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June 6, 2008

Beef Broccoli (224)

The cutesy-ness continues today with usage of my new awesome animal food picks. I look at them and I think to myself, gosh, I should have bought a couple more!! I realize that I don't need more than those, but I still want them. Then I can lay them all out and count them and rub my hands together going "hehehhehehehhehehe preeeeciousssses". This is what new bento accessories do to me. Scary, huh?

I started off with a bunny onigiri. My Aunty K had sent me a while back some animal onigiri shapes and I never did get a chance to use it because I opened the box when the kids were around. Several OHHHHs and MINE, NO MINE! later they had claimed them and were soon all over the house. I only recently recovered them from the wild savages and now they happily sit in my utensils drawer doing whatever it is onigiri molds do. Knitting, perhaps?

I cut the ears out of my breakfast ham steak. I had thought they were too long at first so I cut them short, but now they look too short. Go figure. I made the nori face with my punch. It only took me 10 punches to get that one face to come out right. The rest of the mangled nori will have to be cut up for ghetto furikake or given to the monkeys for immediate consumption. The bunny rests on a lettuce leaf cause even though he's smiling, he's actually hungry too. Here's a closer picture:

Next I put in the beef, then cut the broccoli stems off and laid the tops down nicely (stems hidden underneath). If you're wondering why it's so clean, Grandma J leaves the broccoli separate so that it doesn't overcook, which is pure genius. The beef brocco comes out much healthier and brighter that way. I cut up two pieces of takuan and put them into a little orange food cup and tucked that next to the broccoli.

After that I started to fill in the parts around bunny. I cut up red bell pepper and sliced some baby carrots. He's a hungry, hungry bunny! After that I still had a lot of empty space so I used olives with food picks to finish things up.

This is one of the new boxes I got at Marukai. It's a bit thin even though the box seems thick but this is because there's space for chopsticks in the cover. It's also a great place to hide some Red Vines. ^_^

I am very close to 100k hits, people! Time is running out to enter in my 100k Bento Contest!! If you haven't done it yet, hurry!

Send to me:

First Name
Picture of bento (must be your own)
Description of bento components
Bento blog link (if any)


Don't miss your chance!

I just so happened to remember last night that it's JUNE!!! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

BON DANCE, BABY! First one is tomorrow! We'll see if I can twist Mr. Pikko's arm hard enough. Probably not since UFC 85 is tomorrow too. ^_^

June 5, 2008

Wraps & Costco Fried Rice

Out of sheer laziness and busyness, I had a bento yesterday but didn't post about it. *gasp* In case you hadn't noticed, I can be somewhat of a desk potato. Rest assured though, it tasted just fine anyway.

We had quite a bit left of the Costco chicken we bought on Sunday. Even though these chickens are cheap, we never really seem to fully utilize the whole bird. I really should get more into using up the whole thing whether it's through fried rice or soup or what. It just seems like such a shame to have something so good go to waste. I will have to look up a really good chicken soup recipe and make a habit of making a batch every Sunday night or something.

I used a regular flour tortilla for this and spread out one wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese all over it. Next I covered it in lettuce, which stayed down pretty easily since it was sticking to the cheese. Next layer was chicken, peeled into strips. Finally I put in some strips of red bell pepper. I stuck food picks into three areas of the wrap so that it wouldn't fall apart as I cut it.

The apple was surprisingly easy to layer nicely. I just had to lay down some support pieces underneath before putting the top ones in. I hate empty space, so I tossed in some blueberries.

I decided last night that I have really been slacking off on being artful with my lunches lately, so I'm going to try to get back to doing the cute/pretty stuff instead of just shoving my food in a nice way into a bento box. This means I will have to definitely do my lunches at night because I am the consistent reason we are always late in the morning.

I used more of the Costco chicken to make this fried rice, which has a mix of brown and white rice. It was sticking to the pan, so I poured in some shoyu then added Nori Komi furikake. I made too much, so I gave the rest to Buddy for breakfast, which he loved. I know this because every time a spoonful went into his mouth he made me watch. "LOOK MOMMY!! LOOK! AWWMM!" He's such a cutie sometimes. ^_^

Next to the rice I tucked in a small piece of lettuce. I hate the dark green parts of romaine hearts so I usually pack it with some kind of salty meat so that I can eat it by just stuffing it in my mouth at the same time without having to taste it. That sounds so attractive, doesn't it? It works out quite well since it fills in empty spaces, looks great, and uses up food I don't really like.

For the red flowers I used red bell peppers with my veggie cutters. This was actually really difficult because the skin was so hard to cut through. Now that I think about it though, I really should have just peeled the skin off completely. The flowers are skin side down and I sliced off the bumpy inner sides of the pepper to create the smooth look. Oh well, bento and learn! The middles are made out of cheese. I got too frustrated cutting them out by hand so I ended up just balling it up and squishing it down. Usually I use a straw, but the kiddies are drawn to straws like I am to bento accessories. I'm lucky if I can hide one for 24 hours straight. The leaves are made out of romaine lettuce cut into the shape of leaves.

My second layer is simply sliced papaya and blueberries with a little mini fork to eat it with, since papaya can be so messy to eat sometimes. On the side I have sliced apple and a peach. Several of my peaches have bite marks on them because aside from being Tasmanian devils, my children are apparently peach vampire ninjas too. They slip in quickly when I'm not looking, bite one, then run off as if nothing happened. Sometimes I wonder about those two.

June 3, 2008

Mapo Tofu (221)

Lately I am just walking around or driving and suddenly I remember something I forgot to blog about. Like last night I was driving home and just as I hit Red Hill I realized I forgot yet again to blog about my thoughts on the super duper magnificent omg wonderful Lost finale.

I am a bit torn as to which scene to post since there were four that I considered incredible, but I finally settled on the Goodbye Kiss.

Ok seriously, oh my god. And I thought Sawyer couldn't get any hotter. Other greats for me included Penny and Des reunited, Ben sobbing as he moved the island, and of course the now infamous ending scene between Jack and Ben. The one that made me laugh the most was probably in the very beginning though, when Ben told Locke, "You couldn't find the anthuriums, could you?" "I didn't know what they looked like!"

