Monday, March 31, 2008

Feisty Bento #143: Leftovers Galore!

roasted a chicken on Friday night for the sole purpose of making roasted chicken stock.

nice, even slices of the breast, good for sandwiches.

Saturday breakfast- bacon egg and cheese on a roll, homemade.

Dinner on Saturday night: fried chicken at a Southern restaurant

Red Velvet cake at the same restaurant.  Disappointing to say the least.

Dinner on Sunday: started off with two dozen oysters, among other things.

My fried fried fried platter.  Need to quit the fried foods lately.

When it rains, it pours.  Last week I couldn't get protein to save my life, and this week my fridge is packed and I'm worried about the stuff going bad.  Ah well, such is life, you prepare for the worst and instead get lots of yummy goodies to choose from.

Top tier: leftover fried chicken from Saturday night's dinner, shredded/hand torn; cucumber salad
Bottom tier: succotash from the same restaurant as the chicken; chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joe's; mini-meatloaf

Review of the restaurant forth-coming!

And the cucumber salad had a few additions: juice of half a lemon, minced garlic and finely sliced onions, minus the red pepper flakes because I don't have any.  But still delicious, and tastes amazingly similar to tzatziki sauce, the white sauce on gyros and many street-meats.

Happy bento!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Feisty Bento #142: Collapsible Sandwich Case

New kind of box - I saw these on Lunch in a Box a long time ago, and picked one up for $1.50 at Ichiban Kan (I think, there or Daiso) back in SeptemberMore details can be found all over LiaB (last link is the extended review)...

From left: meatloaf sandwich cut in half; mini bell peppers stuffed with hummus

This was a really fast lunch to pack.  It was super cool to be able to unfold and flatten the entire box at the end of my meal, but my biggest gripe was that some of the hummus and tomato sauce topping slipped a little and got on the kinchaku I'd wrapped around it.  (I used a bento belt to secure the whole thing since the lid didn't quite fit securely enough for my tastes.)  After perusing LiaB's posts about the box, seems like I should have lined it with plastic wrap to solve that problem... but then what's the point of the holes and how's that make this an easy case to use?  *shrug*  I'm still iffy on it and plan on testing it out with a more regular sandwich - perhaps sliced chicken, mayo, etc. - before making a final decision on the case itself.

As always, happy bento and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Feisty Bento #141: Meatloaf

My first ever time making meatloaf!

Don't these look like giant shumai?

Look at it glistening gently away... with fat, yes, but delicious fat!

Top tier: mini pepper; giant shumai (recipe here); edamame
Bottom tier: edamame; vegetarian duck; cut up meatloaf

Yum baby!  Happy BENTO!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Feisty Bento #140: No more vegetarian!!! YAY

Yesterday's dessert to finish off my vegetarian bento... this red velvet cake was so damn good, oh yum.

No more vegetarian for me, at least not today!  Carrots, celery, and the meat from barbecue wings!  I pulled the meat off the bones for easy eating later.

Happy Bento!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feisty Bento #139: More vegetarian

Dinner last night at Thai Me Up.

Another vegetarian bento-
top tier: chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels; hummus stuffed mini bell peppers
bottom tier: edamame; vegetarian duck

Monday, March 24, 2008

Feisty Bento #138: VEGETARIAN bento

What I did this weekend, a pictorial account:

5 meatballs for $8.  Part 1 of my solo dinner Thursday (Adrienne's)
Good, meaty but soft, and super tasty.

Best pizza in the cityYes, I lay that claim.

Look how thin that is.  Part 2 of my solo dinner on Thursday.

My lunch on Friday

"Bool gooki" from Trader Joe's

Pan fried with onions and its juices, then layered on sandwich rolls with American cheese.
So good, I could have cried.  I ate two of them.

My breakfast on Saturday

Bacon/lardons scrambled with eggs

Layered on top of slices of American cheese inside "fresh baked" ficelle from Trader Joe's
(it's bread that's par-baked and you finish it off.  I love this kind of bread, it's so good!)

