Monday, April 30, 2012

Tomato Basil Noodle Bowl


We've had the great pleasure of being invited to various meals at the homes of our Korean friends lately and I'm continually finding myself being inspired to try out ingredients that are common in Korea and food preperation methods that also seem relatively specific to Korea.

The other night, my friend served us a bowl of cold noodle soup with water kimchi. She explained it's kind of a common and quick dish in many Korean homes - simply boil noodles (I'm not sure about this specific kind of's a common noodle in Korea, a little like spaghetti meets ramen). Anyway, once the noodles are drained, you place them in a bowl and then spoon over the top some broth or in the case of water kimchi, you spoon in some kimchi and the liquid portion of the kimchi.

I like noodle bowls. Spooning a broth of already prepared noodles, it's just nice.


Prepare adequate amount of Korean noodles or ramen per individual being served. In seperate sauce pan, heat up chicken broth with any desired spices (salt, pepper, garlic, onion, etc.) Drain noodles and divide amongst the bowls. Tear a few fresh leaves of basil into each bowl, slice of chop tomatos and add to bowls, spoon broth into bowl, top with fried egg and grated parmesan if desired.

Kitchen Tip: Hard Boiled Eggs with Electric Kettle


I've always been a bit embarrassed by my inability to produce perfectly hard-boiled eggs. I think it generally has to do with time. Regardless, I wanted a new way to prepare hard-boiled eggs and recalled a conversation I had with my husband when he came home after a day of working at his Korean Middle School. He said to me, "Did you know you can make hard-boiled eggs in an electric kettle?" I gave him the I-think-your-crazy-look and asked "How?" He couldn't give me a complete answer and just referred to one of his co-workers arriving at work that day, plopping some eggs in a kettle and shortly thereafter eating a hard-boiled egg.

Fast-forward a few months when I'm doing my best to eat breakfast regularly and need a few new treats to prepare quickly either the night before or in the morning.

I decided to give it a shot and it works! Amazingly well in fact!

Here's what needs to happen:

Layer a few - 4-5 eggs in the bottom of your electric kettle. I've discovered that if I stack them, they bang against each other and crack, making a mess of cooked egg whites in your kettle, so just fill the bottom with eggs, no more than that.

Next, fill the kettle with water, make sure each egg is completely submerged.

Flip the switch and bring the water to a boil.

Once the water has boiled and the kettle turns off, set a timer or watch a clock, for 15 minutes.

Carefully pour out the hot water, remove eggs from the kettle (I use tongs) and run under cold water until the eggs are cool.

Peel when ready to eat or prepare egg salad or deviled eggs or what have you.

Easy as flipping a switch.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Puppy Rice Bowls

For awhile now, I've been wanting to feed our sweet pup nutritious, real food. She's never been that pumped about her kibble and I can't say I blame her. I'm quite confident one can feed their animals with relative ease and great affordability while all the while making for a much happier and grateful pet-friend.

 You'll find the internet littered with various recipes and ideas, advice for and against feeding your pets 'real' food. As well, everyone suggests that you chat with your veterinarian to make sure your planned feeding schedule meets your pets individual needs.

I started with a number of dog-friendly recipes and ideas and continue to post them on my Pinterest Pinboard For the Lady (because our pup's name is Lady Annyeong). I also made sure to search foods that are safe for dogs and unsafe for dogs before starting on this feeding adventure.

For the past couple of weeks then, I have been serving Lady up a morning and evening bowl of brown rice mixed with boiled carrots, squash and/or pumpkin. I pre-cook these ingredients to last one-to-two weeks. Then, I've been adding a few slices of hard-boiled eggs in the morning, banana on occasion, a bit of yogurt, fresh parsley, flax seed and even blueberries and strawberries on occasion. She's much more eager to eat these days, although she's getting a bit picky about carrots...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crustless Spinach Tomato Quiche

I have currently set a goal to master pastry crusts, however, I had not set that goal, nor did I have sufficient time the night I opted to throw together this crust-less quiche. 

Served to new friends before splitting off into our respective genders for basketball and cafe chatting, this was a delightful light dinner on a school night.


In a large skillet, saute half an Onion and a couple cloves of minced Garlic, add a couple of handfuls or roughly 2 cups of fresh, chopped Spinach. Once Spinach is wilted, throw into the bottom of a well greased round cake pan. Top with slices of tomato and a sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 eggs with 1/4 cup milk or yogurt, season with salt and pepper, pour over Spinach. Top with grated Parmesan and bake at 350F (177C) for 20-30 minutes or until egg mixture is set and top is beginning to brown.

Overnight Oats Variation: Banana, Peanut Butter and Honey

I bet you're thinking of a sandwich right now.

A peanut-buttery, sweet, sticky, honey and banana sandwich.

