Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hello, Bentocrats!

Once again, sorry about my absence--I had papers and finals December 5 through yesterday, so I've been busy and haven't been Bento-ing. I'm also leaving in a couple days for Hawai'i, so the gap will continue into the new year.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas (or had a Happy Hanukkah) and / or a great Holiday. Best wishes for a happy New Year!

See you soon,
Toro

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shrimp Enchi


Today's lunch: shrimp and bean enchilada with salsa verde on red cabbage with a side of pico de gallo and guacamole.

My paper is due Friday, so I've been a busy bee with that. "Aviation, Climate Change, the EU ETS, and the Convention on International Civil Aviation: Conflict Over Air Quality and Air Travel." Wow, I'm putting myself to sleep with that one! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Orange / Orange


A belated 'Happy Thanksgiving' to all. We spent the holiday in Los Angeles with some friends and family.

Tomorrow's lunch is Cajun-spiced Orange Roughy with red beans and brown rice, and cauliflower and broccoli. Dessert is orange wedges and giant red globe grapes.

This was a super quick dinner--it literally took less than ten minutes to prepare. I cooked up a pouch of 'Uncle Ben's Ready Rice,' then tossed it with a drained can of organic kidney beans. The fish got a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning, then a sear in a hot pan with just a brush of olive oil. The veggies got a quick steam in a covered pan, then a sprinkle of seasoning as well.

It was a really hearty, really healthy, darned tasty dinner--under 500 calories and 5 grams of fat, and I'm stuffed.

The Thanksgiving holiday, unfortunately, means finals are just around the corner, so I'm super busy with school work--I have a paper due Friday, and then my first final is next Wednesday. My brother and his family are also coming to visit for a week and a half starting Saturday, so I'm going to be juggling a lot. But I'm super excited to see my nephews, so I'll manage:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Orange Chicken and Hawai'i Dreams


Tomorrow's lunch is a quick bento of leftover orange-glazed chicken with water chestnuts, fried rice with snap peas and egg, and fried pot stickers.

Getting close to finals, so I'm starting to stress. I've been spending entirely too much time reading the U.S. Income Tax Code. Yes, it is as boring as it sounds.

On the plus side, my big brother and his family are coming to visit in just under three weeks...and a couple weeks after that, Mr. Toro, my parents, and I are going on a cruise to Hawai'i. We're definitely looking forward to getting away! Mr. Toro and I have been to O'ahu before, but it will be our first time to several other islands. We have a lot of great stuff planned, including whale watching, scuba diving, hiking, relaxing, and drinking fruity drinks with little umbrellas:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ugly Bento


There's no structure to today's lunch...so it is the Ugly Bento.

Lunch is halibut fillets, coated in a spicy rub, then crusted with a little Parmesan cheese.

Underneath is a mushroom and Swiss chard risotto. I started with this recipe, but changed it fairly significantly.

First, I used omitted the scallops, so I skipped the first paragraph of the recipe. Then I used about a teaspoon of olive oil to saute the onions and garlic. After the mushrooms were cooked, as directed, I added a bunch of Swiss chard, cut into a fine chiffonade, and cooked it until it lost most of its moisture. Finally, I omitted the butter to keep the reicpe a little lighter; I also omitted adding the cheese, instead sprinkling a little on the top instead. I used chicken stock, but if you wanted to, vegetarian stock would substitute easily.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Guess What?


Halibut!

Sorry, I know I'm not 8 years old, but that still cracks me up:)

My lunch for tomorrow is a Halibut fillet, quick seared in a pan, then simmered with broccoli and cauliflower in a yellow thai curry sauce, served over brown rice, and garnished with green onions and peanuts.

Three gyoza and some more veggies are in the bottom box. I wish I had some cute little sauce bottles to pack some soy sauce for the dumplings. Maybe I'll be able to get a couple packets of sauce from the dining facility at school.

I have a draft of a 30 page paper due on Friday on the legality of including international aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (yes, it's about as interesting as it sounds :p), the obvious reason why I am blogging...the paper is almost done. Almost.

Ok, not quite. But it's getting there;)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Flying Fish


So, after flying to Virginia last Monday, and back to California Friday, Mr. Toro is back on a plane to Virgina today for another conference. Crazy! So, today's Bento is another airline special--a good lunch for the cross-country trip.

