Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jap Jae.

Now that I've flown the coop I am taking it upon myself to learn how to prepare some of the meals I had grown accustomed to my mother preparing for myself. I'm not talking about her chicken noodle soup here (which is also delicious); I am talking about duk gook and jap jae...the meals that feed the body and the soul.

Here are a few snap shots and notes I took on how to prepare Jap Jae, its a Korean starch noodle dish. Meat is optional, you can heat up slices of beef with garlic and olive oil in separate pan and then mix them in with the noodles.


1 package Korean Starch Noodle (Korean Vermicelli, Sweet Potato Starch)
1/2 Chopped Onion
1 Bag of Spinach
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1 Sliced Red Pepper (or green or both)
1 cup sliced Carrots (like in photo provided above)
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds
Olive Oil
Soy Sauce
Minced Garlic

1. Boil Water. In a bowl empty the bag of Spinach leaves, when water comes to a boil pour the water over the leaves and gently stir leaves in the water. You are basically blanching the spinach leaves. Pour the leaves into a strainer and then squeeze out all of the excess moisture with your hands. Put the leaves back into the bowl. Roughly add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of sesame oil and 1 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds. Mix together. You basically need to season this to taste.

2. In a large pot boil water. Add the noodles and turn off the heat but leave the pot on the burner. Stir and cover for about 15 minutes. Drain. Cut Noodles with scissors. Add enough Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Turn the burner back on to Medium High heat. Add the noodles and stir them until they are well coated with the Olive oil. Add soy sauce until they are "the right shade of brown". (please use the photo provided as a reference). Add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix and season this with the soy sauce and sugar to taste (these noodles are not supposed to be sweet the sugar just balances out the saltiness of the soy sauce). Remember that if you under season you can always add more, but if you add too much you can't take any out.

3. In a large Pan coat with Olive Oil over Medium High heat. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic (GARLIC IS GOOD!) First add the Onion. After about a minute add the Carrots and Peppers, After another minute add the Mushrooms. You don't want to cook these veggies too long, you want to have a fresh crisp taste.

4. Meanwhile, add A LOT of Sesame oil to the noodles, enough to coat them and season with salt and pepper to taste. This takes a little muscle to stir really well and it also takes a lot of sampling to get them seasoned to your preference.

5. Add spinach to the noodles. Turn off the heat and add the sauteed veggies to the noodles. If you decided to add beef to your noodles, you would add them here as well and stir it all together. Top with sesame seed and serve.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting It Together.

It has been about 6 months since my last round of resume and teaser send outs. I am excited about them, I feel like I have been getting stronger in a lot of the graphic aspects of design. Even at work I am getting the opportunity to exercise vocalizing my thoughts on some of the design choices I've made for some clients. It feels good to be talking about those things again instead of keeping them in my head.

Unfortunately I feel like I have been slipping in the documentation as well as the execution of my design a days. It got pushed to the back burner. One thing I have been realizing is that sometimes I am so worried about starting projects I will never finish that I don't even bother to start. With a job working from 8 to 5 and the side design projects I've been taking on as well as exploring the art of cooking a little further I find it hard to sit down for an hour for myself every day to draw. I am still designing something everyday just not the inked index card format I was hoping to stick to as documented on my flickr account.

I feel very confident about the newest project I started with Amanda, which has inspired me to take my design a day into a new direction. Instead of trying to draft something every day I am going to stick to the 52 themes we drafted together and take a picture everyday that week in accordance with that theme. It doesn't matter if that picture is taken with a camera phone, my regular digital camera or my nikon will be done! So starting on Monday I will be starting this mini adventure, with Hobby Week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

52 cases of the Mondays.

Starting two weeks ago, my archibuddy and I started our very own blog together. We each wrote down 26 themes and combined them together. Once a week for 52 week we will take a picture according to the theme of the week and upload it on Monday. I hope you check it out here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Faux Pasta

One of the things I love in addition to design is cooking. This realization hit me years ago when I was watching an episode of Iron Chef America and listened to how the chef spoke about his food, how each plate correlated with the other, and how beautiful the plating was. There were similarities between cooking and design that I had never taken the time to realize.

And the most important reason for my fascination with cooking, eating good food is fun, and eating bad for you food is even better.

