Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dinner at Gina's

When you're a foodie and wino, your friends tend to be foodies and winos as well and when you have classically trained ex-chefs in your regular group? Well then, it's paradise for us who aren't.

Gina invited us over for dinner on a Friday night.

Beautiful table setting.

Her homemade olive tapenade with sliced baguette.

Yummy! (Gina sells her tapenade by the jar and it's worth every bit.)

Homemade (again) candied walnuts and cheese.

Spinach salad with those walnuts and cheese.

Tomato and mozzarella salad.

Pasta! Gina was griping that it wasn't al dente, but we really didn't care.

Medium rare steak with greens on the side.

We couldn't stop stuffing ourselves. This time it's hummus with bread.

Probably because we had several bottles of wine that night, including this Bordeaux Blanc which hit the spot.

Dessert! A selection of pies and cakes that SH brought over.

And because a homemade meal can't end without a Korean dish, Gina whipped up some bindaetteok...

...and some kimchi jjigae.

Gah, everything was delicious and we were stuffed to our gills. Many thanks to Gina, we heart you! <3

P.S. Gina sells her homemade tapenade and candied walnuts in several different sizes. If you're interested please let me know and I'll pass on the information to her. (Not posting her email because evil spambots lurk on the interwebs.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Back to real life

Mum's seafood tteok manduguk

The Seollal holidays have passed and gone yet my body is still stuck in holiday lethargy. My brain, on the other hand, is overcompensating for the hours it was underused so consequently the mismatch between mind and matter is stressing me out to no end. I need a holiday from the holidays, how typical.

What I've been up to:

Family New Year lunch with tteokmanduguk and banchan. Mum mixes up the tteokguk recipe every year, but it always has some sort of seafood in it.

The chardonnay we had with the meal was strong enough to hold its own with the Korean flavors. Strong but not overpowering, creamy, fruity, not too oaked. Nice balance.

Cold spell relented a bit, but the snow hadn't yet melted on the sidewalks of Cheonggyecheon.

Went to Gwangjang market again to get some delicious street food. I really wanted some soju but it was during the day and I had another appointment that evening so no soju that day.

Also dropped by the W Hotel and lounged about with double espresso and chocolate.

And watched the frozen Han River from the windows.

There were also lots of wine dinners, reading in bed (Umberto Eco was my companion for the past couple of weeks), wasting time on the interwebs, and watching holiday programs featuring K-pop idols.
I think I'll fully recover by this weekend and be back to my regular energizer bunny mode. Perfect for this rabbit year.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rabbit, Rabbit

Hite beer promotion display for the Year of the Rabbit

Remember the saying, "Chase two rabbits, catch none"? Well, do I really have to mention how ancient history that is? In this day and age of multi-everything, you can't do anything without chasing two (or even more) rabbits at once. Of course, you need to have the goods and skills to catch 'em, but that's totally something you can work on.
It's the Seollal (Lunar New Year) holidays. The year of the rabbit is officially starting so I'm also officially stating that I'll be catching as many rabbits as possible this year.

One of the things I'll be doing : adding my voice to's official blog. I'll be posting more informational content about Seoul and Korea over there, while this blog will get a tad more personal by and by.

The Korea Blog

Have a very Happy Seollal, wherever in the world you may be.
May good fortune always grace your life .