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Please be advised that my blog is now located at http://www.adventuresinbentomaking.com!

Beef Broccoli (224)

The cutesy-ness continues today with usage of my new awesome animal food picks. I look at them and I think to myself, gosh, I should have bought a couple more!! I realize that I don’t need more than those, but I still want them. Then I can lay them all out and count them and rub my hands together going “hehehhehehehhehehe preeeeciousssses”. This is what new bento accessories do to me. Scary, huh?


I started off with a bunny onigiri. My Aunty K had sent me a while back some animal onigiri shapes and I never did get a chance to use it because I opened the box when the kids were around. Several OHHHHs and MINE, NO MINE! later they had claimed them and were soon all over the house. I only recently recovered them from the wild savages and now they happily sit in my utensils drawer doing whatever it is onigiri molds do. Knitting, perhaps?

I cut the ears out of my breakfast ham steak. I had thought they were too long at first so I cut them short, but now they look too short. Go figure. I made the nori face with my punch. It only took me 10 punches to get that one face to come out right. The rest of the mangled nori will have to be cut up for ghetto furikake or given to the monkeys for immediate consumption. The bunny rests on a lettuce leaf cause even though he’s smiling, he’s actually hungry too. Here’s a closer picture:


Next I put in the beef, then cut the broccoli stems off and laid the tops down nicely (stems hidden underneath). If you’re wondering why it’s so clean, Grandma J leaves the broccoli separate so that it doesn’t overcook, which is pure genius. The beef brocco comes out much healthier and brighter that way. I cut up two pieces of takuan and put them into a little orange food cup and tucked that next to the broccoli.

After that I started to fill in the parts around bunny. I cut up red bell pepper and sliced some baby carrots. He’s a hungry, hungry bunny! After that I still had a lot of empty space so I used olives with food picks to finish things up.


This is one of the new boxes I got at Marukai. It’s a bit thin even though the box seems thick but this is because there’s space for chopsticks in the cover. It’s also a great place to hide some Red Vines. ^_^

I am very close to 100k hits, people! Time is running out to enter in my 100k Bento Contest!! If you haven’t done it yet, hurry!

Send to me:

First Name
Country
Picture of bento (must be your own)
Description of bento components
Bento blog link (if any)

Prize:

Don’t miss your chance!

I just so happened to remember last night that it’s JUNE!!! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

BON DANCE, BABY! First one is tomorrow! We’ll see if I can twist Mr. Pikko’s arm hard enough. Probably not since UFC 85 is tomorrow too. ^_^

Out of sheer laziness and busyness, I had a bento yesterday but didn’t post about it. *gasp* In case you hadn’t noticed, I can be somewhat of a desk potato. Rest assured though, it tasted just fine anyway.


We had quite a bit left of the Costco chicken we bought on Sunday. Even though these chickens are cheap, we never really seem to fully utilize the whole bird. I really should get more into using up the whole thing whether it’s through fried rice or soup or what. It just seems like such a shame to have something so good go to waste. I will have to look up a really good chicken soup recipe and make a habit of making a batch every Sunday night or something.

I used a regular flour tortilla for this and spread out one wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese all over it. Next I covered it in lettuce, which stayed down pretty easily since it was sticking to the cheese. Next layer was chicken, peeled into strips. Finally I put in some strips of red bell pepper. I stuck food picks into three areas of the wrap so that it wouldn’t fall apart as I cut it.

The apple was surprisingly easy to layer nicely. I just had to lay down some support pieces underneath before putting the top ones in. I hate empty space, so I tossed in some blueberries.


I decided last night that I have really been slacking off on being artful with my lunches lately, so I’m going to try to get back to doing the cute/pretty stuff instead of just shoving my food in a nice way into a bento box. This means I will have to definitely do my lunches at night because I am the consistent reason we are always late in the morning.

I used more of the Costco chicken to make this fried rice, which has a mix of brown and white rice. It was sticking to the pan, so I poured in some shoyu then added Nori Komi furikake. I made too much, so I gave the rest to Buddy for breakfast, which he loved. I know this because every time a spoonful went into his mouth he made me watch. “LOOK MOMMY!! LOOK! AWWMM!” He’s such a cutie sometimes. ^_^

Next to the rice I tucked in a small piece of lettuce. I hate the dark green parts of romaine hearts so I usually pack it with some kind of salty meat so that I can eat it by just stuffing it in my mouth at the same time without having to taste it. That sounds so attractive, doesn’t it? It works out quite well since it fills in empty spaces, looks great, and uses up food I don’t really like.

