Week of 9/10/12- Menu Plan, Highlights, and Recipe!

Week of 9/10/12- Menu Plan, Highlights, and Recipe!

Happy Monday, or almost Tuesday!

Whew, I’m pretty tired these days. Picking up and dropping off a kid from school is no joke.  I was shocked at how much gas I use in driving such a short distance!  Nevertheless, daughter is enjoying school life.  We are slowly getting into a rhythm now.

As for the meals- last week was a success!  I had a few standout dishes that I’ll highlight at the end.  Turns out I over-shopped a little last week, so I have enough food to last me another week. So I raided my fridge to come up with this week’s menu.

Here’s the menu:

Kids’ Lunch

Monday: Grilled Ham & Cheese, carrots, dried fruit snack ( from Costco- LOVE THESE!)

Tuesday: Breaded chicken ( Trader Joe’s -another must-try), broccoli, applesauce

Wednesday: Veggie Pasta

Thursday: Mini-omurice (check out recipe at end of post)

Friday: Lunchables ( not a huge fan of these, but daughter keeps asking for it- so I’ll surprise her)


Monday: Soo Jae Bi* ( 수제비) in chicken broth with chicken ( Costco chicken bone broth🙂 )

Tuesday:  Dduk mandoo soup (떡만두국)

Wednesday:Bulgogi & Rice ( 불고기 덮밥)

Thursday: Dinner at friends

Friday: Stir-fried Shrimp & veggies over rice or noodles

* For the soo jae bi, I used regular flour, one egg, and I added some wheat germ. I just eyeballed the measurements, but roughly three cups of flour with 1/4 cup wheat germ, one egg, and 1.5 cups of water makes about 4 adult servings.  You just knead the dough and then wrap and leave in fridge for about 30 min.  When broth is boiling and ready to go, just tear off pieces of the dough and flatten to make flakes.  When the dough floats to the top, it should be done.  I didn’t have any potatoes or zucchini on hand, but those usually go well in this dish.  Good, fermented kimchi is really the key here. My kids devoured this with some REALLY good kimchi.

Dough flakes in Chicken broth and shredded chicken

Highlights from last week’s menu

1.  Chicken Tikka Masala: OMG! This was so good. Heeding the advice from a friend who told me it wasn’t worth it to try to cook Indian food from scratch, I bought a pre-made curry from Fresh & Easy ( btw, I love F&E even more these days,  future post.) All you have to do is add the chicken, veggies and cream.  I used shredded chicken from the rotisserie chicken from Costco, added all the veggies I had on hand, water, and a little bit of cream.  So simple but SOOO flavorful.  Served this with brown rice and Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan- toasted in my beloved toaster oven and glazed with butter.  It was a tad spicy for the kids, but I was surprised at how well they ate.  I am definitely making it again SOON!

2. Kimbap:  I was craving my Mom’s kimbap.  Until now, I had never attempted to make it, because it just seemed like too much work.  While I was prepping, I had my mom on Skype so she could walk me through the whole thing!  In the end, I had so much fun making it, teaching my daughter how to make her own.  I made a fish cake soup too, so we could get the whole boon-shik experience. Boon-shik is Korea’s fast food.  The dduk-boki I posted last week is from a boon-shik restaurant.  Kimbap, ddukboki, fish cake soup, spicy noodles, even dduk mandoo gook, are staples at these quick-eat shops.  Out of all the food I ate in Korea,  I miss this type of food and these restaurants the most!  As you can see below, I am REALLY serious about my kimbap making. I was so mad at my husband for not retaking the picture.  I said, “You should have told me to smile!”  He said he did, but I guess I didn’t hear. I was too into figuring out how to get my rice to roll evenly…:)

Recipe of the Week:  Omurice with Curry

I was trying to figure out how I could fit everything that I wanted to share with you without writing post of after post. My best solution is to just fit it all into one post. So here’s the last thing for today.

As most of you know, I am a lover of K-pop, all things Korean entertainment. This dish was inspired by a recent drama I watched called, “Love Rain.”  It ended up being a disappointing one to watch, but nevertheless, I got this one dish out of it.  In one of the scenes, the main actors are in Japan and then visit a local eatery,  famous for omurice & curry.  It was a snowy, wintery day, and they were enjoying this yummy looking dish in a quaint little restaurant and I thought- I MUST EMULATE!

