Monday, January 30, 2012

Bento #12

Whooo had a long day that ended with a delicious and slightly tipsy 1L & Faculty Dinner. Feeling guilty after a double helping of pasta, I'll be eating a light lunch tomorrow...

Today's Bento Includes:
Babybel Cheese (can't do without cheese, or bunnies...bunnies make things delicious)
Blanched Bean Sprout (why? Because it was on sale for $1.99/ 5 lbs)
Stir fry chicken with all sorts of veggies including edamame

On a related note, this is what happens when you go to law school. I moved here in the light blue jean (size 2) about 5 months ago, and now I wear the dark blue one (size 12)... Ah well, as long as I can still rock a pants-suit (suit-pants?!).

Traditional Japanese Breakfast - Nattou!

I used to eat nattou for breakfast every day! After moving to Atlanta without a car (oop!), I was cut off for a while. I rented a Zipcar over the weekend and finally hit the Super-H-Mart and scored a dozen of these on sale.

Nutrition value on the box for one serving:
Calories 75
Fat 2.0g
Carbs 7g
Fiber 4.5g
Protein 6.5g

Nattou is soybean fermented with bacillus subtilis or nattou-kin. It's kind of like yogurt and cheese in that it's fermented, really good for you nutrition wise, but you probably won't like it the first time you eat it. It's slimy, smelly and generally messy to eat. 
It comes in Styrofoam boxes with dashi (Japanese stock) and mustard.
It's sticky (see the "whiskers") and eaten with hot rice. The little whiskers are very light and tend to float up and stick all over my face...
Sometimes, if I stir it long enough, it'll form a cocoon (though it doesn't last long) and I pretend to be a spider...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pink Tofu Dinosaurs

Steamed dinosaurs! The dye ran off a little after the steaming process...going to use more dye next time!

Bento #11

I finally went to an Asian grocery store yesterday and got some new bento boxes, a double boiler/steamer and stocked up on some more traditional food.

Today's Bent Includes:
  • Pepper stuffed with Tofu Crumbs
  • Pork and Chinese Leek Dumplings
  • Steamed Bean Sprout and Tofu
  • Strawberries

The Sauce Dish (am I glad to find this!):
  • Soysauce
  • Japanese Mayo (made with apple vinegar and soy! Not any healthier than the American version but I like the taste better - it's more flavorful and less creamy)
  • Mango Sauce (mango with lots of chili powder)

Friday, January 27, 2012

White Chocolate Dragon!

Okay maybe I can't stop cooking just because I'm under the weather...
These were suppose to be lollipops but I am a moose of a gal and broke both sticks in the process of pulling them out of the mold...The little red dots in there is food dye. I didn't know food dye didn't dissolve in cocoa butter, but I think the granite effect is pretty cool! I'll to do a dark chocolate one to show off the details as I have horrible lighting in the kitchen...

A Little Sick - Small break

The blackboard (yes these still exist) from my Legal Writing, Research, Advocacy Program class.

"Pontificating" - Property law professor. Not going to lie, I had to look that word up, but I think I really like it.

I'm getting a little sick and will probably stop posting (or just posting pictures of lots and LOTS of soup) for the next couple days...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Recipe - Leftover Temaki

A temaki (hand roll) is usually fish fillet, veggies and a little bit of rice wrapped in nori. Sometimes I just don't have all the ingredients handy and this is the result. It's not very pretty but it's fast to cook (took me about 5 min to make it) and delicious (oh and healthy, but I think that boat has sailed when I started bringing blocks of cheese for lunch)...

Stuff for stuffing:
Leftover rice
frozen veggies
1/2 can of tuna (rest went to the cats of course)

I zapped the stuff in the microwave for about 4 min, topped it with furikake (rice seasoning consist of dried fish, eggs, pieces of nori and sesame) and wrapped them up in nori.

"Shazzam!" as my criminal law Professor puts it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bento #10

Threesomes! - What we learned about in Family Law today! Apparently sex is a constitutional right and if you are not doing it for commercial purposes, all parties are consenting adults and you do it in private, you can have sex with whoever, whatever, however many people you want. After thinking about that for a little bit, I'm quite grossed out...

