Sunday brunch is a meal I enjoy very much and yesterday’s brunch was especially enjoyable with Kevin’s brother joining us from Ireland. He was passing through Baltimore for less than 24 hours. Very short visit! Wish he could’ve stayed longer! We planned to go out for Korean BBQ as soon as he got in Saturday night, but we could tell he was pretty wrecked from all the traveling. So instead, we had a quiet night in with Five Guys bacon cheeseburgers and fries and a nice bottle of red wine. It was a lovely night catching up on everything that’s been going on back home since our last visit. It’s funny listening to Kevin and his brother talk and joke around. It was like we were back in Ireland! Maybe I’m just used to Kevin’s accent or (oh, Kevin’s not going to like me saying this…) maybe Kevin is sounding more American 😉 , but I find their accents to be very different from each other. It took me a good 15 minutes to adjust my ears to understand what my brother-in-law was saying HAHA. (more…)
Do people still have house warming parties? I remember going to so many house warmings and open houses as a kid. There would be elaborate buffets of food and a pastor would come and bless the house. I was taught to formally greet adults when we’d go out. I would greet any and every adult I saw at these open houses. It was funny to hear them tell me how much I had grown, especially because I’m sure they didn’t have a clue who I was. Like seriously, I don’t know you! HAHA. Last summer, my friend and I went for a hike in Patapsco Park and we ran into a woman who looked like my other friend’s mom. We went over to say hello and she was like ‘oh you’re here, it’s great to see you, have a good hike.’ As soon as we walked away from her, my friend and I turned to each other ‘Uh, that wasn’t her mom! HAHA. Who was that?’ Anyway, as an adult, I feel like I’ve only been to one or two house warming parties. Maybe it’s not as big a deal anymore. When we moved into our current house, we didn’t have a formal house warming. Our first guest was my mom. We prepared a lovely meal and had her over for lunch. This is a photo from that day. (more…)
I’ve been feeling a little homesick for Ireland these past few days. Am I allowed to use the word ‘homesick’ if I’ve never actually lived there? I’ve visited there so many times, it’s like I’ve lived there. Seriously, nearly every page of my passport has green ink on it! I should really just get an Irish passport already, I hate waiting in the Non-EU line at customs! I tried going through with Kevin before, but nope, they accepted him and I was told to go back into the Non-EU line. So I waited and waited and when I finally reached the Customs official, he asked me where my husband was. Next time Kevin, you’re waiting with me! I don’t know where this sudden longing to be back in Ireland is coming from. Maybe it’s because we’ve been drinking loads of Barry’s Tea and we don’t have proper biscuits and snacks to have with it. HAHA. Maybe it’s because we know we won’t be traveling much this year and that makes me miss my in-laws a bit more than usual. But anyways, this desire to be in Ireland has inspired me to cook Irish dishes all week. Sometimes, I feel bad for only making Korean or Italian dishes at home. Meat and potatoes have turned into kimchi and rice or pasta and salads in this house. So I dedicate this week to you my dear. I’ll cook all your favorite dishes, save for Steak and Kidney Pie. I still haven’t a clue how to make that. (more…)
One thing I look forward to every week is making lunch for my mom at our house. I think she loves it too! 😉 She’s a pretty busy lady, so in the short time we have together I make sure to prepare a lovely 3 course meal – starter, main and dessert. This way, I know she’ll leave with a full and happy belly. Oh and I always send her off with a hot cappuccino to-go. I literally buy those disposable coffee cups with lids from Costco, just for her cappuccinos.
Two weeks ago, I made my mom a fresh zucchini salad, pasta all norma (eggplant spaghetti) and fruit salad of peaches, nectarines and plums. (All made from seasonal produce from the farmers market.) She liked the zucchini salad so much I made it again when the whole family was over for lunch. Although the eggplant spaghetti was tasty and looked pretty, I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. I was short on time and skipped 2 important steps in the recipe and well, while the eggplant should’ve broken apart and become creamy in texture, it remained intact and was quite watery. She didn’t seem to mind, but I told myself I’d have to make it properly for her the next time. (more…)
Now that you’ve made the ciabatta from yesterday, all you need are juicy sweet tomatoes. These are the tomatoes I picked up after lunch at the Love Dove Farm stall at the Howard County Farmers Market. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I grabbed a pint of Sun Gold tomatoes and a pint of Black Cherry tomatoes. I could snack on them all day.
