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Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

Legalized Tomatoes

A few weeks ago, Mr. Pikko saw a cool thing on TV that was basically a special pot that allowed you to grow tomatoes upside down, eliminating the need for stakes and other annoying things about growing tomatoes. He looked online and found out you can actually do this on your own with a little bit of work. Since our tomato plant in the yard was illegal by growing in the ground, he decided to make this my Mother’s Day gift. Mother’s Day was, of course, last Sunday but this is Mr. Pikko we’re talking about here. It’s the thought that counts!


He stayed home for two days to work on this, but mostly because it rained like all day the first day. This thing hangs quite nicely off our yard fence and the plant hangs out of a hole in the bottom. You’re supposed to plant flowers in the top so that you have a nice planter of pretty flowers in the top and tomatoes growing out the bottom, but he couldn’t find the right flowers in time, which I think he said were azaleas.

The illegal tomato plant was actually a freaking crazy tomato bush. He pulled it out, pruned it, and planted it. I went to take pictures yesterday morning and realized that he had actually legalized my illegal tomatoes! I’m sure they will taste just the same, but I found the thought hilarious.


Here’s a picture of some of the ripening ones! I think they look a bit confused as to why they’re suddenly upside down. Maybe that will make them redder? lol


As I said, he pruned it a lot, but look at how many tomatoes are still on it!! It’s about half the size it used to be. Clearly we are not allowed to grow things in the ground because there’s some radioactive tomato super fertilizer in the dirt.

This morning the plant looked a little droopy, so we’re worried that it’s a little too traumatized from the pruning and the replanting and the whole sudden shift in world view thing. Hopefully it survives because it really is a most thoughtful and cool gift!! ^_^

Okay, on to more evil things. Bento readers, meet Brownie of Doom:


I know, I know. 120 x 520. That hasn’t gone so well lol. The other day, a brigade of wild women came storming into my desk area and held me down while one of them shoved a brownie into my mouth. I screamed and put up as big a fight as I could, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Once they got it down, I was released, but the damage was done. I chased after the brigade for another piece. I wrote a pathetic begging email to the source of evil for the recipe.

So, why do I call this the Brownie of Doom? If you saw the ingredients you would immediately know why. Evaporated milk. Caramel. Gobs of butter. Chocolate chips. Oh yes, this brownie is truly evil. Mostly because I ate like 3 this morning instead of my regular breakfast of toast and Cheerios. I made them to take to my grandmother-in-law’s birthday party tonight.

It’s not my recipe, so I’m not comfortable with sharing it yet, but you can email me and I’ll ask! One of my readers here would already know it though, since it’s actually her mama’s recipe. 🙂

Tonight we’re eating at Kyoto Osho or something at Ala Moana, so I should have more restaurant pictures for you all soon! No bento today because I somehow forgot to take leftovers. Massive brain fartage.

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I had a rather hectic weekend with a lot of things to do ahead of time for Easter. Add in the fact that my two little devils very thoroughly went through all of our belongings, making sure that every last thing was out of place or ripped to shreds. I did a lot of really bad grazing on the Costco bag of almonds I bought and fortunately, all the walking and bending over to pick up things probably helped negate it. That’s still no excuse for bad habits though…

We currently have five little kids in the family that adore anything Jell-O, which is a really good thing for me because I’m always looking for backup excuses to make Jell-O eggs, something I’ve never been completely sure any adults other than me care for. My Aunty is the one who passed on this odd craving for egg shaped Knox Blox. Before advanced technologies were discovered (plastic eggs & molds), she used to poke holes into the tops of her eggs and siphon the egg out whenever she made scrambled eggs. She’d then save the rinsed out eggshells all year until finally Easter came around and she could use them to fill with Jell-O. I still remember helping crack the eggs under warm water. This freaking insane yet endearing technique must have done something to my head over the years because as it is now, I cannot have an Easter without Jell-O eggs. And I don’t just make a dozen, I go crazy and make at least 50. My co-workers will find this out tomorrow. He he.

