I made (mimick) dolsot bibimbap today. πŸ™‚Β  Dolsot by the way, means stone pot. Since I don’t have a stone pot, I used an earth pot- something that people often use for Korean soft tofu spicy stew/hot stews.

Actually, this bibimbap I made is for tomorrow. I made it ahead for tomorrow night’s dinner because it’s my turn to cook tomorrow. Β Below is my creation. πŸ™‚ As you can see, it’s quite different to what my sister made last week (the second picture below)-






Then again, I guess that this is the beauty of bibimbap πŸ™‚ You can pretty much add any raw or sauteed&marinated vegetables and BAM you have a quite a healthy meal. πŸ™‚

Now I know that some people might criticise and say that these are not “authentic enough” looking or just looks different to YT vidoes on bibimbap, but the truth is that even in Korea, there are many types of bibimbap.

For me, bibimbap is still a bibimbap!

In my sister’s case, just somewhat Kiwianised~ πŸ˜€ Β πŸ™‚

If you have never tried bibimbap, why not give it a go? πŸ˜‰

For your reference- for mine, I had the following:

-sauteed yellow zucchini (organically grown), edible gosari aka baby bracken marinated, dried and then marinated white radish in Korean chilli powder,Β blanched and then marinated perilla leaves, tender beef strips marinated in soy sauce/sesame oil/honey.

All on top of cooked multi-grain rice (so I choose to mix brown rice, white rice and soybeans)

For my sister’s bibimbap, she had the following:

-fresh lettuce, sauteed sweet potatoes, fresh cucumber, sauteedΒ carrots, an egg, some left over kimchi (which i think she was trying to get rid off πŸ˜› ), an egg and some toasted, crunchy seasoned laver sprinkled on top (marinated in sesame seeds and sesame oil).

Let me know if you would like me to ever post on how to cook any of the ingredients ^^~

Happy cooking everyone,







DIY Make-up stand EASY

What you need: A glue gun, 3 different plates (glass or glass looking). A strong solid vase to use as a base (as in the picture), plus one more jar (forgot to include in the first picture). Long(sh) is good to give the whole structure some sort of height.

Extra stuff you may want: metal hooks, fake pearls(from your $2 shop), glitter, shells. Sand might be good too..! πŸ˜€ I think you can add whatever though, for extra decoration! So whatever you fancy… πŸ˜‰

I think this DIY make-up stand is not only very affordable to make, it also helps to save HEAPS of space. Before this, the top of my drawers= were massively cluttered! To save space, why not use height? This make-up stand can also be used as nail-polish stand, if you want… πŸ™‚ Β Although I don’t own that many nail-polish at the moment… πŸ˜›

Before I start, I just want to say that I got my inspirations to make this from Ann Le :Β Β She is EXTREMELY talented and creative, make sure you check out her videos! πŸ˜€ Β πŸ™‚ Β πŸ™‚

The purpose of this post is just to share with you my learning experiences as someone who actually tried to follow the video+ added my own spin… πŸ™‚ Anyways… Hope this helps! πŸ˜€ x Β πŸ™‚

1. What you will need… πŸ™‚ Whether you can see it or not, the fancy looking plate(the biggest in size and hence to be used at the bottom) is plastic. The other 2 were like $2 each- they are old microwave plates!! πŸ˜€ All from a second-hand shop. πŸ™‚ Make sure you wash these and dry them thoroughly, before starting! πŸ˜€ Β πŸ™‚


2. Pick the largest plate and use that as base. Glue the bottom of the first jar/vase/whatever will serve as the column for the first layer. In my experience, i think having something solid Β for the first column can help, as it needs to be able to handle all the weight that is going to follow. πŸ˜€ Β πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ 3. To cover up the glue-stain, place shells and the fake pearls into the vase. πŸ™‚ I then poured some gold and silver glitter. πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4. Prep the next layer. Β Using a glue gun, I glued 4 hooks around the plate. In my experience,Β the glue from glue guns can handle only so much weight. So I don’t think you should massively heavy necklaces…Or the hook comes off- as in my experience anyway… 😦 Β After this, place the next tall jar and repeat step 3. I chose to put my fake pearls through a string and then glue the string from the top of the jar, so that the pearls are more visible. πŸ™‚Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. What it looks like at the end. πŸ™‚Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



A (nearly no saw) giant ice-cream cone pillow/cushion :D


What you need: Pink pillow case, some fabric that is ice-cream cone(sh) in colour, 10cm Β x 15cm of brown-checked fabric, a glue gun, pillow-stuffing, some needles and some thread.

