3.10.17 New Year New Me.

Tomorrow is daylight savings? I’m going to be losing an hour of sleep tonight but i’m still writing this post.

Starting with the negatives just to get it out of the way- my mother this morning said I was “很随便”- she basically called me easy. This was just because i’m hanging out with my male friends one on one and I am not trying to get a boyfriend- which the parents are pressuring me to get. It was upsetting because does she even know me? Not going to spend too long on this cause she apologized so moving on!

I was showing a friend of mine a picture of the White Castle burgers I made a while back (here). After that, I started to just reread all of my old posts – even the ones i’ve privated and locked with a password. They are soo cringeworthy and I can’t believe I wrote some of the stuff I wrote. I guess those were all during that time before, during and after my relationship with JS. What the hell was I thinking.

Anyway, I realized that I def wrote a lot more and with more details in my earlier posts. I think i’m just getting lazy. Teehee…

I think I went off topic, but my main point of writing this post was to just remind myself about my goals for this year. It’s a post about New Years resolution three months late. Don’t blame me! I was on a trip to South East Asia in January so I had no time. Here are my list of goals this year:

  1. Cook a lot more.
  2. Learn Korean.
  3. Exercise more.
  4. Start an Etsy store.

I can say confidently that I have been cooking a lot more! In the month of February, I tried to eat healthier by cutting out Dairy, Gluten, processed goods, and added sugar. Not to lost any weight but just to see if it makes me feel better and first off, I am so proud of myself that I actually stuck to it and although i’m sure I didn’t 100% stick to it cause something probably slipped by without me knowing, I made conscious decisions to consume foods that fit those parameters. Although I couldn’t eat all the foods that I loved, I did not eat like a rabbit and made me experiment with different recipes to make delicious and healthier foods.

I think February was just a great month for me, I even started taking Korean classes! I think today was my 5 or 6th class today (I skipped last week… shhh). I also exercised almost every day and if I couldn’t I worked on my flexibility. I just wanted to be active a bit. The only thing I wasn’t able to really start on was the Etsy store. However, I do want to start on it soon- I have a project that I need to finish by the end of the month which will help start that but I have yet to start it…

I can also feel myself getting lazier, I miss all the food that I couldn’t eat in February so even though i’m going to continue the diet, it’s only on the weekdays and if my company has free food- i’m going to eat that despite the diet restrictions. I’m trying blogilate’s 28 day PIIT but it’s also super hard. With cooking and classes and just all the things I want to do I feel like I have less time to exercise. The thing is, that means I would have to wake up even earlier- which I find soooo hard to do. When I do have time i’ll do the PIIT workout but if I dont- i’ll just stretch. Just anything to keep me active.

Dang, this is a long post. Good update though! 🙂

I’ll try to just post whenever I can, I realized I don’t necessarily need this blog anymore since it has accomplished what I wanted it to do for me- which is to actually work on things I want to do.

 

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Sibling Pizza Night!

Last week, I wrote about making the Gotcha pork roast and I had a lot of left over potato mash, so I made croquettes but I don’t have any pictures of it and it was alright- nothing to get excited about so i’m going to write about pizza!

My brother came back home from college and we decided to make something together and it ended up being pizza!

We even made the dough from scratch using this recipe:
http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/easy-and-quick-homemade-pizza-22754
It was super simple and we already had everything in our kitchen. All we really needed to buy were the toppings.

Playing with the dough was pretty fun, it was enough dough to make four personal pizzas and I didn’t manage to get a picture of my pizza after it was baked but let me tell you- it was beautiful and delicious! 😀

To be fair, I don’t really have much else to say about this recipe- it was straight forward and the only hard part about making pizza in general is the dough so once that was done, the rest was fun decorating and personalizing our own personal pizzas.

I made this a second time with my mom and let it sit for much longer but it was still great- i’m not sure how close this is to authentic pizza but either way it makes for a fun and easy dinner. 🙂

Gotcha Pork Roast!

Happy President’s Day!! I’ve got the day offff!!! 🙂
Anywayyy, i’m backkk (hopefully).

Back in college, someone introduced me to the anime, Shokugeki No Soma (aka. Food Wars). It was  basically food porn and in the very first episode the main character, Soma made this pork roast with thick cut bacon and potatoes and it looked sooo delicious. Fast forward to now and I decided to recreate this since I was rewatching the series.

