Easy Pumpkin Drop Cookies

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I have seen different forms of this recipe online and combined a few different recipes before I landed on this super easy recipe.

Ingredients
15 ounce can pumpkin
1 box gluten free yellow cake mix
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 12 minutes. (We like soft cookies. If you like crunchy cookies, you will need to bake them longer.)

Makes about 20 cookies

Salmon Bowl

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I have been making salmon for dinner since this summer. Recently Tim had the idea to make it seem more like how we ate in Asian restaurants by serving it in a bowl over rice. It tasted great.

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Ingredients
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp gluten-free bread crumbs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
Pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup rice
Broccoli
4 salmon filets
Water

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Put 1/2 cup of rice and 1 cup of water in a sauce pan on high. Once water boils, turn to low until all water is gone.
3. Start steaming broccoli.
4. In a small bowl combine yeast, bread crumbs, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper.
5. In another small bowl combine olive oil and lemon juice.
6. Place salmon filets on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
7. Cover salmon filets with olive oil/lemon juice mixture.
8. Coat salmon filets with spice mixture.
9. Bake salmon for 10 minutes.
10. Fill bowl with broccoli and rice. Place salmon on top.

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Happy Third Trimester to me!

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Today marks the beginning of the third trimester in Tiffany’s pregnancy. In some ways, I am so ready to meet her. And in other ways, I am glad she has a few months before she joins us. I think I would feel more ready if our furniture from Korea was in our current house. Soon enough. With about twelve weeks to go, the house will be ready in plenty of time for her arrival.

At Clarissa’s twenty week ultrasound, they had a few concerns. There was a small hole in her heart and she had a “bright bowel.” They had concerns about things like Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis. This was terrifying for a first time mom, but the blessing in it was that they sent me to EVMS (the local medical school) for further testing and ultrasounds. I got to see extra clear pictures of Clarissa at 22 weeks and 28 weeks and then another set at 35 weeks. By 22 weeks, the heart in her heart had closed and by 28 weeks her bowels were fine. She just wasn’t “ready” at the earlier ultrasound times.

With Tiffany, the ultrasound schedule has been completely different. While we were in Korea, they did an ultrasound at every appointment. We have been looking at things like her brain, spine, and liver since the beginning. We left Korea at about 20 weeks so they didn’t get to my anatomy scan before we left. My only ultrasound at my American doctor was at 24 weeks and I had to ask for that since I missed the 20 week anatomy scan that most people get. Her ultrasound showed that everything was fine, so that was the only ultrasound my ob plans to do this pregnancy.

On the one hand, I was glad for this. Tiffany is healthy. There are no concerns. On the other hand, I was sad. I got to see clear pictures of Clarissa’s face all the time. And we still had not really seen a great picture of Tiffany’s face. We decided that we would go to a special place that specializes in 4d elective ultrasounds. We went to InfantSeeHD in Fairfax.

Maria, our ultrasound tech was wonderful! She was super excited to see our baby. She had me move around in different positions so that we could see more. Tiffany had one of her feet in her face pretty much the entire time, but Maria was able to move around so that we could see her whole face anyway. She also said that Tiffany already has a full head of hair. We also got to watch Tiffany practice sucking on the placenta.

I’m not going to lie. There was a little bit of sticker shock when we saw the price for the ultrasound packages. Because there were concerns with Clarissa, insurance paid for all of her extra ultrasounds so I had no concept about how much these things normally cost. But we did get a full video recording of the thirty minute session and 84 still images on a jump drive.

Then, I wanted to celebrate. So we decided to check out Happy Tart, a gluten free bakery, in Falls Church. We parked in the garage for Pearson Square and it was really easy to find. The prices were reasonable for gluten free treats. Cookies and macaroons were $1.75. Cupcakes were $4.50 each. They also had bags of English muffins and drinks for sale. Clarissa loved her cookie. Tim and I thought the cupcakes were delicious. We will definitely be back!

