Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quiona Salad w/ Chicken and Artichoke Hearts

If you're like me sometimes you go a little bananas trying to figure out what to do with your leftover rotisserie chicken. Should I make soup? Chicken salad? What about throwing it together with bow tie pasta and a fresh tomato and calling it a day?

The possibilities are endless, and now I'm going to add another possibility to that! You're welcome.

Quiona Salad with Rotisserie Chicken Breast, Artichoke Hearts and Pecans
1 cup Quiona (cook according to package directions - I use my rice cooker which allows me to be lazy is easier)
1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
1/2 palm full of pecans, chopped
6-7 artichoke hearts from a can
EVOO
Salt
Pepper

Method:
Get a small saucepan and put about 1/2 inch of oil in it. Allow this to heat up and toss in the artichoke hearts. Let them get to a golden brown, then place them on paper towels to drain. **
In a small sautee pan toss in the pecans so that they toast up nicely. Put to the side to save for a garnish on the salad.
Place the shredded chicken into the pan and let it heat through, adding some salt and pepper. Once it's thoroughly reheated, add in the quiona and artichoke hearts. Let them marry for a few minutes, then serve on a plate! Garnish with the toasted pecans and you've got yourself a meal.


**Alternately: Before frying the artichoke hearts, fry some thyme and rosemary in the oil to give the artichokes an even better taste!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Pretty Personal Post

Good morning!
I didn't plan on getting this blog up and making many person posts. But in light of the recent SNAP benefits challenge some other bloggists are following, I wanted to post a few things.

I'm on unpaid medical leave from my bank job. I use SNAP benefits to help pay for groceries. My boyfriend buys the rest, and we pool our money for groceries. These are some thoughts from seeing some posts.

First, I'll share what I planned for and what I bought this week:

Currently, this is my meal plan:

Monday
Sweet and Sour Stir Fry

Tuesday
Leftovers

Wednesday
Samosas w/ white rice

Thursday
Mini shepherd's pie

Friday
Tuna cakes w/ white rice


This is a list of what I purchased at the grocery store, Big Y. I got a big discount on milk since we had a "coin" that gives us extra discounts on certain items (like a loyalty program)

Dairy:
Fat Free Milk ($1.88), Large eggs ($2.15), Cream cheese ($1.50)

Frozen Food:
Fillo dough ($4.39), Mixed frozen veggies ($2.50), Raspberry sherbet ($1.67), green peas ($1.50), ice cream sandwiches ($2.88)

General Grocery:
Yellow cake box ($1.25), chocolate frosting ($1.59), tuna (2 cans for $2.50), chicken ramen (2 for $0.50). pepsi cola ($1.34), pineapple chunks in syrup from the discounted grocery area (2 for $0.64), oatmeal ($2.99), whole wheat bread ($2.50), bagels (buy one get one free: $2.49)

Meat:
Chicken sausages ($3.99)

Produce:
Bananas ($1.65), granny smith apples ($2.57), scallions ($0.99), ginger root ($0.76), jalepenos (2 for $0.84), 2lb bag red potatoes ($4.99), strawberries ($1.99), mint ($1.99)

Total: $56.78

Looking through there's many things we could have not splurged on (such as the chocolate cake, the pepsi and ice cream sandwiches), but everyone's entitled to have something nice once in a while.

A few things:
1) Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan. I can't say it enough! Okay, I can, and that's it, but seriously do this. Go through your cupboards and see what's going on in there. I clean out my fridge and freezer every week to make sure everything is usable and start with proteins.
2) Rice! Oh my God rice. Yeah, I could have gotten healthier rice but I already had a bag of jasmine rice so I used that. I always have a bag at the house. Leftover proteins are easier to have as a meal over rice or with a rice side. It helps with not having to figure out two new sides each meal.
3) EAT before you go. I know you've heard this before, but man those grocery store owners are bastards. The bakery smells right next to where I'm going to buy my produce? You play a dangerous game, grocery store.
4) Take a list. I keep a text file open all week to jot them down when I think of them (vs. losing a piece of paper) and then e-mail it to myself. I also think of the snacks and other things I'll need and put them on there. Make sure you don't forget cat litter, paper goods, etc. Grocery stores usually put toilet paper on sale one week, and then paper towels the next so if you don't see a deal, just wait!
5) Cut down on the drinking. Not just alcohol (Andrew and I don't drink), but soda! I budget myself one bottle each week. I'm a hardcore caffeine addict, and it's been difficult but try to cut back and see how it goes. I'm drinking much more tea and enjoying it immensely. It's also a good drink for meals since I have to wait to drink it and sip it slowly.

