It's official: I'm addicted


You guys. I am totally crazy. No really.

I now have in my possession a THIRD bento box. WTF I DON"T EVEN KNOW. And also! I have miscellaneous other bento-related paraphernalia and/or accoutrements. And it's all your fault! Because I was all, "HALP HALP I AM SUCCUMBING TO BADNESS" and you guys were all "COME TO THE DARK SIDE WE HAVE COOKIES" and so anyway.


I've been thinking for awhile of getting a smaller bento box for the days when I'm working from home, and thus have regular breakfast (oatmeal, usually) and dinner at a reasonable time, as well as the fruit basket readily at hand for snacks and so don't need as much eat. The two systems I have work really great for the office because they're my lunch and snacks for the day and my days in the office are usually long (witness last night, when I didn't get home until after 8 PM, thankyouverymuch). Ultimately, I think I'm actually going to get a few more boxes of varying (small) sizes, so I can mix and match according to my meal needs for the day.

Or possibly I am justifying my craving for more boxes. Whatever.

I have some picked out on my wishlist, but they'll have to be ordered, and I have to actually convince myself to buy them. (That whole "buying yourself things you want is selfish" thing is a bitch.) They have to ship from Japan, which also means some steeper shipping costs than usual, and it takes, like 6 weeks or something, so I figured I'd check out a few places in town first to see what they had, as well as to get a few of the incidentals, if possible. Less to ship that way. I AM BEING TOTALLY PRACTICAL OKAY.

[skip a whole bunch of boring explanatory shit that I typed up but does nothing but make my already long posts even longer]

SO ANYWAY. I am now in possession of the following:

  • Bento box (500 mL) -- Nothing special, and certainly not the cutest they had (of the limited selection), but it'll give me a chance to experiment with the smaller size before I order the super cute ones I want on my wishlist. I picked this one because of the adorable Nintendo-ese on the top:  "We are passionate about lunch communication. The lunch is a good day pastime." Right? That alone will make any lunch 10x better. Oh, and it came with a mini furoshiki!
  • mini microwave veggie steamer thingie -- This was on my wishlist so I was glad to not have to pay shipping for it; it'll be handy for being able to do some bentos in the morning instead of the night before, when I can steam a small handful of veggies real quick without having to heat up water and use my steamer basket.
  • food picks -- Again, nothing special (they didn't have any selection), but I didn't want anything too fancy or bulky or cutesy and these were just right, for cheap.
  • EGG MOLDS! The exact heart & star package I wanted, even! Plus, no shipping, so yay!
  • Pocky -- Because you just can't go to an Asian grocery and not get Pocky. It's a law.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Movie -- A big bag of wasabi peas for Sal, because he loves them. They weren't a bribe. Shut up.

So here's the new box with today's lunch.

clockwise from bottom:

  • fresh green beans on the bottom, with slices of chicken basil sausage to each side and cheese decorations; centerpiece is my very first molded egg, the shape of which is supposed to be a star but which you can barely make out because I used the large eggs we had on hand instead of the extra-large/jumbos you're supposed to use to really get the effect (I was too impatient to wait for a trip to the store...I've been waiting a looooong time to have a molded egg in my bento; I am also five)
  • Cotswold and rosemary-cheddar cheese slices with 2 carrot sticks as baran (divider)
  • 2 more carrot sticks and a tangerine

You'll note one of my new little flower picks for eating and the lid in the background. The last pic of the box makes it look black, but it's actually a pretty, dark blue color with a small pink flower detail on the lid. The furoshiki (the patterned cloth under the box) matches the flowers on the lid.

This is the beginning of the end, you guys.