Today's Bento Includes:
  • Lots of veggies with furikake (trying to work towards healthy here)
  • Chicken grilled in marinara sauce
  • Brown rice with provolone flowers

Keeping it simple because life is getting very complex...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

D'oh! No Bento Today!

Got two free meals out of random events today so I will not be making a bento for tomorrow :)

First semester grades came out here's a song that expresses my feelings....


As my Criminal Law prof says "I didn't do as well as I had hoped but I sure got better grades than I deserved!"
Now back to studying!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bento #10

Happy Birthday to Rachel (sorry this bento doesn't have any chicks in it...)...
I've had nothing but restaurant food today (still stuffed!)... so this is relatively healthy looking.
  • Babybel Cheese (with a bunny face on it! Okay, maybe not so healthy)
  • Brown Rice
  • Meatballs
  • Carrot, Pea, Tuna, Sesame Salad
  • Broccoli (not sure if I'll actually eat it yet...)
In other news, I really need to stop procrastinating...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Apple Swan

The cats were sorely disappointed that this was not a real bird...omnomnomnom.
On the brighter side, the new knives are pretty awesome!

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Pink Onigiri (left) are stuffed with anchovies and tuna! The kitties were overjoyed.

The platter (right) contains:
Shreded Nori
Spam Masubi (with spinach rice)
Cheddar Sausages
Spam wrapped in Tamagoyaki
Salsa and Soy Sauce

I've had an amazing weekend! That is all.

Isis is still up for adoption! Please help me find this kitty a permanent new home!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bento #9

The highs and lows of a Property Law hypothetical...
"You have a pet rabbit" - Hooray!
"Your neighbor has a large dog" - Puppy!!!
"Unfortunately large dogs have a tendency of breaking rabbit necks" - ...

Today's Bento includes:
  • 1 Oreo ball from the Alternative Dispute Resolution bake sale (brownie covered with cream cheese then coated with chocolate fudge)
  • Braised Pork wrapped in Ham and Cheese
  • Colbyjack Bunnies
  • Rice
  • Veggies with a wad of Guacamole
  • Spinach wrapped in Ham (it's suppose to be a frog face...)
I felt ridiculous using a regular pot for just one piece of meat so I braised the pork in my tamagoyaki pan...strangers things have happened, my cats letting me sleep through the night for one...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bento 8.5ish and some feelings

I ought to get my head checked! Today, I left my bento at home (Boo! Hiss!) then sat in the wrong room until the professor walked in and warmly shook my hand before I realized I had no idea who he was...So here's my dinner instead of tomorrow's bento:
  • Onigiri Hearts (found some leftover dye from my attempts at making heart shaped pancakes that SOMEone mistook for ham)
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Nori


No, I haven't jumped on the Valentine's Day hype (even if I jumped on hypes, Caturday would probably be the first and the penultimate). There's going to be a bit of catharsis in the next couple paragraph to explain the hearts so feel free to skip if you are not the touchy-feel-ly type.

I came to law school because I wanted to be a juvenile defender. First semester of law school was brutal mentally, physically and financially. Even outside of school, there's been a lot of negativity and cynicism among friends. I've been reconsidering this career that I'm about to stumble my way into, a career that makes only 1/2 to 1/3 of what I'd make in private practice, with extremely limited resources, and a workload that will undoubtedly bleed into my social life (if you've been a inner-city public school teacher, you know EXACTLY what I mean), defending kids who won't even look at me the eye in the end because I just lost them six precious years of their lives to the big house.

Today, I wandered (okay, I smelled the free food) into an info session on "public defenders the indigent defendants" with Professor Jonathan Rapping who spoke about his beginning as a juvenile defense attorney and how he went on losing many cases and almost giving up many times but ended up keeping on going because he wanted to be able to look at himself in the mirror every morning knowing that even though he cannot change the system overnight, he was making a difference. I looked down at my Team Eddy hoodie and thought "oh yeah!".

