Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Randall's Narration of the Honey Badger: Enjoy!

Thank-you, Rene my friend! I love this!

Vlog Day#2 Thrift Store Finds

This one is called Hard-off. It has a chain-store called book-off. I think it means that there is money-off, however, these words are ambiguous enough to be construed in multiple ways. Also, enjoy my fridge. My friend knows much more about these things and, if the bottom drawer does not freeze the items, perhaps it is to be used for vegetables. Japanese people consume a lot of them so I would believe that's what such a big compartment could be used for... but I'm not sure yet. If a Japanese friend comes over I will ask them. :D

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Appetizer: Boiled Lotus Root Gazpacho Salad

Sorry... another lotus root recipe! But it's the season!


It worked out pretty well as a meal too

Boiled Lotus Root Gazpacho Salad:

(1) Prepare Lotus Root: Wash, peel, clean, and slice thin, about 2 mm thick. Boil enough water to boil the root in, add the pieces, and once it boils again boil for about 1 min or until the root is of desired hardness. Add dressing ingredients while it is warm, after straining. (3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/3 tsp salt, pepper to taste)

(2) Chop: cucumber (1), tomato (1), onion (1/4), and sashimi grade fish (tuna or salmon work well), and minced parsley (1-2 tsp), toss with 3 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve mixture over the root salad.

Thank you Orenji Peeji (オレンジページ2011 10/2)

About Lotus Root

Lotus root is the root of the popular lotus flower and used in a manner of ways: soups, stews, salads, stir fries. The uses are infinite, comparable to potatoes. It is a nutritional superstar, rich in Vitamin B1, B6, as well as choline (which is great for brain function) as well as minerals manganese, magnesium, and potassium. In the store it looks like a dirty potato, nothing like it does when prepared. If you're feeling adventurous, visit your Asian grocer and give this delectable root a try.

They are grown in swampy areas. If the root is covered in dirt it is easy to tell whether it is fresh or not, because the mud will dry after its harvesting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Around My New Home: Japanese Apartment Tour!

I apologize for the figeting. At least vlogging will allow me to critique myself so I can try to make myself a more powerful and less awkward figure! Anyway, enjoy. Maybe I can show more details in the future. It's a beautiful day and I'm heading outside now!

There are lots of goodies at my youtube channel now. I don't know if I'm going to be able to vlog daily, but I'll try to put things up once in a while for the folks at home.

Shrimp and Lotus Root Mayo Salad

Shrimp and Lotus Root Mayo Salad
Renkon (Lotus Root) 1 cut ... 8cm 300g
Onion Stalk (the green part), 1 piece ... 150 g ... 1/2 of a small onion
Shrimp (1 tray)

Salad Oil, Mayonnaise, Salt, Pepper

(1) Prepare the lotus root: Peel, clean, and quarter lengthwise, then cut into 1 cm thick pieces. Wash thoroughly and pat dry. You may also soak the pieces briefly in water with vinegar, wash, and dry. Also cut the onion into 1 cm thick pieces. Dust the faces of the shrimp with starch.

(2) Oil a pan and sautee the shrimp until cooked. Add lotus root and onion, sautee for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp alcohol , cover and steam 2 min. Add 3 tbsp mayo and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Thank you Oreji Peeji! (オレンジページ2011 10/2)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Daikon Steak with Curry Meat Sauce Garnish

Daikon Steak with Curry Meat Sauce Garnish

This was served over daikon shoots. So it's kind of oya-ko daikon steak :D
Parent and child on a plate together ;)

Daikon Steak in Curry Sauce
Daikon (large) ... 8cm 300g
Ground Pork ... 150 g
Minced Onion ... 1/2 of a small onion
Watercress (or sprout, salad vegetable) ... As Desired for Garnish or Crunch

Salad Oil, Tomato Ketchup Salt Soy Sauce

(1) Oil a pan 2 tbsp. cooking oil, med. heat, sprinkle with salt, make incisions to speed cooking in hatched pattern and grill on both sides until the daikon is nicely browned. Then cover and simmer for 5 min or until daikon is of desired hardness.

(2) Set daikon on serving plate with watercress garnish (or sprouts, or salad vegetables)

(3) In the same frypain, sautee minced onions 3 min. Add ground meat or Tofu (and minced potatoes or carrots optional) When they are finished, add curry powder and 1/2 cup water. Simmer with a dash of ketchup and soy sauce. Cover, simmer 5-6 min, allow to thicken. Also delicious with some milk or soy milk or other milk substitute added.

(4) Pour sauce over daikon and serve.

Thank you Oreji Peeji! (オレンジページ2011 10/2)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Things to Enjoy in Korea: Adult Playground Toys

Children's Park

The Children's Portion: Freaking Adorable!

Description of my Favorite Machine

My Favorite Air-Walker Machine For Opening the Hips

Max on Crappy Exercise Bike... and this Booby Rotating Device!

Don't take this the wrong way boys and girls!

I was surprised that in my neighborhood in Korea the apartments have not just playgrounds with the regular swings and teeter-totters that are normal in the US, but also recreational exercise equiment for adults. I very much enjoyed the air-walker as much as anyone on an infomercial. I gotta warn you... the exercise bikes have no resistance and neither do the elipticals, so you may need to buy an affordable gym membership at city hall anyway.

And then they have fitness machines you have never seen in the US. It surprises me because the people around the area have big enough apartments to have these items in their houses, but considering the population density its not that easy to jog or bicycle. so these machines seem to fulfill the need. Or you can just walk through the manicured grounds of the apartments. Regardless, enjoying a Korean all-age playground should be on your list of things to do. I can't say anything for downtown Seoul, but in this country-suburb of Suji-Yong-in, the parks were quite enjoyable.

My area also had a baby chick mural, which made me happy :D

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Travel Oregon: Mathieu Lakes Region, Dee Wright Observatory

My Dad and "Three Fingered Jack" in the Distance

Stairs at Dee Wright Observatory, Scenic Byway Hwy 242, Oregon
Life is Found Even in This Environment

One of Oregon's Many Mountains. There are plaques with names and windows facing the mountains in the Observatory

Max Dramatic in Oregon, One Year Ago
Observatory Assembled of Weathered Volcanic Rock

This area is located on Highway 242, 15 miles west of Sister's Oregon.

You can only visit this place between late July through September. The highway opened up really late this year due record snowfall. They decided they would have to just wait for the snow to melt because the plows just couldn't get through it! (So I couldn't go on my camping trip I took just before leaving Oregon)

There are spectacular views, and the Willamette forest on the side of the mountains on the McKenzie Valley to Eugene has some of the richest, cleanest, most soothing air you will ever breathe. I miss that place. There are more things to do in the Willamette Valley which I will post pictures of. I was there in fall and the area was spectacular when the colors changed.

For the meantime, enjoy these photos of a surreal environment and the diversity of Oregon's nature. They are all my own, I finally pried them from my camera's internal memory!

I miss my home, but I am on to my next adventure: Living in Japan! (For at least one year!)

For more information about taking an adventure to this area of Oregon, check out this online guide which gives great detail about many adventures Oregon has to offer:

Regal Purple Netting in Purple and Silver

Design: Barbara Klann, Bead and Button Magazine supplement

This 2 drop peyote band stitched up real fast and easy, the netting took a little longer but was intuitive, and can certainly be adapted to any free form design and whatever little goodies and beads from "bead soup" you may want to put in the design. It came out wonderfully and any number of closure techniques would look good. At the Dongdaemun bazaar I found these beautiful white buttons and chose to use them. Buttons are not the most secure method to close a bracelet, but I think this one stands well as an art piece and the buttons will be more long lasting than snaps, which often can have their threads cut through by wear too quickly.

Some other applications:
-Use this design to bead a quick strap (shorter than a band), glue to a firm base, and attach as a hair pin
-Create a head band

Those are some things I would like to use this design for in the future.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Engrish: The Types of Noodles

Click on the Image to ENLARGE
(File Guaranteed Safe)

Make of it What You Will

How do you like your noodles?
Do you like normal the best?
Is a Soft Noodle too Easy to Get Soft in Too Short Time and Become Untasty?
Let me know what you think.

Tongue in cheek, wink wink.


This place was at Oasis 21 in Nagoya.
Should've known in a crowded area not to eat in a restaurant that isn't also, well, crowded.
It was awful.
Even Max the garbage disposal couldn't digest that one.
I made it because I didn't drink the broth, which was oily as all get out.

Things to Enjoy in Korea: The Food (Grilled Meat)

Don't Go Without an Appetite (Or Do Go and Find One)

Customizable, eat it how you want to!
The Leaf is Called a "Sesame Leaf"
It comes from a different plant than the popular "Sesame Seed" Most Know
Why don't we eat it in the U.S.? It's delicious!

Grilling away, no, we don't eat like this everyday.
This place sells premium beef so it's more expensive.

Grilled meat, Barbecue Meets the Table, This is Common for Grilled Meat Restaurants

My hubby, Teenie Weenie Shirt, and Side Dishes

Close up on Side Dish

Ahh Korean food. For the most part I love it. And I would dare say I enjoy most dishes much more than Japanese food, even. I think it blows Japanese food out of the water on my parameters of carb to protein and vegetable ratio (although traditional Japanese food should be high in veg?). It's savory and satisfying and has tremendous variety, especially at restaurants. Most have their own unique side dishes. I never leave the table hungry if I go to a restaurant. It's also quite affordable compared to the US and Japan.
Even if you can't do spicy there are plenty of options. And if you don't do bland, there is always a spicy option. Fats are paired with enzyme rich fermented foods which help you digest them. I have no complaints for this diet (except I'm a little fruit sensitive, and my insulin resistance makes me really have to cut my portion sizes on the rice)

That being said, vegetarians and vegans may have a hard time eating socially, but there are legume-protein rich foods available as well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cairo Collar

Design: Susan B. Swanson
Published in February/March 2011 Beadwork Magazine

"Cairo Collar"
This one in blue.

It took quite some time to complete. I feel that it could be easily embellished and personalized beyond what you see I completed. But this was a first run and I learned some new techniques. Enjoy.

It was a great design to use up a great mass of seed beads I have in my collection.

Moonstone Bangle

Moonstone Bangle from Mixed Angles and in Mixed Light

This one is a design all my own. Unfortunately, it involves only simple bead stringing.

I have discovered Moonstone and fallen in love. I found some great quality grey moonstone and am incorporating the rounds into bracelets and maybe a necklace. I can make many bracelets but probably only one necklace with what I have left.

Engrish: When it Rains it Dumps

It's Shit Rain!

Hwaseong Palace, Suwon, South Korea

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Things to Enjoy in Korea: Tea Shops

Traditional Tea Shop Interior

There was an appetizer tea, which tastes kind of like Chinese medicine.
The herbs involved are more savory. (left, small cup)

Then there is Jujube Tea , which is supposed to promote youth. It has a nutty berry-like flavor, and the jujube fruit is often referred to as "Chinese Date" (DAECHU)
It is rich in Vitamin A, B6, and B1,2,3 vitamins, and some Minerals
This fruit works itself into a variety of Korean stews, broths, and of course, tea.
Expect pine nuts. My mother in law sweetens this tea with honey.

My other favorite tea is called OMIJA tea.
It's served very sweet and either warm or iced.

Further behind the tea-cups are traditional Korean sweets: rice cake, fried flour sweet soaked in honey (YAKGWA) , and more rice. As my husband is allergic, he can't really touch the stuff.

Lights are dim and the mood is relaxing, although tea places come in a variety of themes. This one is traditional style. Many of the modern places are actually chains and have witty Konglish names like "Angel-in-Us", "Yoger Presso", "Caffe Bene" Herbal Teas and others are usually available.

These pictures came from a very nice outing with a friend from ballet class.


There are usually little places like this in the tourist areas around Seoul (e.g. Insadong). One of them even keeps little finches.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Unicorn Fantasy Necklace

Starting the new month with a new creation!

Unicorn Fantasy Necklace


Detail, Pendant

Pendant: Miyuki Delicas, Swarovski Bicones, and Crystal Rondelles

Detail: Rose Colored Rondelles, Freshwater Pearls, and Handmade Tubular Peyote Beaded Beads