Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bentos #81 and #82...

Just a quick post... It's late, but I still need to go on my walk.  I've been attempting to tire myself out.  Lately I've been in the habit of waking up a couple of times a night and then popping wide awake at 7:00 in the morning..  I went on a walk a couple of nights ago and it seemed to help.  So that's the plan...

It's been a while since you've seen me attempt to dress up my lunches, yes?  This lunch has turkey meatballs with bone picks and a yummy pasta thing I've been making with spinach, tomatoes, and Philly cooking creams.  The bottom has peaches, blackberries, a homemade apple gel with watermelon bugeyes and a celery mouth, more celery, and cabbage.  I grew up just eating sliced cabbage with salt.  For some reason I haven't done that once since I started getting my baskets...

This was a quickly packed breakfast bento.  I love this box.  It's just the right size for something like this, and it's vintage, and it's cool looking.  I stuffed it with peaches, a plum, watermelon, and blackberries.  And a couple of Dove chocolates.  Because I'm a big girl and no one can tell me not to have chocolate for breakfast...


Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway!  Only one more week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bentos #78 and #79 ... Concerts in the Park

Sunday nights in June are Brass Band in the Park nights.  That means I have to work, but I'm ok with it.  I really enjoy the concerts.  I pack up a bunch of folding chairs and the portable sound system and have a good ol' time.

Once my system is up, I just sit back, listen, and push the On button for the microphone between songs.

Except yesterday.  Yesterday it was raining.  Actually, Utah got more rain yesterday than we usually average for the month of June.  So the band moved under the pavillion and sat on tables, benches, and a few of my chairs.  I didn't set up my system because... well... it was wet.  And the outlet I usually plug into has exposed wiring.  I sat in the van out of the rain and listened.  And felt sorry for the 30 or so poor suckers who showed up for the concert despite the rain and then had to sit in it.


This one was my picnic for the concert.  I always bring snacks, and thanks to BB, they've been healthy snacks.  This is cucumber, celery and fresh ground peanut butter, a plum, blackberries, peach slices and watermelon.

I also packed a thermos of homemade tomato soup.  Because it was raining.  And soup sounded good.

This is my lunch for today.  I decided to stuff all the mini sweet peppers I got this week with a mixture of brown rice, Philly Italian blend cream cheese, mozzarella and parmesan, and a couple of sprinkles of that yummy garlic seasoning.  I topped them with more cheese when they were almost done.

I proceeded to eat most of the batch.  I wasn't even going to save these for lunch today... until I did the math and figured out how many calories I had already devoured...  I've also got some oven roasted onion and a sliced turkey sausage on a stick.

Bottom has cucumber, a plum, peach slices, watermelon and blackberries.


Don't forget the giveaway!  11 more days...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bento #77 - Sides only.

I up my basket today. As per usual. My site's pickup is 7:00am. I wasn't exactly on top of things... While I was standing in line I heard 'Hi Pam'. I looked up. And my thought process went like this *Who knows my name here? Oh. It's Penny. No. That can't be Penny. Oh wait. Yes it can.* 'Hi Penny.' *Oh. Mike's here too.* 'Hi Mike.' And yes. It took just as long to think it as it does to read it. And yes. I had a stupid confused look on my face while that was happening.

The basket was great today, as per usual.
6 bananas
6 apples
12 plums
3 containers of blackberries
1 pineapple
1 canteloupe
1 bunch of spinach
1 head of romaine
1 bunch of celery
1 head of cabbage
4 cucumbers
6 gorgeous organic tomatoes

I've got a whole lot of apples. I never eat them. One of my front teeth is a temporary. It makes eating apples difficult. So today I sliced up the six and layered them in my crockpot with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I topped it with some vanilla. I'm going shopping later. I'll get some ff whipped cream to top it off with. And maybe make an oatmeal crumb to go with it.

I bought a juicer a couple of weeks ago. My other plan with the apples is to juice them all. I'll drink about half of it and I'll make fresh fruit gel in my little silicone cups. They'll be great for lunches.


I spent the morning running audio for a Middle-Eastern Dance recital in the park during the Farmer's Market. Right now our Farmer's Market is really low in produce. But. There are a lot of food vendors. Today I picked up lunch from a little Thai family. Mango sticky rice. And Thai spring rolls.

Honestly I thought the spring rolls were disgusting. I ate half of one. And then gave up.

The rice though... Oh. The rice. I should have taken a picture. A bed of rice with a row of mango slices spread across and then topped with a delicious sweet white sauce... I was in heaven. I'm sure I'll get the rice again at some point this summer. I'll take a picture then.