Inside the bento is an assortment of home-made sushi, accompanied by some edamame, chicken and veggie potstickers, and seaweed salad.

The sushi selection includes tamago-yaki, California rolls, salmon, black cod in eel sauce, and albacore.

This is my first time making sushi attempting to buy only sustainable fish. Admittedly, it was hard passing up my favorites (tuna and yellowtail) but the store only had those from ecologically unsound sources. The end result was still mighty tasty, and I'm happy with myself.

Friday, October 30, 2009

OT: Hallowieners


C'mon Mav! Do some of that pilot stuff!

Here's my doxies in their Halloween costumes. Pebbles has the faux-leather flight jacket, and Polly is in Nomex green.

Mr. Toro is wearing one of my old flight suits tomorrow, so the puppies are going to be his sidekicks;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jumbo Jet Bento


Mr. Toro is off to Virginia today, so I packed him a jumbo bento to eat on the plane--hopefully it'll be better than airline food;)

In the bento: chicken seared in brown butter with heirloom tomatoes; swiss chard and beet greens tart; salad of spinach, roasted beets, and more; asparagus with olive oil and lemon juice; and roasted garlic bread.

As you might have guessed, I made a trip to the West Los Angeles Farmers' Market on Sunday, so dinner (and lunch leftovers) were chock-full-of fresh veggies.

Once again, I used this recipe for a delicious swiss chard tart. This time, I used 2/3 chard (beautiful golden stemmed swiss chard at the market this sunday) and 1/3 fresh beet greens, trimmed from the roasted beet roots in the salad. Also, I substituted Gouda cheese, just because.

The salad was amazing! I had a bunch of fresh spinach from the market which I tore into bite-sized pieces. Into the spinach, I tossed pomegranate seeds, walnuts, avocado, beets (roasted about 40 minutes with a sprinkle of salt and pepper), and cheese. The cheese was a find at the grocery store--a 'white Stilton,' meaning it wasn't made to mold into bleu cheese, with blueberries mixed in. It was creamy and sweet, and went perfectly with the pomegranate and other ingredients.

The chicken was cooked especially for this bento--for dinner we had orange roughy from the market, but I didn't think it would keep quite as well as chicken while Mr. Toro was traveling today--but it was cooked with the fish and the same way. I put about a tablespoon of butter in a hot pan and let it turn a nice caramel shade of brown. In went the fish and chicken, for a couple minutes each side. Into the middle of the pan I tossed an heirloom tomato, diced pretty small. The whole pan then went into a 350 degree oven for around 15 minutes or so. To serve, the buttery roasted tomatoes got spooned over top the protein.

Dessert last night was poached persimmon poured over vanilla bean ice cream. A dish of the poached persimmon is this bento's dessert.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Invisible Bento

For today's lunch, for a Halloween theme, is an Invisible Bento!








Okay, okay, I inadvertently deleted the photo before posting :)

Today's lunch is a fillet of pistachio-crusted Halibut on mashed sweet potatoes with a side of roasted asparagus.

I tossed a half-ounce of pistachios per 6 oz. fillet into a food processor. The fish then got a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper before a quick dip into a beaten egg (you could just press the fish in the nuts if you want to avoid eggs...the crust probably won't stick as thickly, but same idea), then a roll in the nuts. These got seared 3 minutes a side on the stovetop, then tossed into the oven at 400 F for another 10 minutes.

I tossed the asparagus on the side of the pan when I put the fish in the oven--the spears were nice and thin, so a 10 minute roast was perfect.

I made the sweet potatoes completely without fat--I 'baked' them in the microwave, then mashed them with a masher and a little water to loosen them up. Just a touch of cinnamon brought out their natural sweetness.

It was beautiful...I swear ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spinach Pie in the Sky


Today's lunch is a spinach pie made from the same recipe I used once before, but with some modifications. Instead of swiss chard, I used a 16 oz. bag of frozen chopped spinach I had on hand, as well as Gruyere cheese, and once again used cooking spray vice olive oil.

The result was a tasty tarte, although one with a more pungent flavor than the original recipe using chard. Both Mr. Toro and I agreed we preferred the dish with chard, however, this was still pretty tasty.

On the side is some sliced turkey breast and a half of a baked potato cut into slices. The potatoes we had for dinner were incredibly sweet--is that because there is a fresh crop right now? Regardless, they were very tasty.

