Saturday, June 29, 2013

I love shopping!! for groceries!

Hello everyone,

It's a well known fact that most girls like to shop, and I am of no exception.  Except the shopping that I get most excited about is groceries!  haha  Ok, so don't get me wrong, I like retail therapy just as much as any girl, but for some reason, I also really really love to go grocery shopping!  As I've found out, I'm not that odd, seeing as my roomy and my man both like to go grocery shopping so we have a grand old time visiting our local grocery store and Trader Joe's when we're together  haha  We especially enjoy the bakery and the bulk foods sections, and of course, the samples!!  

Anyway, local grocery chains are fine, but nothing beats shopping at farmer's markets! and we all know my obsession with the Pike Place Market in Seattle, but yesterday, mommy and I stumbled across this random farmer's market on the side of the road our way home!  I was driving, so of course, we pulled over to check it out  =)

haha pee wee avocados!

Look at this sight that greeted us!   Fresh fruits and veggies everywhere!!  and all locally grown!

the giant box of strawberries came home with us...  and some of the plums...

I was very tempted to get the rainier cherries too, but we had already gotten so many fruits that I resisted,, somehow..

What are Casaba melons, exactly?

Anyway, we (more like I) definitely plan on going back again and again!
And here we are, back home, trying out our purchases.  Though I absolutely LOVE fruits, and I would eat only fruits for meals if I could, strawberries are usually not my favorites because most store bought ones tend to be hit or miss, and if you miss, oh boy are they sour!  But these!  mmmm  They were SO good, so so juicy, and sweet!

And this morning, I did have just fruit for my breakfast  heh  =p

I love you farmer's market!  I shall be back soon!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, June 28, 2013

BBQ zucchini pizza!

Hello everyone!

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post..  Life has been pretty chill around here since I'm the only one here with my parents.  It's just been a lot of eating yummy food, practicing, driving mommy around since she was still in a cast until yesterday, etc etc.  

Anyway, since my last post was full of incredibly yummy, but definitely not vegetarian, 삼겹살, I thought I'd post a vegetarian recipe to follow  =)   See?  still keeping it in the spirit of this post about watching 'Forks over Knives'  ;)

so here is the super simple recipe I came up with with a little bit of Pinterest inspiration!

BBQ Zucchini Pizza!!

1 zucchini
Your favorite BBQ sauce
toppings of your choice :: I chose thinly sliced green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
and your choice of cheese!

Let's Bake these babies!

1.  Preheat your oven to 375 and spray your baking sheet with a non-stick spray.

2.  Cut your zucchini length wise (perhaps an eighth of an inch thick), lay it on your baking sheet, and spread some BBQ sauce over them.  You don't need a lot since BBQ sauces tend to be pretty potent!

3.  Put all of your toppings on the zucchini slices, and top it off with your choice of cheese.  We chose some pepper jack cheese cubes and a shredded cheese blend.

4.  Then, all you have to do is pop these babies in for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown before you can dig in!

5.  and voila!

It was so easy, so good, and even the non vegetarians in our family loved it!  Perhaps because it was bathed in golden, melted cheese?   haha

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and if you feel lazy this weekend, but still want to eat some homemade goodness, this is definitely a good choice!  ;)
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Samgyupsal, or 삼겹살, or Korean pork belly dish!

Hello everyone,

A couple of days ago, Chang (my lil cuz) and I were home alone, and after some brainstorming on what to feed ourselves, we came up with a dish that got both of us incredibly hungry just thinking about it!  It is a dish every Korean knows very well, and is especially popular in our family; the 삼겹살.  
haha it sounds funny when you put 'the' in front of it  lol!
but here it is, in all of its about-to-be-wrapped-and-eaten glory!

Anyway, Samgyupsal is soo incredibly easy to make, and is so amazingly good!  I know, I know, I was trying to be mostly vegetarian, and I still am, but this is where the 'mostly' part comes into play  ;)  and!  I was eating a lot of vegetables with every single bite since it was wrapped in lettuce and sesame leaves!

