Archive for October, 2006

* Black rice with bell pepper and carrot Jack O'Lanterns
* “Orange” curry (red cocos curry with orange bellpeppers, carrots, sweet potato, red onions and tofu), Nori divider
* Roast Marshmallows because you gotta have some for Halloween! (okay, they were a failed experiment)
* Oreo cookies
* And Mango stars for no particular Halloweeny reason other than that I had to use it up because I'm scared of ghoulish food in my fridge ;)


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Tomorrow's bento is spoils from the weekend's shopping excursion!

* Inarizushi, tiny “inside out” rolls and a nori pocket with Wasabi.
* Maki rolls
* Reese's cup and Jelly beans
* Mikado “pocky”!

Can you believe I never had a Reese's cup in my life? You don't usually get them here. I saw them at an English food shop on saturday and bought them because my American friends keep telling me I have to try them. XD~

Also, Inarizushi are love. They were my introduction to homemade sushi and made me addicted to the stuff ^^;
The maki rolls are filled with smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber and some with leek/mayo mixture. I'm too nervous about using actual raw fish at home, so it'll have to be smoked for now :/ but oh well, it's still good :D

And the Mikado “pocky”? It's a German product under license from Glico. I had those way before I knew what Pocky was. Sadly I also like them better than the normal chocolate Pocky ;)

Expect more bentos with the spoils of the ethnic stores tour this week!


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Happy Austrian national day!

* Top layer: Salad whose name I have forgotten already* with red onions and cherry tomatoes (so tiny!) tossed in balsamico and olive oil; ovenbaked potato stars
* Bottom layer: Ovenbaked salmon and a shrimp.
* Small container: Lime aioli (bought at the supermarket deli)
Not shown: Haven't decided on a dessert for tomorrow yet.

I'm having entirely too much fun with my new cookie cutters. :D
You can also see a picture of my arrangement of the same stuff for dinner here.

*Mizune. Not Rucola. Mizune is much less bitter and tastes more like spring salad.

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* Top tier: Risotto with shrimps and mushrooms
* Bottom tier: Banana cogwheels, fresh mango stars, plum hearts, more banana cogs (all dripped with lime juice) annnd… a Mozart ball! One of the original ones, which are actually handmade (hence the “heart” shape of the marzipan, and the stroke through it where the stick went).

Tomorrow's bento is a luxury bento in lots of ways:
– I usually don't buy any alcohol (it's so expensive in Sweden) but I need wine for risotto. Today, we finally got around to check out the wine shop and found some really tasty wine for quite cheap! Gotta get more of that.
– Fresh mango! I love mango. Lovelovelove. You almost never get it here (or at least, not ripe and nice ones)!
– Mozart balls. My stepdad sent them to me for my birthday! They're dark chocolate truffles filled with pistachio marzipan and nougat, and handmade in Salzburg (where my parents live). Sooo good!
– Oh, and I found cookie cutters in (almost) the right size!

Scampi risotto recipe
Use medium or roundgrained rice. It won't work with longgrained rice!
For two persons, 1-2 cups of rice are fine. If you use brown rice, use more because it doesn't rise as much as white rice does.

Per cup of rice, you need:
2 cups of broth (use chicken or fish stock, or if you're as cheap as me, vegetable instant soup base. When making seafood risotto, I sometimes cook out the shells of the prawns and use that broth.)
1 cup of broth and dry white wine each. Vary according to how much you like the taste of wine.

1/2 cup of shrimps or small prawns
1/3 cup of chopped onion
Salt, pepper, chili, garlic, parsley or italian spice mix for seasoning
Grated cheese (Parmesan, but any yellow cheese like gouda works too).
Olive oil or butter according to taste

Sauté the onions in olive oil or butter. When they look nice and translucent, add the dry rice and stir so the rice gets sautéd a bit too (it should become slightly translucent). Add one cup of broth and stir until the rice absorbs it.
Stirfry the shrimps/prawns separately in some garlic and olive oil and cool them so they don't become hard.
Cook on medium to low heat, spicing and adding more wine and broth alternatingly as the liquid gets absorbed. When the rice is done (it should be very sticky but still resist to the bite), stir in the shrimps and the grated cheese and serve with parmesan on top.

If you want to use only mushrooms (e.g. sliced champignons are nice) instead of the prawns, sauté them with the onions and use vegetable or chicken, but not fish base.

And because I used to practically live off this stuff, here's my quick Spaghetti all'arrabiata recipe:

(Warning: HOT!)

Roast chopped garlic and chopped fresh chilies (I keep them in the freezer so they keep fresh and don't lose their strength) in olive oil.
Add crushed tomatoes without peel, salt, pepper and sugar (the sauce should be almost sweet) and cook, adding small flocks of butter once in a while. Generally the longer you cook and the thicker the sauce gets the better it will be, but it also works well if you just make it while the pasta is cooking, hence the 5 minutes recipe. If you want the sauce to be thicker, add tomato paste concentrate to bind.