It'd be delicious. And so would this variation on Overnight Oats.
Overnight Oats + Fresh Bananas + Honey + Slightly melted Peanut Butter.
Sprinkle a little flaxseed on top.

Breakfast perfection.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chickpea Spinach Pasta


Over a month ago...many months ago in fact, I did a bit of 'once-a-month-cooking', knowing full well I wouldn't use it all up in a month because my life is busy, but not that busy and I just have too many ideas flooding my foodie brain to do all my cooking in one day. Regardless, having things like home-made tomato sauce just waiting for me in the freezer is quite awesome and I'm quite happy on the nights I don't feel like cooking nor walking to any food establishment, that there's something waiting to be prepared quickly and easily.

So, with a CouchSurfing Guest at home and a desire to feed him well while taking time to chat and enjoy his company I figured a quick boil of some pasta along with the defrost of some frozen chickpeas (since we can't get canned one here and it's easier to prepare many at once rather than a few at a time) and my home-made tomato sauce we'd soon have ourselves and enjoyable and hearty meal.

In a large skillet, saute an onion and garlic, add chickpeas, heat through. Next, add a few handfuls of washed and chopped spinach until wilted, dump in two cups of tomato sauce, heat through and mix in pasta , fresh basil and mozzerella cheese, enjoy!

Overnight Oats Variation: Banana Bread Inspired

One of the latest Overnight Oats variations that was hit at the Harrington's breakfast table was a Banana Bread Inspired mix of fresh bananas, walnuts, a shake of brown sugar and shake of cinnamon!

Overnight Oats will never disappoint.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Taco Soup


This soup received rave reviews. Actually, I keep forgetting to post the recipe, but one friend has reminded me via Facebook that she would like to make this recipe, or rather she'd like her husband to make this recipe, so I suppose I should get to posting the recipe ^^

Unfortunately, for those living in South Korea, all of the ingredients aren't that easy to come by such as ranch dressing packets or Mexican chili powder. However, I think the ranch seasoning can be left out and perhaps you can replace the Mexican chili powder with Korean chili powder or take a look at some of Korea's online grocery stores.

Anyway, on to the recipe.

Adapted from the Fix-it and Forge-it-Cookbook

I use a slow-cooker otherwise called a crock-pot which we purchased at Costco to prepare this soup, however it can easily be made in a large pot on the stove and should take significantly less time. It is ready to eat when it's been thoroughly heated.

Into a large crockpot mix together 2 cups prepared Black Beans, 2 cups diced tomatoes (either canned or fresh - if you use fresh you may need to add water or chicken broth to the soup for the purpose of consistency), 1 diced Onion, 3-5 roasted and chopped Green Chilies, 1 can of Tomato Sauce, 1 can of Corn. Season the soup with 3-4 Tbsp. Mexican Chili Powder, 1/2 or whole package of dry Ranch Dressing seaoning (depending on what other uses you have for it/how difficult it is to get where you are currently located ^.~), a shake of Cumin, Cayenne Pepper (Tobasco Sauce would also work) Salt, Pepper, and 2-3 minced cloves of Garlic. Stir and add any liquid if necessary. Turn the slow-cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours or heat on the stove-top for an hour or so. Serve with Cheese and Tortilla Chips!

Banana Nut Rice Porridge

Breakfast is big deal in our home. So is using up whatever random ingredients may be living in our refrigerator and may potentially need to be getting on out of there quickly. Needing to be booted from the fridge this weekend was some rice from a recent dinner of Kimchi Chigae.

If you've scrolled through any of my more recent posts, you may notice I have a slight obsession with Rice Pudding. So, when I was reading through a cookbook on my Kindle and noticed a Rice Cereal/Rice Porridge, I knew I was in for some recipe inspiration!

Saturday morning in Daejeon, South Korea was as rainy as could possibly be making for the perfect opportunity and weather to enjoy a hot bowl of porridge. Throw in some banana and walnut and you're nearing on tastebud ecstasy!
Adapted from eBook Superfoods: Simple Breakfast Recipes

In a small sauce pan heat 2 cups prepared rice (brown is recommended, but white will serve the same purpose however less nutritionally) and 2 cups of milk. Boil this mixture until it begins to thicken, stirring occassionally (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium and add 1/3 cup Sugar and 1/2 tsp. Grated Orange Peel, cook an additional 5 minutes until flavors blend and porridge thickens a bit more. Remove pan from heat and add 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract and the following spices to taste/per preference: Cinnamon, Cloves, and Allspice (Personally, I go heavier on the cinnamon and light on the cloves and allspice). Serve porridge into bowls, top with one sliced Banana per serving and a handful of crushed Walnuts, an extra shake of cinnamon and enjoy with your breakfast drink of choice!

Find more sweets for your weekends and day-to-day...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Menu: Living Room Picnic Egg Salad Sandwich


We had big plans for a nice evening picnic underneath South Korea's cherry blossoms.

