Just a little something I have to share my house with during the rainy season.
Lemon Drop Martini
Back in our Ft. Hood days, I would occasionally enjoy a lemon drop martini from Texas Land and Cattle, my hands down favorite steak house in Central Texas. Once here, I started missing that drink, so I decided to try to mimic it. I think I did a pretty good job. If you like the basil-lime martini, you are sure to like the lemon drop martini as well. I used basically the same recipe I use for the basil-lime martini, just switching things up a bit. The result is pretty good, that is unless my memory has failed me.
Zest from 1 lemon
1¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
1 750ML bottle of Grey Goose citrus vodka
2 cups water
1 ½ cup sugar
Make simple syrup by simmering sugar and water together in a saucepan until all sugar has dissolved and syrup get a tad thick. Turn heat off, throw in all lemon zest. Let cool. Once cooled, pour lemon simple syrup through a strainer to remove all the zest. Using a funnel, pour the lemon simple syrup into the storage container, add lemon juice and vodka. Put the lid on and shake. If you want one right away, just add ice to a cocktail shaker add a martini and shake, pour into a prepared martini glass with a sugar rim. If you are making these in advance for a party, they will last a very long time in the freezer – when you pull them out of the freezer just shake and pour. Ahhhh……
A few months ago I wrote about a FANTASTIC Italian restaurant in Iteawon, Antonio's. Well, it is no longer Antonio's, the new name is LaTravola. Upon entering I realized not much had changed other than the name, but if you know me, you know I had to ask questions. This is what I found out - Antonio didn't want to franchise his restaurant anymore, so he sold (unless something got lost in translation, that is the story). He opened a new restaurant in Itaewon named CasAntonio. You can find CasAntonio on the second floor above Los Amigos.
CasAntonio has a more elegant feel to it. You might want to dress just a tad bit nicer than if you were going to the local taco stand. The caprese salad was to die for...that ball of buffalo mozzarella was melt in your mouth delicious!
The pastas are scrumptious! This it the penne arrabbiata, we had buffalo mozzarella and chicken added to this dish. I love an arrabbiata sauce and this one was right on. The amount of heat was perfect and the taste of fresh basil just right. This is something I see myself ordering again and again.
SIL & I ate in the wine room. (Big surprise there huh?) The wine room holds up to 8 people and is much cooler than the rest of the restaurant. This is one of the two rooms where you can have a private party. Antonio is in the restaurant most of the time mingling with guest or playing the piano. Here we are with Antonio.
Friday Night in Apgujeong-dong
Friday night in Seoul is always exciting. This past Friday night was no exception. We started our night out at Once in a Blue Moon, yes, the restaurant where Hubby and I got food poisoning. It is such a cool jazz restaurant/club that we felt Twin & SIL needed to see it. The only catch - we DID NOT eat AND we had a bottle of wine which was opened at our table. The only way we could get sick is if the glasses were not washed properly. We took the chance and it paid off, we were not puking at 3AM. Whee.....
The next stop on our tour of Apgeujeong was the "Crazy Wine Bar"! I found this place many months ago and thought of SIL right away. I even facebooked this picture to her telling her I could not wait to bring her here. The Crazy Wine Bar proved to not be as crazy as I dreamed up in my head, but it was still a good time!
In Korea when you order, many times things are in ‘sets’. In this set we got a bottle of wine, pizza, and a kimchi pancake, everything was good until we got to the kimchi pancake.
The Crazy Wine Bar proved to be a good time, our waitress was fun, but I think it was because she loved Hubby. As we were leaving the bar, she gave Hubby a shirt and when I ask her to take MY picture with MY husband, this is what I got.....
After leaving the CWB, we saw this place, we would have gone in for a line dance or two, but none of us know how to line dance.
The next stop on our tour was....
This little bar was in the basement. Here we played darts, and I WON! Not only did I win but I kicked booty on the first game! However after that first game it was all downhill for me. The next game I came in dead LAST! Oh well, the victory was fun while it lasted. On our way out the door of this place we noticed a breath analyzer machine, well, since none of us had ever used one of these things before, we thought it would be fun.
All I have to say about that is, it is a good thing we were not driving. Thank God for public transportation!
