Tag Archives: 2013

A New Year

New Year resolutions are something that everyone does, but the harsh reality is that we almost rarely stick to them. Weeks leading up to new year’s eve I found myself asking close friends and family if they had a resolution for the new year. It was really interesting to me to hear their response or watch their facial expressions.

To be frank before this year I really never paid much attention nor bothered to spend time giving thought to a resolution. However this year the thought loomed in my head and while on our night walk Mr. B and I talked about our personal goals as well as our together goals, for the most part a continuation from 2013. You know… travel and saving more money, (I know, I know…if that isn’t the most contradicting statement EVER.)

I guess the thing that I realized as I rolled out pizza dough while entertaining our friends this new year’s eve is that life, goals, and things are going to happen the way they happen, goals met or not…life has that funny way of just working out in the end, even if you thought you had a solid plotted out resolution for the new year.

So with that said… cheers to the unknown in the new year of 2014!

Almost forgot! Included some fun photos below of dear friends we cheered the new year with.


Thoughts of…

As fast as Christmas was here, it is now gone…these next few days are the last glimpses of all the holiday decor and Christmas trees…
Do you find it hard to just BE? You know, just being ok with where you are right now…
You guys, Mr. B bought me a kick-butt Mastrad Orka oven mitt! They come in cheery colors and are lined to protect that patty too…
This week has been exhausting, even with that eve early day out of the office and holiday…
Toast smeared with lemon curd and an oversized cup of coffee…

Now it’s your turn, what are your thoughts of?


Thoughts of…

Bump bump bump bump neighbors up above (aka graceful buffalos)…
Our chicken and waffles escapades tonight included some bumps and lumps
Still absolutely delicious…
Reminds us of home…
Don’t knock it until you try it, google it you won’t be sorry
‘Tis the season to be overly be nostalgic, no?
man’s best friend
These… Size 8 please. Comfort for my chronically cold tootsies. Could be win-win Mr. B, think about it…
Time for bed…

Now it’s your turn, what are your thoughts of?


Sleep Eat?

Lately we’ve been watching all the old episodes of Seinfeld as we cook dinner together in the evenings after work. Can you guess who takes on the role of chef and who the sous-chef is? I’m sure your presumption is correct. Anyways, did you ever see the episode where George is in the kitchen and see’s the eclair on the top of the trash pile, obviously it looks rather delicious so he proceeds to pick it up and eat it?

Last night I realized that I had four bananas that were rather ripe sitting out the counter. I decided to just make a loaf of banana bread and use them up. It’s just so darn tasty that it reminded me of that episode. Short of wanting to dump the loaf for our own good, I know we’d be suffering from Costanza moments if I did it.

I wake up in the middle of the night and sleep walk over to the water-cooler located next to our refrigerator..what a convenient location, right? ..Oh heyyy there banana bread! Leaning over the sink (of course not to crumb anywhere) I happily shovel in two delicious bites. Fulfilled I retire back to bed. I wake up in the morning with this gross slightly recognizable taste in my mouth. I think to myself in the shower, damn Did I really sleep eat that banana bread?

Can you relate? Or is this one of those awkward non discussed topics? Well, whatever the case, I don’t have willpower when it comes to this stuff. Hence a non typical baking occurrence. Luckily there’s only one loaf, must eat and keep it out of our bee hive!

But that’s just us…I’m sure you have much more willpower and should totally bake some! Thanks baby bistro cookbook (and Mary).

Banana Bread
Slightly adapted from The Baby Bistro Cookbook


4 Very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
1 Egg
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup safflower oil
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, egg, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla just until ingredients are blended. Next add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir just until it’s blended together. Pour ingredients into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Our Christmas Tree

Although nearly two week later, I thought I’d share photos of our tree and snowfall. Thankfully my strong strapping husband helped me get our oversized tree up in the apartment this year.

I know, I know….Too big for our space, right?

You guys. YOU GUYS! I have a confession to make…I have been a total Grinch this holiday season. I just mailed out some holiday cards to family last week, we just put up our teeny little tree and twinkle lights, I just baked up a batch of our gingerbread men and I have been dragging my feet on holiday shopping. It’s so unlike me!

But then… we got our first snow! Yipee! But…I didn’t get to capture it. Oops.

Don’t fret, it’s been snowing on and off here in our little town of Dongducheon, South Korea and guess what? This lady captured it this time!

You know I am a sucker for the magical little flakes. It just might be what was needed to shake the Grinches out of me. That and Mr. B, bless his huge heart.

Oh speaking of magical flakes, did you see Anchorman 2 is coming to the big screen soon? I’m not saying that I’ll be popping up a camping tent to see it first, but it’s defiantly towards the top on my to do list. In the meantime, check out Ron Burgundy’s Dodge commercials.



Is it just me or does it seem like fall has been sticking around lingering longer this year?

No complaints in that department, I am enjoying event single delicious second of it. When I say delicious, I am talking about all of the wonderfully fall flavored morsels that have crossed my lips this season. Mmmm… pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, and of course the delicious dish I’m about to share with all of you.

Are you ready for this?

Spicy Pumpkin Chili! (BAM!) (Sorry, having an Emeril moment)

Ohhh and Don’t forget to bake up some cornbread with a nice pad of honey butter on top. Bob’s Red Mill brand mix with an added 1/3 cup of honey is a fabulous time saver if I do say so myself.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
(Provided via a friend)


2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
2 red bell peppers, preferably roasted and skinned, cut into medium dice
1/2 a chipotle chili can (canned in adobo sauce) (Watch out, SPICY)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
1 Jalapeno (chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
32 oz canned black beans (rinsed)
4 cups roasted pumpkin or winter squash, directions provided below*

Serve with Cabot Extra sharp cheddar cheese


In a large stock pot, sauté the onions in olive oil until lightly golden. Add in the bell peppers and jalapeno, and cook for about five minutes until tender. On medium heat, add the chili powder, curry powder, ground cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, and salt, and cook for another minute. Then add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water and the dark brown sugar, stirring well to incorporate. Cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes and adding more water (in 1/4 cup increments) as needed. (You, want to keep things from drying out and sticking to the bottom!).

