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.  ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feisty Bento #375: Pescetarian Delicious

Hmm, does this count as bento?


On Thursday night, I went to pick up a block of tofu for my master eggplant plan.  (Egg-plan?  No... hmm...)  As I walked by the refrigerated case, I spotted a container of cold sesame noodles with peanut sauce - considering the freakin' disgustingly humid weather lately, this sounded like an excellent option to beat the heat!  So I picked it up for $2.29 - pretty reasonable, right? -


and had myself a pretty delicious, filling, vegetarian, cooling lunch on Friday.  Trader Joe's chocolate soy milk in the background, and a cup of water.  So, not really a bento...


But for today, I have something super exciting and delicious! 

In the left box with dividers is sliced peaches (from a jar I keep in my fridge for just such occasions); the other two sections contain ceviche (leftovers from a restaurant that yes, I will eventually review) that I've doctored to make more to my tastes, including adding a huge bunch more cilantro! 

In the right box, no dividers - I just manage to portion things that neatly, haha - sauteed bean sprouts; spicy eggplant tofu dish (that will get its day on Feisty Foodie as well), and white rice. 

I can microwave the right box if I want... I may just do that.  Can't wait for lunch!!!  *squee*

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feisty Bento #372, 373 & 374: Bento for Baseball


Breakfast of champions!  Another cupcake and a tall soy latte.  The cupcakes are for an upcoming post over on Feisty Foodie... you know I'm not that big into sweets! 


Potato salad & crispy wings, both from Ragtime, made my Wednesday bento. 


Wednesday night, we had a ballgame.  David Wright, bless him, is on the DL right now after being drilled in the head with a 94mph fastball *grimace* and here is where I go into a mini-baseball rant: I was really upset when this happened.  I know it was an accident, but just ... I was a ranting angry lunatic two weeks ago when another pitch (different team, different pitcher) almost hit him in the head but he managed to get out of the way just in time.  This time, he got hit, and he's got a concussion, I mean he looks like he'll be OK based on him being up and around the stadium already, but seriously, I was really, really upset that this happened.  I literally felt sick over it, and seeing the numerous replays made me want to throw up.  Just... horrifying.  A friend of mine was at the stadium when it happened, and she said that the entire stadium went dead silent as he fell to the ground and didn't even move.  Man, just writing this is bringing tears to my eyes.  I'm not crazy like "He is my boyfriend" and believe that, but I do feel a very soft spot for him, and this really just upset me.  I'm a big ol' softy, what can I say?  Anyways, my point was (aside from getting that off my chest), since he's not on the lineup and won't be playing for a while, I took a photograph much later in the game... it's Angel Pagan batting.  It was a horrible game.  But they decorated the field to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 69 Mets, an Amazin' team to be sure. 


So I packed this bento to bring to the game, for BF.  I know! I finally got to pack him bento! but I didn't want to get too cutesy or crazy.  Duck fried rice with bacon on the left (more on that another time, really!), and a cupcake (yes still cupcakes).  And it was good.  Save some money at the game (I told you I'd eventually bento for baseball! - I really wanted to make something baseball themed, but didn't have time). 


And the next day, the rest of the duck fried rice for lunch.  Yummy!

Think outside the lunchbox!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feisty Bento #371: What I Eat

Thursday night, I attended a lovely tasting at a restaurant that I will, of course, discuss later on Feisty Foodie.  They completely stuffed us silly, and you know how I hate wasting, so the leftovers were boxed up and taken home.  I insisted my dining companion take many of the dishes, knowing I'd be out and about the next few days (it was BF's birthday weekend), but I did wind up taking the fish (because she's allergic) and some other stuff.  Which became my lunch for Friday.  (I would have re-packed it more nicely, but I wound up unable to as I woke up late on Friday morning.)


Delicious fresh fish. 


The asparagus that we'd also eaten; I drizzled a little mayo on top just for fun and it was delicious ;)

Of course, I can't really count that as a bento.

