Kimchi Mac & Cheese (Bacon Optional)

kimchi macI can make macaroni and cheese from scratch, but sometimes it’s just not a roux sort of day. Sometimes it’s sweater weather and you’re hangry. Kimchi pasta used to be one of my go-to recipes when I lived in Taiwan. It’s a really easy, delicious recipe that combines kimchi, garlic, and red pepper paste with your choice of pasta. Continue reading

Sticky Chewy Butterscotch Blondies

There is not much to say about these butterscotch blondies besides that they’re sticky and delicious. The best part is the puddles of caramel that get extra toasty on the bottom of the pan. The recipe isn’t one-bowl easy, but they’re still a pretty straightforward recipe. The butter is melted which always makes things easier. It is the sort of thing you could whip together in under an hour for an impromptu get-together. Continue reading

October Week 4 Update


My schedule has been all over the place the last few weeks. I am simultaneously incredibly lazy and terrible with change, which means that whenever there is a shift, I don’t do diddly squat. But if I wanted to be honest the largest obstacle to blogging the past two weeks is that damned Marshmallow update on my Android phone, because my phone doubles as my camera and the usb settings are different. Ultimately, after restarting and reinstalling things on my laptop and my phone, I realized that my USB cable was at fault. Lesson of the day: Double check the hardware first. Continue reading

Chicken Galbi Cheesy Ramen

I’ve had my eye on Lady and Pups’ Chicken Galbi Ramen recipe since she posted it. What is not to love about spicy chicken, tossed with instant ramen, and covered with cheese! While cheese and ramen seems to make inroads into the western consciousness only a year or two ago (if Youtube is any indication), one of my favorite dishes is a Hong Kong style pork chops and rice, which my mom always makes with a lot of shredded cheese. So, if you like one, you’re very likely to like the other. Continue reading

October Week 3 Update: Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

groceries 10 17

The grocery total this week was 21.91, and I skipped the farmer’s market. After a brief perusal, none of the vegetables appealed to me, and I have a dozen kiwis and persimmon as well as the spaghetti squash from last week. This week’s menu includes spaghetti squash fritters with bacon and feta, home fries, and pumpkin spice lattes. On Thursday, I made chicken in red wine sauce and have been eating it with quinoa. I also have a serving of olive pasta left. So, excluding breakfast, I only need to figure out ten meals. I also have a few balls of pizza dough in the freezer, and the makings of my favorite butter onion tomato sauce in the pantry. Continue reading

October Week 2 Update: Food Wastage and Eggs

My sister came to visit last weekend, which was great for me and even greater for being a lazy butt around the kitchen. We ate out a lot over the weekend, which was really fun. I had no expectations on staying on budget during her stay, but she’s been gone for days and things have continued to deteriorate.

This whole budget mindset is built on sand, the smallest change and it all comes tumbling down. Much like that time I decided to give up refined sugar. Did I even last a day? After roasting beets and sauteing their greens, I ended up throwing out the whole thing five days later, because they took on a weird sour taste. The bag of spinach also liquefied. Natalie: 0; Food Wastage: 2.

In preparation for my sister’s arrival, I did my grocery shopping early and then promptly lost one of the receipts.

In terms of subsistence, I’ve been eating a lot of eggs, boxed mac n cheese with fresh broccoli, and finally, on Wednesday, I cooked the first proper meal of the week. It was a hodge podge of half a pound of spaghetti with pan fried chicken sausage with mushrooms and zucchini and half a cup of Trader Joe’s olive tapenade. Remember those disgusting slimy meatballs of last month? Well, it wasn’t entirely my fault. Even pan fried, the sausage has a weird rubbery, almost mcnugget-y texture. That will not be a re-purchase.

Suffice to say, the pasta wasn’t the best thing I’ve made. But Tj’s olive tapenade isn’t bad as a pasta sauce and it’s amazing as a pizza sauce. And after YEARS of trying to discover the perfect brownie recipe, it was a mixed blessing to discover how nom nom delicious TJ’s gluten free brownie mix is. My sister and I had it for breakfast in a pizza pan (more chewy end pieces, yo!). She added slivvered almonds and sea salt.

In other news, I’m thinking about buying a 20 pack of Shin Ramen from Amazon. It was less than a dollar a packet, but the price has since gone up in the past few days so I’m going to wait. Even though it’s probably terrible for you, I love ramen as an easy carb. It’s already fully cooked so it only takes a few minutes. I like making “fancy” ramen with soft boiled eggs or cooked “dry” with tomato sauce and sea food. I really want to try making budae jjigae. According to Wikipedia, it originated during the Korean War and incorporated foods available on army bases such as sliced American cheese, spam, sliced sausages, baked beans, and macaroni. I have my eye on Cherry on my Sundae’s recipe.