Add the rinsed beans along with 2 cups of water and cook for another 20 minutes.

Add the pumpkin and vinegar just before serving. Taste, and adjust seasoning.

To roast pumpkin or squash:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Remove the seeds and the fiber from the pumpkin and cut the flesh into chunks, leaving the skin still attached.

Mix the chunks in a bowl with 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay the chunks on a baking tray, skin side down, and put them in the oven. When the chunks of pumpkin are soft and the edges are tinged with brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool, and scoop out chunks of the pumpkin from the skin with a fork. Measure out 4 cups of the pumpkin and save the rest for another purpose, like a salad or snacking later. Or roll like me and put in all the pumpkin. Why not? Life’s SHORT!

Hope your fall week has been just as delicious!


Happy Halloween!


I am finally back from my two week trip stateside with work and back to my dear blog again too. My trip was amazing and I would love to share it with you all so I will write a post about it a bit later.

First thing’s first! BOO! It’s Halloween! I live to celebrate holidays and look forward to and the traditions we continue to build with each new year. There is something just so magical about the fall season where pumpkin flavored everything and mythical creatures abound, which by the way are totally my style. (There may or may not be a 63oz coffee/latte pumpkin flavoring from Starbucks in the refrigerator right now). What? I’ve told you all..I get my sweet tooth from my grandfather and all the sweets in the world never ever truly satisfy it. Speaking of which, who held out that Target has awesomely fun coffee flavors like this little guy I snagged while stateside? Candy corn?! Yum!



One of the best parts about Halloween is opening your front door to cute kids in costumes. This is the third Halloween living abroad that I’ve had the opportunity to hand out candy in our small community to the other foreigners living here as well. What a treat! Check out my two dino buddies that really had down their scary rawr!

Happy Halloween Everyone!


Our Seoul

Besides getting to watch the sunset and paint the most beautiful glowing sky over Seoul this weekend… some highlights included but were not limited to:

-Watching 100,000 fireworks (not even exaggerating) set off from Japan, Canada, France and South Korea, lighting up the Seoul city skyline. Breathtaking!

-Traipsing all over Seoul

-Eating so many yummy Korean dishes…perhaps too many

-Spending time with some great girlfriends being “tourist” taking cabs, the subway, and the Seoul city bus tour

-Visiting N Seoul Tower taking in all the views without any haze

-Getting to see our dear friends again for the first time in two months!!!!

-Picking up a freshly baked baguette and veggies from a nearby bakery and vegetable stand to make veggie panini’s

-Getting to hear my dad’s voice over the phone while we wished him a happy birthday

Needless to say, counting down till next weekend. Cheers!


Homemade Chunky Tomato Basil Soup

I know this is going to sound redundant but I cannot help myself, the weather has been so perfect lately! We drive or take recycling out in the evening and can’t help but notice that the  sky is so clear and cloudless and the air is just so crisp . I’m absolutely smitten with this time of the year…as if you couldn’t already tell.

The chill in the air has been delightful and perfect for homemade soups. I have a few new recipes I have found lately that caught my eye, but Mr. B beat me to it this time and whipped up a batch of his homemade chunky tomato basil soup. What a catch my guy is! Now only if he’d do the dishes afterwards.. wink-wink.

Nothing like a hot bowl of soup to soothe the soul.


Weekending Recently

Unless the weather decides to make a rather abrupt U-turn in the next few days (I really don’t foresee this happening), we have written off summer and bid farewell to her for another couple of months.

We’ve been sleeping with the large windows slid open and it makes our sheet so comfortably cool when we slip into our bed at night. Robes and slippers have become almost mandatory and are hung near the bed to be slipped into, cheerfully greeting us for our early morning awakenings. We have been burning our apple and pumpkin candles, scenting our home in the most sumptuous fall smells. Strolls in the evening require a sweater or layers. Mums are proudly displayed all over our cute country town in stunning shades of yellow, burgundy, and gold (Are you ready for your blog feeds to be jam-packed with gorgeous outdoor shots of all things fall?). Oh! I almost forgot, most excitingly we received our order of Starbucks pumpkin spice flavoring for endless heavenly homemade pumpkin lattes, mornings have never been so sweet!

Continuing on with our love of fall, I found a fun new recipe that made me think of fall, comfort, warmth, and being bundled up inside. A yummy veggie shepherds pie!

Watch out, our fall fever is highly contagious….Luckily it’s treatable and you just have to give into all of your fall fever desires.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Source: Thoughts by Natalie


3 Medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
A dash of nutmeg
A drizzle of fruity olive oil, to taste
2 Cans vegan chili
1 Onion, roughly chopped
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped
4 Small to medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into pieces
1 14-oz Can artichoke hearts, drained and cut up
1 14-oz Can fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, drained
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Teaspoon dried thyme
1 Teaspoon dried basil
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon


Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot of fresh salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until under fork tender and mashable.

Meanwhile, sauté onions and garlic; stir and cook for five minutes or until the onions are soft. Add in the zucchini; stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add in the artichokes and tomatoes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, dried herbs and cinnamon. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced a bit. Remove from heat.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready, drain and mash them lightly. Season with sea salt, ground pepper and nutmeg. Drizzle with a little fruity olive oil if desired.

Now it’s time to layer the casserole dish. Start with the two cans of chili, followed by the veggie mixture, then top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until bubbling and hot—about 25 minutes.