South Korea has become ground zero for innovation in the last few years (BB creams, anyone?). Lucky for us, former Birchbox copywriter Mai is teaching English in Seoul this summer—and sending us weekly updates about her finds in beauty, food, and beyond. Here, she presents some of the most memorable Korean dishes she’s come across.
You’ll find tons of premade side dishes at any Korean grocery store—including spicy dried squid shaped like bricks (bottom right).
I’ve always considered myself an adventurous eater, but nothing prepared me for Korea. This country’s love of spicy food puts American buffalo wings to shame, and I’ve eaten dishes so
bizarro exotic that I feel like I’ve earned a gold star for adventurousness. The upside of all my culinary adventures? I’ve definitely learned to expand my palate. Here are a few of my new favorite dishes, plus some that I’m still too scared to try:
Our subscribers received adorable postcards in their June boxes illustrating the four cities that Birchbox calls home: New York, Paris, London, and Barcelona. But since we could only fit so much information on each card, we decided to provide even more insider intel on our blog—straight from Birchbox staffers around the world. Get your passport ready and check back each week for a new installment of Birchbox City Guides.
Contemporary design nuts will love of-the-moment bakeries Turris (various locations) and Crustö (Mercat de la libertat, 80-81), while the more traditional-minded should make a beeline for Forn Mistral (Avinguda de Mistral, 20) to find the city’s flakiest croissants, and Baluard (38-40 baixos, Barceloneta) for whole-grain, spelt, and dried-fruit varieties. No visit to Barcelona is complete without some serious tapas time, and you’ll find the best options in the old fishermen’s waterfront neighborhood of Barceloneta—in particular, Jai-Ca (Carrer Ginebra) and La Cova Fumada (Carrer Baluard, 56; order the bombas). For a slightly more upscale destination, try El Vaso de Oro (Calle de Balboa) and their filet of beef tapas accompanied by a caña (draft beer).
This week our community manager Juliette is in Mexico—enjoying some beachside lounging, tropical breezes and ridiculously yummy-looking food (exhibit A: the avocado salad above).
Follow—and eat!—along with Juliette by checking out our Instagram and looking for the hashtag #bbmexicovacay.
We first became enamored with Annie Dean earlier this year after stumbling across her site AnnieDean.com. Combining tips for entertaining and etiquette, this modern day Miss Manners proves that you can juggle a hectic lifestyle (did we mention she’s a lawyer?) and still be ultra chic. This week she’s sharing her five easy tricks to make spring a little more fabulous.
There’s no better summer mal than a light, fresh, and healthy salad. Get your gal pals together and serve one up on mismatching vintage china with pressed linen napkins to keep things casual-chic. Lately I’ve been serving wine Italian-style in these juice glasses from Fishs Eddy, $1.49 each. And even if you’re dining for one, don’t forget the red lipstick. Read on to get my recipe for mango avocado salad with shredded chicken and goat cheese:
Have you ever wondered what you would eat for your last meal? Melanie Dunea has. When she’s not interviewing people for her blog My Last Supper, she spends her time as a freelance portrait photographer and casual instagramer. And this week, Melanie is sharing her favorite beauty, food, and photography tips on the Birchbox blog.
J’aime Paris. No, really. I love, love, love Paris. My first impressions of the city came from Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline books. I was enamored of that cheeky little girl, scared of Ms. Clavel, the teacher, and had a mad crush on Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador’s son who lived next door. But, mostly, I lingered over the drawings of Paris and dreamed of sitting in a café eating, drinking, and just being Parisian.
Fast forward to the late 1970’s. I found myself in a restaurant in Paris sitting in an overstuffed chair, perusing an oversize menu and feeling très Madeline-esque when the waiter came over and served us a plate of Gougères. I was surprised, as we hadn’t ordered anything yet. I looked at my parents who encouraged me to try the cheesy puffs and explained that they were compliments of the house. Free food? Paris was getting better by the minute. I popped one in my mouth and savored the warm gem as its flavor exploded on my tastebuds. I have never forgotten my first Gougères.
Many years and many Gougères later, I began baking my own. I’m always ready to slap on my apron to make a triple batch. I love to have them on hand for when visitors drop in unexpectedly. I have experimented with many recipes over the years and I think this one is the best. Pop open a bottle of cold champagne, cue up some Serge Gainsbourg, close your eyes. The taste of a warm Gougères will transport you.
Multi-talented health coach, cookbook writer, wellness speaker, and founder of Walker Well-Being, Tammy Walker is all about making long-term healthy choices. It can be incredibly difficult to make positive food choices all day long (our sweet tooth tends to go into overdrive come 3P.M.), so this week Tammy is lending a hand and sharing her favorite healthy lifestyle tips on our blog.
Along with open-toe shoes, daylight savings, and pastel nails, a light detox is one of my favorite signs of spring. I don’t mean the drastic, liquid-only measures that leave you hangry (hungry + angry) and dead tired. Those diets can often have a rebound effect (i.e. the inevitable post-detox “I deserve it!” bender) that negates the whole effort.
Instead, I recommend embracing more naturally detoxifying whole foods that support your liver, kidneys, and colon (the detox organs) in doing what they’re meant to do. This spring, hit the reset button, increase your energy and improve digestion by eating more of these in-season detox foods.
Healthy Food Upgrades, A Moroccan Packing List, Birchbox Man’s Birthday, and More: Reading List
We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news you need to read this weekend.
- Small Healthy Food Upgrades That Make a Big Difference: At Birchbox we really love food, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be healthy too. To help us make small tweaks to our diet, we recruited author and nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot, who offers five tips to make your diet healthier.
- Packing List: Moroccan Marvels: Our editorial director Bene is currently on holiday in Morocco (jealous!), but before she jetted off, she showed us what she was taking along with her on her ten-day adventure.
- Sneak Peek: Birchbox Man May 2013: It’s Birchbox Man’s 1st birthday! To celebrate, our editors Martin and Kyle hit the couch in their finest duds to talk about May’s assortment and what it means to be all grown up.
- 5 Blush Rules to Break: It can be easy to play it safe when it comes to blush, but maybe it’s time to rethink this oft-overlooked part of our beauty collections and try something new.
Lipstick isn’t only for your lips. Check out these tips from Ops Associate Melanie on how to get three different looks with just one lipstick pencil.
As much as we love cooking up a storm, we know that sometimes the hardest part of putting a recipe together—aka picking out the star ingredients—starts before you’ve even made it to the kitchen.
If you’re still learning how to find and make the most of the season’s freshest veggies, we’ve got five easy-to-follow tips that will help you navigate the food stands like a pro.
From how to find the best local farmer’s market to the spring crops you have to get your hands on, here are five ways to make the most of seasonal ingredients.
For even more tips on how to become a veritable kitchen goddess, check out this month’s issue of Birchbox Magazine.