Monday, October 29, 2012

Bento #167... Gigging

I've spent an awful lot of time gigging recently... working with companies who do big corporate gigs.  It's great fun.  This past week, for instance, I spent a few days in Vegas.  No bentos for that because... it was Vegas.  Doing shows on the road means a 'per diem', which means that they gave me money for eating out and such.  Just one of the many perks of travel...  I spent two days working at a much closer convention center.  I took lunch the first day...  And again, was the weird one for having a healthy, tasty meal instead of a sandwich.  I did liberate a couple of cookies from the craft services table.  Because... cookies.

I have a salad of asparagus and white beans with a balsamic glaze.  It was incredibly tasty.  The purple potatoes came from my parents' garden.  I happened to be standing there while my dad was digging up the red potatoes, and when he would come across a purple potato that was out of place, he'd toss it to me.  I forgot about them until I got home and found I had a pocket full of purple potatoes...

I also have the last of the farmer's market stuff for the year... a selection of baby tomatoes (the orange ones are my favorite) and a purple carrot.  They are accompanied by grapes and gouda.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bentos #165 and #166... Weekend away...

I spent last weekend in a small town in central Utah. I was working a gig at an events center down there. They brought me in because I know what i'm doing, and the rest of the crew was going to be college students.  I left Provo at 5am on Friday to make it to an 8am call time.  And I was there until 7pm Saturday afternoon.

I didn't want to spend a ton eating out, so I packed a cooler for the weekend... Mostly drinks, but also two Bentos!  They are exactly the same, which is fine by me, as they are made with tasty food...

I broke out the rubbermaid take-alongs for these meals. Since they were going in a cooler, I wanted a watertight seal.

I've got pasta salad... It looks like a ton, but it's 50% cucumber and tomato.  I just packed the entire bottle of Italian dressing in the cooler instead of pre-dressing it.  I find that pasta salad gets a funny after taste if left for too long.  I topped it with some bacon bits for protein.  And because bacon!

The sides are jicama with hummus (kind of an odd combination) and strawberries.

I had planned to eat one for lunch each day, but that didn't work out... My gig provided lunch on Friday. I was going to eat it for dinner instead, but on the way to the hotel I passed a diner that I just had to try... I can't resist a small town diner.  This over had everything you could want; great atmosphere, amazing food... A cranky lady who fills the water glasses...

I didn't have to be to work until 4pm the next day... I slept in, went running, and then went for a long drive through the mountains.  I had lunch on a pull-off, overlooking a valley full of sagebrush. 

I made it back to town in time for pumpkin chocolate chip cookie ice cream at the local dairy.  That ice cream alone might make it worth the drive back out there...

I ended up eating my other bento after I got home.  Yay for not having to cook after a 2.5 hour drive!

Bentos #160-164... Playing catch up much?

I have a serious lack of internet going on. And I haven't been working, so mooching off of work internet hadn't been an option. I may actually have to get internet one of these days. Because my current option is to post from my phone. And I really dislike the blogger program on my phone.  I can't format posts the way I like.  I also can't edit pictures. So they will look kind of crummy until I can get to a computer to edit them...  *sigh*

So until then, bear with me.
It finally got cold around here... I say that like i'm happy about it... Let me try again. 
Its #@$& cold!  It was hot for Weeks! near triple digits! And then one day, mother nature decided it would be funny to randomly drop the temperature by thirty degrees.  Overnight.
I do like fall.  Fall smells good. Fall is pretty. Fall means pumpkin flavored everything.  But I would have loved to ease into the temp change...
Whatever. Fall means soup weather!  I had been slacking off on my veggie consumption, and they were building up in the fridge, so I thought... Soup!
I just roasted everything I had... Three bags of carrots, seven tomatoes, two onions, three peppers,a zucchini... For how ever long it took me to do the dishes, threw them all in the blender with some hot water to thin it out, and seasoned it up with whatever spices were in the front of the cupboard!
I've been eating it all week. I think I have enough left for lunch today.
I packed it for lunch three times this week.  The first two are identical... Because it was good the first day, and since I knew it was a winner, I managed to pack it the second day in less then four minutes...  Soup with feta, a side of peppered pretzel pieces and a handful of  grapes.  And a dessert... I used three pretzels as croutons.  It was a great combination!
The last time I packed the soup, I was out of both feta and pretzels. Sad day. I plunked a pumpkin cutout into the bowl to make it fun, and packed strawberries, grapes, cucumbers, and sesame crackers to go with it.
The last bento has a combination of whole wheat fettuccine tossed with smoked garlic, spinach, and feta.  It's accompanied by strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and grapes.  I realized as I was packing it that my grapes and some of those tomatoes look exactly the same. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bentos #158 and #159...

