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Archive for the ‘mapo tofu’ Category

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*

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First off, lunch from yesterday!


We met at the UH Campus Center and ate at Yummy’s Korean BBQ. I got a MINI bbq chicken plate. Yes, people, that there is a “mini” plate. People here eat so much frickin’ food that you can now buy a “mini” plate of too much food for just $6.95. Seriously, when did we get to be such porkers? I was too scared to think about what a full size plate looked like. I skipped the rice to get an extra veggie side. I ended up getting chop chae (the noodles), bean sprouts, and choi sum. Veggies at Yummy’s is really good. I think I’d put them second behind Gina’s sides.

Today I took the day off to take Baby Girl to an allergist and was very sad to hear that he was prescribing adrenaline shots for emergencies because this means my daughter is one of those kids you hear about that can die from food allergies. He made this very clear to me, hammering into my head that she can go braindead in minutes… Not that I mind a doctor like that. I’d rather have an honest doctor than one who sugarcoats everything. We’ve got some adjusting to do that’s for sure. I figure I have at least six months of “I WANT PEANUT BUTTER TOAST!!!!!!!!!” tantrums to put up with before she accepts it. Definitely not looking forward to those. I’ve already hidden the Costco-size jar of Skippy…

With this rather sobering news, I decided to fill the prescription in Mililani Town Center, where I knew there was a ramen shop. I dropped it off and headed over to Genki Ramen.


I decided that I was getting into a miso ramen rut, so picked something new and ordered their Mabo Tofu Ramen. I left my brain at the allergist’s office and realized I was sitting in a cash-only restaurant with only a dollar in my purse, so I had to tell the waitress to hold my table while I went to go get more moolah. When I came back, my ramen was waiting for me.


I really enjoyed this! It tasted like mapo tofu yet still had a ramen-y soup taste to it. It was slightly spicy and the noodles weren’t too thick. Ever since I ate at Kiwami Ramen I’ve found that I don’t really care for fat noodles too much. As I was eating this reporter guy was going around talking to people about the Town Center, so after I was done I gave him my card to come read my blog. This was only the second time I’d eaten at Genki Ramen but the first time was so long ago I don’t remember what the food was like. It gets two thumbs up from me now!

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With Mr. Pikko and Baby Girl off to a lesson on Saturday, I trucked Buddy off to the supermarket to buy vegetables for my soup. I ended up trying the first Garden Vegetable Soup recipe I found. Though I didn’t need any, Buddy would not stop furiously pointing at the “brokko zee” until I picked up this one tiny little stalk that got broken off and gave it to him. This did not satisfy him because after I handed it to him, he demanded “BEEG WUN!” but then I put it in a bag and suddenly it was like, Magical Bagged Broccoli Extraordinnaire and we were able to move on.

Having not made a soup in quite a while, I opted for the whole head of cabbage instead of the conveniently cut-in-half ones. I figured, the recipe said “half a cabbage”, so I just bought one, thinking I’d just go double.

I do not recommend this unless you want a pretty good vegetable soup with ASSLOADS of cabbage in it. No, seriously. It tastes pretty good, kinda like the Campbell’s Vegetable Soup (which I love) but with enough cabbage to kill someone. I looked at other recipes this morning and found that you’re supposed to use 2 cups cabbage. Great. Good thing cabbage is cheap. I used vegetable bullion and don’t have nearly enough soup for the vegetables, so I’m kinda stuck eating mostly heaps of cabbage for the early part of this week so that at the end of the week, I can have a nice soupy soup. Next batch, I will use beef bullion, cause I had to add some extra salt this round.


I made Pork Tofu this past weekend. Grandma J makes a really good non-spicy Mapo Tofu and I use this recipe as a substitute for when I want some. It reminds me a lot of the Pork Tofu dish that Y’s Lunch Shop used to make on occasion. Let me tell you, that dish was made in heaven. Whenever I saw they had it, I bought it. Mine totally pales in comparison, the only thing similar is the look. I think maybe when the wedding comes around, I should beg my friend to bring me some Y’s before she drives over from Hilo side. The last time I went to my cousin’s wedding in Kona my aunty did that, bringing us musubi and fish. I’m drooling right now just remembering it.

Anyway, this is Pork Tofu with some diced carrot on top for color and my brokko-zee.


We bought champagne mangoes at Costco yesterday but I need to go get credit for it or something. I cut them open and they were black in the middle. These ones were the third mango I peeled and though it was still black, I just cut that part out. Added some strawberries in too, sliced up for easy eating. ^_^

I never did post more pictures of my wheat grass! It’s dying by now and I had to toss most of it out due to mold, but I will try again and this time will harvest them as sprouts as they look in this stage here:


They were actually pretty sweet and tender at this stage. Right now my last tray of grass is really stringy and tastes like… well, grass. The sprouts were much better. I still have a huge bag of berries, so I think I’ll just grow a batch, harvest sprouts fresh from my desk at work, and then start over. It’s really quite fun!!

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Mapo Tofu

It was the strangest thing this morning. Pigs were flying around in the sky in droves! I was confused for a bit, then I realized that they were out because the University of Hawaii announced this morning that Greg McMackin is our new head football coach, meaning that UH… ***UH*** hired someone in 9 days. This my friends, is a miracle!!

The flying pigs make my bento today very fitting because 1) it’s got pork in it and 2) it went flying.

