Sunday, March 28, 2010

Japanese Kitchen in Hataitai (the take away place, not Ange and Pat's kitchen!)

Last night I went to Ange and Pat's for the very long awaited Japanese take aways and Time Traveler's Wife dvd.

I had the teriyaki chicken bento which was only about $12, so pretty good value. I also had edamame but they didn't have salt on them, and there was no point putting salt on myself because I think Japanese salt tastes quite different, so New Zealand salt just wouldn't be the same. Anyway, the actual bento was great - it had the rice and chicken, some maki sushi, some rice with noritama furikake, tempura vegetables on salad and gyoza with some salad with what I am pretty sure was goma (sesame seed) salad dressing. Ange had chicken katsu don and Pat had ginger chicken udon. Both looked good. I have kept the boxes from mine and Pat's (Ange's was just a normal plastic container) so I can use them for my own bento!

The actual movie was ok. Not as good as the book but worth seeing, but wouldn't be my favourite (bit hard to beat Bridget Jones really).

We also did Earth Hour before the movie. The first half an hour we talked about what we'll do when we go to Japan (just three months to go!!!!!) but me and Pat only lasted half an hour before we started tweeting. Pat also taught me a new word but I don't want to lower the tone of my blog so you need to check my twitter if you want to find out what it is.

Japanese Kitchen is here.

Today I helpd Sarah, who was down from Auckland, to ice a cake for her antenatal group's first birthday party (they just moved to Auckland, so the group is down here). She made a delicious banana cake (I think she used the Edmond's cookbook one) and was going to ice it with just a simple icing sugar and water icing but I told her that she needed a butter cream or you'd be able to see where she had cut the bits and put it together to make a number one shape. We used the Magnolia Bakery buttercream icing which I always use for my cup cakes and it turned out great.

Then I went and bought two pairs of jeans, two tops and a pair of shoes in like half an hour and then ran to meet Keisuke for our language exchange. He had some tuna mayo sushi left over (he works at St Pierre's) and I was very lucky because he gave it to me because he knows it's my favourite, so that was dinner sorted!

I'm off to Christchurch on Tuesday and the plan is to finish painting the inside of my house over the Easter long weekend next weekend, so not sure if I'm going to get to make any bento for a bit.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gaijin life dot com

Something I have been meaning to do for ages is link to the short interview with me on you can read it here. is a great site with lots of great stuff about Japan. You can also follow Yugo (whose site it is) on twitter here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My entry for the most rubbish bento in the world competition

I was really excited because my magic four square bento box arrived yesterday (it may have been the day before but I was lucky enough to go to Palmerston North and Dannevirke so I didn't get the mail until last night). Anyway, I was all really excited, especially because I got heaps of bento stuff last week when I went to Christchurch so had lots to use.

I have no idea how this bento turned out so rubbish then - I even have Hello Kitty pasta now but somehow this bento managed to only attract all the rubbish stuff. By the end of the last square I was so annoyed with it that I just chucked in the miso soup sachet. I'm not even sure if I am going to eat it.

Anyway, in the top left is a gem squash which I had never heard of before but I saw at Foodtown. It said to cook it in the microwave for two minutes. No idea what it will taste like but the texture was like vermicelli or something when I took the seeds out. Sitting in the squash is my first ever attempt at tamagoyaki which I rolled from the side rather than the end which made them all thin and also rubbish.

Bottom left is a salad with a lite laughing cow cheese and balsamic vinegar in the penguin. Then next to that is my rice.

Today was my first ever nori punch bento. This didn't let me down and is also rubbish - I did think that the nori might wilt a little but I was excited about using them so stuck them on anyway, and then of course after about a minute they wilted because I had just defrosted the rice in the microwave.

I am not going to get all upset about this being such a rubbish bento because I still managed to keep it within five weight watchers points (which to be fair to myself is probably half the reason it was so rubbish) and because one day if there is a competition for most rubbish bento in the world, I may have a good chance at winning.