Bento 2010

Woohoo, first bento of the New Year! To celebrate I made my bento extra special by...doing absolutely nothing special whatsoever. Eh, first day back to the office since a week at the coast, whaddya expect? It's amazing I came back at all.... :)

clockwise from right:

  • beef stew -- Our patented Coast Crockpot meal, which Sal made the last night we were there. If you can make them out, those eensy weensy orange bits are carrots cut into 1/8" cubes. Not created by some special contraption found in 2 AM informercials and dubious mail-order catalogs, but diced by the chef and his Knife O'Doom into the cutest pile of wee carrot cubes you ever saw.
  • flour tortilla, with maple-smoked cheddar slices on one side and sesame sticks on the other side
  • Pinova apple slices and in the side container, half dark chocolate-covered raisins and half yogurt-covered raisins

*True story: when he was in culinary school, his Knife Skills class required what are called proficiencies in a whole list of specific shapes and sizes. Grades were given based on accuracy, precision, speed, efficiency, and consistency. For weeks, everything in our fridge was cut into all kinds of shapes and size whether it needed to be or not. :)

Fun Fact: The 1/8" dice cut is called brunoise. There is a smaller dice that was a proficiency requirement, called a fine brunoise, which is a 1/16" cube. Get out your ruler and look at how small that is. On a regular ruler, it's the smallest tick mark on there. Yes, that one.

The coast was fabulous. We had great stormy weather for three days, though it cleared up enough late Thursday evening (very light sprinkles, light wind) that we could head out to the beach to greet the New Year. There was fog and the moon peeked through enough to light up the waves a bit, the waves themselves were still pretty sizeable, and it was chilly but not miserable. Magical, in other words. And I needed that. Don't we all?

Got some writing done (including 6 pages on [spoiler]), did some reading, watched lots of shows/movies, ate some great food. Saturday was beautiful so we got a chance to spend some time on the beach and takes lots of pictures to add to the hundreds (thousands?) we already have. And of course Sunday it was even more beautiful just as we were leaving. We lingered a bit to soak it up before driving off.

It was hard to leave, as always, but we were glad to get home to our beloved house, cozy bed, and snuggly kitties. They make us completely crazy most of the time, but we miss the little bastards when we're gone. And thanks to our very good friend, we don't have to worry that they're going to set the place on fire, which is only a slight exaggeration of their diabolical tendencies. If Hobbes ever developed opposable thumbs, we'd start sleeping in shifts.


new years' from the coast!

click to see full photo galleryHappy New Years' Eve from the glorious (and very stormy!) Oregon Coast!!

We arrived yesterday, car fully loaded with necessities, entertainments, and food (mostly food), in our beloved Oceanside. It was a beautiful afternoon, actually, quite warm and no wind at all, with some sun and clouds and the tide the lowest we've ever seen it here: out a good 300 yards or more. So after we unloaded the car, and had a little snack, we headed out to the sand to walk about a bit and explore parts of the beach that are normally underwater.

We spent the evening enjoying the chef's incredible and incredibly famous wings while we watched Pride and Prejudice. (The Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth version.) We'd bought it last year to watch at the coast, but ended up doing a marathon of Boomtown instead, so I've been looking forward to a P&P rewatch all year, and have kept the DVDs purposely unopened for that reason. A man who enjoys watching Jane Austen movies...he's a keeper alright.

Woke up late this morning to the promised storm well underway. Rain has been coming in sideways -- strong, strong winds from the south -- and the tide is super high, all the way up to the base of the bluff. Big swells, too. In short, I am in bliss.

It couldn't come at a better time. I won't be sorry to see 2009 go, and I am desperately hopeful that 2010 is a much different -- much better -- year.

Not just for me, but for all of us. Whether you had a good year or a bad one, or a mixture of various proportions, I hope all good and wonderful things for each of you, and that you may be as richly blessed as you have blessed me. With your friendship, your generosity, your support, your understanding, your wisdom, your laughter.

Not sure if the storm is supposed to continue all day/night, but if it's the tiniest bit clearer, we will head out to the beach near midnight with a bottle of sparkling cider to mark the New Year. For many, many reasons, it will be the perfect end and start, and though I don't put much stock in portents and superstitions, I'm hoping the symbolism of it will have some kind of mystical effect on my upcoming year.

