Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opps, I missed the Lunch

Okay, I Pride myself on my Love of Lunch, and I, of all people missed the Blogger Lunch. If only I read my e-mail, this has got to be a message to make me read my e-mail regularly, anyway thanks to Holly, who told me about it, I hope we have another one so I can bring a Bento Buffet. Hopefully we can have another event. Plus, even if I had known, I would have been in my Midterm.

Alright, so onto the post.

Obviously, I did not make the fantastic Bunny, it is a picture from a Book called Food Face. I WISH I had made it, but then again it would be a shame to eat, my counterpart, the not-so-chic Bento Cheap, comprised of leftover Chinese Food. I want to discuss the differences and similarities beween what I do and what others do. Alright, this is going to be a long post.

I get most of my boxes, at yard sales, or in department stores, they are just regular containers. I get the cute assesories from the Bins and Bins, I walk past it on my way home from the University and find myself in there looking at everything and wanting them all. If I wasn't on a students budget I would be swimming in Bento items I'm sure.

Okay, so Bento, in short is about, well, bringing your lunch with you, taking the time to appreciate making and eating it, two things we probably don't do alot of with the billion dollar industry of single serving microwave meals and fast food.

To Bento, you don't need Fancy tools (But it sure is nice). This is going to be a comparison mostly between my own Bento's. What is Chic(I work I hate, but ryhmes nicely with Cheap) and what is Cheap.


These are terrible photo's, but from left to right it chic to cheap. Obviously, I do not own the fancy red Bento Box with the decorative pattern and little lids, but I want to. Alas, I have the Box in the middle, a Lock and Lock, with little square compartments inside. And on the end, that's a plastic takaway, y'know, if you have these containers, you can just rinse them and use them a few times when you get a takaway. Re-using the container even once is a great way to start Bento, (Maybe if there is another lunch or Blogger meeting of some kind, I would bring Bento's in these for disposability.) Size wise, there are Bento guidlines for the amount of ml a Bento should hold for your age and gender. For me, I make about 500-700 calorie Bento's, but depending on my activity levels and stress that number changes. (I had a mid-term quick Bento that just had cake..hehe)


Food wise, anything goes. This was Monday's lunch. I think it is a combinatin of Chic and Cheap. Grapes, cheap and easy, just wash and eat. I had some mini-meatballs leftover which aren't that chic so I just put them inside a cookie-cutter to make them more appealing. The little added foodpick adds a little more fun too. Pick up some mini-sword picks the next time you go for mixed drinks if you want them for free. And the yellow object is actually a tub filled with mustard for dipping the meatballs. The long pastry-looking thing is a cabbage roll, not everyones favorite, but this could be a slice of pizza or a sandwich. The chicness I added was the mini-bottle of soysauce for the cabbage roll, honesty this is the cheapest thing in the Bento, but is so cute. It was an empty food dye bottle. Last but certainly not least is the cookie. A tiny Giraffe I coloured with food dye pens. I don't expect anyone else to do this, but decorating cookies with my little cousins when they visit for the holidays is so much fun, so I always make a tonne and put them in the freezer, these are so tiny, proably no bigger than an inch so I have hundreds of them. Yes, I know, I'm extreamly obsessed.


Okay, these are mini-assesories Bento's.

Alright, I have mini spoons and other cutlery, honesty, these are those souviner spoons you see all over the place, when I eat, I am reminded of places I've been so I get to enjoy the memories of those places while I eat. If you don't have tiny spoons use plastic or a regular sized one. We have the sword food picks that come with those fancy mixed drinks. These are a collective bunch, not only my own, don't think I'm drinking myself silling for cheap Bento assessories. And finally, the mini-bottle and some fancy shaped corn holders I use for bigger food picks.

Alright, so here is another. We have fancy mini-muffin cups that make great dividers, little takaway tubs I got at Tammy's and a bunch of little condiment packets and of course other fancy picks. If you like condiments with your lunches, just save them from restaurant visits and you'll always have quick things to add to your lunches.

