Mmmmarvelous Mmmmuffins!

22 10 2008
Jasmine Green Tea Muffins

Jasmine Green Tea Muffins

I found a recipe for Earl Grey Tea Muffins at JustBento.com and just had to try it. I’m not a big fan of Earl Grey tea, so I used Jasmine Green tea instead. They turned out pretty yummy. Not very sweet though since I used regular sugar instead of the sucanat that the recipe called for. But a dab of honey on a nice hot muffin out of the oven makes it all better!

I love fall…it brings out my urge to cook and bake. 🙂





Bento #17 ~ Pork Bun…Yum!

18 09 2008
Hard-boiled eggs, grape tomatoes, edamame

Bottom: Baby carrots, BBQ Pork Bun, Grape tomatoes, Fish container of dumpling sauce Top: Hard-boiled eggs, grape tomatoes, edamame

On my mooncake run to the Asian market, I also picked up a couple of packs of dumplings. The BBQ pork looked especially good. I’ve honestly never had dumplings like this before…with the thick, steamed bread dough…usually I have the gyoza-style with the thin wrapper. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was heavenly! The dough was mildly sweet which complimented the pork very well. I didn’t even use the sauce I brought to go with it. (Actually, it’s been pointed out that my semantics are wrong….this is a bun, not a dumpling. Oops! Whatever it is, it’s yummy! ;))

Also in this bento, but not pictured, is one of my mooncakes and another market find, Fruity Jelly in mango. Both, unfortunately, were a bit of a dissapointment. The mooncake was the mixed nut variety (pictured in the previous post) and wasn’t bad. But it definitely had some kind of almond essence/paste/oil in it and, while I like almonds themselves, I don’t like the extract. It wasn’t too strong, but it was still there enough to diminish my enjoyment of it somewhat. The Fruity Jelly looked delish, but when I opened it, I was greeted with a very pungent smell of fermentation. I don’t know if they’re supposed to smell that way or if I just managed to get a bad one (despite what the bag said, there was no expiration date on the jelly). Needless to say, I didn’t touch it. I’m hoping the whole bag isn’t that way because I was really looking forward to these. They look yummy. (UPDATE: I tried another one when I got home and it was fine. I guess there was just a bad one in the bunch.)





Bento #16 ~ All A’Bloom (and More Mooncakes!)

17 09 2008

Since my last couple of bentos were paticularly uninspired, I decided to go a bit fancier with this one. I’m starting to really like the one-tier boxes better because there is so much more room to work with and I can fit things under the lid better.

Jasmine rice with grape tomato, baby corn, and nori flower, baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs on wakame (seaweed salad). Out of the box are a mooncake and mini egg pudding

Jasmine rice with grape tomato, baby corn, and nori flower, baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs on wakame (seaweed salad). Out of the box are a mooncake and mini egg pudding

 

Unfortunately, the mooncake pictured was the last of my lotus seed mooncakes. 😦 So I went back to the store today and they had all their mooncake sets marked down. Yay! Unfortunately, the only set they had that was solely lotus seed was the most expensive at 4 for $22 (after the discount). I bypassed it in favor of a 4-pack assortment for $11…one of which was lotus seed. These were the larger, more ornate kind that I had been looking for before. They also had some nice larger assortments of smaller cakes that I might go back and get when/if they do more markdowns.
 

I love the boxes these come in. They are so pretty! I might use them as little gift boxes.

I love the boxes these come in. They are so pretty! I might use them as little gift boxes.

A closeup of the mixed nut mooncake

A closeup of the mixed nut mooncake





Mooncakes!

13 09 2008

Thanks to Vanessa’s teacher, I found a store that sold mooncakes! They had a pretty decent variety, though they didn’t have any individual ones…they were all in gift boxes. So I snagged the cheapest one they had…8 for $12.99. If we weren’t so broke, I would’ve gotten one of the more expensive ones because these were just a little disappointing. For one thing, they were rather small compared to what size I though they’d be and, most of all, they were very plain. I had been looking forward to the ornately-embossed ones. Ah well…as you can see from the pics, I went ahead and ate one. It was ooohhh so yummy! The crust was very flaky…it practically fell apart when I cut into the cake…and the filling was lotus seed paste with salted duck egg yolks. I can’t even describe the taste because it was like nothing I’d ever had before…slightly sweet with a bit of saltiness from the egg yolk.

EDITED to add that apparently the box I got is a mix because the mooncake I ate last night had red bean paste, not lotus seed. I like the lotus seed better…it has a more delicate flavor to it.

 

As you can see, it came with a nice gift box and matching gift bag. Spiffy! 
 
I also picked up some choco-banana Pocky and mini-puddings. Yum yum! Sugar rush, here I come!




Not a Bento, but OMG—YUM!!

11 09 2008

I stopped by the Oriental market today, hoping to pick up a moon cake or two for the upcoming Moon Festival, but alas, I guess Korean-owned markets don’t carry them, because there was not a one to be found. 😦 I did, however, pick up a few other yummy items…panko, frozen mixed seafood, shrimp and edamame gyoza, and some “traditional Korean cookies” (which, after a bit of research, I have found are yakgwa).

The panko was for making chicken katsu…which I jumped right in and made for dinner this evening. OMG…it was sooo good!! The panko just makes it…it gives it such a different texture than regular bread crumbs. I normally do not like making anything fried, but this was super-yummy. The recipe I used was from JustBento (even though the link in my “Bento Things to Try” is for the recipe at CookingCute…I might try that one next time) because it was simpler. I figured I’d try it first, then add more seasonings if I felt like it. I also whipped up some simple tonkatsu sauce with ketchup and worchestershire sauce. I’m not sure if I got it right because it’s been ages since I’ve had real tonkatsu sauce…but it was good.


Chicken katsu, wakame (seaweed salad), tonkatsu sauce
(I restrained myself and didn’t eat all four pieces…I just had two and put the other two in my bento for tomorrow)




Yes, We Have No Bentos Today

26 08 2008

Well, I did throw some leftover chicken stir-fry into a bento box, but I don’t think it’s worthy of being called a bento or having its picture taken. I was feeling lazy last night, plus the only box I had that was clean was my little Liberty box and it was all I could do to squeeze in the stiry fry along with a pack of Pocky in the lid, let alone anything else to make it look decent.

I did pick up a few more things at the Oriental Market yesterday after work though that will go into future bentos: seaweed salad (I hope it’s as good as the salad I’ve gotten at the Japanese buffet here…yummm), dried shiitake mushrooms, crab sticks, Marble Pocky, and some more rice crackers…and a box of Hello Kitty cookies for my munchkin. I want to start doing bentos for her soon….even though she gets lunch at preschool





Bento goodies!

19 08 2008

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I picked up a few things at the oriental market….just food, but lots of yummies: vegetable gyoza, shrimp gyoza, rice crackers, two packs of furikake (one egg and nori, the other a variety pack), and frozen edamame. Mmmm….

I also went by Wal-Mart to find some silicone cups for my bento and they had a display set up for autumn-themed cooking goodies so I picked up some autumn-leaf picks and multipack of leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Whee…I can’t wait to get creative with my bento.