Japchae - Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles

July 22, 2014

Japchae - Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles / blog.jchongstudio.com
Japchae is one of my favorite Korean dishes. In Atlanta it would come as a side dish (banchan) at my favorite tofu house but since I've moved to LA I don't find it regularly in my banchan selection. I was feeling inspired when I went to the Korean market last week so decided to attempt this at home. I'm really happy with how it turned out, it was quite delicious almost as good as having it in Atlanta. There are

I told one of my Korean friends that I had made some for lunch and they seemed really impressed. Apparently Japchae is served for special occasions and parties historically in Korea - who knew! I guess it was a special lunch kind of day! Anyhow I hope you will try this at home and let me know what you think. I followed Maangchi's recipe pretty closely – she makes some pretty cute videos too if you're interested in other Korean dishes.

Japchae - Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles / blog.jchongstudio.com
Japchae - Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles / blog.jchongstudio.com
JAPCHAE - KOREAN STIR-FRIED SWEET POTATO NOODLES print this recipe!
INGREDIENTS
Korean Starch Noodle
1/2 cup of sliced beef
1 bunch of spinach
1 medium onion
2 carrots, shredded
6 shiitake mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of green onions
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
soy sauce
sesame oil

PREPARATION
1. Bring a pot of hot water to boil, and boil the noodles for 5-6 minutes (read the packaging for specific times). Once the noodles are cooked put them in a bowl and mix together the 1 tablespoon soy sauce and sesame oil, set aside.
2. Cook each of the following ingredients separately and combine them into a separate bowl. Spinach – until tender, carrots – 1 minute, onions – until translucent, green onions – 1 minute.
3. Then cook the your sliced beef and mushrooms together until cooked – then add your minced garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce and sesame oil – stir for another 30 seconds.
4. Mix all the ingredients together and add additional soy sauce and sesame oil as needed.

Japchae - Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles / blog.jchongstudio.com

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Grand Cayman Islands [Part 02]

July 17, 2014

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
How beautiful is this scene? It was quite dreamy. We spent a lot of time on Seven Mile Beach and in George Town which are both nice and filled with things to do. We even ventured over to the East side of the island for a bit as well.

Sunshine Grill . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Sunshine Grill . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
When we first arrived we had overheard some people talking about Sunshine Grill. It was right across from our hotel but we were a bit skeptical. Though we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived and had some fish tacos and calamari. It had a combinations of Caribbean and Asian flavors from the Thai Chili sauce. Nom nom nom...

Camana Bay, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Camana Bay, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Anyone want to buy this house for me?

Camana Bay, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Camana Bay, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Camana Bay, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Camana Bay, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Camana Bay is one of Grand Cayman's newest towns. It reminds me a bit of Santa Monica's 3rd Street but not. It's more community driven with small shops, eateries, commercial and residential real estate. It felt like the most modern part of the city. The center is really beautiful and they definitely spent a lot of time on the little details and design. See that mosaic there? It's part of the observation tower and the mosaic runs from the top to bottom depicting the marine life – the detail is stunning in person. There were quite a few shops I loved here but I'll share those with you later!

Green Iguana . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Botanic Park, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Botanic Park, Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Besides marine life we did see some bright green iguanas at the hotel and even saw this blue one at the Botanic Park. These little guys were so cool.

Blue Cilantro . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blue Cilantro . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
We ate a lot of seafood in the Cayman – all of the seafood was so good, especially the yellow fin tuna, scallops, and red snapper. Blue Cilantro, was another nice little spot for a fancy dinner meal.

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com

See part one here!

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

LA Farmers Market

July 15, 2014

LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
At 9 am there are no blue skies yet, welcome to June gloom in LA my friends. Even though June mornings start off cloudy I'm happy that the sun shines here 95% of the time. I get asked a lot if I miss home (Atlanta) I do but I don't know that I could ever go back unless the LA weather went with me. Besides having amazing weather my other favorite thing about LA is the fact that its a destination for travelers. I'm always happy when friends want to visit. I remembered when I first moved here there were all these spots I wanted to visit and slowly the place that was a vacation destination slowly becomes home and those spots I've always wanted to visit become a place I'll go 'someday'. The LA Farmers Markets is one of those places I haven't spent a ton of time at though I've always been very interested in learning more about. So a few weeks ago I partnered with Travel Mindset and took a tour with Viator to learn and eat my way through the original farmers market.

LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
Besides the cloudy skies it was a great day at the farmers market. Our guide, Andrew, arrived early to meet us. We had a very small group which was nice an intimate. It didn't feel like we were at a Disney theme park. We introduced ourselves, got to know everyone and started our tour. Andrew was informative and knowledgeable. Did you know the LA Farmers Market is one of the oldest markets in the US and about to celebrate their 80th anniversary? The market started out as a way for local farmers to sell their fresh produce directly to consumers. Eventually wives brought homemade goodies like breads, cookies and jams to the market and not long after butchers and food stands started to appear. Now the LA Farmers Market serves as a place to buy produce, meat, seafood, groceries and enjoy tasty flavors from around the world.

Bob's Donut • LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
Bob's Donut • LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
Our first stop was at this iconic doughnut shop where we enjoyed an assortment of doughnuts and coffee. Bob's Coffee and Doughnut's prepares some tasty doughnuts fresh everyday - the old fashioned way, by hand!

Pampas • LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
One of my favorite stalls was this Brazilian churrascaria restaurants where you can buy roasted meats by the pound. The plate above was shared between two people, a healthy sampling of food I'd say! We also tried a variety of foods like tacos, falafel, cheeses, and ended with a sweet treat! I also learned some fun facts about the market, like the fact that I could buy some meat at one stall and have another stall cook it for me. I love that idea of knowing exactly where you're food is from so this idea makes me giddy inside.

LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
LA Farmers Market / blog.jchongstudio.com
It was a fun tour and a new way to learn about the city I call home. If you're not familiar with the history of the LA Farmers Market I'd recommend you take this tour. Now that I've marked that off my list there are a few other tours that I would like to check out, like this helicopter tour of Orange County. Anyone want to join me?



PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Grand Cayman Islands [Part 01]

July 10, 2014

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Have you guys ever been to the Caribbeans? I've been to a few different parts of the Caribbeans while on a cruise, I don't remember much but I do remember it was always a quick stop and back on the boat again. A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to the Grand Caymans with Travel Mindset but this time via flight instead of ship. I spent six days working on a paradise island (#lovemyjob) – white sandy beaches and clear waters. I wanted to share some of the things I did on this trip in case you're headed that way!

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Snorkeling with the stingrays is probably one of the most memorable things I've done on a trip lately. It was an incredible experience. There were TONS of stingrays – it was a little intimidating at first. They swim right up next to you and some of them are so big I don't even thing I could wrap my arms around them. I was able to feed the stingrays, that was an exciting moment!

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Periwinkle . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Periwinkle Truffle Fries . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com

Periwinkle Rustica Pizza. Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
Periwinkle . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
We had a refreshing lunch at the Ritz Carlton Periwinkle. The truffle fries were amazing – they were even so kind to share the recipe with me so if you want to make these at home you can find the recipe for them here.

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
The Brasserie . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
The Brasserie . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com

The Brasserie . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
The Brasserie . Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com
One of my all time favorite spots on the island to eat was The Brasserie. This farm to table (and sea to table!) restaurant was so delightful. They have an outdoor patio garden filled with lots of vegetables and herbs they use in the restaurant including things like mint, bread fruit, sugar cane and goji berries. Our favorite things include the mussels, tuna tartare and the chocolate cake w/ strawberry cream cheese ice cream. Yum.

Grand Cayman / blog.jchongstudio.com

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Blueberry Banana Loaf (Gluten Free/Paleo)

July 08, 2014

Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo
Did you all have a great 4th? I sure did – fun, sun and some volleyball! July is national blueberry month, so I'm celebrating! A couple of weeks ago I shared with you my go-to lunch lately the blueberry chicken salad sounds like you all loved it so today I wanted to share with you a Blueberry Banana Loaf (Gluten Free and Paleo!).

Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo / blog.jchongstudio.com
I think blueberries, watermelon and nectarines are my some of my favorite fruits. I could eat any of those by the gallon in one sitting...okay maybe not a gallon but at least half! (Though if you challenged me in a watermelon eating contest I might win.) Did you know eating blueberries have all sort of benefits; low in fat, full of dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory properties and packed with vitamin C! Incorporating blueberries in your diet can help you make small steps towards a healthy lifestyle. Hop on over to the Blueberry Council website here, to get the full recipe for this guilt free Blueberry Banana Loaf. I know I need some guilt free things after last weekend.

Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo  / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo / blog.jchongstudio.com

Blueberry Banana Loaf - GF/Paleo
Check out lots of great recipes incorporating blueberries on the Blueberry Council website and start making #littlechanges today! Share what #littlechanges you are making to live a healthier lifestyle using the #littlechanges.



PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG


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