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- Personal Background & Journey
My name is Cassandra and currently I work as a data engineer! I was born and raised in Queens, and have since moved to Jersey City. I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to live in America’s “melting pot” (otherwise known as New York City) - having easy access to foods from all different countries & cultures was definitely one of the roots for my foodie journey! My mother was a big influence on me as well, as she taught me that it’s important to try everything at least once. Now, I’m always on the hunt for new foods to cook and new restaurants to visit. I started taking my food blogging seriously as a 2022 New Year’s resolution, and I’m incredibly grateful to have worked with amazing brands and small businesses.
- Life Aspirations
The main aspiration that comes with being a food blogger & content creator is to share some awesome food spots and recommendations to others around the world! Food is a universal love language, and I take pride in being able to share that with others in this unique space.
- What is a Bento Box / Lunch Box to you?
To me, a bento box is a form of love packed in a box. Growing up, my father would always pack lunches for me to bring to school. They would usually consist of white rice, meat, and veggies. I couldn’t tell you exactly what kind of meat or veggies, as they would often be from the previous night’s dinner leftovers - no food waste in this household! He would always cook more of my favorite items at dinner just so there would be enough for two servings.
Now when I think of a bento box, I’m taken back to my father being excited to pack me lunch. It’s extremely heartwarming to know that someone who loves you with all their heart packed this lunch just for you. To me, a bento box is a small serving of happiness.
- What do you pack in your TAKENAKA Bento?
In my TAKENAKA bento box, I am packing honey sesame pork chops with sides of white rice, blanched greens, and store-bought kimchi!
- What is your favorite part of our boxes and what colors have you chosen?
My favorite part of the TAKENAKA bento box is how much you can store in it, and how customizable and convenient it is to bring around. I chose mine in Lemon Zest - the bright yellow just makes me so happy to look at, and I hope that this color brings joy to others as well!
2 pork chops
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1⁄2 large onion
Your favorite bento box sides (I used blanched spinach & kimchi)
1 tbsp oil
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1.5 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
1. Score the pork chops on one side. This makes it easier for the pork chops to absorb the marinade.
2. Set aside in a bowl or plastic bag - whatever you’ll use for marinating the pork chops.
3. Mix all sauce ingredients together until smooth.
4. Pour the sauce into the bowl or plastic bag. Make sure that all parts are covered in the marinade.
5. Marinate the pork chops for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
6. Slice the onion lengthwise.
7. In a large pan over medium heat, add oil and add onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly translucent.
8. Add the pork chops - don’t pour out the sauce, we’ll need it later!
9. Cook on one side until lightly browned. Flip over and add the remaining sauce/marinade.
10. Once the pork chops are fully cooked, remove from heat and let cool for 1-2 minutes.
11. Prepare your Takenaka bento box! I used white rice, blanched spinach, and kimchi for the sides.