Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feisty Bentos #249 & 250: With Apologies

I've been a bad hostess, and I am so, so, so sorry.  I got really busy at work and things haven't slowed down and in my free time, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at the computer more than I humanly had to... so I just vegged and well I had a bento last Thursday:

Top tier: marinated cuttlefish; fried rice; spanokopita, truffled risotto puff, cranberry/goat cheese empanada (these last three were all in the same frozen appetizer box I mentioned before)
Bottom tier: last of the kickin' chicken; peas & carrots with butter; Shanghai bok choi sauteed with Shiitake mushrooms and garlic

but then I got to work and everyone at work was buzzing about the cafeteria's special of the day, which was like $6 for:

Cup of cream of chicken (or butternut squash soup), mashed potatoes/stuffing/maple glazed salmon/roasted carrots/broccoli+cauliflower with cheese sauce (choice of that or other stuff, turkey/stuffing, ham, etc.), cheese, slice of pie (pumpkin shown).

So I went with that instead and neglected the above bento, boo.  (T'was a little protein-light for me, anyway.)

That was Thursday; then Friday I didn't go to work because I had some stuff to take care of outside of the office; Monday came and I had this bento:

which I was also still busy at work and didn't want to post because well, I didn't want to reveal what an upcoming Recipe Friday MIGHT be about ;)

Left cup: fruit cup! banana chips, dried apricot pieces, and dried cherries
Right cup: potato "chips"/fries, corn fritters
Jar: clam chowder

Then we come to yesterday and today.  No bento because I was mad at myself that I'd made TWO WHOLE BENTOS and not posted about them.  Plus I'm going nuts and stressed out about making the turkey tomorrow, so... I dealt with not having a homemade lunch for two days (and I SUFFERED, I tell you that, I SUFFERED HARD...)

I hope you all can forgive me...

HAVE A FANTASTIC THANKSGIVING to my stateside readers, always HAPPY BENTO and remember Thanksgiving meals are totally bentoable.

Back on Monday!!!  (Hiatus on FF as well!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feisty Bento #248: So Delicious

Yesterday, I was in such a rush trying to get out of the house, I left my camera at home with the pictures of my bento on there!!!  The horrors!!!  Even worse, I had a media/press event to attend after work, gasp!  Luckily, it turned out that it was too dark in there to take pictures anyways, so I didn't bother, and while the foods were teh yummz, not anything that needed to be photographed ;)

Do you know what that is?  The rest of the duck garlic plopped on top of udon that I cooked in beef broth, with some Shiitake mushrooms, some Shanghai bok choi, and omgz this was SO GOOD - the garlic stirred around and infused the broth with flavor of the highest level.  I was happy for dinner on Monday :)


Top tier: 2 more cranberry+goat cheese empanadas; marinated cuttlefish strands; pineapple fried rice (that BF ordered from Thai Pot but didn't finish)
Bottom tier: Shanghai bok choi sauteed with Shiitake mushrooms and garlic; kickin' chicken

This was a most excellent bento that I thoroughly enjoyed! 

And today, I have a silly lunch meeting that I am required to attend, so no bento. 


Monday, November 17, 2008

Feisty Bento #247: A few of my favorite things

Lovely, lovely, a very nice interlude during a very difficult work day...

Top tier: kickin' chicken; duck garlic from Thai Pot; one beef sate in the "bottom" of the pic
Bottom tier: cranberry & goat cheese empanadas; sauteed bok choi with garlic & Shiitake mushrooms

Okay, I was thinking about it and realized I haven't made kickin' chicken in a while... so I made it and it was GOOD :)  The duck garlic is this dish at Thai Pot that I ordered the 2nd time I went there - I thought I posted about it again, but I guess I hadn't? - but it's SO good.  Crispy duck in this phenomenal sauce that's slightly sweet but super savory at the same time, with broccoli, lots of crispy garlic, greens, these ridiculous mushrooms that are out of this world, over some more greens and some crispy noodle type things that absorb the sauce and soften right up and are DELICIOUS.  Mmm. 

