My really good friends from high school threw a surprise birthday party for Eugene and I since our birthdays are close. My cousin, Wendy, cooked some incredible Korean food. I managed to only get pics of some of the food so there was more but everything was delicious.
Jap chae which is glass noodles with mixed veggies and beef.
Kalbi – delicious marinated beef short ribs.
A whole bunch of kimbap or Korean sushi from the store. There were beef, spicy tuna, california style with spinach and a veggie one.
Carol helped Wendy make this bean paste tofu dish which was really tasty.
Carol bought us a cheesecake with fruit.
We also had a whole bunch of traditional Korean appetizers and I brought a homemade Korean drink that’s sweet and spicy. I first had this drink at Kun Jip in Koreatown and fell in love with it ever since.
Chilled Cinnamon Ginger Tea (Soojong Gwa)
Serves around 8-10.
1/2 gallon water (divided into 2 pots)
3 sticks cinnamon (about 3-4″ each), rinsed
2-3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar + more to taste
1/3 cup white sugar + more to taste
pinenuts (optional garnish)
1. Boil 1/2 the water (4 cups) divided into two pots.
2. Add the cinnamon sticks to one pot and sliced ginger to the other. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks and ginger. Combine the two liquids and add sugars. Stir until sugars are dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
4. Chill until cold, preferably overnight. Serve cold garnished with pinenuts.
Note: You can boil the cinnamon and ginger in one pot but I’ve read that it’s better to do it in two.
A glass of horchata in bright light.
I’ve always wanted to taste horchata ever since I read about it on some food blogs. Recently my special someone has been buying and drinking a lot of horchata since it’s readily available in supermarkets in California. So that made me look up a recipe and make some myself. He says his doesn’t even have nuts in it (since he’s allergic) so his is a probably a more Americanized version, basically cinnamon flavored rice milk. Horchata is like a cross between a rice milk and almond milk with cinnamon.
I found this recipe on The Food Section website and it looked promising. I followed the recipe pretty much completely except I used 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract because I don’t have vanilla beans. The result was a very refreshing, sweet drink to enjoy for the start of fall. =) I probably won’t be making this often even though I enjoy it because it uses so many almonds.. nuts are not cheap. I saved the dreads so maybe I can make something out of that. Any ideas? I also want to try making a drink out of store bought rice flour and an almond drink mix (sweetened and with milk powder). Hopefully it’ll taste the same.
Horchata in dim lighting.
Freshly picked jalapenos and tomatoes from my vegetable pots! The insides of the tomatoes were slightly green, probably weren’t completely ready yet but they were quite sweet! Made more jalapeno poppers with the peppers but baked them this time to avoid the oil. So yum.
Mom made bread again. One pan is plain, the other has dried pork shreds inside.
This one has cinnamon sugar! Each roll is rolled with cinnamon sugar inside.
Chocolate beef chili. Soo good. The chocolate flavor is barely there but makes it taste so much better. I cheated and used a packaged chili flavoring mix but that’s how I usually make it. I like consistency and it’s easy. Brown a pound of ground beef, add a chopped onion, chopped jalapeno pepper, a can of red beans, a small can of tomato sauce, a packet of chili flavoring and 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
My roomie went apple picking recently so we had tons of apples! I stole two and made these absolutely delicious apple cinnamon muffins. So good I can eat them for breakfast AND dessert. The recipe was very easy too. You must try these, they taste really good and look nice too so go impress your friends.
Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins
(Adapted from allrecipes.com)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
Topping: (I kinda randomly mixed unknown amounts up)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease twelve muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2. Stir together dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, stir together topping and sprinkle over unbaked muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.