[Journal] Uplifting Stories

Journal

In the technological world we live in today, we have easier and simpler access to news, videos, and media. In spite of using that power for something good or nice, there are horror stories, graphic images, and sad news all over the internet. But there are also a fair amount of sites which don’t promote such content.

I’m a big sucker for anything funny or uplifting. One of my favorite sites to visit is http://www.upworthy.com. This website shares stories that can either teach us something or make us feel something nice. Many of the stories I read on that site inspire me to be a better person and to think about the world differently. I read one story this morning about the power of family and love.

http://www.upworthy.com/she-needed-a-home-cooked-meal-when-i-saw-how-her-mom-made-that-happen-wow?c=upw1&u=4a4c777951f2f6ab48f4525ff33c3ffae439f4ea

For many, this story will resonate with how simple gestures or reminders of home can make the biggest difference to a person. While we are just 1 out of the billions of people on Earth, each of us have a unique human experience. And sometimes, it’s those experiences that make life valuable and worth living.

This blog I am writing now is modeled after the “feel-good” mindset. I try to not talk about things that upset people or about negative experiences. This blog is meant to show people my human experience as seen through me.

While life is filled with both good and bad times, it’s important to embrace every moment as something to cherish because it makes the people we are or will become. I believe that we should try to fill our time with as much good energy as we can. This can be done by reading about good stories, doing a good deed, or even sharing uplifting content etc.

In this post, I will post a few pictures I found. They are sure to give you a smile or warm feeling~ You can probably tell right away what’s my favorite animal / pet!

[Snack] Healthy Fast Cookies

Snack

I can’t believe these haven’t been spread out to the world. I’m about to introduce you to the quickest and healthiest cookie recipe ever invented. It starts with two ingredients and then you can add additional items as you desire. Once you make the batter, you can add any type of dry fruits or nuts. 

Ingredients

3 bananas

2 cups dry instant oatmeal

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl

Add additional ingredients if you want

  

Spoon on a well greased pan

Bake at 350F for 16-17 minutes until firm

Voila! This cookie is so healthy and tasty that they disappear so quickly!! I like to add almonds and raisins to make them similar to oatmeal cookies. And the bananas provide the banana flavor as well as the natural sugar. It really is indescribable and amazing. If you have 20 minutes and some ripe bananas, try this awesome recipe!!

   

 

[Holiday] White Day Weekend

Holiday, Journal

In Korea, every month on the 14th is a love holiday. Those are days which celebrate love in some way or fashion. March 14 is known as white day. Normally, this is the day when men reciprocate for the gifts they received from women on Valentine’s Day.

My significant other and I celebrate every holiday equally and always acknowledge that spending time together is a gift more precious than something material. Spending time and making memories are things that one will remember in the long run.

On March 13th, after a long day of gruesome work, I took A out for a special date broken up into three fun activities.

First, we went to a sushi place and ordered tons of food. We ordered two different rolls, a sampler, and a nabe. The food was good. But I found out that day that a waitress I knew was planning to retire that same night…

After, we drove around and eventually decided to get jamba juice and catch the premiere of Cinderella which was an amazing movie. Also because there was the short film Frozen which aired right before the movie. There is seriously not a single Disney movie I cannot like.

Here’s a song from that movie. It’s pretty good!

Then it was bedtime after…

The next day I woke up and did my normal things. I ran some errands and picked up my brother. After meeting A, we decided to go for a drive. Then we had some personal time to ourselves and went to grab some dinner. We went to the hong kong bistro which was amazing!!

The seafood over rice was amazing! It was gooey and yummy.

After, A bought me some gifts. As many would know, I’m a huge fan of Line bear, tarepanda, and rilakkuma. I don’t know what it is, but bears are awesome!

2015 white day was amazing! I can’t wait till my next adventure with A. I’m planning a special activity for next week. For those who have found someone special, it’s important to build those memories and to cherish that person you care so much for. You never know what tomorrow will bring so you want to make the most of today.

And for those who are still searching for love, don’t rush but keep the doors open because you never know who will cross your path. Never give up on love because everyone deserves a partner to find that deeper happiness with. And always remember that love is something that two people need to work to protect and build. There will be hard times and good times. It’s important to appreciate every moment and have trust in the person you love.

