Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Just a note to wish all of my friends in the bento community a very Happy New Year. I hope you and your family are able to celebrate the beginning of a very special New Year filled with promise, hope and health.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Really Big , Lovely Cabbage

Who knew I could fall for a beautiful red cabbage. This cabbage was on display at Teena's Pride Farm when I attended their open house last week. It is one of the vegetables available through my CSA program. I have plans to make sweet and sour cabbage with it for supper this week. But for now I just admire it.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishes For a Restful Christmas Week

I am looking forward to tieing up all of the loose ends that come with preparing for Christmas Day. Meanwhile my buddy Kee, the Siamese Cat, seems to the a better idea. I hope you have find a soft, cuddly couch to rest for a spell this Christmas. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lemon Grass Tea

Today marks the second official day of my Christmas Break. Yesterday was a busy blur. Before I lost total track of the day I made Lemon Grass Tea with Mint and popped it in the frig. Today I plan to bake in between dental appointments and trips to the store. Already in the bread machine I have started Cinnamon Bread. No planned bentos for the next two weeks but lots of cooking projects to prepare for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years. Bye the way the weather is beautiful here in Miami if you are already tired of snow. Clear skies, sunny days with the high in the sixties. Best wishes for a happy and special holiday.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet My New CSA

For months now I have secretly researched the CSA movement on the internet wishing for a Miami contact. I live in suburbia, the farms are a distant cry from my lifestyle. I have been longing for the fresh produce so many enjoy in more rural settings. Several weeks ago I visited a sustainable farm in an area south of the city. I found my farm. I signed up for their CSA and we are now a part of the real food movement tried and true. This photo is a glimpse of my gourment lettuce crop enjoying th morning sun. Every week for the next 6 months I will receive shares of the produce delivered to a family owned shop close to home. The farm is fully sustainable, grows heirloom tomatoes, lettuces, herbs and lots of other assorted vegetables. Their carbon footprint extends 45 miles from the farm. Their crops are mostly organic althought the farm is not organic certified, and many are grown in hydroponic green houses like these lettuce plants. Miami, being in the sub-tropics, grows the biggest collection of bugs that also love fresh produce. This is the closest I will ever get to home grown goodness many of you enjoy everyday. I am so ready for the change.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Back and Baking

Posted by PicasaMeet my newest toy, the Zojirushi Home Bakery Machine. I cranked her up this morning and she made a 1-1/2 lb. loaf of Pesto Bread.  The house smells wonderful and my taste buds are already tingling.I know it's a little premature for Christmas but it will be a big part of my Christmas gift this year. I just couldn't wait with Thanksgiving just around the corner and lots of bread baking ahead of me with the Holidays. I can justify anything, just give me a second. I love the fact that the loaf pan makes a long bread like store bought brands. The machine makes up to a 2 lb. loaf which is great for when the whole family is around.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boring But Tasty Bento

Posted by PicasaI have to admit that many days I am just hungry but uninspired. Today was was of those days. The bento is filled with healthy stuff but of the wrong color palate for inspiration. Missing are the red, and orange colors. Difficult to see from this picture the veggie straws are actually orange and the inside of the meat roll is red. Oh win some and you lose some.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ms. Red Bento

Posted by PicasaIt's finally Friday bento is ready for school. It's been a long 5 days. Inside this adorable set of Ms. Red Riding Hood boxes I have placed homemade white pizza with Alfredo Sauce, steamed snap peas, cinnamon goldfish cookies and a shiny red apple. Very autumn like don't you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Half A Peck: Miami Style

Posted by PicasaAs a child in New York State, our family was able to go to apple farms and pick our own apples off the trees. I know most families up North have this shared experience and it somehow defines Fall. In Miami, the Avocados are still forming and it's still hot outside. The closest I can get to apple season from New York is this tiny bag of apples I found at Whole Foods. They are delicious and trigger sweet memories of family fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mini Cranberry-Orange Scones

Posted by PicasaSaturday was my day to bake up a storm. Although it is still warm outside mid-September triggers the desire for me to bake bread, quick bread, and all things bread like in form. It all begin with mini-muffins and now we have moved on to mini-scones. Inspired by bento sized objects my goal was to create tiny bite sized scones to pop into my boxes. These little goodies are cranberry-orange scones with glaze. I intend to store them in the deep freezer and thaw one at a time when needed or should I say desired.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blazing Purple Potatoes Bento

