Sleep… aahhh!

Sleep... aahh!

My kids are notoriously bad sleepers.  As babies, they are up multiple times a night and even as toddlers (and school aged kids) they find reasons wake up and wake me up in the night whether it is an itchy back or a wet bed or a bad dream or the need for drink of water.  My baby is not such a baby anymore but it is rare for me to sleep a whole 8 hours uninterrupted!

My friend tells me it’s just because I am too nice in the night.  :) Do you get 8 hours a night?  If so, what’s your secret?  If not, are kids your excuse too?

* I just noticed a typo in the comic… I’ll blame it on the perpetual lack of sleep ;)


Korea & China trip – from a kids perspective

Traveling with kids

I can’t believe that it was a year ago already that we boarded the plane and headed over the Pacific Ocean to China and then Korea!

The kids were determined that they wanted to go and see their Halmoni and had brainstormed fabulous ideas for making money to pay for the tickets.  We had a garage sale, the kids collected pop cans, we brought things to the scrap metal depot and they had lemonade stands.  Kyah even wrote letters to the major airlines asking for assistance.  The kids helped raise over $2000 in the Korea fund towards the trip and that experience made the big event even more meaningful for us all!

After the trip, Kyah put together a power point presentation for her grade four class. The teacher let her share the highlights of the trip including things she thought were interesting and unusual.

If you would like to see the trip through the eyes of a 10 year old, click and enjoy!

My trip to Korea and China

and the saving continues for the next big trip! :)

Guest post on Speaking of China

I am so excited to be featured on Speaking of China today.  Jocelyn has a wonderful blog where she explores love, family and relationships in China. She is married to a lovely Chinese man (from all accounts on her blog) and they live in Hangzhou, China. She invited me to write about raising mixed kids.  I share our story of raising these fabulous four in a multicultural environment.

kids

Check out my post over here!

http://www.speakingofchina.com/guest-posts/raising-mixed-culture-kids-in-a-multicultural-environment/

Bulgogi tacos

Korean tacos

East meets south.  Mexican meets Korean.  A bulgogi taco with kimchi!  A delicious combination of the best of two cultures! My favourite kind of fusion food! This is more of a leftovers lunch then a real recipe per se; cheaters bulgogi using the marinade with ground beef, kimchi and cheese all wrapped up in a pan fried tortilla shell.

I was making tacos for the kids for lunch and knowing that my yobo doesn’t love Mexican food, I wanted to find a way to make it appealing to him so he wouldn’t resort to making ramyun!  How do you make something appealing to a Korean?  Add kimchi!  If the food is bland, add kimchi!  Their least favourite?  Add kimchi!  Yesterday’s flop?  Add kimchi!

As I was thinking about this dish, it realized that it kinda reflects our intercultural family.  Well… except I’m not Mexican!  But the idea that mixing cultures can lead to something fabulous.  Mexican food, delicioso, Korean food, mashi-e-sawyo… but together they are something so good that was weirdly made for each other.  Fusion food, just like fusion friendships, are like that… weird but wonderful!  Now I just need to dream up a combination of dutch cuisine with some kimchi… :)

dec 2014 003

 So yummy you will want to get your hands on one!
Aren’t those little hands adorable? :)

 

Bulgogi taco

Bulgogi taco

Ingredients

  • kimchi
  • grated cheese
  • tortilla shells
  • Bulgogi beef:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thinly sliced carrots
  • thinly sliced onions
  • thinly sliced zucchini

Instructions

  1. To prepare the bulgogi beef: saute the garlic, and the beef and brown, mix in the remaining ingredients including vegetables and fry until the beef is cooked and the veggies are tender.
  2. Place the tortilla in a fry pan on low - med heat
  3. Add a cup of bulgogi beef mixture
  4. Top with cheese and kimchi
  5. Fold the tortilla and serve!
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

My yobo doesn't like soft tortilla shells so I crisp them up in a pan. These can be made with just warmed tortillas in the oven.

http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1413

If mexi-korean food is your thing, you should check out this recipe:

korean nachos Korean nachos

 

 

Strawberry stuffed pancakes – ttalgi hoddeok

strawberry hoddoek

Nothing says I love you like a strawberry stuffed pancake!  These yummy traditional Korean pancakes take on a valentines twist with a sweet strawberry jam filling!

Valentines day is such a special day.  When you are dating and new in love, you think it is the best; it is so romantic.  When you have kids it is just a wonderful day to celebrate love, all kinds of love, friendships and relationships.  Little valentines cards go to school and come home.  The teacher, me, gets a few special teacher cards and I go home, slightly frazzled from 5 year olds on a sugar high, but feeling loved.  And at home in your family, your kids make you cards and leave secret messages in the mail box.  You make a fancy breakfast with valentines under their plates. Your husband brings home chocolates.  You eat some strawberry pancakes.  And life is good.  Love is good.

So how do you say I love you in Korean?  Besides with strawberry pancakes?  Sa -rang-he-yo!  Give it a try, it might work wonders for you this valentines day! :)

Strawberry stuffed pancakes – ttalgi hoddeok

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 pancakes

Strawberry stuffed pancakes – ttalgi hoddeok

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat...doesn't that make it healthy?)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • Icing sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar, yeast, salt and oil
  2. Add the flour slowly and mix it all together
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour or it has doubled in size
  4. Knead the dough slightly to release the bubbles
  5. Cover again and allow to rise for 10-20 minutes
  6. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough
  7. Divide into 8 balls
  8. Flatten a ball in the palm of your hand and fill the center with 1 tbsp of jam
  9. Pinch the sides to the top to close it up
  10. Fry in an oiled pan on medium heat
  11. Fry for 30 seconds and flip it over and flatten it out so it looks like a pancake
  12. Flip it over and fry until golden brown
  13. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy warm!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1755

A visual how-to:

hoddeokhoddeokhoddeokstrawberry hoddeokhoddeokstrawberry hoddeok

Some of my valentines enjoying the love!

the boys

Korean lentil veggie pancakes

lentil veggie pancakes

Savoury pancakes with a protein punch! One mouthful of these and you will be back for more.  Haven’t tried savoury pancakes before?  Those Koreans, they knew what they were doing when they fried up this fabulous food!

I have a confession: I love pancakes and could eat them every meal of the day.  Sweet in the morning with blueberries and maple syrup, savoury for dinner with zucchini and soy sauce! Nothing makes me swoon like a crispy pancake.  I have make endless variations of the traditional Korean pancake (jeon) and just when I thought I couldn’t come up with anymore, I made these!

I was looking to add protein without adding meat.   Enter in lentils!  What a amazing addition to this recipe.  The red lentils cook up quickly not adding too much prep time and with 16 grams of fibre and 30 grams of protein for 1/2 cup, they add a nutritional punch to this already ridiculously good recipe!  Now my little perfect pancakes are a protein powerhouse!

So do yourself a favour, break out your fry pan, get cooking!  Grab your chopsticks, dip them in some soy sauce, bow to the Koreans and thank Saskatchewan farmers for their lentils!

Korean lentil veggie pancakes

Korean lentil veggie pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of red lentils
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • oil

Instructions

  1. Cook up the red lentils according to the package, drain and cool
  2. Slice the zucchini, carrots and green onions nice and thin (a mandolin works great for this!)
  3. Mix together the eggs, flour, water, soy sauce, onion powder and garlic powder
  4. Add in the lentils and veggies
  5. Heat up the oil in a frying pan
  6. Put the batter in the pan according to the size you would like
  7. Flip when browned and squish the pancake flat - this cooks up the veggies
  8. Flip again and squish hard
  9. Serve hot with soy sauce
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1642

 

 

Sesame spinach side dish- sigeumchi namul

spinach

Trying to get more vegetables into your meal plan?  Tired of the same old, same old steamed veggies?  This delicious garlicky spinach Korean side dish will have you craving those leafy greens!!

This is a very common side dish (banchan) in Korea served with rice and other side dishes such as kimchi,  honey potatoes or a bell pepper banchan. It is one of my yobo’s favourite; he has fond memories of eating this everyday in spinach season. He waxes on about his mom and his childhood when he eats it  reminiscing about trimming spinach in the garden.  He recalls being influenced by Popeye cartoons and wanting to eat lots of it to grow big and strong.  Our kids have no idea who Popeye is, so the stories are lost on them.  This poor generation of kids, not having heroes like Popeye to look up to.  I should find some old cartoon clips and show them.  For educational purposes, of course!

So whether you are old enough to remember Olive Oyl and Brutus or not, I promise you, if you make this dish, it will be gone before you can say ‘Popeye’!

Sesame spinach – Sigeumchi namul

Ingredients

  • 300g spinach
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 green onion chopped fine
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. blanch the spinach in hot water for 30 seconds
  2. drain and squeeze out excess water
  3. add the remaining ingredients
  4. mix well
  5. serve and enjoy!
http://koreainmykitchen.com/?p=1428

Recipe from Maangchi.com