Archive for November, 2008
When do you usually pack lunch? I pack my son’s bento lunch in the morning because I usually don’t have my act together enough to do it the night before. When I do manage to pull one together when cleaning up from dinner, though, mornings are definitely less rushed and I can see the benefit of packing sturdier foods ahead of time if they’ll stand up well in the fridge overnight. How about you?
When do you usually pack lunch? (Check one)
- in the morning (40%, 459 Votes)
- the night before (34%, 395 Votes)
- start the night before, finish in the morning (25%, 288 Votes)
- other (describe in comments) (1%, 12 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,154
Poll voting closes at 9:55pm Pacific on Wednesday, December 3, 2008.
- Past poll: Who do you pack lunches for?
- All polls on Lunch in a Box
- Bento FAQ and Biggie’s Top Speed Tips
Published by Biggie on November 27th, 2008 tagged poll | 26 Comments »
Croquettes are a cross-cultural tool for breathing new life into leftovers, perfect for any mashed potatoes that survive Thanksgiving dinner. There are versions of these breaded, fried balls of leftover potatoes or meat found around the world: bitterballen and kroket in the Netherlands, korokke in Japan, alu-tikki in India, and the list goes on. I demonstrated this recipe today on Fox40 live TV news in Sacramento for a segment on Creative Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers, and will post a link to the video once it’s up.
(UPDATE: The video links for the Fox40 “Creative Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers” are up; click for the first TV segment with turkey mole enchiladas, and the second TV segment with the croquettes and ways to repurpose leftover cranberry sauce.)
The basics are simple, and can be tweaked with whatever leftovers and seasonings you have on hand. Take some cold mashed potatoes, add vegetables or proteins, flavor, form into shapes, roll in bread crumbs, and fry. I chose to add leftover turkey and curry powder, and served them with a trio of dipping sauces: stone ground mustard, tonkatsu sauce, and leftover cranberry sauce. (Read on for the full recipe.)
Published by Biggie on November 25th, 2008 tagged curry, leftover remake, phyllo or pancake or other, potatoes, poultry, recipe | 30 Comments »
Teaching kids how to use chopsticks can be tricky. Bug has used a variety of different learning chopsticks that I picked up in local Asian markets, but this weekend I came across a cheap and ingenious workaround that uses regular disposable chopsticks, the paper chopstick wrapper, and a rubber band. A tip of the hat goes to Sushi to Dai For restaurant in San Rafael, CA, where I saw this trick (their omakase sushi special is, indeed, to die for).
To make these, pull apart disposable chopsticks or use regular reusable ones with rectangular ends that will stay securely together. Use a rubber band to tightly bind together the non-eating ends. Take a small strip of paper or half of the wrapper from the disposable chopsticks, and fold it up small. Wedge it in between the chopsticks up near the rubber band, and hand them to your child! Kids can just squeeze the chopsticks together to grab things, and the tips are aligned properly. (Read on for additional tricks for making these, reviews of Edison learning chopsticks and the Fun Chop chopstick learning gadget, and where to see me on TV this morning.)
Published by Biggie on November 24th, 2008 tagged equipment, for kids, glutenfree, parenthacks, review, rice, tips, tutorial or how to | 35 Comments »
The rice cooker giveaway closed last night at midnight with 934 entries. Thanks to everyone for entering and sharing your excellent rice-related tips, recipes and ideas! They make excellent reading to help break you out of a rice rut.
The lucky winners according to the random.org drawing are Carolyn (comment #712) and Kathy (comment #863). I drew three numbers to have a runner-up (#490) in case I drew one of my own comments, a comment without a rice-related tip, or someone unable to supply a U.S. shipping address. Carolyn will receive the Zojirushi 5.5-cup rice cooker with Induction Heating (US$350 value) and Kathy will receive the Panasonic 5.5-cup rice cooker with fuzzy logic (US$150 value). Congratulations to you both! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly.
- Rice cookers: Not a one-trick pony
- Tip: Use cookie cutters as molds for onigiri rice balls
- Speed bento technique: Making & freezing grilled rice balls (yaki onigiri)
- All Product Reviews on Lunch in a Box
- Bento FAQ and Biggie’s Top Speed Tips
Published by Biggie on November 20th, 2008 tagged equipment, giveaway | 12 Comments »
(Nov. 20 UPDATE: The rice cooker giveaway is now closed; see the announcement of the winners here.)
Need a new rice cooker but don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy one? I’ve got a Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup rice cooker with Induction Heating (IH) and a Panasonic SR-NA10 5.5-cup rice cooker with fuzzy logic to pass on to two lucky U.S. readers. To enter, leave one comment below with your favorite rice-related tip by midnight on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, and I’ll choose two comments at random on November 20 using the random.org random number generator. The first pick will receive the Zojirushi ($350 value, the same one that Ajinomoto and Zojirushi recently gave away in their Lunchbox Photo Contest), the second will receive the Panasonic ($150 value). (Read on for full giveaway details.) Read the rest of this entry »