Thursday, July 29, 2010

A bento backlog. After two days.

How? How can I have a backlog in two days? Well... I've been working 12-14 hour days, so I have lunch bentos, a snack bento, and dinner bentos to share with you. Let's get started, shall we?


I did something a little unorthodox here. Those familiar with these cute little two tier boxes know that they are not 'tight'. And you shouldn't pack liquid in them. Ever. But I don't really have any cute and little tight boxes. So I used it anyway.

I thieved a divider from another of my boxes to partition off the soup side of the top. Of course, the divider doesn't actually fit. It's just kind of wedged in there, a half inch from the bottom of the box. So I lined the soup side with plastic wrap and filled it up. The other side I stuffed full of broccoli and cauliflower. And a few little carrot flowers for cuteness' sake.

The bottom of the box holds sweet mini peppers and cucumber sticks, with a little mayo case full of a yummy pepper dill dip I made.

Anywho. The plastic wrap solution worked really well. I wrapped it up around the lid of the box before closing it. And... no leaks! I'm pretty sure this only works when you really pay attention to keeping your box right side up during transport. But it does work. Also. I have no issues with microwaving in plastic wrap. Those of with issues... I suppose this won't work for you.


My snack on Tuesday was packed in an awesome little box I got on ebay. It's a box from the 1950's that was completely unused when I got it. It still has the manufacturer sticker on the lid. And it came with a little cup that fits inside. So I filled the cup with jerky and the rest of the box with plum slices.

7/27/10 - Snack

Dinner was a nutrisystem pizza. I decided it would be better if I just made it at work, so I left it in it's package. I didn't take a pic of it. It wasn't cute.

7/27/10 - Dinner

In the box to go with the pizza, I packed canadian bacon pieces, spinach, and a little bit more ff cheddar cheese for toppings. It turned out really yummy. I packed a loverly little romaine salad with sweet peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers in the top tier, and filled out the bottom tier with whole peppers, pistachios, and a little lime guy full of ff italian dressing. The little lime guy came from the Dollar Store with seven other fruits, full of icky, powdery candy. I made the guys at work eat it all so I could take the containers. They're perfect for salad dressing.

Wednesday lunch was really simple. A cup of beans and ham soup. That I didn't have time to repack in a cute container. And a munchie veggie tray kind of thing with cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and a case of ff ranch dressing.


And. My favorite filler protein, tamagoyaki. Heart-shaped tamagoyaki. With a bunny pick. Because I was eating a whole lot of rabbit food for lunch.


Dinner was almost a tragedy. I've discovered that nutrisystem sweet and sour chicken is mostly inedible. But I packed it anyway. I have issues with wasting food. Even if it's not very good. Or appetizing looking.


I packed it with cauliflower and broccoli, with zucchini flowers on top. And I ate all of it. And I have another package. I'll probably eat that one, too. The side dish was lovely though... I diced a couple of zucchinis and stir-fried them with onions and peppers. When they were about cooked, I added a dash of ponzu and liquid aminos. And then I topped it with sweet pepper flowers. So it matched the other tier. And, of course, there are pistachios. I love pistachios. And there are only four calories in each kernel. Four! That's it!

I expect I will be straying from the diet thing over the next three days. FYI. It's my birthday tomorrow. There will be cake. And Tucanos. And probably more cake after that. And ice cream. But I will try to have everything in moderation. And we'll see if I've lost anything on Sunday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Really? Another one?

I have yet to get in the habit of naming my bento lunches. Mostly, I don't want to get attached to something I'm just going to be eating. And I'm not so good at coming up with the clever names. So I just call them what they are. Lunch for Monday. Snack for Monday. Etc. It's boring. But at least I know when I ate the bento.

And this. This is lunch for Monday. Notice the quality of the picture. Maybe not top quality. But SO much better than what I've been putting you through. But more on that later.


I've decided that tomorrow is the day that I start my Nutrisystem. Tomorrow is as good a day as any, right? From what I've been reading, some of the food is just gross. To some people. So to combat this, instead of taking the package to work and crossing my fingers, I'm going to make it at home. So I can try it. And decide if it's worth eating. And pack it into cute little boxes that make it really not feel like diet food.

The above red beans and rice are totally worth eating. It doesn't really look like diet food, does it? You'll notice the complete lack of fruit in my lunch. That's something I'll have to get used to. For lunch, you're supposed to add two veggies and a dairy or protein to your nutrisystem entree. Fruit is for breakfast, snack, and dinner. Luckily. I do like my veggies. A lot. So I've added green beans, carrot shreds (which really don't count for anything but color), and roasted zucchini. The red case has ff sour cream to top the rice with.

This is the first time I've ever roasted zucchini. It didn't sound that difficult. So I decided to make some for my lunch tomorrow and for a snack today. I didn't realize how much it would cook down though. I didn't get my snack. I'll live. Maybe.

Roasted Zucchini (and other veggies, I guess)

Zucchini (or whatever)
Garlic Powder
Olive Oil PAM

A. Preheat your toaster oven to 425 degrees.

B. Slice, dice, quarter, destroy the vegetables however you please. Spray sheet pan with PAM. Arrange on a sheet pan.

C. Spray veggies with PAM. Sprinkle on the herbs and spices of your choosing. The salt, pepper, and garlic powder are what I used today. I think the possibilities are endless. But I'm not going to hold your hand for that.

D. Put the whole lot in the oven. Leave it there until it's done as much as you like it. I left mine in for an hour and fifteen minutes. But the recipes I've seen have varied anywhere from twenty five minutes to an hour and a half.

E. Remove from oven. Maybe salt them a little bit more. Let them cool and toss them in your lunch. Or eat them. Both are acceptable choices.

