EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

IMG_6415Entrance at Dekalb Market, Downtown Brooklyn

Salvaged and stacked up colorful shipping containers make walls, shops and a small semi open urban market in downtown Brooklyn.  It’s a great and beautiful concept to promote small entrepreneurs in a small cultural community setting using 20 foot shipping containers with electricity, water, stove tops and even AC installation.

It was our first time visiting and it was late afternoon on Saturday. It felt bit empty but I see a great potential. But then, would this really work? It’s located by Flatbush Avenue near the Dekalb avenue where now all these luxury high-rise condos are getting built. There are good amount of commercial and office spaces around the market, so Lunch time, it may get bit crowded but not sure how much foot traffic this market gets in general. Despite it’s charming vibe, the market is not so substantial enough to go for either food or shopping. I see coffee, donuts, sandwiches, tacos.  All those usual suspects. Then there are these small shops. The containers are great looking. Thy are itsy bitsy super cute but are they too small? Most of food vendors occupy the full spaced containers then there are many other containers divided in half, and that’s when it gets bit too small for me. Once there 2 people in, there’s no more room for any other. It’s a great concept but I see much room to be improved.

The market needs better P.R and more vendors in general for customers to feel it’s worth the trip. There should be a lot more food vendors to bring greater foot traffic daily then need bigger space occupying non food vendors like vintage, books, magazine stands, Arts, maybe even flower shops, graphic tees and so on to sustain as a daily market.  It totally got this cool vibe going but it feels like the whole thing is a bit of temporary set up. Kind of one night stand like. There were concerts, DJ gig and even a night Bazar. They all sound great and heard it was successful but it is missing this Core strength to sustain this market to be not just a cool gig but as a real community’s daily market. Hope for a good boost for Christmas shopping time and wish for better improvement with stronger vendors and entrepreneurs bringing more fresh creative product to the market.

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IMG_6021Setting a table and prepping for a simple and real Korean dinner!

I am a Korean. And I love Korean food. I married a Italian man. And he loves Korean food. We made a boy and he loves Korean food. So it’s oh so natural, we all turn to Korean food time to time. It’s my home and it’s my root and it’s just so delicious and I love to cook so here I am! I like to share a few pics of me making very simple typical Korean dishes. Folks, No B.B.Q tonight here!  We actually have simple yet quite complex cuisine that speaks to many senses that travels way beyond wonderful B.B.Q!  Korean food will be an excellent way to carry vegetarian diet or even raw food diet. We eat all sort of vegetables that are from the ocean, the deep in the woods and beautiful wide open field. We know how to prepare them in so many different ways and we have extensive knowledge about what we eat and what they do to us. We grow up on this. It’s part of our culture. And it gets passed to generations after generations. We got ton of colors and textures that juxtapose high and low, ing and yang, land and ocean and warm and cold. We like to chew. We like it hot and we like it real cold. But there’s also a delicate area where rounds and comforts our body and soul without such things as heavy butter or cream. It’s clean, honest and delicious!

I am making simple dishes that myself and all Koreans have grown up on!  Here’s my Friday night whipping up a few humble Korean dishes!

IMG_5991Pan toasted baby anchovies with fresh rosemaries and arugula bits.  So start with dried anchovies. Koreans use and eat all different sizes and kinds of anchovies or family of anchovies. Usually the size of anchovies dictates the end product. Here I have tiny little ones tonight for hot pan toasting with olive oil, crushed garlic, touch of raw sugar ( I only use raw sugar for a long time by now). And here I try adding ” what’s in the fridge for the moment” touch. It’s spontaneous and it always works for me to just explore a bit.  I do believe though this takes bit of skill: knowing how different ingredients would work together not following written recipes. I am a terrible baker as I just do not have a littlest patient to follow something exactly but in contrary, I like to throw a few things in together to whip up quick simple and delicious flavor.

IMG_5992Here  I have a bag of dried anchovies imported from Korea. I bought this at H mart in Queens or you can easily get any kinds at typical Korean super market or Japanese works just fine for me as well.  As you know one single anchovy that is big as length of your palm size is packed with powerful flavor to make big potful of Dashi ( clear anchovy and kelp broth).