For the red flowers I used red bell peppers with my veggie cutters. This was actually really difficult because the skin was so hard to cut through. Now that I think about it though, I really should have just peeled the skin off completely. The flowers are skin side down and I sliced off the bumpy inner sides of the pepper to create the smooth look. Oh well, bento and learn! The middles are made out of cheese. I got too frustrated cutting them out by hand so I ended up just balling it up and squishing it down. Usually I use a straw, but the kiddies are drawn to straws like I am to bento accessories. I’m lucky if I can hide one for 24 hours straight. The leaves are made out of romaine lettuce cut into the shape of leaves.


My second layer is simply sliced papaya and blueberries with a little mini fork to eat it with, since papaya can be so messy to eat sometimes. On the side I have sliced apple and a peach. Several of my peaches have bite marks on them because aside from being Tasmanian devils, my children are apparently peach vampire ninjas too. They slip in quickly when I’m not looking, bite one, then run off as if nothing happened. Sometimes I wonder about those two.

Mapo Tofu (221)

Lately I am just walking around or driving and suddenly I remember something I forgot to blog about. Like last night I was driving home and just as I hit Red Hill I realized I forgot yet again to blog about my thoughts on the super duper magnificent omg wonderful Lost finale.

I am a bit torn as to which scene to post since there were four that I considered incredible, but I finally settled on the Goodbye Kiss.

Ok seriously, oh my god. And I thought Sawyer couldn’t get any hotter. Other greats for me included Penny and Des reunited, Ben sobbing as he moved the island, and of course the now infamous ending scene between Jack and Ben. The one that made me laugh the most was probably in the very beginning though, when Ben told Locke, “You couldn’t find the anthuriums, could you?” “I didn’t know what they looked like!”

I found this fantastically amusing, but this is probably because I grew up in the floral industry on the Big Island, where wanting to die at the sight of anthuriums is very common. Hey, you try staying up til 2 am making tropical Costco bouquets in the freezing winds of Mountain View. My brother will get a chuckle out of that.

My family has caved into the peer pressure and acquired a Wii, much to the delight of Buddy, who thought Wii Boxing was awesome. We had to start keeping the wiimote on top of the tv where he can’t reach it after he was sighted hammerfisting the nunchuck and wiimote into the hallway walls. He’s such a hallway bully.

If you were going about your business a few nights ago and suddenly heard a high pitched screech, that was probably me. I’m sitting in the living room when I hear, “Um, should he have that?” I look up and Buddy has opened my bento accessories drawer and somehow taken out my cottage cheese tub of precious soy sauce bottles. My immediate reaction was to yell, “BUDDY, NO!” and it was as if I’d set off some alarm in his head that any mischief to be done had to be done immediately or not at all. He thrust his grubby little toddler paw into the tub and began to flurry his fingers around like a cake mixer gone psycho. Piggies and fishies and pandas and flowers and carrots went flying in every direction.

I was not happy.

Okay, so… my bento contest. I hadn’t said what I was giving away, but now I have a picture so you can all scramble to enter!


Click that for a bigger picture. Tally:

1 pink two tier bento box with a cute wolf on it
1 yellow two tier bento box with a cute bear on it
1 green Hello Kitty bento box with fork
1 black lacquer round bento box with berries design
1 pack zoo animal food dividers
1 penguin hot dog cutter
1 set of sea animals food picks
1 mini rice paddle
1 pack pastel sushi grass
1 onigiri mold (cylinder shape)
1 set Hello Kitty soy sauce bottles
1 onigiri mold (large flower)
1 set of chopsticks
2 wine bottle soy sauce bottles
2 piggie soy sauce bottles
2 fishies soy sauce bottles
1 yellow Putifresh banana cup
1 Charmmy Kitty bento bag

Oh yes, this bento prize pack is totally filled with awesome sauce! If this doesn’t inspire you to submit an entry, you need your head examined. I mean this in a good, concerned fellow bento fan way.

To find out how to enter, see my 100k Bento Contest post.

Mr. Pikko was ill yesterday, so this was my cue to dart down to Marukai to raid their new stock. I went a little cuckoo. :(


Click for big version! I ended up with 8 new boxes, two bags, cookie cutters, food picks, BENTO STRAPS (omg they never have those), onigiri molds, cute disposable bento boxes, and soy sauce bottles. You see that red one on the right side? It’s obviously for a triangle musubi but I was like, WTF? Are there monster sized onigiri that I’ve never heard of or something? Then I read the package and it says it’s to store 2 convenience store musubis in. As if I’d feed my kids musubi from 7-Eleven! Ech!!


