Entries in bento box - pink natural lunch (26)


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


give us this day, our daily bread

We returned Sunday from a 4 day trip to northern Washington, where Sal attended a work-related conference and I tagged along, because hey, why not. More specificially, he attended Kneading Conference West, the purpose of which is "to inspire and educate novice and professional bakers, grain growers, millers, wheat breeders, wood-fired oven enthusiasts, food entrepreneurs, food writers, and anyone who loves to eat hand-crafted breads."

So basically, three straight days of talking about bread, literally morning, noon, and night, and Sal could not have been happier if he had been baked right into a loaf of artisan bread. He was so gleeful at the end of every day that he probably could've powered the entire city of Las Vegas with his excitement. And now there is talk of milling our own flour and (finally) building that earth oven we've been talking about for years.

While he spent his days at the conference, I spent my days writing and exploring the area around Mount Vernon. The last time we were there was with the Albino and Mr. T for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, (hence the picture up top). Even without the fields of rainbow flowers, the area is actually quite lovely and the little downtown area is also very charming. On one of my driveabouts, I ended at Bay View State Park, and another, discovered a really great park on a hillside overlooking the valley and enjoyed a wee picnic of cheeses and crackers while reading a book. Not quite the excitement of a conference about bread and baking, perhaps, but a lovely few days of R&R. I can do with a little less excitement at the moment, anyway.

Super behind on bento postings, but here are the last few. The rest are on the daily bento page, as always. (I just realized that I've had pretty much the same lunch for the last several meals. Hmmm, perhaps time to change things up.

9/6 lunch, Lunchbot Duo

  • herb roasted turkey breast
  • steamed broccoli
  • Jazz apple slices
  • cucumber slices
  • carrot sticks
  • strawberry
  • sunflower seeds

9/6 snacks, Lunchbot Pico

  • Jazz apple slices, cashews (morning snack)
  • hardboiled egg, carrot sticks, cucumber slices (afternoon snack)

9/10 lunch, pink Natural Lunch

  • herb roasted turkey breast
  • steamed broccoli
  • carrot sticks
  • pear slices

9/18 lunch, origami squares

  • herb roasted turkey breast
  • steamed broccoli
  • carrot sticks
  • Honeycrisp apple slices
  • dried cherries

random friday!


Totally unintentionally. One of the catalysts for posting has been my bento pics, but my work computer has suddenly developed some bizarro error thing that's been preventing me from posting pics. So even though I write my posts the night before, I haven't been able to get my pictures uploaded when I'm at work, and haven't been able to figure out what the hell the issue is, and apparently those two things were insurmountable obstacles or something.

But! I cannot continue having bento pics stack up or I will just never get caught up (hahahahaha hello every house project update since approximately forever). And in the interest of getting caught up, I also have a ridiculous number of saved tabs in my browser that's becoming a serious impediment to being totally unproductive on the internet. Which means: Random Friday! Haven't done one of these in awhile.

Love Story, Twitter Style -- "Actor and comedian John Fugelsang shares the remarkable story of how his parents...a monk and a nun...met, fell in love, and went on to raise a family. Told in Tweets and photos."

Hobbes and Bacon -- A comic imagining of Calvin and Hobbes, in which Calvin has grown up, married the much-hate Susie, had a daughter, named her Bacon, and introduced her to his beloved Hobbes. Hijinks (and nostalgic tears) ensue.

Fan letter to a weatherman -- A child writes a letter to his favorite meteorologist, and proceeds to win the internet. "More awesome than a monkey wearing a tuxedo made out of bacon." Took the words out of my mouth, kid.

6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying -- Seriously. Have these people never heard of the French Revolution?

Educating Tomorrow's Culinarians -- Lovely little article in a local foodie publication about OCI (where Sal teaches), their philosophy, and their commitment to their students and the community.

via Nichelle Nichols' tweet...that's right, Uhura has a Twitter account because she is a total bamfI know I already reblogged this on Tumblr but whatever, its inherent awesomeness requires posting everywhere, all the time. YOU GUYS THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENED AND EXISTS IN THE UNIVERSE. The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES was visited by UHURA OF THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE and they stood in the Oval Office talking about Thomas Jefferson and Captain Kirk and and then they posed for the cameras and gave the Vulcan hand signal and that will never ever ever stop being ridiculously adorable. President Obama is our Nerd-in-Chief, amirite?