This year I made Cherry, Orange, Lemon, Lime, and Berry Blue. I made one box of Grape, but I ended up eating all of them with the kids on Saturday… hee. I still have tons of boxes of Strawberry, Raspberry, and Grape to make. Since Buddy had hidden a bunch of boxes around the house (I found one in the toy chest), I was missing some boxes and had to go to Foodland to round things out. I almost broke down crying when I saw that they didn’t stock Peach flavored Jell-O anymore. Peach Jell-O was something I was addicted to while I was pregnant and I only have two boxes left. Hopefully they just don’t stock it and it’s not discontinued. My mom had a favorite Jell-O flavor: Blackberry. That got discontinued! D:


I had talked about my co-worker’s cupcakes and how I was going to steal her idea. Well, there they are! They didn’t come out quite as good as I had hoped. I should have gone for Jelly Bellys instead I think. I thought about using the little box of Bertie Botts I had here, but then thought that would be mean and that maybe eating a Booger flavored bean would make the cupcake experience a bit less than pleasant. They’re topped with green dyed coconut and Smoothie flavor Skittles. Sadly the bag had very few purple Skittles and I found those made the cupcakes look the best.


I made a really huge ass Kim Chee Crab and Avocado Salad for the family and everyone liked it, so that was a good success again! I added sliced baby carrot this time for a bit more color since I forgot to buy grape tomatoes. Easter was really fun overall. My almost brother-in-law made scallop with mustard sauce appetizers and and a really, really good beef dish. We dyed eggs. Buddy dyed his legs yellow. I had a lot of fun with this Tye Dye set I bought. Yes, I dyed eggs. I’m still a kid at heart, so sue me. Sadly, no egg fights. I’d seen an oddly pointed egg while boiling them too. I had plans for that egg! Perhaps when the kids are older. It’s just as well, they’d probably cry too much from Aunty Crystal owning them.

After that we played Rock Band and I finally gave it a try. It was fun and even Grandma J tried it out. Yay!


On Thursday, my boss mentioned I should grow some wheat grass as Easter grass for the kids. I had heard of wheatberries before but had no idea what they were or how completely dirt cheap they are. I headed to Down to Earth after work and bought 2 pounds of wheatberries for around $2. I soaked way too much and laid them out in one of my roasting pans on top of wet paper towels. The next day they had started to sprout already:


They’re really fun to grow!! The only bad part is that like I said, I soaked way too much and so now they’re all piled up on top of each other trying to grow. I transferred some of them to the bottoms of my flowerpots but there are literally thousands of them still needing transplanting. The really retarded part is that I’m doing it by hand, one at a time. LOL


These are the transplanted wheatberries on Day 3. They grow really fast!! Luckily I had a spray bottle and the kids have been having a ton of fun watering them by misting them. The grass is actually even taller now. Updates tomorrow!

We took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who! again. It was Buddy’s second time and Baby Girl’s first. She chickened out the first time and this time was sobbing, asking if we could go home. I had to trick her back into the theater and eventually she started peeking and as soon as the credits rolled, she yelled, “NOW I LIKE IT!” When I was younger I used to watch movies like Aladdin and Lion King and wondered why the hell these little kiddie movies were so riddled with adult humor. Now that I am older, wiser, and nearly braindead from whining children I understand that the humor is there to make the movies bearable for parents. It really just wouldn’t do to have a bunch of stupefied parents driving their children home. They no doubt already have that dead look in their eyes from one too many Barney’s or Dora’s. That being said, I really enjoyed seeing Horton twice. My son adores him. Now if I could just survive the 50 daily requests for the longest Horton video I could find on YouTube (7m 5s), things should be okay.

Two Jell-O eggs were consumed while writing this post.

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I was driving in to work this morning when I heard the radio hosts I listen to talking about a “Hawaii Chair”. As soon as I got to work I looked it up and it just about split my sides open watching it.

That is just too funny. I’m lucky I wasn’t drinking water when I saw it.

Today’s bento is almost entirely from Costco. As usual, the Costco chicken was a big part of the weekend meals and I chopped up a lot of the white meat this morning and made the lettuce wraps I’ve made before. This time I added some diced bell pepper into the mixture to give it more color and veggies.


The grape tomatoes, kiwi, blueberries, lettuce, chicken, bell peppers, and raspberries are all bought from Costco. The only thing messing up the all-Costconess of it is the two little carrot flowers. Dang those carrot flowers!! ^_^ Here’s a blurry close-up:


I ate some of the blueberries Saturday and I dunno why but they taste like they have sand in the middle. I’m debating taking them back and telling them this and getting an exchange. I know they don’t normally taste this way but I’ll see if maybe I just had a few bad berries in the bunch I picked up to eat.