So here I sit at the tiny table set beneath our little cabin's window, typing away on my next book, my story notes journal and iPod at hand, with a little plate of sesame sticks and yogurt raisins for a snack until we dive into a the plethora of cheeses for our smorgasbord lunch. I am grateful.


Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

-- Gaelic blessing


Deeper still

Well, I lied. Decided to come into the office again today -- I suppose one more day not working on the Big Project O'Doom isn't going to make or break anything, though I'm freaked out about losing another day of progress. But my (electronic) piles on my desk aren't getting any shorter, either, so...into the office it is.

I have an eensy confession to make, btw. Well, I think my bento thing is morphing into...A Thing. Like an addiction, maybe? I don't know. Because I now have in my possession a dozen wee cookie/veggie/cheese/whatever cutters of the most darlingest little shapes. And also! A half dozen slightly bigger wee animal-shaped cutters. Send help, you guys. I think I'm in trouble....

clockwise from right:

  • Havarti dill and Cotswold cheeses cut into cute little animal shapes, on top of a bed of a few leftover basil chicken sausage slices (on top of a bed of the odds and ends from the cheese shapes) and Applegate Farms pepperoni slices
  • the most adorable teensy Pinova apple from our organics bin, cut in half, on top of a layer of baby carrots, with sweet little carrot shapes for decoration (and snacking, of course!)
  • Milton water crackers (I love Milton because they salt their water crackers very slightly, and it adds just enough to whatever you're eating with them)
  • Fairchild tangerine with some terrifically delicious raisins from our bin delivery yesterday as gap filler
  • orange juice in the drink bottle

My resolve not to get sucked into a bunch of bento gear is weakening. It was getting those two bento systems, dammit! Then it was, "oh, here's that cookie cutter thingie from my childhood, won't that make cute cheese stars to brighten things up?" and "oh, here are a few more flickr blogs to add to my list, what harm can it do to check those daily from time to time?" Next thing you know, it'll be egg molds, food picks, and colorful silicone cups in fun shapes. And then...more bento boxes! Heaven help us all.


A case of the Mondays

Late lunch today, thanks to meetings. The story of my Mondays.

We're headed to the coast on Wednesday for our (somewhat new) tradition of Winter Vacation. I have been looking forward to this trip for months now, and in the last 6 weeks, the thought of it has gotten me through many a long, hard day. This will be the first year we're able to be there for New Years', and I'm so excited about that I can hardly stand it.

Anyway, I don't expect to be in the office tomorrow, so this will probably be my only bento this week.

clockwise from right:

  • risotto made with chanterelle mushrooms and peas
  • Daisy tangerine wedges and a bit of sour cream chocolate chip cake (a holiday treat in my family)
  • BBQ meatballs -- my grandmother would make these on Christmas Eve

I have to do something about the way the lights in my office completely wash out the light-colored food items. I mean, it's really my phone that's the problem, obviously, but still.


Bare fridge

Guess it shows that I've pretty much cleaned the fridge bare. And that I was putting this together at the last minute last night, after a very long (but fun!) day.

clockwise from bottom:

  • Niman Ranch ham wrapped around havarti dill cheese, with some cut pieces of naan to make itsy little sandwich wrap thingies
  • blanched broccoli and Daisy tangerine wedges
  • Pinova apple slices with a wee satsuma at the center

This will be my only bento this week, as Sal is now on his winter vacation (YIPPEE!!) and I'll be home the rest of the week, so we'll be able to eat together. Plus, there's not likely to be leftovers with him eating (and cooking :). Influx of goodies coming from New Seasons on Thursday for our annual LOTR Extended Edition Christmas Marathon -- a holy holiday in this household -- so you may see a few odds and ends in next week's from that.

So anyway, not as exciting as previous bentos, but still delicious. And even on my worst day, I think it's safe to say my bentos will always be better than this. idek, you guys.


Any guesses about my favorite veggie?

