Friday, September 30, 2011

From Scratch Cooking

My amazing husband and I have been making some foods from scratch this past week!  Some of our cooking adventures have turned out great and some have just been okay. 

Panera's Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Oh man!  I love Panera!  It was one of the first places on my list to visit while were in America on vacation this summer.  The soup turned out great!   I would give it a 8 out of 10 stars and it will be made again (especially this winter).

Cinnamon Rolls
My amazing husband made two batches of these delicious cinnamon rolls!  Thanks Paula Deen.

We made a breakfast casserole in our new crockpot (!!).  It called for hashbrowns.  So we made our own.  They did not turn out quite like American hasbrowns, but they still tasted good in the casserole.  The casserole turned out okay.  I am not sure if we will make it again or not.

Coffee Creamer
I LOVE liquid coffee creamer.  LOVE it.  I may or may not have splashed some into my oatmeal while I was in college.  Korea does not have coffee creamer.  So I made my own.  The recipe calls for whole milk (uh, I live in Korea so I used regular milk - I think it is 2% maybe) and heavy cream (uh, I live in the land of no dairy products - so I used regular whipping cream).  It turned out great!  I'm excited to try different flavors! 

Up next: my journey with a pumpkin - from buying it on a street corner to transforming it into some beautiful (and delicious!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When life gives you no PSL

I like pumpkin.  I like it a lot.  There are so many great ways to consume pumpkin!  One of the forms that I like to consume pumpkin in is Pumpkin Spice Lattes (psl).  My college coffee shop had a pumpkin pie mocha (so good!).  Even though Starbucks exists in Korea, psl don't.  I was really, really, really distraught over this last year.  I tried to recreate my own version.  EPIC FAIL.  Thankfully, a dear friend, mailed us some pumpkin spice latte mix for Christmas.  Thank you Lord for awesome friends :)

So what do you do when life gives you no psl?

You drink this:

SPL {a Sweet Potato Latte}

Except, don't

They taste like a sweet potato put into a blender with some hot water.   Not a sweet coffee with a hint of fall...not that at all.  But that is okay, because I have learned over the last year, that no psl is not the end of the world
photo credit

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Craft project

Hey ya'll, I am visiting the Waygooken Housewife today, telling about my latest craft endeavor.  Head on over and check it out!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some tunes for ya'll

I have been meaning to post this super awesome song for you (gotta love k pop).  The gas station we live near is always playing it  when I walk by and my students start singing it when I ask about the weather or what season it is.

Yes Korea really does have a group named f(x).  I love that Koreans love math.  I do not love that Koreans love really, really, really short shorts.  I meant to post this song when it was 90 degrees here, but it cooled off in one day (it is 68 as I write this).  It went from summer to fall in one day.  I hope fall sticks around for awhile.

Another great song for all you unfamiliar with what we listen to everyday is the bagel song (that is what I call it).  Whenever the kiddos want to say "america" they start singing this song.  Here are the lyrics in Korean and it romanization.

I want to go to a coffee shop someday and order using this song.  I wonder what they would do. hehehehe  Just in case you are wondering 10 cm got their name from the height difference between the two guys in the band. 

And this one is the song that I am in love with!

My amazing husband got several of Trip Lee's CDs when were in America this summer.  Sorry Trip Lee, but Hero is the only song on there that I really like.  Even if you do not like rap, listen to it one time and read the lyrics - they are so great.

Now, I will return to work.  Gotta teach the kiddos that it is not acceptable to start singing when people ask you question like, "How's the weather" or "What country did I visit this summer?".   I mean, unless you want people to think that you are cra-gee (that is Korean for crazy).

Peace out girl scout.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Since we moved into a new apartment, our coworkers have been eager to see it.  So we had a housewarming party today.  They requested that "authentic American" sandwiches be served.  We had chicken with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and cheese served with chips.  I whipped up some of the easiest tomato soup ever to serve with our grilled ham and cheese. We were worried that it might not be enough, so we also had some bulgogi pizza (kinda like sausage) and some sweet potato, pineapple, ham pizza (Hawaii meets Central America?).  I am not sure if we will ever have this as a menu for a party in America, but when in Korea, do as the Koreans ask of you.  (I almost forgot this part: for beverages we had 2 liters of water, 2 liters of coke, and a full coffee pot (10 cups maybe).  After the 20 people came, ate, and drank, we had lots of left overs!  I feel like 4 or 5 people can take care of a 2 liter in America.)

