Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm sorry

I have been subsisting on leftovers or buying lunch. It's awful and I can't even tell you how much weight I'm gaining all back (remember: in the first 3 months of bento, I lost 16 lbs.). I hate it and I hate being just short of 400 bentos but I can't even find time to cook for myself much less pack a bento. I am stressed and time crunched out the wahoo... I hope you understand and will still be here when I'm able to return to bento. <3 Yvo

Monday, November 2, 2009

Feisty Bento #398: To Bento or Not to Bento


Does this even count as a bento?  I just know it was labeled as 398 on my hard drive, so it's going up as the last bento I made before I dropped off the face of the bento-world.  Well, actually, I made a 'bento' last week (late December), which was a leftover slice of lasagna on its side, with two pieces of fried tofu crammed next to it.  And I didn't take a picture of it because I was in a rush.  Hmph. 

In any case, the above is BBQ beef from Hill Country, with a side of corn pudding (SO GOOD MMM I NEED THE RECIPE) smashed in next to the green beans.  All of it yummy... oh so good. 

Anyway, now that I'm all caught up, let me catch y'all up!  It is January 1 as I write this, though I will backdate this to when I had this lunch (November 2, 2009).  Finals ended on December 19 and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I waited to get my grades back and... four classes (full time school), plus working full time... begot me a 4.0 this semester!  (Yes, second in a row.)  Well, honestly, busting my ass studying every Friday night at Panera instead of going out is what got me that 4.0 - history is my hardest subject, but an excellent professor and a lot of hard work really paid off big time.  I actually scored a 99 on that final exam, which I would have told you was impossible until I actually did it - I almost cried from how happy I was.  I don't know, nerdy, but also... it just felt like, so validating, like it was so worth those nights of not hanging out, to get that grade.  Really, really rewarding.  I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Now, two weeks after finals ended, I'm done with the holiday swirl and really hope to get back into bento'ing.  I'm not making any promises, but I really do hope to get back in the swing of it over the course of the next few weeks, then it'll be time for more announcements and more changes... wink wink.  Stay tuned for that... I promise, it'll be a doozy!!!

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday season and the happiest of new years to you all. 

Happy bento, everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feisty Bento #397: One Last "Real" Bento


 I couldn't get the light right or something... not sure why I am holding it in my hand.  Also, I'm amused that I'm wearing a sweater... it was pretty mild weather until mid-December! 


I took another picture once I got to work, even though it all got smushed, and I don't know why there's a napkin underneath.  Anyway,

Mini-pita-pocket egg salad sandwiches with baby carrots, extra egg salad topped with cilantro.  Yummy!

Happy bento!!!

posted on 1/1/10, backdated appropriately - the last 'real' bento for a very long, long while... it's like I knew, so I put in extra effort - three days in a row!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feisty Bento #396: Leftovers of Leftovers


More of the same of yesterday's rice... and a hard boiled egg. 

Happy bento!

posted on 1/1/10, backdated appropriately - I can't believe this is what I ate on my birthday... how depressing!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Feisty Bento #395: Leftovers


This bento actually contains leftovers from this meal at Sripraphai in Williston Park.  Yup, it's been so long that I am able to link to the respective meal and review. 


Top left corner: shrimp ball
Bottom left corner: the remains of roasted duck salad
Right side: special house rice mixed up

It's been a long time, yes?

Happy bento!!!

posted on 1/1/10, backdated appropriately

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Feisty Bento #394: Bronx Zoo Woo Bento


What is that!


It's a bento I made to take to the Bronx Zoo this past Sunday.  I took my nephews (along with their mother and my boyfriend - I was actually there to be on stroller duty, for the exhibits you can't bring a stroller into, I stood outside and kept watch on the crammed-full-of-stuff strollers) and we really lucked out, because out of the two days this weekend, clearly only one was suited for the ZOO!!!  (It poured on Saturday.) 

Hard boiled egg; carrot sticks; dressing
Hidden under the horrifying ;) cilantro is mini banh-mi pitas. 

Yep, I stuffed mini-pita-pockets, that I snipped open with scissors, with pate, cha lua, pickled carrots/daikon, a schmear of Vietnamese mayo, and ate them with bites of the cucumber and the cilantro pieces. 


That's a close up. 

Envy me, I'm food's MVP :)

(Although I will point out that the pita bread doesn't quite have as much oomph as a good, crisp baguette does.) 

*I brought a bento to the Zoo because the Mommy packed ham sandwiches for everyone, and I decided that I would be good and eat some of the food in my fridge.  Plus it saves a ton of money - though we did 'splurge' and get fries for everyone, and nachos for me, we still saved a ton from buying the crappy pizza at the zoo...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Feisty Bento #393: CSA Delicious


Holy deliciousness, Fatgirl!

Roasted some-sort-of-squash-from-CSA mixed with kielbasa, garlic & onion; bacon & roasted broccoli salad with awesome dressing

It was delicious.

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Feisty Bento #392: Repeats


More of those weird noodle-cakes that I made... and sauteed bean sprouts

*I'm not dead, I'm just super busy with exams and all.  I still manage to pack a bento or two a week (saddd)... but posting is crazy difficult :T

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Feisty Bento #391: Carnivore


Local/organic Romaine lettuce topped with local/organic cherry tomatoes that taste like candy, topped with the sirloin half of a porterhouse

I also packed two small containers - one with Italian dressing for the salad bit, and one with blue cheese for the steak, hehe. 


think outside the lunchbox~!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Feisty Bento #390: Weekend of FAIL


Yeah, that's my bento.  It's a standard secret of bento blogging that Jenn so kindly decided to share with the world last week that if your bento is ugly or less-than-amazingly-cute-and-colorful, just tilt it or the angle of the camera and voila, many problems disappear.  Well, no amount of tilting would help this - I almost slapped the lid on for the pic, because that would DEFINITELY help! - but eh.  It's still going to be bicolored and that's it. 

This was a weekend of FAIL... I made magic soup - well, no, I refuse to call it that in this instance because it wasn't that great, and magic soup is ALWAYS great - that just ... FAILed... mostly cuz I opted to use beef broth instead of chicken, and I realized beef broth and I don't get along when that's the base of the soup.  It's too strong for my palate (I know, shocking, when I salt things to high heaven and back) to drink as soup - for noodles, that's fine, and risotto, awesome, but as the broth I'm drinking straight... not so much. 

Then, I attempted to make stir fried udon (picture will come in a few weeks on Feisty Foodie - since I used a ton of CSA veggies for it), which tasted good - sort of, some of the veggies I added didn't quite go right, but I expected that - and was totally ugly. 

Of course the final FAIL was the above - not the bean sprouts, which I make all the time (well, I kind of overcooked part of it, but whateverrr, stop nitpicking!) - but the rice cakes. 