Garnishes include sliced tomato, bleu-cheese stuffed olives, sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade, and some flat leaf parsley.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hop Schwiiz


Another not-too-exciting bento today--I have a paper due tomorrow, so the last few days have been all quick-and-easy cooking.

Lunch is sprouted-grain pasta topped with a ragout made of organic tomato sauce, grass-fed ground beef, zucchini, onion, garlic, and carrot. In the center is a little Swiss Cross made out of Parmesan cheese.

Mr. Toro is originally from Switzerland, which is why Swiss themes crop up from time to time. "Hop Schwiiz" is a crowd cheer for sporting events to support the national teams...usually accompanied by lots of cowbells ringing;)

Sprouted grain pasta is a new find for me. It's made from grains that have been allowed to sprout before they are milled into flour. Sprouted grain products are supposed to have higher levels of vitamins and nutrients, low glycemic index, and high protein as compared to regular flour products.

Taste-wise it's like whole wheat pasta. Texturally, it's a bit gluey, but it works just fine with heavier sauces. I wouldn't try it with cream sauces or broths.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Into The Water....

I recently came across the Monterrey Bay Aquarium's website on issues related to the overfishing of the oceans, and was stunned by a lot of what I read. I supposed I always assumed that eating fish, any fish, was ecologically superior to meat or fowl, but overfishing, by-catch, and environmental damage are crushing the supplies of fish in the ocean.

I recommend everyone have a look at this website--it's full of great information written by experts in the field. And what's better is it's not just doom and gloom, but rather there are great guides on selecting fish from sustainable sources and suggestions for alternatives to unsound choices.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tantalizing Thai


Tomorrow's lunch is leftover Thai yellow curry with rice noodles and mung bean sprouts.

This is a super easy weeknight dinner. I stir fried some fresh veggies--some from the farmers' market, and some from the grocery store--then added bottled curry sauce from Trader Joe's, then added some beautiful jumbo shrimp to poach in the sauce.

The rice noodles are a nice change from serving a curry over rice; I like the change once in a while. The bean sprouts add a nice fresh crunch.

A second look at my bento, and I notice the complete lack of contrast between all of the white ingredients and the white bento box. I think it might have looked a little more appetizing if I used one of my colored boxes or put some sort of garnish underneath to make the noodles and sprouts stand out. Oh well! That's one of the great things about eatable art--mistakes don't stay around too long;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yippie-yai-yay Mini Burgers


Tomorrow's lunch is a pair of mini burgers topped with turkey bacon, lettuce, and golden heirloom tomato.

On the side are a collection of hand-cut sweet potato fries, a dish of organic cottage cheese, some more of those purplish cherry tomatoes from the farmers' market, and a couple of bleu cheese stuffed olives.

The mini burgers are made with grass-fed pastured beef from a small family farm in Northern California, the Lazy 69 Ranch

I ordered from this farm in the not too distant past and am beyond thrilled. I had been doing some reading on the health benefits of grass-fed beef, and went looking for a semi-local farm from which to order when I came across L69. Not only is it healthier than your standard supermarket grain feed beef, it is, in my opinion, much better tasting. Add in the benefits of spending my money supporting small farmers instead of feed lot producers, and I couldn't be happier. (Note: I don't have any relationship with this producer other than being a happy customer).

The sweet potato fries were sprayed with a little cooking spray, then baked at 350F for around 40-45 minutes. They're sweet and delicious, easy to make, and, according to a group of nutritionists, they are the most nutritious vegetable available. Win / win! I give mine a little sprinkle of sea salt when they're hot out of the oven, but Mr. Toro prefers them straight up.

Fish and Farmers' Market Freshness


I went to the Sunday Farmers' Market in West Los Angeles again this week. I just love markets, especially when they're so full of such beautiful produce.

This week bunches of beautiful Swiss Chard caught my eye. I used this recipe to make a chard and onion tart. It was really delicious. Mr. Toro couldn't stop talking about how good it was. It's definitely on my make-again list. I altered the recipe slightly in that I eliminated the oil and just used a little cooking spray to saute the veggies.

The main dish for lunch is a halibut fillet, simply grilled with a little salt and pepper. It is crusted with a sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade.

On the side, in addition to the chard tart, are a couple of bleu-cheese stuffed olives as well as some lovely cherry tomatoes, also procured from the farmers' market. These had a lovely red and deep purple-green coloration and had a great deep tomato flavor.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Polenta Bella


Mr. Toro is in Kuwait for the week, so here is my bento for tomorrow.