Today was a school Saturday (meaning that everyone has to go to school from 8:30 - 12:30, everyone except the foreigner that is).  Then our co-teachers and co-workers all caravaned to our new apartment.  My amazing husband and I spent the morning preparing food, cleaning, running last minute errands etc.  I did a super quick sweep of the floor right before they started arriving, I am so glad that I did :)

Time out for a Korean culture lesson:  In Korea, there are no little clusters of people chit chatting it up at social gatherings.  There are no people standing up or sitting on a few chairs.  When Koreans go to a social gathering, it usually ends up with everyone sitting on the floor in a big circle (if there are enough chairs then we sit in chairs).

So all 20 of us sat on the floor in a circle.  Forgetting that we were in Korea, we had set up a buffet line with plates, sandwiches, chips, pizza, drinks etc.  When we said, "let's eat" the Koreans stood up, took everything off the table, put it in the middle of the circle and started eating.

I did not have a chance to take many pictures, but here are two for you.

All 20 of them wanted to sit in the same room

so it was a bit crowded

After we finished eating, our coworkers asked us to sing a song (??). I guess there is a housewarming song to sing in Korea.  So they sang it to us.  Then they all got up and left (at the same time).

Since I forgot to take pictures during the festivities, I will leave you with these pictures (things we got as housewarming gifts):

Korean Grapes.  They are huge.  I could say a lot about grapes in Korea.  I will refrain:

We got a grow your own tomato plant from Nikki.  I guess you just add water and it grows.

Maybe we will have tomatoes to eat this winter?  

This is the typical housewarming gift in Korea. We now have over 45 rolls of TP, if you live in Korea and need some TP, let us know.

A kleenex box cover from the Kim/Cho family.  How sweet are they?  Mr. Kim's wife hand made it for us.

She used hanji (Korean traditional paper) to make this

A stand up full length mirror!   We have been wanting to get one for quite a while.  Woohoo!

And we got this super cute rug from the Waygooken Housewife.  She did not come to the party, but it was still a housewarming gift.  I love the colors - exactly what I would have picked!

She made this for us.  How sweet is that?

This has nothing to do with the rest of the post, BUT while at Costco this past week, we somewhat impulsively bought a crock pot!  YEAH!!!!!  So please, start sharing your favorite crock pot recipes :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chuseok Weekend

Sir John
We had a great Chuseok Weekend!  Allow me to tell you all about it.  On Saturday, our friends, Kate and John drove to Daegu.
Lady Kate

Yes, waygooks* drive in Korea.  This waygook won't be doing that any time soon, but it was fun to feel footloose and fancy free while riding in their cool new car.  After we went out for some food and showed them our neck of the woods, we headed back to Busan.  After getting back to Busan, the guys played cards (Magic The Gathering) while Katelyn and I ran walked errands.  A good time was had by all :)

Sunday morning we had Cake Batter Pancakes (!!!!!!!) and then headed off to church.  It is such a blessing to hang out with another young American married couple in Korea.  After church and a great lunch (American hamburgers!) we headed to the beach (chuch retreat).  Busan is located on the coast of the Eastern Sea (Japanese Sea?  Korean Sea?  whatever you want to call it).  It was a great afternoon for fun, soccer, playing frisbee, fellowship, and exploring the area near beach.

sand + ocean = beach = fun
Sunday night and most of Monday we learned about Christian worldviews (opposed to other worldviews).  It was fascinating to me.  Worldview takes me back to my college days as a math education major.  In math there are axioms and then there are theorems.  You build theorems from axioms.  Same is true with worldview.  We all have ideas about how (and why) we should live life.  From those ideas life is built.  (It all makes sense in my mind).

Moving on....