I want these so much. They are the cutest, little mayo tubs with clovers on them. I want them so much, but the shipping and handling kills you on orders, so I will proabably never own them. This is just the tip of the iceberg for cute Bento assesories that I don't own, I won't show the other to you, there are just too many.

This will be the final idea for today, I think this is going to be an epic post. I could write so much more about Bento, but I will just keep it to myself before the entire University thinks I'm unbalenced (I think it may be too late) Anyway, these are tiny cookie-cutters I use to shape foods for extra fun. Very Chic. And some more adorable pics and a mini-bottle of Tabasco. It is so tiny, it only hold 10ml. I love it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bento 10

This was Reading Week.

These would be merangue ghosts. Adorable and delicious and so simple.
3 egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1/4 cup of sugar. Whip it all up and pipe in ghost shapes. Bake and 200 for about 45 min and put chocolate chip eyes in. Tasty, though I did burn my just a bit, kinda like toasted marshmellows.

I had to work long Thanskgiving shift work, find time to vote, and prepare for 2 midterms, an in class assignment and cleaning my space, but I did find the time to sneak in a tasty Bento for a day I dedicated to study (yes I actually study during study week). On the tray are many leftover Thanksgiving scented candles I thought I would enjoy the ambient light on the stormy day. I giant mug of tea, a plate of tortilla crisps, and a side of ceasar dressing for dipping.
Yes, Readinng Week, in sneaks up on us all, some of us begging for it, others dreading it. I am particularly happy for the break and time with my parents over the Thanksgiving Weekend, but then again I work and I have mid-terms after this. Who scheduals these things? I use my reading week for catch up, I'm sure most of us do. I like to sleep in late, talk to old friends and even do some reading I should have done weeks ago.

In the actual Bento, I have olices, cheese cutouts, dried fruit, a ghost merengue (see top for pic) candy corn, leftover turkey and a leftover waffle cut into squares filled with homemade jam.

This was a relief from Biology textbooks and dissapointing plans with friends.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bento 11

Simple. Tasty.

Alright, in the big divider, leftover chicken breast strips with carrots and baby tomatoes. I must Remind myself that I will need my KFS (Knife, Fork, Spoon, mine is an old military set that clips together and attaches to my bag, maybe I should take a photo of them.) I wonder how everyone else packs their lunches, that is if they do. Do you take silverware? I feel weird sitting in class or in the Caf or even in the Owl's Nest with metal silverware. Oh, well, they are just so nice to have, durable re-usable and unique.

Anyway, in the left side, a mini-cheesecake with a green merichino cherry. Delicious. Made them myself, well I make most of it myself. If anyone wants a hot tip, don't open the oven door when making cheesecake, I did and now they are cracked, so I had to top them, oh well, happy accident. Oh, it is surrounded by strawberries and raspberries.

And in the last compartment, we have leftover meatloaf chunks and a muffin-liner with blue cheese chunks and a Babybel laughing cow cheese square. Oh, and a pick for eating!

This one was quick too, but I have a plan for my next few Bento's, (I can't wait for Thanksgiving).

I was also wondering if anyone out their would be interested in doing some sort of lunch swap or meet-up, I'd love to share some of my food and tips with others, y'know I figure student's would show up, free food and all. Maybe a Cooking Club? Any thoughts?

Look Ma! No Art Grant!

Look Ma! No Art Grant!

Art Grant! I don't need no stinkin' art grant!

A lovely maple leaf on a base of postage stamps.

Alright, the election is comming up and I am sick and tired on hearing about the Arts as an issue, in particular, the Conservatives cutting funding to arts in Canada.