3/20/12 lunch, pink Natural Lunch:

  • herb roasted turkey breast
  • roasted smashed parsnips
  • roasted brussel sprouts tossed in balsamic vinegar
  • Pink Lady apple slices


3/22/12 lunch, lunchbots duo:

  • herb roasted turkey breast, red leaf lettuce, dill Havarti in sun-dried tomato wraps
  • broccoli
  • baby carrots
  • dried cherries
  • sunflower seeds



3/26/12 lunch, Ms. Bento:

  • creamy vegetable soup made by Chef Salvatore (potatoes, carrots, broccoli, string beans, onions, garlic, parsley, Jerusalem artichokes, thyme)
  • turkey breast and dill Havarti in sun-dried tomato wraps
  • raw pumpkin seeds
  • kiwi halves
  • almonds and dark chocolate covered raisins

luckily, our idiocy wasn't fatal

Great news, everyone! Sal and I are no longer going to die in a tragic house fire! WE ARE NOW LEGIT RESPONSIBLE GROWN UPS YOU GUYS.

Our new state of non-dumbassitude is thanks to Sal, who spent some time Saturday and Sunday installing the nine(!) smoke detectors that have been sitting in a bag in our basement since before Christmas last year. You might not know it from the epic procrastination evidenced in such a fact, but I am extremely anxious about housefires, and particularly, a fire in my house. And given that we live in a very old house with wiring that marks every evolution of domestic electricity* since the early 20th century, I am understandably paranoid about our house erupting in a big ball of flame. NOT PARANOID ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY INSTALL SMOKE DETECTORS IN A TIMELY MANNER OR ANYTHING. Just paranoid enough to worry about it incessantly.

*Trufax: If we ever win the lottery, the first thing I'm doing is having the house totally rewired, top to bottom. Which will be difficult, since I don't actually play the lottery, but that is my plan for what to do with a big wad of cash. Well, and it may not be the first thing, because I would probably take a trip to Europe and then buy a bit of land on the coast to build my yurt, and then what would likely happen would be that while we were busy doing these other fun things first, our house actually would burn down from a fire started by the old wiring that we finally had the money to have replaced and that is what we would call irony.

We did have a couple of detectors that were already in the house when we moved in: one in the kitchen, one in the little landing area between the bedrooms, bathroom, and dining room. But then the one in the kitchen kept going off whenever we so much as breathed in its vicinity thanks to not having a vent system for the stove so we took that one down with vague promises to ourselves that we'd do something about it soon and then never did. And the one in the little hallway area -- which is probably the least helpful place for one, since it's basically so protected that the house will be a smoking ruin before any smoke would get to it to detect -- weremoved when we started redoing the guest room and library (the hallway connects them) so we could paint the ceiling and we, um, never got around to putting it back. BECAUSE WE ARE TOTES RESPONSIBLE LIKE THAT.

So now we have detectors on all three levels and in almost every room of the house. We even have two that have 10 year batteries! Because when we do finally stop being morons, we do that shit right.

lunch, pink natural lunch:

  • spicy meatsa balls
  • steamed broccoli
  • carrots
  • Pink Lady apple slices
  • raw pumpkin seeds

seen on a local store sign: mace-free holiday shopping

It's a whirlwind here at Hall House while we power through these last days before our (GLORIOUS) winter vacation begins. The culprits: work, as always, and our usual hectic schedule, piled on with extra-curricular activities. Last weekend, for example, Sal was at the school shooting their new commercial, yet more evidence that I am right and he will be a celebrity chef someday. Right? He would totally blow all those other posers out of the water. Not that he would ever seek the limelight, of course, but with that laugh and that face and that gift for both baking and teaching, the limelight seems to find him regardless.

I've been recovering from an unfortunate tumble down some stairs, which has been a bit of a setback in getting done what needs to get done, but I haven't let it slow me down much. Which is a good thing, because there wasn't much room in our jam-packed schedule for any slowing down. In addition to powering through to vacation, and some important activities, there is also readying ourselves for the Smiley-Hall Family Christmas, an epic annual event that is not for amateurs.

