Pie Crust Cookies + Cookie Swap

Pie Crust Cookies-8

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

Cookie Swap-1

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

Brussels Sprout and Pomegranate Salad-7

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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Salted Maple Sweet Potato Anna + JQ Dickinson Salt Giveaway

Salted Maple Sweet Potato Anna-9

I think that Thanksgiving is the holiday I missed the most while I was living overseas. It’s my favorite holiday, at least in terms of food. My family takes Thanksgiving pretty seriously, and with a crowd of 15-20 (mostly Korean), it’s a big production to make sure we have everything ready by the time dinner rolls around. This year I attempted to bring a bit more order to this meal by starting a Google doc to share with my parents and brother, but unfortunately my parents don’t really use gmail and dishes haven’t been firmly decided upon, despite being a few days away from the big day.

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Emporiyum + Happy Friday

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Last weekend I went to the Emporiyum in DC. It was an event that featured a sort of food market with purveyors from all over the country. Held in the Maurice Electrical Warehouse just down the block from one of my favorite places in DC, Union Market, ticket holders filed into the warehouse and walked around to each vendor’s table, tasting samples as they followed the line of tables. You could also buy any of the items you sampled and also buy dishes from any of the restaurants featured there. There was ramen from Toki Underground, chocolate bars from the Mast Brothers, and past from Sfoglini. After a while the crowds were a bit overwhelming so we headed to Union Market to get some Rappahannock Oysters and pork buns from a Toki Underground pop up.

I’m excited to see what they do for the next Emporiyum scheduled for April 2015 but I hope they do something about crowd control!

Here are some links from around the web:

The New York Times posted an article on my favorite neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia- Church Hill.

Amanda McClements, the owner of Salt and Sundry, a lovely shop selling home goods and food finds in Union Market (and now 14th Street) posted a list of holiday and hostess gifts on the Etsy blog.

I love this video featuring Molly Yeh out on her farm in the Midwest making lefse with her fiancé’s family. Don’t know what lefse is? I didn’t either but I learned a lot from this video.

Laura over at Blogging Over Thyme is celebrating brussels sprouts this week. I looove crispy greens and these fried brussels sprout leaves with lemon and chili flakes looked amazing.

Miso Brown Butter Grits

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When I attended Fire, Flour and Fork a few weekends ago, I discovered many new food products in their tasting tent. One of my favorite things in that tent was grits from Woodson’s Mill. These are not your instant grits sold in packets in the grocery store. These are stone-ground grits made from the best local corn they can find. Based in Lowesville, Virginia, Woodson’s Mill is a historic business, a working mill since 1794! Their grits are minimally processed and all natural with no preservatives (you have to keep them in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh longer). They’re freshly ground and you can tell when you taste them. They cook up in 15 minutes and are the creamiest, tastiest, corniest grits I’ve ever had.  I was so surprised when they said they added just a touch of butter and cheese to the giant crockpot of grits they were serving us out of. They were so flavorful without any special add ins.

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Kimchi Fried Cauliflower Rice

Kimchi Fried Cauliflower Rice-6

A few weeks ago I tried cauliflower fried rice for the first time. I was a bit skeptical at first; cauliflower is no real substitute for rice. I grew up on rice, eating it often in my Korean home with a stew, vegetable sides and kimchi- always kimchi.  And while this certainly isn’t comparable to actual rice, it is a nice stand alone dish featuring cauliflower. In Korea we throw some cold, leftover rice into a pan with some oil, old kimchi, chili paste and either scramble an egg into it or put an egg on top. It’s a fast and easy way to use up leftovers. I decided to merge these two ideas together to make a Korean variation on a trendy dish.

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Fire, Flour and Fork 2014

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Last weekend I traveled south to Richmond, Virginia to participate in Fire, Flour and Fork. I had a unique opportunity to attend as a Virginia Blogger and at the last minute I got a media pass so that I could attend Friday as well as Saturday. This meant I could attend twice as many culinary and cultural sessions than I had planned. I saw a demonstration on how to make Crack Pie by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, David Guas made us crawfish gravy and biscuits from his restaurant Bayou Bakery (which is right near where I live) and a chiffon cake made with corn and rice flour by Alice Medrich was whipped up in front of us. Not only did we get to listen and watch them cook but we also got to taste what they made.

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