For those unfamiliar, Taiwanese (or are they Shanghainese?) rice cakes are basically rice noodles, except instead of rolling them thin and slicing them into broad white noodles, they've been rolled and then cut into coin-shaped/sized slices.  (Correct me if I'm wrong, because I could be, but that's what it looks and tastes like to me.)  They're like Korean dduk (I think...) but sliced instead of left in fat tubes. 

Anyway, it tastes mostly fine, though it turned out horrendously ugly because of the dark soy sauce I was using.  Whatever. 

That's today's bento, to cap off a weekend of FAIL.  Tonight, I plan on making something I won't mess up just to make myself feel better.  (Watch me mess it up anyway.)  I eat my failures, because I'm cheap/broke/poor and I really hate wasting.  Which means expect to see this again in a few days' time. 

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feisty Lunch


It looks like I took this photo at night, but I assure you, it was something like 7:30 in the morning.  Yep, that's how dark it was this morning.  It's so difficult to wake up in the morning when it's dark out and chilly - my building hasn't yet turned on the heat, and I don't really blame them, since the temperature is at that point where it's a delicate yo-yo; it might be 40 tonight but tomorrow it will be 70.  As a shareholder with an actual vested interest in our bottom line financially, I don't want the heat on if it's going to make my apartment unbearably hot on days that are unseasonably warm! 


In any case, I know I just said yesterday that I wouldn't have bento this week - and I don't! - but that first pic is my lunch for today.  An awesome Greek salad from my local diner ... so, last night, I had barely any time between work and class, and I needed to eat (long story but I basically forgot to eat lunch...), and in a fit of inspiration, decided to utilize Tower Diner's online ordering system to its utmost potential by placing an order before I left work at 5:30 to be picked up at 6:45.  This all worked out great and I had dinner in my grubby lil hands easily, but I took it a step further by ordering the above salad for the specific purpose of bringing it for lunch today.  Even better!!!  Perfect.  I've had their Greek salad before - in fact, easily a dozen times this year alone (BF really likes this diner so we go there pretty often) - and really really like how they do it, except for two things: they use very fishy anchovies so I always request it without the anchovies, and they use olives with pits, which means I eat one or two and then leave the rest out.  (When I make Greek salad, I use pitted olives!)  Otherwise, they have a great version here.  Yum! 


I also just really wanted an excuse to post these pics of Keywee. 


The bestest boyfriend in the entire whole world did me the greatest favor the other night.  I'm a ball of stress lately (not to be confused with a stress ball; if you try to squeeze me, my latent violent tendencies might rear up and poke out and b*tchslap you...), with having no time, and very little time to spend with my absolute darling puppy (okay, she's 7 and a half, but still will always be my puppy), and just... feeling guilty... well, I had no time to take her to get groomed because I was either at work or school during their business hours.  So my boyfriend picked Keywee up at 11pm on Monday... took her to her 2pm appointment on Tuesday... and dropped her back off at 11pm on Tuesday. 

Yes.  Yes, he did.  Yet another reason why I love this man.  Yes indeed. 

And can I tell you?  24 hours without her and I missed her more than I thought possible.  Missed her climbing into my lap while I studied, her trying to convince me that I only need one hand to study and that I should use my free hand to pet her; missed her following me around as I went from room to room looking for something, or just following me around in general.  Missed her snuggling right into my belly when I lay down to sleep, missed her climbing up my chest when I'm half-lying down watching TV.  Missed her. 

Now she's back where she belongs, with me, in my arms, and I can't even enjoy her that much because it's been rush, rush, rush, everywhere, all the time.  Ugh.  I realized, however, that she is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE photography subject in the world.  Even though she wiggles and sometimes won't stay still for my non-flash photography.  Even though she's not something I photograph then immediately consume in deliciousness.  Even though sometimes she just doesn't want to photograph. 

She is my absolute favorite. 

Baby I love you, and I'm sorry I waited so long to groom you and made you all uncomfortable.  You smell delicious and look wonderful, and Mommy will always, always love you best out of anything in the world.  Always. 


Also, those photos were indeed taken directly after the salad photo.  Still so dark, right?  Ugh. 

Think outside the lunchbox!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Feisty Radio Silence...

I am tired, my darling readers.  I am so, so very tired.  By that, I don't mean I'm tired of talking about my life (HAH!) or my food (double HAH!).  I just mean, I need sleep and I need an extra, oh, I'll take an extra 3 hours in each day.  See?  I'm not greedy.  I'll take just 3 more hours in a day, during which I could cook, clean up what I've cooked, study,...

This past weekend marks the first weekend, like, in I can't even tell you how long, that I didn't cook a single thing.  Leftovers made dinner on Friday night while studying for my exam on Saturday.  Saturday was mostly spent in school, then finally finally (would you tolerate seeing your girlfriend, whom you'd already been seeing only about once a week, even less than that? when you live in the same damn city and even the same damn borough?!) seeing the boyfriend for a bit, and Sunday was spent in Brooklyn at the 3rd Avenue Festival, part of the time at Robicelli's judging their sandwich contest (it turns out, I'm REALLY good at judging! Who'd have thought?!).  I had little time to breathe, let alone stand in my kitchen and whip up stuff to eat, even if it was only for the rest of the week.  (Well, I did manage to stand in my kitchen for an hour on Saturday, cleaning, so that was good.  Even so, I'm not done yet, there's still stuff to clean, ughhh!  When this happens, I sometimes put an embargo on my kitchen, ie, "No cooking until it's fully clean!" which really, really sucks for me, and I believe I'm about to do so once again.  My kitchen is filthy.) 


I've mentioned my school schedule before, and it's not that I'm complaining - I registered for my own classes, created my own schedule, and decided I could handle it.  And I can.  I know I can handle it.  It's the having-no-time-for-anything-else-but-school-and-schoolwork/studying that is killing me (I'm taking an English class and another writing-intensive class, and yet another class in one of the subjects that are very difficult for me).  I've never been that great with time management, but usually have had enough of it that it didn't matter if I lost a little sleep here and there.  Now, because I'm not budgeting my minutes wisely, things are slipping through the cracks and I hate that feeling.  It isn't pleasant.  I feel guilty for turning down plans to study, then staying home and not studying; I feel guilty for not bringing my lunch and spending too much money on it and then... the inevitable weight gain *frowns at waist* - I am going to have to start going to the gym again, but that takes time that I don't have,... I feel guilty for not spending enough time with my dog!  I feel guilty for everything right now, and you can joke all you want about good ol' Catholic guilt - but I didn't grow up experiencing guilt.  I was one of those people who rarely felt guilty even when she did something wrong.  (MOCK ALL YOU WANT BUT IT'S TRUE!)  Bah. 

And of course, have I mentioned that, with the wonderful help of Jenn at Not Exactly Bento, was launched?!  I recently passed 3 years as The Feisty Foodie (I food blogged intermittently for about a year, year and a half before that, but under a different name) and celebrated by launching the site finally after I'd said in January that I would do it this year!  Whoops!  It's pretty much operational and so purty, just a lil backend work needs to be done (so if you play around with it, let me know if there are any issues you come across, please!).  So go look and tell me if you like what you see :)


So you see how my time is all squished up and just... yeah.  I'm sorry I don't have a bento today, and because I didn't cook all weekend, I probably won't have one for a while :(


But you know, here are some pictures of my lunch on Saturday, between classes.  You'll see these pictures again when I post a product review I'm working on over at Feisty Foodie!  Almond butter and cherry butter on whole grain bread!  Pretty good, a new twist on the classic PB&J, yes? 

It just looks like I won't be bento'ing for a few days more, and I know it's been a while, but I wanted to keep you all posted that I am not neglecting here, I just am barely able to eat between studying/working/schooling.  I am still here!  I am still trying to balance my time!  Anyone has any really good tips or suggestions on how to do this... I am ALL ears! 

In any case, perhaps especially because I can't... think outside the lunchbox!!! 

PS The reason Feisty Foodie is able to keep on with posts while I'm super busy is... whenever I have free time, I write posts and schedule them for the future.  Some of the posts going up are written nearly 2 months in advance (thus having ice cream posts when it's barely 50 outside...)!  Thankfully, before the latest blitz, I managed to schedule posts through almost all of October... phew! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feisty Bento #389: Just call me blonde and get it over with


Left to right: grilled soy-garlic wings; sauteed bean sprouts; baby bok choi

Entirely comprised of leftovers from my nephew's birthday party on Saturday.  My sister made the wings so I don't really have a recipe, I think she marinated it in soy sauce, garlic powder or salt, maybe onion powder as well?  I don't know, but her hubby grilled them and they were good

SO.  Let's talk about The Beast (what I named my vehicle because of its hulking size and because it's funny to me and because of all the issues). 

And how I may just have to dye my hair blonde to match my intelligence...

I failed to mention yesterday, because I failed to see the significance, that I was parked on a steep hill on street over from my street. 

I live on a somewhat steep hill, and the street over is even steeper.  When you park on my hill, the front of your car is raised; when you park on the street over, the back of your car is raised.  I've noticed in the past that when you park on my hill, the gas gauge reads higher than it really is.  I rarely park on the street over, by luck, mostly, and being able to find a spot on my block or along my own street, in any case. 

Being that the gas reads higher on my hill, it reads lower on the other hill.  This means that the gas, being a liquid (it is, right? despite its name, it's not a gas, right? LOOK I NEVER SAID I KNEW ABOUT CARS AND THEIR INNER WORKINGS OR SCIENCE AND JUNK, ok?!), has shifted one way or the other.  Right. 

When I parked my car on this very steep hill last Friday, I made a note that I was low on gas - a little less than a quarter tank - and that I needed to get gas the next morning before class.  I planned to leave a bit earlier in order to do so, and I did.  I challenge any of you to tell me you would have chosen to pump gas at midnight, given the choice between then and early the next morning.  I was tired, it was cold, and there just didn't seem to be a good reason to put gas in the car at close to midnight, when I could easily do it the next morning. 


Do you see where this is going?

Apparently, the car being so drastically tilted, the bit of gas I still had left was pooling to the front, and not enough gas was reaching the engine to start the damn thing.  (I'm no engineer or design person, but wouldn't it make sense for the tube to be in the front & bottom of the gas tank?  Or at least at the front [to prevent sludge and sediment from rushing into the engine at every chance, bottom might not be a good idea] - I'm just saying.) 

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you... easily one of my stupider moments.

I MAINTAIN THAT I DID NOT RUN OUT OF GAS... THERE WAS ENOUGH GAS FOR ME TO GO THE NEXT MORNING TO GET GAS.  It is just the whole hill thing screwed with everything!  I'm not that blonde yet! 


Of course, the tire is now going flat again, slightly more slowly, but still. 

Hi, my name is Yvo, and I am a car jinx.  If I have to choose one problem between the two, I would prefer the tire require pumping occasionally versus the engine not starting.  Thank you.

Also... now that one bit of stress is eased off my shoulders, I have more transportation woes.  My morning bus has decided to stop showing up on time.  That's going to be one angry letter I pen to the MTA later today.  Stay tuned.  I might post it. 

think outside the lunchbox~!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feisty Bento #388: The Beast


Top tier: stuffed peppers (recipe to come on Feisty Foodie)
Bottom tier: watermelon; peas; roasted zucchini salad

(There's actually more roasted zucchini salad just hiding under the peas, ha.) 

So, this was going to be a happy post, bento #388.  Unfortunately, I wound up not packing lunch on Friday, so it got pushed to Monday, and stuff happened that turns this into a tearful, unhappy, mess of a post. 

I said almost 3 weeks ago now that I'd stop complaining about the car.  I'm not here to complain about the car.  However, I am going to update you with what's going on because some of you are incredibly, incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about cars, and because I need to let it out before I scream. 

Last week, my lovely, loving boyfriend took the car to get inspected, and to figure out why the tire insisted on leaking all its air, to look under the hood as well and see what was going on with the battery.  It turns out that the tire is fine; the rim was rotted (don't ask me, I don't really know how a metal rim rots but I'm not going to argue) and needed to be replaced.  His father, who has been absolutely amazing to me the entire time I've been with my boyfriend and accepted me as family pretty much right from the start, went to the junkyard and found me a new rim, replaced it, so now the tire issues have been fixed.  That made me happy enough as, let's face it, now I don't have to pump the tire everytime I want to use the vehicle.  Yay!  HOORAY!!! 

At the same time, they took a look under the hood and decided to install a new battery.  Remember that I was having trouble starting it?  Honestly, it was still having trouble starting, but after a good 2-5 minutes of trying (not just holding the key in start position! but trying, trying, then trying again, waiting, trying again), it would turn over.  Yes, this was annoying, but dealable because if my try/try/try again method failed, I had the jumper that I mentioned last night to help it start.  It would start.  So, new battery in place, ostensibly, my car should be workable and running well as can be considering the age and wear on the car.  It should be good. 

The post I'd been planning on making on Friday would have explained all this, and told you how unbelievably THRILLED I was to have a working car.  Would have said how happy I was for such a "small" thing in other people's lives (some people, not everyone); how I am not taking for granted having a vehicle, when I have lived the by and large majority of my life without a vehicle and done just fine, thanks. 

Of course, on Friday, I hadn't picked up my car yet (I was temporarily using my boyfriend's car).  So, Friday night, after a lovely party at Robicelli's, I headed over to pick up my car from my boyfriend.  I got in the car, turned the key, and the most beautiful thing happened: it turned over in one shot, and I drove home, parked, and went to sleep in anticipation of my 9am class the next morning. 

