Tuesday, March 30, 2010

italian bunny bento

An al fresco bento featuring an edible bunny (to take part in this month's B.O.M.B. challenge!) and springy Italian flavors. Hopping at the chance to use the new magewappa box again, I've filled it here with white roughy in a Genoese-inspired pine nut, green pea, scallion and basil pesto sauce. 

The fish sits atop butter lettuce and is surrounded by juicy mini heirloom tomatoes. The huge-eared bunny (hmmm, or is it a jerboa?) is fashioned from a Trader Joe's arancini (a yummy Italian cheese filled, rice wrapped treat) with endive "ears"!

On the other side of the divider, carrot "linguine", snap peas, and scallions; atop the lemon slice is a tiny sprig of oregano from my garden. This plant has tremendous life force, coming up early and exultantly each spring to provide spicy, healthful herbal accents until frost!
Baby ginkgo leaves emerging:
Sakura blossoms!
Early pink tulip after an afternoon rain shower:
Just now, an enormous flock of shiny black birds with indigo-blue heads swept down for seeds in our front yard. The feathery whoosh of a hundred wings seemed to reach inside the house with a sound loud yet gentle...first time I've seen these beautiful birds. Sorry they flew away when I came outside, oh so gingerly, with my camera!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

grilled shrimp bento with pastel sweets

Grilled shrimp, basil and rice partner with pastel malted eggs, a bunny jelly and smooth, sweet green Vietnamese dessert Banh Da Lon in this Easter-influenced bento for Monday's lunch. This is the first outing for my new magewappa bento box...quite fun to work (play!) with.
I love these pink Clickity Click chopsticks!
Seen today:
Looking forward to your spring inspirations this week, bento friends!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

bunny in pink bento

A quick bento with leftover lamb dressed with mustard mayo and tarragon, buttery baby carrots, Korean yam flowers garnished with tarragon and garlic chives, red cabbage with chili oil. The fruits sidecar features blackberries, kiwis, pink grapefruit and a sweet, old-fashioned bunny:

Continuing the pink theme--magnolia in bud:
Sophie, who lives next door:
Happy Friday, bento pals!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

new purple bento box

This bento features a couple of new and colorful bento items just added to my collection: the purple box was found in the stationary/school supplies section of a local shop. I saw the vibrant violet shade and thought "bento"! 

The floral chopsticks in silky green bag were found this weekend at a store with the evocative name Dollar Ocean. It's so fun to be on a bento treasure hunt when out and about...where have you had luck finding bento gear in unusual places?

 For lunch: crab salad with scallion and garlic buds in avocado half, snow pea leaves, spicy sprouts and mache, and for dessert, pineapple and Indian sweets in hot pink and saffron yellow.
Forsythia in bloom:
Camellia in bloom:
Have a lovely Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

happy st patty's day bento

 Today's St Patty's Day bento features some classic Irish ingredients: green cabbage, potatoes, and pastry! The shamrock-decorated pastry is filled with a stir fry of green cabbage, watercress and onions, plus salmon in a mustard sauce. Baby potatoes in a dill dressing, baby carrots, and extra cabbage with watercress round things out.

To celebrate this absolutely beautiful, breezy day, a baby lamb for the gentle turn in March's weather:
                         Early spring blooms in Old Town, Alexandria:

The Potomac river, shining in noon sun:
Happy St Patty's Day, bento friends!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

rainy sunday at eden center

On this rainy Sunday, we visited our local Vietnam-in-Virginia, Eden Center. Here one finds a dizzying collection of all things Vietnamese, from fine crisp spring rolls to beautiful gold bracelets, every variety of hot pepper paste to delicate satin slippers...

Lunch at Huong Viet was so good and already has me dreaming of a return visit! Jamison ordered an incredible shrimp dish (Tom Cang Kho Tau) with jumbo, heads-on shrimp grilled to perfect, smoky sweetness in a tangy light caramel sauce, served with a bright lotus-carrot salad and rice cakes:

My dish, Banh Cuon Cha Lua, was also very good, and all about the play of its textures--silky "pork delicacy", rice crepes, and crispy mung bean cakes:
Well fortified (and buzzing from our very sweet iced coffees), on to browsing the always fun Song Que Deli:
Ostensibly full, we shared a serving of ginger ice cream anyway, influenced by all of the pastel, happy treats surrounding us in this pretty shop!
This golden pig adorned a jeweler's window:
There are so many places to explore here! Some additional treats:
Bubble tea paradise:
A banh mi bento for Monday, with a yummy version from Banh Mi So One, Thai basil, sliced cucumber as baran. Sriracha and mayo are blended in the yellow pepper along with a basil sprig. Starfruit, blueberries, papaya, strawberries and an exciting score from this weekend's produce shopping: Cara Cara oranges (per Sherimiya's recent post) add color and juicy sweetness:
All of this recent rain should nurture young green's the first daffodil I've seen in bloom: