Archive for the 'sandwich case' Category
Today’s lunch uses sausages with a back story. A couple of weeks ago I had the rare opportunity to learn how to butcher roosters from an expert: Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. You might remember Hank from the Food Blog Awards — his excellent hunting and food blog was also recently nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award. I drove up to Sacramento to join him, Elise from Simply Recipes, and Garrett from Vanilla Garlic for an educational afternoon of primal food prep in which one of the roosters got away. I didn’t take anything home with me that day, but the following weekend Hank and girlfriend Holly generously sent me home from a Greek party with sausages he’d made from the same birds — a rare treat.
If you’re interested, see Hank’s full write-up of our rooster excursion, my rooster photos on Flickr (yes, I look demented in my close-up), Elise’s rooster photos on Flickr, and Garrett’s write-up of the rooster afternoon and subsequent Greek party. All contain graphic images, so the meat-squeamish may want to pass.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Rooster sausage (see Hank’s sausage recipe) and sauteed onions with balsamic vinegar, ketchup (Bug’s request), broiled asparagus, blueberries, and a wrapped cheese under the asparagus. We were struck by how dark the rooster meat and sausages were (”running-around meat” is I think how Hank described it).
Morning prep time: 6 minutes, using leftover sausage and sauteed onions from dinner the night before, and leftover asparagus. In the morning I assembled the sandwich, and cut the asparagus into bite-size pieces. Actually, I packed this lunch for my four-year-old a day earlier and dutifully brought it along to preschool, only to be reminded that that was the day of their monthly school lunch where parent volunteers cook a hot lunch for all of the children. D’oh! Many other parents had forgotten as well, and the kids were having a great time telling everyone carrying a bento that they should have their parents take it home and bring it the next day. So that’s just what I did. (Read on for full lunch details.) Read the rest of this entry »
Published by Biggie on May 1st, 2009 tagged for kids, poultry, sandwich case, sandwich or wrap | 11 Comments »
I regularly use bento boxes and as well as collapsible sandwich cases, both of which have their own pros and cons. A while ago, though, I stumbled across an ingenious box that combined both types in two tiers. This allows me to pack a bulky sandwich or rolls in the top, and moist food in food cups in the bottom. When lunch is over, just collapse the sandwich case portion and set it on top of the bento box — this saves room in the bag while still allowing me to use hard reusable food cups and picks. A full review follows; click on any photo for a larger view.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Dinosaur-shaped sandwich of cream cheese and sugar-free strawberry jam on wheat bread, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, kiwifruit, Concord grapes, orange slices, and a raspberry. No peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunches for Bug because of the peanut ban at his school.
Morning prep time: 10 minutes. In the morning I made the simple sandwich and cut it into two dinosaur shapes with the DynoBytes sandwich cutter I described earlier. Slice the fruit, and we’re done. (Read on for full box and lunch details, plus two additional sandwich lunches.) Read the rest of this entry »
Published by Biggie on September 25th, 2008 tagged bento, equipment, for kids, sandwich case, sandwich or wrap | 58 Comments »
Last Friday I drove to Sacramento to do a TV segment about American-style bento on the local Fox40 morning news. I brought two big bags full of bento boxes, three packed bento lunches, thermal lunch jars, bags, and accessories, with an electric kettle to make molded eggs and an apple to make some quick apple rabbits on air.
I came prepared to cook and assemble an actual bento lunch live, but breaking news about Hurricane Ike shortened the time available and killed some other segments. Hey, at least I survived and got on the air! The original live spot was a little longer, but was edited down to 3.5 minutes for the website. In other news, there’s a lengthy interview with me up at the Food Interviews blog; have a look if you’re curious and check out some of the other interesting food interviews.
My three-year-old was a little puzzled as to why I was making four bentos the night before the TV shoot, and kept asking me which one was his lunch. He was just fine with his normal speed bento until he saw the super-cute Japanese food art lunch that I made to illustrate the other end of the bento spectrum, and made me promise to save that one for him to eat after preschool. I kept it on ice in an insulated lunch bag to make sure it survived the day, only taking it out briefly for the actual filming. Here it is, setting the bar too high for normal rushed parents (sorry!). I showed it live on-air, but it was edited out of the online segment.
