18 August 2010

Mango & milk jello

Hi everyone!

I'm currently experimenting with agar-agar jelly on various things: milk, kiwis, chocolate, and so on.
It's an easy way to make a dessert that is sweet and refreshing at this time of the year.
Yesterday I tried not to make the jelly so stiff. Agar-agar is a lot "harder" than normal jelly, I'd been experimenting the amounts so as not to make it too hard nor too soft.

I ended up with this:

 For 12 silicone cupcake cups:
- 250ml boiling water with 1/2 tsp agar-agar flakes;
- 50ml milk;
- 1 sweet fresh mango.

I blended the milk with the mango, then slowly mixed in the boiling water with agar-agar and poured it onto the cups. Put them in the refrigerator and they'll be done in about 1h.

Nothing else to report, neither me or my bf need the lunches to go, but I'll be gathering some new recipes for when we do need them :)

05 August 2010

Too hot to cook?

It's been a while since I made something to take pictures of. It's too hot to cook and whenever I cook I completely forget grabbing the camera.

This past week I made skewers with chicken, mushrooms, bell pepper and green onion which were awesome but I was in such a rush I didn't get the camera. 

I used the mushroom stems for something else. I cooked some black beans (which I haven't eaten in about 2 years by now, because the bf doesn't like beans) added some chopped onion, tomato and the mushroom stems and put it all in a pan. 
The final result: super tasty! I missed eating beans!

Currently I'm experimenting certain types of food, keeping a food journal to see what makes me constipated and what helps me with it. So far, water and avoiding bread has helped with it. Exercise usually helps with it, I'm slowly working on that.

26 July 2010

Sesame beef bento


I woke up at 6am determined to get used to assembling bentos in the morning. They taste much much better (the rice and fruit) and there's no mushiness. This week I planned my food and chose to follow a recipe from Bento Love cookbook of sesame beef.


At first I thought I wouldn't like it because sesame oil is a bit strong for me but in the end I was sad I didn't get to eat any (I made it specifically for the bf)
The recipe is very simple and it was done in under 10 minutes (serves about 2 portions) which is a plus for when I'm still sleeping :) not too many ingredients, just toss in the pan and voilá! you have a delicious tasty meat done.

I used japanese rice topped with some sesame seeds, a kiwi (almost whole *munch munch*) broccoli and raw star, flower and clubs shaped carrot. All of it assembled in about 30 minutes, from scratch.

22 July 2010

Pea Stew - Defrosting pt. 2

This was more of a mix-in-the-pot thing than a proper recipe. My grandma used to make something similar, I just tried figuring the ingredients by memory.

Also, I made use of the tripod we bought for the camera. No more asking love to take pictures while I cook so I don't get the camera dirty.

Here's the recipe (serves about 6):

- 3 table spoons Olive oil;
- 2 onions, diced;
- 3/4 sliced chorizo, peeled;
- 2 bay leaves;
- 600g of diced meat;
- a splash of white wine;
- 3 chopped tomatoes;
- 3/4 kg of peas;
- 1 farinheira (Optional, I only used it for the defrosting purpose);
 - Enough boiling water;

- Salt and pepper to taste.

This is a VERY caloric meal, used to be made for farmers who work all day long and need them, so if you're trying to lose weight, I'll advise you not to eat it :)

Grab a big pan, and heat up the olive oil. When it's hot enough, drop the diced onion in the pan.

 Add some salt and stir until the onion is translucent. Add the sliced chorizo.

Add the bay leaves and let the chorizo cook until lightly fried, then remove it. It should look somewhat like this.

At this point, add the meat.

Add the wine and let it cook for a few minutes.

Add the diced tomato and be patient.

This next part will take about 15 minutes. I hate waiting while stirring but it pays off, really.

It should look like this:

Add enough boiling water to the mix and put the chorizo back. Add the peas:

Put the lid on and let it cook. At this time I prepared some rice and 5 minutes before the rice was done I set this aside and added the farinheira pieces.
Instead of the rice, you can put some small sized pasta in the pan along with the peas. Grandma also used to put some beans but love doesn't like them.