Lunch is leftover polenta, covered with tomato, beef, and zucchini ragu, and then decorated in the colors of the Italian flag with fresh basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese.

For dessert, I've packed some sweet raspberries.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Road to Seoul


Mr. Toro's parents have been visiting us for the last two weeks from their home in Switzerland--yet another excuse for my sporadic postings;)

For a farewell dinner we went to a Korean barbecue restaurant in Los Angeles called The Road to Seoul. I really enjoy KBBQ--I think the interactive cook-your-own on a personal table grill is fun and an entertaining way to have dinner.

In the photo you can see some of the banchan, or side dishes, as well as some meats on our grill. We ordered Bulgogi, a marinated beef, Kalbi, which is marinated boneless short rib, unmarinated shaved brisket, and unmarinated thick chunks of sirloin. This restaurant has a large variety of beef, pork, chicken, and seafood from which to choose, all-you-can-eat style, but we stick to a few favorite (and admittedly less adventurous) cuts.

Mr. Toro likes the brisket the best, but I think my favorite is the Kalbi when it is cooked to a nicely caramelized point on the grill. Mr. Toro is also enamored with the Paejon, or Korean pancake, which you can see in photo on the plate in the bottom right. It contains eggs, scallions, and other veggies--really tasty.

A very interesting part of this style of restaurant, at least in my limited experience, is that there are little doorbell-like buttons on each table--when you need service, be it refills of meats or banchan or extra napkins, you ring the bell and your server comes by the table.

It was the first time my parents-in-law had eaten KBBQ, but they really enjoyed the flavors.

Monday, September 28, 2009

...And the Winner Is....

Stars!!

I want to thank everyone who entered--I know bento-ers are a creative bunch and I was blown away by so many fantastic poems. I hope you had fun with the contest.

It was such a difficult decision, but in the end Stars just edged out the competition with an incredibly expressive poem which really captures the Bento experience.

Congratulations on the winning Bento poem:


Unfolding the cloth
Untie furoshiki knot
Spread flat on a table

Layer on layer
Stacked up, tiered uniformly
Banded together

Leveling layers
Sprawling before all senses
Reveal insides

Compressed golden grains
Flooded by deep brown rivers
Topped with leaves, green sprigs

A present, pleasant
Surprise, discover inside
Contents are arranged

Symmetric patterns
Comprised of fresh vegetables
Intricately cut

Bento, it is art
Sculpted beauty, compassion
A true way of life

Please email me with your mailing information at: doxielove213@gmail.com and I'll send your bento right out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Contest ends Friday

Just a reminder to enter for your chance at a Bento Box by this Friday!! See the Sept. 4th post for rules and to enter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Halibut at Home


My morning class today got canceled, so I made a nice lunch for myself at home.

Here is a pan-seared halibut fillet with avocado on a bed of baby lettuce and a bowl of creamy tomato soup.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shrimp Salad with Grilled Veggies


Mr. Toro's lunch today is a shrimp salad on a bed of lettuce and shaved carrots with grilled zucchini, garnished with fresh dill and celery fronds. Dessert is a cup of diced seedless watermelon and a krispy treat.

I think mayonnaise is disgusting--I have always hated the taste, even as a child. Add in the fact it is profoundly unhealthy, and I'm happy not to use any.

The shrimp salad has a dressing made out of plain non-fat organic yogurt, dijon mustard, fresh dill, and black pepper. Tossed in is some fire grilled shrimp, leftover from dinner, and some celery and carrots.

--Edit: I forgot to mention I also used a squeeze of lime and some red pepper flakes in the dressing--

The zucchini is likewise leftover from dinner--I sliced it on the bias so it would be less likely to slip through the grill, then brushed it lightly with olive oil. About 6-8 minutes on the grill and voila, delicious.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Breakfast Bento


A little breakfast for the morning...

The top box has an egg cup. To make them, I sprayed a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, then wrapped a slice of turkey bacon around the cup of a muffin tin. Then, I patted turkey breakfast sausage, removed from its casing, into the bottom of the cup. After that, I cracked an egg into each, and pierced the yolk, then put the tray into the oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until the eggs were just about cooked through. I pulled the muffin tin out of the oven, then put a 1/4 oz. slice of fontina cheese on top of each, then popped the tin back into the oven for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

The egg cups are garnished with basil and tomato.

