Thursday, August 28, 2008

First dinner party aka Dave's birthday dinner!

This entry is dedicated to my good, close friend David Chung. How my life would be without him, I'm not sure. Maybe quieter, but definitely more boring! =) All in all, despite certain moments where we probably wanted to hurt each other, I am so happy that God has placed a friend like Dave into my life. It is such an encouragement to see him grow in Christ, and I pray that God will continue to use him as a small group leader and a member of the media committee. God loves you David, and so do all your friends!

So, with that said, what's a better way to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend except by making him food! After all, people do say that "Food is love"! The tenants of 7D--Grace, Monica, and I-- decided to cook food to make Dave feel extra special. So Grace went out and got vanilla frosting and delicious Magnolia's banana pudding for Dave. Monica and I went food shopping to buy the ingredients for Dave's dinner. The dinner course menu comprised of toasted garlic bread and Asian-fusion spaghetti, and it ended with ice cream cone vanilla cupcakes! This meal will impress your friends, but it's quite easy peasy to make~

This Asian-fusion spaghetti is perfect for those Koreans who insist on eating kimchi with their meals. It is a stir-fried kimchi and sausage spaghetti that will appeal your tastebuds for both Asian and western cuisine. Kimchi, to those who are unaware of traditional Korean-style foods, is a side dish that Koreans often eat alongside their main dishes; it's fermented, spicy cabbage leaves. That sounds really unappealing, but trust me, it's a total refresher when you want a different taste from your meal. It's like the Korean version of ginger that people eat with their sushi. 

The garlic bread is super duper easy peasy. All you need to do is get any type of bread that you want to eat--like a baguette or Italian bread-- and you toast it in the oven at 250°F for about 8-10 minutes, until the bread is nicely toasted and slightly browned at the top. Take the bread out, slice the tip of the garlic, and rub the garlic against the top of the bread. The heat of the bread will absorb the juice of the garlic so that you can taste it with every crunchy bite!

Asian-fusion surprise
-a lot of kimchi
-sausages diced julienne (amount of sausages depend on how much meat you want)
-onions, diced
-spaghetti, cooked al dente
-olive oil
-salt and pepper

1. Cook spaghetti according to the box labels. Make sure you salt the water beforehand to add flavor to the noodles. It usually takes around 10-12 minutes for the noodles to be al dente.

2. While the spaghetti is cooking, add some olive oil onto your saute pan and heat it. Dice your onions and add them onto the pan. Make sure the heat is on medium-low so that you sweat the onions instead of sauteing them. You want the natural juices of the onions to be drawn out so that the sweetness of the onions will be more apparent.

3. Get your sausages and julienne them, meaning cut them at a diagonal angle. 

4. Now, after around 10 minutes, when you can really start to see the onions "sweating" (water is oozing out), and you smell the sweet aroma, toss in your julienned sausages as well. Stir them around with the onions.

5. Add in a lot of kimchi to the frying pan. Stir-fry the kimchi alongside with the onions and sausages.

6. By this point, your spaghetti should have been done already; it should be out of the pot, drained and put aside. This is when you put in your noodles into the frying pan as well. Stir-fry everything together. Add in salt and pepper to taste. And that's it! Voila, you have your Asian-fusion spaghetti right there! =) How easy was that! 

*To add in more color to this dish, at the end, you can chop some scallions and scatter them over the dish, or you can add some basil. 
Now, onto the dessert~ This is such an interesting approach to spice up the typical birthday cake routine! We decided to make ice cream cone cupcakes. Sounds really cool right? They look like ice cream, but they're actually cupcakes! Aesthetically pleasing and gastronomically pleasing, these are a win-win for sure. 

You can make the cake batter from scratch, but since I recently moved into a new apartment, I did not have all my baking supplies with me, so I just bought Trader Joe's vanilla cake mix. This cake mix, by the way, makes the best vanilla cake ever! When you make the batter, you can see vanilla specks in it, and when you bake it, the vanilla specks add extra bursts of flavor in the cake. As Rachel Ray says, it is deeeelish! 

Ice cream cone cupcakes
-Trader Joe's vanilla cake mix
-waffle cones
-vanilla (or any flavor) icing
-fresh blueberries

1. Follow instructions to make Trader Joe's vanilla cake.

2. Pour batter into the waffle cones. Stop at about an inch from the cone. 

3. Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 15-18 minutes. 