Monday came and I was, once again, in a huge rush around the apartment trying to get out the door in time to catch the bus.  I'd planned a little smarter and had, the day before, done a little bit of grocery shopping at Ragtime, which is one of my favorite cute little Italian shops, but super expensive.  I bought a sandwich that I planned on taking half for lunch and - well, you'll see.


Since I had not much time, I stuffed half of the sandwich (the smaller/shorter end) into a sandwich bag and quickly threw some cantaloupe into a box to eat with it. 


The other half was dinner, with a bowl of my soup - I'm going to have to name this soup soon, even though the ingredients are constantly changing! - and a "healthy" dollop of sour cream on top :)

I can only call this a bento post if I show you a bento, and neither of these lunches really qualifies as bento, huh?  Well, before I get to this, I have to show you something.


I was walking through the park, smiling and in a great mood, when I saw this.  I did a double take, and had to turn around to take out my camera and catch a shot.


There is a pigeon sitting on that bench like this is completely normal.  The people sat next to it (well, one section over) and he didn't even move or flinch.  Wow.  I mean, look at him!  He's just chillin'!  I almost fell over from laughing so hard. 


There's this morning's breakfast: tall soy latte, a banana walnut cupcake with cream cheese frosting, and my BlackBerry - no, I didn't eat it, but I was busy corresponding on it.  Who says you can't have cupcakes for breakfast?  I'm an adult now and can eat whatever I want for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!  :)


And finally, here's lunch: roasted red skinned & purple potatoes, and crispy wings (also courtesy of Ragtime). 

So that's what I've been up to the past few days.  What about you??? 

Think outside the lunchbox!!! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Feisty Bento #370: Flushing Fun Run


Sometimes I take pictures of what I eat, as uninteresting as they might be, just to show y'all on my bento site.  Cuz I'm nice like that. 

On Monday morning, this was my breakfast; half of a bacon/egg/cheese on a bagel and half of a sausage/egg/cheese.  I wish it was some cute reason like BF & I split our breakfast sandwiches in the morning, but the truth is slightly more thrifty than that.  On Sunday, we'd woken up early so I could go to the doctor (oh, you didn't know?  My ankle is busted; x-rays and waiting to hear back how that went...), so we both got our usuals.  Only we each ate half - me because I didn't NEED to eat the whole one, and I wound up sticking them in the fridge and he forgot his half at my place, so I put it with mine for breakfast. 

Can you guess which half is my usual and which half is his usual???  :)

After that, we went to go catch a showing of Julie/Julia, and then had dinner, so... it was a pretty full day, no need to eat the rest of it. 


For lunch on Monday, I had two onigiri rice balls purchased from the local Japanese market - shrimp tempura and tuna mayo (their name).  Yummy and filling, for less than $2 each (I ate two just cuz I'm a piggy like that!). 

On Tuesday, I didn't bring lunch, because I left work early to get that x-ray I mentioned.  Hmm, I should call the doctor and see what's up.  Anyway, I wound up buying some food near the x-ray place...


Some of which became part of my Wednesday's bento - mai fun and a fried drumstick (so good! and crispy!).  Yum!


Here's an updated picture of the puppy we adopted in January.  Can you tell how much bigger he's gotten?  He's close to 40 lbs now.  He could probably knock me over if he's given enough of a running start... seriously.  And I'm not a small girl!  Yeah, you think he looks so cute and innocent in this picture, but he's Marley reincarnated (of Marley & Me fame).  He eats drywall and everything in sight!  Eesh! 


Here he is with Mommy... seriously, he's much heavier than I thought he'd be.  He's very muscular so his body weighs a ton!!!

In any case...

think outside the lunchbox!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Feisty Bento #368 & 369: Double time


Quinoa on the bottom, on top, two roased cippolini onions, a hard boiled egg, and some soup veggies that I just plopped on top.  This was really good and surprisingly, extremely filling.  That was Thursday's bento, but I forgot to post it on Thursday...