Although we don't technically participate in holiday gift-giving, we do have a gift-giving responsibility as part of the Smiley-Hall Family Christmas. To wit: handmade gifts and stocking stuffers all around. And of course presents for the Fabulous Miss M, because obviously. And as a family, we are seriously badass at the homemade gift thing.

Which meant venturing forth this weekend into the bustling masses at the exact time of year we generally try to avoid them. Thankfully, the local shops -- while bustling -- weren't so teeming with humanity that we were tempted to contemplate homicide. Like the shopping ninjas that we are, we managed to get all of Miss M's gifts*, supplies that we didn't already have on hand for the various planned homemade gifts, stocking stuffers, AND groceries for a kick-ass spaghetti and meatballs dinner Saturday night.

*(Sadly, the WAY AWESOME Grammy and Nonna's Toys, where we have gotten every birthday and Christmas gift for Miss M since she was born, will be closing after the first of the year so that Grammy and Nonna can move nearer to their grandkids. If anyone's interested in taking over a really successful and beloved neighborhood toy store, I'm sure they'd love to hear from you...)

Yesterday was spent in the kitchen, each of us working on some of our homemade gifts. There seriously must be some kind of productivity drug in our water recently, because we are crossing things off our to do lists at a ridiculous pace. NOT COMPLAINING BY THE WAY. This week is going to be insanely challenging due to everything ever landing on this one week on the calendar (NO SERIOUSLY I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING), but if we can actually survive to the end of the week, then it's easy peasy for the rest of 2011.

lunch, pink Natural Lunch:

  • hard boiled eggs
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • satsuma
  • sunflower seeds

lunch (from last Tuesday), Fit 'n Fresh:

  • red and green leaf lettuce
  • beets, carrots, celery, radishes
  • egg, cashews, apple slices
  • simple vinaigrette of oil and apple balsamic on the side

the downside of time off

Days like this remind me why vacations are a double-edged sword. I was so on top of things before I left two weeks ago, feeling mighty chuffed and all-around confident about being gone for a week. Yet I returned on Monday and it's as if I was gone for a month instead of a week, and it's going to take at least another week or two before I actually have everything back under control. Urgh.

lunch, pink Natural Lunch:

  • smoked sausages
  • hard boiled egg
  • green beans, with corn underneath everything
  • Gala apple slices

celebration and mourning

Mother Nature seems to be making up for the lack of spring and summer by making every day of August so heartachingly beautiful that you feel like your heart might burst from its perfection. Every day for the last two weeks has been comfortably warm but not hot, still and fragrant and clear blue sky, and if the extended forecasts are to be believed, we're set to continue like this for the next two weeks or more.

August is also the time for two important birthdays: Sister's and the Fabulous Miss M's. They're not actually until tomorrow and Wednesday, respectively, but Saturday was the celebration for Miss M's, so that was the centerpiece of our weekend.

One of the perks of having a chef for a godfather is that you get beautiful and delicious cakes for your birthday. One of the (many, many) perks of having Sal for a godfather is that he will make your beautiful and delicious cake extra beautiful and extra delicious, even when you are turning four years old and your only requirements are that it be pink and girly.

His original plan involved fairies and flowers and lots of pink and purple, since those are Miss M's current favorite things. But reality collided with good intentions, and a fourteen hour day necessitated a quick reworking of those plans. He arrived home from work Friday night with enough layers for two round cakes (vanilla flavored "with a kiss of cocoa), a ginormous bowl of chocolate Italian buttercream, a smaller container of plain Italian butter cream, and a blob of handmade molding chocolate. The chocolate was for the roses and leaves he was determined to sculpt, but he wasn't sure what to do for the rest. I suggested tinting the plain icing pink, and doing it up in pink and chocolate brown for a more sophisticated take on girly.

It takes a surprising amount of skill to make a cake look clean and deceptively simple. It takes a significant amount of skill to do so without disguising your mistakes with a heavy slathering of icing to even things out.  I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader as to the level of Sal's skill. Except to also point out that the chocolate roses and leaves were sculpted by hand, and the wording was done with straight tempered* chocolate. Oh, and to note, yet again, that Sal normally has the handwriting of a serial killer, but put a pastry bag in his hand and suddenly he's got the penmanship of an 19th century Victorian aristocrat.

