Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beer Cheese Macaroni

Inspired by non-other than Pinterest.

Adapted from Homemade by Holman.

Prepare 12 oz. of Macaroni or other short noodle. In a sauce pan or deep skillet melt 2 Tbsp. Butter over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp. flour and mix constantly for about 2 minutes until mixture is golden and bubbly (this should be a roux for those who are well versed in the kitchen). Next, add 1 cup of Milk and 1 cup of Flat Beer (flat's just preferable, and easier to manage), stir constantly. Cook for 5 minutes before reducing heat. Add a total of 12 oz. Shredded Cheese and 6 slices of American Cheese. Season with Paprika, Mustard, Salt, Pepper, Thyme and Fresh Basil.

Turkish Breakfast

A while back we hosted a couple of CouchSurfer's from Turkey, although they are currently living in Northern Ireland. As always, we learned a lot and enjoyed their company immensely - and, they made a delicious breakfast which in turn inspired some re-creation efforts.

 I haven't been totally confident that my dish is anywhere near the delciousness of theirs, but I'm relatively satisfied and will continue to work out the kinks. For now, here's a general idea of this Turkish Breakfast we learned from a couple of CouchSurfers!



In a large skillet heat a couple Tbsp. Olive Oil, saute 1 chopped Onion, 1-3 diced Green Chiles and 3-4 minced cloves of Garlic. Meanwhile, seed and chop 4-6 Tomatoes. Add the chopped tomatoes to the onion and pepper mixture as well as a dash of Cumin, Salt and Pepper. Leave this mix alone until your ready to serve up the breakfast. Before serving, re-heat the tomato mixture and whisk 3-4 eggs which you will then add to the heated tomato mixture. Let eggs set for a couple of minutes before breaking a part and continuing to cook the eggs through. Serve this mixture with crusty bread and fine cheese (Feta would be ideal but we use anything we have on hand here in the land of Kimchi). Scoop some of the egg and tomato mixture onto a slice of bread, top with a bit of cheese and place into your mouth - let out a sigh of satisfaction and repeat until the pan is clear.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuna and Tomato Stuffed Baguette


The thing I love most about traveling, whether it's in the country where I reside or if it's an adventure which requires a seat on an airplane, is discovering new foods and combinations of old favorites.

When I did my study abroad in Granada, Spain, I lived with a host mother. Anytime my friends and I were going on an organized or spontaneous weekend outing she'd make me two Bocadillos - a simple yet always delicious baguette sandwich. No matter the occasion, I always left my home-stay with one baguette filled with an egg and cheese omelet and another baguette stuffed with tuna, tomatoes and a bit of olive oil.

I studied abroad in the fall of 2005, yet distinctly remember the joy of having these two sandwiches to munch on weekend getaways. So, 7 years later, it's time to re-create the magic!

Rather than simply slicing my baguette however, I dug out the dough and then stuffed a mixture of tuna, tomato, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper into the opening, let the olive oil have a couple minutes to soak into the bread and then enjoyed every last bite of this single meal which brings back some of my fondest Spanish memories.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tomato and Basil Quinoa Salad


I had a bit of prepared quinoa left over after this recent casserole and spent some time considering what exciting things I could throw together. I had initially pictured a simple breakfast of a fried egg and fresh torn basil atop a pile of quinoa but soon had some tomatoes on hand.

So, I threw together a quick tomato, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar 'salad', let it set over night and threw it on top of this chilled quinoa grains - mixed it up and what do you know, threw an egg on top for a delicious, light and perfect dinner for a warm, Korean summer evening!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wonton Mini-Quiche


It seems certain things get pretty trendy on the blogosphere.

S'more anything.
Cake batter anything.
Salted caramel anything.
Quinoa anything.
Avocado anything.

You know the drill.

A little less trendy, but always present nonetheless is the mini-bite-size-taco/lasagna/spinach-dip-cup/thing-you-wish-you-thought-of-dish.

Well, this was an inspiration based on those trendy little, single-serving dishes.

Served 'em up at a going-away brunch and enjoyed some for a few days after for our morning breakfast.


