Korean Dramas. What? How?

Hello everyone!

So sorry for missing last week’s post, I was away all week for a conference and didn’t bring my laptop… because I’m a genius who wanted to travel for a full week with only a carry on bag… Never again!

For this week, I thought I’d talk to you guys about Korean Dramas. What are those? They are South Korean TV series. When I say series, I mean that there’s a lot of different ones, because most of them are only one season long, which I love and hate at the same time!

 

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So, what’s great about Korean Dramas, well, as I mentioned before, they are almost always 1 season. Which means that you don’t need to wait 6 seasons to know how it’ll end. I like that. On the other hand, sometimes you’re not ready to say goodbye to the characters yet (no? just me?)  The episodes are slightly longer than what we are typically used to in the west, usually between 60 and 85 minutes.

You could compare them to telenovelas, they have ALL the drama… and the fighting… and the romance… and the supernatural… They have everything. Obviously, there are sub-genres, not everything is 100% drama all the time. There’s comedies, supernatural/horror, romance, etc.

The picture above shows some of my personal favorites,

 

My love from another star (2013-2014)

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Starring Kim Soo Hyun and Gianna Jun, this drama is about an Alien that arrived on Earth 400 years ago, Do Min Joon. He lived through a lot but nothing could prepare him for what would happen after Cheon Song Yi, a huge Hallyu star moved next to him.

It’s hilarious, it’ll make you cry, it’s just a masterpiece. Fun Fact: the lipstick used by Gianna Jun in the Drama was so popular after she was seen using it that it caused a worldwide shortage, it was the YSL #42.

 

Descendants of the Sun (2016)

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Starring Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, this drama follows a unit of Special Forces, as well as the Doctors of a hospital. It has been one of the most popular dramas of the last few years and with good reason! The storyline is veryyy compelling and the characters are very multidimensional.

Fun fact: DotS received quite the backlash for featuring too many product placements. It was explained, however, that those were needed financially since the drama was unusually filmed in its entirety before the release. Korean Dramas are usually filmed on a weekly-ish basis.

 

Age of Youth/ Hello my Twenties (2016)

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This drama follows the stories of 5 girls living in the same share-house in Seoul. Each of them has a different story, different struggles and a different opinion on the other girls. This a somewhat light-hearted drama that I love to re-watch often, if only as a background while I do other stuff.

Fun Fact: This is one of the few dramas that got a season 2. After the launch on Netflix, people liked it so much that Netflix partnered with JTBC for the production of a second season that aired in 2017!

 

Memories of the Alhambra (2019)

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My most recent obsession! This drama ended on January 20th so it really is quite recent. It starred Park Shin Hye and Hyun Bin and gathered some of the highest ratings ever. They filmed both in Korea, as well as in Spain and Granada. Therefore, they also got a bit of backlash for product placements. However, the storyline worked them in so it didn’t seem quite as bad.

The storyline is about a new AR (Augmented Reality) game that one can play wearing special contact lenses (Warcross anyone? Yeah, I know! That’s partly why I loved it!). Obviously, stuff happens within the game as well as outside of it. This drama has everything, romance, combat, technology, corporate drama, all of it!

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It was aired simultaneously on TvN and Netflix, so people are already signing petitions for a season 2, hoping that Netflix will be all over it. They should because it was an amazing drama and a lot more material could easily come from this universe.

Not to mention, the romance was adorable and squeal-inducing!

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So now that I’ve got you interested, how do you go about watching those shows?

Well, you have a few options:

  • Netflix: They are coming up with more and more every month, they recently solo produced the horror drama ”Kingdom” which I have yet to watch.
  • VIKI: You can watch most Kdramas on there for free with ads. You can also get a premium pass to watch exclusive content and everything without ads.
  • OnDemandKorea: They have the best selection, however, not all titles have subtitles, which is a problem for me. What they do have with subtitles though is great, and they have a great selection of variety shows as well.

 

So there you go, now go forth and binge-watch! And if you happen to know of any great dramas or TV Shows, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new things to watch!

 

Until next week,

Andreanne

 

 

 

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Thai Coconut Pork

Hi everyone!!

This week I decided to go back to a recipe so here comes the Thai Coconut Pork!

I’m not a huge meat eater, and I feel like a lot of people who don’t eat all that much meat are all about chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I do like meat (chicken included) but it’s expensive and I do just as well without it… When I do eat meat, I’m all about pork. It’s just more savory and flavourful… I don’t know, pork is my favorite!

So on Tuesday night, I whipped this recipe up. As usual, I tried my best for the measurements but you might need to adjust them a bit according to your taste. I was inspired by the Coconut Curry Meatballs that came in the GoodFood box a few weeks ago, but I obviously switched it up a bit.

You’ll also notice that the recipe includes broccoli, which is not very Thai, but it was a case of  ”we-need-to-eat-those-today-because-I-don’t-want-to-throw-them-out”. Which happens quite a lot in my house, mostly because I am the absolute worst at meal-planning…

Here goes:

thai coconut pork

Thai Coconut Pork

(Serves 2)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1lbs of Pork (I used tenderloin because that’s what I had, but you can use other cuts)
  • 2-3 Green Onions
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 can of Coconut Cream
  • 3 Tbsp of Thai Mild Yellow Curry Paste
  • Juice of 2 limes (or about 4 Tbsp of lime juice)
  • 1-2 Tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • 1-2 Tsp of Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 of a Thai Chili (or a whole one if you can handle more heat than me…)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

 

How to:

  1. Cut the green onions to the desired size (I chop mine pretty thin since my husband is not the biggest fan)
  2. Cut the broccoli in florets
  3. Heat up the sesame oil in a pan on Medium-High heat. Once hot, add the pork and brown on all sides.
  4. Season with Salt and Pepper
  5. Add in the curry paste, cook for about 30 sec- 1 min
  6. Add in half of the lime juice and scrape the curry that stuck to your pan
  7. Add in the green onions and broccoli and mix it around for about 30 sec
  8. Add the can of Coconut Cream (at this point you’ll need to help it break down as it is much thicker than Coconut Milk)
  9. Once the Coconut Cream is dissolved properly and warm, add in the peanut butter, fish sauce, and Thai chili.
  10. Let simmer on medium heat for about 15 min or until the sauce has reached the desired thickness.
  11. Taste and add the remaining lime juice if needed. You can also add in more salt and Pepper and/or Fish Sauce.
  12. Serve immediately by itself or with rice/ rice vermicelli. (I used Jasmine Rice)
  13. EAT ALL THE PORK!

 

Notes:

  • If you are allergic to peanuts, feel free to replace by other nut butter or omit it entirely, it’s still gonna be delicious.
  • You can replace the Coconut Cream by Coconut Milk, to adjust the texture, use a little bit of Corn Starch in cold water (slurry)
  • Feel free to use more Thai Chilis, I am, once again, a spice wimp so I just want the tiniest of spicy kick.

 

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You’ll notice that the sauce might separate a bit towards the end, it’s normal, just the oil from the Coconut Cream and the Peanut Butter that wants to live on its own. I personally just mix it all in my rice anyway so it doesn’t bother me.

That’s it for this week guys, I’ll see you next Wednesday.

Until then, follow me on Instagram for daily food and pets (mostly)  @annegvall or click on the Instagram button on the right side!

Have a good week!

 

Andreanne

Favourite Series of 2018

Hello everyone!

For this week’s post, I thought I’d mention some of my favourite series of 2018. As some of you might know, I’m part of a Book Club. We read a book related to a different theme each month, which is super fun. I also attempted the PopSugar Reading Challenge in 2018, which I failed, big time. I read a total of 57 books last year, but only filled 34 out of 50 prompts for the challenge. Oh well, I tried…

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So yeah, you could say I love reading! I just recently downloaded the Kindle app on my phone just so I can get those $1.99 books!

Now, just to clarify, when I say ”Favourite of 2018”, I mean that that second book came out in 2018. Some of the series are finished, and some of them will get additional sequels.

Without further delay, here’s my top 3 (in no particular order)

Warcross and Wildcard

This is a duology, meaning that this is it. It’s over. Done. Which, as you can probably tell, I am so not ok with. I need more of this universe, these characters, and this story! I’m thinking the author, Marie Lu, knows this and might eventually surprise us with some bonus material as she did with her trilogy ”Legend”.

Warcross is the story of Emika Chen, a broke Bounty Hunter from New York who’s (like everybody else on the planet) obsessed with Warcross. What’s Warcross you ask? Just the most popular virtual reality game in the world, no biggie. You play the game with Neurolink glasses invented by Hideo Tanaka (also the game creator, and young, and hot… obviously!)

The story basically starts when Emika tries a hack during the opening game of the Warcross Games (think virtual Olympics almost) and boy does it not go according to plan!

I don’t want to spoil much, but let’s just say that most of the story takes place in Tokyo. That, if I wasn’t married, I would be VERY into Hideo Tanaka (still lowkey am…). That even though I would probably be terrible at it, I would most likely spend my days playing Warcross if I had the Neurolink. And finally, can someone start working on those glasses ASAP please?

This might be one of my all time favourites and I highlyyyy recommend reading those books!

Scythe and Thunderhead

There is a third book coming out at some point for this serie. I’ve read interviews by Neal Shusterman, the author, and there is not one single mention of a release date that I could find! NOT ONE! Not even the year, nada! I guess we’ll have to wait… and wait… and wait…

In the future, humankind uploaded their collective knowledge and, well, basically minds, into the Thunderhead. Think a massive, sentient version of the Cloud. The Thunderhead not only knows and sees everything, but it also communicates with people. Due to the Thunderhead reign, humankind conquered Death. People no longer die of natural causes (medicine is far too advanced) or from accidents (cars are self-driving and the Tunderhead controls everything else). Thing is, people still need to die since the planet can only hold so many.

