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Ho Ho Ho!

Last weekend I taped The Santa Clausefor the kids because when I was in high school I thought that was a pretty cute movie. About 10 minutes into watching it with the kids, I started thinking maybe it wasn’t such a great idea since the plot rotates around one’s belief in Santa and both my kids haven’t even heard the whole “there’s no such thing” concept at all yet.

I mean, now they have… but they hadn’t! Anyway, it didn’t matter, as Baby Girl thought it was so cool that your dad could turn into Santa that the whole thing kind of flew over her head, most likely in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Whew!

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Today’s lunch could have been a little more colorful, but since I woke up late because I went to bed late (2:30 AM) because I rented and watched Julie & Julia, I had to throw this guy together as fast as possible. This took me about 10 minutes to do as the food was all leftovers and the only thing that took time was Santa himself. Hopefully I have time later to do the same Santa in another lunch.

At the end of today’s post, I’ll announce the winner of my drawing for a free copy of The Manga Cookbook.

I must say that I did enjoy the movie. When it first came out it seemed like something I’d really enjoy because it involved food blogging and cooking and being a disaster in the kitchen, all three of which are right up my alley. I’d bought Mastering The Art of French Cookinglast month out of curiosity because I really have no idea what French people eat, but I ended up adding it to my cookbook graveyard after reaching the chapter on soups because there seemed to be onions and leeks in basically everything. Since my silly husband is mentally “allergic” to onions, that kind of defeated my little bout of interest. I’ll definitely have to go look at other recipes now though. The stew featured in the movie sounds yummy!!

I identified more with Julia than with Julie though, mostly for the final scene, because when that happens to me, I know I’ll have the same shrieking reaction. ^_^ Plus, I had unfortunately read a bit about Julie Powell and how so many people actually detest her and her book, so I was a bit tainted in my opinion of her. I was a bit surprised to see that in the movie she’s portrayed as an excellent cook because the trailers made me think she started off crappy and Julia Child made her a brilliant chef. Instead she started off spectacularly, bombed in the middle, and finished off nicely but sadly.

Back to Santa…

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He was very easy to put together. I have a little cloud cutter, which I used for his beard, and a scallop cutter that I used for his hat trim and ball. The trim was a bit too long, so I broke one ball off and used it for the tip. His face is a circle made of ham and I punched his face features from nori with my new nori punch. His hat is the outer skin of an imitation crab stick, which I cut with kitchen scissors. I was going to cut HO HO HO! out of the cheese, but couldn’t find my freaking ‘H’ cutter.

*mutter*

Santa rests on top of some nuked frozen brown rice and on the other side of the box is some leftover Beef with Broccoli that I made from Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbookthat I bought last month. I made myself choose between Jaden and Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooksand ended up choosing Steamy Kitchen (sorry Pioneer Woman!!) because hers seemed to have recipes closer to my palate and Ree has an obsession with butter, something I can’t do right now since I’m trying to lose weight again.

The dumbest part about me getting Jaden’s book is that I ended up gravitating to the one thing in her book that I already eat on a consistent basis instead of trying something new. I’ve had my own beef broccoli recipe that I have used since my college days and when I saw that her recipe called for balsamic vinegar I kind of flipped out. A couple of years ago I was into watching Good Eats and I trusted Alton Brown completely. When he did a pot roast show, I had to give it a shot. So I went out and bought a roast, balsamic vinegar, cocktail olives, and raisins. It was disgusting! I don’t know if I did it wrong, but I hated it and ever since then I’ve been leery of balsamic vinegar.

On the bright side, I kept the bottle, so two years later, I poured a couple teaspoons into the stir fry sauce and holy crap it was the best Beef Broccoli I’d ever tasted. I’m serious, this stuff was godly. Mr. Pikko stated that it was VERY good and we both overate. I was craving it again this whole week, so I made it for dinner last night, but with way more meat. We ended up cleaning most of it out.

Speaking of Mr. Pikko, I made him a bento as well.

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His was done in manly fashion of course, with big hunk portions of stuff. I added an imitation crab poinsettia on top of the rice to make it festive, but he ended up not knowing what the heck it was anyway.

Me: could you tell what the red thing was
Mr. Pikko: oh.. no
Mr. Pikko: sorry

The middle is made of slices of the thinnest baby carrot I could find in the bag.

