29 July 2012

Blueberry Pizza: Inspiration from Korea

Korea has been an amazing place for food.  The local food, of course, is what has been the real treat, so I rarely eat at an international restaurant.  However, on the few occasions I've eaten Euro-American dishes here, it's been fun letting my conception of these dishes be stretched and expanded by the Korean culinary sensibilities.

Take this blueberry pizza, for example.  Delicious, Italian-style thin crust pizza, drizzled with a sweet salad dressing (in place of any sauce), a thin layer of melted mozzarella, then a lovely salad of micro greens on top, finished by a crown of soft cheese (which in taste and texture resembled a cross between ricotta and mascarpone) and fresh blueberries.

No recipe today, just a little inspiration from Italy via Korea.  ♥

What are some of your favorite Korean twists to non-Korean food?  I have yet to see this, but I think a spicy tomato-seafood spaghetti with some kind of kimchi (or maybe spicy dried radish muchim?) in the sauce would be a fantastic thing!

15 July 2012

A Japanese Breakfast in Taiwan


I may as well come right out and say it.  With the huge changes in my life the past couple months, the Apricosa I have been creating is also going to be feeling some change.  I've been a little shy to embrace this change, mostly because I don't want to disturb the clean, unhurried format of focusing on one homemade dish in each post.  Yet living overseas and out of a suitcase makes this kind of blogging impossible.  My reluctance also stems from the fact that I had to leave my nice new camera behind at home for safe-keeping, and thus most photos I end up snapping fall short of the standards I want to uphold for Apricosa.

Every now and then, though, I find a moment with beautiful light that my point-and-shoot simply cannot mess up.  Serene moments...so precious.  These are moments I think I can share.

When I get back to a rhythm of normalcy, there will be time and space for lots of fun food styling and the peaceful approach that I've treasured here.  For now, though, I'll have to shed the Apricosa style a bit and be real with what I have through the lens of my point-and-shoot.

. . . . .

Travels have been broadening.  I had a week in Taipei, then a week in Seoul, and now the past couple weeks in Busan.  Work has kept me terrifically busy...I feel like I've been on "The Unofficial Tour to East Asia's Best Hospitals," and it's been exciting getting to meet and work with doctors and scientists who are passionate about revolutionizing cancer treatment.

When I'm not working, I'm generally thinking about where to find my next meal.  Restaurant dining has its ups and downs--I get to try tons of great food that I'd never find in the States, but I am missing the creative outlet of making something with my own hands.  There have been ups and downs in my life beyond just the food too--fascinating sights and experiences, but also overt and hidden stressors that come with the territory of life and work abroad.  Here, on Apricosa, I'm just going to focus on the highlights!

One of the highlights for me truly was my first stop of the journey, in Taiwan.  What a lovely, restful hotel I was privileged to call home for a few days.  Quiet, unobtrusive service, comfortable rooms with fantastic amenities, and a view of Taipei 101 from my room.  One day, with a big day of hospital visits ahead of me, I scheduled an early breakfast from room service (instead of venturing out for breakfast as I shared in an earlier post) and selected the Japanese breakfast.

What arrived was a feast enough for two, with a beautiful array of colors and shapes, flavors and textures.  Dipping my spoon into the miso seaweed soup, I discovered gorgeous, hearty chunks of salmon.  And arranged about in individual dishes were prawns on a bed of cabbage salad, cool soft tofu topped with dried bonito threads, luscious egg and nori roll, broiled salmon, chicken teriyaki, and the list goes on.  I certainly don't eat this way every morning, but my, what a treat!  So much fun to eat, and so pretty to look at in the morning light.  And so much fun to take pictures of.  It was an Apricosa morning, that's for sure!


03 July 2012

The Red Carpet

Take one look at these gorgeous glasses and you'll want to pick one up and take a sip.  Today's fancy-pants drink is The Red Carpet, the old-school predecessor to the Cosmopolitan.  Simple yet absolutely elegant, all you need is a little vodka, cranberry juice, and lime juice--here using Rose's lime juice, as its sweetness helps to mellow out the tart cranberry.   Shake with ice, and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Before heading out of the country for my Asian adventures, I had a lot of fun rediscovering classic mixed drinks, and this Red Carpet from a 1956 issue of Gourmet magazine deserves to go into your repertoire.  Really, getting the phytochemical benefits of cranberries has never been so easy or so civilized.  Plus, it adds a beautiful and festive splash of color to any party--try The Red Carpet this week as a part of your Fourth of July celebrations!


Given my busy work-travel schedule (and the fact that I haven't been able to bring my nice camera along with me), I haven't been able to keep up with regular posting, and I sure am missing getting to be a part of the lovely give-and-take of the food blogging world.  But get excited, because one of these days I'll be posting more about my food finds from my travels here in East Asia!

It's just another regular day of work for me today, but if you're celebrating, I wish you a happy 4th of July!  Blessings on you, my dear readers!

The Red Carpet 
Makes 1 serving
From Gourmet, October 1956

2 oz (55ml) vodka
1 oz (22 ml) full-strength cranberry juice
1 teaspoon Rose's sweetened lime juice. 

Pour all ingredients into a shaker half full of cracked ice and close shaker.  Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.