Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Stuff for Back to School

Posted by PicasaMy new bento box and furoshiki for the school year. It is  from the Edge series, and purchased from my favorite site. I am not an affiliate of any of the stores I purchase from. I just love their stuff. This box is huge (over 1000ml.) All I have in this photo is two tiers but it actually has a third tier for those really long days at work. I usually fill the bottom with protein, rice and vegetables. The top I fill with fruit. Many lunches to follow in this box.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Savory Zuchinni Muffins

These babies are destined for the freezer as the beginning of my Back to School Bento Stash. They are made with grated fresh zucchini and basil thanks to the recipe I borrowed from I did substitute high heat organic safflower oil for the olive oil in her recipe since they bake at 425 F. Recent recommendations suggest that olive oil may degrade when cooked at high temperatures and should be reserved for low temperature cooking and marinades.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Lesson in Mathematics

Meet my new picnic tiflin.  WoW, I should have read the fine print before I hit purchase. This beauty is 1.3 liters large. It is way to big for a lunch or supper bento for one. Now I have to plan an outing to break in this container. Perhaps a quiet afternoon under a tree with a good friend and a good book. Maybe when the tropical storm force winds blow by later this weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to Laptop

Posted by PicasaMy back to school lap top is filled with teriyaki chicken, mixed salad greens, mandarin oranges and corn. My bento tip for the day is to add frozen corn in the morning and it is sweet and crunchy by noon. I do not cook it at all. Think of it as a corn salad so to speak. The new carrier works great, no spills or surprises at lunch. Makes me yearn for the larger 2.o version of the laptop lunch set and the bento buddies. Oh how easy it is for me to get carried away with gear. I have to restrain myself and get my value out of this set first. The stuff is tough. I think it will be nearly impossible to wear it out. I just wish the original set came with more lids. I like to eat a lot of sloshy stuff. Is sloshy a word? Spell check doesn't seem to think so...but spell check doesn't like the word bento either.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An experiment in design

Posted by PicasaThis is my new laptop lunch bag. The laptop lunch bento was the first bento I purchased in my quest for the perfect box. Although I loved the fact that the little boxes were portion controlled I did not like the design of the carrier. It required the food to be stored sideways when carried. Disturbing things would happen to my food that way and I was surprised to see what stayed in place be lunch. I quickly moved on to other systems despite my investment in laptop. While playing online I found this new addition to their collection. A thermal bag  that holds the container upright during transport. The top section still has plenty of room for a side car, snack bento, napkin, water bottle or what ever else your little heart desires. As with all of the laptop lunch products, the bag itself is very durable looking and feels like it will wear like steel. I am so happy that the owners of laptop lunches have continued to work on their design features. This bag is a great success and has renewed my desire to use their bento system. (

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's All About Your Attitude Bento

First day back to school for the teaching staff and I am really excited about the new school year. Not only did I buy myself some cute little bento goodies to celebrate new beginnings but the school purchased a Promethian Interactive Board for my classroom which will bring lots of technologic exitement to my science curriculum this year. Last night my husband and I celebrated our 23 year wedding anniversary by going out to Shibui in South Miami. Shibui is a lovely little authentic Japanese restaurant with very good food. Unable to limit my options I ordered a combination of dishes and ended up with this tasty leftover just perfect size for my new edge bento. It is filled with chicken teryaki, brown rice, cherry tomatoes, mixed lettuce salad, olives and catalina salad dressing. It is sitting on my new furosaki from Bento and Co. Unlike many blogs I have no commercial affiliations with bento sellers. I just love the stuff that Thomas at Bento and Company sells. Now that his site accepts US dollar it is even more tempting.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Homemade Raspberry Scones

Practicing my scone making skills learned at Balleyknocken House near the Wicklow Mountains, I present raspberry bit scones. They were a big hit at my house for breakfast, snack or dessert. I apologize for the quality of the photo, I could not manage to control the amount of yellow in this photo. Over exposed? Under exposed? It's a mystery. If I had unlimited funds I would set up a photo booth for the blog but it is not in the cards. Too many college tuition's to contend with at the moment. Besides that would mean less budget for bento, lets get real.
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Monday, August 8, 2011

My First Cornish Pastie

Posted by PicasaThe tour director instructed all of us to jump out of the bus and buy a quick sandwich to take over to Garnish Island for a picnic in the gardens. Are you kidding? a sandwich in Ireland when I could have this baby for lunch.So much for counting calories and it was hot just out of the oven. The inside was stuffed with a slow cooked beef and potato stew. The only thing missing was a nice cold Guiness but that would have been totally inappropriate for the moment-too bad (besides I would have fallen asleep and missed half the tour for the day.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thankyou South Carolina Farmers