Besides sitting on the floor Korean style for 10 hours, we also had time to play games!  I played Sequence, Dutch Blitz, and Rummikub.  Yeah!  I love games.  The church (who was hosting the retreat) also provided us with amazing food.  Pizza, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spaghetti, salad, cereal bars...sigh.  I love American food.


they had coffee from a coffee pot (that is, no instant coffee).  Its the small things in life.

We could see the beach from the retreat place (sah-weet!)
Keepin' it real:  there were mosquitoes, they attacked my feet, ankles, legs, and arms.  We got to experience some sleeping on the floor Korean sleeping arrangements.  Thank you Jesus for our bed.  I promise not to complain about my bed ever again. 

The place where our Korean sitting and sleeping experiences occurred

The retreat finished up on Tuesday around noon.  We headed back to the beach for one last hurrah, then back to Daegu.

I spotted this at the beach right before we left, I guess Sity is the new City?

What a weekend (plus a few week days)!  It was a blast.  I so enjoyed our time.

The only picture I remembered to take of us the whole weekend!


*Have I explained Waygooks before?  Waygook is the Korean word for foreigner.  Small Korean children point at me and say  "waygook seram e-ayo" all the time.  Yes, small child, I am well aware of the fact that I am a foreigner.  So, a waygook is a foreigner in Korea.  There is a special club for waygooks.  We find things hilarious that Americans nor Koreans find funny {case in point, the yogurt adjumas - bahahahaha}.  Move to Korea, you can join the club! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I love giveaways and my husband

Hi friends, I just wanted to share about this cool giveaway.  Head to Keeper of the Home, to this post and you can enter to win a $50 gift certificate!  Yeah!

So, what are you waiting for?  Go, enter, check out cool shirts that express how cool your spouse is.

My Husband Rocks Hot Pink Fitted Long Sleeve Tee
This is my favorite!  Image courtesy Union 28

Mom, if you are reading this, know that we survived the weekend (had a great time actually) and I promise, promise, promise to email you soon :)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Chuseok!

It is Chuseok in Korea!  Yeah!  The main reason that I like Chuseok is that we get three days off of school.  (From August 29th - December 23rd, we get four school days off.   Three of them are for Chuseok - it's a big deal to us.)

If you ask Koreans, they will say that Chuseok is like American Thanksgiving.  I do not think it is the same, but we won't get into that :)  If you want to read more about Chuseok, you can here.

We are going to be spending the weekend with friends!  Last year my memories of Chuseok were: get up, take some medicine (I had a really bad cold) go back to bed, sleep, repeat.  We did hang out with some fun Koreans the day after Chuseok, remember?

We are getting a little Chuseok present that I am pretty excited about.  Can you guess what it is?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jumping up and down and squealing with delight!

Hi friends!  I am so excited!  I am so, so, so, so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!

My friends got engaged recently!

we grappled with the complexities of ppov's together

We met freshman year of college.  I met the lovely lady through another friend; we were friends of a friend for awhile, but now she is one of my good friends!  I met the great guy in Calculus, but I don't think we really talked to each other.  Senior year we were all in a group project together (that lasted a whole semester).

do not pay attention to the titles of the books
I am so excited. (did I say that already?)  I am so happy for them!
I just wanted to share my happiness with ya'll.  Blessings on your engagement and marriage!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review

image courtesy Google Images
I finished one of my favorite 4th grade books last night.  If you have a 4th grade, go to the library and find this book for him or her.  Or if you are an adult and like children's literature, go to the library and find this book to read.  My 4th grade teacher was so great!  She would read books aloud to us (usually after lunch).  We read some of the Red Wall series (by Brian Jacques) and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.

When we were in America this summer, I went through some of my books.  I have three children at my school that are from America but living in Korea for a year to learn English.  I wanted to bring some books back for them.  I knew that From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler would be a good one to bring back with me.  I decided to read it again - just for kicks.  It is delightful.  Now that I am an adult, I read it pretty quickly.  The basic plot line is siblings run away from home to an art museum in New York.  They have quite the adventure.  If you ever come across this book, read it.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

White Pizza

While we were vacationing in America this summer, I had a looonnngg list of meals that I wanted to make (with an oven!).  One of these meals was White Pizza.  I discovered this recipe while I was in college (and saved it because it is delicious!)  I tweaked it just a bit.