***Yes I ate the entire thing, and promptly did not eat again until maybe 8 pm.

My two Crack-a-heads... left is Mint, right is Basil.
Why'd I name them that?
Because... it's supposed to grow Mint and the other is Basil, duh!
Cross your fingers, so far nothing's happening...

Best. Boyfriend. EVER.

Because we were fighting and he still bought me dark chocolate covered marshmallows!
(I love chocolate covered marshmallows. These are gourmet, hand dipped from this specialty chocolate shop in Queens, but I do love the cheap kind that come in styrofoam "egg cartons" as well... yum!)

flowers taking a ride in the car before being given

close up
(forgot to take a pic of the orchids I also bought)

Easter dinner: clockwise, from bottom left
roasted loin of pork, so soft and succulently juicy, yummm.
broccoli, corn,
twice baked potato with bits of garlic crunchy like an onion but garlic goodness. DELICIOUS.
(I only get to eat these two items- the twice baked potatoes and the roasted loin of pork- maybe 2-3 times a year, so it is very special to me.)

to counter all the meat consumption, a vegetarian bento.

Top tier: vegetarian duck; edamame
Bottom tier: black beans, beans, burdock root, mini bell peppers stuffed with garlic & herb Laughing Cow light swiss cheese spread, a single chocolate covered peanut butter pretzel (I see these on other bento sites so often I HAD to buy a bag while I was at Trader Joe's). 

I think this is the first time I've included chocolate in my bento!  I normally don't because I prefer savory items, so one guess what time of the month it is for me (I eat chocolate, literally, about once a month; rarely, it'll be for a few days in a row but still, once a month).

Happy bento!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Feisty Bento #137: Meh meh meh

So as you all saw, yesterday's bento was pretty boring and not that filling looking.  After I was done eating it, I said, okay, I really do need some form of protein, and headed over to the hot tables in my office cafeteria.  To my surprise, they had an item called - check this out! - Carolina Pulled Chicken!  It looked much like my kickin' chicken so I picked some of that up, along with green beans and some steamed veggies.  Well, I was disappointed because the chicken turned out to be all white meat and kind of dry underneath the sauce- you know, the kind you bite into and it's stringy, dry, and gross, despite being covered in sauce?  So, the above are my leftovers from that crappy lunch, which I covered the chicken with some of MY BBQ sauce (with the kick!) and hopefully that will improve it a bit.  I can hope, right?

Happy bento!  No work tomorrow on account of Good Friday, so no bento, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Feisty Bento #135: Vegetarian!

So yesterday I wrote how freezer staples can help you in a pinch.  Ummm... I still have curry in the freezer, but no rice, and nothing really to work with, so this is my sad lunch bento for today.  Vegetarian, aren't you proud?  Ummm.... yeah.

Sesame Melba toast, hummus and cucumbers.

Happy bento!  (I had a big breakfast of bread to counter this, and I might pick up something later if this really isn't enough.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Feisty Bento #135: Freezer Staples

In the jar: chicken and veggie curry with a rice lid
Left container: various Korean banchans, crab meat salad, some beans, spicy green beans, more beans, spicy squid, jumble of stuff
Right container: hummus, sesame Melba toast

So last night I thought "I have no leftovers in the fridge.  Damn.  I don't know what to put in my bento.  I won't be home for dinner tomorrow night either so what would I put on Wednesday, too?"

I realized I had some rice already in the fridge, and some Korean banchans from my nephew's birthday party on Saturday (my sister kindly gave me all the leftover banchans), hummus, some Melba toast in the cupboard, and of course, prepared curry in the freezer.

What would I do without my freezer staples?

Wind up paying a lot for lunch, probably!  So here's to having a well-stocked freezer for moments like this! 