[TV] TV Series

TV

Like most people, I watch a lot of TV. And like most people, I don’t have all the time in the world to watch everything. But here is a glimpse into what I’m watching nowadays. FYI, it’s a lot… Maybe even too much… I watch very random shows that can be from one side of the genre spectrum to the other.

There are a lot more shows that I watch, but these happen to be the ones that come to mind as I’m writing this blog entry. I included a trailer for those who are interested. It takes a lot for me to like a series, but these listed shows have proven to be amazing with high ratings and high viewer count.

Dramas

– Pretty Little Liars

– Chasing Life

– The Fosters

– Switched at Birth

– Once Upon a Time

– Walking Dead [HORROR]

– Game of Thrones

– Arrow

– The Flash

– How to Get Away with Murder

– American Horror Story

– Chosen

Reality Shows

– Hardcore Pawn

Comedy Series

– Fresh Off the Boat

– The Simpsons
Famous TV show, can check YouTube for some clips

– Family Guy
Famous TV show, can check YouTube for some clips

– Mindy Project

[Seafood] Korean Hwaedeop Bap aka Japanese Chirashi Bowl

Seafood

South Korea and Japan are two countries that are surrounded by water and have a history of abundant seafood in their local cuisines. It’s only natural that both countries would have their own version of rice and seafood. From what I understand, there are only sight differences based on regional preference, but the end result is very similar. Also, the Japanese use sweet vinegar in their rice preparation which is not standard in the Korean version.

Ingredients

1.5 cups of cooked medium grain rice

7-9 tbsp of sushi vinegar

0.5 cups of diced raw fish (salmon, tuna, hamachi)

2-3 pieces of raw squid

1 avocado

1 cucumber

2 tbsp massago or salmon roe

Directions

– Wash and cook the rice as one would normally

– Take out rice and add the sushi vinegar

– Fold the rice and fan simultaneously to get glossy rice

– Let the rice cool down completely

– Peel and dice the cucumber into small pieces

– Peel and slice the avocado

– Cut the sushi grade fish into cubes or slices

– Dunk the avocado and fish into some sushi vinegar on the side to keep them fresh

– Drain the avocado and fish and set aside

– Place the rice into a bowl or container

– Take the cucumber and sprinkle over the rice

– Add all the fish and avocado and massago

– Enjoy!!

It is very important to purchase sushi grade fish as you don’t want to get sick from eating this. The fresher the fish, the less smell there is to it. I normally add gyeran mari aka tamago yaki to the bowl, but I was in a rush today.

I usually use the left over fish to make sushi or make a sashimi type plate.

The idea of this entree is to add fresh fish to a bowl of vinegar rice. The flavors should be fresh, tangy, and a bit sweet.

The word chirashi means to scatter. As we scatter the different ingredients on rice, we are making the chirashi bowl. In Korean, deobbap refers to any pairing of rice and something else on top that needs to be eaten together. In this case, it’s fish, so we call it hwae deobbap which is fish rice.

Enjoy making your chirashi with various ingredients. The fresher the better and the more local the better too. Cook from the heart, and your food will always be delicious.

[Skin Care] Dead Sea Minerals Mud Soap

Skin Care

Where to even start with this post! My favorite soap is the Deep Sea Cosmetic’s Mud Soap but it’s quiet hard to find and it costs about 15 bucks a bar!! Because the soap is so expensive, i had to find a cheaper brand so I’m trying out the One With Nature brand which runs about 5 bucks a bar.



Today is he first day I’m using it and I have to say, it is quite amazing. It has the one thing that I expect all Dead Sea mud soaps to have and that is exfoliation using Dead Sea salt.

Right out of the box, the bar smells very good and not overly strong. It has a natural smell of clean mud. And he soap design is awesome. You get the big chunk shape with a small dip to help you grip the soap.

Once I lathered it on, I can feel the small pieces in the soap exfoliating my skin. And it makes you feel extremely clean. And once you rinse off the soap, your skin feels very soft and smooth as if you got the salt treatment. I recommend getting this brand if you want to buy some good mud soap but don’t want to drop a ton of money. 

[Snack] Kimbap (Korean Futomaki) Sushi Roll

Snack

Lunar New Year is fast approaching. In my house, we celebrate Korean New Year which is one of the top three most important holidays in the Korean calendar. Normally, we are to clean the house before the new year, because Koreans believe that it will reflect the rest of your year.