I found this fantastically amusing, but this is probably because I grew up in the floral industry on the Big Island, where wanting to die at the sight of anthuriums is very common. Hey, you try staying up til 2 am making tropical Costco bouquets in the freezing winds of Mountain View. My brother will get a chuckle out of that.

My family has caved into the peer pressure and acquired a Wii, much to the delight of Buddy, who thought Wii Boxing was awesome. We had to start keeping the wiimote on top of the tv where he can't reach it after he was sighted hammerfisting the nunchuck and wiimote into the hallway walls. He's such a hallway bully.

If you were going about your business a few nights ago and suddenly heard a high pitched screech, that was probably me. I'm sitting in the living room when I hear, "Um, should he have that?" I look up and Buddy has opened my bento accessories drawer and somehow taken out my cottage cheese tub of precious soy sauce bottles. My immediate reaction was to yell, "BUDDY, NO!" and it was as if I'd set off some alarm in his head that any mischief to be done had to be done immediately or not at all. He thrust his grubby little toddler paw into the tub and began to flurry his fingers around like a cake mixer gone psycho. Piggies and fishies and pandas and flowers and carrots went flying in every direction.

I was not happy.

Okay, so... my bento contest. I hadn't said what I was giving away, but now I have a picture so you can all scramble to enter!

Click that for a bigger picture. Tally:

1 pink two tier bento box with a cute wolf on it
1 yellow two tier bento box with a cute bear on it
1 green Hello Kitty bento box with fork
1 black lacquer round bento box with berries design
1 pack zoo animal food dividers
1 penguin hot dog cutter
1 set of sea animals food picks
1 mini rice paddle
1 pack pastel sushi grass
1 onigiri mold (cylinder shape)
1 set Hello Kitty soy sauce bottles
1 onigiri mold (large flower)
1 set of chopsticks
2 wine bottle soy sauce bottles
2 piggie soy sauce bottles
2 fishies soy sauce bottles
1 yellow Putifresh banana cup
1 Charmmy Kitty bento bag

Oh yes, this bento prize pack is totally filled with awesome sauce! If this doesn't inspire you to submit an entry, you need your head examined. I mean this in a good, concerned fellow bento fan way.

To find out how to enter, see my 100k Bento Contest post.

Mr. Pikko was ill yesterday, so this was my cue to dart down to Marukai to raid their new stock. I went a little cuckoo. :(

Click for big version! I ended up with 8 new boxes, two bags, cookie cutters, food picks, BENTO STRAPS (omg they never have those), onigiri molds, cute disposable bento boxes, and soy sauce bottles. You see that red one on the right side? It's obviously for a triangle musubi but I was like, WTF? Are there monster sized onigiri that I've never heard of or something? Then I read the package and it says it's to store 2 convenience store musubis in. As if I'd feed my kids musubi from 7-Eleven! Ech!!

Close-up of the accessories. Aren't those doggie straps so cute?? There were chicken ones too, but one of them clucked at me rudely and I put it back. The nerve of chickens, I swear.

Finally, we get to my lunch. Whew, I sure had a lot to talk about today. I have to start writing down my topics as I think of them. Today I had mapo tofu with rice in one of my new boxes. I love this box! It fit a perfect amount of food for me and the blue strap I bought came in really handy. In the second tier I just dumped a lot of blueberries in cause the pack I bought at Costco was huge and decently priced, so I have a lot of berry eating to do.

We recently discovered that Baby Girl and Buddy find Hawaiian music incredibly amusing. My boss gave me a spare CD of some of her favorite Hawaiian songs and with them being obsessed with Eggman's Somewhere Over the Rainbow, they make me play it all the time now. There's a version of No Ke Ano Ahiahi that makes them break out in fits of giggles and then yell at me to start the song again. This CD has provided many hours (yes, I said hours) of car entertainment, so Auntie B scores points with my kiddies.

When I first brought it home Mr. Pikko immediately began joking that "Mommy's boss is giving her mixed tapes." This led to me and my cousin Jenn lamenting about how kids will never understand how much work it was to get music when we were growing up. If you had the standard boombox and heard your favorite song come on while you were pretending to clean your room, you had to dash to the radio to hit Play and Record at the same time. If you had the mega uber boombox with two tape decks (holy crap), you could move songs from one tape to another! (seriously, holy crap!) This is a sure sign I am getting old. I can already hear myself yelling at my kids when they're older...


I'm not even 30 yet! *sob*

June 2, 2008

Kalbi Fried Rice (220)

Yesterday I did what I despise doing. I went to Costco to buy contact solution, spent almost $200 on food and stuff, then realized late last night that I'd forgotten to buy the contact solution. ARRRRGH!!!

While there, I fell prey to those damned food stands and bought a bag of pre-marinated kalbi or as the package called it, galbi. Ever since a former co-worker of mine explained to me how to easily clean my George Foreman grill (I had previously positioned it by the sink and poured water on it continually while cursing such a stupid invention) I am more eager to use it. I grilled the meat with it and it was pretty good. I've definitely had better at Korean restaurants, but it was still pretty good for Costco.

I cut up a piece really small and then added it to a pan to char a bit while I cut up the leftover grilled bell peppers (which were AWESOME!). There was very little rice left thankfully, so this isn't too bad of a lunch today. I got onto the scale the other day and was horrified to see the number 134.4 staring back at me. Way too much Pandas... This didn't seem to stop me from eating Pandas again on Saturday though, haha! It did motivate me to do more Tae-Bo though, which I did Saturday and Sunday, bringing me back down to 131.4 this morning. I think the approach I need to get to is eating what I like, just a lot less of it and keeping up the exercise. I'd love to dive headfirst back into Weight Watchers and all, but you've all seen me struggling to stick to that for a while now and it hasn't been working.