This prompts the creation of the Sythedom. Which is exactly what it sounds like. The story follows 2 Scythe initiates that are very different. Through their apprenticeship, we learn that there’s a lot of ways to be a Scythe, and that some Scythes are actually terrible!

This is a fantastic read, that shines light on a future that might not be as distant as we would think…

Renegades and Archenemies

It took me a long time to pick up that book. I didn’t really enjoy Marissa Meyer’s previous hit ”Cinder” so I didn’t think I would like this book as much as I did.

It’s a take on the ”In-the-future-some-people-have-special-abilities-for-X-reason” trope. Which is a trope that has been slightly overused in the last 2-3 years but that I loooove! The main reason why I loved ”Renegades” and the sequel ”Archenemies” is because the characters are so likeable!

Nova has a weird ability. She doesn’t sleep. Ever. She can also put people to sleep (making her the perfect babysitter) for as long as she wants. Like all the kids, she looks up to the ”Renegades”, a gang of bona fide Super Heroes. They do say to not meet your heroes. She does, or actually, she doesn’t… We follow her through her teen years after a wild childhood. Again, trying not to spoil anything makes for a weird summary but there you go.

It’s a great read and even though the books are quite long, they’re so good that reading them feels like no time has gone by. Give it a try! Oh, and there is a sequel coming up!


So there you go, my top 3 series of 2018! I hope you enjoyed this post!

Let me know what are your favourites in the comments, I’m always looking for new material, especially since I’m not doing the PopSugar Challenge this year!

Until next week,

Andreanne

Goodfood Box Full Review

Hello everybody!

I am back with another meal box review. I know, again, right? Well, another one of my friends gave me a free ”Goodfood” box this time! Shout out to my girl Megan for the free goods!

Also, even though I got this box for free, this is NOT a sponsored post, just to let you guys know!

Goodfood

I’ll follow the same format as I did for the ”HelloFresh” box but I’ll try my best to stay objective and not only compare them to each other.

Here we go!

 

Shipping and Packaging

It didn’t start all that great for me when I did not, in fact, get my box on December 26th… Until I looked up the website and saw that, because of the Holidays, deliveries would be delayed and I would get my box on the 28th instead. Well… okay I guess. I was still slightly frustrated to be honest. On the 28th, however, I got my box bright and early (around 9:30am, which was great because I was on vacation but not awesome if I would have been at work… oh well…).

 

The meals are divided into plastic bags, that come in a huge insulated cardboard box. The website seemed to be saying that the plastic is recyclable (Unless you live in a place that sucks at recycling, like me!). The meat was packaged nicely with ice packs under the bags and another layer of insulated cardboard.

Once again, I am slightly doubtful of how this would fair in 30 degrees Celsius weather, especially if it gets delivered so early but I’m gonna go ahead and assume that they have a ”summer plan”.

 

 

Now, in the meal bags, most of the ingredients were packaged in extra Ziploc-type plastic bags which I find just adds to the plastic that I cannot recycle here. I wish the ingredients would have been loose in the bag whenever possible. The little containers for sauces and the likes were pretty sturdy though, I’ll be able to re-use them, which is nice.

I do not recall seeing anything on the website regarding the ice packs, I just kept them in the freezer for now.

Freshness of Ingredients

Unfortunately, some of my ingredients were not as fresh as they could have been. One recipe called for Thai basil, which was either really wilted or had frozen to death… Either way, I couldn’t use it. Since it was only a garnish it’s not too bad but it was still a little disappointing.

Otherwise, the rest seemed pretty fresh. The meat seemed fresh and well packaged.

 

Recipes and Instructions

The recipes were very simple and easy to follow. They came on large cardstock paper that you can keep on file. You can also access the recipes on the website.

I couldn’t find an app, I’m not sure if it’s in the works or not.

The timings for cooking were fairly accurate, the recipes were very quick to make, which is perfect for weeknights!

 

Meals

Pork Meatballs in Thai Coconut Curry

 

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Mine and my husband’s favorite of the week by far! To the point that I already made it again with ingredients that I purchased specifically for it.

This is the recipe that called for the Thai basil for garnish, clearly, it was glorious without it as well. It’s not the prettiest of recipes, but it was oh so tasty.

The recipe was easy to follow and was done in about 30-40 minutes, mostly because I’m slightly paranoid about fully cooking my meat since I got salmonella a few years back. Now I know that salmonella is for poultry and that pork is usually safe to eat even slightly undercooked, but this was ground pork and I’m not taking any chances dammit!

The only modification I made when I made this recipe again is that I added an egg and a bit of panko breadcrumbs to make the meatballs hold a little better.

