Friday, August 28, 2009

A recent bento

Honeydew, chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, roasted red pepper hummus, and carrot sticks and broccoli.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Helmet: magenta and yellow

After a tornado hit downtown Minneapolis (you didn't hear about it because weather-related news about the eastern states always eclipses weather-related news about the midwest), we had a couple days of flood rains followed by some cold weather. In Minnesota, it's hard not to feel a little depressed by the feelings of doom brought about by cold weather in August. Winter will be here sooner than we'd like, and those are nine long, cold months in this part of the country. Our cold-weather preview motivated me to knit a winter hat.

I am driven to knit hats with earflaps. Absolutely driven. Yesterday I came up with this woolly helmet with a giant button. It's magenta and yellow! And as I began to knit it up, I soon realized that this had is destined to belong to my friend Andrea, who lives in a cold part of the world herself and who is quite charming in a helmet.

Vegan cream cheese potato puffs!

Jesus are these things good!

I made up the recipe a few days ago when I was trying to make and freeze a ton of delicious patty-type morsels for weekday lunches once classes resume. They kinda taste like hash browns. Here's how it went:

Vegan cream cheese potato puffs

2 medium baked potatoes
1 T. Earth Balance
2 T. Tofutti cream cheese
Sea salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
1/2 c. panko crumbs
Canoloa oil for frying

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and mash coarsely with a fork. Stir in the Earth Balance, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.

Place panko crumbs in a shallow dish. Form potato mixture into eight balls of equal size. Press each ball into the crumbs, flattening slightly into a small patty. Cover both sides of each patty with crumbs and place each patty on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12, then flip patties and allow other side to brown.

These are good hot or at room temperature!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A bunch of bento

Click to enlarge!

Although I make bento year-round, summer is really bento season. The sweet, gorgeous fresh fruits available in July and August are perfect for packing in a lunch! And I tend to be less busy in the summer, so I can spend a little more time creating tasty, nutritious lunches (although I do feel compelled to say, lest my six readers think I'm totally nuts, that I don't spend MUCH time making bentos... most components are made in advance and frozen, so that it only takes five or ten minutes to pack the lunches each evening).

Clockwise, beginning top left: chickpea salad, curried potato bun, chocolate chip zucchini muffin, cherries, and strawberries.

Cherries and blueberries, chickpea and red pepper salad, curried potato bun, walnut-chocolate chip banana bread.

Strawberries and homemade tapioca pudding.

Carrot sticks, cilantro-cannelini dip with capers, fried tofu, and fresh cantaloupe, blueberries, and cherries.

Falafel, fresh tomatoes and spinach, chocolate-walnut zucchini bread, and fresh cherries, blueberries, and cantaloupe.

PB on homemade bread, banana bread, carrot sticks, and fresh cherries and strawberries.

Duke of zuke

Other summers, in other towns, Ben and I have had gardens bursting with more zucchini than we could shake a bottle of olive oil at. For whatever reason, our garden here in Minneapolis never* yields more than four or five zucchini (above: the largest of the summer... we didn't notice it until it was already bigger than we like our zukes to get**). But we make up for it by picking hundreds of perfect, tender green beans in July and August.

* "Never" only spans two gardening seasons, but we're pretty sure this is just How It's Going To Be with this particular plot of dirt. Who knows why?
** As you might know, the bigger they get, the less flavorful zukes are. This one was great for baking; I made four batches of zucchini bread, including chocolate chip and chocolate-walnut. Much of it got frozen in muffin form for later inclusion in bentos.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A short summer

I have some time off before returning to MCAD next week,
and I'm spending it cleaning the house, cooking stuff to
pack in bentos once school-related madness resumes, riding
my pink bike, picking green beans and zukes, and trying to
become brilliant at watercolor (which I'm growing more and
more sure will never happen).

Ben and I have also spent some time at my favorite art
and passed an evening with an old college chum
of mine whom I hadn't seen for about a decade.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mary Blair, part 4

In addition to her brilliant children's book ilustrations and an illustrious career with Disney, Mary Blair did animation and ad design for Nabisco, Meadow Gold, Maxwell House, and others. In fact, Blair designed a huge Meadow Gold campaign using the actual characters from I Can Fly! Here's an animated TV commercial from the campaign. The voices are hilarious.