Showing posts from October, 2008


As promised my "borg" pumpkin. 2 harddrives gave their lives to make it happen :). My wife carved the Jack "the pumpkin king" pumpkin. I've got a fun bento coming up stay tuned!

Welcome Fall!

I don't count fall here in the south unless I get a full week of cool weather. In celebration of our break (finally) into fall. I created a nice bento full of fall goodness. I managed to still keep on budget, it's for some reason getting harder and harder as the weeks go by. I'm pretty certain it's general food costs at the store :( anyhow enough whining. So we start with a sheperd's pie, honestly this was the hardest part for me. It's hard to cook single portions in plastic cups.... I had to improvise and take the top off the finished pie and put it back onto the bento cup after the fact. The other challenge was that this recipe asked for a whole stick of butter! Definitely not on the healthy side. I managed to cut this recipe down to 2 tablespoons *and* packing this into the right form factor. I added flavor to the mashed potatos by cooking the potatos in some chicken broth (and mashed a bit of it in) to compensate for the lack of butter We celebrate fall wit

Back to basics

Sometimes it's easy to lose track of some of the basic principles that I set out in my early rules. Simplicity and budget are the biggest offenders, health is always on the forefront of my mind. Lots of bento bloggers are all about speed of preparation and trying to economize from what you have, be it leftovers or stock stuff from the freezer. My wife and I had a pumkin carving party so I really had to ratchet back and think really hard on how to make the fastest lunch for 5 people. I have been really skating the edge of the budget lately too, so I considered what all I had on hand. We start with this Miso marinated chicken. Wonderful recipe, very simple miso, brown sugar and a bit of rice wine to marinate some chicken thighs over night. I picked this for two reasons, first, it's fast, second, I got a chance to break out the indoor grill again. I'm still pretty happy with the grill, it cleans up pretty fast, the heat consistency isn't as good as real fire. I really had

Keeping it simple

It's been a tough weekend and despite that, I still really wanted to get a bento out the door. So I designed a bento that had some flash but was able to cut corners on complexity on two of the items to bring the overall effort down a notch. We start with the entree, Chicken Saltimbocca. There are many ways to put this dish together you can either flatten the chicken and wrap it around some ingredients (in my case baby swiss, prosciutto, and roma tomatos) or you can put the ingredients on the chicken breast and secure it with the prosciutto. I happen to like my way better. This was one of the first dishes I learned to cook when I started really taking cooking seriously (moving on from the instant ramen staples of my college years). It's a lovely dish that's still impressive, you get plenty of oohs and ahhs when your diners cut into the chicken. I try to grill this by pan as I'm afraid of the chicken getting too dry if I try to bake it. Perhaps a sear on the stove and a

Curry on my Mind (Thai Bento 2)

I've been having this craving for curry, not just any curry, but a nice Thai green curry. Of course this quickly translated into a fully formulated Thai (part 2) bento. It also just so happened that my local grocery chain was running some special on shrimp, obviously this was a sign that I had to make some Gaeng Keow Wan with Shrimp. I will say this bento really almost did me in. I think I traversed the city twice to find everything. Everywhere I went, it was either sub par ingredients, or trusted sources for ingredients that were completely out. I think I burned more on gas than I did on the ingredients for this bento but 6 hours of shopping later I was ready to begin. I love green curry, it's mild and has a hint sweetness to it. There's many variations to the ingredients, I used a bit of what was on hand and tossed the shrimp into it. I think the core must haves are: coconut milk, green curry (of course) and the basil. Everything else seems fairly negotiable. I would have