One other thing I didn't realise was how big the magic four square boxes are - they are 250mls where as my other "self-made" four square box (at previous post) is only 125mls.

Tomorrow I have a meeting in town so don't have to take lunch to work, and if I had this bento I would have to come home and eat it before I went to work because I wouldn't be able to put it in a fridge - I think I might just get sushi instead of attempting to eat this! I might have the rice and miso for breakfast though.

On the plus side I have to have dinner at work tomorrow because I have a 7pm meeting and it isn't worth me coming home and then going back to work. I have made spaghetti bolognaise to take, and that looks really good.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Ok, so this isn't quite a bento, but then neither are my aircraft photos.

This should probably also come with a warning because it is way too easy! You're now only ever going to be about three minutes away from cake!

I felt like something sweet after dinner so decided to make cake-in-a-mug. I first saw this on Breakfast. This is the original recipe but I use melted butter instead and don't worry about the vanilla or the chocolate chips. I also don't really worry about measuring it. I just kind of melt a bit of butter in the mug, then put in a couple of dessert spoons of sugar, cocoa, flour and caster sugar and a little baking powder (but you can use self raising flour or probably don't even need it). Then I cook it for a couple of minutes until it looks about done. You can't really get easier than that.

This is the photo before it is iced.

And this is once it has been iced.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

チャーハン (Chahan)

Tomorrow's bento is tuna salad, chahan (Japanese fried rice - I used the salmon (sake) flavour packet), stir fried mushrooms and zucchini, and yoghurt with blueberries and kiwifruit.

They are sitting on another of my Uniqlo yukata.

I need to hunt around and look for my other chop stick because as I tweeted yesterday, when I got to lunch time and opened my chop stick case, there was only one in there!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Breakfast bento

Two posts in one day!! I usually have breakfast at work and always used to have yoghurt with other stuff but I'm on antibiotics at the moment and have to have them in the morning and not have calcium for two hours. It's a bit of a pain because it means the yoghurt is off the menu (literally). I've just been have porridge each day but making my lunch for tomorrow inspired me to make a breakfast bento for tomorrow too. I wasn't inspired to make anything inspiring however :(

Tomorrow's breakfast is english muffins with chutney on three and sweet chili sauce on the other because the chutney ran out. They all have red onion and red capsicum on top. Two then have lemon pepper and the others have garlic salt and normal pepper. On the side is kiwi fruit and blueberries.

Almost a magic four square bento box!

I was at work until just before 7pm tonight and was super tired but suddenly inspired to make a bento for tomorrow. I went to New World Thorndon and they had these four little boxes together in a pack - I was so excited because it pretty much looks like the magic four square bento box I've been wanting for ages. They fit very well into the clear box that I bought from the $2 in Newtown a few weeks ago. The only downside was that I put the lids on the little boxes to take it to work and then the lid of the clear box didn't fit properly. But, that was also ok because I just used the elastic band thing from another of my bento boxes.

This bento is pretty much the same as my last one but it was hard to come up with something while I was at the supermarket!

Top left fits 100g of rice perfectly (2.5 weight watchers points) - it is 125mls. It has salmon furikake on it. I tried to use a cutter as a stencil but it didn't work. Next to that is mini quiches with sweet chili sauce in the penguin. (1 point for all five and .5 for the sauce). Bottom right is blueberries and kiwifruit (.5 points) and bottom left is a can of sundried tomato and basil tuna (1 point) with red capsicum, celery and red onion. Down the side are carrots and broccoli. So this is 5.5 points. I got to my goal weight the week before last but had three dinners out over the weekend so am trying to be careful about my points for the next few days.

Now that I have made this the kitchen is a mess but I am tempted to make a breakfast bento for tomorrow.

This Friday I'm off to Christchurch for my friend's baby's baptism. I'm going to be his godmother, and I haven't met him yet (they live in Japan) so I am very excited!