "grandma" yet and this drives my MIL nuts, so she's constantly pointing to herself and saying, "Who am I?" or "Who is this??". Yesterday we got home and she tells us rather dejectedly that he's been making this kinda grunting noise to refer to her, like Grt grt! or something. So she demonstrates for us and I about died right there. She was wearing a pink shirt with three piggies on the front. So whenever she pointed at herself she was pointing at the pigs and saying, "Who's this?" and so he'd grunt like a pig. LOL

October 29, 2007

Costco Fried Rice (139)

Today's bento is simple Costco Fried Rice, which I cooked this morning with bell peppers, sweet onion, and parsley. Buddy claimed he wanted some for breakfast, but it turned out he just wanted to fling it all over the kitchen when I was using the bathroom. Little twerp!!

I've only brought a small bento today since I've got this Costco thing of cashews to nibble on in addition to an orange and a bosc pear.

This weekend was the homecoming game for the UH Football team and what a fun game it was. We won 50-13 and it was windy, making for great confetti entertainment, plus it rained so Baby Girl was thrilled to use her poncho. We're ranked 14 in the BCS poll, which is of course going to make for 2 long weeks of speculation by UH fans until the Fresno State game in November. I'll be at Fan Fest when Hawaii goes away to their last road game in Nevada. I will have to find some way to watch that game!

We went pumpkin picking yesterday at Aloun Farms in Ewa and boy was that a dirty affair. It was completely dry and the dirt flew everywhere, but mostly into my poor contact covered eyes. I was crying almost the whole time and whenever I could manage to open my eyes again, more dirt would fly in. I'm amazed I didn't come home with a rotten pumpkin. The kids loved it, which was really cute. I told them to enjoy having so much dirt on them because that was probably the only time all year Mr. Pikko would let them get so filthy.

October 26, 2007

Whole Wheat Spaghetti (138)

Yesterday this really scary e-mail got sent out by Campus Security saying that some psycho was overheard talking to himself on a bus about how he was going to shoot 30 UH students, then he got off the bus at McCully, which is maybe a mile from campus. I work in a secure area, but Mr. Pikko didn't want to take any chances, so he asked me to leave work early (he was at home sick). So I did and was able to get some errands done, including returning $107 worth of merchandise to Sephora. Man, that felt good. I then went to Longs and bought mascara, eye makeup remover, and a foundation sponge for $17.00. All that cost less than the mascara I returned, hahaha!! My cheapo brain was positively beaming.

We ate Zippy's yesterday and I had to pick up this monstrous order for everyone. We discovered that their fried chicken is freakin' expensive!! 17 bucks for 10 pieces. I mean, it tastes really good but what the heck? Anyway, Zippy's now offers whole wheat noodles for their spaghetti, which I am of course a big fan of since WW noodles are a Core food. I've got some for lunch today with some fried bell peppers and sweet onion. I fry these in olive oil and pepper, so it's still a Core addition. Next to it I have a slice of toasted whole wheat bread topped lightly with spread and garlic salt to make some healthier garlic bread.

In my other layer I have the last of my kim chee crab and some avocado. The kim chee crab this time was a lil more expensive than usual, but I think it's because they used a better brand of imitation crab and you can really taste the difference. Hopefully Foodland will continue to use that one. Our avocado tree has reached the end of it's fruit season, so it's back to buying avocados for me. People seem to comment pretty frequently about how beautiful my avocados are and I'm a little confused by this. Are people admiring the way I cut them or are avocados just uglier on the mainland? Please fill this clueless Hawaii girl in please! :D

Halloween is coming... I must find somewhere or someone to dump all the Halloween candy on... I must also think of some appropriate thing for my kids to "buy" with their Halloween candy. A toy? A movie? Any suggestions on healthy alternatives?

October 25, 2007

Healthy Tuna (137)

When I used to attend UH Manoa, they had these great Marriott "cubes" which were portable food stands and they sold these really awesome sandwiches called "Healthy Tuna" and "Healthy Ham and Turkey" etc. They tasted really awesome because they had cucumbers, tomatoes, tons of crunchy lettuce, and whole wheat bread. Eating those sandwiches in college really got me into eating sandwiches and so today I made one slightly similar to bring back some old munching memories.