The cake was well received by the birthday girl, who asked to view the cake repeatedly while it was still in the box, well before it was actually brought out and served. The pink feather boa from Aunt Bitty was also a big hit, particularly since Miss M and her young guests spent the better part of the party playing dress up in their finest princess couture. (The biggest fashion hit of the day, however, belonged to one her friends, who put together a pink dress with a set of swim goggles, a dozen bracelets, orange flip flops, and a beaded Mardi Gras necklace that featured miniature plastic beer mugs. Wish I'd gotten a picture of that one.)

Since we'd spent our Saturday partying, it was time to be grownups yesterday and do some straightening and other such chores around the house. Sal tackled the apple tree in the backyard, which we finally conceded this spring would have to come down. We've known for a few years that it was inevitable, but this year, when the roots on the upper slope had actually come loose from the soil, we knew it was time.

Still, we hate that it has to go. It provides such a lovely green canopy over our patio, and is perfect for stringing lights through for our famous backyard parties. Not to mention the thick privacy screen from the attic window, so that when you're up there in the summer and you look out the window to see nothing but heavy green foliage and bright green apples, it feels like you're up in a tree house.

It's the also the last of the apple trees that were originally planted on our lot and the one next to it. The people who built our house, you see, had an apple orchard. Yes, that story from the Cathedral Park Chronicles is based on real history. When we moved into the house, the orchard next door was long since gone, replaced by the apartment building that's there now, but there were five apple trees in the back yard that remained from that orchard. We had to cut down four of them because they were diseased and in danger of falling on the house or the neighbor's. It killed us to do it, but we saved the healthiest one, and hoped we'd have it for years to come, even if it was too late to give it the care it needed to make the apples edible.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. And although we were fortunate enough to enjoy it for nine years, and we'll keep parts of the trunk to use in the yard the same way we did with the cherry tree that had to come down, it was hard to watch it come down bit by bit yesterday. We'll have to have an arborist to come in to finish the work, but I'll schedule it for a day when I'm not at home, so I don't have to watch.

Instead, I'll be at the nursery, looking for a new tree to plant. Not to take its place, but to honor its memory.

lunch, pink Natural Lunch:

  • Parmesan breaded chicken
  • rosemary roasted potatoes
  • carrots
  • peas
  • cherries

zeus uses the neighborhood for target practice

Well the early morning pyrotechnics yesterday were the talk of the neighborhood. Seems we weren't the only ones who thought something had crash landed in the vicinity. Some people thought it was a plane crashing, others that the bridge had been hit with explosives. Nothing like the thought of horrible disaster in the pre-dawn quiet to get the blood flowing, eh?

And apparently, the flash bulb effect of the lightning that lit every house like a blue sun was due to a direct strike nearby. It hit an old Sequoia and sent pieces flying two blocks away. Very sad about such an old tree. Although I guess it's a good thing no one was hurt and it didn't start a fire.

lunch, pink Natural Lunch:

  • pad Thai with chicken, and green onions for garnish
  • cucumber and carrot slices
  • cherries
  • blueberries

driveby posting

In the office today to do two training presentations and a webinar. A quickie lunch since I don't have much time to eat in between everything, and I'm leaving early (or hoping to). So.

lunch, pink natural lunch:

  • molded egg
  • blanched asparagus spears
  • golden delicious apple slices, with some honey peanut butter for dipping
  • more of the freshly shelled peas (lightly steamed) as gap fillers

we have doors!

We have eave closet doors! Which you can't see yet! Because we still need to paint them! But still! DOORS!

Six years, you guys. Six years we've had big gaping holes uncovered closet openings in our attic eave walls. To say that we are overjoyed to finally have doors for those damn closets would be an understatement so gigantic it has its own gravitational field.

Of course, given our track record, it'll probably take another six years to get them painted, but let us hope for all our sakes that it does not. Let us hope that the preliminary plan of attack we came up with for getting them painted in a reasonable and timely manner actually, you know, works.

We also, also got doors for the kitchen shelf space that is actually the back side of the dining room buffet. Those doors also need to be painted, and we need to get glass for the inserts, but the frames, at least, are done. And even unfinished, they look wonderful. I can totally see why some people prefer to renovate with a checkbook instead of a table saw.