And now. A snack. Because apparently I have to eat those. I'm not really complaining. I do like food.


That right there happens to be cottage cheese and a chopped nectarine. A dairy and a fruit. Every day. Right around three o'clock. I'm not so sure I can keep that schedule. But I'm gonna try.

Anywho. The camera.

One day I was wandering around Walmart at 2:00 in the morning, like ya do, when I passed by the electronics section. Where there was a clearance case. Now... I'd given up on being able to afford the camera I really wanted ages ago. Someday I'll have a full-time job with money to spare, but until then I may as well still be a broke college student. Without the college.

This clearance case caught my eye because there were a few cameras sitting there in ziploc bags. Which I found highly amusing. And then I noticed the prices on the ziplocs. They were fairly low. Decent prices for the cameras. But then I spied a sticker claiming that they were 50% off of the marked price. This required further investigation. And I found a Casio EX-Z80. Marked at $48. which meant... $24 to me. For a nearly brand new camera. That the photo department was just too lazy to go in back and find the box for.

Well. I bought it. Sure. It isn't the camera I'm still drooling over. But it takes better pictures than my phone does. And a step up is a step up, right? I ended up spending another $10 on three batteries for it and $10 for two chargers. So in all, I got a $44 camera with two spare batteries and a spare charger. That's kind of a hard deal to beat. And it should last until independent wealth strikes me.

I do LOVE a good deal.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mini Cookies for One: First attempt.

So. It's just me. I have no significant other at the moment. So I don't bake very often. Because I would just end up eating everything I baked. Unless I took it to work. But I didn't work today. So I used one of those recipe size converters to take a big chocolate chip cookie recipe down to 2 servings or so.

No. I'm not posting the recipe yet. Resizing a recipe that dramatically seems to do things to it. Not horrible things, but it could be better. And it will be. I insist. Any recipe for cookies that only dirties a cereal bowl and two measuring spoons deserves another chance. And besides. They're perfect for bento.

Mini cookies for one

Aren't they cute? That's all the recipe made. They didn't rise at all. Or get less shiny. So really they just look like balls of dough on the plate. But I did cook them. Promise. And they were yummy. I think they need a rising agent. I was out of baking soda so I used a pinch of powder. And maybe less flour. Ideas?

Now I have guilt...

Ok. I know. It has been forever. I just have not been in the habit of taking pictures of my food. Even though I have a new camera. Which I'll tell you about later. I've also not really been in the bento habit. And I really need to be. Especially now.

Anyway. The reason I have guilt is that I suddenly have like 230 views on my blog. Which. For a blog with only nine or so posts, seems like a lot. Which. Means that there are people out there who want to know what I have to say, and I haven't been saying anything. I'm a horrible person!

And I will try to remedy this.

This is what has been going on in my life lately...

*My landlord has had to file for bankruptcy. I'm losing my $200/month apartment, so my living expenses are about to go up about $300/month. I won't be able to afford to eat out anymore. Actually, I may not be able to eat anymore. I must look into the hobo job of selling plasma. And let my boss know that I'll soon be looking for another job if that doesn't work out...

*I'm apartment hunting. Directly related to the first point. And I have to find a place I can afford that has space for my truck, my many motorcycles, my '49 Dodge Coronet, and will let me keep my cute, toilet-trained cat. I refuse to be one of those people who moves and then puts their animals up on craigslist. "It was good while it lasted, but bye now!" Asshats. I'll give up a couple of motorcycles before I'll give up my cat. Besides. I've put so much time into toilet-training her now, I have to keep her.

*I've been working massive amounts. More now that it has become part of my work duties to stage manage the first main-stage production that the CCA has ever done. I'm enjoying myself immensely. But. My weekly work schedule has gone out of control. And we haven't even started rehearsals yet.

*I figured out that A) by only working 30 hours a week I will run out of my 1530 part time hour allotment at some point in November. B) by working my usual 38 hour average, I will run out sometime in October. C) I won't be able to afford to live on 30 hours a week soon anyway. So therefore D) I'm going to have a hoard money and freelance for three months. Or get a seasonal retail job. Ew.

*I've been asked to be a guest blogger on a very well known blog. And I don't even keep up with my own blogs! I've decided that I will accept. But not for another month. Because that way I can beef up my blog and then shamelessly promote it. Right now, I'm not so sure it's interesting enough to pimp out to the homemaking masses.

*I just purchased about 17 Bento Boxes. Because I'm a dork. I don't need 17 new boxes. I already have about 20. But when has new inventory, you have to take advantage of it fast. So that's what I did. Yes. It did involve $60 that I should have been hoarding. But you remember that piggy bank I've got? While most of the money in it has absolutely nothing to do with my goal of putting aside money every time I bento-ed, there is enough change in there to cover this impulse purchase. I really wish fitjp had an affiliate program. I'd be rolling in (more) bento boxes by now.

*My weight has not been under control. At all. Because I haven't been eating carefully. So that's my fault. However. A sweet lady off craigslist decided to get rid of her nutrisystem because she'd "rather eat pizza and ice cream than get skinny". My mom has been doing nutrisystem with great success this summer. And I only need to lose 30-40 lbs. I discovered that one could find nutrisystem on craigslist for about 1/3 of the price of actually signing up for the program. I'll try using the free stuff for a few weeks to decide if the expense is worth it. I also think it will lend itself well to bentoing. Because you have to pack along all your veggie side dish goodness.

*I want to start the Couch to 5k program. Not only to lose weight, but because when the zombie apocalypse happens I want to be able to outrun you. Because as with bears, you don't have to be the fastest, you just have to be faster than the other person. (OK. So I don't believe in zombies. But it does sound like some good motivation to exercise, does it not?)

*My finger is healed up. There's just a scar now. It itches sometimes.