I knew I'd be picking up something to eat while I was there, so I just packed some sides.

I've got peach slices, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and peppered beef rollups.

It's not amazingly interesting. But it was yummy.


Don't forget about the giveaway! 12 more days!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bentos #75 and #76 - Also a giveaway!

I love that I can cook. Something about pulling out my wonderfully stuffed lunchboxes at work while others are unwrapping soggy sandwiches or running out for fast food makes me feel all sorts of smug, healthy, and generally satisfied with life.

I packed two meals for today, but only ate one. It didn't turn out to be as long a day as I was anticipating...

The warm layer has 5 cheese tortellini with artichoke heart tossed with ICBINB and that Johnny's Garlic Bread seasoning I love so much. It's also got roasted yellow peppers.

I have to tell you about these peppers... I was trying to get my produce all squared away before it spoiled. My yellow peppers were starting to get those spots that peppers get, so I sliced them up before I really knew what I was going to do with them. I ended up tossing them with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I roasted them and they became incredibly sweet. I just started eating them off the pan. It was a struggle to stop eating them long enough to pack these bentos...

The bottom layer has canteloupe, watermelon, grapes, and a cup of the ends of all the mini sweet peppers I pickled yesterday. You'll see those in my next post, I'm sure.

There is a little Chinese restaurant a few blocks from my apartment that has the most amazing Tiny Spicy Chicken. It is not tiny or spicy. But it is SO good. This bento contains Tiny Spicy leftovers and roasted yellow peppers over brown rice, the better part of a peach, watermelon, and canteloupe.


Now. You all want a giveaway. And I want to give something away. This is where some lucky person will get to take advantage of my awful hording habits. Ready?

This amazingly awesome giveaway package includes six egg molds, a package of piggy sauce bottles, a package of cute animal picks, a rice mold set, and 10 little veggie picks. (The veggie picks come in packages of 50. I don't know why you'd ever need 50 of them. So I picked out my 10 and have been giving sets away. They haven't ever been used. Promise.)

This giveaway is open to everyone. Wherever you are.

And here's how you enter.

1) Become a follower of my blog, and then answer the following question in the comments of this post. There are no wrong answers, of course. I'm just curious.

**Why do you bento?**

2) Get a bonus entry by posting a link to my giveaway somewhere! Your blog, facebook, twitter even... Whatevs. And then put a link back in the comments section. (Did I phrase that right? I think so... I want to see where you put it. Basically.)

The winner will be picked in the most fair way I know how... Using either little strips of paper with your names on them and my four year old nephew. Or using Most likely the second one...

Drawing will be held July 1st! Get your entries in before then. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bentos #72, #73, and #74 - a post ONLY about food!

That's not exactly a first, but usually I ramble on about the goings on in my life for the first little bit. I'm doing the exact same thing here, but I intend to only ramble about food.

First off. I have this great desire to show off my Bountiful Basket this week. Ready for this?
- 1 watermelon
- 1 canteloupe
- 8 huge peaches
- 7 apples
- 6 bananas
- 3 pears
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 3 artichokes
- 2 onions
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 yellow peppers
- lots of mini sweet peppers (I didn't count)

All that for $15! One of the reasons I wanted to share is that BB is spreading. They have sites in South Carolina now! I expect at some point they'll make it to every state. Which would be pretty darn awesome.

Second, I am about 2 days away from being able to eat fresh produce out of my container garden! I've got a few strawberries that have turned a light shade of red. I'm so looking forward to eating them!

My tomatoes are blossoming. My peppers have been blossoming but for some reason the baby peppers are just falling off. I'm going to try an epsom salt solution to see if that helps. I've got some sugar snap pea plants that are growing well, but no blossoms yet. A few lemon cucumber plants have come in, but at the moment the biggest only has three leaves. We'll see how they work out... Just Monday I planted a crookneck squash plant and a peter pan squash plant. I almost killed them first. They've come back though, and the peter pan plant looks like it's going to blossom in the next week or two!

I'm really excited about my garden...


So this bento consists of leftover chicken and rice with paprika cauliflower. Grapes, raspberries, strawberries, canteloupe, a mini sweet pepper, and a bit of cottage cheese fill it out. This one sat for a few days... People kept showing up to work with food. It didn't do good things for the bento, but it was still edible.

The top layer here has more of the leftover steak topped with sauteed mini peppers and onions. The pasta things next to it are Hot Pockets brand baked ravioli. Pretty good. But I likely won't buy them again. They are so not healthy. The bottom has carrots and hummus, strawberries, an apricot, and raspberries.