Close-up of the accessories. Aren’t those doggie straps so cute?? There were chicken ones too, but one of them clucked at me rudely and I put it back. The nerve of chickens, I swear.


Finally, we get to my lunch. Whew, I sure had a lot to talk about today. I have to start writing down my topics as I think of them. Today I had mapo tofu with rice in one of my new boxes. I love this box! It fit a perfect amount of food for me and the blue strap I bought came in really handy. In the second tier I just dumped a lot of blueberries in cause the pack I bought at Costco was huge and decently priced, so I have a lot of berry eating to do.

We recently discovered that Baby Girl and Buddy find Hawaiian music incredibly amusing. My boss gave me a spare CD of some of her favorite Hawaiian songs and with them being obsessed with Eggman’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow, they make me play it all the time now. There’s a version of No Ke Ano Ahiahi that makes them break out in fits of giggles and then yell at me to start the song again. This CD has provided many hours (yes, I said hours) of car entertainment, so Auntie B scores points with my kiddies.

When I first brought it home Mr. Pikko immediately began joking that “Mommy’s boss is giving her mixed tapes.” This led to me and my cousin Jenn lamenting about how kids will never understand how much work it was to get music when we were growing up. If you had the standard boombox and heard your favorite song come on while you were pretending to clean your room, you had to dash to the radio to hit Play and Record at the same time. If you had the mega uber boombox with two tape decks (holy crap), you could move songs from one tape to another! (seriously, holy crap!) This is a sure sign I am getting old. I can already hear myself yelling at my kids when they’re older…

YOU KNOW, THERE WASN’T ALWAYS TIVO. IN MY DAY WE HAD TO USE THE REWIND BUTTON ON THE BETAMAX AND LET ME TELL YOU, IT SUCKED!

I’m not even 30 yet! *sob*

Kalbi Fried Rice (220)

Yesterday I did what I despise doing. I went to Costco to buy contact solution, spent almost $200 on food and stuff, then realized late last night that I’d forgotten to buy the contact solution. ARRRRGH!!!


While there, I fell prey to those damned food stands and bought a bag of pre-marinated kalbi or as the package called it, galbi. Ever since a former co-worker of mine explained to me how to easily clean my George Foreman grill (I had previously positioned it by the sink and poured water on it continually while cursing such a stupid invention) I am more eager to use it. I grilled the meat with it and it was pretty good. I’ve definitely had better at Korean restaurants, but it was still pretty good for Costco.

I cut up a piece really small and then added it to a pan to char a bit while I cut up the leftover grilled bell peppers (which were AWESOME!). There was very little rice left thankfully, so this isn’t too bad of a lunch today. I got onto the scale the other day and was horrified to see the number 134.4 staring back at me. Way too much Pandas… This didn’t seem to stop me from eating Pandas again on Saturday though, haha! It did motivate me to do more Tae-Bo though, which I did Saturday and Sunday, bringing me back down to 131.4 this morning. I think the approach I need to get to is eating what I like, just a lot less of it and keeping up the exercise. I’d love to dive headfirst back into Weight Watchers and all, but you’ve all seen me struggling to stick to that for a while now and it hasn’t been working.

So anyway, I’ll keep up the exercise and stop freaking stuffing myself, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. Complete plan:

1. Better breakfast so that I snack less
2. Daily tae-bo
3. Controlled eating
4. Much more water drinking
5. No more freaking horrible desserts

For #5 I bought a box of Skinny Cows. This should keep my sweet tooth distracted. With the massive slew of birthdays we just got through, it’s no wonder I’m always chowing down on sugary crap without a care in the world lately. >.<

Ok so I’ve been moaning and groaning about my stupid camera spitting out blurry pictures when I photograph my bentos lately and I thought this would make for a great excuse to get a new camera. My plans were foiled when Mr. Pikko suggest I check for a smudge on the lens. Sure enough, there was a little fingerprint right across the front. I will blame Buddy, since he loves to take pictures, usually of people’s chests and neck. Who knows, maybe he will be some weird modern art photographer.

The Art of the Neck!

So anyway, with my camera problems unfortunately solved, I still have a blurry bento picture for today, which fills me with complete and utter rage!! AUGH!!!

Just kidding. ^_^


This here is oven fried chicken and no, I have not fallen off the weight loss wagon just yet. I still have to lose 12 pounds before I’m considered “not fat” in scientific terms. Plus, my size 4 pants are no longer comfortable, a sure sign I need to control my eating again. I picked the smallest piece of chicken in the pan and then brought soy sauce for flavor so that I can pick all the breading off. I’ll try my best not to eat all the rice.

