Friday, January 21, 2011

Bunny Bento

Whew, I sure missed making bento this past week! I was bunny sitting/house sitting for a coworker and I just did not feel comfortable making bentos. I didn't have my bento gear, and I didn't have the ingredients I am comfortable with on hand. Strange how we get stuck in patterns and when we aren't in that groove, it's just harder to do what we normally do.

In this bento: leftover spaghetti carbonara with a jack cheese bunny on top, slices of blood orange from Twin Peaks with a pink bunny pick, a bit of broccoli, and baby carrots. I made the spaghetti carbonara using a James Beard recipe from his book, James Beard's Beard On Pasta (James Beard Library of Great American Cooking). The eggs I used were from my friend and coworker Gwen who has her own chickens. It really turned out delicious, but it was somewhat difficult to make. Picture me tossing the hot pasta while my hubby slowly pours the egg mixture into the pan, blocking my view and dribbling some egg onto the stovetop, the pan is moving all over the place, and I am telling him to add a bit of the pasta water, and then some cheese, and now my arms are tired... whew!

Here's the little bun bun I was watching the past week. His name is Luigi, and he is just super darling. He loves broccoli, carrots and grapes. Maybe I should have added some grapes to this bento and it would have been perfect for Luigi. ('.,.')

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the official beginning of the Year of the Rabbit tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mini Pork Buns Bento

This bento uses frozen mini pork buns that I picked up from Asia Mart in Santa Rosa. I love freezer stash items, because they make it really easy to put together an interesting bento without much fuss.

In this bento: fried rice made with char siu bbq pork from G&G Supermarket and baby chard from Triple T Ranch and mini pork buns. In the second compartment: more slices of char siu pork, cucumber slices, a Sonoma Jack wedge of cheese (strangely it's actually from Wisconsin!), walnuts from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, and sections of ruby red grapefruit from De'Santis Farms.

I included this bento in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog. I love seeing what other bento makers are up to each week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pupseria Salvadorena Bento

My buddy CocoCarina and I have a restaurant review blog, and we recently went to a great place in Santa Rosa called Pupuseria Salvadorena. Check out our review by clicking here. The food is great and the prices can't be beat. Plus the leftovers are perfect for bento!

In this bento: two Pasteles de Pollo con Papa (little potpies with chicken and potatoes), mandarin orange sections, and Curtido, a spicy, slightly fermented cabbage slaw. I made this bento a while ago, after our trip to the restaurant, but seeing it now makes me hungry for delicious Salvadoran food!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chicken Stirfry Bento

I do not have a wok, but I wanted to see if I could make a successful stirfry using my awesome ManPans pan. I am happy to say, it worked pretty well. I used chicken, ginger, garlic (from Armstrong Valley Farms), onions, carrots, purple cabbage, green onions, and zucchini in my stirfry, and made a sauce of shoyu, water, toasted sesame oil, mirin, rice vinegar, sriracha, sugar, and cornstarch. I even made my first batch of miso soup! That did not work as well, since I didn't have any dashi broth. I will try again when I do. My hubby LOVES miso soup, mostly because he is wild about tofu. He will kill me if word about his love for tofu gets out, so let's keep this amongst ourselves. ;-)

In this bento: leftover chicken stirfry, rice, Arkansas Black apple slices from Walker Apples, baby carrots, slices of cucumber, and two mini pork buns. I tried steaming the pork buns in my microwave steamer and I think I overdid it. I will have to resort back to the stovetop method. They are tasty though! I picked them up at Asia Mart in Santa Rosa.

Big News! My little brother and his beautiful wife had their first baby yesterday. She's tiny, just 6 pounds 2 ounces, and her name is Molly Ruby. I can't wait to head to Seattle at the end of this month to meet her. You can call me "Auntie M" from now on. :-) I'll have to come up with a fun bento to celebrate her birth!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Inarizushi and Sausage Bento

Made this bento before I headed to the F-F-FREEEEZING farmers market today. My poor little fingers were in pain from the scooter ride there, even with gloves on. This bento is a little light on veggies, so I really needed to make that trip to the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market.

In this bento: steamed edamame, inarizushi (fried tofu pouches filled with rice), Arkansas Black apples from Walker's Apples, and italian chicken sausages from Aidells. This was the first time I tried doing a checkerboard cut on an apple, and it worked pretty well. :) I only spent about 2 minutes on the pattern.

Here's my haul from the farmers market today: baby chard and a kabocha squash from Triple T Ranch, garlic from Armstrong Valley Farm, a ruby red grapefruit from De'Santis Farms, and some dried sweet melon slices from Neufeld Farms. There are lots of great things at the market during the winter season. Don't miss out! The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30am to noon right next to the vets building.

I included this bento in Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog. Check it out for great bento ideas. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Year of the Rabbit Bento

Happy New Year! To celebrate the beginning of 2011, The Year of the Rabbit, I made a very bunny bento. Technically, The Year of the Rabbit will not start until February 3rd. We are actually still in The Year of the Tiger. I am looking forward to this less aggressive year, myself.

In this bento: creamy polenta (I used Martha Stewart's easy baked polenta recipe), a rabbit quail egg, nori flower, steamed edamame, stir fried carrots and purple cabbage topped with lotus rootlets, cucumber slices, and an apple rabbit made with an Arkansas Black Apple from Walker Apples.

I made the quail egg rabbit by hard boiling a quail egg, then slicing a small section off of one side. I cut that section in two pieces, then inserted those slices into an angled slit on the top of the egg. The nori eyes were punched out with a tiny hole punch.

I found these lotus rootlets in brine at Asia Mart on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa. They have pretty much no flavor, but such a cool shape. A few little slices of rootlet make small snowflake like patterns.

Happy New Year!