To make the tuna I used one can of tuna in water, 1 1/2 Tb of light mayo, onions, salt, pepper, and since I didn't have regular sized ones, diced tomatoes from my garden. Added in are cucumber slices and romaine lettuce. This sandwich comes out to a whoppping 5 points because each slice of bread is 2 points. :( Sadly, I was obviously cock-eyed when I cut the first sandwich piece because all the pieces are of different lengths. This is why I took the picture at this angle, to try to hide my noob cutting skills. lol

I've also brought some jabon with me to work to eat. People on the mainland call it pomelo and I just looove this stuff. Since it's showing up at the market that means Costco will carry them soon and that means the swap meat will have some soon! They're so awesome and I love both the white and pink varieties. The only downside to jabon are the "jabon farts". People who eat jabon know exactly what I'm talking about. LOL

My daughter will be taking a field trip soon, so a kid bento opportunity is coming up soon! The only bad part is, she's terrified of the thing featured at the trip destination. It's only a recent fear and we have no idea where it came from. And speaking of terror, boy did she scare the pants off me this morning. When you're on the freeway 15 minutes from your next stop, the words, "I have to go shishi." just strikes all the panic chords in your heart. (shishi is our Hawaii word for pee) All is well though, the carseat is dry. *whew*

October 24, 2007

Shoyu Chicken (136)

I went to Sephora yesterday to get a makeover and this nice pregnant lady named Maria helped me with a makeover then took me shopping. By the time I got to the register, the bill was a heart attack inducing $254!!! I got back down to earth when I got home and picked out three things that I'm going to return, which brings my purchase price down to a more reasonable $170. Still enough to cause my wallet to burst into tears, but I've been feeling for the last 6 months or so that I'm too plain and wanted to at least learn how. So... I'm happy. I just have to practice application now. -_-

My life has been consumed with Fan Fest and my bentos have been made in auto mode lately. I can't wait til this is finally over, then I can think about things other than FFXI and databases and websites and booth promotions and costumes etc etc. I've been slacking so badly on bento orders and for that I sincerely apologize. Fan Fest is just 3 weeks out, hopefully I survive until then.

Today's bento took me a shockingly quick 15 minutes to make. I had rice leftover for the onigiri but the nori face was frustrating me. I guess certain brands of nori just don't cut well. The chicken I let cook in Yoshida's sauce overnight on low, so it was pretty difficult to cut and still get them in nice pieces, they kept falling apart! My MIL usually cooks them in the sauce, adds a little water, then thickens the sauce, but I didn't have time to thicken the sauce so I ended up with what just looks like Shoyu Chicken. Still tastes good tho! The broccoli I heated up water in a pyrex and then let them sit in the hot water for a few minutes and the carrots and tomatoes were put in for color.

My second layer picture is terribly blurry and not very exciting, but it will taste great and give me a nice spicy boost after lunch!

Total points for this bento is 1 for the onigiri. The chicken is made from boneless skinless, trimmed thighs so I didn't count it, though I suppose I should. 2 points? ^_-

October 23, 2007

Chinese Leftovers (135)

So as you all know, I had a very good girl Core lunch yesterday and everything was going quite well and then suddenly, the CHINESE TAKEOUT DINNER OF DOOM struck! Before I saw an article in the paper about the intense calorie content of Chinese cuisine I'd always looked at Chinese food as one of the more healthier types of foods. Now that I know better I get so scared because not only is it full of calories, but it's so damned good too!

But fear not, I was good. I ate very little noodles and focused on broccoli and ong choi. I ate only until I wasn't hungry too, rather than stuffing myself until I felt full. So hopefully day 1 is not completely lost. There was a ton of leftovers so I felt obligated to take some. I took all veggies and a little bit of the noodles then added some rice that I cooked this morning. I've gone back to my old WW Core breakfast of scrambled eggs with sweet onion, bell pepper, and lean turkey slices and it was nice to be back to eating a hot breakfast again. I've been eating cereal every morning for about a month now and at least this way I'm fuller longer and it doesn't cost very many points.

From left to right I have white rice, broccoli, ong choi, and then the noodles in a cup on the right side. On the bottom layer I have:

This is the last of the shrimp I bought on Sunday. I have to use it up before it goes bad! The cocktail sauce is in the pink Hello Kitty cup. I have more tofu and then some edamame topped with a carrot flower. There's a little soy sauce bottle for the tofu. :D

I really really have to find the time to do my Dreamland again. I've been working so hard on Allakhazam while at home plus I've been trying to do more Pikko Pots updates so that by the time Fan Fest rolls around, I have a nicely updated site to show off. Then there's my costume and booth work... ugh. I really don't think I'll be able to find time to use all my spiffy tools and toys until after Fan Fest. This is just sucking so much of my time.