In the bottom box is some steel-cut oats with raspberries and slivered almonds, with a touch of maple syrup for sweetness.

Steel-cut oats are super simple to make overnight in a slow cooker. Spray the bowl with nonstick spray, then add 1 cup steel cut oats, 3 cups water, and 1/2 cup milk (or soy milk). Turn the slow cooker on 'low' for 8-9 hours--setting it in the evening means fresh oatmeal in the morning when you get up.

I made a triple batch (3 c. oats, 9 c. water, 1 1/2 c. milk). The oatmeal will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. To reheat, add a bit of water, then microwave for one minute; stir, then microwave for one more minute.

To freeze, wait until the oatmeal is cold, then portion and freeze.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Caprese and Watermelon


A mini-sandwich of turkey and cheese is next to a caprese salad with a dessert of heart-cut watermelon pieces.

Don't forget to see Friday's post for your chance to win a bento box.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bento Contest!!!

My visitor's counter is almost to 1000, so to celebrate, I'm hosting a contest! The winner will get the "Leaflet tight" bento box from the photos.




To enter:
Compose a haiku about Bento which is your own original work and post it in the comments section of this post. The best haiku wins!

Judging criteria:
15% - following haiku form (i.e. 5/7/5 syllables)
15% - using Bento as the main topic of the poem
50% - creativity
20% - expressiveness



  • All entries must be in English.
  • All entries must be posted by Midnight Pacific Standard Time on September 26, 2009.
  • You may enter as many original poems as you like, but each entry must be made as a separate comment. Multiple poems posted in the same comment will be read as and judged as a single poem.
  • I am not responsible for any errors in posting, whatever the source.
  • I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or misdirected mail--I will send confirmation that it is en-route, but if it doesn't make it to your hands, I'm sorry, but will not replace the bento.
  • I am not responsible for any issues arising from the bento box or your use of it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Treasure Bag Bento


For today's lunch, I scrambled an egg, then fried it into a thin sheet in a circular pan. I then filled it with some fried rice, then tied the entire package with a long chive. A bit more rice is on the side of the 'beggar's purse,' and some ripe tomato wedges and basil leaves from my patio garden garnish the side.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pinwheels, Peaches, and Pachyderms


Today's lunch is peanut butter and apricot jelly pinwheels made on flatout flatbread. I still have leftover chili, but I just couldn't handle having it for a fourth meal straight...so, to the standard backup of PB&J.

The rolls are accompanied by a mini-heart cut out of a rice crispy treat with an elephant pick for decoration.

The bottom box is fresh peach wedges accompanied by carrot hearts.

Chili is back on the menu for dinner...I think I'm going to make an omelet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chili and Artichokes


Tomorrow's lunch is a bento of four-bean chicken chili with a dessert of heart-shaped Rice Krispy Treats and fresh peach slices.

West Los Angeles hosts a Farmers' Market every Sunday; Mr. Toro and I walked over yesterday, and I picked up lots of luscious produce. So, in addition to the onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, squash, and carrot that went into the chili pot, I also bought some giant fresh artichokes.

The artichokes got cleaned and steamed, then marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and parsley. After marinating, the quartered artichokes went onto the grill.

Artichokes are so much work for just a tiny amount of eatable vegetable, but they are just so delicious! The smoky, grilled flavor added by grilling really matched up well with the natural flavor of the artichokes. I really enjoy this preparation.

The three large 'chokes were entirely too much for Mr. Toro and me to finish, so I plan on pulling the hearts from some and making a pasta.

As for the chili, I soaked dried Black, Great Northern, Pinto, and Kidney beans overnight, then cooked them today.

I sauteed a mess of chopped veggies from the farmers' market, then added 12 ounces of diced chicken breast to brown. Finally, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and chili power went into the pot. This mix simmered for 40 minutes, then the beans went in. Another 30 minutes of simmering and dinner was done.

Garnishes included raw onions, reduced fat Monterrey Jack cheese, and fresh avocado.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Farm-Fresh Tomato Salad


Every Tuesday, the local outdoor mall closes its center street to traffic and hosts a farmer's market. The market itself is okay--not enough fruit and vegetable vendors, and too many people selling assorted wares in my opinion--but it is walking distance from my house, so I look forward to walking through the market every week.

