Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finally, a post! Fall Colours Bento


It's been a  very busy month for my small family. We moved to a new home in a different area of the city, and we've been loving it so far! I've been busy settling into a new routine for baby, as well as buying little odds and ends we need for the place and getting to know the wonderful new neighbourhood we've moved into. I haven't had much chance to make Bentos, but I went shopping at the local Farmer's Market and found that they had some very colourful produce on sale. I had to bring it home and see what I could do with it.

(sorry about the photo quality. I was unprepared to blog my finds... also, these are last week's groceries, hence the steak.)
 Last week, I picked up some Zebra Tomatoes, Purple Heirloom Potatoes and a bunch of colourful carrots, and they were delicious and made their way into many dishes. This week I picked up some Sun Sugar Tomatoes and since I still had produce left over from the week before, I decided a colourful fall Bento was in order.

In the top tier, red leaves made of Red Pepper fall on a bed of purple and orange Carrot flowers. Sliced Heirloom Potatoes sit in the compartment beside the carrots, the potatoes were fried in a little bit of Olive Oil and then lightly salt and peppered. Rice and Tomatoes fill the bottom compartment (the leaves were cake toppers at one point... now they're rice toppers).

FYI- it was delicious. :D I also ate an egg, which isn't pictured. If you're wondering... the purple Heirloom Potatoes don't taste any different from regular Potatoes, and neither do the purple Carrots. Zebra Tomatoes have a bit of a thicker skin to them than regular Cherry Tomatoes and are a bit less sweet while the Sun Sugar Tomatoes are as sweet, if not sweeter than regular Cherry Tomatoes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Busy August!

If anyone is wondering, I'm still here! Blogging has been put on a temporary hold as we are set to move within a few days. We have been living with roommates since our daughter was born, so it will be our first home as a family. I am so excited! Blogging to resume in early September, see you then!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Surprise Bento Supplies: You Never Know What You're Going To Find

I made a trip to the new Target store in West Edmonton Mall today, just to check it out. I didn't go there specifically to look for items that might be appropriated for Bento, but that's what I ended up looking for, anyway. The very first thing I found in Target's "One Spot" dollar area was a set of "Fun Dough" cutters made by a company called Rose Art.

They are meant to be used for Play Dough or similar products, but I immediately thought "Bento!" when I saw them. They were only a dollar, so I picked them up.

When I got my little treasure home and opened it up, This is what greeted me.

And I was very happy, indeed!
A nice selection of little cutters, perfect for cheeses, soft meats, and other thinly sliced items. I don't know what the quality on the plastic is, but I figure it's fine as they were meant to be played with by children.

The blue cutters have an indent of the items they are shaped like on the inside... I thought of using them as bread cutters, but they don't leave much of an indent so I'd only use them as bread cutters if the shape of the cutter was enough to suggest what it was, as in the case of the butterfly. The rotary phone might actually be a fun cutter to make mini-sandwiches with, since it is shaped like a piece of bread :D. Other than that, the only other use I can think of for them is maybe also for soft cheese. I can't really think of a use for the shovel and rake with little boy faces on, but I will...! maybe. :p

In addition to browsing the dollar aisles, I browsed the container aisle too. I love containers of all shapes and sizes. In addition to my favourite storage-type container for Bento, Starfrit, there were a couple of sets that interested me but I can't for the life of me remember what they were called. Next time I go to Target, I will be better prepared and take pictures.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

On Procrastination And The Importance Of Natural Lighting

I did say Thursday, but I didn't say which Thursday, did I? ;)

Long time no blog! and here I return to the fray after almost a year. A switch from a part-time job to a full-time job meant that I had less time on my hands, and the long commute to my new job (3.5 hrs total commute) meant that all I wanted to do when I got home was spend time with my husband. Most of my lunches turned into leftovers in a container for awhile. Then, I found out I was going to have a baby and all hope was lost; I was completely distracted! I now have in my life a healthy, happy and adorable three month old girl who is growing fast. I couldn't be happier. :)

I'd been thinking for a month that I should return to blogging. I thought that weekly updates instead of biweekly updates would be more manageable. I figured that I could commit to one update a week... and if I do more, great! So I went out, bought some simple boxes and some food picks from Dollarama, aaaand... did nothing with them for a month. :p They just sorta sat there... the containers were used for leftovers, but nothing else.

Then things changed for me. Last night, in fact... I was putting together a box for myself to eat in the morning before my baby woke up, consisting of leftover rice and a spinach salad. While I was cutting up the bell pepper I noticed that the bottoms would make a nice butterfly. So, I decided to throw together a little bento for myself.

So here you go. Nothing fancy, but it made my morning a little brighter:

So nummy and pretty. :D The natural light brings out the colour of the food far better than flash did... this is what my lovely, delicious meal looked like when I took the photo on the table (with flash) instead of by the window:

All ingredients are fresh... but they only really looked vibrant when they were by the window.The Blueberries in particular looked amazing in natural light. The flash was a bit too harsh, it turns out.

