Tag Archives: Shoga

Teetering into December and beyond…

7 Dec

After my little spiel of not being mikka bouzu in a prior entry, here I was, neglecting to add to my little collection of bentos.  A good excuse, I had, though.

I attended a most gorgeous wedding of a dearest friend whose wedding was truly one of the most spiritual and emotional ceremonies I’ve ever attended.  And the food?  Words are insufficient in describing how delicious everything was – whether it be the hours d’oeuvre, the meals, or the snacks.

Needless to say.  I did have a few lunches I need to catch up on – so here we go:

The first day of December was:

Leftover (conventional) grilled pork tenderloin, sliced, seasoned with salt and pepper

Blanched spinach, seasoned with ponzu and ginger dressing

Soba noodles simmered in dashi

Boiled (conventional) quail eggs, with blanched broccoli and shimeji mushrooms that were simmered in dashi

Steamed beets, cut into star shapes, thanks to Gigi and Baba’s vegetable cutters

Day 2 with Grandma (while we were away at the wedding) was originally packed as a variation to the above lunch; however, she unfortunately forgot to send it into school (little boo!)…  I’ll just post anyway….

Sautéed (conventional) small hotdogs with incisions that make a cute pattern when they heat up.  I saute them in a cast iron skillet with minimal oil.

Steamed beets – but no fancy cutting this time!

Broccoli blanched, with a soy sauce and ginger dressing

Quail eggs that were simmered in dashi stock

Cellophane (conventional) noodles tossed with ponzu, ginger, and sesame seeds

Forgotten lunch...

We returned from our trip, which included multiple days of non-stop eating of fabulous food, drink, a four-hour horseback riding session that left my husband and I walking like penguins, and a good marathon session of dancing at the wedding reception.  My head spun as  I realized I needed to put together my daughter’s lunch – but I hadn’t planned ahead for Monday bento. 

So I cheated.  No, not a Jif sandwich, but I packed left over Chinese takeout.

Chicken with snow peas, mushrooms and carrots (all conventional)

Chicken lo mein (all conventional)

Carrot sticks

Sautéed sausage with criss-cross pattern (conventional)

I was a little lazy and cheated today...

Yesterday, Monday, included a trip out to the far, far, country of Morristown New Jersey for hours of traveling, meeting, and more traveling.  I was pretty exhausted by the time I returned onto “The Island,” and I cheated once more…

I stopped at the Korean restaurant, Surasang, and picked up an order of Jap Chae and drooled at the thought of the numerous containers of banchan included in the bag.  I composed myself, reminding myself this was going to be my daughter’s lunch… and I happily arranged everything into her lunch box today:

Japchae, or Korean style noodle stir fry (conventional) with julienned vegetables (peppers, carrots, onions) and beef

Blanched bean sprouts with garlic, scallions, salt, pepper and sesame oil (conventional)

Blanched spinach (conventional)

Egg omelet, with chopped vegetables, seasoned with salt and pepper (conventional)

Now that I’ve slacked off for a few days, I hope to be up and running tonight…


Rainy Tuesday, last day of November

30 Nov

It’s hard to believe the month is over already. November blew in with the falling maple leaves, and swirled about in activity, and is speeding right past my nose. The morning frost the other day was indicative of the approaching winter – but it almost seemed as though a cruel tease when the daytime temperatures rose to above 50 degrees. My parents sent over a lovely collection of vegetable cutters in various cute shapes, as well as a fancy Japanese bento “how-to” guide with instructions on how to make star-shaped quail (fresh of course) eggs to how to cut out a nori Mickey Mouse head.  A bit too intense for me to tackle at this point in my bento making life – but definitely a book full of wonderful ideas.  If only I had four more hours a night to create such masterpieces!

Alas.  My bento creation wasn’t exactly the Magic Kingdom, but I tried out one of the cute vegetable cut-outs.  Trial and error.  Certainly a lot of carrots and daikon that I consumed last night…

Today’s lunch consisted of:

Blanched carrot and (conventional) daikon slices, cut in penguin shapes, seasoned with a ginger-soy sauce dressing 

Omelette rolled with blanched and well-drained spinach and katsuobushi, seasoned with a little salt and pepper

Meatball – (conventional) beef, in a tomato sauce with celery, peppers and onions – Papa’s creation from the weekend

Sliced chikuwa, sautéed in a cast-iron skillet to crisp the surface, and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil vinaigrette

I’ll have to continue looking for vegetables and items wide enough to make the cut-outs work!

Monday lunch for a very short week!

22 Nov

Compared to last weekend, I enjoyed a slower pace, as well as more time with my girls.  The weather was unseasonably warm – and my husband pulled out the last of the pepper plants.  I rescued my lavendar and rosemary plants that he had “cleaned up” and re-potted them.  I often joke how I am married to a man who shoves things into the netherworld… and how true these statements are.  He cannot stand clutter, while I must sort through the minutia of every single item and give each piece a home.  Together, this combination of frantic disposer and scrupulous reviewer often result in a clash of the opinions.  Thankfully, over the years, he has slowed down on the pace of disposal, and I have learned to speed up the reviewing process. 

Today’s lunch is:

Buta-niku no shogayaki, or sliced pork sautéed with ginger with sautéed napa cabbage, carrots and onion

Steamed organic multi-grain rice with gomashio (black) and sweet peas

Sautéed chikuwa, celery and aburaage sautéed until the chikuwa is a little crispy, and the celery still crunchy, seasoned with soy sauce and mirin

Organic cucumber slices

My favorite holiday is this week!  I actually changed my turkey order at Makinajian farm, increasing the size of the bird to 22 lbs.  Looking forward to the gorgeous smells of Thanksgiving cooking, later this week.

Almost the weekend…

19 Nov

Thursday’s lunch was spent at a much-needed session of socializing with a co-worker, and picking up a dog bed.  Hence, the delayed post.

My beloved labrador soiled her bed – and unable to salvage, I went on a quest to find a comfortable replacement for her stiff legs.  I found an orthopedic bed with a comfortable egg-crate insert, and covered in faux shearling.  I brought the bed home, was covered in dog-kisses, and she promptly flopped down and did not move from her bed until the next morning.  My heart had ached a bit, since I had to dispose of her soiled bed the night before – and I had spread a towel on the  floor for her to lie on.  I heard her toss and turn all night – her collar jingling and jangling little bells until dawn broke.

Thursday’s lunch was an attempt to add diversity to my daughter’s lunch.  It consisted of the following:

Thinly sliced pork wrapped string beans and enoki mushrooms, sautéed and seasoned with a soy-sauce, ginger and mirin dressing.

Blanched and sliced organic string beans, seasoned with Krazy Mixed-up Salt.

Sautéed lotus root, seasoned with sesame oil, salt, pepper and a dash of soy sauce.

Steamed organic multi-grain rice with gomashio.