So to conclude my rant, seriously think about your groceries. Go through them and think about what you DO need, what you're BUYING and what you can do without. I keep my receipts each week to look over them and make sure I don't overspend. Review it, and really see where your money is going!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend of Firsts!

Happy end of the weekend! Mine was eventful!

On Saturday Andrew and I took a hike on the Vernon Rails-to-Trails that's nearby where we live. It's a nice four mile hike with lots of beautiful sights to see. It's a part of a 19 mile bigger hike that we're working up to during the summer.

This was our first time at this trail and we really loved it.


There are plenty of smaller trails off the main trail that lead you to some very beautiful views.




This dam was next to a biiiig pipe that we saw in the ground near a well:


Then on the way back we spotted a buck in the woods!


My phone's camera isn't the best for wildlife photos.


But we thought it was pretty cool! A lot of people bike the trail and road right past him.

After our hike we were starving, so we decided to go to Chipotle. I've been there when I lived in New York City, but Andrew hasn't so it was a first for him.


He had some tacos.


While I had a bowl of pretty much everything.

So our Saturday was great and today we went swimming in the rain which was so fun! The pool only had a few people there and we got in a great workout!

I hope everyone's weekend is going great!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recipe Review: Whole Foods' Chocolate Chip Soda Bread with Raspberry Butter

I read a lot of food blogs

A lot. It's disturbing how many.

But recently I've been in an incredible rut of what to cook. I feel like the kid opening up the fridge 10 times thinking they'll find something new in there each time. And it's not helpful.

But the other day I came across Whole Foods' recipe for Chocolate Chip Soda Bread w/ Raspberry Butter and I just had to try it out!

I did it according to all directions on there. Cutting in the butter with my fingers made me a little nervous as they never really went to "pebbles" as it described on the website. However the rest was simple to follow and very straightforward.

Andrew isn't a big fan of soda bread, so next time I might break it down in half since the loaf is pretty big for one person. It's definitely filling and more of a desert bread.

The only thing I did not enjoy was the raspberry butter. The amount of fat in it made me a bit sick to my stomach, so I recommend skipping that and macerating some raspberries or strawberries and putting those on top. It makes it a big lighter and not so butter heavy (you can see the recipe calls for a stick and a half which is a LOT).

All in all I enjoyed the bread and have something to snack on during the week.

What's one of your go to recipes that you've changed up because of feedback?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Leftovers

During hot months, I truthfully don't mind being in the kitchen.

Seriously.

Stop looking at me like that.

But for real, I don't mind the heat. It takes until it's over 80-ish in the apartment for me to turn the air on, and once I'm around the 75-ish degree temperature I turn it off and keep the windows/doors closed. If things are really bad, I'll take a dip in the condo pool but otherwise I'm okay with keeping hydrated and making sure I'm not doing a lot of moving around (<- no probs there!)

Today I woke up at 9am, took a run/walk around the complex and cooked pancakes for breakfast. I wasn't a fan of them so next time I'll try a recipe I saw on Good Life Eats for 5 Grain Pancakes w/ Flax.

I was going to go for a walk in the afternoon with Andrew but we had to postpone. I offered for us to walk twice as much tomorrow so we'll see! I'll need to be up early again for a doctors appointment.

Anyway, I was feeling a bit lazy and I had some leftovers for dinner. I had some leftovers veggies from when I had a chicken sausage attack earlier this week and some chicken leftover that Andrew made for fajitas last night.

I threw all that in a pan with some chopped sweet pepper and fresh kale, drizzled with a bit of lemon infused olive oil and ta da!

Of course that wasn't all of it, so I tossed the rest in a container and tossed it in the fridge.