One of these days, I will buy a decent camera. ;)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer Blossom Bento

Apologies for the way I've been posting lately. I'm usually really tired after work, but today was my day off and I was going to write a fabulous bento post, then spend the rest of the day preparing for my next bento post and reading blogs... instead, I got distracted by The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's new downloadable content, Hearthfire. Long story short, I used my day off to play video games instead of writing this post. :p

Anyway! This is my attempt to hold on to summer for just a liiiiittle bit longer... my Summer Blossom Bento.

Pretend the bullet train sauce bottle is a flower.
The cucumbers' centers have been punched out and placed in a separate section, and the centers of the cucumber slices have been filled in with plum. The little sandwiches were punched using my new sandwich cutter, and the last compartment is filled with sticky rice.

Unfortunately I've misplaced (or someone borrowed) the notepad I've got the calorie count for this box written down in, so that will have to wait. :/ See you Thursday!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: Red WAON Bento Box Set

Happy Sunday! As mentioned in my last blog post, I recently made a purchase from JList that consisted of a bunch of bento supplies, a taiyaki maker and a bento box, The "Red WAON Bento box set".

I've wanted a stackable bento box for awhile, and this turned out to be perfect for me. It has good volume and holds a decent amount of food (JList gives its dimensions as 3.5" high and 5.5" x 4" with a volume of 400 ml on top and 320 ml on the bottom). It isn't too bulky, so I can fit it into the shared fridge at work. It's also very pretty and sleek, but not childish.

When you remove the top, you find a black lid for the first compartment with a set of chopsticks in the middle. Underneath that is the first compartment. It's supposed to be the bigger compartment, but it looked like the smaller of the two to me. The removable food containers in this compartment made it easy to separate foods, or you can remove the containers altogether and use it as one big container.

1. Top compartment with two containers. Both containers can be removed.

3. The black lid for the bottom compartment.
4. And the bottom compartment, in all its glory.

The black lids stack in their compartments easily, and I found that they helped keep the food in place. There is a moveable divider in the bottom compartment that didn't make it into the pictures, it is made of the same red plastic as the box. I found that divider really handy, because it fits into the box very well and makes it easy to separate foods and adjust for larger or more awkward pieces of food.

And the bag... the bag just looks fantastic.
Now, it may seem silly, but my favourite piece here was the bag. Maybe it's because I've never had a bento box that came with a bag before, or maybe it touches some part of me that really likes accessories, but I absolutely love this little bag. The box itself is pretty on its own, but adding the bag just makes a fantastic thing better. It's the icing on the cake. It's just a little thing, but it's a nice touch. And it makes it much easier to carry your lunch with you.

The downsides to this box I think are few and far between. But there are a couple of things that some people might not like. If you like your lunch hot, you'll have to take it out of this box to reheat it. The WAON box is not microwaveable, nor is it dishwasher safe. And it isn't liquid tight; you can't really pack anything soggy or watery in this without it leaking.

Other than that, I've got to say that this bento box was pretty much exactly what I was hoping it would be. It's sleek, it's cute without being childish, the containers and moveable divider make it simple to pack a lunch in a hurry, and the compartments do a more than adequate job of helping to separate foods that I don't want to "mix" inadvertently. So if you don't mind the downsides, I'd definitely recommend this box. It's simple, attractive and the pretty bag makes your lunch look like a present. :p

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Supplies, and a bento!

Okay, so the "update three times a week" thing needs to be tweaked a bit. ;) I just seem to be so busy lately! If I'm not working, I'm out and about. I've decided that two times a week may be more my speed. We'll see how that goes.

One of the reasons I didn't update on Sunday as planned was because we were busy making D&D characters for my husband's birthday game. He wanted to do a grand melee (big old fight to the death) on Sunday, but we all took so long crafting our characters that I had to go to bed because I worked early in the morning and we didn't really get going until Monday. Plus I'm not a D&D player, so I needed help with pretty much everything, lol. The game didn't quite turn out as planned (too much gold to buy magic items, high-level characters and little restrictions=chaos!) but we had a decent amount of fun.

I said last week that I'd been busy making my husband a birthday gift, and that I'd post it here. Well, here it is: A SD (Super Deformed) RX-78-2 made out of Fun Fusion beads. The sprite is from a Gameboy game called Super Robot Pinball.

Gundam makes for some adorable SD.

He loves it, yay! :D I'm going to be doing some Megaman characters for him once I can get more beads.

Other than that, awhile back I'd ordered some new bento supplies from JList. They arrived yesterday! I was so excited, I took pictures of each item to post up here. Please excuse my pictures, I'm trying to fit eveything onto a little piece of cloth, lol... our table and countertops are so old and scratched.

My new bento box! Bear, Rabbit and Flower sandwich cutters, and egg shapers.

Vehicle sauce bottles, pretty food picks and face food picks.

And my Microwave Taiyaki maker! Thank you, JList!
First off, I LOVE my new bento box. But I'm planning a review, so I'll save the details until then. :D

When I got my stuff, I was super excited and I had to try all of it at once. So, I made a bento!

Looks good... and tasted good too!

The calorie count on this is probably going to be more than I aim for... but who cares? Look at it! :p

I'm planning a review of the Taiyaki maker as well, and showing how to use it for those who might be interested.

No calorie count for this box right now- I'm getting this post out before work, and I've run out of time. I might edit it in later. ;) See you Sunday!