The cranberry & goat cheese empanadas are from this box of frozen appetizers - BF and I had a movie day yesterday, just hanging out and watching DVDs while sipping wine and munching on random stuff I keep (assorted nuts - I have 4 kinds on hand right now, sometimes more, sometimes less; banana chips; dried fruits; dark chocolate covered pretzels; chocolate covered sunflower seeds; etc.).  It was a good time :)

As for the sauteed bok choi... wow, this is good stuff.  It's too simple to really have a recipe... but let's just say, I added the water that I used to rehydrate the Shiitake mushrooms into the hot pan which helped steam-sautee the bok choi a bit, and it added an extra layer of flavor ... DELICIOUS!!!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Feisty Bento #246: Beautiful Bento in a New Box

Mmm, look at that beautiful bento.  This box is a new one that I got from Ichiban Kan USA (secret addiction).  How cool is that?!  I especially love how airtight the bottom tier is... the only bad thing that I DON'T like about the top is that not only are the sides lattice-work, so is the bottom, so crumbs fall straight out of the bottom :(

Top tier: Roasted beet salad leftover from dinner with DT; marinated artichoke hearts; roasted red peppers for adding to my sandwich; and a stuffed grape leaf hiding in the bottom left
Bottom tier: prosciutto di parma on ciabatta slices with pesto; two mini puddings, one kiku and one mango


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NOT BENTO... at all!

I had a work lunchtime training session today, and tomorrow (Thursday) I have a PR event to attend during lunch (which I will be posting about on Feisty Foodie of course!).  But this is what I wound up eating... and it's gross. 

Roast beef sandwich with wild greens, tomato, mayo; chocolate chip cookie; grilled yellow zucchini; wild greens with a 3 bean salad on top; bag of chips; pineapple; canteloupe; water. 

Halfway through training, I got up and had another sandwich, some more salad, and more grilled veggies.

This is why I have to pack bento.  I can't stop myself from eating more than I really need :(

Well, for those of you who did bring bento, HAPPY BENTO~!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feisty Bento #245: Yumms in my tumms

I can't wait for this bento!!!

Top tier: sauteed celery; roasted butternut squash; sauteed bok choi with garlic chips
Bottom tier: chicken finger cut up; mango pudding; marinated artichoke heart in the star cup; 2 slices of prosciutto di parma, and on top, cradling it and hopefully preventing too much oil from escaping (I drained it really fast), a stuffed grape leaf

I can't wait!  And I know exactly what I'm packing for tomorrow's bento, so I'm excited about that, too ;)  (Expect more of the veggies, no more chicken though!)  I'm going out for dinner tonight so I won't be cooking... hmm, hmm, hmm!

Happy bento!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Feisty Bento #244: Lots of Veggies

It's been a while since I posted about my weekend in food, no?  :)

Saturday, I went to have lunch with HB, and afterwards, we wandered through Grand Central Market.  It's been just over a year since I went for the first time, and this was my first time back.  I had some items in mind to pick up, and only missed one: the Valrhona chocolate pudding at Dishes.  (I went by before lunch, and it was busy, plus who wants to cart around pudding while you eat? but when I went back later, the dish was down to the dregs, and at $4.25/.5 lb, I didn't want the dregs! and they didn't refill it while I was there!) 

So I picked up ciabatta from Zaro's Bread Basket, prosciutto di parma, guanciale (pork cheek!!!) for carbonara, and pancetta from Murray's Salami (and received a free package of Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon for my purchase over $25), and butternut squash and baby Shanghai bok choy from Greenmarket Produce.  The butternut squash is because I really want to try cooking squash but am weirded out by/afraid of cutting/prepping the veggie myself, so I bought it already cut.  Probably paid through the nose for it, but it was around $2 for a 1/2 lb. package, which I figured is perfect for a person to eat by herself, right? 

(By the way, I don't think I like my new camera.  I was looking at the photograph I posted on Friday and it looks very - the word in my mind is 'ploppy' but I think it's actually 'noisy' - fuzzy, not out of focus but blurry and too much... plops? around the edges.  I think it's because of the ISO - it's automatic, and because I shoot without flash, it tends to choose higher ISO - these are all at 800ish ISO and that's already twice what the highest ISO on my old camera is.  Grrr.  And it won't let me shoot with no ISO at all.  Sad face... but it's such a pretty pink color.  My photos are supposed to improve with time, not get worse!!!  Cry.)

I don't really know what I was taking a picture of here.  Am I losing my own focus?!

Again... but whatever.  This is a delicious sandwich with pesto, roasted red peppers, ciabatta that I bought from Zaro's and the prosciutto from Murray's.  Ohmigosh so good.  BF had the same except minus pesto.  Mmmm.  I also chunked off some cheese for him - some Piave.  Delicious...

