Monday, December 30, 2013


so, i'm pregnant. again. i am 12 weeks pregnant now. in theory, i am happy about this development. i see lana and how much joy she brings us and another lana seems like an awesome idea. but on a day-to-day basis, it's not so fun. i think God makes you forget things related to pregnancy/childbirth on purpose or else everyone would only have one kid and the human race would be in jeopardy. even though my first time through this doesn't seem like it was that long ago, after getting pregnant again i realized that i forgot a lot of things, namely, how sucky pregnancy can be. my first trimesters are so terrible. tons of morning sickness (nausea, gagging, dry heaving), extreme fatigue, complete loss of appetite, weight loss, etc. it's really awful. now that i'm almost at the end of the first trimester the nausea's better but the loss of appetite is not. i've lost about 5 pounds so far, but that's much better than the 10 pounds i lost with lana. if you know me, you know how much i love food. but these days, i have basically became a vegetarian. the only meat i will eat is seafood (crab, shrimp, etc. is ok), and once in a while, bacon (i think because it's not chewy like other meat). but my standard fare is cereal, pastries/pies, bread, potato chips and fruit. so basically carbs and fruit. i want to want food. so much. and i want to not be so hungry all the time. i had no appetite my entire pregnancy with lana, so hopefully this one will be better.

we asked lana what she wants to name the baby and she answered, without hesitation, "cereal." we ask her what she wants and one day it's a brother, the next day, it's a sister. then one day she said she wanted an older brother. not sure how to explain that it doesn't quite work that way. she is a very very jealous kid so we'll have to work on that throughout the pregnancy. but then she shows some really cute sweet moments - she lifts my shirt and kisses my belly and says "i kissed the baby" or she'll pat my belly and say "baby how are you?" i think she doesn't really feel threatened because the baby isn't real to her yet. but i can't even say hi to other kids without her throwing a fit, so if you have any tips/resources/advice on this front, i would appreciate it.

i am dying to find out the sex of this baby. i am actually 100% happy with either a boy or a girl. i just really wanted a girl and since we have lana, i'm good. but sh is convinced the baby is a girl (and even calls it a she), but i'm not convinced yet and want the debate to be put to rest. women these days seem to be able to find out as early as 12 weeks with new tests that are out, but since i'm not 35 (aka advanced maternity age) insurance won't pay for those tests. i guess we'll have to wait till the standard 18 or so weeks.

thanks everyone for all your words of well wishes. please pray for an appetite - that is my #1 prayer right now. in my mind, i want to take a huge bite of a five guys burger. but then i see a burger and i'm grossed out. #2 prayer is energy. it is so much harder being pregnant when you already have a kid to take care of. i thought it would be cool to post belly pics again and to put them side by side with my first pregnancy's belly pics, but i have lots of ideas that never come to fruition so we'll see about that. the point, though, would be to show that you pop so much faster with the second baby, seeing as how you're all stretched out and all. with lana i think i popped around 13 weeks but with this baby it was around 9 weeks. time to start hearing "oh so are you like 5 or 6 months pregnant?" soon. -_-

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Recipe: Whole Wheat Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

This has (since all of last week) become a staple for breakfast in our house. Lana loves them and she doesn't realize they're actually sort of healthy with whole wheat and oats. I modified the recipe from the one on King Arthur's website. 

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt 

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. Line muffin pan with cups or spray with butter. 
2. Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Add the blueberries and mix in. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk vanilla, oil and yogurt together. 
4. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour liquid ingredients in. Stir only to combine. It's ok if there are spots where the flour isn't wet or fully mixed (over-mixing will make the muffins tough/dense).
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups (using an ice cream scooper is perfect). Fill them all the way to the top - the recipe makes 12 big muffins. 
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick or fork inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

recipe: rice balls (주먹밥)

these rice balls are an easy way to get kids to eat their veggies. each time i make these i increase the ratio of veggies/meat to rice, and so far lana's still eating them. we'll see how far i can get before she decides enough is enough. ;)

ingredients (none of these measurements are exact - i'm just estimating):
about a cup and a half of rice (i mix white and brown)
3 tsbp of each of the following: carrots and broccoli (you can also use zucchini, onions, potatoes, chives, basically any vegetable that is able to be finely diced)
3 tsbp of finely chopped meat (i used turkey hot dog here, but you can also use steak/beef, ham, crabmeat, ground meats - if you use steak/beef/ground meat, marinate first in a little soy sauce and minced garlic so it has some flavor)
1 tsbp of olive oil
1 tsbp of sesame oil
salt, to taste
(makes about 5 small rice balls - lana (who's 2) can eat about 3 of these for a meal)

1. chop finely the carrots, broccoli and meat.

2. turn on stove to medium heat, add olive oil and saute the veggies and meat till soft. make sure to keep an eye on them - they are finely chopped so they burn very quickly.