“If Canadian artists produce world-class art, then it will be noticed on the
world stage, with or without government assistance,” read a Post editorial.
“Moreover, the Tories are not telling artists to stop producing their movies,
paintings, alternative rock or books. Rather, they are simply telling them to
stop financing their international junkets from the wallets of overburdened

I totally agree, tax dollars need to be spent with logic. I agree with the programs that are being put under review, the PromArt program and Trade Routes pay for commitee-decided artists to fly around the world to share and explore the cultural world of others, hardly a good use of tax dollars, this is just the opposisiton and media trying to make a media hysteria out of nothing. Anyway, I don't need an art grant, nor would I want one (in a very Grocho Marx kind of way). A committee doesn't decide what art is. What I made today, to decorate my house, is art to me. Committees are censorship. I can not decide where to place my vote, I actually think about the issues and am probably going to have to find some way to decided. At this time, probably Conservative.

Anyway, These are my autumn-themed wall decorations made from old frames found at yard sales for virtually nothing. Leaves I found outside and covered in wax (from candles) and I made the backgrounds. I like them. They are art to me and that is all that matters!

Though, My photo's are terribly taken!
This is about 10 cm by 10cm

Actually, the one below this is actually a drink tray.
1 foot by 1.5 feet

The photo's just don't do them justice.
50cm by 50cm

There is actually one more, but, the phot was awful, so no luck.

Bento 10

This was a very simple, very delightfully delicious Tuesday.

Alright, in the big divider, sliced apples and bananas with the last of the cantaloup under it.(if you sprinkle a tiny bit of lemon juice on cut fruit, it doesn't turn brown)
The Fruit was great during my 'layover' between classes, a tasty breakfast.

In the top corner, we have a mini-walnut muffin and 2 iced cookies. Something sweet to keep me going.

In the bottom corner, baloney. Seriously, it's baloney. I was in a rush to whip this lunch out, so baloney and cheese made a quick fix. To finish it off, A tiny pink pick to pick up the foods (cold and flu season).

Tuesday's are stressful. Lot's of classes and uncomfort. I hate being stranded at the school. Being a Townie, I am unable to just pop over to the Rez and relax, I must remain imprisoned between classes. I ate this lunch, with a thermos of hot chicken broth (No picture, sorry, thermos' just arn't that interesting. Overall, this lunch got me through the day. Barely, must plan more for next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bento 8 and 9

Too Busy to Bento
Wow, it's been a busy week, nothing like work and deadlines all in the same week to through my lunch making off course. Oh well, I did make this Bento, on Monday to eat that night in film. This is a sweet-heavy Bento, because I needed something sugary.

Starting in the Top Left Corner: A re-usable muffin cup of mini-marshmellows. To the right is a purple iced cow-cookie and leftover pancake cut-out in the shape of a Giraffe. (I was brought back food-dye pens from Winnipeg last Saturday, so I wanted to use them). Below those are dried aprocots.

In the Far, Bottom Right Corner, Autumn inspired jelly-beans in an autumn cupcake liner. Beside that we have leftover pancake squares with peanut butter inbetween. I have found a way to use leftovers, cover them in sugar. Yum. Alright so this wasn't the most health-oriented Bento, but a little wiggle-room made all the difference.

Okay, this was Tuesday, my long,long 10 hour day where I am trapped at the University due to my stupidity by allowing myself to schedual 2 labs and a lecture on the same day, oh, well, I get to make satisfying Bento's to get me through the day.
That's part of why I started doing this, cafeteria food is horrible, expensive and doesn't keep me full. So I substituted buying food with making tasty, filling flavourful food.

Alright, I must admit I am a cookie-cutter freak, I love them, they are so adorable. The cantaloup (sp?) giraffes were extra-delicious.

Beside those are the last of the cauliflower and raddishes, (they were starting to turn).

In the main compartment, we have a shrimp/crab/lobster pasta shell, a babybel cheese, a mini-cup of olives and the last carrot. Oh, and in the cup, yogurt for dipping the giraffes in.

Well, these were simple, and almost basic bento's. And now that it is getting cooler, I crave more meat. So, say goodbye to the tropical fruits and veg, and hello to iron-rich red meats, yum. More to come.