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Curry (227) & Bento Contest!

On Tuesday we decided to eat dinner from Curry House or Coco Ichibanya. I am a really big fan of Japanese curry and I really had no idea it existed until I came to live here on Oahu. I mean, I’d eaten curry before from like Cafe 100 and stuff, but it wasn’t the same as the sweetish curry found at places like Curry House, Sumo Ramen, or Ezogiku. In my porker dorming days I used to get the Spam katsu, but now I get either shabu-shabu beef with eggplant or shabu-shabu beef with spinach. I used to eat the whole serving, but now I’m able to eat just half and save the rest for lunch another day! Sometimes it boggles my mind how much I used to eat and I have to wonder how I was only 160 and not 200 pounds.

This bento was actually quite frustrating to do this morning and took a lot longer than it should have. I made us late once again. The first time I did the onigiri I was too lazy to nuke the rice, so it wasn’t very sticky and fell apart. If you look behind the onigiri you can see some stray rice, that’s from the first set of onigiri that simply hated me. Me giving it stink eye didn’t make it go back together, so I very angrily threw it into the trash and made new ones with hot rice. It was a good thing I’d been really stingy with my rice eating on Tuesday.

As usual, it took me like 5 punches to get these faces looking right. How ironic that I’m using punches to make faces, since sometimes I want to punch these faces for giving me so much trouble. I really need to find me a really great brand of nori.

I put the leftover eggplant in a little food cup. I’ll mix it all up to eat later. Since I hate the Curry House pickles, I put in pickled eggplant, pickled cucumber, and takuan. I put a little panda food divider in between so that my pickles wouldn’t picklefy my rice. And yes, picklefy is a word. At least, it is in my world.

I am very happy to announce that I successfully stretched my Costco chicken to 5+ meals. Lunch Sunday (peeled off and eaten), dinner Sunday (casserole), lunch Monday (quesadillas), breakfast Tuesday (quesadillas), and soup! The soup turned out so good! I used this recipe and added in medium egg noodles, since I love noodle soup. I have some today for lunch to eat this afternoon!

Yesterday was King Kamehameha Day and no, this has nothing to do with that stupid Dragonball special attack. On my podcast last week or two weeks ago, I forget, my co-host was like, oh is that the Dragonball Z thing and I was like WTF, NO! Floridans (Floridians? Floridaians? PPL-who-live-in-Florida?) I tell you. Anyway, since we see the commercial for Pigtails & Crewcuts every day before and after Curious George and Baby Girl was starting to look like we should rename her Ayla, we made a trip down to their lil’ salon.

We got there at around 12:30 or so. This was mostly because being a man, Mr. Pikko brushed off my “too vague” suggestion of “go Nimitz” and decided to take us through Salt Lake to go to what he thought was Moanalua Shopping Center. I have no idea where we ended up. It had a McDonald’s and a Coldstone Creamery and a Blockbuster, but no Pigtails & Crewcuts. After much muttering and a call to the salon, we ended up at the real place, which was right where I had repeatedly said it would be: “right by NEX”. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a Panda Express there. This place is starting to be like Zippy’s already. And holy crap it was a drive-through Pandas! Bonus!

We ate at McDonald’s so that they could play in some monstrous jungle gym inside, but since Buddy was too young, Baby Girl so cutefully said she didn’t want to go in if he couldn’t. Eating first was our biggest mistake. I don’t think this place takes appointments, so we ended up 10th on the waiting list. The commercial lists this place as “fun for kids and relaxing for adults”. It’s cute, no doubt about that and it really is fun for the kids. “Relaxing for adults” is kind of like a way of saying “You will be waiting in this place for a very, very long time.” We ended up being there for three hours. To their credit, the place was clean, cute, and had flat panel screens for the kids to watch tv while sitting in their little vehicles getting their hair cut (or waiting). Buddy didn’t complain about being bored at all since they had a train set and books and puzzles as well. Next time though, we’re getting there as soon as they open. I refuse to make a haircut an all-day event again!

When Horton Hears a Who came out, my kids were terrorized by the Wall-E preview because it was so loud and had a lot of scary sounds. But after a Wall-E commercial playing every commercial break during Finding Nemo last weekend, my children are now succesfully transformed into Disney marketing robots. Buddy says “Wuuh ahhh leeee” anytime he sees him anywhere. While waiting for our haircut turn, we went walking around and wandered into a GameStop. Baby Girl picks up Wall-E game and goes, “Wuuh ahhhh leeeee”. Thanks, Disney.

Okay, don’t worry, my novel is coming to a close soon! Having a holiday meant that I could work on getting my bento contest poll set up. I received 53 really awesome entries and I want to thank everyone for entering my contest, I’m glad I got such a great response!! It was really hard to pick 10 favorites, but here they are:

Contest Entry 01 by Michelle in the USA

Contents: Pink Nintendo DS onigiri (it folds like a DS to fit in the box), shrimp, broccoli & carrots, and hard boiled egg.
Blog: What do you mean, don’t play with my food?

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Contest Entry 02 by Anna in Sweden

Contents: Nigiri with salmon roe, tamagoyaki, avocado, enoki mushrooms and fried tofu on sushi rice.
Blog: Wererabbits

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Contest Entry 03 by Lyvvie in Scotland

Contents: Omelet with soy sauce, turkey, egg heads, rice ball made with egg yolk cooked rice filled with smoked salmon and white ears, salami ears, cheese face and red pepper tongue. Wee broccoli bits to fill in the holes, carrot flowers, and an underbed of rocket and cucumber.
Blog: Obento Baby!

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Contest Entry 04 by Petra in Germany

Contents: Indian spiced cauliflower, stuffed red peppers, dried mango & papaya, sesame & peanut cracker, wasabi coated peanuts; extras: banana, mango juice.
Blog: Bento Food Freak

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Contest Entry 05 by Zora in USA

Contents: Rice with katsuo furikake; grape tomatoes; carrot sticks; hoisin-chicken bun; celery sticks; hardboiled egg sprinkled with shichimi togarashi.
Blog: none submitted

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Contest Entry 06 by Frances in Puerto Rico

Contents: The Totoros are hand-shaped onigiris with tuna inside. The big totoro has water chestnut eyes with a dot of nori in the middle. The mouth is made of swiss cheese with nori cutouts. The ears thinly sliced carrots covered in noti (for the big one) and a slice of swiss cheese for the small one. The big totoro is in the forest (hence the broccoli and parsley trees, edamame pebbles, baby corn fireflies and mushrooms) The tiny totoro is kinda like in a crop field. Starting with (bottom to top) red bell pepper, carrots, swiss cheese flowers, baby corn, shelled edamame, cherry tomato, totoro covered with the leaf umbrella (parsley), water chestnut flowers with carrot dot in the middle, a sliced strawberry.
Deviantart: Kitanya

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Contest Entry 07 by Valeria in Italy

Contents: Piggy onigiri, round tomatoes balloons, meatballs, cauliflower, chinese roll, carrots.
Flickr: rumik73

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Contest Entry 08 by Ana in Portugal

Contents: Top: carrot rice with nori on top, hard boiled egg and broccoli with a little salt and pepper, and a bit of fried fish to fill the gap. Bottom: fried fish, grilled meat, lettuce, boiled broccoli with cheese and pepper or salt and pepper, 2nd half of hard boiled egg.
Flickr: green_rabbit

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Contest Entry 09 by Christina in USA

Contents: Scrambled egg, snow peas, shrimp, mushrooms, rice, fishcake.
Blog: none submitted

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Contest Entry 10 by Hailey in Canada

Contents: Top: Two chicken gyozas, fresh sugar snap peas, some sliced red bell pepper, a silicone cup filled with fresh raspberries, cherries and watermelon on a skewer, a chick soysauce container (for the gyozas and onigiris), a swiss babybel cheese, a small container of ranch (for the veggies!) and a side cup container with chocolate covered peanuts and a sugar free hard candy. Bottom: Three mini onigiri’s (two heart, one diamond) filled with cucumber and cream cheese, a couple more sugar snap peas, some broccoli, and a few more fresh raspberries and cherries
Blog: none submitted

As my radio co-host would say, “Awesome awesome!” Take a good look at them and vote in the poll available in the sidebar! I’ll make a new page for people to easily view these in the coming week and at the end, we’ll see who our winner is! Good luck to all!!

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  • I’ve had problems with the rice before too ^^;
    But it’s mostly because I forget to heat it a bit before I try to mold it by hand.

    ooooh and all the entries really look awesome 😀
    I bet choosing one was really hard. Good luck to everyone!!

  • Christina

    I’m very flattered to be included in the top ten, thanks! One tiny thing though, that is a two tier bento, in case you wanted to post the picture of the other tier. I’m think I sent it to you with the picture you posted.
    Thanks again!

  • Pikko

    Hi Christina,

    I know it was a two tier, but I wanted to only post one picture per entry, so I chose the one I liked the most. 🙂

  • Pikko

    Kitanya, that was my same problem exactly, haha! 🙁

  • Thanks so much for picking me in the short list! I’ve been doing Bento since May 1st so this is an ego boost to be sure.

    I’m going out tomorrow to get my daughter’s hair cut at a very similar sounding salon where the kids sit on mini motor bikes and can watch DVDs on person TV screens. The best part – when I pay to get my hair cut there, one child’s cut is free. I’m saving money and they get a superfun , low stress haircut. bonus all around.

    Best of luck to all the finalists!

  • Nice entries! As for your face punching out problem, I haven’t used punch-outs before so I’m making an assumption here that the fresher and crispier the nori, the easier it is to make good cut outs? And I’m also guessing that you don’t use up your 10 pack of nori in one go so they get a bit soft after a day or two.. or more. What I do to perk up my nori before I eat/use it is to set my electric stove on medium or medium low and hold the nori above it a bit. The heat shrivels the nori ever so slightly but it makes it crispy again. Don’t burn your fingers. Hope this helps with the punch-outs. I have issues getting out the door on time too when I make bentos.

  • Pikko

    Hrm, i will have to try that stove technique. Usually what happens is a stray flake will not punch or parts are soft and it just doesn’t come out of the punch. Maybe I’ll try the toaster oven!

  • You know what I do? I use my nori for the first time and then I store the rest on the freezer. At least mine doesn’t end up getting soft… I also but the pretoasted ones.