FOOD RECIPES

FOOD RECIPES

HOW TO MAKE FRUIT INFUSED ICE CUBES

With the weather being so hot here in the city, I've found myself drinking more and more water to keep myself hydrated. I've always been a fan of fruit infused water but at the same time, my water has to be ice cold! So, I thought making fruit-infused ice cubes would be a lovely and decorative way to drink my ice cold water. As the ice melts, the fruit seeps into the water and I absolutely love the colorful look as well as the taste of it all! It's super easy and beautiful... so let's gets started!

YOU'LL NEED:

  • Any fruit you want to put in it. I chose lemons, limes, and raspberries/blueberries
  • An ice tray
  • Water

HOW TO:

  • Wash your fruit.
  • Slice your fruits into little pieces... the raspberries and blueberries can be kept whole.
  • You can either fill your ice tray first and then place your fruit in it OR you can place your fruit in the ice tray first and then fill it with water.
  • Freeze over night and VOILA it's ready to be used!

If you're a fan of putting fruit into your water (especially lemon slices) this is an absolutely wonderful way to decorate your water as well as drink it. You could also eat the raspberries and blueberries once the ice has melted and it keeps your water cool throughout. 

You can essentially use any fruit you'd like! For bigger fruits like peaches or pears, just cut them into small slices like how I did with my lemons. Another great fruit suggestion would be to use pomegranates. You can also use any ice tray size you'd like. This is one of my favorite ways to add a festive touch when guests are coming over for a summer party. 

I hope you enjoyed and remember to stay hydrated in this simmering hot summer! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito

FOOD RECIPES

3 DIFFERENT TOPPINGS FOR BINGSOO

So this past weekend I was able to purchase an ice shaving machine... finally. After all these years of being a huge lover of bingsoo (빙수), I was finally able to make a homemade version which of course, always tastes better, is healthier, and more cost efficient.

Bingsoo is a Korean dessert that consists of shaved ice and all different toppings. One of the more famous and classic topping is red bean (팥빙수). I decided to show you 3 different healthy ways you can top your shaved ice and I truly encourage all of you to get an ice shaving machine, if you love shaved ice. It only costs $13-35 depending on the type of machine, but it is so much fun to see the ice being shaved and it tastes delicious. For those of you who don't already have a machine, I'll also show you a way you can make bingsoo without an ice shaver! First, let me show you the basics of making shaved ice and then we'll get right to the different topings!

Before you shave or place any ice into your bowl, make sure to pour a little bit of milk in. This will allow the ice to be wonderfully absorbed by the milk, and it gives it that creamy taste at the end. Next, after you shave your ice in... condensed milk is a must! This also contributes to the sweetness and creaminess of bingsoo. The shaved ice pairs perfectly with the condensed milk and all of your different toppings. So milk and condensed milk is the foundation and a must when making bingsoo. Now, lets get started with the 3 different toppings! 

1.) THE CLASSIC ONE - Pat Bingsoo (팥빙수)

How can I not make the classic pat bingsoo when talking about Korean shaved ice? This is the classic topping and its absolutely delicious! After you've filled your bowl with a layer of milk, shaved ice, and condensed milk... top with red beans, strawberries, and frosted flakes (or any cereal of your choice). Another key ingredient for me is misugaru (미숫가루), which is a combination powder of 7-10 different grains. This is of course optional and essentially the only key ingredient would be the red beans, but I've found that all these together make for a great topping!

2.) THE HEALTHY ONE - Fruit & Yogurt Bingsoo (과일빙수)

One thing I love about bingsoo is how versatile it can be. Of course, if you top it with ice cream, chocolate chips, candy, and a ton of other delicious things... unfortunately, its not the healthiest snack. But there's hope! Instead of topping this with ice cream I topped it with greek yogurt! You can use any type of yogurt and I surrounded the rest of the ice, with tons and tons of fresh fruit. Today, I used kiwis, mangos, strawberries, and blueberries. It paired so deliciously with the condensed milk and yogurt.

TIP: Try freezing some milk and when you go to shave the ice, mix just regular ice and iced milk... absolutely yummy!

3.) THE CREAMY ONE - Milk Bingsoo (우유빙수)

This is my all time favorite one! I absolutely adore anything creamy and sweet... so for those out there that love milk, this is the topping for you. First, I used iced milk. All you have to do is freeze milk in an ice tray and then just shave the milk when making your bingsoo. For those of you, who don't have an ice shaver, I'll show you down below how to simply get shaved ice without one. So, fill your bowl with milk, shaved milk ice, condensed milk, and then I topped it with a vanilla flavored yogurt, honey, and some cereal. You can also use granola or nuts as your crunchy topping. Graham crackers are also a delicious alternative. The honey gives it a nice sweet touch, and I also love it when it hardens a little bit from the ice. Of course, you can use just regular shaved iced but the iced milk gives it the extra creamy touch.