Next to it I have broccoli and takuan in a little food cup. I tucked in one il/legal tomato for color and then wished I had more food to put in. I ended up only bringing one tier since the only fruit I had was a papaya and Baby Girl loves papaya so much if I had taken some there would have been some papaya riots in the kitchen this morning.

Alrighty so last weekend, as you all know, was my best friend’s wedding. Much to everyone’s shock, we left our kiddies at home. This however, turned out to be a very wise decision as I think I might have shown up at the wedding slightly demented if they’d come along. (more on that below) Traveling with toddlers is not fun. You have to rent carseats, their little bodies balloon your airfare no matter how much you tell the airline they can both fit in one seat, they are of course not used to sleeping in a strange place and therefore are really cranky at night, and ALL the bathrooms are not your house one therefore making the request to “go shishi at home” extremely unreasonable.

We stayed in Kona Saturday so that we could go to Kona Bowl to watch BJ Penn defend his title in UFC 84 and me not wanting to spend too much on a hotel we’d be barely staying at, chose to go with a cheapie condo. The place was pretty decent for the price so I can’t really fault it, but it was definitely not a place I felt comfortable sleeping in. For one, it had a weird odor. Two, there was this HORRIBLE looking spider in the parking lot that gave me serious freaking nightmares (not kidding). There were lots of mysterious quarter sized holes in the ceiling. The comforter was dark green with lovely white stains on them. Later that night I ended up suggesting that we sleep without bathing so as to avoid getting any ickyness on our sleeping clothes. I slept with the sheets covering my feet because a part of me was afraid that yellow-assed demon was going to get off his web and crawl in to terrorize me. I woke up at least 4 times during the night checking my feet. I cannot imagine trying to get our kids to sleep in this place.

We had time to kill so we hung out napping in the Kona Bowl parking lot, then went to Macy’s where I got the flipping deal of my life on a really great Eileen Fisher jacket. The price on the tag was $228 and I got it at 65% off with an extra 20% off for signing up for a Macy’s card (which I got lectured about). I was supposed to get a total of 40% extra off, so if I’m feeling particularly stingy, I’ll call them up to complain. But for now, getting a $228 jacket for $37 has me on Cloud Nine. Later, we met my Aunty C and Uncle L for lunch at Big Island Grille. That was fun, thanks for meeting us Aunty!!

UFC was freaking awesome! All the fights were pretty good with the exception (in my opinion anyway) of the Machida/Tito fight. That one just frustrated the hell out of me… I’d gone shopping at Pearlridge Friday and at Champs I found one woman’s Extreme Couture shirt. I was really happy with it for the design obviously, but probably also because it was a size small and anything that says small and fits is a freaking great shirt. I had tried to blur our Mr. Pikko, but he ended up looking like a danged obake, so I just cropped him out.


Watching UFC with a lot of other people who actually like UFC is a heck of a lot better than watching at home by yourselves trying to convince the kids that UFC is just as fun as Curious George. I got some serious chicken skin when BJ entered the arena. He comes out to a mix of Hawaii 78 and E Ala E (you can listen to it below) by Eggman, which is what Baby Girl calls Bruddah Iz. We’re still trying to figure out what the heck she’s talking about. She gave us some spiel about how we showed her a video playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and a big dragon was chasing Iz or something… I think maybe one night I must have accidentally given her a lollipop before bed and then let her watch a YouTube video of Iz, causing her to have psychedelic sugar high dreams about the “Eggman”. ?!?!?

There must have been over a hundred people at the bowling alley watching and so it was the perfect atmosphere. When BJ knocked Sean Sherk out the place just erupted, it was awesome. My only complaint was that the guy was giving away prizes on an obnoxiously loud mic, sometimes during prelim fights. I mean, those are interesting too…

When it comes to MMA, Mr. Pikko likes to accuse me of name dropping, which I fully admit to doing because while I can appreciate the meaning behind a term such as a “beautiful armbar” and can remember tons of fights, I still have no freaking clue what a “kimura” is other than my friend’s last name. I know just enough to appear to be a hardcore MMA fan, but in reality I just live with an MMA freak and find it much more convenient and time-saving to have him relay to me the latest gossip from the sites and blogs.

I have however, moved on from name dropping to what I call “shirt dropping”. I have this thing about buying shirts lately. I have like 8 UH shirts and then now have my Extreme Couture shirt, my BJ Penn tank top, etc. It’s pretty effective too, I wore my BJ tank to the salon when I was getting ready for the wedding and the lady doing the nails of the bride next to me mentioned what a great fight it was. The man at the front desk of the salon asked me if BJ won. At the airport some guy wearing an Extreme Couture shirt saw mine and later at Kona Bowl told us about his MMA clothing store at Schofield. So now instead of asking someone with potential MMAphobia if they watch UFC, I just wear it and wait for people to talk to me. Good stuff!