But the weather was uncooperative.

So we picnicked on the living room floor with home-made pickles and egg salad sandwiches (dressed up a bit with parsley and home-made yogurt).

It'll have to do for now.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tuna and Dill Kimbap

Sometimes, nothing comes together more quickly and easily in my Korean kitchen than a few rolls of Kimbap. This new Kimbap in a Pinch variation is one of my new favorites.


Into about a cup of cooked rice mix a large handful of chopped dill, a tablespoon or two of Mustard, 1/4-1/3 cup Plain Yogurt, a couple squirts of Mayonnaise and a tin of Tuna. Split this mixture evenly on 2-4 sheets of seaweed, roll, slice, enjoy!

(All measurements are approximations as I generally just eyeball this type of recipe, if you decide to measure it out exactly, please leave a comment with either your post of the recipe or your measurements!)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Overnight Oats Variation: Orange Curd and Banana


Excuse the horrible picture, I just wanted to let you know that Overnight Oats, topped with a sliced banana and a spoonful or two of Orange Curd is a fantastic way to start the morning.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Triple Cookies and Cream Cupcakes


When living life so far from loved ones (and consequently Western Holiday preparations) it can be difficult to remember how to celebrate holidays, or more accurately, that one should prepare special foods for the holiday. Fortunately, I had been brainstorming these cupcakes for months and finally felt the proper amount of motivation upon realizing it the Easter holiday had indeed arrived. 


Cookies and Cream Cupcakes I
Adapted from Easy Cupcake Recipes: A simple Step by Step Sweet Cupcake Book and
inspired by this pin on Pinterest.

Cream together 1/2 cup softened Butter and 2/3 cup White Sugar. Whisk in 3 large Eggs followed by 1tsp of Vanilla Extract. In a separate bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups Flour, 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder and 1/4 tsp. Salt. Alternately add this flour mixture and 1/4 cup milk into the butter and egg batter until everything is incorporated. Fill muffin cups 1/2-2/3 with batter and cook in a preheated oven at 350 *F (177*C). After 5 minutes, remove cupcakes from the oven and press an unwrapped Hershey's Cookies and Cream Kiss into the cupcake batter. Return cupcakes to the oven and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool (or steal one while the kiss is still warm and gooey) before frosting with Cookies and Cream Frosting.

Cookies and Cream Frosting
Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good
Good for 12 Cupcakes

In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup Butter, 1/2 tsp. Vanilla and 2 Tbsp. Milk. Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups Powdered Sugar until desired sweetness and consistency is achieved. Finally, mix in 7 finely crushed Oreo's (original post recommends food processor) and you're ready to frost your cookies and cream cupcakes!

For more sweet eats, check out Sweet as a Sugar Cookies...


Orange Curd

I've been spending more time reading cookbooks from my Kindle, just to garner inspiration. In a cookbook entitled Love of Cooking: Salads by Maggie Brooks I spotted a recipe for Lemon Curd. The author then states that Lime can easily replace the lemons in the recipe...I however was lacking both Lemons and Limes and was rather fortunate to have had some oranges recently gifted to me. I decided that Lemons, Limes and Oranges share enough properties (pulp, zestable, citrus) that oranges could also be substituted in this recipe. Friends, oranges are a good and beautiful substitution in a Lemon Curd recipe.


In a small sauce pan heat 1 cup Sugar with 1 Tbsp Orange Peel, grated and 1 cup Fresh Orange Juice. Whisk well. Once heated, add 3 Tbsp. Butter and 3 Lg. Eggs, slightly beaten. Stir constantly until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon - about 8 minutes. Pour into glass jar or other container with cover and chill. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months.

I recommend grating all of the orange peel and allowing the surplus to air dry to be used in future dishes.

We enjoyed this curd on top of some home-made Beer Bread.

For more sweet treats, check out, Sweet as Sugar Cookies....

SpinachSalad and Home-made Dressing


To accompany the deliciousness that was Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin and fresh bread with home-made Orange Curd, I decided a nice Spinach Salad would suit our Easter dinner just right.

From the Cookbook - Love of Cooking: Salads

Toss together washed and relatively dry Spinach with 1 cup of chopped Mushrooms, 8 sliced Green Onions, 8 slices of cooked and crumbled Bacon and 4 chopped hard-boiled Eggs. For dressing, mix together 1/3 cup of Sugar, 1/2 tsp. Dry Mustars, 1/2 tsp. Salt and 1/3 cup Cider Vinegar in a food processor or blender. Slowly add 1 cup of Vegetable Oil, mixing in between additions. Top salad with dressing before serving and enjoy as a light lunch or dinner or side dish!

Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This is amongst one of the first recipes I ever pinned on Pinterest, unfortunately it took me entirely too long to get around to preparing this insanely easy and delicious pork tenderloin. Fortunately, it made for a perfect Easter-away-from-home dinner.
Pinned from Let's Dish Recipes

Season a 2 lb. (~1Kg) Pork Tenderloin with Oregano, Salt, Pepper and minced Garlic to taste (just a few shakes of each) and place in the slow cooker with 1/2 cup of Water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. In the last hour of cooking, combine on the stove-top 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch, 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 cup Water and 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce until thickened. Brush the pork loin with this mixture 2-3 times during the last hour of cooking and serve the loin with any left over sauce. Enjoy with rice and a fresh green salad and more importantly with good friends!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Egg Topped Purple Pesto Pasta


Looking for something quick and easy? Why not boil up some pasta (don't forget this trick to prevent spillage), toss in some home-made pesto, sprinkle with cheese and top with one or two fried eggs? Quick, easy, light and delicious.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Overnight Oats Variation: Cookies and Cream

Overnight oats have quickly become a go-to breakfast in our home - they are insanely easy and versatile, take for example these Cookies and Cream Overnight Oats. Not necessaryily something you would make on a regular basis, however, when it's your favorite man's birthday and you want him to know you love him and his incessant sweet tooth, you might as well crush 2-3 Oreos into his oats, swirl on some chocolate sauce and top with sprinkles, because it's breakfast and it's a birthday!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Home-made Yogurt Tips: South Korea


I've already explained a few things about making your own yogurt and I hope more and more people will attempt it because it incredibly easy and worth the small effort and hours of waiting, because waiting is not that painful. However, I wanted to take a moment to offer a few things I've learned about yogurt making, specific to South Korea.

First of all, my favorite way to prepare yogurt now is to use a stone pot (often used for dol-sot bibimbap, kimchi-chigae, etc.) I find these everywhere including the little markets near our home, I'm fairly certain I paid about 12,000 won for mine, so it's worth the investment and can safely be used on the stovetop. From there I just heat a full pot of milk to 110*F (43*C), you can get thermometers here from or here from

As for milk, I've had the best luck with Seoul Milk in the plastic container - I prefer higher fat content, but that's just preference. And, as for yogurt, I try to choose one that seems to be fresh and plain and have had decent luck, I recently used Yoplait and now just use my own yogurt to start the next batch, but Denmark Yogurt would also work out well.

Once you've heated the milk and added the yogurt to the stonept, simply remove the pot from the stovetop and wrap in a blanket (no need for heating pads or crockpots) and let it set 5-8 hours until it's set and the consistency you desire. No hassle, really. I bought a large glass jar from a Daiso for about 2,000 Won and happily fill it every week or so with fresh, plain, home-made yogurt!

Chocolate Rice Pudding

I've really been on a rice pudding kick lately - it's just so easy and one of the absolute best ways to use up left over rice - which is continually happening in my home...maybe it's an accident, maybe it's a ploy so that I can create more rice pudding variations ^^

In a small pot combine 1 1/2 cups cooked Rice, 1 1/2 cups Milk, 1/3 cups Sugar (brown or white will do) and 1/4 tsp. Salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together 3 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder and 1/2 cup Milk add to the thick and creamy rice pudding mixture and cook an additional minute. Before serving remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. Butter,  1/2 tsp. Vanilla and a Handful of Chocolate Chips or a few Hershey's Dark Kisses, stir so they melt just a little before spooning into serving dishes and enjoying with a mug of hot tea and a good book (I had rooibos and sat down to read The Help)

Linking up to Sweet as Sugar Cookies, for more sweets this week, head on over here!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Potato and Egg Breakfast Quesadilla


Continuing forward with the newly discovered and loved breakfast trend of 519 Galma, we recently enjoyed half a week of starting the day off with a Quesadilla, how can you go wrong with a Quesadilla beginning? You can't, that's how.

This was quite simple and I'll therefore skip offering exact amounts and such, I'll simply tell you that in my kitchen, the way these panned out was by washing and chopping enough potatoes to fill a pan. Before filling the pan however, I heated up some oil, then threw in the potatoes and covered with a lid, frying them up and softening their insides simultaneously. When they started to brown and were fully cooked through I added a splash more of oil, one chopped onion and some green chilies. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Once this was cooked satisfactorily, I  removed it from the pan and split evenly amongst my tortillas (some had gotten a bit moldy, so I had only 5 tortillas to fill). Next, I whisked together about 8 eggs, a bit of milk, salt and pepper and some fresh parsley, scrambled it up and distributed evenly amongst the tortillas. Sprinkle on some cheese and fold them over, cover them up and place them in the fridge until the following mornings when I would heat up the skillet, throw a couple cold quesadillas on cook for about 5 minutes on each side, flip and repeat and finally enjoy for breakfast - super simple. You probably had it figured out just from reading the title of the post ^^
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