bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

I’m having a grand old time running around the net today, getting ideas for fall table settings! You know, there are folks who do the old stand by decorations – festive table cloths, fall leaves, rose petals. Of course, I’m not thinking of that kind of table setting – I’m thinking of something a bit more unique!

Something you don’t see often are tables set with lovely decorations inspired by antiquity (such as my inspiration, the Greek Goddess Hera), which covers everything from myths to dogma.

I’ve seen feathers used before in table settings, like those used in napkin rings in bridal arrangements. But this being Hera we’re talking about, what I need are white plumes offset with some lovely peacock feathers to set off mostly white and stone bases.

Now, Greek and Roman sculpture was actually painted up so horribly that it’s a mercy that time faded it to the classical white marble we all marvel at, so white is what I’d be going with. Then you need to head over to a place like Eskay where you can grab some of their lovely peacock feathers wholesale or bulk for pretty decent prices, even when you factor in the shipping and handling fees.

Then you’re going to need to find your basics – you’re going to need stone or stone-fleck for your dinner plate. I’d go with a cobalt blue charger on top of that then a small, white marble plate on top of that.

Now you can arrange your peacock feathers and white plumes in a centerpiece or individually set into napkin rings to compliment the place settings – I wish I had the ability to do this and take photos!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Home made mushroom and olive pizza

Long time no see! I’ve been snapping pics of everything, but I haven’t had time to come on and post for a bit – sorry about that! I may yet still be a bit shaky getting back into it, but I’m giving it my best!

We made a couple of hand-tossed crust pizzas the other day, this pic is of the pizza with olives and mushrooms (both canned – which tasted surprisingly great on the pizza). The first pizza has cheese, the second has velveeta because we didn’t realize that Hubby had used up all the cheese in at breakfast – was still good!

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I’ve been meaning to review this since 2006 but I’ve never had a camera that would take photos that actually look like photos, so I had to wait. This is my favorite soup cup in the whole wide world, marketed by the Instant Noodle King brand this is a huge cup of soup for not a lot of money.

Why review an instant soup cup? Well there are several reasons for this particular choice. One is that in the Midwestern United States you just don’t see lobster soup, more or less ever. The bible belt has a tendency to shy away from products they deem to be gross or odd (like kimchi, unagi, abalone, wakame, etc.) so before I’d made my first Asian Food Grocer order, I’d never had it before in my life.

The reason I take so many photos of packaging and not just the food is because when I visit food blogs that review products, especially Asian products, the packaging is my favorite part and I always wish they’d take more photos of it!

This noodle soup is in a big, hefty bowl (about the size of two ramen cups put together) and is made up of a delicious fatty lobster base that has a dreamy warm, savory taste that I could drink by the cup and not get tired of. Into that we put a really fine egg noodle that softens even in hot tap water (which is all I had, so that was dreamy as well) and some delicious veggies like cabbage, wakame, corn and chives.

The soup only has to stand about two minutes to be edible but I’d leave it in for a full 4 or 5 if you’ve used tap water. As you can see from the photos I didn’t fill it up to the inner line (I left about a half an inch), and the reason was that the last portion I had tasted a bit watered down, but this particular cup was perfect so I’ll be leaving that much room every time from now on.

For those of you who can’t buy these at the store, you can get lobster egg noodle soup at AFG along with a bunch of other deliciousness, and they’re about a buck 70 a cup with savings per unit the more you buy. They’re definitely worth the price and the week-long shipping wait!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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As you may know if you know me personally (since I can’t stop gushing), Laota and I purchased our first Asian Food Grocer package in almost two years this month, and it’s been agony waiting the 6 days for it to get here! We followed it closely on the FedEx tracking website, like children follow the Santa Tracker at Christmas time, and today it finally arrived, as always, packed methodically and undamaged – as is Asian Food Grocer‘s way.

We got some of our favorites that you can’t buy here, like prepared azuki, five spice powder, spring roll skins, bamboo chopsticks and white peach Yogu Time yogurt soft drinks. But we also got our favorite soup in the world, Noodle King’s Lobster Egg Noodle Soup, which is so addictive we tend to spend way more on it than we should!

Some new-to-us finds were a kind of low salt miso (with no MSG, which will be rectified when I prepare it lol), honey spiced umeboshi pickled plums for our onigiri and mix fruit mochi.

