Friday, October 28, 2011

bright autumn bento

Hi bento pals, happy Friday! Today's meal was inspired by a lovely lunch bag in folkloric colors and patterns (complete with cute birds) sent by a good friend in California (thanks JG!).

In keeping with its Slavic cheerfulness, the bento contains onion pierogies from a Russian deli, oven roasted butternut squash, red cabbage dressed with yogurt-garlic dressing, and for dessert, sliced pear and a mini cupcake with spicy crystallized ginger and papaya bits...

Amazing light today, everything cool, crisp and full of peak vividness....

Have a relaxing and fun weekend, friends!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

roquefort burger bento, october evening in old town

Hi bento pals! I'd like to share some images from a recent evening out in Old Town Alexandria, a historic city that glows in October with special golden light and one that holds romantic memories...we visited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a magical date there together in October 2001.

roses still blooming...

We strolled from the center of Old Town to the Potomac river waterfront, lovely with amber light and many birds...

Jamison's picture of two geese at the river's edge

We went out to dinner at a relaxed, cozy "old school" French restaurant in the heart of Old Town called Le Refuge.

 Calamari in tomato, garlic and beef stock sauce had a wonderfully deep flavor--outstanding, we thought.

Buttery and beautifully cooked trout almondine was also delightful.

Monday's bento continues the French spirit with a red-wine pepper burger filled with Roquefort cheese, romaine lettuce with Dijon vinaigrette, sliced rounds of lady apple, pecans, and more tangy Roquefort. In the sakura holder, a savory butternut squash puree with onions, garlic and a hint of maple syrup.

Have a great week...happy cooking!

Monday, October 17, 2011

autumn korean rice bento

Hi bento pals, long time no post! How are things? I've been very busy with work and also making preparations to the West Coast! Jamison and I fell in love with Sonoma County, California and are in full home preparation for sale mode as we paint and work on many home improvement projects around the house.

Amid all of this busyness, fall has been unfolding beautifully here, whether in amber perfect days like today or stormy, rainy ones that leave the sky sparkling the next morning. The farmer's market has taken on that special burnished, hi-voltage intensity of autumn, with squash and root vegetables the stars of the show...

Fall always puts me in in the mood for the hearty, deep flavors of Korean cuisine. We checked out a new spot this weekend called Lighthouse Tofu. They are famous for their soups with tender tofu and seafood...Jamison's bubbling cauldron of ocean flavors in tangy chili and red bean paste sauce was the real deal.

I opted for the yummy seafood pancake:

In today's bento, the Korean theme continues with fried rice with red and orange market peppers, shimenji mushrooms, garlic chives, fennel and dried chili flakes. A small piece of seafood pancake (topped with a Japanese owl pick), wok-fried brussels sprouts and a sweet lady apple also for lunch.

Have a great week, friends!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

savory spanish chicken bento

Hi bento pals! Ever come across a recipe with such appealing ingredients that you simply must try it, as soon as possible? Such was the case with Spanish-Style Chicken with Dumplings, a dish we enjoyed for Sunday dinner with a dear friend (we have a tradition of sharing a celebratory meal to welcome new seasons together).

Dry sherry, saffron, mushrooms, free range chicken thighs, chorizo sausage, thyme, bay leaves, paprika, onions...a golden autumnal flavor spectrum make this recipe a keeper. Our meal started with quince paste and nutty Gruyère pieces:

Spanish saffron

Baby carrots, ready to roast with olive oil and Aleppo pepper

Savory chicken in the skillet:

In today's bento, chicken/mushroom/chorizo, sliced radish, a leaf-cut golden beet, romaine with walnut oil and golden raisins, red grapes, a cute local pear, figs and a delicious pecan cinnamon muffin...

Happy Autumn!