My Omurice & Curry

The things K-dramas make you do…

So here is the recipe:


Ingredients- Protein (Optional: Chicken, beef, sliced hot dogs), Mixed veggies used for fried rice, rice, diced onions, ketchup, soy sauce, egg ( 2 eggs per person)

1.  Beat eggs with splash of milk and set aside.

2.  Heat pan with a little oil. Add diced onions and veggies.

3.  Add rice, ketchup(according to personal preference) and mix.  Add a little soy sauce for seasoning. Then use salt for further seasoning so you don’t make the rice too sticky/wet.  Set aside on low heat.

4.  Heat a separate omelette pan, add a little oil.

5.  Add 1/3 cup beaten egg mixture to pan. I like my egg thin, so just depends on how you like it.

6.  When egg is cooked, add rice mixture on half of egg and fold over. Transfer to plate.


Ingredients: Veggies (optional), water, Japanese curry cubes

1.   Heat pan on medium to high heat with little oil.

2.   Saute veggies.

3.   Add water to barely cover veggies.

4.  Bring to boil on high heat and add curry cubes.

5.   Bring heat down to low-medium and simmer until curry thickens.

It wasn’t a wintery, snowy day nor was it a quaint and cute restaurant,  but it was still delicious- just like I imagined it would be 🙂

My kids LOVED it too. Double bonus! And they don’t even like egg! Ketchup works miracles!

Anywho, thanks for reading the long post!

Hope this week is a victorious one!

Happy cooking everyone!

Back to School! Menu Planning

Back to School! Menu Planning

I’m back! Sorry that it’s been awhile. I’m finally on a regular schedule after Korea and a family stay-cation! My oldest just finished her first week of Kindergarten as well! Whew, lots of events back to back. I still have to post more pictures of the yummy food I ate in Korea. I’ll post it soon!

Now that my daughter goes to school every day, I’m menu planning for her lunch in addition to dinner. It’s great because I prepare my son’s lunch in the morning as well! Love it!

Here’s my menu this week:


Kids’ Lunch

Tuesday: Chicken, Spinach, Cheese quesadilla / baby carrots / fruit

Wednesday: Ham Sandwich / whole grain chips / applesauce

Thursday: English muffin pepperoni & mushroom pizza / fruit

Friday:  Mandoo / fruit



Dinner menu

Monday:  Happy Labor Day!  BBQ

Tuesday:  Kimchi Soup, Seaweed soup for kids,  Korean-style omelette (계란말이) , Dried seaweed

Wednesday:  Veggie Lasagna, garlic bread, salad

Thursday: Chicken curry ( either Japanese, Thai or Indian) , rice, Garlic Naan

Friday:  Homemade Kimbap! ( My mom’s style- spam, bulgogi, egg, imitation crab, cucumber, dakwang (pickled radish), carrot, odeng)



I leave you with a picture of Ddukboki from my favorite spot in Korea. A little hole in the wall restaurant where I grew up- no one does it like this lady does. My last bite always goes like this- 1. Scoop egg 2. Add ddukboki sauce  3. Break up egg into sauce            4. Devour.    YUMMY!!!




Happy Labor Day & Happy cooking!

Food: Korea!

Food: Korea!

Hello from the Land of the Morning Calm!

We made it here safe and sound. My kids were actually REALLY good on the plane. Thank goodness for personal movie players, games, and grandparents. I am traveling alone on the way home, and I am a little worried…eek! But I’m going to pray really hard that Joshy sleeps at least half the way.

We’ve been here for about a week now and it’s been so much fun!

I’m not cooking over here, but thought I’d share some food that I’ve been eating! I think I’ve already gained a few pounds. Going to have to work out just so I can eat more!

So we start at the Asiana Lounge at LAX. You could tell I was a newbie lounger because I was the only one taking pictures of the spread.:) But I had to document it! Fresh fruit, cheese, sandwiches, Kimchi fried rice, butternut squash soup, cup ramen, coffee, etc!! It was awesome!! Thanks to my parents who have Diamond Platinum status on Asiana.:)

I am so sad, but I forgot to take pictures of my first real “Korean” food here in Korea. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall shop that I used to frequent from back in my high school days!! Red hot ddukboki with vermicelli noodles, kimbap, rice cake dumpling soup, and hot stone bibimbap! YUMMY! I will remember to take pictures next time. I was too engrossed in my food this first time.:)

We spent the first week at sister in law’s place, right by the Han River! My sister is the best host ever and she took us all over Seoul.

Kids had a blast at Lotte World and Pororo Park.

We also went to Cheonggyecheon, the “urban renewal project” that transformed a dirty stream into a nature escape in the middle of busy Seoul city life! I held onto my Joshie so tight. Knowing him, he would jump right into the water. Hence, he is not in this picture with my daughter, niece, and sis-in-law.

