Cookbooks

Homemade Bibimbap!! Korean Deliciousness!

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So lately I have been watching a lot of Youtube videos of Korean cooking as I have been craving it and I got inspired to make my own Bibimbap which is one of my favourite dishes of all time. I won’t give all the recipes for the various toppings and the side dishes as I got them all from a lady named Maangchi who is an amazing Korean cook and shares her recipes on Youtube, in her cookbook and on her website at www.maangchi.com.  You should check her out!

Bibimbap

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First you need a well-seasoned heavy stoneware or cast-iron pan.

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Then make some short grain rice in the usual method that I have shared several times on this blog.

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I already made some Kimchi yesterday and it is already fermenting, yeah science!!

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I made some seaweed salad as a side dish as well.

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And a daikon radish and Korean pear salad too.

For the toppings, I made the following:

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Julienne carrot

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Zucchini

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Steamed sweet potato

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Preserved turnip that I bought at a local Asian store.

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Steamed bean sprouts

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Sauteed Shiitake mushrooms

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Enoki mushrooms

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Thinly sliced pork with seasonings

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Thinly sliced beef with seasonings

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Lotus root sautéed with garlic and green onion

So once my rice is well cooked, I heated up my cast-iron pan over medium high heat add some vegetable and sesame oil and add about 4-5 cups of cooked rice.  Then I arranged my various toppings on top and place a raw egg yolk or three (since there are three of us for dinner tonight) in the centre.  Once the rice starts to cook on the bottom and crackle and sizzle and steam will rise up from the pan.  Then I removed it from the stove and stirred it all together at the table.  The point is to stir in the ingredients and the heat of the hot rice heats them up.  I decided to err on the side of caution and cook the meats up before adding them to the Bibimbap but traditionally the meat goes on top raw and cooks in the sizzling hot rice.

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Here is the hot pepper paste that I served with our dinner.

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Here is the finished product!!  Gorgeous, delicious and nutritious!!!  It was very well received by my daughter Kate and her fiancé Chris.  Definitely a repeatable dish.

I hope you try out making some of the recipes from Maangchi’s website and Youtube videos.  She is a wonderful cook and teacher and is quite enjoyable to watch.  Cheers, Michele

Five Beauty Bundles And Two Book Bundles!! Anniversary Giveaway!

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So to add to my original prize of a fully thrifted outfit for a winner of my giveaway contest, I have come up with some additional prizes.  Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and send me a comment of which prize or prizes you would like to win!!  Thanks to the generous donations of my daughter, Katie, Sephora and David’s Tea, I have come up with 5 beauty bundles and 2 book bundles to give away.

Beauty Bundles

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The first two have high-end fragrances, skin care, and some makeup.  There are a varied assortment of travel and trial sizes for you to choose from, as well as a little makeup bag to carry them.  There are some beautiful skin treatments and masks as well for pampering and helping you to look your best.

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Then I have two more practically identical bags which are high-end fragrance and skin care only with sample sizes of some amazing products.  There is a good mix from face treatments, to washes, to masks, to serums.  The fragrances are a wide assortment of sample sizes to help you find your signature scent. These also include a makeup bag for each prize.

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The final beauty bundle is a mixture of some fabulous brands of makeup in full and sample sizes from Urban Decay, Nars,  Two-Faced, Marc Jacobs, Hourglass and Makeup Forever.  There are also some samples and full sizes of skin care and fragrance as well.  It comes in a rose gold makeup bag which can be reused for your travels. This is about a $180.00 CDN valued prize.  A real treasure trove for the beauty stylist and makeup fan out there.

Book Bundles

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For the cookbook addicts out there, I have a six book bundle of cookbooks including gluten-free ones.  This book bundle will include an assortment of delicious teas to sip and enjoy as you leaf through the beautiful cookbooks.

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For the fiction fans I have a six book bundle of varied genres to hopefully fit the types of books you like to read.  This bundle will also include some teas for sipping while curled up with a good book.