These are both warehouse bentos... one from Tuesday, one for Thursday.  I get interesting reactions to my lunches at the warehouse.  At the theatre, people expect random artsy, cutesy things from other people... because... we're all theatre people.  We're artsy, and creative, and all that junk.  At the warehouse?  They are, for the most part, warehouse people.

For instance... Tuesday I took out this bento...

It's nothing special... cream cheese chicken salad (with sesame seed 'spatter') and sesame crackers... baby orange tomatoes, strawberries, jicama, muenster cheese, and some biscoff cookies.

I was sitting on the steps outside and one of the warehouse guys came out.  He wanted to know what the $(*# I was eating.  I started with 'chicken salad and crackers' ... and realized he didn't really care, and I didn't really want to or have to explain myself, so I trailed off with '... healthy stuff'.  Because I knew he would go away.  And he did.  But not before saying, "Ew."

Don't get me wrong... I like the warehouse guys.  It's just an interesting dynamic.  Not only am I the only female there, but I don't eat out everyday, I bring healthy lunches, I don't swear like a sailor, I don't need to have social activities going on in order to get work done... I don't think they know quite how to handle it.  Mostly we smile and nod and sometimes I curse a little bit just so they won't feel self conscious around me.  As much.

Here's my lunch for tomorrow... I'm kind of wondering what reaction I would get to actual 'face food'.  They already think I'm kind of weird...  Mashed sweet potatoes with a poppy seed face, collards, a bastardization of my rosemary pulled pork recipe... I was feeling lazy and just wanted to test my new smaller crockpot.  The pork turned out good, but next time I'll actually do it right...

The strawberry box contains... strawberries, jicama, baby tomatoes, and a sauce container of orange barbecue sauce I got from my very first foodie penpal.

Don't forget to enter my small giveaway HERE...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bento #157... and foodie penpal reveal!

The Lean Green Bean

Katie from The Eight Hour Project was my foodie penpal this month.

She sent some amazing things.  It's hard to keep them under wraps until the official reveal day, and to not completely consume them before I can work them into my bentos...

From left to right... a little box of sesame crackers.  They have great flavor, strong enough, I think, to not be overpowered by whatever I want to put on them, but good all by themselves as well.

The Karai Fusion Peanuts... I have to admit, I was a bit worried when I saw 'wasabi' in the description.  I'm a wimp when it comes to wasabi.  I mix the smallest bit into my soy sauce when I'm having sushi, but I could never handle wasabi peas and the like.  However.  These are amazing.  And surprising.  Imagine, if you will, honey roasted peanuts, and then mix in just a bit of wasabi.  Just enough to give them some heat.  They are fabulous!

And last, but my favorite, a head of smoked garlic.  The smell alone is enough to make a garlic lover like myself swoon.  I'm trying to ration it out, but let's be honest.  I totally ate a clove plain as soon as I opened the package.  (It was a good day to not have someone to kiss...)  I've been using it in recipes that will just let the flavor shine...

Katie was also thoughtful enough to send me some information about DC's Union Market, where she went to shop for my box.  You can look them up Here.  It's something I wish could be found in Utah...

Anywho.  Bento.

You saw the smoked garlic in the pasta and greens yesterday...  Today I've used it to up the flavor in my mashed sweet potatoes.  I also added rosemary, salt, pepper, and plain greek yogurt.  I made the face by cutting a stencil in a piece of paper, putting it on the potatoes, and then pressing poppy seeds into the surface.  The potatoes are packed with collards and grilled chicken.

The other layer has strawberries (with a little dead guy pick to eat them with), a muenster cheese pumpkin cutout (the scraps are underneath), baby orange tomatoes and jicama with hummus (which is hiding under the cheese).  I've also included a small container of the awesome peanuts Katie sent to me. :)

Don't forget to enter the last of my blogmark giveaways!  Click HERE!