Happy bento!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Feisty Bento #134: Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

In honor of St. Patty's Day, a blue 4 leaf clover in my bento.  No, really, I'm not sure why it's blue, I couldn't find a green one.

Top tier: corned beef; carrots
Bottom tier: cabbage; honey mustard in the little bottle

My sister's mother-in-law made this, and wow is it yummy.  Yes, I already had some, and then was all, "I'm taking some of this home for my bento!"  Perfect for St. Patty's Day!  I will definitely be participating in some of the festivities tonight...

Happy bento!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Feisty Bento #133: Love Leftovers

Oops... is my dinner showing?!  Heh heh heh... doesn't that look delish?

The first meal I've actually cooked in my new apartment, though I don't really consider this cooking (I boiled water for the pasta, mixed it with a jar of homemade sauce, shredded mozzarella, sliced some cheese for on top (both parmesan reggiano and more mozzarella).  It was GOOD.  Perfect with some good Italian bread (from an Italian bakery in Howard Beach), a 2005 bottle of Malbec (fine, I only had Spanish wines on hand, or Rieslings and champagnes - I ALWAYS have a bottle of champagne/sparkling wine on hand, I think it's good policy!), and a DVD (Dan in Real Life).  Great night!

And my bento, very straight forward, put the bread in the middle "for funsies" as Dr. Cox (of Scrubs) would say.  Pasta, and some of that same good bread.  Yum!

Happy bento and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Feisty Bento #132: Back to Bento

Top left: cucumbers, hummus
Top right: Melba toast points, sauteed Napa cabbage
Jar: chicken & veggie curry, rice

I put the lid on my jar before I took the pic, to smoosh the rice a bit (and to keep it warm while I packed the rest) and the curry rushed over the rice!  I figured out I must have too much curry, so I decided to add Melba toast points to scoop up the rest of the curry.  YUM. 

Back to bento, but I need to get over to my bf's so I can have unrestricted internet access for a few minutes to email the winners and post about them too!!!  I'm so sorry everyone- I know you're dying to see who the winners were...

Happy bento!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Feisty No-Bento

Hey all, sorry for the lack of bento today, but I've got lunch plans. Also, I'm hoping to announce the winners of my contest (voting ended officially on Friday!) but I'd like to email them before I do so to finalize one teensy detail. But... since my move... I have no internet access at home. And no Gmail access at work. See the problem? Bahhh... I'm trying to work a fix out temporarily, but so far, no luck. Bear with me on this, k? Thanks...!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Feisty Bento #131: Onigiri Bento!

Hmm... I bought this a while ago while in San Francisco (for $1.50, natch!), but never wound up using it because the size is odd for the triangle onigiri I make, and I never could get over to the right places for the store-bought onigiri that fit perfectly within to pick up for lunch the next day.  All that has changed!  I've found a Japanese market near my apartment that sells onigir, rejoice! and other assorted Japanese goodies.  I'll go into more detail another time over at Feisty Foodie, though, where I post my regular product, restaurant, recipe, whatever reviews. 

I saw over at Lunch in a Box a while back that she'd used this box but had secured it with a bento belt, but mine wouldn't slide on the way hers did - it would only go over the narrowest point or it felt like it'd snap!  This is the biggest belt I have, so I used this one.  (Plus - and this makes me uber dorky - since it doesn't have a matching bento per se, if it snapped, I'd feel less awful about it.)

The other side!  How cute!

Ta-da!  The big reveal.  Two store-bought onigiri (one salmon, one tuna with mayo), complete with packaging designed to ensure crispy seaweed when you finally eat it.  Yummy.  I don't usually have crispy seaweed with my onigiri, even though I do have similar wrappers (courtesy of my friend in LA, Lilly! complete with Hello Kitty designs and stickers!), I'm just that lazy and I don't mind the non-crispy seaweed, I really don't.  As long as it doesn't stick to my teeth and make me look funny. 