Prepare a muffin/cupcake tin with oil and/or flour. Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).  Place a wonton or dumpling skin into each cup and gently press down. I found 3 whisked eggs was the perfect amount for 6 regular sized cups. Add a splash of milk and your choice of quiche fillings to the egg mix before splitting the mix between the wonton cups. I filled half of mine with steamed broccoli and cheddar and the rest with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until  egg is no longer runny. Remove from pan and toast on the oven rack a couple more minutes if you desire a more crisp and golden 'crust'. Super quick and super easy!

Cucumber-Blueberry Smoothie

This recipe showed up in my email from Vegetarian Times and lead to immediate smoothie creation.

I kept the main theme of Blueberry meets Cucumber but added a couple of bananas, some flax seed and used honey rather than agave nectar. 

Absolutely refreshing and highly, highly recommended!

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Hummus


I started with this recipe for a Warm Chickpea Salad  thinking it'd be great for a day trip Mike and I had in the works. But then, it seemed I'd rather eat more than this salad on the day trip which was turning into a festival outing which promised enticing food items, so... I put the salad on hold, letting the flavors soak in just a touch more.

By the time Monday evening rolled around, I sat staring at a jar of nicely seasoned chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes and I thought to myself, I want that to be dip-able, I want to dip some chips in that - so into the food processor it went before entering our bellies on numerous corn tortilla chips.

I think it'd make a delicious salad, so you can go that route as well, the directions are for the salad - to get the 'hummus' simply throw into a food processor!


In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 3 Tbsp. EVOO, add 2 Tbsp. Cumin Seeds (or a shake of cumin if you don't have the luxury of easily attained spices) and 1/4 tsp. of Crushed Red Pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until toasted and aromatic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add 4 minced Garlic Cloves, cook 3 minutes until golden. Next add 2 - 15oz- Cans of Drained Chickpeas and 1/2 cup chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook until chickpeas are warm and shiny with oil. Remove from heat and add a splash of Lemon Juice and fresh (or conveniently frozen) herbs of your choice (I threw in a couple of basil cubes). Salt and Pepper to taste, let set for at least one hour, serve at room temperature or throw into a food processor for a delicious and rich 'hummus'

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quinoa with Black Bean and Sweet Potato Casserole


I pinned this recipe a while back, back when I didn't actually have Quinoa and wasn't sure how I was going to get my hands on the intriguing little grain taking my Pinterest wall by storm.  Soon enough, however, another English teacher left the land of Korea and in turn passed on some Quinoa to the Harrington household. Recognizing that I now had the opportunity to be preparing the handful of Quinoa recipes I'd pinned, I got excited and began the preparations for this Casserole which features not only Quinoa, but also black beans and sweet potatoes - one of my favorite combinations.

Adapted from SparkPeople

Prepare a square baking dish or round cake pan/casserole dish with oil and preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). In a large bowl mix together 1 cup of prepared Quinoa, 3 cups Black Beans, 2 lg. Sweet Potatoes finely diced or shredded, 1/2 cup Cheddar, 1 Tbsp. Cumin, Salt and Pepper. In a smaller bowl, mix together 2 eggs and 1 cup Salsa. Mix the veggies and quinoa with the salsa and egg mixture before sprinkling with additional cheese and baking for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Banana Beer Bread


This just may be my crowning moment in the world of culinary goodness.

Beer Bread meets Banana Bread and it is alliterative love at first bite. 

I really had no idea how this loaf of bread would pan out, but the idea came and I had to throw it together to find out. 

It was a perfect mix of banana and beer, with an incredible meeting of the dense-ness of banana bread with the lighter, airy texture of beer/yeast breads. 

I could not have been more satisfied with the way this bread turner out - definitely helpful that I get to use my husbands home-brewed beers which are full of flavor compared to Korea's watered down brews.


In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups Flour, 1 tsp. Salt, 3 Tbsp. Sugar, and 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder.  You will need a total of 8-12oz Flat Beer (I used a Belgian), add about one cup to dry mixture as well as 3 Ripe Mashed Bananas. Add additional beer as necessary to gain the proper consistency, thick and sticky, not too runny. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan, dollop 2 tbsp. of Butter on top of the raw loaf and bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Successful Spent Grain Granola

Months ago, I attempted to make Spent Grain Granola and basically failed. And maybe, just maybe gave up a little.

