Monthly Archives: June 2014

Angry Shrimp

Funny story….we thought these shrimp were really ANGRY after we cooked them one night last week. Yes, so much so we thought we had food poisoning from these bad little as$ suckers. No bueno! After a reallllyyyyy rough weekend we Bees are recovering slowly but surly.

I felt like Monday morning came way to fast and way to early today. I picked myself out of bed and went to work all responsible like, only to find out my co-worker came into the office incredibly ill and showing the same symptoms that we had over the weekend. AHH! Attack of the angry shrimp? Nope, he didn’t have any of our angry shrimp. Ohhhh noooo even worse, STOMACH VIRUS! Yep! Ew!

Well now that I’ve been living on toast, tea, slowly transitioning over to soup and graduating onto a grilled cheese sandwich, I think it’s time to share the angry shrimp recipe with all of you. Not to mention that it’s a little victory to even be able to fathom the very thought of anything food related after this weekend.

Pair with a nice cool simple cucumber salad and keep those hands washed!

Enjoy!

Angry Shrimp
Slightly altered from: Epicurious

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons pepitas
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
4 teaspoons chopped garlic, divided
1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup Triple Sec liqueur
20 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 pounds medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
1 tablespoon orange zest
6 cups leafy spinach, chopped
3 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions:

In a small pan over high heat toast the pepitas until lightly brown, 1 to 2 minutes. In a food processor or chopper, puree raisins and 1/4 cup water 1 minute. In a large pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in raisin puree, cherries, chipotle, 1 teaspoons garlic and cumin; cook 1 minute. Add in Triple Sec and cook, stirring, until alcohol is cooked out about 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. In a separate bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoons cold water. Slowly add in cornstarch mixture to broth mixture to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer mixture 10 minutes. Add in shrimp and cook about 5 minutes, or until pale white. Stir in fresh orange zest; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer shrimp to a covered bowl and set aside. Lastly, in a pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoons oil. Cook spinach and 3 teaspoons garlic, make sure to stir until spinach starts to wilt, this will be about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain all spinach juices and combine in with brown rice. Plate rice mixture and top with those angry shrimp.

Backpackbees

Uncle Tomato and Turkey

I know what you are thinking, first what in the world is on that menu? Doesn’t rice ball flying fish spawn sound delightful? Ha-Ha! Second, I’m not really seeing tomatoes, Uncles, or Turkey in these photos. Okay, maybe one tomato in that salad. Hmmm… You’re correct.

The restaurant that I enjoyed a dinner date at with my dear friend Mary is called, Uncle Tomato. The restaurant offers a decent sized menu and quaint atmosphere. You can order anything from pasta, pizza, steaks and salads. There was something for everyone and in Korea that sometimes is the challenge. We kept pondering why didn’t we go here before?

Unfortunately and fortunately Mary and her family are moving to Turkey in the next few days. Now the puzzle pieces are coming together. I say unfortunately because this woman has become a sister to me and the selfish thoughts of loosing her, her friendship, love and family all currently and conveniently within a quick stroll down the road, is going to break my heart. I say fortunately because TURKEY!!! Come onnnnn the food, travel, meditation lifestyle! I’m so there! Making my plans as we speak, of course after I was extended the invite 😉 (Thank you Mary and family!)

More fun and special moments shared….

Not only have I watched these two beautiful children grow, you have too! Can you believe how grown up the are already? It really puts time into perspective. Eek! I miss them already! Guess I better keep saving those coins for my Turkey trip to see them again soon!

Backpackbees

Uncle Tomato
719, Jihaeng-dong 2F-#201, Pine Hans Bldg., Dongducheon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
031-865-0999

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday’s, have you heard of them?

Yep, we’ve jumped on the meatless Monday bandwagon too. Seasonal vegetables are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed so many ways. Lately we’ve loved slicing up leeks, yams or sweet potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, red onions, green peppers and roasting them. Sometimes we even throw in a meat replacement such as Gardein beef tips, or sauté the vegetables in a chili oil before roasting. Truly a dish that I could eat over and over again.

Oops.. this is embarrassing, we ate the soup before taking a photo to share with you all. I’ve mentioned this before, I am lactose intolerant and I tend to mind cream based soups. This was a perfect alternative for me and I didn’t even miss the cream! Who needs another photo of a bowl of soup anyways? I’ll just proceed with the good stuff, the recipe! Make it and let us know what think.

