Food

Pumpkin Bread Bundts

  • Posted on November 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Pumpkin Bread Bundt
Pumpkin Bread Bundt with cream cheese frosting made for Thanksgiving Day to set at each place setting for decoration. Dio gave me the pan as an early Christmas gift.

Bacon, Chocolate & Gelato Dessert – What could go wrong?

  • Posted on November 20, 2009 at 11:00 am

After finishing a great meal at the Goose Island Brewery last night, I ordered a desert that promised Belgium Chocolate, Salty Bacon, and Gelato thinking what could go wrong wrong with a winning combination like that. The answer is Salty Peanut Butter Gelato. While I was envisioning stripes of bacon radiating out of chocolate with a scoop of gelato, I was served a fair sized bowl of a very salty gelato with some bacon bits and chocolate shavings. My love of ice cream would normally have made this an equally awesome option except for the flavor. The gelato was VERY true to the taste of a salty peanut but that’s not a quality I like in an ice cream. A few of the more chocolaty bites were like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup which wasn’t too bad but over all I decided I didn’t care for it.

The most unnerving part of the dessert was the number of times I took another bite after deciding I didn’t care for it. I would take a bite then after about three minutes I would feel compelled to take another bite. My husband acknowledge he had the same compulsion. We discussed the possibly of MSG but ultimately I’m going to attribute this to the power of bacon.

The waitress commented that she’d had the peanut butter gelato before but it was in a float with grape soda. That combo is no longer being served and I don’t need to guess why; PB&J float /shivers.

Salty Peanut Butter Gelato with Bacon and Chocolate

Bento: Red Pepper & Snow Pea Flowers

  • Posted on September 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Bento: Red Pepper & Snow Pea Flowers
When Dio and I ordered our bento tools, we also ordered a book on making decorative bento boxes. The book is great with the only downside being that it’s all in Japanese. We knew this ahead of time and picked it up because the pictures in the book are amazing. There are enough detailed diagrams that if I can just figure out what the food they are using is, that I can duplicate the design. Today Dio’s bento box features one of the rice topper patterns from the book. They used red bell peppers and snow peas to create the flowers. The top of his bento box is filled with dishes from the Mitsuwa Japanese market that’s about an hour outside of Chicago. The market sells fresh prepared dishes so we picked up some seaweed salad, spicy octopus, and a pickled vegetable mix. I included a cherry bottle filled with soy sauce for the rice.

Pirate Cupcakes

  • Posted on September 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Pirate Cupcake
Fast & easy chocolate rum cupcakes with chocolate rum frosting to celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day. Slide a skull ring into the cupcake in the top half and make the bones by drawing an X in icing below the skull and finishing the ends with two round balls of icing. The skull rings can be found amongst Halloween supplies and frequently at dollars stores. I used a number 5 tip but if you don’t have cake decorating tools you can fill a Ziploc Bag with icing and jut trim a corner for an easy and disposable decorating bag. Don’t forget to use pirate themed cupcake wrappers!

Bento: Pirate Booty

  • Posted on September 18, 2009 at 9:20 am

There be more celebratin’ International Talk like a Pirate Day. Me Matey Dio’s grub t’day be a great grand bounty. He be eatin’ t’ feast and I be tellin’ you landlubbers how t’ craft t’ like with t’ vitals from your bung hole.
Bento Pirate Treasure

How to make your own Pirate Bounty
Food & Tool List:
Pirate Treasure Chest Box (I found mine at a party supply store.)
Rice
Chicken
Carrots
Radishes
Apples
Mango
Tiny grapes (or substitute blueberries)
Lemon Juice
Cake decorating edible glitter powder in gold, silver, red, green
needle
thread
Round food cutters in 2-3 sizes
knife
sandwich baggies
Food quality “paint” brush

Prepare the rice. When it’s cooled enough, use it as the bottom layer so you have a healthy starch and don’t have to fill the box with quite so many of the items that take work to make.

Prepare the chicken by slicing it into jagged nugget shaped pieces. Cook it in whatever spices you care for and then let it cool. Line the chicken nuggets on top of the rice in order to cover the rice with a layer of nuggets. Next mix a little lemon juice and some gold powder. “Paint” the mixture over the chicken nuggets. Don’t worry about getting all of the sides because you only need to cover the visible surface since you will still be adding coins and jewels on top.

The coins are made from cutting carrots, apples, and radishes into circles using food cutters after cleaning and peeling them. The small silver coins are the radishes while the larger gold coins are carrots and apples. To color your coins, add carrots to a sandwich baggie and dump in some gold powder and shake. Add a more powder a little at a time until you cover the circles completely. For your apples, first spritz your circles with a little lemon juice to preserve color. Then use the same baggie and process as you did for your carrots. Do the same process for the smaller radish coins using silver powder and a new baggie.

The Emerald is hand cut from a mango sliced into a rectangle with trimmed corner and an uneven rounded top. It was then “painted” with the green glitter.

The Rubies are hand cut from carrots and then “painted” with red glitter powder.

The necklace was strung with a needle and thread from tiny round grapes then draped in amongst the coins. Don’t forget to wash your needle and thread before starting.

Bento: Animal Faces

  • Posted on September 3, 2009 at 8:39 am

Trying out my sandwich cutters in cute animal faces. It’s also the first time I have used Dio’s new Bento box. It’s slightly bigger than the other one which really helped get the sandwiches to display nicely.

Bento: Animal Faces

Bento: Heart Rolls

  • Posted on August 31, 2009 at 8:03 am

The new heart shaped roll shaper arrived yesterday. It didn’t work as well as I was hoping but that might have more to do with not having the right kind of rice rather than the tool.

Bento: Heart Rolls & Flower Garden

Bento: Kissing Bunnies Garden

  • Posted on August 26, 2009 at 8:31 am

Cinnamon apple bunnies kissing in a garden that grows bacon flowers. What more could you want in your lunch?
Bento: Kissing Bunny Garden

My First Bento

  • Posted on August 25, 2009 at 7:05 am

Our Bento boxes arrived yesterday and I prepared my first Bento for Dio’s lunch today. I didn’t try for a traditional style this time since we are still waiting on the shipment of all of the fancy shapers and tools but I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Bento: Ocean Theme

Bento Boxes & The Manga Cookbook

  • Posted on August 17, 2009 at 9:47 am

Dragon BentoRed 3 Tier Bento
Recently Dio has taken an interest in cooking and as part of that interest the two of us are going to start making each other Bento boxes for lunch. We have been browsing J-List and have come up with a list of traditional or fun items to help us in preparing our Bento.  We have also placed an order for two Bento boxes (the ones above) which I just received notice that they shipped from Japan today.

The Manga Cookbook

Our copy of The Manga Cookbook arrived this morning and I am really excited about trying out some of the recipes.  It’s a how to make the food you see in your Manga/Anime using things in a Western kitchen.  The recipes are illustrated step by step in the Manga style by Chihiro Hattori and there are full color photographs of all the dishes in the front of the book.  There are also sections with information on how to set the table, use chopsticks, basic ingredients, and most of the recipes have calorie measures.  They even have a few decorative Bento recipes to try out when our boxes arrive.

Top