Tag Archives: friends

Friends giving 2016


This year as I sat down amongst eleven dear friends at our Friendsgiving table and I couldn’t help but think about the saying, “If you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.” It’s so simplistic, yet holds such truth and so much beauty, especially during this holiday season.


When we all sat down together to dig into our delicious spread, we all went around the table and shared what we were thankful for. It was one of the best memories that will stay with us when we think back on this very dinner. Listening to each person express how truly thankful they were for friends like us, like those around the table, made anything else going on just melt away.









The American Thanksgiving of course is not celebrated here in Korea, but that doesn’t stop us from pillaging our local vegetable market for local goods to make it happen. Over the years we’ve learned the hard way that a big ol’ bird simply doesn’t fit in our tiny “easy bake oven”, so we improvised and purchase an already made Turkey (a deep-fried one at that!) plus we sous-vide extra turkey breast and baked a ham in our crockpot. To make all the sides work, we borrowed another small oven, giving us a total of three ovens to work with. Talk about handling the heat in the kitchen… whew! SO.MUCH.FOOD. In the end everything worked out perfectly! We were pleased with all of the meats being moist and flavorful, and it was by far quicker to purchase and sous vide! (Check out that carrot cake too! A friend of our’s had it made with little bumblebee on it! Swoon!!)

Speaking of turkey…. THIS little turkey had a teeny bit of her first Thanksgiving turkey too!




As always….we are very thankful for all of you too… for those that have stuck by us, reading, commenting, viewing our photos and virtually traveled all around the world with us. Thank you friends! Happy Thanksgiving from Korea!!


Special visit

The past few days have been a busy blur of copious amounts of good food and buzzing all around Korea like we were tourist again. This time the only difference was, we had bumblebee and Kelsey along for the ride!

Yes, Kelsey, this young woman has more depth, kindness, loyalty, boldness, grace, honesty and wisdom than I ever knew could exist in a person! Oh! And she’s family to boot!! Cousin Kelsey, you my dear are nothing short of amazing and we are SO happy you chose to come visit us again before starting your new exciting adventure on the East coast! We cannot wait to watch you go on to do big things!


Belated Birthday Post

I read in an article recently that every woman’s love language is cheese, carbs and chocolate. While I only partially agree with that statement, I am absolutely 100% convinced this is why the invention of Spanx skyrocketed!

We celebrated my birthday the other week and boy did we indulge in what they claim is every woman’s love language! There was A LOT of cheese, carbs and yes even, gasp, chocolate!

I woke up Monday morning, after an entire weekend of celebration, was eating breakfast and realized after all the celebrating we did, we didn’t light any candles and I didn’t make my birthday wish. I texted Mr. B and he replied, “QUICK! It’s still your birthday in the states light a candle and make your wish!”.

It’s true! Can you believe I almost forgot to blow out candles and make a wish on my birthday?

I stood in our kitchen hummed happy birthday tune to myself and made my wish JUST in time. Whew! Talk about a close call… Ha-ha! Not to mention, it gave me an excuse to eat a bite of the banana cake I baked for my birthday. Cake at breakfast is always a win in my book!

To me it wasn’t just about making a birthday wish on my birthday, it was about taking that moment to appreciate my life, all the blessings, the wonderfulness and everything that made this past year so special.

The days leading up to my birthday, I couldn’t help but reflect back on the past year of changes in my/our lives. Changes for better, changes for worse. From family to friends, loss, fears and sadness to happiness, excitement and new beginnings. Remembering that life is very sacred, this world we live in is so fragile and the kindness that used to bloom from everywhere is becoming more and more scarce the older I get.

Mr. B and bumblebee spoiled me with so much love, wonderful gifts, quality time together and delicious treats (traditional birthday breakfast complete with morning mimosa, sushi bento box lunch, home cooked duck breast, my favorite carrot cake from My happy place)! Dear friends made it even more special by throwing a little themed party of around the world. So. Much. Fun!

How do you celebrate birthdays?  Do you have birthday traditions, or do you strive for something unique each year?


On Summer Evenings

One of the things I adore the most about the summer months is just how simplistic it is throwing together “hors d’oeuvres” and calling/ texting up friends for a casual night of entertaining.

We try to fill our weekend summer evenings all gathered around the table with our little family and friends, a good bottle of vino, an assortment of cheeses, some meat, crackers, dips, fruit, nuts… you get the idea… We had a hoot arranging it on a great big ‘ol inherited Fiestawear platter dish or wooden cheese board that my grandfather made us. We light some votive candles and sit back enjoying good belly laughs while sharing stories and the music playing softly in the background. It’s a fun little tradition I hope we continue to uphold and bumblebee grows up remembering!

^ NEW FAVORITE TORTILA CHIP!! Spicy Sriracha soooo addicting!

Cheers summer weekends! Cheers!


