62 posts categorized "Food & Wine"

January 23, 2011

Bento Love :: Beet Salad, Lentil Soup, Tempeh Bourguignon

In my Bento today is a sampling of what The Mister prepared for our dinner guests last night: beet salad, lentil soup, and Tempeh Bourguignon (variation on the popular beef bourguinon).

Everyone at the table agreed that the winning dish was the beet salad. It started with these beauties that got roasted and then grated and seasoned into a really delightful dish.

So you might have noticed that a lot of what's in my Bento is vegetarian. That's because The Mister has started cooking not only vegetarian but vegan as of late. Monica has become a vegetarian as well. Andrew and I are still omnivores but we still love eating these delicious vegetarian/vegan meals.

Next week when we host my friend Shamanie and her husband for dinner, we will be cooking not only vegan but also gluten-free. We're up for the challenge.

January 22, 2011

Bento Love :: Calabasitas

In my Bento today: leftovers from what The Mister cooked last night. Calabasitas with noodles, sauteed mushrooms, caramalized onions, garlic naan.

Bento Love

"Calabasa" is Spanish for squash. "Calabacita" is the dimunitive of the word ... something that Spanish speakers do all the time ... similar to how we might put a "y" to things ... like "dog" becomes "doggy." So to express endearment or the cuteness or smallness of something, "calabasa" becomes "calabacita," or "Andrew" becomes "Andrew-cito."

Anyway. This dinner was pretty amazing-ito. But I have a feeling tonight's dinner is going to outshine this one as we have a guest coming over and The Mister is going all out to create a 3-course meal that involves beets, tempeh, and lentils. I'm sure you'll hear about it tomorrow in Bento Love.

Happy Bento. :)

January 21, 2011

Bento Love :: You say Nori, I say Geem

In my Bento today is one of my favorite foods to eat. Seaweed. Also called Nori by many. I call it Geem. That's what it's called in Korea and rice wrapped with Geem is what I grew up with.

bento Of course I remember the women in my family drying and toasting our own geem but these days, there are so many prepared seaweeds available. My new favorite prepared and toasted seaweed is this one by Annie Chun. The seaweed is seasoned with wasabi ... which is a Japanese horseradish that traditionally accompanies sushi. If you like seaweed and if you like wasabi, it's AMAZING.

annie chun
So with the seaweed squares, I put some steamed white rice like so...

Fold it like a taco and enjoy. With some plain steamed shrimp without any sauce, and edadame beans, this Bento is healthy, clean, and delicous.

bento Happy Bento. :)

January 20, 2011

Bento Love :: Soba Noodles

Let's see what's in my Bento today ... spicy soba noodles with shitake mushroom and garbanzo beans, lean ham slices, and wedges of fresh tomato. YUM!

The soba noodles are what The Mister conjured last night. A variation of a recipe that he found on Smitten Kitchen here. So good.

soba noodles
He also fixed us mung bean noodles wrapped in seaweed with a kickin' peanut sauce that he made from scratch. As you can see, none of these made it into my bento today because the four of us finished every single morsel and every drop of that sauce last night.

peanut sauce
What about you? What's in your bento?

EDIT :: Lots of people have written me asking where I bought my bento box. I bought it at a Korean grocery store in Garden Grove, California called H-Mart. Someone on Twitter noted that there are H-Marts in other parts of the country so maybe there is one in your area. Another idea is to find an Asian specialty store near you ... either gift store or food store. That might be a good lead. There are also bentos on Amazon and Ebay. If you start packing Bentos, I'd love for you to leave comments here on my Bento posts (which I will try to do every day) with a link to your site so we can see what you are packing in your Bento. PS: Another great benefit of bentos is that they promote portion control with what we eat. It may look like what I'm packing and eating is very little but it's actually closer to what standard portions of food should be.

January 19, 2011

You Say Bento, I Say Byun-Doh

Check out my lunch that I packed today in my brand new bento box. So cute, don't you think? It's interesting how everyone in the US pronounces it "bento" ... because when I was growing up in Korea, this is how my lunch was packed every day. And the way it is pronounced in Korea is more like "byun-doh."

Jenny Doh

My byun-doh was typically filled with rice, seaweed, some vegetables, and a bit of tofu or a bit of fish. It was a stainless steel byun-doh with a lid that didn't have fancy closure mechanisms like my new bento box and so many fancy boxes available these days.

My new bento box comes with a coordinating piece of fabric that is used to tie like this so that you can transport it. In Korea, I remember sometimes the women in my family who would stack many byun-doh boxes and tie it with a large scarf and then transport that food to wherever they were going to share the food that they had prepared.

I love the idea of bento/byun-doh boxes because it really elevates the process of packing a lunch. Who says you have to eat a sandwich every day? You can pack it with really anything you like, and make even the meager leftovers from the night before be eaten with great style.

Speaking of the night before, one of the true blessings in my life is being married to a man who delights in preparing amazing meals for our entire family. Check out these beautiful baby heirloom tomatoes that Gerardo brought home last night ...

And right before my eyes, he made it into this scrumptious salad ... with a bit leftover for my bento for today.

NOTE: Another benefit of packing bentos is that it gets us more mindful of the colors of the food that we are eating. This is an important concept that we talk about in Crafting Fitness ... are you eating greens, reds, purples and oranges throughout the day or are you just eating browns and beiges (i.e., burgers and fries) and blacks? (Blacks are what I categorize for things like ice cream, cake, cookies, deep-fried foods, sodas, etc.). PS: Ketchup is not red. Mint ice cream is not green. They are black. Wanna know more? Then join us in Crafting Fitness!

Happy bento. :)

November 26, 2010

Andrew's Latest

Permit me to be a bragging mother as I share my son Andrew's latest sketch. Pretty awesome, don't you think? He's been taking fine art drawing lessons and simply on fire lately, with his focus on drawing the human hand.

