An adventure into the world of bento.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My first tamagoyaki

I followed Maki's instructions on, and I think I had fair results. I sent the photos off to my soon to be niece in Tokyo (she is marrying my nephew) and I am sure the two of them will have a laugh at my first try. It's not perfect, but I am content. I tried a new cooking technique and at least did not end up with scrambled eggs!

First 2 tbsp of egg mixture in the pan...

Rolled over and next layer of eggs....

the final result, looks like a burrito if you ask me! If I had a bamboo mat I could shape it better, but saran wrap worked for me.

The final result in my bento....

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 4, 2008

My nephew (B), who is stationed in Japan, sent me bento boxes! I had told him (and his Japanese fiance) that I was trying to learn more about bento and they sent us these boxes, and assorted other items that will be helpful. Then they sent photos of the lunches his fiance (M), makes for him. I could learn so much from M! I hope someday they will come to Texas and I can have a lesson, in person.

Well, here is my latest bento:

Posted by Picasa

I think M's bento is ever so much more appetizing. My nephew is a lucky man.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday bento

We decided not to celebrate Easter twice this year. For once we will only celebrate Orthodox Easter on April 27th. It worked out great, we relaxed and the grandkids had Easter festivities at the other Grandma's house. I did get the urge to cook, when I discovered our HEB (grocery store) was closed and I had to fix lunch for Monday with what I had in the house.
I came up with a Tandoori chicken with leftover greek yogurt, and a sort-of tabbouleh with Manchego cheese, tomatoes and green onion. Mexico meets the middle east so to speak.

We are all looking forward to Orthodox Easter and our favorite foods: Pashka (cheese), Kulich (bread), Mama's blini (crepes, which I have not mastered yet) and piroshki (yeast bread rolls filled with a meat mixture). Yummy. Everybody's favorite is the bread and cheese, even my new son-in-law is a fan, and it is sure very different from the food he grew up with in Puerto Rico, but he loves it.

We are the quintessential American family comprising 6 ethnic and/or racial groups, sharing our foods and customs across the board. We are proud of our various heritages and holidays, celebrating Russian Orthodox Easter, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Dia de los Muertos, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther King Day, and various saints days (Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopalian). We ARE America, we are what makes our country so special and so great....a mix of cultures, ideas, love and faith. Our children and grandchildren are the future of our nation, and the colors of our nation. We are so proud of all of them.

So, in the spirit of rebirth, in this Easter season, please take time to let new ideas take wing. It is time for us to discuss where our nation needs to go, how we put our dreams into action, and how we work for a future for ALL of us, no matter our color, or belief system.

To quote Barack Obama (who we support):
In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Messed up molded eggs

Well, I tried, but I should have cooked the eggs longer. Live and learn. Lunch consisted of emptying out the leftovers.
Colcannon left over from St. Paddy's Day, left over Greek olives, molded eggs and dried fruit.
Check out the eggs with the leaky yolks, LOL.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

O'Bento for St. Patrick's Day

Now, Obama took the Texas caucuses, so we have some time off...but just 3 weeks, so I'll be calling folks in Pennsylvania to remind them that those of us with PA roots know who should win the primaries in PA. For Bento folks....Go Obamasan!

Back to cooking....

My Irish background is "forcing me" to put this recipe up. It's the absolute best corned beef recipe ever. Adapted from Cooking Light, and much loved in our family. Just serve with colcannon, or steamed potatoes and some Irish soda bread and Guinness or Killians, or beer of your choice. Green if you dare...and green Kool-aid for the kids. [I am pretty sure you can squeeze left overs into a bento box, just be creative, and don't forget the shamrocks!]

Guinness Braised Corned Beef

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery

  • 1 cup Guinness stout

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp. dried dill

  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can beef broth (preferably; low sodium, as the corned

  • 8 black peppercorns

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 (3 lb.) corned beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat

  1. Combine all ingredients except corned beef in a 5-6 quart slow cooker,

  2. stirring until well combined. Top with corned beef. Cover and cook on low

  3. for eight hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef and cut diagonally

  4. across the grain into 1/4' thick slices. Discard broth mixture.