Besides that, perfect recipe, super fragrant and delicious. The Thai chili gave it the perfect kick (I only put half of one cuz we all know I’m a spice wimp).

Final rating:  5/ 5

Whiskey-Rubbed Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

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Was it good? Yes. Did I call my mom to tell her how good it was? No.

It was good, but it didn’t rock my world. I may have been biased since the first meal of the week had been so fabulous, we may never know…

My husband said he liked the spice rub, and now I wish I knew exactly what was in it… Same for the vinaigrette. It’s very convenient for the night of, that some things are pre-made, but not if you want to re-create the recipe…

For me, the scalloped potatoes were the real MVP of this meal, but then again, I LOVE scalloped potatoes (they’re the main reason why I chose this meal). I did have to cook them about 15 minutes longer than the recipe card said, but that might be more of a personal preference than an actual mistake in the cooking time.

All in all, a fine meal, but not necessarily one that will become a staple in our house.

Final rating: 3/ 5

Peanut Butter Dumplings

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So, I really dropped the ball on this one. Remember how, in my last post, I mentioned my husband’s allergy to mushrooms?

Well, guess who got too excited when she saw this meal that she didn’t read the description? Yup, this girl. So I did not, in fact, notice that these guys were vegetarian shitake mushrooms dumplings.

Yeah. GO me, right?

Since I was far too tired that day to make 2 different types of dumplings, I made the executive decision to use frozen pork dumplings that I had in the freezer. GASP! I know! I used the mushrooms and cabbage to make myself some Bibimbap later in the week.

The peanut sauce was delicious, my husband came back after eating one dumpling to dump the rest of the sauce on his plate. Always a good sign in my book.

I will definitely make that sauce again since we love dumplings, we have it fairly often and one can get tired of the soy sauce-rice vinegar combo.

The green beans were fresh and crisp, nothing groundbreaking about them but they were good.

Final rating: 4.5/ 5


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This concludes my ”Goodfood” box review!

Final conclusion. Would I buy this box again? Probably. I liked that it was slightly less expensive than ”HelloFresh” and the meals were more up my alley. This is something that I would order when my husband is away for work and I can order anything I want ahahah no dealing with Mr.Picky-Eater!

I did enjoy the large selection of meals to choose from, especially their ”Artisan” meal which is much fancier for a small added price. Ex. Porter House Steaks, Lobster Risotto, etc. They also have ”Easy Prep” boxes as well as boxes tailored for those who are gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant, which is a very nice touch.

I also saw on their website that they have a program where for every box purchased, ”Goodfood” makes a donation to Canadian organizations that help provide breakfast or lunch for school children in need. I like that. As a kid, I went to a primary school in a low-income area and, while I always had breakfast before school, a lot of my classmates didn’t. The school was part of a breakfast program that provided milk and granola bars or fruits 3 times a week and I know that it made a huge difference with a lot of kids. So kudos to ”Goodfood” for helping out, well done!

Is it still more expensive than grocery shopping? Yes. Once again, we have to weigh in convenience VS cost. It’s not something that I personally would order every week, but the website lets you skip weeks when you don’t want to order.

All in all, the ”Goodfood” box is a great product. You can check out their website for more info if you are interested in ordering. They usually have pretty good deals for the first order (or you can get a free box from a regular subscriber like me!)

This is it for this week! From now on, I’ll try to post every Wednesday, so keep an eye out!

Until next time,

Andreanne

Hello Fresh Box full Review!

Hi everyone!

Long time no see, so long in fact that I had to re-familiarize myself with this website… Not good… That being said, for 2019, I plan on posting once a week. Stay tuned!

Anywho, if you follow me on Instagram (and if you’re not, you should  @annegvall ) you would know that last week,  I reviewed a Hello Fresh box!

HELLO FRESH BOX

Now, I got the box for free from my friend Laura, apparently, if you get the boxes every week, every so often they give you a free box to give to someone. Neat right? So, while I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the box, it’s nearly a week of groceries for free so yeah, I tried it!

To make this simple, I’ve decided to divide this review into categories of sort, let’s start with:

 

Shipping and Packaging

I was lowkey worried about getting meat shipped by mail to be honest, turns out, I didn’t have to worry, the packaging is very well thought out.

They delivered around 5:30pm on Monday night (the app said that delivery was guaranteed before 8pm) so that was perfect for me as I tend to have dinner a bit later anyway. If you have kids, you might want to plan something non-box provided for Monday night dinner though.

The meals are divided into paper bags that come in a huge box. The box is ”insulated”, it’s cardboard, but silvery-thermos looking inside. I was still a bit worried about the meat, thinking it was in the paper bags. Low and behold, it’s not. It’s actually under the paper bags, separated by cardboard, and living with 3 huge Ice Packs. Super cozy… in a freezing sorta way!

