Korean Food, Baking, DIY's & So Much More!

1 Pan Creamy Chicken & Veggies

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This creamy chicken and veggies has all the makings of a quintessential comfort meal.  Succulent, flavorful pieces of chicken are simmered in a velvety cream of mushroom sauce {no cans here!}  You can add in your choice of veggies and it can be served over rice, quinoa, pasta, gnocchi or even top it off with biscuit/pie/pastry crust for a wonderful chicken pot pie.  Every component is nicely wrapped up into one neat little dish and it can be made in one pan.  How about that for a delicious, non-fussy weekday dinner idea that can be made in less than 20 minutes?


5.0 from 2 reviews
1 Pan Creamy Chicken & Veggies
 
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Serves: 2 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 slices chopped bacon
  • ½ c chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tb unsalted butter
  • 2 tb unbleached flour
  • 1½ c room temperature or warm whole milk
  • ½ pound chicken {dark or white}
  • Freshly grated salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Optional: rice/quinoa/pasta/gnocchi/pastry
Instructions
  1. In a pan, fry the bacon pieces.
  2. Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until veggies are browned.
  4. Melt in the butter and sprinkle in the flour.
  5. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Slowly add in the milk.
  7. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  8. Add the chicken. You can also directly add in the rice/quinoa/pasta/gnocchi or serve the saucy chicken over it or ladle it into a dish and cover with pastry for a pot pie.

 

Mini Oreo Wedding Cookie Cakes – EASY DIY Wedding Favors

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How adorable are these mini oreo wedding cookie cakes?  They’re one of the first things I made in preparation for my wedding, long before I realized that they weren’t {easily} viable for traveling to my destination wedding.  They’re simple yet simply stunning and despite my last minute change of plans, I still wanted to share these easy diy wedding favors with you guys.

Wedding planning hasn’t come as easily to me as I’ve witnessed for other brides.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t picked out everything since I was 6 years old.  However, the edible parts of my wedding were the first things to be sorted out.  Since we’re having our wedding in the Dominican Republic, we’ll be dining on authentic fare and due to its heavy French influence, I’ll be happily nomming away at some of their choice pâtisseries.  The thought of being reunited with such indulgences that I haven’t experienced since my trip to paris makes me all giddy inside.

Needless to say, with such a heavy influence on food and diy’s, it’s no surprise that I went straight towards hand crafting my wedding favors before I even pick out my dress.  True story.  Though these won’t be making the trip with me, they were too cute not to share.  Plus, they’re deceptively simple.  After the first few, you’ll completely get the hang of them.

To build extra height, I topped a standard sized double stuffed oreo with 1 1/2 mini cookies.  From there, the custom options are endless.  You can definitely tint white chocolate to coordinate with your wedding colors and tie in the decorations with the color scheme as well.  I found the trick to creating a polished cookie cake were to tap off excess chocolate each time and allow each coat dry before adding the next.  2-3 coats are all it takes.  I decorated with mostly dragees.  If you mess up, no worries.  You can simply conceal blemishes with sprinkles or even get fancy with designs made from more chocolate.  These are pretty forgiving.

Just in case you were wondering, what did end up making the cut for my wedding favors were my homemade chocolates, hard candies, soaps and lip balms.


5.0 from 4 reviews
Mini Oreo Wedding Cookie Cakes - EASY DIY Wedding Favors
 
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Serves: 1 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 dozen standard size double stuffed oreos
  • 18 mini oreos
  • ½ pound melted chocolate
  • ½ c frosting {or extra chocolate}
  • Decorations of choice
Instructions
  1. Stack 1 mini oreo plus another half on top of the regular sized oreo using frosting or melted chocolate as the "glue."
  2. Melt ½ pound of chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
  3. Either dip or spoon the chocolate onto each cookie. Tap off any excess chocolate and allow to dry.
  4. Repeat 2-3 more times until you achieve your desired finish.
  5. Decorate as desired using more melted chocolate as glue for the sprinkles.

