Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cookies n’ Cream Dream

Today I did something naughty.  Unfortunately, it pales in comparison to the disobedience of some of my classes.  Unhappy with the points delegated for your team answer? Sure, feel free to rocket propel your sandal against the front board.  The chalk shrapnel almost took out my eye and it certainly ruined my outfit.

Fast forward to the justification of my indulgent act. Today was that day, and I made it out alive from one of my most notorious classes — all except my vocal chords. The noise level seemed to hold at a nearly deafening level.  In attempts to maintain order, my vocal chords were compromised.

Necessary healing components

On my way home, I cruised by a local CU Mart, one of the multitude of convenience stores in every block.  In the front of the store, a baked goods section caught my eye.  Small, chocolate cookies were available for merely 300 won.  They molded to my touch and the sale was sealed.  I scooped up four and hustled home to remedy my tired voice.

Leftover from a healing session just a few days earlier (Could you imagine – those children were even worse…), I had a container of cookies and cream ice cream.  The chill of the ice cream is the perfect refresher.  I heaped it on top of a chocolate cookie, smashed another on top, and we were in business.

The effects of this remedy were nearly spontaneous.  Without question,  I knew it was my duty to share.  Cheap, efficient, and natural.  I have a feeling my classes are going to be rough tomorrow.

Sweet relief

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Corner Shop Chowder

Sliced string cheese makes for a chic presentation.

I am lazy.  Especially when it comes to going to the grocery store.  Having been coddled for most of my life with a supermarket always within a block, I don’t appreciate my current situation.  Yes, we’re talking about a bike commute that amounts to maaaaybe five minutes, but there’re at least two intersection crossings.  Those can tack on minutes while simultaneously shaving them from your life expectancy.  Also – have you ever ridden your bike with a watermelon on your back? It tests your balance.  Mine is not so hot.

Suffice it to say, when I’m able to make do with what’s available from my corner shops, I’m a happy camper.  Between the family run joint with fresh vegetables, the butcher down the street, and the franchised CU mart, there’s a fair amount to work with.

Not so long ago, one of my favorite blogs ( posted a recipe for Cheesy Green Chile Potato Chowder. It was doable with a minimal commute, and I was in.  Samgyeopsal (pig belly) substituted for the bacon and sliced string cheese sufficed as “mexican blend.”  When the entire batch was consumed amongst two people in under 30 minutes, I knew it was a keeper. It’s just the thing to warm the crisp autumn air! 

Cheesy Green Chile and Potato Chowder

Modified from for those of us in the far East

Serves 4-6


3 green chili peppers (I used ones on the large side because they’re less spicy)

1 green bell pepper, small diced

1 large yellow onion, small diced

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 slices samgyeopsal, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 4 cups water

2 tsp salt

2 cups milk

1/4 cup flour

3 twist string cheeses, sliced {plus 1 additional for serving}

thinly sliced green onions


First, fire roast the peppers.

To do this, place poblano peppers right over the flame on your burner if you have a gas stove. Flip occasionally until every inch of the pepper is charred. If you don’t have a gas stove, place peppers underneath the broiler on a lined sheet tray {also flipping occasionally} until charred. Once charred all around, immediately remove peppers from heat and zip up in a plastic zip-loc bag. Let sit for 20 minutes then remove charred skin with the back of a knife and roughly chop up peppers.

While your peppers are cooling, fry the samgyeopsal in a large dutch oven or heavy  bottomed pot. Fry until crispy then remove from the pot and drain on pepper towels. Keep grease in the pot!

Add your onion and garlic to the hot grease. Saute for about six minutes over medium heat until just tender. Add cubed potatoes to the pot, as well as the peppers, and toss well so everything is combined.

Pour in bouillon mixture and add the salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 35 minutes until potatoes are very tender {be sure to “test” with a fork or knife…nothing worse than biting into an uncooked potato!}. Add milk and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together so that no flour clumps remain and bring back to a simmer. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Turn off heat completely and add cheese to the pot. Stir well so cheese melts. Serve immediately with crumbled samgyeopsal, sliced green onions and additional cheese.


1.25 hours

If coming from a location in sight of a supermarket, click here for the original recipe.

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