So anyway, I'll keep up the exercise and stop freaking stuffing myself, which I've been doing a lot lately. Complete plan:

1. Better breakfast so that I snack less
2. Daily tae-bo
3. Controlled eating
4. Much more water drinking
5. No more freaking horrible desserts

For #5 I bought a box of Skinny Cows. This should keep my sweet tooth distracted. With the massive slew of birthdays we just got through, it's no wonder I'm always chowing down on sugary crap without a care in the world lately. >.<

May 30, 2008

Oven Fried Chicken (219)

Ok so I've been moaning and groaning about my stupid camera spitting out blurry pictures when I photograph my bentos lately and I thought this would make for a great excuse to get a new camera. My plans were foiled when Mr. Pikko suggest I check for a smudge on the lens. Sure enough, there was a little fingerprint right across the front. I will blame Buddy, since he loves to take pictures, usually of people's chests and neck. Who knows, maybe he will be some weird modern art photographer.

The Art of the Neck!

So anyway, with my camera problems unfortunately solved, I still have a blurry bento picture for today, which fills me with complete and utter rage!! AUGH!!!

Just kidding. ^_^

This here is oven fried chicken and no, I have not fallen off the weight loss wagon just yet. I still have to lose 12 pounds before I'm considered "not fat" in scientific terms. Plus, my size 4 pants are no longer comfortable, a sure sign I need to control my eating again. I picked the smallest piece of chicken in the pan and then brought soy sauce for flavor so that I can pick all the breading off. I'll try my best not to eat all the rice.

Next to it I have broccoli and takuan in a little food cup. I tucked in one il/legal tomato for color and then wished I had more food to put in. I ended up only bringing one tier since the only fruit I had was a papaya and Baby Girl loves papaya so much if I had taken some there would have been some papaya riots in the kitchen this morning.

Alrighty so last weekend, as you all know, was my best friend's wedding. Much to everyone's shock, we left our kiddies at home. This however, turned out to be a very wise decision as I think I might have shown up at the wedding slightly demented if they'd come along. (more on that below) Traveling with toddlers is not fun. You have to rent carseats, their little bodies balloon your airfare no matter how much you tell the airline they can both fit in one seat, they are of course not used to sleeping in a strange place and therefore are really cranky at night, and ALL the bathrooms are not your house one therefore making the request to "go shishi at home" extremely unreasonable.

We stayed in Kona Saturday so that we could go to Kona Bowl to watch BJ Penn defend his title in UFC 84 and me not wanting to spend too much on a hotel we'd be barely staying at, chose to go with a cheapie condo. The place was pretty decent for the price so I can't really fault it, but it was definitely not a place I felt comfortable sleeping in. For one, it had a weird odor. Two, there was this HORRIBLE looking spider in the parking lot that gave me serious freaking nightmares (not kidding). There were lots of mysterious quarter sized holes in the ceiling. The comforter was dark green with lovely white stains on them. Later that night I ended up suggesting that we sleep without bathing so as to avoid getting any ickyness on our sleeping clothes. I slept with the sheets covering my feet because a part of me was afraid that yellow-assed demon was going to get off his web and crawl in to terrorize me. I woke up at least 4 times during the night checking my feet. I cannot imagine trying to get our kids to sleep in this place.

We had time to kill so we hung out napping in the Kona Bowl parking lot, then went to Macy's where I got the flipping deal of my life on a really great Eileen Fisher jacket. The price on the tag was $228 and I got it at 65% off with an extra 20% off for signing up for a Macy's card (which I got lectured about). I was supposed to get a total of 40% extra off, so if I'm feeling particularly stingy, I'll call them up to complain. But for now, getting a $228 jacket for $37 has me on Cloud Nine. Later, we met my Aunty C and Uncle L for lunch at Big Island Grille. That was fun, thanks for meeting us Aunty!!

UFC was freaking awesome! All the fights were pretty good with the exception (in my opinion anyway) of the Machida/Tito fight. That one just frustrated the hell out of me... I'd gone shopping at Pearlridge Friday and at Champs I found one woman's Extreme Couture shirt. I was really happy with it for the design obviously, but probably also because it was a size small and anything that says small and fits is a freaking great shirt. I had tried to blur our Mr. Pikko, but he ended up looking like a danged obake, so I just cropped him out.

Watching UFC with a lot of other people who actually like UFC is a heck of a lot better than watching at home by yourselves trying to convince the kids that UFC is just as fun as Curious George. I got some serious chicken skin when BJ entered the arena. He comes out to a mix of Hawaii 78 and E Ala E (you can listen to it below) by Eggman, which is what Baby Girl calls Bruddah Iz. We're still trying to figure out what the heck she's talking about. She gave us some spiel about how we showed her a video playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and a big dragon was chasing Iz or something... I think maybe one night I must have accidentally given her a lollipop before bed and then let her watch a YouTube video of Iz, causing her to have psychedelic sugar high dreams about the "Eggman". ?!?!?

There must have been over a hundred people at the bowling alley watching and so it was the perfect atmosphere. When BJ knocked Sean Sherk out the place just erupted, it was awesome. My only complaint was that the guy was giving away prizes on an obnoxiously loud mic, sometimes during prelim fights. I mean, those are interesting too...

When it comes to MMA, Mr. Pikko likes to accuse me of name dropping, which I fully admit to doing because while I can appreciate the meaning behind a term such as a "beautiful armbar" and can remember tons of fights, I still have no freaking clue what a "kimura" is other than my friend's last name. I know just enough to appear to be a hardcore MMA fan, but in reality I just live with an MMA freak and find it much more convenient and time-saving to have him relay to me the latest gossip from the sites and blogs.

I have however, moved on from name dropping to what I call "shirt dropping". I have this thing about buying shirts lately. I have like 8 UH shirts and then now have my Extreme Couture shirt, my BJ Penn tank top, etc. It's pretty effective too, I wore my BJ tank to the salon when I was getting ready for the wedding and the lady doing the nails of the bride next to me mentioned what a great fight it was. The man at the front desk of the salon asked me if BJ won. At the airport some guy wearing an Extreme Couture shirt saw mine and later at Kona Bowl told us about his MMA clothing store at Schofield. So now instead of asking someone with potential MMAphobia if they watch UFC, I just wear it and wait for people to talk to me. Good stuff!

