Entries in bento box - bento colors purple (12)


your perfect chaos is a perfect fit

Today is a post of odds and ends, wee tales of empowerment, quirkiness, and adorableness. Also, food.

A Tale In Which Our Heroine Gets A Sign From the Universe. Literally.

On the way to the store a few weeks ago, there was a handmade sign stapled to a lightpole saying "Go Brittney Go!" An unexpected exhortation to hurry, hurry to the store? Words of encouragement for braving the hordes in the produce section when I got there?

No, just a remnant from the Portland Marathon a few days before (the route brings participants across the bridge and down Willamette, which is the street I was on), one of many homemade signs of cheer and support along the route. This one was on neon pink posterboard and featured stars and glitter.

A little further on, another sign: "Brittney You Go Girl!" I grinned and said to myself, "Yes, Brittney, you go girl!" And then after that, "YOU ROCK BRITTNEY GO GO GO!" I nodded and pumped my fist a little, "Yes, Brittney, you do rock! Go, go, go!"

It was the most empowering trip to the grocery store I've ever had.

A Tale of What Makes This City Uniquely Fabulous

On the way home from that same trip to the store, I saw what would've been the most awesome thing that day, if I hadn't already taken the grocery store errand of champions just before.

In the bike lane on the opposite side of the street, a cyclist caught my attention from a few blocks away, which is saying something, since cyclists are ubiquitous in this city of that's a haven for bike lovers. It wasn't that he was an older man, nor that he was riding an older-style bike that forced him to sit more upright, nor even that he was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt instead of sporting the hipster-biker and/or Serious Biking Enthusiast gear that's more common. No, it wasn't any of those things, because you get used to seeing all types when bikes make up as much traffic as cars do.

What caught my eye was the white fur stole wrapped around the man's neck and shoulders. I kept staring as I got closer, trying to puzzle out this unusual fashion choice. Was it for warmth? It was a gorgeous 70 degree autumn day, so that seemed unlikely. And fur-anything is a rare sight here, the headquarters of Liberal and Vegan and Environmentally And Socially Conscious.

It wasn't until I passed him that I finally realized that it wasn't a fur at all.

It was his beard.

Parted in the middle and thrown over each shoulder.

I wish every trip to the grocery store was that awesome.

A Tale of What's Red and Black and Adorable All Over

Sister reported the following conversation between her and the Fabulous Miss M regarding favorite colors:

Miss M: And Aunt Bitty's favorite color is purple, like me!

Sister: Yes, and yellow.

Miss M: Mommy, what's Uncle Sal's favorite color?

Sister: I think he likes black. And red.

(I was impressed that she remembered that, by the way.)

Miss M: Uncle Sal is a Ladybug Man!

(And now you know why we spoil her rotten. When you're that adorable, it's a requirement.)

A Tale of Bento Catch Up

But not bento ketchup. Although that would be rad.

Super behind on posting bento pics, but there were too many good ones not to feature them here, and also, NEW BENTO BOX WOOT WOOT! In my search for non-plastic boxes, I've finally added a glasslock box called a Wean Green, which is a pyrex type of glass with a locking plastic sealed lid. This one is square and holds 490 mL, so it's a good in-between size with a nice depth. (For the locals: New Seasons sells them alongside the Lunchbots.)

10/15/12 lunch -- Ms. Bento

  • chicken noodle soup made by Chef Sal
  • carrot sticks
  • green beans
  • Cox's Orange Pippin apple with cashews as gap fillers
  • chocolate pudding

10/16/12 breakfast -- pink WeanGreen

  • molded egg
  • cashews
  • Honeycrisp apple
  • cheese cubes


10/16/12 lunch -- bento colors purple

  • King David apple with cashews as gap fillers
  • chicken teriyaki meatballs
  • steamed broccoli
  • carrot sticks with honey peanut butter for dipping


10/18/12 lunch -- pink Natural Lunch

  • chicken teriyaki meatballs
  • steamed carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower
  • molded egg half
  • Anjou pear


10/22/12 lunch -- french bistro

  • crab
  • peas and carrots
  • King David apple with cashews as gap fillers


title from "Get On the Road" by Tired Pony


laptop recovery: boom roasted

I have officially survived Computer Apocalypse 2012. With aplomb, even. Hard drive successfully replaced and formatted? Check. All software, plug-ins, drivers, applications, and miscellaneous desirable (as opposed to undesirable) bells and whistles successfully installed and calibrated? Check. Over 67.5 GB of data successfully restored from the online backup? Check.

Laptop recovery: BOOM ROASTED.

