Touch of Nectar











{November 16, 2011}   Project 365 Update!!

I’ve been working like mad to get caught up with my numbers for project 365.

As of this morning my count sits at 304/365 with plans for two (easy!!) recipes tonight.  I put a Navy Bean Soup with Ham in the crock pot this morning (recipe from 1001 Slow Cooker). 

Thanksgiving is coming, and while I’ll be doing all of the ordinary things, I have a few great looking recipes to try out too.

Here’s a few of the latest creations…

Chuckwagon Beef and Beans from 365 One Dish (the biscuits are cooked in the liquid) Brilliant!

Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce from Asparagus to Zucchini. Wicked easy.

Oven Crisp Chicken from 365 Ways to Cook Chicken – the coating is made with stuffing mix. Soooo good. This will be going on the regular rotation!

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{November 16, 2011}   Kawaii!

So I bring home this book from the library called Face Food

Just for fun. Just to look at. Just to admire OTHER people’s talents…

And the kidling gets ahold of it. Ut oh.  Now she wants one.

So here it is… My first (slightly sad) attempt at a charaben bento.   In case you can’t tell it is supposed to be a cat.

The bento ingredients themselves are simple. The cat is a cheese sandwich. Goldfish crackers, mini dill pickles, cherry tomatoes and grapes round out the box.



{November 12, 2011}   Marching On

Okay as of this morning Project 365 sits at 297 recipes done. Gonna have to double up quite a bit to finish on time. At least I have the holidays (I host) and Christmas baking coming up. I’ve been working on creative new ideas for bento lunches.  We’ve had enough leftovers lately, so I’ve worked in two leftovers night. I will likely run the bread machine again this week too. Both hubby and the kidling like having bread with dinner.

There are grapes and satsumas in the fridge, so those will be heavily featured in the bentos this week.

Here’s this week’s menu…

Sat 12: Navy Bean Soup with Ham – 1001 Slow Cooker, Mini Corn Muffins with Prosciutto – 365 Appetizers

Sun 13: Chuckwagon Beef and Beans – 365 One Dish

Mon 14: Ravioli in Butter and Sage Sauce – From Asparagus to Zucchini, Pickletini – Food Fest

Tue 15: Leftovers

Wed 16: Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach – Cooking Light 2004

Thurs 17: Knitting group night. Leftovers

Fri 18: Chicken Vegetable Pesto Stir Fry – 365 One Dish, Hasselback Potatoes – 300 Great Potato Recipes

Lunches: I have a variety of chicken salads picked out (using up leftover chicken),  Curried Lemon Mayo – 365 Appetizers (to be served with carrot and celery sticks), Sage Roasted Squash – From Asparagus to Zucchini

Other: Banana Oat Energy Bars – Trail Food (for the kidling’s 2nd breakfasts), Oatmeal Nut Waffles – Food Fest 365, Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cones – Food Fest 365.



{November 10, 2011}   The Delicata Cycle

I mentioned the other day about roasted delicata squash. Sooo delicious!

Delicious Delicata. Say it with me. It’s fun!

1. Get yourself some lovely delicata squash.

2. Wash the outside of the squash. These things grow in the dirt ya know. You don’t want dirt in your bentos.

3. Slice off the stem and blossom ends and cut in half.

4. Remove the seeds. I suppose you could roast these like pumpkin seeds, but they’re kinda little so I never bother.

5. Slice the squash into 1/2 inch (or so) half moons. Meanwhile, turn the oven on to about 350 and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

6. As you slice the rings, arrange them on a cookie sheet. When you are done slicing, spray the tops of the rings with cooking spray and sprinkle them with grill seasoning. I like the 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joes.

7. Stick the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for about 1/2 hour or until the squash is done to your liking. I don’t like mine too mushy, but I like the edges just a bit caramelized.

These fit nicely into bentos and they are good hot or cold. You can eat the rind even. It is soft enough. Most of the time, I just scrape the flesh off with my teeth and toss the rind.



{November 8, 2011}   Bad News, Good News, Good News

Okay, first the bad news… Our house got broken into on Friday. They literally kicked in the door. So hard that they broke the pin on the deadbolt. Scary stuff.

The good news is… our neighbors saw them, called the coppers and got a license plate number. They not only caught the bad guys, we got almost all of our stuff back the same day! And we have a new door now. I’m a little sad that our front door is no longer going to be purple.

So that is why I haven’t been blogging the last few days. I’ve been dealing with all that stuff. Weee…

But onto my other good news… I have lots of bentos to share!

I roasted some delicata squash last week. My favorite! I’ll blog about that later today if I get a chance.