After UFC we went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was entertaining, but Last Crusade is still the best for me. "Water? No thank you, fish make love in it."

This is me and Lan just before her wedding. I'm kinda sad about the hair.. I should have had it down. I look like I just jumped out of that 80s music video Simply Irresistable only with less eyeliner. The back was really pretty with curls, but you can't see it. :( I loved Lan's hair and headpiece! Her wedding was loads of fun and their vows had everyone in tears. Best. Vows. Ever. Not joking. I wish I could have come up with something that beautiful. *romantic sigh*

Kahua Ranch had the most fantastic view. Mr. Pikko and I took this picture just after sunset. More to the right you had a clear view of Maui. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was up there. The road up was freakishly scary, so I was pretty relieved that we took a bus down in the dark later.

We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and I got this for free from my HHonors points. The room was like a 500% improvement over the condo in Kona and I don't know if I've ever slept on a bed that comfortable in my life. It killed me to have to wake up at 4:30 AM to get to the airport for our 7 AM flight. I was most definitely on crack when I made those reservations. The Hilton has retardedly spaced out towers, so it's best to take their tram. Only the tram doesn't start up until 6, so we had to walk half a mile from our room to the parking lot. Not cool. Still, I really wish we could have enjoyed the hotel more. This is the hotel with buttloads of artwork, waterways for boats, pools, a lagoon, possibly waterslides, (I forget), and dolphins! Next time! ^_^

Hopefully I can have more pics later, I had camera brain farts and didn't take many. We got home and ate breakfast at Anna Miller's so that I could look up on the laptop symptoms of brain aneurysms, which I mentioned yesterday. Despite all my complaints, it was great to see the kids again. Buddy had a wet head from running around in circles a lot, which didn't surprise me. I just hope he didn't do that the entire weekend.


I forgot to talk about LOST!! I guess I'll do that next week though, when people have safely watched the finale thus ensuring I do not spoil it for people.

May 29, 2008

Spare Ribs & Leftover Panda

My apologies for the long delay in returning to the daily routine of bentos, but I had a really great time on the Big Island for the wedding and I think after a while, so much complete and utter freedom from two really cute, but really rascally children gets to you after a while. I've been in recovery since we returned in the freakishly early hours of Monday morning. I have pictures, but have not yet uploaded them yet. Coming soon with details!

This is last week's bento which I forgot to upload and then blog about. No one can blame me though, I was alternating between trying to find my head and wracking my brain to figure out if I'd forgotten to print any maps. Not that they were needed in Kona. Turns out if you drive along the main road you can basically eventually find everything needed. It was so simple that even Mr. Pikko took over driving after a while, which was shocking since he normally starts to lose his sanity any time he gets near the Big Island. Silly townie. (I say that with much love!)

These spare ribs are by far my favorite dish of Grandma J's. They smell horrible because of the vinegar, but they taste so so good. I stuck in tomatoes for color, added sesame seeds to the rice for some flair, and I have no clue as to why I added the lime wedge. I was pretty mad at it for being slightly open at the top, making it look like a lime wedge with it's head lopped off. Stupid lime! Ruined the look I was going for! (whatever that was...)

I stayed home because of a sinus headache yesterday because on the plane ride home Monday I fell asleep with my head on the side of the plane and began to very attractively snooze with my mouth wide open. This means I was not swallowing as we descended so when I woke up, I had some seriously crazy sharp pains on the left side of my face. I thought blood vessels in my face were popping and that I was going to die of a brain aneurysm before I could give my kiddies one last request to stop their whining. As you can see, I am thankfully not dead.

Anyway, enough of that. I wasn't so sick that I couldn't crave some Panda, so I went out to go buy us some. I had to drive so freaking far for this, it took me like I swear, at least a minute 30 seconds to get there. The things I do for food!

I remember years ago Panda Express was pretty gross and I only went there if I wanted Chinese American food and there was no other option, but they seem to have gone through a big makeover in the last few years and I really enjoy their food now. I was especially craving their String Bean Chicken so I got two servings of that along with plate with Chow Fun and Orange Chicken.

The bento itself looks horrible because the picture is blurry and the box is obviously too small. I was too lazy to move it out into another one. One of my worst habits is leaving my dirty bento boxes around. It makes no sense for me to dirty up extra ones when I can barely wash my lunch ones. You can tell I'm really lazy from the trip still...

Don't forget to enter my 100k Bento Contest!!

May 23, 2008

100k Bento Contest

*sigh* I forgot to upload my bento picture today. I'll try to post it tonight, if not, then I'll post it from Kona!

I just looked at my counter and saw that I'm quickly approaching 100k visitors!! I think it's time for a contest! Prize will be a bento grab bag. I don't know what I'll put in it, probably a bunch of bento boxes and accessories. My favorites (depending how many people enter) out of the entries will get posted here on my blog and I'll create a poll for people to vote. The winner will get the grab bag! This does not have to be a bento that you make just for this, you can pick an old picture of a bento long eaten. Just make sure it's made by you!

Send to me:

First Name
Picture of bento (must be your own)
Description of bento components
Bento blog link (if any)

Entry deadline is whenever I hit 100k. Get to work, fellow bentists! (my coworker Fleven came up with this ingenius term)

May 22, 2008

Tonkatsu (216)

Today's bento is brought to you by the letters 'B' and 'P'. I was making it this morning and went to the fridge to grab the tomatoes. Buddy saw me and immediately got frantic, "BUDDY DO! BUDDY DO!!!!!" He started wailing when I picked them out and washed them because he had wanted to choose them. Since he doesn't know a firm tomato from a football, I was unable to accomodate his wishes.

Instead, I let him put the tomatoes into the bento, which worked like a charm in getting him to stop screaming. I swear, the kid can turn the tantrum on and off like a light switch. So anyway, this one was done by Buddy and Pikko. I'm one proud bento mama today!

This is tonkatsu from a few days ago. I had no bento yesterday because I had a lunch meeting at The Willows. The place was a ghost town, it was scary. Don't people eat lunch out anymore?? I especially liked the roast turkey and prime rib. I wish I'd skipped the fish and chicken long rice and gotten more turkey.

