I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday! As for me, I managed to eat way too much again. With the holiday season here, I’m sure to gain 10 pounds by the new year. O_O Aside from that, I truly have nothing to complain about because God has blessed me with so much. Family, friends (including all of my cyber pals!), health, and happiness…what more could anyone ask for?
Today officially marks the beginning of Christmas bentos. Paige’s bento consists of tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet), hot rice in the Totoro thermal container, and a few fruits and veggies. I made the ginger bread man out of bologna, kamaboko, and pepperoni for the cheeks.
This was supposed to be Paige’s Thanksgiving themed bento for today. Unfortunately, Paige woke up at 1:30 in the morning to tell me that she didn’t feel well and sure enough she had a pretty high fever and stayed home from school today. Sean happily became the beneficiary of Paige’s lunch today because she didn’t have much of an appetite. Luckily I have a rotisserie chicken that I bought from Costco the other day and can make her chicken jook to help her feel better. I know when I am sick that jook is the only thing that I’ll want to eat.
For some reason Paige has been dying to take mac and cheese for lunch. She will always let me know when one of her classmates brought mac and cheese and how it looked really delicious. I, myself, am not a big mac and cheese fan but I decided to humor her and made it for her lunch today. Paige’s lunch also included garlic bread as well as some fruits and veggies. Her garlic bread is decorated with falling leaves and a little turkey. I also stuck in a scarecrow cupcake pick that I thought was pretty cute.
Yesterday, I received my new bento box from J-List!!! I also picked up these pretty picks that I used in today’s bento as well. The bento consists of mini Korean chive dumplings, tamago with spam, a bear shaped potato and bacon croquette, sauteed garlic mushrooms, a few veggies, with rice and ume. The box is pretty roomy so it was enough to feed both Sean and myself. Hope you all have a great weekend!!!
Paige is going on a field trip today so I packed her lunch in a disposable container. This one happens to be a cupcake box by Wilton, which is the perfect size for a bento. Assembled it measures 3 X 4.5 X 4.5 and is a little deeper than a traditional bento box, which makes it easy to stand two standard sized musubis side by side and still have lots of room to fill it with chicken katsu bites, mini veggie mandoo, grapes, and a little container of ketchup. The boxes come in different sizes and this particular one comes in a set of three for $4.50 at the Ward Warehouse Executive Chef.
So here’s something random and weird for you all. Last night we met up with my brother in-law for dinner at Macaroni grill, which was great by the way. When we got back home and headed on in to our house, a small tree frog decided to commit suicide by jumping in between my foot and slipper as I was in mid stride. I totally flattened him and he was stuck to the bottom of my foot. I can’t tell you how gross it was and how many times I washed my foot and slipper off, not to mention sanitize it with antibacterial wipes. What’s the chances of that happening?
Sean says thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes yesterday! I loved his uncontainable excitement as he was blew out candles and opened gifts. My brother in law even commented how he missed that kind of pure, unadulterated joy that you have only as a kid.
We’ve been having some really nice cool and breezy weather. Luckily, where I live we haven’t had much of the rain and flooding that other places have been experiencing. When it get cool out like now, I try to send at least one warm thing for Paige’s lunch. Today I packed Paige’s lunch in the Totoro Thermal lunch set that Mark picked up for me from J-list. I packed her hot rice in the thermal container, then in the side containers I packed chicken katsu bites, tamago with spam bears, and some fruit and veggies.
So if you have made tamago before, you are just one step away from making one with hearts, bears, or whatever you so desire. I just used a basic tamago recipe . Spray the tamago pan with a nonstick spray, pour a thin layer of egg mixture in the pan, then cook on low until egg is just about set. Roll the omelet over to the end of the pan, then push back to the other end. Spray pan again if needed and pour another thin layer of egg mixture into the pan. Let set and roll the omelet over to one end again, then push back over to the other side. Spray pan once more (if needed) and place small cut outs of SPAM, or other meats, kamaboko, or even veggies- like cooked carrot cutouts. Drizzle the rest of the egg mixture around and over the cutouts and cook until set. Finally roll the omelet over and take off of heat.
Happy 3rd Birthday Sean!!! It’s so hard to believe that three years have gone by since we were blessed with Sean. He is your typical high energy, mischievous, and noisy boy who always manages to get into some kind of trouble. What makes him so endearing is that he has this tremendous loving and empathetic nature. Sean is quick to give hugs and kisses, and is always concerned if someone is hurt, sad, or sick. Sean is also the consummate performer and will entertain on command with his crazy antics and his Transformers impersonations. :)
Any way, on to Paige’s bento today. I made her teriyaki steak, sauteed mushrooms with garlic butter, and tamago with heart shaped SPAM. I got the idea for the tamago from this Japanese site , however I couldn’t find the bento with the original tamago with red hearts so that I could link it to credit that person properly. I thought that it was such a neat idea! I’ll take pictures the next time I make one to show how I did it.
The croquettes that I made the other day finally made an appearance in today’s bento! For Paige’s lunch I made cold soba with veggie gyoza and a heart shaped bacon croquette. I also packed a thermos with hot miso soup since the weather has been a little cooler these past few days. Finally a tiny bit of winter weather has come our way here in Hawaii!
This afternoon I am helping Paige’s teacher for the after school program to do a couple of bento classes. As a kid food/cooking projects were always the most fun and memorable for me. I can vividly remember making clam dip for chips, cookies, jello, ants on a log and so much more for school projects or for show and tell. Even as a kid I was always a foodie.
Then as a teenager, my family was very brave and often would let me cook dinner. I liked to experiment with cooking and sometimes the food would turn out pretty awful. Well at least all of my experiences laid a foundation for my cooking skills and helped to cultivate my love for it.
Last night we had a few friends over dinner and I made spaghetti with meatballs. Paige wanted the meatballs for lunch today, so I packed some in a thermal container to keep warm. I also packed cheese tortellini with a few fruits and veggies.
Yesterday, I also worked on making potato croquettes using various rice molds. I thought it would be fun to make the croquettes into different shapes by utilizing the different rice molds that I have. I made a simple potato base of a mashed potato, cooked bacon, onion, salt, and pepper. Then I let the mixture cool and molded them with the different shaped rice molds. I used really simple shapes so that it would be easy to mold and bread.
After shaping the potato base, I dredged them in four, egg, and then panko. I covered the croquettes with additional panko and froze most of them for later use.
Here’s a pic of the molds I used and the finished product. I fried a few of the croquettes today and they held up really great and tasted wonderful. The croquettes are the perfect size for a bento and also serves as a wonderful side.