I am still offering the thrifted by me complete outfit for a lucky winner, but I wanted to add a little mix of prizes for those of you who aren’t into thrifting.  Don’t forget to subscribe and send me a message telling me which of the prizes you want to be entered to win.  You can enter for all the prizes, but each winner will only receive one prize.  This giveaway is open world wide and is open to all my followers, friends and family.  So don’t be afraid to try your luck. Cheers, Michele

Black Bean Brownies!! Gluten-Free Chocolatey Heaven!

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This recipe has been a go-to for many years.  My husband bought me the “Full of Beans” cookbook by Violet Currey & Kay Spicer and I have made a version of their brownie recipe ever since.

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I like mine a little more Chocolatey so I have upped the chocolate a bit.

Michele’s Black Bean Brownies

1 cup canned black beans, drained and puréed

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1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup gluten-free flour

1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus 1 cup for topping

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
In the food processor where you puréed the black beans, add all other ingredients except chips and blend until very smooth.  Add chips and pulse just til combined.
Pour batter into pan, spread evenly over bottom of pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from oven.  Pour the 1 cup of chocolate chips evenly over the brownies.  Put pan back in oven and bake for 10 more minutes until tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then spread the melted chocolate chips over the top of the brownies with a spatula.
Cool in pan.  Cut into squares.

These are very moist and delicious.  They keep well in an air tight container for several days, but I have never known as they disappear so fast.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things!! Cookbooks!

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My family knows that I have gone through periods of having an unhealthy addiction to cookbooks.  Now this is a strange thing, because mostly I cook by instinct or imagination or what ever and just use cookbooks for inspiration.  I love all the ideas and the beautiful pictures but rarely follow a recipe exactly, often not even closely.  And the fact that I can thrift cookbooks makes them even more dangerous, they are cheaper, so hey, I can buy more.  But I have been trying valiantly to reduce the number of cookbooks I have and here are just a list of a few of the cookbooks or cookbook authors I refer to regularly.

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Nigella Lawson. Not only do I have a cookbook addiction, I used to be addicted to cooking shows, and Nigella’s was one of my favourites.  I love her cookbooks, she is unapologetic about enjoying the sensual nature and pleasure that food brings.

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I love his River Cottage TV series and have watched them all.  I love his cookbooks and how he tries to teach people where our food comes from and how it should be ethically and locally sourced.

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Irma S. Rombauer. Her “The Joy of Cooking” is an absolute must for any beginner or advanced chef.  She talks about everything from how to trim meat to making the perfect meringue.

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The Canadian Living Cookbook. This book was given to me as a wedding present in 1988 by my mom’s best friend Liz Bayne and although it has lost it’s dust cover and part of it’s binding due to excessive use, it is still a valued and loved cookbook.

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The Best of Clean Eating.  This is a great cookbook for focusing on healthy clean eating, I love lots of recipes and ideas from this book.  I love the magazine too.

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Cooking Light Complete Cookbook.  This is another cookbook based off a magazine that I love.  The waffle recipe is the best I have ever eaten, I just make it gluten-free for me.  So good.

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Hot Sour Salty Sweet.  A fantastic culinary journey through Asia.  The pictures are amazing and I have made many a recipe inspired by this book.  My copy is a bit beat up from use and it was purchased second-hand.

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Julia Child.  I loved her cooking shows and I love her cookbooks.  I have read her biography and autobiography.  She had the most amazing life and the greatest laugh.

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Jamie Oliver.  I loved his shows as well.  I have several of his cookbooks on my shelf and refer to them often.

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Jeff Smith.  “The Frugal Gourmet” was a popular cooking show years ago and I rarely missed it on a Saturday afternoon.  I have used his “On Our Immigrant Ancestors” cookbook to try out lots of different ethnic cuisines.  An oldie but a goodie.

These are just a few of my favourite cookbooks or cookbook authors.  What cookbooks can you just not live with out?  I would love to hear as I am always on the look out for a new one to add to my collection of over 50 cookbooks (conservative estimate).  Cheers, Michele