And there we have it! Obviously, you can top your bingsoo with whatever you'd like, but I found these toppings to be healthy and also delicious. Now, what do you do when you don't have an ice shaver? If you have a blender, you could blend your ice in it. The only downside to that would be that the ice wouldn't be as fluffy and soft. 

Also, you can make the milk bingsoo by just simply freezing milk in any container and defrosting it 3-4 hours before you're going to eat or serve it. After, you just take a spoon and scrape the milk shavings. This is pretty tedious but this was an option I had tested out and worked perfectly. If you freeze some milk in an ice tray you can also put those cubes in a plastic bag and mash the ice in the bag with something hard. This also gives good results. 

Pictured above is the red bean I used for my first topping. You can find all these ingredients in your local Asian market or Korean market. The fruits and yogurt can be found in any local market. 

Aren't these so cute and delicious looking. They're perfect for the summertime and the variety of each toppings makes it so fun to eat. Needless to say, these are so easy to make! I hope you enjoy! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito

FOOD RECIPES

HOW TO MAKE HONEY BUTTER CHIPS

If anyone knows me... they know I'm absolutely obsessed with Honey Butter Chips. Honey Butter Chips were first introduced in Korea in 2014, manufactured by a Korean company in collaboration with a Japanese company. Since then, a Honey Butter craze has been happening not only in Korea but also in the States.

Some may say it's overhyped and some may love it as much as I do... but I thought I'd try to recreate it at home with 4 simple ingredients! I can't say it taste exactly like the original chips but I appreciate the freshness and home made taste it brings. You can bring this to a potluck/party, make it for your kids, or simply make it for yourself. Here we go!

YOU'LL NEED:

  • 1 bag of Lays original chips (you won't be needing the whole bag)
  • A little more than 1/2 a stick of butter (I used Land o' lakes original butter, but for a healthier option you can use a low fat option or margarine)
  • 1/2 cup of honey (have more ready to add a bit more after tasting)
  • Dried Parsley flakes

HOW TO:

1.) Heat your pan and melt the butter.

2.) Once it's all melted add all the honey in as well.

3.) Stir well together for a couple of minutes.

4.) As it bubbles, add in your chips.

5.) Mix the sauce and chips well together with a wooden spatula until you see that it is well mixed. (5-10 minutes)

  • Don't let the chips burn, so keep a close eye on them!

6.) After you take it off the stove, sprinkle some parsley flakes and VOILA you are done!

See how easy that was! You can really taste the honey in each bite! Now, if you prefer a bit more of the honey taste you can add more honey or if you prefer more of the butter taste you can add more butter. Since we're using all fresh ingredients, it is slightly stickier than the bagged chips... but I loved it! Hope you enjoy! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito

 

FOOD RECIPES

HOW TO MAKE MILK TOFU

What the milk tofu? I know what you all may be thinking... what in the world is milk tofu? Literally, it's tofu made out of milk. This is a great alternative to soybean tofu if any of you are allergic or even if you just want to try something new! This recipe requires minimal ingredients, it's super easy to make and also tastes good! It tastes a bit creamy like mozzarella cheese and goes great on top of salads! Let's get started. 

YOU'LL NEED:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of vinegar
  • a pinch of salt

** I used 2 cups of milk for my milk tofu and thus increasing the amount for the other ingredients accordingly!

HOW TO:

1.) Heat your pan.

2.) Pour in your milk and let it come to slow simmer/boil.

3.) Once it starts to boil, start stirring the milk in ONE DIRECTION! This is crucial that you stir in the same direction whether its clockwise or counter clock wise.

4.) Once it's boiling and you start stirring, immediately put in your vinegar and pinch of salt.

5.) Continue to stir in one direction and you'll start to see lumps and chunks (hehe).

6.) Once it starts to get a bit watery, take your pot off the stove.

7.) Have a thin cloth and a bowl/container ready for you to drain out the water and save the lumps (demonstrated below).

8.) Squeeze all the liquid out of the cloth and form your tofu into a ball or square.

See how easy that was? Now, if you do not have a cloth you can also use a strainer (make sure the holes are small enough to catch the lumps) to drain the liquid out. You can just shape your tofu with a spoon or with your hands once you're done draining it. 

You can also crumble it on top of some salad, slice it on top, or even just eat it with some fruits. It tastes so yummy! 

