Wednesday, January 29, 2014

misty day bento

Hi friends! Today was beautifully overcast, with periods of misting rain, which we very much need here in Northern California right now. Some images from the garden, where everything glistened with baby rain drops:
Edible Thai radish flowers
Just picked "Easter Egg" radish!
I made turkey soboro for dinner last night with plenty of fresh ginger, onions and chopped eggplant, all sizzled in the wok with togarashi and melted slivers of a Japanese curry block. Very tasty in the bento with brown rice, bright pink picked radish, garden radish and grapefruit pieces.
Happy bentoing!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

palette's sweet street snack bento

My favorite San-X character is the little black cat of Palette's Sweet Street, and this adorable kitty and surrounding universe of bright-pastel Francophilia inspired a DIY bento box project today. I applied some favorite Palette's Sweet Street stickers to a plain bento box picked up at Daiso to create this customized box, with that sweet-toothed, inquisitive kitty peering out amid macarons, cakes and flowers:

What's inside? A mini salad of watermelon radish and romaine (ginger dressing in the little container), crab shumai and snow peas in the second section:
These have a very mild spiciness and I love the brilliant pink color!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

winter japantown visit and bento

Hello there! Images from our recent jaunt to Japantown and a bento made with treats from the visit in today's post. Daiso was especially full of colorful and useful items this time around...

Fancy confections and teas for sale at this bright shop in the West Mall building:
Jamison picked up an excellent green tea drink here:
Kinokuniya Bookstore was a fun browse, including an incredible selection of Japanese magazines on cooking, home décor and lifestyle. Creacat a cool new find!
This guide to sushi making was quite tempting...
For me, every visit to Japantown must include shopping in Nijiya Market for hard to find sauces, seasonings and fresh produce like mizuna (pictured below) and herbs like shiso and mitsuba. If food shopping can be recreation, this is where I have the best time!


Today's bento features peppery fresh daikon sprouts and California rolls from Nijiya Market, and a fresh salad of romaine lettuce, avocado and red onion with ginger-sesame dressing. Seaweed salad adds additional texture and tastes wonderful with the sushi rolls. The colorful tenugui serving as bento backdrop is a cheerful Daiso find.




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

winter garden greens bento

Hi bento pals! Today's bento reflects the green bounty in our January Santa Rosa garden right now. I really dislike cold weather, and send this sunny, temperate bento as a warming greeting to all of you currently caught in the current "Arctic Vortex"--shudder/shiver!
Flowering Thai radish--the flowers have a mildly spicy taste:
Kale does amazingly well in this climate and is so good simply sautéed with garlic and olive oil:
"Japanese Big Leaf" spinach:
In the bento: a heart-shaped frittata with garden kale, red onion and creamy Port Salut cheese on crisp multigrain toast, French breakfast radish, freshly-picked along with garden arugula, spinach and mixed lettuces grown from Italian "misticanza" seeds. A dressing of walnut oil, whole grain mustard and a touch of orange marmalade in the little heart container, juicy Granny Smith apple slices for dessert.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

new year inner richmond explorations

Hello and Happy 2014! Jamison and I celebrated New Years Day with a Korean meal in San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood. A spectrum of banchan:
Bulgogi and Galbi ready to grill:
This area is fun for foodie shopping and window-gazing, housewares browsing and people watching, with an incredible variety of mostly Asian restaurants, bakeries and dim sum specialists here.

In today's bento, savory grilled beef slices are layered with a type of spinach we are growing in the garden for the first time this year: "Japanese Big Leaf"--it has a nicely mineral-rich flavor and deep emerald color.
Yellow pickled radish and the edible flowers of our daikon radish add color and texture to lunch which also includes rice tossed with rice vinegar and a real treat of the winter citrus season: Cara Cara oranges. Happy cooking and bentoing in 2014!