Entertaining through details – Kettle & Brine

09 06 16


In a continuous effort to overhaul my living space, I’ve been looking for products with good functionality and design. I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for good and pretty things. Yup, I’ve chosen good design over functionality before. You would think I’ve learned my lesson (well, almost). But let me tell you, I recently stumbled on this shop, Kettle & Brine and I don’t think I need to worry about making same mistakes. It’s a home shop based in Austin, Texas. I love how they value good food and good design. They only carry products that support craftsman and makers who share the same core value as them. Shops like these help me to make better decisions when it comes to design vs. functionality. See few of my current favorites from their shop!


I’ve been trying to make small batches of homemade kimchi on a weekly basis. I’ve also been telling myself maybe it’s about time that I have my own fermentation jar? Once again, my eyes all brighten when I saw this Stoneware Fermentation Crock on Kettle & Brine.

speckled-tumbleroyster-dinner-bowlalder-tumbler-gold-napkinFoxware Indigo Serving Bowl / Hand-Turned Mason Jar with Wooden Lid / Cloth Bento Bag / Stoneware Fermentation Crock / Speckled Tumbler / Foxware Oyster Dinner Bowl / Hannah Gold Linen Napkins / Alder Tumbler

All Photos via Kettle & Brine

Others - Recipe All

Korean Seafood Pancake

08 26 16

IMG_9607Banchan-6Banchan-5Banchan-8Photography 2 – 4 by Leslie Santarina 

KOREAN SEAFOOD PANCAKE (해물파전) – 3-4 Servings (makes 3 pancakes)

2 green onion
4 small bundle of chives
1 trimmed leek
8 frozen cooked, cleaned shrimp (halved)
4 frozen cooked, cleaned calamari (body & tentacles)
1 cup Korean pancake mix (부침가루)
⅓ cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp potato starch
3/4 cup water
1-2 large ice cube
Vegetable oil

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame seed oil
½ tsp sesame seed
1 tbsp water

Thaw cooked shrimp and calamari in cold water 15-20 min and drain. / cut shrimp in halves by slicing horizontally from the back so it would be flat. / cut both calamari body and tentacles in small bite sizes. / clean and cut all greens (green onion, chives and leek) in thin match sticks about 2 inches long.

1. Make pancake batter by mixing the pancake mix, flour and starch and water. Batter should be thick but runny, similar consistency as breakfast pancakes. Add more water or pancake mix to get the consistency.
TIP / Adding 1 or 2 ice cubes will make the pancake extra crispy on the edges.
2. Add all prepped ingredients in the batter and mix it.
3. In medium-large skillet pan, add and heat generous amount of vegetable oil.
4. Spread the pancake mix evenly to cover the pan leaving little bit of room on the edge. Use chopsticks or fork to move the bigger seafood pieces so it will be evenly spread.
NOTE / I like making my pancakes thinner for crispier texture. It’s also easier to flip them.
5. Once the edges start to crisp up and middle is almost cooked, flip it over. Taking a peek on the other side before flipping usually helps! Press down flat to help cook the other side. Flip it one more time and add more oil to the round edges. Keep pressing until both sides are thoroughly cooked, slide it down to the plate to serve.


Banchan Workshop #6 Date-Night-In

08 25 16


Last month, I hosted another Banchan Workshop with a small group of friends. We got together early evening to cook together. We chatted, laughed, cooked and ate our way through the night. I’ve been wanting to host more private workshops but didn’t really know where to go about so I reached out to my friend Jeanne at Shop Sweet Things to see if we can make it happen. Talking and brainstorming with Jeanne made me realized I need to do this more often, we all need more of this in our busy daily grind. After all, this is what Banchan Workshop is all about and why I started what I started in the first place. Gathering friends to cook and dine together, sharing favorite recipes and tips in a casual and fun environment!

I invited few of my creative friends over on a Friday night around the theme of ‘Date-Night-In’. Becky from Honey & Bloom was gracious enough to open up her home for us. Becky’s cozy and modern home was perfect fit for our gathering. So I designed a menu that would work well, dishes that are light but satisfying and something that pairs well with cocktail. Cooking together was fun and the end results were amazing. Here is a recap from that night.


This gorgeous table setting was provided by Angie from Chairs & Cups who was also one of my guest that night. If you are planning a small private events, you must check out her website where you can order rentals for table setting designs & styling services (linens, dinnerware, glassware, floral arrangements…etc.) Angie made it easier for her clients to choose from her Soiree Set that would fit your occasion. I have to say this was a huge load off of my shoulder and it really helped me to focus on preparing the food. Angie was great to work with! I had a specific design in mind with simple layout but wanted to add little bit of Asian flair. Angie was flexible and accommodating about adding few of my Asian wooden pieces to the table.


And my sister, Samantha was there making sure every dish was on point before making it to the table. Here she’s making spicy, sweet and tangy sauce for the jjeol myeon (spicy chewy noodles with coleslaw).


I was so happy to see Sally, Sally J Shim and Lisa, Good on Paper recreate this Kimchi Pork Tofu Stack (recipe HERE)! It was too much fun watching them cook together. They always make a great team. ; )


I realized having a overall look in my mind is always a good place to start planning the event. Everything sort of fall together at the end if you hold on to the overall look you’re envisioning. This simple DIY menu idea is from Almost Makes Perfect. You can find so many awesome DIY designs that you can put together last minute and under budget! I love that this menu board is reusable.


Added four different types of Korean pickles and kimchi that I made week before dinner. Spread of banchan is iconic to Korean table but for date night menu, I thought these would do. They are definitely a palette boosters! Refreshing, spicy, crunchy and salty… just to give you some idea.


Having some cocktails ready to welcome the guest is the way I like to entertain. You can find this grapefruit soju cocktail recipe HERE.


Well, you know me. I believe in food that is simple and modest. I believe in food that is accessible and not wasteful. But more than anything, I believe in food that brings back memory and creates new ones. I think we laughed most of our way through cooking but I really enjoyed sharing this date night in menu with my friends. Friends that have been supportive throughout the years. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by them and constantly being inspired. You guys are awesome, Thanks ladies!

And thank you for reading! I’ll be sharing more entertaining tips and recipes here on my site so hope you stay connected! If you are interested in joining any upcoming Banchan Workshops, make sure to sign-up for the mailing list HERE for future announcements!

Photography by Leslie Santarina | Spotted SF