Entries in bento box - laptop lunch (34)


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.


it's just a flesh wound

I took Friday off and headed to the coast to get away from the mid-90s that've plagued us for the last several days. (Seriously, we have had some cracked out weather this year.  Highest temps of the year in September? And we still never hit triple digits, which we usually do at least once or twice. I should be thankful that at least it didn't approach 100....) Just me, some good music, a few snacks, a book, and the open road.

Heading west was the right idea. It was 25 to 30 degrees cooler in Astoria, with a heavy fog bank sitting just a few miles offshore all day and all of Cape Disappointment enveloped in mist. I opted to head to the other side of mouth of the Columbia at Fort Stevens, all around the Jetty Lagoon and up to the observation tower at the South Jetty. (Where I could see across to the river and the North Head lighthouse where we were just a couple of weeks ago.)

see more pics here

While I was on my little Kerouac-esque sojourn, I made the mistake of checking G+ and saw that Sal had posted a pic of an injury sustained while he was test riding a new bike. Beneath the pic of his hand, all scraped and bloodied, he added the note, "Honey, I'm okay :-)". Which are usually the words that precede "I'm at the emergency room". He wasn't, thankfully, but I still worried about him all the way home.

My suspicion that he was hurt worse than the pic showed was confirmed later that night, when he arrived home from work limping. The hand was the least of his injuries -- he'd landed on his knee, which was now swollen and bruised, and sprained his ankle. And then spent the night on his feet on a concrete floor, with neither injuries bandaged.

So we've spent the weekend keeping everything iced, compressed, and elevated as much as possible. Of course, he's an irascible patient, stubbornly insisting on getting up to do things instead of letting me do them for him, and arguing every time I tell him to sit still. Guy, Sister, and the Fabulous Miss M were here to visit for the weekend, and nothing was going to stop him from playing at the park with Miss M, not even a moderate injury. He seems genuinely surprised to find out he's both mortal and destructible, and it's seriously the Knights of Ni all up in here.

lunch, Laptop Lunch:

  • enchiladas
  • salad (romaine, tomatoes, carrots, celery) with dressing in the condiment cup
  • red grapes
  • berry swirl cheesecake that Sal made and that I am officially in love with

the sheer force of sky and the cold magnet earth

this is what the first(!) 80 degree day of an extremely cold, wet, and gray year looks likeFriday was so glorious that as soon as the workday was over (which ends early on Fridays because our company is the greatest), I jetted to a little hideaway place of mine with a book and a late afternoon lunchish/snackish bento (see below). This little spot is tucked into a niche of the Columbia River, in a place where there an island splits the river in half. I sneak out there every few weeks if the weather's nice and I've got a good book going.

taken a month and a half ago, back when the river was high at the time, but nowhere near as high as it is now; and randomly, a pirate ship that just sailed pastThe river is super high right now. Past flood stage, actually, though not currently threatening anything and no worry that it will before it finally starts to die back in a few weeks. Very thankful for that, obviously, since it seems so many others haven't been as lucky in other parts of the country. Still, it was amazing to be out there and see how noticeably different it was from the last time I was there just two or three weeks ago.

We spent Saturday with Sister, Guy, and the Fabulous Miss M at their house, us girls knocking about in the gorgeous weather while the boys brewed. Then later time spent together, just together. And food, of course, because that is what we do best. Mouthwateringly grilled steaks, with grilled asparagus and a special treat of a creamy mushroom sauce for the steak thanks to the morels that Guy picked up at the farmers' market and Sal's handy skill with cream, stock, and exquisite fungi. And later, sampling of the very special French artisan chocolates they'd bought in Montana months ago and saved just to share with us. That's love, people.

sometimes snapping a pic of Miss M is like trying to capture wind in a bottleThe weather held most of the day yesterday, but today is back to overcast and intermittent rain, but at least it's stayed a little warmer than it was. Although now that our yard has had a taste of sun and warmth, the weedy chaos is threatening to explode into overgrown catastrophe. We really need to get out there and get the place whipped into shape, but with so few nice days this spring, it's ever so much easier to go for a bike ride or ensconce onself on the porch swing with a book. Which explains why our yard is in the state it's in, and we're no closer to having it done. Sigh.