Healthy (No Cream) Gourmet “Beef” Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 Bundle celery with leaves, chopped 3 inch pieces
8-10 Medium button mushrooms, sliced (you can use whatever type you prefer)
1 Large onion, chopped
1 Can beef broth LOW sodium
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tsp minced garlic
Pinch saffron, optional
1 Tbs red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 Tsp ground paprika
1 Shot brandy, optional
1/4 Tsp Worchester

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in skillet and add in celery, onions, mushrooms. Cook vegetables until soft. Next add in seasoning, except for the Brandy, hold off adding in the Brandy in until the end. Next add beef broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the soup from heat and pour into a blender and puree. Once smooth, pour the puree back into the skillet or a pot and add 2-3 cups water and bring back to simmer. Lastly add in brandy and simmer for 5 minutes. ENJOY!

Backpackbees

Weekends

Weekends….If my bathing suit asks, tell it there’s only been carrot sticks and fruit smoothies for this gal. HA HA.

Mr. B’s Uncle, Kelsey’s father, and Kelsey’s close friend Meghan were in town this weekend. Kelsey’s been playing tour guide around Seoul and asked if we all could meet up at Kervan for a late lunch, followed up by a stop at Passion 5 and Softree for a sweet treat, then onto adult beverages at Reilly’s Taphouse. Of course we gladly accepted the offer.

We all had a blast chatting the evening away. A storm that was brewing most of the afternoon finally made its appearance, but even that didn’t put a damper on our fun!

(Kervan) Serving excellent turkish cuisine. Every dish was favorable and delicious! Check out that balloon bread! The service was fast and brought almost all of the food out together. I swooned over the beautiful lanterns and the tiles on the wall, red and turquoise blue. It wasn’t terribly busy when we arrived so we were seated rather quickly while we waited on the rest of our group.

Mr. B’s Uncle opening the door to Passion 5 with the huge Harry Potter like chandelier hanging in the back. I love that thing! It looks like it is floating in mid-air in the evening.

The service at Passion 5 however not so fantastic this time around. Let me digress, the bakery was rather busy, but we felt that we were looked over continuously because we were foreigners. The biggest turn off was when we finally were assisted with picking out the desserts we wanted, the young woman wouldn’t make eye contact and had a curled lip the entire time she was pulling each mini pie or cake out of the display case. When we asked for everything to be packed up to go as well as forks because there was no seating available, we weren’t given a bag and asking for forks was as if we had asked for her first newborn. Don’t worry this experience didn’t kill our spirit either.

(Softree) This was my choice for dessert. I opted for the classic honey chip this time.

(Rileys Taphouse) This was the first time we went to Rileys, we got there just in time too. We were seated at a nice hightop table perfect for people watching. Side note, can I ask when the high wasted shorts and midriff tops and neon glasses without lenses came back? Meh, what do I know? I am certainly no Fashionista. I just cannot get down with this recent fashion craze. We enjoyed a round of cider and ales and playing around with my new camera. We absolutely plan to go back!

Happy weekending to you too!

Backpackbees

Locations:

Kervan
Website

Reilly’s Taphouse & Restaurant
Website

Passion 5
Website

Cravings

It’s 9:30PM at night and Mr. B say’s, “Let’s make pretzels”… translation… Can you make pretzels? Cravings like a pregnant lady this man has. Nonetheless, it’s fun and a lot of really fun and crazy recipes come from his cravings. So tonight, pretzels it is…

I came across this recipe awhile back when flipping through a magazine subscription that my grandma got me last Christmas, Country Living. I clipped it out and thought it would be perfect for someday down the road. I don’t know about you, but I clip and favorite so many recipes with high hopes to try someday, but often someday doesn’t come for years. So when I do finally dust off the clipped or favorited recipe I am ecstatic that I finally reached someday!

The pretzel recipe might look like it’s intimidating but really it’s not. The only real tedious part, well if you can even call it tedious, is waiting for the dough to rise. I always do a happy dance when my dough rises as it should for recipes. There is nothing worst than waiting an hour or two on dough only to find out that something went terribly wrong with the yeast. I know all of you bakers out there can relate with that statement.

These aren’t Annie Ann pretzels but they certainly do suffice the Mister’s cravings. 24 pretzels for two people…can I interest anyone in a late night pretzel?

