Sunday, May 30, 2010

Embarrassed to admit it...

...but I got married 9½ months ago, and I still have some thank you cards to send out. Five to be exact.

Hangs head in shame.

I can't take the guilt anymore, so they'll be in the mail this week. I'm trying to resist the urge to send something else along with the thank you cards... like Hawaiian brownies or something.

Bad, bad bride.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bento #2 and #3

Okay, I'm not going to lie. I think I used the wrong recipe for number two. The karaage (Japanese friend chicken) was oishiikunai. Not delicious at all. So I'm not going to bother posting that disaster. This bring us to bento #3:

Top layer: sake grilled shiitake, pickled daikon, miso marinated grilled chicken
Bottom layer: rice with wakame (not visible) and steamed broccoli

Not bad, huh? I was stuffed by the end of it!

Recipes after the jump.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend in the City

Sometimes I forget that I live right smack in the middle of downtown Toronto. Work and sleep have a terrible habit of getting in the way of that. I mean, who wants to do anything except sleep after dealing with a group of increasingly smelly children all day?

I'm really an 80 year old curmudgeon in the body of a 30 year old.

Thankfully, I have a husband who loves me, and who drags me out to things. So, Friday we hit up a Blue Jays baseball game. My husband, who I might remind you is English, was insanely excited - like it's-Christmas-Eve-and-he-knows-Santa-is-coming excited.

He looks excited, doesn't he?

You may ask: why? Why is this seemingly sensible man so pumped? Isn't baseball known for being mind numbingly boring?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"I'm concerned about what the kids will learn..."

Those are the words I heard from my principal last night. I made the foolish mistake of letting her know that there would be a clowning unit for my drama class, and that the kids would be throwing pies (read: whipped cream on a plate) at each other on Friday as part of their sketches.

Well, if I didn't just cause her a heart attack. I was told it would be a no go... because if I "teach them how to throw pies, I'm concerned they'll be doing it all the time."

That's right. I could have started a pie throwing epidemic.

Because kids have no idea how to throw pies at each other.

And if you give them knowledge, they'll just run out and do it.

And then there will be a tragic shortage of whipped cream in the world.

Oh God. What was I thinking? Truly, this would have been the undoing of us all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My first bento!

It's been almost four years since I left Japan. In that final flurry of packing, I left behind my bento box.

That (along with a plastic kiwi knife-spoon) is one of the things I regret leaving behind the most! But, check out what arrived in the mail yesterday:

Ooh! A box! With Japanese tape!

But, as I was cranky about my messy kitchen, I let it sit on the couch in the kitchen (yes, we have a couch in the kitchen. It's really more like a settee) until after I'd washed up and started on dinner.

My husband couldn't take the suspense, and look what he pulled out:

Oh, I just can't tell you how much I love it! Two layers of pure bento goodness. I foresee greatness in my lunching future!

I agonized over what to make for my first lunch. I know, I know, if I was a good bentoer, I'd do it in the morning, but I like my sleep and I usually throw things together in five minutes.

In the end, I chose to make Bento no.53 from Just Hungry. And set it up in my box. And then ate it.

And then packed round two for tomorrow's lunch.

Ta dah!

Le Menu

white rice topped with umeboshi
carrot kinpira
blanched greens with mirin, shoyu & sesame oil
blanched bean sprouts with sansho & salt
sesame beef
king oyster mushrooms braised in butter, mirin and shoyu

Why did no one tell me about the pure deliciousness that are king oyster mushrooms? Oh, lord save me now!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spinach & Artichoke Quiche

I love spinach and artichoke dip. You know, with bacon. And oodles of cheese. Mmm. I'm in heaven just thinking about it.

So, why not enjoy the fun in quiche form?

Bacon & eggs? Check.

Spinach? Check.

Artichokes? Check.

Let's rock and roll.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Horror. The Horror.

So, I got asked by a female teacher today if I'm pregnant.

I'm not. In fact I weigh exactly the same now as I did at the beginning of the year.

She very rapidly backpedaled: "Oh, I mean... it's not like you look... I mean maybe a bit..."

So, did I immediately get to the gym? Did I swear to eat salad and only salad for a week? Did I cry tears of sorrow?

No. No, my friends, I bought two bags of chips.

Might as well look the part.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Cupcake Update!

I went with Martha Stewart's brain cupcakes and, while I thought they were delicious, the alleged Swiss Meringue frosting had TWO POUNDS of butter in it. Two pounds! Sweet Jesus!

Really, it was a light (consistency) buttercream frosting. The recipe said it made enough for 28 cupcakes... but based on my leftovers, I'd say it frosts more like 36-40. I had more than two cups leftover.

Still. Delicious. My students told me it was too buttery though.

Whatever. They're a bunch of 13 year olds. What do they know except grocery store frosting?

Onward to my latest excitement - I've finally ordered bento boxes for my husband and I. Of all the things I really wish I'd brought from Japan, my steel panda bento box is one of the things I miss the most. That and my pig bowl. Oh! And my kiwi knife-spoon (it came with a package of golden kiwis). See the picture? That's exactly what it looked like.

I miss it.

Anyway, since we bring our lunches to work everyday, I've been meaning to buy us bento boxes for ages. I just couldn't commit to a design though. That, and the ones I've seen in Toronto go for 30$ for something I KNOW could be bought at a hyaku-en shop.

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