This isn't really a recipe because you don't really need one,, but more of 'how to eat it' kind of a deal.

so what you need is some pork belly strips (it kind of looks like bacon, but it isn't processed so it is in its pure meat form) that you can get at your local Asian store, like H Mart.  I'm not sure american stores carry them...
some leafy veggies like lettuce and sesame leaves
and some ssamjang.  You can also get this at a Korean store, and I believe it's a mixture of red pepper paste and bean paste (daenjang).
oh, and of course, some rice.

these four ingredients will be plenty sufficient, but if you want to get fancy, you can have some dipping sauce that's a mixture of sesame oil and salt, some kimchi, and really anything else you want to dip your meat in and whatever else you want to put in your wrap.

The cooking is really simple.  Most of the time, you just cook the meat strips on a frying pan, but this time, I decided to try putting it in the oven.  I laid down a piece of foil on a baking sheet, then put the meat on the metal racks that are normally used to cool cookies...   That may sound weird, but I was improvising, and it actually worked really great!

Then, put it in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or so, and you should be good to go!  I'm really glad I tried this method, because look at all of the fat that dripped down from the meat!  Anyway, after getting over our shock at how fatty the meat was (though really, we knew going in how fatty the meat was...), we cut it all up to bite sized pieces like this!

now the part we've been quite impatiently waiting for...

First, select a couple pieces of lettuce and sesame leaves and whatever green goodness you want to wrap your Samgyupsal in.  We had an amazing selection from our garden, and somehow, the fact that we grew them made it taste just that much more delicious!

Then, you put a little bit of rice, then a piece of Samgyupsal, a little bit of Ssamjang, and if you want, a little bit of kimchi like I did there.

Ahh, and then, my dears, you just wrap it all up, and in it goes (all of it!) into your mouth!

oh man, just thinking about it makes me want to eat Samgyupsal again  haha

Somehow, between the two of us, we finished the whole rack of meat, even though we went in thinking there was no way we could finish even half of it, and we spent the rest of the day happily in a food coma.

I hope you get to try this sometime! If you go to a Korean BBQ place, you can order it there too, and you can cook it right in front of you on a grille!  ;)

Now, off I go to detox..  haha
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

fighting cancer with HIV..?

Hello everyone,

I ran across this video today on, and was just so fascinated by it that I had to share!
It's about a six year old girl who was battling leukemia.  She had fought it off, but it had come back twice already, and she really had no other option left for treatment.  That's when Dr. June came into the picture and performed this experimental procedure involving injecting genetically engineered HIV virus into her system.  here is the original post.

Fascinating, isn't it?
I was simply blown away.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Insomnia(?) dealings

Hello everyone,

You know those days when you go to bed at 2 a.m. and are completely awake and bright eyed by 6 or 7 a.m.?  it's rather maddening, especially when you were planning on waking up around... oh I don't know,, 9 or 10?  haha   anyway, that happened to me today, and as someone who loooovvves to sleep, I was perplexed and a bit vexed at the same time.  So I moped around for a bit until David suggested that I take McKinley on a walk since it was going to be a beautiful day in Seattle!  and I am soo glad I did because our neighborhood is truly a beautiful place!

So I thought I'd share some pictures of our beautiful neighborhood taken over the past month or so, in case you were also dealing with this insomnia (but it's more like the opposite of insomnia...?  because the inability to fall asleep happens after you wake up...?  meh, I don't know  haha) tendencies as well, and are on the interweb browsing  ;)

lake near our neighborhood...

ahh!  these were the cutest little duckies ever!

and of course, the forest in our neighborhood

our street

Mckinley just enjoying himself on our walk that we took the last day David was in Seattle

and this flying contraption that could gauge the wind and stay afloat without tipping over

McKinley making friends, per usual

our backyard.  Because McKinley is black it's impossible to see him in this picture, but he's peaking out from behind the tree on the top level  haha

our garden!
maybe it's the Nebraskan in me, but I absolutely looove gardens!  and ours is looking pretty prosperous, eh?  ;)  haha

Harvest from today.  =D     some lettuce, green onions, and some sesame leaves!  I think we're going to have some Korean BBQ tonight to eat with these lovelies!

I hope you have a fantastic day!  
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day! *and a gift idea!*

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Father's Day weekend!
Sadly, my daddy is going to be gone for Father's Day  *sniffle*  because he's at a conference in Florida, but I still put together something for him to enjoy when he gets back!

