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Lights! Bacon! Bento!

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by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca

I couldn't decide what to write about this week, so I figured we'll go for variety since someone did say it's the spice of life.

Lights!

Not content with nourishing customers with sustainable and fresh, in-season food, Blink bistro installed a "full spectrum light bath" this week in its modern space in downtown Calgary.

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Blink's manager believes its new lighting scheme is the first such setup in a Canadian restaurant. (Courtesy Blink)

That's the type of natural lighting used as therapeutic treatment for people with seasonal affective disorder and depression.

Blink figures the beautiful diffused light will not only flatter clients — hey, it can't hurt on a first date! — but also give them an "elevated" dining experience.

"Not just get them in and feed them, but just to elevate that experience," said manager Patrick Malone.

He thinks the lighting is the first of its kind in a Canadian restaurant, adding it's a "considerable investment but we think it's worth it."

Bacon!

Just in time for the Super Bowl, there's a new recipe sweeping the internet and it's called the Bacon Explosion. It's not a misnomer.

Some competitive barbecuers in Kansas created it by weaving two pounds of bacon through and around two pounds of sausage, smothering it with barbecue sauce and then throwing it in the backyard smoker.

The New York Times has a slideshow of the heart attack in a roll — it contains "at least" 5,000 calories and 500 grams of fat apparently.

Bento!

When I was school-aged, my lunch was usually a piece of ham between two slices of white bread and an apple juice box.

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Chinese New Year bento lunch (Courtesy Aster Setiadi)

Check out what Aster Setiadi makes for her children, a son, 5, and a daughter, 3.

She turns salami ribbons into flowers and peels apples to make them look like rabbits.

For Chinese New Year, she created an ox out of cheese, Japanese white fish, pink fish sausage and seaweed.

Setiadi said she learned the basics from websites, books, and photos from Japanese blogs. She said it takes her about 20 minutes every day to create each bento set — sometimes longer if it's extra special.

I got this link from my sister and as we gazed at the beautiful lunches created by this mom from Berwick, Pa., we were already feeling like inadequate mothers for the children we haven't even had yet.

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Vegetarian lasagna bento lunch (Courtesy Aster Setiadi)

"I am just an ordinary mother who wants my kids eat healthy. Bento is a great way to teach your kids that healthy food can taste good and looks good, too," Setiadi told me in an email.

She said sometimes her kids want pizza or hot dogs like the other children, so she gives them a healthier alternative of whole-wheat pizza with veggies and lean sausage.

"They are very excited, because they get a surprise meal every day. Their expression when they open the box is worth it. My son shows his lunch proudly to his friends, and tells that his mom made that for him."

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Comments

PAUL WALKER

CAN YOU PLEASE SEND ME THE RECIPE FOR THE BACON EXPLOSION?
THANKS VERY MUCH

Posted January 30, 2009 10:14 AM

Anonymous

I applaud any mom/dad that can make interesting lunches that their kids will actually eat! As for the "Bacon Explosion", how long will it take the diner's heart to explode??

Posted February 1, 2009 11:48 AM

Darcy McGee

Vangroovy

I had a bacon explosion last week. My heart exploded almost immediately, but the layer of congealed bacon fat coating it managed to keep it intact enough. It's healing up nicely.

Posted February 10, 2009 04:25 PM

nico a. pranoto

Dear Aster... Trully wonderful! You are certainly very creative & explore the right talent... keep it going, and continue success! Both Bento looks PERFECT! i think the photographer also deserve good credit:-) All the best for your bento business... GBU

Posted September 10, 2009 10:24 AM

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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.

About the writers

Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

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