I wrote about what happened next on Facebook in great detail, but you can't read it (or you shouldn't be able to, I have my privacy settings pretty strict) unless you're my FB friend.  The basic gist is... the car wouldn't start on Saturday morning, and the jumper I had before wasn't in my car.  I cried.  Yes, I cried.  I took car service to my class, and on the way, I saw a highway accident where someone must have died (they shut down part of the highway), and I reminded myself, "It isn't that bad." 

My boyfriend lent me the jumper again, and we tested it together last night.  He stood in front of the car, and I turned the key. 

But even with the jumper, the engine would not turnover.

I could complain here, instead of just telling you the facts.  But the facts speak for themselves.  I've sunk a good chunk of money into this vehicle, and I need it to work.  It isn't a matter of convenience.  It is a simple matter of needing it in order to do the things I do.  Hey, I went to school last semester Mon-Wed, without a vehicle.  I can do that (although my CSA pickup is on Tuesdays, so actually, I need the car for Tuesdays as well this semester).  It's Saturdays that are freaking me out.  Trains and buses run funny on weekends.  It may take me 2 hours or more to get to school... a school that is, by all accounts, only 15 minutes away by car with no traffic, 30 with traffic.  My first class on Saturdays starts at 9am.  Do you really mean to tell me that I need to leave my house at 7 - a full hour before I leave for work on weekdays - in order to get to school on time?  A school that is closer to me physically than my office is, but my work commute only takes me 50 minutes???

The thing that I find the most frustrating is that I'm doing well in all of my classes - this is strictly a transportation issue.  Despite taking two writing intensive classes and my third class being my worst subject, I feel like I have a firm grasp of the material, and that I have lucked out with good professors.  By "good" I don't mean easy graders, I mean good professors from whom I will learn a fair amount.  Maybe even more than that, which is awesome.  I've never been able to get really into history, and this professor just really is so passionate about the subject it's hard not to catch that passion just a lil bit by proximity. 

So basically, I am standing at a fork in the road, with a few options, none of which appeal to me as much as the impossible shut down road that is "keep doing what I am doing with the same vehicle because the thing will start."  Because it doesn't start.

Here are my choices:

  1. Buy/lease a new car -
    Pros: brand new car shouldn't have issues and if it does, proof that I'm a car jinx.  (But then what???)
    Cons: I don't want to (read: really can't/shouldn't) take on that financial commitment. 
  2. Buy a used car -
    Pros: I'll have a car that works... maybe... and I would only spend $2k or under, as much as possible under.
    Cons: No guarantee that car will not have issues, if not now, then in a month or two, and then I'm back where I started.
  3. Start taking public transportation only -
    Pros: Save a little bit of money (gas, tickets, repairs).
    Cons: Waste a LOT of time (sleep less = more grumpy); push CSA pickup duties entirely to partner, which is unfair to her, even if she doesn't mind. 
  4. Drop all of my classes for now until I resolve this transportation issue -
    Pros: No longer need a car and can stop stressing over this.
    Cons: Really, it just prolongs the whole getting-my-degree thing, and puts off this stress/worry since I have to go back eventually anyway.  Plus I may lose my tuition assistance if I drop classes now - definitely won't get back all of my money, not sure if I can get back even some.  Also, who's to say that I'll get as good professors again as I did this time? 

Wow, when I began listing out the choices, I thought I knew which one had the edge; then I added the pros/cons portion and it seems things have changed.  I'd be most interested in hearing anyone else's thoughts, whether you've been in a similar position or not, because I am sure you have invaluable insight into all of this. 

Thanks for reading... and always

think outside the lunchbox~!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feisty Bento #387: Chili!


I'm just pushing my luck with the lunch jars this week ;)

Jar: CHILI!!! :D I've been dying to make some... and it's pretty cold out, so there you go.
Cups, from top right on down and around: lime; green onions; chopped raw Vidalia onion; cilantro; shredded cheese

I should have a 4th cup but when I went to open a brand new container of sour cream, I discovered mold on it, so I decided to skip it.  But I WILL be buying some sour cream tonight because chili deserves sour cream when I eat it.  Yes.  Yes it does... ;) 

Oh, and I added a ton of bell peppers - green, yellow, red, orange - to the chili, so that's something slightly different.  Yummm!  And I made a ton of it by accident - sort of - so uh, expect to see this again.  I'll probably wind up freezing some for later... mmm! 

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Feisty Bento #386: Magic Soup

My entire weekend in three pictures:


studying while the furbaby tried to distract me...


a very early birthday present from the bestest.boyfriend.EVER (not just for this alone, but this definitely goes in the "Reasons" column!)...


and our (our being used to indicate BF & I) last game at Citi Field for the '09 season.  The very horrible '09 season.  But we won, 6-2 (grumble should have been 6-0 but Stokes grrr). 

Yes, I studied on Friday night and almost all day Saturday before allowing the boyfriend to come over with part 1 of my birthday present in tow.  (My birthday, by the way, isn't until late October.)  Then we played Rock Band, ate dinner, played Rock Band some more, and I discovered that I don't know the names of many, many Beatles songs... and out of the 5-6 chapters we've completed, only one song had I ever truly never heard.  (I would see the name of a song and say, "I've never heard this song before," and then it would start and I'd say, "Oh, okay, I know this song," and do fine.  But that one song I never heard really threw me and I scored wicked low... haha!) 

Sunday was the last game to which we held tickets, and I'm glad we won.  It was a nice way to close out my season.

But let's talk food.  So when I say I "studied" on Friday & Saturday, well, my creativity kicks into full gear when I'm supposed to be studying... and I finally discovered how to motivate myself into cleaning the kitchen. 

Find something else I want to do even less.  So I cleaned and washed dishes instead of studying because I was just sick and tired of reading about the industrial revolution already (which, by the way, apparently in Europe / in college history, didn't start the same way it did in America / in elementary & high school history; that cotton gin thing and all those inventors really didn't mean squat in the larger sense of the time period, who'd have thunk?!). 

And I cooked.  I whipped up an apple dessert thing because I had two apples on my table that were going soft and I'm tired of wasting food.  I made stock (which I still need to strain and reduce a bit more... from a 12 quart pot!).  I roasted bone marrow.  I roasted zucchini.  I made soup.  Ooh, did I make soup. 

Saturday, after cleaning, studying, going a bit stir-crazy, I discovered my nose running like it was Forrest Gump and I couldn't stop sneezing.  It wasn't "there's too much dust from cleaning" sneezing, it was sneezing "I'm about to be full blown sick" so I did what any normal girl does when she's about to get sick. 

I made soup. 

You know that soup I've been making all summer?  I did that, with extra garlic, extra red pepper flakes, and I drank it, sweating a little from how hot I'd made it - both temperature and spiciness - and sweated out the toxins.  I went to sleep and woke up refreshed and not even close to being sick anymore.  (I changed up the ingredients a little, so I'll be posting a new recipe eventually... titling it "Magic Soup" or "Healing Soup" or... any suggestions?) 


I took some of the soup in my thermal jar, in the side cup is roasted zucchini salad (not the ultimate one! just a new random thrown together concoction), and in the star baking cup is apple... betty... sort of.  I haven't decided on a name for it yet, and I really need to tweak it slightly (but now I need more apples!) and then you'll have the super simple method for that. 

I'm kind of pissed about the thermal jar though.  I got to work and opened up my bag and it was LEAKING everywhere.  Isn't this supposed to be watertight???  I even removed a bit more of the soup because I tend to overfill this container, which is okay when it's rice, but this is soup so I emptied it a bit.  BOO.  Why do jars keep leaking on me???  Zojirushi, wtf?!  It got ALL OVER my stuff and ALL OVER my bag!  Not cool.

In any case, I'm still looking forward to lunch, although I'm wondering a bit just how MUCH soup was lost (seriously it was pooled in the bottom of my lunchbag)... will I need something else to eat?  Hmmm...

Think outside the lunchbox!!! let's hope not 'get soup outside the lunchbox' though!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Feisty Bento #385: Spinach


Today's lunch!  You may find it gross.  Sorry.  I like cheese.  A LOT.

Top: slices of local/organic tomatoes from my CSA; stuffed zucchini (recipe to come on Feisty Foodie) (zucchini also from CSA!); more sliced tomato and a grape tomato - also from my CSA!  Yum, deliciously sweet!
Bottom: quick creamed spinach I whipped up in about 5-10 minutes after class last night, lol


Different angle, so you can see the stuffed zucchini better. 


You might wonder what's with the ginormous amount of spinach... well!  I bought 40 ounces from Fairway on Sunday for $1.99!!!  I'm trying to use up a lot of it before it goes bad, so it's been spinach non-stop.  I was going to stuff some manicotti with a spinach+cheese mixture, but I didn't have much time so instead I just made a sort of creamed spinach.  I haven't decided yet if I'll post the recipe, as I'm not entirely in love with what I've made so far (twice).  A few tweaks with the rest of the spinach and I should have a workable recipe for y'all, if you're interested! 

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feisty Bento #384: Two Tier Treat


Top tier: stuffed eggplant; stuffed zucchini; baby carrots & hummus
Bottom tier: roasted zucchini salad; grape tomatoes (omg, so good!); spinach sauteed with garlic


Here's a closer up photo of that top tier.  I'm not sure I'll be sharing a recipe for the stuffed eggplant on Feisty Foodie; I wasn't too thrilled with the entire thing, but it was an issue with the eggplant and not with the stuffing.  I used the same stuffing for the zucchini, which was delicious!  :)  That recipe, I will for sure be sharing, along with the roasted zucchini salad recipe ;)

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Feisty Bento #383: Foodbuzz Food Blog Awards!


Left: Roasted zucchini salad
Right, top to bottom: short ribs that I didn't like so no recipe forthcoming; baked mac & cheese

This bento was actually prepared for and consumed on a Saturday!  As I mentioned before but didn't really go into details, I have class on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm.  That's two 3 hour classes in a row - I thought it wouldn't be that bad, but just the thought is making me antsy in my seat, hah!  There's only 5 minutes between classes, technically, but my 9am class professor so far has been letting us out 20 minutes early, instead of breaking in the middle for 20 minutes.  That's fine by me - it's a little early at 11:30am for me to want to eat lunch, but we'll see as time goes on, since my 12pm professor said she'll most likely break for 20 minutes or so around 1:30ish, which is much more in line with my normal lunch-eating-time (when I'm at work, that is; weekends are usually anything goes). 

Class is... interesting.  I'm a little terrified of one of my professors (on the off chance that somehow, this blog finds its way to large scale attention, I think I'll refrain from giving any identifying details!) - but on the bright side, I'm learning a lot and actually somewhat excited and interested in a subject that previously was my most detested.  So, we'll see how that goes.  I have a good suspicion that my 4.0 from last semester will be destroyed, but hopefully, not too much.  We shall see...


On another note... HB and I hung out after a weekend of me staying in and studying; I really should have stayed in and studied some more, but BF was all "You deserve it, go out and have fun," and well, it was GORGEOUS out, and I technically do have some extra time to study since there's no class this Saturday.  So hopefully I'll be able to study throughout the week (this is going to be a very busy week for me! what with classes and then two events I wouldn't miss for the world... hmm!) and get all caught up so that I can go out this weekend as well - I didn't even see my BF this past weekend!!!  (Well, in his defense, he was away.  Haha.) 

Phew, I'm excellent at complaining and going straight to whining about not having time, huh? 

In any case, the above?  HB and I stopped by the Red Hook Ikea & Fairway after a food adventure, and inside Fairway was a lobster tank.  $9.99/lb for lobster - a dramatic increase from what I'd paid - but DUDE THESE LOBSTERS WERE HUGE!  Look how big that one next to HB's fist is - no, it's not a picture of her trying to punch it, it's for size.  I would say that lobster was easily 10 or more pounds... dayammmmmmm. 

I went home without it. 

Hahahahaha what, did you think I really bought that sucker?  Not even sure I could fit it in my biggest pot!!!  And I was NOT going to lug it home, as it was, it was annoying lugging home the 40 ounces of spinach I bought for $1.99.  Yeah, I don't know why it was so cheap, either.  I'm not going to complain about it though. 

One last fun thing!  Foodbuzz is holding their first annual Foodbuzz food blog awards!  You can nominate any food blog you like, and I suggest you do - there are a ton of fun categories!!!  The food blog you nominate doesn't have to be a Foodbuzz blog, so go and nominate... and in a few weeks, I'll remind you to go and vote :)

Think outside the lunchbox~!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Feisty Bento #382: Slow Cooker Woes


Baked mac & cheese flanking a slow cooked BBQ short rib...

I have to say, I'm having a bit of trouble with the slow cooker.  I'm used to cooking on the fly, very hands-on (even roasting items in the oven is slightly more hands-on), and able to check seasonings as I go, tasting it, testing it, and making it taste amazing.  Not so with the slow cooker.  It's like, I need to measure things and put it all in perfectly beforehand, and I'm not doing that.  Blegh.  :( 

The baked mac & cheese, however, was FABULOUS :)

Think outside the lunchbox~!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feisty Bento #381: The End


*evil laugh*

MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  As impressed and smug and self-pleased as I was with putting jamon Serrano in my bento (scroll all the way down) a while back, I think I topped that.  I mean, jamon Serrano is still more expensive than lobster - $23.99/lb. - but I think more people will instantly recognize the sheer ludicrousness of my putting lobster in my bento.  That's 3 lobster tails up there, too, so it's crazytown up in there! 

Top tier: baked mac & cheese (Alton Brown's recipe) in two left tiers; grape tomatoes from my CSA
Bottom tier: ULTIMATE LOBSTER SALAD... topped with lobster claws and a bit of chive (which is also in the salad as well)

I'll be posting the recipe for the ULTIMATE LOBSTER SALAD on Feisty Foodie in just over a month.  (With school and all, I write the posts as they happen, but schedule them for down the line, so you are never without posts!  Aren't I nice?) 