We didn't get started on the painting this weekend, however. Sal had to work for a bit yesterday in preparation for the big James Beard Award event taking place at OCI today and he was also fighting off a nasty cold. And I...well, I just played around in the studio all weekend.

Which means I have no good excuse for my sad little bento today, nor for not having a dinner bento for tonight. I am not proud of this bento. This is a bento composed entirely of laziness, sloth, and procrastination, with a side sauce of not-giving-a-crap. But, I figure I should post the bad with the good, so here, let me inflict it upon you.

lunch, pink natural lunch:

  • orange ginger chicken
  • Thai sticky rice with green onion for garnish
  • orange ginger chicken sauce

All items are courtesy of last night's takeout leftovers from the neighborhood Thai place. Which is delicious. And is probably the main reason I have a lunch today. Clearly, it's time for a vacation.


tip reminder about time management

A quick post for a quick (and quickly packed) lunch.  I was up late last night working on stuff for website clients but thanks to the wonders of leftovers, managed to pull together a tasty and pretty (if I do say so myself) little meal. I already had the flowers done from a few days ago for Tuesday's lunch, which is a good reminder that if I can do a little extra when I'm preparing a meal and keep a stash of things made/cooked/cut ahead of time, it'll make life easier on days and nights when I'm pressed for time.

lunch, pink natural lunch:

  • chicken teriyaki meatballs in green lettuce leaves (to use as scoops so my fingers don't get greasy)
  • steamed broccoli
  • honey glazed red garnet yams
  • orzo pasta salad (mushrooms, roasted red peppers, caramelized onion, parsley, rosemary, and balsamic vinaigrette) with two glazed yam flowers and a purple heirloom carrot tulip for garnish

more like daylight suckage time

I'm normally not a strong Daylight-Savings-Time hater, but in the days immediately following the spring switch, I can understand why others are. Yesterday was all out of whack; today isn't quite as bad, but combined with a tight schedule, I think it's going to take me longer than usual to adjust.

Sister, Guy, and the Fabulous Miss M were here for the weekend, so that actually did make it a nice weekend despite the time change. While they were at the Shamrock Run yesterday morning, we played with Miss M, then per our now annual tradition after such things, they returned bearing treats. Specifically, a box of Voodoo Doughnuts. Hence the appearance of a few odds and ends in today's lunch. Then they left with an extremely sugared up and overly exhausted 3 year-old, and I'll admit, I prayed for their sanity. I haven't heard anything on the news about them being committed for psychological observation so I'm assuming everyone survived the remainder of the day.

After they left, we hit Rejuvenation to pick out hinges and handles for the new cabinet doors we're having done for the display shelves in the kitchen. I haven't talked about that much yet, but it's part of the project to get the attic eave closet doors done; the contractor we chose didn't charge much extra for these three cabinet doors, so we figured it was a good time to scratch that little side project of our list, as well. Afterward, we stopped at Miller Paint to pick out a pretty color -- the doors will have glass inserts and we're going to paint the shelves and interior to reallly make it spark. But you'll have to wait to learn more about the color, because you know how I am about the big reveals....

lunch, blue bunny & moons:

  • wee potatoes with cheddar heart
  • teriyaki chicken meatballs
  • steamed broccoli
  • Fuji apple half with heirloom carrot sticks
  • a few random bits of Voodoo doughnuts: buttermilk bar, powdered sugar doughnut, peanut doughnut leftover from yesterday

dinner, pink Natural Lunch:

  • ham, barrel pickle, and cream cheese in a sundried tomato wrap
  • heirloom carrots
  • Fuji apple half

there was an old woman who swallowed a fly

I was late to work this morning and it's all my mother's fault.

See, I spent the weekend writing -- with middling success -- while Sal brewed another batch of beer. He's supposed to be posting about these ventures in chemistry here, and in fact has a page set aside on this website for that purpose, but has as yet to actually do it. We'll see if me guilting him publicly will move him to do it.

Anywhoodle, I did, as I say, spend time writing but was hampered to some degree by a new Scrabble-type game on my phone thanks to my mother, damn her, who talked me into giving it a try.  "We can play against each other!" she said with glee. And since I don't get to see as much of my mother as I would like, I figured it would be fun to share this enjoyable little diversion with her throughout my day.

