Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bento for The Ringling Museum Grounds!

I haven't been on the computer much the past weekend, and my husband has Mondays off, so we like to spend some time together. So I am so behind on my posts and blog reading, so here a a quick one.
The other day my daughter and I went to the Ringling Museum to enjoy the grounds. This was easy to bring along.

The sandwich is rotisserie chicken, homemade hummus, lettuce. Organic orange carrots, avocado slices (which I put on the sandwich) a plum and some tabouleh in the pink flower silicone cup. All in a bed of romaine lettuce that I used to eat the tabouleh.
I made some tabouleh and hummus and have been using it on sandwiches as well as eating in with the Olga's bread I made and lettuce. My husband likes pretty much everything that I make, but he doesn't like cucumbers and I added cucumbers (a small amount diced really small) to the tabouleh. All he could taste was the cukes and he didn't like it. So it's going on everything of mine now! Ha!

The Ca da Zan in John ans Mable Ringling's house and is on the bay front on the museum grounds. I have a few more photos on my Aqua Sunday blog. I love the architecture of this huge mansion. I have so many picture because I can't resist to taking photos here.
I have entered this photo with Window Views...and Doors too there are so many more windows and doors to capture here!
There are so many statues all over the grounds.

This time of year Mable's Garden is in full bloom!

I've always liked yellow roses. There were so many. I'll show more later.

Some more of the statues...

I always seem to get feet photos.

This is another one I can't resist taking a photo of, I've posted a different photo I've taken before on Aqua Sunday. It is so interesting how this one has been surrounded by a strangler fig (banyon tree).
I guess it wasn't that "quick" of a post!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hibiscus Bento

I was not quite sure how to fill this lacquer bento box that I got for Christmas. I figured it would look good with my sushi that I make. The last time we had that was after a beach run and they just wanted to eat so I served my family first then had mine later and no time to look nice. I did serve it on sushi plates though. It's about time that I used it and I had a little more time to play with it. So here it is. Although hibiscus are edible, I didn't eat this one. Each hibiscus bloom lasts only one day, so I figured it would be okay to use it for the photo...
... and I wasn't quite sure what to do with the little tray in the center. I guess a dipping sauce, which is fine if you are eating it at home like I did.

The top left corner: chickpea tart with shallots and herbs, tamagoyak with fresh spinach.
Top right: sugar snap peas (they've been so good and sweet lately-perfect snack) steamed rice with furikake.
bottom left: lychees, green grapes and cherries.
bottom right: cucumbers, crab stick with baby cukes nori wrapped.
So I would love your help! If you have any ideas of how to fill this bento and would like to share!

Here is another blossom that has a short life. My San Pedro cactus blooms during the summer. The blossom only appears at night for one night. The blooms are large, about the size of my hand when I spread all my fingers out!
Happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crab Pasta Salad Bento

Two simple bento lunches, nothing special. My husbands lunch is with lots of fresh veggie. I send along some dressing for him to dip them in. Spinach, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli along with the crab pasta salad, and a few grapes thrown in.

Mine a smaller version with some homemade flatbread, cauliflower, carrots, grapes and crab pasta salad. The salad has some mayo, sour cream, dijon mustard, peas, imitation crab, dill and tarragon.
We went up St Pete for the Tampa Bay Rays Game Sunday before the ALL-Star game.

While waiting to go inside, this is just outside the atrium.
Right inside the dome the atrium has a glass ceiling and this is up the wall.
It's always pleasant weather in the dome. I can't imagine their would be many people sitting in the 90 degree temperatures in the sun to watch.

We won the game in extra innings...it was a long game, but lots of fun, because we won hehehe!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pancake Bear Bento

A quick bento today, I wanted to use up my chickpea pancakes. I bought the pancake molds at Dollar Tree, there is a star and a heart too. It was fun trying to see how they work. I'll post that later. The bear is peaking over a few animals with his baby corn and papaya seed eyes. Green grape and grape tomatoes on a bed of baby greens. In front dish is a sliced plum, next to it we have leftover chicken piccata, sugar snap peas, and baby corn.
And a lizard on a cactus pad...just for fun!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Elephant Bento

This adorable little heart shaped bento was sent to me from a friend of mine, and I love it. The color is so cheerful and it has two removable compartments in it, or out of it... Thanks Jenn! She was kind enough to share a few other bento accessories to help along a budding bento maker :-)
I really like the little elephant theme, she also sent an elephant cutter, and food divider (baran) with elephants, I'll be able to use those in a little larger bento.
Oh and check out the lid, I almost forgot! In the little insert I have seasoned noodles topped with black sesame seeds, grape tomatoes, and a sprig of peppermint. The other side there is chicken sausages, that cute little elephant sauce container filled with extra sauce, kiwi, and carrots (I have to learn more of what to do with carrots).

