My toughest critic

Blopblah!

Nyles is two and has very little words.  Most of his words are made up sounds that only his immediate family understands the meaning of.  The meaning of this ‘word’, however, is pretty obvious!

Nyles really isn’t a picky eater, he just takes a while to decide he is going to try something, and when he does (mostly because if he doesn’t, he doesn’t get dessert), he likes it!


Slow cooker Sunday – Mongolian beef

mongolian beef

I love Sundays! We get to sleep in, drink coffee and eat a slower paced breakfast, and make our way to church. We spend the day with family and at church and it is near dinner time when we get home. It is a lovely day, except for the last minute planning (you know, open the fridge, close the fridge, open it again in hopes some idea jumps out at you!) and the mad rush to make dinner once we are home.  A quick way to ruin the tranquility of the day!

mongolian beefSo recently, in a moment of brilliance, I dug out the slowcooker and decided we would start slow cooker Sundays. It’s the best idea I’ve had in a long time!

So now I turn on the rice cooker and the slow cooker before I head out the door, and let the appliances do the cooking!  If only there was an appliance to clean the bathrooms! :)

Slow cooker Sunday – Mongolian beef

Slow cooker Sunday – Mongolian beef

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cubed carrots
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients the in crock pot (except green onions).
  2. Cook in crockpot on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours (or until you are home).
  3. Serve with rice,
  4. Garnish with green onions.

Notes

Recipe adapted from sixsistersstuff.com

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We even have time for some cute pictures of my kidlets in their Sunday best now!

the girls

the boys

The Korea daily – Vancouver edition

We made the newspaper! The Joongang daily did a special report on my little blog and my cooking adventures for a feature on Koreans overseas!

Chosun Ilbo

So what does it say? (for all the non Koreans).  It explains about my blog and how and what I like to cook with my 4 (gasp!) kids.  The report also shares that I also like to cook for others and have taught people how to cook Korean food. I’m called a “Korea-mania”.

Welcome to new readers who found this space thanks to the report! And thanks Sophy for interviewing me! :)

Kimchi fried rice with breakfast sausage – kimchi bokumbap

kimchi fried rice

This twist on traditional fried rice tastes delicious.  The classic breakfast combination of sausage and egg added to fried kimchi and nutty rice will have you going back for more. With a nice kick of heat, it is sure to be a favourite!

kimchi rice with an egg

My yobo loves kimchi bokumbap.  I think most Koreans do; I have yet to find one that doesn’t.  The simplest recipe can be made with just kimchi and left over rice but this recipe had my husband licking the bowl!

This week has been busy with Halloween. The kids love to make their own costumes, which the teacher in me is very proud of, but the working mom in me finds frustrating.  We have a huge dress up bin and it would be wonderful if they just picked one out of there.  But no, they had their ideas and were ready to go.  So between working during the day, a last minute run to the dollar store for supplies, helping the kids with the costumes, I was happy we had left overs for dinner.  I made this recipe the night before the chaos!

Here are my kidlets and their costumes. Of course, in the middle of it all, I never got to taking pictures of the costumes until the end of the festivities on Halloween.  And one thing to be said about homemade costumes is that they don’t last very long! :)

a giftgift

Kyah and Jaina were Christmas presents (they did have shoulder straps at one point!)

Soldierfrog

Taron was a Roman soldier with a homemade sword and shield. Nyles wore this cute frog costume for a total of 42 seconds.

Kimchi fried rice with breakfast sausage – kimchi bokumbap

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 carrot sliced thinly
  • 1/2 c red pepper sliced thinly
  • 1 c kimchi
  • 1 tsp red pepper powder
  • 2 c medium grain rice (I used a combination of white, brown and black rice)
  • 3/4 c cooked breakfast sausage (4 links)
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the carrot and pepper
  2. Fry until lightly brown
  3. Add the kimchi and fry until until cooked
  4. Add the pepper powder (omit if you don't want it too spicy, add more to kick it up a notch)
  5. Throw in the breakfast sausage and stir
  6. Add the rice and mix well and continue to fry for a few minutes.
  7. Fry up the eggs separately and place on top of the bowl.
  8. Enjoy!
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Purple rice – bo ra sek bap

purple rice

A colourful mixture of three different kinds of rice, steamed up for a nutty chewy base for so many meals… or delicious on its own with butter and salt!

When we were in Korea, my wonderful sister-in-law made this rice all the time. My sister-in-law is an amazing cook and the best food we had when were in Korea was served in her little kitchen sitting on the floor. The kids adore her and her cooking and when we came home, they begged me to make purple rice just like “kun-ama”(pictured below with her lovely daughter).

kun - amaI have been working on having the kids help me cook on a regular basis. The girls make all the rice that is eaten is this house these days. They alternate making it and have this purple rice down to an art. It is very cute because my yobo will often ask who made the rice and compliment them on it.

So today we have a guest post by my lovely daughter, Jaina on how to make purple rice:

brown riceHi, my name is Jaina. I am almost 8 years old and I am in grade 3.  I like to craft, write, draw and climb trees.  Today I am going tell you how to make purple rice.

Purple rice

Ingredients

  • white sticky rice
  • brown sticky rice
  • black rice (which is really grass seed)

Instructions

  1. You put 2 cups of white rice, 1 cup of brown rice and 2 handfuls of black rice in a rice cooker bowl.
  2. Then you wash it and you drain it. You can drain it really good or you can leave a tiny bit of water.
  3. Then you put 4 cups of water into the rice cooker bowl.
  4. Then you dry the rice cooker bowl and make sure that there is no rice on the sides inside the bowl.
  5. Then you put it in the rice cooker and press "white rice".
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Here is a reminder: to close the rice cooker lid!!!!!

Enjoy… I hope you like it! :)

Oh, by the way, look upside down to see if you can see my mom in the spoon!

Here is the 3 kinds of rice we use:

black ricebrown ricefeb blog 001

Steamed eggs with spinach

spinach eggs

Deliciously steamed eggs with spinach make a easy side dish, or breakfast, or whole meal if that is the way you roll with eggs! :)

Have I mentioned we eat a lot of eggs in our house?  We have a lot of chickens in our coop and they normally produce a lot of eggs, except for right now since they are molting and losing so many feathers that the run looks like they have a constant pillow fight! When they lose their feathers, they lose the energy to lay eggs, and we lose our abundant breakfast supply! Luckily this yummy recipe only needs 4.

What would an egg recipe be with out a picture of my cutie pie helping to collect the eggs?

fresh eggs

Steamed eggs with spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 c frozen spinach thawed (fresh would work too of course!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil
  2. Whisk eggs and add spinach and onions
  3. Reduce the heat to low
  4. Add the egg mixture to the pot
  5. Stir until fully mixed
  6. Cover for 10-12 mins until most of the liquid has been absorbed
  7. Add sesame oil
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions
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Enjoy!

Koko Head Cafe – Honolulu

koko head cafe

This place is fabulous!!!

On my amazing trip to Hawaii this summer, I was spoiled to eat so much delicious food.  I told my yobo we definitely had to move to Hawaii.  The beaches are beautiful and the weather is gorgeous, but I would move there just for the food.  It is unbelievable!!!

Waikiki

Because Hawaii’s history has many immigrants that came to work the sugar and pineapple plantations, the cuisine includes a wonderful fusion of many different cultural foods.  Hawaiian food includes a mixture of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, South East Asian as well as Korean foods.  Kimchi is considered a traditional Hawaiian food.  The Koko Head Cafe embraces this and serves a Hawaiian brunch menu that includes elements from all different backgrounds.

koko headI was so spoiled to go to the Koko Head Cafe with Travis, one of the cooks that work there.  He is my friend’s sister’s boyfriend.  He is very passionate about food and excited about his job working with Chef Lee Ann Wong. So much so, that I begged him come to the restaurant with us after he finished a shift to give me a running commentary on all the menu items.  It was so fun to have him explain everything to us.

The menu included so many things that sounded so delicious.  I could keep going back just to try everything! It took me a long time to decide, but I ordered the Korean sounding things: the kimchi bacon cheddar scone

kimci bacon sconeand breakfast bibimbap (mixed rice) – bacon, Portuguese sausage, heritage ham, kimchi, soy-mirin shiitake mushrooms, ong choy, sesame carrots & bean sprouts, sunny up egg, served over crispy garlic rice in a hot skillet.

breakfast bibimbap

here is my bibimbap, all bibim-ed!

bibimbap

Travis also treated us to all day dumplings. I may or may not have licked the plate of these!

dumplings

Oh my! It was all so fabulous.  And after I had a bite of everyone else’s food, they had to roll me out of the restaurant.

So if you, by great fortune, find yourself in Honolulu, do yourself a favour, grab a coffee and wait in the ridiculously long line up outside of Koko head cafe.  It is well worth it! Thanks Travis, I’ll be back! :)

Koko Head Cafe on Urbanspoon

Ramen burger – L & L Hawaiian barbecue

ramen burger

“It’s so tasty… you gotta try it!”

What screams deliciousness more than a ramen burger?!?!  Bbq’ed chicken and greens sandwiched between chewy fried ramen noodles. Need I say more? Whoever thought of this was a genius!

So where do you get one you are asking.  Well, unfortunately or fortunately, they are sold in Hawaii at the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurant chain. If you didn’t have a reason to go to Hawaii before, now you do!

Beach

My fabulous friend, who lives in Hawaii, got married and my equally fabulous friend took me along as a surprise.  We had a fabulous week filled with fun, friends, family and food! It was… fabulous!

Hawaii

So one day, in the midst of last minute wedding errands, we saw this advertisement:

Ramen burger

How could we not stop and try one?  And while we were at it, why not try them all?  (Except the vegetarian patty of course!)

july 2014 018

Now just in case you thought we threw all caution to the wind and ate three burgers, we were conscientious that the bride-to-be had a pretty white gown to be in, so we cut the three burgers in thirds and sampled them all.  The beef patty was good, the loco moco, which has a fried egg on top, was better, but the bbq chicken was the best.  It was almost too much deliciousness in one bite!

july 2014 015

They were so good, we got the t-shirt!  Now to try and make them at home!