Saturday, November 22, 2014

Korean Black Noodle

My dear friend, Ci Lily, who inspired me to cook taught me how to cook this dish before she moved out of the country *sob*. She is an amazing woman. I won't be making all these dishes if it's not because of her. Thank you for sharing your passion and recipes, Ci!

The ingredients:

The noodle:

Cut the potatoes and carrots into squares

Boil them until a little bit soft,

drain and place on a plate

Cook the onion,

and the meat.

Add the boiled potatoes and carrot,

the black bean paste,

broth, and other ingredients. Continue cooking and stirring until done.

The end result:

Korean Black Noodle

Cook time:
Printable Recipe
1 package of noodle - cook according to the manufacturer's direction on the back of the package
1 pound ground pork
2 potatoes - cut into squares
2 carrots - cut into squares
1 onion - cut into small pieces
8 brown mushrooms - slices thin
1/2 cups or about 6 heaping tablespoons of black bean paste
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons butter
1.5 to 2 cups of broth {I use homemade chicken stock}
1 tablespoon corn starch mix with 2 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoon of mirin
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cucumber - cut into small squares
1 green onion - slices
Salt & pepper


  1. Boil the carrot and potatoes in boiling water until about half cooked, not too soft. Strained and place on a plate.
  2. Heat a pan, add the oil; when the oil is hot add the onion. After the onion is fragrant, add the butter and sliced mushroom. When the mushroom is cooked, add the ground pork, season with salt and pepper. Add the boiled carrot and potatoes, black bean paste, and broth. Continue cooking and stirring until all ingredients are well mixed while adding mirin, sugar, and starch water. Adjust to taste.
  3. Boil the noodle in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. 
  4. Place noodle in a bowl, put the black bean sauce mixture on the top, garnish with cucumber and green onion.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Visiting: Carmel Beach, California

I have been feeling under the weather lately: sore throat, coughing, low fever, so we spent most of the timee at home. Not being able to go out and about made me realized that I shouldn't take for granted the chance to go out and enjoy the nature. I have to remind my homebody self more of that.

Speaking of the outdoor, our family took a short trip to Carmel Beach one Saturday. We went there a few years ago when the weather was cold and damp. This time, the weather was just perfect.

Besides, water, sunblock, sunglasses, and towels; baby powder is on my list of things to bring to the beach. Have you ever tried to clean off sand from wet skin?  Yep, that's what it is for.

While Koko is so excited to play with sand and water.

Didi was scared of the wave so he chose to spend the afternoon doing this:

Thankful for this hunky man who still makes heart swell after 12 years, the one who is strong enough to keep up with my craziness, ideas, and mood swing.

Going on a walk along the beach

There was a wedding ceremony to be held later on that afternoon:

The boys were wearing the "Shark-thank Inspired Towel" I made a little while ago.

The lovely houses around nearby the beach.

We close the day with early dinner at Moss Landing. Originally we were going to eat at Phil's Fish Market but the line was super duper long so we settled with The Whole Enchilada, which was pretty good too.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What I do with a box of strawberries

Whenever I get to go to Farmer Market, I usually get a box of strawberries because it's cheaper when I bought them in large quantities. I often got asked, "What would you do with so many strawberries?"
So I thought I wrote this post to answer the question.

Right after I got home, I usually hulled those strawberries, then asked my 6 years old to cut them into half.

Afterward, I would do the rinsing-strawberries-with-vinegar-trick to make berries last longer.

I would then freeze some for snack or for future used but in order for them not to stuck together in the Ziploc, I (or my lovely assistant here) would have to arrange them in a baking pan then freeze them overnight then move them into a Ziploc bag the day after.

It's a good finger pinching, counting and self-control exercise for preschooler

although sometimes the temptation is too great, he would eat some and make this face when I ask, "Hey, did you just eat some of them?"

What I make with a box of strawberries:

Strawberry Yogurt {recipe}

Strawberry Lemonade: lemon juice + simple syrup + strawberries

Green Smoothies {recipe}

Strawberry Ice Cream {recipe}

Strawberry Jam {recipe}

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Balance Bike Review

When Wes turned 3 a few months ago, Chris and I decided to gave him a balance bike, a two-wheel bike without pedal, after hearing all the rave reviews about how it helps kids to learn balance so later on they can ride the regular two-wheel bike in a matter of seconds.

Before that he used to ride on his trike which he's already overgrown.

It took him a while to get used to riding the balance bike. In the beginning he kept going back to his old trike until we donated it, then he got no other option besides learning to use the new bike.

In a matter of a few days, he mastered it and could ride so fast and so well that we decided to do the same for Max. Instead of buying another balance bike, we took out the training wheels and the pedals of his bike so he could learn balance too.
I waited until we saw the result before posting this review.

The video was taken the first time Max rode on his two-wheel after we put back the pedals:

So.... answering a few questions:
a. Does it really work? Yes, it does.

b. Which one do we get? We get this one but our humble opinion, even the cheaper ones like this would work as well or better yet if you already have one with training wheels like Max's, then all you need to do is taking off the training wheels and the pedals.

c. If we can go back; would we buy it again? No. we would buy regular bike and take off the pedals. Just for your information, some metal part of the pedals can't be taken off so we had to use paint tape to keep it from hurting his feet.