Tag Archives: Warm

Under the sea in Korea

Last weekend officially marked the opening to a new dive season here in Korea. Brrr… yes dry suits were absolutely involved, but they were troopers and still geared up and dove in.

The dive shop that Mr. B frequents has become like a second home to the both of us. We look forward to the ocean breeze on our faces and in our hair. The escape of letting the crowded city and everyday stress behind. Catching up with friends that have become like family to the both of us. It’s deeply cherished and has absolutely become a big part of our lives.

It was a special weekend as we were invited back to the opening of the shop for another year of diving. The shop’s opening ceremony kicked off with paying respects to their ancestors, Korean rice wine flowing, and a big ol’ BBQ with copious amounts of food being served (Thank’s again for grilling Jeff). It was surreal to look around that night under the big tent and realize that we didn’t all speak the same language, we didn’t come from the same countries, but everyone there all held the same passion for diving and that made everyone one in the same in that moment.


Seoul Favorites

I’ve written about Insadong (인사동) before but I can’t help but continue to go back to the area again and again. It never gets old. I find the most random treasures and eats and treats that instantly become new favorites. I told Kelsey about the area when we first got to meet up with her the other weekend in Seoul. She instantly was intrigued and sent me a text message Friday evening asking if I minded meeting up with her and playing tourist around the area. Of course I couldn’t resist! Plus I jumped at the opportunity for a girls day.

We met at the top of Jonggak Station (Exit 3) staircase. My train arrived about 10 minutes before her’s so I snapped a few photos. Again, I couldn’t help myself! After all, Seoul obliged with the most perfect weather. The sun was out in full force and it felt like it was recharging my own soul and reminding me why I loved this city so much. Pure pre-spring perfection!

Kelsey’s brunette hair finally appeared among the sea of jet black hair climbing the staircase and we set off to Insadong. It had been quite sometime since I last visited the area, I had to re-gather my bearings… it all came back once we walked forward a few blocks. She was such a trooper putting all of her trust in me like that. Thanks Kels!

One of the fun parts about Insadong, or Seoul in general is all of the fun strange street food vendors. The vendors food smells immediately wafted into our noses as we entered the area. It was exactly noon so it was perfect timing to make our way around the area.

I’m sure you are wondering what the above photos are of? They do look quite different don’t they? Well, they are a crispy tube. Think ice cream cone texture, filled with ice-cream. Quite a comical scene to see crowds of all ages carrying these things around. We decided to save ourselves possibly for the end of the trip, or for a tad bit warmer weather.

I took Kelsey to explore my favorite rice cake cafe in the area, Bizeun. This place serves as many as 250 different types of Korean traditional rice cake. The best part was that she loved my favorite rice cake as much as I do! I find that most people sort of turn their noses up at rice cakes because its something so foreign to them at first… especially the squishy one that I love that Kelsey immediately took to. Is this girl my kindred spirit or what?

After leaving Bizeun, we headed up the street towards more of the shops and vendors. On my list I specifically wanted to share the little outdoor vendor that sits on the corner of the center street running through Insadong. It’s all mismatched pottery. Beautiful teapots, tea cups, vases, etc. Each time that I stop at this stand I end up picking something up. Shhhhhh don’t tell Mr. B. Kelsey instantly fell in love with the stand and found an awesome little trinket. She said that she wanted to come back for some future gifts for family members. I was smitten that she loved the place as much as I do.

We jetted down some alleyways and I showed her one of the best steamed dumpling stands that I’ve had since living in Korea. Anytime of the day I have found myself around this alleyway, there’s a line. Always! This place was is so simple but oh so delicious. Good stuff folks!

We shared some poop bread. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s Poop bread ( 똥빵 ). Okay, I’ll digress and let you all in on the joke. Korean youth are obsessed with poop. It’s odd.. you and I know that…but it’s their thing. This bread is filled with delicious Red beans and walnuts inside. It’s actually really delicious and if you’ve had bung’eo (붕어) the fish pastry filled with red bean paste. MMMM… thinking about the warm tasty red bean filling this very second makes me so hungry! I have to stop while I am ahead before I go out and mull a poor street vendor.

When in Insadong you must drink tea! Find a tea shop, visit the tea museum, or  Korea’s famous O’sulloc Tea House. We stopped into O’sulloc, I shared with Kelsey that Jeju Island off the coast of Korea has the tea-plant and tea fields that you can stroll through. Another must do while living or visiting Korea.

After O’sulloc we found ourselves wanting to sit down and enjoy some tea and some sort of sweet. Of course because the sun was shining and I was instantly transitioning into a Springy mood, naturally, I had my mind set on Patbingsu. Once I found out that Kelsey loved red bean paste I knew I had to share Korea’s iconic dessert. Ohhhh sweet summer is near and I cannot wait to slurp this stuff up for dinner. No shame, no shame. We indulged in our patbingsu, sipped our hot citron tea and talked and giggled for hours.



130-4, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si 
서울 종로구 인사동 130-4일대

www.insainfo.or.kr (Korean only)

www.visitseoul.net (English, Korean, Japanese).

By Train:

Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
Go straight 300m, and turn left at the 4-way Intersection.
Go straight 100m, and take the left road towards Insadong-gil Road.


Cheer Up Butternut

As you see, there hasn’t been much backpacking for this bee lately, that pesky groundhog seemed to be right again! The last few days we’ve had very tundra like conditions. Complete with icy roads and all. Spring is all the buzz lately at work. When’s it going to perk up? Brighten up? Be green again? It’s positively hard to stay positive during these cold gloomy winter days. They seem so long, so cold, and just so ….well….gray. The bright side is, we’re in that home stretch, right?

Tonight I baked a butternut squash and covered it with coconut oil and cinnamon. Whoa! It tasted very similar to French toast, but obviously much healthier. Try it out! Thank me later. Next time I might add some red pepper flakes or something to spice it up. What do you think?

Also with all the gloominess and the fact my mood had taken a serious nosedive today, I needed something on the quick no fuss side for dinner. A fun salad!

I can’t believe I’m going to admit this in public, but see the flaky stuff? Looks like tuna, right? Wrong. I ventured out and used salmon from a can. Guess what.. I loved it! Why didn’t anyone tell me it was this good? It’s not anywhere close to the ick factor I once thought would appear in that can. Good source of omega 3 too! However the two pieces of peanut butter fudge I devoured that my grandparents sent us most likely cancelled out that healthy meal. Oops.

Do you add anything crazy to your salads? I’m open to suggestions!


Summer Egg Salad

The weather’s getting warmer and warmer here in Korea. I feel your pain on not wanting to turn on that kitchen oven for lunch or dinner. So, what’s your go to meal? Any ideas or suggestions? Well, if you are looking for something a little different, you are just in luck!

Do you have a mango handy? How about some eggs? A random red pepper that you need to use up? A kitchen staple, curry spice? Mayo and a pinch of salt? What about an onion too?

Great! You have ALL of the ingredients needed to whipping up some summer egg salad! More on that in a bit. Sorry, I know, I always leave cliffhangers in my postings.

How is your weekend so far? Me? I spent my Saturday morning swimming with the G babies!

We swam, jumped, played ball, went down the water slide, splished and splashed until we couldn’t physically go anymore! The entire day reminded me of my childhood. The many times that my grandma and I would tote off to the state park nearby and swim until my lips were blue and skin was ever so wrinkly. What fun!

Towards the mid afternoon of our pool time, it was very obvious that the sleep monster was slowly creeping up. We took a break from the pool, rested, and had some snacks. We had quite the little picnic going for the four of us. Pretzels, cheese, yogurt, grapes, bananas, Cheerios, and hard-boiled eggs. Perfect! Well… not for  ms. A…she is not a fan of hard-boiled eggs. She say’s as her brother peels his egg, “They are stinky.” Eventually even getting up from her spot and moving onto my towel to get away from any egg aroma.

Unfortunately, I am like the little Mr. and enjoy my hard-boiled eggs too. So, once I got home, I  got cracking on my egg salad. YUM-O! I really think that even the pickiest hard-boiled egg naysayer would enjoy some summer egg salad on a warm slice of Ezekiel toast.

Summer Egg Salad (Perfect for two) Adapted from Simple Recipes


4 Hard boiled eggs, peel and discard the yolks

Chopped onion, to your taste, I used about 2 Tablespoons

1 Chopped small baby red pepper

Pinch of sea salt

Few shakes of curry powder, to taste

1 Heaping spoonful of mayo made with olive oil, any mayo should work

1/2 Chopped fresh mango

1 Warm slice of Ezekiel toast


Once the eggs are done boiling and you have peeled the shell, carefully separate the egg white from the yolk. You will only be using the egg white for this recipe. Next toss egg whites, and remaining ingredients into a bowl and smash and mix with a fork until desired consistency.

Serve on a nice slice of warm toast. Enjoy!


A Little Spice

Isn’t the color of this stew is insanely appetizing? Who would have thought that ingredients like a little honey, soy sauce, garlic, onions, Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang), Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru), and some other key ingredients, would slow cook so nicely?

I made this very popular Korean chicken dish called, Dakdoritang 닭도리탕, in my slow cooker tonight for dinner. Its chicken cooked in a spicy red sauce with vegetables. Ah! I just cannot get enough Korean cuisine. So, what are your thoughts? Would you dare? I’d love to share! If you want the recipe, just let me know.

My “little helper” bahaha! Yeah right. I think the better name would be snoozer.