Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Update

UPDATE 08.03.16: The music continues to progress, even if slowly. If you'd like to give our slow progress a listen, our rendition of Fragile by Sting and the jazz standard My Funny Valentine are up on SoundCloud. (Please follow if you'd like to be updated on our latest tracks!)

A few people have asked me how I've been doing and what I've been up to since I stopped working on food (that I still post about because it will always be a big part of our lives - just no teaching or recipe development for now), so I'd like to take a moment to thank you for asking and to let you know that I have been having an amazing time being wonderfully humbled, challenged, and fulfilled by the process of returning to music. It's been a long time, and I have so much to learn again and anew.


The writing (of words), which is what the break was originally intended for, has been backburnered for the unexpected progress that's been made in forming a duo with Dean, which is a dream we've been dreaming together for years. I am going with the momentum that the Universe is sending my way, and at this time, the momentum is definitely musical. (Still write in my journal, though! ;) )

I've known for years that the nagging creative void in my life was my need to return to performing music, but I also knew in my soul that other things needed to be in order before I could do that. Our family is healthy and happy with plenty of opportunity for QT, our livelihood is stable, we have time and resources to live a full and well-rounded life, and I am now able to pursue my first love and passion in a way that I can feel really good about with regard to my first priority, which has always been family.

So that's how what/I've been doing, and it feels fucking fantastic.

Thanks always to all my family and friends who've given me nothing but love and support in anything and everything I've wanted to create of my life. <3

Shinae

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Anniversary

We said we weren't going to do it. That we were married from the day we met and we needed nothing and no one else to legitimize this commitment between the two of us. And that was true.


But we had these two children then with one on the way and everything about this made perfect sense for them, and to them, and this symbol of our commitment made them happy and more secure. I guess it was contagious because somehow it made me even happier and more secure, too.

Sometimes people ask me how long we've been married and I struggle to answer because, frankly, were it not for facebook or google calendar to tell me, I probably wouldn't know. These are just not the kinds of things I keep in my mind. Sometimes they look at me in shock like I must not love you because I don't remember, but then I look to you with a shrug, you look back at me with that crinkled smile, and then you answer them unflinchingly.

Because you know you, you understand me, and you complete me. In the most complementary, cooperative, supportive, and empowering kind of way.

So even though we were married from day one, I am so deeply grateful and elated that our children gave us a reason to give ourselves a day - even if it's one I am oft apt to forget - to mark the passage of our beautiful life together.

Unsentimental as I can be, it makes me so happy and downright giddy inside to think I am your wife.

Happy Anniversary, Babe. I love you and thank you always for all you are and all that I am with you.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Patience & Relish


I often get impatient with myself for not reclaiming the drive I once had for creating things and bringing ideas to fruition with much greater intensity, but then I remember I only have 20 months left of free and easy mornings of snuggles on demand and Nutella sandwich breakfasts that take an hour to finish between giggles and other shenanigans with this one... 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bulgogi Marinade for Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

When you're grilling on a budget or for many people, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a wonderfully juicy, flavorful, and frugal alternative that takes well to all kinds of marinades.


A few of you have asked me how to scale my regular beef bulgogi marinade recipe for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You can double or triple the marinade ingredients depending on the quantity of chicken thighs, but the thicker chicken thighs do behave differently from thinly sliced beef, so I figured I'd just write out the measurements for you.

This marinade also works well for thinner cut dark meat pork chops.

Bulgogi Marinade for Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
Serves 4 to 6

- 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

- 1/2 a small apple, finely grated using a microplane or fine cheese grater (or you can use 1/4 cup apple sauce)
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 or 4 large cloves)
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 green onions chopped (green and white parts)
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1.5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root

I usually just throw everything into a large mixing bowl and get in there with my hands, gently tossing and massaging until all the seasonings are evenly distributed.

If you prefer, you can mix all the marinade ingredients in a separate bowl, stir or whisk until all the sugar is dissolved, and then pour it over the chicken thighs and mix.

I like to marinate it for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Right around 6 to 8 hours is the sweet spot for me, where all the chicken takes on great flavor, but the texture of the meat hasn't taken on cured qualities and is tender, juicy, and still chicken-y. :)


Because it is dark and somewhat fatty meat, you'll want to grill over a medium low heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on the size of the thigh piece. Watch for flareups as the caramelized marinade mixed with the melting chicken fat hits the coals.

Enjoy! :)

Shinae

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy Sunrise, Sunshines :)

One morning not too long ago, the sky was so amazing that Dean, Joey, and I all felt compelled to run out and shoot it, the two of them dressed for work and school respectively, and me sporting my fuzzy robe and house booties and probably also Dean's size 13 flip flops to, you know, keep the booties from getting dirty...


As we were shooting, our neighbor - who doesn't normally do such kooky things and who was about to get into his car to drive to work - saw all the phones pointed east, caught the contagion, did the when in Rome shrug, whipped out his phone, and shot the sunrise for what seemed like maybe the first time in either his whole life, or at least a very long time.

Our kooky family had something to do with him noticing the sunrise that morning.

I think I'm going to keep that feeling with me for a long time.

Happy Sunrise, Sunshines. :) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

What I Want To Teach My Daughters About Beauty

As I am raising a teenaged daughter, I've been reading a lot of posts lately about what we should be teaching our daughters about beauty. Much of what I've read is of course well meaning, but perhaps also a little misguided and even a bit deluded in my thinking.


And what I'm reading is that, in order to help them develop their character and bolster their self esteem, we should essentially tell our daughters - as we choose our outfits and accessories and do our hair and makeup, even if it's only to make ourselves happy and not because of any external pressure - that aesthetics don't matter or benefit us AT ALL. That REAL beauty is only internal and always subjective.

Well if there's anything I've learned from having two teenaged children and one toddler, it's that kids are smarter and more observant than we give them credit for. They are quite capable of synthesizing nuance over time and are savvy to our disingenuousness, or even downright hypocrisy, when we try to convince them of a "truth" that conflicts with our willful and consistent practices, even if they can't quite put their finger on it.

Another thing I've learned from being both parent and child is that it takes us a very long time to realize the truly good and balanced lessons of life, so it can take us years, decades even, before we're actuating the good things that we were taught when we were younger.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Finding My Tribe...

Having spent last weekend surrounded and embraced by extended family, I am reminded of what a gift it is to have a reliable network of motley yet loving crew in one's life - to feel that you have this tribe who are truly invested in your well being and who choose to care about you and yours no matter your differences and challenges.


I grew up in a tiny nuclear tribe. We had other extended family around when I was younger, but those relationships were often strained and uncomfortable, and I never really felt like I belonged with or to them. That made me hunger for a bigger tribe for much of my young life, which led me to a few misguided and long lived attachments that ended up teaching me some harsh but extremely valuable lessons.