Of course, I don't have many games installed on my phone for a reason. I know full well how easy it is to get sucked in, and I try to be oh-so-careful about squandering my precious free time. I only recently broke my hour-per-day Angry Birds habit -- and that only because I conquered all the levels and got three stars on everything and unlocked all the golden eggs, for both the regular Angry Birds AND the Angry Birds Seasons (including, yes, the Valentine's Day levels), although we're of course not counting the recent addition of the "Ham 'Em High" level, which I conquered but haven't mastered AND ANYWAY my point is! I did not need this distraction.

But this was my mother! How could I deny my mother? And anyway, it would require little from me: I could submit a word when I had a quick moment, between phone calls, or waiting for the microwave to defrost something, whatever. Perfect!

Well. We've had an epic game going since Friday, and are down to the last three tiles of the entire game, each of us with three left. I'm leading by over 100 points, thanks largely to a 45 point word score off of one of her higher scoring words late in the game. And thanks to that I'm now addicted, playing another board with her while we wrap this one up (and maybe possibly several other boards against random other players, as well) and really, my mother is responsible for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, here. I AM NORMALLY VERY RESPONSIBLE OKAY.

So this time suck I did not need, as I say, and it's the primary reason I still have three baskets of unfolded laundry. NOT because I opted to watch three episodes of Princess Tutu Friday night when I could've been folding laundry, nor because I spent Saturday morning searching for old An Evening at the Improv segments on YouTube. And it was also not because I spent a few hours minutes browsing Tumblr for new and pretty campaign pics for the Fandom Cage Matches, and especially especially not pics of my beloved Leslie Knope who understands my deepest truuuuuuuths. I also did not browse for new bento boxes as a reward for my promotion, nor did I start a new bookmarks folder of creative space decorating and organizing idea. I totally did not do any of those things. You can't prove anything.

Nope, it was all because I whittled away the time playing a not-Scrabble Scrabble game with my mom on my Droid and so my clothes did not get folded and my socks did not get mated which is why I had to dig for a replacement pair of socks at the last minute this morning because I stepped into a pile of cat vomit in the kitchen because our linoleum is the exact camoflaged pattern for cat vomit, and that is why it's my mother's fault that I was late to work today.

lunch, pink natural lunch:

  • rice pilaf with broccoli and onion
  • wilted spinach and bacon salad
  • Braeburn apple slices

dinner @ Prompt, deli club:

  • ham & smoked gouda skewers
  • Braeburn apple slices
  • dried cherries and yogurt-covered raisins

brown baggin' it with bento

So today was spent at the work retreat I mentioned yesterday. I took my usual pics but didn't have a chance to post, hence the evening post instead.

From 7:30 AM to 5 PM, I was sequestered in a hotel meeting room near my office with the other four executives of my company while we hashed out some big policy, procedural, and structure decisions. Perhaps not anyone's idea of an exciting way to spend a day, but it was a productive work session and we met all of our goals for the day. Well worth the time.

It's a good thing we like and respect each other and get along well, because wow, was it ever an intense day. I'm completely wiped out. And very thankful I packed a heartier breakfast than I normally would with a bigger box for lunch*. I needed the brain fuel and I have no energy to make much of anything for dinner tonight, so I'm glad to not even be hungry.


breakfast, pink natural lunch:

  • half of a bagel, with a thin spread of cream cheese and pomegranate jam
  • molded egg
  • Pink Lady apple chunk
  • kiwi slices

lunch, blue bunny & moons:

  • sushi (sushi rice, broccolette stalks, and carrots in nori)
  • parmesan breaded chicken breast
  • steamed broccolette, and carrot stars for garnish (with more carrot under the broccolette and chicken)
  • kiwi slices and pineapple chunks
  • for an afternoon snack: yogurt covered raisins and dried cherries with orange dark chocolate as a divider