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To get the skin thin like this, you need to buy a certain type of imitation crab. The right local brand here is the Okuhara one and incidentally, it’s also the best tasting one. I used to eat these as a snack by itself all the time. I simply cut a slit into one and peeled it off, then used kitchen shears to cut petals out. I’m sure my dad would get a kick out of this as he used to grow poinsettias. I have a pic somewhere of me and my brother in a sea of them. It’s pretty cool!

Now for the winner of my drawing! I had a total of 72 entries and the winner is…..

Manga-Winner

Iris’s entry was:

I would love to win this book, because I still haven’t found it in my country and because I have a 2yo cousin whom I babysit frequently and am in charge of making him lunch/dinner. It has become somewhat of a ritual because I ask him what he’d like and we have fun in the kitchen making him a “car” or “train” and animals too. I think it would be interesting he could watch the book at the same time, since most cookbooks have the actual pictures ^^

Congrats! I hope you enjoy the book and that your lil’ cousin does too!

I was in Costco this past weekend and while I was waiting for a sample, a girl recognized me and asked if I write a blog. I was a bit caught off guard, so all I really said was, “my bento one?” and that was about it. She likes my stories about the kids. Then later when I got home, one of my Twitter followers said he saw me there as well. I have to wonder now how many people in Hawaii recognize me. I’ll have to start brushing my hair before I go out and remember not to shriek too loud at the monkeys when they start throwing things out of the cart. >_<

Tomorrow is UFC 107 with BJ Penn, so me and the Mr. will be down at Giovanni Pastrami. Go BJ!

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14 Comments

  1. avatar

    Brilliant! I would never have thought to take apart a piece of Krab! I will definitely use that idea in the future! I really must learn to think outside the (bento) box more often!

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  2. avatar

    I could *totally* tell it was a poinsettia! I love the way the krab looks.

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  3. avatar

    I’ve been looking for a decent Asian cookbook, but it seems that they’re hard to come by. But I’ll definitely look into this one you just posted about, I love beef and broccoli.

    Are there any Asian cookbooks you would recommend for a person who can’t seem to find ones with decent recipes? :P

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  4. avatar

    Ugh- men!! That is CLEARLY a poinsettia.

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  5. avatar

    Such a cute Santa!
    I have viewed Santa clause 3 yesterday in tv. And every year I think the same thing. How can I tell my “future” children, or those on my “future” work, that it’s not a real thing? It’s kind of hard because everywhere you find Santa, but not st. Nikolaus or Jesus ;) Well, I think I will need another year ti think about it ^-^
    But for all kids who believe in Santa it’s surely a great thing to have such a nice Santa in there meal and can view him on tv ^-^

    Your “Weihnachtsstern” as it is called in german is beautiful =) I recognized it directly. And the beef looks delicious. Hope you will have fun with the other recipes of the book.

    And finally congratulations Iris. Have fun with your new Cook Book =^-^=

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  6. avatar

    Congrats Iris on winning! I am going to have to set aside a book fund for all your recommendations! Also I had a question about your cutters – are they Bento specific? I have some scrapbooking punches that I never used that I am now using to make Nori shapes and wondered about where to find others that would double up. Thanks!

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  7. avatar

    Yes that’s a poinsettia. Don’t worry about the movie… it may just make understanding the whole Santa not being real easier for them to grasp. I never told my kids that there wasn’t a Santa…. they just came to me one day and said “Mom is Santa real?” and I said “yes” the oldest is 27 now and she will tell you Santa is real, he’s my dad. And Santa will wire her money to St. Thomas from Texas this year.

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  8. avatar

    @Kelly – I’ve used my Quikutz for bento before and they work well! :)

    Thanks all for the nice comments! :D

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  9. avatar

    thought you would like these:

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/gear/cd0a/

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  10. avatar

    I’m with you on the Santa Clause movies — they answer some questions while highlighting others that probably shuld have stayed hidden.
    About Julie & Julia, as a food blogger, did you feel a little “exposed?” Like the curtain had been pulled away from The Wizard? I kinda think that only bloggers fully understand what it takes to blog, and the movie made fun of us, but that’s just my opinion.

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  11. avatar

    @Pattie – Too cool!!

    @LizAnderson – I didn’t really think it made fun of us, but it did amuse me since I’ve felt the way she felt sometimes, like eventually you begin to write for others instead of yourself. In the beginning it was only for me, but now with a readership, I feel like I try harder.

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  12. avatar

    Wow! Nice bentos! I have been thinking of bentos for Christmas and here it is. The answer! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. avatar

    the santa is cute but the beef and brocolis looks yummy

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  14. avatar

    I guessed poinsetta too. Men are clueless. And that is one cute Santa!!

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