Posted by PicasaI am working on my colors and packing this week. There is always room for improvement in this area of my bento boxes. This bento is filled with purple potatoes, turkey/cheese rolls, and corn with furatake. The second tier is two fat-free blueberry mini muffins, sliced cheese bits, green grapes and carrot slices for my snack bento. Since I stay at school from 7 until 5 three days a week I often pack a snack bento to hold me until supper at 7. The purple potatoes are a real treat. I sprung  them on my family for supper the night before with limited success. One teen tried them and ate two little ones. One teen could not get past the color. My husband stated that they were not bad if you pretend their not purple. Personally, I thought the flavor was really good. They have a  thin skin like a new potato and they are sweet like a red potato. Just goes to show you how powerful color is to our taste palate. I tried them out on my faculty today and most of the women were pleased with the taste. The male member couldn't consider eating a purple potato. He just turned up his nose and walked away. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Posted by PicasaToday's lunch was filled with more leftovers. The bottom tier meat ravioli in red sauce with lounging panda bears. The top layer was filled with diced papaya and the side car has bunny mix. The little panda box is from the Paper Chase line found at Borders Books. When I first purchased this box it felt really small, but I find it holds a great deal. Maybe I am learning better portion control. See I can be taught!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My green goddess bento

Posted by PicasaEvery where I turn this season I see green. Apparently, I am on a green swing since it is now the color of my newest bento and seems to satisfy my palate too. Todays lunch is diced honey dew melon, sliced pear, a peanut butter/jelly sandwich on pain de mie bread and bunny pretzel mix. This tower of food is actually lunch and after-school snack. The box performed well but will leak if packed with very moist foods. It fits very nicely into my lunchbox with room for a water bottle and icy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Basic White Pain de Mie

I found the Pain de mie pan at William and Sonoma Cookshop over the weekend. I always look. I almost never find...except this time really unusual things in the store. Things I am willing to pay full dollar for that is. If I won a shopping spree that would be an entirely different story. I was very pleased with the pan and how it performed. Since I do not have an internal temperature probe to check for doneness I have to rely on the tap test. I feel confident it cooked through although I will allow it to brown a little more next time. The crumb was perfect and dense. The recipe makes great toast and sandwich sturdy slices. I used the recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. I love that site for recipes and to drool over the nice tools.
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mini Muffins Jag

Posted by PicasaThanks to one of my favorite bloggers I have gone on a mini muffin rave. Over the weekend I made this batch of fat free cranberry orange muffins (mix) and stashed them in the freezer for lunches. I love the little size for bento and portion control. Yesterday I made banana nut muffins. They started out as a low fat recipe mix until my DH asked me to add walnuts. Oh well, I tried...Today he packed his banana nut muffins for lunch. Does packing six muffins at a time count as portion control.  I know they are little but that's ridiculous. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My new BFF for lunch

Here she is getting ready for school, packed with lunch and a snack for afterschool tutoring. I am undecided what I shall name her, but she definitely needs a special name since she is so cute. Today she is filled with a mini-turkey sandwich with Cheddar cheese flower, cherry tomatoes, grapes, pretzel thins and a small container of hummus. The side car is filled with fresh mango for later in the day. The little hidden compartment on top of her head holds my fat-free cranberry mini muffin. I  am going to need some practice packing her three compartments with care.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

Posted by PicasaMy daughter made this beautiful cake in her graduation class from the Wilton Fondant and Gumpaste Course. It was a labor of love that I share with you on Labor Day. God Bless!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Puzzle Style Silicon Cups

I found these cups in the clearance rack at my local kitchen supply store. They were part of a kit designed to make a butterfly out of cupcakes. The shapes are great additions to my bento collection. Who knows maybe someday I'll need to make a butterfly out of cupcakes. I am always on the lookout for products that re-purpose for bento. These cups are made by Wilton.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Miss Riding Hood Bento

My lunch bento today consists of four low fat vegetarian eggrolls, steamed corn, steamed edamame, and fruit cup. I like the multi-tier bento cups when the food may be soggy and effect the quality of crispy things like my cute little eggrolls.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sandwich Box Trial Bento

Posted by PicasaI packed this bento the night before school with the hopes that the food would stay fresh and crisp until the morning. I packed the tortilla with chicken salad but layered the tortilla with fresh spinach leaves first. I loosely wrapped the sandwich with wax paper and sealed the sandwich box. To my surprise everything stayed crisp and fresh the next day. I did not dare add the steamed pea pods to the box that would really be pushing my luck.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Isn't She Lovely...Isn't She Wonderful

Posted by PicasaLook who arrived in the mail last week. Just makes me want to sing...I haven't tried to use her yet but I am thinking she would be great for a de-constructed multi-layered salad or noodle bowl dish. She reminds me of a sweet little doll. I'm not at all sure how my middle school student's will respond if they see her. Here's hopin' for the best.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Adventuresome Dragonfruit

Posted by PicasaMy family has never tried dragon fruit before. It was so beautiful when I spied it at the farmers market that I couldn't resist. I had to search the web to discover how to serve it. The literature describes the taste as a blend between a kiwi and a pear. That is exactly what it tasted like to us. The little seeds are like the seeds in a banana. Their texture add a bonus crunch. The colors are really startling and bright. Everyone tried it. Everyone liked it, a big success.