How to make this:

1. Heat up an any wider pan you have, drizzle olive oil or vegetable oil.

2. When the pan is hot, add in about 3 cups of dried anchovies, let them sit a minute and stir time to time.

3. When you see anchovies get toasty and brown, add crushed fresh garlic and half teaspoonful of chopped rosemaries and arugula. Keep stiring and toast anchovies. Do this on mid heat.

4. Add a teaspoonful of raw sugar. Stir for another few minutes. Raw sugar balances natural saltiness of anchovies.

IMG_5995Done. Nutty, toasty, salty and sweet that’s grounded by earthiness of Rosemarie. It was my first time trying fresh rosemaries with this dish. They work together Beautifully!  Eat over simple steamed rice! Yum!

IMG_5997OK. Making steamed rice 101. We ran out of brown rice, so I am using white but Jasmine rice. I find Jasmine rice faster and easier to cook, easier to digest than typical Sushi rice ( less gluten). I do not use rice cooker. I am actually quite good at making rice with any kind of pot but it definitely requires low heat, preferably heavier and thicker pot and the cover. Today I am using ALL CLAD.

How to make simple steamed White rice in a regular pot. It takes just 20 minutes.

1. 2 -3 cups of rice ( this gets usually doubled after steamed enough to serve 4-5 people couple times)

2. Rinse and place them in the pot and add water.

3. A simple trick. Add simple cold tap water to the rice to where it reaches bout 1″ above your knuckles when you place your hand open and flat over the rice.

4. On medium heat, let the water come to a boil. Do not cover.

5. Lower the heat, let the water and rice boil and sort of simmer for 7-8 minutes. Do not cover.

6. When you still see water goes up and down of the surface of the rice, cover it and lower the heat all the way. COVER NOW.

7. Do not stir the rice. Let it be for another 5-6 minutes. Add dash of couple spoonful of water and turn the heat off. Cover it and it will keep cooking through.

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IMG_5993OK! Now moving onto an Egg roll ( like a Sushi roll!). This is so easy to make and I can definitely say maybe this is the #1 lunch box menu for all our Korean’s school years!   All moms have their way to do this, add sheet of seaweed in the middle, or add bits of onions and any other veggies, canned tuna, mushrooms, you name it. It’s very similar to your sunday morning omelet but rolled in a smaller scale.

How to make this:

1. Break and beat 4-5 whole eggs in a bowl, add sea salt and bit of milk or water.

2. Heat your frying pan up. Drizzle some olive oil. Don’t burn your pan but  the pan should be hot enough not to have egg sticks to it.

3. Pour the beat eggs into the pan. Medium heat.

3. 2 ways to add topping/filling. Either add chopped scallion, onion, zucchini, mushroom whatever into the beat egg or add them on when the egg is half cooked in a pan then gently spread them on the top.

4. Now you will fold and roll the beat eggs by about 1″. Think you are making a Sushi roll or making home made fresh pastas and rolling and folding the dough. The key is roll half cooked beat eggs by 1″ at a time. Give some time to the beat eggs to be cooked through a bit.

5. When it’s done,  get it out of the pan and let it rest for a couple minutes on the cutting board. It helps the rolled egg to stay together.

IMG_5994Rock and Rolling! My filling was just simply chopped white onion.

IMG_6000Not the best job I did. I overcooked it a bit then I like it that way. Typical ones you see especially in Japanese restaurant you would not see any of these brown marks. They will be flawlessly creamy yellow. Then I also hate Japanese eggs has sugar in it. Definitely savory version for me. Not sugary!

IMG_6001See if you had put some carrots or even caviar, you would end up with prettier faces!

IMG_6008Bit of table setting, By the way, Emi’s in the middle of making a new dining table. We are playing with how we like to finish up the top. Thought we have Gael do some drawing..? We are still thinking.