After UFC we went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was entertaining, but Last Crusade is still the best for me. “Water? No thank you, fish make love in it.”


This is me and Lan just before her wedding. I’m kinda sad about the hair.. I should have had it down. I look like I just jumped out of that 80s music video Simply Irresistable only with less eyeliner. The back was really pretty with curls, but you can’t see it. :( I loved Lan’s hair and headpiece! Her wedding was loads of fun and their vows had everyone in tears. Best. Vows. Ever. Not joking. I wish I could have come up with something that beautiful. *romantic sigh*


Kahua Ranch had the most fantastic view. Mr. Pikko and I took this picture just after sunset. More to the right you had a clear view of Maui. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was up there. The road up was freakishly scary, so I was pretty relieved that we took a bus down in the dark later.

We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and I got this for free from my HHonors points. The room was like a 500% improvement over the condo in Kona and I don’t know if I’ve ever slept on a bed that comfortable in my life. It killed me to have to wake up at 4:30 AM to get to the airport for our 7 AM flight. I was most definitely on crack when I made those reservations. The Hilton has retardedly spaced out towers, so it’s best to take their tram. Only the tram doesn’t start up until 6, so we had to walk half a mile from our room to the parking lot. Not cool. Still, I really wish we could have enjoyed the hotel more. This is the hotel with buttloads of artwork, waterways for boats, pools, a lagoon, possibly waterslides, (I forget), and dolphins! Next time! ^_^

Hopefully I can have more pics later, I had camera brain farts and didn’t take many. We got home and ate breakfast at Anna Miller’s so that I could look up on the laptop symptoms of brain aneurysms, which I mentioned yesterday. Despite all my complaints, it was great to see the kids again. Buddy had a wet head from running around in circles a lot, which didn’t surprise me. I just hope he didn’t do that the entire weekend.

Edit:

I forgot to talk about LOST!! I guess I’ll do that next week though, when people have safely watched the finale thus ensuring I do not spoil it for people.

My apologies for the long delay in returning to the daily routine of bentos, but I had a really great time on the Big Island for the wedding and I think after a while, so much complete and utter freedom from two really cute, but really rascally children gets to you after a while. I’ve been in recovery since we returned in the freakishly early hours of Monday morning. I have pictures, but have not yet uploaded them yet. Coming soon with details!


This is last week’s bento which I forgot to upload and then blog about. No one can blame me though, I was alternating between trying to find my head and wracking my brain to figure out if I’d forgotten to print any maps. Not that they were needed in Kona. Turns out if you drive along the main road you can basically eventually find everything needed. It was so simple that even Mr. Pikko took over driving after a while, which was shocking since he normally starts to lose his sanity any time he gets near the Big Island. Silly townie. (I say that with much love!)

These spare ribs are by far my favorite dish of Grandma J’s. They smell horrible because of the vinegar, but they taste so so good. I stuck in tomatoes for color, added sesame seeds to the rice for some flair, and I have no clue as to why I added the lime wedge. I was pretty mad at it for being slightly open at the top, making it look like a lime wedge with it’s head lopped off. Stupid lime! Ruined the look I was going for! (whatever that was…)


I stayed home because of a sinus headache yesterday because on the plane ride home Monday I fell asleep with my head on the side of the plane and began to very attractively snooze with my mouth wide open. This means I was not swallowing as we descended so when I woke up, I had some seriously crazy sharp pains on the left side of my face. I thought blood vessels in my face were popping and that I was going to die of a brain aneurysm before I could give my kiddies one last request to stop their whining. As you can see, I am thankfully not dead.

Anyway, enough of that. I wasn’t so sick that I couldn’t crave some Panda, so I went out to go buy us some. I had to drive so freaking far for this, it took me like I swear, at least a minute 30 seconds to get there. The things I do for food!

I remember years ago Panda Express was pretty gross and I only went there if I wanted Chinese American food and there was no other option, but they seem to have gone through a big makeover in the last few years and I really enjoy their food now. I was especially craving their String Bean Chicken so I got two servings of that along with plate with Chow Fun and Orange Chicken.

The bento itself looks horrible because the picture is blurry and the box is obviously too small. I was too lazy to move it out into another one. One of my worst habits is leaving my dirty bento boxes around. It makes no sense for me to dirty up extra ones when I can barely wash my lunch ones. You can tell I’m really lazy from the trip still…

Don’t forget to enter my 100k Bento Contest!!

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