And now my laptop is all shiny. It's like a little reward for all the sturm und drang of a computer meltdown. I am now in I Have My Shit Together mode, empowered to clean and reorganize and generally fix all the things. This will last approximately 2.5 weeks, and then I will be back to Have You Seen My Shit? I Think I Lost It Somewhere Near Albuquerque mode.

lunch, bento colors purple

  • grilled Thai peanut chicken
  • peas
  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • strawberries
  • Honeycrisp apple

snacks, bento colors mini

  • morning snack: Honeycrisp apple & cashews
  • afternoon snack: hard boiled egg, cucumbers, carrots

erin go braugh

Sister and Guy and the Fabulous Miss M joined us for the weekend for a bit of family time. Saturday being St. Patrick's Day, we of course had to pay proper deference to our Irish ancestors. Soda bread and Dubliner cheese for an appetizer, pasties and Guinness for dinner, and a very precious bit of a 22 year-old Bushmill's whiskey that Guy brought back from Ireland with him 10 years ago. Short an Irish pub, an Irish fiddle and tin whistle, and a bunch of drunk Irishmen singing "Danny Boy" in the corner, it was just about as Irish as you can get without a plane ticket.

breakfast, cute animals sidecar:

  • gala apple slices
  • roasted almond butter* for dipping


lunch, laptop lunch:

  • homemade pasty, courtesy of Guy (handmade crust, steak chunks, turnips, potatoes onion)
  • carrot sticks and broccoli
  • gravy (for the pasty)
  • raw pumpkin seeds
  • Gala apple slices

last Tuesday's lunch that I forgot to post, bento colors purple:

  • herb roasted turkey breast
  • carrot sticks
  • peas
  • sunflower seeds and almonds
  • cheese wrap (cheddar, lettuce, flour tortilla)

*I one of the (many, many) things I love about New Seasons is that their bulk foods section includes a place to make your own nut butters. They have different machines all loaded up with different nuts and you just run the grinder thingie and fill up whatever size container you choose. Straight nut butter, no sugar, no salt.


just lunch today

And not even a particularly exciting or pretty one, at that. (Oh, and breakfast, too.)

lunch, bento colors purple

  • egg, spinach, and onion scramble
  • smoked sausages, with a few fresh leaves of spinach for baran/garnish
  • broccoli, carrot sticks, and almonds
  • Mutsu apple slices and more broccoli

breakfast, bento colors mini green

  • plain Greek yogurt
  • marionberries (some of the batches we froze after summertime berry picking adventures on Sauvie Island)
  • Mutsu apple slices

hollywood comes to p-town

Great setting for an urban fantasy based on Grimm's fairy tales or GREAT setting for an urban fantasy based on Grimm's fairy tales?I'm sure everyone's seen the previews for the new NBC show, Grimm, that's premiering in a couple of weeks. What you may or may not know is that it's filmed here in Portland*. And in fact is set in Portland (unlike Leverage, for which Portland serves as a stand-in for Boston).

They were filming just down the street earlier this week, which meant film equipment and vehicles everywhere and streets blocked off and people standing around on the sidewalk in costumes and makeup that make you nearly wreck the car when you do a double-take. Which totally didn't happen to me on my way to work Monday morning.

*Our particular corner of Portland seems to be very popular with film crews. A few years ago, we came home to a flyer on our door that a movie would be shooting in the neighborhood and the street would be blocked off for film equipment and actors' trailers. Leverage films up here pretty regularly, too. And it seemed like St. Johns featured at least once in every episode of Portlandia last season. CLEARLY HOLLYWOOD RECOGNIZES HOW AWESOME WE ARE.

I know it's monumentally uncool to be all, "HOLY GEEWILLIKERS THEY'RE FILMING ONE OF THOSE TELEVISION THINGMAJIGS RIGHT HERE IN OUR TOWN" about the whole affair, but, you know, we Portlanders are dorks like that. Sure, our little town has recently acquired an impressive film & TV resume, but we're not yet so used to it that we've developed a blase' attitude about it. Except for the hipsters, of course, since they are, by definition, too cool for school and never get enthused about anything, unless it's ironically and could be put on a t-shirt.

The show does sound pretty cool; we'll see if it actually is or not. NBC doesn't exactly have a good track record with fantasy/sci-fi type shows. But I suspect we'll be too occupied with spotting familiar landmarks to notice.

lunch, Bento Colors purple:

  • herb roasted turkey and cheese wraps
  • celery sticks and corn, with carrot cutouts for garnish
  • red d'anjou pear slices and dark chocolate raisins

every day of autumn is a horn of plenty

Sally and I had the bestest, bestest weekend together.

