Thanksgiving…ish

I’m posting this a bit late,  very late for my household actually.  For we had “fakesgiving” instead.  Now what is “fakesgiving” you may ask, quite simply Thanksgiving not on Thanksgiving.  It started off as a bit of a joke,  but it caught on quickly.  Being in the UK,  means I have to request to have Thanksgiving off of work,  and unfortunately this year I couldn’t have it. So instead I took the week before off and my father came to visit and we had Thanksgiving a week early.  It didn’t matter so much to us,  we spent time with each other and our friends, isn’t that really the best part? Dad and I had a long day cooking,  here are the fruits of our labour.
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The full table. Flowers kindly given to me by a lovely friend,  awesome giant wine glass from John Lewis.  Our feast included; pork and crackling, greens, black eyed peas,  creamed corn,  mashed potatoes (done in a slow cooker), dressing, green bean casserole, mac n cheese, biscuits, cornbread, sweet potato and pecan pies. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving,  who out there took part in Black Friday,  and cyber Monday?

Squished Bento!

Squished Bento!

This was yesterdays lunch for work. Left tier, which is incredibly squished.. I had less room than I thought. Two slices of Mediterranean style quiche, slices of corn on the cob and two little cheese sticks (actually becoming a little addicted to these!), right tier is bacon and chorizo salad. The salad is leftover from dinner, my friend cooked us all a lovely meal, Chinese chicken, the salad and mushroom chow mein, I wanted some of the noodles in my bento, but somebody beat me to the leftovers…it’s survival of the fittest out here! ha ha.

Mish mash, picnic bento

Mish mash, picnic bento

This is a bento from while I wasn’t posting regularly, my friend and I went shopping in Cambridge for the day, and we both brought relatively healthy lunches with us. I say mish mash, because it is just a random mix of food, one of those clear out your pantry type moments.

Starting from center top and going clockwise. Homemade granola; I made it with oats, a collection of cereal pieces (all the bottom of the bag), and almonds, drizzled with natural honey and cinnamon, sliced corn on the cob, carrot sticks and one mixed brown and white sushi rice onigiri, fruit pot containing a checkered apple, pear slices, more mixed rice onigiri, pepper slices and ham/pepperoni and cheese roll ups. This was the first time I’d used my star, flower and heart shape onigiri moulds, they didn’t turn out too well, but practice makes perfect!

Overall it was a good meal, will definitely be making my own granola again in the future! Hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend!

P.S. excuse the poor picture, it was taken on my phone.

Wednesday and Thursday’s bento, plus courgette flower fritter failure!!

A little late behind in terms of putting these up, but hey better late than never right? These are the bentos I took to work for Wednesday and Thursday just gone. All packed up in my new bento box. I’m totally in love with it!! It’s just so cute! Wednesday’s box:

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Bottom tier: piece of corn on the cob, and some asparagus seasoned with salt and pepper. Small silicone cup of canteloupe melon.

Middle tier: Healthy turkey spag bol. I love that the inner leakproof lid is domed, so you can stuff as much food in as possible! Hence it looks like it’s overflowing with pasta.

Top tier(bowl) Wholewheat zucchini and carrot muffin and a little rapeseed oil in the panda sauce bottle. I had to move the sauce bottle into the middle tier when I put the bento together because it wouldn’t fit in the lid space with the muffin. and then, I ended up forgetting to use it anyway. Doh! This lunch was incredibly filling and yummy! So at least now I know I don’t need a huge bento box to fill me up.

Thursday’s bento:

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A completely messy mix and match bento. Bottom tier: vegetable tian.  Middle tier; Chorizo and chickpeas, raw carrot baran, cold paprika spiced new potato and onion salad.Top tier/bowl; mini homemade wholewheat bread slices. I ended up losing half my tian on the floor…woops. It didn’t matter, since I’d seperately packed some fruit and nuts as well, I was more than full.

Absolutely ages ago, I read on Just Bento, Maki’s recipe for zucchini (courgette) blossom fritters…I knew instantly I had to try them, unfortunately where I lived at the time, it was difficult to find the flowers, and even where I live now, I have only just found a vendor on the market that sells them! Very expensive £2, for four blossoms….I was beyond excited to try this….but unfortunately I royally messed it up :(. I’m not sure how I managed it, but my batter was far far too heavy, and they ended up with a slightly chewy texture, rather than being light and crisp. They’re quite bland, no distinctive flavour, I’m not sure if the texture of the petals was caused by my dodgy batter, but either way I just didn’t like them. I also (despite thoroughly cleaning and checking the flowers) was a little paranoid I was going to eat a bug…and I’m generally not squeamish in that sense.  There are many other recipes for them out there, stuffed, sauteed, all sorts…but for now, for the price they are, I don’t think I’ll be trying them again anytime soon. So here is my awesome courgette fritter failure! Lol.

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Hope you’ve all had a good weekend!

Happy Eggs Bento

Happy Eggs Bento

I submitted this bento for Bento&Co’s 4th annual bento competition! Exciting. I’ve never entered a bento competition before, but I always love to check out the entries, and I’m really excited to see the entries for this year. So this bento includes; First tier- Two onigiri (as per the criteria), made with a mix of Thai black glutinous rice (although really the rice comes out this beautiful purple colour, it’s usually a lot darker, but the mix lightened it.), white sushi rice and long grain brown rice. I filled the larger onigiri at the back with a honey soy salmon mix, delicious! The other one is plain. I baked the rest of the salmon in olive oil, and seasoned with a little sea salt and black pepper. Stuffed into all the little gaps are some fresh raw peas, on my food picks, griddled British asparagus (our asparagus season is incredibly short here, especially this year, so I eat as much of it whilst I can), boiled green beans and corn, which I had never sliced before…I got the idea from Happy Little Bento, as she often has corn slices (you can find her blog in my blog roll.) Second tier- Boiled cauliflower and broccoli, hardboiled “Happy Eggs” with YAY spelled out across them, my first time carving something into an egg, again I got the idea from Happy Little Bento. This was undoubtedly the hardest part and took patience, not as good as I was hoping for, but I’m sure I’ll improve with practice. Couple of slices of a white flesh nectarine- anyone else think that they’re yummier than their yellow fleshed counterparts?? A clementine segment, sliced British strawberries( again a very short lived season here, but they’re so succulent and much naturally sweeter than strawberries from hotter parts of the world.) Galia melon pieces and a slice of a very juicy dark ruby plum. Yum! I ate alot of the scraps for this bento, so I feel a bit greedy now. The rest I set aside for use in later meals. I don’t have work today, so this will be my lunch at home. Nice and filling. Why don’t you enter the competition too!? There’s still time. Check out their website for all the details. http://www.bentoandco.com- submission must be done by July the 9th 8am Japan time. Good luck everyone!!