What you miss off camera: me shooing away the cat. See, even Kumari knows this is the good stuff.

So I ask of you, what do you make with your leftovers? Do you keep sides from a finished entree to ensure you always have some quick veggies on hand?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Peach Cake with Cherry Vanilla Frosting

This squirrel thinks it's hot.
The cats think it's hot.
I think it's hot.

So what should we do when it's hot?

BAKE A CAKE!
I KNOW! I come up with the greatest of ideas.

Even though it's hot, you know what it means, right? It's peach season! And aside from eating them normally, baking them into stuff is a great way to get them into you if you're not keen on eating fruit that drips down your arms (What's wrong with you?)

We used some fresh peaches we had sitting around, because if I can avoid using something from a can I do. Plus, I love fresh stuff.

Boyfriend and I frequent the "reduced item" racks at the grocery store each time we go, and we find the best deals. We picked up a yellow cake mix box for $1.50 because it had a dent in it. Nothing bugs me about a dented box. Aside from that, we had a coupon for this!:
My coupon gave me the frosting "mix in" for free, saving $1. All in all frosting my delicious fresh peach cake cost me $2.

Andrew thinks the "A" is for Andrew. It's totally for Amanda.
CAKE TIP: When icing your cake, put waxed paper under it so that you can just slide the waxed paper out and your plate won't look like a very inexperienced baker frosted your cake.

So for reals guys, this came out delicious. I had a slice before dinner. I'm having a slice after dinner. I'll have one at 3am that no one will tell Andrew about. So I bring you:

Fresh Peach Cake with Cherry Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
2 peaches
3 eggs
3/4 cup of milk (whole)
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 small packet of orange gelatin

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the box of yellow cake mix, milk, veggie oil, and gelatin. Mix it together and add each egg separately. Puree the peaches in your food processor or in my case, use the chopper attachment to your immersion blender (my FAVE kitchen tool, second to the mandoline). Fold the peaches into the mix and whisk with your whisk attachment or use an electric mixer for a few minutes until it looks like this:
We used two cake pans (make sure if they're non-stick you put cooking spray at the bottom!) and put them into your oven for 28-32 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out without any friends attached to it).

Once baked, let them cool then frost with the above mentioned pre-made frosting.

This cake was incredibly simple to make and it was amazing!

What fruits do you like in cake? Do you have a preferred fruit that you only eat fresh?

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chicken sausage owns my soul

Guys.
I have an addiction.

And it's chicken sausage.

It's invaded everything forever always in my soul. I love it. I love adding it to great dishes and biting into it and not being terrified of gristle (shut up, it's a thing).

Earlier today I dehydrated some tomatoes in my oven so that I could make my dinner that I found on Bev's blog, Bucatini with Chicken Sausages and Garden Veggies.


I know. You're like "It's like 5000 degrees outside, why on earth are you willing to let your oven go for SIX HOURS?" But it's worth it. I had to throw them in a jar (no oil) before I started eating all of them. I don't like fresh tomatoes and I'm thrilled I like these.




So honestly, I cheated with a few things.
I used apple chicken sausages instead of hot Italian ones (I will try those next time), my green beans were canned and my spaghetti was from a box. But even with all these changes it was delicious!

I urge you to give it a try and mess around with it to suit your palette. Boyfriend isn't a fan of lemon so I barely squeezed any lemon on his, while on mine I used the lemon olive oil I purchased from O'Live a Little. Give them a try if you have one - the olive oils and vinegar are unmatched. 
(Note: If you are giving a foodie a gift, give them a gift card to this place!)
(Et hem.)
(Just sayin'.)

So thanks to Bev for posting that delicious recipe, and if you have some time please go around her site and look at all her delish food! I'm addicted.

Hope everyone has a happy fourth!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A three hour tour!

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost!



I know, I know! I'm sorry, it's in your head now as well. But Boyfriend and I are taking a three hour car ride to my sister's house in New Jersey for my eldest nephew's graduation from middle school. I remember changing that kid's diapers, now he has a smart phone and a deep voice! What happened?!


Anyway, since it's impossible to get Boyfriend to eat breakfast, I decided to make a bento we could nom on the way over to my sister's house.