IMG_6004Toasted Seaweed. Koreans love them toasted crispy with sesame oil and sea salt sprinkled. This is also really good with chilled beer! Sort of like potato chips.

IMG_6019Kimchi in a bowl my Aunt baked. I use it all the time and I always think about her every time I use it. Thanks Aunt!!

IMG_5989Chili and Korean miso hot pot with sliced sirloin, potato, carrot, zucchini and tofu.  The big green pieces are dried kelp. We use them a lot to make base stock and clear broth. They are rich in mineral, iron, calcium and magnesium and also high in sulfur and rich vitamin D. They are really good for you!

How to make it:

1 Start with the Kelp broth. A small pot full of plain water and 5-6 squares of dried kelp. Let them boil for a while and add a tablespoonful of Korean chili paste and 2 spoonful of Korean Miso paste.

2. Add chopped chunks of all the veggies you want. We typically put potato, carrots, zucchini and onion. Here you can also add or switch any with mushrooms and bean sprouts. Or again whatever you would like.

3. Add sliced sirloin pieces. Let them boil a bit like 20 minutes on medium high heat.

4. Add  tofu, sea salt, crushed garlic and chopped green scallions at the end for another 5-6 minutes boiling on medium heat.

IMG_6023Little bowls for rice,  plates for anything

IMG_6043Time to eat ! yeah yum yum!

LOvE Korean!

IMG_6151Beautiful Sunday morning at Orient State Park, North Fork, New York

After many of quite dreadful humid and wet September days for New York to prep crisp real Autumn, this was maybe the first truly gorgeous weekend weathers we had!  It was dry and warm yet accompanied by cool clean air to compliment spotless amazing perfect blue sky! The Autumn has officially kicked off!  Still in a half sleep  in the bed Saturday morning, we could see gorgeous sun coming through our bedroom window’s grainy blinders… The sliver of warm sun light was just enough to make us jump out of the bed and just take off to be out of the city!  And where we are heading to? North Fork in Long Island, NY!

Just one briskly packed small bag for all of us, we are excite to explore North Fork! It’s our very first time and all I knew was there are many mini vineyards lined up. Yes, some wine tasting, good food and pick up couple of fresh corns… Hopefully we can stumble into a cozy B&B tucked in somewhere. It all sounds good to my soul and my belly! It’s going to be a heck of good weekend!

IMG_6067About little over 2 hours, we are getting into the beginning of North Fork. What can we say…. It got Surf and Turf kind of thing going on here in North Fork. I know we are near the ocean and I see ton of handsome pumpkin farms, small yet swanky vineyards already starting from the very beginning. We know we are really going to like here. Above is a back yard at ” Material Object“, a home furnishing and wine related object store in Jamesport. This 1870′s farm house converted into wine tasting and home decor shop sure shows envious eclectic taste of the shop owner. The natural light filled space is to die for!

IMG_6059The Main house of Material Object, The picture can’t justify the actual space. Here only showing a fraction of entire house. Everything you see here is for sale.

IMG_6065The Barn house/ Cottage like second home which is set back. This felt like a newly built with much charm. But Not the original structure.

IMG_6079Arriving at Greenport. Almost the end of North Fork. It’s a real cute town with many good restaurants, antique and vintage shops as well as oyster and lobster shacks by the water! Here we are chasing early fall but boy I have to say we just can’t complain about warm sun on your back and perfect breeze! It feels sort of early summer and early fall at the same time!

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IMG_6093Claudio’s restaurant was opened back in 1870′s! There’s the main one on the main street and also 2 clam bars right by the water. Bit touristy but all good here.

IMG_6076Yeap! It sounds perfect! Lobster roll anyone? It’s already Lunch time!

IMG_6096Hmmm choices choices…

IMG_6098OK waiting for our number to be called.  We are at # 2 Clam bar of Claudio’s. This place is run by self service and there’s no live band playing ( sort of wedding band, Haha!) Which we consider as a good thing.

IMG_6102Both are $29.95 plates. Not so cheap. Skip the fake butter, Who needs it? Cole slaw, I always love! Lemon works for anything.

