I’m going to keep the blog going though. I hope to be making bentos again soon!
Until next time...
What’s the easiest thing to cook in a hotel room? Salad! Lol! Even though the hotel I’m staying at has a small stove, it is really awkward to use and very quickly gets exhausting and frustrating. So, I’ve conceded and most of my made at ‘home’ meals are salads, but I’m trying to keep them interesting using different ingredients. The one in this bento has red, yellow, and orange tomatoes, blueberries, jicama, and a bunch of chia seeds. The rest of the bento will take me through lunch and into afternoon snack time with a mandarin orange, kiwi, smoked gouda, and pretzel crisps.
Still doing iPhone photos, so I’m sorry for the graininess :)
I’m trying to make the most of my time in Colorado and go sightseeing on the weekends, but the weather hasn’t been very good lately. I do post a good bit of photos to Instagram, if you’d like to follow. Plus, I’d love to follow you back!
I’m starting to roll through all of my favorite ‘no-cook’ lunches like salads, sandwiches, finger foods, etc. What are your favorite ‘no-cook’ items to pack for lunch?
I realized how much of a dork I am because the first thing I planned for my very first day off in Colorado was a trip to a Japanese grocery store, haha! I also went to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory too which was pretty cool. The grocery store was in a tiny place called Sakura Square. The whole block used to be full of Japanese businesses, but over the years it has dwindled to the grocery store, a restaurant, and Buddhist Temple.
In the middle of the square there are statues of important people in the Japanese-American history of Colorado. Which, of course, included a bust of Governor Carr, who is a pretty neat figure in American history. (I am not a historian, so please forgive me if any of this is inaccurate) During WWII the American government forced all West coast Americans with Japanese ancestry to move into internment camps. Over 100,000 people were forced out of their homes and into ‘War Relocation Camps’. Well, Governor Carr was the only elected official who spoke out against it! The only one!
I can only hope that we continue to learn from our past.
But, on a much much lighter note, the grocery store was awesome! They had umeboshi, my favorite pickles, lots of shapes and patterns of fish cake, some beautiful dishes, and of course some bento boxes. I bought a really pretty purple bento box as my souvenir bento :)
My hotel room has a really tiny kitchenette, so I was able to throw together a bento. But, please forgive my bad iPhone photo, lol!
In the bento: rice with umeboshi, pickles (shibazuke), sautéed mushrooms, a mandarin orange, blackberries, cucumber, and a sprout salad with lots of goodies.
Can it be? Can it really be? A new bento?!?! Wow! It has been over a month! I’ve missed making them... and eating them too. I’m super excited about eating this one because of the big pile of umeboshi paste with shiso stuck in the middle of the rice. I was so lucky to find a bottle of it imported from Japan. And, I found it at my local oriental market! They usually don’t stock a lot of Japanese products outside of the really popular stuff (Pocky, Hello Kitty stuff, etc.). I was so excited to find it!
In the bento: mixed vegetable stir-fry, rice with umeboshi paste, cucumbers, and delicious strawberries from Wish Farms.
I love finding Wish Farms’ strawberries in my grocery store because I had the amazing opportunity of going out to one of the strawberry fields, learning about their family run farm, meeting some amazing people, and picking boatloads of fresh strawberries! Whenever I see them in the store it reminds me of that wonderful day and I can’t resist them. :)
But now it’s 2014. The start of a new year, closing down the bento shop, starting a new job, looking for a new place to live... a new life. Everything is changing and I’m excited to jump right in! I’m graduating this semester, and I’ve already found a job. I’ll be starting on the 13th and I can’t wait! It will take some time to get into my new routine, but I’m looking forward to bringing bentos to work :)
I was looking through my bento photos from the last year, and there were a few that I was really proud of. They aren’t charaben or really fancy. Just fresh bright food and simple touches to make them pretty. I hope you enjoy :)
And, since I’m shutting down the bento shop, everything is still on sale (at least 10% off). I’ll keep adding things to the super markdown clearance section periodically. But nothing is going to be restocked. It all needs to go :)
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!