 

 

3 Minute Moist Berry Cake

You guys loved my 5 minute brownies and requested more videos like it so today, I bring you my 3 minute moist berry cake.  It has a light crumb yet rich full flavor due to its almond -berry flavor.  It’s a crazy wonderful creation, if I do say so myself.  A little tip of this and sprinkle of that and you’re well on your way to filling your entire home with the smell of cake and tucking in with soft and tender cake all for yourself {or to share if you feel like it}.

My recipe makes one 4 inch cake that is fairly impressive when considering that to doll it up, all it takes is a simple swipe of freshly whipped cream and a studding of fresh berries.  A cream cheese frosting with a drizzle of berry syrup would also perfectly crown this cake.    This cake is so delicious that no one could ever guess that it only took 3 minutes to cook and less than 10 minutes to assemble and that includes mixing the batter and decorating. This is perfect for kids that are just learning how to make things or those with limited kitchen space/appliances or quite possibly the best invention for greedy people with impatient souls but a countering insatiable sweet tooth.

I love how the gentle hit of sweet almond extract coils with the tart jamm-y berries but you could, of course just use vanilla.  More so, I love how moist and fluffy this cake is.  If you can believe it, I managed to not entirely devour it and it kept in the fridge well into the 4th day.  The absolute golden rule here is to slightly undercook it as it will continue to set as it cools.  Remember, you can always add in a bit more cooking time but it’s not like you can subtract it later.  If you manage a light mixing hand while summoning the batter together and aim to take the cake out to cool sooner rather than later, you will be rewarded with cake that stands in the league of traditionally baked cakes except only you and I will know that it was dangerously effortless.

5.0 from 2 reviews
3 Minute Moist Berry Cake
 
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Serves: 4" cake
Ingredients
  • ½ c unbleached flour
  • ¼ ts baking soda
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • ½ c sugar
  • ¼ c oil {something neutral like veggie/canola/grapeseed}
  • ¼ c thawed berries
  • 1 ts pure almond extract
  • Optional: frosting {I used freshly whipped cream} and berries
Instructions
  1. In your first bowl, whisk the flour, soda and salt together.
  2. In your second bowl, beat your egg and whisk in your sugar until thick and homogenous.
  3. Whisk in the oil, berries and extract.
  4. Add the first bowl to the wet bowl in 2 separate additions.
  5. Combine the two but don't over mix. This would produce a tough/dense cake.
  6. Pour into a parchment lined microwave safe pan/bowl. Please keep in mind that not everything is microwave safe.
  7. In my 1.45 kw microwave, it took 2.5 minutes to cook.
  8. Cool and decorate as desired.

 

Honey Cough Drops

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My 100% natural honey cough drops have been a lifesaver!  When my neighbors were groaning at the delay of winter, I was happily enjoying the lingering bits of sunshine, hoping in vain that winter would further takes its time arriving.  Well, it’s here.  Insert sad face.  Maybe I’m one of the few.  Maybe it’s because I’d like to live my life in sundresses, barefoot always near the sea, maybe it’s because of my childhood dreams of being a mermaid {still true}, or maybe it’s because I’m a born and bred southern gal.  The cold just disagrees with me.  {I can only imagine how I’d fare closer north.}  With the cooler air, comes drier air that wicks both my skin and throat of moisture so these homemade cough drops have been a serious lifesaver.

At its most base level, my recipe only calls for tea and honey.  I particularly enjoy using Throat Coat and Gypsy Cold Care for this.  By brewing a stronger, more concentrated tea, I was able to detour around sourcing each individual herb separately.  If you want to go this route instead, elderberry, hyssop, horehound, slippery elm and coltsfoot are all strong options.  To perk up these drops, I opted to also add in freshly grated ginger and lemon zest.  The results are a nice, soothing lozenge that naturally coats the throat without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Since these are honey based, they are best kept in the fridge/freezer and have honeys characteristic softness and chew and since these aren’t derivative of sugar or corn syrup, they do take a bit longer to make but if you’re trying to stay away from refined sugars due to lifestyle or dietary needs or looking for a more wholesome approach, these drops are definitely the way to go.  However, if you’re looking for a more classic approach, my easy 5 minute candy is a good place to start.  I found this particular concoction to taste very reminiscent of a bright black tea and of course, you can tailor make this to suit your personal needs.  I once doctored up a batch with echinacea and vitamin c.  Whatever flavors you choose, you can’t go wrong with my honey sweetened, herb-powered drops!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Honey Cough Drops
 