lunchish/snackish bento from Friday, Lunchbot Duo:

  • parmesan breaded chicken breast pieces on my new picks
  • string cheese
  • carrot and celery sticks
  • raspberries

sweet treat from Friday, matryoshka:

  • honey roasted mixed nuts
  • two chocolate chunk & sea salt cookies

lunch today, laptop lunch:

  • salad greens -- red leaf lettuce, spinach, sprinkling of green onion
  • salad fixins -- carrots, snap peas, radishes, celery
  • a bit of naan
  • chicken sauteed with a bit of salt, pepper, and fresh ginger (leftover from the gyoza adventure a few weeks ago)
  • raisins and honey roasted mixed nuts for the salad
  • dark chocolate covered raisins in the little condiment container
  • on the side: Sal's homemade vinaigrette


title taken from "The Lightning Strike: Daybreak" by Snow Patrol


shame, shame, shame

Most everyone who knows my history knows how strongly I feel about the labor movement and how much it shaped me. It's not hard to imagine, then, how wrapped up in the Wisconsin situation I've been. Or how much of a gut punch yesterday's outcome was. This sums up my feelings pretty well:

If you're outraged by the movement to obliterate unions and want to do something to help, ActBlue has several campaigns where you can help fund recall efforts for the governor and Republican senators who perpetrated this travesty.

lunch, Laptop Lunch:

  • peanut butter and strawberry jam on whole grain bread (with the cut-off crusts as gap fillers)
  • rainbow carrot sticks and peas
  • hard boiled egg with dried cherries in the little container
  • cinnamon apple sauce

pizza pockets, bento style

We had some pepperoni leftover from our coast trip last week and a big block of cojack cheese, so I had a thought last night to make pizza. And then I thought, "Hey, I could make little pizza pocket thingies for my bento!" And then I thought, "HEY! I could make a bunch of little pizza pocket thingies and freeze them for future bentos!"

Pizza's an easy enough thing to make but I wasn't sure how well it would work so I decided only to make a few pizza pockets to freeze and then a small pizza for dinner last night with the leftover dough. I didn't try any of the pockets but the pizza was tasty, so I felt pretty confident about packing it in today's lunch.

Now that I've thought of doing this, I'll try to plan to do it more often, since it can be used for a lot of different ingredients and would be a great way to use up things, as well. I've been trying to think of some good things like this that I can make fairly easily and then freeze for a "bento stash" to make lunches easy when I'm pressed for time. (It was actually Guy's homemade gift for me that gave me the idea for the pizza pockets, which will make sense when I finish the post about our homemade Christmas.)

lunch, laptop lunch:

  • two pizza pockets -- organic pizza dough (courtesy of New Seasons), homemade pizza sauce of caramelized tomato paste with fresh garlic, Applegate Farms pepperoni, cojack cheese
  • steamed broccoli
  • satsumas
  • cashews and a few small pieces of cherry-almond dark chocolate, with yogurt-covered raisins in the little condiment container

ETA: well those were a success! They heated up quickly -- just a quick minute in the microwave -- and were tasty and just the right size for a lunch.  Each pocket had two teaspoons of the pizza sauce, a tablespoon of cheese, and two thin deli slices of pepperoni, and the pocket was made from about a quarter cup of dough, so I think the overall lunch portion of two pockets was probably reasonably healthy.


once you've been to serenity, you never leave

I've been rewatching Firefly thanks to Mark Watches, whom I was first introduced to via cleolinda when she pointed up his Mark Reads series on Twilight. Well of course I had to check out his site because hello, Zombie Shame Parade, and anyway, who doesn't love a good game of Horrify the Twilight n00b? So when he moved on to Harry Potter, I was already hooked. With HP, though, it was a matter of love instead of hate, which is even better. Man, there's nothing like watching/reading someone experience something you love for the first time. It's the closest you can get to recapturing that first-time feeling. It's downright addictive, I tell you.

He finished up Harry Potter a few weeks ago and started his own sites, one for books (he's doing the Hunger Games trilogy right now) and one for TV shows and movies, to continue the project. So, as I said, he's moved on to Firefly, and Eru bless whoever suggested that as his next thing, because as we all know, my love for Firefly knows no bounds and I will be a Browncoat to the day I die.

