Alien's Day Out

Smoothies and Salad


Wow, after I posted about opening the baking studio last week, you guys wrote such amazing words of encouragement here and also on FB~ The response has been so positive and uplifting, I’m now even more pumped and excited for things to get going! :) I’m sure you guys are curious as to how the studio will look in the end~ we are too! Actually, the interior will probably be as simple as possible, due to the fact that interior design fees cost an arm and a leg. We have to keep everything within a strict budget but we’ll do our best to make it attractive, while also focusing on the functionality of the space and abiding by all laws, building codes, and food regulations, etc. I’ve learned so much about the Korean food laws and it’s a lot more complicated than I ever thought. We’ve been working through a ton of paperwork to get various business licenses (there are so many different types) and make the whole thing legit. And I still don’t know exactly all the details of the process, but we’re figuring it out as we go along. And I feel incredibly lucky to have some amazing business-savvy people around me to help and give advice. As someone with basic casual Korean fluency, my ability to engage in Korean business-talk and legalese is next to none. I honestly couldn’t do anything without their help.

So needless to say, things have been quite busy with all the preparations for the studio, and also baking~ and now you guys know why blogging has been less frequent. I truly hope that this is the start of a new era, both for the bakeshop and also for this blog.

And now onto some random eats:

I’ve been making smoothies every morning for breakfast because the muggy heat is so icky, right from the start of the day. My smoothies usually have the same basic ingredients: one frozen banana, about 1/2 cup of soy or almond milk, 1 Tbs ground flax seed or chia seed, tons of ice, and maybe a pinch of xanthan gum to thicken it up. Then the variable is usually something like wheat grass powder, berries or cherries, which gets blended with the rest. And then I always top it with crunchy raw cacao nibs, nuts, and maybe some more fruit, for texture.

For this one I threw in a few pitted dark cherries. So refreshing.

I almost always eat my smoothies with a spoon. :)

I like to tempt Bunny with a sniff. But she doesn’t like the smell of the cacao nibs. It’s okay. All the more for me.

I got all these fresh, homegrown, organic veggies from the ladies at Botton. Gnoa’s mom grows everything in her backyard! Everything from romaine, chicory, kaetnip leaves, celery, cilantro, basil, and tons more. It’s so impressive~ I was feasting on these greens all week long.

Huge basil leaves and fresh aromatic cilantro~~ I think they also packed some dill in another bag! Seriously cool, especial knowing that it was all grown right in the city, in someone’s back yard.

A simple salad made from the greens. :)

More of the greens mixed with cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and corn.

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And because I’m a generous person, Bunny also got to enjoy some of the lettuce.

Ew. sweating at my gym. When there’s a lot on my mind (which is the case these days), that’s when I need to make physical activity a real priority because it keeps me sane. I’m still dealing with shin splints because I keep running which delays the recovery and aggravates the pain, but I have reduced my distance and time considerably…..

From all the previous smoothie and salad photos, you guys probably think I eat super healthy all the time… but I also eat more than my fair share of sweets. I guess that can only be expected when you bake for a living. Since it’s cherry season, I made some chocolate cherry-cream cupcakes for next month’s Bakery Magazine issue.

Ready to go~~

Raspberry cake for TaiLor Coffee~~ I’ve been on a big raspberry kick lately. There are farmers selling boxes of them for 8,000 won in my neighborhood~ It’s definitely more expensive than other fruits, but I love raspberries and the season for them is so short, so I figure I should enjoy as much of them as I can now, before they disappear again.

Making pink raspberry frosting.

I also made this lemon cake for Botton and piled a bunch of raspberries on top~~

Bright, zesty lemon cake is so perfect for summer weather~

Here’s something totally random. I saw this American guy on the subway wearing Vibram FiveFinger shoes. I asked him about them because I’ve always been curious…. and he said they’re the best shoes he’s ever owned. And then all these ajumas sitting infront of him started asking about his cool shoes and he just started talking with them in this perfect Korean! O.o. wow. I’m always so impressed when a foreigner can speak fluent Korean- better than me, an actual Korean.

Grocery shopping in my ‘hood. So hot and humid.

Well that about wraps things up for this post. It’s Monday morning and it’s time to get moving…. let’s make this week awesome.


  1. Oh man! I went to Botton this weekend (actually waited outside on some steps for an hour for them to open like a total weirdo) because you are always posting incredible cakes you send there. But when they opened, they were all sold out!! BAH! I’ll keep trying. I want to try your new creations!

  2. Hi, Mipa. Maybe this is an odd question, but your talking about the guy on the subway and his perfect Korean got me wondering. I know you’ve lived in a bunch of places, including Africa (Ghana?) and the U.S., and I assumed you were talking to him in English. I’m interested in accents and dialects, so I wonder: Do you think (or know) that your accent sounds like it’s from any particular place? I always hear your writing in my mind in kind of a generic American voice, maybe California-ish. :)

    Also, I love the picture of you tempting Bunny. I always used to like to offer my cat a sniff of what I was eating; to me it was a form of sharing, even though–or maybe especially if–I knew she wouldn’t really be interested in eating the food. Animals communicate so much by smell, and everyone’s interested in food, so it seems polite to me to let them know what you’re eating, haha.

