Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pink Elephants on Parade

I've been a bit sick the last few days... and by a bit sick I mean the stay home from work, go to the doctor and get penicillin kind of sick.  I have had a nasty sinus infection, complete with fever, sore throat, sinuses on the war path, and a cough that teamed up with my asthma in an attempt to kill me.  But, I'm doing A LOT better this evening, and I go back to work tomorrow (thank you antibiotics, cough syrup with codeine, sugar free cough drops, sinus rinses, hot steamy showers and baths, water, and vitamin C).  That being said, I need a lunch for tomorrow.. but I am not really in the mood to cook, so it's leftovers.  Since I have been sick, I haven't really been cooking, so pickings were slim, but leftovers in this case consist of spaghetti, salad, and grapes.  Hmm.. what to do with them....

I don't know about you, but when I am home sick, I often watch movies, mindless movies, not those with bad plots, but the ones you know by heart, those movies that you love, the ones where you can turn the volume off, and provide the dialogue yourself (and umm, yeah, I've done that, in party form, it's kind of fun!), but anyway, back to mindless movies.. My mind was not able to handle anything that required concentration, and I wanted something where if I slept through half of it I wouldn't be upset.  So mindless movies and some mindless reading were just what the doctor ordered when she said to rest.. along with some emails, phone calls, and umm, two trips to my classroom.  Well, she might not have ordered the last three. But that is how I spent my time.  Some day I will be tough, and turn off my phone, and not check my work email, but that day was not yesterday, nor was it today.  

 I have watched some awesome movies.  Now, when I am sick and I have movie marathons there is often a theme, but it's not a theme like "romantic comedies", or "Movies about New York".. no, it's more like.. well,  playing the how many steps to Kevin Bacon game.  I started with Bride and Prejudice, because a little bit of "No Life Without Wife" always makes me smile.  From there I went to The Decoy Bride, because well, Bride and Prejudice and Decoy Bride both have Bride in the title..... so there was logic, really.   After that I had to watch Brave, so I could get some more Kelly Macdonald (she is awesome), then... because Brave is a Pixar/Disney film I needed some classic Disney.   So I watched Dumbo. I love the lullaby his mother sings to him, it's probably my favorite part of the whole movie. Which got me thinking, as a kid, the  part of the movie where poor little sad Dumbo takes a bath and ends up drunk and sees all those scary Pink Elephants, well, I didn't understand that part, and frankly, it terrified me!

But somehow over the last few days of being so congested that I couldn't breathe or think, even though I don't drink, and therefore have never been drunk in my life,  I could relate a bit to seeing technicolor pachyderms.  So Elephants... Pink Elephants..... after a bit of thinking,  I remembered that I had a cute little elephant cookie cutter that I have never used in a Bento lunch before... and since I am trying to think outside the box, and try new things with my lunches, and I am sorta addicted to finding new Bento accessories, well.... anyway....

I went to the kitchen and dug out some tools... Along with some provolone cheese I got: Pink and Purple food coloring, a dish and a tiny bit of water so I could make a light pink, an elephant cutter, a fish cutter (used to make the elephants' ears), a circle cutter, a paint brush, my tweezers for handling and placing small details, and the yellow "poker" for removing fine details from cookie cutters (tonight it worked as a detailer to add the black dots for eyes, and the larger pink dots for cheeks).  

And while playing Pink Elephants On Parade.. I made my lunch.


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Yeomen of the Guard

Sometimes there is that brilliant moment when you realize that if you love something, in my case faire... You can combine it with other things you love.

I love, love, love Faire!! I mean, what's not to love??  Friends who become your family, history, learning to sew, spin, knit, and more.  Singing with friends, messing with patron's, and just having fun!!!

Of course, we do dress in wool.. layers of wool to be exact... but hey, we look good!!!  

The men of The Yeomen of the Gaurd work hard guarding the Queen.  They carry her in a sedan chair through the streets, guard her as she wanders through the faire, shopping, and visiting with nobles and peasants alike.  All that hard work of course makes them thirsty, and hungry too.. So that's where I come in. I am a Water Woman.  I carry a bottle, like this one. 

When we aren't on duty we find time to enjoy the faire ourselves.

