It is that time of year again when you look back over the last year, count your blessings, try to see purpose in the pain and take account for how you did. Time to reevaluate how you are doing and what you need to do. It is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.
And it is time for New Year’s resolutions. I love resolutions. I am all over them. I am a band wagon girl; why not get on when everyone else is?
Every year I make lofty ambitions to exercise more, drink more water and sleep more. I occasionally even attempt to limit my caffeine intact (gasp!). I resolve to be kinder, be more patient and pray more. And this year, I am going to attempt all those things again. I figure if I don’t give up trying, at least I won’t head in the opposite direction!
And yet… I still decorate with them every year. I go in with dreamy expectations of a picture perfect event and there is always a moment like this where I am tearing my hair out. This year the boys were wrestling, not fighting granted, but wrestling in front of the tree as we are trying to decorate it.
So, why do I keep doing with them? Because they love it. And in the end, Christmas is about the kids. And really, I love it too, broken ornaments and all. It is the making of wonderful Christmas memories, even if they are not facebook worthy!
Egg-cellent egg rolls with bacon and chives. Does it get any better?
When you have lots of chickens, you get lots of eggs. Except of course when the weather changes and the chickens molt and they go on an egg strike in efforts to stay warm and grow new feathers. Then they don’t bother laying you eggs, and you get grumpy because you are still buying them food and now you are buying eggs as well. But I digress. Besides eggs, when you have chickens, you also start to collect something else… chicken decor.
I tell you it is true. Go into any good chicken mama’s house and it won’t be long before you spot some sort of hen or rooster knickknack. It is inevitable, I tell you, for two reasons. When you get chickens (especially if you get them as chicks and you raise them from tiny little fluff balls), you start to think that cheesy chicken trinkets are cute. They remind you of your little girls at home in the coop and you eventually end up with a few on your shelf or on your mantle.
The second reason is that everyone who knows you have chickens and love them in the same weird way that cat people love their felines, picks up delightful chicken things for you. For your birthday, you get cute canisters, for Christmas gifts, charming teapots and before you know it, you are getting sweet hen tea towels ‘just because’ they thought of you. And don’t even get me started about the size of your collection if your yobo or children like to thrift store shop!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my chicken gifts. I think they are precious, but before I become permanently labelled the crazy chicken lady, I try to reign in my chicken collection. I’m trying to limit the chickens inside my house to the amount of chickens in my coop. I guess it is time to get some new girls in the roost!
“Limpy – the giant rooster in my living room”
Because as I always say, life is too short not to decorate with chickens!!
An ohhh so yummy Korean beef taco. Tender sweet Korean beef with a tangy Asian slaw and spicy gojuchang… you will be licking your plate looking for more!
I have been dreaming of these delicious Korean tacos and sunny California beaches since the weather turned and it has been wet windy here. I’ve never made it to Korea town in California but I hear they have the best Mexican Korean fusion. So while we save up airmiles to make a foodie trip to LA, I’ll just whip us these, crank up the heat and enjoy a little taste of it at home. Mind you, the cost of heating the house might be similar to the airfare… hmmm…. need to think this through!
If you have made this delectable Korean beef roast, these tacos are a great left over meal if you managed to wrestle any beef away from the family as they devoured it. It is also totally worth it to cook up a big beef roast just for this dish!
A gratifying taste experience! With notes of garlic, soy and sweetness, this slow cooked beef pot roast is delightfully delectable!
The weather has turned, the days are shorter, the house is colder and fall is definitely here and here to stay. That means the lawn chairs should be stored in the shed and the furnace needs to be turned on, the BBQ is under cover and it is time to pull out and dust off the slow cooker.
Last year, we enjoyed slow cooker Sundays. With the busyness of the day between church and family, it was nice to come home to a cooked meal in the crock pot hot and ready. This year, I feel like I could have a hot meal waiting for me every day. Since the budget does not allow for a live in cook, I have been putting my slow cooker to good use on more than just Sundays.
I happened to be at my mom’s house and made a comment that I was keeping my eye out at the thrift stores for a bigger slow cooker. With my birthday around the corner, it took my mom less than 24 hours to get herself to Costco and to my house with a fabulous new big crock pot and a hug and a kiss for a happy early birthday! Well, I have been enjoying it immensely! I have been making bigger batches of my standby recipes (including this pulled pork) and trying new ones, including this one. Thanks mom!