This bento set is a Lock & Lock set; each tier is 470ml, so together, it's 940ml, way too big for me for lunch.  Not that I couldn't have eaten all that, but I'd rather not, if I plan to achieve my goal weight.  So I ate half of everything - some tomatoes, one section of mac & cheese, and a lot of the lobster salad, then repacked it... for dinner.  Since I had to take the bus straight to school after work, instead of going home, then driving to school. 

I'm a little bored of complaining and whining about my car situation, aren't you guys tired of listening to me?  I have to say, though, again, a HUGE thank you for all the love & support and comments that came through from y'all offering solutions and suggestions.  They are REALLY appreciated.  I plan on trying to go this Saturday, after class, to get the tire looked at (by the same people who put it on), and to see about a new battery.  Maybe for the battery. 

My boyfriend, patient person that he is currently being, came up with a pretty creative solution to the issue, because I need to use the car.  He owns a ... I don't know what you call it.  Portable jumper?  It was purchased to use for a boat that occasionally had trouble turning its motor.  So it's basically a thing that you hook up to your battery that jumps it, that doesn't need to be connected to another car.  So I don't need another person. 

Basically, for the time being, when I need to use the car, I need to jump it using this thing, then pump my tire, then I can use it.  It's so absurd, that I can't help but laugh.  What else can you do?  I mean, now that the initial annoyance and frustration has worn off, it's really quite amusing that acquiring this vehicle, ostensibly meant to make my life easier, has now created so much trouble, headache, and aggravation... I'm just going to laugh it off.  No other choice.  :) 

I'm hoping that I am able to get to PepBoys on Saturday afternoon and everything will be taken care of and done with.  Ignoring cost for now, and doing what needs to be done. 

Thanks again for bearing with me as I failed the test of "Can Yvo keep her cool as her car falls to pieces?"  lol


On a bright, happy note: I went to J&J's for a "bbq" on Labor Day (and yes, I took pictures of all the food, and that post will come also on Feisty Foodie, in a month), and they gave me something they'd picked up especially for me in China.  :D


I'm not sure you can see it clearly - the lighting was not the greatest this morning - but it's a rabbit, with a moon above it.  Some of you - maybe - will get the reference.  Most of you probably won't, but that's okay.  It's a different part of my life, mostly in the past now, not bad, just past.  I LOVE it, it's totally adorable and will be rocking this soon :) THANK YOU to J&J again for the extremely thoughtful and lovely gift!!! 

And in other news... you may have already seen this.  Maybe not.  I want to thank the 15-20 people who sent me a link to this article in the New York Times about bento packing.  Hahaha.  It's a great article and covers a lot of angles - definitely not all of them! - but it was nice to see that it didn't focus solely on children's bentos, or charaben (the cutesy bentos).  Some of my favorite bento bloggers were featured.  A great read for any of you out there who like to read about bento... which should be any of you reading this right now, since I (sort of) talk about bento here, lol. 

Alright kiddies!  Chins up!  Heads high!  Smiles in place!!!  Don't let other people bring you down as you struggle to get up!  Remember that! 

Think outside the lunchbox~!!!  ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feisty Bento #380: Seriously FML


That was lunch.  A big container of Stew Leonard's New England clam chowder.  I ate half of it already, so the remainder was the perfect size for lunch.  I went to the Elevated Acre to sit and watch the boats go by while I ate.  Actually, I studied for my English quiz, but y'know, same thing. 


But I added lobster.  See, Stew Leonard's is this giant supermarket that's about 30 minutes away from my home.  I had a terrible end of week last week - as anyone who read the last two posts knows - and I just was freaking out and then I saw this on the Midtown Lunch forums: lobsters for $3.99/lb.  Uhh, hi?  I managed to convince my boyfriend that we should go; it didn't hurt that porterhouses were on sale for $3.99/lb. as well.  So I bought 5 lobsters and we spent 2 hours in there walking around and buying stuff.  Final total: $120, which isn't bad considering the amount of stuff we got.  However, I later went to Trader Joe's (to get eggs, because I have yet to find a place that beats their egg prices, except that once at the Asian supermarket where it was $2 for 3 dozen eggs...), and realized that some of the things at Stew's was priced similarly to Trader Joe's, but slightly more expensive.  Doh!!!  I have to remember my prices!  Oh well, it was fun walking around when you can see things like:


Creepy doll, far left, girl reading healthy food book, man in cow costume waving to everyone.  And behind me, a family listening intently to the story, eating french fries.  I mean that was their entire lunch - they sat right next to us, and ordered like 5 orders of fries for 5 people, and maybe 2 hot dogs. 

We had a good time though; the store is really large and kind of walks like a maze, you almost have to walk through the whole thing to get to the end, and there's a ton of good food.  The container of soup I bought is $5, but really good - actually I've mentioned Stew Leonard's before here and here - cuz I really like going there, but rarely do.  Because 30 minutes isn't far, per se, but it's not close, either. 


This seagull started freaking out when I tried to take his picture as he stood in front of me.  Guess he thought I could actually shoot him with my camera, har-har-har...

So, the most wonderful thing happened!  Thus the title of this post.  Well, that's sarcasm for you.  I'm flabbergasted by the whole affair, actually. 

I mentioned that I now have a vehicle.  Last semester, I took public transportation straight to my school after work, which kills lots and lots of time (I get to school very early this way), but there's no very good nor direct way for me to get from my apartment to my school via public transportation.  It would probably take an hour or an hour and a half, while driving only takes 10-15 minutes.  20 if there's traffic. 

Now that I have a vehicle, I go home first, walk the dog, eat dinner, clean up a bit, you know, do things that are semi-productive as opposed to sitting on my butt at school, waiting for class to start.

Last night, I got in the car to go pick up my CSA on my way to class. 

I turned the key in the ignition.

Grrr, then silence.
Grrr, then silence.

Nothing.  It wouldn't even grind a little.  I did what I normally do when I have trouble starting a car (this has happened in the past; when I was younger, I used to start my parents' car for them and as the car got older, it had issues with its starter).  But it wasn't giving me that funny lil noise like the starter went bad. 

Obviously, I was having battery issues, but I didn't leave any lights on or anything battery draining! 

I sat there in shock, really, because it was just that point where I laugh and say "Seriously?  Are you kidding me?"  I had one of those teetering on the brink of being terrible day yesterday, so this was just pushing me towards the edge.  I tried again.  And again. 

Someone came by and gave me a jump; he pointed out that my battery had corrosion on the top, so it was the battery.  Which isn't an expensive fix by itself, but added to everything else just makes me throw my hands up in the air and think, WHAT THE F???????  Is this car cursed or what?  None of these problems a short 4 months ago, before I took ownership of the damn thing!!! 

