the versatile blogger award

Blog Award, Music, Tag

Hello my lovely friends 🙂

I’m back today with a nomination to another award! I was nominated by the sweet Megan @ bookslayer reads. Although the time I’ve known her is quite short, her blog is really a great place and worth of your visit, so make sure to check her blog out as well!


Rules
  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person that has nominated you
  • Share 7 different facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs of your choice (I will be nominating five blogs)
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

The rules here are short and sweet so lets go ahead and get started!


7 Facts About Me
  1. My favorite animal is the giraffe. I’m literally obsessed with their elegance, and find them to be so cute! They look so genial, yet regal. One day, I want to become a zookeeper just so I can be near them.
  2. I’m very meticulous and obsessive when it comes to watching a TV show. I have to watch every minute in the correct order… I also can’t handle cliffhangers so I always have to stop in the middle of an episode. This is why I can never watch anything with anyone. It’s also why I can only watch a TV show when all the episodes are out.
  3. I love food, but I’m not picky. I’ll eat anything and everything, and really can’t tell the difference in the quality of food unless someone points it out to me.
  4. Though I follow recipes, I never actually use the designated measurements. Maybe it’s cause I’m too lazy to actually measure things out. Or maybe it’s because I like to pretend I’m a professional chef.
  5. I love fashion/lifestyle vloggers. They’re what I watch before falling asleep or during my workouts.
  6. I love listening to people talk. Voices are my favorite things about people, and I can normally identify a person by their voices.
  7. I can’t remember names to save my life, so if I remember your name, consider yourself honored.

Sorry for boring you with miscellaneous facts about myself, but I hope you enjoyed nonetheless!


I nominate:

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

Sammie @ Books and Biros

Donna @ ChocolatenWaffles

These are some of my personal favorite book blogs. They are very worthy of this award, and everyone needs to go check them out 🙂


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What are some facts about you that others may not know? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

korea 2016

Know Korea

Hello my lovely friends!

So as you know, I spent the month of July in Korea, visiting family and friends, and taking a well needed vacation. I had an incredible time eating amazing Korean food, catching up with my extended family, and sightseeing. Although I tried to include every place I went to, and all the things I did, this post was wayyyyy to long, so enjoy this very shortened version of my trip 🙂


We arrived at the Incheon Airport, late at night and stumbled our way to my grandma’s building in Seoul. *Pro Tip* If you ever decide to head over to Korea, make sure to take Korean Airlines, as their service is phenomenal, and if you take the day trip, they’ll make sure to give you great selections on food every hour.

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This is the view from my grandma’s rooftop. This was taken early in the morning, when the air was still cool, and the city was already awake.


After getting caught up with my grandparents, and some sleep, our family drove about two hours to Gangnam to visit my Dad’s parents. Gangnam is quite rural, and there are actual houses and these houses have backyards. (I only found this exciting because Korea is tiny and living space limited.)

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Here is the front of my grandparents house, although it’s cut off, to the left, there’s a second story and the inside is decorated in a very quaint and lovely manner.

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This is a tiny pond my grandparents had in their backyard filled with fish and frogs!

Mini history lesson: Koreans use to store their Kimchi and other goods in these clay barrels called 장독대. Everywhere I went, there were some of these huge pots that people still use!

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I love how green, lush and fresh every morning here was.

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Also in my grandparent’s back yard, a lovely stream in which we lost a towel in.


After about a week, we headed to Daejon where the Kaist University is located. That is where my dad attended, and we met his friend to have dinner in a very fancy restaurant.

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This was the view when we first arrived. There was a lovely stream running just below, and the decor of the room was very elegant.

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This was one course of the seven course meal we had. Each dish was presented beautifully/ (Although this is half eaten, you sorta get the idea, right?)

And while we’re on the topic of food, it’s important to realize that in Korea, there are numerous side dishes that come free of charge with your meal. And that normally, there are several courses that you will be presented with.

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This is about 1/3 of the actual table…


Next, we headed to Geongbokgyung to explore the historical sights of Korea. There were many burial sites, Buddhist temples and museums we visited. One of the phenomenal sights were each grave, as they were all well sized hills. After a person was buried, rocks would then be stacked, then dirt, then grass would be planted.

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Here is a wooden statue of one of the God’s protecting the Buddhist temple.

 

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Prayer lanterns on one of the yards. There were thousands of these in every space possible.