A few months ago, Sal had been asked to judge a wedding cake competition at the annual bridal show, which is a pretty big deal for him and for the school. And it helps with his professional credits. The competition was Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, that was also the day I was planning to attend Wordstock, which included some events I thought he'd enjoy, as well. But! In the kind of happy happenstance that hardly ever happens to us, both events were held at the Convention Center, which meant we could have our cake and eat it, too. *rimshot*

Yes, I've been waiting all weekend to make that joke.

Anyhoodle, we had a great, jam-packed day of books and authors and writing workshops alongside cakes and frosting and bridezillas-to-be wearing WAY too much fake tan. Good times! And it happened to be a glorious autumn day after a week of chill and gray, so we skipped out on the latter events I'd put on my Wordstock schedule to have a big and very late lunch at Widmer before heading home to enjoy the rest of the late afternoon/evening.

Gray and drizzly and foggy Sunday, which made it perfect for sleeping in. after a lazy start, we grabbed books and notebooks/sketchbooks and braved the traffic back up from the marathon to check out Arbor Lodge, the new coffee shop across from New Seasons. One hot chocolate and two coffees later, we walked over to New Seasons for some dinner groceries. Then spent the rest of the afternoon comfortably ensconced at home with the clouds hanging low in the hills across the river all day, Sal cooking and chopping away in the kitchen while I spent a bit of time writing until dinner was ready. Fabulous dinner while we finished off disks four and five of S3 Fringe (one more disk to go!), then a bit more writing for me while Sal concocted a mighty big batch of sauerkraut.

Seriously, who could ask for more?

lunch, Bento Colors purple:

  • lemon & herb roasted chicken
  • green beans and caramelized onions
  • mushroom and bacon risotto
  • fresh pineapple
  • dark chocolate-covered raisins

Whew! Can you tell that we feasted for Sunday night dinner?


the root of the wind is water

reblogged on tumblr, taken from this comic on funnyjunk.com -- life at Hall House in a simple two-panel comic

The only good thing about coming back to work after a three day weekend is that it makes a four day work week.

Ahem. I may be having trouble shifting gears from "leisure" mode to "work" mode.

We spent part of yesterday at Kelley Point Park, then took a late afternoon drive so I could show Sal my secret getaway. (Some Friday afternoons if the weather's nice, I grab a book, maybe toss a few things in a bento box, and hop in the car for a bit of a drive to my secret getaway, where I can watch boats pass by and read my book and officially start the weekend.)

We sat for a bit in silence, watching the boats and taking in the view, and I closed my eyes to breathe in that scent of the water on the wind. I said, almost to myself, "I've come to realize how much I need to be near water."

He laughed and shook his head. "Duh. Took you long enough. Aquarius."

"Shut up, you don't know me." I laughed and bumped him with my shoulder. "How long have you known?"

"Pretty much since we first started dating. And then when we moved here, and the ocean...you know how you are."

I smiled and nodded. Yes, I know how I am. I appreciate that he knows, too. To him, I said, "Is there anything you need to be near?"

"You," he said without skipping a beat, and I fell in love with him all over again.

lunch, bento colors purple

  • Thai peanut chicken skewers
  • jasmine rice
  • caprese salad
  • carrots
  • wax beans
  • grapes and just bit of lemon cheesecake

Today's lunch courtesy of the veritable cornucopia on our table for dinner last night, thanks to the delivery of our produce bin and lots of yummy odds and ends in the fridge that added up to a bit of a feast. We grilled some skewers and corn in husks, I put together a green salad, cooked up some rice, and, along with the caprese salad leftover from Saturday and the lemon cheesecake Sal brought home from work Friday night, we ate like kings. Damn hell ass kings.


title taken from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, "Part V: The Single Hound, #51"


meh and bleh with a side of feh

So I guess the economy isn't going to blow up or whatever, we'll just all live like serfs for the indefinite future, so that's a relief. Wouldn't want our royal masters to forego their gold-plated spitoons and other such necessities of life. I think Jon Stewart put it best when he said of the Republicans' threats to Democrats: "You buy the keg, and we won't burn your house down." Yay, democracy.

Craptacular political news aside, I'm in a foul mood all on my own. Sal's been suffering from some kind of throat/head cold thing for several days, and I think I've managed to contract it finally. Go me. Few things suck more than being sick during the summer, except perhaps being sick when you simply have too many things to get done that you can't take time off to rest and recuperate. Feh, I say.