There are so many people who’ve recreated this online as well so there was a basic recipe to follow as well as the wiki page: http://shokugekinosoma.wikia.com/wiki/Roast_Pork,_Just_Kidding

Anyway, here were my ingredients: IMG_20171224_121409.jpg

The whole recipe itself was pretty simple. The basic idea is to mash the potatoes and add diced onions/mushroom to the mash. There were some recipes that told me to sauté the onions and mushrooms first before combining it to the mix- which I probably should’ve done.

Anyone, once that mash is all ready, you shape it into logs and wrap it with the bacon like so:

While these logs are baking, you make the sauce! I had some trouble with making the sauce because it splattered everywhere whenever I poured the wine into the pan. I’m def sure I got some on the walls on the other side of my kitchen… the sauce actually tasted pretty good but I need to learn how to deal with cooking wine better.

So i actually made these logs twice, this is how it turned out the first time:

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Boy let me tell you- it sure did get me… IT WAS DISAPPOINTINGGG. Of course the bacon was delicious but the show emphasized how the meat juices will penetrate the potatoes and I just didn’t taste it at all! The inside was super bland (which is why I probably should’ve sauted the mushroom and onions first). I thought maybe I should try it again with a smaller potato log.

I will admit, this one looked so much cuter but it tasted the same. No meat juices at all… It was also a pain to wrap the potatoes with bacon. The bacon just doesn’t end up covering the potato log evenly. I think I did a pretty good job though the second time around.

Anyway, if anyone knows how to make it taste better please let me know! I was soo disappointed that this didn’t taste as good as I was expecting it to be. However, I will try to recreate it again with my own personal tweaks in the future.

I still love this anime though- give it a try if you’ve got time! 🙂

Throwback- Kimchi Jigae

I don’t remember when or who introduced me to Korean food, it might’ve been a Korean friend from high school that I don’t talk to anymore but what I do remember is that Kimchi Jigae was the first dish I kind of fell in love with. That meant it was also the first dish that I tried making on my own!

Did you know that Kimchi Jigae, Soondubu, and similar stews use a anchovy soup base? I was in denial about that for the longest time. So initially, when I tried making Kimchi Jigae in college, I used a Miso base soup and it was fine-I liked it but it definitely felt like it was missing something. I call it my faux Kimchi Jigae recipe, which I make when I don’t know what else to make or when i’m too lazy to try to make anything else.

The first time I came to actually acknowledge that anchovies were in these Korean dishes were when I made Soondubu with Unnie (in this post). This time, I didn’t really find a recipe online- I remember the basics of how to make this dish from my past research so I basically came up with my own recipe, no big deal. :3

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Cook some pork belly (or bacon, up to you- I always use bacon when I dont have anything else).
  2. Toss in some kimchi and some kimchi juice (if you can, squeeze that juice outta the kimchi first).
  3. Add in some water
  4. Add in the gochujang and red pepper flakes
  5. Toss in some dried kelp/anchovies (since I had the prepacked dried anchovy and kelp, I used that)
  6. BOIL (toss out the kelp and anchovies after)
  7. EAT

Before anyone says anything- the soup looks different because of the lighting! It was delicious though- added some enoki mushrooms and tofu into it as well.

This was definitely a huge improvement from the very first Jigae I made, it tasted more like the Kimchi Jigae that I would get at a restaurant. I still like my faux jigae though. 🙂

Monkeying Around!

Woop wooop! My lovely friend, Dr. Wormie (who’ve I’ve mentioned in my Worm Mama post) was born in the year of the monkey and her birthday was at the end of September. I started this crochet monkey way before her birthday but I ended up finishing it and giving it to her two weeks late.

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I found this pattern from one of my favorite crochet bloggers, Stephanie (http://www.allaboutami.com/). She created this monkey pattern for Chinese new years:
http://www.allaboutami.com/monkeypattern/

The one pictured here is one I actually made for my dad a while back. I believe this was the second amigurumi that I made with one of her patterns. I made the dragon one first for an ex boyfriend but I forgot to take a picture then.

This time, I used a different yarn because I couldn’t find the one the pattern called for. 😦 The new yarn was  bit thicker and the color a bit lighter. I think also because of the type of hook that I used (I used a hook that was a bit bigger) the monkey ended up being a bit bigger than the first one i’ve made.