Only a few things to go from the freezer. Stay tuned I'll be posting soon.

20 July 2010

Defrosting: when the freezer resembles the north pole!

It's that time again, when I have to think of various dishes to put together what's in the freezer.

This time I'd like to share the process (last time I only showed the freezer's pictures) and start by telling you what I have in there:

- Frozen tomatoes; Corn; Peas; Brussels Sprouts; Red and green bell peppers;

Meat & fish:
- 2 chorizos and 1 farinheira;
- 3 random beefs (I'm almost sure they're all pork);
- Turkey breasts;
- Crabsticks;
- White fish filetts;

- Corn bread;

Adding to the freezer stash, I have some other things I need to use from the fridge like tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and more bellpeppers that came from my grandparents' farm.

For the next few days I'll be showing how I'm going to use all of these ingredients in delicious plates! They're probably not so apropriate for bento but I'll put them in bento boxes because I am watching my portions and it's the easiest way to do it.

So, here's today's meal:

Whitefish fillets with onion, frozen tomatoes, frozen bellpeppers, 1/4 of sliced chorizo for taste and some spices sided with plain white rice and brussels sprouts.

I am stil dwelling with the new camera on food photos, they all come out a little grainy but I'm getting there :D

In my previous post, I mentioned this bento box, I'm not sure how much I can fill the lower tier with, remember? Well, That's why the brussels are all squished and have the upper tier's print on them, it looks big but I can't fit much in it... I wonder if it's for rice only?

19 July 2010

Bento gear

I found it! In my country! It was an accidental finding but I got a bento book and acessories in one pack in Fnac. Even though the book is in french, I was shooting stars through my eyes with the gear

Sorry for the grainy picture but this is what came with the book:
A 2 tier bento box (i still haven't measured how many ml go in it) with an elastic band, a star-shaped egg-mold, a plastic fork and spoon, a sushi rice mold, a star shaped cutter, 6 picks in the form of fish and seals in 3 different colours, soy sauce bottles in the shape of a duck and of a fish.
I was so delighted with it, I couldn't wait to put all this to use. Still missing some nori punches :)

Since I have a little ammount of things, I bought an Ikea storage box to organize them all :)

I also used some space for other things like chopsticks, skewers, my old soy sauce bottles, a cup to measure rice, and a small one to measure liquids, my silicone cups and my cookie cutter box. Since I'm putting this inside a drawer with the bento boxes, I don't need to close the lid, so here's a bit more vertical space.

From right to left: star-shaped egg-mold, sushi rice mold, 2 small plastic forks, foodpicks, 3 different soy sauce bottles and a salad dressing bottle. This last one is useful because of the large opening because it allows me to put oregano inside for example, along with olive oil and vinegar etc.

I almost forgot to show the inside of the cookie cutter box and my heart shaped silicone cups. I'm glad I got 2 different sizes of star cutters, it made me curious what can I do with it.

Last but not least, the bento box!

The top tier is a bit strange, it squeezes the bottom tier, I'm still figuring out how much I can pack below so that it doesn't get too squeezed. I still have to check the capacity, will edit when it's empty :)

EDIT: The capacity of this box is 250ml on the top tier and around 150ml on the bottom tier. Because the bottom tier is tricky I only measured up to half and even just half, the top tier was already pushing the water. So i'd say between 100ml and 150ml is the limit to fill it.

18 July 2010

Bento Cookbooks

I have been acquiring some literature to better understand how to improve my bentos. Of course I can look for so many things on the Internet, but there's that something about it being a book and not a screen. I know of no one in my country that makes bentos.

Kawaii Bento Boxes and Bento Love are written in English and were ordered. Mes petits bento was a gift with some more bento things :) I am currently waiting for Makki's book from Just Bento to come out so I can order it together with some other. I'll post more books when they get here!