Time Out


My husband has gently reminded me that I have other items besides bento boxes and blogging that require my attention in the run up to Thanksgiving. I am still making lunches, though less time-consuming options and am trying to refrain from photographing until I have made some progress on household chores. (We have everyone to our house for Thanksgiving) I remain flexible and will give attention elsewhere as logic dictates. Motivation to move faster! Never fear, I will still put effort into lunches, just less into posting about the same in order to create an environment that reflects our joy at having loved ones with us during the holiday season. I must admit, the morning went faster with no photos or posts, though the process felt a little incomplete. I’m not even going to set a goal, rather just do my best and see what transpires…here are my previous posts containing “Fish”…


Time-challenged for the foreseeable future and not quite on top of my game, I am attempting to combine bento boxes with the daily prompt once again. I must admit that I found my first attempt (and failure) at homemade ravioli yesterday to be irksome. I wanted to deep fry ravioli to accompany today’s waffles, and at Sprouts Anya and I decided it would be best to make our own. I admit to having some reservations as I was not feeling quite up to speed. I found myself inexplicably between moods and energy levels. It was kind of hard to diagnose my symptoms (too many options) and hard to admit defeat, but yesterday I simply was not in a place where I could whip up homemade ravioli with no experience or instructions. A good idea or novel concept and an old stand-by recipe to get me started is my usual M.O. with bento box creations and I have to be firing on all cylinders to push through. I gave up without too much of a struggle or monumental waste and my pivot resulted in homemade egg noodle spaghetti with pesto. I think I am lucky to have managed the lunch I did with how out of sync I was with my capabilities yesterday. Rising early enough to finish details and make waffles this morning was challenging as well. I still feel I could go back to sleep, and morning is usually my best time. No untapped reserves of energy left, I guess. I was actually still making smoothies when my husband needed to make his own breakfast this morning which is a situation I avoid to keep the morning routine running smooth. I am very proud that my kids went to school with a bento box lunch that wasn’t comprised of processed foods from Costco today (well, I did include Goldfish… ), but I am thinking that I should have back up just in case I have a morning where I can’t manage as well. A stash of easy stand-byes could save the day in a pinch. Much worse to suffer hot lunch than a less than stellar bento box from home. And I haven’t given up on my menu for this week…maybe we will fry homemade ravioli another time, or maybe we will find an organic option at Costco. Progress not perfection.


Today’s bento box has these adorable fish waffles made from bacon and cheddar. I had leftover starfruit which now look like starfish! I admit, I am just now realizing all the potential my pesto spaghetti and apple-onion relish had to be sea creatures, but my delay worked against the creative mind this cycle. Use your imagination, I’m sure my kids will!fullsizerender


Ingredients: Bacon and cheddar waffles with starfruit and purple carrot hearts; homemade egg noodle spaghetti and pesto (see “Halloween Bento Boxes” for egg noodle recipe and simply use spaghetti attachment rather than fettuccine and “One Monster After Another” for pesto recipe); Apple and Onion Relish (see “Relish as Inspiration” post-I substituted Jazz apples for Granny Smith as it is what we had on hand and sacrificed color perhaps, but Anya says not taste); whole grain Goldfish crackers and Yogurt-Papaya Coy Candy.

Bacon and Cheddar Waffles

I needed an easy week, especially after my ravioli fiasco, so I simply used Krusteaz Waffle Mix, enough to make 2 c of batter and added 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese and a couple pieces of crisp, crumbled bacon. My waffle iron heats directly on the burner and I keep it sprayed with non-stick canola oil and cook “fish” two a a time. My fish waffle maker is an old Amazon find.

Yogurt-Papaya Coy Candy

1 1/2 c yogurt chips

1/4 c chopped dried papaya

1 Tbsp organic vegetable shortening

Melt yogurt chips with shortening in microwave, cooking in 30 second intervals and stirring in between until smooth. Sir in papaya. Fill coy fish mold with yogurt mix and refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes 7 fish. (Once again, mold is an old Amazon find. It caught my eye after Connor had spent the day gardening at my favorite property and had admired the coy pond)


No-Waste Smoothie (or another Almost Compost)

1 c black grapes

1/4 c white grapes

1/2 c fresh papaya

1/2 c fresh honeydew (garden)

1 medium banana

1 Tbsp agave

1/2 c pineapple juice

1/2 c coconut water

Place ingredients in 24 oz Nutri Ninja cup and press Pro Extraction. Allow to blend for 1 minute to emulsify grape skins and serve.


I no longer primp or take care with my appearance. My being has become utilitarian. When nostalgia reminds me to spend time on impressions I seek out my daughter and she shows me how to look nice. When did her opinion become authoritative? It wasn’t that long ago that I picked out all of her clothes and approved hairstyles. (Yes, I did approve the shaved head, she was beautiful) I’ve passed the baton, but maybe in haste. One must practice self-love to teach.


Today’s bento boxes contain Red Velvet Zucchini Waffles, Peanut Butter-Bacon-Banana Pinwheels and Cheesy Crab Bites. As I am still using up papaya, today’s smoothie is Tropical.


Ingredients: Red Velvet Zucchini Waffle recipe with persimmons and purple carrots; Peanut Butter-Bacon-Banana Wrap recipe; Cheesy Crab Bites recipe; Yogurt Papaya Coy Candy (see “Under the Sea Bento Box”) and fresh red plum.

img_1206At the last minute, I decided to throw in some pretzel rolls.

Red Velvet Zucchini Waffles

2 c flour

1/4 c sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/3 c buttermilk

1/3 c butter

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

red food coloring (a lot)

3/4 c shredded zucchini

Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, combine next five ingredients and beat together. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until smooth and even-colored. Fold in zucchini. Heat and oil waffle iron and cook until edges of waffles begin to brown.

Peanut Butter-Bacon-Banana Pinwheel

3 slices crispy bacon, crumbled

1/2 c natural peanut butter

3 small bananas

lemon juice

small whole wheat tortillas

Spread peanut butter evenly over three whole wheat tortillas, covering completely. Sprinkle with bacon pieces. Slice banana and arrange on tortilla. Roll and slice. Brush bananas exposed to air with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Cheesy Crab Bites

1 can lump crab meat

1 c cream cheese softened

1 c sharp cheddar cheese

1 box Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Safflower or peanut oil to fill deep fryer

Heat oil. Combine first four ingredients and mix well. Form into 1 ” balls. Fry in small batches until golden brown. Makes 30 bites.


Tropical Smoothie

1 c papaya

1 banana

1/2 c fresh honeydew (garden)

3/4 c coconut milk

3/4 c pineapple juice

1 Tbsp agave

Place all ingredients in 24 oz Nutri Ninja cup and blend for 30 seconds. Anya is still missing her thermos so I will fill the boys’ cats and save half for tomorrow.fullsizerender-1

Anya is still missing her thermos, so she will have Matcha Love again.


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