A love language of dinner and vino

We’ve said it before, but will say it again, our love language is sharing food with our family and good friends. There is nothing like eating delicious home cooked food and sipping on a glass of vino!

Over the past two weeks we’ve entertained a new friend visiting from Thailand, and we hosted a low-key vino night, who doesn’t like an excuse to bust out the cheese board and pop open the vino with good friends?!

Gahhhh we we’re sooooo in our happy place!


Birthday Celebration

Mr. B puts a limit on the amount of fuss and pizazz that I get to make over his special day, his birthday. He’s not one for parties, no dragging out the celebration, no telling the waitress while out at dinner (trust me…past experience he never lets me live down). His birthday request, celebrate one day, at home, a good home cooked meal, a favorite adult beverage (or a few) and his once a year praline ice-cream cake.

To me I feel that your birthday needs to be fussed about and you HAVE to drag it for at the minimum of a week, because come onnnnnn, it’s YOUR special day! Celebrate!!

So per his request last week we celebrated at home one evening with a good friend, delicious grilled rib eye steaks, foie gras, buttery scallops, hand cut French fries, a tomato cucumber salad with vinaigrette andddd of course his praline ice-cream cake. Mmmm-Mmmm!

Happy Birthday Mr. B. to the best dad and husband bumblebee and I could ever ask for.


Gather. Eat. Drink. Repeat

Friends, we certainly missed you at our table over the weekend!

We gathered, ate, drank and repeated all evening. Nothing better in our book!

These friends are friends that have cooked a special birthday meal for us and have given us such wonderful gifts, we’re very blessed to have met them all, so we certainly wanted to return the favor with a special treat for them!

The menu was French themed and featured the following:

^L’Apéritif (Drinks): Assorted beer, cocktails, homemade mulled wine

^L’Entrée (Appetizer): Pan seared foie gras served on homemade whole-wheat toast

^Le Plat Principal (The Main Dish):
Sous vide duck breast, served with fresh steamed broccoli, and pommes frites (french-fries)

^La Salade et le Fromage (Salad and Cheese):
Seasonal dinner salad and assorted cheese plate (served on my favorite Pennsylvania board)

^Le Dessert (Dessert): Vanilla-bean crème brûlée with local strawberries

Le Café (Coffee) : Coffee & tea

Bon weekending!


On The Beach

Over the weekend we attended our dear friends wedding on the east coast of Korea. The couple opted to have the wedding at the dive shop that we’ve all come to know as our home away from home on the weekends.

Friday evening we got off to a bumpy start with a flat tire along the way in the middle of nowhere…still two hours out from our destination…Lol… Thanks USAA…ehh…or not (lesson learned). So just how many did it take to change a tire? Thankfully with help from some friends that coordinated with the local police station, an ambulance, police car, a fire truck, and a local garage all came to our rescue. Unfortunately we were missing an important piece of the puzzle, the lug nut wrench. Who would have thought? Lol… Poor Mr. B he took it out of the queen Volvo and put it in my car because he noticed that I didn’t have one. He was going to pick one up to replace his, but forgot. Hence our Dilemma. Eek. Eventually we got on the road after some grumbles, f-bombs, and Korean photo ops.. Yes, after the tire was fixed they wanted a photo with Mr. B shaking the local policeman’s hand and bowing to one another. Again, we’re going to be featured on some side of the road signage on the importance of being prepared. We were again back on the road, thankfully so because we were transporting the booze, THEE dress, and dinner reception decor. Basically the party don’t start till we roll in. We can laugh about it now. We rolled in and rolled right on into bed.

We cannot take credit for the cake, it’s the one item we didn’t transport. The poor thing just didn’t make it all the way in and out of Seoul and to the East Coast. The top slid off the cake and the fondant shaped sea creatures drooped and reshaped themselves. The lovely Ms. Louise and I did our best and tried to shift some of the fondant. At the end of the day it all worked out.

The evening ceremony took place down on the sandy beach just steps away from the ocean tide rolling in. It made for a very relaxing and beautiful backdrop as the two said their vows to one another.

The wedding and dinner reception was small but in the best way possible, sweet, and intimate. It was the perfect recipe for a relaxed and very memorable day. There were lanterns that provided romantic candlelight on the dining tables and twinkle lights strung from the ceiling of the tent above. Swoon! It was awesome getting to see all the various little details the bride and I discussed actually come to life.

The guest toasted with fabulous reds and whites the entire night, and dined on Greek salads, savory potato curry tarts, fresh grilled corn on the cob, grilled burgers, bratwurst, and vegetarian kabob. Many heartfelt thanks to Roy, Jeff, Mark, and Mr. B for being grill sergeants and keeping our bellies at bay throughout the evening.

The entertainment was absolutely perfect with live musical performances during the ceremony and throughout the dinner reception from Ms. Laura Kenny, or Kenny as she’s known to the group. Wow can this gal sing! Download her song on iTunes here! (Shameless plug)

The newlyweds brought together such a diverse group of friends. Everyone just clicked so well and really enjoyed the good company. It was wonderful getting to meet in person all the faces and names we had heard so much about. By the end of the evening we were all good pals sharing laughs as if we had known one another for longer than 12 hours.