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This intricate detailing was done by hand, and found on every rooftop on the temples. And I can’t even color in the lines.


Next, we headed to Sol Beach to relax and spend time together exploring the beach and playing at various water parks. I had the privilege of staying at two different resorts. Both were very spacious, and comfortable (each coming with three rooms, a kitchen, dinig area and living room) while enjoying arcade rooms and karaoke rooms each night. Oh, and did I mention that the view was incredible?

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A picture I took standing just outside our room.

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We had amazing, fresh seafood for about every meal. My grandma also would head to the beach and pick up various shellfish to put in our breakfast.

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Here are a lineup of boats at the dock. We saw a man almost fall off a boat, and two men fighting over some goods. It was quite an eventful day.

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My family then stayed at a pension with a couple of my dad’s friends and their families. This was one of the best times I had because all of my cousins are significantly younger than me. I was able to learn and understand the Korean culture better through girls that were the same age as me.

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A Japanese style pension.


The last week was spent in Seoul, where my family visited with other relatives, and I was able to sightsee. We also visited Insadong, which is a tourist heavy site. There you can rent hanboks and walk around with your friends.

We also visited my mom’s college Ehwa’s Womens University, and I got to experience the amazing architecture and atmosphere that college offered.

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Some bubble tea we snagged at a cute cafe.

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I really got a great tan going to multiple water parks, including Carribean Bay! Shopping was so enjoyable, and I spent considerable time in stationary shops, subway stores, and the mall (which is very overpriced). Remember, that what you see above ground is not all, there is a whole new world underground as well.


So there’s my 2016 summer adventure in which I visited seven places, ate incredible five course meals everyday, saw the most breathtaking views, and spent time with people I hadn’t seen in seven years. All in three weeks time. And I couldn’t even include all I did in one post! What are your travel plans this summer? Where have you gone, and what did you learn? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: 7.6.16 Korean Street Food

Bucket List, Food, Travel, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

know korea

Hello my lovely friends! First off I’d like to mention that I am in Korea right now (this is a scheduled post) and I will not be able to reply to your comments as frequently as I’d like. I’ll still be checking up on my blog often, so don’t forget to say hello!

This week, for my Wordless Wednesday – when I post about anything unrelated to books – I’ve decided to show you the wonderful array of street food in Korea. This is part of my “Know Korea” series that I decided to start because of the time I’ll be spending there, and my insatiable need for me to share everything with you guys. Honestly, there’s nothing better than the outdoor markets, and delicious smells wafting from outdoor vendors as you walk down the streets.


떡볶이 (tteokbokki )
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This delicious spicy rice cake is perfect for any season and occasion. A quick eat, or a side dish for an elaborate meal, this dish is sure to fulfill your sweet and spicy cravings. The sauce is actually a combination of gochuchang (Korean chili paste), dried chili power and sugar. There are many variations to this dish, such as adding slices of boiled eggs or ramen. It is not uncommon to see students congregated outside a vendor giggling away.


호떡 (hoddeok)
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This savory Korean sweet pancake can is normally filled with a brown sugar syrup. However, many variations can be found including ones filled with vegetables. This warm snack is sure to keep you grinning as you sight see.


 오뎅  (odeng)
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Odeng is one of the cheapest street foods you’ll find, and are simply fish cakes drowned in a delicious broth. This is a filling snack, and is usually served as a eat first, pay later basis. For those of you who dislike spicy foods, go ahead and check out this snack as it is a variation of tteobokki.


만두 (dumplings)
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There are many variations of this delicious dish, including a deep fried version. This savory snack is classic favorite, and it is common to see many locals munching away on this soft, delicious snack.


계란빵 (gyrenppang)
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The toppings for this protein packed bread are endless! From shrimp, to octopus, ham green onion and various herbs this snack is sure to leave you satisfied, and begging for more.


붕어빵 (Boong Uh Bbang)
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This bread is stuffed with a sweet red bean paste that has recently been on the news for its adaptation into five star restaurants. Not only is the shape cute and fun, but the bread is crunchy and very savory.