I remember that fulfilled feeling during my time with Citizen Schools. I remember how "my students" became "my kids", and that swell of pride when a regular ed. kid first bumped fist with one of my SEI Chinese kids as they passed each other in the hall because they had met in my kung-fu class, and most importantly, how I had a network of support to help me through the everyday crises. It's scary how I almost lost myself over the past couple months but the hoodie will live in my locker from now on as a reminder of why I am here.

So these hearts go out to my kids and the impossibly amazing people at the Eddy. You've taught me how to persevere and defined who I am.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bento #8

What I learned in Criminal Law Today:

  1. Good guy discount
  2. Victim is a hooker discount
  3. 6 months in the big house for driving with grass in the sunny state of Georgia
  4. Fat cat

Today's Bento Includes:
Cheddarwurst Sausages
Tamagoyaki Wrapped Ham
Babybel cheese (whoooo!)
Stirfry Mushrooms and Veggies
Cheddar Chicks (going to make a certain someone very happy...until I eat them that is...)

New set of knives came in the mail today! They are carbon steel and coated with a non-sticky surface. My only concern is that they are serrated (like a T-rex tooth! But hopefully without the theoretical bacterial growths...) and won't make very clean cuts on sushi...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipe - Leftover mashed potato salad

As seen in Bento #7

Note: This is what happens to all the edges of things (cheese, bread, nori, ham, etc.) that I cut out during the week.

For this magical recipe, you will need:
4 small microwavable potato - mine were growing roots...
Leftover food - I had ham, nori, rice and sausages but anything will do, just make sure they are diced into small pieces
Black Pepper

Casting sequence:

  1. Place clean taters in a bowl, sprinkle some water on top, cover with Saran wrap then zap it in the microwave for 6 min-ish. The potatoes should be mushy when you stick something (not your finger) through it.
  2. wait for the potatoes to cool
  3. Microwave the leftover bits for a minute (just to kill the germs) and places in a large ziplock bag
  4. Add the mushy (and cooled) potato and mix everything by kneading the contents through the ziplock back (which I hope you had sealed at this point.
  5. Place the wad of potato salad on a place and garnish with a spoonful of guacamole and a little bit of salsa.

Bento #7

I got an iPhone photo-editing app so instead of posting pictures that look like they've been taken with an iPhone under horrid florescent lighting, now I can offer pictures that looks like they've been taken with an iPhone under horrid florescent lighting that's been edited by a free iPhone app!

Today's Bento Includes:

  • White tamagoyaki (Japanese fried egg rolls)  - made it the traditional way with a rectangular pan
  • Mashed Potato Salad (Click for recipe)
  • Orange mints
  • 2 Onigiri (rice balls) - The onigiri are filled with tuna. One has sesame on it and the other was mixed with furikake (rice seasoning). My strangely flaky (and greasy) nori cracked a little when I was wrapping them.

Cats in my Life

 Tuna for all the kitties!
Lady is my very first kitty. When I first met her, she could fit onto my palm!
Mona is the most polite kitty I've ever met. I love her to bits.
Nemo is a gentleman cat (see his tux). Although he is not my kitty and doesn't live with me, he is a very important kitty in my life.

 Isis may not be the prettiest kitty but she makes up for it by having the most adorable personality. I'm hoping to find her a good home...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

More Isis pictures!

This little kitty is up for adoption! Please contact me for more info!

Isis prevents carpel tunnel!
She loves derping  around!

If she falls a sleep while purring, sometimes she gets hiccups!

Dinosaur Octopus Dinner

Took a break from reading the appellate record and made this. The octopus (apparently I can't count so one has 12 legs and other one has 7...) are made of Cheddarwurst and are greasy and delicious. The dinosaur is made of some kind of fibery bread and more cheddar!

Isis still needs a permanent home!

Meet Isis! She's a timid and sweet kitty who loves boxes and snuggles! She's having a rough time being a foster kitty because she's very submissive and constantly gets picked on if I'm not in the room with her. Please let me know if you'd like to take her home and spoil her silly forever...

Recipe - Arguably Easy Chinese* Fish on a Electric Grill

I was too lazy to make lunch** today so this is what I made instead. I absorbed this recipe from my mother by poking my head in the kitchen and annoy the living L. Acidophilus out of her every time she cooked this dish. So yes, this smells absolutely amazing but the smell probably lingers a little like most Chinese food smells do. She didn't cook it on an electric grill of course, she was a proper lady and had several double boilers. I, on the other hand, am afraid of boiling water (not sure why, since I have no qualms about sticking my hand in the oven) and just don't have the patience to wait for the 2 hours it would require to cook on a steamer.

*The word "Chinese" here modifies the style of the dish and not the fish itself. I'm not sure what nationality my specific piece of fish was, we haven't covered that in Property Law yet or is that under Immigration Law?!

**A meal with no rice/bread/potato/cake is not a proper meal... but then, eating an entire box of crackers with cheese after probably made up for it.

Materials for this awesomeness:
*You will need an electric grill or a double boiler/steamer and a lot of for this recipe*

  • Fish - Preferably freshwater fish, but the salmon was on sale and it didn't have bones in it
  • Fresh (relatively) Ginger root
  • Garlic
  • Rice vinegar (or apple vinegar)
  • Light Soy Sauce (or unrippened soy sauce as the Chinese people call it)
  • Black Pepper
  • Frozen Mix Veggies
Spell Prep:
  • Place fish in a ziplock bag
  • Dice enough ginger and garlic to make a pile the size of your thumb (can't go wrong with more if you like ginger and garlic) and sweep the pile into the fish bag
  • Add vinegar and soy sauce at a 1:2 ratio over the fish, make sure it can coat the entire surface once the bag is sealed
  • seal bag, shake it a little and let marinade for at least 20 min
  • Make a box (or swan) out of aluminum foil, put the fish and marinade sauce in it and seal the top with another piece of foil
  • Heat up the grill to 350 degrees, put the box on the grill and sit on your hand (or pet a cat) for 20 min
  • Resist the temptation to open up the foil (heat and moisture will escape and you'll end up with an annoyingly dry and salty piece of fish) because it will smell like heaven (or 21 years of repressed memories if you grew up in a Chinese household).
  • Zap a little bit of frozen veggies in a bowl for 2 min (or until it's hot enough that you are sure you won't get sick from eating it)
  • Lay the cooked veggies on a plate
  • Pour the fish and marinade sauce over the veggies
  • sprinkle black pepper
  • Shoo away the cats that are gathering
And you are done!

Macy Gray

One of my foster kitties, Macy Gray, just went to her new home with a polite gentleman from Midtown. I hope she doesn't think I've abandoned her; and REALLY hope that her new owner will spoil her silly...Good luck, Macy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Recipe - Omurice

Today's Lunch Includes:
Grilled Salmon - the cats ate most of this, luckily it was on sale so I made extra
Green Stuff

Note: Omelette + Rice = Omurice! Thanks to google, I don't have to go into any more detail about it. Here's the recipe. Yes, that's grease oozing from underneath. It's generally a healthy meal l but I'd like to do my share in keeping the doctors in business.

Mats for this delicious spell:
2 eggs
Mix frozen veggies
Olive oil (or any astro-glide for the pan)
Granulated Chicken Stock or Salt

Casting Sequence:

Thaw your pre-cooked rice bundle and frozen veggies in the microwave for 2 min.
Heat up some olive oil in a pan/pot/metal can and stir fry the thawed mixture on high heat until it looks edible.
Set it aside on a plate and form an olive-shape pile (or build a castle with it, but brown rice doesn't stick well)
Scramble the eggs with chicken stock and pepper
Oil the skillet and set heat on high, pour in the egg mixture after 4-5 min, stir with fork or chopsticks a little bit while it sets to make it fluffy. Turn off fire once the egg looks solid.

Flip the egg sheet onto the rice pile/castle/dinosaur and fold the excess egg sheet underneath
Or do it shamelessly with your hand and a paper towel if you accidentally put too much grease in your rice and the pile is falling apart
Try not to eat the entire thing in one setting because it will induce an insulin (if your own pancreas is still able to monitor these things) crash which will lead to chomping down an entire bag of m&ms and a very full and uncomfortable nap with a pile of cats.