All in all, everything was cold and nice. Now, I’m not quite sure how those Ice Packs would fare on my porch during the summer but for now, it was fine. \ EDIT: Upon reading this review, Laura (who gave me the free box) wrote to me letting me know that, in the summer, the meat and ice packs are packed in an insulated bag at the bottom of the box to stay cold for longer. \

Before you ask (because you care about my blog THAT much and you would ask, I just know it) yes, it is a lot of plastic. Most of it they try to keep cardboard or paper, and if you’re the type who uses produce bags at the grocery store it’s not more plastic than that.

Most of the plastic (baring the stuff wrapping the meat) is recyclable, as long as your province isn’t absolutely useless in terms of recycling (*cough* New Brunswick *cough*) and the ice packs you can return to them for re-use or recycle the wrapping, so, they are trying. Is it perfect? No, but then again, I’m pretty certain that no meal box is.

 

 


Freshness of Ingredients

All of the ingredients I had in my box were super fresh. The fresh herbs weren’t wilted, the meat was good quality and still cold when I opened the box. I have absolutely zero complaints about the freshness of ”Hello Fresh”, everything was in stellar condition and the quality of all the ingredients was great.

 


Recipes and Instructions

The recipes were very easy to follow, in fact, if you download the app, you can follow the recipes step-by-step. It even has individual timers per step. For example, say step 2 is to let the onion simmer for 2 min, you’ll get a 2 minutes timer. It’s really well thought out.

The recipes were all beginner’s level I would say, especially with the step-by-step instructions. You also get a paper recipe card to keep in your files, since you can’t go back to the app’s recipe once the week is over. Well, you can, they’re just a little harder to find. You can also tag your favorite recipes to find them more easily.

Also, as I stated before, the meals are separated into paper bags, so there is no risk to use the ingredients for the wrong recipe. It comes in handy since most recipes required garlic, and using it all in the first recipe would have driven away vampires for decades…

 

 


Meals

Simple Lamb Ragù

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This was super easy to make, however, I did take some liberties with the recipe… First of all, as some of you know, my husband is allergic to mushrooms. I love mushrooms. Like, really really love mushrooms. So when my husband is away, I put mushrooms in EVERYTHING I make. Yeah… I added mushrooms.

Taste-wise, it was delicious. A liiiiittle bit sweet for my taste, but I think children would love it. If I was to make this recipe again, I would omit the sugar and add some hot sauce. That being said, it was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the meals I had, it was my favorite (It’s kind of a tie for favorite between this one and the chicken empanadas). 

Final rating:  4.5/ 5

 

Chicken Yakitori Bowl

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This one may have been my husband favorite, I think it’s a tie between this one and the chicken empanadas.

Again, I took liberties with the recipe, I steamed my rice instead of making it on the stove. I’m fairly certain that it didn’t change the taste of the recipe.

It was pretty good, basically tasted like the stuff you would get at the mall food court, in a good way. Now I make a LOT of Asian food so this wasn’t groundbreaking to me, however, it was good. I liked the idea of adding seasoned seaweed on top, made for a nice crunch and I’ll probably use that on several recipes of mine. The sauce was also tasty, a tiny bit salty maybe, but that might be why my husband liked it so much!

Final rating: 3.8/ 5

 

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas

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So. Very. Delicious! The chicken filling was spicy and cheesy, just perfect!

The charred corn was a revelation, basically no seasoning and yet, it was so flavourful! The combo with the bell pepper was great, I will definitely make that again.

The only thing I would change would be to use a different dough. While the puff pastry was absolutely delicious, it was also a tiny bit greasy. If (when) I make that recipe again, I might use pizza dough or something similar. Would that make it a hot pocket instead of an empanada? Maybe. Would it make it easier to eat 4 in a row? Absolutely!

Final rating: 4.5/ 5

 

Pan Seared Steak

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I’ll start by mentioning that I’m not big on steak, or potatoes for that matter. I’m generally not a slice of meat and starch kinda gal. So the fact that I didn’t enjoy this meal all that much doesn’t mean a lot.

The meat quality was good, but if I’m honest, I found the whole meal pretty bland. It wasn’t seasoned much and for me, who is not a big fan of meat, it was kind of a letdown.

The real star of this meal was the garlic-herbs butter. That was delicious. I eventually gave up on the meat altogether (my husband was happy to finish it on his own)  and used the rest of the butter on the potatoes and beans. I will definitely make this butter again, or use the same spice mix for some kind of dip. With greek yogurt maybe?

Final rating: 3/ 5 


 

There you have it. My full review of a ”Hello Fresh” box.

Final conclusion. Would I buy this box again? Maybe. If the meals looked really interesting one week, maybe. For me, who doesn’t have kids, the price outweighs the convenience of the ”Hello Fresh” box. It’s a lot more expensive for me to buy the box than to buy individual groceries. As I love cooking and I’m not super rushed to get dinner on the table every night, I will keep going grocery shopping.

