Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted a bento! Between the holidays, school, looking for a job, and the ‘cat in a tree’ incident, I have just been too busy. To elaborate on the ‘cat in a tree’ incident, my sweet baby was chased up a tree by the neighbor’s dog that escaped. It was horrible. To make a very long story short, the dog didn’t get her but she really hurt her paws and ripped out some of her claws during the climb. She was a good 50 feet up a pine tree. At the very top, as high as she could go. It took a good 3 hours before she calmed down enough to begin her descent. Poor girl, she was so brave coming down. Every jump, she would look at us on the ground, motion towards the branch, cry, and wait for us to cheer her on before making the leap. Broke my heart. She slept for 2 days straight. She’s still healing but she’s back to being her crazy self.
Since things have been so stressful here lately, I wanted an easy no-fuss bento for today. Just simple ham and swiss cheese lettuce wraps, a boiled egg, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and an apple wedge.
The big store sale is still going on. I think I’ve decided to shut the bento shop down, so I’m looking to get rid of all of the inventory. Right now everything is marked down by at least 10% and I’ll continue to put things on clearance and mark them down further as time goes on. So if you’ve had your eye on something, now’s the time to get it because I won’t be restocking.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
Added this bento to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!
Another super simple lunch to keep me working today. The pasta has a dried Italian salami that I sautéed with onions, garlic,and tomatoes. It completely changes the texture of the salami because the fat melts out of it and the flavor gets amped up 10-fold. This one was really peppery so it went well with the sweet onions and sharp salty parmesan crumbles.
In the bento: pasta, broccoli, a sweet potato flower, and an apple wedge.
Here is a link for the cutter used to make the flower and a video of how it’s done.
Added to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!
I’m spending my day sitting at my desk working on my dissertation. I don’t need anything fancy for lunch and I couldn’t spend a lot of time on it either. It was so tempting to just make some tuna salad and eat it right out of the bowl, but I forced myself to take the extra 10 minutes to pack it up ‘bento style’ because I knew it would make my lunch so much better.
In the bento: tuna and egg salad on arugula, a tomato flower with yellow squash center, cucumbers, and pita chips. It’s truly a simple lunch, but the little extra touches make it special.
Added to What’s For Lunch Wednesday!
My two favorite parts of this bento are the flowers and the truffles. More so the truffles than the flowers though. See that cheese in the back with the black bits? Yeah. That’s probably some of the best cheese I’ve ever had. And it has truffles in it. It doesn’t get much better than that! My mom found it for me at Mazzaro’s Market, which if you’re in the St. Pete area you really need to check it out. I believe it’s a moliterno al tartufo cheese from Sardinia. And it’s brilliant! Very rich and earthy. Heres a little more information on it and how it is produced.
The rest of the bento has rice topped with flower furikake that I brought back from Japan, flower shaped sweet potatoes, sausages, raspberries, zucchini ribbons, and an arugula salad. And the cheese. Oh the glorious cheese! Lol, I sound like Steve Urkel :)
Have you ever had halloumi? It’s a Greek cheese that has a super high melting temperature. Because of the high melting point, you can grill or fry it without it losing shape, melting, or separating and getting oily. It tastes like salt, lol. The flavor is really mild, but it’s quite salty (at least the brand I have is super salty). I had wanted to try it for a long time and my awesome mom found some for me! Thanks mom!
In the bento: vegetable pasta (onion, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, and zucchini) topped with halloumi that was grilled in a pan with a little olive oil, a side of raspberries and grapes, and slices of raw zucchini and yellow squash.
I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!
So, what do you do when your bento is a flop? When it doesn’t live up to your expectations? To post or not to post, that is the question! My intentions this morning were to make a Halloween bento with creepy frog eyes for dessert. The frog eyes are actually green and black tea tapioca pearls. And, they turned out fine, but the rest of the bento just lacks pizazz. It’s boring. I tried cutting cheese into pumpkins, cats, etc. but none of it worked right. Sigh. I almost didn’t post this post this photo, but I thought it might be nice to see the mess-ups every now and then. It would have been a fine bento if the rest was Halloween themed, or I replaced the frog eyes with something not so gross looking, lol. But in the end, this is how it stands, in all of it’s *ahem* glory.
But on the bright side, the bento giveaway os over and a winner has been chosen!!! Check your emails Priscilla F.! If I can’t get in touch with the winner, I will pick another one in a couple of days.
There’s a cold front moving in today with gray clouds and cooler temperatures. It’s the perfect October and Halloween weather. All I want to do is cozy up on the couch with a thick blanket, a cup of tea, and a scary movie. I wanted to make a dark, stormy, and brooding bento to go along with the weather so I tried to stick with the darkest colors I could find in the kitchen.
In the bento: a jack ‘o lantern mandarin orange (Check out the jack master, Sheri, at Happy Little Bento!!!), a tomato, grapes, asparagus, spinach with soy sauce, rice, and dulse. Dulse is the purple stuff on the top of the rice. It’s a dried seaweed that my mom’s friend introduced her to in Canada. I’d never heard of it before, which is a shame because it’s really good. Nice and salty. Tastes like the ocean. :) I’m almost through the bag she brought home so I’ll have to find a way to buy some here.
Don’t forget to enter the Halloween bento treat giveaway!!! I’m giving away an awesome box of bento loot!
Today’s random Japan photo is one of my favorite photos of the entire trip. Fushimi Inari Taisha is a shrine in Kyoto that is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice. There are fox statues all throughout the complex because it is believed that foxes are Inari’s messengers. Fushimi Inari is most famous for it’s thousands of torii gates covering the trails on the mountain. The gates are amazing and I’ll show you some photos of them later. But, it was actually the foxes (in Japanese: kitsune) that struck a cord with me.