Every year like everyone else I take time to say good bye to one year and hello to the next. Usually this comes with good food good drinks and my family. So here are some photos of this years goodies. Enjoy.
New Years Eve 2010 Goodies
Corned Beef and Swiss bites (of course on rye with mustard), Grapes, Carrots sticks with dip, Nachos with cheese, Chex Mix (a classic), Special Fruit Punch, St. Julian Sparkling Cider (for later toast)
This was lunch from Friday. Although it was very tasty I over cooked the egg noodles. I don’t seem to have a lot of progress with egg noodles. It’s always a hit or miss thing for me. Sometimes they come out perfect then others they are soggy and taste like paste. Oh well I’ll keep trying at it.
Ok let’s begin with the bottom part because that has the meal where as the top part has dessert/snack. The bottom part has salisbury steak that has been chopped into smaller pieces, the egg noodles mentioned above with brown gravy and sautéed broccoli.
Now the top part is filled with a bunch of grapes and a Rice Krispies Treats® that I cut in half and spread peanut butter on it. I then cut it in small bights. I think peanut butter on Rice Krispies Treats® is my now obsession but I will try Nutella next.
So until my next bento, Itadaki masu!
Now I am always up for a good giveaway and this one is a great one for any of my fellow bentoist out there. As I was going through the list of blogs I follow I came across the new post from Emily at Bentobloggy. She is having a giveaway of a wonderful bento set from AllThingsForSale.com. When she talked about the selection being great and the prices being very reasonable she wasn’t kidding. I went over there to check them out myself and have already made a mental list of things I want to buy. It is nice that they are here in the states and that your items don’t take forever to get to you. I have already bookmarked them myself under my bento accessories.
So if you are interested in entering this give away head over to Bentobloggy and while you are there check out her bentos I think you’ll like them.
So in my last post I had a picture of the herb packets that I had. I also told you that I was in the process of deciding what herb(s) I wanted to start with. Well I have been doing research on the internet and reading books to help me in my process (I will list them at the end of this post). I found one source that said to start by looking at the herbs and spices you already use and go from there. So that is exactly where I am going to begin. If you are familiar with any of my recipe or bento posts you will know that I love dill and use it a lot.
So I have decided that my first plant will be Dill (Anethum graveolens). I have been doing general research on dill and will begin doing specific research today. The seed packet I have is Dukat Leafy Dill. I’m not sure what the different varieties of dill are but as soon as I find out I will let you know.
I know I may be starting this project at the wrong time as it is fall and I am in Michigan but this is for an indoor herb garden and I didn’t think it would matter. I’ve been looking at the layout of my kitchen to see where I can set up this herb garden because I will have to use a grow light because my kitchen has no windows and I have a cat and I don’t want him chewing on my herbs when I’m not looking. Maybe I will also grow him his own herbs so that he will leave mine alone.
Well there is my update keep checking back to watch my progress.
Till then, happy growing.
My references so far:
The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch (Google books copy-read only) (Herbs Chapter 8-begin on page 383)
Renee’s Garden (The seed packets are from Renee’s Garden)
I had to work yesterday and the weather was not the greatest here in Michigan. No we don’t have any snow yet but it was cold so I wanted a bento that was very filling. I meant to post this bento when I got home from work yesterday but was just too tired. I’ve been living in Michigan all my life but the cold air still wipes me out.
This was yesterday’s lunch and I must say it was very delicious and filling. It is made up of 3 small yaki onigiri. I think I love yaki onigiri better than regular onigiri but I have been experimenting with different flavors so maybe I can come up with some that I can make my go to flavors. Growing up I always put salt, pepper and a lot of butter on my rice so plain non-seasoned rice or rice only season with salt does not appeal to me. I know that may seem like a very American attitude but I do try foods from all over and then adapt them to my own palate. I feel food is not stagnate it is ever changing and that should be ok. We should always remember traditional recipes or ways of cooking but we also have to remember that people’s tastes are diverse and should be respected. Ok I just ran off on a tangent I do apologize.
Now back to the bento. I also had french cut green beans that were cooked in soy sauce. I first placed them in the microwave with a little soy sauce poured over them then I grilled them on my griddle with a small amount of butter. I was hoping I could come close to the taste I get when I sauté my broccoli but didn’t work this time. Next time I’ll try it in a skillet. I included a bunch of red grapes and that is what is in the top part of the bento.
In the bottom part I have tamagoyaki made with dill and cheese. I am going to have to invest in a real tamagoyaki pan. Right now I make it on my griddle and it seems to come out fine but to be honest I have never eaten one made with an authentic pan in the traditional way. So a tamagoyaki pan goes on my wish list. Lastly I added cut up salisbury steak left over from dinner the night before and there we are.
So until my next bento, Itadaki masu!
Today is my official blogiversary but there will be no bells and whistles going on here. Although I am happy to have made it through this past year and I have learned a lot in the process I don’t feel that this blog has lived up to its potential yet. All in Good Food will strive to do better in the coming year to fulfill the goals that I have set so stay with me and see the transformation and growth.
Here is another simple bento I had for my lunch yesterday. I took a steak filet and sliced it into thin slices and then I cut the slices into bit sized pieces and grilled them on my griddle. I cooked the egg noodles in brown gravy that was left over from the Salisbury steak we had for dinner Thursday night. I just added a little water and added the noodles and let them cook till they were soft. I then topped it with two small pieces of bacon that had been wrapped around the steak filet that I cooked along side of the steak. I also had butter sauté broccoli. I love my broccoli this way because I love the roasted taste.
So until my next bento, Itadaki masu!
As I was trying to decide what my next post would be I looked up and realized that as of November 10th it will be 1 year since I began this blog. Wow how time flies. When I first began I wasn’t quite sure where to start, what to write about, or what was my culinary passion. I have to admit I floundered for a bit until I found a niche which was posting the bentos I had been already creating. But I thought to myself I don’t want to stop there so I began to post my experimental dishes and creations and that felt good.
Cooking I have found has been an evolution of sorts. As I learned more about food and ingredients I became a better cook. When I was younger I dabbled a bit in cooking but other than pastry or dessert dishes I never pursued it seriously. Well now my time has come. No I don’t want to be the “Next Food Network Star” or work in a 3 or 4 star restaurant but I do want to cook the best food I can for me and my family.
I think when I am passionate about something I get very focused and intense about it. That is sometimes a good thing and sometimes not. Cooking requires you to be very focused but flexible at the same time and the key to good cooking is finding that balance. So in this new year I have decided to pick 4 key things and focus my efforts on them.
And they are first of all making balanced bentos. I have been creating bentos for about 3 years now and the process has helped me immensely in understanding portion control and balance in my meals. I have struggled a bit but with struggle comes progress. It also helps to have a strong bento community that I am involved with. I have learned about different foods, recipes, techniques (for aesthetics purposes) which is one of the keys to the appeal of bentos. I must also say this community is very supportive and helpful which is great.
My next endeavor is in baking. As a young girl I wanted to be a pastry chef and make all those wonderful delights that most everyone loves, but I think I let fear stop me from pursuing that path but no more. At this point in my life I am not sure if I am up to going to a formal school to become a patisserie but this is the information age and I think I am good at understanding information that I find in books, TV shows and the internet. Don’t get me wrong I do want to go study under some good teachers but I feel that a more intimate and personal setting is for me. I have fallen in love with the Cooking Channel show Rachel Allen Bake. When I watch her I understand what she is telling me. Eventually I want to sign up for her cooking school and keep going from there.
This new year of my blog I am also starting a 365 project. I decided I want to learn more about herbs so I am going to take in the next year and work on my 365 Herb Project. I will also be studying spices and their uses as well. As I want to give this project its fair turn I will wait to explain what I am doing in its own post.
Lastly I will be focusing on my time management. Yes I know that this may not seem to be directly related to cooking but I assure you it is. Without time management foods can burn or not be cooked enough, pastries and desserts can become disasters and over all chaos in the kitchen will ensue. Ok that last bit was a bit over dramatic but as we all know we can never get time back once it is gone so we must use it wisely.
Well that is the update to what is going on here at All in Good Food. As many of you know I had not been posting for sometime because my lovely computer decided it wanted to crash on me. So now that I finally have my new one I will take this opportunity to start a new. New year (blog year), new me. With the understanding I have gained from blogging and cooking I hope to have new and exciting posts for all of you to read. So here’s to a new year.
If you followed my blog with any regularity then you know that I have not posted anything new for a while. Back in July I had the unfortunate luck of having both my desk top and my lap top computers fail on me keeping me from being able to do anything. If you follow me on twitter you may have seen me tweet about this. It has been a frustrating 3 months but I finally have a new computer and will begin posting again soon.