Words cannot express how delicous these peaches were to consume. In keeping with my desire to eat our national produce I paid lots of cash for these beautiful summer peaches. Although I am trying to buy food as local as possible we don't have the proper climate to grow peaches in the tropics. South Carolina is local for peaches for me. They were sun ripened and ready to eat immediately. No problem for us.
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Definitely Not Bento But Truely Irish

This is my welcome to Ireland first course. Guiness is very big in Ireland, at least that's what they sell the tourists. I really enjoyed this cold frothy glass of guiness and fresh chedder cheese chunks. I think it would be a big sell on a hyper hot afternoon in Florida especially after a day at the beach. My visit was in the beginning of July in Ireland and hyper hot was not in the weather forecasts. The news reported spots of sunshine for the day. We actually had beautiful weather for 11 of the 13 days with only two really rainy days. I don't mind rain. I live in the tropics. I only mind Hurricanes. I think a nice cold frothy Guiness would be good for those too.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Silly Tourist on a Hill

That's me in Ireland with a great big smile on my face. I just got back from a 13 day tour of  the entire coast of Ireland and had the best of times. We started out in Dublin and traveled south around the entire coast of Ireland . Along the way we visited in many little towns and cities and learned so much about the history of this beautiful country. It was a true joy for me since my ancestors stem from Ireland and it was like I was hearing their story for the very first time through their eyes. What a joy! I only took about one thousand photos and I    have already printed over 500 of them to scrapbook and share. They should keep me busy for a while. Along the way I will post a few on my blog to share the journey and some of the food, but mostly the beauty.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Double Spinach Rollup

Sandwich roll ups are a grab and go basic for "Back to School" in my bento recipe box. They look a little like sushi rolls when they are tucked away in the corner of the box but are quick and easy to roll in the morning.These rolls are on a low fat, high fiber spinach tortilla with goat cheese and baby spinach leaves. I have also tried whole wheat tortillas with peanut butter and banana slices.
The possibilities are endless. Think cream cheese and strawberries, yum.Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lasagne Cupcakes Bentoriffic

This summer I am trying out new low fat recipes for use during the school year and in bento lunches. This recipe is from the HUNGRY GIRL cookbook series by Lisa Lillien called "300 under 300. I treated myself to her latest cookbook yesterday at the bookstore. Each portion is less than 200 kcal and chunk full of lean ground turkey, mushrooms, onions, fat free ricotta cheese and spinach. The mock noodles are wonton wrappers. They were a great success at our dinner table and will definitely make their way into our lunch routine.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Granola Bars with Blueberry Jammy Bits

 The best buttery homemade granola bar ever. Definitely not low calorie. These babies are created with walnuts, macadamian nuts, blueberry bits, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, butter and butter. That's not a typo. My husband loved them. They taste more like a cookie bar than a granola bar. I followed the recipe for homemade granola bars on the King Arthur Flour Recipe Blog. I am going to have to serve these slowly over time to spare the calories. I guess you only live once, these buttery sensations are definitely a calorie splurg.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Berry Berry Fruit and Yogurt Muffins

These delicious muffins are based upon the recipe High Fiber Fruit and Yogurt Muffins  from King Arthur Flour's recipe blog. They are part of my summer baking challenge to create from scratch and use up bits and pieces in the house. The original recipe called for one cup of dried fruit so I tossed in 1/2 cup of raspberry jammy bits and 1/2 of blueberry infused cran-raisins. The muffin papers are from Ikea and they are the best.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Homemade Furoshiki

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at making a reversible furoshiki.The dimensions are 21 inch by 21 inch which is large enough to cover a two tier bento box (medium size). I used two pieces of fabric each 5/8th of a yard and trimmed them to 22" by 22". The project cost me about $7.00 to complete and encouraged me to pull out the old sewing machine. After a little dusting, maybe I'll be inspired to repair a few garments before putting the old girl back in the closet. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

School's Out for Summer, Time to Play

I apologize for the long absence from blogging but it's been a very busy school year. I have continued my committment to creating bentos everyday but have not had time to photo document. Walking through Borders the other day, look who I found looking up at me. She is an adoreable sushi bento girl. She is part of a new Borders collection. They look like paperchase made specifically for Borders. She has a little hashi set that includes, spoon, fork and chop sticks. The bag is bright with sakura design. She will be a nice addition to my Back to School gifts from me to me. I need something to keep me motivated year after year. Eleven years teaching middle school students, that's alot of packed lunches.
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Orange Ya Hungry Bento

I made this bento at 6 am this morning for my first day back to school. I was so hungry by lunch time that it dissappeared in a flash. Time to celebrate well over a year of bento making and lots of healthy food choices. Now that the vacation is over time to buckle down, up the fruits and vegetables and deep six the excessive sweets. But it was a joy to consume while they lasted. This bento is filled with chicken slices, cucumber slices, whole wheat bread, cherry tomatoes, clementine orange and papaya. Yum, Yum.
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