October 22, 2007

Core Bento (134)

After two days of sickness and a weekend of last minute naughty food gorging, I'm back today on the Core diet to lose the last 10 pounds to reach my goal.

On the left side I have some shrimp and in the little yellow container there is cocktail sauce to dip them into. I didn't get to photograph the egg too well, but this is from one of the new egg molds I mentioned last week. Next to the egg I have cucumber kim chee, then some small carrot sticks, and two small blocks of tofu. I've got a fish with soy sauce for the egg and the tofu, but now that I think about it I should have brought a piggie cause the fish isn't much sauce. Guess I'll eat the egg with salt!

I've also got a kim chee crab and avocado salad. I took a picture this time since it's been a while and people may not know what it is when I say KCCA. Foodland sells at their deli Kim Chee Imitation Crab and since it's spicy I use that along with avocado and romaine lettuce to make a dressing-free salad.

I'm starting this new phase of my diet at 129.5 pounds, so let's see how well I do by the time Fan Fest rolls around!

October 18, 2007

30k Winner & Lunch

Thirty five people entered my bento drawing this time around and this morning I wrote everyone's name on a lil piece of paper and ended up picking out:

Marie from California!
Favorite bento ingredient: cherry tomatoes

Congratulations Marie! I'll be in touch with some pictures so that you can choose your box. ^_^ Thank you everyone for entering! It was so nice to hear everyone's favorite bento ingredients, when I have time I'll post them up on a page. :D

I was going to have a korean food bento today, but I am le ill. So later on I'm going to eat some miso ramen to help my throat (not sure if it really helps, but it sure tastes good!) and I'll post a picture of it as an update to this post.


My miso ramen with sliced ham and scrambled egg as well as crab and green onion garnishes. This is the Sun Noodle brand sold at Hawaii Costcos, no idea whether they sell it elsewhere!

October 17, 2007

Hammy Sammy (133)

Last night we ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory at Ward Warehouse, which is... dun dun dun! right across the street from Marukai! Imagine my squealing when I finally saw what I've never seen at Marukai in like 10 trips so far: EGG MOLDS!!!!! Woohoo!! They were the star and heart shapes, which are coincidentally, the only egg molds I do not have. I was so thrilled! I bought one for myself and 6 to sell to people. I didn't get a chance to take a picture, but this is the one I'm talking about. If you want one, I'm selling them for $2.99 and I'd guess that with the lightness of the item, shipping/handling would be around $2.00 to the USA. I'm placing a limit of 1 per person on these as I don't want people buying them just to sell on eBay. E-mail me at pikkopots at if interested. Also, don't forget to enter my 30k celebration drawing! See yesterday's post for details!

If I had been a good girl at dinner last night, I would have stopped eating halfway through the meal when I was full, leaving me with a yummy leftovers lunch today. Alas, the mizithra cheese grabbed a hold of my senses and shook me silly and I ate it all. I also could not resist and joked to my friend Doug that "mizithra" is like "mithra with zi!" and he was like, "Oh god, you had to Final Fantasy our dinner!!" Muahahaha!

Anyway, I made a ham sandwich for lunch today. I put in some swiss cheese, fat free Ranch (cause I couldn't find the mayo), sliced cucumbers, and lettuce. There was space on the side of this box, so I sliced 3 baby dills and tucked them into the side. I can't wait to eat this!! I bought these thick ham steaks at Foodland once and froze them and they taste really super in sandwiches. The last time I used one was for that Ham and Egg Salad sandwich and boy was that yummy!!

I also brought a box of more of the Greek pasta salad with a star shaped egg. I had wanted to take a picture, but Mr. Pikko snagged the camera for something at work.

October 16, 2007

Curry w/ Cream Corn Croquette

Wow!! It looks like I will be hitting 30k visitors very very soon!! I think to celebrate I will give away another bento box. :D I'm not sure which one it'll be, I guess I'll just let the winner pick from the Hello Kitty ones I have left or some of the newer 2 tier ones I've been too lazy to put up on the store. In any case, if you're interested in my latest drawing, email me at pikkopots at the following info:

Your favorite bento ingredient:

If you submit this please know that I will probably eventually put up a page showcasing all of these answers. I will only include your first name and country.