Anyway, tonkatsu with furikake rice and green beans and Buddy's tomatoes. The wedding is this Sunday and I have no idea how much I weigh, but I tried on the SIZE SIX dress last night and I fit just fine (awesome), so that is really all I care about at this point. I've got my shoes, my bra, and my dress. I just need to find some nice wedding appropriate earrings, a matching sweater to keep warm, and pantyhose and then I'm all set.

Mr. Pikko and I will be watching UFC 84 in Kona this Saturday. GO GO BJ!

May 20, 2008

Somen Salad (215)

We had spaghetti for dinner last night but due to some kid craziness, I forgot to take leftovers again, something I was really upset about since I love spaghetti. With no food to take to lunch today, I ended up making somen salad.

I had somen noodles hiding away in a drawer. They've been patiently waiting for me to remember them and so this morning they cried out in joy at the thought of being the center of attention on AIB at last. Luckily, I still had eggs. I say "luckily" because I am really bad at keeping fridge inventory. I'm constantly going to the fridge for eggs or mirin and going, "Oh crap."

I had a kamaboko in the freezer, which was easily defrosted under water. The Okuhara or Okamura or whatever brand of kamaboko is usually cheaper, but having grown up in Hilo, I am biased and always buy the Amano brand. I chopped up romaine lettuce really fine, added the egg (which I did not mess up TOO badly), added the kamaboko, then topped it with toasted sesame seeds. I have the sauce separately. My mom has a reeeeally good somen salad dressing recipe, but unfortunately she never wrote it down and can't quite remember it. She's working on getting it down again and hopefully I can post it then. For today I have store bought sauce.

I was going to add spam to it, but horror of horrors, I looked in my cabinets and found NO SPAM. I AM A DISGRACE TO ALL HAWAII MOTHERS. *sob* Trip to Costco planned ASAP.

As I mentioned, we ate at Kyoto Ohsho on Friday night. This place is located at Ho'okipa Terrace at Ala Moana or "the fancy schmancy top floor".

We had pre-ordered all our food because had a huge ass party (maybe 35 people) but we still didn't get our food until like 7:45, which was quite annoying, especially since we seemed to have only one waiter for all of us. I do have to note though, they have AWESOME rice. I can't really describe it, but the rice was just divine. They brought a bowl of miso soup for the kids and a bowl of rice and while feeding them I tasted some and I just had to keep eating it. Plain, nothing else. It was that good.

I got the Grilled Salmon. Usually I drown (and I am speaking literally) my salmon in shoyu because I just love salmon with my shoyu, but the salmon at Kyoto Ohsho was salted, so it was very tasty on its own. It was also cooked thoroughly, yet still very moist. So in the end, despite the service, I was quite happy with my food. The kids' teriyaki chicken was really good, too. I had a lot more pictures of the appetizers and sides, but I ended up having to delete them because my camera was full. Candle blowing and family pictures are more important than food. ^_^

On Saturday we took the kiddies to go eat at Genki Sushi and while we were eating I suddenly smelled smoke. I looked up and one of the chefs in the middle was flamethrowing some sushi. I picked one up off the line and




It turned out to be something they'd added since my last visit, Garlic Salmon. It was soooo good. Raw underneath, cooked with char taste and mayo on top, this thing was some of the best sushi I'd had in a really long time. I ordered a second one and popped it into my mouth before remembering to take a picture, so that is why one is missing. I just couldn't wait to eat it!! They had two other garlic sushi types, but I didn't try them. Someone commented on my Flickr stream saying the ahi one wasn't as good, so maybe I'll just stick with the salmon cause boy that one was a winner for sure. Yum!!

May 16, 2008

Legalized Tomatoes

A few weeks ago, Mr. Pikko saw a cool thing on TV that was basically a special pot that allowed you to grow tomatoes upside down, eliminating the need for stakes and other annoying things about growing tomatoes. He looked online and found out you can actually do this on your own with a little bit of work. Since our tomato plant in the yard was illegal by growing in the ground, he decided to make this my Mother's Day gift. Mother's Day was, of course, last Sunday but this is Mr. Pikko we're talking about here. It's the thought that counts!

He stayed home for two days to work on this, but mostly because it rained like all day the first day. This thing hangs quite nicely off our yard fence and the plant hangs out of a hole in the bottom. You're supposed to plant flowers in the top so that you have a nice planter of pretty flowers in the top and tomatoes growing out the bottom, but he couldn't find the right flowers in time, which I think he said were azaleas.

The illegal tomato plant was actually a freaking crazy tomato bush. He pulled it out, pruned it, and planted it. I went to take pictures yesterday morning and realized that he had actually legalized my illegal tomatoes! I'm sure they will taste just the same, but I found the thought hilarious.

Here's a picture of some of the ripening ones! I think they look a bit confused as to why they're suddenly upside down. Maybe that will make them redder? lol

As I said, he pruned it a lot, but look at how many tomatoes are still on it!! It's about half the size it used to be. Clearly we are not allowed to grow things in the ground because there's some radioactive tomato super fertilizer in the dirt.

This morning the plant looked a little droopy, so we're worried that it's a little too traumatized from the pruning and the replanting and the whole sudden shift in world view thing. Hopefully it survives because it really is a most thoughtful and cool gift!! ^_^

Okay, on to more evil things. Bento readers, meet Brownie of Doom:

I know, I know. 120 x 520. That hasn't gone so well lol. The other day, a brigade of wild women came storming into my desk area and held me down while one of them shoved a brownie into my mouth. I screamed and put up as big a fight as I could, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Once they got it down, I was released, but the damage was done. I chased after the brigade for another piece. I wrote a pathetic begging email to the source of evil for the recipe.

So, why do I call this the Brownie of Doom? If you saw the ingredients you would immediately know why. Evaporated milk. Caramel. Gobs of butter. Chocolate chips. Oh yes, this brownie is truly evil. Mostly because I ate like 3 this morning instead of my regular breakfast of toast and Cheerios. I made them to take to my grandmother-in-law's birthday party tonight.

It's not my recipe, so I'm not comfortable with sharing it yet, but you can email me and I'll ask! One of my readers here would already know it though, since it's actually her mama's recipe. :)

Tonight we're eating at Kyoto Osho or something at Ala Moana, so I should have more restaurant pictures for you all soon! No bento today because I somehow forgot to take leftovers. Massive brain fartage.

May 14, 2008

Two Bentos

Okay, so yesterday I had my yearly wimminz exam and so when I was packing up my laptop and getting ready to make the longass trek down to the parking lot, I remembered I'd forgotten to post my lunch. HOW UTTERLY THOUGHTLESS OF ME. *sigh* I need to slap myself.

Maybe I forgot to post it cause I didn't like the look of it. It reeks "lazy". There's no color, too. Wrong box for brown food! And then I just toss edamame in there like that makes it all better. Well it doesn't! Yech!! Food tasted great, though. Grandma J made chicken tofu. LOVED it!

I asked her for her pork hash recipe and she kind of laughed and said she just mixes pork, mushrooms, a bit of oyster sauce, and green onions. She doesn't measure. She cooks it in a pot, but obviously like you saw, you can fry them in little patties. Yum yum!

Okay so anyway, back on topic. That was yesterday's lunch and it was le good.

Today I am having teriyaki hamburger patty. I had to think of yet another way of presenting this since last time I did hamburger fried rice and before that I did toddler style meat loaf. This time I opted to slice them into little wedges. They weren't really tall so I took one of the wedges and sliced that in half flat-wise to use as a little "platform" for the wedges. That worked out nicely!

I made a ball onigiri and meant to put sesame seeds on it, but forgot it. I was in a hurry! I put in some sliced bell peppers and colorful tomatoes. Unfortunately, these are not illegal. I'm sure they taste good, just not illegal good. People back in Hilo have this saying that "Lichee tastes better when it's stolen." I know, you're thinking, what the hell kind of people does Pikko hang out with back home??? Stealing lichee isn't that big of a deal because even if you buy it down at the farmer's market, you know they must have stole that anyway. The same can be said for tangerines and some mangoes. Anyway, last of all, I have some julienned baby carrot and parsley.

When I recovered from the Flu of Death, I came back to work to find this amazing "award" on my desk:

Isn't that just about the COOLEST award you've ever seen!? She put everything in! Musubi with ume, sushi grass, fish, chicken, boiled egg, carrot, and even a lil soy sauce bottle. I was blown away, but hadn't had a chance to take a photo until yesterday. I don't know if she would want me to post her name, so I'll just say, you know who you are, thank you so so much! Of course I could just walk 20 steps to her desk to gush about it with her again but bento blog thanks are way cooler.

On to the Chibo pics!

This, obviously, is the entrance to the bathroom. I kid!

As I mentioned, I got a "special dinner" so it came with appetizers. This appetizer tray had beef tataki, tofu, and ahi poke.

The beef. VERY good. I love medium rare! Or rare if you're going to nitpick.

The tofu with bonito and green onion. Most of this went to Baby Girl, until I accidentally let a green onion about 1/2 millimeter in size get onto the piece I gave her. She has razor sharp green onion eyes.

This is the ahi poke. The first piece I ate was great, but the other two had a lot of tsuji, so I didn't like it overall.

My sister-in-law got the yakisoba crepe style and this is her crepe laid out to cook. I got to try some and though it was interesting, I didn't really like it.

The crepe being folded up! He basically dumps the yakisoba into the middle and folds it neatly. Then he adds the okonomiyaki sauce to the top and slices it into fourths.

This is someone'e else's food. I think it's a cabbage one. If you read the Wikipedia article on okonomiyaki that I linked the other day you can get a better description of it. It looked like they were frying cole slaw to me!

And finally we have here my yakisoba "Chibo". I asked for more shrimp instead of squid, but I guess that request didn't make it to the kitchen because I had squid in it. It worked out though, Buddy loved eating little donut shaped food thingers. It should be noted however, that he will eat practically anything. Except eggplant.

I got off my lazy ass and bought shoes for exercising at home and actually did Tae Bo last night. It didn't help that my legs were still rubbery from doing jumping squats, but at least I'm exercising again. I anticipate this lasting at LEAST 3 days. Wedding is less than two weeks away and I'm still at 128. At least I'm not at 132 though, which was where I was at a couple weeks ago.

This morning I was ready to rip my ears off and fling them at Mr. Pikko because I was so frustrated with my earrings. I bought new ones yesterday and for some reason my left ear decided it didn't WANT to have something going through it today. After like half an hour of trying and Mr. Pikko trying, I ended up with my stud in backwards cause that was the only way I could get it in. He tried really hard, but I really wanted to strangle him only because I was so mad at my ears and he was the closest breathing person. Who knew you could get so gosh darned MAD at your own body parts!

May 12, 2008

Chibo Yakisoba (212)

For Mother's Day the family decided we should beat the crowds and eat out on Saturday instead of Sunday. We went to a restaurant at Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center called Chibo, which is an "Okonomiyaki" restaurant. I had actually never heard of this type of food before and really wasn't sure how I'd like eating Japanese food in a crepe, so I went with the yakisoba. They cooked it right in front of us and this amused the kidlets for about 5 minutes before they were throwing napkins, stealing chopsticks to break them apart and toss them, and asking to go outside.

I don't eat yakisoba very often but have made it a few times at home myself. I got the "Chibo" combination special dinner. Though the food was good, I'm not really sure it was worth the money. I guess it's the experience you pay for. I have additional pictures of the food that I will post tomorrow!

For today I have leftover yakisoba from the kid's meal. Buddy and Baby Girl split a yakisoba dish with chicken and pork, so that is what I am eating today.

I added some green onions to the top to give it a bit more color and added in a flower-shaped onigiri with nori paste in the middle and small umeboshi stuck into the middle. This tasted pretty good reheated!

May 8, 2008

Yoshida's Sauce Chicken (211)

I got an e-mail this morning from someone at telling me about a Food Discovery contest they have going on right now. I wrote up a quick entry about bentos and kim chee crab salads, so make sure you vote for it to keep it visible! There's no need to register! Any votes are appreciated!

Yesterday Grandma J made Yoshida's Sauce Chicken. I asked her for the recipe once. The words that came out of her mouth were basically, "I put chicken in some Mr. Yoshida's Sauce and a bit of water." LOL I think she thickens the sauce at the end, but other than that, the name of the recipe is pretty much the recipe itself. I'll have to clarify how long she cooks it and on what heat, but I assume it's cooked on low to get it really soft. It's by far one of my favorites of hers.

My rice looked really plain and white and I have had furikake on my rice a lot lately, so I added nori paste. Mr. Pikko finds this stuff disgusting, probably because it's wet and black and just all-around yucky looking but don't judge a paste by it's color! This stuff tastes GREAT! It makes a really tasty onigiri filling too.

Next to that I have corn with illegal tomatoes sitting on it. Illegal tomatoes?? Yes, illegal tomatoes. I think I've mentioned the wild cherry tomato plant in my yard. That thing is going wild and is giving tomatoes like crazy. We're not allowed to grow things in the ground at our place but I've let it go nuts for a couple of months now. There are a couple that even fell to the ground because I forgot to check it, so it's possible I'll have a serious tomato plant problem soon. I picked all of these this morning, so they're quite fresh. Aren't they so cute?? I wish I could grow a regular garden in the ground... that one plant is doing like 50x better than my potted ones did. Someday!

May 7, 2008

Pork Hash (210)

My son has definitely entered his Terrible Twos. The other night I was putting the kids to bed and he wanted to watch more TV. After the usual squabbling back and forth, I finally just pushed him into his room and shut the door behind us. I tried reading to Baby Girl but he was screaming his head off and she said it was too loud to hear. He was holding a little toy Thomas train in his hand and when he finally calmed down he was in grumpy mode. He finally gets my attention with his glare and then proceeds to very flagrantly lick the wheels of Thomas.

Next thing I know, he is steamrolling Thomas up and down Baby Girl's blanket, which of course turns into more chaos. Oi. Later, when he's finally in bed, I'm reading him a book and he begins to very carefully roll Thomas the Spit Engine up and down my arm. He'd long dried out, but I knew the evil intent behind that seemingly cutesy toot tooting.

Today for lunch I had pork hash, which Grandma J usually makes in a gigantic wheel of meat and then slices into wedges. This time she made some of the excess into little patties, which makes for great looking bento food!

My sister-in-law had brought home some fancy looking rice from a client, so I took some of that instead of the plain white rice. It turned out to be sushi rice with cut up cucumbers, tuna, and pickled ginger. I sliced 1 patty in half and layered it together with the last half that I had taken in addition to the whole patty. On top I layered baby carrots and edamame. There was some extra space so I added two tomatoes and finished the whole thing off with a little thing of parsley.

May 5, 2008

Happy Boy's Day!

I am finally back at work today. That "cold from hell" turned out to be the flu. I was out for a whole week and it really sucked. My diet consisted of soup, McDonald's, soup, rice, tofu, cucumbers, and soup. We were finally better on Saturday and SO ready for real taste in our mouths that we had to go to Panda's and get orange chicken to put some zing back in our taste buds. Last night I had Zippy's chili as that was another tasty yum to help bring back the feeling to my mouth again.

I was too busy with meetings all day to post this, but I had furikake wasabi salmon. Grandma J had given this to us earlier in the week but I just didn't have the appetite to eat it. I added in some mixed tomatoes and put French dressing into the little Hello Kitty container.

Friday Mr. Pikko went to work and actually brought me home Gina's Korean Miso Soup, which I had been craving but couldn't have due to them closing down their Waipahu location. *sob* I felt so gross and uncivilized after being at home for a week that I actually moved my take-out miso soup and veggies to the nicest dishes I had and ate them off that, just to feel normal again.

Anyway, hopefully I'm back to normal. I won't have a bento tomorrow as I'm going to a work assembly. It's 5:30 PM, I'd post more, but I want to go home!

April 29, 2008

10 Toddler Commandments

I haven't had a bento since last Thursday and this is due to the cold from hell. On Friday Buddy had it pretty bad and so I stayed home to watch him. Unfortunately I picked it up from him and for the last 3 days I've felt that confusion, "Am I hot? Am I cold? I have a fever, yet I have chicken skin, wtf?" My head has felt like it was going to explode and Mr. Pikko has been hacking away next to me like coughing is going out of style. Thankfully, I do not have a cough, but he definitely does it enough for both of us. I don't feel enough like a bitch to tell him his coughs are making my headache worse.

As if this cold wasn't bad enough, my kids were taken in the night and replaced with little demons. Buddy has had what my sitter called "Night Terror" which basically means he shrieks his head off every hour and cannot be comforted. Picking him up is only wise if you enjoy hard kicks to your exceptionally tender stomach. This does wonders for our heads, obviously.

Add to that, I have committed many dastardly crimes against my sweet children. Mommy must learn the following when she feels better:

1. Mommy shall not declare it "brush teeth time" while Curious George is still on.
2. Mommy shall not fold jelly bread in half.
3. Mommy shall not threaten to delete The Rugrats Movie off the TiVo.
4. Mommy shall not give her children Apple Jacks in a play food bowl because it is "too small".
5. Mommy shall not give milk when asked for milk, for her children really wanted juice.
6. Mommy shall not refuse to read Where The Wild Things Are more than three times in a row.
7. Mommy shall not pick out the wrong pink shirt to wear to school.
8. Mommy shall not say for the third day in a row that she's been too sick to go buy more milk.
9. Mommy shall not pour into the green cup instead of the blue cup.
10. Mommy shall not state that it is "too dangerous" to turn around while driving to look at every pair of Fruit Loops miraculously stuck together.

I write this down now so that when I'm 90 years old and driving my children insane, I can say, HAY KIDS, go look at my blog entry on April 29, 2008, you'll see why I'm so demanding!