Farm stalls are overflowing with all different tomato heirlooms and varieties during the summer. Once you’ve tried fresh picked tomatoes off the vine, the ones you find year round in the supermarkets won’t do. It’s hard for me not to pick up a pint or two when I’m out at the farmers market. When using such delicious produce like farm fresh tomatoes, it’s best to keep whatever dish you’re making as simple as possible. You want the natural sweetness and bright flavors to shine. A great dish to show off summer tomatoes is Bruschetta. Here are a few different ways I dress my tomatoes. (more…)
Why is bread making so daunting? It really shouldn’t be. I’ve made plenty of quick breads at home like scones, biscuits and Irish brown bread without a problem. But you see, they don’t require yeast. There’s something about using yeast and letting things proof for a long time that puts me off of making those types of breads. (more…)
People usually go to Federal Hill at night for the bars, but I like to go there in the day for lunch or a hot cup of coffee and a big plate full of beignets. What? Coffee and beignets in Fed Hill? Oh you didn’t know?!?! To be fair, neither did I until a few weeks ago 😛
We happened to be in Fed Hill one morning and we were looking for a coffee shop. Spoons Cafe was just the place. It’s a charming breakfast/lunch spot on 24 E. Cross St., between Pub Dog and The Stalking Horse. I’ve passed by Spoons many times, but its usually after they are closed for the day. So I was happy to be in the neighborhood while they were still open.
We weren’t particularly hungry that morning, but after a quick look down the menu, one item caught our attention. “O-NUTS baltimore-style cinnamon beignets topped with powdered sugar.” Let’s see – I love Baltimore. I love beignets. I love powdered sugar. One order of O-NUTS please! 😀
Have you ever been asked the question ‘If you could eat one food item for rest of your life what would it be?’? I remember growing up we’d always play those kind of question games with friends. ‘What would your last meal be?’ ‘If you could eat this or that which would you choose?’ ‘Would you rather run a mile in the snow with no shoes on or jump in a pool of rats covered in peanut butter?’ WHAT?! haha. Back to the original question, my answer would always be rice. You can do anything with rice – onigiri, kimbop, maki rolls, sushi, fried rice, rice with soup, rice porridge, rice cakes, rice tea, soju (that’s made with rice yea?), rice salad, rice everything! Can you tell I’m Korean? You’re probably asking yourself ‘What does baked eggs au provençal have to do with rice?’ Well, of all the rice dishes in the world, my go-to rice dish is rice and eggs. So simple – so perfect! If you were to ask me now what food item I’d eat for the rest of my life, I’d say the humble egg (I could still do rice too – rice and eggs haha). Every which way you prepare an egg, it’s always so delicious.
Egg and rice is something you make when you’re home alone and couldn’t be bothered to cook. It wouldn’t make much of a blog post, so today I’d like to share with you one of my more fancier egg dishes that I absolutely love – Baked eggs au provençal. I came across this recipe a few years ago. It’s from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. I don’t necessarily follow her exact measurements, as with most savory dishes I make. It must be the Korean in me – a pinch of this, a pinch of that. It’s so hard trying to learn recipes from my mother, but I’ll save that story for another day. Here are the ingredients we will be working with today, plus parmiggiano reggiano, salt, pepper and a nice crusty baguette.
I love to cook for my friends and family. It’s kind of like my love language. And if you’ve ever had our clafoutis, well that my friend is a big fat I LOVE YOU! <3
I remember the first time I had clafoutis was in Milan. I was hosting a potluck in my apartment and my friend Laura brought over a clafoutis she made with seeded grapes. It was a gorgeous buttery baked custard with warm juicy grapes. I didn’t care for the seeds so much and spit them out. But there were so many, after a while I gave up and just ate them. Mmm, grape clafoutis. I really should’ve asked her for the recipe.
The first clafoutis I made was awful. I don’t know what I did wrong but it was bland and thin and wasn’t buttery at all. Well I suppose I know what I did wrong – I didn’t put enough sugar and butter! And really, I think the recipe I found was useless.
Then one day last summer, we found a video recipe on youtube from Alain and Michel Roux Jr. We were in Ireland visiting Kevin’s family and we decided to give it another try. Merci Beaucoup Monsieur Alain et Monsieur Michel! It was quite possibly the best clafoutis I’ve ever had. Here is their recipe.