    • Hey Lu! When I was in boarding school in Ivory Coast, my accent was a total mish-mosh of british, australian, american, and dutch english. hehehe. it was very ‘international.’ And then I went to an American-based high school and college in the US, and now my accent is pretty much American. I don’t think it’s particularly Cali-ish though~ :P Although these days, I feel like my English is deteriorating! :( I’ve been in KOrea too long.

      hehe, yea, i mess around with bunny a lot… hehe. she probably gets really frustrated with me~~ but I do give her treats to make up for it.

      • Thanks for answering! :D I think of California as a pretty unaccented kind of American English–I didn’t mean any kind of Valley girl or surfer type of accent. So that answers my question! It’s as I suspected. What an interesting background you have. I wish I’d gotten to live in different places when I was younger, because it would probably take the terror out of the idea of change for me!

  3. P.S. your top photo reminds me of patbingsu, minus the pat, I guess!

  4. Hi Mipa!!!

    Great to hear such wonderful news!!! I always tell my biz. students to do what they love!

    If you need a hand with painting walls etc., let me know!!!


  5. Hi Mipa,
    I stumbled upon your blog when I was searching for vegetarian restaurants in South Korea and am so glad I did :) Terrific blog and I’ve gotten a list of places to visit now thanks to you. I had one question though that I thought you might know: Do you know if there is a place in Seoul that carries almond milk besides the military base? Perhaps the Blue Diamond brand? I’m just used to drinking that daily (unsweetened) and was surprised how you really can not find an unsweetened alternative milk product here…even all the soymilk seems to be sweetened everywhere I checked.
    If you know of any place, please let me know. I would really appreciate it.

    Keep up your awesome work! Last time I visited Korea was over a decade ago so it’s so nice to see that it now has more vegetarian/vegan restaurants. On my last visit, I literally had to survive on safe vegetarian foods I brought with me and vegetables/fruits from Korea, but that is not the case these days :)


    • Hi, Camille,
      I don’t even live in Korea, but I read Mipa’s blog all the time and a few others, so I’ll take a stab. I know there are a couple of foreign food marts in Itaewon–have you tried there? And I understand Costco carries many familiar American products.

      Also, BTW, I understand that just because something is called “soymilk,” it’s not necessarily dairy-free; could be milk plus soymilk. You probably know that, though.

    • Hi Camille,
      You can get the unsweetened Blue Diamond almond milk from They will ship to Korea. I sometimes get the large carton from there as a special treat. :)
      There is also a new almond milk drink in Korea called ‘Denmark Almond’. I have seen it at GS25, the convenience store and it’s probably available at Emart or Homeplus. It’s not unsweetened though.

      Oh, and High Street Market in Itaewon carries their own store-made almond milk. I’ve heard mixed reviews of it though.
      And I’m pretty sure Costco carries it too.

      hope that helps.

  6. AHHHH! I’m so excited for your baking space. Can’t wait to see all the inspiration and ideas that will come from a shared space with Yona. Movin’ up in the world, Mipa!

  7. I just stumbled on your blog this evening and have spend about a good three hours scrolling through every post. I lived in Korea during middle school and miss it DEARLY, but since my recent switch to a mostly vegan/vegetarian diet I was curious as to how I would survive if I ever visited again.

    I am obsessed with your blog and look forward to continue reading it (and live vicariously through you)!

    Best regards!

  8. OH MY GOSH! I wish upon a star! Oh how I wish I was there to taste that wonderful lemon cake with raspberry frosting and I love love love cherries. So that chocolate cherry combo would be heaven to try.

    I so desire to live there (even if it’s only part-time) to just enjoy any and everything that you bake. Thise greens and that salad, oh goodness. I’m so hungry now, lol. I would love to go there and teach some vegan/vegetarian classes. Are there any vegan/vegatarian organizations there(national or otherwise)? I am currently rebranding/reworking my website to begin making only Korean meals. As well as writing books. I’m just so curious about the vegan/vegetarian culture there in Seoul. I wish I had the means to get there to know exactly what is available in the markets so that I can just go crazy with recipes, lol.

    i just love post! You make the most incredible dishes that look so fresh, healthy, and sometimes sinfully rich! I can’t wait to get to Seoul to try everything! I must work smart to get there. Thank you for being online! You are truly AMAZING! I love you so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • hehe, thank you bunches, Jacqueline! I hope you get a chance to visit. There is sooo much great food and ingredients here that inspire lots of creative meals. :)

    • Agree :), I wanna live there quite long time to taste every cake that Mipa-nim make. And must be wonderful if she wants to make a class for us. I love it too. When this idea comes up, i can’t stand to work hard and spend my money to trip there. And I think, it’ll be great also to meet and know readers in this blog, and Mipa-nim, together and share some stories more. Btw Have a good day for you and everyone!

  9. Hey Mipa,

    Thanks for the advice that you had given earlier. It looked like Sanchon was under construction and we couldn’t get into Baru (Balwoo) in Insadong without reservations. My uncle was awesome in finding restaurants because he knew that we were vegan. He wasn’t sure why we were 채식 and to him it was all confusing. But he did scope out a couple of places. We are returning to Seoul in 2 weeks to pick up our 2 year old daughter and we will definitely check out your recommendations again.

    Yes, my first trip last week was HOT and HUMID. My wife and I laughed every time we saw guys wearing leggings, skinny jeans or as well called it “Meggings”. Also, people must’ve assumed we were Singaporean or Hmong because we were the only Koreans (from America) with a tan. The trend must be to stay out of the sun.

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