For sprinkles: Small fabric parts of many colours.

Lately, I have been somewhat stressed… Well, that maybe an understatement… 😦 but yeah… As long as I can remember, I think I have always enjoyed making things… πŸ™‚ For me, I think being creative and making things, is how I release my stress… Now I do realise that I have been away from this blog for some time!! BUT. I do have a legitimate excuse- my camera’s charger went for a walky!!! 😦 Anyways… To make up for it (I think I away for 2~3 wks), I will upload 2 projects today that I have been working on. πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy, x

I was first given this inspiration when I came across this:Β

Now, in my opnion, the video is made really well. She gave clear instructions and everything is pretty much straight forward. πŸ™‚ What I am going to attempt to add today are the minor details, from the view point of someone who actually DID attempt to replicate what she did in the video+ add my own twist. Hope this helps anyone thinking of making something similar!

1. Instead of buying expensive fabrics from a fabric shop, I found these in a second-hand shop: a pink pillow case and some fabric(probably deemed dull in colour, hence priced 10 cents).2. I washed these and put them in the dryer just to get rid of any dirt/stain etc. I then turned the pillowcase inside out.

3. Now I know that in the video, she was able to draw with a free-hand. However, I am not very good drawing things evenly- nor just good at drawing to start off with! So to make sure that I got some sort of symmetry at the end before the scissors went snip, snip, I chose to measure each side by height vs width.


4. This is what I ended up with. πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA5. I then tried folding the caramel coloured fabric until it looked like a cone. πŸ™‚ Β Remember to glue the edges from the INSIDE out!

6. I then glued all around the edge, but left a room so that I could fill my pillow/cushion. A handy tip# BEFORE turning the pillow inside out and stuffing it,Β check all the way around the edges to make sure there are no gaps!Β  I have found that sometimes with using a glue-gun, some parts dry out much faster- hence you can actually end up with random gaps around the lines- so make sure that you check the gaps! πŸ˜€ Β πŸ™‚


6. Stuff with cotton. πŸ™‚ Now, you can stop at this stage and seal, as she did in the video. πŸ™‚ However, I wanted to add something more, hence this is what I did next… πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7. By the way, if you are wondering what sort of cotton I used, I actually bought a massive queen size bedding from the second-hand shop for $10. I then Β washed the blanket thoroughly and then left it in the sun to be drenched in the sunlight! After this, I removed all traces of hair and fluffed up (is this a legit expression??) any cotton that was flat. πŸ™‚ Surprisingly, there is an odd joy you do actually get, when Β you are ripping up a giant bag of fluff! Besides, how often do we really get to rip blankets into pieces? Yes I am odd…I know…lol… πŸ˜›Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

8. Once the pillow was completely sealed, I then cut up 10cm x 15cm of the brown fabric and glued the edges to seal it with the glue-gun. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

9.Β Make sure you glue closely to the edge as possible. πŸ˜€ Β πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

10. Tuck the fabric around the neck of the pillow. Β Use needles&thread to secure in place. This is what I have ended up with…. πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

11. Now, add sprinkles if you wish to the pillow… πŸ™‚ Β I will update this post further, when I make further changes… In mean time, hope you guys have fun as well! πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Salmon sushi

I made SALMON sushi πŸ˜€ For the first time! πŸ˜€ I only spent ~NZ$10, but I think I ended up making around ~NZ$50 worth of sushi. Always good when you have guests popping by πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

However, I will not be uploading the recipe, as I honestly believe there are THOUSANDS of recipes already, on how to make sushi -_- Also, when I make sushi, I don’t actually follow recipe~ I just go with my gut. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›


Here are some pics..! πŸ™‚ Β Feel free to salivate~! πŸ˜‰ heheheh… πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Self-casing Mandu (Rolled mandu/κ΅΄λ¦Όλ§Œλ‘), self-casing dumplings, Korean-style dumplings (with a twist :D )

Ingredients: 60g of pork mince, 1 carrot, minced garlic, spring onion, 2 button mushrooms, 1onion, light-soy sauce, white vinegar, sesame-oil, Korean Chilli flakes(optional), gochujang(Korean hot chilli paste),plain flour.

Whoowa! πŸ˜€ ONLY 1 day since opening the blog&20 views already?! πŸ˜€ THANK YOU! πŸ˜€ To be honest, I am just HAPPY that anyone wants to view my blogs. lol. πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

Now I know that I am uploading somewhat-randoms, atm. But if there are any YT cooking videos you have seen many times, but have never really bothered to replicate (but would like to kinda see if the recipe actually does work), please make sure that you let me know! πŸ˜€ I will be more than happy to try!

OK so. My plan was to upload a fool-proof macaroon recipe, as my second post. Only problem= my silicon baking mat is still back in ChCh! 😦 gah. Since I don’t exactly think I ought to go out and spend more money on more baking mats that will eventually arrive by post in ~2 weeks time, I decided that I might as well up-load what I can, for this week.

My post for this week, for a recipe I have never tried in my life: Self-cashing dumplings (Korean style).

Now I know that some people think that dumplings=all same. But the truth is, they are not. I have eaten my fair share of Northern Chinese style dumplings, yum char bites, as well as Korean frozen/home-made dumplings. I can assure you that they taste quite different. It’s like this: Apple Tarte-tartin vs apple-pie. Both sweet. Both involves baking. But if you have eaten them, you will know they are different. The method for making them are slightly different, and the fillings= also different as well.

It’s the same with mandu vs Traditional Chinese dumplings. Korean dumplings=tend to prefer thin shells. Thick casing=no,no. Filling wise= the flavouring is quite different.Β Anyways. πŸ˜› Today I want to share an UNUSUAL mandu recipe I stumbled across on the wonderful world of google. πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚ Β  However, I have put my own spin into the recipe&have adapted it slightly (as I tend to do with all my cooking πŸ˜› ). πŸ˜‰

Now most dumpling recipes require WRAPPERS. Pre-made wrappers. It’s like pies- you need rolled out-pastry before you can put anything into them. The most UNUSUAL thing with this recipe, is that: IF YOU HAVE NO TIME to make the wrappers, don’t have the money to buy them :P, this recipe may be useful for you. πŸ™‚ In this recipe, no process of thinly rolling out of any pastry is involved. It just requires you to quickly roll things in flour. Like play dough. Well, almost. πŸ˜› Well, here is the recipe:

To around 60g of pork mince, addΒ 1Tbs soysauce, 2 pinches of salt, 1TBS sesame oil and a dash of pepper. πŸ™‚

Β Now comes my magical ingredient- gochujang! πŸ˜€ *Gochujang= Traditional Korean hot pepper paste. Add 2 TBS of this magicalness! Β πŸ˜€

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Give it a good mix~ boom shaka laka, boom shaka laka~Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ In mean time, we want to soak for ~30min, one bundle of vermicelli. Now this is why this is NOT authentically Korean, as authentic Korean mandu=never uses vermicelli. They use dry noodles made of sweet-potatoe starch. However, these vermicelli were 99 cents (NZ)! These are the same vermicelli I used for the stuffed-calamari recipe.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ That’s what the packaging looks like from the front. πŸ™‚ This can be found across New World, Pak’n Save, Countdown- most mainstream supermarkets. πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASoak one bundle in water for ~30minutes. Then dip them in hot boiling water for 3minutes. Rinse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ In mean time, chop all these finely: 1 carrot, 1onion, 2mushrooms,1 spring onion.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Chop, chop,chop! πŸ˜€OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Add everything together. Now for those wondering why I am not using a deep-mixing bowl like everyone else, it’s because I don’t own one. πŸ˜› I am poor at the moment. 😦 πŸ˜›OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Add more magical ingredients: 2 tablespoon of kimchi juice πŸ˜€ (This is only if you have any, no worries if not, ok)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChop the vermicelli very finely with scissors, as the video showed, and then mix everything together. Add any cabbage kimchi here if you want.l did not have any, except for little bit of green stems from the radish-kimchi I made a while back. So I just added those. πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Add 1TBS of minced garlic, 1/3 cup of plain flour to bind everything together+ one egg (I used size 8 egg).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ No fancy brand- just a normal flour will do ^^OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ NOW this is where the fun part comes! πŸ˜€ Place ~1 cup of plain flour on dry chopping board. Make golf-size balls with the mince-veggie mix and roll around the flour. πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…so you roll once- and leave it- then you roll twice- you still see pink stuff, which we do not want!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Just roll again- THIRD time this time! πŸ˜€ NOW they are ready. Plop them into hot boiling water, until they float. Floating= cooked. πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚ I had two pots going on at the same time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ Once they are cooked, take them out and serve. Now I know that Korean mandu look like moons or wee pouches–>

korean dumplingsFor these reasons, I do not think this recipe is extreme authentic, to the tee. However, I think this is a very helpful recipe for those needing to make dumplings, but do NOT have any wrappers at home.


You can serve your mandu anyway you like πŸ™‚ However, I chose to serve mine with hot Korean pepper as garnish, sesame-seeds, Korean chilli flakes, sesame-oil, light soy-sauce&vinegar mix. I will upload a post next time, on how this very classic Korean dippling sauce can be made at home- and how it’s SO CHEAP to make! πŸ˜€

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Stuffed Calamari [Korean sausage with a twist] μ˜€μ§•μ–΄μˆœλŒ€

Recently, I came back from a visit to Korea. By the way, that’s SOUTH Korea for some of you wondering. πŸ˜› Now considering that I left Korea 20 something years ago, I went expecting all sorts of culture shocks. However, it was oddly (?) comfortable….Almost like, well. Home-coming… πŸ™‚ YES, there were culture-shocks. Yes, there were moments where I felt like not only was this another country altogether, it was well..Like another planet! Just different ways of thinking, different ways of doing things, just different in so many ways…

Yet…The people, the food, the atmosphere. Call me naive, but I think I literally fell blindly in love with the place.

Now I hear some of you saying, “That’s just naiveness! You DON’T know what it’s like to be WORKING there! Paying the bills! Going to work! Putting up with the horrendous working hours!” Well, that’s probably true…

But as an expat, for me, it felt…nice… πŸ™‚ To meet all these people that look vaguely like my parents, that I have little, or no memory of…To bite into food that I have the most faintest memory of…To reconnect with my roots, and find and understand, well. Parts of who I am… πŸ™‚

I went, because my grandfather is dying…and before he goes, I wanted a chance to talk to him…Yet I think in my aspiration to talk to this man I have not seen in 20 yrs, I found well…Parts of me…:) To be honest, I think I went, thinking I had all these things to give…Yet the truth is, I think I received much, much more…

In his stories, in his pictures. I found part of my father, I found parts of… πŸ™‚ With it, came release…

As a tribute, I made Korean stuffed squid sausages [μ˜€μ§•μ–΄μˆœλŒ€] today. To be honest, I have never made this before. However, cooking has always been a way of release, a way of therapy for me…and today, in memory of my grandma, I made these. Of course, I inevitably added my own twist/my own interpretation of the dish. In my opinion, they could be good appetisers when you have guests. Or when you just feel like eating something different. πŸ˜› The original recipe is from:
However, as you can see, I have tweaked the recipe slightly. πŸ˜‰

Hope you enjoy the photos/recipe! πŸ˜€ My next recipe will be macaroons, or something sweet πŸ™‚

Β  Now, it is best to use fresh calamari/squid. However, when you are on a budget and living in Dunedin, frozen ones are fine. πŸ™‚ Just make sure that you check the expiry date of squid before using. Make sure that they are still fresh. πŸ™‚ Frozen calamari can easily be found in your local supermarkets πŸ™‚ I bought mine from New World.Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At this point, you want to defrost them. While you let them defrost, add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1TBS of light sauce sauce (not dark soy sauce) and let it marinate for about ~30minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To 30g of pork mice, add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, 1tsp of cooking oil (olive oil), 1tsp of light soy sauce. Mix.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let the mixture marinate for ~30 minutes.

In mean time, soak your vermicelli noodles. Now I know that to be authentically Korean, you should be using dry noodles made from sweet-potato. However, due to budget, I chose to use vermicelli noodles that can easily be found in your supermarket. These are made from mung beans and costed me NZ 99 cents for FIVE bundles! Plus, stuff made from mung beans can’t be bad for you! These noodles= none fried. Anyways. πŸ˜› Soak about one bundle in normal tap water, for ~30 minutes. Now this is where multi-tasking comes into play! πŸ˜› πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I then chopped 3/4 of the carrot above&diced it. I then diced the onion above.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are green spring onions. Chop them finely. Chop 2 mushrooms. If you have the luxury of having Shiitake mushrooms, by all means, go add use those! Shiitake= more authentic.Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Place the soaked vermicelli into a pot of hot boiling water and boil for ~3 minutes. Take the noodles out and place them into the bowl where you have all the veggies+mince mix. With your cooking scissors, cut up the vermicelli very finely. Now I know that in the original video, they ask you to chop the vermicelli BEFORE adding. However, to save dishes πŸ˜› I just added them to the mince/veggie mix and started to chop them finely from there. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To this mix, now add 1tsp of minced garlic, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a dash of sesame oil. Mix.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, in the original video, they ask you to add tofu. However, tofu is mega expensive here in Dunedin, when compared with Korea. I also did not have any tofu in my fridge. So I decided to skip it. However, to add to the texture that tofu would have added(plus help bind the ingredients together), I added wee bit of my soy-bean rice, that I had in the freezer. The cooked rice was defrosted before being added to the mix.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At this point, you are meant to add starch. However, I did not have any. 😦 Now that sounds like I lack lots of ingredients for this dish! 😦 Then again, I think cooking is also always about compromising, being creative, and working with what you do have…:) Β Hence, I added 1/3 cup of plain flour to help bind the whole thing.Β OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After cracking an egg into it (size 8 egg), I divided my stuffing mix into 4 parts. This is because I had 4 calamari to stuff.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now this part was kinda hard to take pics of…So basically, you coat the inside of the calamari with flour. Once this is done, you then start stuffing. After this, you are meant to steam it. However, I do not own a steamer… 😦 So I tried the poaching method. NOTE: Before you stuff the calamari, dip them in a pot with hot water for ~3minutes. Take the calamari out and let them cool. Once they are cool, then you can coat with flour and begin the stuffing process.

Worked fine with me! The stuffed calamari were poached ~15 minutes in medium high heat. Β They were then allowed to cool, before being sliced like well…Sushi! At this point, the video says we should dip them in egg and pan-fry until golden brown… However, I had ran out of eggs and also did not feel like pan-frying extremely soft squid, cooked and ready for eating.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now I am sure that most Koreans would agree that with seafood, especiallyΒ μ˜€μ§•μ–΄, seafood goes well with chili sauce and vinegar. So I did a compromise. Instead of dipping them in eggs and pan-frying the stuffed calamari, I simply made a simple, yet classic Korean dipping sauce: 2 TBS of gochujung (Korean chilli paste), a splash of vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, 1 TBS of white sugar. Just mix all of this. How much vinegar= will affect your consistency of the sauce. Lastly but not least, add sesame-seeds! Β If you have time, toast them.

To add a crunchy texture to the otherwise soft-textured dish, I then added home-made Korean chilli radish cubes on top.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ View from the top. πŸ™‚ Good as entree. πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAΒ If you or the guest don’t like the radish, serve minus the radish. Here is a picture of what it would look like. πŸ™‚OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Store the left-overs after they have been cooled in the fridge for up to a week, or repeat the procedures above, depending on how many guests you have. πŸ™‚ These also go well with the classic light soy-sauce+sesame oil+vinegar+chives+chilli flakes dipping sauce.