Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

I’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today sharing the recipe for this delicious, cozy soup. Ever since the weather shifted to become cooler, I’ve been trying to soak up every minute of Fall. It’s my favourite season and it’s so short in Canada, but in Busan I’ve heard it stretches out over a few months. I now consistently need a scarf when I go out, and have started to add some layers to my outfits as well. I’ve been drinking hot beverages and gravitating towards warm meals, including soups. At home, my mom makes a soup every week for lunches and dinners and I’ve been trying to follow suit, although less reliably than once a week. This is only my second of the season, but I am hooked on the simplicity of them – both the making and the eating. My mom will laugh because I never wanted to eat much soup at home, but how things change when you’re living on your own!

Carrot Ginger Soup

I’m excited to start making soup more often and eating it in the cool evenings after work. This one is perfect because it has a little bit of a kick to it from the ginger, garlic and black pepper. Plus it’s bright orange! So it’s beautiful to boot.

You can find the recipe right here.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

I’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today sharing the recipe for this yummy potato leek soup I made to celebrate the changing seasons.

Here in Korea we still have mostly summery weather – clear blue skies and sunshine, with just a hint of chilliness in the evenings. I thought I’d be sad to see the summer go, especially since I had such a truly wonderful summer this year, but I find myself excited about the fall. I’m ready for chai lattes and colourful leaves and long hikes in big old forests and hunkering down in a café for hours at a time reading a book or writing a story.

Being away from home in the fall is a weird thing though. It was last year too, when I was in Europe, but at that point in my trip at least I was winding down, soon to be home with my family and friends. This year, I know it’ll be a long time before I see the people I love again, and so fall feels different this time around. It sometimes feels a little like I’m getting left behind as everyone moves into awesome new chapters of their lives back home. I know how silly that sounds, considering I’m in a beautiful country having a life of adventure, but that’s how it feels sometimes. I’m struggling with this feeling: I know if I were home I’d want to be adventuring abroad, but when I’m here, living what increasingly feels like normal everyday life, I wish I were home, if only for a week or two. My challenge to myself this fall (and forever) is to learn to love living exactly where I am and stay present.

Quite a ramble over a simple bowl of soup, but the soup represents that I am trying to embrace this season of my life with open arms and a full heart (and clear eyes, can’t lose). It’ll be gone before I know it and I want to appreciate and savour every moment of it while it’s here. I really am so grateful for this opportunity to live and learn and see and experience so many things – I just have to remind myself of that sometimes.

Lots of love to you and yours! You can find the recipe right here.

Strawberry Chia Jam

Strawberry Chia Jam

In the past year or so I’ve cooked in so many different kitchens: in my old apartment, at my friends’ houses, in hostel kitchens throughout Europe, here in Korea, and of course in my lovely yellow childhood kitchen at home.

This week, my family is saying goodbye to our home as we move on to the next adventures in our lives. It’s a hard thing, saying goodbye to a house – and a kitchen – that has held so many incredible memories. Our dark wooden table and our green-topped island are at the heart of almost all the good times we had in that house. Painting sloppy designs on sugar cookies with coloured icing. Making my mom laugh until she cried. Hitting our heads on the beautiful stained glass lamp above the table. Playing Monopoly and always losing to Lindsay. Playing Scrabble for hours. Doing puzzles even though the lighting was horrible. Reciting the old kitchen table rules we had all those years ago, even while breaking them all. Crying real tears. Doing homework. Getting into big fights. Making pizza by hand all together. Trying and failing and succeeding at countless recipes. Having long heart-to-hearts when things were confusing and scary. Walking downstairs to the entire kitchen being decorated as a Mexican fiesta or a 1950’s diner for your birthday. Riding a bike around the island. Doing the dishes quietly after a big meal. Making mimosas on Christmas morning.

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When I left for Korea, I was so nervous and caught up that I barely remembered to say goodbye to my house. It’s probably for the best, since given more time I’d probably have dwelled too long on the sadness of the thing and focused less on the beauty of it. Those years were so special, and the house is now so special because it was ours. But we brought that magic and that energy to our space, and we can take it with us when we go. We can continue making up new traditions and trying new things, and we can still be us, just in a new space and in a different way. Those memories don’t go away just because we’re moving on.

Obviously I will miss my house in so many little ways because it was my home. I will miss the late-afternoon light, the creak of the basement door, the way our dog’s nails skittered on the hardwood when he was excitedly running towards us, the way people’s voices downstairs sounded from my room, the stubborn front door that only the people who knew us the very best could open properly, carrying groceries inside from the car on Saturday mornings, sitting on the barstools watching my mom cook dinner, and so many other things. But I’m also so excited for the future: to see what my mom’s next home is like, and what my home will one day be like, and to see what kinds of memories I’ll make in new places.

This post is clearly not much about jam, but this is what happened today when I sat down to write. If you came here for jam however, you shall not be disappointed by this recipe. It’s one of the easier things I’ve made, yet very delicious and with the perfect texture. You can find the recipe over at Guinea Pigging Green today here or the original recipe directly at Oh She Glows here.

Classic Falafels

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Today feels like a day when I need to count my blessings. I was just editing the latest episode of Guinea Pigging Green (out tomorrow!) and when it was over our episode about The Line started playing and I just let it run. (Side note: is it weird to listen to your own podcast? I think the jury’s still out on that one.)

I needed to hear it. I’ve been feeling caught up in my head and stressed out lately, and the idea of the line hasn’t been on my mind very much over the last couple of weeks. I’d also forgotten that we’d talked a lot about practicing gratitude in the episode, and I think I needed that reminder. I’m so grateful for that healthy dose of soul talk and perspective with Laura this morning. Life has been moving really fast lately and it’s been easy to let my automatic reactions carry me along, but being present and refocusing is so much harder. Even so, I have so very much to be grateful for.

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As I was listening to the episode, I was making falafels. They remind me of home: our big wooden kitchen table, my mom’s delicious garlic sauce, people coming and going. I’d never made falafels before today (heretofore I’ve just purchased them premade from Costco or President’s Choice) but they were so easy and really delicious. They aren’t deep-fried, so of course they’re less crunchy-crispy, but since I haven’t had falafels in months, they were perfect.

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I loosely followed this recipe from Oh She Glows, and it worked out perfectly. I substituted bread crumbs for ground flax, plus added maybe a 1/4 cup more breadcrumbs than she called for since I was using an Asian-style breadcrumb (more like Panko) that seemed a bit less dense than what I’d normally use. I also used chives instead of the fresh cilantro and parsley she calls for, because those particular fresh herbs are hard to come by in Korea. The chives gave the falafels such a beautiful green colour!

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On the side, I made a little garlic yogurt sauce and just chopped some tomatoes and cucumbers, mixed together with a bit of salt and lemon juice. I ended up eating some of my falafels in a whole wheat pita with the sauce and salad all mixed in with a bit of extra lemon juice, and it was the perfect lunch.

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Again, the recipe for these yummy falafels is right here. Enjoy!