Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween from Korea where there is no Halloween

Korea doesn't  do Halloween.  Well, that isn't true...I mean they know what it is.  And some stores will sell costumes for the kids who go to English private schools.English Private Schools, like the one the Hubby works at, celebrate Halloween.  They do big ALL day events.  And there are a FEW very very very Halloween parties at certain foreign bars( bars arketed or frequented by the foreigner community).  But my friends and I are the only ones who dress up (I won second place in the costume contest last weekend.  Thank you very much for the bottle of Jaeger!! We drank it well)  In the foreign area in Seoul, there is a HUGE costume parade.

BUT keep in mind, I live in a very rich suburb that is known for it's amazing schools.  And Seoul is like New York...it is very international.  With that being typed, most places in Korea do not do Halloween. People know what it is from movies and tv, but they don't celebrate it.

Starbuck's does not have pumpkin lattes or pumpkin flavored coffee here. We can get candy here but if you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Sour Patch Kids, you are SOL.  You can find pumpkin flavored things but that is more traditional foods.  Like pumpkin rice porridge (I love this  and promise to write a blog about this soon), it is a creamy blended soup of rice and pumpkin but it does not make me think of Halloween the way pumpkin shaped sugar cookies do!!!  And some places even decorate...mostly the western restaurants and chain stores.

The leaves are falling...winter is coming...but there is no real Halloween.  No cute kids in costumes running around or scary music playing.  No onslaught of horror movies playing on TV and at the movie theaters.

So what is a lonely American to do??
        
Get together with her friends and dress up!!!  We will get crazy looks!  But that is nothing new.  In a country full of Asian people, the pasty Americans like me STAND out.

WIsh us luck as we bravely venture out in costumes!!! We will probably be the only ones!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

My husband's new obsession-Protein Cookie Dough Yogurt


 Maybe I am the only one, but my body can only handle so much protein powder and supplements a day.  Seriously,  my stomach and dietary track get so upset.  So I have a cap on how much protein products I can handle a day.  However natural protein....my body has no problem with.   While doing research I came across this cookie dough yogurt recipe.
Girl Gone Country- Cookie Dough Yogurt
Now to be frank....this doesn't taste as absolutely fabulously sinful as cookie dough.  I mean I can eat a WHOLE batch of raw cookie dough by myself.  This is more like a yummy peanut butter chocolate chip yogurt.

First thing first- Make sure you are using Greek Yogurt.  Greek yogurt is higher in protein so you will get that extra bump for your muscles.

Next-Don't use sugar or a grainy sweetener.  You need a sweetener in liquid form...otherwise you get a sandy texture.

Third- You can use alternative extract like Almond, Banana, Rum, Coconut, Maple....ect

Last- Change the Chocolate chip to DARK chocolate chips.  This add antioxidants

Ingredients
1 small container of plain Greek yogurt
Heaping 1 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 tbsp sweetener (like maple syrup or honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla of extract of your choice
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
Directions
Combine the Greek Yogurt with the nut butter, sweetener, vanilla, chocolate chips and sea salt. Mix until smooth.
If you are having trouble with the nut butter- it can always be heated for a few seconds in the microwave to make it more malleable.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

I am back----with a Korean Twist!!!



Since I lasted type you,  I moved to South Korea.  At first, it was a crazy insane idea my Hubby had (yup- still married and HAPPY  95% of the time).  Then we stayed.

I now am a Visiting Professor at a major university.  The Hubby...well...he teaches babies. .  We built up a great group of friends.  And have been traveling all over from Japan to Thailand to hopefully Bali for winter break.

My entire world has changed.
  
1.)  I don't speak Korean (Well I am learning and have gotten kinda okay at it).

2.)  It is hard to find things that are common in America.  No Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. anchovies, Sour Patch kids, ranch dressing, Pop Tarts, or protein products.

3.) Pizza here has corn and potatoes...  Basically all food taste a little different.

4.)  Oh and they don't do Ovens.....I use a toaster oven..And most kitchens only have 2 burners!!!!!!!  .Everything takes longer.

Now that I have settled into my new life as an expat professor,  I am finally ready to start my blogging adventures again.

Here begins the new chapter in my life ...Somewhat Gourmet goes Korean

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Buffalo Wild Wings is coming back to Tallahassee

On June 26, 2011, Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3) closed it's doors on Tallahassee.  And now...... well soon, BW3's will be back.  According to my favorite website for new developments in Tallahassee, Urban Tallahassee,  Buffalo Wild Wings submitted a proposal to develop the land next to Magnolia Street and the Governor's Square Mall. Based the lingo in the article, I don't think we are going to get to enjoy some wings from there until 2014.  :(

BUT- Buffalo Wild Wings will be back. Maybe. And with better parking this time!!!My favorite part of BW3's is the trivia. The restaurant chains uses some of their tvs to showcase questions for trivia.  Patrons can play by picking up a controller when ordering.  This was always a fun pass time with the now Hubby and his Dad.



Of course, the wings are AMAZING!!! Fatty but amazing.  With the option of tons of different flavors, like Parmesan garlic, teriyaki, and Asian Zing.

For more about BW3's check out there website here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What to serve with your burger? Asparagus fries of course!

The ultimate question asked across restaurants, home kitchens and BBQ alike, what would you like with your burger?
Well, we all WANT chips or fries....especially Five Guys Burgers and Fries' fries. BUT what should eat is totally different.

Now, I love salads.  I have blogged about them often (Apple and Feta Salad and Zalads at Zaxby's), but I like something crunchy with my burgers. Maybe a little less, healthy....but not as bad for me as my beloved french fries. Kinda like how I made guacamole for my burger sauce instead of using mayo.  And yes- I was weak and added quite a bit of bacon.  But that is why I needed a nice healthy side.