Today was actually the first time I’d ever had mochi and now I’m addicted! You can see some crappy photos below of all the fun things we bought – we’ve purchased through Asian Food Grocer since 2005 or 2006, and can’t say enough good things about them! We’ve never had a lost or misdirected shipment, never had missing goods, never had to pay too-steep shipping (the shipping for everything was about 7 bucks FedEx ground).

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Here’s something I haven’t had in a long, long time that I’d love to get my hands on for pot stickers – goat meat! In fact, I’ve only ever had it once or twice but it was fabulous!

Goat Leg MeatI’m actually reading the recipes on this website, all of which seem a bit on the complicated side (like Jerked Leg of Goat) and wondering if it’s something I could do? Some of the ingredients include ginger and dark brown sugar, it just sounds sweet, tangy and delicious. I’d love to try my hand at this, I wonder if it would be too hard to dress up goat meat for use in a bento box? I said pot stickers earlier, but this jerked leg of goat actually sounds like it would be great with rice if you cut it up into small pieces and filled out an empty niche in your bento box with it.

It would definitely be unique, plus goat is so good for you compared to other meats and is actually very low fat. The problem remains, as always, where do you buy goat meat? You can’t get it out here, though. I live in the middle of hog country and you’re lucky if you can get chicken or beef at a decent price, so until now I thought goat meat was out of the question because it was hard to come by out here. But the website I’m surfing right now, the one I’ve been talking about with all of these amazing goat recipes? It’s for a company called Gedalias that actually sells farm raised goat meat over the internet. It’s not expensive, they have a lot of different cuts including ground if you want to make burgers. It’s such a great idea! It would be a great gift for anyone you know who loves to cook and loves to try new things. If you’ve ordered from them, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Dollar General
Image via Wikipedia

Product review, product review! Okay, so that’s obvious by the title, lol.

The product I’m reviewing today is a Dollar General brand named Clover Valley (I’m sure some of you have CV products!), which are often as good as the national brands. This time it’s their condensed Bean and Bacon soup.

First of all at 70 cents, it’s a great price for a condensed bean and bacon, with some of the nationals here being in the $1.50 range per can, so it’s a great money saver at less than half the price of a national brand soup. Secondly, it’s got a great flavor to it. Bit sour, very sweet, very bean-y lol. The bacon flavor could be a tad stronger, but this would be a great soup for a casserole because it’s flavor is so good.

It’s so cold right now and we just had some (yum!), it’s enough for four small portions or two large – can’t beat that! Overall I recommend it at 3.5 out of 5 stars – go get you some!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Betty's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Boy isn’t here right now (yay!) so we’re celebrating by trying out a cookie mix we got on sale for 90 cents at Hy-Vee. It’s an oatmeal, chocolate chip situation from Betty Crocker and it turned out sooo delish! If only we weren’t running low on milk… As always, more pics on Flickr (sidebar)! I’m not usually a mix girl (though I have gotten into the nostalgia of Jiffy lately!), but times being what they are it’s cheaper than scratch!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Mr. Totino Pizza Man

I’ve heard people gripe a LOT about Totino’s infamous “Party Pizza” and how inedible they are, or how greasy – how easy to burn. I disagree!

Technically, these are from last month when we had bought some cheap Totino’s from Hy-Vee. I forgot all about them and when I saw the pics I just had to post!

They’re delish! Yes, the crust IS a bit cracker-like but anyone who’s ever had a crispy or sizzle-pan crust from a take-out Pizza place knows how good those are. You just have to follow the instructions to come up with an unburnt pizza, and our roaster does wonders in that department!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Ack, so cool! Josh was nice enough to poke at me this morning and let mimg-box-cupe know about this offer, which is awesome by the way if you’re a tea drinker ( and I am, in a big way ) – Oregon Chai is giving away a free sample of their tea online, which is nice since I don’t live close enough to any sort of store to go get it with a coupon, lol.

To be honest I didn’t check out the terms and conditions yet, so I have no frigging clue if this offer is about to expire or not, but either way it’s worth signing up since right now it seems to be going strong!

Speaking of tea, I have to force myself to stop blogging because ( yes, I am nothing if not timely ) the tea I’m steeping will get bitter if I don’t get into the kitchen and do something about it, lol!

To get your FREE SAMPLE of Oregon Chai Tea, CLICK HERE and fil out their form completely. Make sure you always read privacy policies!

