Monday, June 1, 2009

Being Neighborly

Last week, I started walking with my neighbor when she takes her dog for his evening walk :) He is an adorable Shephard and is just the sweetest thing :) I have mentioned bento to her before, but what better to way to show what it is than to pack one for her, right? :) Since I am so used to packing the more American foods in the bento for Rob, hers is very similar to his. I of course intend for her to keep the boxes and bags for future use (I love getting people into bento - not that she has to do it - lol). She seemed excited when I dropped it off to her as a surprise last night - I just wish I had thought to pack a plastic fork in it just in case!

Bottom Tier: Checkered apples, pineapple and blueberries

Top Tier: Egg Chick on a nest of grated carrot, pea pod halves, broccoli, macaroni salad w/ carrot and pea pod flowers, sesame seed 'ground' & a grape tomato & nori ladybug and a little of Kat's Spinach Namul :)

Single Tier: Mixed spring greens w/ carrot flowers and grape tomato roses (I meant to add grilled chicken, but forgot :o) I also threw in a packet of light Italian dressing, not knowing what she likes...

I always love the egg chicks when I see them in bento, but Rob likes his egg sliced for his salad, so that doesn't really lend itself to the egg chick. I cut the egg right away after peeling it; I think I should have let it cool first as the yolk started to crack as it cooled... Also, the beak and whatever the thing on top of the head is called are just carrot pieces, but they didn't really want to stay put, so next time I'll have to do that differently. The eyes are black sesame seeds.

I also finally tried the checkered apple :) I am fairly happy w/ how they came out and how relatively fast and easy they were to do. I rolled it in a little lime juice to retard browning - I prefer the flavor of lime juice over lemon juice for this purpose. I wanted to arrange the fruit into sort of a flower, but it wasn't working for me, so I just put it in sections as usual...

I think it's a little light on protein since I forgot about the chicken breast, but with the single tier of salad, it should be filling enough :)

Now on to Rob's bento:

Top Tier: A little leftover frittata, blueberries, checkered apple, pineapple, Macaroni salad w/ carrot flowers and pea pod stems/leaves and black sesame seed 'ground' and a grape tomato ladybug w/ nori dots and faceBottom Tier: Mixed spring greens, leftover grilled chicken breast, star shaped boiled egg and carrot flowersSabra Hummus to go cup (and a few extra crackers thrown in his bag and light ranch for his salad)

Sunday I decided to finally make a Frittata. I had been wanting to for quite a while, but had just never tried it. I sauteed onion and red pepper in about 1 Tbs butter, then added sliced mushrooms and torn spinach leaves and sauteed just enough to let the spinach go limp. I wasn't sure of the best way to season the dish, so I seasoned the veggies w/ salt and pepper and then added the 6 beaten eggs. I poured that into the cast iron skillet and added feta cheese (I meant to add ham and forgot!). Using a heat proof rubber spatula, I stirred it around a bit and cooked a few minutes until the bottom seemed set. It then went under the broiler until then top began to brown slightly. It didn't really puff up like I expected, so next time I plan to try moving it a little closer to the broiler. Overall, I was pretty happy with it. I had intended to use a wedge in Rob's bento, but he wasn't sure it would be good cold, so I just used a little :) The verdict: it was ok, not something I should go out of my way to make for bento, but if we have it already, it's fine.
Mmmmmmm :)

Now for Kat's bento!

Jun 1

Top Tier: Brown Rice, Stir fry w/ tofu, chinese broccoli, baby bok choy and onion

Bottom Tier: Apple, pineapple, blueberries and imitation crab stick

Bird's Eye View:

Now to where I got the boxes...

Both my neighbor's and Kat's boxes came from and are sold out there, but I have also seen them on (but not as cheap as!)
Rob's is from

Whew! That was a long one today - lol :)

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