I was already mulling a rewatch since it's been awhile -- I haven't watched since the last Browncoat Day, now that I think about it. So having that feeling of love refreshed, a rewatch was inevitable.

But it's always a bittersweet thing, because as I said, LOVE, but there's also the inevitable WHY WHY WHY and even eight years on, I'm not over the cancellation. (The hardest thing about the WHY WHY WHY is that even when the show was still on and in danger, we knew they'd eventually regret cancelling it, yet despite a positively Herculean effort, we couldn't stop the cancellation from happening. So to have it so universally loved and recognized in the intervening years is one hell of a Pyrrhic victory.)

Anyway, if you're a Firefly fan and you haven't watched in awhile, I recommend both a rewatch and the Mark Watches Firefly series for a bit of diversion.

lunch, laptop lunch:

  • sandwich of herb roasted turkey breast and cheddar on buttermilk bread
  • steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes
  • celery sticks with a bit of ranch for dipping
  • satsumas
  • chocolate milk in the drink bottle for a special treat

"Once you've been to Serenity, you never leave. You just learn to live there."
-- Zoe, Firefly


progress on this work in progress

one of the eave closet openings before the trim was up; there are FIVE of theseWe've gotten the quote on getting the doors done for the attic closets and it's...not too scary, actually. We'll have to hold off until after the first of the year since we have the Sooper Sekrit Project coming up in December, but it looks like we'll have doors on those damn eave closets by the end of January, just like a real house! If you had told me ten years ago that the prospect of having closet doors would fill me with the kind of excitement most women reserve for large expensive jewelry (or in my case, large gift cards to Powell's), I would have scoffed openly at such hilarity.

these built-in shelves in the kitchen are actually the back side of the built-in buffet in the dining roomThe estimate also includes cabinet doors for the open shelving in our kitchen. We think it originally had doors similar to the rest of the kitchen, and in fact we did find a cabinet door in the basement that seems to fit one of the openings, but they were removed at some point. It's a pretty nice use of an otherwise unusable space, and perfect for all of Sal's cookbooks, but because our kitchen doesn't have hood for the stove, it's hard to keep them clean. So we'd like to have doors with glass inset to protect the books, but still display. We'll paint the interior something rich and spicy -- the color of saffron or paprika, maybe. Should look pretty neat when it's all done. (Of course, it'll make the rest of the kitchen look even more in need of a makeover than it already does, but baby steps, baby steps....)

lunch, Laptop Lunch:

  • PB&J, using peanut butter and red currant jam on buttermilk bread
  • peas and carrots
  • half a Fuji apple with a carrot shape garnish and a few raisins at the corner as gap fillers
  • red grapes and a bit of ranch dip in the condiment container for the carrots

A kind of American-style lunch box theme today with the PB&J. (No chips or juice box, though!) I'm famished today so it was nicely filling lunch. But I must say that with the cooler weather, I'm craving soups and casseroles. And chili, lots and lots of chili.

Hmmm...we do have a ridiculous amount of peppers from the CSA to eat up, and some onions...oh, and nice bag of mixed greens from our latest share that would make a delicious salad with some cut up rainbow carrots that were also in our share...yes, I do believe a big batch of chili is in my future....


the glowing of such fire*

Is there anything better than autumn in the Pacific Northwest? NO THERE IS NOT. We have had days and days of the most beautiful, clear and warm days and cool, crisp nights, interspersed by dark, foggy, wet days that are perfect for curling up with a book and hot chocolate. The leaves are a riot of color everywhere you look-- greens, yellows, reds, purples, oranges, browns -- and the late summer and autumn roses are still blooming. The crape myrtle we planted last year next to the house went completely bonkers this summer (after I thought for sure it had died this winter and was just heartsick over it) and it's blooming this year. Just a few magenta flowers, but a hint of autumns to come.