  5. Serve with colcannon, and brown soda bread, and of course more Guinness.
recipe location:
Guinness-Braised Corned Beef @ Group Recipes



By Shirleyoma (from --send her an email if you like it

Cook Time: 20
Prep Time: 15

1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cups boiling water
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/8 teaspoon finely ground pepper

1. Place potatoes with cold water to cover by 2 inches and ½ tsp
salt in large saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
3. Add cabbage and boil for 10 more minutes until potatoes are
4. Meanwhile, place green onion in sieve, pour boiling water over
them and drain.
5. Add drained onion to a medium saucepan with milk, butter,
remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper, bring to a boil then remove from
6. Drain cooked potatoes and cabbage and return to large saucepan.
7. Beat on low speed with hand held mixer until coarsely mashed.
8. Increase speed to high and gradually add milk and onion mixture
and continue to beat until potatoes are light and fluffy.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Oh! My bentos ARE broken !

Who knew Texas would be in play for the primaries? Not me. So now, every spare moment, and only one successful bento box lunch later, I am still campaigning for my candidate. I am tired, I have been sunburned, and I have missed the entire event (once) because I was outside (as a volunteer) working the line of folks waiting to enter the venue to see Barack Obama.

I am glad to support Sen. Obama, I do it for my grandchildren, because we need HOPE back in the USA, and someone to inspire the young people of this nation, who will then be empowered, inspired, and ready to lead their generation. This is not a political blog, but I felt I needed to explain why I am not adding much to this site right now. Texas is so important right now, and I have been working for my candidate of choice. If Obama is not your choice, that is fine, I believe it is time that all of us become respectful of each others' beliefs, without becoming critical and nasty. All of us, for our own reasons support the person we believe in. That does not make any of us less patriotic or whatever, it just adds to the flavor of what made our nation great, and can do so again, post Bush.

I am also precinct chair in my county, so I can't mix my job a precinct chair with my politics. I have been extremely careful not to do so, but it has been frustrating because I had a lot of information that according to the rules, I could not use. So, I did not use it at all. I only hope others in my position were ethical as well.

Now I find that Sen. Clinton, has told her adherents to disrupt the caucuses . This really pisses me off! In the past, we all have tried to do our best during our caucuses. Now Sen. Clinton had decided (apparently) to try to mess with the caucuses. I find that unfair. We DO have rules in Texas and she should abide by them,and not tell her adherents to attempt to subvert them.

Tough Caucus Strategy
3:31 PM Sat, Mar 01, 2008 | Permalink
Christy Hoppe E-mail News tips

Hillary Clinton and her campaign is pushing for precinct captains for Texas' 8,000 Democratic polling places. They need to train folks to lead the caucus sessions that will determine more than 60 delegates after the primary voting is over.
In training materials being handed out by the Clinton campaign, it is clear that they want to control those caucus sessions.
The materials say in part, "DO NOT allow the supporter of another candidate to serve in leadership roles."
It goes on to say, "If our supporters are outnumbered, ask the Temporary Chair if one of our supporters can serves as the Secretary, in the interest of fairness.
"The control of the sign-in sheets and the announcement of the delegates allotted to each candidate are the critical functions of the Chair and Secretary. This is why it is so important that Hillary supporters hold these positions."


Friday, February 8, 2008

No bento, too busy

Last Sat. blockwalked for Obama. Monday....the GI illness arrives, a day later than my fellow block walker. For Super Tuesday I made a chocolate chili, but did not feel well enough to go to the event, and watched at home.
This is the party I missed.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

Then, Wed. my B-I-L arrived and we took him out to dinner, ho-hum restaurant, Ciao Lavanderia in San Antonio. Won't go there again, I don't care if it is Chef Vatel's.

Thursday night, ate closer to home at the Welfare Cafein Welfare, Texas.

Here we are:

We dined on the best weinerschitzel, etc. German Texas has to offer. My California B-I-L, was astounded at the quality of the food in rural Texas. Hey, we know how to eat here! Live music (which was fantastic) provided by the Welfare Fathers.

We ate the following:

Chicken Fredericksburg

Chicken breast sautéed with peaches, jalapenos and onions. Finished in a white wine cream sauce. Garnished with crumbled pecans. Served with spätzel and vegetable.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Lightly smoked medallions of pork tenderloin finished on the grill. Topped with sun dried cherry and molasses glaze. Served with potatoes and vegetable.

and I had:

Holstein schnitzel

Topped with lightly grilled lean black forest ham, asparagus and a “sunny side up” egg, garnished with lemon, capers and anchovy.