NaNoWriMo 2012 – No More Excuses

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve tried over and over again to do one of the best things for my writing and blogging life:

 

That’s right. I have never completed a NaNoWriMo in 5 years. Not once. And every single time, I look at myself in the mirror and weep. (Okay, not really.) But I do get VERY guilty for not finishing it, and this year I know I WILL.

Things around here might be radio silent for the next 30 days, but I assure you that I will be busy as a bee behind this computer screen of mine. And once it’s finished?

Well, my inner editor will have a FEST. But more about that later.

Haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo before? Click on the picture to take you there.

Korea “K”asserole!

Cooking comfort foods in Korea can be tough,
especially on a diet AND a budget!

So far I’ve been able to reconstruct some of my favorite foods here,
even with limited access to Western brands and ingredients.
It takes some creativity, but it can be done…

Enter, “Korean Kasserole“!

First, assemble all ingredients.
Really, anything you want to put in there is going to come out tasty, so go on.

I was cleaning out my pantry, so in went a bunch of onion, bok choy, chicken,
mushrooms, cheese, and even a box of Stove Top
(no, I haven’t been able to find this in Korea yet!)

I used macaroni noodles as the base for my Kasserole.
Other recipes call for other things, but remember, this is comfort food!
Anything goes!

tiny 2 burner stove..
making soup in a cast iron skillet…ha!

Since there is no “cream of” soup here, I used a Mushroom Soup packet
and thickened it up with flour.

Once that’s finished, set aside and LIGHTLY BROWN your chicken breast.
It needs to be at least halfway cooked before going into the oven.

While boiling pasta and thickening up your soup, cut up all your veggies
into nice, bite size (or smaller) pieces.

mmm…cheese…

Here’s the fun part, assembly!
There’s no “right” way to do this. I dumped in the macaroni, soup,
and all the other ingredients and stirred.

Make your stuffing according to the most convenient option available to you…
(I only have 2 burners on my “stove” so I used the microwave)
…and toss it on top!

Then you shove it into your toaster oven and set the dial to 190C/375F
for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired gooeyness.

I am by no means a great FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER
but here’s what it looks like when you put it on your plate,
in the dark of your studio apartment,
right before gobbling it up and getting seconds.
(And thirds.)

how do you like that super cute portion plate?!

DEVOURED.

If you want to know the secrets for how to make your OWN, see below:

Korean Kasserole
Serves 2-4
Prep time: 20min, Cooking time: 20min

INGREDIENTS
1 cup macaroni noodles (boiled to al dente, not rinsed)
1/2 packet of Oteggi Mushroom Cream Soup (prepared according to packet, thickened with flour)
200g chicken breast, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 bunches of bok choy, roughly chopped
8 mushrooms, finely chopped
(more veggies welcomed)

METHOD
1. Preheat your toaster oven to 190C/375F.
2. Line casserole dish or cake pan with baking spray or butter.
3. Lightly brown chicken, boil noodles, and warm up the soup.
4. Mix all ingredients together. Soup, Macaroni, and Veggies.
5. Prepare stuffing mix (or breadcrumbs) and sprinkle on top.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until suitably gooey/crispy according to desired taste.
7. Season with salt, pepper, celery flakes, oregano, and/or other seasonings of choice.
8. DIG IN!

Let me know what you think. What other foods would you like to see me make in my itty bitty apartment kitchen?