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Shrimp & Egg Patties (283)

Christmas in 2008 was very good to me bento-wise. All three of my gifts were bento items! Mr. Pikko and the kiddies got me a Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless-Steel lined Lunch Jar, Silver, which I’ve wanted for forever. Elmer from was in a store in Japan when he saw a bento book, which he then bought and sent to me for Christmas! I’ll have to go hunt down the URL later on Amazon Japan. I still can’t believe he sent me the book. It’s gorgeous! Last of all, I got from my Allakhazam Secret Santa one of the pretty bento boxes on my J-List wishlist! This is the box I’ve used for today’s lunch.

One thing I really love to buy and then never use is cookbooks, so one of my New Year’s resolutions is to actually USE all the oodles of cookbooks I have piled up around the house. So far, I’m doing pretty good. I managed to use two different cookbooks in two days! The first is a recipe from Fabulous Asian Homestyle Recipes: Nutritious Meals in Minutes (Learn to Cook Series), I believe it’s called Shrimp and Egg Patties, but I’m not entirely sure. It looked interesting and since I’m trying to eat healthier (yet another resolution), eggs and shrimp were a pretty good option.

The patties were easy to cook, though the eggs tended to run since I was using egg substitute, so I had to flip the sides up in order to get them to cook in nice little circles.

I only made half the recipe, since I didn’t want to end up with a buttload of shrimp patties that I wasn’t going to use. As it is I have like 6 at home in the fridge, but I can easily eat them for breakfast, so that should be fine. I love “circular” bento boxes, so this Sakura box is definitely going to show up frequently this year. I placed the patties over some rice, then added three slices of tangerine and some blueberries. A cilantro leaf and ume were added for garnish. This box has two layers, but I ran out of time. My avocado was still too green to cut anyway, so my salad wouldn’t have been the same without it.

After I took my long break for Fan Festival, I started wondering why the heck no one was replying to any of my blog posts. Usually I get at least one or two comments from regular readers, but there was complete silence for like an entire month. I was getting all mopey and pouty until one day I went to go delete my 7000+ spam comments and I found a month’s worth of comments in there. Grrr!!! I dunno why my spam filter is suddenly deciding to eat everything.

The other cookbook I used was one that I won at the office Christmas party White Elephant exchange, The Cake Mix Doctor. This is the book that my boss has confessed is her secret to awesome cakes. She gave the book, a box of cake mix, and a box of pudding and I ended up with it. I used the Mom’s Layer Cake recipe to make Buddy’s birthday cake.

I did all the lettering by eye and boy was my hand in serious pain afterwards! The bananas came out okay thankfully. I’ve messed up cakes before trying to draw stuff with frosting. I was scared it would look dumb with only one color of frosting, but I was pretty happy with it in the end. He loves it. He screamed and wailed all the way to school, extremely upset that he wasn’t able to eat it RIGHT NOW. Call me sick, but this “screams” success to me.

Part of my New Year’s resolution to lose weight and eat healthy involves me doing 500 exercises a day. So far I’ve done it for three days straight. I feel it everywhere. I do 100 reps of half pushups (against my desk), squats, lunges, elbow to knee twists, and crunches. The first two days I could barely get my clothes off to take a shower. Today I feel a lot better, so hopefully now I can push on without screeching like a total wuss anytime I have to sit on the toilet or bend over to pick up a toy.

Over the winter break we took the kids to Fun Factory in Mililani Town Shopping Center and went to eat at Maru-Hi. We were delighted to see that they’d completely remodeled the place.

The chairs are very fancy schmancy and the floor is new. The best part of the physical renovations has to be their bathroom though. I took Baby Girl to it once and it was disgusting. They have a nice, immaculate bathroom now.

Something new they added was a dish of pickles and edamame. I really didn’t like their old tsukemono, but they are using a new recipe for both the takuan and the cabbage. Very yummy improvement!

I added the shoyu before I remembered to take that picture. I ended up getting the Tendon, which ended up being a great choice. They had a shiso leaf tempura, which I’d never had before. I didn’t really taste the leaf, but the tempura was still really good. I don’t know if this is a different recipe from their old one, but the sauce on the rice is one of my favorite things about tendon and this one did not disappoint. Much to my delight, the kids weren’t interested in my food, which means I got to eat it all. Mwahahaha!

They have new dishes and bring each meal out on a serving tray. The salad had way too much dressing on it for my liking, but I was able to shake a lot of it off. The kids had a saimin and Buddy really enjoyed it, eating like it was going out of style. The saimin soup wasn’t that tasty in my opinion, but if they eat it, it gets a thumbs up from me.

We eat there about once a month, so it’s not like the improvements were required for me to eat there, but they certainly ensured that we’d keep going back. I loved the atmosphere and the improvements to the food and presentation. I can’t decide whether I should keep eating the tendon or try another dish. I’ll have to see next time.