Here’s a detailed explanation of the Foodie Pen Pals program:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

Bento #156... winner, last giveaway... and me freaking out a little bit

So... this week, I had a bit a freak out.  Over something that I don't have to make a decision on for at least another year and a half.  And it completely through my week out of wack.

Basically, I have an awesome job.  Government benefits.  Flexible enough that I can freelance.  Stable.  Fun.  All that good stuff.

And I have another company after me.  Benefits, but not as good.  Travel.  Great tech toys.  Also fun.  Also stable.  Regular 60 hour weeks....

There are more pros and cons to each.  But I'm with my current job for at least another year and a half.  Non-negotiable.  To me really, not to them.  But still.  Non-negotiable.

But time seems to fly, doesn't it?  And 18 months will be here before I know it.  And that's why I was stressing.

And then I though to myself... I don't have to even think about this for another year.  Get over it!

Which brings us here.

The winner of the 5000 views giveaway...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The announcement of the 100 blog posts giveaway...

Aw, silicone cups.  I didn't even know I needed these until I found a cheap set of regular old round ones at Walmart.  I mean... I already had small ones.  But the big ones!  I love them! I bought many shapes!  (These are the only ones that have made it here thus far.) And I want to share some with you...  Also... those are some amazing guava candies I picked up from a local Asian market...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And a bento...

My last bountiful basket had a bundle of collards.  I don't keep bacon around the apartment, and that seems to be how most recipes start out, so I hit the google.  Pasta and greens...  I didn't actually follow the recipe, just used it as a guideline.  Capers, smoked garlic, olive oil, collards, and whole wheat pasta topped with cheese.  Yes.  It was uber tasty.  Which is good, because this weeks basket had two bunches of collards...

I also have applicot, cucumber, baby tomatoes, and a key lime cheesecake mini.  Next time I get limes I'll perfect the recipe so I can share it with you.  It was tasty... texture had some issues.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bento #155...

Another bento brought to you by my foodie penpal...

I discovered recently that I love grits.  

Love them.

Who knew?

I made a bigger batch this time.  And had a lot of leftovers.  So I thought I'd try frying little squares of it.  It was totally good!

I added an onion and herb porkchop that I tossed on my Foreman grill, and some pan-fried zucchini.

The other bit has celery with hummus, a big applicot, and a couple of guava candies.

Bentos #153 and #154 - Two presentations, same food...

This is a twisted story about two bentos... both of which are slightly sad.  One more sad than the other.

First... I made this bento:

It started out nice.  A silicone cup of squash and carrots with a small container of italian dressing... A babybel, upon which I used my new Wilton fall cookie cutter... a couple of radishes with an attempt at some decorative cuts (my first try... go easy), and two guava candies.

And then it got kind of sad.

Although I did discover a way to eat sweet potato that I actually enjoy...  I boiled and mashed it with a spoonful of plain greek yogurt, salt and pepper. Incredibly tasty... but time was running out.  I slapped it into the box, cut a breakfast sausage in half and tossed that in too.

One passably cute layer... one that just looks... sad.

Maybe a little gross.

Although it tasted good.

I ended up eating the sweet potato with carrot slices because I forgot to pack a spoon...

I decided to try again.

This time I added some rosemary to the mashed sweet potato and topped it with an italian cheese blend.  I added some zucchini to the layer this time (yum!) and topped it with a sliced up turkey breakfast sausage.  And then I used another of my new cookie cutters to cut an oak leaf out of a sweet potato slice.  Cute!

And then I realized what time it was.

Why?  Why can't I manage my time?  Ever?

I shoved carrots into the box, threw in some radishes (no cutesy designs...) and put in a couple of sliced applicots, two guava candies, and italian dressing... which I actually ate with the carrots this time.  I think that if you put certain aspects from the two layers together... I did get one awesome bento out of them...


Side note... this is my 100th post!  And I have one more giveaway coming up!  In the meantime... check out the current giveaway, going on HERE!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bento #152... My new box... a winner... and another giveaway!

