Happy Friday: Kimchi Edition

kimchi stew with tuna and ramen
I didn’t have a computer to use for the past week and a half because I left my laptop’s charger in New Jersey! At first I wasn’t too happy about it and I would go over to my parents’ house to charge my computer every other day. But eventually I gave in and realized it was a nice opportunity to unplug and enjoy evenings at home free from the time suck of articles on the web and binge watching terrible reality TV.

It seems like kimchi has taken over the world… or at least the world wide web. I grew up eating kimchi as part of my family’s Korean dinner table. Now I try and find any way I can to add kimchi to a dish.

  • To start, let’s look at a quick overview on cooking with kimchi.
  • Kimchi getting a bit old? Throw it in a pot with pork belly and make some some kimchi stew.
  • What’s your comfort food? For many Koreans, especially in my mom’s generation, it’s budae jigae, or “army base stew”. It’s basically an amalgamation of the Korean ingredients you see in stew like kimchi, tofu and rice cakes with a random assortment of Western food items like Spam, hot dogs, cheese, and baked beans- items originally sourced from US Forces Korea when food was scarce.
  • In the last few years I was in Korea, Tex Mex became the trendy cuisine in Korea. I remember the first time I tried kimchi  carnitas fries- I felt really skeptical about it initially but after the first delicious bite I knew it was a tasty mix. I can’t wait to try this recipe for kimchi fries!
  • I love this creative take on kimchi jeon. Jeon is a type of savory pancake (like a latke chock full of vegetables and/or meat) and one of my favorites is kimchi jeon. Mabel decided to waffle some kimchi neon and make a bulgogi kimchi-jeon sandwich.

And finally, not kimchi related but Korea related. My friend Amy Ginther was featured in this week’s cover story on New York Time Magazine. I am incredibly proud to be her friend. Please read this article about international adoption, adoptee identity and its implications.

Happy Friday + A New Year

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Some tasty dishes at Cuban restaurant La Isla in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Midtown Manhattan is right across the Hudson from Hoboken.

NYC NYE 2014-5

I celebrated the new year in Hoboken, New Jersey with my boyfriend and some good friends, eating a delicious meal at Amanda’s and counting down the seconds to midnight wearing a ridiculous hat and having an obnoxious noisemaker blown into my ear. Originally I had planned to return this past Sunday but seeing how I had a week off between my old job and new, I decided to spend more time up north. I got to see my best friend Jessica in Manhattan for coffee, cook dinners for my boyfriend while he was at work and craft a long term editorial schedule for the blog. This must be what it’s like to be a New Jersey housewife (minus the table flipping and cursing).

  • This article in the New York Times discusses bone broth becoming a trendy health food, especially with the paleo crowd. They mention seolleongtang which is a Korean bone broth soup that I grew up eating. At cold noodle restaurants in Korea you can get a cup of bone broth from a large carafe as the beverage that goes along with your bowl of spicy cold noodles.
  • Style Weekly, a publication in Richmond, Virginia named the 2014 Richmonders of the Year as the food and drink pioneers of the city. Often these entrepreneurs have opened up businesses in neighborhoods ready for renewal. They’re credited for the revival of Church Hill, my favorite neighborhood in Richmond. I plan to visit Richmond in February and I have a pretty ambitious agenda for visiting many unexplored eateries.
  • A new year calls for restaurant openings. Here is a list of 9 restaurant openings happening in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia area) this year. I’m especially excited about the opening of Yona, a noodle shop that will be opening in my neighborhood. Mike Isabella is a partner of this shop and he’s opening two other restaurants in the Ballston, Arlington area that I live in: Kapnos Taverna (around the corner!) and Pepita. Walking a few blocks to good food is a pretty exciting prospect for me!
  • Before I start indulging at these new restaurants I need to consider hopping on the healthy eating bandwagon that starts creaking along in January.  My brother gave me a vegetable spiralizer for Christmas so I think the first thing I’ll be making with it will be Healthy Zucchini Noodles Chow Mein with Pork.
  • I want to pack this Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowl for lunch every single day. It looks so satisfying and healthy.
  • Or maybe I’ll just make Black Sesame and Ginger Chicken Noodle Salad because any time I read black sesame in a recipe title my mind can’t think about anything else.
  • One of my New Year’s resolutions is to organize my apartment better, especially my kitchen. Here are 29 things you can do right know to get your kitchen organized.