4. Take them out once they're golden brown at the top. Let them cool.

5. Once cooled, pour icing into a plastic bag. Snip the corner off and ice the cupcake tops. Top each cupcake off with a blueberry. And voila~ there are your ice cream cone cupcakes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I'm thinking up potential meals to cook up at the new place. I'm pretty much the "mom" of the apartment right now lol. Grace and Monica go off to their own respective places (work and school), while I'm bumming around until school starts for me next week. I've been cleaning the place, and now I'm thinking, what better way to spend my day than to have a home-cooked meal ready for these girls! Haha, wow, is that total mom status? Last night, I was picking up and cleaning after the lint that I found in their room too haha. It's cool though- I totally don't mind doing any of that stuff =)

OKAY, so potential recipes I'm thinking of...

-stir-fried kimchi and sausage spaghetti
-kimchi jjigae with sausages
-cheese ddukbokgi

Korean food is yukshi the best, I personally think. It practically covers every food group with all the banchan (side dishes) we eat along with our rice and gook (soup)! People who never tried Korean food are missing out man! 

Job hunting

So, today was my first day at job hunting. I think I sent out my resume to a bunch of places; hopefully, through God's grace, He will lead me to the right job!! I really want to work in an industry that is related to food... whether it's in restaurants, bakeries, cafes, or food production firms. Jinyoung told me today about this paid internship that deals with food events, which sounds very interesting...

Besides job hunting, we finally got the apartment almost fixed up. Monica brought in the bar stools and rug today, and my mom dropped off the table and chairs for the balcony and the tv stand. Hurray! We are 90% finished. All we need to do is fix up my curtain to divide the living room, get cable and internet, and set curtains up in the bedroom. 

Anyways, I was very blessed by today's QT. I think once you start to live for God, you become more and more aware of His amazing grace and awesomeness =)

"...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life" (1 Timothy 1:15-16). 

How can we say that God doesn't exist when our very lives are a living testimony and pure evidence of His power? If anything, Paul's life is living proof. Here is this man who used to be the ultimate persecutor of Christians, and then bam, God blinds him and in doing so, Paul finally sees the truth- he gains the revealed knowledge of God, something that can only be given to us by God. 

If God can transform even Paul, once a persecutor of Christians, then nothing is impossible. God uses anybody at any moment to ultimately bring glory to His name. Surely, the people who knew Paul and saw his radical transformation became even more aware of God's almighty power. 

Praise God! He is good, so very good. May He always keep me humble and remind me daily of His omniscient and omnipotent powers. I pray that He will give me a heart that continually seeks after Him and grow in His name. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

just like things fall apart... things also come together

I love spending time with God now. I mean, of course, I still get into that "lazyboy" mode and sometimes fail to do QT, but for the most part, I want to spend time with God, and I am never disappointed when I do! God is so good and really brings peace into my heart when I devote the day to Him. 

Today, I finally found myself back at Morningside listening to Pastor Mark's sermon, and it was so good. It definitely affirmed some stuff that I read in Boundaries

In short, I will jot down some stuff I learned, and hopefully, you will come to comprehend the mightiness of God as well =) Pastor Mark's sermon today was based on Matthew 16:13-20.

-We as humans think that we can see the knowledge of God on our own, but it's possible only by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
-Peter confessing that Jesus is the son of God is the hugest sin and is considered blasphemy in the mind of a Jew, so the fact that he admits that he thinks Jesus is the son of God is a huge thing because he would then be ostracized. So the question is, how does Peter arrive at this conclusion?
-There is a clear distinction between our natural and revealed knowledge of God. Even non-Christians can come to realize that God exists, but it goes no further. It's only when God reveals Himself to us that we can move deeper into our knowledge for God.
-Instead of seeing the world through the lens of the Bible, we look at the Bible through the lens of human intellect. In 1 Corinthians 2:10, it says that we cannot comprehend the mind of God in our own human understanding, also supported in 1 Corinthians 8:1-2. 
-We come to Christ because we are broken, and we must turn back to the scriptures.
-There is no other way to turn to God besides in humility.
-It's so easy to be humble on the outside, but we have to ask ourselves, "Do I get defensive when I'm criticized, or do I humbly accept my flaws, listen, and try to learn?"
******We can't control how others act or think, but we can control our own thoughts and actions to reflect God and give glory back to Him (this part reminded me a lot about the things I read in Boundaries- I love it!).