However, if time or indecision is more of the essence for you, or if you don’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen, ”Hello Fresh” might be an excellent option. The box in itself was great. Good quality of ingredients, easy recipes that makes tasty food and shipped straight to your door.

”Hello Fresh” is an all-around excellent product, whether or not it’s for you is more about your lifestyle than about the box itself.

Finally, I would like to remind you, dear reader, that even though I got this box for free from a friend, this is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my very own!

 

Until next time!

 

Andreanne

”Let’s Fight Ghost” Hoisin-Garlic Sausages

Welcome back!

What a week… I am sooo tired! My dad came down last weekend to visit with his girlfriend and her kids. It was super fun, but then I had to do all my weekend stuff after they left. You know what I mean, like… Laundry, changing the bed, vacuuming all the pet hair… No? Just me? Alright then…

On a different note, I decided to try something new for this week’s post. I’m going to combine a Korean Drama review of sort, with a recipe! Let me know if you like it in the comments section below.

Lately, I have been obsessed with the drama ”Let’s Fight, Ghost!” (싸우자 귀신아). I watched it something like 4 times already. Yes, I am very much aware of how sad that is…

lets fight ghost

It’s a 2016 drama that originally aired on tvN. Starring Ok Taecyeon (Dream High) and Kim So Hyun (School 2015) and it’s hilarious!

It’s also slightly creepy sometimes, some of the ghosts are ugly and scary as hell! I would not want to be able to see those in real life. Nope, hard pass on that one!

I believe I have read somewhere that it’s a manga adaptation, if you know more about it, tell me in the comments, I’d like to read it!

The story is about Park Bong Pal, a college student who can see (and beat up) ghosts. He meets Kim Hyun Ji, the ghost of a High schooler who can’t cross over as she doesn’t remember anything from her life. They become unlikely partners in helping ghosts cross over and even starting an exorcism business with some of Bong Pal’s college mates.

You absolutely have to watch it, it’s amazing, I personally watched it on Dramafever, but you can also watch it on VIKI. EDIT: Dramafever ceased activities in late 2018. VIKI is still up and running.

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Kim Hyun Ji loves to eat, I’m not sure if it’s the norm for ghosts but she eats A LOT! She spends half her time trying to get Park Bong Pal to buy meat and make her food. Go feminism! I mean, who’s the sandwich maker now uhh??

Anyway, in episode 2, Monk Myung Chul asks Bong Pal for some sausage. It looks like regular sausage grilled with some onions and broccoli and it looks fantastic. Obviously, this is when I decided that I had to make something similar.

 

 

See those sausages in the very last image? Doesn’t it look fabulous? Well since I had zero clues how to do it, I kind of improvised. Good thing I did too, as my husband now requests it every week!

Hoisin Garlic Sausages

(Serves 3-4 or two who eat a whole lot… STOP JUDGING!)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Maple Lodge Farms fully cooked smoked chicken ” Smokies” sausages (or whichever sausages you’d like really)
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 big onion
  • 1/4 cup of VH Hoisin-Garlic sauce (yeah, that’s cheating, I know!)
  • Sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of water

 

How To:

  1. Cut the sausage in diagonal slices (just because it looks prettier).
  2. Dice the onion and cut the broccoli in small florets.
  3. Grill the sausages in a pan or a wok.
  4. Add in the veggies and grill them for a few minutes. You can add a bit of sesame oil if too dry, it’s going to depend on what sausage you use I think.
  5. Add in about 1/2 cup of water to finish steaming the vegetables.
  6. Once the water is all gone, add in the sauce.
  7. Serve with rice, or noodles, or any starchy leftovers you have in the fridge.
  8. Eat all the sausages!

 

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You can hardly mess that up, so simple it’s embarrassing to put it on here really… I guess you could make your own sauce with hoisin, garlic, a bit of soy sauce… I am lazy so I used pre-made, I know, shame on me. Recently I’ve been adding bell peppers to the recipe and tteok. Delicious additions but unnecessary.

On the other hand, it’s really good AND it looks pretty close to the dish made by Park Bong Pal sooooo I say it’s a win.

Let me know if you try it, and what you think about it!

 

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So that’s it for this week’s episode of  ”Andreanne tries to make food from k-dramas” I hope you enjoyed.

On a completely unrelated subject, I’m thinking of taking a Pets First Aid course next month, has anyone done that before? Is it worth it? I read a story online about a dog choking to death on a tennis ball and it kinda traumatized me… I’m a bit sap for my fur babies!

WELL, I guess I’ll see you next time,

 

Andreanne

Char Siu Pork and Soba Noodles

Hi everyone!

Remember when I mentioned my obsession with noodles? Yeah? Well, this is it! Although to be absolutely fair, the pork is the star of this plate. Delicious, savory, fabulous pork.

Before getting right into it, how’s life treating you these days? In here we’re good, lots and lots of rain but I guess that’s Canada for ya!

My husband just repaired the fence in the backyard so the dogs can be in the backyard unsupervised for a while… Nice change, they were always escaping so we had to be outside with them for the whole time they were out… Gets old pretty fast. We also discovered something called ”Happy Tail” when Sirius busted his tail open by wagging it too hard on the wall… Fun fact, bandaging a dog’s tail doesn’t work very well! With some antiseptic spray 3 times a day, antibiotics and 2 vet visits, he is on the mend… No bandage actually stayed on, we are just holding onto his tail everytime he gets excited…

I’m also trying to cook more. Recently, my schedule has been really hectic so we were eating on the go a bit… Now, everybody who knows me knows that I love Asian food. I recently tried a recipe of Hainanese Rice that was good but not perfect. The search for that one continues!

Last night though, I made a variant of Char Siu Pork that was amazing, therefore I decided to share it on da blog! The best thing about it is that you boil the pork instead of marinating it for ages!

Here goes:

 

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Char Siu Pork and Soba Noodles

(feeds 4)

Ingredients Pork:

– 2 pork loins
– 1/2 onion sliced
– 4 green onions, roughly chopped
– 5 garlic cloves, smashed
– 1 cup of  rice wine
– 1 cup of light soy sauce
– 1 cup of dark soy sauce
– 1/4 cup of sugar
– 2 tbsp of Hoisin sauce
– 1 tbsp of Oyster sauce
– 1 tbsp of Chinese Five-Spices
– Sesame oil

How to:

1. Brown the pork on all sides in sesame oil,
2. Put all the ingredients in a pot, and add in the browned pork,
3. Boil covered on medium heat for about 1 h 15 minutes,
4. Let rest in the sauce while you make the noodles.
5. While you cut the pork (after the noodles are done) reduce the sauce on high heat.
6. Eat all the pork!

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Ingredients noodles:

– 1 pack of soba noodles
– 4 baby bok choi, chopped
– Sesame Oil
– Epicure Asian stir-fry spice mix (or ginger, sesame seeds, and garlic)
– Pork sauce (see above)


How to:

1. Boil the noodles following instructions on the package,
2. When the noodles are half cooked, add in the non-leafy parts on the bok choi to start cooking it.
3. Drain the noodles and bok choi,
4. In a pan, sautée the leafy parts of the bok choi with the drained noodles and the rest of the bok choi.
5. Add in the spice mix and the pork sauce to taste.
6. Eat all the noodles!

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So there you go! Easy peasy! Very tasty pork that is ready in far less long than regular Char Siu Pork. I am a biiiig fan of fast meals, as you all know!

See you next week folks!

Andreanne

Tteokbokki 떡볶이

Hello peeps!

Glad to be back! I was actually wondering if one new post a week is good… Should I post more often? Like, two times a week? Let me know what you prefer!

Before we get into this week’s recipe, I have to confess something. I am absolutely obsessed with Korean Dramas. They are so weirdly addictive! I got a premium account on Dramafever just because I was binge watching so much… That being said, my obsession is actually paying off, in food form. They are eating such cool looking things that I neeeeeeed to try. Since Korean restaurants are pretty scarce where I live, I am making my own. It’s usually good, although I do wish I could compare to the real deal.

I discovered ”Tteokbokki” while watching the drama ”High School- Love on”, as the Grandma is the owner of a tteokbokki restaurant. I was craving some, but I had a bit of trouble getting all the ingredients. I did it though, and it’s fairly easy to make!

Turns out, it’s really good, but also ridiculously spicy. I can handle it for a small portion, but it’s some serious spice… My husband declared (after my second, less spicy try) that he was out of any future tteokbokki experiments…

I shall share with you my first recipe, I assume it’s closer to what you would actually get in Korea.

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Tteokbokki 

(makes 4 small portions, or like, 1 giant portion, I’m not judging you)

 
Ingredients
 
– 1 bag of tubular rice cakes
– 1 sheet of fish cake
– 3 tbsp of Gochujang paste
– About 3 cups of water
– 2 tsp of crushed/ minced garlic
– 1 tbsp corn syrup
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp soy sauce (I used light soy sauce)
1-2 green onions
– 1 tbsp sesame seeds
** Most recipes also added Korean pepper flakes to the recipe, I didn’t because I didn’t want to die…
*** You can also add cabbage, I didn’t because I didn’t have any….
How to
 
1. If your rice cakes are hard, soak them in water for 15-30 minutes, mine were frozen, so I mostly thawed them, then soaked them for about 15 minutes.
2. Add the water to a pan and all the ingredients for the sauce (except the sesame seeds) and bring to a boil. You may need to whisk the gochujang paste to dissolve it completely as it’s pretty thick and sticky.
3. When boiling, turn the heat down to medium and add the rice cakes.
4. While the rice cakes are cooking, chop the veggies and fish cakes for them to be about bite size (except the green onions, they’re for decoration, or garnish, if you’d like to fancy it up)
 