The last place on our tour of Apgujeong was 24-7 Event Bar. This place was WAY TOO MUCH FUN!! Upon arrival they brought us sandwiches 'on the house' and continued to bring us little morsels throughout our stay. Here is a picture of Twin and our waitress. She was adorable, she makes hair bow as her hobby and gave SIL and I a few each.
After we were here for a little while, the real fun began.....I felt like we were on set of the Korean version of the movie "Cocktail". Glasses, drinks & bottles started flying everywhere! This guy blew fire from his mouth and paid for it the rest of the night. I'm pretty sure he burn his throat poor guy.
And the fun continued....
Remember how I told you they kept brining us food? Well, here are a few shots of our girl making caramelized onions for us.....
Or so we thought! We were all very excited about these caramelized onions, and all at one time, we all popped a few into our mouths, only to look at each other in HORROR when we realized we did not have caramelized onions in our mouths.... it was caramelized SQUID!!! Now, in defense of caramelized squid, it is not that bad, but when you are expecting onions and you get squid, it is a bit of a shocker! After that we went home. ;-)
PS....an interesting fact, the 24-7 bar closes at 5AM.
One thing the girls really wanted to do was get a manicure and pedicure together. This isn't a tall order since we do it every couple of weeks anyway; I mean who can resist getting a manicure and pedicure every 2 weeks when they only cost 27USD FOR BOTH?!?! (I know, we are spoiled, thanks Hubby.) The girls had a fabulous time and they got the royal treatment!
Here they are getting their 'massagies'. (Notice the ladies did their hair as well.)
And their barbies even got in on the action....
Noryangjin Fish Market
I'm pretty sure most of you are tired of hearing about the fish market. Sorry about that, but I feel it needs to be mentioned one more time. You see, I really thought my SIL would never in a million years want to go to the fish market. I thought I was going to have to drag her there kicking and screaming. To my surprise, she went willingly, and even seemed to enjoy herself (ok, that's a stretch). She never once pinched her nose to keep the smell away, and the only time she flinched was when she saw a fish monger "taking care" of a fish.
Oh, and check out what we picked up for dinner.....this was heavenly. All this tuna cost 20,000 won. That is only $16 USD. You can't even imagine how fresh this tuna was....there was NO SMELL to it AT ALL, OH BABY!
More of Monsoon Season......
So really, the monsoon rains have not slowed us down one bit, however, I have never seen so much rain. Some days it rains ALL day long, and when I say all day long, I mean ALL day long, sunrise to sunset, and then some. The nice thing about the rain is that it cools things off here, on the flip side, the humidity is a killer! Here are a couple of picture of the Bampo Bridge on our way back from Osan the other day. I had heard for several sources that the bottom level of the bridge gets covered in water, but I had never witnessed it till this day. A friend told me the markers showed that it was 9 feet under water! In the first picture you can see part of the lower level....look at the end of the black car, then up and to the right a tad..see the blue? That is the high part of the lower level, the rest of it is totally underwater.
There is a road under all that water. You can see the tops of the signs if you look closely.
Paging Dr. Fish......
It has been over a year since I have been wanting to meet Dr. Fish and have him nibble on my toes. A couple of days ago while shopping with the in-laws in Osan we ran across Dr. Fish, so I KNEW we had to go inside to meet him, or them, and here they are a whole little tank full of Dr. Fish.....
Doctor fish eat the dead skin off your feet and lower legs, originally they were used in patients with psoriasis, removing the dead skin so new healthy skin could grow. Over time doctor fish have become a popular spa treatment in Japan, South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the list goes on. I couldn't wait to plunge my toes into this tank of fish! As soon as I did, a swarm of little fish came to meet me. HOLY COW, these little guys TICKLE!!!! I have never in my life experienced a tickle like this tickle! As soon as Hubby put his feet in the tank he started laughing like a little school girl, and he wasn't the only one as you can see in the pictures below! How fun is this?!
This is something EVERYONE MUST experience! Oh my goodness it was great! The laughter was contagious. I can only imagine what the salon sounded like after Twin & SIL joined us. I am very thankful we were the only people in the entire place! Once Twin joined it, the pressure was off of us because all the doctor fish swam over to him and started feasting! Twin must have LOADS of dead skin on his feet and legs because they LOVED him!
I must admit, this treatment was a little 'fear factorish', Boy2 and Boy Cousin were both a little freaked out and could not put their feet in...they kept trying, but just could not do it.