I went to meet up with a coworker on Thursday for lunch, and while we were climbing the stairs to the Elevated Acre, we came across this.


It was on one of the steps.  It didn't move, so I thought, "It must be dead," and was ready to keep moving (around it).  She said, "Wait, I think it's hurt," and I realized it was still alive.  We were both surprised by how BIG it was.


The thing was huge, that's like 5" or so, right?  Anyway, it fluttered a little as she coaxed it onto her hand so we could put it in some nearby bushes - away from kids who might accidentally trample it or crazy people who might kill it on purpose or capture it for whatever purposes.  I decided that, the day was a little chilly and we were near the water, so very windy, that might have been what caused it to feebly tremble in our presence instead of being all happy and healthy. 


Friday's bento, which was basically the last of the quinoa topped with soup greens and a hard boiled egg.  VERY filling.  And delicious.  That helps.  :) 

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Feisty Bento #367: Unphotogenic Yumminess


Not the best photo... I was in a rush (and wound up being late to work, but you don't need to hear about my freak-out over that, do you?  Really?).  Anyway, left is a slice of leftover pizza (yes, I'll be posting on this strange looking slice on Feisty Foodie!), and on the right is a delicious soup made from my CSA goodies.  It's supposed to rain, so I figured I'd preemptively make my favorite rainy weather treat - soup.  Hehe. 

And again, if you haven't "fanned" the Feisty Foodie on Facebook... what are you waiting for?!?!?! 

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feisty Bento #366: Fan the Flames


A small variation on yesterday's bento -

pork bun, roasted cippolini onion, hard boiled egg, all on top of a bed of quinoa

Yahhh, was delicious, but still looks kind of ugly, right?  Haha oh well.

Oh, and if you haven't already, go FAN THE FEISTY FOODIE ON FACEBOOK!  (Phew, say THAT 5 times fast!)  :)

Think outside the lunchbox!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Feisty Bento #365: Back from vacation


Returning to work after a two week hiatus sucks.  I don't think there's any way around that. 

My return bento, while tasty, kind of sucks, too.  I tried to plan better, but things went the way things'll go, and well, here you go.

Roasted broccoli; sauteed green beans (splash of hot sauce); roasted cippolini onion; pork bun (but not the kind you're thinking)

I had a lovely time pretending to be unemployed, despite the very little activity in which I engaged.  That was okay by me!  I felt so relaxed and great... even though I literally ran every day but one (when I took a day trip to another city).  Awesome.  Totally awesome. 


I even went into Whole Foods one day, post-press-event (more on that of course, another time), and saw these!  Laptop Lunch sets being labeled bento box set (see top right of label).


These were multi-colored.  I've been kind of sort of wanting one since I first saw them, but had only seen them online and shipping was too much, and the set itself already seems a bit expensive... here at Whole Foods it was $20.99 which I don't recall is the same price as online or not.  Ah well.  It's nice to see bento being embraced into the mainstream though... there were other items around this little section that encouraged one to go green with your lunch.  I like that.  I really do.


I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before (I don't think I have, anyway).  Well, what you see above is one of the apartments on the ground floor of my building.  I am pretty certain the woman who lives there is all out insane.  You can't see it but a few times I've walked by and there's an open bag of bird seed by the open window THAT HAS NO SCREEN, so pigeons fly over and eat out of the window.  Yeah.  Aside from all the unhygienic points I could make, that's just nasty!  And wrong!  And you think the birds never go IN the apartment?


Do you see that?  One of them went in!  Is she trapping them to eat them?  WTF??? 

So, aside from some crazy neighbors and some odd moments during my two weeks off, I had an absolutely blissful time off and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Maybe next time 4 weeks off in a row...?  ;)

Think outside the lunchbox, peoples...!