Wow!  When did this place turn into the all-food-all-the-time blog?  All I know is that it makes me extremely happy and considering that you guys seem to like the pictures, I might just keep it rather food-focused for the time being. 

On Sunday evening, Jesse and I went on a picnic at Sunset park which is about six miles from our apartment.  I packed us an assortment of things — Tuscan cannelini bean spread (if you make this and are using fine grain sea salt, use WAY less than called for), sundried tomato hummus, pita and crackers, vegetarian riceless sushi rolls for me and grilled chicken for him and Otter Pops for a sweet treat.  We parked ourselves under a nice tree (which was, unfortunately, near the disc golf course) and settled in to talk and watch the sunset.  I think we’re going to have to make this part of our routine.  It was so relaxing, such a lovely way to end the weekend. 

Now, we return to my latest obsession: bento!  I feel like I’m getting a lot better at making them.  They’re more colourful, more pleasingly arranged and I’m getting the hang of making sure there isn’t any blank space.  Now, to work on getting them cuter.  Just for fun, here are two from yesterday and today.  Please excuse the quality of the pictures.  I really want to get a new camera and I really need to get a sheet or plain muslin to put over my picture-taking surface. 

This one has my first attempt at a riceless sushi roll!  I spread the sheet of nori with some sundried tomato hummus to act as a binder.  Then, I layered baby spinach leaves, microgreens, shredded red cabbage and carrots, alfalfa sprouts and fresh cilantro.  It fit perfectly in the larger compartment once I cut it in half.  The smaller container features two small grilled portabello mushrooms (tossed in balsamic vinegar, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt and fresh rosemary beforehand) and a silicone muffin cup with some Trader Joe’s 0% Greek yogurt, TJ’s freeze-dried banana slices and frozen raspberries.  Those silicon muffin cups are perfect little containers — they keep everything separate but cut down on the waste.  And they’re so flexible that you can squeeze them into sections of the bento that aren’t perfectly round. 

Here’s my absolute favourite so far and my first journey into the world of cute bento!  This one has another riceless sushi roll in the large compartment, same ingredients but cut into six smaller pieces to fit.  I used baby carrots to fill the blank spaces.  In the smaller compartment is what I’m most proud of: My first successful batch of boiled gyoza!  I found a gyoza mold on Ichiban Kan and had wanted to try it out so I sat down last night to stuff and make them.  I made the filling from a can of salmon (Costco’s house brand — it’s actually REALLY good for canned fish), edamame and cooked spinach.  I had six last night for dinner, four in my bento and there are 30 in little foil packets in the freezer that I can pop in boiling water and pack another morning.  There are spinach leaves acting as a border between the two rows of gyoza and… little spinach flowers!  I’d also found little shaped vegetable cutters on Ichiban Kan and thought that this morning was the perfect time to try them.  I like to think that they’re a snack for the plastic piggie sauce bottle full of Trader Joe’s gyoza sauce. 

I have a feeling that today is going to be a very long day.  I have to sub for someone else in my department and take his calls which I hate doing.  It’s not that I hate being on the phone but I don’t really know what’s going on with his files and I always have to ask a ton of questions.  Not that I mind asking questions but it does make me feel a little lost, like I have no idea what’s going on.  Jesse gets out of work early because his department is doing some training thing which involves going to the new Indiana Jones movie.  So, it’ll just be me, stuck at work.  Not that I mind that, of course!

I’ve been trying to do a lot of writing lately but have not been being particularly successful.  I’ve written two new poems for my mission101 list which actually is a lot more than I usually write.  The problem is that Jesse and I are doing this writing challenge where we give each other genres totally out of our comfort zone.  We get three and have to choose two to write.  I get to choose between… wait for it… samurai, a western and science fiction.  Lucky me (yes, that would be sarcasm dripping)!  I can’t fathom writing a samurai story without wanting to hit my head against the wall so that leaves me with sci-fi and the western.  I got him back though — he has to write formed (no free-verse) poetry, a modern retelling of a fairy tale or a 2-character, one room, one scene play.  Ugh, I want to write the options I gave him! 

Lately I’ve really been craving a good, gym work out so I’ve been looking into local facilities.  Our apartment gym has been closed for over a month because of a fire and they can’t give me a date that they believe they’ll reopen on.  Either way, I’d like more options than they offer.  I’m thinking about the Las Vegas Athletic Club — it’s not nationwide and they do lock you in for 2-years but their prices seem really good and people seem to like them.  I want the pool, the spa and sauna and the indoor track.  The 24-hour Fitness near our apartment doesn’t have a spa or sauna and it’s a lot more expensive. 

Anyway, that, plus that fact that my basil is still alive and delicious, is my life as of today.  It may not be glamorous.  It may not be fascinating.  It may not even be all that interesting.  But it is mine.