Last of five days of trainings today, which I'm be glad to be finished with. I don't mind holding trainings for people, but it takes so much time and energy while the rest of my work pile continues to grow. Stressful enough regularly, more stressful since I'm still working on that big project with deadlines looming. (I can't remember if I said what the big project is, but basically, I'm completely rebuilding our billing system. So it's...kind of a lot of work.)

clockwise from right:

  • hard boiled egg, carrot sticks, blanched fresh broccoli
  • leftovers from dinner: part of a baked potato with broccoli and cheese
  • left half: Pink Lady apple slices with Daisy tangerine wedges tucked under and around to keep things snug; right half: 3 sugar cookie halves (larger versions of the ones Sal made for Monday) with dark chocolate chips as filler...okay, not so healthy, but we all deserve a treat sometimes, don't we?

Falling in a little deeper

School lunch-ish again. And apropos of absolutely nothing, I have a spider bite under my eye, so my eye is all puffy and swollen. Blech. I'll be glad when this week is over.

clockwise from right:

  • PB&J rounds (peanut butter, blueberry-marionberry jam on 9 grain bread) with macadamia nuts as gap filler
  • more of those adorable satsumas with blueberries as gap filler, which are approximately the same color as the container so the pretty contrast in color is kind of lost here, especially with my cameraphone
  • eggs with carrot shapes!
  • half a Pink Lady apple, which is my favorite apple variety

Close-up of the carrots on eggs, since the 1st pic doesn't do their cuteness justice, imo.


Needs some green

Another mishmash, trying to use things up. That, and I was super tired when I got home, though I didn't work late. Instead, a friend and I went to the movie (more below) so I didn't get home until late. Fun times, but still feeling ick, so I just don't have a lot of energy right now. Meh.

But a good lunch is more important than ever, so. Kind of an inadvertent color scheme going on here, with all the orange/cream/brown going on. Random!

clockwise from right:

  • two of the adorablest satsuma oranges that arrived in our latest organics bin and a teensy bit of Sal's most perfectest carrot cake (it has walnuts, coconut and pineapple, and sometimes raisins though not this particular cake, with cream cheese frosting and a wee marzipan carrot)
  • organic vegetable soup*
  • apple-spice chicken sausage, the last of the jasmine rice made in broth, and carrot sticks

*From a can. I keep a couple of cans of organic soups on hand for times like this, when I don't have the time/energy to make something for dinner, let alone lunch. Especially when I'm sick and there's a downpour outside -- soup is just the thing. Well, and I just eat a lot of soup anyway. God bless my Ms. Bento.


Long week ahead

In the office all week this week. Well, Monday thru Thursday, at least. And I've been sick since Wednesday, worsening over the weekend, but I can't really take any sick time because I have to do a bunch of trainings for our staff (hence the in-office time). So this week is going to suck, basically. Oh, and I'm just now getting to my lunch -- it's just been that kind of day.

But enough of my griping! Because there's always bento, and that's something to be glad for, isn't it? Yes, yes it is.

clockwise from right:

  • garlic-herb crackers (cut in half to make them fit), apple-spice chicken sausage, cheese, hard boiled egg
  • carrot sticks and honey-peanut butter dip in the small container, macadamia nuts, and my teensy sea salt container tucked in there
  • wee sugar cookies garnished with vanilla-infused sugar that Sal made just for me (awww)
  • half a granny smith apple

Kind of a mish-mash of stuff from the fridge. Time for groceries, probably, though I'm not sure when I'll get to it. At least I can do it in my jammies -- god bless New Seasons online ordering & delivery.


Italian birthday dinner

Definitely an Italian theme today, thanks to the (if I may say so myself) delectable dinner I made last night for ProcrastiGirl for her berfday.

clockwise from right:

  • Spaghetti with a damn fine red sauce made by yours truly: caramelized tomato paste as the base, to which I added caramelized onions and garlic, sauteed mushrooms, tomato sauce, onion, green pepper, and toward the end, fresh basil and sea salt. The caramelized tomato paste turns a deep, deep burgundy, so the overall sauce looks more like a BBQ sauce than a marinara, and it has a little sweeter flavor, too.
  • fresh mozz on a bit of romaine with a few slices of baguette
  • simple salad in homage to the Italian flag: green=romaine lettuce, white=Marcona almonds, red=dried cranberries
  • off to the side is a teensy container* of balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil for a simple vinaigrette for the salad -- can't get more Italian than that!