*The retreat included lunch brought up from the hotel restaurant so I didn't actually have to bring my own. The hotel is a nice enough one with a pretty standard suburban hotel restaurant. Decent food with a fair selection of items (though most made from packaged and processed ingredients, unfortunately). But after the not-so-great reaction I had after the last working lunch, I just decided it would be easier to bring my own for today's thing. If we were all going to break and eat in the restaurant, that would be one thing; it certainly wouldn't kill me and those kinds of comraderie activities are more important than whatever misgivings I might have about the menu. But since we were eating in the room where we were working, it was a no brainer.



point me at lost islands*

We're starting another project soon, so I'm all atwitter. Relative to our past projects, it's a small and quick one for us, involving little home improvement (a bit of painting, but not even full-on painting walls or ceiling) and a bunch of purchases in a range from small to biggish. I'm being all mysterious but only because I am such a dork about the big reveal.

Anyway, we're still in the preliminary stages, planning to tackle it over the course of a few days during our winter vacation. I'm so excited! I've actually been thinking about and planning this project for a while (and hence, collecting a few things for it that I've set aside), and then a variety of things coalesced today and bam! I knew that yep, time to start. Woe betide Sal if he were to ever disagree once I reach that event horizon from "thinking about a project" to "okay, so let's get started".

Very excited. I've been ready to get going on this for some time, and because this particular project represents a metaphorical transition (that I'll explain at a later time), being ready to start is representative of more than just being ready to do some painting and decorating. I know none of this makes any sense and I'm talking all around it and being all vague and mysterious, but I wanted to just say, you know, something kinda cool is about to happen and you heard it here first.

lunch, deli club:

  • hazelnut-crusted chicken breast
  • baked potato with butter and sour cream
  • green and royal burgundy string beans
  • rainbow carrots

snack, pink natural lunch:

  • banana that's just a tad on the green side
  • Gala apple
  • green grapes


*yep, still obsessed with that Tired Pony album


taste of fall

click to see the full gallerySal had a cooking demonstration to do at the annual Apple Tasting festival at Portland Nursery yesterday, so ProcrastiGirl and I spent some time there to show our support. Oh, and there might have been apples (and pears).

His demo involved making mini apple tarts (which are kind of pretty much the best thing ever), in which he sautees fresh apples with a bit of butter, spices, vanilla, and Grand Marnier and then pipes it into pretty little tart shells. The part where you gobble them up greedily while they're still hot and bubbly? Entirely optional. BUT I DEFY YOU NOT TO. (He also had samples of a pear coffee cake to try, which caused ProcrastiGirl's eyes to roll to the back of her head...so, yeah.)


click to see full galleryAfterward, we wandered around the various tents and displays, and we snacked on apple streudel and caramel apples, and took pictures with scarecrows, and filled bags with a variety of fresh apples and pears at $0.89/lb. Seriously, 50 varieties of apples and pears. I took some beautiful pics, which you can see here. It was a perfectly perfect Pacific Northwest kind of thing to do on a perfectly perfect Pacific Northwest kind of day.

So there's a bit of yesterday and fall in my bento today, in the form of a Spitzenberg apple, which was supposedly Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple and is the variety he grew at Monticello. Your fun apple fact for the day.

breakfast, pink natural lunch:

  • half an herb & cheese bagel (w/foil as baran, which yes, breaks my rule about disposables, but it was necessary and since it's recyclable, I'm okay with it)
  • cream cheese in the cup
  • half a Spitzenberg apple

lunch, ms. bento:

  • broccoli cheese soup Sal made Saturday night*; contains cheese, broccoli, potatoes, squash, onions, red pepper, and tumeric (hence the vivid yellow)
  • sourdough bread; rainbow carrots, with carrot stars for garnish
  • half a Spitzenberg apple; grapes, dark chocolate-covered raisins

*We had a series of downpours over the weekend (though it cleared nicely in time for Sal's demo on Sunday), the type of days when you have to turn on the lights during the day because it's so dark out there. In other words: perfect. So fo course I was craving soup to suit the cold and rainy weather, and Sal was very sweet to oblige.


time keeps on ticking, but at least i have pretty lunches

Oy! How is the first week of October already over? Summer passed in a blur and I don't even remember what happened to September. And now it's October and pretty soon we'll be ringing in 2011. Holy crap.

lunch, Paris slimline:

  • mini frittatas -- eggs, caramelized onion, broccoli, cheddar and Dubliner cheeses
  • green and royal burgundy string bean pieces on skewers
  • grapes
  • mini rainbow carrots -- aren't they adorable??
  • more beans (with a small container of sauce on the side for dipping)

breakfast/snack, pink natural lunch:

  • banana
  • grapes
  • D'anjou pear

little internet gifts for you. you're welcome

Okay, time to do a link dump so I can clear off some tabs in my browser. This is just a miscellany...a miscellany of AWESOME, that is!