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Serves: 1 dozen drops
Ingredients
  • ½ c water + 3 tea bags* {steeped for 20-30 minutes then strained}
  • ¾ c honey
Instructions
  1. Whisk tea and honey together.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pot, allow it to cook until it reaches 300 degrees or the hard crack stage. This can take 30 minute or longer but just be careful and patient.
  3. Pour into desired molds and allow to set.
  4. Wrap individually in wax.
Notes
*if individually sourcing herbs, the following are some of my favorite: elderberry, hyssop, horehound, slippery elm and coltsfoot. Use about 2-4 tb each and steep in the same way.

 

Vegetable Pad Thai

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Aside from Korean food, one of my other favorites is Thai food, particularly pad thai.  This all-veggie pad thai is my healthier take on it for the new year.  It’s not only delicious, it’s rather wholesome and I’ve been enjoying it several times a week for the past few months now.  I know that lots of folks have pledged to lose a few pounds as part of their new years resolution and it always makes me sad when I discover that friends or colleagues alike are practicing restriction to achieve their goal.  I’m here to urge you to lean towards a cleaner, more natural diet to maintain healthier balance.  My vegetable pad thai salad features a vibrant kaleidoscope of colors, flavors and textures.  I find that the trick to eating a variety of veggies is to pick those with vastly different tastes and textures to keep things interesting. Not only are you eating the rainbow here, you’re also picking up bold Thai flavors from its pad thai sauce that couldn’t be more simpler than blending up a handful of ingredients.

For your ingredients, you’ll be able to find most of these at your regular market with the exception of a few.  My hope is that one day, I’ll be able to pick up all my groceries in one place versus having to travel to several in one day to satisfy my needs but ah, I digress.  The most exotic picks from todays line up are shirataki noodles and tamarind paste though I found both of these from my local spot for todays recipe.  You may be able to find the tamarind paste in the international aisle and the shirtaki noodles next to the tofu in the chilled bin.  The shirataki noodles are made from the konjac yam that are naturally vegan and gluten free.  They’re often called “zero noodles” since they’re made of an indigestible fiber and have no carbs.  I don’t find them to taste of much and they have a light feel about them and since they’re pretty flavorless, it means that they can be used for as many things as you can create uses for.  An alternative to shirataki noodles would be kelp noodles that have a bit more texture/crunch.  Both are great, no-cook options.

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Tamarind paste is tart-sweet-fruity.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  I once took on the task of making my own paste and it took all of once to let that one go {it’s maddeningly sticky without much pulp within each shell and takes about a decade to extract enough for anything}.  It’s much easier to obtain a package of pure tamarind paste that’s fresh, soft and wet.  From there, you could turn it into a sweet and sticky glaze, a delicious marinade, unique candy or juice and even my vegetable pad thai!


5.0 from 3 reviews
Vegetable Pad Thai
 
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Bright, crunchy and wholesome with a piquant edge from a tangy, sweet and sour tamarind sauce.
Author:
Serves: 2 large salads
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • ¼ purple cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cups sprouts {mung/bean/broccoli/alfalfa/etc}
  • 2 cups shirataki or kelp noodles
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3 scallions
  • Crushed nuts {pistachios/cashews/peanuts}
  • Black sesame seeds
  • 2 lime wedges
Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tb fresh, soft wet tamarind paste
  • 3 tb sugar
  • 1 ts Korean red pepper paste
  • 3 tb fish sauce
  • ½ c water
Instructions
  1. Prepare the vegetables to your liking. You can chop/spiralize/peel them. Arrange them as desired onto a plate.
  2. Blend everything for the sauce until smooth and emulsified. Pour on the dressing and garnish with nuts, sesame seeds and lime wedges.

 

 

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