I love that the season that eases us into the dark and cold and wet of winter is full of fire and beauty. There are many reasons autumn is my favorite of the seasons, but I think that may be the biggest.

lunch, Laptop Lunch:

  • bagel sandwich: sesame seed bagel, egg omelet with Australian boxing cheddar
  • cucumber shapes in apple cider vinegar; grapes and kiwi berries
  • rainbow carrots (including a little deformed one that looks like a curly cue!) with honey peanut butter for dipping
  • Spitzenberg apple


* from here


the sea sings to her in wind tossed whispers

Hello friends and internet denizens! We have returned from our Fall Getaway, our annual September-ish escape to our Oceanside hideaway for an extended weekend. For those following along at home, we make this trek at least four times a year -- extended weekends in spring and fall, longer vacations in the winter and summer. We try to make it to the coast at other times, too, even if only for the day, but having those four getaways proverbially circled in red in on our electronic calendars are our talismans against the humdrum of life that can wear a soul down with routine. Of course, returning to said routine can be a bit harder in those initial days, but it's a price worth paying.

From Friday night until Monday morning, we escaped to a cozy little cabin and holed up together while weather raged outside. It was a particularly -- awesomely -- stormy weekend, with buckets of rain and intermittent wind, yet freakishly warm. Especially for the coast.

We didn't bother taking a whole lot of pics since it was mostly gray, gray, and gray (though beautiful!). But the sun did peek out for a brief time near sunset, because even Nature isn't above showing off from time to time. So we did snag a few to memorialize yet another wonderful retreat to our beloved Oregon Coast.

It all made for the perfect atmosphere for curling up under blankets and watching movies and reading books and nibbling on many yummy things. Hence my lunch today....

breakfast, pink strawberry sidecar:

  • Honeycrisp apple
  • Bartlett pear
  • Reliance grapes


lunch, laptop lunch:

  • meats: Niman Ranch ham, herb roasted turkey breast, Applegate Farms pepperoni; cheeses: Mahon, Jarlsberg, gouda, smoked mozzarella, Cotswold, maple smoked cheddar, Dubliner
  • French batard slices and carrot sticks
  • more French batard
  • Honeycrisp apple and Reliance grapes

all i need is a sleeping bag and it'd be like a sleepover for grownups

New Seasons saves the day yet again! Amazing what a difference a few key items in the pantry can make!

lunch, Paris slimline:

  • green beans sauteed with caramelized onions and a cucumber heart for garnish -- the beans are both the regular green and the royal burgundy from our share, but the lovely purple color of the royal burgundy beans dissolves when they're cooked, so they lose that wonderful contrast...still mighty delicious, though!
  • molded egg with carrots as baran
  • cucumber slices and carrot
  • Muenster cheese slices
  • cashews and dark chocolate covered raisins

dinner, laptop lunch:

  • herb fettucine in a garlic and chanterelle marinara with a cucumber flower garnish
  • Tuscan roasted turkey breast
  • more of the green beans sauteed with caramelized onions, this time garnished with carrot stars
  • carrot sticks and cashews in the condiment container
  • a bit of orange creme cheesecake from Sally for a little treat

The big work project I mentioned yesterday begins today. Well, technically, tonight. The project itself will take months to complete, but tonight's work, Phase 1, will be done overnight. I'm really hoping it won't take all night to do, but it will take several hours late into the evening at the very least, and thus I've come prepared with not only lunch for today, but dinner for tonight. That there isn't also a third one for breakfast in the morning is my optimistic hope that I won't actually need one.


lunch lady, lunch lady, make me a lunch

(Imagine the title sung to "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from "Fiddler on the Roof", and you will see that I am, in fact, both brilliant and hilarious. Just sayin'.)

lunch, Laptop Lunch:

  • PB&J cutouts (peanut butter and marionberry jam on Sal's homemade ciabatta) with cherry tomatoes, green and royal burgundy beans, and itsy bitsy carrots as gap fillers -- the cutouts are supposed to be a heart, butterfly, flower, and tulip, but they didn't come out as well with the ciabatta as they do with the nine-grain bread)
  • molded egg, carrots, royal burgundy beans as gap fillers, and cucumber hearts for a little garnish
  • donut peach (cut in half for easier eating) with a cucumber heart for garnish (and more cucumber slices underneath the peach)
  • ginormous marionberries and some dip for the veggies in the little condiment container

No lunch Monday because I was sick, no lunch Tuesday because of a working lunch thing, and of course no lunches Wednesdays (and Fridays) because of my work-from-home days. So only today's this week, and yet I stared at my empty fridge and cupboards in desperation last night, wondering petulantly why I don't have a personal chef.