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Mega Noodle Haul

Teriyaki NoodlesTeriyaki NoodlesMega Noodle HaulMega Noodle HaulMega Noodle HaulMega Noodle Haul

I’m still lacking in all things food, but they just opened a Dollar General store about three miles away (the third store in town – yes, really) and they’ve got 99 cent noodle cups and noodle bowls! So all of our money went to some delicious instant food – first being Simply Asia’s Teriyaki Noodles which take about 2 minutes to cook and are delicious!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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The Superbowl was entirely awesome, as I knew it would be. And, what’s even more awesome is the Transformers 2 trailer, which makes this film look even better than the original! Plus we had the greatest of all Superbowl snacks – very fresh and crisp pork stir fry with fresh carrots, yellow and green peppers, onions, etc. on a bed of gorgeous white Calrose. Zen.

I’m thinking, though, about getting a new rice maker. One that’s a bit fancier with more than just cook and warm functions. I was checking Amazon, and came up empty for my troubles, and Yahoo stores are never a good place to go if you want variety. So far I’ve had the best luck with ShopWiki, the super fabulous, so perfectly Web 3.0 guide to all things and all stores. See, ShopWiki doesn’t sell anything, not that I can see. Nor do they trade a fee for listing stores. What they are is exactly what their title implies – they’re a Wiki for stores. And they have absolutely everything you could ever want for the kitchen, bathroom, your car, your birthday – anything you could think of!

What they do is they crawl and list every possible store you can imagine, so you don’t have to search a million different websites to find what you need – just search ShopWiki!

They have an amazing selection of, well, everything! From juicers and mixers, to coffee makers and flatware, ShopWiki is fast becoming one of my all time favorite places on the web!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Laota and I got our very first order from Schwan’s a couple of days ago, and man was it worth the money! First of all, frozen and pre-prepared food isn’t my thing, but with my busy schedual and no transportation ( it’s freezing out there! ), it’s harder and harder for me to go to the grocery storey, because I don’t want to walk a few miles in freezing weather, and if you’ve ever been to Missouri you know the smaller towns don’t have sidewalks most of the time, so you’re going mostly uphill right in the narrow road being passed by jerks who don’t care if they hit you with their pick-up trucks, all just to buy some chicken or milk. Plus, I’m finding it hard to even find time to pack my bento, which I adore doing.

So this is a nice alternative. When Laota and I get off work, it only takes about 10 minutes for us to heat up a meal with main course, side dish and veggie and it cuts down on mess so we don’t spend quite as much time with dishes. They even gave us a free 2 and a half pound tray of sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and peppers over rice because we’re new customers. How cool is that?

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Argh, do I have to live so far away from a Daiso? Is it really necessary that there be no outlet near me at any point in my life where I may purchase my beloved bento whatnot’s whenever I want to without having to pay shipping?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike using the likes of eBay stores like The Bento Store and Tokyo Gift to get my bento wares, but it would be nice to save the money plus be able to replace things that may get damaged, and now I’m just going to whine forever and ever, lol.

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

Mmmm Pocky

Dec. 22nd, 2007 04:32 pm
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Some of my Asian Food Grocer care package here – I’m sure you’re all familiar with Glico Pocky by now, and I’m a fanatic about it. My favorite is Peach Decorer(sp?) pocky, but I’ve recently gotten to try Green Tea pocky and it was delicimous! I’ve had the regular sized kind, but not the decorer, and I’ve got some pics :D :

strawberry pocky

green tea pocky

I’m off like a dirty shirt, that miso won’t make itself!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Awhile ago I did a product review on a sample of sensitive toothpaste from Biotene, and as promised, I’ve used it steadily since then and it’s time to do my full review of the product.

biotene

I’ve had a few sensitive teeth on one side of my mouth for as long as I can remember, the pain for cold more than hot is an especially intense jolt and it drives me up the wall and makes me turn into a dragon if even mildly icy water even touches one of those teeth. I’ve always had to deal with that and until recently I’ve been a user of Sensodyne, which isn’t bad for this particular ailment. But, very recently, I got the opportunity to use Biotene instead and I’ve been really pleased with the results!

Biotene combines Potassium Nitrate, which is apparently the number one most effective ingredient for sensitivity protection with it’s patented Enzyme LP3 Complex™ and that keeps a lid on the harmful bacteria that cause gingivitis and oral infection, so it’s actually helping your gums heal while it fights cavitities AND tooth sensitivity! You can’t tell me that’s not cool, if you did I wouldn’t believe you, lol.