I hope you all enjoyed and make sure to give this recipe a try... I mean why not, right?! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito

FOOD RECIPES

HOW TO MAKE MANGO GUACAMOLE

This is probably one of the easiest yet most delicious recipes I've tried yet! Are any of you guys a fan of sweet and salty? I know I am! This guacamole is so refreshing, especially in the summertime and it's so simple to make. Doesn't even require any baking or cooking... I just used all fresh ingredients so it's extremely healthy as well! As you guys might tell, most of my food recipes are very simple and a mix of all the cultures I love. This recipe is perfect for a potluck/party or even just a nice snack for those of you working men/women out there who don't have lots of time to prepare something elaborate. Oh! And before I forget... SAVE THE PIT OF THE AVOCADO! Below I'll share a fun tip so you can preserve this guacamole overnight. So let's get started! 

YOU'LL NEED:

** This recipe yields 1-2 servings

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 champagne mango (you can use a regular one as well)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1/2 a garlic, minced (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/2 a tomato (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/2 a jalapeno pepper (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/2 a lime OR lemon
  • salt and pepper

HOW TO:

1.) Cut your avocado in half (lengthwise), pit it, and then cut it in half again.

2.) Peel the avocados and start smushing it in a bowl with a fork. Set aside once it is nicely mashed.

3.) Dice your onion into tiny squares (close to a mince) and put it in the bowl with the avocados and mix.

4.) Season the avocado/onion mix with salt and pepper. Taste, and season accordingly.

5.) At this point you can either dice a bit of tomatoes and jalapenos into the mixture... OPTIONAL.

6.) Dice your mango into small squares.

7.) Fold into the avocado, taste, and VOILA!

And spritz a bit of your lemon or lime after for a nice touch! This recipe is so tasty... I absolutely love the sweetness that comes out from the mangos. Pairs amazingly with the avocado. 

FUN TIP! Have any of you guys ever wanted to take this to a social gathering but wanted to make it the night before? But then the color of the guacamole will change to a gross brown color... here's a solution! 

In the bowl of your freshly made mango guacamole (don't squeeze the lime/lemon in yet!), put the pit right in the middle and cover it with the surrounding guacamole. Then, take saran wrap and tightly/closely wrap the guacamole so that the saran tightly touches all the guacamole. Finally, cover the top of the actual bowl once more with another piece of saran. 

Above is an image of the guacamole the next day... how cool! Hope you enjoyed! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito

FOOD RECIPES

THE FOURTH OF JULY & A SUMMER SALAD

I hope everyone had a lovely and patriotic weekend! I had a great time with my family cooking and just relaxing... the weekend was way too short! My family loves steak and seafood, so our entire day was filled with prepping, cooking, and eating.  

As you can tell, there was so much food to make and eat! We just washed the shrimp and scallops, then grilled them in the oven with some salt and pepper. Then, we steamed the lobster tail in our steamer.

TIP: Make sure not to OVERCOOK any of the seafood or it will get tough! Also, for the butter dipping sauce, if you add some minced garlic with the butter and put that in the microwave, you get a delicious, garlic butter sauce! 

We had two different types of steak: Ribeye and New York Strip Steak. So, we discovered that the Ribeye was fattier (has more marbling) and was a bit more flavorful. If you're going for a healthier/slightly leaner steak, I would choose the New York Strip which is equally delicious. We cooked all the steaks in cast iron skillets, searing it on high heat in oil first (to get a nice char on the exterior!) and then cooking the steaks to preferred temperatures (medium rare for me!). TIP: I prepped the steak by adding a layer of salt on top of the steaks an hour before we cooked them, which helps to tenderize the meat! Let the steaks sit with the layer of salt and then after an hour, wash off the salt and pat the steaks completely DRY

So this is the salad I made for our Fourth of July lunch! It's super easy, fresh and makes for a perfect summer salad. I also cut up some avocados and had that on the side (my brother is allergic to avocados). 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Lettuce (you can use any kind: spring mix, romaine, etc.)
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches (optional)
  • Avocados
  • Walnuts (candied: honey, brown sugar, and butter)
  • Dressing: 1 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of sugar (you can use honey for a healthier option), and 2 tbsp of sweet vinegar or apple cider vinegar

HOW TO:

1.) Make the dressing by combining all those ingredients in a bottle and shaking it vigorously.

2.) Combine lettuce, strawberries (other fruits you decide to use) in a big bowl.

3.) Pour the dressing into the lettuce bowl and give it a nice toss.

4.) Candy your walnuts by adding 1 tbsp of butter, walnuts, honey, and brown sugar in the pan. Roast it nicely but don't let it burn!

VOILA! You have yourself a refreshing and delicious salad! Just top the salad with avocados (you want to put it on top last so that it doesn't get smushed while you toss the salad) and the candied walnuts. I got the salad dressing recipe from a dear, older sister of mine, Kathleen. I just tweaked the dressing recipe a little bit. So, thank you! 

Hope everyone had a great weekend as well and is recovering from the immense amount of food and fun! Enjoy!


