Friday, February 29, 2008

Late

If you've come here looking for the awesome DB challenge, I'm sorry but I'm going to be a bit late.
This month is a fantastic challenge, but due to having absolutely no 9 hours to spare this month I was going tot have to pass on it.
Yet seeing everyone's breads has made me yearn to do my own. So do not fear my loving readers, I will be making mine this weekend on Sunday and promise to post then too.
Better late then never.
&
Two loaves are better then one.
Please check back again on Sunday March 2nd

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sunshine Bentos!!!

Two beautiful sunshine Bento's.


So this winter has been one of the worst I've ever seen. There has been layers of snow week after week. It's enough to drive a native California girl crazy. This week the sunshine finally came out and melted some of the snow. I was so happy today I walked out to the mail box three times just to enjoy it. These bento's are to celebrate and hopefully welcome more sunshine here.
They also are an issue of pride since it is my very first time trying to make my own Tamagoyaki.


The pink one is my new afternoon tea bento set, and the green one is for David in a very masculine hello kitty bento.
Each bento is made up of a sun and a flower, or I guess it could be interpreted as two suns. Whichever makes you personally smile more.


There is a flower center made of sweet peaches, and the leaves are sliced buttered toast. (I like having toast with my eggs.) The sun is made from sliced Tamagoyaki roll that was seasoned with garlic, salt, onion powder, and parsley.
I actually used something between the cheater's method found from my idol Biggie on her Shortcut Tamagoyaki tutorial
and the traditional folding method.

I did try to do it the traditional way of making a folded omelet but as you can see it was a bit lopsided and not very pretty.
That is when I stepped in with biggie's method to make it more attractive and hold together well.
I put it on some saran wrap on my bamboo mat, and then used the bamboo mat to roll it into a nice long cylindar shape.

Behold the beauty of the omelet now!!
Then i sliced it into cute pieces. I like how mine looked since it still showed the folds, but i like the cheater method to help it along. Since I'm not good at making normal omelets much less making a rolled one look right.

Tada!! Two lovely breakfast sunshine bento's packed up and ready to go.
We had Peach Mango juice with each of ours.

Breakfast Bento in 3 minutes

I woke up late and had to rush out the door. So this bento was made in 3 minutes flat.


It is left over greek potatos that i put some cheese on, and the top part is canned peaches with sprinkled cinnamon on them. All washed down with black current raspberry juice.
It was taste simple and quick.
when I got to work i put it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Beary Cute Bento

So my second day of breakfast bentos. Since David works tomorrow, but I don't I've made him a little breakfast to take with him on the road.
Here we have bear shaped waffles with rainbow sprinkles and a little container of 100% maple syrup to dip them in.
The second tier is sliced up banana and a little chocolate treat.
He loves his sweets so this should definitely wet his appetite.
I partially added the sprinkles just to add some fun colors. The bento seemed too yellow to me.
Also he is always telling me that when he was in the netherlands they ate sprinkles all the time on any breakfast. Especially toast apparently. *shrug* who knew dutch people liked sprinkles so much? Perhaps I was also meant to be dutch in my past life. I too have a love of sprinkles, I just prefer mine on ice cream... YUM!

Then we've got banana again. Yes you might have guessed it, but we have quite a few banana's that he bought because they are one of his favorites.
You might even say we have a "plethora" of banana's rofl.

And last but not least don't forget the little chocolate treat in the corner.
That my friends is not just any chocolate treat, but a genuine sees candy.
Breakfast Bento Two Complete!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A New Chapter- Bentos

So you are probably wondering where the heck all my bento's have gone.
Yes I mean Angel the site is even called "Angel's Bento Blog" accent on the bento blog part.
All we see anymore is baking stuff and romantic dinners, i mean come on already where are the bentos?
I know I know...
Well the truth is since I've gotten me a handsome honey pie I've been going out for most of my lunches so that we can see eachother during the day.
I love getting to see him especially since he often gets off work later.
So there hasn't been much opportunity for bento making my friends.
Today though as I surfed through all my bento buddies pages I found my self feeling a strong sense of homesickness to make a bento. Looking at all the cute ideas, and recipes, and bento boxes... oh how I yearned to make bentos again. At the same time I am not willing to give up my fun lunch times with my sweetheart.
What oh what is a poor girl to do?
That is when I received inspiration from our friend at Lunch Bucket Bento
Who on a regular bases makes breakfast bentos. I'm often hungry in the mornings, and can't wait until lunch. I often don't have time for breakfast and just run out the door.
*light bulb comes on*
duh I can start making breakfast bentos for myself. So fokes that is the plan.
Something as I was reading that she brought up really resonated with me.
She talked about how bento making isn't as hard or as expensive as many people think it is at first sight. I can attest to this since majority of my bentos are from the dollar store, or were actually containers I washed out from side salads or to go boxes from restaurants. (Wendy's side salad container is awesome, and Applebees has great to go containers.)
Anyways read her thoughts on it here
and dispel some of the myths you might have about bento fun.



