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.

Beef stew (edamame)

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Ingredients:
1 pound stir fry beef
1 12 ounce package frozen carrots
1 12 ounce package edamame
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp brown rice flour
1 tbsp beef Bouillon
2.5 cups water
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp gluten-free tamari sauce
1 1/2 tsp dill

Directions:
1. Brown beef in skillet. Transfer to soup pot but leave grease in skillet.
2. Put edamame in microwave for 4 minutes.
3. Saute carrots in skillet. Add cumin, paprika, and brown rice flour. Once carrots seem mostly cooked and have absorbed grease, add to big pot.
4. Add water, Bouillon, tomato paste, and tamari to big pot. Stir. Put on medium heat and cover.
5. Peel edamame and pour into big pot.
6. Add dill to pot and stir.
7. Change to low heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Open faced sloppy joes 

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Ingredients :
1 pound lean ground beef
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Texas Pete
1 tablespoon honey
6 slices gluten free bread

Directions:
1. Brown beef.
2. Add garlic and pepper to beef and stir.
3. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, Texas Pete, and honey to beef mixture and stir.
4. Keep beef on medium to absorb all of the sauce while you toast the bread.
5. Pour mixture over toast.

Serves 3.
I usually serve with green beans.

Honey garlic chicken 

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Ingredients :
1 pound chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons garlic
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Directions :
1. Cut chicken.
2. Mix chicken and all other ingredients in a bowl.
3. Place bowl in refrigerator and let marinade for at least 30 minutes.
4. Saute on medium heat until chicken is cooked (about 10 minutes).

I usually serve with quinoa and green beans. It makes enough for Tim and I to eat dinner, plus a lunch for Tim.

Note : Tim said it tastes amazing with a little dijon mustard.  I am not a huge mustard fan,  so I have not tried it.