On Korean New Year, Koreans normally eat a bowl of Rice Cake Soup aka Tteokguk which is rice cake soup with eggs, beef, and some green veggies. It’s a super savory dish, and is very special and nostalgic to Koreans.

In the day leading up to the New Year, I was inspired to make some Korean food. And I decided to make Kimbap which is a Korean style futomaki. Normally, there are thousands of variations in which to make kimbap. In the kimbap stores in Korea, there are many kinds you can buy on the menu. When I visit Kimbap Heaven (김밥천국), my favorite thing to order is the bulgogi roll with some naengmyeon (cold noodles).

In my kimbap recipe, I like to use ingredients depending on what I’m in the mood for. I will show you the recipe here that I made last night.

Ingredients

7-10 cups of cooked rice

~15 sheets of roasted seaweed (aka yaki nori)

1 bamboo mat (optional, but strongly preferred)

6 eggs

2 cucumbers

2 gobo sticks (if fresh, it needs to be boiled in water until soft)
* Then it needs to be put in same marinade as instant bulgogi (see below)

2 rolls pickled radish (takuon or dakweon)

1 pkg imitation crab meat

1-2 lbs of bulgogi *** See instant bulgogi recipe below ***

Preparation

– In order to marinate the beef, I normally take thin sliced beef and put it into a bowl of water to take out the blood. Any residual blood will end up foaming (or coagulating) in the wok when you cook it. Then you heat a wok (or pot) and add 2 cups water, 1/3 cup soy sauce, and 1/4 cup of honey (sugar and agave can also be used). Then you add the meat and boil until the meat is full cooked through. This is the instant recipe I use when I need bulgogi for kimbap, bibimbap, or any other dishes.

– The same marinade above can be used to boil the gobo which is one of the ingredients I used.

– The eggs are a bit tricky. I normally break three eggs and whisk together very well. Then heat them under low-med heat on a well oiled pan until the bottom side is firm. Then flip gently to make sure not to rip the egg. The goal is not to cook the egg fast, but to gently heat through so we can flip both sides.  You will want to create a thin circle basically that has no rips.

IMG_0143

Directions

1. Prepare the “mise en place” which is a fancy way of saying prep work. In order to prepare the “mise en place”, you need freshly made rice. Then go ahead and cut up the gobo, pickled radish, cucumber, eggs, and crab into strips/sticks that can fit in the kimbap. The beef will need to be minced or cut into strips as well.

IMG_0141

IMG_0142

2. Place a sheet of seaweed on the bamboo roller mat as mentioned earlier. Then add on the rice to cover half the sheet and place each of the mise en place components on the rice.

IMG_0144

3. Use the bamboo mat to roll up the ingredients into a kimbap roll! You are done and you can cut up the roll into bite size pieces. However, i will tell you one secret that Koreans do. Koreans like to brush some sesame oil on the rolls and sprinkle a little bit of salt before cutting the rolls. We do this to accentuate the savory side of kimbap as well as pump up the flavor.

IMG_0146

IMG_0147

IMG_0145

Kimbap has always been a special snack for Koreans. In Korea, it’s very accessible, and can fill you up quick in an emergency. Also, they say you can determine a mother’s love if she has ever attempted to make kimbap for her child before school. The reason behind this is that kimbap is very times-taking to make. And to make attractive looking kimbap is even more difficult.

I still remember when my mom used to make me kimbap before school and on weekends. I used to enjoy eating the end pieces as those were the best parts of the roll. And when we had a batch of kimchi to go with the rolls, it was even more special. Because the rolls are full of rice, veggies, and some meat, it makes the perfect snack or meal. The flavors are amazing and it’s hard to go wrong with this roll. Almost any ingredient can be used as long as it’s not watery or powdery. Previously, I almost always used carrots, fishcake, and spinach in my rolls. Those ingredients happen to be very common to a traditional kimbap as well.

In a batch I made a few months ago, I made Tuna Kimbap which had tuna, mayonnaise, sesame leaves, carrots, and some other vegetables. It’s good to explore with flavors and ingredients. That’s how we become better cooks. This is a special recipe to me, so I hope you all enjoy making kimbap.

As I usually tell people, cook from the heart, and the food will always be delicious.