IMG_6100Gael’s too busy eating his creamy clam chowder!

IMG_6078After lunch town strolling begins.

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IMG_6070The Greenport town has a good mix of old and new including a tiny Greenport jail ( not pictured..)!  It’s charming and not touched by big chain stores yet. There’s a Calypso boutique as far as a known brand shop. No Starbucks or Ben & Jerry’s. Instead there’s ” Sand pipe Ice cream shop” where I had the best ice cream in entire US for only 4 bucks! Maple syrup Walnut and Vanilla black cherries. Yum!

IMG_6108This is The best vintage and antique shop in Greenport! Beall & Bell, 430 Main Street. Right items at right prices. We saw some of the best pieces here!

IMG_6110This old School gym acrobat pads were sold!  I was happy that quite many pieces in the shop are marked as sold!  Which means we are in the right place! How good are these? Emi had a great idea! One of these would easily doll up your bed as a head board. Especially for guys, that’s awesome I think!

IMG_2480 One next to the Beall & Bell. This one also sells home furnishing materials such as textiles and things.

IMG_2518After we checked in at our motel ( yes everything was booked and we were lucky to find quite lovely and affordable motel right outside of downtown Greenport), we came to restaurant, Noah’s for dinner. It’s not the high season since it is already October, but you want to make reservations ahead for better and really good restaurants in Greenport. They get booked up fast.  Literally any restaurants in the town will have a some sort of raw bar going on and also good seafood dishes.  We wanted to check out Frisky Oyster, but it was too late by the time we called for the reservation. Bit old school and bit groovy here with hefty price tags. We quite enjoyed our meal at Noah’s as they offer many great small dishes are not actually that small. You could call it generously portioned tapas of seafood, great salad and meat bites. We ended up having 5 small dishes and 2 bottles of local 2010 Chardonnay, ” Bedell” from one of the North Fork’s wineries, Bedell . It reminded me of Sauvignon Blanc, Oyster bay from New Zealand.

IMG_6123Now Sunday morning, We are at Orient Beach State Park in North Fork, a short car ride from Greenport!  Water’s quite amazing here!

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IMG_6127You will see lagoons and ocean everywhere in North Fork. It’s really beautiful!

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IMG_6130Running me, Emi and Gael.

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IMG_6191Nice run, shower and pack and we go. Here we are at one of farm stand on the road.

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IMG_6200Gael loves to shop produces. He loves to touch and smell them. We were peeking inside to see they are full and healthy. And these corns are so sweet and juicy!  We also like them raw!

IMG_6234These are called MUMs and they are cheap. 3 mums for $12!

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IMG_6205And we didn’t skip one thing!  Now checking out a few antique store by the road. We scored a real cute picnic basket filled with 4 of wine glasses, silver wear, plates, cheese knife and wooden cutting board and wool matching blanket to the plaid liner of the basket, probably never used before. All these for $30!  Now, that’s a good deal!

IMG_6209I always like these!

IMG_6210Honestly, we were bit tip toeing around the wine tasting as we realized there are hundreds of wineries in North Fork area! Then after the last antique shop we stopped in, we saw the sign if ” Bedell” winery. We love the Chardonnay from them last night! So here we are we are stopping in.

IMG_6214It looks sort of Nespresso shop.

IMG_6216It’s about noon. There are lot of people tasting wine. We realized most of wineries here has small Raw bar. Mostly Clams and Oysters.

IMG_6220Live Jazz is not so bad!

IMG_6218It feels like we are in Napa!

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IMG_6223You can also bring your own food and just hang out here with some wine from the winery. It”s a perfect day to do it! I mean look at that sky!

IMG_6227You will find these many little lovely trails that connects to vineyards or the beach in North Fork. So charming!

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It was the perfect 2 day getaway to truly enjoy beautiful sun, last minute lingering lovely summer but surely it was beginning of Autumn for us. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and if you like to get out of city a little, try North Fork!  It is a real little gem that has little of everything you can taste what water and the land can offer!

LOvE North Fork!