I am Consistently Inconsistent!

Am I good at inconsistency or what?

So… I seem to be doing really well at keeping this blog updated, eh? Consistently inconsistent is definitely what I am!

Life has been very busy lately, even with the break that COVID provided. Blogging hasn’t been the highest of priorities for me I’m afraid. However, there has been a lot of cooking… hundreds of food pictures… so who knows, maybe I will start updating regularly and get you all caught up! 🙂 For now, I will just sneak a few teaser photos in amongst the post!

The little free time I have had over the past few months has been spent cooking Korean food and learning Hangul, (Korean language). At this point, I don’t think there has been a Korean dish that we have tried that I did not like. The other day my husband asked me what my favorite Korean dish is; I honestly couldn’t give him an answer. I’d say fried chicken but then think about tteokbokki. Or then I would remember hotteok… there are just too many delicious dishes in Korean cooking!

Kim-Pi-Tang

And then I forgot about this post…

Believe it or not, I wrote those first few paragraphs over three months ago and never finished the post… my inconsistency strikes yet again!

Some major life changes have taken place since those first few paragraphs were written. Just a few weeks ago my church voted me in as the Pastor of Children and Family Outreach. I am officially a pastor… insert shocked emoji face here!

In all honesty, not a lot will change in the work that I have been doing for the church. I was volunteering between 10-20 hours a week, more in the summer around Vacation Bible School time. The difference is that now 5 of those hours will be paid! And also, the encouragement that comes from my congregation realizing the value in having a paid person in the position. It is awesome to know that they value the children’s ministry… and family ministry… enough to step out in faith and create this position. Even more so given the current times and being in a global pandemic. I hope that I will live up to their expectations and that God will bless the ministry of our church in our community and beyond!

Tonkatsu

That’s really all of the updates I have right now. Hopefully, I will resume a more regular posting schedule… for all of you who read this blog! 😛 Maybe 2021 is the year I will become less consistently inconsistent!

In the meantime, check out my previous cooking posts here. If you want to keep up with what is going on at our church, check out our website here.

Mochi Ice Cream and Other Sweets!

Mochi Ice Cream

The Asian home-cooking adventure continues with some tasty Japanese sweets, like this Mint Chocolate Chip Mochi Ice Cream. Have you ever attempted to make Mochi? It’s easier than you might think.

Mochi Ice Cream
Mint-Chocolate Chip Mochi Ice Cream

As I mentioned in my previous post, I find my Japanese recipes at Just One Cookbook. Nami’s recipes are easy to follow and so delicious! Mochi ice cream is not the easiest of her recipes, but it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. The hardest part is wrapping the ice cream with the mochi and figuring out the motion to seal the mochi around it. Nami provides helpful videos on her YouTube which you can find here.

To say the family enjoyed this mochi is a bit of an understatement! It was gone by the end of the day and the kids were begging me to make more. (Hubby may have been as well!) I haven’t made it again since, but I do look forward to trying different flavors in the near future. You can easily customize this recipe by swapping out the ice cream for your favorite flavor!

Mochi Ice Cream
The inside of the mochi.
Sesame Cupcake

Another tasty treat from this website is the Sesame Cupcake. It is not what you would expect from a cupcake. The flavor is more savory than sweet. The frosting is a honey-meringue which is a different kind of sweet from a typical buttercream. I would almost call this more of a frosted muffin than a cupcake.

Sesame Cupcake with Honey-Meringue

The kids didn’t enjoy this one as much as the other, but I thought it was good. This isn’t one that will make the favorites list, but I would make it again! An interesting adventure would be to try the cupcake base with various types of frosting.

Keep an eye out every Monday for more adventures in Asian home-cooking!

Cherry Blossom Cookies – with real blossoms!

My journey into Asian cooking began when I found Just One Cookbook. A recipe website created by Namiko Hirasawa Chen, to share easy (and tasty) Japanese recipes. When I found her recipe for Cherry Blossom cookies, I just had to try it!

