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

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

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


Cocoa Cinnamon Cayenne Covered Almonds

June 19, 2014


I'm wandering around the Grand Cayman islands this week with Travel Mindset. Can't wait to share all the fun with you when I get back. For now I leave you with some easy to make snack ideas.

  / blog.jchongstudio.com
  / blog.jchongstudio.com

COCOA CINNAMON CAYENNE COVERED ALMONDS print this recipe!
INGREDIENTS
2 cups of raw Almonds
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 ounce of Dark Chocolate
2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 tablespoon of Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
PREPARATION
1. Preheat oven at 350º. In a small bowl toss almonds with olive oil until well combined. In a baking sheet spread the almonds onto the pan and bake for 10-15 mins until golden. Once out of the oven sprinkle with salt and allow almonds to cool.
2. In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. In another small bowl melt the dark chocolate – then toss almonds into chocolate mixture until well coated.
3. Toss the dry mixture until well combined and spread over a parchment covered baking sheet. I put my almonds in the freezer for a few minutes for the chocolate to cool. Store in an airtight container.

  / blog.jchongstudio.com
  / blog.jchongstudio.com


PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Peanut Butter Bars

June 12, 2014

Peanut Butter Bars / blog.jchongstudio.com
Remember my fruit and nut bars that were features on Design*Sponge last year? Those have always been my go-to snack bar but I decided to change things up and try something different this time – with these peanut butter bars. I think next time I will use actual chocolate chips instead of cocoa nibs but another tasty alternative to buying bars at the grocery store for $2.50.

Peanut Butter Bars / blog.jchongstudio.com
Peanut Butter Bars / blog.jchongstudio.com

PEANUT BUTTER BARS print this recipe! adapted from against all grain
INGREDIENTS
5 Medjool Dates
3/4 cup Almonds
3/4 cup Cashews
1/2 cup Pecans
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup shredded Coconut
1/4 cup Cocoa Nibs
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Honey
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
PREPARATION
1. In a blender combine all the dry ingredients and pulse until mixture is in small course pieces. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
2. In a sauce pan combine all the wet ingredients over medium heat and mix well. Once all ingredients have been combined - pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix well.
3. In a lined 8x8 pan pour the mixture into pan and place another parchment paper over. Pack down the mixture until it is packed evenly. Place bars into the freezer for two hours then use a knife to cut the bar into smaller pieces. Keep these in the fridge and enjoy as wanted!

Peanut Butter Bars / blog.jchongstudio.com
Peanut Butter Bars / blog.jchongstudio.com

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

LA Chapter | Los Angeles

June 10, 2014

Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
A couple of weeks ago I headed to the LA's new Ace Hotel to check out the new space and have some brunch at LA Chapter with Alyse. I always love discovering new space and sharing meals with friends. The space is pretty – exactly what you'd imagine an ACE to look like in LA. I especially love the roof top bar area even though I don't drink I wouldn't mind spending some time up there. The dining area is filled with random celebrity drawings – like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears when she shaved her head.

 Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
While I think we both thought the food was alright – I'd say the Ricotta Pancakes were a delicious order and definitely more than enough to split for two. Dessert for breakfast!

Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com

Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com

Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
Ace Hotel LA / blog.jchongstudio.com
Have you been to an Ace Hotel before? Which location is your favorite?

LA CHAPTER
927 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213.235.9660

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG
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Blueberry Chicken Salad with Berry Vinaigrette

June 05, 2014

Blueberry Chicken Salad with Berry Vinaigrette / blog.jchongstudio.com
A couple of months ago I was in Napa for a Blueberry Council event. Yah guys "Blueberry Council" sometime like that actually exist! Anyhow I had a great time hanging out with a bunch of great chefs around the world and watching them cook up some tasty dishes and even getting my hands dirty too. It was fun to see all the unique ideas the chefs had at incorporating blueberries into their dishes. We had things like baby back ribs with blueberry barbecue sauce, pork kebabs with blueberry spice and sweet and sour pickled blueberries.

So needless to say blueberries have been top of mind for me... that and salads since I've been eating crazy rich foods lately. This was a quick salad I made for lunch last week. It's simple and flavorful – and you can save the dressing to use on salads later!

Blueberry Chicken Salad with Berry Vinaigrette / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blueberry Chicken Salad with Berry vinaigrette / blog.jchongstudio.com
BLUEBERRY CHICKEN SALAD WITH BERRY VINAIGRETTE print this recipe!
INGREDIENTS
Salad
3 cups romaine lettuce
1 cup grilled chicken, shredded
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Vinaigrette
2 cup frozen berries
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
PREPARATION
1. Combine all salad ingredients and set aside.
2. To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients into a blender until blended well – top off with dressing and save the rest for another salad!
Blueberry Chicken Salad with Berry Vinaigrette / blog.jchongstudio.com

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Sping Break Road Trip with Schoolhouse Electric

June 03, 2014


  / blog.jchongstudio.com
  / blog.jchongstudio.com
I've partnered up with Schoolhouse Electric on a virtual road trip making stops in Portland, Denver, Chicago, and New York! It's been a lot of fun collecting my favorite spots to return to and making a list of new places to visit. We're off in Chicago this week heading towards New York. What are your favorite places to visit in those cities? Would love to hear them! Follow along with us here and let us know where you'd like to go on the virtual road trip.




PHOTOS VIA SUPER DANGER AND MARIVELOUS

Sweet Potatoes with Chimichurri

May 29, 2014

Sweet Potatoes with Chimichurri / blog.jchongstudio.com
I've really grown to love sweet potatoes – I'm not sure what it is about them that I didn't like before but now I prefer them over regular potatoes most of the time. My usual go to snack is bacon wrapped sweet potatoes, they are great for holding me over before a meal or a meal on the go! ha. Anyhow I decided to mix things up a bit and go without my regular bacon and add some chimichurri. Umm... hello yummy!

Sweet Potatoes with Chimichurri / blog.jchongstudio.com
Sweet Potatoes with Chimichurri / blog.jchongstudio.com
SWEET POTATOES WITH CHIMICHURRI print this recipe! | chimichurri adapted from here
INGREDIENTS
3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Chimichurri
1 bunch of parsley
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of thyme
6 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoon of white or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
PREPARATION
1. Preheat the oven to 425º. in a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients for the sweet potatoes until evenly coated. Lay evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 40 mins, flipping halfway through until edges are crisp and potato is tender.
2. In a small food processor or blender – add all ingredients for chimichurri - pulse together ingredients until well chopped (not purred!)
3. Once sweet potatoes are out of the oven top with chimichurri sauce and enjoy!

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

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