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Hiking Bento

03/06/2011

Hiking Tiger Mountain

On a long-awaited, sunny saturday morning in Seattle (after a week of snowstorm followed by another week of rainstorm..), the bf and I went hiking on Tiger Mountain. We decided to hike a different trail than we normally do and found some nice surprises along the way, including this beautiful waterfall!

Unfortunately, this led us to getting lost for a bit in a maze of trails, but eventually we made our way back down to the lake to enjoy our bento.

 

Hiking Bento

I tried to create something extra portable and healthy to enjoy during our hike and packed onigiri [carrot/red pepper/bulgogi] and egg rolls [carrot/red pepper/onion] with a side of broccoli and grape tomatoes.

 

Can’t wait for more sunny days in Seattle like today! :)

 

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The Camera Collection – by Billy Brown

03/02/2011

100 pixelated illustrations

“A collection of 100 pixelated camera illustrations for anybody to download and use in whatever way they see fit.”

I foresee felt products…. :)

Click here to see more!

Playground House in Nakameguro

02/23/2011

Amazing architectural work by LEVEL Architects! They created a house that incorporates a slide into the 3-story building to meet the client’s requirements of truly creating a home for their 3 children. There’s a great unifying flow that’s created by this design feature. I am honestly jealous of these kids! :)

Beautiful curve created on the exterior of the building

Sliding down…

I am absolutely in love with this hallway/library/reading space!

Clean, simple, open, beautiful…

Click here for more pictures and details

Inarizushi Bento

02/23/2011

Inarizushi (Cooked Fried Tofu with Sushi Rice)

I really enjoy Inarizushi (aka Yubu Chobap) in my bento. It’s very easy and quick to make if you use the store-bought vacuum-packed pouches. The pouches are stuffed with sushi rice, either plain, or mixed with other ingredients. Some of my favorite things to mix in are seasoned ground beef, burdock, and carrots. I kept the ones in this bento plain with sprinklings of black toasted sesame seeds since the bento already included savory mini sausages mixed in ketchup.

I also experimented with a technique of creating a little character out of hard boiled eggs, as seen on other bento inspirations. I used some of the leftover quail eggs from my last bento, toasted black sesame seeds, and dabs of Sriracha sauce to create several of these mini egg creatures.

Click here for details on all ingredients used.

I had enough quail egg creatures and mini sausages to make an extra bento for my sister:

The two bentos are shown here with matching bento bands:

Starbucks – Great Designs and Free Drinks!

02/21/2011

I love Starbucks, not just because I’m a coffee addict or because I call Seattle my home, but because they are constantly working to create a better experience for their customers.  I like that the aesthetics of the company embody their business statements and goals, reflected in the designs of their stores and signage, down to the smallest details on their cups and napkins.  I appreciate and love their effort poured into new drink options, logo/graphic work, mobile apps, and most enjoyably, their Starbucks Rewards program.

Along with the many perks of the Rewards Program itself, I always get a nice greeting postcard in the mail around my birthday month. They not only wish me a happy birthday, but gift me any free drink that I desire. Mailing are rare these days due to the cost-effectiveness and less time-consuming efforts of sending out e-mails in its place, but there’s something sentimental and heart-warming about a physical postcard that really wins me over.

Although the free drink is a perk, I really enjoy seeing the designs on the card itself. I have 2 examples below, one for the free birthday drink and another for a free ‘you reached 15 stars’ rewards drink. Both graphics are simple yet playful and cheery. The recent mailings also have a soft, brushed-cotton-like texture on the front that it almost makes me want to give up the drink to keep the card…ALMOST.

Their non-standard ‘fine prints’ are also fun to read if you ever receive one of these. As instructed, I ‘cheerfully handed’ the birthday reward over to the cashier this weekend for my JavaChip Frappuccino, shared with the BF. MMmMMm..delicious!!

Up next, I will be attempting to use their new Starbucks Mobile Card iPhone app to upload all my Starbucks gifts cards that I accumulated over the holidays and pay for drinks!

 

Mini Tofu Burger Bento

02/17/2011

Tofu Burger Patty Mix

I use the House Tofu Burger Patty Mix to create miniature, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside, tofu burgers. It uses 3 ingredients total: firm tofu, patty mix, and oil. Basic instructions are to drain the tofu then mash together with the patty mix. It is formed into patties (I like to create them smaller to fit in the bento containers) then cooked in oil on a frying pan. Quick, easy, inexpensive, and delicious!

Bento Sides

For this bento, I’ve used some of my favorite Bento Sides to accompany the Mini Tofu Burgers, drawn from my favorite bento books. (check out more of my favorite references on the sidebar)

I’ve also started using pickled plum in many of my bentos after being introduced to it by Makiko of JustBento.com at her recent book signing event.

Click here for details on all ingredients used.

A matching handmade Bento Band

(Check out Smilefelt Crafts to see all items for sale)

V-day Message to My Love: #7

02/14/2011