But a few months later, with entirely too many bags of spent grains taking up my freezer space, it became clear that I was going to have to give it a go.

And, while I still have a lot to learn to make perfect Spent Grain Granola, this batch far exceeded the first!

Adapted from Healthy with Heather

Squeeze out excess moisture from 4 cups of Spent Grains. Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. In a large bowl, mix together the grains, 2 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds, 2 Tbsp. Flax-seeds, 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup (or honey, or maple syrup) and 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil (or 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil). Separately, mix together 1/3 cup Wheat Flour, 1/4 tsp. Salt and any seasonings you may like such as cinnamon etc. (not too much, the recipe I referenced originally, called for 3 Tbsp of Cinnamon which I'm finding to be overwhelming). Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake 40-60 minutes stirring every 20 minutes, you want it to stay golden and beautiful, so if it looks like it's getting to dark, stop at the 40 minute mark otherwise keep going! Reduce heat to 275 F (135 C) and bake an additional 20-30 minutes, this is when you want it to dry out, but not really cook any more, stir every 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. At the reduced temperature time or after completely baking the granola you can add some craisins or other dried fruit and some nuts if it suits your fancy. However, I added craisins at the beginning of this recipe and ended up with crispy, dark dried cranberries, better to wait it out!

Anyway, that's the most basic spent grain granola and it pairs quite nicely with home-made yogurt if I do say so myself ^^

Banana (n)Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you spend any time in the blogosphere or on Pinterest, you've likely seen something like this post on Banana "Ice Cream" or single-ingredient ice cream etc. You may even read some posts and discover that some people are now eating ice cream for breakfast...

How magical.

(BTW, I'm posting this weeks later, but want to note that this morning, I had a smoothie...a Pineapple Pie smoothie to be exact ^^ - I think ice cream for breakfast, whether with bananas or not is an acceptable choice)

Anyway, I decided to get in on this Banana Ice Cream action and take it up a notch by placing the mix between a couple of graham cracker like cookies.

Throw those babies in the freezer and I'm coming home for work, desperate to be cool and have a little afternoon snack. I grab one of these ice cream sandwiches and EVERY-TIME, I'm thinking to myself "I should not eat an ice cream sandwich everyday...BUT WAIT, it's not ice cream! It's banana! This is friggin' awesomeeeee!!!!!!!!!!"

Really, every time.

I've done banana plus peanut butter on chocolate lined 'cookies' (really they are graham crackers, but Korean style Digets)

I've also done banana plus watermelon slush cubes.

Both are delicious and refreshing.

Just slice up some bananas, throw in the freezer for a while.

Put them to a food processor, get on them until they turn creamy which will happen after a kind of 'gravelly' texture when the banana melts just a smidgen.

Pineapple Pie


I have never heard of Pineapple Pie until I stumbled upon this recipe at Happier Than a Pig in Mud.

I was thrilled to see a recipe that made sense given the available summer 'produce' in South, don't get me wrong, South Korea has summer produce, but it's primarily melons and bananas, neither of which are entirely perfect for pies (although, I'm sure I'll do a banana cream pie soon enough). 

Were I in the states, I'd likely be enjoying some berries this time of year, but they are outrageously expensive here and since Korea does a relatively impressive job providing only in season produce, especially at prices I'm willing to pay, I don't have many options when it comes to 'fresh' produce canned pineapple?!? Why the heck not!


In a saucepan combine 3/4 cups Sugar, 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch and 20 oz. Crushed Pineapple with juice (I ran my sliced pineapple through the blender...because I didn't have crushed) and 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice. Cool this mixture slightly before pouring into a 9 inch Pie Shell and covering with a second shell. Bake at 425 F (218 C) for 20-30 minutes (because of the higher temperature, it is recommended that you cover the edge with tin foil to avoid burning). Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Watermelon Slush Cubes


A not-so-recent-river-side-picnic resulted in my returning home with half a watermelon filled with home-made watermelon sorbet - I'm guessing the original recipe was something like this one.

Unfortunately, it was no small task to break out some that watermelon sorbet, so it sat in our freezer a little longer than I'd like to admit.