The worst part is that I switched bags before I went to the car.  I wanted to go to class anyway and risk it; if the car didn't start after class, at 10pm in the middle of nowhere, I could still take the 1.5 hour route home, at least I wouldn't miss what was the first instructional class for the semester in this class.  (Last week was just talking about the professor's expectations, etc., what was required of us - one of those things being ATTENDANCE.)  But because I'd switched bags without thinking this would be a possibility, I left my MetroCard (for the non-NYers... it's basically a transit card that you put money on and swipe when you get on the subway or bus; I have an unlimited card, so forgetting it at home is not a choice) in my other bag, plus I only had like $3 on me.  I had to go back upstairs to get the card, but I couldn't leave the car running on the street!  AND I STILL HAD TO GO PICK UP MY CSA SHARE. 

I let the car run for 10 minutes, then ran upstairs and ran back down.

Grrr.  Grrr.  Total silence. 

Totally dead. 

I sat there, shaking with fury and anger.  Not at the world, not "Why did this happen to me?" and not even at myself for being so stupid to go upstairs.  It wasn't stupid.  It was reasonable because I couldn't get home without my MetroCard.  I was just angry and upset and I couldn't keep hold of my emotions any longer; the day took its toll on me.  I almost started crying.  Almost. 

A minute later, I looked at the clock and realized that it was 7:50 and I needed to pick up my CSA share before they shut down for the night at 8 pm.  I ran out of the car, grabbed my grocery bag and nothing else, ran to the train, swiped the MetroCard I'd just liberated from my apartment, and didn't stop running until I got to the CSA pickup spot at 8:01.  It's actually pretty far from the train station, but because I ran, I cut down the time drastically.  Hah!  That running paid off as training for this!  I grabbed my veggies and turned to go home. 

Class starts at 8:10.  There was no way I could take public transportation and get there in any normal amount of time.  I might get there... just as class was ending.  What was the point in that?

So I went home, calmed myself down a little bit, and decided that if I couldn't be productive and go to class, I would do something else productive. 

I made bread crumbs by hand from a baguette I'd bought from Stew Leonard's that already hardened. 
I baked mac & cheese (and didn't take a picture of the finished product, oops). 
I made the ultimate lobster salad and packed it for lunch.  (Initially I was just making it, thinking it would be good, but it turned out to be ultimate, so a recipe is forthcoming.) 
I caught up on some writing.

I did not, however, touch a drop of schoolwork because the mere thought of school made me sick to my stomach.  I didn't miss ANY classes last semester, and even though I had a totally valid reason, it just really upset me.  I had to distract myself from my missing class.


Think outside the lunchbox!  And if you have a working car, just for going from point A to B, that you want to sell for less than $1,000... let me know.

Sigh.  More car troubles.  More money down the drain... and I apologize for talking about money so much lately, I know it's tacky.  My bad... it's just what's on my mind the most lately. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Feisty Bento #379: Thank you


Just the sight of that bento makes me extremely happy.  The colors aren't quite as balanced as they could be, but it's so bright and happy, well-lit (because it's actually SUNNY in NYC for once!), that I have to smile.  And the long weekend!  Yay! 

Top tier: parsleyed potato salad; dill salmon (broken up because I was in a hurry and had no time to try to cut it neatly); zucchini & fresh corn sauteed with butter, topped with basil
Bottom tier: mini-caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil); watermelon

I went home after work, got home at 6:30, and managed to whip up this entire meal and leave for class afterwards at 7:45, got home from class at 10:15, washed the dishes, and was in bed by 11:30.  Exhausting but I was pleased with the effort and the ability to be super productive instead of being a lazy lump.  Nice. 


I was asked to review this book (associate link).  I like the abundance of photos and it's a very quick flip-through book, with lots of ideas.  Since I'm the kind of person who rarely makes things exactly according to recipe, I appreciate the book as just 'suggestions' and not stuff I'd actually have to follow closely - especially in bentos where they used natto (fermented soybeans), which I've tried and can't imagine most Americans (myself included) eating too happily unless they grew up with it.  But for those who want to follow the instructions exactly, a lot of it might be a bit of a problem for them.  A more comprehensive review can be found here - Pikko has a firm grasp of why she does and doesn't like the book. 

I mentioned in my last post about my car issues; unfortunately, since it was really noisy at work, I couldn't concentrate and I didn't clearly express my thoughts (which I rarely do, anyway, but y'know...).  So I want to thank you all for your responses! and add a few more details.

I've looked at the tire, and there's nothing stuck in it - no nail, no chunk of whatever causing a slow leak.  It actually leaks quite a bit, within 24 hours it goes from 30-35 lbs. (the inflation is measured in pounds of pressure per cubic inch, I think, but definitely pounds of pressure per something) to 20.  So while that's actually a valid guess as to the problem, it isn't the problem.  I almost wish it was, because that would make it a simple fix!  I think the rim might be dented somewhere I can't see (because I've looked at that as well), and the air is leaking such.  So it's fixable, but annoying as all hell and I wonder why the guys at Pep Boys (where I bought the tires 2 months ago) didn't tell me that.  I will, however, be going back to ask them what gives, because it didn't even occur to me that perhaps the tire is defective, so thank you for that, Mrs. Flabby & SkippyMom. 

As for the bent axel, it's a slight bend that makes it unsafe to drive at high speeds or for long distances.  I don't go far and it suffices... and no, it's not still bending/bending more as time goes on.  It's just enough to make it impossible to align the wheels, and the treads wear down unevenly.  But not a HUGE deal - no one's been like "Look you can't drive that car, it's not safe." 

The windows are power; the gears or whatever are stuck.  To fix it requires opening up the door, and doing whatever to fix up those little things in there, but that seems like such a minor detail that I don't want to spend the extra money to fix it.  I don't want to spend any money on the vehicle actually - I didn't want to spend the $200 for the tires + oil change (oil change was technically free), either! 

Thanks for all your help and advice guys.  I really REALLY appreciate it.  The car is just to get me through the next 5 months, and then hopefully things will change and I can get rid of it.  (It was a free car, so I'm not complaining at ALL about that, and it's a tremendous help- I wouldn't have been able to wash the dishes after class if I'd had to take the bus to the train to get home!  I'd have gone home and tried to go to sleep right away, because it'd have been 11:30 or so!)  I sincerely just don't want to throw money down into the toilet because at this current point... I have no extra money to play with considering the plans I have for the near future.  So, suck.  Yep.  (And last night: another $220 on vet bills.  Hooray.) 


Have a FABULOUS long weekend everyone!  Thanks again for coming through for me and helping me out!!! 

Think outside the lunchbox! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Interim Post

The internet hates me today, and I'm kind of starting to hate it, too. Hmph.