I would like to say that Faux Pasta is the culmination of my 5 years of college cooking experience, taking inspiration from recipes I love and mixing them all together to a meal that hits every one of my favorite taste buds.
Before I tell you how I made this, I would like to tell the story of how I fell upon it. My original plan was to make chicken alfredo with mushrooms and broccoli, but Craig unfortunately bought the wrong half and half and cream cheese and our sauce came out sweet and watery...and inedible. Instead of sending him back to the store to get the ingredients to remake the sauce I just took things around our kitchen and put this together...hence the name for this recipe, Faux Pasta.

The best part is that there are only a few key ingredients that you HAVE to have, but really you can throw in whatever veggies you want to make it.

Things you have to have:
5 slices of bacon
1 can of chicken stock
1/2 a sweet onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
any noodles you choose

Things I like to add:Chicken
Parmesan Cheese

In one pan I fry toss in raw bacon already chopped. I cook that till its crispy because that's just the way I like it, but you can cook it however way you want. I take the bacon out and set aside once it is done and leave the grease in the pan. I then add my chopped sweet onion and mushrooms and saute.

This recipe is very amateur and I have a hard time saying what the best way to time everything is. At about the time I start sauteing I put a pot of water on the stove to boil for the noodles and I start putting my zucchini on the George Foreman to grill. When the mushrooms and onions are done you add the chicken stock and let that simmer.

Meanwhile I start cooking my chicken. When the noodles are about halfway done I cook my broccoli and then add my cooked zucchini to the mixture. And when the noodles are a few minutes away from being done I add the tomatoes, I don't want to add them too soon otherwise the heat will break them down too much.
This is what my basic sauce looks like before I add it to the noodles. I drain the noodles and dump them into a big bowl (I like this recipe so much I always make a lot of it for leftover purposes). Then I add the broccoli. Then I add the sauce. Then I add the bacon. Then I add the chicken after I have cut it up into bite size pieces. I like to mix it all together with a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Depending on what veggies I'm cooking with, my cook timing is a little different.

You don't need to add any cheese or chicken to this recipe because its good enough without it and there is so much flavor. Its a real veggie lover delight I think. I've never tried cooking it without the bacon, but I love bacon and I will never take that out of it, unless one fateful night when I turn to my Faux Pasta rescue dinner and discover there is no bacon in the fridge.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kanpai Sushi Menu.

Here is my most recent design of Kanpai's new sushi menu. It feels good to be drawing again and for the first time in a year I have been inspired to do a painting. It is more of a recreation of an existing piece of artwork I found than an original composition but I want to spice up my apartment and this painting will be the missing piece.

Slowly and steadily I have been adding to my design a day. Click Here for the link to my flickr account to check them out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

hitting my design groove.

Since my last post I have submitted my ideas for my company's new web site and it is going under some new revisions and should be up and running by next week. Currently, I've undertaken a new pet project and started designing a new website for Astro Kennels. It will be a few weeks before I have that one ready but so far this week I have designed the header for the site. I feel like what the current site lacks right now is the space theme that the founder originally intended. I don't want to let that idea dictate the whole design but I thought it was a fun graphic element to play with for the header of the page.

I have also gotten my second draft of Kanpai's new Sushi menu completed today. I will be submitting that for approval tomorrow on my lunch break. I am much happier with the second revision than I was with the first and look forward to the feedback. If they decided that is what they are going to go with I'll move onto designing Kanpai's dinner menu, and I'll upload that onto this page.

I feel good and back into the groove of design. My new mini project is the "Design Something Everyday" exercise. I never got into that craze my thesis year but I wish I had. I'm on day five so far and I've only been able to stick to three of the days. Its very therapeutic and something that is entirely for my pleasure and a good exercise for me to just let things flow. I'll be starting a special album for it on my flicker account, and from time to time I'll put some of them on here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

the little things

I worked on this sketch during my lunch breaks last week. It is the exterior of Kanpai of Tokyo. It feels good to take a small break from my work day to work on things that are just for me.

I read somewhere recently that you should take risks and fall into holes because you will learn more when you're crawling your way out.

I plan on going into design overdrive this month and really flex my muscles. Between designing a new menu cover for Kanpai, coming up with some interior design ideas for the sushi section of the restaurant, decorating the new apartment and redesigning the website for the company I work for, I'll be dipping my toes into a variety of new design projects.