Sometimes pickings can be pretty slim and you need to work with what you have. When that happens with me, I make what I call egg cups. Spray a silicon muffin liner with cooking spray, and just crack an egg. If you want to get fancy, you can top with some seasoning and a dash of hot sauce before baking. I will throw these together the night before in my toaster oven and if you are an egg enthusiast, there are a lot of worse things you could be eating for lunch. I also made a quick tomato salad and threw in some peppers to round the whole thing out. Not a bad lunch to throw together in less than half an hour.
Today was my turn to post over at the new Ladies of Comicazi blog. I would love you forever if you go check it out. Warning: There are monsters.
A friend, my sister, and I have started a new blog about our various adventures in food, crafting, and hanging out at our local comic shop. While waiting for me to start bento making again, take a gander at the Ladies of Comicazi blog.
As for the bento making front, I have plans tomorrow afternoon to start working on a stash again. Poor advance planning has been my downfall many times, so let’s hope that I can turn over a new leaf. I still plan to focus on the more healthy side of bento making with the occasion trip to various recipes I have tried out and would like to share.
To keep you all interested, here is a bunny bento I did eons ago:
The bunny is ham and cheese mostly while the bulk of the bento is swiss chard cooked with some fennel sausage. I made the bunny using a set of cutter I bought, so getting the right look was fast and easy. And really, if it isn’t easy, chances are that I’m going to skip the character bento for something more in the generally pretty category.
It looks like it is quite possible that I might be joining forces with some other bloggers in order to create a broader geekier blog. Keep an eye here for updates. Since I am expecting to get back into bento making come September, I am hoping that I will find time to post over here as well.
Here is a quick bento I made the other day after really enjoying some cod fish cakes at my mothers. To make these a bit more friendly for everyday eating, I baked them rather than frying them in a pan. Other than that, they are simply a mix of tuna, breadcrumbs, seasoning, and an egg to bind them together. Think meat balls only with tuna. I added some spicy mayo sauce to make things interesting anf finshed off the bento with some roasted squash. Not too shabby.
For my first recipe and post from my mother’s recipe file, I decided to start easy. And by “easy,” I mean a recipe from the Recipes Children Can Make section of the cards. After a careful perusal of all my delectable choices (sorry, I can’t even type that with a straight face), I chose the following:
True to my word, I followed this recipe line by line, regardless of the fact that I was suspicious about simmering a pork chop for what ends up being 40 mins. Also, there were no vacuum-pack sweet potatoes to be found and I didn’t want to use canned. I solved this issue by cooking some potatoes in advance and using those for the recipe.
I added some roasted brussels sprouts to the plate and here was my result:
Verdict: I WILL NEVER MAKE THIS GOD AWFUL SWILL AGAIN! As we ate, I was forced to apologize to The Boy and pull him through the trauma with promises of pepperoni pizza and curries. The poor pork chops were dry and tough. The onion was, well, I plead the fifth on this one because I believe I might have blocked that one out in order to reserve what is left of my sanity. The only edible part of the dish were the potatoes. While not great, the spiced orange cooking liquid went okay with the sweetness of the potato. The brussels sprouts, on the other hand, were awesome! But those have pretty much nothing to do with the recipe card.
I sincerely hope that next time, I choose a bit more wisely. But then again, where’s the fun in that?
Oh, and for those of you who are glutton for punishment, I’ve photographed the recipe. Cook and eat at your own risk.
This year I participated in my second baking competition. My local comic shop decided to revamp their earlier cookie competition and since I found myself award-less in their first event, I decided that my approach could also use some revamping.
In order to participate, each contestant is asked to participate in three categories: chocolate chip, bar cookie, and wild card. The last go round, I can’t even tell you what I made. All I remember was a few sleepless nights filled with a ton of quality time with a hot oven and a wooden spoon. And yeah, that last sentence sounds much dirtier than I had intended. But the point is, I waited until the last minute and ended up miserable.
This year though, I had a plan. There was even test baking and an odd friendship made with the guy who restocks the baking aisle at the supermarket early Saturday mornings. That’s right people, the secret ingredient was effort. And, for the chocolate chip category, a little special chocolate from a local company called Taza.
Taza makes incredible chocolate. It’s chocolate for people who like their chocolate dark and complex. There is no milk involved and the chocolate is almost gritty due to the fact that it is stone ground. They make several varieties of chocolate (as can be seen on their website), but my absolute favorite is their Salt and Pepper chocolate. Yeah, it sounds kinda odd, but you are going to have to make my word on this one – it is so so good!
I knew that using this chocolate would be risky. It would certainly make me stand out, but that isn’t always a good thing. The judges were either going to like it or not, so I decided to follow all those various cliches: go big or go home, nothing ventured..blah blah blah. And if it was gross, at least it would be something to talk about. So I chopped up my precious chocolate and even added some extra course sea salt and freshly ground pepper to the mix as well.
The result? Third place, bee-yotch! Right behind a professional baker and a friend who I consider to be one of the best non-professional bakers around. Not too shabby if you ask me. Not too shabby at all. In fact, I already have an idea for what I am going to do next year. Look out fellow bakers, I’m coming for ya next time!
I realize this blog often lacks a sense of focus. I kinda post about whatever I feel like regardless of all my promises to focus on western-style bentos with an Italian-American twist. Yeah, yeah, it does sounds pretty neat when I put it like that…but considering I can sometimes have the attention span of juvenile ferret with a coke habit, sometimes we just have to learn to make do with what we have. See that? I’ve already stopped making sense.
Anyway, my friend Sara recently celebrated her birthday. Her one request was that her friends take a moment to spread the word about her blog, The Ink and Pixel Club. Sara is well versed in her field and quite the writer to boot. I myself have pretty much been obsessively reading her blog for the past two weeks. If you have any interest in animation as an art form or even in film studies in general, this is a great website to keep under your cap.
Did I mention that Sara is also an expert on Muppets as well? Yeah, so all 10 of you who read this blog, get ye over there. Just don’t forget to come back here from time to time. I can get lonely.
Perhaps you remember my love of vintage recipes? If not, please refer to this lovely post. Ok, so knowing (cause you are up to speed at this point now, right?) how much I love vintage recipes, I made the most remarkable, wonderful, bestest EVER last month while I was staying with my mother. I was digging around in an attempt to find a few recipe cards for some family favorites when I stumbled upon this:
In between my squeals of delight, Mom managed to tell me that her mother bought this for her right before her wedding. Well then, good thing an entire section of this called “Men’s Favorites.” There is no “Women’s Favorites” section because I figure they assumed we lady-types would be spending all out time eating recipes from the “Calorie Counters” sections while we make our men things like Pot Roast and Buttermilk Donuts. Remind me to thank The Boy for validating my existence. Boy Howdy! *eyeroll
Well prepare yourself to be seeing these recipes scattered into my blog posts, including the recipe cards themselves. Things this good are no fun if you don’t share!