Oh right, I do! Except, yanno, he works at night AND he has this annoying habit of making just what's needed for a meal so there aren't many leftovers from the weekends when he cooks. I know, right? How inconsiderate of him to be all efficient and stuff.

And of course I don't cook as much as I should on the weeknights, especially in the summer, and so I get the lunches I've been having. Which are good, don't get me wrong, and certainly better than eating out, but they look like they were made by someone with no access to modern appliances and no ability to make something more complicated than toast. I'm no chef, it's true, but I am a decent cook, though you certainly wouldn't know it from my lunches. Sigh.

So I'm on a mission! To make actual entrees for dinner at night so I have leftovers the next day. Of course, I'm resolving to do this at the start of what's forecast to be a week-long heatwave, so perhaps I'll wuss out and wait until that passes. But I am going to have something for lunch that necessitates eating utensils sometime soon.


ho hum monday

Ho hum, a case of the Mondays after an especially wonderful weekend.


  • ham & havarti dill wraps, with red leaf butter lettuce to eat with them
  • broccoli, woot woot!
  • cherries from our bin and blueberries from our very own bushes that we planted last year
  • a few slices from the mini pound cake Sally made

More about the weekend fun (well, moreso for me -- Sally had to work, unfortunately, though we did make the most of his time at home) in a post later today.


lunch, movies, and naked bike rides

[NOTE: Had this all ready to post this afternoon but my phone wasn't cooperating so I had to wait until I got home to upload the pic via bluetooth. A simultaneous "GRR!" and "YAY!" for technology....]

No time for breakfast today so a little bigger lunch. Tuesdays seem to be like that more often than not, mainly because I have a lot of meetings on Tuesdays. More than usual today, since one of my monthly conference calls is today, too. But! CSA share pickup tonight, woot woot!

Laptop Lunch box:

  • ham & cheese wrap
  • salad: wild mixed greens, red & green leaf lettuces, sesame seeds (homemade balsamic vinaigrette in the small container in the silverware compartment
  • star-molded egg, greens for garnish and carrots as gap fillers to add to the salad
  • fresh blueberries; dark chocolate and yogurt covered raisins in the small container

We saw Toy Story 3 Saturday night, and...well, no spoilers here so I'll just say that IT WINS THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE OF PERFECTION AND AMAZINGNESS BASICALLY. And also makes you cry like a fountain. NO NOT JUST ME SAL CRIED TOO EVEN IF HE DENIES IT BECAUSE HE IS A BIG LYING LIAR.

Saturday was also the annual Naked Bike Ride, though we didn't encounter any part of the ride this year. Portland, btw, had over 13,000 riders this year. I don't know how that compares to the turnout in other cities, but wow, that's a whole lotta naked!

The first time we ever encountered the naked bike ride was the about five years ago. We were driving someplace downtown and were stopped at an intersection by cops on bikes stopping in front of us and less than a minute later, this whole stream of naked bike riders went streaking by. It was awesome and hilarious, and I think we must've sat there and laughed the entire time. Portland ftw!

ETA: And thanks to this late posting, I've already picked up this week's share. A couple of new-to-me veggies this week: Italian lacinato kale and French sorrel. How exciting! Wonder if Sally has ever used either of these?

In every share so far, we've had garlic greens and/or spring onions, with those thick, long, pretty green ends that you see in the picture at that link, and they're always poking out of the bag along with everything else overflowing out of the top. I don't know what it is about those garlic and onion greens, but Hobbes goes completely bananas as soon as I walk in the door with them. I can't keep him away from them!