And dinner last night?  Dinner was a wonderful lasagna, made by yours truly.  I purchased this new glass baking dish (it's probably meant to be a loaf pan) but I immediately envisioned it to be a single-person's-lasagna pan.  And it worked beautifully.  It fits one no-boil lasagna sheet in its bottom perfectly, and then I added everything else (with a quick tomato sauce- I may post a recipe for this eventually?) and it was just freakin' amazingly delicious.  BF was duly impressed (even though this isn't the first time I've made lasagna, and I would even go so far as to say, not the best, either).  There's a total of 5 cheeses in there - count 'em, FIVE: mozzarella, ricotta, Piave + Pecorino Romano + Parmagiano Reggiano grated into the ricotta.  Holy crap that was delicious; I was practically licking my plate to get all the cheesy sauce.  *tears of joy*  So... good...

(The above photo is the leftover piece I have for dinner tonight.  I'm sure I could wrangle and eat only half of that for dinner, but... would you?  I'm also sure I could have cut it up and put it in a jar for bento, but I wanted to maintain its shape and integrity... I didn't get any good photos of a slice on a plate, so I may wind up taking a photo of this one for the recipe post that may or may not come.  Haha.)

And bento!

Top tier: chicken fingers; waffle fries; both from Tower Diner
Bottom tier: sauteed celery; roasted butternut squash; Shanghai bok choi with garlic chips

Oh, I didn't take pictures, but on Saturday, after lunch with HB, BF picked me up and we went to a movie, then to Tower Diner for dinner/a snack.  I wasn't that hungry, so I ordered chicken fingers, he got tuna salad with waffle fries (which I've totally posted about before), and I wound up taking home the leftover fries and chicken fingers.  YUMMY.  So that's what became the protein part of lunch today. 

Remember a while back, I posted about eating something there... but it didn't look like what I thought it would?

This, to be exact.  I forgot to post the answer!  Well, it looks like Italian sausage in the picture, or perhaps meatloaf, but it was actually super moist and tasty... Salisbury steak?!  I ordered it, expecting to receive something akin to what I used to eat in TV dinners - brown meatloaf looking things with mushroom gravy.  Nope.  This was eons better... and the mashed potatoes were quite yum too ;)  I should probably do another post about Tower Diner soon, I've eaten there a whole lot more since then, yumm. 

Alright, I'm starving and it's almost time for bento! 


Friday, November 7, 2008

Feisty Bento #243: Mapo tofu yumms

Taken with my new camera... which I'm not sure I like yet... weird.  I think I'm too attached to my old camera, which still works... I don't know.  Anyway. 

Top: pumpernickel cocktail bread for the mapo tofu; edamame
Bottom: mapo tofu surrounding a mango pudding

I'm starving and can't wait to eat!!!

HAPPY BENTO and have a lovely weekend!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Feisty Bento #242: Uneaten

So I totally packed this bento on Thursday...

Leftover mapo tofu & since I ran out of rice, I packed some pumpernickel cocktail bread to top with it.

But when I was at work, I was tempted by a coworker and eventually we headed to Burger Shoppe, where I ordered and ate this instead:

I have to say, nothing was as good as I'd remembered... still tasty - tons of char on the patty (in a good, flavor-giving way, not "burnt") - but slightly drier than I recalled.  Onion rings still good but not as wonderful.  Strawberry milkshake also didn't contain chunks of strawberries, as it had last time.  Oh well.  I didn't even finish all my onion rings, oddly enough! 

Anyway, happy bento~!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Feisty Bento #241: More, more, gimme more!

Wow, I actually went home last night, started to prep dinner, went back out (which I NEVER do), voted, came back home, made dinner, cleaned all the dishes from the day including my lunch jar, ate dinner, watched the poll results as they came in, and then passed out, really exhausted.  It's been a really exhausting 21 months during this election time, and once I got caught up in it, I was going nuts... now I feel a little ... well, relieved, and yet empty.  I need something new to obsess over!  ...oh right.  It's me.  I have tons of things I obsess over... ha!

Lunch jar: chicken korma mixed with rice (semi-recipe to come on Feisty Foodie)
Left side container: edamame
Right side container: two gyoza (pork/chicken) and a gyoza sauce fishy


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Feisty Bento #240: Cold Weather Returns, and So Does the Lunch Jar

Wow, I haven't used flash in a food photo in like, forEVER... but I was in a hurry and struggling with lighting this morning, so here it is.

In the jar: mapo tofu (recipe to come on FRIDAY!)- I covered this with rice after the photo, and it was still warm when I had it for lunch :)
Left container: edamame
Right container: smoked almonds, honey roasted almonds, mango pudding


I took off all of last week to celebrate my birthday good & Feisty Foodie style proper, so stay tuned over there for tons of food posts... but anyway, that's why no bento last week, since I apparently forgot to tell you guys.  Oops!  Sorry!  :(