May 21, 2015

Teddy Bear Picnic Bento

Okay- so you know how I'm doing this backwards? So I started the week of my last exam and have been writing and scheduling my posts backwards so that I will have posts published when I am too busy revising to post? 

Yeah- well this starts (or ends if you are me) a four post long mini series on bear themed bentos. (Wow- I've done all these in a day and I've just realised that you will have nothing but bear themed bento's for a whole month- sorry). 

It's okay- I'll make sure that next time (or for you last time) will be a not bento recipe!!! Cause I am nice like that!!! 

I'm not quite sure what you will get yet but I can promise that it isn't a bento. I like how you will already know what I posted last week. 


So this is my teddy bear picnic bento. It includes cucumber tulips, mini mozzarella cheeses, a Bakewell Tart Nakd bar, a Quorn sausage roll and some pom bears. (Do you know it is practically impossible to get the salt and vinegar ones know- and they're my favorite). 

I really liked the Bakewell Tart flavor- I had to wait for ages to get one because they came out ages ago at the same time as the 'xmas pud' flavor (and auto correct wants that to be 'xmas phd'. A doctorate in Christmas- wouldn't that be nice?). Sainsburys got the xmas pud flavor in straight away- but didn't get the Bakewell Tart flavor in until after the xmas pud flavor went out (funnily enough after Christmas). I guess they only had room for one of them on the shelf. The Bakewell Tart flavor was definitely worth waiting for (although the Xmas Pud flavor was AMAZING). I have started making my own date bars now and this is on the list to recreate!


1. TIME This didn't take me too long. Maybe about five minutes. So I get a star here (red I feel). There's not much more to say about time- other than, it didn't take me that long

2. LEFTOVERS There were some leftovers here. Partly because I didn't use the whole packet of pom bears for this bento - but mainly because I got a bit carried away with how much cucumber that I would need. I made way too much. The pom bears I ate as a snack at some point- and I kept the cucumber and added it to my noodles a few days later. So- I used up my 'leftovers' properly. So one star to me. 

3. RECORDING Loose a star and move on. 

5. BOXABILITY I'm quite happy with the boxability of this box. I've made quite a few that haven't been so brilliant (I guess they're coming up) but I am quite happy with this one. It all fits in nicely. So one more star for me. 

6. PACKAGING The pom bears came individually packaged (not quite individually packaged, but you know what I mean. That would be some very tiny packages) and as you can see- so did the Nakd bar. So that's not that brilliant. But the sausage roll didn't- and up until that point Sainsbury's had only been stocking the individually packaged one- so I will count that small victory as negating the other excess packaging- and so will neither gain or loose a star here. 

7. CUTENESS There isn't actually that much 'cuteness' aspects here- but all together I feel it does look kind of cute. It just seems to have a cute aura around it. Maybe it's the crisps. Or the cucumber. Whatever it is, it feels cute and so I'm going to give myself a star here. Happy face. 

That's three stars to kick of my bear themed bento mini series. I have a feeling that I will need it! (maybe cause I've already written the rest of the series). 

Hej hej

May 14, 2015

Nana Nut Polenta


I'm not happy. A boy in my physics class has more Taylor Swift CD's than I have. And we're talking about WAY more. And that's before we got onto the digital ones. Yes, I am affected by such trivial matters. 

Right, now. It's not Nana Nut Polenta, as in a nut polenta that belongs to you're grandmother (sorry Nana), but nar-na. As in ba-nar-na- without the 'ba' at the front, cause then their ain't any alliteration audience. (I do English Lit, I am GOOD at alliteration.) (But no, I can't get banana and nut to start with the same letter).

This was the first time I used polenta to make polenta (before I'd only ever used it to make cornbread like products) I've done so several times since. It's yummy. It's not anywhere near as good as oatmeal (because let's face it- nothing is as yummy as oatmeal- oatmeal is in a league of it's own). The color is definitely nicer though- it's such a pretty yellow-y golden color. It kind of matches out kitchen walls- which my parents decided to paint yellow.


So it's a nice change from oatmeal. You are 'supposed' to cook it and then bake it- but who has time- it's early in the morning and you want breakfast! Not lunch. (Okay- in the future I will probably post all about how wonderful baked polenta is- but until then baked polenta is bad). And even without baking polenta is thick and gooey and sticky. 


If you spend about 10 minutes in-between the polenta being ready and eating it because you are trying to find the perfect light and the perfect angle, you will end up with very thick- almost jelly like polenta. I do not advise this because as yummy as polenta is when it's gooey and warm (I really need to find a synonym for yummy) - it isn't so toothsome (thank you thesaurus) when it's kind of cold and jelly like and slightly gag inducing. Moral of the story- polenta is best eaten straight away when it's hot. 