In a stunning turn of events, I fell asleep early with Buddy last night so this morning instead of making a nice healthy bento I was glued to the couch trying to watch Heroes before everyone else woke up. The result is a bento of hastily prepared curry, which I just squeezed out of the bag onto some rice. I fried the croquette in about 5 minutes although it doesn't look very appetizing because obviously I wasn't babysitting it while it was cooking. I always keep a thick carrot ready for slicing and shaping in the fridge so that I can make flowers really quickly. You guys already know my love for parsley decorations too.

I've tried to grow my own parsley but for some reason the seeds I've tried to plant twice don't even germinate. I guess something is wrong with the packet I bought. Even the shiso seeds I planted didn't sprout up! :(

Tonight we're meeting some old college friends for dinner, so we'll see how good I am about restaurant food. Last week at PF Chang's I didn't really hold back to well!

I LOVE that people commented yesterday with COTTAGE CHEESE and THREE FOR NOTHING! lol

I have a couple of bento orders that I have been procrastinating on and will hopefully get out tomorrow. I updated my cosplay blog recently if the FFXI folks want to see an update on my costume.

October 15, 2007

Costco Bento (131)

I had a rather busy and calorie filled weekend, so I'm back up to 129.5 lbs this morning, which is soooo bad. I had thought walking around at two WalMarts plus Costco would provide me with enough exercise to help balance things out but eeps! When I saw the number on the scale this morning I was freaked out. I'd already made my bento from the night before though, so I didn't want to waste things.

Everything except the tomatoes and parsley are from Costco! We'd gone to get a rotisserie chicken but they were sadly all gone and Costco was closing, so I bought a box of their turkey wraps, some Greek pasta salad, a spinach salad, and fruits. I have one black grape tucked in between the two rolls and even that is from Costco. The raspberries were pretty cheap, so I bought a box of those.

The pasta salad was pretty good, but the olives were horrifying, so I avoided taking any of those.

The UH football team is now 7-0 and undefeated in the WAC. The game was on Friday and boy was that a heart stopper! Our first ESPN game of the season and the field was a mud pit, Colt was throwing terribly, passes were getting dropped, we were down by 14 in the last 5 minutes... I was so down. Colt threw his 4th interception late in the game and drooped his shoulders down in defeat and I thought it was over. I had such a hard time watching. But then a miraculous fumble, an insane catch, Colt ran into the endzone to tie it, we scored in OT, then intercepted on San Jose's OT turn. It was so storybook and me and Mr. Pikko were yelling at our place like crazy people. I even saw someone taking their dog for a walk looking peculiarly into our place.

It still brings a grin to my face. There's a good recap video here.


October 12, 2007

Furikake Salmon Salad (130)

As you can tell from the salads and lack of rice lately, I'm really trying to get back into losing weight. After finding out that I weigh 9 pounds more than ImperialNinja, my co-admin at Allakhazam, I really must get those last few pounds out of the way. There's mayo on this, but maybe only a tablespoon or so, which makes this a 2 point lunch I guess?

I've been really bad with cucumbers this year. I love to eat them but I always forget about them and by the time I'm ready to eat some for lunch, they're already going bad. This seems like an odd salad, I know, but I'm going to make it even weirder! I have a hard time eating salmon without soy sauce, so this is going to be a salmon/soy sauce/salad, haha!

Yesterday was a pretty bad day for me, but we got 3 batches of bad news so hopefully that's the end of it. First, Randy Couture resigns from the UFC. To people who don't watch, obviously this news doesn't mean much, but I enjoy UFC and I was very sad to hear this as Randy was one of my favorite fighters. Then, my boss pulls me into his office and lets me know that he only has enough funding to keep me around for 3 more months. Yeah, mad bummer. The icing on that assmatastic cake of lame was that I got into a little fight with my mom. We made up, but it still sucked ass obviously. Anyway, like I said, I hope that's the end of all that.

