Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bread and Soup Recipes

On Pinterest I just uploaded some pins of things I've made, and have received a request for the recipe I used when I made bread bowls and soup the other night. I'm not sure if it was for the bread bowls or the soup--so here are both!

First, the bowls are from a basic bread recipe that my mother uses *all* the time. Yield for this is four loaves; I quartered it for our bread bowls.

4 c warm water
3 T yeast
4 T sugar
2 T salt
1/4 c vegetable oil
10-12 c flour

Combine yeast, water, and sugar. Let sit until yeast proofs. Add salt and oil, and first 3-5 cups of flour. Slowly add the remaining flour about a cup at a time until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl, but is still a little sticky (I always have to touch to tell--if it looks shiny then it needs just a little more flour). Let the dough rest until it has doubled in size (usually an hour; I had other things to do, so I mixed the dough in the morning, covered it, and placed it in the fridge until the afternoon). On a lightly floured surface knead dough. Shape into loaves and place in prepared loaf pans (prepared meaning lightly oiled). Let the loaves rise (again, until doubled in size) then place into an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

For the bread bowls I obviously didn't use loaf pans, I just shaped them into round balls. Additionally, to make them more crusty I followed the steps located here. I don't own a baking stone, so I just used my tinfoil lined baking sheet and it worked just fine. I also glazed the dough with egg whites after I had made the slits/just before placing them in the oven.

The soup recipe is something I found here. But with a few modifications. I only add a splash of olive oil because I am not at all health-conscious and saute my onions in my bacon fat. However, it's not quite enough, hence the splash of olive oil. I've also found that the starch in the potatoes is MORE than enough to make the soup creamy, so I nix adding flour as well. One thing I absolutely stick to is adding the salt and pepper after removing the soup from the heat. It makes all the difference in the world.

Happy eating!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Spring is coming.

I can feel it.

Each morning as the sun rises a little earlier I feel the hope of Spring. I've even noticed the angle of the sun shining into our apartment is changing. I'm sure Adam grows weary with my constant pronouncements of the upcoming season, but I just can't help getting excited about it!

The season is not the only thing changing here in Korea. Last week I was selected to be the new Coordinator for the Special Programs division here at English Village. I feel very overwhelmed by all the things I have responsibility for, but I am hopeful that they will all turn out well. One might ask what a Coordinator does. With my job I'm a little bit scheduler, teacher-trainer, content-coordinator, supply chief, game developer, prize and certificate distributor, and assistant to the program's Head Teacher. Yeah. It's a lot of change.

The position was vacant because many teachers are finishing their contracts and leaving English Village. The change with their departure is palpable.  By the end of this month we will be down to 39 teachers (this may sound like a lot considering we aren't a traditional school, but when you also take into account that it used to be a force of over 100 it puts into clearer perspective how things are going). Many of those going have been the people who have defined life at English Village for me; I call them friends before I call them coworkers. Because I am selfish I am sad to see them go, but I am happy for the opportunities and possibilities that await them with their changes.

One of the benefits of people leaving is they sell stuff they can't/don't want to take with them. It was through such luck that we are now the proud owners of (much larger) small convection oven! I almost feel as though it deserves a name because of the inordinate amount of love I have for the simple little appliance. It was too late last night to make something for dinner after we installed it (read: cleared off space next to the microwave for it to sit), so it's inaugural use tonight was bread bowls for dinner.

Didn't they turn out lovely?

And another picture of them all dressed up!

Don't worry, it's ok to be jealous of how good it looks to eat cause it was divine ;)

I also finally decided I just couldn't take it anymore with the growing of the hair. Nobody but Adam knew I was going (ok, Jamie knew, too). 

Here is the last day with the long (for me!) locks. 

Aren't they awful? Yowza! This was taken just before I left for the salon.

And (drumroll for the big reveal...) the new haircut!

This was the immediate-post salon styling (can I just tell you that the head massage during the shampoo alone is worth the $30 I pay to go there? part of my week so far). I'll have to pick up some pomade ASAP so I can get the funk back into it. I just about laughed out loud when the stylist finished and said, almost in surprise, "It looks much younger." I heard, "You don't have prematurely old-looking mom hair anymore!"

Hooray for change!