Tag Archives: October

Lessons in candle making

Isn’t it easy to just write off, or undervalue small beginnings, or small steps that we take in our everyday lives? I mean think about it… It really is! Lately I’m guilty of doing it more and more. Why? That’s a great question…. (My mind saying….”Oh, it’s just one little korean word learned”; “It’s just flower arrangements”, etc.) Why do we underestimate and undervalue ourselves like that? Is it an individual complex? An optimistic view versus a pessimistic view? Society? I want to hear your thoughts. Without those small steps, or small beginnings we wouldn’t have tried, or even started something new to begin with.

Recently I started to learn how to make hand poured soy candles. It got me thinking about the awesomeness of the little skills and hobbies that I am learning while I’m here in Korea. They might be small, but these little starts and small beginnings could be the start of something ultimately GREAT! Oh the possibilities!

Folks, jump on this good vibe I’ve got going! Get out and do those small things today! You never know where they might lead you …


Chuncheon, South Korea

Recently I joined my good friend SP on a mini road trip northeast of Dongducheon to the city of Chuncheon. The city is known for its stunning views of Lake Soyang and Lake Uiam, and the filming location of a popular Korean drama.

Mr. B and I took my best friend Rebecca to the area when she came to visit us in Korea, but it’s been a year or so since I had been back. This time It was awesome to have someone along that could tell me a bit of history and facts about the area. Thanks SP for letting me play a million and one questions with you!

After traveling quite a ways, we arrived at our destination where SP shared an old traditional Korean restaurant with me that she and her family have frequented for years. SP described the food as always being very fresh, delicious and known as being healthy and healing for your body. EEK! I was sold at the words “traditional korean restaurant”! I’m always eager to indulge in the Korean culture and to have this little gem of a place shared with me was quite special indeed.

I felt that most foreigners might be taken back by the look of the restaurant, but to me it was just rustic charm and immediately took my mind to my days of accompanying my husband and friends in the coal region near our hometown for screamers or dead burgers at Tony’s Lunch. (Tony’s Lunch: A very simple, been there for years, wallpaper and tables haven’t changed, diner located in Central Pennsylvania). Ahhhhhh such delicious memories.

We feasted on the local specialty, Makguksu. Makguksu is a dish of buckwheat noodles served in a chilled or hot broth. Once served, SP prepared the dish at the table for me by taking the various condiments on the table of sugar, mustard, sesame oil or vinegar. I know it sounds strange reading those ingredients off together but it was out of this world delicious!

Just like typical korean style, we were served what seemed like endless banchan (side dishes). There was boiled pork, gamjajeon (potato pancakes), and memil jeonbyeong (stuffed buckwheat crepes), and hot buckwheat tea.

We left with our bellies almost filled to full capacity, almost being the key word, but we switched over to dessert stomach. We started to head back towards home and drove up through the mountains and stopped off at a newer coffee cafe, Cupola.

Cupola had a great atmosphere, served a decent latte and gave us the most incredible views of the lake with the sun setting off in the distance. As I sat there talking with SP I watched some of the couples take in the views and sip on their coffee too. I’d absolutely go back again, just look for yourself…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before or not, but because we live outside of Seoul we are lucky enough to have easy access to the local farmers that are selling their produce at roadside stands. We live near a very famous mountain that sells grapes. We stopped off and grabbed a few boxes from a popular organic farm. Twenty thousand won, roughly twenty dollars, for a nice big box of fresh organic grapes.

Whew! What an incredible day!


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!


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.