Beet and Fennel Soup with Beet Green Pesto

Beet and Fennel Soup with Beet Green Pesto-1

The past few days I’ve been at my boyfriend’s apartment in Hoboken, NJ. I originally came up with my friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve and to hang out in New York but since I had a few days between jobs (yes, a big change for 2015!) I decided to stay longer to hang out a few more days. Yesterday as I made this soup a good amount of snow fell and blanketed the town and the skyline of Manhattan was blurred, the Empire State Building a shadow in the sky.

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Happy Friday + Christmas 2014

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Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with those you love. I know I had a really nice one here at home with my family eating good food, playing Scattergories and Chinese checkers, opening gifts and attempting to take a big family picture of all of us. I love the second picture of us laughing. I told them the camera took ten frames in this certain setting but no one believed me and luckily the camera caught us in an impromptu moment.

There were tons of amazing recipes out there this week but here are a few of my favorites and a couple of other links, too:

I love grits and these baked cheese grits look like the next dish I’ll be making with the bag of grits I have in the fridge.

After I introduce my family to Union Market this weekend, we’ll be heading over to DC Brau Brewing Company for a tour. They have tours on Saturdays at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

The Washington Post had an article about why you feel so lousy after a huge holiday meal around Thanksgiving, but I bet this applies to a lot of people right now.

“But if we talk among ourselves and properly love one another the best we can, we will prevail. A just and wonderful world can be ours, as long as we do not relinquish our citizenship.” -Mark Bittman’s Christmas dream.

Brian Feldman’s project “BFF” is running January 1st- December 31st in 2015. I highly encourage you to go! Brian is a wonderful and talented guy and he explores important questions about friendship through this unique and interesting show. If I seemed biased because I know him personally, check out his reviews and buy a ticket here (side note: I shot his poster! It was really fun and I also got great shots of a protest that sprang up in front of us while we shot this).

Mulled Cider with Rye

Mulled Cider with Rye-6

One of my favorite things to drink when the weather gets cold is something warm with a kick like a nice chai tea or a hot toddy. On Thanksgiving my family brewed an impromptu pot of mulled apple cider and for a little extra warmth we added a nip of whiskey. For this recipe I used some apple cider pressed in Virginia and some rye whiskey distilled in Virginia.

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Pie Crust Cookies + Cookie Swap

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Last year a few bloggers I follow participated in a cookie swap for food bloggers. It seemed like fun (who doesn’t like receiving packages of cookies in the mail?) and a great opportunity to connect with other bloggers. I signed up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer a few months ago. We received an email with the names of three bloggers and a few weeks ago I shipped out three boxes of a dozen cookies each to three food bloggers all around the country. In the following week I received three boxes of cookies from three other food bloggers, all delicious and beautifully presented. I got Peppermint Chocolate Chip Teacakes from Bake N Quilt, Snickers Surprise Cookies from Dining with Alice, and Candied Buddha’s Hand Olive Oil Shortbread from Culinary Adventures with Camilla. My coworkers really appreciated the many cookies I brought to the office (and my waistline appreciated it, too).

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Happy Friday + Cookies

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There were so many cookies arriving in the mail these past two weeks! They’re all part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. On Monday you’ll be able to see more pictures and links to these cookies above and the cookie recipe I contributed to the swap. In the meantime, links:

Do you know how to drink like a proper Korean? Let’s head to Kogiya and practice.

This week I put pomegranate arils into a salad but now I wish I had used them to make pomegranate guacamole like Kate.