Top bento: Boyfriend gets potatoes, tamagoyaki, a muffin and some strawberries (he doesn't like grapes, pffft)
Bottom bento: Granola bar, tamagoyaki, potatoes, grapes, strawberries and a muffin

My muffins came out differently this time. I didn't have any regular milk on hand, so I used almond milk. They came out much denser and richer (not a bad thing!) but I think next time I'll use 3/4c almond milk and 1/4c water.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Bento Lunch

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affording the movies

So some of you may know that I'm currently on medical leave from my job, which leaves me at home and usually very rarely able to afford to go out unless it's free.

My local movie theater has $5 Tuesdays, and I love going to the movies for so cheap. It's not buying the tickets that bothers me, it's the damn snacks! I love movie theater popcorn. It's like crack to me. I need it. But it's so darn expensive that I just can't justify buying it.

This Tuesday my friends and I did a double feature of Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (ridiculous movie, wasn't supposed to be funny but it was hilarious) and Brave (touching, adorable, Pixar nailed the mother-daughter relationship). I needed food in that time!

It's a good thing that bag that a sewed for myself can easily pack all this stuff! I popped low-calorie popcorn at home and added sea salt, had a container of kiwi, grapes and strawberries and a small bag of low-calorie nuts. I ended up just eating one bag of the popcorn but both of the alternates. So delicious! I also snuck in a can of Pepsi and a bottled water. No one batted an eye. I'm a ninja!

It's been a weird week so I'm in a bit of a cooking rut. Sorry! Hopefully things will pick up again soon.

Take care!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rainy, rainy day!

Well! It's been a bit whacky here in the Northeast. Today I woke up, thought about going to the pool because it was already hot, but knew it was going to rain. And boy, did it rain!

The rain made it's own pool at our complex!

Makeshift bird bath!

Where's all the seed? What's this nonsense?
Alright, enough with bird photos.

I had a bit of a whacky night in the kitchen, honestly! I decided to make these potato cakes earlier in the week since our potato supply needs to be used up. I had looked at a few different recipes, and came up with one that worked for me.
And, surprisingly, I was in the mood for a "meat and potatoes" meal. As many of you already know I rarely eat red meat so this came as a surprise! So I grabbed a can of green beans, the potatoes, and made myself a delicious meal!

Potato Cakes
4-6 baby red potatoes, mashed (Already cooked them with skins on, added 2tbsp butter, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic salt and almond milk, mashed em up and let them cool)
1/2 C Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C Chipotle panko bread crumbs
1/4 C chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped onions
Salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste
2tbsp oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients together and form them into patties. Fry them until golden brown and let them cool on a cooling rack placed over paper towels.
Also:
Add brown gravy to make them even more delicious!
Makes about 8-9 patties
When flipping them over, pat them lightly back into shape by poking them with your spatula.


---
Honestly, I was so sad when I made my first batch. I used WAY too much oil and they fell apart in the pan. So I decided, eh, whatever I'll just try it again. I loathe making such stupid kitchen mistakes. But sometimes, all you can do is throw it in the disposal, wipe your hands on your apron and go again.

And they came out DELICIOUS!

See the mini bell peppers at the top? ANOTHER kitchen mistake! I have an electric stove, and ended up heating up my cast iron griddle instead of the pot I needed for the gravy and figured hell, if it's already hot I might as well throw something on it.
Protip: I love the sound the seeds make as they pop inside the peppers! It makes me smile for some reason.

Anyway, boyfriend had to work tonight so I decided to throw together a bento for him!
He has: Carrot sticks, wheat thins, pepperoni, potato cakes, green beans, kiwi and strawberry.
These potato cakes are so delicious I might be going from referring him as Boyfriend to Husband. He'd marry me for these cakes. And now ladies, you too can make your man want to marry you with potatoes!

After all these kitchen mishaps and very silly wedding thoughts I wanted to treat myself. I've found that I'm in love with Pinkberry - but am poor on a budget, so I had to make do with what was at home!

Raspberry sorbet with kiwi chunks, chocolate chips and whipped cream! YUM!