I ordered some salted cherry blossoms from Japan since I could not find any locally and to order from Amazon was more expensive than ordering directly from Japan. Obviously it took a bit of time for them to arrive, though not as long as I expected. I think it was just over a week… two weeks at the most.

Cherry Blossom Cookies
Cherry Blossom Cookies! So pretty!

Have you ever tried cherry blossoms? They don’t have a lot of flavor but they smell amazing, and they are so pretty!

These cookies are so beautiful! It’s basically a sugar/shortbread type cookie with a few blossoms ground up in the dough and one blossom on the top. You roll the edges of the dough in sugar crystals… I only had red ones, but it turned out okay.

Cherry Blossom
They are just so pretty!

I highly recommend this recipe, if you don’t mind spending the money and waiting for the blossoms to arrive. It makes a fair amount of cookies… though they didn’t last long in our house!

Follow me to see more of my journey in Asian Home-Cooking!

Asian Home-Cooking – A New Adventure!

I realize it has been… awhile… since I last posted. To be honest I had debated whether or not to continue with the blog. But, here I am! Here to tell you about my newest cooking adventures – Asian Home-Cooking!

How it all started:
Asian home-cooking isn't complete without Ramen.
Starting the journey into Asian cooking!

Back around July 2019, I became increasingly interested in Asian cuisine. It started when I found Just One Cookbook, who offers amazing Japanese recipes (you should definitely check her out!). We have tried so many of her recipes and honestly have yet to find one that we did not enjoy. In the near future you can expect to see many posts of the recipes we have tried, and my family’s thoughts and opinions on them.

From July to about October of 2019 our lives revolved around Japanese cuisine, animes and mangas. Then one day, Mrs. JOC (Just One Cookbook) shared a link to a friend of hers. This friend also posts recipes.

The Jump to Korean
Kimchi - a staple in Korean home-cooking
My first batch of Kimchi

Enter Korean Bapsang, another amazing recipe website, but this time offering Korean home-cooking dishes. I believe I have tried almost every recipe on her website. However, being a big goofball, I didn’t photograph all of the dishes I made. But don’t panic… I did get pictures of a lot of them so you can look forward to those posts in the future as well.

It was also around this time that I started listening to… BTS, (huge K-Pop boy band for those who don’t know), and became slightly obsessed with all things Korean. It also happens that at one of the universities I am attending for my Master’s degree, there are a few Korean students. I have had the opportunity to discuss Korean food with them, and one of them has become a super awesome friend! She has told me now that I have made kimchi, which she thinks is better than her own, I am officially Korean! 🙂

Learning New Languages

So, with this new obsession with Asian culture and cuisine… I have decided that on top of my ridiculously busy schedule, I am going to learn Japanese and Korean. For learning these languages I have been using Duolingo and am on a 54-day streak in Korean! My progress hasn’t been great, other than being able to read the Hangul alphabet and recognizing a few words here and there… but I’m having fun!

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as I post more about the Asian home-cooking recipes we’ve tried and our thoughts on them. Also, I have been getting some Tokyo Treat boxes, so I may also do a review post about those!

You can also check out some of my previous cooking adventures here.

A Masters course, 1st official class IN University

This week marked a monumental occasion in my life. I attended my first in-person Masters level class at a University.

Why am I getting a masters?

I have taken two Masters level courses from another school, and will be taking a few more from them, but the school is across the country. Four-hour time difference. As much as I enjoy that… particular the ‘avoiding-dealing-with-people-face-to-face part’… I thought for some courses it may be best to actually be able to attend the class.

Enter school number two! Currently I am enrolled as a No-Program student, so I’m not currently working toward a degree, which allows me to finish the courses I was hoping to obtain from the first school. So, on Tuesday, I attended my first class. Intro to Christian History.

