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.