This is the cute and simple breakfast bento I made for David to take with him to work tomorrow.
He often stops at a gas station and gets sugary donuts and crap food that will probably kill him someday. =P
So here is a healthy bento breakfast made with lots and lots of love for my honey bunny!
It is a cherry bagel with peanut butter and honey spread in it. Also a banana (his favorite fruit) where I put honey with plastic wrap on the end to keep it from browning.
(i saw this on the site too, and thought I would try it)
Mine is the same, except I'm having cream cheese on my bagel.


Here it is all packed up with a bottle of white cranberry juice to wash it down and a folded up napkin to wipe away any sticky honey he might get on his fingers or face.
LOL aren't I a thoughtful girlfriend.
Hopefully the nightmare before Christmas bag will be manly and goth enough to make up for the fact that the breakfast is in a Hello Kitty box.
He's secure in his masculinity right?... no really. ... guys... hey guys........

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beautiful Wonderful Valentines Day

So for this Valentines Day I got off work and rushed home to make a romantic meal for me and my sweetheart to enjoy. As I walked in I found that he'd beaten me home. I told him I'm going into the kitchen to start making the food and am quite surprised when I see this.


This is the sweet love note he left me in a pot of gold.
Oh not just any pot of gold though....

My dream crock pot that I've been coveting for ages now, full of chocolates!
I squealed and screamed and tackled him with kisses. I was sooo surprised I couldn't believe it.
Already ideas of all the wonderful meals I can cook in it for us.
I then got to business making the stuffed acorn squash that he loves and steaming some vegi's to go with it.
Then he tells me that I need to go to the computer room. I'm thinking "oh no thats where I hid my gifts for him." I run up there hoping not to find my packages out of their hiding nook and instead find my computer chair inhabited by such a nice gift I almost didn't believe it was real.
He had gotten me a shiny new digital camera so that I can take better and more pictures for my blog.

12.1 megapixels can you freaking believe it. I'm so excited now my blog picts are going to be sooo much better, and now I want to go somewhere fun so I can take tons of pictures of us and family together!!
Oh no but it's not finished as crazy as it sounds there is even more.

Yes my friends to go with the shiny new camera is a shiny new photo printer, scanner, copier.
Are you kidding me. I feel like a princess!!!
Well after touching everything and trying out the camera we went down and had a romantic dinner, watched some anime, and had much snuggling and smooching.


I loved that as he was eating the squash he kept grunting and moaning "this is sooo good" "oh man this tastes soo good". Definitely stroked the cooking ego lol.


Dinner consisted of country sausage stuffed acorn squash, garlic toast, and steamed vegetables.
With beautiful green tinted wine goblets of strawberry sparkling cider.

It was so romantic, and cozy and wonderful. We both had such a fantastic Valentines Day.
I love any excuse for a celebration!!!
Below is David, my sweetheart. He spoils me rotten and is so kind and thoughtful. He has restored my faith in humanity as well as love. He really is my Paladin & Hero.
He came into my life when all I knew was despair. I was ready to give up on this world, and he showed me that there are still honest people, there is still chivalry, and most of all that not everyone is out just for themselves.
Thank you baby for bringing so much joy into this world.
I want to dedicate this poem to him which I read and it completely touched my soul. It was like feeling deja vu because it so described how I feel.

This poem is by Richard Watson Gilder, 1892

"I count my times by times that I meet thee;
These are my yesterdays, my morrows, noons
and nights; these my old moons and my new moons.
Slow fly the hours, or fast the hours do flee,
If thou art far from or art near to me:
If though art far, the birds' tunes are no tunes;
If thou art near, the wintry days are Junes,
Darkness is light, and sorrow cannot be.
Thou art my dream come true, and thou my dream;
The air I breathe, the world wherein I dwell;
My journey's end thou art and thou the way;
Thou art what I would be, yet only seem;
Thou art my Heaven...
My ever-living judgment day."

I wish love and joy to everyone else this year as well, and hope you all had a fantastic Valentines day.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kitchen of Love

So down at our good friend Mele Cotte we got a fantastic event. Kitchen of Love is an event where we were to all make a dinner or appetizer for our loved one that has at least one (but i chose all) ingredients to be an aphrodisiac. The only other rule was that it couldn't be a dessert.
If you want to see all the great roundup entries on Feb 12 go Here.


For my Aphrodisiac Dinner
we have tender steamed salmon, succulent asparagus, and delectable carrots.
all topped with a minced garlic and basil butter sauce.
All with a side of baked garlic toast
and goblets of the most amazing knudsen blueberry sparkling cider.

Fish
Aphrodite, the goddess of love was born from sea foam, so in general any type of seafood is considered to be an aphrodisiac. The high phosphorus and iodine content of seafood may actually have a beneficial effect on sexual potency.
Asparagus
Perhaps the most erotic member of the vegetable kingdom. In nineteenth century France bridegrooms were required to eat several courses consisting of asparagus, asparagus and more asparagus because of its reputed powers to arouse.
Carrots
This popular root vegetable, with its phallic shape and sweet flavor, was used to seduce lovers by Middle Eastern royalty. Our question is: "Why does royalty needed to depend on carrots?"