I finally got some real gardening done this weekend and cleaned up all my dead tomato plants. While I was pulling weeds I discovered that a stray tomato must have fallen to the ground and then had the seeds dispersed all over the yard because I found at least 10 tomato plants sprung up all over the place. Some had no leaves and I didn’t understand why until I found the gigantor caterpillar on a nearby plant. The most bizzare discovery though, was the little pools of shrimps. My kids have little play pots and pans in the yard that have been collecting rain water and I was about to dump one out when I noticed there was a bunch of tiny little pink “things” in it. Upon further inspection, I found that they were actually dozens of tiny little itty bitty dead shrimps.

At first I thought maybe they were there because of the little container of seashells Baby Girl had left out, but then I found more little containers nowhere near the shells container that had MORE dead shrimps. It was very weird and quite stink.

The yard looks neater now and hopefully next week we can plant some edamame plants. 😀

I noticed that a bunch of my earliest blog entries were using pictures from my Swapsonian domain, which I have basically given up hope on. I’m so pissed with Ipowerweb that I’m never using them again. I continue to pay for a broken domain and cannot get my files off the server. I wait forever on the phone and in chats and no one seems to know how to help me. Ipowerweb can SUCK IT! Anyway, I fixed the pics to use my Flickr ones.

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Last night we ate at Kim Chee for dinner and I overate a little, so I suggested we go to Foodland so that I could buy some things to cook for bento this week and so that I could walk off the food a bit. I find that this helps get rid of that overate feeling quite quickly and pushing a wagon of two kids around for over half an hour has to be decent exercise right?

Since I had no shopping list I ended up buying some shrimp for fried rice. This morning I cooked rice according to a recipe from Harumi’s book simply called “Rice with Peas”. The picture shows a bento box filled with this simple but yummy rice (I tasted while packing) so I decided with the shrimp I put in, I didn’t need to pack anything else with it. After I cooked the rice according to her instructions, I fried it together with sliced snow peas, frozen green peas, and chopped shrimp.


Along with this I brought carrot sticks, sliced strawberries, and an apple banana. I’m porking up again, so I won’t be eating any rice for dinner tonight. With the Fan Festival only 38 days away, I’ve got to start shaving pounds again, not gaining them. Sadly, no new progress on my costume this weekend.

My tomato plants have gone crazy! I pick like 10 tomatoes a day. I don’t even know how they’re all producing this many but I have a container here with me at work today with about 50 tomatoes so that I can take them to my MIL’s house for salad consumption. It’s awesome!!

I didn’t have the energy to do my football food and it was just as well since the football game was a total soaker. We were lucky we decided to buy ponchos before the game because it was on and off pouring all night. I was pretty sad to see Colt off yet again after someone stepped on his foot early on and then even sadder to see him down on the field after a tackle. On the other hand, it was wonderful to see Tyler Graunke step up and show all the people that had booed him previously that he was more than worthly of playing for Hawaii. I hope that shut them all up for good. We’re now 6-0!

Keep voting for Biggie!

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Yesterday at the market we were strolling to the fruit section when I spied some pizza crusts. I decided to let the kids try making their own homemade pizzas for dinner. We have this cute book, which is currently AWOL in our house somewhere, that is a story about how to make pizza and so I picked up a packet of three 7″ crusts, a bag of fat free mozzarella, and a jar of pizza sauce.

Baby Girl did surprisingly well in spreading the sauce all over and then putting the cheese on. She was putting a little too much cheese on her own, but just needed a little guidance. Then Godzilla Buddy came into the kitchen. He grabbed a handful of cheese from her pizza and threw it down on the floor! He grabbed another and shoved it in his mouth! Oh the horror! I kid, of course. It was cute. I chopped up some ham for them to sprinkle on and then promptly confiscated the tray to make some ham adjustments. Baby Girl thought she was being so clever by putting 1 or 2 pieces on her pizza and the rest on her brother’s. Anyway, I guess the idea of pizza was more fun to them than eating it because as I suspected, they weren’t really hungry yet. We’d eaten a really late lunch at 3:30 so I had a lot left to take today.