Then we finished our evening with dinner in Shirlington. Since it was my choice, I chose Guapo’s for a Mexican dinner. I pretty much always love my Mexican food. The impressive part was that Tim enjoyed his dinner too.

Bulgogi

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For October’s cooking class at church we learned how to make bulgogi.

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Ingredients:
2 pounds thinly sliced beef chuck or sirloin
1 carrot thinly sliced (julienne)
mushrooms thinly sliced

Marinade:
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
1. Mix all marinade ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Add meat to marinade. Toss gently to mix everything together.
3. Marinade meat for about an hour.
Tip: If you want to make the meat more tender, add about 1/4 of a kiwi fruit blended into the marinade the last ten minutes.
4. Cut carrots and mushrooms. Mix in to marinade.
5. Use sesame oil to coat skillet.
6. Fry on high heat until cooked through.

You can serve plain or with white rice.

Cooking class : Japchae

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When my church decided to start a once per month cooking class, I was so excited. Not only do I get to learn how to cook some traditional Korean dishes, but I get to hang out with my girlfriends in the process.

Our first class was Japchae.

4 oz beef steak cut into strips
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
seasonal vegetables (we used mushrooms, carrots, onions, bell pepper, and cucumbers for our class)
sweet potato noodles
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Marinade beef in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and sugar. Store in refrigerator.
2. Scramble egg in a bowl. Fry egg in a pan. Once cooled, cut egg into strips.
3. Chop or julienne vegetables into small strips.


4. Put noodles in boiling water and cover for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick.

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5. Brown meat in skillet on medium.
6. Add vegetables that take longer to cook first (carrots) and stir. Continue adding vegetables until you have added them all.
7. Add the eggs and cooked noodles at the end.
8. Add any additional soy sauce or sesame oil to taste.
9. Sprinkle sesame seeds as a garnish at the end.

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Our next cooking class is September 15 at 10 AM. We will make cucumber kimchi and vegetable pancakes. The cost of the class is $5.

I learned how to make kimbap!

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I went to a church baby shower last week. I brought my usual veggie tray with hummus and some sugar cookies.

When I arrived the ladies were in the kitchen making kimbap. Kimbap is a traditional Korean dish, often used as an appetizer or side dish. I wanted to watch because I have never seen anyone make kimbap before. They invited me to join.

The ingredients were already cooked and cut. But basically, you need seaweed and sticky rice. Then you can add whatever veggies or meat that you like. We had spam, eggs, tuna, carrots, spinach, and radish available.

First, you lay two sheets of seaweed on the tray. Next, you add the sticky rice to the seaweed. You can fill the entire sheet of seaweed or do less if you want. Then you add whatever filling you choose. You might choose to make one with spam, carrots, and spinach. Another may have tuna with egg, radish, and spinach. The possibilities really are endless. Only fill about two inches of the seaweed.

Now it is time to roll the kimbap. You use the wooden mat to roll the seaweed over the topping, making it as tight as possible. Once you have rolled your kimbap, roll it again to make sure it is tight.

Once you are satisfied with your roll, cut it into pieces about as thick as your ring finger and serve.

Our version of Chicken Parmesan 

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Ingredients:
1 pound boneless chicken breasts
Tomato sauce
Mozarella cheese
Nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons almond flour
1 egg

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
2. In a small bowl,  combine paprika,  garlic powder,  cayenne pepper,  oregano,  thyme,  almond flour,  and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast.
3. Transfer contents of bowl onto plate.
4. Use bowl to whisk egg.
5. Spray frying pan or skillet.
6. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg,  roll on plate spice mixture until covered, and place in frying pan.
7. Cover frying pan and cook on low for about 5 minutes.  Flip each chicken breast and cook another 5 minutes.
8. Place chicken in a 9×13 glass pan.
9. Cover each chicken breast with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce,  1 tablespoon nutritional yeast,  and 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese.
10.  Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

I always serve with broccoli.  But you could pair this with any vegetable and even pasta if you want.