Last Thursday before we became deathly ill we actually went out with some friends, which is now causing me to wonder if this is bachi for actually going out without our kidlets. D: We met at Yakiniku Million, which was an old haunt during the college days. Back in the late 1990s this place was that hole in the wall place that had some godly dish that everyone had to have. All of us would drool on the drive down (with the exception of one guy who was made to sit in the trunk of the hatchback since we only had one car) at the thought of their side order meat jun.

Millions had, hands down, THE best meat jun in town. All of us would order the same thing: side order meat jun. Sometimes we'd bring someone new and he'd order BBQ chicken and we'd look at him like he had two heads. They served it with a lettuce leaf and sometimes one last piece would be hiding under there, which was so awesome we started hiding a piece under the leaf just to have a surprise at the end of the meal. Then somehow, somewhen, they changed cooks or something. The meat jun is still really good, but it just doesn't have that legendary taste that I remember. My current favorite is now O-Bok, at Manoa Marketplace. No sauce needed.

We ate with a different set of friends this time so we actually did order Yakiniku. I think this is Combination B or something:

Cooking the food on a grill:

Yakiniku is something Mr. Pikko just doesn't get. He says he goes to a restaurant to get fed, not to cook his own food. He rescued both of us and ordered two side order meat jun.

There's the meat jun in the middle. We ended up getting three plates because in the midst of the talking, our friends said, "Hey, this meat jun is pretty good!" Notice the lack of lettuce leaf though. :(

I wasn't really big on their sides as it was the fancier fare of Korean sides. I much rather have the take-out type veggies: bean sprouts, kim chee, mac salad, cabbage, chop chae, etc. Legendary meat jun missing aside, the food was still great. I was pretty relieved that I wasn't the only one that took about half an hour to understand what the smoke vent was for...

April 24, 2008

Hamburger Fried Rice? (208)

We had hamburger patties last night and this is something I've been finding increasingly hard to arrange nicely without repeating the same old things, so I decided to try making it into a fried rice. I don't recall ever eating a hamburger fried rice, so hopefully it turns out all right.

The first thing I did was heat some olive oil in a little pan. Then I crumbled up the hamburger patty into small pieces and separated the rice as best I could. It was a mixture of white and brown rice. I had some already chopped up bell pepper and added that into the mix. After it had been cooking for a bit, I poured about a tablespoon of Mr. Yoshida's sauce over it. I added the broccoli last, since I hadn't thought about putting it in until I noticed it was rather bland in color.

Since lacquer boxes cannot stand high heat, I lined the box with some lettuce to help protect it. I poured everything in and arranged the pieces as best I could with chopsticks. For snacks I have baby carrots, some of those new Brother's Potato Crisps (freeze dried, ZERO oil, ZERO fat, yahoo!!), salsa, and popcorn.

April 23, 2008

Shoyu Chicken (207)

My apologies for the technical snafoo yesterday with my picture. I went to look at my Flickr and was like WTF?!? Where is my picture??? *sigh*

Grandma J made shoyu chicken the other night. It was still on the bone so I refrigerated it overnight so that it would be hard and then in the morning was able to pull it off the bone in one nice piece. I wanted it in one piece so that I could slice it nicely. When the meat is warm and soft it tends to flake and looks terrible. I laid the slices on top of some furikake rice and then poured some Mr. Yoshida's sauce onto the chicken since it was looking a little pale from refrigeration.

I added broccoli which I had let sit in some hot water heated up in the microwave in a Pyrex cup. I find this is much easier than boiling water in a pot and it cooks the broccoli just fine. I cut a slice of takuan into little wedges and tucked it into some empty space near the end of the box.

We have this wild tomato plant that is growing from a seed of an old tomato from our potted plants. It's growing under the AC unit and it's CRAZY huge. I wish we were allowed to grow plants in the ground, but we're not. I've been letting it grow just to see how many tomatoes it spits out. One was nicely ripe and we picked that one. I had told Baby Girl two other ones were only dark orange so we'd pick them in the morning for my bento. Then we went out to the yard and the two were gone!!! We think the birds got them. I'm really surprised she didn't blame it on the beavers.

April 22, 2008

Ramen Strikes Again!

First off, lunch from yesterday!

We met at the UH Campus Center and ate at Yummy's Korean BBQ. I got a MINI bbq chicken plate. Yes, people, that there is a "mini" plate. People here eat so much frickin' food that you can now buy a "mini" plate of too much food for just $6.95. Seriously, when did we get to be such porkers? I was too scared to think about what a full size plate looked like. I skipped the rice to get an extra veggie side. I ended up getting chop chae (the noodles), bean sprouts, and choi sum. Veggies at Yummy's is really good. I think I'd put them second behind Gina's sides.

Today I took the day off to take Baby Girl to an allergist and was very sad to hear that he was prescribing adrenaline shots for emergencies because this means my daughter is one of those kids you hear about that can die from food allergies. He made this very clear to me, hammering into my head that she can go braindead in minutes... Not that I mind a doctor like that. I'd rather have an honest doctor than one who sugarcoats everything. We've got some adjusting to do that's for sure. I figure I have at least six months of "I WANT PEANUT BUTTER TOAST!!!!!!!!!" tantrums to put up with before she accepts it. Definitely not looking forward to those. I've already hidden the Costco-size jar of Skippy...

With this rather sobering news, I decided to fill the prescription in Mililani Town Center, where I knew there was a ramen shop. I dropped it off and headed over to Genki Ramen.

I decided that I was getting into a miso ramen rut, so picked something new and ordered their Mabo Tofu Ramen. I left my brain at the allergist's office and realized I was sitting in a cash-only restaurant with only a dollar in my purse, so I had to tell the waitress to hold my table while I went to go get more moolah. When I came back, my ramen was waiting for me.

I really enjoyed this! It tasted like mapo tofu yet still had a ramen-y soup taste to it. It was slightly spicy and the noodles weren't too thick. Ever since I ate at Kiwami Ramen I've found that I don't really care for fat noodles too much. As I was eating this reporter guy was going around talking to people about the Town Center, so after I was done I gave him my card to come read my blog. This was only the second time I'd eaten at Genki Ramen but the first time was so long ago I don't remember what the food was like. It gets two thumbs up from me now!