I have about 3/4 of a pizza stuffed into this box and then on the sides I have olives and carrots. I should have remembered the olives when I was making the pizza, but this is me we’re talking about. I rarely remember things. My fruit layer:


On the left are some black grapes, which the market claimed was “seedless” but they most certainly are NOT seedless. I learned this the hard way after I chomped into one and bit into a ton of bitter seeds. They’re still great grapes though. On the right are gala apple slices. And in the middle…. this is the highlight of my lunch today. Kookaburra licorice. My friend from Allakhazam, Kaolian, sent me 3 bags of this amazing stuff in thanks for sending him a copy of the FFXI Starter Pack and this is by far the best licorice I have ever eaten. I used to hate licorice when I was a kid but somewhere along the way to adulthood I tried it and love Red Vines.

These however, totally kick Red Vines into distant memories. They’re soft and gummyish and taste so good. I cleaned out almost the entire bag this weekend and Baby Girl is addicted too. They’re coming out with Mango and Raspberry flavors soon and I’ll definitely have to try those. Anyway, thank you SO much Kao. It’s a miracle these pieces survived the weekend, really.

There’s still more to my lunch! I haven’t posted a picture of a KCCA salad in a while, but since this one features my very own home grown tomatoes, I had to take a picture!


They’re so cute and yummy! They don’t turn completely red and some of them were starting to burst open on the vine, so now I just squeeze them and if they’re a bit soft, I pick them. I had about a dozen tomatoes to use as of this morning. I’m quite the happy gardener today!

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New Bento Toys!

I’m at home sick today with the King of Headaches. I must say, he’s quite the grumpy guy. With no bento, I thought I would show my spiffy new bento toys, which arrived yesterday from Mr. Pikko’s friend in Japan. Thank you thank you thank you, Carl! I also would like to thank Susperia from FFXI for helping me with the instructions!


First of all, I have a new set of nori punches. I’m sure Bento Investigators out there have found images of this item before. Aren’t they adorable?? I can’t wait to do onigiri with them.


As exciting as the punches are though, this was what I was most looking forward to. It’s called a “Dreamland” or something. It’s a spiffy Japanese contraption that lets you cook eggs with shaped yolks. Isn’t that just awesome?? I can’t wait to try it out! It can be used for Jell-O too, wheeeeeeee.

Things finally seem to be settling down, thank goodness. I wanted to start prepwork for my football musubis tomorrow, but if his Majesty doesn’t go away, I’ll have to do it tomorrow morning. I have a new batch of bento orders that need packaging up to take care of too. My dad is coming to visit for the football game and he requested that I take him on an errand to… Marukai dollar store. Hahahahaha! He has to buy some kind of plastic tray and he was like, “If you cannot take me that’s ok…” Hehe, no worries Daddy-O, I’ll make me some time to go!

More good news: My tomatoes are ripening!!! They’re quite small, which I’m guessing is due to me being too lazy to go buy fertilizer. But who cares!! They’re small and cute and I grew them myself!! *beam*


And more on another plant!


YaY!!

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Today’s post is a bit late as the second I arrived at work this morning I got a call and had to go pick up Baby Girl. So now she’s here at work with me driving me mad asking me 5 million questions an hour.

This morning Buddy woke up at 4:45 am and an hour later I got pulled in to take my turn with him. I caught him scribbling down his plans for an experiment titled, “How Hard One Has To Pull On Mommy’s Pants While She’s Cooking To Make Them Fall Down”. He’s been nearly successful and I’m positive that soon he’ll come up with a strategy to achieve victory. My bento will no doubt have crooked elements on that day.

Today I have leftovers from the weekend which is Chicken Parmigiana from Costco. I’ve gotten one before and it tastes good but I’ve never understood why the instructions say to cook it in the plastic pan. This time I didn’t transfer it to a metal pan and used it as the instructions said to and it turned out fine. I guess it’s a hardy plastic or something. I still find it odd to cook something in the oven with a plastic container.


I put some egg noodles under it and then a cup of cucumber kim chee on one side and then another cup of blueberries on the other. Unfortunately I didn’t eat much of this bento. Baby Girl wanted the blueberries and then after that insisted that she NEEDED to eat the cheese on the chicken. So I ate the cucumbers and avocado and just abandoned the chicken.


This is the box I packed it in. I finally found the fork, spoon, and cover for it. It was hidden in a little area under a table. Woot! I have a garden update from last week too. My tomato plants all have varying amounts of tomatoes and I’m very happy at the rate at which they’re growing. Soon I’ll be including lots of tomatoes in my bentos! ^_^


A close-up photo:


The only problem I see is suddenly having a crapload of ripe tomatoes to use and not enough bentos to use them in. I will have to get really creative with my tomato usage!

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