Tuesday, April 22, 2008

042 - Rice to Riches

On my last trip back to NYC to visit family, a bunch of us had dinner at my parents then headed out to grab some dessert. I tried Pinkberry for the first time. It was good, but it wasn't anything TOO crazy or out-of-this-world. A couple others grabbed some sweets from Rice to Riches. That was good, but I can't get over the texture. =\ I did, however, fall in love with the containers! As soon as I saw them, I knew they'd be perfect for packing bentos! I know it is "ghetto" to reuse these containers, but I couldn't bring myself to let them be thrown out. Plus, we should recycle as much as we can! I doubt that these containers are microwaveable, so only cold/cool foods can be packed in them. I had some leftover dumplings and fish balls (from the noodle soup lunch I made) and shrimp cocktail. It is not by any means a very healthy lunch, but delish!

041 - Reds

We had recently moved our offices and I am still adjusting to waking up earlier. My drive used to be 4 minutes... now, it's 20 minutes at least! The earlier wake-up is making me tired earlier, thus making me less inspired to make anything crazy for dinner and pack a cool looking lunch. I still try to stick to bringing lunch to: 1. save money and 2. eat healthier (vs. fast food and such). My go-to recipe when I feel lazy is pasta, specifically linguini with homemade spaghetti sauce. =) Here she is, all packed for lunch with a side of organic baby carrots.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

040 - Yes Chef!

I have been hooked on watching Hell's Kitchen! If you haven't watched it before, it is pretty vulgar but very entertaining. No, I do not get joy from watching these people get ripped to pieces (... well, maybe some) but watching the tasks they have to do just make me want to try! Tonight was bf's turn to make dinner, which means I'm his sous chef. I prep/chop all the ingredients into individual bowls, put all the necessary pots/pans onto the stove top and take out all the necessary cooking utensils. As he works through each ingredient, I put it into the dishwasher... and he thinks its funny that I say "Yes, Chef!" every time he asks for something. Ok, I do play along but it makes it more fun that way. Here's his famous meat sauce over linguini. The broccoli was steamed, last minute, in the microwave since I need veggies for dinner. I use a generic seasoning for all my steamed veggies: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and spritz of olive oil. Yum!
They say practice makes perfect, and so did my cake instructor! I baked a batch of white-cake cupcakes and made some plain-o vanilla frosting (from scratch!), then practiced my star tip piping. These are going to work with my bf since my co-workers already polished off a cake two days ago.

Monday, April 14, 2008


No bento today! I had my second cake class tonight and we finally got to decorate a cake! Our homework was to bring a cake, torted/filled/frosted so it is ready to decorate. I am smacking myself on my forehead cause I forgot to take progress pictures. My cake is a coconut dark chocolate cake with a light cherry rum filling and citrus enhanced frosting... yea, see why I should have taken those pictures? The filling looked SO good before I placed the second cake layer on. The next step was frosting the cake and... I got crumbs in my frosting. After I torted my cake (split one 4 inch high cake into two layers), piped a frosting dam and spread the filling, I forgot to invert the second layer so the "bottom" of the cake is on top. In other words, my cut side was up when the baked-bottom side should be up. The cake was so moist (and delish!) that my frosting picked up some crumbs. The result is a really nice, smooth frosting job that resembles cookies-n-cream. I am SO happy with how lump-free my frosting job was, but the crumbs just killed it. Plus, I need to make a mental note that it takes a lot more frosting than I think. Oh well... here she is! I had a hard time thinking of a design until it dawned on me that tomorrow is the dreaded April 15 tax deadline date!!! My co-workers should get a kick out of this tomorrow morning.

We are learning how to pipe designs using different tips and filling in designs with stars. Excuse the specks of cake in my frosting... at least you know its chocolate cake! Before today, I never realized how hard it is to pipe designs... my right hand is a bit sore from practicing for an hour, then decorating the cake. What do you think? I know it's not a ooh-ahh design, but you gotta start somewhere right? Here's a close up of the stars...

Next week, we'll be decorating cupcakes and learning to pipe a bunch of other designs. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

039 - the other white meat

I have been dealing with a stinkin' sore throat and as of this past Friday, I lost my voice too. =\ Besides reaching for Halls every hour, I haven't been up to too much. I attended my first cake decorating class last Monday and this week, we will be decorating our first cakes! Pictures to come... but first, here's my lunch for tomorrow. It's not very pretty, but it is delish!
chinese broccoli tips, jasmine rice,
pork sauteed with chives and mushrooms

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

038 - Comfort food

There's no place like home, especially when it comes to food. I woke up Sunday with a scratch in my throat and it is now a full blown sore throat. As soon as I got home after work, the only thing I can think of is a big bowl of congee. *smiles* That, along with some noodles, was dinner tonight. It's also lunch for tomorrow. I don't have any pretty containers to store the congee, so here are pictures from dinner.

my mom bought me this bowl for homemade soups (she sends me back
to Rochester with batches at a time).
It tastes as good as it looks! Green onion helps spruce it up and give it a "fresh" taste.

I cheated and made this with spaghetti since I ran out of hong-kong
style egg noodles. It came out really good and resembles the Silver Noodle
dish you can get at dimsum. =)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

037 - Chick on the fly

The bf's eye is finally healing and he can see clearer each day. It has been almost two weeks since the surgery, and he should be close to 80% in another two weeks. In the meantime, I have been playing nurse/housekeeper/chef/lawn doctor/gf... *whew* With all the beautiful weather, we've been golf junkies at the local course. Good thing that we can always count on whole rotisserie chicken! I had mine over spring mix salad with some organic carrot sticks for dinner (bf had it over rice). Bento? An instant replay with jasmine rice.

I have been slacking with my posts mainly because I have just been throwing leftovers into random tupperware. It was not arranged nicely and too embarrassing to post. =\

a rotisserie chicken leg and some breast; jasmine rice with
furikake; organic carrot sticks, D'Anjou pear