Eating My Way Through South Korea!
Gun Bae to Korea with my new favorite drink Makgeolli!

Gun Bae to Korea with my new favorite drink Makgeolli!

I was recently lucky enough to spend almost a week in South Korea and let me tell you, if it's not on your list of places to visit it should be!  The people, the culture, the food...all of it was amazing and I barely scratched the surface. I spent most of my time in Seoul but also made it down to the ancient Silla capital of Gyeongju and up to the Demilitarized Zone at the border of North Korea. You can see my foodie itinerary here that I created before going but now I want to share a photo journey through some of my self-created favorite food adventures. I say "self-created" food adventures because I also took an amazing guided food tour while in Seoul which you can see here. I also shared a video you can view here from the Noryangjin Fish Market where you'll get to see us eat live baby octopus among other amazing treats fresh from the sea! If this all tickles your appetite or curiosity about this amazing country then make sure to check out all of my South Korea photos here. Happy visual feasting!   SeoulStreetFood First up, a late night binge on Seoul street food just steps from my hotel! Clock-wise from the top left...squid chips, egg bread, me slurping on the bright red Tteokbokki, the stall selling Tteokbokki and Fish Cake Skewers (in a most delicious broth!) and a pork dumpling.  If you've never had Tteokbokki this bright red one is the street food version that is super popular with locals...basically a super thick rice noodle chopped into bite-size pieces and slathered in a bright red spicy-sweet sauce.  Super yummy...so much so I brought a bag home of the chip-like junk food version of it!  One other must-try that's not pictured here (and is perfect for street food dessert!) are Hotteok...little fried, filled pancakes.  The Honey Hotteok was my favorite.  So yummy. Our First Breakfast in Seoul - Hangover Stew for Breakfast! My first breakfast in Seoul...Haejangguk, better known as Hangover Stew.  This is a rich, hearty stew made of beef broth, cabbage, bean sprouts, tripe and chunks of congealed ox blood. It's served with scallions, kkakduji (radish kimchi - one of my favorites) and rice. First, let me say, I was definitely the only non-local at one of the more well-known spots, Cheongjinok (19, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul) that I had to really go out of my way to find and most locals I asked about this or told I tried this almost fell off their chairs.  This is legit...so much so that they are not expecting some petite American girl to be interested in it, apparently! It seems, even that most of the
…and I’m Back from Vietnam and South Korea!


I'm back from my whirlwind 2 week tour through Vietnam and South Korea! I'm not quite ready to share all of my foodie photos and stories just yet, but wow...what an amazing trip.  Despite how many great things I've heard about Vietnam I was still completely blown away.  So much so that I already know I want to go back again...and that's incredibly rare for me to say since there are still so many new places to explore! Then South Korea completely exceeded my expectations in terms of food, people and Seoul being one of the cleanest and safest cities I've ever visited.

While there were certainly many non-food highlights from both portions of my trip, you are in for a treat with my upcoming posts about the incredible food I ate while traveling.  From traditional dishes like pho and bibimbap to the adventurous indulgences of fertilized duck embryos and live baby octopus still squirming and suctioning as I put them in my mouth!  I'll also be sharing my first new SavoryGirl video in almost three years.  I honestly can't believe it's been that long...but this will be a great one to get videos back in the rotation again.

In the meanwhile, the photo collage above is a sneak preview...consider it the many happy faces of SavoryGirl eating her way through Vietnam and South Korea! This is truly me at my happiest: exploring new cultures, trying new foods, meeting new people and making great new memories from around the world that will last a lifetime.   Stay tuned, lots more adventures from Vietnam and South Korea to come!
Foodie Itinerary: Vietnam
Photo Credit: Lonely Planet Magazine

Photo Credit: Lonely Planet Magazine

Less than a week until I leave for my big two-week trip!  I'm heading to Vietnam for a week with my girlfriend and then off to South Korea for a week on my own and I seriously might come back like 10 lbs heavier!  I can't believe how much amazing food there is in these two countries. I mean, I can, but wow am I excited and honestly a bit overwhelmed. If my time here is even half as yummy as my time in Thailand and Cambodia a few years ago I'm in for a real treat!  So as always, I thought I would share my foodie itinerary and plan with all of you so if you're planning a trip anytime soon you have a head start by using my research.  I usually focus a lot more on specific restaurants, but in SE Asia it's more about the street food and cuisine than any particular restaurants so this time I'm mostly just highlighting the must-not miss foods. Where I do have specific restaurant suggestions, I've listed those first under each meal category and in the order of my travel plans...which are Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hoi An, Hanoi and Halong Bay.  Clearly I'm not going to be able to try everything listed below in my limited time...although my girlfriend and I can really pack it away so we're going to give it our best shot!

If you like what you see, feel free to check out my other foodie travel posts here.  And make sure to check out my South Korea Foodie Itinerary to continue on week 2 of my journey on this vacation!
Foodie Itinerary: Seoul, South Korea

SouthKoreaMap



What an adventure I have coming up!  After a week-long, whirlwind trip with my girlfriend to Vietnam, I decided to turn our 20 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea on the way back into a 5 day layover for myself since I had extra time I could take off.  So I'm headed to South Korea...and I'm doing it all alone!  Since I only have a week I'm focusing on Seoul and Gyeongju only for this trip, but even if I just stayed in Seoul the whole time there's a lot of great food experiences to fit in!

Many people say that Seoul is 6 cities crammed into one...and if I'm just judging by the variety of food alone that I'm going to be challenged to fit into my tummy shown below I can already see how overwhelming this city may prove to be.  But have no fear, SavoryGirl is up for the challenge!  That being said, I'm going to be a bit more flexible with this itinerary than with others that I have done and instead of focusing on restaurants, I'm going to simply focus on the types of food I really want to make sure I don't miss.  There are a few restaurants I'm going to try to make as well, but on this trip that's lower priority than simply sampling as much authentic South Korean cuisine as I possibly can!

If you like what you see, feel free to check out my other foodie travel posts here.  And make sure to check out my Vietnam Foodie Itinerary to see what I ate during week one of this vacation!
Happy in My Soul: My First Farm to Table Dinner

Bloomfield Farms Inaugural Farm to Table Dinner

A little over six months ago I had the opportunity to cross an item off my bucket list and go to my first truly Farm to Table dinner. This experience was so amazing that it re-ignited a long time dream of mine and spurred me into action. Hence my last post about some changes ahead, so it only seemed appropriate that I tell you about this experience as my first post of the new SavoryGirl. The dinner was hosted at Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma, CA on a gorgeous summer evening in July.  It was the first one they've ever done, organized by a farm friend, sommelier and restauranteur David Lynch of St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant here in San Francisco. So a few friends and I met at St. Vincent on a Sunday afternoon, piled into a chartered bus and sipped rose as we rode up to Petaluma with the sun starting to set over the hills of wine country. That gorgeous view out the window of the bus was enough to make me nostalgic for the summer I spent in Napa during my MBA internship and I found myself in an amazing mood as I stepped off the bus 90 minutes later.

Aesthetic

As we began to walk around Bloomfield Farms my mood skyrocketed...breathing in the fresh air, taking in the views and playing bocce while sipping wine with the very people who grew the grapes and made the wine from three vineyards all within miles of Bloomfield Farms. This all reminded me of an idea I had for a business years ago but had buried deep while I built my life and career here in San Francisco. As I though about this idea again while enjoying the wine and having fun with my friends I found myself saying over and over again that this experience was making me "happy in my soul".  And this was all before the food!

Big Changes for SavoryGirl!

