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

Homemade Hot Pockets

Homemade hot pockets are a beautiful thing.  There’s a soft and tender pastry wrapping a hot, gooey cheesy sauce but what’s more, you realize that the flavor possibilities are endless.  The first time I made these and realized just how easy they were, I spent the rest of the weekend experimenting with different flavors and never looked back to the store bough variety ever again.  Today, I’ll guide you through a classic ham and cheese combo but I’ve been known to stock pile a sausage, egg and cheddar variety in the freezer and pop them out as the craving strikes on busy on-the-go mornings or even leaning more towards a sweet route with berries and sweetened cream cheese.  The latter hits the spot when you don’t want anything savory first thing in the morning.  They’re just so convenient and you can feel better about these since they’re made with simple ingredients.  I have an entire playlist dedicated to junk food makeovers since it’s one of my favorite types of recipes to re-mix.

The first step involving the dough is simple and straightforward.  You mix all the ingredients together and allow it to puff up a bit.  From there, you flatten it out {a silicone mat is invaluable for this} and spoon in your filling before sealing each pocket up.  As for the filling, I’ve also been known to make a veggie friendly spinach and feta, another classic with pizza and even more creative takes with bulgogi, mozzarella and kimchi.  Trust me, that last one has been a perpetual gold medal winner in our home.

Not only are these delicious, each scrumptious stuffed sandwich packs and travels well.  These would not only serve well in a lunch box, they would also be a great after school snack.  I love that you can make 4 or 44 of them and freeze them for another time.  Busy mama’s and working professionals alike can whip these up on a weekend and enjoy the fruits of their labor all week long.  Not to mention, the beauty of these is that you could enjoy a meatball marinara one day and a chicken alfredo the next.  To do this, I like to halve the baking time and freeze in a single layer.  After they’ve solidified, you can store them in zipper bags or vacuum seal them if you intend on making them stretch for longer than a month.

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Homemade Hot Pockets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Crust
  • 6.20 oz unbleached flour
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • ½ ts sugar
  • 1½ ts yeast
  • ½ c warm water
Ham/Cheese Filling
  • 2 oz shredded cheese of choice
  • 3 oz chopped ham
  • ½ tb oil/butter
  • 1 tb unbleached flour
  • ½ c room temperature stock/milk
  • Optional: egg wash {1 egg + 2 ts water}
Instructions
  1. In a medium/large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Whisk and set aside.
  2. In warm water that hasn't exceeded 110 degrees fahrenheit, stir in the yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine everything together until it creates a shaggy dough then work it with your hands until the dough comes together and becomes smooth. Cover and allow to sit in a dark place, undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  4. For the filling, heat the oil/butter and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk well and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the stock/milk and whisk vigorously. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Continue to whisk and turn of the heat when it bubbles and thickens.
  7. Stir in the cheese and ham.
  8. After the 30 minute mark, lightly sprinkle your non stick work surface with flour and flatten the dough out to ⅛-1/4" thin. Score into 4 sections.
  9. Spoon in your filling and press to seal tightly.
  10. Brush with egg wash and bake at 450 for 9-12 minutes.

 

Moving to Paradise – Our New St. Croix Home

Today marks the second week we have lived in our new home in St. Croix. Today, I also wanted to share my vlog of the first official day we spent here.

After all the housekeeping details were tended to, it’s no surprise that we excitedly unpacked our grand total of 3 bags and rushed off to explore the island. If you’re interested in how we made this move, I am currently writing an e-book to explain each step. I will link it here when it’s completed.

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All our worldly possessions in 3 bags.  Photo from Instagram.

Our time line as a couple goes as follows. Boy meets girl. One year later, we moved to the beach together. Two years later, he proposed in Paris. Three years later, on the day we met, we got married in the Dominican Republic. One month later, we moved to the caribbean. Two weeks later, here I am talking to you.

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The island goes at a deliciously slow pace and there’s a lush natural landscape that includes the congeniality of the locals, organic farms, rolling hills and crystal clear sea. Within the two week period we’ve been here, I can’t tell you how many countless moments I’ve spent staring at the sky, listening to the rustle of the palm trees, enjoying the stillness the the world around me.

1 Some of the colorful life in our garden.

We live up on a hill and though we have a couple neighbors, it’s remarkable just how quiet it is. It’s wonderful that there isn’t a single interruption of cars dragging by or any general commotion outside. We live with all of our windows open and the loudest it gets is when our neighbors “guard dogs” will yap at each other or at “stranger danger.” {You’ll see these cuties in my video}.

St. Croix, just like any other caribbean island isn’t without its flaws. If you’re looking for your double tall, soy, extra caramel macchiato served to you in a New York minute or can’t live without the modern conveniences of the mainland, you definitely won’t enjoy your time here. There’s no mall, roosters crow at any inconvenient hour, most places are rustic {to say the least} and aren’t air conditioned.

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Typical island housing {kidding!}

However for me, these are all part of the charm of the place. Though I’ve always been a do-it-yourself type of gal, making everything for myself from breads to beauty products, this island has influenced me to further shift focus from any of the material goods that everyone seemed to be vying for to connecting with mother earth and being part of her symbiotic system. This lifestyle has encouraged us to be much more self reliant and sustainable and since all the resources are precious here, it’s helped us be that much more mindful of where it comes from and where it will go.

Find the greatest pleasures in the smallest treasures.

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