So, I have been experimenting with different things like pairing it with a soup  or a baked potato.  But it is not quite right.  I always end up wanting fries or chips.  Then I found this amazing recipe on Spoon Fork Bacon Blog to make Asparagus fries.  And I thought why not, I always enjoy the fried green beans at TGI Friday's. Plus asparagus is a negative calorie food which means extra low in calories (click here to get the 411 on negative calorie foods).
Sooooo
This recipe ROCKS!!!!!!
The asparagus fries have a nice crunch.
No one even wanted a dipping sauce.  It was insane
Yes- my super picky mother-in-law ate them too!
What you need
I made this with 3 lbs of asparagus but you could scale this back to 1 pound
1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups of panko
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of Cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
A larger container of cooking spray.
A blender
a bowl
a cook sheet covered in aluminium foil


What I did


  1. Wash the asparagus- What?  you never know what germs your veggies pick up on their journey.
  2. Cut or break off the white stems from the asparagus. I choose to leave my asparagus nice and long but you can cut the spears smaller so you have more to serve.
  3. Place the sliced almond in a food processor or blender and puree until meal like.
  4. Mix the almond meal with the panko, garlic, onion and cayenne pepper.
  5. Completely coat a spear of asparagus then dredge through the alomd/panko mixture. When done, place on cooking sheet.  Then repeat process untill all asparagus is done.
  6. sprinkle the extra almond/panko mixture over top the asparagus
  7. Place in the over to bake for 15-20 minutes.  If the fries are not crispy, broil for 3 minutes.


TIPS

  • Use panko- I know it is easy if you have breadcrumbs on hand but the crunch isn't as good.  Trust me.
  • You could use an egg wash instead of the cooking spray.
  • You can serve this dish as an appetizer- just add blue cheese dressing or ranch on the side for dipping.










Saturday, February 2, 2013

The results of eating more negative calorie foods

I hope you all have enjoyed my adventure into Negative Calorie foods!  I have enjoyed coming up with, researching and trying these recipes.

I guess the big question is did it work?  Did substituting some of my meals, side dishes, dessert and snacks with negative calorie foods help me fit into my jeans better?
  Yes
But before I elaborate more, I must type that I have been working out about 5 days a week (either walking, yoga or circuit training).  So, I am exercising. And I am just subbing out foods for negative calorie foods.  Not following the full negative calorie diet.  Oh yes there is a diet. Click here for more information and here too!

Basically my goal, in doing this was to drop a little of the holiday fluffy I picked up.  Not lose 20 lbs.
I wanted my pants to fit better! I still had a few splurges and ate out on occasion.  But when I eat out I skipped the fries for steamed broccoli or got a salad. I added extra pickles on my sandwiches.  I ate a ton of apples and celery as snacks!! I am on the wanted list for killing all those vampires with my garlic breath.

Basically, I ate better than normal and exercised!  So of course this worked! 
Is this going to help you loses 20lbs in 20 days? 
NO
How much did you lose exactly?
5lbs
Will this help you dwindle down your muffin top?
  Yes!!
Could this have worked better if I did the FULL diet with hardcore cardio...ie bootcamp or running?
ABSOLUTELY
Will I do this again?
Totally, especially during bikini season!!
I definitely enjoyed my mini adventure into healthier eating!! And I am excited to rock my skinny jeans this weekend!







Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cucumber Salad- a perfect light sidedish or middle or the night snack!!!!

I love cucumber and pickles.  Plus, they are a negative calorie food.....  So cucumbers are always in my refrigerator, on my lads and available for munching. However sometimes I want more and I do not mean pickles on burgers or cucumbers on a head of lettuce. And when I do, I make this recipe which satisfy that pickle/ cucumber craving without just being pickles or cucumbers.  It also satisfies my sour, salty, savory and crunchy craving too!!!

Now before you start making faces or assuming this is like your grandma's/aunt's/cousin's or whoever's cucumber salad.  You are wrong this is not southern style at all.  Hey-there are no onions in this dish.  Plus, the use of rice wine vinegar makes the taste different then what you find at your favorite comfort food eatery (Hello Lady and Sons).
One of the reason, I like this dish some much is because it is great for snacking on.  But also pairs well at a picnic, with burgers, fish, or on it's own. It is a great and simple pot-luck dish to bring to events like BBQs or work functions.
What you need
2 LONG cucumbers
5 small tomatoes (I used capri's)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup mirin- rice wine vinegar
2 splenda packets
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of Italian Seasoning
1 large plastic container with lid
1 cutting board
1 knife
What I did

  1. Mix the apple cider vinegar, mirin, splenda, and  Italian seasoning in the plastic container.
  2. Peel and smash the cloves of garlic cloves.  Then add to the vinegar mixture in the container
  3. Peel the cucumbers.  Then slice the cucumbers. Thickness matters.  The thinner you slice the cucumbers the quicker they will brine and become pickle like.  So if you want more pickle like cucumbers, slice thinner.  If you would like less acidic and more crunchy cucumbers, slice thicker.  Then add to the vinegar mixture in the container.
  4. Quarter the tomatoes.  Then add to the vinegar mixture in the container
  5. Place lid on top of container and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving/snacking.

TIPS
  1. The longer this salad  sits the more pickle-like the salad will become.
  2. Don't drink the ALL juice....I did and my stomach hated me for quite some time
  3. Do mix this with Feta Cheese and lettuce to create a funky take on a Greek Salad.
  4. Lastly, hide this in the back of the fridge......... (trust me on this)