FOOD RECIPES

{FOOD RECIPES} KIMCHI GOCHUJANG PASTA

All I can say about this pasta is that it's... DELICIOUS. It is one of my all time favorite pastas to make AND eat! I have to say, I got my inspiration from my sister-in-law who once made this (a bit differently) for my family and I was motivated to make this again with a different spin. It's not as difficult as it seems so if you're willing... I recommend anyone to try this recipe! This creamy, slightly spicy sauce goes perfectly with the pasta noodles and the green onions add a perfect touch! 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • 1-2 tbsp Red chilli paste (gochujang)
  • 2 cups of Kimchi (1 cup of kimchi sauce)
  • Any pasta noodles or spaghetti
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 a can- 1 can of spam, bacon, or any type of protein (my favorite is spam though)
  • 8 oz of heavy whipping cream ( I didn't use the entire carton!)
  • Green onions
  • Black pepper

(I didn't put any measurements because with cooking I don't really use exact measurements, I just eye it! So, as you cook this make sure to taste it along the way!)

HOW TO:

1.) Heat the pan.

2.) Chop the kimchi, onions, and spam and add it to the heated pan along with some of the kimchi sauce.

3.) Mix all the ingredients together and after about 5 minutes of mixing, add some gochujang sauce (red chilli paste). Mix well and continue to stir.

4.) After everything seems to be well mixed (you can keep adding some gochujang depending on how spicy you'd like it!) pour in your heavy whipping cream.

  • You can also start to boil your pasta. (Follow the instructions on the box which gives you the exact time for boiling the pasta!)

5.) While everything is coming to a slight boil, chop up some green onions that you'll use for the garnish. As the sauce comes to a finish, taste it and if you need more gochujang or heavy whipping cream... put in according to the level of spice you'd like it at.

6.) Add in the boiled pasta to the sauce and mix well! Put some green onions on top and VOILA!

Now you have yourself a bowl of delicious pasta! Enjoy! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito 

FOOD RECIPES

{FOOD RECIPES} NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

Happy almost July! Is that even a thing?! Probably not... but I'm just excited for the fourth of July! So here's an easy, no bake recipe you can use to make some delicious mini cheesecakes. These are so easy to make and they're so adorable to look at! 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • 1 package of 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 small can of condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice (fresh or pre-packaged)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 package of Keebler's graham cracker crust cups

HOW TO:

1.) Add all the ingredient's (cream cheese, condensed milk, sugar, lemon, vanilla extract) together in a bowl

2.) After all the ingredients are in the bowl, blend all the ingredients together with an electric mixer. * At first it may still look chunky because of the cream cheese but as you keep beating and whisking it will look smooth. To avoid this all together, you can beat/whisk the cream cheese first and then slowly add the other ingredients.

3.) Next, brush on egg whites and bake the little graham cracker cups in the oven for 5 min on 375 degrees. You don't have to do this step but I like my crust to be extra crispy and golden!

4.) Lastly, cut up some strawberries and decorate the tops with any other kinds of berries you may want. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries are all super tasty!

How festive do these look?! Bring them to a July 4th party or any other event, no fuss or trouble! They are SO delicious! Enjoy & au revoir! 

Photography & Styling by: Jito




FOOD RECIPES

THE YI'S & SPICY KOREAN NOODLES

Spending time and babysitting at the Yi's has always been one of my favorite things to do here in Ann Arbor. They are just the most darling family from my church in Ann Arbor! Their lovely family has abundantly showered me with love and care that I'll never be able to forget. It's at the Yi's that I'm able to play with my favorite kids as well as learn simple recipes from Kathleen (Mrs. Yi)  whether it be a salad dressing or a popular Korean dish. 

SPICY KOREAN COLD NOODLES

Get excited! Because today, I realized yet again how easy and simple it was to prepare bibim gooksoo, the cold noodle dish that originates from Korea. 

 Just add these four ingredients  (korean red chili paste, honey, rice vinegar, mirim)   in a bowl and while adding, make sure to taste the sauce. It should be a sweet and tangy taste.

Just add these four ingredients (korean red chili paste, honey, rice vinegar, mirim)  in a bowl and while adding, make sure to taste the sauce. It should be a sweet and tangy taste.

After you set aside the sauce, you can go ahead and cut the cucumbers in strips, boil eggs, and set all those aside once you're finished. 

After you have prepared all your ingredients, boil some nengmyun noodles (you can find these in your nearest oriental market) and don't forget to rinse the noodles in ice cold water. Just assemble the noodles in a bowl, top it with the cucumbers, a boiled egg cut in half, a drizzle of sesame oil and voila you are finished! You can dish the spicy sauce separately so you can control how much goes in your noodles. 

It was my last day with the Yi's but I wouldn't have spent my Wednesday any other way. Enjoy, be happy, & au revoir!