This bento uses some fridge and freezer stash… boiled quails eggs, salad, edamame, cheese sticks, turkey meatballs, pickled green beans, mushrooms, carrots and squash. I forgot dressing for the salad! Bah!

And hers. Quails eggs, cheese, deli turkey, Halloween candy, pretzels and mango.

Another for me. Pickled green beans, roast beef, cheese, edamame, squash, stir fried bok choy and carrots, mushrooms.

Hers. Bagel with peanut butter and jelly, mango, grapes, pretzels and edamame.



Okay… nobody panic… As of today I have 79 recipes to go to complet project 365. Yeah. And there are less than 60 days left. AND I’ll be going to Mexico for a week in December. YIKES!!

I will get this done. I’m determined.  I’ll just have to do more baking on the weekends (hubby will hate that, I’m sure!) and more salads and stuff and dinnertime… Not going to panic. Really! Afterall Thanksgiving is coming and giftmas baking must be done, right? RIGHT??

This is another pretty low budget week. I do need a bottle of olive oil. And satsumas are on sale at QFC for $4 for a 5 pound box. Those will be my biggest expenses this week.  Hubby also requested cereal and Top Foods has some he likes for $2 a box (if you buy 4) this week. Canned tuna is on sale there too.  It may sound like I’m running all over the place, but between work and home, I’m really not going out of my way to stop at different stores.

Here is this week’s plan. Again, I may not make what is on the menu on the night it is listed.

I need one more dinner. Burgers of some sort?  Beef stew in the crock pot?  I could use a few more ideas for lunches too. I’ll take a look at the bento cookbooks tonight and update. I did roast some delicata squash last night.  Hubby will be gone on Sunday, so I might use that day to stock the freezer with soups and such.

btw, CORN stands for “Clean Out Refrigerator Night”

Sat 5: Linguini with Salmon and Lemon – 365 Pasta

Sun 6: Chicken and Black Bean Enchilladas – 365 One Dish

Mon 7: CORN – Leftovers night

Tue 8: Spaghetti with Prosciutto and Peas – 365 Pasta  and Creamy Pesto Bread – 365 BBQ

Wed 9: Oven Crisp Chicken – 365 Chicken (this one uses stuffing mix for the breading!) and Rice Acapulco – 1001 Low Fat

Thur 10: Tuna and Corn Fish Cakes – 1000 Great Recipes

Fri 11: Undetermined

Lunches: Curry Cream Stuffed Prunes – Eat Well Stay Well

Other: Pineapple Muffins – Horn of the Moon and Potato Leek Bread – The Breadmachine Cookbook



{November 4, 2011}   Bento from the Freezer Stash

This is what the kidling’s lunchbox looks like most days. (the bento box would have a lid on it)

Today’s bento lunch: bagel with strawberry cream cheese, fresh mangos, grapes, quails eggs, snow peas and goldfish crackers.

And mine is dinner leftovers and freezer stock.

Carrots and snow peas (there is green goddess dressing at work), pickled onions and green beans, cheese.

Turkey meatballs (from the freezer – perfectly thawed at lunchtime), edamame, cucumber salad and stir fried carrots and broccoli.



{November 2, 2011}   Summer is Over

I’m using up the very last of the summer fruit now…  I always miss the variety of fruit I can get in the summertime. This year was not a very good year for us weatherwise, so while we got strawberries (barely), I missed out on blueberries and raspberries. Very soon it will be on to bananas, apples, pears and oranges for bento fruit. Thankfully satsumas are beginning to make an appearance in the grocery stores. Persimmons too, but I have no idea how to choose a perfect persimmon. Any suggestions?

The kidling got mango in her box today. These were not pretty and did not ripen well (on the windowsill like I always d0). I doubt that I will be buying more.

Also in her box is a mini bagel with strawberry cream cheese, grapes, quails egg, cheese and dry roasted peanuts. Needs something green, don’t you think?

And my “bento” today, if you want to call it that was another emergency bento. I did chores this morning like a good girl instead of messing with my lunch. It was still delicious though. I loves me a noodle bowl. Especially on a cold rainy day like today. Yeah, welcome to Seattle.

I put the carrots and dried shiitakes in with the noodles and water when I heated them up in the microwave. This works perfectly. After the soup was hot, I added everything else. Not the prettiest lunch, but it was very satisfying.



{November 2, 2011}   Almost Bento Twins

Both mine and the kidling’s bentos are similar today. First hers…

Cheddar and roast beef wraps, grapes, cereal bar and banana. The only thing that came back was the grapes (which are getting a bit wilty anyway)

And mine…

Orange slices, dried plums, olives, quail eggs, cheese and cucumber kabobs, carrot slices, snow peas and roast beef wraps with provolone cheese.  I ate everything except the olives.



et cetera