So... I went to the women's expo with my mother.  It was interesting.  I spent way too much money.  I picked up an electric massager thing.  And some interesting food.  And this:

Definately wasn't designed to be a bento box... I think it's just supposed to be a container you keep your peppers in in the fridge.  I've seen them for tomatoes and onions.  This was the first pepper though.  It's made by tupperware, and I only paid $5 for it!  It also came in yellow.  But I told myself I could only have one.

It was a bit interesting to pack... the lid is much deeper than I'm used to.  But it holds plenty of food for my average lunch.

I packed some tamagoyaki, black pepper triscuits (in a silicone cup to keep them relatively not soggy), smoked gouda cubes (probably my favorite cheese... this week...), cucumber slices (in another silicone cup), two applicots, two radishes, two slices of starfruit, and two guava candies.

Starfruit... I like the flavor... I like the look... I don't like eating it like this.  It has some tough membranes through the center that make it difficult to chow down on.  

And now... 

Because I know you've been waiting...

a Rafflecopter giveaway script>

Congratulations!  Please send me an email by September 23rd with your contact info and mailing address!

Now for this!

Two days ago, I reached 5000 page views!

I find this rather awesome.

It's my second blogmark in a week.  (And my third will be happening in the VERY near future!)

So this is how we're celebrating.

See that?  It's a brand new Lock'n'Lock mini lunchbox.  (The packaging is a bit battered.  But you're just going to throw that out anyway, right?)

You could win that.

It's not even that difficult.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bento #151... A new favorite or two!

Once upon a time my awesome foodie penpal, Jenny, from Blog for a New Year, sent me a package of grits... amongst other goodies.  I finally cooked some up.

Up until yesterday, my entire experience with grits was this...  Skip ahead to 1:40....

Great movie, yes?

Anyway, I was excited to try them.  All I really have to say is... Oh hell yes!  They were so awesomely tasty!  I had them with salt and pepper.  And then I went all sorts of wild and added a bit of sharp cheddar.  I completely approve!  And some of them made their way into my lunch.

I packed the grits in another new favorite... I picked up a batch of heart shape silicone cupcake liners on ebay for really cheap.  They are a much sturdier than I thought they would be, given the price I paid.  And the size is great.  

I packed some sauteed carrots and squash (leftovers from an ill-fated attempt at making carrot chips) with a turkey breakfast sausage patty.

The other layer has three types of plum, cherry and pear tomatoes, and yet another new favorite... chunks of smoked gouda on cute little skewers.

The colors in this bento were fairly monotone... and that's my fault.  I was just too lazy to slice up some cucumber or bell pepper to break up the reds and yellows.  However.  It was really tasty.  So there.


Don't forget to enter my 150th bento giveaway HERE!  And stay tuned for my 5000 views giveaway coming up on Wednesday... and my 100th post giveaway sometime after that!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bento #150... Giveaway time!

I apparently started this blog in January of 2010.  And it's taken me that long to get to 150 lunches.  I do need to work on that.  However.  Now that I'm finally here...  Wait.  I'll tell you after I show you my bento.

I finally decided to try a Maryland style crab cake from Sprout's market.  It wasn't too bad.  Not my favorite.  But now I know.  It's packed with a mini bell pepper, mini pear tomatoes, an applicot, and a lemon wedge for squeezing on the crab cake.

So this blog is about to hit three land blogmarks.

I'm 150 page views away from 5000!  That's a ton for a blog that doesn't get updated as regularly as I would like.  And I'm grateful for those who are interested enough in what I eat for lunch to drive that number up!

I'm 3 posts away from finally getting to 100 posts!

This is bento #150! Those are all awesome!

And I think they all call for giveaways!

And so... we'll start here.  At bento #150.

The first in a series of giveaways!  A package of cute bento picks (that... let's be honest... my lunches would benefit from), an adorable two tier bento box with a matching belt!

This is my first Rafflecopter giveaway, so... go to town!  Good luck all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bentos #148 and #149

Uber short post... lunch today for my LONG work call... cream cheese chicken salad with mini ritz crackers, mini sweet peppers with hummus, grapes, applicots, mini grapes and raspberry chocolates.

And a snack! Cute little tomatoes, goldfish, and pirouette cookies.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bento #147...