I LOVE Lindsay and Bjork from Pinch of Yum. They are my personal food blogging heroes. I loved Lindsay’s post called 15 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout. I feel like she is my personal guru! Also, these spicy sofritas veggie bowls look so tasty. How lucky that I happen to have all these ingredients in my fridge at the moment.

Learn how to cook a perfect steak from Marcella and enter her giveaway to win some beautiful meat from Snake River Farms!

Nik has some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen on a food blog. Look at these beautiful buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies (especially that first gorgeous photo… magical).

I’m always interested in planning for breakfast the morning after a big holiday at home with my family. I may have found the ultimate breakfast for the morning after Christmas.

I might only have a little rosemary bush shaped like a Christmas tree decorating my house but Sini’s beautiful winter wreath making post really gets me in the mood for celebrating Christmas.

Brussels Sprout and Pomegranate Salad

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I think this is the third salad I’ve ever posted on my blog. I tend to write salad recipes in times of desperation- break up, impending dinner party, and now overeating for the holidays. The problem is getting a little serious. During November I participated in five tastings in order to choose a caterer for our building’s holiday party. Yes, I had to try all the variations of whoopie pie that third caterer made. I also needed a third helping of truffle mac and cheese. It’s all a part of the job, I told myself.

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Happy Friday + Thanksgiving Recap

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Okay, so this isn’t really a Thanksgiving recap. I wasn’t very handy with the camera last week. My mom’s arm is in a sling (don’t worry, she’s doing better!) so the task fell on my dad, brother and me to cook everything so we were quite busy. It was a pretty calm day of food prep though, with very little last minute scrambling. I did manage to injure myself by splattering molten hot cranberry sauce all over my arm, but it was nothing a quick soak in ice cold water couldn’t fix (honestly, nothing can top the burn I gave myself last night as I greedily bit into a pie crust cookie fresh out of the oven (recipe pending!) causing the hot jam filling to come out the other side and onto my hand). We enjoyed a honey brined turkey, brussels sprouts, a variation on sweet potato anna, and so many other things that made me feel full for a week afterwards. My brother made this pumpkin pie with bourbon and bitters. And the next day I threw some of that skin searing cranberry sauce into some baked french toast with challah bread.

On Saturday my brother flew back to Florida where he lives so we headed to Old Ebbitt Grill, a family favorite before he left. We took this family selfie (felfie?) while waiting for grilled oysters and Korean style pork belly tacos. I now feel like I need to eat shredded kale until Christmas dinner.

Meanwhile, this week in links:

I squealed over the cuteness of these gingerbread terrariums.

Shot glasses made out of toasted marshmallows. What.

I always love learning about new ways to improve on my blog. I can’t wait for Amanda’s ebook on SEO for Food Bloggers to come out!

A nice primer on some of my favorite comfort foods, Korean stews.

Sometimes I feel like there’s a blogging collective consciousness. My family had spiked spiced cider at Thanksgiving and then this morning I see this libation of beauty.

I only have the luxury of asking myself, “What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?” on weekends, but seriously, Marta’s beetroot crepes are something eaten in dreams.

And on a serious note, some heavy things are happening these days. I don’t want to get political on here and I can’t express myself eloquently enough about this issue. Lindsey expressed it beautifully.

Beer and Bratwurst Bake

Beer and Bratwurst Bake-4

A few months ago I took a weekend trip to Rappahannock County to visit Waterpenny Farm, where I was a member of their summer CSA. It was the weekend of the county’s annual farm tour. After I visited Waterpenny, I headed over to Heritage Hollow Farm Store. I first learned of this store through Instagram when I stumbled across owner Molly Peterson‘s account. Molly is not only part of the husband/wife team that owns and operates Heritage Hollow but she’s also a professional photographer. Her stunning pictures of the animals they raise and the beautiful Shenandoah mountains that surround the farm feature prominently in her feed.

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