But just to remind everyone that he's still just a 12-year-old kid ... check out his latest clay creations inspired by Pac Man and Tetris.

pac man

And here's a peek at one of his projects-in-progress ... an homage to Dr. Seuss.
dr. seuss
Proud mama am I.

September 11, 2010

FRO YO (tm)

I love FRO YO. It's one of the few things in life that I am addicted to. And interestingly, I have very strong opinions and peculiar habits about FRO YO ...

Golden Spoon frozen yogurt

  • I've tried a lot of different FRO YOs and by far, Golden Spoon is the best.
  • I can't stand the fact that Pink Berry weighs my FRO YO in front of me. It's like they want to make sure I don't rip them off by potentially having one of their staff accidentally put an extra .2 ounces in my cup so they're gonna double check the work of their staff by having them weigh it right in front of me. It's rude. I also can't stand that Pink Berry stocks wayward items near the counter ... like I'm gonna order a pint of FRO YO and pick up a neon toothpick holder while I'm at it.
  • There are lots of new self-serve places popping up and they all have this eerily common taste that runs through every flavor. It's like their vanilla tastes exactly like their German chocolate cake. And I don't like their wobbly generic cups. And I don't like their florescent spoons.
  • Sadly, these new places are the ones closest to my house. In order for me to get to a Golden Spoon, I have to drive all the way across town.
  • My favorite flavors are vanilla and peanut butter.
  • My favorite topping is granola. (On the side.)
  • I like to eat my FRO YO in my car and I like to eat it super fast.
  • The reason I like to eat it in my car is because after I'm done, I get so extremely cold that I need to crank up the heater in my car to thaw out.
  • And last but not least ... I'm pretty sure I invented the term FRO YO. It was in college one night when I said to my friends, "Let's go get some FRO YO." And ever since then everyone has been saying FRO YO. It was in 1986. I know I can't prove it but I'm just sayin'.
I'll see ya at Golden Spoon. ;)

August 02, 2010

Matt Damon, Roscoes, Papa Beard & Pupusas

This time last night, I was with Matt Damon. Well, um, actually, I was just next to his star in Hollywood. (As close as I'll ever get, I think.)

Matt DamonRight before Matt, we spent the whole day in the garment district in LA. Had a great time. 

One of the highlights was sitting down to treat ourselves to Pupusas ... a traditional Salvadoran dish made with corn tortilla and stuffing. OMG. One of the best things I've ever eaten.

So after the Pupusas, and after Matt, a
s we walked along the streets of Hollywood, we stopped at Papa Beard to treat ourselves to the best cream puffs in the world. If you ever get the chance, you gotta try one. (Vanilla is the best.)

IMG_1248OK. And believe it or not, after the cream puffs, we went to Roscoes — one of my favorite eateries in LA where we indulged in friend chicken, waffles, collard greens, corn bread, and sweet potato pie.

IMG_1261We are now all back from our LA vacation. Yes. LA. The thing is, that this year, we didn't want to do a major trip. Rather, we wanted to dig deeper into the city that is in our own backyard. So we took our time, and indulged in the goodness that this city has to offer. More details about our time in LA in future posts.

The thing about our family vacations is that whether we are far from home or just a county away, it's about spending good times as a family, and to have opportunities to bond. And bond we did. 

Blessed am I.

July 07, 2010

Bruschetta for Amy

I love a good dinner party. And recently, Gerardo and I were invited to a really great one where everyone brought a dish inspired by Julia Child. Though Julia Child's cookbook doesn't officially have a recipe for Bruschetta, there are Julia recipes floating around on the Internet. So Bruschetta would be my contribution.


I actually found MANY recipes and consulted with some friends and approached it with several perspectives all melded together.


For the tomato mixture, it was tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and the most important ingredient in my opinion: coarse sea salt.

IMG_0830For the bread, I toasted it on my stovetop but I didn't use any butter or any oil whatsoever. I just toasted both sides on a dry pan. 

And once toasted, I rubbed a fresh cut head of garlic onto the bread. 

When I got to the party, I plated the prepared bread with the tomato mixture, and topped it with shaved parmesan.  


The occasion was my friend Amy's birthday. She and her husband, Todd, were the perfect hosts as guests started to fill their lovely, lovely home.

Amy3With so many guests, they set up two dining tables, which worked out perfectly. This is the table Gerardo and I were at ... as we enjoyed delicious food and great conversation ...


And here's the other table with guests having a great time ... 

And after our tummies were filled with Bruschetta, Boeuf Bourguignon, Poulet Roti, Roti de Pork, Gratin Jurassien, Salade Nicoise, Salade a la D'argenson, Haricot Verts a'l'anglaise, we had Amy blow out her birthday candles as we made room to enjoy the sweets of the night: creme brulee, reine de saba, and le marquis with a creme au beurre.

Amy Hanna Pam Garrison Jenny Doh

Thank you Amy. Thank you Todd. (Thank you Julia). Such wonderful memories.


April 20, 2010


I have become a friend of Pho. Correction. I have become a lover of Pho.


Pho ... a Vietnamese soup filled with rice noodles in a clear broth that comes to the table with a heaping plate of natural goodness that you put into your soup ... IMG_7428Like bean sprouts, fresh basil, and my very favorite: sliced jalapenos. OMG. It's a bowl of heaven is what it is. In addition to the jalapenos, I load it up with other hot sauces so that it becomes so dang spicy that by the end of the bowl, I haven't just had a meal, I've had an experience.

PhoOh and let's not forget the spring rolls. 

Trust me, once you try it, you'll also become a friend, and perhaps even a lover, of Pho.

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