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Ohh, this is neat – I’m checking out envelope printing from Envelope Printing Online. They’ve got a decent selection, a bit on the small side for an online printer, and the prices are pretty good for anyone who – like me – doesn’t live anywhere near a Kinkos but could still use a service like this. Overall it’s a nifty site, my only complaint is that their selection is very corporate, and I don’t blame them at all for that. I’m sure corporations are their number one customer, but they do run a business online and if they’re going to compete they’re going to have to branch out into more fun, artsy and even cute designs to keep up with the big boys like Vista Print. It’s a nice site, though, and they’re definately worth checking out. I may refer my boss there, the designs look like they’re right up his alley. :D



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Whoo, I’ve been using that Vat19 ambient fireplace DVD for the past two nights ( yes, only I have, Laota is forbidden from using it! I have the power! Also, Laota likes it, too ) and it’s perfect for falling asleep to, nice calming burning ‘noise’ and light melody. I’ve already got my sights set on the ambient sleep, lol. I’m starting to think I have to buy everything at Vat19 – they’re magnificent genius bastards!

Now, onto the reason for this post – and it’s a good reason! Toy makers and candy makers are starting to truely frighten me. Why, you may ask? Because they’re starting to make candy and toy hybrids that look sinister and alien or that double as a weapon, that’s why! I bought a 50 cent Mickey Mouse sucker and didn’t realize it’s stick was some kind of insane light up alien probe until I accidentally hit the button on the bottom of it when I was bringing it home from the store ( I didn’t even know it was there! ). This is the result:

Ew!

How did they pitch that? Hold up a lit up probe with a big smile on their face and say, “You know, for kids!”?



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Argh! I bought myself a bento on eBay, it was a cheapie bento and cost barely anything, but I can’t wait, I want it now, now, now! Lol. I’m such a baby, I know, but it’s a bento, can you blame me?

As soon as it gets here I’ll have pictures of it, crappy pictures, but pictures none the less. I need a new belt for it, something in grey I think or red to match the blackness – it’s the only unadorned bento I’ve got, all the others have something cutesy on them but this one is pitch black and didn’t come in a set. I don’t even think it has a set?

It’s my birthday! All day, today! And I’ve ordered something extra special for moi and Laota, and once it gets here you’ll get pictures, it’s too cute for words!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Ooh, nifty… Design Diva’s got some gorgeous fabric, just beautiful stuff, some of which is hand painted Egyptian cotton with asian prints, a few of the tropical ones, of course, caught my eye and they’ve got discount Scalamandre fabric that’s just to die for. One of the things I noticed immediately was that they had brocade – brocade! That’s like the sound of Angels singing to a former Goth, well, once and future Goth, lol. I love rich fabrics and colors, and the amazing array of gem tones means I have to figure out how to hold an online store up at gun point – or just make more money so I can buy my lovelies, lol.



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Here’s something I didn’t know, and knowing me it was most likely common knowledge, but back to my ignorance. I just found out that the holiday trees in Washington D.C. and Rockefeller Center in New York City are lit up with LED Christmas lights from Holiday LEDs which, as you may also already know, are eco friendly ( use 90% less energy than regular christmas lights ). I’ve been wanting some of these LED holiday lights for awhile now, they taunt me because they know I can’t afford them, lol. I love this kind of thing, though, because in my fondest dreams I’m some kind of decorating superhero who’s yard and trees always look professional and everything’s perfectly safe and in tip top shape, all well oiled and choreographed to music like a Las Vegas fountain, lol. Alas, I’m not – I actually royally suck, but I still want these delicious lights. They’re the only LED Christmas lighting of their kind.

See, other LED holiday lighting that’s made especially for the pros isn’t UL approved for an astonishing feat that Holiday LEDs is approved for, and that feat is that, end-to-end, you can connect these bad boys and stretch lights for over a half a mile – oh yes, an entire half a mile – and to add to their safety, they have hard plastic encasement ( is encasement even a word? ) and never get too far above room temperature so you don’t have to worry about moisture getting into them and ruining your lights, or them heating up and burning down your house. The only problem with me getting a string is that I’m ungodly poor and I’d have to steal them, which isn’t out of the question yet but I’d like to wait until I have magical powers.



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