My dad has spent a lot of time in his office recently due to majority of his team going off to a conference, so I decided to get him something for his office.  I could have gotten him a mug, or a pen, or pictures, or any other decorative knickknack, but I thought it would be nice to get him something that would actually be 'good' for him.  As in, an air purifier.  Because, you know, when you're spending a lot of time in an office space, it would be nice to have purer air to inhale... you know?  But I didn't want to give him an actual, mechanical, air purifier...  because none of them look very beautiful...  haha   so I decided to get him a plant! Scientists at NASA have recently discovered just how great plants work at purifying the air you breathe every day, and if you want to check out top 10 best air-filtering houseplants, go here.  I could have gotten one of the top 10, but I figured just any old plant would do the trick, so I picked up this cute little guy along with a this tiny planter at Home Depot!  

a 'Green Goddess' plant.  so I suppose it would actually be a cute little lady...?  haha 

Anyway, putting it together was really quite simple.
Put some rocks down at the bottom to aid in drainage because I was told that having a well draining planter is very important for this plant.   but I was also told that once it is situated, it's a pretty hardy little guy, lady, which was also very important criteria when I was picking a plant.  Don't want to add more responsibility at the office than he already has, right?  ;)

Then fill it with soil and move the little plant over to her new home, and voila!
There you have it folks!  Cutest little air purifier!

For now, she hangs out with one of our other plants on the kitchen windowsill, but once daddy gets back from his conference, she'll move to her new home at the office!

I hope you are all enjoying spending time with your loved ones this weekend, and once again, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!  =)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Essential Oils Lemon Cupcakes!

Hello everyone!

As much as I loooove chocolate, my love for citrus flavors are just as great, if not greater, especially during the summer!  So when baby cuz came asking me what he should bring for his class bake sale, I decided to whip up some lemon cupcakes for him!  

It was also a perfect opportunity to incorporate the DoTerra lemon essential oil I have been trying out and loving lately! I have always been really interested in natural remedies--you know, the whole ancient methods of using herbs and roots and such to heal and treat illnesses?  I think that is soo cool!  haha  sorry, an extreme nerd moment...--and essential oils seem to be today's version of it!  I got a trio of oils--Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon--and I have been loving it!  What is so great about DoTerra oils is that they are not only good for aromatic and topical use, but are also safe to ingest!  There are not very many oils pure enough to ingest, so make sure that your oil says that it is 'therapeutic-grade' before you ingest them! 

Lavender has been really great for all sorts of skin problems, especially in taking away the sting in bug bites, (Mom recently came back from our camping trip in Oregon with 20 bug bites on her leg--not even joking-- and after she tried putting on lavender oil instead of anti-itch cream, she completely abandoned the anti-itch cream!  Sorry lil guy(anti-itch cream), it's nothing personal.. lavender just worked so much better than you! haha)  It's also good for minor cuts and burns because it is anti-bacterial.
And we've been using the lemon around the house a lot for cleaning purposes because it cuts grease like nobody's business and also because it just smells oh-soo-good! Lemon is supposed to be really good for uplifting your mood as well if you get a little blue once in awhile.  I have never tried it for that reason because I tend to be a pretty chirpy person usually, but I know some people who have really benefited from using oils to help fight depression, which is really cool.  
Peppermint has been really great for my incredibly sensitive and fussy tummy.  I just put one drop of peppermint oil in my water and drink it throughout the day, and it keeps my tummy happy for the most part.  Of course, it's not a magic drop of oil that will cure all illnesses, but I'm just happy that now I don't have to pop TUMS like they're candy!  haha  Another perk?  It keeps my breath fresh and minty!  I used a drop of peppermint oil in my water bottle and drank it throughout the day during the Austin Open Ballroom Competition that I was in a couple of months ago, and bad breath was definitely not something I had to worry about all day!  ;)  Oh, and I used it to make mint chocolate cupcakes awhile ago and it tasted amazing!