To cool off from our walk along Cheonggyechon, we mosied on over to Passion 5, a three-story dessert cafe! First floor, Haute Tea Shop with fancy schmancy tea and food; Second floor- main dessert floor packed with gelato, savory pastries, macaroons, cookies, and delicious cakes!! Third floor is the cafe where you can enjoy the abundance of sugar and sweets. No pictures allowed on the dessert floor, but here’s a glimpse into the decor and menu…

Three-story Dessert Cafe: Tried their Gelato, Strawberry Tiramisu, Grape-ade…all YUMMY!

Strawberry Tiramisu was fluffy, not too sweet, with just the right amount of everything. Gelato was amazing! Grapefruit, Grape, Strawberry- they all tasted so tangy, fresh- as if I was biting into a piece of real fruit.  The drink is a Grape-ade. Pureed grape, topped with sparkling water and grape sorbet.  All so yummy! I want to try the other items on their menu…

After all this Korean food, we had a craving for Mexican food, so my brother-in-law made a taco run for us. 

Vatos Tacos in Itaewon. The concept is much like Kogi truck. Kalbi tacos, Fish tacos, Kimchi Carnitas Fries!!!  Held me over for the time being, but come on now! I am a Socal girl. I need me the real deal- El Taurino and Taqueria de Anda!! 🙂 I’ll have to wait a month for it…

Now we are back home at my parents’ house, and the eating hasn’t stopped!

My mom’s home-cooked meal: Bean paste soup, Bossam(mom’s specialty), Eggplant, Perilla Leaf(깻잎), cucumber side dishes!

Since I have no Target here, I turn to my Korean equivalent- E-mart! It’s got everything you need from groceries to home supplies, clothes to beauty products. They even have an Odeng cart!

These carts are usually found on the streets of Korea and people just stop for a quick snack.  It’s run on an honor system- you just pick out which odeng stick(s) you want to eat and pay later.  The odeng soup from these carts is SOOO good, so you have to make sure to scoop out a cup of it.  There is a soy sauce for dipping, and back in the day, it used to be a communal bowl. Gross!!! But now, they have come up with spray bottles, and even automatic dispensers for a more sanitary Odeng experience.:) The one I am eating is odeng that has been cooked in ddukboki sauce. OMG so good! The price per Odeng stick: 500 Won, or 43.75 cents, for regular Odeng stick, 600 Won for the spicy one or 53 cents! I wish we had this kind of fast food in LA…

Whew, this is a long post- hang with me.

Grand finale!

Duck roasted in clay and sulfur. Don’t ask me how that works, because I asked the same thing and got no answer.:) Pictures don’t do it justice, but it was quite tasty! You dip each piece of duck in a special sauce and then wrap it with the circle radish, green Chwinamul, and marinated peppers. The rice stuffed inside the duck is really good- packed with healthy grains!

I love Kabocha squash already and they baked that yummy rice in it too!!

The last course was Soo Jae Bi ( dough flakes) cooked in a perilla seed soup.

Duhl-gae or perilla seeds is often used with duck in Korea. I think it helps with balancing some of the gamey-ness. Duck is the ultimate healthy food in Korea. So though my stomach was sooo full, felt good knowing that I packed it with healthy food.

Gosh, that’s only one week of food! Looking forward to four more weeks of this goodness..

Stay tuned!!


P.S. Husband, we miss you!:) Wish you were here with us.. have a safe flight back from down under!

Home: Sweet Potato Pot

Home: Sweet Potato Pot

If you have ever visited Korea in the wintertime, you would have experienced the wonderful joys of eating delicious, hot street food! Ddukboki and odeng are always top on that list, but we cannot forget the little old man cooking away at his black stove, producing golden treasures called goon go-goo-ma, or baked sweet potatoes.  Something about having been cooked in that stove, turns these lifeless potato-looking things into marvelous treats!

I am here to tell you, you don’t need that signature military green jacket or the black stove to create these sweet potatoes!

You only need this:

My mom introduced me to it a couple of years ago. All you need to do is wash the sweet potatoes, place them in this pot on the stove on medium to high heat for about 15-20 minutes. Turn the potatoes once during this time.  When done, they will turn out like this (don’t mind the crispy black parts- the skin gets peeled off.):

You can buy the pot at any Korean market and it’s pretty inexpensive- less than $20. You will never microwave a sweet potato again! Totally worth it to recreate these masterpieces!:) Paired with a good cup of coffee, the go-goo-ma is a perfect breakfast for me! YUM!

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Happy roasting!