Dalton Ghetti pencil lead carvings (with more here) -- Carvings out of pencil leads. Pencil leads. Like...how is that not the most awesome thing you ever saw?? I'd pick a favorite, but they're all amazing. The screw, the itty bitty hammer, the hand holding a goblet, the little key on the ring??? I just...like, how do you even...? You guys! There's a guy carving wee sculptures from used pencil stubs! That is proof of amazingness and wonder in this world!

James Hance, "Relentlessly Cheerful Art" -- Adorable, sweet, and hilarious art that makes my nerdy, geeky little heart go pitter pat. I'm particularly fond of the Star Wars/Winnie-the-Pooh crossovers, and if anyone wanted to buy me, like, all of them, I wouldn't say no.

Slacktivist, "Fortune Cookies" -- What fortunes in fortune cookies should say. The fourth from the last is my favorite. Oh, who am I kidding? I love them all.

lunch, Paris slimline:

  • sourdough bread slices
  • Niman Ranch ham and herb roasted turkey on the skewer, pepperoni slices underneath, cheeses tucked around: mahon, gouda, Cotswold, smoked mozzarella
  • carrots
  • Gala apple slices
  • nectarine

Looking very monochromatic and orange-y today...better than gray, I suppose.


back to work

The sucky thing about vacation is the part where it's over and you have to go back to being all responsible and stuff. That part blows.

I was actually back to work yesterday, but it was a work-from-home day, so no bento. It seems rather strange to have gone two weeks without making one (I didn't really, but more about that soon in another post). Plus, it's hot, which means I don't have a lot of energy for either making dinner/lunch or for eating, so I'm keeping it simple.

Breakfast, pink strawberry sidecar:

  • homemade blueberry muffins (yes, made with fresh berries! that I made!)
  • cherries

Lunch, pink natural lunch:

  • red oak lettuce
  • "sneak preview" carrots from this week's share (as in: not quite ready yet, but they pulled a few to get us excited for the carrots in the upcoming weeks)
  • broccoli -- can you tell it's my favorite veggie?
  • sugar snaps
  • molded egg
  • sweet vinaigrette underneath the broccoli to make it all kind of a salad thing (see? the heat makes me even lazier than usual!)

Everything in this box except for the vinaigrette is from this week's share.

Lunch/snack, cute animals sidecar:

  • cherries
  • raspberries
  • strawberries (sadly, not Oregon!strawberries)
  • blueberries

Everything in this box is from this week's organics bin. If you're thinking to yourself, "Wow, that's a lot of produce", YES THAT IS A LOT OF PRODUCE YOU SHOULD COME VISIT SO WE CAN PAWN IT OFF ON YOU.

And in the Portland Is Eternally Awesome Department, Reason #65,172:

Portland Officially has the Greatest Hold Music in the World


if you can't stand the heat, you're probably just like me

Yesterday was the first sunny, warm day we've had in awhile...so of course that's the day I decide I want to roast things in the oven. I r smrt.

Made for a great dinner, though, and because today was forecast to be just as warm, I decided turning the leftovers into a salad was in order for lunch. Unfortunately, my plans to make blueberry muffins had to be scrapped because it was just too darn hot in the kitchen.

The beets, radish, lettuces, and spring onion are from this week's share. And Wealth Underground has invited sharemembers to post on their blog to show pics of meals we've made from our share produce, exchange recipes, and that kind of thing. Isn't that cool? So I do believe I'll be posting over there sometimes, too. I'm excited to see what other sharemembers post!

  • green & red leaf lettuces lining the box
  • herb roasted chicken breast
  • julienned carrots
  • beets roasted with spring onion
  • radish "flower"
  • sunflower seeds
  • homemade sweet vinaigrette
  • Ritter Sport chocolate with butter biscuit for a special treat