Pretzels with Brown-Sugar Rosemary Dijon
Recipe by: Country Living

Ingredients

(Pretzels)
3 Tablespoon(s) honey
1 1/2 Package(s) (about 3 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
5 1/4 Cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus at least another 1/2 cup for kneading
3/4 Cup(s) whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon(s) fine salt, plus a pinch for egg whites
6 Tablespoon(s) olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
6 Tablespoon(s) baking soda
2 Large egg whites
3 1/2 Tablespoon(s) coarse sea salt

(Mustard)
4 Tablespoon(s) light-brown sugar
2 Tablespoon(s) finely chopped rosemary
2 2/3 cup(s) Dijon mustard

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon honey, yeast, and 2 1/4 cups warm water (100 degrees F), and stir until yeast dissolves; let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flours and fine salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining honey until a shaggy dough forms. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour on your work surface; then transfer dough to surface and knead, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour as needed, until dough becomes supple and elastic.

Coat a large, clean bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Line 2 baking pans with parchment and set aside. Punch dough down and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into twenty-four 1 1/2-ounce pieces (each slightly larger than a golf ball) and keep covered. Working with one piece at a time, roll dough into a 14-inch-long rope. Bring both ends together and twist twice near the top. Fold ends down so they sit atop the bottom loop of dough; press ends into loop to form a pretzel. Transfer to a prepared pan and repeat with remaining dough. Let pretzels rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring 6 cups water and baking soda to a rapid simmer. Working in batches, poach pretzels for about 15 seconds on each side. Return to prepared pans. Lightly beat egg whites with a pinch of fine salt. Then lightly brush pretzels with the egg-white mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until pretzels are deep brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the mustard: Stir light-brown sugar and finely chopped rosemary into Dijon mustard.

(The dipping mustard is key!)

Backpackbees

The Silver Spoon

Barns and Nobles and Amazon describes The Silver Spoon as the most influential and bestselling Italian cookbook of the last 50 years. They also say that this is the bible of authentic Italian home cooking, featuring over 2,000 recipes, that is uniquely stylish and user-friendly, making it accessible and a pleasure to read. We Bee’s couldn’t agree more!

When I first got my hands on The Silver Spoon in a favorite local cafe, I knew I had to have it. I remember sitting there across from Mr. B one evening carefully pouring over each beautifully illustrated page, imagining the amazing smells coming from our kitchen. Mmmm… After about 5 pages of Oh’s and Ah’s Mr. B was sold too. Hook line and sinker, we were caught! HA HA HA!

I know you are dying to know what we’ve made so far, right? Of course!

(ABOVE) Gardner’s Bag- Roasted fresh bell pepper stuffed with all sorts of delicious things such as, eggplant, garlic, basil leaves, mozzarella and capers. Mr. B was a bit frustrated with the bell peppers not keeping their form once they came out of the oven, but they tasted heavenly nonetheless.

(ABOVE) Pork roulades with apricots- We made this for our dinner guest Kelsey one night. We were all really pleased with the flavors of the apricots mixed with the pork.

(ABOVE) Roasted beef with carrots- Believe me when I say this dish was magical! It sounds all plain Jane and Sunday dinner-ish, but it’s so much more. Think beef wrapped in pancetta with sliced carmelized carrots all seasoned with a brandy, thyme, nutmeg and garlic glaze. Ooooh the stuff kitchen dreams are made of!

Have you heard of the Silver Spoon Recipe book? Perhaps you have even tried a few recipes too? What are your favorites? We’d love to know!

Backpackbees

FFE

FFE= Fuss free and easy! Two items that we Bee’s look for in a recipe after a long day of work. We’ve been on a fish kick lately. I must confess, I have been loving every savory second of it too. Mr. B is getting quite creative with seasoning and such. I mean honestly, does anyone else out there not ever get sick of fish?

Cod. Eh, cod doesn’t come across as a fancy pants fish, right? Wrong. Cod can delicious served simple or jazzed up with all sorts of fun ingredients. Tonight we jazzed up our cod by poaching and using ingredients such as sassy saffron and white wine.

Poached Cod with Tomato and Saffron
Recipe Adapted from: Bon Appétit

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Cloves minced garlic
1 Teaspoon Aleppo pepper or ½ crushed red pepper flakes
Chopped handful of fresh vine ripened tomatoes and fresh cherry tomatoes, boiled down
¼ Cup dry white wine
2 Bay leaves
Pinch of saffron threads
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 5-oz. Skinless cod fillets
2 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and Aleppo pepper and cook, stirring often, until fragrant (garlic should not take on any color), about 3 minutes.