Serve with al dente italian pasta and parmesan or grated cheese.

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Friday's bento.

* Top tier: Vegetarian curry (which got very red) and brown rice, decorated with light and dark sesame. I wanted to try out my new stencils, but the dark asterisk just became a splotch…
* Bottom tier: Chèvre (soft goat cheese), dried fruit and prunes, crackers, and a plum.
* Breakfast snack: Manna, which the dictionary says is semolina pudding (okay, okay, I admit it, I bought it for the name. “Out of Manna!” </cheesy>)


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Backdated Bento #26

We were going to a wine testing with work tonight and had planned for early dinner (pizza) so it's only a simple and quick bento today.
They do seem to be getting more filling though!

Top tier: Eeeeasy (but so nummy!) tuna and wholemeal pasta salad in yoghurt/mayo dressing
Recipe: Cook pasta, rinse cold. In a bowl, mix mayo and thick yoghurt in an approximate 1-2 (or 1-3 for less fat) ratio. Spice with salt, pepper and french herbs. Add chopped red onions, corn and a can of tuna (no oil and drained). Done. (also tastes really good on lettuce or with thai basil)
Bottom tier: Wholemeal bread, dried dates, thai basil decoration.


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Thank you all sooo much for the sweet potato recipes!
I went to work on monday evening and made three batches, each in a different way, from the suggestions. The leftovers went into a bento for today!

Top tier: Cocos curry with sweet potato, eggplant and carrot; brown rice.
Verdict: The curry was great, but I cooked it a little too long – sweet potatoes seem to cook quicker than regular ones! Will remember that next time. It fits together really well with eggplant, though. Maybe with fish, too?

Bottom tier left: Sweet potato cubes, ovenbaked with butter, sugar and cinnamon.
Verdict: One word: YUM. O_O

Bottom tier middle: some cooked broccoli (for the color!)

Bottom tier right: Sweet potato cubes ovenbaked with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil and a bit of balsamico.
Verdict: Gonna leave out the balsamico next time… I usually love vinegar on my veggies, but it somehow didn't seem to fit that so well. Odd.

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Backdated Bento #24

Another meze/fusion bento, mmm meze.

* Upper tier: Avocado chunks, oven-toasted eggplant slices, tabbouleh (well… that's probably an insult to those who know how *real* tabbouleh should look like, but anyway… bulgur salad) with feta, grape tomatoes, mint and parsley and lime juice.
* Lower tier: The rest of the radicchio salad with the same yoghurt dressing as last time, more avocado slices, and a deranged egg. I wanted to make a chick like does, but the yolk broke when I lifted the other half off, so I made a very deranged looking face instead.
* Dessert: Dried dates and a minipudding.

The mint was frozen, so it didn't make very pretty decoration leaves :/ Ah well.


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Backdated Bento #23

* Top tier: Thai green cocos curry with cashews and veggies; slice of lime, thai basil and red chilies as decoration

* Bottom tier: brown rice with grape tomato tulips :)

* Dessert/Snack: Mochi, sliced plums

Photography worked better today :) I moved the bento to a lighter spot, as my kitchen table is pretty much the darkest spot in the kitchen it seems ;)
Also: Mmmm, brown rice. It's delicious! Gonna make more stuff with it in the near future…


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I finally got around to actually make something in the evening that I could pack as a premade bento! But taking a photo in lamplight made the colors go all horrible ;_; I fixed it up as well as I could in photoshop (the original was MUCH darker) but it still irks me.

* Mezze Penne Tricolore (three-colored halfsize penne pasta) with fried eggplant and tomato sauce, topped with some feta cheese and basil.
Recipe: Cook pasta (no, really?).
Cut the eggplant into thin slices and then dice from there so it'll cook more evenly. Spread it out on some kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt to remove the bitterness. Leave for a few minutes, then dry with some more kitchen paper and remove the excess salt.
In a pan, heat some olive oil and finely chopped garlic. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle a cup of the diced eggplant in it. Fry until the eggplant seems cooked well. Add a cup of squished tomatoes, salt, pepper, french herbs (herbes de provence) and sugar to taste and let it cook for a while so the sauce gets a bit thicker.
Serve the eggplant sauce over the pasta with a bit of feta cheese and basil mixed in or sprinkled over the top.
* Radicchio salad in a yoghurt, balsamico and garlic dressing, carrot cutout for decoration.
Recipe: Find some radicchio salad (google images helps you if you don't know what it is. It's a somewhat bitter red salad in a tight bunch).
For the dressing, mix two tablespoons of turkish thick yoghurt with a tablespoon of balsamico vinegar and crushed garlic (use very little if you're afraid of making your workmates choke). Add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste (I usually eat my salad very sour so I leave out the olive oil).
This is a rather sour/bitter salad, so if you're not as happy with that as I am, I would suggest relieving the bitterness by putting some diced apple in it, or using (sour) cream instead of yoghurt.
* Plums.


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