It's probably no surprise that my lunch looks so bleh today. It's actually very yummy, and reasonably healthy, but I totally failed on the aesthetics. Although maybe I get points for the color coordination.

lunch, bento colors purple:

  • egg scramble with caramelized onions and green peppers in a sundried tomato wrap
  • dill and onion roasted potatoes
  • carrot sticks
  • cherries and nectarine halves

on losing a bet

Because I lost a bet, I had to pack a bento for a coworker.

My friend and co-worker Tony, who has worked at my company almost as long as I have, rides his bike to work every day. Because of Sal's passion for biking, and his own impressive work commute, I've picked up a lot about the whole lifestyle of being a cyclist in a car culture (and more specifically, being a cyclist in Portland's very active cyclist culture), which means that it's one of the topics Tony and I talk about when we're avoiding work bored picking on each other chit chatting in the midst of being totally productive and not in any way wasting time.

It was during one of these totally productive and work-related conversations that I said that I thought that the saddlebags Sal uses are bigger than the ones Tony uses. Even though he's never seen them, Tony said they weren't, that they only make one size. Call it the sibling nature of our relationship, but next thing we know, we're betting on who's right. WHAT CAN I SAY IT WAS A MORE PRODUCTIVE DAY THAN USUAL.

At stake: two Green & Black's chocolate and almond bars if I win, a bento packed by me if he wins. And because he's an accountant down to his very DNA, and the importance of precision and accuracy were drilled into me by my engineering professors -- which means we are both monumental nerds -- we proceeded to very carefully measure the dimensions of his saddlebag, each of us verifying the reading of the ruler and making careful notes, along with stipulations as to exactly where the measurements were taken along the body of the saddlebag. I WASN'T KIDDING ABOUT THE PRECISION AND ACCURACY PART OKAY.

I brought Sal's bag in the following week and we performed the same measurements. Even though Tony said when I brought it in, "Well obviously it's the same size. I won't humiliate you by measuring it." And I was all, "Respect the rules of the bet, yo." Besides, my ME professor would have my hide if he knew I hadn't verified my measurements.

So I lost the bet. In the meantime, he had ordered his very first bento box thanks to that presentation I did a couple of months ago. And when it arrived, he announced that the first lunch to be packed in it, the inaugural bento, as it were, would be the one I packed to discharge my bet obligation. NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING. But also: awww.

Tony's lunch, Concorde XL:

  • salmon cakes
  • sushi rice with green beans and carrot shapes for garnish
  • corn as gap filler
  • stir fry mixed veggies (green beans, onions, red pepper, broccoli, mushroom)
  • carrot sticks as baran
  • part of a Pink Lady apple, and raspberries and blueberries picked from our own bushes!
  • strawberry Pocky

my lunch, purple bento colors

  • salmon cakes
  • sushi rice with carrot shapes for garnish
  • steamed broccoli
  • part of a Pink Lady apple with corn as gap filler
  • Rainier cherries with raspberries and blueberries
  • strawberry Pocky

It was a real challenge to fill such a large box (900 mL), especially for someone whose dietary needs are much different than mine. I stuck more closely to the 3:2:1 guideline than I do for mine, We'll see if it ends up being enough for him....


brought to you by the letters o and m and g

I only got a few more bites past this before I had to concede defeat.This post comes to you from beyond the grave.

I sat down last night after dinner, while waiting for dessert, to write (or start to write) a post about the last few days of vacation in all their vacationy glory. Because these last few days have been glorious, oh yes, and there are pictures to show and adventures to tell.

But as I began, Sal brought in the dessert he'd made for us, and set a plate before me at my desk. And you guys? I don't even...I mean, the human capability for language is insufficient to describe the utter divinity of what he placed before me.

We had peaches to use up, and some cherries from our bin, so he decided yesterday afternoon to make peach-cherry handpies to top off our magnificent little Independence Day feast. A Feast for the Fourth for Two, if you will. What started out as an intention to make multiple hand pies became only two massive half-pies, or as he called them, monster hand pies. Which, I guess is true if the monster in question has hands the size of dinner plates.

So as I said, he placed before me, still oh-so-dreamy-warm-from-the-oven, a ginormous half circle of pastry, all golden brown flaky wonderfulness and crystal sparkled with a light dusting of sugar and summer-drenched fruity warmth. And though I had no hope whatsoever of eating the thing entire, I knew it would be a blissful death in the attempt. And so. And so.