Just a quick post before I head off to put the finishing touches on my show that opens tonight...  It's been an uber long week.  I had already worked 37 hours by Wednesday night.  And there's a holiday this week.  Which means my comp time will shoot way up.  That's ok.

That means I can take it easy for a few weeks.

Or fill my time with freelance work.

... I really should learn how to NOT be a workaholic.

Anyway.  Here's my bento for a late lunch today...

I've got leftover cashew chicken from my favorite little Chinese place along with some pan roasted brussels sprouts I found in the bottom of my fridge.

My method is easy... I drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of my frying pan and then add sliced brussels sprouts.  Top with salt and pepper (and sometimes garlic and onion powders) and slap a lid on.  Stir every couple of minutes until they are as tender as you like them.  Brussels sprouts don't release too much liquid, so you get the lovely browned bits on the bottoms.  It's much faster than roasting in the oven.  If I'm feeling really fancy, I'll drizzle them with a bit of balsamic vinegar just before I take them off the heat.

The rest contains a few mini sweet peppers with roasted pepper hummus, champagne grapes, cherries, and raspberry chocolate balls.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Some days I cook awesome things for family dinner at my mom's house.  And then I steal enough leftovers to make a loverly meal.  

Last Sunday I made the most awesome chicken.  I mixed a cup of plain greek yogurt with a cup of miracle whip, dumped in two or three cups of sharp cheddar cheese (who's counting?) and some dried onion (1 Tbs), garlic powder (1 tsp), italian seasoning (1 tsp), paprika (1 tsp), salt and pepper (to taste).  I slathered this amazing mixture over small cuts of chicken breasts, sprinkled them with bread crumbs, and then baked them for 20 minutes or so in a 400 degree oven.  I finished it all up by broiling them until the tops were browned nicely.  

They were fairly amazing.  I think you could use all greek yogurt, or all miracle whip, or use mayo.  And you could use regular breadcrumbs, italian breadcrumbs, panko... whatever.  And whatever kind of cheese you like the most.  The point is that this is splendidly juicy chicken topped with a heavenly, melty cheese mixture.

You should try it.

Anyway.  I took about six ounces of chicken home with me.

Yesterday morning, I also decided it was time to try the garlic cheese biscuit mix my foodie penpal, Jenny, sent to me last month so I could have them in my bento.  

And then I had to figure out what to have with biscuits. 

 And I realized I had that chicken in the fridge.

I don't keep regular chicken salad ingredients around my apartment.  I don't use mayo on a regular basis.  I was out of mustard.  I had no idea what to put in my chicken salad.

And then... lightbulb!

I ended up dicing my chicken and adding a small spoonful of fat free cream cheese and another of red pepper hummus.  Yummy!

So I packed some of the chicken salad in a silicone cup.  And topped it with sesame seeds.  Sesame seeds are like the paint spatter of bento.  I had a scenic painting teacher who always said, "Spatter takes crap and makes it look good."  Sesame seeds work like that.  It's great.

I also packed two of my little garlic cheddar biscuits and some mini sweet pepper halves for eating the chicken salad. The salad was good cold, but then I got the brilliant idea to microwave it.  (Who doesn't like warm, gooey cream cheese?)  And then the salad became perfection!

And then there's the silicone cup of champagne grapes and a few cherries.  I'm almost through the champagne grapes.  Which is kind of sad.  As they are adorable and tasty.

The little cup to the side has what are left of the praline pecans my foodie penpal sent me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bento #145... and Foodie Penpals reveal!

I wasn't sure I was going to do this again.  I sent off the last box, and was fretting over shipping (it's not good) and wondering if it was worth it.  But guess what... It so is!  It is so much fun opening one of these boxes!  My first one was fabulous.  This month?  Also awesomely fabulous!

I came home yesterday after working for 14 hours to find a box on my front porch.  It was a great way to end a long and kind of crappy day.  What made it better was opening the box to see this:

Cute, yes?  Or my reaction..., "aww"...

This month, my box came from Jenny at  And I love what she did!

Pineapple chips.  Who knew?  I took the bag of fruit chips to work today to munch on.  So good!  And then there's the only thing I broke open to taste last night when I got the box.  I couldn't help opening the cheddar bites right off.  I love cheese.  And I really love crispy cheese.  Some days I will just toss good health out the window and drop little piles of cheese into a frying pan and let them go until they're crispy.  That's what these cheddar bites taste like!  You know, with a little bit more flavor.  I'm trying really hard to not just eat them all at once.

Jenny also included a bag of allergen free cinnamon thin cookies, and a raspberry licorice stick.  I haven't tried either yet, but I'm looking forward to them.

Jenny is great in that she tried to pay close attention to not only my first email detailing my likes and dislikes (both food and program wise), but she also took some time to read my blog and get to know me a little.  These gems were meant to be in keeping with the bento/Japanese theme.  I absolutely adore miso soup.  I haven't yet been brave enough to try making it from scratch.  I'm likely going to break open this packet when I get home.  I'm coming down with my usual tech week cold, and I think miso beats chicken any day.

The Udon noodles are new to me.  They're something I've seen on the shelf at my favorite Oriental store, but I had never bought them.  So I'm excited to try those as well.

One of the things I told Jenny I liked about the program was the chance to try things that are considered local cuisine elsewhere.  I have yet to figure out what Utah's local cuisine is.  Except fry sauce.  That says Utah all over it.

Anyway, Jenny is from the south.  Virginia, actually.  And she sent me some of her favorites.  Cheddar garlic biscuit mix.  It sounds heavenly, doesn't it?  Praline Pecans, which have a great flavor and crunch, organic Assam tea that smells great (that's as far as I've gotten), and grits.  I've never had grits, although I've always found the concept appealing.  And now I finally get to try them!  I'm thinking I'm going to start with the butter, salt, and pepper method that Jenny recommended in her note.  And then maybe I'll try them with sugar, and then we'll see from there!

My favorite part about this box?  Most of it is, or can be made to be, bento friendly!

Thank you, Jenny!


Today's bento, brought to you in part by my foodie penpal...

Cauliflower and a bit of pasta with pepperoni and sharp cheddar cheese, a pluot, champagne grapes, sweet mini pepper slices with hummus, and... 4 cheddar bites with a small container of praline pecans!

Bentos #143 and #144...

So.  This show I'm stage managing.  It's going to be awesome.  And I'm hoping to live through opening night.

Our first two mainstage productions, we actually rented a set from another venue.  They brought it in.  They put it together.  We did some finishing work with it.  We paid someone else to do costumes.  We rented props along with the set.

This one?  We're doing everything.  And I don't think anyone was prepared for how much work it was going to be.  And that's why you've just been getting quick posts when I can sneak in the time to write.  I'm not going to guarantee it will get better after the show.  Although it might.  I'll have a fair amount of comp time to get rid of...

Anywho.  I was quite happy with the way these guys turned out.  They were both for the same day, a lunch and a dinner.  And I knew I wasn't going to have time for a real hot meal.

This one has ranch cornuts, half a pluot, champagne grapes, sweet pepper, a babybel, a horrid first attempt at tamagoyaki (it's been a while...), and two little raspberry chocolate balls.  I also tossed in a container of zucchini.  I would have eaten it cold, but thankfully didn't have to.

This one is much the same as the last!  The only differences being the bagel top crackers and hummus instead of cornuts, and the mini reese's instead of the chocolate balls.  This tamagoyaki turned out so much better than the other one!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bentos #141 and #142... Weekly update?

I'm in the midst of what others might call production hell.  Except for one thing.  I'm really enjoying myself...

I'm stage managing 'Wait Until Dark'.  That's about 30 hours of rehearsals every week.

I'm designing costumes.

I'm designing hair/makeup.  To an extent.

I'm helping with certain props.  I just molded two awesome women figurines onto pocket knife handles.

And I'm designing audio.

I'm also helping to oversee the construction of the set.

Tech rehearsal is this coming Saturday.

I'm having such a good time!

As per usual, however, I'm excessively busy.

I did manage to sneak home for a couple of hours to cook lunch and relax on Tuesday and Thursday.  And that was pleasant!  I'm used to just staying at work all day, because coming home seemed like a chore.  I don't know why.  I only live six minutes from the theatre... 

These are the bentos I fixed for the days I didn't have time to get home...