Apart from the fact that it's not oatmeal, if you leave it too long it becomes kind of yucky, and it matches the color of the kitchen walls- polenta is brilliant. It's made from ground corn, originated in Italy- and is very similar (if not the same) as cornmeal and grits. It is super quick to cook- (about a minute after the milk has boiled- the packet said 3 minutes), it's gluten free (if that's important to you), it's cheap (13.75 pence a serving from Sainsburys), the color is sooo pretty- it's easy to make into a sweet or savoury dish, and it makes up for the fact that someone else has more Taylor Swift CD's. He doesn't have polenta. 


Nana Nut Polenta

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 'nana
  • Honey (or equivalent) to taste


  • Place milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat until it's boiling. 
  • While the milk is heating, cut up the 'nana into slices. If you want to eat the ends as you do this that's fine. I won't judge if you don't. 
  • When the milk is boiling, add the polenta to the pan. Do not decide to take a picture at this point but instead proceed to stirring it immediately, and don't stop. This stuff cooks fast!! 
  • After 1-2 minutes (and unless you are some sort of super hero slightly thinner than you want to eat it) remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. 
  • Top with the almonds, the banana and the honey (or it's equivalent if you don't eat honey). (Or just don't like it). 
  • I know lots of recipes say enjoy immediately, but I would advise you actually do enjoy it immediately with this dish. 


May 07, 2015

We're Having a Crisis

When I say we- I really just mean I. 

Apparently I am the only person in the house who is deeply troubled by the lack of peanut butter. 

The rest of the household- just not bothered. 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!!!!! WE ARE OUT OF PEANUT BUTTER AND THEY ARE NOT IN THE LEAST BIT INTERESTED!!!!! 

This is a lack of peanut butter people, this isn't even a lack of something weird like a lack of chocolate, or tea, or pizza- THIS IS A LACK OF PEANUT BUTTER!!! 

And not just there wasn't enough in the jar- there wasn't a jar. Someone had used up the last of the peanut butter and hadn't gotten a new one. 

I MEAN ..... >stops because she doesn't want to swear on her blog<. 

>Has a moment, because, hello, we've ran out of peanut butter. There should always be peanut butter<

So I thought that this would be an excellent time to post a 'bento' (I'm using the term very loosely) from ages ago - that I really wasn't going to post because it is an appalling excuse for a bento- but I just thought I would add it in here so you can see what a bento looks like when we are having a "nobodies been shopping" crisis. To show you that I (and you) can produce a bento when you REALLY have nothing in to make a bento from and you haven't planned anything. (which would be the main reason you have nothing in). 

Also- no spoilers, but I don't do well on the 'planning' aspect.


So - in here- I have an American Biscuit that I rescued from the freezer - spread with peanut butter. (Because every house needs to have peanut butter in case of emergency), some dried dates (the only dried fruit we had), a banana and a cookie. And that was the best- most imaginative lunch I could come up with. The most balanced lunch that could come out of my kitchen at that moment in time. It was a bad day... and in fairness, I wasn't the only one who hadn't planned sufficiently because we had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN. 

I even think that that was the last banana. 


1. TIME This one took a long time. Not because I did anything fancy- or because I made it pretty- or at all bento-ish. But because it took ages to find anything. Like, a really REALLY long time. I'm just glad that the biscuit had had time to defrost before lunch! So loose a star here...

3. RECORDING Loose a star here as well....

[FYI, it doesn't really get any better]

4. BALANCE No calcium rich foods. Loose another star... 

5. BOXABILITY It's not particularly good 'boxability' wise, but I am THAT desperate- and have you ever tried to fit a banana in a lunch box? Its very near IMPOSSIBLE. I mean seriously, hard. Like, immense. That's why these were created. So I'm giving myself a star here. It won't matter what color it is.... I'm going to be in the negatives anyway...

6. PACKAGING Actually, now that I think about it- there was no excess packaging. Without even trying- just through lack of anything to put in my lunch. Wohoo. One more star to me. 

7. CUTENESS. There is nothing cute about it. Those food picks do not redeem anything. So loose another star.

8. PLANNING Yeah... Lesson learnt

9. EATING The whole point of me even posting this bento- is not because it's amazing. I am under no illusions. It is horrendous. The whole point is to show you that even when you are 2 microseconds from resorting to a TESCO sandwich (actually- I was 2 microseconds from just taking the banana for my lunch. Satisfying... not.) it is perfectly possible to put together a lunch from home. It may not be spectacular- but saying that- last time I got sent with a few pound coins in my pocket to get a lunch, I came out the store with a packet of chocolate raisins and a plain bread roll. So... this is definitely preferable! But I made a perfectly eatable lunch from absolutely nothing- so one star here. 

Which leaves me on minus two. Which is okay. I wasn't expecting fireworks. I was under no delusions that this was an award winning lunchbox. I just wanted to say- don't give up just yet. 

And don't run out of peanut butter. 

For the record- I used some powdered peanut butter that I had gotten for baking. 

We need peanut butter.

May 04, 2015

Uninstagram

Cause I'm excited about all the stuff I share on Instagram (that's why I share it) I wondered if you wanted a peak at what I've been up to lately?