The reason I like going on Stephanie’s site for patterns is because she makes things pretty easy to understand and all of her patterns are adorable. I made a beanie from one of her patterns before and I loved it- I’m planning on making a sweater with a pattern she will be uploading soon! 😀

 

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Anyway, usually  I finish these crochet projects fairly quickly but this one took a bit longer probably because I was out a lot more and had no time at home to crochet. I thought it would be a bit easier to handle the wiring this time, but it was just as hard since I still wasn’t used to using wires. However, I am still pretty happy with how the monkey came out. Dr. Wormie loved it too! I had no time to make the banana but that’s okay! It leaves the monkey’s hand free to hug 🙂

Worm Mama

This post is soo late. This project was one that I worked on in the summer. So some background here- I have a friend who worked at the Lower East Side Ecology Center and she was raising some worms for compost. Her boyfriend started composting as well and I figured it would be a cool gift for my dad who likes to garden.

That is how I became a Worm Mama and she became Dr. Wormie. Basically, worms are supposed to be super low maintenance but why did mine feel soo super high maintenance?!

Here were the basics that I learned about raising worms:

  1. Keep them in a dry and dark place.
  2. They hate super hot weather and super cold weather.
  3. Make sure the soil is moist but not super wet so they don’t drown and’t make sure it isn’t super dry or they shrivel up.
  4. If they love the home they are in, they will not try to run away.

First off,  I had opposition from the start from my mom saying that this was super messy and will be attracting all these bugs. Which was false because they stay in their damn box and the bugs wont leave the box anyway because they love the environment more inside but she doesn’t listen to me. So whatever.

Additionally, this was summer time and I do not have central air conditioning so when I wasn’t home they were in the heat and were cool only when I was home. We get sick when the weather changes rapidly, I wonder what that did to my wormies! I also didn’t have a darker place than under my desk which sometimes has the sun shining directly on them 😦

I had trouble with mites as well cause they were eating my wormies! It could’ve been the food I placed in the worm bin but Dr. Wormie told me that no mite should be attracted to the bin if my food was placed in the freezer first- which they were! I ended up calling my friend, Dr. Wormie over for a house call. She checked on them and said everything was fine, I just needed to make sure the dirt wasn’t too moist and to feed them some more.

My hopes were raised because of her words but a few days later, I found no worms and they were all dead. I saved the compost that they created and the box is in storage since. Sigh, I will definitely try this again because I think i can be a good Worm Mama. Dr. Wormie felt so bad that my worms died but it wasn’t her fault! It was mine- I was a bad Worm Mama and wasn’t able to provide my wormies the care that they needed to survive.

Next time wormies, next time!

Bulgogi Dupbap aka Soy Garlic Beef over Rice!

It’s a bit past mid-October now which means Halloween is coming! I feel like starting this year I want to be able to get more into the Halloween spirit. Although my costume this year is only one of the onsies that I own (a panda or a dinosaur), I think next year I do want to put more thought into my costume AND maybe try a bit of cosplaying- in case I decide to go to Comic Con.

Last time, not only did I make Galbitang, but I also ended up making Soy Garlic Beef. I referred to my trusty book- Cook Korean! by Robin Ha for the recipe. When I went to the supermarket to buy the beef, I asked the butcher for half a pound of meat but he ended up giving me 2 pounds! Additionally, I bought the wrong type of meat! The recipe asked for thin slices of beef but mine was a huge chunk! What I ended up doing was just cutting the chunks into smaller pieces.

What is super helpful though is that the marinade has ingredients that helps tenderize the meat a lot faster. The marinade included- kiwi (which is super helpful in tenderizing), onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and sesame oil. What I didn’t like about this recipe was that it told me I needed soju (which I didn’t have but used some other cooking wine) but it never told me when to use it! I added it to the marinade instead.

After marinading for 3 hours ( I don’t remember what I did in the time I was waiting for it to marinade), the rest of the cooking was super easy. Stir frying everything else that the recipe called for (ie, scallions, onions, mushrooms and the marinated meat) and then put that on top of a bowl of delicious rice!

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This was the only picture that I was able to get. The meat was super tender and I could kind of taste the kiwi. The meat was a bit sweat though- I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I’m not sure how many recipes I tried in her book, but I don’t think this is one I would try again… UNLESS I get the right type of meat, maybe that will change everything and change my opinion on this dish. I think part of the reason why I also didn’t like this recipe was the fact that it didn’t tell me what to do with the Soju! It could be because I got this book before it was published? Maybe? I just know it was for the editors at my old job to review.