But the bottom opens to reveal:

More goodies!  Mostly veggies, some fishies as well, nearly all banchans and some Mommy-made Napa cabbage.  Yum goodness.  (left to right: pickled cucumbers, fishies, green beans, and Napa cabbage)

Happy bento!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Feisty Bento #130: Korean All the Way!

Top: ddukbogi
Bottom: mandoo; kimchi pajeon (notice the "food art" I snuck in there?)

I've only realized fairly recently that I actually don't know much about Korean food at all, in fact all I ever eat at Korean places is Korean BBQ (I love meat, what can I say?) and my mother occasionally will give me banchan (small dishes) that she's bought and those will appear in my bento (notably I speak about it here), or I'll even get gimbap (Korean style sushi).  But the other stuff?  Meh.  I'm not keen on spicy, and a lot of Korean food appears to be spicy, and I don't have a guide, someone to introduce me to new things on the menu, so I just stuck to what I know.

(In fact, if you followed me to any or all of the Asian places that I frequent, I always order from the same selection of 2-4 things.  It appears I don't really stray from my beaten path... will have to change that!)

But last week, having drinks with BF's coworkers, after which they wanted Korean food, and it reminded me that I wasn't too familiar with Korean food.  When we arrived, however, they wanted Korean BBQ, but it brought Korean food to the forefront of my mind.  So a few nights ago, while shopping with Cookie (of Cookie Bento fame), I did something unprecedented: I went to the same restaurant from a week earlier (I never go to the same place twice in such quick succession).  But this time, I wanted something different; Cookie being there helped a lot because she's a vegetarian, so obviously Korean BBQ (which is mostly meat, from my understanding) was out, and because she's familiar with Korean cuisine. 

The above bento is leftovers from our meal: ddukbogi, a sweet and spicy rice cake (not that kind of rice cake; it's rice noodles but in tube form) cooked with fish cakes, onions, and glass noodles; mandoo, Korean dumplings filled with glass noodles, beef and veggies (she didn't have any); and kimchi pajeon, pancake with kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) strewn throughout it.  Pretty yummy, though I was sweating and tearing up from the heat at one point. 

Yummy, here's to exploring new (to us) cuisines and making great discoveries! 

Happy bento!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Feisty Bento #129: Gas Alert

Breakfast: apple slices, de-pitted plum, and seedless table grapes. 

The last of the creamed corn; marinated squid and roast pork; in the jar, cabbage soup I made earlier in the week for the first time, will be posting a recipe on Feisty Foodie shortly... You should click on over anyway, to see all the good food I ate in Argentina!!!

Mm, this is making me hungry...


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Feisty Bento #128: Need for Speed Losing Weight

From left to right: marinated squid (store-bought), homemade creamed corn, BBQ chicken

Yesterday's creamed corn, because of my insane digging through my bag searching for keys that weren't there, jumped all over my food.  I'm hoping today's stays put... though I don't deny its deliciousness mixed with stuff!  I also have a plum I de-pitted but I shoved into a sandwich bag because I was running late. 

I am also starting to get sick of the creamed corn, if only because I'm worried about how fat it's making me...


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Feisty Bento #127: Meat, meat, meat...

Top left: takuan/pickled daikon, BBQ chicken with a kick; creamed corn in the bottom left
Top right down: few pieces of crispy skin pork with sauce dabbed on; marinated squid; roast pork; duck pieces

I have a special event later this evening which means dinner will be around 9 pm or later, so I will need a snack to tide me over- here's my second/snack bento:

Sliced apples, one and a half plums (the "whole" plum is actually sliced in half and de-pitted), and my favorite, smoked almonds (you may notice the cup that the almonds are in is actually from the above Lock & Lock set instead, haha).  YUM!!!  I jostled all these items in my bag a lot this morning as I banged my head on the door in frustration after I'd locked myself out with my keys, wallet, work ID all inside.  Hah... had to wait for someone to rescue me and was subsequently late to work, but ah well, what could I do?