Sunday, September 26, 2010

Simple Sayings for Happy Little Things

Got a new teapot as a gift!

"Yessssss..." ~ Napoleon Dynamite

It's amazing how well the color matches so well with the background of this page. Hubs and I are definitely having a spot of tea in this thing tonight.

 The texture is nice. :)

A deep word of wisdom accompanying this picture?

Even broken things are beautiful...

But this teapot isn't really broken. haha.
Love the new teapot. Thank you~~~

and do you remember the lemongrass leftover from a week earlier's dinner planning?

 It was a curiosity to see if the cut stock would be able to survive and I left that entry with words of encouragement for my lemongrass:

You can do it, lemongrass!

Before we peer into that issues, it was a pretty windy day today and we had our windows open. We were taking nice sunday nap and suddenly heard a *CRasH!* in the kitchen. Getting up disoriented, I went to find that ALL my plants had toppled over from the strong wind! My babies.... but after thorough assesment of the situation, they were all intact and each only lost a little dirt, thank God. As I was tending to my plants and coaxing them from the fright, it was pretty discouraging to see the lemongrass starting to brown at the edges like a cavity ...


My husband told me maybe it was let it go. I couldn't really argue that, but after growing it for two weeks, it was hard to let go even if it's a tough little plant. But look what was discovered today.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action. ~Mother Theresa 

Perhaps it was feeling loved. :)

Bon Appetite!

Foodie Yoodie

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love of Food and Food of Love

My parents drove up from Texas to visit family in Virginia, Jersey and Philly. Their stop here was well spent as we drove out to do some crabbing and enjoy the great weather! Crabbing is something my parents taught my brother and I to do and took us to the beach to do so when we were young. It was always followed by some amazing cooking with the catch. How fun to go with them even after getting married! Some things never change. It's a curious thing to find oneself in the footsteps of the parents as we get older. :)

We were able to catch just enough for some of my mom's keh jiggae (Korean crab stew) and no one makes better keh jiggae in this whole world than my mom! To give us some energy, we stopped by at Gammeok for some Sullung tang, which are beef bones simmered for along time, resulting in a whitish and nutritional soup.

Then onto crabbing. We weren't sure there'd be crabs because it's the end of crabbing season, but there still were some crabs left! There were some mean crabs left in that bunch too. Rude!

There was a sheepish crab. He was purple with a missing limb. We threw him back since it isnt' really edible...and caught him again! Doesn't he look sheepish?

What great weather for crabbing. :)

Aftewards, we came home with our bounty and my mom started keh jiggae prep with the fixings for the soup. We went shopping at HMart and my mom told us that we have great produce available to us and to be sure to take full advantage of it. So we picked some fresh produce and seafood and she produced this mis-en-place.

Prounounced [MEEZ ahn plahs], it means to wash, peel, cut, measure your ingredients before you start cooking. This ends up saving a lot of time in most cases because you don't have to stop to prepare each ingredient along the way. It can also help in cases such as  making sauce that's time sensitive and simply eliminates the time to stop and prep inbetween procedures.

And simultaneously, my dad prepared the LIVE crab to put in the soup. Their claws are NOT clipped. This comes with many years of helping my mom to prepare live crabs and a third degree black belt!

After the soup was left on the stove for some time to simmer, it was done. Food that is caught with your own hands is so sweet.


We also had a chance to go out and eat some Korean style sushi my friend, Jenny, told us about. Japanese style sushi is fresh, but nothing compares to Korean style sushi where the seafood is prepared fresh, where minutes before the seafood was alive. The dinner started off with different small dishes including pumpkin salad, tofu, corn casserole, fresh oysters and clams, mussel soup, shrimp, a whole fish, conch, salad with salmon sushi and a whole lot more that I missed. The table was seriously topped end to end! Hard to believe, but it got more packed than this before the main course came:

My favorite was these little things:

They were simple fried little fish and you can pretty much eat the whole thing. Unless you're a fanatic for fish heads, don't eat the head. There's still plenty to eat on each fish, especially since there was a little suprise inside. Fish caviar. Yum. I wish I knew what kind of fish these were....

And then the main course. The platter really was a piece of art painted with different colored and textured seafood. Fluke, sea cucumbers, crab eggs, eel, lobster etc. The star of the platter was the lobster, which was prepared with the meat in the tail cut to eat and the head used for decoration.  We looked closely and the head was still moving!!  That's when you know it's fresh.

Post the meal, the chef took the head and cooked up a stew with it and served it with some seasoned rice with caviar which is called ahl bap. Directly translated, it's "Egg rice". We were full and it was an extremely satisfying dinner to remember.

Thought of the day: 

How many eggs did we actually eat this day???

Bon Appetite!

Foodie Yoodie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Working Week's Dinner Menu

This week, I was back to the city to begin work with corporate GAP Inc.  It certainly limits time during the week for cooking, so being diligent to plan ahead is pertinent. Planning, shopping and prep took a little work on Sunday, but paid off during the week with easy and quick cooking.




Port Tenderloin. Making this used the practice of barding, which is basically covering the meat with some type of fat and putting it in the oven. It can be done with string, but we used the last of our string to go crabbing so toothpicks areused in the picture. Barding allows the flavor to seep into the meat as it's being cooked. Here, we've used Pancetta to blanket the pork. Pancetta is an Italian version of bacon. Pig in a blanket.



and today, my parents are coming so Kalbi Jjim seemed fit for the occasion. Mangchi actually said kalbi jjim was a dish served to kings and queens! They'd shave the veggies into little round circles for better presentation. My dad jokingly crowned himself and my mom the King and Queen in the past so this is quite fitting! :)  It takes quite a while to do so, but small and round potatoes do the trick, and unfortunately, there's no way around rounded off carrots.  After some long simmering and some carrot carving.....

Bought some better quality meat with some good marbling and you can definitely see it.

Made a whole pot so I am hoping for leftovers so we can shave off making a dinner for the week! :) 

So we got through week one of cooking efficiently, but the best part was my husband's suprise dinner! He had a day off so he took the liberty to use the kitchen. He said the inspiration came from something he saw on Man vs Food. Adam Richmond apparently went to a restaurant where they served a grilled cheese sandwich with 14 different cheeses in his home state, OHIO. (go buckeyes! ) 14 cheeses is a LOT! Kee got the right balance tho. He used cheddar, ham, and TWO veggies- grilled onions and tomatoes!  woot woot.

When I got home, I put my purse down in the room only to find a lonely pant. I made my way to the kitchen because the house smelled scrumptious, but when I got there I was shoo-ed off!

And after relaxing and being lost in the feeling of waiting for dinner...perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup (with basil picked off our plant) and a glass of milk. So good and hearty especially with the chilly weather we've been having. :)

For dessert, a sweet and juicy watermelon which we cut in half and scooped out with spoons. We ate a whole half of the small watermelon. 

and to make the pleasant surprise even better?

He did the dishes. :)


Foodie Yoodie