3. put the rice, veggies and meat in a bowl. add sesame oil. 

4. mix everything together. add salt if desired.

5. once the rice balls are cool, get a piece of plastic wrap, put a heaping spoon of the rice mixture in the middle, then cover and twist until you have a tightly-formed ball that can hold its shape.

6. enjoy! it gets a little messy with the oil but lana loves eating these with her hands. in the future (whenever i get around to it, you know, with all the free time i have) i want to chop up the veggies/meat in huge batches and then freeze them so that as long as i have rice made, i can make these rice balls pretty quickly.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

recipe: soft tofu soup (순두부 찌개)

any mommy of a toddler knows how hard mealtime is. it's so hard to consistently feed your toddler healthy and nutritious meals, without 1) feeding them the same thing 3x a week or 2) giving into their desires for pancakes and sausages and gummy bears every meal (a few of lana's current obsessions). lana's a pretty good eater, but one of the things that is constantly on my mind (and literally keeps me up at night) is the feeling that i need to continually find new recipes to expose her to a variety of foods.

i generally like to feed lana korean food. i think it's healthier (for the most part), and when armed with a set of basic ingredients, i can use them in different combinations/ways to come up with a wide variety of meals. recently, i've started googling in korean to come up with ideas for her meals. my korean reading skills are not very good so it takes about 5 minutes to read one blog post, but thank goodness for pictures. :)

one of my favorite things about korean food is the soups. you can make so many different kinds of soups with just a handful of ingredients, because they are all variations on the same basic thing. you usually start with a seafood or beef broth (or both), season with soy sauce/garlic/sesame oil, add some veggies, maybe an egg, and you got yourself a soup. lana loves korean soups so it has become my default for her dinners. it's also an easy way to get lana to eat veggies. it's easier to have her eat a piece of radish or spinach when it's nice and soft and has taken on the flavor of the broth than making her eat a piece of steamed broccoli.

today i made soft tofu soup. lana is ok with tofu, but doesn't love it. i don't think i've ever fed her soft tofu though, which is much softer than the regular block of tofu that we usually eat. here's the recipe:

one pack of soft tofu (looks like this):

3-ish cups of water
one piece of kelp (about 3" x 3")
2 oz of beef, cut into small cubes
diced zucchini (not sure how much, just a small bowl-full - so helpful, i know!)
diced onion (same small bowl-full)
one clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
salt, to taste

1. put water in a pot with the kelp. boil about 15 minutes or so until the water takes on a yellowish tint. 

2. throw kelp out, pour stock into a bowl.

3. chop up the beef and veggies.

4. on medium-high heat, add the oil to the pot and saute the beef, zucchini, onions and garlic until beef is cooked through and veggies are soft.

5. add back the stock and add the soy sauce and sesame oil.

6. take tofu out of packaging gently (don't want to mush it up too much).

7. add tofu, bring to a boil. then simmer for a little bit until the flavors meld together. add salt if necessary. there might be some beef fuzz at the top - you can just skim it off with a spoon. if your toddler doesn't want it, you can always add some red pepper flakes and make it spicy for yourself. :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

pies pies pies

i love pies. my friends love pies. everyone loves pies. here are some of the recipes i use for the pies i bake. i sincerely hope no one is fooled into thinking i am some expert baker. i'm really a novice. i only started baking real pies last year (as in, everything from scratch including the crust) and now i'm hooked. i bake because i like to eat, it's pretty simple i think. none of the recipes are originals, though i'm excited to get there someday. most of them are recommendations from friends or results of pie-craving-induced google searches at 11:30 at night.

pie crust
i tried a couple different recipes and this is the best:

there are 3 crust recipes - i used the first one, which is the "all butter crust." the recipe is for 2 pie crusts (so if you're making an apple pie, it'll be bottom crust + top crust but if you're making a pumpkin pie, you can make 2 pies). if you want to make enough for multiple pies, double or triple the recipe. the crusts freeze well, so make the disks, wrap with plastic wrap, and then freeze. make sure to take them out the day before you want to bake so they thaw in time.

some pie recipes i've tried (and liked):



key lime

banana cream

coconut cream

some pie recipes i want to try (um, this list got really long really quickly):

sweet potato

raspberry chocolate

ricotta and fig (sounds amazing!)

pecan pie

lemon meringue

frozen lemonade pie


nutmeg maple cream pie


peanut butter banana cream pie

as you can tell from above, i visit (often) the following sites for recipes:

please share your good pie recipes with me too! i want my own 'rolodex' of tried and true pie recipes, the kind that make people say something like "have you tried carol's blueberry pie? @_@" am i on my way to becoming an old midwestern nana who wears flower-printed aprons or what? so awesome.