*I know everyone uses those special sauce/condiment containers made specifically for bento, either the squeezy clear animal-shaped ones or the colored ones in the shapes of animal faces. They seem to take up way too much valuable space, imo, and I rarely need a sauce/condiment anyway, certainly not in those quantities. Instead, I went to Storables and got a couple of teensy containers from their bath sundries travel section meant for pills and small quantities of liquids. The one shown here is perfect for things like a vinaigrette, since I can just make the exact quantity I need right in the container and shake it up to emulsify, or squeeze ketchup into it or whatever. I have another even smaller one for sea salt or other seasonings. Both of them together cost me less than a buck.


Breakfast for lunch

Haven't made a bento for a few days, hence the lack of posts about them. I figured you guys could probably use a break from them anyway, eh? ;) Today has kind of a breakfast theme, as I'd been craving breakfast-y stuff last night for dinner.

clockwise from right:

  • teensy little blueberry pancakes, with blueberries as gap fillers; took me a few tries to get the right size that would fit, turns out a not-quite-full tablespoon of batter is the perfect size pancake for the there are many here, but they're snack-sized
  • mushroom-cheese-basil omelet, which turned out quite delicious
  • steamed asparagus with sea salt
  • dried cranberries (little container) and Marcona almonds
  • water bottle in the background...too bad I didn't have any OJ

T-day, we hardly knew ye

I think this will be the last of the turkey leftovers. Without resorting to turkey salad, woot woot! (Or turkey croquettes, which a friend posits is the real last resort of T-day leftovers.)

clockwise from right:

  • turkey wraps again -- Turkey with romaine lettuce in sun-dried tomato wraps, though this time with a little different spread. Friday's spread was fresh dill aioli that I sort of made. But I much prefer cream cheese as a spread for a wrap, especially with turkey. So I cut up a bunch of fresh dill again and mixed it with cream cheese for the spread.
  • my Patented* Dill Potato Salad with a few pieces of broccoli as filler
  • truffle-filled chocolates -- handmade by Sal during the "civilian" class he taught yesterday
  • Marcona almonds in the little container with the chocolates
  • fresh mango

*Okay, not really "patented", and really just a variation (read: simpler version) of German potato salad: boiled potatoes (skins on), lots(!) of fresh dill, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. The nice thing about this potato salad vs. a regular German potato salad is that it's not just vegetarian-friendly (no bacon), but vegan-friendly (no sugar). (I mean, obviously there are lots of great natural substitutes for sugar, but since this version doesn't even need sugar, it's that much simpler.) And since there are no eggs or mayo as in a traditional potato salad, you don't have to worry about it going bad in warmer weather. In fact, I rather like it served when it's still warm, though the flavors do intensify to a yummy level after a day or just really can't go wrong with it no matter when you serve/eat it. Plus, far healthier than a more typical potato salad!

Bento note to myself today: "Dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Quiet Strength, Discipline." ~ Unknown

This quote comes from a time when I was a believer, but it still speaks to me as a reminder of what I want to be, strive to be. The grace I wish to have, and to reflect outward.


Prettier in person

Wow, my camera phone just doesn't take good food pics. Well, it doesn't take good pics, period, but especially doesn't take good food pics. This was bright and colorful on a bright surface, but it sure doesn't look it, does it? Oh well, trust me, it was quite appealing in person. :)

clockwise from right:

  • wraps -- turkey (still working through those leftovers), romaine lettuce, fresh dill aioli (made it myself! sort of), in a sun dried tomato wrap
  • carrots, broccoli, and fresh mozz
  • fruit salad (same as yesterday's, still delicious)


Summer in winter

Lots of color today. The beautiful clear skies must have me in mind of summer, though of course that biting chill wouldn't fool anyone. :)

clockwise from right:

  • jasmine rice made with broth instead of water (so lots of yummy flavor!) with cubes of leftover turkey
  • fruit salad: Rainier apple, D'anjou pear, banana, tangerine, and Cara Cara red navel orange, tossed with a bit of pineapple juice to keep it from going brown
  • caprese salad: fresh basil, mozz, and heirloom variety cherry & grape tomatoes

Late getting to eat today, so I'm glad I had this to look forward to!


School lunch

Kicking it old school today. As in "school lunch", which is my theme today. Well, only a theme after the fact -- I didn't actually come up with that until I'd finished putting it together last night. The truth is, this is just random stuff from the fridge, since we don't have a lot of groceries in the house. Rather ironic, since I just had a grocery delivery a week ago, but of course that was all for Thanksgiving. Anyway, god bless peanut butter, is all I can say.

clockwise from right:

  • PB&J rounds -- peanut butter and marionberry-blueberry jam on 7-grain bread, cut out with a biscuit cutter so it would fit in the box (scraps were part of my dinner last night ;); the jam is homemade from berries picked on Sauvie Island this summer (given to us by one of Sal's coworkers)
  • carrots leftover from Thanksgiving snack plate and a small container of the ubiquitous peanut butter/honey dip; the carrots accidentally froze when the fridge got too cold over the weekend, so the dip in this case is very necessary for edibility
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • lemon curd (leftover from the crepes on Friday) with "fresh" blueberry smiley face; blueberries were picked this summer (also at Sauvie Island) and frozen while fresh, given to us by the neighbors when Sal took over one of his pecan pies

T-day leftovers!

Thanksgiving leftovers -- pretty predictable, no? However, this is the very last of said leftovers. Looks rather ho-hum (and blurry! my cameraphone does me no favors), but trust me, it's oh so delicious!

clockwise from right:

  • mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, with the last of the turkey under more gravy
  • scalloped corn woot woot!
  • pecan pie with a squiggle of crust in the middle
  • cheesy broccoli bake
  • juice bottle: pineapple juice

Sadly, we divvied up the last of the stuffing last night, the creamed brussel sprouts gave out Saturday night, and we forgot to make roasted sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving altogether. Though really, the last thing I needed here was more food. This is all delicious, but I'm glad I/we don't eat like this every day.


This may or may not be a good thing

I was in jest about doing bento for the days I'm working from home, but I've decided I'm going to go ahead and do that as a regular thing. It made such a difference Monday and I noticed the difference even more yesterday when I didn't do one. Especially because yesterday was so lovely, and it would've been perfect to take a break from work, walk down to Cathedral Park, and have a nice little lunch break, which I hardly ever do at home (I have lunch, and I may even be away from my computer during that time, but I'm still within hearing distance so I can listen for an email ding; I think I shall be changing that habit, however -- it's become a tad too Pavlovian for my comfort level). It's another pretty day here, so I'm headed out to eat my lunch. ;)

clockwise from right:

  • small baked potato with a lattice of colby cheese strips and maple-smoked cheddar shapes -- my lattice doesn't look quite as nice as it did at first since I put it on while the potato was still warm, so it melted in the middle
  • peas with a border of pickles; carrots would've been better contrast than pickles, but I'm out and have held off buying any groceries for awhile in anticipation of Thanksgiving, since we'll need every spare inch of space to store food (Hall-Smiley Thanksgiving Extravaganza WOOT WOOT!)
  • left side: strawberry yogurt with little flowers designed from pomengranate seeds; right side: mango slices with pomegranate seeds as gap fillers

The pomegranate in our last organics bin was ginormous. Took me about 40 minutes to seed it. What's in the container is less than half of what I ended up with. No complaints here because I lurve me some pomegranate, especially juice, but it's no wonder pomegranate-anything is so freaking expensive -- seeding the darn things is labor-intensive!

