Category: Vegetarian

Hickory Smoked Grape Focaccia with Rosemary

Hickory Smoked Grape Focaccia with Rosemary

Do you ever feel like you’re just waiting? Waiting for that ‘perfect’ something, or someone (in some cases)? I find myself saying, “I can’t wait until…” or “I’ll be happy when…” a lot. Often times, the larger of these statements are boggled by some kind of grandiose expectation that meeting a specific event, experience, or even person could be the cure-all to my problems, the pivotal moment in which life magically gets better.
Hickory Smoked Grape Focaccia with RosemaryFor the longest time, judge me not, my statement of choice was, “I can’t wait until/I’ll be happy when I’m 30.” Actually, to be quite honest, it still is. 30, to me, has always seemed like the perfect number or age for life to fall into its rightful place. That is, the age at which I’ve presumed I’d have a stable and satisfying career, marriage (perhaps), savings account, and so on, and so forth. Essentially, the age at which I’d have it all together…or, so I’d like to think.

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Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

I’ve been feeling really lazy lately. The other day, after lunch, the boyfriend and I drove home and I found myself suddenly lying back in bed where I had just been hours before. Even though it was only 3:00 o’clock on a Saturday. That made me feel really old for some reason. I mean, shouldn’t I be outside, playing in the sun? I decided to compromise by taking a walk and revisiting my blog for the first time in a while.
And oh, have I missed it so!
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Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

I’ve been feeling really lazy lately. The other day, after lunch, the boyfriend and I drove home and I found myself suddenly lying back in bed where I had just been hours before. Even though it was only 3:00 o’clock on a Saturday. That made me feel really old for some reason. I mean, shouldn’t I be outside, playing in the sun? I decided to compromise by taking a walk and revisiting my blog for the first time in a while.
And oh, have I missed it so!
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Simple Spinach Salad

Simple is always better, or so I’ve heard. So far, this has always proven to be true. Whether it be with fashion, make-up, relationships, or even food, simple is always best. And this beautiful spinach salad is really no exception.
It’s one of those truly simple preparations that reminds me of how good certain things are. Sometimes I forget big, easy salads are worth making. And grape tomatoes? These bright red jewels are perfectly firm and plump with juice that is tart and subtly sweet. Even just balsamic! It’s obviously great with salads – it seriously goes so well with an endless array of things. Things like that. Basic ideas like these get pushed out of my brain from time to time for other intriguing (and somewhat more complicated) ones. And its nice to get reminders.
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Homemade Pizza

Remember the last time you were on a deadline and desperately pressed for time or just way too exhausted from work or life to even remotely consider mustering up the energy to look through the fridge (except to retrieve that last ice-cold beer you saved for yourself behind the carton of milk – oops! sorrry, honey!), let alone make dinner? Remember the last time you picked up your phone just to call your friendly neighborhood pizza place to rescue you rather than calling your significant other to let them know that dinner is ready to be served? I do. In fact, it seems as though it’s all I ever do lately.
I grew up loving pizza. I don’t know anyone who didn’t. It was, in my opinion, a luxurious reward for good behavior. In other words, it was a parent’s laziness or lack of time resulting in a most marvelous treat of a meal for us as kids, and even as adolescents. In most cases, it was the meal succeeding a busy day of fun to which everyone would gather around for a slice or two.

However, instead of having to call for an instant pizza, I can now proudly say that I can make my own – albeit, not quite as conveniently. Pizza is a most wonderful thing. Endlessly versatile, it’s hard for anyone not to love some variation of it. Now, pair that gourmet handmade pizza of yours with a bold glass of wine or better yet, a homemade sangria and this, my friends, is what being a mature adult is all about.
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Shaved Summer Squash Salad

The apartment is still a mess, albeit now deemed “home.”

All I really see are empty cardboard boxes lying around in a not-so-neat pile off to the corner, unopened garbage bags of who-knows-whose kitchenware, and wrinkled articles of clothing strewn over the vast beige carpet floor. It just wouldn’t be appropriate of me to humiliate myself  (or my wonderful roommates) by publicly displaying photos of our self-inflicted, at-home chaos. At least, not yet. I do, however, have photos of my first meal cooked within my new kitchen! Despite the literal, physical clutter and mental, emotional disarray, I felt my first surge of untarnished happiness and elation. With the counter top cleaned and most of my ingredients mise en place, I stationed myself in front of the cutting board, knife in hand, to chop my first onion, making my eyes water. Though I don’t normally find onion-chopping nor tear-jerking moments (of any sort) very pleasurable, I embraced it joyfully. In that moment, being blinded by the streaming tears that stung my eyes was the most comfort I felt in days, weeks even. With all the changes any move brings, this one in particular held so many implications for me: a deepened sense of independence that I hold yet consistently yearn for, a reunion of old friends, new friends, and past roommates, and the often times heart-wrenching process of letting go to move on, to grow.

And to think, all this from one onion, eh? Continue reading

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

There’s something I find intoxicating about tomatoes in the summer. They’re supple, juicy, tender, vibrant, crisp, and everything a tomato should be. I’ve loved tomatoes for as long as I can remember. I adore them in sliced form, sweetly sandwiched between deli meats and cheeses, all bundled together within two layers of fresh bread. I rejoice in finding them within salads, nestled between the smooth and subtle ridges of iceberg lettuce. You’ll never see me resist from having a really hearty tomato soup or sauce. And you can bet that on a cool, but sunny summer day, a wonderfully roasted tomato bruschetta (with all its warm yet refreshing flavors) is something I pine for.
Especially when this summer day involves a whole lot of moving around! My previous roommate and I have decided once again that we belong under the same roof. In fact, we’ve also come to the conclusion that another coworker/friend was destined to live with us, too. So, amidst all the apartment-hunting, box-packing, and furniture-shopping, having a piece of crusty french bread topped with a savory tomato, basil, garlic, and parmesan bruschetta is the perfect breath of fresh air. Not to mention, so is the view from our gorgeous apartment. Pictures coming soon!
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Kimchi Quesadillas & sesame-gochujang sour cream

Under the never-ending list of Things I Absolutely Have to Make (or have already made) and (need to) Blog About (including my favorite go-to Korean staple, kimchi jjigae/stew, which has been requested by several & is soon to come), there is the kimchi quesadilla, which I have finally gotten around to making. It may sound a little strange initially, but trust me, the pairing of kimchi with cheese is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, growing up in Korea, this was a prevalent and beloved conjunction of contrasting flavors and textures: tart, spicy, briny, and crunchy with buttery, nutty, oozy, and melted; a serious match made in culinary heaven.
However, it wasn’t until last summer when I visited L.A. amidst the Kogi Truck craze, that I had the opportunity to try one of these insanely good, savory treats. I was immediately blown away at first bite. As I’ve experienced re-creating this quesadilla with my own artistic flare, I’ve consistently found myself wondering: why has this concept not been popularized sooner? I mean, everybody loves quick and easy finger-food, especially when it goes hand-in-hand with an ice-cold Corona and lime, right?
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