We decided to play tourists in our own back yard. My daughter and I have the summer off and yesterday was the first all sunny day in awhile. Venice is about 20 minutes south of Sarasota, a drive we make often.

We got an early start to avoid the heat that was expected and the crowds that appear when the sun comes out. First stop the beach!

It was so calm, the Gulf was flat! Just a perfect, beautiful day here! I heard on the news the other day, that the beaches in our area has a 1% chance of getting any oil on shore. The bad news is down in the Keys there is an 80% chance. It's such a shame with all the marine life that is so active there.
The sand is a little darker in Venice from all the fossils that are found here.

After the beach we hit the shell shops and souvenir stores. Then we went the next street over where they have some thrift shops, and antique stores. I found a vintage lime and lemon squeezer, and a bag of cookie cutters and it had some jello molds with it. I also bought a vintage egg cup, I love findinng stuff like this. Reminds me of my childhood. We'll see what I can do with them.
We had fun in this quaint little town with Italian influence. They often have art festivals and the shark's tooth festival. (This is the area you find fossilized sharks teeth). I'll do a longer post on my Aqua Sunday blog soon.
Didn't mean to get off topic but the bento was perfect for this day!
Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Round Bento

I wanted to try out my round bento again. A lot going on this time of year even though it's summer and I have off from work. I used some new picks that was sent to me from a dear friend, thanks J. The center dish is tri-color pasta salad, with some fennel and tomato blossom on top. Sliced zucchini - on those cute bamboo picks is kalamata olives, marinated mozzarella balls, & grape tomatoes - sliced fresh mango in the blue silicone cup - cherries - mini chicken, green chili, burgers (put them on a tiny bun and it would be a slider) This is great for a good lunch before the beach run tonight!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Bento Blues

There is a lot that goes into a bento blog, a lot more than what meets the eyes. Now what does meet the eye is a lot of what bento making is about. The color, the layout, the design, the theme! These women that do this everyday are truly amazing. The creative talent, and artists that they are, and they run a household on top of it all! Some have another full time job as well.

So this is what I am still learning, beside what to name the bento. How to photograph it. I don't have a SLR camera (my dream). I am not used to these, click and shoot, everything automatic...well I am getting used to it now, but I miss being able to get that close up, and to adjust the shutter speed, and aperture, getting that right depth of field etc... so we do the best we can with what we have.
Now that summer is here I can actually make lunch in the daylight. This is great to be able to take advantage of the light. Otherwise it 6:00AM and I have to use a flash in the dark.
The layout is important too. You want to get a nice background, Maybe show some other pieces of the box or utensils. Oops, some of the edge is showing. Let's try a different background...
Ahh...no, don't like that one. The angles not bad though. Gotta watch that edge!

Wanted to get the lid, after all that part of a lot of bento's cuteness. The blackberries show up better with a flash though.

Ah...still not right. Let's go outside on the lanis. Our morning sun shines on the front of the house, so in the back it's not in direct sunlight.

Not bad, a little dappled light showing through...

with the cute lid, but I gotta watch those corners!
Now for the bento if you are still with me here: Rice with furikake (Maranda loves it, say it makes it taste like sushi) avocado. Next layer is: Blackberries, jicama on a bed of spicy sprouts, and chicken tenders.
Our neighbor's cat who thinks he lives here! Meet Neji.
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Starting Out With Snack Bentos

I decided to start a new blog devoted to just bentos. I was going to wait until I got my new Bento Cookbook that I won from Lia Chen at Bentolicious her wonderful bento blog! I thought that July 1st would be a good day to start. I will post about the cookbook when I get it any day now! There are some many wonderful bento box bloggers out there who have been so inspiring, and encouraging to me in my bento venture. I will be mentioning many of there blogs as I go. I know I have a lot of work yet on my blog design....it will come. On my food blog The Tiny Skillet I post mostly recipes, many of them would work well in bento lunch boxes. I will post them here as well. So here we go ...I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I have learning all about bento box lunches.
Yes I know this isn't a bento box, but it would be in one if I was going to work. Since I am home for the summer (I work at an elementary school) this was my lunch, and I didn't need to take it anywhere except out to the lani.

Here is another snack bento...with some broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, kumquat, watermelon radish, asparagus, and edamame on a bed of spinach leaves. Very healthy, but I sent along some dipping sauces!

I hope you will bear with me as the dust settles and I begin my journey into the world of bento blogging!