Then, I had an idea.

Ice Cubes.

Because they are easy and accessible.

So, during a Sunday of cooking/baking adventures, I pulled out the melon and let it thaw.

Scooped it into the blender, added a touch of pineapple juice and then poured into some ice trays.

Now, I can have the occasional hard cider (homemade by the hubs) with the nice taste of watermelon added to the mix. Or, I can throw a couple into a smoothie or even some (n)ice cream sandwiches (more on those later).

So, yeah, it was a good idea and now that watermelon sorbet is being put to use!

Samgyupsal Breakfast Burritos


Samgyupsal is Korean three-layered pork which resembles bacon but doesn't have that cured and salty factor the American bacon possesses. Regardless of your opinion on how bacon/pork should taste, Samgyupsal is delicious as a grilled/BBQ'd meat which is the typical serving style here in South Korea - but it also makes for a nice addition to various dishes including good ole Saturday Morning Breakfast Burritos.

Also, i did these burritos up with some additional flare because it just so happened to be a day when I need to clear a few things out of the refridgerator - so while I add a common Korean meat dipping paste and a few tablespoons of ranch to my eggs, it's not really necessary, but helpful if you find yourself in need of clearing out some room in the fridge.


In a large skillet, fry up some thinly sliced samgyusal until cooked through, use scissors to cut the pork into bite size pieces. If loads of fat have been rendered, drain some off, however about a Tbsp. or so will be a nice way to add flavor and non-sticking power to 1 chopped Green Pepper a handful of diced Cherry Tomatoes and 2 cloves of minced Garlic. While sauteing the pork and the veggies, beat in a seperate bowl 6-8 eggs with no more than a 1/4 cup of ranch and a Tbsp. or 2 of Korean bean paste for dipping meat. Make sure sufficient oil/fat remains in the skillet to keep the eggs from sticking before pouring it over the meat and veggies. Let egg set slightly before using a spatula to break up the egg and continue cooking. Throw the mix in a flour tortilla, top with cheese, fold it up and throw on to a hot, dry skillet to  melt the cheese and make the outside crispy. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kimchi Pancakes

As a born and bred American, I generally associate pancakes with Saturday and Sunday mornings, topped with syrup, fruit and whipped cream.

But traveling and aging have introduced me to the joy which is savory pancakes, while I still prefer the sweet syrupy kind for breakfast, these Kimchi Pancakes as well as Spring Onion Pancakes are a delicious and light way to enjoy an evening meal.

As always, for Korean recipes, I use what I know from eating out in Korea and refer to Maangchi to fill in the holes. You can check out her original recipe and YouTube Video here.

Or, you can keep reading and follow my lead ^^


In a bowl, mix together, 1 cup chopped Kimchi, 3 Tbsp. Kimchi Juice, 2 Tbsp, chopped Onion, shake of Salt, Sprinkle of Sugar, 1/2 cup Flour and 1/4 cup Water. Heat a non-stick skillet and 2 tbsp. oil to med-high heat. Pour kimchi batter into to hot skillet, spread evenly and thin, cook for 1-2 minutes until bottom is golden brown and crispy, flip and repeat. Serve by cutting into bite size pieces or simply give the eaters their own chopsticks and a bowl of Makgeoli (Korean rice wine) and let them go at both at their own pace.

Perfect on a rainy day ^^

Diget Parfait


Diget's are basically the Korean version of Graham Crackers.

Layered between yogurt and bananas with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, they make for a quick, easy and delicious start to the morning.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Corn Tortilla Omelet


Sometimes, I want to post a recipe or a recipe idea just because it worked surprisingly well and I want to remember it for future reference not because it's something extraordinary or necessarily special. This is one such 'recipe'. 

Because it's really just an omelet.

Surrounding a corn tortilla and stuffed with cheese.

I whisked my eggs as per usual, poured into a  hot skillet, let it set for a minute or so before setting a corn tortilla on top and working the uncooked egg over the top of the tortilla. Let it set a bit longer, flipped the whole thing over, sprinkled on some cheese, folded it over and let it finish doing it's business.

An incredibly quick and easy weekend brunch for one.
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