I thank you very much for your patience and your continued support. Talk to you soon.
Ok so I was just sitting here today at my computer looking up recipes and surfing twitter and I came across a giveaway. Now I am always ready to enter giveaways to try and win so when I saw a tweet from someone I had just started following on twitter whose blog I had begun following the other day I decided to check it out. The giveaway is at A Pocket Full of Buttons for Flirty Aprons and it drew my interest.
Now I must tell you I don’t normally wear an apron when I cook because I could never find one that fit me right or because it was not very stylish. However the aprons I saw at the Flirty Aprons website are so cute and stylish I couldn’t resist entering. Flirty Aprons also sales aprons for men and for children as well. As I am torn between two different aprons if I am lucky enough to win I will most certainly be buying the other. But go and check them out yourself.
If you go right over to A Pocket Full of Buttons-Flirty Apron Review and Giveaway you can enter as well. The review of these aprons is very informative and seems very honest and that’s what caught my attention. Below are the two aprons I really liked. So go right over and check them out for yourself.
The design is called Cherry Blossom
This design is called Chic Pink
Below is the bread art I created in support of The Bread Art Project by the Grain Foods Foundation to support Share Our Strength. This toast is call Yo-Yo Mania.
This spring the Grain Foods Foundation is teaming up with Share Our Strength® in their efforts to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.
Share Our Strength helps to close gaps between nutritious food programs and families in need. Join us as we support them in their efforts to end childhood hunger through their program Operation No Kid Hungry™, by creating art at breadartproject.com. The Grain Foods Foundation will donate $50,000 to Share Our Strength and will make an additional $1 donation for every piece of Bread Art submitted and approved, up to a maximum donation of $100,000, now through June 30, 2010.Create Bread Art. We'll donate $1 to Share Our Strength.
Today I want to share with you one of the yummy creations I have made. Sometime early last year I was making pancakes. I had some chicken I was going to shred to make chicken salad and my mind started working. My original chicken pancakes had only chicken and shredded cheese in them. I only added a small portion of the chicken and cheese to the batter so those looked more like regular pancakes then these. Over time I began to experiment and added this and that to it to see what worked. What you see in this post today is what has evolved from a curiosity of what would I get if I put chicken and cheese in my pancake mix. That is the beauty of this recipe you can easily change it for taste or ingredients on hand.
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 tbsp oil
1 medium chicken breast shredded
1/4 cup of chopped cooked broccoli*
1/4 cup of shredded cheese*
2 tbsp of real bacon bits*
* Amounts are an estimate because I usually eyeball these ingredients.
The chicken breast was cooked in my slow cooker. It stays very tender and moist. But any baking method will do that keeps the chicken breast tender and moist.
Ok now it’s time for lunch. Again I kept it simple. I decided to try out the bamboo steamer I purchased from j-list and it worked out perfect. As you can see I made matching bentos for my daughter and I. These bentos were as purchased from j-list. They are not expensive and not as sturdy as my others but they work.
Now for the contents of the bentos. Both bentos are exactly the same. The main part contains steamed broccoli and steamed onigiri wrapped with chicken. I had rice left over from this morning so I made more onigiri but I wanted something different so I wrapped them in thin slices of chicken and steamed them, then I brushed on a little soy sauce.
The second compartment contains a wedge of laughing cow cheese, red and white grapes and homemade wheat crackers. No I have not found a recipe for making homemade wheat crackers yet but I was able to do the next best thing in a pinch. I had some whole wheat flatbread wraps in my fridge. Using my medium size square cutter I cut out squares from it. I placed them on my griddle with no oil or butter just dry and let them toast until crisp. Then I brushed on a little butter lightly salted them and there you go.
This lunch was very filling and tasted wonderful.
So until the next bento, Itadaki masu!
Hi everyone I thought I would change things up a bit and do another breakfast bento. As we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I wanted to share this one with you. As you all know I like to keep thing very simple in my bentos and this one is no exception. For this one I pulled out one of my sandwich boxes as I did with my breakfast bento before. I feel you don’t need a lot for breakfast just the right foods will do. I like to have high protein foods in my breakfast to help wake up my brain. So here we go.
This bento consists of simple grilled chicken that has been lightly seasoned with pepper and seasoning salt, red grapes, trail mix and mini yaki onigiri (my way).
You may be asking what I mean by yaki onigiri my way. Well I took my rice and mixed in a little butter (the way I have eaten since I was a kid), a little soy sauce and pepper. Then I micro scramble two eggs and mixed it in. Then I shaped them with my cookie cutters (these are the only cutters I have in my bento stash), place them on the griddle. I fried them on the top flipped them and fried the bottom. Then I brushed on a little soy sauce and flipped them again then brushed on a little soy sauce on the other side. Let it grill for about 1 minute then removed them.
These yaki onigiri are bite size and I love them. They are the perfect size for my smaller bentos. I also have larger cutters that I use for my larger bentos.
This bento was a great pick me up this morning.
So until my next bento, Itadaki masu!
Here is a quick and easy turkey chili that I came up with one day. I had never made chili from scratch before so I didn’t have a recipe to go by. I always loved my dad’s chili but like me he always cooked by taste so he did not have a recipe written down so I was all on my own. This turkey chili has very few ingredients and despite using the slow cooker does not take a long time to make. If you don’t want to use a slow cooker or don’t have one just let the chili simmer in a pot on the stove for about 1 hour. The flavor of this chili gets better the longer it cooks.
1 lbs ground turkey
6 oz chunky salsa
1 packet chili seasoning mix (I use Hot Chili Seasoning for a spicier taste.)
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
1/2 to1 cup water or chicken broth
Extra – If you like it extra spicy – add to taste
1. Preheat slow cooker on high.
2. Brown ground turkey in a skillet and season with salt, pepper and seasoning salt.
While I was on my short break from blogging I did continue to make bentos on a daily basis. Some worth photographing and sharing and some that were not. Here is one of those I thought was worth sharing. The bento box I used for this one is one of my favorites. It is in the shape of a fan and I was lucky to find it for next to nothing on eBay an few years ago. I’ve been dying to use it and this time I had my chance.
Hi everyone as you all know I have been away for a short while. I just needed to take a short hiatus to recoup, reorganize, reenergize and regroup. I just wanted you to know that I am back and will continue to give you wonderful posts on recipes, bentos and tips.
Before my short hiatus I enter a contest held by Eric Ackerson @My Hungry Tum. I usually don’t enter contests but I really liked his blog and was fascinated by how it was written. The contest was to win a Bob Kramer Series Shun Utility Knife. I have to admit that I had never heard of the knife brand before but when I saw the photo of the knife I fell in love with it. I could tell that it was a high quality knife by the pattern you can see on the blade. That pattern is created by the forging of multiple layers of stainless steel together which creates a strong, flexible and sharp blade. You may ask where I learned something like this well I remembered seeing a program about how a Katana or “Samurai sword” is made and it uses a similar process. After entering the contest I decided to do a search on this knife to learn more about it and came a cross a video here.
Ok I have been out of the bento loop to a few weeks but I am now back with my entry for the j-Cation Virtual Bento Box Battle with my Maneki Neko or Beckoning Cat. I have to admit this was a definite challenge for me because I usually don’t do character bentos. I think I needed to accomplish this one to get myself back on track.
This bento is filled with tamagoyaki with nori, mini turkey burgers seasoned with a packet of vegetable dip mix, sautéed broccoli and apple cinnamon flower tarts with craisins. The cat consists of plain white rice for the body, red bell peppers for inside the ear, collar, mouth and on the paw. I used nori on the paw and for the inner eye and fried egg for the outer eye. Angel hair spaghetti was used for the whiskers and a pink edible flower petal for the nose. The collar is decorated with sour cream dot flowers.
Hi everyone I had all intentions of writing up this post sooner but something always came up and pushed it farther back on my list. I’ve pondered on how I would write this up and was not sure what I was going to say. Well the time has come albeit a little late to introduce you to two other members of my family who are my cats. If you are a Food Buzz friend of mine I know you have seen my BW who is my avatar and if you follow me on twitter you have seen my Remus as my avatar. Both are very special to my family. So you will understand why I said this post was somewhat late in the making. I really wish I could have introduced them at a better time.
Ok call me crazy but last week I was craving oatmeal raisin walnut cookies and banana nut bread at the same time. So I decided to combine the two into one recipe. For this recipe I went to my tried and true Oatmeal Cookie Jiffy Mix. As you may know from my other oatmeal cookie recipe this mix lends itself to a variety of experimental cookies. You will get roughly 18-20 cookies out of this recipe.
1 box Oatmeal Cookie Jiffy Mix
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 very ripe medium banana mashed to a baby food consistency
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (can increase if desired)