Someone asked me about the container sizes* and overall between the three containers, the Ms. Bento holds about 710 mL to 770 mL**, depending on how full you fill it.The soup container, which is the smallest (the one with the potato in it in this pic), holds about 6 oz. The large, middle container (peas) holds closer to 11 oz., but the way the lid works you can't fill it to the brim because the lid is insulated (thick) and sits down inside the container, so you lose volume to that. Generally, I think you can fit about 9 or 10 oz. in it. Then the divided container holds about another 9 oz.

*Read here for the whole philosophy of sizes for bento, if you're not familiar. Hence, the Ms. Bento packs about a 710 calorie meal if you follow the 3:2:1 guideline. (I play kind of fast and loose with that guideline since I tend to have more fruit/veg and less protein in mine than called for.)

**The specs from the booklet put it at 840 mL (soup bowl: 6.8 oz; middle bowl: 10.5 oz; divided bowl: 11. 2 oz.) but I measured it when I got it and it came out closer to 710 mL to 770 mL (24 oz to 26 oz) if you measure to the levels you can actually fill it. Also, since lunch is my main meal for the day (when I've packed one), I treat it as my food for the majority of my day. That means a snack and/or breakfast/morning meal. Oftentimes, I don't get an opportunity to eat more than once during the work day, but I do spread it out if I can.


It starts...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA You guys remember that time I said "oh, i will be working from home woe no bento for me"??????

Yeah, I totally put one together anyway. About 5.38 seconds after you all said, "do eeeet!". Actually, it was fun putting one together last night for today. I mean, even though I'm at home, I still get so wrapped up in what I'm doing sometimes that I forget to eat something, sometimes until late, so this is probably a pretty good thing. And did I mention, fun? I did? Okay then.

clockwise from right:

  • leftovers from Saturday night (that I made): chicken noodle soup made with a box of cream of portabello mushroom soup that needed to be used up, some carrots, two whole chicken legs that were on sale at New Seasons, an onion, and some fresh egg fettucine from Pastaworks; the parsley was some leftover from the broccoli cheese soup the weekend before that I'd intended to chop and add at the end, but forgot, so we've just been adding it each time we heat up a bowl of leftovers since
  • peas! with some colby cheese star shapes*
  • hard-boiled egg with a sprig of parsley; small container has raisins and macadamia nuts
  • satsuma orange wedges
  • drink bottle: pineapple juice

*Here's a funny thing about those little stars. We only have a few random cookie/biscuit cutter type things, and none of them are small. But we do have a little red cutout thing that has four small shapes on it. That particular cutter is, literally, older than I am -- it came in a box of old kitchen items my mom gave us when we got our first apartment and has traveled with us ever since. I've kept it for nostalgic reasons, not because we ever made cute, teensy little cookies with it, or colorful decorations for cookies or cakes, but because my brother and I used it for Playdoh. In fact, I'm fairly certain that if I showed it to my brother without saying anything, he'd recognize it instantly.


Late lunch

Meetings all morning, and one right before lunch that ran 2 hours instead of half an hour, so I'm eating late today. But at least I'm eating, right?

clockwise from right:

  • pomegranate seeds, macadamia nuts, and chocolate chip banana bread (that I randomly decided to make at about 10:30 last night -- no wonder I'm so sleepy!)
  • broccoli cheese soup (my favorite!) that Sal made for Second Saturday this weekend
  • wraps made with honey-glazed turkey and maple-smoked cheddar (would've been even better with my sun-dried tomato or spinach wraps, but alas, I didn't have them defrosted; still delicious, though!)

Bento Note To Myself Today: "Hope has two children: Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and courage to make them better." ~ St. Augustine

I tried using a piece of paper to provide a bit of shade, since I always get so much glare off the light-colored items from the overhead fluorescents, and I'm using my camera phone, so the quality's no great shakes. Hence the shadow across the food. The foil baking cup that the macadamia nuts are in is my first "disposable" item in my bento, which I really didn't want to do. But I'm still searching for the right size containers and/or silicone cups I want and I figured since it's a foil cup with only nuts in it, I can reuse it for a bit.