We sometimes play towers... where you aren't allowed to touch the blocks until they are on the ground.  We use swords, quarter staffs, wooden spoons, even tankards to remove the blocks.  

I love Faire.

We are a family, we take care of each other.

So, what might you ask, does Faire have to do with Bento??  Well.. it.. is.. this..

A Yeomen of the Guard Bento lunch, packed for me to eat at faire site.  You see, tomorrow I go help with the construction of the faire site itself.  We will be building, painting, and taking workshops on things like improv, history, and accents.  In other words, I get to be home.  I can't wait for faire to open in a few weeks.  In fact, I think when it does you should all come and enjoy faire!

Opening weekend adults are buy one get one free if you print out the coupon online 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's Go To The Circus!!

I went to Japan Town with friends this weekend, and while I was there I found the cutest Circus themed Picks!  I also got some new cutters to do faces with.  While cute picks and cutters aren't necessary to create Bento, they make fast Bento creation a lot easier!!!! Besides, as far as "addictions" go, picks are pretty cheap!  

         After commenting on how they would love to pack Bento Lunches, the next words out of most people's mouths are "But I just don't have time for it".  While I fully admit that sometimes I do spend a longer period of time creating a very detailed lunch, MOST of my Bentos are made in five minutes or less (because I don't have a lot of time myself).  So how do I crank them out that fast?  Well keeping it simple helps, as does using left overs, and of course a few tools.  I started with a few cookie cutters I already owned, then I picked up a few here and there... you don't have to go to Japan Town to get them (though if you can go, you will have fun!)  I find them at craft stores, walmart, and even at the dollar store.   

         You also don't have to own a super fancy box, in fact if you are packing for a kiddo who isn't good at keeping track of things, I would recommend a cheaper box, even a gladware container works!.  And speaking of kids, you don't have to have one of those either, although kids love Bento too!  What I am packing usually determines which box I use, and I fully admit that my laptop lunch (pictured above) is my favorite.  However I love my smaller more compact boxes as well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Some Earlier Bento Lunches... 

Bumblebee Bento :) This one was fun!  The bee is cheese, with a bit of food coloring painted on.  Lunch was Celery, Sandwich, Yogurt (with a fruit leather flower), strawberries, and some honey to mix into the yogurt.

I love checkerboard apples, so darn easy, and so cute!  I also loved the pinwheel sandwich.

PacMan by request.... 

So simple, and yet so pretty.. The deep red of the blood red orange really complimented the green, brown, and white.  YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bento Yummyness

Panda Bento - Egg salad sandwich, broccoli
(with ranch for the veggies in the Panda cup), cucumber, and strawberries
So, Bento, how did I end up packing Bento...  I have always loved presentation when it comes to food, a while ago I began to admire Bento.  But let's face it, I was intimidated.  While I can and do make sushi, I didn't want to do it everyday... then I discovered that Bento doesn't have to be Japanese food.  It can be the food I am already eating.  It can be as simple or as complex as I wanted it to be, because all Bento really is, is a packed lunch.  You also don't have to spend hours packing it, and you don't have to have specialty equipment (although once you start.. well.. if you are like me your collection will grow.....).  

Some of my lunches are cute, some are pretty, and some are just plain.. Most are made in five minutes or less.. although sometimes, I decide I want to take a bit more time and paint something (like Om Nom), or handcraft something (like Roary).

Not my heaviest on veggies, but this lunch has grapes, pasta salad with a painted cheese
Om Nom, a banana (with the cut the rope scissors), bell pepper, pita chips, hummus,
and a baby bell cheese.

This one has lentil salad, some cream cheese with celery, a sandwich with Roary, and a checkerboard apple.
Roary is the mascot for my friend's business,
Bento doesn't have to be fancy or cute, but I love to add little touches.  They really make me smile when I eat them!  There are some awesome blogs out there on Bento, and I get some of my ideas from them, other's are inspired by ideas from my own life, or from accessories I have found.
Cucumber with ranch grapes, meatless meatball sandwich, and carrot "noodles".

A pirate theme.. Pirate Baby Bell Cheese, mixed greens,
roasted asparagus with lemon, spaghetti, yogurt and blueberries

I started posting my Bento on facebook, but after much encouragement,
 I decided to try blogging about it.. 

Happy Bento-ing!