She is a writer, homemaker, and dessert activist. This blog has been read internationally by millions, but mainly she is just an ordinary homemaker living in the heartland with her husband, David, and their two babies. They are (currently) renovating their 1970s colonial home and (always) cooking more food. You can expect fresh posts on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
As I have written before, if you want to invest in one speciality ingredient to take all your at-home Asian cooking to the next level, it has got to be sesame oil. It is similar in price to olive oil and is the secret ingredient that makes homemade stir fry dishes feel restaurant quality. Bonus points that I have no problem finding it my regular grocery store.
Because I do not often (ever?) shop at speciality stores, Beef Bulgogi is a fun Korean dish to make at home. You will recognize all the items in this ingredient list, and probably have most of them on hand already.
QUICK BEEF BULGOGI & ROASTED CARROTS Serves 3-4
1/2 pear, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 pound sirloin, sliced thinly
7 carrots, quartered
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 green onions, sliced
Place pear, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flake, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Pour marinade over sirloin in a plastic bag and allow to marinate overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle carrots with 1 tablespoon sesame oil and season with salt. Arrange carrots on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear both sides of sirloin pieces until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Top with green onions.
Because we have upgraded to a king in the master (treat yourself), the queen can be relocated to the guest room. With now being able to accommodate couples or a tall person, we need this space to be not a miscellaneous wasteland.
Note: The king feels so wonderfully enormous like I am a tiny flower petal drifting in a field. I am not including a new photo of our bedroom because it is currently just the box spring and mattress sitting on the ground. BUT WE HAVE PLANS.
We did a huge purge and sort of the guest room. There was so much furniture in there (it got way worse since the below photo).
All the furniture waiting to be craigslist-ed was moved to the basement (I sell in August for top dollar) and I parted with a huge assortment of stuff that I did not like but was having “what if I need this some day in the future?” syndrome with. It feels really good to be free of them.
With all this we have come to have a kind of ridiculous amount of bed set ups. A king in the master, a queen and crib in the guest room, a crib in our daughter’s room, a twin bed and a crib in our son’s room (not that he uses the twin, just storing – or I guess maybe we could host another person in there), and a toddler bed in storage in the basement. The toddler bed is in the basement because we still have the wood floor boxes in our son’s room, so once those are installed his bedroom will probably have a twin, toddler, and crib. Welcome to The Schultz Hotel for Youths Of All Ages.
The guest room has become where I put decor that I do not dislike enough to get rid of, but have not styled anywhere yet. So much of our house is just getting the bones (walls, floors) right that I barely ever think about furnishing or accessories.
Still, this room is now pleasant and we have since slept in here to kind of pretend feeling like we are having a night away from home. Oh, parenthood, I love it.
David once named the sunroom the area of the house he is most excited for in its finished state. It has potential, and seeing it making a little progress gives me eyes to see how nice it really could be. (Whereas now I just think of it as the empty space I stare at from the living room.)
When we moved in, the room had a blue carpet-meets-astroturf. All the details of removing it and the plywood underneath are in this post. Just getting down to wood beams was an improvement.
To prep the floors for paint (white, of course), we did a soap and water scrub with some light sanding. Follow up with a shop-vac. We considered powerwashing, but we did not want the paint anywhere else is get sprayed off too, so we did everything by hand.
The editing on this photo does not show it a whole lot, but after the first coat the walls and floor were really clashing. The floor paint was a harsh pure white (I did not have them tint it at all) and the side of the house and such are comparatively very cream.
I went back and had it tinted to Behr’s Palais White. Even after the second coat it is not looking cream enough. The paint mixing was not exactly down to a science because my guy was 1) color matching (which I never trust) and 2) cutting the formula in half since I only had half a can of paint left. Lots of room for error.
Maybe its standing out now because the room is empty and later I will not mind. Or, I will later still very much mind and just paint again! I think very cream whites are going to be the key out here, for the furniture too.
Speaking of furniture, David has already finished building our new outdoor dining table! It is amazing and I am so impressed. I plan to convince him to write a tutorial for it.