Friday, November 14, 2014

No Maple Syrup? Try Peaches and Cream French Toast

No Maple Syrup?  Whether you have run out or can't find it where you live like me, this recipe is the perfect solution.      Now I keep frozen and canned fruit around the house.  Korea or America- I always got some fruit laying around.

In addition, this is a great way to get fruit and protein (yogurt) into your kids...I mean husband.                                                                                                                         It is simple.                                                                Just make french toast the normal way you do and add this sauce!!
What you need
  • French Toast
  •  1 can or 1 cup of frozen peaches
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of sweetener- I like brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam (you can use another kind)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Greek Yogurt- use this to top
What you do
  1. Melt the butter in a pan small sauce pan
  2. Stir in the strawberry jam, cinnnamon and sweetener.
  3. If you use frozen peaches, defrost them first. If you use canned peaches, drain them first. Put the peaches in the pan and thoroughly coat with the sauce.
  4. When the peaches are warmed threw, pour the  peaches and sauce onto the french toast.
  5. Top with Greek Yogurt!
  6. If you top with extra cinnamon.
TA-DA- Now  you have a great substitute for maple syrup that has servings of fruit AND protein from the Greek yogurt.                                                                                                                       I made this for my husband last weekend.  He LOVED  it!!!  He especially liked the extra protein in the Greek yogurt.  He made me promise to write this recipe up on the blog.  So, this is recipe is  a Husband approved/obsessed!!!!!!!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chia Seeds- Add a little crunch and Omega 3 to your Protein Balls

One of the downside sides of living as an expat, is people  come and go a lot.  One of my dear friends, J, finished her year here and was heading home.  So I inherited her kitchen leftover.  One of the things  hidden in her goodie bag was Chia Seeds!!

Of course- I have no idea what to do with them!!!
I.having been reading and hearing about  know Chia Seeds as the NEW Food I should be eating.   Before, I have eaten Chia Seeds in Restaurants.  And I love Chia Tea...But what can I do with them....

I did a ton of research.  You can do a ton of things with Chia Seeds.  You can make pudding.  You can use them as  a substitute for eggs.   For more ideas of what to do with Chia Seeds, check out Wellness Mama's Blog.
                       But for me, Chia Seeds are the perfect topping!!!

Chia Seeds  kinda remind me of sesame seeds.  They don't have a strong taste, but add a nice crunchy texture.  
Basically they are great to throw on salad and  in oatmeal and smoothies.
Or I like to use them to coat
Think of Chia Seeds  like sprinkles with Omega 3 and without the sugar.   Who knows, maybe soon  I will not be needing to take my HUGE Omega 3 pills.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Protein Peanut Butter Balls Part 2- PB and J Protein Balls

One of my husband's favorite snacks and one of my most popular blog posts,  is Protein Peanut Butter Balls.  I love making them....BUT in Korea honey is EXPENSIVE!!!!!!  Like very very very expensive and that is for the cheap not great kind.   So I have been playing around with good substitutes for honey.

Strawberry JamAnd I think I found my solution and a way to offer the Hubby a new flavor of protein balls
Now this doesn't work with Jelly.  And I have a strong preference to Jams with bits of fruit in them.

  1. It is WAY easier to mix then the Honey
  2. It changes the Protein Balls flavor from  Peanut Butter to PB and J
  3. The chunks of fruit add texture to the balls!!
  4. Jam adds vitamins and fiber.  
Another things I changed was the Oat Bran-


  • 2 Tbsps of Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsps of Protein Powder-a little extra may be used to roll the balls
  • 2 Tbsps of Oats/Oat  Bran-I like to use whole oats to give these balls more texture..BUT it doesn't matter
  • 2 Tbsps of Jam- I prefer Strawberry

  1. Mix all the ingredient together in a bowl
  2. Coat hands with protein powder- This will help decrease stickiness
  3. Divide dough into 8 sections
  4. Take the first section and roll it into a ball
  5. OPTIONAL- coat with protein powder or chia seeds
  6. Repeat untill you have 8 balls
  7. When finished, refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.
I have tried this recipe with Grape, blueberry and Strawberry Jam.  The Hubby has loved them all!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Protein Peanut Butter Gluten Free Squares that DONT't suck

As I have mentioned probably too often, my hubby is a bit of a weights guy.  He likes to lift.  Then eat tons and tons and tons of protein.
My body taps out at one store bought protein bar....two and my tummy shows it's unhappiness.So-  I like to incorporate other high protein things into my diet. (PS-I am looking to be toned not ripped like the Hubby) This is why I like the protein cookie dough yogurt thing.

