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Boo Bento

Leftover hot dog, cheddar cheese "Boo", fruit, veggies, chocolate chip pumpkin cookies

Halloween bento

Playing catchup!  Here's the detail from part of one bento I made this week:

Sticky rice base, black-tinted cream cheese "Boo," and ghost face, egg white ghost, egg yolk moon, nori cat,
carrot pumpkins, Sliced sugar snap "grass"

Back from the hospital Bento

Bentos for Four ...

The Husband's Bento:  grapes, strawberries, chocolate pumpkin cupcake, rice, tomatoes, sugar snaps, tomatoes, Kung Pao veggies, pickles, carrots

Kid's bento: tomatoes, carrots, sugar snaps, chocolate pumpkin, grapes, strawberries
Rice, salami/cheese skewers, pickles

Streuseled Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I guess "streusel" isn't a verb.  It should be, though.  "To mix and crumble things into something yummy."  Can't you see that being used in Spin Alley after a debate?  "Wow, he really streuseled the idea that we can wind up with a surplus from this whole sub-prime mortgage mess."

So I've been trying to come up with a really, really good pumpkin muffin recipe.  I had one really delicious recipe where the pumpkin taste came through, but the texture was rubbery.  I had another with perfect texture, but it was hard to taste the pumpkin.  So I tinkered and tinkered, and I'm pretty happy with this.  I had to put chocolate chips in because - duh - pumpkin and chocolate taste good.  And then I topped them with a streusel because streusel makes muffins look like something from a classy bakery.  And it tastes good.  It's kind of like a greeting at the door of your muffin, giving you a hint as to what is inside.  In this case:  spices and chocolate chips.

Now, a note:  the batter for this is scoopable, not pourable.  I've found that there is a wide range of wetness in canned pumpkin puree, from so wet you can pour it out of the can, to almost as thick as tomato paste.  Just go with it, and it'll probably be fine.  I had some fairly thick puree and I added a bit of buttermilk.  Eh, we were back to a rubbery texture.  Trust the pumpkin.

I filled the muffin cups to the top and wound up with nice bakery-style domed muffins.

Streuseled Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
* 3 cups white whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 15-oz cans pumpkin puree
* 1 tsp ginger
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground allspice
* 2/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup chocolate chips (regular size, not mini)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together 2 cans pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, spices and eggs. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture just until mixed. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. Spoon about a teaspoonful of streusel over each muffin.
4.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

1/4     cup quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
1/4     cup all-purpose flour
1/4     cup granulated sugar
1/2     tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4     tsp. ground nutmeg
3    Tbsp.  cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix together all ingredients except chocolate.  Cut butter in with a pastry cutter until small bits of butter are mixed with all the ingredients.  Mix with chocolate chips.

Culture Club Bento

Various leftovers, a riot of cultures.
Top: tomato, broccoli, carrots, sugar snaps, tahini sauce, fried chile-lemongrass tofu, gorp
Bottom:  strawberries, grapes, orange, mini-pitas, falafel, garlic cheese

Take-away bento

Now that I've found the cord that connects the camera and my computer, I can play catch-up.

3 bentos, all combinations of:
Fried chile-lemongrass tofu, Vietnamese omelet, coconut onigiri, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, peanuts, grapes, strawberries, orange

This Little Piggy Went to Bento ...

Top:  Chicken fajita meat, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, orange, grapes, strawberry
Bottom:  Rice, Broccoli, cheese, ham, carrots, broccoli stem
Pocky in lid

bento 4

Top:  Coconut rice, chicken fajita meat, tomatoes, love dip, grapes, strawberry, clementines
Bottom:  Broccoli, cucumber, cheese, high fiber crackers, watermelon mini cupcakes

lotsa bits bento

1 of 4 bentos, more or less the same:
Top:  Tuna "pate" sandwich (tuna + cream cheese and spices), onigiri with sesame seed, "love dip," tomatoes, pineapple grilled chicken, peanut sauce
Bottom:  Grilled sweet potato, broccoli, sugar snaps, grapes, strawberry, clementines, salted chocolate chip cookie cut in wedges