Thanksgivng 2014 and the leftovers!

Have you taken off your turkey pants yet? After 4 days of stuffing my face, nothing seems to fit me any more so I still have my turkey pants on. πŸ˜‰

I just finished cooking some turkey curry with the very last batch of turkey meat!

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Yesterday, I tried making this salad below, which came out great.

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Basically, take some of dry, white turkey meat, cut up some veggies
(onions, scallions, bell peppers, etc.) and mix with this dressing I use to make a smoked duck salad. How to make the dressing (4 servings) : 3 table spoons wholegrain mustard, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons honey, 5 tablespoons of vinegar and some minced garlic. BAM! Thanksgiving food is one of my favorite but let’s admit it. It’s very heartattacky! This way, you still get to enjoy the turkey as much as possible yet in a healthier way. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of awesomeness of Thanksgiving food, this year, instead of going up to see the family, we decided to stay here and cook. Here’s what we cooked and, I gotta say, it wouldn’t have been as fantabulicious without Food Network Magazine. πŸ˜‰

Appetizer 1: Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms (Recipe here!)

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Appetizer 2: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp (Recipe here!)

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Side 1: Apple and Sausage Stuffing (Recipe here!)

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Side 2: Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows (Recipe here!)

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Side 3: Swiss Chard Gratin – Special thanks to Jo for cooking this for us last year! (Recipe here!)

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Side 4: Jalapeno-Bacon Skillet Cornbread (Recipe here!)

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Side 5: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Recipe here!) & Gravy by hubby!

Everyone was in food coma after dinner. πŸ™‚

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No matter how stuffed you are, you can’t skip desserts! Thanks to Erika, who is an awesome baker, Thanksgiving night was finally complete!

IMG_0843.JPGHope everyone had an awesome turkey day! Gobble gobble!

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It’s apples and apples!

I gotta say baking has never been my thing. It’s just too much precise measuring, timing, etc. Plus, it’s TMI! I don’t feel comfortable knowing how much butter, shortening (what the heck is this white substance anyway!) or sugar is in my desserts. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. πŸ˜‰ However, this Fall, I’ve been kinda “forced” to since I went to Hollin Farms in Delaplane, VA last weekend.

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So, what do I do when I have bags of apples? Gotta bake!

First, we baked a cinnamon crumble apple pie. Recipe is from Epicurious.com.

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I had never baked anything but store-ready-made-frozen-dough cookies but making this pie was a lot better than I had imagined. The best part? the crumbles!

Next, we baked “apple brownies”, recipe of which is also from Epicurious.com.

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This is actually my favorite so far. Crispy on top but super moist inside. Just the right amount of cinnamon. I brought this to work and the girls were literally moaning! #Foodgasm πŸ˜‰

And tonight, we made some “apple peanut butter cookies”. That’s right. Apples + peanut butter! This recipe I found on Taste of Home.

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Personally, I am not a big fan of peanut butter but the hubby is. πŸ™‚ They came out great. Very moist inside. The recipe says “grated peeled apple” but I chopped the apple with a knife. That way, the cookies definitely have more “texture” IMO.

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After baking the whole week, I did not feel like cooking tonight so we ordered some Chinese food. Guess what the fortune cookies said: “Apple” and “Sugar”! It’s a sign. We still have about a dozen of apples and that means we gotta keep baking! Bakers gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake~ Bake it up! πŸ™‚

Memorial Day at a beautiful log house in West Virginia!

Memorial Day weekend this year was extra special, for we went to West Virginia with a bunch of friends. We ate, ate and ate, starting from kimchi soup to s’mores! If you are tired of your everyday brats and corn on the cob, go to H-Mart and buy some galbi marinade for your meat. πŸ™‚

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It was my first time ever to go to West Virginia and it was awesome! We used AirBnb again, which makes a lot of sense if you have more than a couple of people in your group. While we were busy stuffing out faces, we did get to do some fun things too: horseback riding, hiking, fishing, star watching and some boozing in the hot tub!

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I have a feeling that we might end up doing the same thing every Memorial Day weekend from now on. I know I had lots of fun when I still have that John Denver song in my head: “country roads~ take me home~ to the place~ I belong~” πŸ˜‰

Walked 5K, gained 5lbs!

The girls at work decided to participate in Race for the Cure this year. So many people came out to support breast cancer survivors, patients and the families! It was quite a scene. πŸ™‚

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Knowing that we would be hungry after walking a 5k (3.1 mile), we had asked my hubby to cook us lunch! πŸ˜‰ (Thank you!)

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Homemade guacamole and chips, pasta salad (andouille, grilled zucchini, summer squash, red bell peppers, cheese, basil-garlic oil, parsley, red wine vinegar, etc.), pulled pork (with homemade barbecue sauce) and cabbage-carrot-apple coleslaw on Hawaiian rolls, corn on the cob and Korean short rib BBQ (HT Merylin) aka Galbi! Of course, there was lots of boozing involved as well: margaritas, red and white wine!

After a series of multiple foodgasms, we were all in some serious foodcoma lol πŸ˜‰

Lots of laughs, delicious food and good company; couldn’t ask for a better weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Korean fried chicken – Let’s make it at home!

If you live in the DMV area, you cannot help running into the name of the chicken joint, Bonchon!

Bonchon Chicken is found in different locations, mostly on the east side of the country. This Korean style soy garlic fried chicken is so delicious that it haunts me day and night so I decided to make it at home.

Here’s what we need (2 servings):

– 8 drumsticks (washed and scored)
– flour (lightly seasoned with salt and pepper)
– sauce : 4 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp molasses or honey, 2 Tbsp sugar, 4 Tbsp mirin or cooking wine, 1 Tbsp flour (My secret ingredient is a Tbsp of sriracha sauce!)

Once you figure out the ingredients, the hardest part is done!

1. Put the chicken in a zipper bag with seasoned flour. Shake it.
2. Pour some oil in a pot and keep your stove at medium heat.
3. When the oil gets hot, put the chicken into the pan. When it becomes light brown, take it out and let it rest on a paper towel.
4. KEY STEP: When it cools down a little, put it back to the pan to finish cooking! This way, the chicken gets super crispy even when smothered in the sauce
5. While chicken is frying, put all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate pan and cook it at low heat so the garlic doesn’t burn.
5. Poke the chick with a chopstick or a knife to make sure it’s done. No one likes undercooked, bloody chicken. πŸ˜‰
6. Let the chicken rest on a paper towel for a couple of minutes. Then, put it in the sauce.
7. Mix it well till the chicken gets all nice and saucy!

Now, we have this awesome chicken HOMEMADE!

I gotta say, it wasn’t exactly the same but was PDD, pretty damn delicious! πŸ™‚ Much more affordable, much healthier but still mouthwatering!

Korean fried chicken – aka ChiMac – is “a thing” in Korea. Especially when Korean people watch baseball or soccer games, chicken delivery places get unbelievably busy. Recently, a Korean soap opera made ChiMac super popular even in China. So I’m gonna enjoy my garlic soy chicken with some cold beer. Sounds darn good, right? πŸ˜‰

All I want for Christmas is…. pickles?!

I already posted the recipe for my grandma’s special pickles a while ago. This time, these pickles are just for my coworkers! πŸ™‚

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I usually put a lot of spicy peppers in my pickles but I stuck to the “classic” water-vinegar-salt recipe with cucumbers, garlic and dill just in case. Personally, I wouldn’t say that this batch is my best. However, it’s the thought that counts, right? πŸ˜‰ I hope my holiday spirit gets delivered to the tasters!! Happy holidays! πŸ™‚

P.S. Girls, put the pickles on your sandwich πŸ™‚ Don’t forget to use the leftover pickle juice to marinate chicken!!

HT The Bosco’s for this awesome idea!

Thanksgiving food coma!

We all need our turkey pants on Thanksgiving, don’t we? Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Mmmmmm.. This year, our Thanksgiving dinner was extra scrumptious with some additions to the traditional menu.

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My favorite was Swiss chard gratin!
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No meal is complete without desserts and Thanksgiving is no exception! A pecan pie, ginger ice cream, orange cranberry thyme sorbet ALL HOMEMADE! Did I cook? No way! πŸ˜‰ Special thanks to great chef Jo πŸ™‚ I was so stuffed that I could hardly breathe but you know what?
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We all gotta eat three times a day πŸ™‚ Post-thanksgiving blueberry pancakes with local maple syrup perfected my thanksgiving weekend! How was yours other than all the family shenanigans? πŸ˜‰

Happy 4th! Happy tummy!

How was your 4th? Mine was full of yummy food!! Homemade sausages were the best! Reuben brats, cheddar brats and italian – precooked in beer bath and grilled. “Cooler” corn. Eastern shore shrimp and clam boil. S’more. “Mountain pies”. And yes, that all happened in a day! Special thanks to the Boscos πŸ™‚ Their food is money! πŸ˜‰

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Quick stir fry

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I just realized that I “cook” this quite often these days. It’s one of my favorite hodgepodge dishes and that’s just because it’s so easy to make!

Any leftover vegetables and/or any type of protein. Beef, pork, chicken, tofu or shrimp! I’ve tried all of them and they all turn out great.

On a pan, put some vegetable oil and cook garlic and onions so they get that nice color. Once they are cooked, dump everything in the pan. Depending on the meat/seafood, you might wanna put certain things a little later that the others. For example, beef or shrimp cooks pretty fast, while cabbages and peppers cook a little slower than that. Then you season what’s on the pan.

The key is the sauce. I don’t really like to use too much salt if possible. So these two things have become my BFF’s: oyster sauce & sriracha sauce! You can find sriracha sauce commonly in Thai restaurants or Vietnamese restaurants. This is easily found in any grocery store Now. THE SAUCE LITERALLY IS GOD’S GIFT! It can be used as a dipping sauce or it can add a nice spicy kick to your boring dish. Everything tastes better with sriracha. You can make an exotic aioli with it as well.

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When you are too lazy to cook anything fancy and you have a lot of leftover veggies – zucchini, onions, cabbages, peppers, string beans or any sort – chop them up and treat yourself and your beloved ones!

Weekend is here and the weather is beautiful! Happy feast!

Korean style spicy salad

20130331-202519.jpg What goes perfectly well with scrumptious bulgogi? This spicy, tangy, sweet salad! Any type of lettuce will do as well as bok choy, napa cabbage and/or spring greens. You can cut the lettuce into small pieces and mix it with the sauce. Add more if needed.
>>> The key is the sauce: soy sauce(2), vinegar(2), honey(1), minced garlic(0.5), red pepper flakes(1-2), sesame oil(0.5-1), sesame seeds(1)

So easy to make!