It went well… though I left feeling like the dumbest person in the class. My base knowledge on the subject is nowhere near the other students’. This is stressing me out a bit. Especially since the homework went right over my head. I’m the kind of person who puts so much pressure on myself to keep my grades as high as possible. In high school anything less than 85% was a fail and the end of the world. I think I will have to let that go for this course, and just be happy if I manage to pass!

This mess...masters life

We will have to see what happens, but at this point, I do not have high expectations. It doesn’t bode well for continuing in a Master of Divinity but I will give it my best shot! For those who know me, don’t be shocked if you see me walking around with zombie-eyes and randomly crying for no reason! 😉

hyperventilate Masters
This will be me until April! :S

PLEASE PRAY FOR ME!!!!!!! Pray that I survive this semester and that I do not lose my temper with the kids because I am stressed about my schoolwork.

How do you handle academic stress and feelings of inadequacy?

Goals or Resolutions? Which do you prefer?

Resolutions

Are you one of those people who starts a new year off with a long list of resolutions? Or do you set one or two achievable resolutions? Perhaps you don’t bother with resolutions at all. Maybe you just have goals that remain the same throughout the years.

Don’t follow Resolutions Meme - Goals

What do I do?

I am typically one of the first type – the one who creates a long list of resolutions. Usually the same as the ones I set the year before… and failed miserably at.

Resolutions are not to be kept, Goals are

This year I’ve decided to put more thought into my New Year’s resolutions. The hope being that I may actually accomplish something. No more resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, etc, etc. Those are still great goals for the year and ones that I will continue to work hard at. But instead of feeling like a failure because I resolved to change and then didn’t, I will set resolutions that are more achievable. My hope is that this will provide a greater sense of accomplishment.

Explain resolutions/goals

My Goals and Resolutions

So, what are my resolutions for 2019? I have two really: 1. Work hard to serve God with all of my heart in the calling he has placed on me, to the best of my ability. 2. No more dying my hair. I resolve to work at accepting the grey/silver streaks and not base my beauty or self-worth on how many others can see.

I will still plan to eat healthier and exercise more; as is my goal at all times. I will also try to spend less time sitting and doing unproductive things like playing Angry Birds 2 for hours on my tablet. But I will not list these as resolutions to be crossed off a list. I suppose the two resolutions I have listed are not really ‘cross of the list’ items either. They are where I want my focus to be this year.

What resolutions or goals have you set for yourself for 2019? Share some in the comments!

A new adventure, a new focus

Once again, I will be making some changes to this poor old blog of mine.

My focus in life has shifted and therefore the focus of this blog will be shifting as well. I will still leave room here for our adventures in homeschooling and crafting, but now the main focus of my writing will be on my ministry journey. I will be writing about my work in the church (Children’s Ministry in particular), my journey toward a Master’s degree, and the journey to ordination. Yes, that’s right. I have decided to become an ordained pastor… well… that’s the plan right now at least.

Follow along with me as I work through school, ministering, and maintaining my sanity in the process!

Baking up a storm!

Life has been a bit hectic lately, but that hasn’t stopped me from baking up quite the storm. It doesn’t help that I’ve fallen in love with the Great British Bake-off. Whenever I see someone making delicious food on tv, it always gets me excited to be in the kitchen. Hubby enjoys this, at least at first. After multiple sweet treats in a row… he may wish I’d stop watching such shows!

Baking Pies:

First I went through a pie making craze.

apple tart
Old fashioned apple tart.

Blueberry Pie
Blueberry Pie

Apple Pie
British Apple Pie (Less sugar, no spices)

I used a British style pastry, which was so much easier to work with! It allowed me to practice some of my pie decorating without having to worry about it crumbling on me.

At our church, we do a monthly seniors luncheon. Well, this past month the lady who usually runs it was away and the lady who usually makes the desserts was terribly sick. I volunteered to make the pies since I was in this pie-making craze. I made 8 pies, 4 different kinds. Coconut cream, Apple, Custard, and Pecan. I’m told they turned out well.

Tasty Pies
A few of the pies.

BAKING OTHER THAN PIES:

I also made some blueberry muffins, pesto biscuits, and chocolate eclairs during this time. These were purely selfish bakes! 😊 I’ve tried a few different scone recipes as well, but don’t have pictures. Our favorite is a Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Scone. The Eclairs went over quite well with hubby. We may have eaten all twelve within 4 or 5 hours.

Baking
Blueberry muffins

Baking
Pesto Scones

baking
Eclairs!

The baking has settled down a bit… mostly due to an increase in my weight! But I still have a few more treats I want to try out. I just need to find some people willing to eat a few so that hubby and I don’t eat them all.

Volunteers?

Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Are you looking at the title and thinking, “say what? Cauliflower on a grilled cheese?” That was my initial thought when I read the recipe in our weekly eMeals plan. However, it turned out to be delicious.

We’ve used eMeals in the past but had taken a break from it. A month or so ago we discovered that they had Vegan and Vegetarian plans so we thought we would give it another go. The recipes have been tasty, though none can hold a candle to the recipes from Oh She Glows.

For our supper tonight we had the Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Roasted Brussell Sprouts with Carrots and Mushrooms.

Cauliflower ready to roast roasting veggies

Our Review:

Hubby and I greatly enjoyed all of it, except maybe the mushrooms, and the kids really liked the grilled cheese and the carrots. None of the kids were really into the Brussell sprouts, go figure. The grilled cheese is supposed to have some arugula on with the cheese and roasted cauliflower. I figured it best to omit that from the ones I made for the kids, knowing full well they wouldn’t eat it.

To be honest, I was surprised they ate the grilled cheese at all since it was made with Gouda and had the cauliflower on it. All three of them ate their whole sandwich.

Of course, the lure of ice cream for dessert may have played into that as well!

 

Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

 

What have you been cooking this week?

French Macarons

Have you ever attempted French Macarons? Or tried one? They are ridiculously delicious! This is another one of the desserts I learned to make from one of the Craftsy courses.

My husband absolutely loves them. So today I decided to whip up a batch and surprise him.

Of course, I had some help!

First, Lil Miss and I weighed out all of our ingredients. This is a recipe that can go very wrong if you don’t weigh everything accurately, and sometimes even when you do! 😳

Next, we layered our icing sugar and almond meal in the food processor and pulsed it until blended.

Up until this point, Mr. Moo had been napping. Of course, once he woke up he had to help too. My mother-in-law got this adorable Cars apron and chefs hat for him because he is obsessed with vehicles and cooking!

Next, we whipped our egg whites and cream of tartar until it resembled foam and there were no liquid eggs. Then we rained in our sugar slowly.

It takes quite a while to get this beat to stiff peaks. The kiddos started to lose interest around this point. Which was really for the best.

After the meringue is whipped it’s time to gradually fold in the almond meal/icing sugar mixture. In the course, you are taught to do this in three increments using a J-fold. Then comes painting the mix up the sides of the bowl a few times until it slowly slides down the sides.

Pop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe your circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Typically I use a template under my parchment, but today I freehanded it.

This next part is fun! Slam the pan on the counter six times, then punch the underside twice on each end. Then let the pans sit for a minimum of 15 minutes to dry a bit before baking at 330F for 11-13 minutes. The first picture is what they should look like, with a few that cracked or went a little wonky. The second shows when something has gone wrong. Not sure what happened to those ones today, but they still taste good! 😊

The Macarons need to cool 10 minutes on the tray before being moved to a cooling rack. While they cool you can make your filling. I’ve done a rosewater buttercream, salted caramel, and others but today we went for a simple chocolate buttercream. You just pipe some on a cooled shell, and top with a shell of similar size. Here’s our finished macaron.

They were enjoyed by all!

Want to try a Craftsy Baking course? Check them out here. Online Baking Classes