We offered the boys 10,000 won to put their feet in for 10 seconds, so finally just as everyone was getting out, and the offer of 10,000 won was about to be taken off the table, Boy 2 did it, he put ONE foot in and keep it there for 10 seconds (while giggling like a little school girl)!
You only get the details of the amazing race from one side, that is unlses someone else (Hubby or Twin) decides to write their account of the amazing race in another blog.
Upon arriving at Namsan, we saw the other team was already coming down the hill. Oh, did I mention it was raining like mad? Welcome to Korean and monsoon season!
Clue #2: Take the bus to the Iteawon shopping district. Find a Starbucks and order something to drink. Once you have completed the drink, you will receive your next clue.
Even though team 1 thought they were WAY behind, when we came down the hill after completing clue #1, they found the boys still waiting for the bus! Big SCORE for team 1! They were all on the same bus heading down to Iteawon!
Clue #3: Make your way to the fountain in front of the Cheong WaDae, teh Office of the President of the President of the Republic of Korea, also known as the Blue House. Take a picture of the fountain to receive your next clue.
SIL ask the lady working at Starbucks for the fasted way to get to the Blue House....once again we jumped in a cab and headed off - however this cab driver spoke NO ENGLISH, so it proved to be a bit more challanging than the last cab ride. Once arriving at the Blue House, team 1 took a picture of the fountain from the cab.
Clue #4: Travel by any mode, but arrive at Yongsan Station by subway. Make your way on foot to Emart. To receive your next hint, you must find the kimchi in Emart.
This leg of the race proved to be a little harder. Team 1 was going to take a cab to Yongsan station, but after reading the clue again and realizing they had to arrive at Yongsan station by subway, they had the cab driver drop them off at the closest subway stop. SIL ask a local man for help - he ended up buying tickets for her, and taking her to the subway.
Team 1 had to make a transfer on the subway, and the first guy wasn't going the same direction, not to worry, SIL talked to more locals and they walked her through it! She even had them call their friend when they didn't know exactly how to get to Emart!
Clue #5: Make your way to Seoul World Cup Stadium, home of FC Seoul. Once there, locate a ticket booth. Hurry, as this may be your final stop!
After receiving her last clue, we ran into my friends R & T at Emart, so she ask them for directions!
And the winners of the Amazing Race, Seoul, 2009 edition.............. drum roll please.......
They finished 2 hours ahead of Team 2! Rock on Team 1!
12th Annual Boryeong Mud Festival
It is exactly what it sounds like, mud, mud, mud and more mud! We've been waiting for over a year to go to this festival, and it was well worth the wait! This was the 12th annual mud festival on Daecheon Beach, about a 2.5 hour drive from Yongsan. We loaded a bus at 7AM on Saturday morning and headed out. If you are looking to go, there are many ways to get there, you can drive, take one of the many tours offered on post (if you are military), or you can take the train or a city bus. If you want to go, check out their website here, to figure it out.
Heading to the festival.....the boys were not excited about dragging this cooler all the way to the beach, however the basil-lime martinis were in that cooler and there was no I was going to let them leave those on the bus! Plus, they were pretty happy to have the cooler when lunch time rolled around.
Here we are getting our 'mud on'!
After we all got our 'mud on'!
Boy 3 being thrown out of the mud pit.
Washing off and playing in the yellow sea....(I know it doesn't look very yellow to me either)
Only to get muddy again!
Hanging with my 'Navy' buddies.
Remember in previous post how I told you the Koreans LOVE our little blondies? Well, the paparazzi was out of control at the mud festival! We couldn't do anything without them being right there. Just check it out in the two pictures below. In the 2nd picture Boy 3 was really working them.
Boy Cousin doing the limbo!
Everyone had a great time at the mud festival. Thanks to the Navy for letting us be the 'token Army family' on their bus! And the last picture I will leave you with is of a typical Korean woman. She is wearing heels & her Prada sunglasses at mud festival! You gotta love Korea!
Proud Army wife and mother to 4 wonderful children. I love to cook, travel, work out and scrapbook life’s adventures when I find the time. We just got orders & are heading back to the states in March 2010. I'm bummed that our time has been cut short, but proud of Hubby for the reason why.
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