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Contents of preschooler bento lunch for TV: Rice balls shaped like an elephant, fish, and bird (flavored with green hana-ebi fish powder, pink sakura denbu sweet fish powder, and salmon furikake rice sprinkles, decorated with cheese and nori seaweed). Mini cocktail sausages, a hard-boiled quail egg molded to look like a bird, edamame skewers, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, edamame shumai dumpling and dipping sauce. (Click on any photo for a larger view.)
Prep time: 45 minutes, WAY too long for a speed bento (contrast this with Bug’s actual lunch, below). I used frozen rice and shumai to speed up the process, but this was still too time-consuming for a regular weekday lunch. Honestly, it was a little irritating to make as I don’t usually spend this much time on a single lunch. (Read on for three more Western lunches and more about the TV shoot.)
Published by Biggie on September 17th, 2008 tagged bento, decorative, dumplings or buns, eggs, for kids, meat, onigiri or sushi, phyllo or pancake or other, rice, sandwich case, sandwich or wrap | 53 Comments »
Fresh back from my family vacation in Alaska, I’d like to thank Amorette (Sakurako Kitsa) for her great series of how-to posts for making artistic bentos that she wrote for Lunch in a Box while I was away. The techniques are more time-intensive than I’m up for on a weekday morning, but they’re good tricks to have up my sleeve for the rare decorative lunch I might get motivated to make for a special occasion. A full list of her guest posts is below, under “Further Reading.”
Also, Lunch in a Box was recently featured in an article about packed lunches in The Boston Globe, so welcome to new Boston readers! If you’re new to bento lunches, you might be interested in the Bento FAQ and the Bento Store Locator with Google Maps for local store listings with reader-generated feedback. Back-to-school season has been a big news time for me; I’m scheduled to go on live TV this Friday 9/12/08 to do a brief segment on the Sacramento morning news (Fox40 at 8:23 & 8:48am — time updated). This’ll be my first TV appearance for bento-related stuff, so wish me luck!
When we were on the road, I brought along a selection of compact bento gear to box up leftovers from restaurant meals so we’d be more independent and not totally at the mercy of airlines and trains for our meals. (See my post on How to pack a bento lunch for the airplane.) I used a combination of collapsible sandwich cases that fold flat when empty, Bug’s stacking and nesting Thomas the Tank Engine bento boxes, reusable utensils in travel cases, elastic bento bands to keep things closed, and a carrying bag. Here you can see breakfast leftovers and Bug’s new tricked-out Sigg water bottle on a domed sightseeing train from Fairbanks to Denali National Park. I brought along little travel packets of powdered drink add-ins to add to the water, especially in the airports after we cleared security with empty bottles. Fill up at a water fountain and we were all set! I wrote little snippets about the travel portion of our trip on my Twitter. (Read on for more travel bento info and photos of edible table centerpieces made from carved fruit and vegetables.)
Published by Biggie on September 9th, 2008 tagged admin, bento, decorative, equipment, for kids, sandwich case, tips | 35 Comments »
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Shrimp and scallop cakes (review here), roasted asparagus (simple recipe here), blueberries, Moro blood orange, and mini onigiri rice balls made of rice mixed with salmon-flavored furikake rice seasoning and julienned thin egg sheets (usuyaki tamago, speedy microwave recipe here). Cooking notes for the mini rice balls follow.
Morning prep time: 15 minutes, using leftover asparagus, frozen rice, frozen julienned thin egg sheets and frozen Jeremiah’s shrimp and scallop cakes from Costco. In the morning I pan-fried the seafood cakes and made the little onigiri. I got a bit distracted with the onigiri when frying, though, and the bottoms got a bit too brown (not that my three-year-old minded). Frying the shrimp & scallop cakes in more oil than I had done previously helped them develop a crust and stay together as finger food, but as you can see my attention span isn’t all that great first thing in the morning. (Read on for cooking notes, limited edition Guinness- and champagne-flavored Marmite yeast extract spreads, and an additional preschooler lunch.)