I made a great chicken salad. I've made it before. Just chicken, apple, celery, and carrot. They're all diced up and then mixed with honey poppy seed dressing. The dressing is acidic enough to keep the apples from turning brown. The other layer has a mini pepper, canteloupe, raspberries and strawberries.


One more bento until the giveaway!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bento #71...

On Friday night, one of my brothers took the family out to dinner. We went to Sizzler. Because that's his favorite place to eat. And the place least likely to kill him... He has a lot of sad allergies...

He did that as a celebration. He paid off his car. I'm looking forward to doing that exact same thing... No more car payment means an extra $300 a month.

After we ate, we walked over to the Big5 so he could help me pick out a fishing rod and reel. Yup. I'm going to learn how to fish. Nope. I will not use live worms for bait. I'm pretty sure I can gut a fish, but stringing a worm on a hook just grosses me out. I also picked up a telescoping reel so I can just tuck it into a motorcycle pack if the mood hits me. Now I just need a license and tackle.


I took this over to the park after I was done with work Saturday morning. The Farmer's Market has started over there, but produce was not abundant. Taking into consideration Utah's weather for the past few months, that's not surprising. But. The food vendors are everywhere... maybe next week I'll only pack sides...

Leftover steak and rice from Sizzler, combined with a whole bunch of broccoli. Little tiny celery paired with fresh peanut butter, a mini pepper, grapes, strawberries, and raspberries. I'm not exactly sure where the cup that the peanut butter is in came from. My best guess is that it's the endcap that comes on conduit when you buy it from the hardware store. It's the perfect size though...

I used a box I've never used before... I have no idea what the French says...


Four more lunches until the giveaway!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bentos #67, #68, #69, #70. Catching up.

Who here is a slacker?

*Raises hand...*

This past month has been... interesting... But. It's over. And here I am.

I've got my 'garden' in. There's a row of 12 gallon totes outside my front door. I gave up on the starts I had. They'd get so far and then something horrible would happen to them. Like my cat, Poe, would knock them off the cupboard. Or the cucumbers would start molding. Or ... I dunno. Just bad things.

I ended up buying starts from a greenhouse. Which ended up being a lot more fun. I have three different kinds of peppers, three different tomatoes, strawberries, sweet peas (ok... those actually were seeds I planted), and lemon cucumbers. The tomato plants all have blossoms coming on. The peppers have blossoms, and one of them has a few little tiny veggies on it. There are lots of strawberries already. I wonder how long it will take for them to get ripe?

Until then, I'm still picking up my Bountiful Basket every week. And I figured out what to do with the lettuce that's there EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I found a lettuce soup recipe. And it's yummy. And very green. This is the first time I've ever actually eaten all the lettuce.


So. Bentos.

The hot layer has pasta with ICBINB and an incredibly awesome garlicky cheesy seasoning. I just found it. Way back when I was a young teenager, my mom came home with a big bottle of this stuff. I ate it with everything. I thought it was amazing stuff. And then it was gone. My mom didn't like the stuff much, and, you know, it was her money. So when it was gone, it was gone. Until a few weeks ago when I found it at Costco. It is called Johnny's Garlic Spread and Seasoning. And I love it. It's like old times.

There are also turkey meatballs, broccoli, and since there was room... I sliced up a single mushroom and sauteed it. The other layer has cucumber, cantaloupe melon balls, pineapple cubes, string cheese, and m&ms. Note... the bag of m&ms with the juicy fruit layer wasn't such a good idea. They got sticky. Also note. Those are pretty good looking melon balls. And the $3 I pent on a melon baller was totally worth it.

The top layer has Santa Fe chicken with rice. There's also a cup of tomatoes tucked into the rice to mix in with everything. The other layer has honeydew melon balls, some massive blueberries, carrots and hummus, and grapes.

There's more Santa Fe chicken and rice with green beans. The bottom has the cup of tomatoes to mix in, honey dew and blackberries. The carrot cake in the other cup is courtesy of my little brother's birthday.

I made a quiche. I got a bunch of rainbow chard in a basket and didn't know quite what to do with it. But I had eggs. And I had milk. And I had cheese. So I mixed it all together and I baked it. And it was good. So there's a piece in my lunch. There's also some green pepper strips, Some baby red baked potatoes, and some summer squash.

The other layer has honeydew melon balls, blackberries, orange slices, and more carrot cake.


On another awesome note. I'm working on putting together a giveaway. It should have been for my 100th bento, but since I've been a slacker for the past month... well... I see no reason to punish you. So. We'll make it for the 75th bento. And I promise I'm back on the bento horse, so it won't take another month to come around.