I swear I made and brought a bento last week - pretty sure it was Friday - and I took pictures, got them all prepped and uploaded them, I could see them sitting in my account, and now they are gone. I did this twice already and am thoroughly annoyed without the patience to try again. I will post it when I can figure out why it isn't working or, if not why, just make it work again. Ugh.

(I also had a bento yesterday. That will get posted as well. Promise.)

I need a nap. And a Snuggie. Hehe.

In the meantime... think outside the lunchbox.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Feisty Bento #378: Not in a good mood


I survived school this past Saturday... 6 hours of torture, one with a maniacal sub (yes, we had a 'sub' on the first day of class) who asked us questions like, do we know who Galileo or Copernicus or SIR ISAAC NEWTON are... and do we know what calculus is... uh... anyway... 

The above is chicken tacos & elotes, minus the flour tortilla - not because I ran out, I still have! - but because I was feeling lazy.  I smashed the lid on top cuz I'm crazy like that. 

So, a bit about school.  My schedule right now is Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 8pm-10pm, and Saturdays, 9am-3pm, in addition to working full time.  Last semester, I had the same schedule, minus Saturdays.  I took public transportation the entire way and it added like 4 hours to the commute.  Seriously.  I live a 10-15 minute drive away from school; via public transportation, it took an hour, hour and a half most nights to get home.  What the hell? 

This semester, because of my increased hours, I now have the use of a vehicle to transport me to and from school.  I don't need anything fancy, though I do have a gas-guzzling monster - I named it The Beast - except for one problem.  The vehicle was 'fine' - a little rattly at high speeds, but it worked, y'know - until the semester started.  All of a sudden, despite the fact that I put two new tires on it, the front driver's side tire goes flat almost immediately.  So everyday, directly prior to using it, I must pump the tire.  I foresee this being an issue: both for a time crunch and when it gets cold, you think I am going to want to stand there waiting for the stupid thing to fill? 

I seriously don't understand why this is happening.  I've been told the front axel is bent, but that shouldn't affect the tire being flat or not.  I don't understand, really.  It's been pissing me off, and I've been considering doing what I swore I wouldn't do when I got the vehicle: put money into fixing it a little bit so that it'll be a little less frustrating to drive.  But in that case, if I'm going to get part of it fixed anyway, I might as well also fix the window (driver's side doesn't close all the way, meaning when it rains, it rains on me, and when it's cold, it'll be FREEZING in the car), and fix the axel, too, right? 

Only... this costs a pretty penny, and Yvo doesn't have any more pretty pennies!  What with the recent spate of vet bills (I'm not complaining; I will pay to have her be healthy; when I adopted her, that was the promise I made to her and to myself: to always take care of her, to always love her and treat her the way she deserved to be treated, and to be the best pet owner I could possibly be; and to always find a place where she could live with me - if a possible living arrangement did not allow for her to live with me, that possible living arrangment no longer was a possibility, understand?), school expenses, living expenses, life being expensive... I just don't have the money to just throw into a vehicle that may or may not be used for much longer. 

Okay.  I'm sorry.  I'll stop.  This came out a lot grumpier than I intended it to - I meant only to ask if anyone wanted to fix my car for me! lol or knew what was wrong with it - or something along those lines - but seriously, I am about to flip out on someone at work.  Multiple someones.  I am seriously annoyed right now.  This is a place of work, I don't understand how two people can sit there and just converse all day and not do ANY work, and no one says shit to them.  It seriously is pissing me off right now and I have to leave my desk before I go over there and scream at them to SHUT THE F* UP.  Excuse me.  But if you really do have any suggestions or thoughts about the car situation, speak up.  Thanks.

Think outside the lunchbox!!! 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Feisty Bento #377: Repeat


I start school tomorrow.


My schedule forthcoming is such that I may be packing bento 6x a week (ideally; really I just mean that I will need lunch 6x a week). 


This really is the same bento as last time: chicken tacos, elotes.  The cilantro is chopped up, is the only difference, but still delicious (to me... I know some of you don't like it!). 

Think outside the lunchbox!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Feisty Bento #376: Homemade Mexican Bento


People often ask me what I think about - or maybe I just like to pretend everyone cares.  Anyway, ideas swirl around in my head, and I pluck at them sometimes, adding a notion, a lil twist of that, this, or the other... and every once in a while, one will feel ripe, I'll squeeze it a little, then harvest it and implement it.  And every once in a while of doing that, I stumble on something so great, that even I'm surprised, though I've been cultivating the idea for a while.

Honestly, this wasn't a long cultivated idea (I came up with it on Monday evening), but it worked so well with such minimal effort, I'm impressed.  And I am my harshest judge, so I was surprised. 


In the left box is chicken tacos - flour tortilla, a quickly cooked chicken thigh sliced up (seasoned with salt/pepper/red pepper flakes when I cooked it), topped with cotija cheese, a relish/salsa type thing, and tons of cilantro.  Cuz I love cilantro, it just brightens up everything I eat. 

In the right box is corn freshly cut from the cob, mixed with cotija cheese and cayenne pepper.  Yep.  Elotes! 


BF and I went to yet another ballgame on Sunday.  He wanted to get nachos from El Verano Taqueria, while I waited on another line for something else.  He also picked up elote (corn on the cob with cotija cheese and cayenne pepper), took a bite, liked it so much he told me "I want to keep eating!" and I told him he could eat the whole thing (it was meant to be shared with me, lol).  I was pretty surprised he liked it so much, actually, since I've seen him eat corn on the cob... maybe never?  He always cuts the kernels off the cob and eats it with a fork.  (It's a long story, but rest assured, there's a totally sane reason for this.)  Also because it's slightly spicy, and BF is really not into spicy food, nor 'fussy' foods, which corn covered in cheese/cayenne/mayo certainly would seem so to his palate.  Whatever.  He liked it. 

The next night, I was wandering through a supermarket, browsing, and I stumbled across cotija cheese.  I've been looking for this casually for ages, so when I saw a 12 ounce wedge for $3.59, I picked it up without thinking too much, grabbed corn on the cob, and discovered this place also had flour tortillas!  (It was an Asian market, and I generally only see the corn tortillas.)  So I picked those up as well, and realized I could and should make a [real] Mexican meal! 

The chicken tacos was just a random cobble of what I had on hand - I'd serendipitously cooked two chicken thighs the other day completely plainly, intending to do I-didn't-know-what-yet with, and here it was! 


Happy deliciousness.  The relish/salsa was a leftover mixture from a restaurant meal that I remade at home - meaning, I took what was there, and mixed it up with some other stuff, and came away with something even better.  Good stuff made better. 

An excellent lunch, yes?  I will be making this again for dinner, for myself & the boyfriend tonight.  :) 

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

PS I'm not a fan of Trader Joe's chocolate soy milk; it tastes extremely chalky, especially as you near the end, blegh.  And the corn I brought for lunch, I didn't use mayo, but it was still very good.  I'll use mayo next time - I only took it off the cob for ease of eating at work.  Mmm.  ;)