I hope your evening wasn't rained out and that delicious food came from your kitchen!
Take care!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Breakfast is the best time of the day

It's no secret: I love breakfast. Any meal that I can sit around in my pajamas and cook is a great meal to me. There are so many different great breakfast recipes  out there that there's a plethora to choose from - it's almost overwhelming!

But the other day I was sitting around in my PJs watching TV when I saw Melissa d'Arabian make a Dutch Baby and it looked delicious.I figured it's an easy enough recipe that I couldn't really mess it up, even if I was half awake.

So to cut the story short, it's over 100 degrees outside and where am I? In the kitchen. Oy vey.

The Dutch Baby was easy as heck to make, and I followed the recipe to the T. Then I added some caramelized bananas on top and it was heaven on a plate.

Caramelizing bananas are easy by the way:
1. Let 1 tbsp of unsalted butter melt in a pan
2. Slice bananas lengthwise then across
3. Cover them in brown sugar. I didn't go bananas overboard on the sugar because I didn't want it to taste like sugar and butter. I like bananas.
4. Place them in the pan and let them brown. Patience is a virtue with this. If you've ever had to caramelize onions you know it can take a while. Just let them groove. It'll all work out in the end.
5. Take them out and put them on a plate and top everything with them. I mean everything. French toast, ice cream (make a little breakfast sundae? Yes please!)

So that was my breakfast/lunch, and it was incredibly easy and done within 45 minutes. That gave me plenty of time to wake up a little bit and plan for my day while breakfast baked/sizzled away.

If you live in the northeast, what are your plans to beat the heat? I plan to be at the pool most of the day under a very protective layer of sunscreen. I'm painfully Irish so it's SPF 5000 for me.


Posted on:Bento Lunch

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Oaty Bake

I'll be the first to say it: I'm not a baker. I'd much rather be throwing random ingredients into a pan and figure it out as I go along. There's just so much planning and thinking with baking.

But then I thought, well why can't I just throw together what I have? It wasn't baking itself that was holding back my creativity, is was my own mental block with baking!

And so I decided that I wanted to have something oaty with cinnamon. And why not apples? And crap, I bought this soy flour and can't find the recipe I wanted to use, so I'll just throw that in there too! And a little bit later, with some common sense guidelines to ingredients, I came out with my Cinnamon Apple Oaty Bake.

And oh my goodness is this delicious.

My favourite way that I've discovered I like this is warm with some of your preference of jelly. I had some pomegrante raspberry jam that I put over the top. Oh em gee!

Cinnamon Apple Oaty Bake
Ingredients:
1/2 Apple, peeled & sliced (I used fuji, but granny smith would hold up well)
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy flour
2/3 cup milk (fat free)
2 tbsp & 2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt

Makes 4 muffin cups

1. Preheat your oven to 290 degrees F.
2. Put four muffin wrappers in your muffin tin
3. Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
4. Disperse "batter" between four cups evenly.
5. Bake at 290F for 25 minutes, until browned on top
6. Let cool and eat or serve warm with jelly!


I hope you can experiment with this and come up with fun varients. Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Festival

Over the weekend I had the fun opportunity to go to the Strawberry Festival they hold here in my town. They had 150 crafters, including: jam makers, jewelry makers, wood cutters and stone masons! It was really awesome and I had a great time.

I picked up some strawberry jam that goes amazingly on my Cinnamon Oat Bake that I'll be posting later this week. I love good food!

I leave you with some photos from the day, mostly involving animals!





Friday, June 15, 2012

My first "couple" bento...

...and it's kind of a work on progress, like all relationships! (*Sips tea and nods wisely*) LOL!
I've never worked with molding rice before, so it didn't work out perfectly. But that's okay, because it's a learning experience for me.

Boyfriend will be home later tonight, and I'd like to eat dinner with him!
From top left: grapes with a "flower pot", strawberry, Cinnamon Oat Apple Bake (will post that in a later post), stuffed pepper, kiwi butterflies, asparagus, onion dip, crackers, hard boiled egg, cucumber, and rice bunnies on "carrot grass." Look, I tried.


