Archive | November, 2013

Cranberry Pumpkin Microwave Muffins

20 Nov

Oh, you thought I was done posting muffins after ‘Muffin Month’ back in April?

cranberrypumpkinmicrowavemuffins002Nope.

And with Thanksgiving right around the corner for us US folks, and Halloween just past, what better fits the season than some pumpkin and cranberry? These taste like a lighter, airier version of pumpkin pie, and lend themselves well to various nutty additions, if you like a little crunch in your muffin.  Walnuts or pecans might suit them well.

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Review: BURGERMINE – People’s Favorite Burgers

17 Nov

So, this last week, I was craving a burger for my cheat day ‘treat’, and of course I didn’t want to waste my cheat day on a tasteless meat patty and anemic toppings from one of the local fast food joints.  Who would?

Instead, I did some Googling and decided to head to Haebangchon (or HBC, as the locals tend to call it).  Just west of Itaewon, HBC has a high foreign population, but not quite as inflated prices as the main Itaewon street by the station.  To get there, you’ve got to come to Noksapyeong Station on Line 6 and walk out exit 2.  After a few hundred meters up the sidewalk, you’ll see a fork in the road, with the left-hand side street heading up a hill, and a shop with a lot of giant kimchi pots outside on the corner.  Walk up the hill until you’ve passed a couple of side streets on your right, and another tasty pub called Phillies on a corner on your left.  BURGERMINE is nearly across from Phillies. You’ll see some painted renditions of spraycans with Campbell’s labels and various popular characters on the concrete strip beneath the patio.

What makes BURGERMINE special is the concept–it’s a DIY burger bar.  You walk in, and for 18,000 KRW you have 90 minutes, during which you can order as many beef, chicken, or veggie patties as you want, cooked at your request and retrieved via a buzzer system, along with apparently endless plates of fresh-cooked french fries and free soda refills at the fountain.  The beef patties are quite thick and tasty, grilled well without being overcooked.  I liked the chicken breast as well–it came to me bearing noticeable, delicious grill-marks without being leathery or tough.  As for the veggie burgers… I don’t know how they rate, I was too full after a burger, a chicken breast, and picking off three plates of (chili) fries to be tempted into trying one for myself.

reviewburgermine001

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Ginger Pumpkin Chowder

8 Nov

gingerpumpkinchowder001If there is one thing that we all have no shortage of in the months between Halloween and Christmas, it’s probably a variety of leftover winter squashes.  Got an extra cup or two of cooked pumpkin left over from that pie?  Some acorn or butternut squash that didn’t fit in the pan? Tired of cloying sweets and heavy, creamy soups?  Feeling anxious about the upcoming months of rolling away from holiday tables, or trying to cook to accommodate a vegan or vegetarian at the table?  Here is a warming, satisfying meat and dairy-free soup that tastes like the harvest season, in a bowl.

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Feeling Saucy: Tzatziki

6 Nov

tzatziki001For the last, somewhat belated addition to my month of sauce-themed posts, I picked tzatziki, a thick and creamy Greek appetizer which not only makes a great dip, but a delicious sauce over chicken or lamb gyros (or doner kebab, or shawarma–Avengers fans, I’m looking at you).  This is probably the easiest of this month’s sauces to make, but finding one of the key ingredients proved a little tricky.  Fresh dill can be kind of difficult to lay hands on in Seoul, when you’re actually looking for it!

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