Saturday, March 31, 2012

4.45 More Than Enough

These past few days I've been hooked on watching Baby Faced Beauty- a Korean drama. Truthfully I'm not hooked because it's super amazing or anything... I'm only addicted because it's a kdrama haha. Because I haven't watched one in so long, it made me remember how much I like and miss watching them. Whenever I watch kdramas I always get the urge to clean, take care of my health, indulge in good skincare, eat good food, and live a minimal life. The minimal life comes from either two observations: 1. If the family is poor, I focus on the worth of money and how little they have; 2. If they're rich, I focus on the quality of their things. Merging these two observations, I come up with: buy less and focus on having better quality things- quality over quantity.

I find Baby Faced Beauty a mediocre series. It's not that funny, not really dramatic, and not really romantically cute. There are some adorable scenes but its nothing compared to other kdramas I've seen. The tagline is basically poor vs. rich (which is usually the case for kdramas) set in a fashion designer company. The main character is poor which is something I can totally relate to. My siblings and I were never spoiled as children. Which probably explains why I ran with it the first time I got spoiled by my first boyfriend, ha! When we were little we would use our imagination and improvise with empty baby wipe boxes and other sorts of re-useable supplies to make our play time fun. I lived off of hand-me-downs. And during Christmas, we got our presents from those Christmas charity drives, but of course I was too young at the time to understand what that meant. My family did the best with what we had. We were never short of anything essential and we didn't live incredibly too poor. This is probably the reason why it was a complete surprise for me to learn that we were poor when I was old enough to understand. It's all about balance- managing your finance, having self-control, appreciating the items you own, and of course keeping a lookout for good deals and sales. I grew up with learning to buy things on sales, which is why I have a knack for deals and the reason why I picked up couponing.

I find the best way to overcome the shopaholic in me is to appreciate the things I already own. It's amazing how much my makeup collection has grown since I started back in 2009. Recently I reorganized and changed how I store my makeup, skincare, and hair products. I'll show pictures of everything in another post, but for now I will only focus on how much my makeup collection has grown throughout the years.

2009

2010

2011

2012
Have you sat down with your things and appreciated them? It was hard for me to do so with my old makeup setup. Now I finally have the makeup drawer I've always wanted to have and can stop envying others with this kind of setup haha. Hopefully now I can play around with my makeup more.


Tonight at 8:30 is Earth Hour. Will you be participating?

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato

Thursday, March 29, 2012

4.44 RECIPE: Shiitake Red Pepper Soup


Today I share a personal recipe of mine that has been adapted from a couple Korean recipes. By no means am I claiming that this is an authentic Korean dish in any way. It is imperative that you use the precise amount indicated the first time you attempt to make it so that you're familiar with how it should taste. There's quite a few ingredients needed, but I promise you it'll all be worth it.

Ingredients:

3 cups     Water
1 Slice     Dashima (Dried Kelp)
1 tbsp      Red Pepper Paste
1 tbsp      Soybean Paste
1/2 tbsp   Red Pepper Powder
1/2 tbsp   Light Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp   Mushroom Seasoning
1 tsp        Sesame Oil
1/2 tbsp   Minced Garlic
5-6          Dried Shiitake Mushroom
1 tbsp      Soy Sauce
1 tsp        Sugar
Pinch       Black Pepper
1/2          Onion
1             Korean Hot Green Pepper
1 pack     Firm Tofu
1             Green Onion (garnish- optional)

Method:

To prepare the soup base, you will first need a slice of dashima (dried kelp).

Place the slice of dashima in a pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, pour hot boiling water over shiitake mushroom to rehydrate them. I hear it's best to rehydrate shiitake mushrooms with cold water overnight in the fridge because it brings out the good flavours of the mushrooms. The water the mushrooms sit in can also be used as a dashi soup stock.

After the mushrooms plump up and gets soft, drain the water (preserve it if you like) and chop into pieces.

Next, get a small pan and set heat to high. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic. Let the garlic sizzle in the oil a little bit to bring out the flavour. Just before the garlic starts to brown, add the chopped shiitake mushroom pieces and mix to coat with the oil and garlic.

Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of sugar, and a pinch of black pepper. Mix together and let fry until mushrooms gain a little colour from frying and the soy sauce.

In the meantime, fetch the dashima out of the water, slice into pieces, and throw it back into the water. 

By now the mushrooms are probably done frying so you can take it off the heat.

Back to the soup base, add 1 tbsp of red pepper paste, 1 tbsp of soybean paste (red or white is fine), and 1/2 tbsp of red pepper powder to the water. Mix well.

Add the fried shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 a chopped onion. Season the soup base more with 1/2 tbsp of light soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp of mushroom seasoning.

Add the sliced firm tofu and one chopped Korean pepper- these are both optional. Garnish with a little green onion if you'd like too. Simmer for a few minutes until tofu is cooked, and you're done!

I make this all the time because it's so yummy. I hope you enjoyed this personal recipe of mine. Please let me know how you like it in the comments. Until next time.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

4.43 RECIPE: Easy Miso Soup


First day of Spring! Today I thought I would share a more basic and simple soup before sharing my Korean inspired spicy soup. Miso soup is "a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called 'dashi' into which softened miso paste is mixed." There are several different (and more authentic) methods to make miso soup, but in this post I share with you one of the more easier ways to make it.

Ingredients:

2 tsp        Dashi Granules
4 cups     Water
3 tbsp      Miso Paste
1 pkg       Tofu (medium firm)
1             Green Onion

Method:

Prepare the soup base by mixing in 2 tsp of dashi into 4 cups of water in a pot on medium-high heat.

Add 1 tbsp of dried wakame and let it come to a boil. (I forgot to add wakame during one of the times I took pictures for this recipe, the end result picture has it though).

Once it comes to a boil, turn heat down to medium.

Add 3 tbsp of miso paste. Either the red type or white type is fine (again, please don't be confused why you don't see any wakame, there is supposed to be).

Once the miso paste is completely mixed into the soup base, add the tofu- chop it in cubes, the size of cubes is up to you).

Add 1 sprig of onion. You can dice it or chop it into 1/2 inch pieces. 

Simmer soup until tofu is nicely cooked and all ingredients are incorporated. Enjoy!

Be sure to let me know if you guys like these recipe posts.

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/miso-soup/detail.aspx

"Logic will take you from point a to b. Imagination will take you everywhere." -Albert Einstein