So that's all I took notes on during the sermon, and I'm sure I got some parts wrong, but I pray that as you read this, you will be encouraged and that God will speak to you. After all, God works in mysterious ways. We may think things are falling apart, but God actually uses our broken pieces to mold us into new beings. How encouraging! =)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I slept at 4 A.M. last night, and I woke up way too early for my liking. I can't go back to sleep, so here I am, looking at my amateur food blog, wondering what to write and express. I'm so tired, but the thoughts in my head are running wildly around in my head. Seriously, my mind has a life of its own, and I can't control it sometimes. That's what you get for having an active imagination. 

I need to start my food blog seriously. I believe blogs are the next new form of media to provide information to the mass public. Come on, internet plus networking plus awesome photography and clear, everyday lingo? Blogs are the future. 

I want to be big, real BIG, in the blog industry. I want this blog to detail not only my life but the foods I eat and cook. So, what does this all mean? This means that I need to stop being lazy and start writing!!! 

So, even though it's currently 10 A.M. and I only had four and a half hours of sleep, I will share some of the cravings that I've been having:

-ICE CREAM- Ice cream, ice cream, and ice cream. Need I say it again? I'm not a huge sweets fan, but I seriously scream for some ice cream. Last night, I finally got some, but it wasn't quite the flavor I wanted. At this ice cream mini-store called All Mixed In! (part of a local deli), I got this flavor called Peanut Butter Caramel Cookie Dough. It sounded amazing, but the flavor was not quite up to par. At first bite, the caramel strikes you as being too strong and the peanut butter flavor is too mild. Now, I'm a huge fan of peanut butter (especially in desserts) so I was disappointed. Plus, there wasn't enough cookie dough and everyone knows cookie dough is the best part!

-American fries- These always seem to be a classic staple. No matter how hard you all try and say you are going to give them up, you just can't! They will always be America's number one consumed form of vegetable. I went to Applebees for the fourth time in my life last night, and I got the fries. I was happy to see that they were the thickly cut ones, so that when you eat them, there is a crispy crunch from the exterior and just enough potato on the inside. I find that McDonalds and Burger King's fries are too skinny and do not have enough poh-tae-toe! =)

Food is good. God is good to give people so many creative ideas! And this is my food entry for today... I'm tired. I'm going to try going back to sleep. 

What do you think- more sleep is necessary, right?

God is good =)

I am amazed at just how great God is, more and more, each and every day. He has graced me with so many blessings and so much love that I can't even comprehend it. He gives me a daily reminder just on how much I need Him and need to rely on Him. Without Him, I am nothing- I'm just like a nobody, but God makes me so unique. He molds me into His child, and for that, I am so grateful. God loves me, despite my imperfections. I may not respond or react the way God intends me to, but He loves me anyway. That seriously amazes me, because when people don't respond or react the way I want them to, I get so disappointed, and you can totally tell. But God doesn't do that to us. That's when I really start to understand a little more about His unconditional love. 

I seriously pray that God will use me so mightily this year- among my friends, my parents, and my future soonwons. 

God's love is so freakin' awesome =)

I'm going to leave this post with a passage that I read in Desiring God by John Piper:

"Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel... but not God. He was an idea-even a good one- and a topic for discussion; but He was not a treasure of delight

Then something miraculous happened. It was like the opening of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn. First the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness. Then the shock and terror that we had actually loved the darkness. Then the settling stillness of joy that this is the soul's end. The quest is over. We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory forever and ever" (Piper, 71-72, emphasis added).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When spontaneity takes a toll...

This past weekend was the most carefree fun I had in awhile. It was one of those days that just felt natural- everything that we did, even though nothing went according to the plan, just flowed and because of that, we had so much fun in our spontaneity!

We were supposed to meet at Joe's house by 12 but my friend Julie and I ended up misreading the directions and ended up at his house 2 hours later than we were supposed to. I felt so bad because Joe's mom cooked food for us and we kept them waiting!!!