I just bought another oil (Melaleuca, aka Tea Tree) and I will keep you updated on how much I love that one.  I've also been perusing the book Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils and it's so fascinating!  If you are interested in the oils, you can check out my DoTerra website or shoot me a message!  =)

Anyway, enough about my fascination with the essential oils, let's get to baking some lemony goodness!

Essential Oils Lemon Cupcakes!
makes 2 dozen cupcakes

3 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar in the raw
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp lemon zest
1 cup 2% milk (divided in half)
10 drops of lemon oil

8 oz cream cheese
6 tbs butter
2 cups powdered sugar
10 drops of lemon oil

Let's Bake!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your muffin pan!

2. In a small bowl, sift the flour and mix in the baking powder and set it aside.

3.  In a bigger bowl, beat the butter and sugar (preferably with an electric mixer) until fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.  I didn't realize that mom's kitchen that I thought had everything imaginable is actually missing the electric mixer...  I would highly recommend using an electric mixer.  but if you don't have one, you can ask your cousin to be the human electric mixer  ;)

4.  Make some lemon zest and mix it into the wet ingredients along with the vanilla extract.

5.  Beat in half of the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the wet ingredients.  Beat in half of the milk, and add the essential oils.  Add rest of the dry ingredients and milk and beat until just combined!  Here's some more footage of poor souls without an electric mixer...  haha  oh good old manual labor...

6.  fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 full with the batter, and bake for about 15 minutes.  The toothpick test should come out clean  ;)

7.   while your cupcakes are baking, make your frosting!  Just beat all of the ingredients (cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon oil) together in a big bowl!  so simple!   Our hand beating isn't so bad, eh?  ;)

8.  Once your cupcakes are out, take them out of the muffin tin and put it on a wire rack to cool.

9.  Once they are cooled, frost away!

It makes your whole house smell absolutely incredible, tastes just as good, AND you know that you're getting all of the benefits of the lemon essential oil in every bite  ;)  go on, have another one, I sure did!  haha

Hope you enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by!

Perfect summer recipe :: Stuffed Peppers!!

Hello everyone,

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of all of the fresh produce that's coming out in the stores, or even better, at your nearest farmer's market!

When David was here (I know that was awhile ago, but I completely forgot about posting this recipe until now!) we took advantage of the fresh produce that was seriously over flowing at the farmer's market and whipped this up for the familia for dinner!
And though we already really like cooking together, having an awesome kitchen equipped with lots of marble counter space and an industrial grade gas stove made cooking sooo much more fun!  haha  oh the perks of cooking at home rather than at our dearly-loved-but-extremely-tiny-apartment...

It was so easy to put together, and a huge hit with the fam!
so here is the easy peasy, Roasted Stuffed Peppers recipe!!

Roasted Stuffed Peppers


6 red bell peppers (or any other color of your choice)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
shredded cheddar and/or pepper jack cheese
Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs ginger, minced
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion, diced
1.5 cup diced tomatoes
1.5 cup diced mushrooms
1.5 cup diced cauliflower
1 cup diced steak (you could substitute this with ground beef or you could leave this out completely for a vegetarian version!)

Let's Cook!

1. Wash your bell peppers thoroughly, both inside and out, by cutting the top portion of the pepper.  But make sure you keep the top part so that you can use it as a lid!

here they are, mostly unseeded!
2.  Preheat your oven at 350 degrees.

3.  Heat up your olive oil in a pan on medium heaet, and add the garlic, ginger, and the diced onions to cook.

4.  Once the onions take on the clear-esq look, add the chopped mushrooms, cauliflower, and tomatoes!  (oh, and don't forget to add your choice of meat during this step as well if you want a non-vegetarian version) You should only have to sautee them for about 10 minutes total.

5.  Now, it's time to make your pepper live up to its name!  Stuffing time!  I laid down a layer of the mixture above, then a spoon of spaghetti sauce, and then a layer of shredded cheese.  Repeat the process once more, and you should end up with a fully stuffed pepper!

6. Once your pepper is stuffed to the max, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, and attempt to put the 'lid' back on.

7.  pop them in the oven for 30-35 minutes, and you should end up with these beauties!

8.  Serve them to the hungrily awaiting familia!  and enjoy them with some salad and perhaps some bread!

I hope you enjoy!!
Thanks for stopping by!