You think having a cute lunch blog would look good during an interview? ^_-

October 11, 2007

P.F. Changs (129)

Last night Mr. Pikko and I went out to dinner and a movie. I picked P.F. Changs down at Ward Center because it sounded like a fun place to eat and was right by the theater. We started off with the chicken lettuce wraps and although they had shiitake mushrooms that I had to pick out (allergic) they still tasted really, really good. We made the silly mistake of ordering noodles, fried rice, and "duck in bun". So we had three starch dishes, like idiots. Next time we will definitely skip the fried rice, which was decent, but very unnecessary, and get a meat dish instead. The Singapore Street Noodles, which I have for lunch today, was really good.

This was the first noodle dish I've had with tomatoes in it and it fit surprisingly well. We didn't use the lime at dinner, so I'm going to squeeze it over the noodles for lunch. Yum yum! In my lower tier I packed edamame and fresh tomatoes, which I'll probably eat with the noodles. The edamame was difficult to pack because a lot of them were freezer burned. I don't think it can be avoided though, cause they came looking like that straight from Costco. They still taste good though. We have some soy bean seeds to plant, so hopefully once I get off my lazy ass and buy more pots, we can have fresh edamame from our garden!

After dinner we went to see The Kingdom. I wasn't really expecting much, but I thought it was pretty good. Interesting plot, good character setup, good action, and to boot, a touchy political subject. Plus, on the way over to the theater we got sucked into Ben and Jerry's. I'm pretty sure any movie is made better having just eating Chocolate Brownie ice cream!

October 10, 2007

Oven Baked Chicken (128)

The great thing about sleeping early, not doing cutesy bentos, and being lazy is that I've actually been able to put together my bentos a lot faster now. I seem to have fallen into a groove where I just plop things in and bingo I have my lunch in about 20 minutes. It may not be my best work, but I end up with a decent looking lunch in a small amount of time. Lately, this has been important with things at work.

I took one of the oven baked chicken thighs my MIL made last night and cut it in half for easier display. I'm not 100% sure I'll eat it because I forgot to put it into the fridge when we got home last night. I had a little discussion with a few other Allakhazam admins on the safety of this chicken thigh and got two thumbs up and one veto from a former butcher. I think perhaps I will eat the other stuff and then go down to this lunch cart that I've never seen before just outside the office building. They sell ham sandwiches and such. When I made the bento, I'd decided I was going to eat it after all, but now I'm on the fence again!

Fan Fest is now 36 days away! I reeeeally have to get cracking on my costume again. *sigh* I'll probably be going to Disneyland on Thursday, yay! Will be a short day as I have to help set up our Allakhazam booth, but fun anyway I'm sure! I haven't been there since I was like 12 or something. If any of you are going to FF, please be sure to find me and say hi. ^_^

October 9, 2007

Mapo Tofu (127)

Work and FFXI forum drama have kept me occupied these last two nights so I have little time to make cute bentos lately. Plus, there's all the tv shows that have finally resurfaced! My Heroes taping last night came in with no sound for the first 45 minutes, *sob*. I'll have to find time to watch it online.

Last night we had Mapo Tofu, which is one of my favorite dishes of my MIL's and what I like about it is that it's not spicy. Most times that I order Mapo Tofu in a restaurant it comes with a bottle of chili sauce dumped onto it and that drives me mad because while I can handle some kim chee, I can't really enjoy the taste of things when my mouth is completely on fire and I'm chugging water like its going out of style. This is why I eat my sushi without wasabi. To me it just flames up your mouth and you completely lose out on the taste of the fish.

On the side I have a little salad with more of my cutie tomatoes that I picked just this morning. In the Hello Kitty container is some Kraft Free Ranch dressing. And as you can see, no rice! I've got to control my rice consumption again. I'll have to admit though, that's not the only reason I'm back up to 129 lbs. My sister in law is on this baking kick and she brings over cakes and cookies and bars and brownies like every other day. It's all really good but I have a much harder time resisting now than I did before. I sort of have this "Ah, I'm skinny now, I can eat it." attitude, which is really really bad. I have to get myself back on a more moderate eating attitude. In addition to what's in my bento I have a big bento box of strawberries and a bag of black grapes. I don't remember black grapes existing before, but they do taste really great. They're hard and crunchy and very sweet.

Keep voting for Biggie!

Last night Baby Girl was practicing her football cheers in the car. She kept yelling, "DEFENSE!" then "TOUCHDOWN!" then "GO BOWS!!". Suddenly she starts yelling, "THREE FOR NOTHING!!" and we were cracking up laughing. Then she goes, "COTTAGE CHEESE!!!" lol!! Mr. Pikko insists we must use these cheers at the next football game.