Mine was similar - grapes, strawberry, Cinnamon Apple Oat Bake, stuffed pepper, kiwi butterflies, asparagus, crackers and pepperoni, hard boiled egg, cucumber and rice bunnies on Ninjin Shirishiri (Borrowed from soul soup soap)

All in all it was fun to put together. Now that my stomach is pretty much fixed I anticipate this being a great dinner tonight!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More food for others!

Hi bentoers!

I'm posting another bento that was meant for me but went to Boyfriend. I'm still pretty ill and not able to eat normal food yet. I had blood work and an abdominal x-ray today - waiting for the results maybe tomorrow. Please wish me luck, I'd like to get over these stomach issues.

Anywho, onto the food!

It's a pretty straightforward bento. Top tier cucumber slices, hard boiled egg, stuffed pepper, charred pepper slices, tamagoyaki and rice.
Bottom tier has strawberries, kiwi, fried tofu, almonds, grapes and a sauce fish for the tofu.

Boyfriend had never eaten kiwi with the skin before, but the skin is the healthiest part of it! 

It took me forever to find cute cat fabric at the store to make that pillow. Cat haters.
And now it's 1am, and I'm following my cat's example.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Late night dinner bento

Boyfriend works second shift, so he's at work from about 5pm to 11:30 or 12 at night. Sometimes later. So when he gets home it helps to have food that's easy to reheat or easily cooked.

Enter girlfriend with too much free time! I make him bentos when I can so that he can enjoy a healthy meal at home instead of stopping at McD's. Of course it doesn't stop him during the day but a girl can only do what she can.

From top left: strawberries, grapes, watermelon, bacon tamagoyaki, cucumber, stuffed bell pepper, hard boiled egg, asparagus on top of more charred bell pepper and rice.

Boyfriend loved the stuffed bell pepper. They're so cute and bento sized and stuffing them are totally easy!

i hope everyone has a great day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Headache Bento

I've finally got a good freezer-to-bento flow going on, and just in time. I've been struck with the Migrane from Hell - and unfortunately I took it out on my poor lunch for today. At least one was made!

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.


Top left are some strawberries and grapes. Bento contains rice, asparagus, stuffed zucchini, cucumbers, bell pepper, almonds, fried tofu and a soy sauce fish.

It was a great lunch and VERY filling! I needed it for all the time I was spending at work.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday Dinner

I confess: I love veggies. All kinds of veggies. They're my favorite thing to eat and I can't get enough of them. I purchased my first cast iron grill pan last night, and decided to make grilled stuffed zucchini. I haven't eaten too much zucchini in my life, but this tasted amazing. I threw together stuffing, zucchini bits, apple chicken sausage, onion, garlic and tomato and stuffed it into zucchini. Threw them into the oven in a water bath for about 35 minutes and BAM, instant dinner.

They were delicious! Boyfriend isn't a big fan of zucchini, but he loved the stuffing for this. We'll have to try it with other stuffable veggies too!
Mine is cheese-free, since I dislike cheese unless it's with pasta sauce. Sometimes.

Boyfriend had cheese on his, though.
I'd serve them with a side of rice next time. We are going to tweak a few things about them and then I'll post a recipe for them soon! I really did enjoy them and had two myself.

Also another exciting thing about yesterday was finally finishing my painting project. I've been painting the landing pad/fish tank holder for a week now (Time constraints and other things kept getting in the way) but it's finally finished!

Finally. It's inside now, with an empty fish tank on top of it.
Do you see the tail of my lawn flamingo on the right side there? The guy who does the yardwork for my condo complex hit my flamingo with his weed whacker :/ He tried to put my poor flamingo back but he didn't do a great job. I'm going to get a little fence and put it around my flamingo to avoid further animal cruelty.

What are you doing for the rest of the weekend? I'm doing laundry and house cleaning. Joy! And of course packing bento tonight :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

1000 pageviews - and a Relay lunch!

Good morning!
First I wanted to share two bits of awesome news! I've reached 1000 pageviews and I launched a Facebook page for the newfound foodie! I'm really excited about both and want to thank everyone for finding my little blog worth reading. ^^

Second, a lunch of course! Tonight is the South Windsor/Rockville Relay for Life at the high school. I'll be part of Team Bank of America so if anyone is in the area please stop by the event and show your support for cancer survivors and their caretakers, and purchase a Luminaria for those who have fought hard but passed on from cancer.