Getting ready to put the pizza in the oven!
It comes together pretty quickly, since you are using a premade pizza crust (you are free to make your own from scratch though).


Just in case you see that the recipe calls for pesto and you are thinking to yourself, "Self, what will I do with leftover pesto?"  Go here and see 15 ideas for leftover pesto.

Do you see that fetta cheese?  God bless America for its fetta

1 unbaked pizza crust
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons minced garlic (it is pretty garlic-y, so if you do not love garlic, I would do less)
2 Tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tomato, sliced
1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped  (We used mushrooms instead of a jalapeno, or you could use sweet pepper if you prefer)
1 (6 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
We added some mozzarella or cheddar (I don't remember) too, I love cheese!  It is so cheap in America!

1. Preheat oven according to pizza crust package directions.
2. In a small bowl combine butter, olive oil, garlic, pesto, basil, oregano and Parmesan cheese.
3. Spread mixture evenly on pizza crust.
4. Arrange tomato, spinach, onion and jalapeno on pizza.
5. Top with crumbled feta cheese.
6. Bake according to pizza crust package directions.

Enjoy!  Or as Koreans would say before a meal "잘 먹겠습니다" (jal meokkesseumnida)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Walk to School

I like my morning walk to school.  It takes me about 30 minutes to get to school.  I was walking today and thought, "oooo, I wish I had my camera with's so pretty out"  Then I realized that I did have my camera with me.  So I paused my walk and took some pictures (while Koreans stared at me).

I am definitely a cornfields girl.  There is nothing more beautiful to me than fields of corn or beans.  Mountains are beautiful too in a different way.

Hello Mountians

Do you walk to work?  What is your favorite part of your commute to work?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Apartment Tour

I mentioned back here that we had moved.  Would you like to see our new apartment? Yes?  Well come on in!

I will admit this was our first take (hence the weird hand movements on my part) but we thought you would enjoy it anyway!  I have been having some issues with youtube/google accounts/blogger so I have pretty much had to restart/reupload everything to these accounts (boo!)


I am working on getting all of our videos up again for you to see (because you definitely do not have anything better to do with your time :)  )

Happy Labor Day Weekend to those of you in America!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Super Easy Smoothie!

I have a super easy and healthy smoothie recipe for you!

1 cup milk kefir
1 frozen banana
some other fruit from your fridge
some vanilla extract if that flips your pancake

I have a baby blender (maybe some day it will grow up to be a big blender) thus I make my smoothie in two parts.  But if you have regular sized blender than just put everything in together and blend!

I would not say that this smoothie is delicious, but it is fast and super healthy!  It tastes way better than milk kefir straight up.

I had to put my smoothie on the windowsill to get "natural lighting" not the best background though...

I have been eating a smoothie everyday for breakfast.  If you want do not care so much about the healthy part of this smoothie and you do care about the deliciousness part, then add in some honey or other sweetener.

In case you want to make your own kefir, I bought my kefir grains from Cultures for Health.  If you can pour milk in a jar, then you can make kefir.

Check back tomorrow, we should have our apartment video upload for ya'll!

1 week down, 16 more to go :)

Woohoo! First week of second semester is done! I just have to sit at my desk for three more hours and then it is the weekend. This week has kicked my butt. I feel like I could sleep for 12 hours tonight.

I have 3 blog posts in the works...just need to add in some photos and then they will be ready for you!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a gold nugget that I found. If you go here, you can pick a book & chapter of the Bible. Then look for the little icon that looks like a volume control. If you scroll your mouse over it, it will say, "listen to {whatever book and chapter you choose}" Click it.

Yes, you can listen to the Bible for free! How good is God! I listened to the whole book of John while packing up our apartment before we moved. I like to listen to Psalms while I am cooking. (yes, I know the book is called Psalm, but it sounds better if you say Psalms). Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

p.s. This does not take place of daily Bible study (in my life at least)