October 8, 2007

Rice with Shrimp & Peas (126)

Last night we ate at Kim Chee for dinner and I overate a little, so I suggested we go to Foodland so that I could buy some things to cook for bento this week and so that I could walk off the food a bit. I find that this helps get rid of that overate feeling quite quickly and pushing a wagon of two kids around for over half an hour has to be decent exercise right?

Since I had no shopping list I ended up buying some shrimp for fried rice. This morning I cooked rice according to a recipe from Harumi's book simply called "Rice with Peas". The picture shows a bento box filled with this simple but yummy rice (I tasted while packing) so I decided with the shrimp I put in, I didn't need to pack anything else with it. After I cooked the rice according to her instructions, I fried it together with sliced snow peas, frozen green peas, and chopped shrimp.

Along with this I brought carrot sticks, sliced strawberries, and an apple banana. I'm porking up again, so I won't be eating any rice for dinner tonight. With the Fan Festival only 38 days away, I've got to start shaving pounds again, not gaining them. Sadly, no new progress on my costume this weekend.

My tomato plants have gone crazy! I pick like 10 tomatoes a day. I don't even know how they're all producing this many but I have a container here with me at work today with about 50 tomatoes so that I can take them to my MIL's house for salad consumption. It's awesome!!

I didn't have the energy to do my football food and it was just as well since the football game was a total soaker. We were lucky we decided to buy ponchos before the game because it was on and off pouring all night. I was pretty sad to see Colt off yet again after someone stepped on his foot early on and then even sadder to see him down on the field after a tackle. On the other hand, it was wonderful to see Tyler Graunke step up and show all the people that had booed him previously that he was more than worthly of playing for Hawaii. I hope that shut them all up for good. We're now 6-0!

Keep voting for Biggie!

October 5, 2007

Spare Ribs (125)

This morning on the way to work we executed our super smart football parking plan for the second week in a row. I don't need to go into details but I would like to boast that there will be no more parking at Radford and beyond for us! Tomorrow we play Utah State and I hope Colt's foot is better because I cringed hard during each of his career high 5 interceptions last week against Idaho. I'll try my football food thing again, but this time I'll make much less.

Last night I fully intended to have a small, healthy dinner again but when we got there it was spare ribs. My mother in law's spare ribs are by far the most onolicious things you ever tasted. For the mainlanders, "onolicious" (oh-no-licious) is the Hawaii way of saying delicious. The word "ono" by itself means delicious, but onolicious is just one of those words that people here have merged together and become common after a while.

Since there are tons of bones and I love this stuff, I took a stupid amount of meat. There was a lot left in the pot, so I used that excuse as a justification to pig out two meals in a row. To try to make up for it, I packed very little rice and a lot of broccoli. Boy, did I have an adventure trying to smash the cover onto this bento! There's a little area in the middle of the cover for the utensils and this means there's this long thing that goes into the box when you cover it. A bit frustrating design wise, but its still a really pretty box. I added takuan and carrot flowers to add color.

Voting for the Bloggers Choice Awards ends on October 19th and while I am very grateful for the 90 votes I've gotten from kind readers, the highest bento blogger on the Food Blog list is still Biggie. The vegan blogs are all still tops, so let's band together and boost her up! This is our last chance to get a bento blogger in the top 5 and I can't think of any other bento blogger out there who deserves the recognition more than her. You have to register, but its very quick. If you've already registered to vote for me, it's even easier because you can vote for more than one blog! Vote for Biggie!

Also, I got more work done on my costume last night! I'll update my LJ in a bit. Fan Festival is already next month!!!

October 4, 2007

Teriyaki Beef (124)

Once in a great while I do a bento that take me less than 10 minutes to put together and thankfully, this was one of them. Lately I feel like I have 3x the amount of things to do to squeeze into 24 hours and on top of that, I seem to be getting sleepy earlier and earlier. I did manage to get some work done on my costume last night though. I'd burnt out and had to force myself to get back into it.