And so this is why there is not a post today to tell you the great tales of the last of our vacation. Because yesterday, I died a a death of sweet deliciousness and that was the end of me. It'll come soon, once I've been brought back by whatever supernatural culinary ritual Sal decides on for dinner tonight. But in the meantime, I'll die another little death at lunch with a small piece of that heavenly pie in my bento.

lunch, bento colors purple

  • chicken skewers in thai peanut and thai bbq sauces; jasmine rice with fresh sugar snaps (shelled by me!) underneath the chicken
  • carrots and more sugar snaps in their pods
  • cherries and a bit of the aforementioned peach-cherry pie

a sudden realization about treats

I was up very late last night working (on stuff for website clients, not my day job), to the point that I convinced myself that I wasn't going to take the time to pack a lunch. Too tired, no leftovers to scrounge, no starches/carbs, too much work, etc. etc. The usual. But our organics delivery had come earlier in the day so I certainly didn't lack for veggies, and eggs are always an option, and no starch/carb wouldn't be any big deal. So I ended up putting one together, as well as a small breakfast sidecar. I even molded a couple of eggs and cut out a few carrot shapes. It was so late by the time I was putting it all together I just figured in for a penny, in for a pound, right?

Tuesdays include a very long meeting, one that goes from morning until lunch, sometimes past lunch. So as I sat during our meeting eating from my little breakfast sidecar, I was thankful that I'd taken the time the night before.  But our meeting went longer than usual and rather than order out, we decided to finish the meeting at a nearby restaurant (Macaroni Grill). Damn, I thought. I could've just saved myself the hassle of making lunch last night if I'd known. A silly thought, since of course there was no way to know that we'd decide on the spur of the moment to make it a lunch meeting, but I thought it nonetheless.

At first, I thought well, I'll just save my lunch for dinner, then. Consider lunch a treat, even though a part of me was bummed that the especially colorful lunch I was looking forward to would have to wait until dinner.

But once I got there and looked at the menu (which was perfectly decent food, if a bit heavy), I changed my mind. I wasn't very hungry yet, thanks to my little breakfast, and my pretty lunch was waiting for me at my office, packed full of veggies and food cut into cute shapes. I knew I'd feel better afterward if I ate that instead of the pasta and cream sauces. (HAHAHAHA ORDER A SALAD WHAT IS THIS CRAZY TALK?) My bento was my treat, I realized, and suddenly nothing on the menu could compare.

breakfast, cute animals sidecar:

  • heart-shaped egg (with a small container of sea salt)
  • mandarin sections
  • fresh blackberries and raspberries

lunch, bento colors purple

  • mini sausages*
  • peas w/carrot shapes on top
  • two halves a star-shaped egg
  • corn
  • carrot sticks
  • green beans
  • mandarin sections
  • red grapes

new bento gear!

YOU GUYS I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP. This is getting ridiculous.

So, three new boxes (oh, and a new set of short flower picks!):

  • The Bento Colors box, in purple, which I have been lusting after for...well, more than a year. More than two years, actually. At last it is mine and I am victorious!
  • A Bento Colors Mini, in lime green, because.
  • The third is a new line, but it was so ingenious that I just had to have it. It's an origami bento (the "squares" design), the idea being that it folds into a bento box, and obviously can be folded flat for storage. I KNOW RIGHT. It was pretty much a law of gravitational physics that I needed to have that box. It even comes complete with little foldable dividers and baran! So cute! My thought is that it would be especially handy for trips since it's lightweight and can be stored without fuss. And it's not paper/cardboard, it's plastic so it's reusable.

Anyway, this was Thursday's lunch, which I didn't have a chance to post, packed in the Bento Colors purple.

  • 4-color raddiatore (tomato, carrot, spinach, regular) tossed with a bit of oil, herbs, and salt
  • molded egg, cut in halves
  • carrots and sauteed asparagus spears
  • Pink Lady apple and kiwi slices, with a small cup of dark chocolate covered raisins to inaugurate the new box properly

Today's is back to an old standby, Ms. Bento, thanks to delicious soup leftovers courtesy of Chef Salvatore:

  •  broccoli cheese soup
  • 4-color raddiatore (see above)
  • carrots, steamed asparagus
  • a few bits of pepperoni from a stop we made at Dick's Brewing on our trip last week
  • cherries
  • cinnamon apple sauce

The bento presentation for my coworkers is this Thursday. I finished the Powerpoint presentation over the weekend, which includes two separate photo slideshows, and there will also be a two page handout. Which...okay, that sounds totally dorkalicious when I put it in writing. BUT IT WON'T BE LAME I SWEAR. No really, it'll be cool and awesome. There's even a color-coded cha-

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