Korean Mask Making

Korean Mask Making
The mask I made while at the GEPIK teachers training. I left it on the bus though, never to be seen again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Videos on visit Korea year webpage!!

Check out these videos I saw in the Visit Korea year webpage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Galbi Gone Wild

Despite the fact that we live in Korea, we decided to try and make a Korean BBQ Feast at home. Why? We REALLY wanted Galbi, but didn't want to spend the $15 bucks it takes to get it.

After going to the market to get the last few ingredients we needed, we set out on our journey to make something similar to what the popular restaurant Sorae serves, the side dishes, and even dwenchan jjigae included.

The result was delicious, and only required us opening our doors and windows a few times to prevent the fire alarm from going off (and, we've realized the crack in our stone plate was the smoke-causing-culprit, so hopefully next time, if there IS a next time, we can avoid the problem.)

Step 1: The rice
Always start by making the rice, because it usually takes the longest. Nothing is worse than having dinner ready, but waiting on the rice.
We wash, soak, and then cook the rice. We don't have a rice cooker, so we do it on the stove top. Soak for 10-30 min, bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat down as low as possible, let it simmer for 10 minutes, then put the heat on high for 10 seconds. Shut it off, leave the lid on until you're ready to serve it.

Step 2: Chop chop chop-
We cut all the veggies in one go- onion, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, lettuce, etc. We put all our dwenchang jjigae ingreients right into the dolsots, but we waited to make the soup until we were half way through our meal (so we could have it in the middle of the meal, just like at the restaurant!)

Step 3: Side dishes-
The meat is a matter of cooking and eating as you go, so having all the sides ready is a must. We made bean sprouts by lightly boiling them (I used the leftover water in the soup), then adding the sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, chili flakes, pepper, and I like a little gochucjang even though I know it's not part of the recipe.

We also made our dipping sauce (water, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, wasabi) and washed the lettuce.

Step 4: Fire up the grill. We used a little camping stove on the table like the cheap galbi places. We started with the bacon (since we didn't have sam gep sal, we improvised) so that it would oil up the grill to help cook the onion and potatoes, and then we cooked our meat; shabu shabu beef since that is all we had. I marinated it a bit in sesame oil and soy sauce, and then we just threw it on the hot stone plate for a few seconds and ate it up.

Step 5: Finish off your soup. Heat the dolsot and veggies with a little oil, add the chili flakes and bean paste, then add the water (I used the leftover sprout water). When the potatoes are done throw in tofu and green onion if you have it, and mmmmm... It's just like Sorae!

Step 6: Moan and groan as you deal with all the dishes, and realize if you live in Korea it's worth the extra few bucks to have SOMEONE ELSE do all the work to make galbi! Instead of washing the dishes, go to the corner store for another beer and then relax with full bellies.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I am an amazing blogger

I am so good at this blog thing! I haven't posted since February, which I guess is ok since I only have one follower (I love you Ruth!)

I wish I had blogged more, or at least kept a journal, because I really enjoyed reading my last post. Too bad there aren't more.

Life in Korea is still going strong. Last weekend our 1 year Mexico wedding anniversary... I made a delicious chocolate cake that my co-worker made for my birthday, Ayax has been askign for it ever since (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Dark-Chocolate-Cake-I/Detail.aspx). I added nuts and chocolate chips to the recipe. I made two small cakes, then cut them in half to make 4 layers. I filled them with whipped cream (stabilized with corn starch since I have yet to find gelatin here) and made a fudge frosting (http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/quick-fudge-icing/Detail.aspx). I made up a little butter cream icing and decorated the cake with hearts and "Amy and Ayax- 1 year." Super corny, not all that beautiful, but the cake was delicious, weighs a TON... there are probably 1,000 calories per square inch!

Ayax loved, and reciprocated by not doing ANYTHING, today, finally, I got the flowers I've been bugging him about for a month. Its a beautiful gardenia, lets hope I don't kill it!

My parents will come to visit soon, so we have been thinking about all the foods we want to make sure they try. Here is the list we have so far. We will have to eat A LOT because they are only here 10 days!

Here is our list, in no particular order:
Korean Toast, Jajameyon, Shabu Shabu, Korean Shabu Shabu, Galbi (both pork and duck), Chicken Galbi, Pajeon (Korean pizza/pancake), Oyster Soup from Noodle Tree, Kimbab World/Palace (the orange place), Soondoboo, cutlet, bibimpap, Nemyeon, Poridge, Army Soup, Korean Traditional with milions of side dishes, Potato Pizza?, and maybe live octopus, or at least the ones that wiggle around on your plate if they want it. We'd also do dog if my parents are interested. Then there is all the street food- rice cakes in spicy sauce, sweet pancakes filled with sugary goo, little dough balls with bean paste and nuts, songpyeon (rice cakes), silk worms, pork on a stick, the amazing hot dogs at gangbyeon, the strechy-honey-candies... OH, the list goes on. You can forget all the free samples at Lotte Mart...

Luckily, there will be 4 or 5 of us so we can try lots of bites of different foods! Its good that when my family travels, the goal is just to fill the time between meals, so eating is the main form of tourism their interested it!

Ok, that's all for now. My goal is to finish our wedding album by our U.S. one year anniversary, so I only have till August to finish it up. I've got about 20 more pages to do, so it's possible...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Birthday!

So I am sitting here at work, tipsy from the giant, amazing, all-you-can-drink-and-eat-lunch we just had, and am looking for ways to pass the time that don't actually involve me working.

Today is my birthday, but it is also the last day of school in Korea, on March 1st the kids will come back and start a new year (change grade levels). It is a bit strange for us westerners, because the kids have a LOOONG break from Dec-February, then they come back for just 1 week, exactly 5 days, and then it is vacation time again. I guess its just a way for them to tie up loose ends or something.

There was a big graduation ceremony this morning, where the parents all sat in the kids classrooms and watched the ceremony on TV, that is when the TV's were working. After that we had our big lunch, and now everyone is just sleepily sitting in front of their computers waiting for 4:40 to arrive.

I am feeling particularity fat since Ayax made me an amazing birthday-breakfast (after blasting "los mananitas" at 7AM to wake me up :). He made a traditional Mexican breakfast- ham & eggs, refried beans, bread, and oatmeal with fruit. Yum! He also gave me really cute matching t-shirts, Koreans couple like to wear matching clothes. I bet you can't wait for pictures!

Lunch was this giant bowl of community soup that is cooked right there on your table (Plus unlimited beer & soju!). The Japanese version is called Shabu Shabu, but apparently this is "Chon Gul." Lots of mushrooms, and you pick the meat out and make like lettuce tacos. I also ate raw crab soaked in a chili sauce; weird, but not terrible. As a result of this meal, I learned how to say "Pebulo Chuketa" which means, basically, I am so full I am dying.

I think Ayax has some sort of surprise in store for me, so we shall see. Tomorrow is the 6th Annual Bikini Martini Parti; I am excited!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yogurt Making!

So, the only un-sweeted yogurt I have been able to find is at Costco. Its really good, BUT it comes with way too many for us to eat before the expiration date (well, I take that back. Ayax would eat them all in one day if I let him), but since we don't go to Costco very often, I was looking for an alternative.

Homemade yogurt it is!! I tried it over the weekend, and ba-bam! It worked great!
Here is what I did:

- Boil the container, spoon, and lid to sterilize it. I am not sure this is necessary.
- Heat however much milk you want (that's how much yogurt you will have) until it's almost boiling, but don't let it boil. It will get "frothy"
- Cool the jar and milk; the milk should be cooled to "baby bottle temperature" (drop it on your wrist)
- Put the milk in the jar, and add two tablespoons of un-sweetend yogurt (to 1 liter milk).
- Stir it, put the lid on.
- THEN, you have to keep it snuggily warm (baby-bottle temperature) for 8 hours. I did this by filling a chepie-styrofoam cooler (like the ones they give you when you buy fish here or get an ice cream cake) and filled it with luke-warm water (90-110 degrees is ideal, too hot will kill it).
- Put the lid on and leave it alone for 4 hours. Try not to move it around.
- After 4 hours, check the water- it should still be snuggily warm, try the yogurt. It should be nice and thick at this point. If its yummy to you, you're done!
- If you want it more sour, put new warm water in the cooler, put the container back in it, put the lid on and leave it for another 4 hours.
- It should be done by then! The longer you leave it, the more sour it will get.

-Stir, put in the fridge, and ENJOY! Use as a subsitute for sour cream, cream in cooking, etc. YUMMMY!

Here is a slide show of my yogurt making experience!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What to cook in Korea?

I promised posts about my food life here in Korea. Many ingredients don't exists or cost a mouth-dropping amount of money ($5 a can for tomato paste? YOUR'RE NUTS!)

In Korea and stumped on what to cook? Here are some ideas!

(Unfortunately, a lot of the easy things to make are not the healthiest...)
- Meat, potatoes, and gravy- chicken fried steak, fried chicken, etc.
- Onion Soup
- Potato Soup
- Chicken & Noodles, thick, served with mashed potatoes and gravy just like grandma's
- Pastas- spaghetti, olive oil based, angel hair (with the cheap noodles)
- Zucchini casserole (zucchini, onion, canned tomatoes, with cheese on top! mmmm)
- Mushroom soup
- Chicken and Rice (The thick kind of mushroom soup)
- Enchiladas (creamy and tomato based, using canned tomatoes)
- Quesadillas
- Burritos, breakfast burritos
- Bagel sandwiches
- Biscuits and gravy (using a simple drop biscuit recipe, subsitute oil for shortening)
- Chicken pot pie (same drop biscuits)
- Breakfast casserole
- Grilled cheese
- French toast
- Pancakes
- Giant sandwiches full of veggies
- And TONS of stir-frys!

I also have been trying my hand at more complicated things, like making yogurt and "bread in 5 minutes a day." I will have to add that later!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FOOD- Project 365 gone bunk

So, a lot of my life here in Korea is centered around food. Why? I have more time, so I choose to spend a lot of it in the Kitchen. I have seen other people's cool "projet 365" where they take a picture a day of something, I thought.... Cool! I will do that too! But, I failed. I did it for like 2 weeks, but never got around to uploaded them. Well, new idea! I am going to add stuff for foodies to my blog.

I have high aspirations of adding lots of things to my blog, but... well, we'll see.

This is how far I got on actually posting my recipes. Grand total = 4 :(