This one contains roasted chickpeas and brussels sprouts with bacon.  I love brussels sprouts, and I got some HUGE ones in my Bountiful Basket last week.  Usually I oven roast them, but since these were so big I didn't think it would work.  I instead sliced them and sauteed them in a pan with garlic flavored oil, salt and pepper, and then sprinkled bacon on top.  They were phenomenal.

The other layer has a sliced white nectarine, a cucumber stick, and a handful of grapes.

This box contains another batch of my fall risotto stuff.  Also broccoli and cauliflower, celery with hummus, a sliced white nectarine, and a dark chocolate reese's cup.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bentos #138, #139 and #140... Getting my redneck on!

Someday I've got to get this workaholic thing worked out...

But I enjoy being busy...

And being able to pay off some bills isn't bad either...

I did manage to do something fun last weekend.  While working... I have a friend who works for an audio company that happened to be taking care of the Salt Lake County fair.  And I tagged along for the Demolition Derby and the equipment strike.  I'd never been to a derby before, but had been told that it's something everyone should experience at least once.

You know what?  I'll actually admit it... I enjoyed it.  And I'd go again.

Don't judge me.

I managed to pack three lunches last week...

I decided to do another salad in a jar.  I grilled the chicken that morning and didn't want to put it in the jar still hot, so I packed it in the bottom of one of my smaller double tier boxes.  The other tier has goldfish, cherries, and italian plums.

On an unfortunate note... salad in a jars will not be happening when I get romaine in my baskets.  I hate the taste.  I ended up pulling the lettuce out and just eating the tomatoes, cucumbers, and whatnot at the bottom of the jar.

More of my awesome fall rice casserole stuff.  I made more rice specifically so I could make another batch this week... anyway.  Steamed broccoli, blueberries, nectarine, cherries, babybel cheese, and celery with hummus.

On a side note... I found full size silicone muffin cups at Walmart last week.  They're something I didn't know I needed until I had them.  And I love them!  I found them in the cake decorating aisle and they were only two bucks for six cups!

This unfortunate looking lunch has pasta under broccoli and grilled chicken.  It's been sprinkled with Johnny's garlic seasoning.  Also I have most of a container of blueberries, three plums and a babybel cheese.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bentos #136 and #137...

I find myself wondering what on earth I'm doing at work for 10 hours straight on days I don't have clients.  What's the point?  I don't have to be here the entire day.  Normal people take, like, meal breaks and things.  Where they leave their office.  And sometimes even their building.

I could do that.

And I did do that.


Having a river running through a city that has sixty-some-odd parks gets you lots of relaxing places like this one.  And I've just decided to leave the building on my breaks more often.

I felt so much more productive when I got back...


Bento one is actually breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack.  For breakfast I had blueberries, galia melon balls and cherries.  For lunch it was yellow zucchini and brown rice.  And for snack it was goldfish, milano melts cookies, nut clusters, and a dark reese's cup.

 Dinner was this lovely; brown rice, chicken/apple sausage, yellow zucchini, galia melon balls, blueberries, grape tomatoes, and carrots with hummus.

My director today told me he didn't understand how I could be full after a meal like this.  It's a comment I get fairly often.  And I addressed it once here.  To be fair, were he to have a properly sized bento, it would be 200 ml bigger than this one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bentos #132-#135...

Blogging like the wind!  I've been knee deep in rehearsals for a production of 'Wait Until Dark' for which I am the stage manager, the costumer, and the sound designer.  Also, I have too much comp time.  So I can only work 30 hours a week.  Supposedly... And then when I'm not at the theater job, I'm at the events warehouse job.  So... still uber busy.  Still enjoying it. Still trying to figure out the balancing act.

At least I've been packing decent meals, yes?

My birthday was last Monday.  And so I bought myself this bento box...

Yes... You've seen this box before.  But I managed to break my last one!  I was so sad... this is my favorite box for salad meals and mostly veggie meals.  A little bit big for a traditional, tightly packed meal, but great for a loosely packed one.  I got it in a set with two other snack boxes, a bag, and a fork with a cute cover.  Happy Birthday me!