The first thing I do when come home Tuesday nights is march directly to the kitchen with the bag held well out of his reach (as he jumps along the way trying to reach them), pull out those greens and chop off the tops to put in the compost bin. Which then goes back under the sink with a twisty tie around the cabinet handles so he doesn't pry the door open trying to get at them. The rest of the produce is safe from him after that long enough for me to go change out of my work clothes and get a drink of water before I return to clean and store everything from the week's share.


back to the grind

To a really hectic stretch of work this week and next, unfortunately. And I have a bunch of things to get done in the evenings this week, too, so no rest for the weary, I guess. Our first CSA pickup is tonight, and then I need to get my website clients updated when I get home, which means a late night, and probably tomorrow night, as well. Errands Thursday night, something I'm forgetting Friday, and a block party Saturday, which includes the neighborhood project of painting the intersection down the street (with a design that Sal and I haven't seen yet, but knowing our awesomely artistic neighbors, ought to be cool no matter what).

And today marks our 8 year house-iversary...8 years since the old girl became ours, and wow, has a lot changed since then. If I ever get our website updated before I start collecting Social Security, I'll have lots of new pictures of that progress.

Anyway, on to lunch. It was a busy weekend (more on that in another post) so there wasn't a lot of cooking happening from which to cull leftovers for lunch. Today's more of a smorgasbord, but that's never a bad thing, is it?

Laptop Lunch box:

  • Applegate Farms pepperoni slices, alternating with smoked mozzarella slices
  • sourdough bread
  • steamed broccoli
  • dark chocolate and yogurt covered raisins, with walnuts in the small inner container

keeping count of the good things

Yeesh, I can't remember a time when my every day wasn't runrunrunrunrun at work. It's basically just variations of hectic. Too much. It didn't help that I didn't sleep well the night before last, even though the bed was freshly made with our luxurious new sheets and I'd taken a bath just before. This accumulated stress isn't good.

But things that are in the "good" column: our organics bin delivery was yesterday so our bare fridge filled up with yummy things again, I thus have a good and healthy lunch to get me through my 4(!) hours of meetings and 2 hours of teaching today, and tomorrow is a work-from-home day. THANK GOD.

Oh, and tonight is a new episode of Lost, and watching it with ProcrastiGirl (we decided that with these final episodes, we needed the solidarity and fortitude to survive the repeated brain explosions of awesome). AND this weekend is the Hall-Smiley family fun weekend. Yes, that's quite a nice list of things to be grateful for.

  • mixed greens with rainbow carrots and dried cherries, with a simple vinaigrette in my little sauce container
  • sticky rice with orange-ginger Thai sauce, with steam broccoli to fill the gap
  • grilled chicken skewers marinated with a Thai peanut sauce
  • Fuji apple slices
  • chocolate Pocky for a bit of a treat

classic lunchbox bento

Back to the grind. I only went in for a few hours yesterday, then came home and slept most of the day away. Which sort of offset the exactly zero point none hours of sleep I got the night before. Last night was the same, I'm sorry to say but I pretty much have to be here all day (morning meetings, afternoon conference call) so no leaving early and making up that lost sleep for me.

So I packed myself a good solid lunch -- might as well try to keep my energy up any way I can. Nothing to write home about, but this is, collectively, probably more food than I've eaten in the last four days.

  • tuna sandwiches (tuna, sweet relish, & mayo on 9-grain bread) with romaine leaves to put on them
  • carrots, celery, and Pink Lady apple
  • honey peanut butter in the small container, heart-shaped molded egg, since I decided I needed a little TLC; you'll note, however, that the egg broke (from being wedged in against the small container), so it's actually a...broken-hearted egg ::rimshot::
  • black cherry jello, which has been the mainstay of my diet for the last week, and which was about the only thing I felt like eating for the first three days; I've said it before, I'll say it again:  jello is way awesome and tragically underappreciated
  • a few Reese's in the silverware container as an added little pick-me-up

wings 'n things

The aforementioned (from last night) wings are the centerpiece of today's lunch, which may possibly give me tummy trouble because yowza so hot and spicy but so good and so worth it. I tell everyone we're going to rule the world with this wings recipe some day...