SavoryGirl Refocus

There are big changes afoot and I wanted my SavoryGirl fans to be the first to hear about them! First, let me apologize for my recent lack of attention to SavoryGirl in general...as I've been thinking though some of these things and figuring out what it means for SavoryGirl I've definitely neglected the site and all of you.  I'm sure you've noticed over the past few months though that my weekly menus aren't very helpful since I'm out socializing a lot more in my fabulous new single life.  I've also been mailing it in a bit on other content since I'm not cooking as often, which doesn't feel good and certainly isn't engaging for my readers. So I apologize for that...and while I can't guarantee things will turn around overnight, I'm more excited about SavoryGirl and other related projects than I have been in a while!

So what are these changes? Let me give you a few ideas...
SavoryGirl’s February Omaha Steaks Posts

Look at those Gorgeous T-Bones

I've been cranking out some pretty yummy dishes as a guest blogger for Omaha Steaks lately!  This month the products I worked with were the Fire-Roasted Citrus Cod and the Private Reserve Veal T-Bone Steaks.  The links to my recipes on SteakBytes.com are below...and if I do say so myself, they're both delicious!  Let me know what you think if you give them a try...

Fish Tacos with Grapefruit Avocado Salsa

Herb Veal T-Bones with a Brandy Pan Sauce

As a reminder, I do receive the Omaha Steaks products for free in exchange for my blog posts, but I do genuinely enjoy their products.  Particularly their uncooked, unseasoned products. You can see all of my SteakBytes blog posts here.  
Weekly Menu: February 8-14, 2015

Roasted Pear-Butternut Squash Soup with Stilton

Sunday: Dinner out after a local dance performance
Monday: Leftovers: Frozen Butternut Squash Soup
Tuesday: Chickpeas with Chard and Poached Eggs
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Butternut Squash Soup
Thursday: Dinner Date!
Friday: Leftovers: Chickpeas with Chard and Poached Eggs
Saturday: Girls Valentine's Dinner and Movie Night
I'm really looking forward to a bit more eating at home this week...excited for some yummy home-cooked food! First, I'm pulling one of my all-time favorite soups that I made a while back out of the freezer, Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup with Stilton. Yum!

Then I'm making a new recipe from last month's Bon Appétit magazine, Chickpeas with Chard and Poached Eggs.  You all know how I love eggs in my dinner!  This recipe, however, calls for quite a few unique ingredients and while I typically don't change things up the first time I make a new recipe I most likely will this time just to keep things a bit more simple and cost effective.  So I'll likely use canned chickpeas, make my own baharat spice mix, use golden raisins instead of barberries, and use Greek yogurt for the Labneh.  Hopefully these changes don't totally butcher what sounds like a delicious meal...but I think it should all work out!

For Valentine's Day I'm having a girl's night in where we're going to cook a yummy meal together, including chocolate covered strawberries (of course!), watch some movies and celebrate our love of girlfriends and great friendships instead of worrying about those silly boys on this special day.  I haven't quite decided on the rest of the menu yet, but plan to post it a bit later this week, so stay tuned!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: February 1-7, 2015

Rapini & Tomatoes

Sunday: PATRIOTS SUPERBOWL!!!
Monday: Grilled Citrus Cod with Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes
Tuesday: Happy Hour!
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Grilled Cod with Rapini
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: Date Night!
Saturday: ArtPoint Gala!
Like any good New Englander I can barely focus on anything until this Superbowl is over...so anxious and excited for the Pats! I'll likely be making a batch of my famous buffalo chicken meatballs for the game but otherwise keeping it light, simple and healthy this week.

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week. Happy cooking...

Go Pats!
Bison Wellington

Bison Wellington Ready to Eat!

Sometimes you just need a special dinner...whether you're celebrating a special occasion, a special someone or it's just a normal night that you want to feel special. For those nights, my friend Jonathan Wilkinson’s Bison Wellington is just perfect!  He’s British, so he knows his way around a wellington but using bison makes this already special dish a bit unique.  Instead of making one large wellington, I prefer to use 4 individual sized Bison Filet Mignon which is what I have done here…but you could certainly adapt this recipe to make one large one (and/or use the traditional beef) instead. You can also make all of the elements of this dish in advance and simply sear, assemble and bake the bison wellington when ready to eat which is perfect so you can focus on your special night and guests!