Garlic
This pungent member of the lily family has been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses from the common cold to heart disease. Garlic has been used as an aphrodisiac by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Japanese. Garlic mixed with lard used externally to bring on an erection has been suggested by a professor at USC medical school. (Do not try this around a hungry German Sheppard.) Garlic stimulates the appetite, awakens the senses and makes food taste great.
Basil
This flavorful herb is used in Voodoo love ceremonies in Haiti. (teehee i had to try it when i saw vodoo ceremonies)
If you want to see other interesting aphrodisiacs check out "the cooking couple"

So you are probably wondering how did my beau take it.
Huge success!!! The salmon was tender and the light buttery sauce complimented the flavor without covering it up. It was some of the best salmon I've ever had. The carrots & asparagus were steamed just to perfection where they were tender but still had tons of flavor. I drizzled some of the garlic basil sauce on them and the fish. The toast was a nice solid side to compliment the amazingly fresh and tasty ingredients of the rest of the meal.
Then we topped it off with this amazing sparkling cider. If you can get your hands on any knudsen ciders definitely try them. They are made from 100% juice and have a much better flavor then any sparkling cider or soda pop I've ever had. We've so far tried their Mango, and black cherry. This blueberry one is even better then those. Next time we are going to try the pear sparkling cider.

Such a wonderfully romantic meal for two.
Whether these aphrodisiac's are true or myth they certainly did
increase our romance for the evening.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Years!

THE YEAR OF THE RAT, 2008

February 7, 2008 - January 25, 2009 (Earth)

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2008 is a Year of the Rat (Earth), which begins on February 7, 2008 and ends on January 25, 2009. First in the cycle of 12 Animal signs, Rat Year begins the sequence and recurs every twelfth year. It is a time of renewal in so many ways. From New Year to Valentine's Day, to the arrival of spring, may all the blessings and delights of the New Year be yours.

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start. Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful. The best way for you to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening you can find. People born in an Earth Rat are said to be logical realists, shrewd, charming, ambitious, and inventive. Of course, the entire horoscope must be considered when making any personality assessment.

In Chinese, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded. They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes.

They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner. They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities. They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.


You can see more about this and some lovely brush paintings here

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Heart for my Valentine

A Heart for my Valentine
Heart shaped Raspberry Lemon Tarts

This month we have a fantastic affair being hosted by 1x umr├╝hren bitte
Where we can make anything for it, anything but it needs to be a heart. It is to help give us inspiration for our valentines, and also to celebrate this month set aside to pay ode to Love. You can see the rest of the awesome entries at the roundup Here.
I decided that I adored the lemon meringue recipe that we used four our January challenge that I wanted to make it again but this time with my own twists.

First I made the tart shells using the dough recipe. I bought this really adorable heart shaped pan that does six at a time. I managed to get the dough recipe to make 12 tarts. If I do it again I'm definitely going to double the recipe and make 24, and I'm going to make the shells a day ahead that way it won't be such a long marathon in the kitchen.


Once I had all the shells baked and cooling I made the custard. The secret to getting the custard to set up right was stirring forever and ever.... and ever... and ever ....and ever.
It takes a lot of arm muscles and you have to cook it long enough, if you don't you end up with soup like many other beloved daring bakers had on their pies. To make the custard I put a quarter of my raspberries mushed and mixed in with the egg mixture and a quarter in with my lemon juice. I put the berries in the cup and then poured the lemon juice on top to the right amount. I also added the vanilla and lemon zest in with the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of marionberry jam. I mushed the berries in both mixes and whisked the egg berry mix pretty good.



The custard was a wonderfully thick delicious berry flavor with the lemon not being to intense (i used a bottle of lemon juice so it wouldn't be so tart vs fresh lemons) The filling was soooooo delicious that I licked the whisks, and the spoons, and the scraper all clean.
Then I made the meringue after adding the sugar I added just two drops of red food coloring so it would turn a pretty shade of pink. The meringue was soo cute on top.
I got out my pastry bag and piped the meringue onto the tarts making little heart swirlys.
Baked it at at 350 for a little longer then the recipe asks for since i wanted them to be a little more evenly baked. Then put them in the fridge to cool.

Then added the raspberries as a finishing touch!! Tada!!!
They look so cute. I have never made such a cute dessert before. I was so excited to take them to my friends house for our Dungeons and Dragons session and see what they think.

Oh little tart you are so Adorable I could just eat you up!!!



Teehee oh and we did.
They were a huge hit with the D&D crew. Everyone thought they were cute, and loved the flavor. They kept asking for seconds; so definitely a big hit.

I love how it looks with the dark pink custard and the light pink meringue. Definitely both turned out in pretty colors.

If you want this recipe for your own definitely check out my previous Daring Baker post for Lemon Meringue Pie. I would definitely recommend the recipe, and my friend wycked and I both found it an easy recipe to modify to make your own flavors of pie.