  • hot wings, good hot or cold or right in between
  • spinach salad with beets; vial of basic dressing (balsamic vinegar w/olive oil) and small container of mozzarella cubes
  • burli bread pieces, handmade by Sally (and guaranteed to soak up a bit of that stomach acid, so a necessity even if it wasn't yummy)
  • anjou pear slices and dried cranberries as gap fillers

A case of the Mondays

Very productive weekend, though entirely unglamorous and nerdy (we worked on our budget). Weirdly, we had a lot of fun, and marathoned Harry Potter, action movies (Star Trek and Transformers), and the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. We also had insanely gorgeous weather (February, is this February?), so we managed to get out for a bit for a lovely stroll down to Cathedral Park, and sat for a bit on one of the old stone dock supports to watch the Canadian geese and seagulls play in the water.

Which meant no real time for cooking, nor time to put lunch together today. I did do one, but it's very last minute, pulled from bits and pieces.

  • herb roasted turkey and mozzarella on nine grain bread, with a leaf of romaine to put on the sandwich
  • orzo salad with mushrooms, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and Italian parsley tossed in balsamic vinaigrette; broccoli as gap fillers
  • green grapes
  • dried mango slices; dark chocolate almond clusters

And proof that this is not my best day ever...I filled my water bottle mostly full and put it in the freezer (lid off), with the intention for cold water with my lunch today, as well as a nice way to keep my lunch cool. I've done this before, although I'd let it freeze and then put it in the fridge overnight so it would have a chance to thaw somewhat by morning, and then be mostly thawed by the time lunch rolled around. But I didn't get to making this until late so had to skip that middle step of letting it thaw a little in the fridge.

As I rushed out the door this morning, I put the lid on and made extra sure the spout was snug and the lid was tightly screwed on. I should've thought to check it throughout the morning just to be sure, because of course as the ice warmed the bottle would contract, but it was a busy morning and I just didn't think of it.

Needless to say, the entire bottom of my (outer) carrying case is soaked, there was a standing half inch of water inside the carry case (though not threatening my laptop lunch case, thankfully), and water all over my credenza where it seeped out and leaked, not to mention an almost empty water bottle. The only reason it wasn't worse is because the carrying case is insulated and almost (but not quite) waterproof.

Not the worst catastrophe ever, and at least it was water and not juice, but wow, talk about a case of the Mondays.


Mini quiches

Had a very nice weekend, which was good preparation for returning to my regular work schedule. Which I shouldn't really complain about, since I do still get to work from home two days a week, but when has that ever stopped me? ;) I did use it as an excuse, however, to go ahead and order some items from my bento wish list that've been on there for a long time. It'll be a few weeks or a month until they get here, but thought that would probably make you all collectively grin or groan, depending on how you feel about my bento pics clogging up your reading list.

  • ham, cheese, and spinach mini quiches I made on Sunday afternoon; steamed cauliflower with carrot shapes for garnish
  • carrot and celery sticks with honey peanut butter dip
  • kiwi and Anjou pear slices
  • dried mango slices and chocolate almond clusters

The mini quiches were something I'd been meaning to make for awhile, so when we got a nice bunch of fresh spinach in our bin last week, and I had some ham and cheese to use up, I figured it was time.

I used little rounds of biscuit dough in muffin tins to make them, and used milk instead of cream to mix with the eggs. The ham is just the last of the Black Forest ham from the deli that I'd used last week in my wrap, chopped up, and the spinach I tore into pieces and wilted with a bit of oil in a saute pan. We only had a sad little piece of cheese left in the fridge by the time I got around to making these, so there's not a lot in cheese in them, but they turned out mighty tasty nonetheless. And as you can see, I ended up with WAY more egg custard stuff than would possibly fit in the tins, but that just meant a nice frittata for dinner. Win/win!


Almost a theme

Back to the office today. This will be the only day I'm in this week, but I think this will be the last week of needing to stay home more to work on The Project from Hell. OMG so ready to be done with it.

Don't know why, but I got a little arty today. Not intentionally, it just kind of came together like that. But the more I look at it, I realize that I could've gone the whole way and made a garden picnic theme. Though that would've required more thought and effort and I think we've established already that I am laaazy. ;)

  • celery, peanut butter, and dried cranberries, which I've decided to call red ants on a log :)
  • dark chocolate-covered raisins in the side container
  • wraps (black forest ham, muenster, in spinach tortillas) with red leaf lettuce to eat with them and rainbow carrots as gap fillers

  • deviled egg "flowers" with pea pods as "leaves"
  • Enterprise apple slices