Friday, January 29, 2010

A few weeks ago my daughter and I decided it was time to attempt making pot bingsu. Well I call this post my first attempt because although it did not taste bad to me I could have done better. I followed the instruction from Aeri from aeriskitchen on her You Tube Channel. I think the next time I will have all the ingredients set up ahead of time because of working with the ice. As I was reading and following the instructions the ice began to melt as you will see in my pictures.


1½ Cup Crushed Ice
⅛ Cup Milk
3 Tbsp Red Bean for PotBingSu
2 Tbsp Condensed Milk
1 to 2 Tbsp Crushed or Chopped Pineapple
3 Tbsp Chopped Watermelon
2 Tbsp Sticky Rice Cakes for PotBingSu
1 to 2 Tbsp Corn Flakes

Here is my out come. Just a note I did try two batches that day hence the two different bowls. I just wanted to share my first attempt.

Crushed ice and milk

Added sweet red bean

Added condensed milk

Added pineapple, watermelon, sticky rice cakes and corn flacks


I realized later if you look at the finished picture you won’t see any sweet red beans. That is because I forgot to put them in the second batch.

Oh well this was my first and technically second tries so third times the charm.

See you then. Itadaki masu!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My First Award

Thank you Bentobird for sharing the Happy 101 award with me! I love coming to your blog and seeing your bentos it keeps me inspired.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

1. My daughter and spending time with her.
2. Knowing my dad is happy and healthy
3. My two cats BW and Remus Lupin
4. Cooking, experimenting with recipes and making bentos
5. Quilting and sewing
6. Traveling, seeing new things and learning about new cultures
7. Going to museums
8. Listening to different types of music
9. Reading an intriguing book
10. Coca Cola and chocolate

I would like to share this award with these other wonderful bloggers who have been very encouraging to me in my new blogging venture:

Sherimaya of Happy Little Bento
Susan Yuen of Hawai`i’s Bento Box Cookbook
Lia of Bentolicious
Debra of Hapabento
Claudia of What’s Cookin Italian Style Cuisine
Michelle of Taste As You Go
Mardi of Eat, Live, Travel, Write

Last but not least I would like to send this award back to Bentobird. I’ve been blogging for such a short time and although I follow a number of blog sites I really interact with a small few. To these people I want to say thank you for being helpful and encouraging.

This award asks that you:
Copy the award image into a post.
List 10 things that make you happy.
Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day
Put in a link to their blogs.
Notify the award receivers.
Recipients can link back to the sender's blog if they wish!

Bento #3

Here is bento #3. As you can see one side is filled with the fried rice cakes and grilled bacon wrapped chicken in sweet n’ sour sauce from yesterdays post.

The other side is filled with sliced carrots, a wedge of The Laughing Cow® Garlic and Herb light cheese, slices of pear and Kellogg’sTM Cherry Fruit Snacks.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this bento.

Itadaki masu!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I love bacon I have to say that up front. Anytime I can find a chance to use bacon in a recipe is alright with me. Well I remembered watching Paula Dean one time make some appetizers that were chicken wrapped in bacon then rolled in brown sugar and it sounded so delicious I have been dying to try it. But alas I did not have any brown sugar on hand. However I remembered I had a packet of sweet n`sour sauce in my freezer that I had not used and the light bulb came on. Here’s what I did.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Sweet n` Sour Sauce

I cut my chicken into small bites. You can use chicken breast, tenders or thighs but in this recipe I had tenders on hand. I then cut my strips of bacon into four parts. I wrapped the bacon around the chicken bite and placed it on my grill. I grilled it until the chicken was cooked. Although the bacon is not crispy at this point it is cooked. I found that if you try to cook these bites until the bacon is crispy your chicken will be over cooked. Once the chicken bites were cooked I put them in a bowl with the sweet n` sour sauce and thoroughly covered the bites. It was that simple. I am still searching for a recipe for sweet n` sour sauce I can make myself.

Fried Rice Cakes

Along with the chicken I made fried rice cakes. I took a bowl of rice and mixed in some soy sauce to taste. There was no measuring here. That is it.

Now for the cooking. I cooked them on my griddle with a little bit of butter until they were brown. The way I got the square shape (before I cut in half to make the triangles, was by using my largest square cutter. I put the cutter on the griddle (after spraying it with cooking spray-butter flavor of course) and I packed the rice into it to the edge. I let it cook until it was golden brown on the first side and firm enough to flip. Then I flipped it to the other side and removed the mold. Let it cook until golden brown.
Remove from griddle and let it sit and cool for about 5 minutes and with a sharp knife (It has to be a really sharp knife so that when you cut it the rice cake does not get crushed or fall apart) cut it from corner to corner. That is also the reason why you let is cool before you cut it. I took some of the extra sweet n` sour sauce and put it on the rice cakes and there you go.

See tomorrows post where I put these two in a bento.

Itadaki masu!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bento #2

This was a real simple bento I made from left over ground turkey pasta mix. I added wheat crackers and Mini Babybel© cheese (original) cut in half. I love this pasta mix because it tastes good whether hot or at room temperature so it works well for a lunch on the go.

Itadaki masu!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here is one of my simple “go to” meals that I can whip up very quickly. When I was in school recently working on my bachelor’s degree I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands to cook sometimes, so I developed some go to meals that I could fix quickly with a small number of prepackaged ingredients.


1 lb Ground Turkey
14.5 oz French cut Green Beans
1 pkt Brown Gravy mix
1 cup pasta (your choice)
1/2 cup Shredded Carrots
1/14 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

For Flavor (to taste)
Seasoning Salt

I take a pound of ground turkey and brown it in a skillet adding seasoning to taste. I keep it simple and use salt, pepper, cilantro and Lawry’s Seasoning Salt. The seasoning may see a bit heavy but I noticed that turkey is very bland if not sufficiently seasoned. While the turkey was cooking I mixed one packet of brown gravy mix with 1/4 cup of water. This is less than the mount listed on the package. I wanted the gravy to coat the turkey but not be watery.

Once the turkey is browned I add in a 14.5oz can of french cut green beans and let them heat up in the skillet with the turkey.

Now here is where I vary sometimes. The type of pasta I add depends on what I have on hand or what I have a taste for. I have used egg noodles, elbow macaroni, bow tie or other pasta in the mix. This time I cooked 1 cup (measured before cooking) of spiral pasta according to the instructions on the box.

Then I added the pasta, shredded carrots and shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the turkey and green bean mix.

And there you go ground turkey pasta mix.

I know it’s simple but sometimes simple is the way to go.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back in December I was unexpectedly asked by Love My Philly blog if I would be interested in testing their Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta w/Chicken recipe. As I am new to food blogging I was very surprised and flattered to be asked and excited about participating in this. The experience was invaluable to me in my quest to improve on my cooking skills.

I found this recipe very easy to make and easy to adapt if necessary. However, I must say that the next time I make this recipe I will prep my ingredients ahead of time to make it more convenient and time saving. I also used chicken tenders instead of chicken breast as in the recipe. If you follow the directions below you should breeze right through this recipe with no problems.

* Recipe and directions provided by Love My Philly blog.
* Photos by Marisa Lyn for All in Good Food blog

Prep: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
¼ cup KRAFT sun-dried tomato dressing, divided
4 small boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ tsp. each garlic powder & black pepper
4 oz (1/2 package) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
2 cups grape tomatoes
½ cup KRAFT shredded parmesan cheese
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips


1. Cook pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, cover. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done (165º F). Remove chicken from skillet, cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out skillet with paper towel.

3. Add remaining dressing, broth, and seasonings to skillet; cook 3 to 4 min. or until heated through.

4. Add Neufchatel; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until Neufchatel is melted. Stir in tomatoes, cook 3 min.
5. Drain pasta. Add to ingredients in skillet with Parmesan and basil, mix well.

6. Serve topped with chicken.

I want to again thank Philadelphia Cream Cheese who reached out to me to participate. They were gracious enough to provide me with coupons and a cookbook for my participation. I know that others also participated and I can’t wait to see how the recipe came out for them.

I hope you will try this recipe for yourself. By the way this dish is great the second time around.
So… Itadaki masu.

Writers Note: I have to say that after writing this blog I realized that instead of using 4oz of the Neufchatel I used 8oz (the full package). So my sauce was creamier than it should be. This mistake was unintentional but it did not hamper the taste of the dish. It was still delicious.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bento #1

Well here it is. I have finally stepped out of my comfort zone and am posting one of my bentos. I have made many bentos before but I never took any pictures of them till now. This bento is very simple. The larger compartment is filled with rice mixed with a little soy sauce and sautéed broccoli. The smaller part is filled with parmesan encrusted tilapia and tamagoyaki like rolled egg with dill and cheddar cheese.

With my very first posted bento I also want to give a thank you to the sites and their authors who helped me start my journey and have inspired me in my journey into bento making and Japanese cooking.

Just Bento and Just Hungry by Makiko Itoh Japanese Food by Setsuko Yoshizuka

Another source I have to credit is a book I found in the library Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle. I found it interesting and very helpful during my beginnings into Japanese cooking.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I want to give a big thank you to Claudia of What’s Cookin’ Italian Style Cuisine for letting me know about another Food Photography Showcase Site I hadn’t heard of. This site like the others is set up for food blogger to showcase their food creations and check out other bloggers. It is also for everyone to get inspired by what they see. The site is called Photograzing and if you have never been there stop by and explore for yourself. Photograzing is part of the Serious Eats community which appears to be another site dedicated to the exploration and sharing of everything food related. You can not only find recipes but see reviews of restaurants, join in on chats with other food enthusiasts and find out the latest food and entertainment news. So stop by both sites and expand your world of food.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

As I wrote in yesterdays post today I will be having a Special Edition Give `Em Props post. It will be featuring our favorite food photography sites and some food blogger portals. I know as a new food blogger I am not familiar with a lot of sites that give me the opportunity to enhance my blog awareness and showcase recipes that I have done. So in an effort of helping myself as well as other blogger old and new I am presenting a few sites where you can go to post your food photography and a few food blog portals where you can join communities.

Food Photography Showcase Sites are basically there for foodies to show off their cooking and or photography skills. Bloggers have the opportunity to submit photos of dishes or foods they have created for other bloggers to see. This idea is very good because it promotes an exchange between bloggers all over the world. We as human beings are visual people in general. We usually look at the pictures in a recipe book before we even read the recipe. If the picture is appealing then we are more likely to try the recipe. Well that is what these sites provide, a visual reference for recipes we may have or may never have attempted before. The photo lineup is ever changing so you will be exposed to many different recipes on a regular basis. Not only that but you will be exposed to bloggers you may or may not be familiar with. In a way they are helping to open up the food blogger community for all of us. Below are a few of these sites. So go visit and see how you like it.

Taste Stopping

Refrigerator Soup

Food Gawker

Taste Potting

Another type of site that is there to help the food blogger is portal sites. These sites are designed to create a community of food blogger not unlike that of Facebook or MySpace. You are able to exchange recipes, befriend other bloggers, post your own blog entries and showcase your own recipes. The purpose of these community sites is to help food bloggers connect with other food bloggers they otherwise may never come across. So if you are not familiar with these sites check them out. If you are not yet signed up on one of these sites maybe consider it. The exposure you will gain to other bloggers could prove invaluable. So here are a few sites to consider.

Food Buzz

Food Blogs

The Foodie Blog Roll

As a food blogger I am always looking for sites that will enhance my food and cooking experience and here is one site to be considered.

Here is The Daring Kitchen were cooks can go to challenge themselves and their abilities. The Daring Kitchen is set up with cooking and baking challenges featured each month. According to the site information it was designed to help everyday cooks and bakers improve their skills. You will have to register on the site and follow the rules set forth by the administrators, but in essence the site is designed to help hone and discipline you with in your cooking. Once you’re registered each month you will be presented with a cooking and or baking challenge depending on which group you are registered under. So if you are ready to challenge yourself and your cooking try The Daring Kitchen.

I know that I have only grazed the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the food blogging community so if there are any sites like the ones mentioned above that you believe need to be mentioned post it in a comment or send me an email and let me know who they are. I am always up to exploring new sites and reporting about them.

Thank you so much for coming to this Give `Em Props Special Edition.

So see you next Friday with a regularly scheduled post. Until then Itadaki masu.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Give `Em Props

Well it is 2010. Today is a new day in a new month in a new year in a new decade. I believe this is the beginning of something wonderful. With everyone so busy with the holidays, cooking and/or traveling I didn’t see too much going on in the food blogging world as far as recognitions, blog changes and/or new blogs. However things did seem to pick up a bit after Christmas. You know the end of the year usually brings changes, wrap ups and awards or recognitions. This year is no different. So without further ado here is a recap for the past two weeks.

If you are looking to find out more about foodies you know or maybe you don’t know go over to Travel Eat Love blog. Meghan’s new series Friday Foodie Feature is really informative. This series allows bloggers to get to know each other in a way that is not always possible. So if you are interested in getting to know many new bloggers check it out every Friday and you can meet a new blogger. Below is the list to date of the bloggers that have been featured.

12/18/2009 Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write
12/25/2009 Julie of Savvy Eats
01/01/2010 Marisa of All in Good Food

As I said earlier there are often bloggers who decide that they want to go into the new year with a redesigned or new blog well here are two such bloggers.

First off is Melody formally of Bouchon For Two. She has changed her blog URL and twitter user name and you can now find her at Gourmet Fury (blog) and she is now @GourmetFury on twitter. If you loved and followed Melody before get over to her new blog you won’t be disappointed.

Another blogger who is putting her blog through a redesign is Jen of My Kitchen Addiction. The new set up is designed to make it easier for visitors to navigate through to find what they want. The redesign so far is really nice and very user friendly. If you are a regular follower I believe you will like the changes. If you have never been to her blog before take a trip over there and check it out.

Let’s give a big congratulation to Bee of Rasa Malaysia who has announced that she finally has a book deal. Personally I have followed her blog long before I became a food blogger myself and I absolutely love it. She brought together recipes from many different Asian cultures into one location. If you have not been to her blog I suggest you take a trip over there. Much success on your book Bee you really deserve this.

This week I will be having a special edition Give `Em Props post on Saturday featuring our favorite food photography sites. I know as a new food blogger I am not familiar with a lot of sites that give me the opportunity to enhance my blog awareness and showcase recipes that I have done. So in an effort of helping other blogger old and new I am presenting a few sites where you can go to post your food photography. So see you on Saturday for the Give `Em Props Special Edition.

Well that is it for today. If I have missed any recognition, blog changes or new food blogs this week I do apologize as I can only go by what I pick up from the bloggers I follow. If you would like to have any recognitions, blog changes or new food blogs posted up just let me know either by direct message on twitter @allingoodfood42 or by email at

So until next Friday Itadaki masu.