5. When the rice cakes are almost done and the sauce is thicker (about 10 minutes), add in the veggies and fish cakes.
6. Cook until the sauce is really thick and is coating the rice cakes.
7. Serve with sesame seeds and green onions on top.
8. EAT ALL THE RICE CAKES (and burn your mouth in the process)
 
 
** Note: Rice cakes are sticky, so you’ll need to stir pretty much the whole time.
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Prepare to be amazed, it’s ridiculously spicy, but in a weird way. My husband loves Jalapenos peppers and he said to me that this is a building spiciness. Jalapenos are instantly burning, whereas tteokbokkis are insidiously burning…

If you are used to spicy food, you should be fine. If you’re not, well, you’ll get used to it! Fighting!

 

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I hope that I made you hungry! Let me know if you try these, I want to know if the spicyness is actually hell-like or if I’m just a wimp (my money is on the wimp…) 

Also, if you so happen to want to dive into the K-Drama world, I suggest you go check out http://www.dramafever.com  you can watch for free with ads or get a premium account for pretty cheap. Before long you’ll catch yourself binge-watching for days on end… And don’t worry, you get used to the subtitles really quickly! EDIT: Dramafever has actually closed down in late 2018. I suggest ”On Demand Korea” or VIKI for your KDrama fix. Netflix is starting to have a pretty decent collection too.

I hope you guys have a great week! I’ll see you next time!

Andreanne

Better than take-out noodles!

Welcome to Fork & Fantasy!

I am so excited to launch this brand new blog! In here, I’ll share my best recipes, my latest read, my TV show obsessions… A bit of everything! Let’s be real though, my one true love is food (Please, no one tell my husband!) 

Food and I have a great relationship. I love it, and I’m fairly sure it loves me. Therefore, it was a no brainer for me that my very first post, would be a recipe.


 

Have you ever come home after a long day at work and contemplated the task of making dinner with growing hatred? I did. My love for food is unconditional. My love of cooking, however, comes and goes as it pleases.

This situation usually leads to one thing. Take-out. Which is not only pricey but also slightly unhealthy… Not that it stops me, but sometimes you just want homemade, yet quick.

On this particular day, I needed something that could be ready in under 15 minutes so I wouldn’t cave in and order pizza.

I mindlessly took out some pre-cooked chicken breasts from the freezer and threw them in the microwave. Now what? Well a few ingredients later, and about 12 minutes, I had myself these ”better than take-out noodles”!

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Alright so, while my chicken was re-heating (and becoming a little dry might I add) I pulled out some Bok Choy from the fridge, some green onions from my window sill (I’m regrowing them after cutting them, it’s a revelation). There, proteins and veggies, check.

Cooking rice was wayyyy too long for my hungry stomach, but lucky me had somen noodles in the pantry. A little boiling water and those noodles were ready in under 5 minutes. Genius, I’m telling you!

 

So by then, I had all it took to make dinner, but how to season it? Peanut sauce? Oyster sauce? So many options… That’s when I remembered that my Dad (bless him) got me a box of Asian spices mix for Christmas.

They’re from the company ”Epicure”, as I understand it, they specialize in spice mixes and cooking stuff. Anyway, you can order that stuff online, and you should because it’s da bomb man!

I used the vinaigrette mix from the ”Good Asian Real Fast” kit. It has sesame, ginger and, I’m assuming, magic and unicorn tears. It’s THAT good!

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So I dumped a ton of those spices into my noddles, added a little chicken stock and bam! Done!

All under 15 minutes, watch in hand. I’m not saying that I could beat Jamie Oliver at his own game but you know… close enough…

Here’s the full recipe:

Better than take out noodles

(serves 2 who eat a lot)

Ingredients:

– Somen noodles (About a 1/3 of a package, or you know… a big handful?)
– 2 Chicken breasts, pre-cooked, or not…
– 4 bok choy, chopped.
– 3 green onions, also chopped.
– Sesame-Ginger Epicure mix, as much as you can!
– 1/2 cup chicken stock
– 1 tsp of sesame oil
– 1 tbsp of canola oil

How to:

1. Cook or re-heat your chicken
2. Cook the somen noodles (3 to 5 minutes)
3. Chop the veggies and chicken
4. Throw the veggies in a little sesame oil and a little canola oil, sautée until half cooked.
5. Add in the chicken and lots of the spice mix.
6. Add the chicken broth and the noodles.
7. Stir until all mixed up and warm
8. Eat all the noodles!

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You can’t really get easier than that, and if you can, please tell me! I need to know!

So this is it, the very first post of Fork & Fantasy! Just so you know, I have an ongoing obsession with noodles, so you should probably expect more recipes in the future.

Please let me know if you make this recipe and happen to love it!

Now I believe this is all until next time!

 

Andreanne