Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Bread Art Project

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 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.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bento #17

Bento #17 was from Sunday dinner. I know it was Mother’s Day but we didn’t do anything special. I had been retrying recipes for homemade tortillas and I finally got one that worked for me. So I decided to make a stir fry and have tacos for dinner. The stir fry was very simple consisting chicken, chopped broccoli, chopped red bell peppers and shredded carrots with a little soy sauce.

Now for the bento. In the bottom part I had mini chicken stir fry tacos, mini homemade tortilla chips and tamagoyaki with harvest dill seasoning. In the top part I had watermelon and strawberries for dessert. This dinner was very simple but very filling.

So until my next bento, Itadaki masu!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bento #16

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day here. The sun was out the temp was just right. So I decided to make a lunch that I though would be great for a picnic bento. All the items in the bento are what I think of as standard picnic foods. Normally I would have the broccoli raw with other salad items or a dip but I thought about these broccoli bites I like to make when we have movie night.

The broccoli bites look very much like they are tempura broccoli and in a way they are. I have tried to cook them using a tempura batter but they never came out right. So one day I was frying some chicken strips where I coat them with flour then drench them in an egg and water mix then back in the flour before frying them. Well I wondered if this technique would work on broccoli too. I took several florets out of the freezer and followed my technique and they came out so delicious. If you think about it I am using the same ingredients for the tempura batter only in a different way. I believe in whatever works better for you is how you should cook.

For yesterdays lunch bento I kept it very simple with my picnic food. In the bottom tray I had fried chicken strips, tempura (my way) broccoli, two small square onigiri flavored with Hidden Valley Ranch Harvest Dill Dip Mix. In the top tray I had chunks of sweet watermelon and 4 oatmeal raisin cookies.

So until my next bento, Itadaki masu!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

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 egg
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.

1. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder.

2. Add the shredded chicken, chopped broccoli, and shredded cheddar cheese to the dry mixture and mix together. This will coat these ingredients and help them to incorporate in the final pancake batter.

3. In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients of milk, egg, and oil and whisk until mixed.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated but be very careful to not over mix the batter so that the pancakes can be light and fluffy.

5. Let the mix stand for about 3 minutes. This will allow the mix to rest and expand slightly as it sits and that is what gives the pancakes their fluffiness.

6. Heat a pan or griddle on medium heat. I use an electric griddle and heat it between 250 and 300 but check you own settings and heat consistency.

7. Place a small amount of butter or oil in the pan or on the griddle and coat the surface. I personally prefer using butter as I don’t make these on a regular basis. I feel it gives them a better taste but use what you prefer. A butter flavored cooking spray works well too.

8. Cook pancakes on one side until golden brown then flip to the other side and cook the other side to a golden brown. I usually brush a little butter on them when they are finished but this step is optional.

And you’re done. I hope you enjoy them as much as me.

So until the next recipe, Itadaki masu!