Anyways, I spend time researching new ideas and tricks.  And I came across a gluten free brownie recipe on   Run Eat Repeat's blog.
There was just one problem....I totally did not taste like a brownie when I made it....NOT even close.  It tasted like an awesome peanut butter square.  Not to sweet...more like a sweet bread.  This is perfect for lovers of banana bread and zucchini bread.  People who like not to sweet things!!And the Hubby  LOVED IT!!!!  I am so scoring lots of wifey points for making these!!!

Now before you ask...the protein powder I used was from America.  So this is not a Korean protein powder issue.  I tried another type of protein powder (this one from Korea) with no luck.  So I decided to stop making brownies and make Peanut Butter Squares.

RECIPEWhat you need:3/4 cup chocolate protein powder1/3 cup of white sugar or splenda or whatever1/3 cup of brown sugar or natural sugar1/2 cup creamy peanut butter1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt2 eggs1/2- 3/4 cup almond milk 1/2 tsp vanilla

What to Do:
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix Peanut Butter with Sugars.--if it is winter, you may want to microwave the peanut butter for 15 seconds to make it easier to work with
  3. Add eggs, vanilla and almond milk.-- Now if your batter seems thicken then a cake batter add in more almond milk.  If not continue
  4. Mix protein powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Combine.
  5. Grease the baking pan you intend to use
  6. Baking for 30 or until it sets.
  7. Let rest/ hide from hungry hands
  8. Then cut into squares and put in plastic bags or contains.
This makes a great on the go breakfast or after gym snack!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

If Somewhat Gourmet could eat anything......

If money was no object.....
If time was not limited.........
If you had no barriers...................
                                           What would your dream meal be???
I am I have two!!!

First  The Restaurant-
Many moons ago, when I lived in America  I wrote a blog about the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  Since then,  I have been to Tokyo.  I have seen the world famous Tuna auction.  I have eaten
at the Tsukiji Fish Market.  I have eaten at a Sushi Train (convener belt sushi).  A quick stand and order sushi restaurant.  I have had some of the best and worst sushi in my life on my trip to Tokyo but I did not visit Sukiyabashi or one of Jiro's apprentices' restaurants.
But it is EXPENSIVE like $300 per person!!!  Though Anthony Bourdain swears it is worth it!!

The good news is at both his younger son and apprentice's restaurant there is an sou chef  who will translate the courses for you. This is important because I have not learned Japanese since I moved to Korea. However, I am not one to run away when there is a language barrier (  I can gesture with the best of them!!!).  So I would gladly eat at any of the restaurants.

These restaurants are not the places you order at.  There is a set price  per person.  You order your drinks.  And then the chef serves you an amazing 15-20 course meal of sushi.  I know this sounds absurd but....each course is really only a  piece or two  of beautifully thought out meticulously crafted nigri.  I mean the octopus is massaged for hours and hours so it will be tender enough to eat.  This is a place where preparing fish is an art form... One, I would  love to experience.

Second- The home/market/live abroad again
I have this fantasy.  Maybe it is a by product of  watching the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, but I want to go to Tuscany for like a month and learn to cook real Italian.  I want to go to the markets.  I want to con an Italian mom ( we all know mom's cooking is the best) into letting me come into her kitchen and learning teach me how to cook.  I have taken cooking classes in Korean and Spain from amazing cooking schools.  But in Italy, I want to go to someone's home.

That is the problem...  Not understanding the language when you eat at a restaurant is confusing.  You may order the wrong thing.  But it is manageable and an adventure.  However, go to someone's
house who you don't speak the same language as and learning to cook.....That is way HARDER.
So for that...I will need help...A LOT of help.  I know NO Italian!!!  So I would definitely need a  translation software.  Google or  free translation apps work in a pinch.  BUT they don't give exact translations(Please don't get me started on the issues of translating between English and MOST Asian languages).  So for a place I want to spend time in, buying a good translator is a MUST.

Over the course of writing this blog and stopping and writing this blog and stopping and writing and stopping again, I have traveled to 9 countries and moved abroad.  I have experiences the good, the bad and the ugly of culinary experiences.  But, I am not done!!!  So making one or both of my culinary dreams come true...

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 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 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

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
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