A simple yet delicious recipe for eggplant. If you think of eggplant as just a bland mushy vegetable your mom made you eat, think again. Marinated and grilled, these purple beauties have a perfect soft texture and great flavour.
My yobo has fond memories of eating eggplant. Every time we see them in the store, he reminds me of them. I don’t have many memories of eggplants, and the ones I do have, haven’t left me pining for purple-ness on my plate.
So when my yobo’s customer offered him some eggplants from her garden, he enthusiastically accepted them and brought them home hoping I could remake his childhood eggplant dreams. I haven’t eaten eggplant in Korea so I did some research. Even my favourite Korean recipe blogs did not have anything that made me want to jump up and eat eggplant. But then I started looking at non-Korean recipes and I have to say that I think we got something on these Koreans in this department; lots of fabulous recipes for grilled eggplant. And those recipes, had me up on my feet. So I took the marinade from a Korean recipe and grilled these babies! Oh boy, were they delicious.
So when I went to serve them with dinner, my yobo looked aghast! What had I done to his eggplant darlings. They were not looking at all the eggplant dishes of his long gone youth. Sceptically he tried them; and then he admitted they were delicious.
So if you have an eggplant growing in your garden, or your loving neighbour hands you one, try this recipe. You’ll thank me.
A delicious rice bowl topped with kimchi, sausage, seasoned vegetables and a fried egg. A dollop of spicy Korean paste tops it off and you mix it all up in your bowl for a tasty twist on a traditional Korean recipe. Translated to mean
“mixed-up rice”, this traditional Korean dish has been moving mainstream. It has been spotted on the menu of a popular chain restaurant and now you can make it at home!
But this fabulous kimchi and sausage bibimbap has a little story. This summer one of my comics was published an I was paid a small honorarium. How exciting!! I can now call myself a published cartoonist. So how does one spend the Amazon gift card that was given as a token of appreciation from the magazine? A book of course; a cute kids book by the same name, Bee-bim-Bop! by Linda Sue Park. I have been eying this book for a while, it is written about Korean food by a great Korean-American author. (Kyah did a book review on one of her books here.)
Take a look!
It’s an adorable tale of a little girl helping her mom shop and prep the food making bibimbap for dinner. My kids love bibimbap and love to help me cook; it feels like the book could be written about us!
So after reading this book, who wouldn’t be inspired to make bibimbap?
We usually make dolsot bibimbap, which is cooked in a hot pot with a raw egg, just because I think it is fun. But when I served this to my yobo, he said it tasted like normal Korean bibimbap because it wasn’t so fancy!
A simple savoury recipe that tastes like the summer garden!
It is that time of year again where the garden is overgrown and the zucchini are in abundance. I mentioned that this year my garden has been unloved and is in desperate need of attention. Normally I dote on my garden and faithfully water it and daily check in on all the treasures growing under the leaves and on the vines. With life having gone sideways earlier this summer, the garden has been neglected. So much to my delight and surprise, the other day when I was mumbling my apologies to my garden, I discovered several huge zucchinis growing.
We have a real love affair with zucchini in our house. We eat it multiple times a week and I shred up the excess from the summer and I put in almost every soup or stew imaginable in the fall until my supply runs out. So discovering these beauties was a score. We got right down to grating them and produced 6 loaves of zucchini bread, copious amounts for the freezer and these fabulous pancakes for dinner!
And I was happy to note that there were a few more zucchinis hiding amongst the overgrown weeds in the garden…
So however you get your zucchini, whether it is from your garden, from a friend’s garden or the fruit and veggie stand, do yourself a favour and make these!
My kids are not fluent in Korean <hang my head in shame> but we speak a few Korean words and expressions around the house. The kids say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and other simple phrases but they know that they are Korean. They call their grandmother ‘Halmoni’ but they know that is the Korean word for grandmother, likewise for uncle and aunt. Apparently this one did not realize that “Apa” is the Korean word for “Dad”!
I grew up in a Dutch Canadian home and similarly there were a few Dutch words that we always used and it wasn’t until I was a teenager did I realize that they weren’t English!
Did you grow up in a multilingual home? What words did you think were English?