I hope you enjoyed exploring various Korean street foods with me today! What are some street foods that are famous in your area? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: 6.8.16

Bucket List, Food, Recipes, Wordless Wednesday

bucketHello my beautiful friends, here are a two recipes that I have tried and loved, along with one that I will be trying in the coming week and uploading a review on. Enjoy!

roasted carrots with parsley and thyme // snack // prep: 10m // cook: 30m // rating: 5/5 //  recipe

For those of you in need of a healthy snack to munch on while reading a book, look no farther. Ditch the potato chips and indulge yourself with a sweet and savory snack that will sate your hungry cravings while giving you a boost of vitamin A. Carotenoids are known to help combat free radicals due to their  strong antioxidant powers.

I have never enjoyed eating carrots, and you will never see me eating them raw. I have found, that roasting the carrots produces a snack that is sweet and delectable. I tend to hold back on the parsley and thyme, and add honey to this recipe to create a more pleasant flavor. For those of you who like a more bittersweet taste, make sure to load up on the parsley and thyme.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled quartered or cut into sixths lengthwise depending on the size, then into 2-inch lengths
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a sheet pan or a baking dish large enough to fit all of the carrots in a single layer. Place the carrots in a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. (My alteration: add some honey for a more sweet flavor)
  2. Spread in an even layer in the prepared pan or baking dish. Cover with foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, and if the carrots are not yet tender, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and return to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes until tender. Add the parsley, stir gently, and taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

This delicious snack should be stored in a refrigerator and can be kept for 4 days.

 hoisin pork with rice noodles // meal // prep: 15m // cook: 15m / serving: 4 // rating: _/5 // recipe

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This is a dish I have yet to try, but am dying to taste. The spicy asian pork and noodle combination has me drooling at the pictures, and surprisingly the dish only totals to about 391 calories per meal!

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3.5 tablespoons sesame oil or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dash fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar + a squeeze of lime if you have it
  • 5 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 piece fresh grated ginger (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1 minced hot pepper (i.e. jalapeno, chili pepper, etc)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (optional)
  • 1½ lbs. pork cut into thin strips (mine was called “pork stroganoff”)
  • 9 oz. rice noodles
  • grated carrots, chopped scallions, chopped peanuts, cilantro

Preparations:

  • Whisk all the sauce ingredients together (soy sauce, water, oil, honey, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, peppers, hoisin, and peanut butter). You could also puree the sauce in a food processor to get the garlic, peppers, and ginger smooth.
  • Marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for at least a few hours. I did mine overnight and then some, about 15 hours.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and stir-fry the pork until browned on the outside. I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of extra sauce after marinating, but I discarded the little bit that was left.
  • Cook your rice noodles according to package directions. Keep a little bit of liquid with the noodles to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Top with pork, carrots, scallions, peanuts, cilantro, and extra sauce of choice (more hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, etc). This is definitely a build-your-own kind of thing – just throw whatever you like in there with the noodles.

chocolate panini // dessert // prep: 10m // serving: 4 // rating: 4/5 // recipe

For a nice, warm, toasty dessert, that is easy and fun to make, try the chocolate panini. The first time I made this was at the home of the family I babysit for. I was unable to find their panini press, and ended up making it at the stove with two pans! (I tell you this to show you that it is indeed possible…)

This delectable flavor will have you craving for more, and is best served with some fruit to offset the overwhelming sweetness. Substitute nutella or any other chocolate to your liking, as I have found that using a chocolate bar also works! Also, feel free to deviate from the recipe and use less butter and chocolate, and even add marshmallows. I found this to be extremely sweet, and although loved by the boys, it is intense

Ingredients:

  • 8 3/4-inch thick slices challah bread or Hawaiian sweet bread (my alteration: I used regular bread of any sort, whole wheat or white, to reduce calories and sweetness)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 – 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    (my alteration: I also added marshmallows to add a s’more like quality)
  • Powdered sugar

Preparation

  • Heat a panini press or a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, brush one side of each bread slice with some of the melted butter. Place half of the bread slices on a work surface, buttered side down; sprinkle with chocolate, covering the bread to within 1/4-inch of the crust. Top with remaining slices, buttered sides up. Place sandwiches, 2 at a time, in grill pan; weigh down top of sandwiches with a large heavy skillet.
  • Grill the sandwiches over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until the chocolate is melted and bread is golden brown, turning once halfway through grilling time. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. (Or preheat a covered indoor grill. Place sandwiches, two at a time, in preheated grill, cover, and grill 4 minutes or until chocolate melts and bread is golden.)
  • To serve, cut each sandwich into quarters. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm.