Tag Archives: Homemade

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!!


Our Late Octoberfest Celebration

Over the weekend we celebrated Octoberfest with some friends…yes, yes.. a tab bit late…but eh whatever. We raise our “steins” to our favorite German flavors like sausage, pretzels, warm German potato salad, German Beer Cheese, rotkohl, apfelkuchen and yes, beer. Prost!







Little Fantasy

I’m going to let you in on a wee little fantasy of mine, well… If you know me really well… maybe it’s not such a little secret. Sooo one of my BIGGEST dreams is to own my own little café. Obviously this little fantasy is on hold until the day comes that we finally choose a town to plant our roots in.

Right now I have a silly little hobby while my dream is on hold, it consists of visiting café and coffee shops in the local area, as well as when we travel, collecting ideas that helping me create my café vision board. It’s so much fun!

If you close your eyes for a moment I’ll give you a brief tour around my café. Here we go…..As you approach the café from the street you will first see the all glass bi-fold doors that let natural light into the café. Once you step inside will see that the café has a very clean look and feel to it. Bright white walls, black modern track lighting above for the ability to illuminate where needed if we move tables, a few green plants in terra-cotta pots, a large black menu board with white removable lettering for menu changes, a simple counter with refrigerated glass display for the baked goodies, an epoxy finished floor….you get the idea…(I’ve had just a little time to think about these things ha ha ha) Nothing outlandish, just simple, keeping it very simple. Okay, open your eyes. You can keep reading onward now.

I also envision this little bumblebee buzzing around and helping us with our customers.

Outside of serving a good cup of coffee in the café, I would serve a rotation of seasonal handmade breads, pound cakes, muffins, pies, and cakes, again super simple but delicious!

I know that fantasies are just that, a fantasy… and this fantasy will probably never really take off, buttttt sometimes it’s super fun to imagine and pretend that it just might. So right now I’m practice baking and testing baked goodies in our own kitchen listening to jazz, sharing the outcomes with you all and these little moments don’t make it seem as far-fetched, or altogether downright silly.

I present to you the summer sinful frosted zucchini brownie recipe. Enjoy and try to refrain from eating the entire sheet pan in one sitting.

Summer Sinful Frosted Zucchini Brownies


Brownie Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Safflower Oil
1/2 Cup Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips 60%
2 Tbls Unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey or Ghirardelli)
1 Cup Granulated sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg yolk
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 Cup grated zucchini, squeeze out the moisture!
1/4 Tsp Baking soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup all purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Salted butter (4 Tablespoons if using stick)
2 Tbls Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 Cup Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips 60%
2 Tbls Lactose free milk, regular cow milk would work as well
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With lightly sprayed parchment paper, line a quarter sheet baking pan.

In medium saucepan on stove, over medium to low heat, melt safflower oil, chocolate chips, and cocoa together.

Remove mixture from heat and stir in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and zucchini.

Next stir in the remaining dry ingredients and then pour into prepared quarter pan.

Spread mixture out evenly and pop into oven about 20-25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle of brownies.

(**Important that the frosting is hot to pour easily over brownies.) Prepare the frosting ingredients in a pot on stove for the frosting so you can make immediately make once brownies are done, but don’t start until brownies come out of oven.

As soon as the brownies are done baking and come out if the oven, head to your pre-prepperd pot and melt the butter, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and milk together and simmer gently, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Pour the hot frosting over brownies. Spread frosting evenly.

Try to resist….. Let brownies cool at least 5 minutes before cutting into pieces and devouring! (Keep in the refrigerator or your pretend cooled Café glass display ;).


Cloudy with a chance of coconut cream pie

While the rain pitter pattered all weekend off and on, I decided it was the perfect time to whip up something fun. The humidity and the heat index are rather high these past few days making it almost unbearable to even step outside. If you know me, you know that I start bouncing off the walls being cooped up inside. Mr. B jokes and says I need walks…. All jokes aside…. I do! I love getting outside and breathing in new air, taking in the greenery, etc.

But ‘Eh don’t worry things are going to be A-okay. Why you ask? Because despite what’s going on outdoors, or even your life metaphorical storm, there is always be dessert!! Yes…. to semi maintain my sanity ENTER this gigantic coconut cream pie! Eek best part is it didn’t even require turning on a hot oven! (Shushhhhh never-mind the fact that I bought a pre-made pie crust …sorry grandma… mother nature made me do it).

Mr. B happily gobbled away at his slice and declared his love for it, and even though I wasn’t big on coconut most of my life, things have certainly changed and I admit….I loved this coconut cream pie too!

I don’t really know why, but sometimes I shy away from the thought of baking something I’ve never tried before, but then other times I jump straight in with the determination that I’m making this (whatever baked goodie) TONIGHT. I’m typically really satisfied with the end result after I do bake so I’m not sure why I ever have those sort of silly moments. Do you ever feel that way with cooking or baking?

^Toasty coconut flakes

I’ll admit this pie was incredibly simple, it was the first coconut cream pie I’ve attempted. Gasp.. I know… But remember coconut and I weren’t always so peachy keen. So glad these taste buds of mine have evolved as I continue to taste my way around the world.

Recipe found HERE. Enjoy!


First Father’s Day

I think by now you realize that our family love language is cooking and baking homemade meals to share and enjoy with one another, our friends and family. Im also certain, just as you suspected, Father’s day wasn’t any exception to that statement either. Yes, Bumblebee and I decided to show our love and admiration for Mr. B and his first Father’s day through his stomach. We whipped up some extra special homemade Belgium waffles, a side of fresh fruit and a good ol’ cuppa joe.

I have to say… nothing makes me smitten more with this man than seeing how much he loves our daughter! I love watching the two of them together. It’s the one of the sweetest thing ever, haha when she isn’t HANGRY, to see a new dad with his daughter. My love cannot possibly get any deeper than that.

Here is wishing a happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there! Our dad’s are an ocean away, so we could only call to tell them just how much we love and miss them over the phone. Boy do we miss them!


Blueberry Coffee Cake

A friend recently mentioned in passing that my photos used to be mostly foods we cooked or baked and hasn’t been lately, but with good reason, and she missed reading about it. (Admittedly bumblebees photos filled my entire iPhone and I need to clear space now). This post is for you Leibe!

It does seem like ages the last time I REALLY got to sink my hands and teeth into something I baked out of our kitchen. Yes, yes I’ve baked oatmeal cookies almost weekly now…but I mean really baked something with the kitchenAid and all! So I found myself jonesing one Sunday morning and took advantage of the “free-time” and whipped up the most scrumptious Dahlia Bakery’s sour cream coffee cake (so kindly introduced to me by our dearly missed friends).

Imagine a nice thick blueberry sour cream coffee cake topped with just an irresistible cinnamony crunchy streusel topping. OKAY! Now STOP imagining and go bake it!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
Serves 12
Recipe from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook


½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 cups berries (blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries)

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 pan and set aside.

Make the streusel: combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Dice the cold butter, add it to the mixture, and blend with your fingers until crumbly. Set aside.
Make the cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda into a bowl, and set aside. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each and scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Add the dry ingredients a third at a time, mixing until just blended. Fold in the berries.

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel over the top.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. Cool in the pan in a wire rack.


Crabby Patties

Whooooo lives in a pineapple under the seaaaa??! Hahah sorry couldn’t resist. Did I get that song stuck in your head too?

Crab cakes. Right. Back on topic.

Crab cakes transport me right to the summers at beach with my dad and stepmom. Some of the best memories I have are those days we spent endlessly soaking in the sun, listening to the ocean waves crash on the beach. Ahhhh…. I can practically smell the sea-salt in the air!

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to join them on summer vacations these past few years while we’ve been living in Korea. I have offered the nice “tropical” beaches of Korea to them for a change-up… But… Still no dice. I wonder why?? Lol!

Anywho these memories call for margaritas and homemade crab cakes! Gosh I just love crab cakes! (Fun fact about me: I used to eat broiled crab cakes almost every Friday night, with a side of macaroni and cheese, when I worked at a Social Club during college.)

I went through our Paprika app (by the way have you guys tried that app?! It’s awesome to keep those recipes all organized, and helps you build grocery list. Plus the Mr. and I can access on ALL of our electronics!) and found a crab cake recipe a friend passed onto me sometime ago. I’m not certain where it came from, but I did slightly adjust it to more of our taste.

Let’s get cooking!

Crabby Patties:

1 pound lump crab meat drained
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 white onion, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus additional for dredging
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon Blacken by Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Lemon wedges, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crab cakes, combine crab meat, bell peppers, and onions in a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix gently until well-combined. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop crab mixture and form patties with your hands. Dredge the cakes in panko breadcrumbs until completely covered. Place the cakes on a sheet-pan chill until ready to cook.

Bake the crab cakes at 350 for 25 minutes. You want the internal temperature to reach 165F.


First Mother’s Day

Yesterday marked my very first Mother’s Day. My coffee cup and heart were filled to the brim with such good stuff! The weather was straight out of Mr. Rogers neighborhood perfect! I’m talking clear blue sky, the sun shining, birds chirping happily, and the evening sunset was one of the most beautiful we’ve seen to date in Korea! See! Perfection!

Olivia and Mr. B made my day so very special and absolutely memorable. Outside of the fact that I get to wake up every single morning to my best friend and my daughter, seriously is gift enough, but I also had a lovely prepared breakfast, freshly brewed coffee, the sweetest little message from “Olivia”, as well as two beautiful charms to add to my Pandora bracelet.

Sipping on my coffee that morning, I couldn’t help but think about the past several years, the Mother’s Days that passed, that my heart waited, ached, and longed to be a mommy. To experience life being a parent with my husband. I didn’t realize that there was a bigger plan eventually in store for us, it just wasn’t our time. It was a hard pill to swallow and I just didn’t understand why. So this very morning, like all my mornings since becoming pregnant and having our bumblebee, meant so much more to me than anything in the world. As I said on our Instagram account, my husband and daughter are the greatest gifts on this side of eternity to me!

We continued our afternoon with a stroll, snapped some fun photos and picked up potbingsu from a local cafe.

It didn’t just stop there! The Mr. continued right on spoiling and making the day special by cooking the most deliciously moist grilled chicken, Israeli shiitake mushroom flavored couscous, spicy crushed tomatoes, and bread with homemade dipping oil….. I scarfed it down, I had to grab this photo off of the Mr.’s cellphone.

These past few weeks, two months, this very morning, life as a whole has become so much more meaningful to me. There has been no greater miracle than this one to me. So many heartfelt thank yous to my husband and bumblebee for such a beautiful day.


What’s cooking?

Continuing on with our new year quest for meal prepping and planning, consuming better foods and striving for less food waste, we’re glad you found your way back into our kitchen and home again for our food recap.

There’s just something very meditative about weekly food preparation, perhaps it’s my OCD coming out? Seriously…coming home after a long week of work and preparing/ menu planning for next weeks round of breakfast, lunches and dinners has a calming and relaxing end result when you really let yourself enjoy it. It also helps that the Mr. supports and recognizes the importance of it too. (I have express and give my pure gratitude to this man too! Feeling under the weather this week, he cooked almost all of the deliciousness for us shown below).

^Homemade buttermilk scones served with a nice cuppa vanilla honey rooibos tea.

^ Homemade oven baked chicken kiev, with a side of crispy curried carrots and sun-dried tomato and feta spread served on top of homemade rye bread.

^ No bake 5 minute brownie from Minimalist baker. Slowly trying to curb my crazy sweet tooth, plus I’ve been itching to use up my cacao powder Healthworks Raw Certified Organic Cacao Powder, 1 lb This was very different texture wise, not terrible, but filled the temporary void, left out the espresso the recipe called for.

^ Spicy Japchae, jabchae, chapchae, chop chae, or chap chae (Korean: 잡채) (glass noodles, peppers, sesame seeds, onions and veggie-meat) and Maneul Jangajji (chili paste and pickled garlic scapes). Served with a side of korean purple rice.

Lots of pickling, preserving and burning our mouths this past week! Mr. B Made some garlic scapes Korean style. If you don’t know, garlic scapes are the green parts of the garlic, do NOT throw these away, instead make Maneul Jangajji!

Maneul Jangajji

12 hrs total (11.5 soaking)

Pepper mixture:
1 cup dried pepper flakes (ideally Korean peppers)
1 cup Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
3 Tbs white vinegar
2 Tbs fish sauce (or to taste)
6 garlic cloves minced
3 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup hot water (may have to add slightly more if scapes are very well-drained)

The intent is to have a thick paste with a consistency of cream spreadable peanut butter or very slightly watered down.

cut off whiter tougher parts of scapes and trim to 3″. Boiled salted water. Pour over scapes in an insulated bowl (glass/ceramic etc) and leave sit (make sure to cover with a plate) for 11-12 hours or longer until they start to yellow. Drain and cover with pepper mixture (easiest to do with gloved hands).

These can be eaten immediately or saved if packed in the mixture for several months in fridge.

(Best compliment ever was when Our Korean foodie friend was over eating dinner with us and said that this was better than her moms! Mr. B’s Korea cook level awesomeness was achieved!)

^ Spaghetti and our homemade meatballs! You know.. Plenty of garlic and basil, you know, a nice dose of nerve-steadying herbs.

^ Shared a meal with our dear friend over our ground beef patties seasoned with our own special blend of spices. The burgers had oyster mushrooms, red onions with torched sharp cheddar cheese, fried egg and foie gras flavored with homemade BBQ sauce and horseradish mayo. The buns were coated with foie gras oil and toasted in the pan for finishing. Annie’s White cheddar Mac and cheese and salads on the side (you know, keeping it classy).

^ Homemade almond biscotti from America’s Test Kitchen (Household favorite!)

^ A delicious mediterranean steak salad!

And last but not least…. freezer meal prep for the unknown weeks that are to come. Chuck steaks ground, seasoned and formed into 1/2 lb burgers. Not pictured, because someone fell asleep on the job, vegetable beef stew and slow cooker pork BBQ with homemade BBQ sauce.


Click, Ship & treat yourself

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!