Happy Lunar New Year everyone! I’m still having a hard time believing that it’s 2021. I’m sure you’ll agree with me, last year just feels like a bad dream that I’m struggling to wake up from. I still haven’t seen my family in Korea, it’s been a year and four months since I last saw them. And spending yet another big holiday missing my family was the last thing I wanted. Maybe that’s why I tried to keep myself even busier in the kitchen preparing for the New Year holiday this year, cooking up a storm to feed just two people; me and my husband, haha (we just finished leftovers). I am sharing recipes for quintessential Korean celebration dishes “Japchae” – Sweet potato noodles and vegetables, “Aehobak Jeon” – Korean Zucchini fritters and a simple spring onion salad today. I have also made Kimchi pancakes for the New Year, click here for recipe.
Continue reading Korean New Year foods – “Japchae” sweet potato noodles and “Jeon” fritters
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. My husband and I would normally be in California with his family for Christmas, but like most people around the world we had to stay home and quietly celebrate this year. But still, we were grateful for the fact that our loved ones are safe and sound. We switched our usual roll for this Christmas; he made savory main course and I made dessert. For the first time, I decorated my baked goods with a piping/pastry bag. I was so clueless that I didn’t even know how to fix the tip and coupler into a bag (I don’t know where I got the idea of doing Christmas cookies in the first place). But all and all they came out alright. And most importantly, I had so much fun doing it 🙂 Continue reading My very first Christmas ginger cookies
If I was asked to pick one dish that will make anyone fall in love with Korean food, I’d without a doubt pick “Galbijjim”, soy sauce braised beef short ribs. This melt-in-your mouth beef dish is sweet, savory, luxurious, festive and comforting all at the same time and often eaten at Chuseok (Mid Autumn festival) and Lunar New Year in Korea. When my husband met my family for the first time before we got married, my mom made this dish, which was his favorite Korean food at that time. My mom is a great cook and she also got a little help from her auntie who was running a successful Korean restaurant back then. Needless to say mom’s galbijjim was out of this world. I don’t know whether my husband was too nervous or too stuffed or both but he ended up spending quite a long time in the bathroom after dinner… Continue reading “Galbijjim” Braised Korean beef short ribs
Life never goes as planned. A phrase that I always loved and believed. And this year so far has once again proved what I believe…well, not in a good way. My husband had a big birthday at the end of April (not saying any number here, but it was one of those big ones ;-)). So from early this year I started planning/plotting a surprise party and a trip. His family in the US was supposed to fly to Hong Kong and show up at his birthday party unannounced. And we would all take a trip to Bali together a couple days later. Obviously something like that is not going to happen for a while. And since we had a ban on gathering of more than 4 people (now it’s changed to 8), I couldn’t even organize a party with friends that we normally have every year.
Continue reading Dairy free, gluten free dark chocolate almond marshmallow cookies
Can you name one person who does not like dumplings? I certainly can’t. I can’t even think of anyone who wouldn’t shout out “I love dumplings!” with a big smile in their face. I think anywhere in the world has its own version of dumplings. And they are often associated with warm fuzzy memories of home, family and holidays. Like every Korean kid who grew up with their grandma, homemade dumplings (Mandu in Korean) were staples that we had to have during the festive seasons. Continue reading Kimchi, pork and Asian chives dumplings “Mandu” with spicy dipping sauce
The night before my husband’s birthday, he asked me if I could make him pancake breakfast the next day. Pancakes are his all-time favorite food, but I had never made sweet breakfast kind before, (because he’s quite specific about how pancakes should be and always makes them the way he wants) so I panicked. If it was any other day I could probably be more relaxed about it, but it was for my husband’s birthday. The possibility that I might mess up his favorite comfort food on his birthday was terrifying. But somehow I managed to pull off simple yet very yummy pancakes without any dramas the next morning. And ever since that day I couldn’t stop thinking about different things I can do for pancakes and started experimenting. A recipe I’m sharing today is the most successful one so far. Continue reading Vegan coconut and cinnamon pancakes with ‘aquafaba’
I believe almost every food culture in the world has some form of dumpling. It can be essential comfort food sometimes, but it can also be celebratory food for special occasions. The dumpling I grew up with called ‘mandu’ is a great example. It is one of the most popular comfort food you could find anywhere in Korea but it is also something my grandmother and aunts spent all day preparing for big family holidays. They are commonly boiled and served in the soup or steamed and served with soy sauce based dipping sauce. I was a good girl helping my family of course, but only to stay near the steamer and get my hands on delicious piping hot homemade dumplings before anyone else. I have to admit, making dumplings is not the easiest job in the world. Continue reading Baked ricotta and smoked salmon dumplings in Gyoza skin
Last Saturday, we hosted our annual Thanksgiving/Christmas party. It seems to have become our little tradition now that we have done it for 3 years in a row. And I have to say I really enjoy the whole process from shopping for grocery (especially when I get to go to a cheese corner ;-)), preparing food and setting the table to watching my friends enjoying my food. Continue reading Between Thanksgiving and X-mas: Easy party platters