Add chopped fresh tomatoes, crushing with your wooden spoon as you add them, wine, bay leaves, saffron, and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until flavors meld and until tomato skins peel off while string gently. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to medium-low; season cod with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cover and cook at a bare simmer until cod is opaque throughout and beginning to flake, 5–7 minutes (thicker pieces will take longer to cook).

Gently transfer cod to shallow bowls and spoon poaching liquid over.

Backpackbees

You Asked For It

Did you know that dopamine levels rise in your brain when you try new foods? All the more reason to broaden your inner foodie horizons, right?

Someone mentioned in passing that they missed out on seeing what we’ve been concocting in the Bees kitchen lately. Yes, I admit…there has been a teeny bit of neglect with blogging since getting back from Malaysia. To be fair, I blame summer and the evening walks we’re taking advantage of before monsoon season really settles in. Nevertheless I’ve been taking photos of the delicious foods and things we’ve been up to, just purely neglecting to go the extra mile to upload them and write a post. I know you’ll forgive.

Boy do we have a treat to share from one of our favorite blogs. So let’s get on with it and kick off the very middle of this week the right way!

www.greenkitchenstories.com. Check them out!

Warm Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ with Green Peas & Herbs
Recipe by: GKS
Ingredients:
1 head of raw cauliflower
2 handfuls mixed parsley and basil
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A drizzle cold-pressed olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
2 cups frozen (thawed) or fresh peas
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Bring a saucepan with water to boil. Meanwhile coarsely chop the cauliflower and place the florets and stem in a food processor or blender and process until fine couscous- or rice-like texture. Do it in batches if you have a small food processor. Pour the cauliflower into the boiling water, lower the heat to simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile finely chop the herbs, toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet on low-medium heat until golden. Drain the cauliflower ‘couscous’ in a sieve and place in a large serving bowl. Add herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and combine everything. Add peas, pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta cheese and toss until mixed. Garnish with sprouts or micro greens. Serve warm or chilled. Keeps for a couple of days in the fridge.

Eat the “couscous” on its own, or it makes a very nice paring to some homemade breaded cod. Just curious, what do you think? Do you think you will try the recipe? What do you think you will pair the dish with?

Stay tuned for some more delicious recipe ideas.

Backpackbees

Sandy Oasis

I may be the only one that feels this way, but what is it about the ocean that just makes you chirpy? We spent the past weekend in Busan at the beach, celebrated Mr. B’s birthday in style, hopped aboard the never-ending Busan city tour bus, feasted on some rather delicious celebratory foods and adult beverages. Relaxation all around. (Minus our amature booking the wrong hotel location snafu..oops). Check out that beach crowd, looks like we weren’t the only ones with the idea to escape to a sandy oasis for the weekend.

Cheers to sandy toes, salty hair and smiles all around!

(Pardon my unintentional gang signs, I was caught off guard with the kimchi fingers)

(Scary bus)

(We learned whipped cream potatoes literally is whipped cream…who would have thought)

(AKA Creeper Mode)

We’d love to hear from you, any fun summer adventures planned?

Backpackbees

Busan Addresses:

Busan City Bus Tour
Tour price: Adults (ages 19 and up)-10,000 won, children and teenagers (ages between 4 and 18) – 5,000 won

Phone reservation: ARS +82-1688-0098 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese), TEL +82-51-464-9898 (Korean, English) * Receive your ticket from the bus driver on the day of the tour.

(Please note that you may have to wait an hour or two to board bus at each stop you get off)

Haeundae Beach 해운대해수욕장
Jung-dong, U1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan-si
부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 264 (우동)

Zennin Restaurant (Highly recommended by we bees)

EENIE MEENIE MINIE MOE 해운대 (Best Potbingsu yet!)
Busan (Pusanshi) Haeundae (Heundegu) middle sinuses (Chundon) 24 Paredo~ushizu Commercial Street No. 1-7 or Address 부산시 해운대구 중동 24 팔 레드 시즈 상가 1-7 호
070-7360-9513
Hours:12:00pm to 10:00pm

Burger & Pasta
수영구 광안동 193-4번지 대우아이빌 102호
Busan, South Korea
051-751-6631
Hours: 11:00am to 2am