Tag Archives: lessons

Polkadot Flowers, Brown Eggs and Patbingsu

7 May

This weekend I was supposed to go to Gwangju. It had been planned for months, but in true Korean style a lot of other things then came up and so I was left with the potential of taking a 4.5 hour bus ride all the way to Gwangju to see some friends and then come all the way back in the same day. This is not so much my idea of a good day out anymore. Maybe I’m just getting old.

So, instead of going away I helped surprise one of my friends for his birthday and then spend a long time chatting with another friend. It was a very worthwhile night.

Then on Saturday I watch Bones (I love this show – I just started watching it and I really love it!) and knitting the blanket for my friend’s baby! Do you remember this post, where I talk about my 300 minute egg experiment. Well I think this is what it was supposed to look like when I cracked it open. These eggs are very common in Korea. I’m actually glad I didn’t get it right the time I tried as I didn’t like the taste and ended up throwing them away. Just goes to show…

No, really! Whoops!

Then on Saturday night I met up with my friend and introduced her to a Korea summer dish called patbingsu. It has crushed ice, a little icecream, nuts, red beans, fruit, ddok, and many other little bits. We had it at Caffe Bene but they are everywhere now the weather is getting hotter. Thankfully she loved it and we devoured it all over a long chat about life, love, religion and food.

Michi getting ready to dive in! It was so good we finished every last drop!

We called it a night early and after a good sleep I met with another friend, Jessica. She kindly offered to teach me how to make flowers in exchange for ‘helping’ her at the bank earlier in the week. They look so delicate and beautiful, I thought they would not only be very hard to make but they would take a long time.

So pretty!

Jessica made this so easy that in no time I had completed the bones of the flower. My centre is a little clumsy but all in all I’m very happy with it! And I will most definitely be trying this out again, in all different sizes and no doubt writing about it!

Jessica showing me how it is done. Working on her flower, adapting and changing as she went, until it was perfect!


This is my 1st attempt, and I’m pretty proud of it. The centre needs so working on, but that will come with practice ^.~

So, although I am really sad that I couldn’t spend time with my friends in Gwangju, there were other plans keeping me here, and look at what I achieved!

What did you do this weekend?


Getting Stuck In!

2 Mar

Getting Stuck In!

Yesterday I took my 2nd ever cooking class. This time with there were 12 of us in 1 room.

I honestly loved it! Everyone bringing ideas from their home countries and working together to adapt and build recipes. I certainly learned some new skills and tips that I hope to use in the future.

The 1st dish we made was Bread Tomato Soup. A very rustic, filling dish with rich flavours and wonderful colours. Here’s the recipe I used (I got it from here):

Bread and Tomato Soup
(serves 4)

You will need:
500g ripe cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
Basil (fresh if you can get it!)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 x 400g tins of (plum) tomatoes
500g or 2 loaves of stale bread

What to do:
Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and 1/4 of the basil. Roast them for about 20 minutes. (if you don’t have an oven then skip this part!! You can do this in a pan with a lid over the top)
In a pot, add the rest of the garlic, oil and basil. Fry gently until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes then fill up the tins with water and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Tear the bread up into thumb sized pieces and add them to the soup. Add more basil and simmer for 10 minutes. Your oven tomatoes should be ready now. Add them and remember to add all the sticky gooey bits too.
Stir the soup. Add 6 or 7 tablespoons of olive oil and serve.

This is seriously delicious. Try it!!


Real Men Know How to Cook…

28 Feb

Real Men Know How to Cook...

…without killing you!

It’s true. This Sunday was my 1st ever official cooking class for two of my very good friends.

We cooked a hearty meal of chicken, potatoes and vegetables. Nothing fancy, hard or exotic. Just good wholesome, stuff your mum made when you were young.

And to top things off, not only did I get to bark orders (ok not so much of the barking) the meal was so delicious that I wish we’d made even more!

The recipe was simple:

Cut up 1 large potato per person, peel and chop. In a pot of boiling water (with a dash of salt) add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on. This should take about 10 minutes to cook through. To check if they’re ready prick them with a sharp knife. If the potato stays on the knife it isn’t cooked. You’ll see!

Chop up all your vegetables and wash them. Some vegetables take longer to cook than others. We used carrots (5 minutes), courgettes (3 minutes) and broccoli (3 – 5 minutes depending on how you like it). The wonderful thing about vegetables is that most can be eaten raw, so panic not! Don’t cook these yet!

Dice the chicken into 1 inch squares – this doesn’t have to be exact, just as long as the pieces are about the same size. In a frying pan add a little oil and butter. You only need a little of each, then add sliced onions and cook until translucent. Add some dried herb and garlic. After about a minute add the chicken. This can be stirred continuously or occasionally, but never leave it alone too long, you don’t want it to burn or only cook on one side. To check whether the chicken is cooked all the way through, take the biggest piece in your pan and remove it from the heat. Cut it in half with your knife and look at the color on the inside. If it is still even a little pink then put it back in the pan and cook for a few more minutes. If it is white then good job, your food is ready!

Once the potatoes are cooked, steam the vegetables and drain everything.

Put it all on a plate and enjoy. I added cranberry sauce for some kick.

A very simple dish for two first time chefs, who commented on how easy cooking actually is! I’m so happy!