I love my MIL’s mapo tofu because it’s tasty, moist, and not spicy. I added shelled edamame and grated carrot for color so that put together with the pink container, it would make the food look more attractive. Unfortunately, when I took it out to the car, I made the fatal mistake of placing the bento box onto the top of the car where I ALWAYS forget things.

We didn’t hear it fly off so I don’t know where it is, but this box is presumed lost which makes me so sad because it was a wonderfully shaped box and one of my matching Putifresh containers. I’m hoping that it is just sitting nicely in our parking stall at home, but I won’t kid myself. **sigh** I didn’t even figure it out until I got to work. Clearly I accidentally packed my head into my lunch this morning along with the food.

I think to console myself I will have to go down to Marukai and buy myself some new bento goodies. Bwahahaha!

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As any Hawaii resident knows by now, the University of Hawaii Warriors are the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) Champions!!!! The game against Boise was last Friday and it overtook the Fresno State game I attended years ago as the most adrenaline pumped game I’ve ever attended at Aloha Stadium. There was a point during the game when the stands were just electric and the shouts and screams were deafening. It was truly magical to be there. This picture will be too big for my blog, but I wanted to put it up anyway:

We started chanting B-C-S and that gave me chicken skin! I feel so good for Colt and so happy that he came back. The season was looking kinda bleak with the injuries and all but now it just seems like this was all he could have hoped for. Baby Girl got into it too. I’d hoist her up and her job was to scream and wave the shredded ti-leaves we had. I can’t wait for this week’s game. GO BOWS!!!!

Last night I had to make something that I thought Buddy would gobble up because he’s sick and hasn’t been eating much so I made pork tofu. It was a lil lacking in taste so I think next time I’ll use Kikkoman instead of Aloha. I’m also out of onion powder so I need more of that… It’s the only way I can sneak the taste of onions into food because Mr. Pikko has the Ultra Onion Detector 3000 built into his tongue.


It looked real plain, so I picked some of my last green onions and cut them up with my scissors. When we had severe rains a couple weeks ago I looked out at my plants to see my poor green onions floating in a pot of water. They’re still alive though, miraculously.


A KCCA salad, yay. This was all nice and good until I realized that I forgot to pack LETTUCE. hahahaha! So I guess I’m having this as sides instead of a salad. Good job, me!

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Mapo Tofu (127)

Work and FFXI forum drama have kept me occupied these last two nights so I have little time to make cute bentos lately. Plus, there’s all the tv shows that have finally resurfaced! My Heroes taping last night came in with no sound for the first 45 minutes, *sob*. I’ll have to find time to watch it online.

Last night we had Mapo Tofu, which is one of my favorite dishes of my MIL’s and what I like about it is that it’s not spicy. Most times that I order Mapo Tofu in a restaurant it comes with a bottle of chili sauce dumped onto it and that drives me mad because while I can handle some kim chee, I can’t really enjoy the taste of things when my mouth is completely on fire and I’m chugging water like its going out of style. This is why I eat my sushi without wasabi. To me it just flames up your mouth and you completely lose out on the taste of the fish.


On the side I have a little salad with more of my cutie tomatoes that I picked just this morning. In the Hello Kitty container is some Kraft Free Ranch dressing. And as you can see, no rice! I’ve got to control my rice consumption again. I’ll have to admit though, that’s not the only reason I’m back up to 129 lbs. My sister in law is on this baking kick and she brings over cakes and cookies and bars and brownies like every other day. It’s all really good but I have a much harder time resisting now than I did before. I sort of have this “Ah, I’m skinny now, I can eat it.” attitude, which is really really bad. I have to get myself back on a more moderate eating attitude. In addition to what’s in my bento I have a big bento box of strawberries and a bag of black grapes. I don’t remember black grapes existing before, but they do taste really great. They’re hard and crunchy and very sweet.

Keep voting for Biggie!

Last night Baby Girl was practicing her football cheers in the car. She kept yelling, “DEFENSE!” then “TOUCHDOWN!” then “GO BOWS!!”. Suddenly she starts yelling, “THREE FOR NOTHING!!” and we were cracking up laughing. Then she goes, “COTTAGE CHEESE!!!” lol!! Mr. Pikko insists we must use these cheers at the next football game.

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I had a very stressful night last night as I had to make my bento for today ahead of time so that we could leave on time today and then I had to pack up the many bento packages for the store. I ended up going to bed at 2 am because my bento was giving me such a hard time! The colors were so drab in one layer yet vibrant in another. Eventually I just gave up and settled on one brown themed layer and one bright layer.


From left to right I have rice, beef broccoli, mapo tofu, and then a boiled egg bear. I soaked him in soy sauce for a bit to make him brown and then gave him a little brother to snuggle with. (more soy sauce)


This layer is thankfully healthier than the top layer, though not by much. I have leftover yakisoba in a food cup, sliced cucumbers (which I will eat with plain salt), carrot flowers, a grape tomato, and then my dessert. The dessert is in the cute little animal cup. There are 3 little strawberry Whoppers hidden in there. Hee!

Yesterday I tried to go down to Satellite City Hall to pay my van registration and I got lost in the Ala Moana parking lot and when I finally got there, lo and behold they’d just closed the door. So typical of me. Not wanting to let that get me down, I drove over to Marukai, heehee. I picked up a bunch of new things for the store but unfortunately, still no new bento boxes. 😦 I’ll probably go to Price Busters today to get some of the Hello Kitty stuff.

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