Monday, August 16, 2010

Rainy Day Bento

This is a bit of a late post, but I've been busy with moving back to campus, so I hadn't had time to get this up. It was our bento from last Wednesday, and since the weather had been monstrous around here lately, we had to eat it inside. The picture quality isn't too good because of the lighting, so you'll have to forgive us. :(

We gave this meal about a 4/5. All the pieces were good, but we could have made them better with a little tweaking, and the curry we were expecting something different, but it wasn't bad by any means, just not what we were expecting.

Top tier: Salad with Ross's homemade cherry vinaigrette dressing, feta crumbles, and walnuts, and a fruity "dessert" (for lack of what else to really call it) made from fresh peach chunks, Laughing Cow swiss cheese triangles, and apple butter.

The salad (if you'll pardon the terrible picture) was good, however we both agreed that it could have been better. We were under the assumption that we had fresh cherries for the dressing. But nope! We were determined, however to make the vinaigrette anyway, so Ross used a jar of sugar-free cherry preserves. It wasn't bad, but would have been better. We also realized after getting set up that we both would have liked more feta. The walnuts did add a little bit of texture that would have otherwise been missed, so that was a major plus. Besides, who doesn't like cherry-walnut salad?

The fruit mix was really my favorite of the top tier dishes. I LOVE peaches, and these were just under ripe, so the sugar from the apple butter didn't add too much to the sweetness. If they had been perfectly ripe, I think it might have been too sweet. Adding the apple butter was a last-minute suggestion by Ross because he said it needed more color. Seeing as it's all mostly pinky-orange or red, adding the deep red of the butter didn't seem to help much in that direction in my opinion, but whatever. It still tasted good. And I always love swiss cheese and fruit. It's healthy and delicious. :)

Here's a pic with the flash on, to try to capture some of the color. Didn't work too well. I still say we need a much better camera for this!

Bottom tier: Mango curry and rice. I am a BIG fan of curry. And mangoes. We thought that putting them together would be the best idea, and we were right. The only problem was that we were expecting it to be spicy, and it wasn't. It was sweet. A minor let-down, but it was still very tasty. We used Boca Chik'n nuggets for our protein, and it worked out really well, and the curry was Patak's Original brand, which we've used before for their Tikki Masala and loved. I think we'll definitely be making this again at some point, just when we aren't craving spicy curry.

Overall, I think we both liked the meal, but it was a blah day with the storm outside, and it dampened our mood a little. With a better day, and a little bit of tweaking with each of the pieces of the meal, it would have had a better score with us.

Oh, and the tea on the side there is a Rooiboos karoo tea, which we selected for its spicy flavor to compliment the curry XD
It still worked, but only as more of a substitute instead.

I think the fruit/swiss cheese is going to become a staple of my diet, since everytime we've had it, I've loved it :D

'Til next time!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Today's Bento Adventure

We gave this one a 5/5. We liked all the parts to it, and I tried really hard to make a better presentation than we'd previously had.

Top tier: "Chik'n" patty sandwiches (Ross's with bleu cheese and fake bacon bits, mine with just pickles), strawberries separated by arugula baran, cherries, and blueberries.

Mmm strawberries...

Neither of us really like arugula that much outside of a real salad, so we ended up just tossing it into the garden, but it helped keep the sandwiches from getting all squishy from the berries :)

Cherries and blueberries that were just starting to go off a little, so I wanted to use them up. It started out as just trying to fill in the spaces around the sandwiches, but it ended up pretty attractive, I think. Not to mention delicious :3

(I do really love berries :P)

Bottom tier: Regular Ramen noodles with a can of mandarin oranges, some peanut sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce. It didn't look as pretty as the top did, but it really stole the show taste-wise.

Close up look at the oranges. I just love them. And orange + noodles + peanut is always a good idea. The only real problem was that there wasn't a good mixture of textures, but if we had had some peanuts to throw in, I think that would have fixed that, though I loved it just as it was.

After getting outside, we decided that some furikake on top of the noodles might be kind of good, so we grabbed some that we had prepared for an earlier bento and dashed it on. Ross made it out of white sesame seeds ground with salt, ginger powder, and a little black pepper for color. It doesn't add too much to taste, but then again, I don't think it needed to in this case.

Overall, the sandwiches were yummy yummy (if you don't mind the technical jargon there), the berries always awesome, and the orange peanut ramen especially stellar, with just a hint of heat mixing oh so well with the cool of the oranges. I will definitely do this on again sometime. It made a contented kitty :3

It made my face do this. :)

Mmmmmmmmm....happy tummy.

Ross says he would have liked some kind of salad on the side, but with these particular bento, we might not have had room unless we moved the ramen aside (which, on reflection, would be fine really) and put some either next to a baran or in a side dish cup with some dressing containers.

I loved the food, but would have liked some cute food picks. Since we're "bunny and kitty" some appropriately-themed ones would be really nice, but I have none, and can only ever find rabbits paired with bears for some reason :( I also would like some different sauce containers, as we've only obtained the see-through soy sauce ones. While I do like those, some "zomgkawaii" ones would be awesome :3

Until next time!