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Dan can cook: Cooking for my Korean Family

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I have been married for about 2 months now and it had been great. I was a bit worried at first because I can be a very stubborn jerk. I guess in my old age, I have mellowed out. These days I am happy to spend my free time at home with the family and and I have rediscovered my love of cooking.

Long ago I used to cook for my family at home and this love of feeding others pushed me into the direction of the food industry. I worked in a number of restaurants trying to learn new skills and recipes. I washed dishes, I did prep, I worked the cooking line, I waited tables, I made drinks, etc. This helped me develop my sense of hospitality and made me decide that I wanted to find a way to work in this industry without having to work the line every night. Sorry, but being a chef is hard and my poor back wouldn’t be able to do it for a career.

At home, I have found a new group of diners that haven’t tried my cooking before. I don’t dare try to do Korean. (my mother-in-law is the best there). However, I will make meals for them.

My new family is used to healthy dining. They like brown rice and lots of healthy vegetables. Fruits are the main desserts and there isn’t many processed snacks in the house. I am proud that my fridge is filled with mainly fresh ingredients.

Of the dishes my family likes are… Tbc

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Muscat Cheesecake and Hot Chocolate from Swiss Chocolate Cafe

We went for dessert at the Swiss Chocolate Cafe at the IFC Mall. Not a bad place. We had the dark chocolate drink which was smooth and decadent. I thought it was a tad watery. I think I wanted some heavy cream added. It was definitely a nice way to relax after a long day. We also had the muscat tart. This was yummy. Layers of cheese and cream topped with green grapes. If the crust had more of a snap, I think it would have been a star item. Good stuff overall.
The place is not too expensive either. A drink and a cake for 11,500 won.

Swiss Chocolate Cafe
IFC Mall at City Hall
97-6 Mugyo-dong
Jung-gu, Seoul

http://goo.gl/maps/ILE3h

02-3789-3245

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Eat.Pizza

My wife and I were hungry so we went to check out Eat.Pizza. It is right on cheongychon stream and they are doing pizzas like Apple Gorgonzola, Quattro formaggi and such. It’s a budget pizza place that starts at 5,800 a slice. It’s like Trevia Pizzeria in Itaewon but not as good. The crust was crisp but the dough wasn’t fully cooked. Toppings were alright but pizza that is fully cooked is just meh. I told them and they said that is the way it is. That’s their style. Uncooked dough should be anyone’s style. Sigh.

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Brew 3.14 Update: Marketing a Small Craft Brew Bar in Insadong

My little bar that is hidden in the Insadong area has been doing well these days. I was worried for a while since we did pick a somewhat hard to find location. However, those are the types of places I like so my friend Patrick and I decided to go for it. If it is hard to find, it has a sense of exclusivity, right? Plus with the internet you can find everything (this we found out is only partly true.) Anyway, our bar isn’t really competing with others and we’re really the only western bar in the Insadong area. So…if you are staying at the Ibis Insadong, Fraser Suites, or many of the other hotels in the Jongno area- ours is a good option to get a beer and a cocktail. One of the challenges of running a local, neighborhood bar is getting the word out. In the short time we have been open (we opened August 2013) we have been in several magazines and many websites. We also are highly ranked on the website tripadvisor. We have been featured in a number of western blogs as well. That is all fine and good but those things don’t have much affect on our business. We have found the most effective marketing has been
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Chinese food lunch at Jibaein: Chief Manager

Today after discussing what sort of life insurance I should get and filling out a thousand forms I went with friends and my wife to Jibaein. This is a famous place for Chinese Food by Yeouiddo Station.

The interior is in traditional (and in my opinion, gaudy) Chinese style with columns, marble and gilded gold.

The courses are famous here and so are the noodles. One point though, when we asked our waitress if the noodles were handmade, she wouldn’t give us a straight answer.

We decided to just get noodles, dumplings, and fried rice here today. I can’t say it was anything special. The noodles were store bought and I think the dumplings as well since the skin fell apart too easily. The fried rice was good but not really fried rice- it was Korean rice that was stir fried with oil and veggies. I mean for 7-9 thousand won, it wasn’t bad for a meal but nothing direct from the corner Chinese store. The black sauce for the noodles were fine but it wouldn’t inspire me to come and spend 50-200 dollars ok a full course meal. The best place is still the place in Itaewon with the beef and tomato noodles I talked about before.

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