I took that cute little bottle of plum preserves I received in my foodie penpal box last month and used it to put a glaze on some turkey meatballs.  It. Was. Delicious.  I simply put a tablespoon of the preserves into my tiny frying pan, added a couple of twists of black pepper, and tossed in the already microwaved meatballs once the preserves had melted.  I have enough preserves left to do this one more time.  And I will.

Also I have zucchini, cucumber, peach slices, and blueberries.

This was meant to be a meal and a snack.  And it was.  I picked up some cute jars at IKEA to use for salads.  This particular salad had butter lettuce, carrot, cucumber, kidney beans, and parmesan cheese.  Supposedly you can just put your dressing in the bottom of the jar and then top it with your veggies and things.  I, however, was so excited to be putting salad in a jar that I completely forgot about the dressing, so it is in the tiny jar off to the side.

I also may have learned that one cannot use a salad shooter to shoot salad directly into a jar.  I can't tell you how many carrot and cucumber slices ended up on my stove... next to the stove... on the floor...  

The other containers (more of my birthday set) contain grapes, plum halves, goldfish, and nut clusters.

This simple little guy has zucchini sauteed with red peppers, more red pepper, grapes, nut clusters and glorious little nuggets called 'Somersaults'.  They are chock full of sunflower seed and chocolate goodness.  And I will be sad when this bag runs out.

And this was tonight's dinner and rehearsal snack.  My favorite part was the cast member who took a look at it and said, "That looks just like a little bento box!"  To which I replied, "Oh my gosh! You know what a bento box is!"

Brown rice and soy marinated steak topped with sesame seeds, two colors of zucchini, cherries, carrots and hummus, and pickled ginger.  I love pickled ginger. I quite often grab the bottle from the fridge and a fork and just eat it.  Don't judge.

I also have some goldfish, Somersaults, and a Milano melts cookie.  Because I get the munchies during rehearsals.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Foodie Penpals Reveal!

Once upon a time, I was boredly browsing the suggested blogs on the blog reader program that lives on my phone, and I happened across a foodie blog reporting about what their foodie penpal had sent to them. 

My interest was immediately piqued.

Further research led me to the Lean Green Bean, creator of the wonderous foodie penpal program.  For which I signed up.  Because it sounded like a whole lot of fun.

And now I get to tell you what my very first penpal sent to me!

My penpal, Kattreena first emailed me to check on my likes and dislikes.  And if there were certain foods that might cause me death.  (There aren't.)  And then a week or so later, I came home from a long day's work to find this glorious package sitting on my porch!

These vegetable chips were absolutely amazing.  Green been chips!  Who knew?  I took them on my gig with me when I worked a convention in Salt Lake.  I pulled them out and the technician working beside me asked, "Bag of salad?"  To which I cleverly replied, "Yes.  Crunchy salad."  I can be a bit slow on those long days.  Anyway, I offered to share and he told me he was going to stick with his massive Dr. Pepper.

I'd never really tried snack bars such as these before. Unless you count the ones my grandpa used to keep around when I was a kid.  That tasted and felt like stiff, sugary play-dough.  I had slight trepidations when I pulled one out to eat for a breakfast on the run.  And then my perceptions were immediately changed.  It tasted great! It wasn't overpoweringly sweet.  It had a nice crunch.

These guys... oh, these guys.  I absolutely love the taste of black pepper.  I grind it into nearly everything I make.  Usually too much of it.  When I opened this bag, I vowed to not eat them all in one sitting.  ...  I think they made it through two.  They are that good. 

I love a good barbecue sauce.  People lucky enough to eat my pulled pork have also been lucky enough to try my plum barbecue sauce.  So obviously I like my barbecue sauce fruity.  And let me tell you.  I could drink this stuff.

I've been reserving the plum preserves for a special bento that will make an appearance in the near future.  I had a little taste, and they're great.  And also the bottle is a perfect bento size.  I'm thinking salad dressing container.  Or something fun like that.

And Milanos.  Only better.  Crispy cookeis with a gooey chocolate center... it doesn't get much better than that.

Thank you Kattreena for an amazing first penpal experience!

If you want to see what I sent, you can check it out at Slim Pickin's Kitchen.

The Lean Green Bean
Now, don’t you wanna join in the fun?! Here are the Foodie Penpals details:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.