We ate teriyaki beef last night for dinner and since my mother in law's recipe is a very strongly flavored one, instead of eating it with rice I ate it with all salad. As you can guess from my KCCA salads (which means Kim Chee Crab & Avocado Salad) I like to use meats with heavy or spicy flavoring so that it eliminates the need for salad dressings. While doing Weight Watchers I of course got into the habits of reading the food label of everything I could and found that salad dressings actually have quite a bit of fat in them. Granted, I don't use the whole serving listed at 2 Tb, but still... 2 Tb of salad dressing with 17% of your daily fat? Nuh uh. With heavily flavored toppings, you really don't need any dressing.

I took salad greens for today's bento but since I had some rice leftover from yesterday I put that in with an ume. I added some of my fresh tomatoes to the salad. Notice how some are even tinier than the tiny ones? lol I guess some of them are just in a super hurry to ripen already. It's pretty cool, I get to pick maybe 5-8 tomatoes every morning. Pretty soon I'll have to start taking them to my mother in law's house because I don't think I can keep up eating that many!

October 3, 2007

Fried Ahi Poke Don? (123)

This morning I tried an experiment. Having fallen asleep early AGAIN, I had to wing it and decided to fry the poke I had sitting in the fridge. I cooked rice, fried the poke, added some green onions from my garden, then set them both on the side. I fried up some sweet onion, added this Hawaiian Honey glaze by Aloha Shoyu, a bit of mirin, and then put that on top the rice. I put the poke on top, added parsley, and I was done!

I have no idea how good this will taste, but it certainly was fun to make something up! I've made the fried poke before though, so at least I know it won't taste bad. I keep meaning to do more Harumi book recipes, but I haven't had time to go to the market to buy the things I need. I'll definitely try to do some specific shopping for her recipes this weekend.

People seem confused over the Dreamland thing even with my demented recap yesterday and I think this is due to the absence of a picture of the thing the eggs go into.

This thing is what you put the eggs into and what you insert the space makers in. You see the little plastic stubs on the side of the cylinders? That's how you lock it in! I know it's confusing. I'll try to take pictures next time I work on it. :D

October 2, 2007

Ham, Avocado, & Egg Salad Sandwich (122)

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but last weekend I attempted to use my Dreamland egg gadget. It did not end well. In true Pikko Egg Curse fashion, I completely mucked it up. I didn't take any photos because they were that horrible. The yolks were like edible sponges, a texture I did not even know yolks could attain. The problem lay in that I didn't know how to use the device properly and therefore seriously messed things up from the start. It's hard when you can't read the directions ya know!! I learned a lot though and hopefully I can do it right on my next round.

In this picture are the egg "space maker" attachments. It comes with this really fun yolk separator thing and you pour the egg whites into the cylinder then put one of these attachments into there to "make space" in the egg whites. At the bottom of the cylinders, there is a ring for the bottom and a flat coin shaped circle to cover the bottom.

My first mistake was that I was supposed to rub this thing down all over with oil but thinking it was the same thing, I sprayed the whole thing with Pam. Bad idea, but I didn't know this. You're supposed to fill up the cylinder enough so that the egg reaches the top (more on why later) but I had no idea so I just put one egg white inside and put the space makers in. That was my second mistake.

Once I put the whole contraption into the pot of water I knew something was wrong. The flat circles on the bottom had floated out and the space makers were bobbing around. This meant my precious egg whites were floundering around uncooked in the water!! I picked it up immediately and after a while, noticed little slots that allowed you to lock the space makers in place thus keeping the flat circles in place at the bottom and preventing water from coming in. Too clueless to start over and too cheap to waste 4 eggs, I proceeded with the boiling, water invasion and all.

24 minutes later I removed the Dreamland from the pot and opened the thing up to find that there was nowhere near enough egg whites in each cylinder, causing the egg cylinder to be only about 3/4 way up. And in addition to that, my egg cylinders had bubbly holes in them, probably from the water. They didn't come off very well from the space makers, but I still managed to get them out. Now I had to fill in the yolks. I poured them in to the top of the egg cylinder and put the Dreamland back on the stove. I did not know that the space makers actually detached from the locking mechanism, so I did not put the locking mechanism back on. So eventually my 3/4 cylinder size eggs with yolks in them began to rise up like buoys at sea because they weren't locked down. And even if I did lock them down, then still floated up because they weren't tall enough to hold down the flat circle at the bottom. This let even more water in.