Cheers to our dear friends! We wish them so much love, happiness, and health for the rest of their blissful years together.


H2s Handmade Burgers

We have lived in Dongducheon, South Korea for almost 5 years. Believe me when I say it is really hard to find a good burger here. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some excellent burgers…..but in Seoul. Unfortunately, we’re surrounded by the ever growing monster fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Lotteria, and soon to be Burger King. Sigh. These just aren’t real burgers, or even food for that matter.

On our regular evening walk last week we strolled by what looked to be a quirky little joint with a small outdoor patio situated conveniently right outside one exit of Jeihang subway. To say we were surprised is an understatement. This place not only met the burger challenge; they superseded it! The restaurant takes a step further and features a foreigner friendly menu, or as I refer to it, the meat-lovers masterpiece! It’s creative specialty combos are generously portioned are incredibly tasty, the staff were quick, attentive and friendly, plus the prices that won’t break the bank! To the owner the hygiene factor of this place was paramount, as you could easily see right into the open style kitchen. Also in case your curious about the origin of the meats, the beef is from Australia and the chicken is from Korea. Well done H2s Hand Made Burgers, well done!

Our group ordered 4 different burgers, the Hawaiian, spicy chicken burger, onion Eiffel burger, and the H2s special burger. The Hawaiian was a beef patty, pineapple, bacon and pineapple sauce. The spicy chicken burger was grilled chicken, tomato, lettuce, and 3 kinds of sauce. The opinion was to hold the mayo next time (non mayo lover in the group), or ask for a tad less. The onion Eiffel burger was a beef patty, fried onion, tomato, American cheese goodness. The H2s special burger was a beef patty, hash brown, grilled onion, bacon, and tomato. We ordered combos so each meal came with French fries and a drink. We also ordered a basket of onion rings to split at the table. Let’s talk about the french fries and onion rings….these were golden, crisp and cooked to absolute perfection! Mmmmm!

From the four of us, we give 8 thumbs ups for this burger joint! We’re eagerly planning a return and deciding what burger we will try next! Better yet….we’ve been inspired to create some of our own homemade patties. Stay tuned…

Now it’s your turn…describe your ideal burger. Medium-rare, medium, well-done, as our dear friend Mandy prefers…charbroiled? Also are fries or onion rings a must? Do you always order them?


Direction: H2s Hand Made Burgers is located directly across from exit 3 of Jihaeng Station. Look for the big burger as pictured above.
Phone: 070-4151-0778

South Korea: Lunar New Year!

새해 복 많이 받으세요, Happy Lunar New Year all!

It’s crazy to sit here and realize that this is our 4th and 5th Lunar New Year in Korea. Honestly, WHOA! Anywho I’m sure if you’ve been following along with our blog from the beginnings you know what Lunar New Year is all about. FOOD! Kidding… well kinda, sorta. It’s about family and being together, much like our own special holidays in the US. And FOOD.

So to celebrate Lunar New Year, why not get festive and gather up your friends and teach them how to easily make dumplings? Just remember two magic words, fill and fold and the rest will come into place for you. The great thing about dumplings is that you can be as basic, or crazy creative with the filling ingredients as you’d like and they will still be delicious. This time around we kept ours fairly simple, easy to follow and vegetarian.

Remember…Confucius say, “Man with one chopstick go hungry.”


^If you are in Korea these bamboo steamers and steamer liners are EASY to get a hold of. If you can’t find any liners, use some cabbage leaves and call it a day.

Easy Steamed Dumplings

About 15 shiitake mushrooms, or your favorite kind, sliced
1/2 of a small onion, sliced
EVOO- Extra virgin olive oil, used to drizzle
1 Cup shredded carrot
1 Cup shredded cabbage
3 Inch slices of fresh ginger, diced
3 Cloves garlic, diced
1/2 Cup of mixed yellow, red and green bell pepper, diced
1/2 Of a block of tofu, diced into small squares
1/4 Cup chopped scallions
4 Tsp soy sauce
4 Tsp hoisin sauce
2 packs of wonton wrappers
Salt & pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the mushrooms and onions onto a baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, checking for a nice golden brown coloring. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

After the mushrooms and onions have cooled, combine all of the dry ingredients and add in a pinch of salt. Add in the sauces and toss together.

You want to fill the wrapper with about a tablespoon scoop of the mixture. You will know if it is to full by the way it’s folding together for you. Take your finger, wet the outside edges of the wrapper with a bit of water and begin to pinch and fold edges completely closed, as shown on the wrapper instructions.

Place the dumplings inside and steamer for approximately 9-10 minutes, or until the wonton skins are soft.


Click, Ship & treat yourself!