Until next time! I’ve been posting so many food posts- hopefully I post some more variety soon. I’ve got a few projects lined up! 🙂

It’s Galbitang Weather!

Helloooo~~ The weather here in New York has been so weird- it’s been super warm and then cool. However, since it’s fall it is definitely soup weather! I basically made Galbitang (Beef Short Rib soup) the last two weekends. This started when I wanted to make Bone Broth and I was getting ready to buy the ingredients. My cousin wanted something Korean and since my dad can’t eat anything spicy- I settled on Galbitang.

This was my first time buying meat at the supermarket. I usually go to the Asian supermarkets and since i’m nervous about speaking in Chinese, I try to avoid it even though I know speaking English is perfectly fine too…But! I got three pounds of beef short ribs and bought some Daikon cause i’ve got everything else I needed at home.

Since I spent two weeks making the same thing- I used two different methods for it. The first week, I made it over the stove top with this recipe:
http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2015/12/galbitang-beef-short-rib-soup.html

The second week, I used the pressure cooker since I wasn’t going to be at home for an extended period of time. I used these two recipes just to get an understanding of what I should be doing:
https://kimchimari.com/easy-instant-pot-galbitang-short-rib-soup/
https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/pressure-cooked-galbi-tang/

Like all the recipes I pick out- this was pretty simple, just time consuming. The recipe mentioned something about soup soy sauce… and I thought that was just watery soy sauce but apparently it’s an actual thing. However, I learned that I could just substitute fish sauce.

Here’s the run down of what you need to do:

  1. Soak that meat for an hour, get the blood out of it- change the water when you can.
  2. Blanch (?)/ cook the meat for like ten minutes in boiling water before taking it out.
  3. Stick everything in a huge pot of water (except for noodles, you cook that separately).
  4. Wait.
  5. Eat.

That’s essentially it. I definitely liked the one I made on the stove top more than the one in the pressure cooker. There are a few reasons for that- mainly I forgot to add in the fish sauce and the garlic BUT I tried it again with the pressure cooker and I’m not sure- I just feel like I had more control with the one on the stove top and will definitely be willing to wait the 4-5 hours to make this in the future.

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The final dish after the stove cooked Galbitang was done was delicious and the eggs were an added step I took from a Maangchi recipe. I used rice noodles cause it was the only thing I really had at home. I tried to bring some to work but it’s a pain in the ass to bring soup to work for lunch…. 😦

I’ve got to say though- I was super proud of this dish cause of all the time spent making it. I spent a lot time with the cream puffs but I didn’t feel as proud as I did with this. I think I will try to make more complicated dish going forward (well not too complicated, i’m not that fancy). 😉

When Work Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

Happy October!!! Fall is here and it’s one of my favorite seasons- it’s not super hot or super cold and it’s my birthday season! Whooot whoot!!

So what do I have in store for you today?? Lemon bars!!!! So basically, my work place provides a fully stock kitchen- snacks for daysss. They also provide fruit but recently, they’ve been giving us a lot more lemons and limes than fruit that you would actually eat like bananas or apples. Since some of the lemons were going bad, I decided to take some of the good lemons home and make lemon bars to bring back to work for everyone to eat.

My friend actually made lemon bars first and since she said it came out delicious, I decided to use the recipe she followed. Tada~

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/10294/the-best-lemon-bars/

They weren’t difficult to make but it was a journey… Let me tell you…
First off, I had to go to the supermarket 3 times because I was missing ingredients that I thought I already had at home or there wasn’t enough for me to use. That was pretty annoying but it was probably my fault for not double checking.

Secondly, I am using my toaster oven to bake this and I didn’t have a baking pan they used so I had to make my own pan using aluminum foil.

Hm.. I guess those were the only struggles I actually had. I was a bit worried about the crust because when I was getting mixed, it felt too soft to actually harden after baking but it turned out fine.

To be honest, I didn’t try my lemon bars really- I ate the pieces around the edge but am not sure how the ones in the middle tasted.

My coworkers loved it though (well, at least from what they told me…lolol), they ate them all before lunch- I was surprised they went so fast! Even with four lemons though one of my coworkers thought they were too sweet. I’m going to try to bake more for them cause I love them all. ❤

Like I mentioned in my previous posts, it gets a bit annoying to take pictures while cooking because i’m so focused on trying to make things correct that it slips my mind but this is a pretty nice shot of the finished piece. I was pretty proud of how well it turned out considering how hectic I felt making these… lololIMG_4378