As Mr. Toro and I were walking through yesterday evening, I spotted a table with mounds of absolutely beautiful heirloom tomatoes. I love tomatoes, so I could not resist, and bought several varieties.

For dinner, these beauties were simply cut into wedges, then tossed with olives and thin rings of red onion, then garnished with ripe avocado, fresh mozzarella, and shaved Parmesan cheese, and finally dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

It was a great way to let the fresh sweetness of the tomatoes stand out with some accent.

We ate dinner on the patio with a glass of white wine as the sun was setting--it was a great summer evening.

Tomorrow's Bento is the same salad as dinner, tucked into a box with just a little more structure than the dinner plate. Originally, I planned to make some sort of cute design using the fresh mozzarella balls, but I liked the way it looked too much to fuss with it. Perhaps next time....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pasta with White Beans in Balsamic Brown Butter


Today's bento: multigrain pasta tossed with white beans and parsley in browned butter with balsamic vinegar with a dusting of Romano cheese on top.

This was a nice 'n easy dinner, with leftovers in the bento for lunch. I was planning on making something else, but ended up getting busy with something and did not get around to heading to the market for fresh veggies, so I came up with this from the pantry. It's based off of this recipe, but I did not feel like taking the time to make homemade ravioli, so I made an easier weeknight version.


Pasta with White Beans in Balsamic Brown Butter

Serves 4

1/2 lb. pasta, cooked
1 T butter
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 can (~15 oz) great northern beans
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 c. grated Romano cheese

Add the butter to a medium pan; cook on medium low heat until lightly browned, only a couple minutes. Turn off the heat and add the balsamic--be careful as it is likely to spatter. Add the beans and parsley, then toss.

Add the bean mixture to the hot, drained pasta and toss. Top each serving with cheese.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sushi Madness

This weekend, Mr. Toro and I had several friends over to our Los Angeles apartment for "Sushi Madness," a get-together featuring lots and lots of homemade sushi.

Rolls pictured include:
Tuna with avocado
Yellowtail with green onions
Salmon
Salmon, tuna, and yellowtail
California
Rainbow
Spicy tuna
Spicy tuna & cilantro with salmon & jalapeno
Spicy salmon & cilantro with tuna & jalapeno
Shrimp and tamago-yaki

There is also an assortment of Nigiri, including tuna, yellowtail, salmon, tamago-yaki, squid, chutoro tuna, and snapper.

I made a double batch of homemade miso soup (with tofu and seaweed), and I also served some seaweed salad, which I purchased pre-made.

The party was something of a double celebration. First off, I got the job offer I was waiting on, so hurray! I still have a year of school left, but after I graduate, I will be working at the firm at which I had my internship this summer. Second, it was a friend's birthday last week, which I missed as I was taking an exam.

I follow Maki's recipe from Just Bento / Just Hungry to make my miso soup--it's the perfect recipe in my opinion.

My sushi rice is a simplified version of a simplified version I found in a cookbook; I'll post it next weekend, as I left my annotated book in Los Angeles and don't want to post it incorrectly from memory. Despite the fact that it's a few steps removed from 'authentic' sushi rice, the result is very serviceable in my opinion.

I purchased sashimi grade fish from a local Japanese market in West Los Angeles. I frequently get fish from Catalina Offshore Products, but did not have the time to stop by their location in San Diego on my way to Los Angeles. The seaweed salad and masago did, however come from Catalina from a previous large purchase (I had stored unused portions in the freezer).

As a point of trivia, my favorite sushi is Yellowtail (Hamachi).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kissing Dino French Toast


So, another non-bento post, today's breakfast is french toast made with wheat toast, egg beaters, soy milk, and cinnamon. I was just going to make french toast, then my new dino sandwich cutter caught my eye, so I couldn't help myself;)

The sake cup behind the dinosaurs is filled with maple syrup.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

PB&J Porpoises

Easy bento for tomorrow. Mr. Toro took me out to dinner tonight (said he needed a date out with his wife:) so I just made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for him for tomorrow since he did not bring home any leftovers.

I bought a new bento toy today--the sandwich cutter which cut the dolphins. It also makes a little heart in the center, but that got tucked in the bottom box with the crusts (yes, he has to eat his crusts). The sandwich dolphins are leaping together over waves of blueberries. Their eyes are little chips of dried cherries.