So today is a very long day at work and a very long night at the Relay, so I packed a yummy lunch. Honestly I debated just going to McD's but I knew that wouldn't keep me filled very long.

What a huge difference natural light makes!
Top left are saltine crackers, granola bar and pomegrante fruit spread. Top right are some apples, strawberries and kiwi. Bottom is a salad with carrots, chicken and toasted pecans.
I flippin love pecans.

So easy to quickly throw this together this morning and it makes me hungry just to look at it!

I hope everyone has a great day and a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Double Whammy!

So Boyfriend made the mistake of liking the bento I put together for him, so now he's subjected to bento when I make too much food! Bwahaha!
In all honesty he really appreciates it since he works so late and is tired when he get home from a hard day at work. So I'm thrilled to make food for him!

The other day we went to Chili's and got some yummy lunch. I got a spicy chicken and sausage soup and a BLT (Without the T or the mayo, please!). The entire left half of the lunch box is what's left of the sammich. Right side has rie, strawberries, tamagoyaki and octodogs.

Boyfriend got a much bigger bento because I kind of went overboard. There's rice, tuna cakes, strawberries, apple slices, octodogs, ham and salami rolls, tamagoyaki and half a meatball. Phew, what was I thinking?! Trying to clear out the fridge. Sorry, Boyfriend!

Both of these pictures were made in the terrible light of my dining room but on crocheted potholders made by Boyfriend's grandma! She's so sweet. She also gave us a plant and I've been shooing the cats away from it at least five times a day. Oh cats.
I was also excited to use some of my new picks from my last post! Yay crafts!

I hope everyone's week is going well.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Bento Picks!

Happy Tuesday!
A while ago I read a post on Simply Cute about making your own bento picks.

I have a bunch of them already, but I always am looking for new crafy things to do since I do spend a considerable amount of time alone. Boyfriend works nights at the airport so I do like things to do aside from bug, and getting bugged by, the cats.

Enter DIY Bento Picks! I took a trip to Joanne Fabrics with Boyfriend and bought what I needed. To snap the comb pieces I had to let Boyfriend do it since I'm a bit of a weakling in that area. But I was able to use my new glue gun and button tops to make some cute picks!

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, my condo is always dark and shadowy. And it's been cloudy and gross outside so no outdoor pictures either. (The fabric I shot these on is a grab from the discount fabic remnants at Joanne - I always grab the colorful and exciting ones!)
Adorable pets - there's even a goldfish!

I loooove the "Bee Happy" one - so adorable!

Punk rawk! I hate that this picture came out so dark. These picks were my favorite ones.
Aside from the picks I've been repainting a piece of furniture in my living room. It's a small chest that we use as a landing pad for our stuff when we walk in the door, and it stores all our laundry stuff and pots and pans. I'm repurposing it! It'll be a mail station / fish tank holder!

You see, we bought this fish tank on Black Friday last year. It was a $35 purchase and has the tank and all the accessores and some coupons for free fish. We haven't set it up since we ended up getting Azura and now Kumari. But I want fish damn it!

I'll make sure to post a picture of the new fish tank / mail storage place once I get it finished. It's taking FOREVER! I've got the drawer and doors painted, and now I'm waiting for the primer for the main piece to dry so that I can paint it a nice gray. I'm so excited! There was something therapudic about sitting outside and painting this thing in the cool New England air with my shoes off and the cats being nosy and meowing at me painting.

Hope the rest of everyone's week is great!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A bento for another

So I am still suffering from post-tooth extracted misery. I didn't even eat the bento I posted yesterday because my tooth hurt too badly to go to work today.


So...I made a bento for Boyfriend! It's tamagoyaki, rice, sugar snap peas on the top. Bottom is salad, strawberries, carrots, potatoes, broccoli and tuna cakes (His fave!).

I added a few octodogs after I took the photo since I kinda wanted to show off my bento skills to bf :D