Monthly Archives: October 2012

Foodie Pen Pal October

Happy Halloween!

AH! The candy, kids costumes, parties, baby pumpkins, spooky black cats…

Wait, did I already mention the sugary candy?

I love reminiscing about Halloween as a child. It makes me giggle to think back on some of the silly costumes I must have begged my mother to be. Those were the days. The only thing that truly mattered in the month of October was making that life altering decision to be a blue crayon, a lumberjack, Minnie Mouse, or a robot for Halloween. Oh, and what houses had the best candy too!

When you are a child, Halloween was so exciting! Halloween was a day of possibilities!

Anything you’d wish to be for one night came true. What fun it was!

October marks the second month that I have a foodie pen pal. I was so lucky to have been linked up with Melissa from treats with a twist, Memphis, TN. Melissa was the absolute sweetest! Prior to mailing out my package Melissa did some research not only via e-mail on me, but read through some of my blog postings to get to know me better.

If I could box fall up, id have to say that this would be the box!

Trader Joe goodies, pumpkin coffee, flavored pumpkin coffee syrup, pumpkin butter, candy corn, and so much more!

Just look at all the fall goodness!


Melissa, Thank you again for sending a box of Fall my way! You were such a doll to get to know! I look forward to keeping in touch!

Right Before the Trees Got Naked

Sharing a bit of Korea Autumn magic with you!

Hope you enjoy the colors and enjoy your weekend too!


No tricks…just treats here!

How spoiled are we? One of my best friends, Cassie, sent me a large surprise package.

“Happy belated birthday and happy Halloween!”

She knows me oh so well! Get a look at all those fun goodies!

We’ve been best friends since our freshman year of high school And haven’t looked back.

Our friendship has always been so effortless and just plain fun!
I love this girl!
You and Josh are dearly missed.
Thank you again for spoiling us so much!

Doenjang Jjigae 된장찌개

The past few days we can really feel the days are getting shorter now. The mornings are darker and the evenings after work the sun is setting much earlier. Soon it will be time to turn the clocks back in the states. Luckily these shorter days here are still fairly mild temperature wise. We are able to get away with a light fleece or light scarf and sweater while being out and about.

Today we got home from our touristy weekend and decided that we needed to warm our souls. What better way than to make some soup! Soup is just so comforting in the fall and winter months. Did we mention this soup is not just any soup… Hands down its one of our all time favorite Korean soups. Think of this soup as Korean comfort in a bowl.

Doenjang Jjigae 된장찌개

We simply cannot help ourselves, we see this savory little number on any menu and ordering it becomes a MUST!

It’s sweet, its spicy, it’s just perfect, not to mention it’s incredibly good for you too.

We’ve been told that most foreigners are turned off by the smell and sight of the traditional soup. We really must be an exception to the rule.

So what is the soup made of? Mom, Dad, are you ready for this? Fermented Korean soybean paste.

Doenjang Jjigae –Korean Soy Bean Paste Stew
Adapted from Tofoodwithluv
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 strips of dried seaweed (kelp)
2 tbsp Korean soy bean paste (doenjang)
2-3 tsp Korean chilli pepper powder (gochugaru)
6  Dried anchovy
5 Cups rice water broth (from the water used to rinse rice, ssal ddeum mul, and use for stew)
1/2 Green onion, thinly sliced
1 Green chilli pepper, sliced
1 Large zucchini, diced
1 small packet tofu diced into cubes
1 pack of enokitake mushrooms

Lets Get Cooking!
Toast the anchovies in your black bowl, Rinse your rice, making sure to save the milky rice water, that you plan to eat as a side with your soup. Add the broth/water to the anchovies, throw in the seaweed and bring to a boil. Boil about 3 minutes. Take out the seaweed and anchovies, discard them. Next mash and stir in the soybean paste into the simmering broth. Add in your chili powder. Cover and bring to a  boil on medium to high heat for 5 minutes. Add onion, chilli peppers and zucchini, boil for 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms, tofu in the last 2 minutes. Serve immediately with steamed rice.



You know, we have been living in South Korea for quite some time now. There are still just so many different things on my list that I want to get out and experience while living on this peninsula. This weekend we had a change of plans, so we decided to tackle one of those touristy things on that little old list of mine.

I STILL love being a tourist! It just doesn’t get old to me.

We headed into Seoul and took a Han River cruise at night.

The river is such a beautiful part of the city of Seoul. There are various tours that you can take to enjoy the Han River. We ended up taking the hour and a half cruise at night for only 15,000 won per person, roughly $15.00. What a great option to admire the city and its lights in the reflection of the water.

Prepare yourself for some photo overload…

We were just taken away with all the bridge and building structures. Speaking of bridges, half way into the tour the boat goes underneath the Banpo Bridge. Once it gets to the other-side, it turns itself around and waits for a few brief moments. After those few moments pass, you get to see a spectacular water and light show. What a treat! The Banpo bridge fountain is the worlds longest bridge fountains in the world. Wait to go Korea!

The fountain is programmed to play various shows throughout the day and into the night. At night we learned that the fountain has 200 multicolored lights. These rainbow like lights illuminate the fountain and are synchronization with music. How peaceful!

After the show, once everyone got in the opportunity to snap pictures of themselves. Kimchi! The boat announces that it will be going back under the Banpo bridge. If you don’t want to get wet, move under the boats awning area. Some did not listen nor care and got soaked. You know me, with the cool Autumn night air coming off of the river, It didn’t take me very long to seek out shelter.

How long have you been in your city? Do you like to do touristy things too? What are some of your favorites?

Grab the map coordinates here


I remember looking forward to a Friday night as a child. Some of those Friday nights included school dances, while others included football games, a sleepover, and earlier on (dating myself here) watching TGIF on TV.

As an adult I still look forward to my Friday nights just as much as when I was a child, if not even more.

It’s been one of those scramble brained weeks. You know, the kind that you misplace your cellphone, later discovering when getting out your lunch you accidentally put it in the refrigerator earlier that morning. Yes, the kind of week where you put your full carton of milk in the kitchen pantry, luckily realizing that you did just that right before walking out the door. Or, last but certainly not least, the kind that you wastefully print 15 envelopes out, incorrectly mind you, while trying to get your absentee ballot request out. Ugh! all my defeated little brain could think after that fiasco was, “no wonder so many people do not vote..” (Don’t worry, it went out in the end!)

Do you ever do these sort of things? Have those sort of weeks? Find yourself slowly losing your mind? Do you chalk it up to age? HA HA! Typically at work I say, “This getting old business is for the birds.” Really, it is! Perhaps there is a need for ginkgo bilobain my near future too?

I think we can all agree when I say TGIF!

Tonight for dinner we Bees decided on our favorite place for a bite to eat. It was exactly what I needed. Happy heart and full belly.

Happy Friday!



Grandfather’s Granddaughter

A great man once told me, “Take a handful of mixed jelly beans with some peanuts and pop them into your mouth for a sweet and salty combination.”


I am undoubtedly my grandfather’s granddaughter.

We both enjoy the finer things in life…

You know what I am talking about..

S W E E T S!

There is no denying where this sweet tooth of mine comes from.

Pumpkin Ice Cream


1 can of coconut milk

1/2 cup puréed pure pumpkin

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Oops, I forgot this in the photo)

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice


Combine all of your ingredients and mix well with a whisk. Whisk, whisk, whisk. Pour everything into your ice cream maker and hit start. Pop into the freezer a bit longer.

Done, easy as that! If you desire sprinkle with a few chopped up pecans and cinnamon. Mmm!


Oh no.. that is not the only pumpkin treat baking in the Bee’s kitchen this afternoon.

No, Halloween didn’t come early.. that isn’t some scary Witch waiting by the oven.. It’s all nat-ur-allll me!

Pumpkin Sticky Buns

I may or may not have practically drank the cream cheese frosting.

Thankfully this isn’t live TV. ha ha! So you all will never really know.

Goodness, before you know it… “just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling”..

Sorry, I couldn’t contain myself. But really.. it’s right around the corner. I couldn’t be more delighted! We Bees have so many blessings to celebrate this year.

My heart skips right out of my chest when I think about how much I love to give gifts, send out greeting cards, see the lights, decorated trees, capture memories on my camera.

Oh, and of course SEEING our family and dear friends too!

Anyone want to share pumpkiny recipes? Brews, stews, bakes, etc. I am all eyes and ears.


Do you ever have those days where your body feels like it could stay in your comfy bed all day long? That is exactly how Bean and I feel this morning. I think last night I committed some sort of social crime and took my 20 something body to bed before 10pm on a Friday night, my 9-year-old heart could hardly fathom it.

Look at that fog. That was this morning outside of our place. The closer we get to Halloween the fog always reminds me of some eerie Tim Burton movie, like the nightmare before Christmas. Gosh! I used to watch that movie over and over again as a child, while spending the weekends at my grandparents, eek. Do you think that’s something to be concerned about? I think if it was good enough for the Grandparents, and they still love me today, so it’s okay… Right?

The sun is slowly burning off the fog now, I love seeing the rays shine through the thick air. I am feeling more energetic as we speak. Guess now is as good of a time as any to take the first step out of bed, but not without my pink Hello Kitty slippers.

Enjoy your weekend ahead!

An Apple a Day

So I guess we have more than enough apples to enjoy for a few days… or so…

I didn’t get to fulfill my hopes of apple picking in Korea this year. I couldn’t track down a farm that would allow you to pick yourself. I guess I can add that to my list of things that I do miss from home.

Don’t worry! We did fulfill the apple void by ordering a 15 kilo (roughly 33lbs) box of freshly picked apples from a farm South of us. These apples are delicious! My stomach is envisioning many nights of apple slices dunked in caramel and topped with whipped cream, totally healthy, hey! You’ve got to live a little.

Speaking of apples and things that I miss, almost every fall my family makes applesauce and cans it for the winter. The sauce is heavenly. Just the perfect amount of sweetness. If I were home right this second id be begging to make it with them. Hopefully there is at least one jar left when we go home for a visit to savor.

How do you enjoy your apples? Plain? sauced? baked? Feel free to let me in on a few recipes too! Goodness, you see our refrigerator, I think we can spare a few and try out a new thing or two.

The nerd in me had to share these fun facts that I received in an e-mail as I was writing this blog. Perfect timing!

  • The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows.
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
  • Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
  • Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
  • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
  • Most apples can be grown farther north than most other fruits, because they blossom late in spring, minimizing frost damage.
  • Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.
  • Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. 
Humph, who would’ve thought.

Mt. Seorak

After a weekend of scuba diving, Mr. B surprised me with a night/day away taking in the beautiful sights of Seoraksan. This has been a destination on my list of places to see before we’d ever leave Korea. Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea, perhaps one of the most picturesque too. The highest peak of the mountain reaches 5,603 feet! We didn’t quite make it that far, almost! No way, just kidding. Unfortunately we bees don’t have the billy goat gene in us.

We took a chance on the Mt. Seoraksan Tourist Hotel. The location is right inside of the national park. You literately walk out the lobby door and straight onto any hike you’d like. It was perfect! We lucked out and were able to grab a room too. The cost was 50,000 Won a person. Ohh but the views, wait until you see what we got to lay in bed and admire in the morning. We recommend the hotel and plan on staying there again if we go back.

As the sun set over the park, I kept thinking how much this place reminded me of a Harry Potter movie. I don’t know if it was the darkness settling in for the night, with all of the large overhanging trees? Whatever the case the feeling of being at Hogwarts. I know I am being silly, but it was just so much fun!

The next morning we woke up grabbed a small bite to eat at the hotel’s coffee shop. Fresh homemade yogurt. YUM!

And we were off!

First stop was to take the cable car up the side of the mountain.

We all piled into this bright yellow car….

HAHA! No just kidding again..

You could hardly tell that you were in a cable car. The ride was smooth. I wasn’t sure what i’d think or how i’d take it going so high. But, I loved every minute of it. Even after Mr. B read the sign before getting onto the car that said, “If the weather changed while we were at the top we’d be responsible for ourselves to get back down”. Now that leaves one feeling confident about their decision to board the car, right?

Once we got to the top we were just in total awe. This mountain was a total refresher to the soul. Some of the tree tops were starting to turn vibrant reds and you could see the ocean and the city of Sokcho glisten out into the distance. I could have stayed up there for days daydreaming about the views.

After the observatory area at the cable car, we followed a path that took you up into the side of the mountain. Unsure of what we were to find but very eager for the adventure.

Once we got to the end of the path, we found ourselves on the side of a mountain peak. The only real place to go was up. So up is where we went. We straddled some serious rocks along the way up. My knees were shaking, Mr. B kept telling me, “three points of contact”. One, two, three, kept going over and over in my mind.

We made it! We survived the climb at Mt. Seorak!

Of course we expected to find this at the top of the steep climb!

Too funny! How about a personal engraved souvenir? You’ve got to appreciate the Korean way of life.

So how about those hiking outfits? This is serious business dressing the part. They even carry ski pole looking walking sticks. Just watch you don’t accidently get stabbed by one. Next time we hike Soyo mountain near our place I think we need a fun colorful outfit too. What do you say Mr. B?

I don’t think I can even put into words the view from that climb. I will continue to try..

Nope.. I still can’t. Just look at the photos and imagine endless blue sky.

Secretly I kept trying to postpone the climb back down. I knew it was going to involve a lot of butt sliding and rope gripping. Thankfully with a wish and a few prayers we made it safely back down.

After the hike back down, I said to Mr. B, the one thing I love so much about Korea is that you get to experience these amazingly awesome things like that trechorous climb. The cliffs and trails are not all fenced up, there are no forms or waivers that you must sign your life away on due to the unsafe risks involved. No, for the most part, there are no railings. Just remember three points of contact and you will be fine.

After the cable car ride down we strolled around a bit, ate lunch and got back on the road.

What an amazing place!

Until we meet again Mt. Seorak.


Grab the map coordinates here