Bento 3

Bottom Tier:  S’mores-flavored Goldfish crackers, strawberries (why does everyone put sugar on theirs?  Yuck!).  The little ghostie pick is actually a cupcake pick, but there was a 12 pack for about a buck fifty.  Not bad.  8D

Top Tier:  Steamed broccoli with a cherry tomato rose*, and furikake/orange chicken onigiri.

Overall, not bad.  I took a break due to injury (to my hand, no less), but it’s good to be healed and back.  Will be posting moar.  🙂

*thanks to Laurabento @ livejournal for the tutorial.

Drink up, me hearties, yo ho! Product Spotlight 1

So it’s always been a wonder to me…
Why do bento bloggers rarely share their drink experiences?  The emphasis is on the food, of course.  But there are lots of cute things you can do with drinks.  Refreshment of the liquid variety is sorely underestimated when discussing bento, and I can’t find a reason.  You need water, even more than you need food!  Just a brief mentioning would be nice.  It’s just nice to know what people drink…even if it’s just a soda from the machine across the hall.

I have a few drink containers–most of which aren’t portable.  Even my large “mug” with the lid on it can leak, and is only good if you’re planning on holding it upright somehow at all times.  I used to have a canteen–it was big, it was dark, and it kept drinks at a good temperature, depending on the type.  It was also plastic, a concern that wasn’t really stated at the time that the purchase was made.  I had heard that you shouldn’t reuse plastic water bottles, but canteens still seemed pretty okay.  I used mine a lot.  But, after a while, two disasters:
1. I accidentally left it full of tea in my locker for…longer than I’d like to admit.  It never made anything smell, and it never leaked, but when I opened it up finally, it made me gag.  I tried everything, but that smell wouldn’t come out.  This meant no more water.  From then on, I had to use stronger drinks in the canteen, to mask the stench.
2. I lost it.  Simple as that.  That was a couple of years ago.

Recently, my mother was given a new bottle as a gift.  It’s from the SIGG company, a fairly well-known maker of Swiss canteens.  I’d heard some good things, and was a little wary of buying another plastic canteen, no matter the quality.  Sure, you can fight the system, claim that the hype about plastic and foods is a bunch of jive, but…what if they are right?
And anyway, I thought they were really nice looking.

So, I bought one.  They come in many many designs, and a few different sizes.  They even have thermal bottles.  They’re leak free, as long as you don’t freeze them–that cracks them.  And I know, this one isn’t too “kawaii” or anything, but they do have a Hello Kitty one (and a Spongebob one, which is smaller than mine, and I think I might get that one next).


There it is!  Pretty snazzy, no? 

This isn’t a plug–I’m definitely not sponsored by anyone (as much as I’d enjoy the benefits).  Just thought I’d share.  This is a bento/food blog, after all, and are drinks not considered food?  Why must they be exiled? 

My model (whom I have named The Bishop) is called “Swiss Quality”.  If you want your own, you can visit   http://www.mysigg.com

Bento 2 + La Critique 1

I am the slaw and the slaw is not mocked!

Bottom Tier:  Bananas sprinkled with cinammon (there were raspberries in there too, but I removed them after later discovering that some of the ones in the package were rotton), brussels sprouts on a bed of a crunchy cole slaw (Cabbage, olive oil, carrots, vinegar, ramen noodles, almonds, sesame seeds).  On top is a little bottle of extra vinegar.  I loooove vinegar.  In fact, I may have a problem.

Top Tier:  Spaghetti with tomatoes and mushrooms.  Though, you can’t see any mushrooms in this photo.  I’d take a different one, but I don’t care that much.  On top is a little shredded, melted mozzerella cheese.  Next to that, shrimp poppers!  I know, I know, fried food?  But they’re quite good, and if you fry things correctly, they don’t turn out as bad for you as people think.  On top is an olive oil fishie for the pasta.

Final Verdict: Not bad.  I really had to use those bananas…I like them  a little green, and these ones had spots on them.  I had the other half of the banana for breakfast with some tea.

LA CRITIQUE:
Jules Destrooper Almond Thins
If you notice, there’s a black box in the photo.  This is a little box of heaven.  A family friend first introduced me to these buttery little cookies a couple of weeks ago, and I have fallen in love.  Thin and buttery.  Those Belgians are tricky devils.  The ingredients list is simple, and nothing on it will make you cringe or question.  And at 140 calories per 8 cookies (which is quite a bit–they’re pretty rich), it’s not a bad little sin.  A-

First Bento!

 

Bottom Tier: Mu shu pork spring rolls on a bed of roasted peppers, garnished with sauteed almonds and sesame seeds.  The HK cup has garlic chili ponzu dipping sauce for the rolls.

Top Tier: white rice with a soy sauce fishie, apple slices, and tea-marbled egg whites.

Side car had yogurt with blueberries and almonds.

Final Verdict:  the rice was as expected, same with the apple.  The tea-marbled egg idea I got from Cooking Cute.  The one pictured here was only simmered for an hour, so it was quite light.  I let the other ones brew for about three hours, and they’re much darker.  I don’t like egg yolk, so I gave it to my kitties.  But the egg whites were nummy and quite lovely, so I will have to make these again!
The spring rolls were Wolfgang Puck brand, and weren’t bad.  However, the sauce that came with them (tagged “Garlic chili ponzu dipping sauce”), the reason I got them in the first place, ended up being nothing more than soy sauce.  Or, at least, that’s how it tasted.