So as a result, I had eggs basically boiling directly in water. I couldn't even really cut them. You could still see the shape of the yolk so the concept of it worked fine and Baby Girl insisted they tasted fine. I let her eat some until I tasted one myself, then I just dumped the rest. Yech!! Now I just need to lick my wounds, apply what I learned, and try again.

Although I did horribly with eggs on Saturday, I am still able to boil eggs without looking like a complete noob. This morning I made myself a ham, avocado, and egg salad sandwich for lunch.

It didn't quite fit into the lunch box I picked so I had to trim the crusts off the sides. I've used Roman Meal Honey Oat bread, 2 boiled eggs, 1 Tb mayo, 1/4 avocado, a nice thick piece of ham steak, and some lettuce. I also added salt, pepper, and thinly sliced celery to the egg salad. I used my Banana Putifresh sandwich box, which I have available for $2.99 in my store. I've used these sandwich boxes twice so far and if you refrigerate the box it really doesn't do much for toasted sandwiches. Since it didn't work out so well the last two times, I didn't do anything to the bread this time. I would just leave it out, but its got egg in it and I don't want to get sick. The box:

I think I have 5 of these available. It's pretty small, but fits a nice thick sandwich cut into thirds very well. I ate the trimmed crusts with my breakfast. For fruits I brought some grapes and some fresh papapya. In the little bottle I put some lemon juice, which is what I usually eat papaya with. I don't know if people on the mainland get to eat fresh papaya, but I've eaten the dried stuff and the frozen stuff and boy is it nasty. I suppose its because I don't like overly sweet fruits and that's why I have to eat it with lemon.

I had told the OOTers at Allakhazam that I would try to make a 9000 bento for my 9k post ding, but I ended up falling asleep with the kiddos again so maybe with my 10k ding I'll give it a whirl.

October 1, 2007

Ham 'n Cheese Pizza (121)

Yesterday at the market we were strolling to the fruit section when I spied some pizza crusts. I decided to let the kids try making their own homemade pizzas for dinner. We have this cute book, which is currently AWOL in our house somewhere, that is a story about how to make pizza and so I picked up a packet of three 7" crusts, a bag of fat free mozzarella, and a jar of pizza sauce.

Baby Girl did surprisingly well in spreading the sauce all over and then putting the cheese on. She was putting a little too much cheese on her own, but just needed a little guidance. Then Godzilla Buddy came into the kitchen. He grabbed a handful of cheese from her pizza and threw it down on the floor! He grabbed another and shoved it in his mouth! Oh the horror! I kid, of course. It was cute. I chopped up some ham for them to sprinkle on and then promptly confiscated the tray to make some ham adjustments. Baby Girl thought she was being so clever by putting 1 or 2 pieces on her pizza and the rest on her brother's. Anyway, I guess the idea of pizza was more fun to them than eating it because as I suspected, they weren't really hungry yet. We'd eaten a really late lunch at 3:30 so I had a lot left to take today.

I have about 3/4 of a pizza stuffed into this box and then on the sides I have olives and carrots. I should have remembered the olives when I was making the pizza, but this is me we're talking about. I rarely remember things. My fruit layer:

On the left are some black grapes, which the market claimed was "seedless" but they most certainly are NOT seedless. I learned this the hard way after I chomped into one and bit into a ton of bitter seeds. They're still great grapes though. On the right are gala apple slices. And in the middle.... this is the highlight of my lunch today. Kookaburra licorice. My friend from Allakhazam, Kaolian, sent me 3 bags of this amazing stuff in thanks for sending him a copy of the FFXI Starter Pack and this is by far the best licorice I have ever eaten. I used to hate licorice when I was a kid but somewhere along the way to adulthood I tried it and love Red Vines.

These however, totally kick Red Vines into distant memories. They're soft and gummyish and taste so good. I cleaned out almost the entire bag this weekend and Baby Girl is addicted too. They're coming out with Mango and Raspberry flavors soon and I'll definitely have to try those. Anyway, thank you SO much Kao. It's a miracle these pieces survived the weekend, really.

There's still more to my lunch! I haven't posted a picture of a KCCA salad in a while, but since this one features my very own home grown tomatoes, I had to take a picture!

They're so cute and yummy! They don't turn completely red and some of them were starting to burst open on the vine, so now I just squeeze them and if they're a bit soft, I pick them. I had about a dozen tomatoes to use as of this morning. I'm quite the happy gardener today!