Easy Shrimp Pad Thai : Behind the Scenes

This episode of Bits & Pieces was a special one because it was a collaboration between us and Lktoepher from 6kidsProductions.  We know her as Lee.  She was one of our backers from our Kickstarter project and producing an episode of our show was a reward we offered.  Making an easier and healthier version of Pad Thai was Lee’s idea, so if you liked this episode, you have her to thank!

We thought it would be cool for Lee to make a cameo in the actual video.  So we asked for a video clip of herself asking me what she wanted to learn how to make.  She was awesome enough to send us her bloopers as well!  Of course we couldn’t let that go to waste so we included them in this behind the scenes video of our Easy Shrimp Pad Thai episode:

I’ll be honest… this one was a hard one for us to shoot.  The recipe itself is easy to make.  But shooting it was another story.  It was during Daylight Savings, and that pesky little time change threw me for a loop!  We also had a family celebration with relatives flying in from California, DC, and Korea!  One of our cousins stayed with us for a couple days, and we were busy hosting.

But on top of it, I was recipe testing constantly for the next couple videos, because we’re always simultaneously working on multiple videos.  But that particular week, I was having a rough time.  It was one of those moments where things weren’t coming out right and I just felt emotionally drained from constantly failing.

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Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

All I gotta say is the next time you’re craving an easy and light version of Pad Thai, remember this recipe.  You don’t have to be intimidated here because I won’t ask you to make your own tamarind juice or run around to find palm sugar and dried shrimp.  All you need are ingredients that you can probably find easily in most grocery stores.  You might have to scamper towards the International foods aisle, but the only things you need from there are dried rice noodles, soy sauce, and Sriracha sauce.  But let’s not kid ourselves, you probably have Sriracha and soy sauce in your kitchen right now anyways.


The thing I LOVE most about Thai food is how balanced it tastes. There’s always a subtle dance between salty, sweet, and sour, with sometimes a kick of spice…and that sounds like heaven to me.  So that’s what’s happening in this sauce, but simplified.  Salty= soysauce, sweet = brown sugar, sour = lime, and spicy=Sriracha sauce.  Okay…I guess there’s no need to read the rest of the recipe now, huh?  Just kidding.


I was challenged by a lovely lady named Lee aka Lktoepher from 6kidsProductions to whip up an easier, healthier/ lighter version of Pad Thai that she could tackle at home without it turning into a hot mess.  Challenge accepted!  I feel like I just sounded like Barney from “How I Met Your Mother.”  You can watch how I make this Easy Shrimp Pad Thai in EPISODE 11 of Bits & Pieces:

This video was a collaboration between us and 6kidsProductions because Lee was one of our backers from our Kickstarter project campaign, and producing an episode of Bits & Pieces was one of the rewards we offered.  What started out to be a one-time deal morphed into a friendship, and we had a blast communicating via Skype.  Since Lee is a producer herself, she came to the table with awesome creative ideas and we’re thankful to have a partnership with her.  We plan to collaborate again, so stay tuned for that!  She has some great ideas and truly pushes me to be “resourceful and creative in the kitchen.”

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Trip to Gino’s East

We had a Groupon that Joe purchased a while back for Gino’s East and forgot about until it was ALMOST too late.  I didn’t even know he bought it in the first place, so it could’ve been a tragedy if we “wasted” it.  Luckily, Joe remembered it the same weekend it was going to expire… on Sunday!  But better late than never!  So off we went to the city to score some pre-paid pizza for dinner.  Since it was both of our first times at Gino’s East, we thought we would film our experience there.  Before we even moved here, we’ve had Chicago deep dish pizza at some of the other well-known places like Giordanos, Lou Malnati’s, and Pequods, and I can honestly say that they’re all a little different from one another.  I think that’s pretty cool though, because then you can get a unique experience with each place.

There are several locations in the city, but we went to the one located at: 162 E. Superior St. Chicago, IL 60611 because it’s the original.  I think the standout feature of this restaurant is the fact that they welcome everyone to scribble their names on their walls.  Had I known about this earlier, I would’ve come prepared with my white out pen.  Unfortunately, we didn’t leave our mark, but that just means we have to go back again one day.  We’ve heard from several friends that they really enjoyed the “atmosphere” of Gino’s East, and I’d say that I agree with them.

It’s kind of dark and almost pub-like in a way, which makes you feel relaxed and cozy.  And the pizza itself is known for its “secret yellow crust.”  I didn’t know that at the time, so I was really surprised by it.  You’ll see me mention it.  But you can watch our reactions and hear more about what we have to say in our vlog below:

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Spaghetti Squash with Easy Meat Sauce : Behind The Scenes

Just wanted to let you know that we decided to start shooting videos of us shooting videos.  HA!  We’ve always thought about taking you behind the scenes to show you what it’s like for us to film Bits & Pieces…so now we are!  If you haven’t subscribed to our Youtube vlog channel yet, then go here —>Our Yooniverse .  Or you can just click on our nifty new Youtube buttons on the right side bar of this website.  That way you’ll be notified every time we make more videos like this one.

This is our first behind the scenes video and it was a rough day because it was also the first time we were shooting in our new kitchen, so we hadn’t worked out all the kinks at this point.  We were busy trying to figure out where to position the lights, and how to get the right angles.  Thankfully you can’t really tell that we’re frazzled in the video (at least I don’t think so).  But we are a little stiff and Joe is more quiet than usual.  We were just so focused on making sure to make the shoot go smoothly.  We’ll try to be more loosey goosey in our future vlogs.  In any case, hope you guys enjoy this little look behind the lens:

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Spaghetti Squash with Easy Meat Sauce

I made this dish for my husband and in-laws and they all loved it.  They thought it was so flavorful, unique, satisfying, and light at the same time!  Is that even possible?  Sure it is!  It’s lighter and lower carb, but hearty enough to fill you up so that you don’t even miss the pasta.  I’ve heard people say this line before, in regards to spaghetti squash, but I was kind of skeptical about it.  I thought to myself that there was no way a SQUASH could possibly replace a comforting plate of pasta.

But that’s exactly it.  Personally, I don’t think spaghetti squash REPLACES pasta.  I think it’s entirely it’s own thing and deserves to be recognized for what it is.  And truth be told, I might even like this dish better than regular spaghetti with meat sauce -GASP!


The last time I was at the grocery store to pick up a couple of spaghetti squash, I felt like there were several eyes on me, secretly wondering what I was going to do with them.  Finally, one lady came up to me and asked if I knew how to cook spaghetti squash.  As I was explaining how to make it, she kept asking me more questions until it felt like I was completely giving her a step-by-step recipe, right there in the produce aisle.


If I wanted to be a brat, I could’ve just handed her my card and said, “look it up on chefjulieyoon.com…there might be a recipe for it one day.”  Hmm…maybe I should’ve because today I’m sharing this recipe with all of you!  Watch how I tackle this fantastically peculiar and wonderful squash with easy meat sauce in EPISODE 10 of Bits & Pieces:

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Moving In

The first week in our new place was an “adventure,” and not what we expected at all.  The day before we were supposed to move into our condo, Joe and I went there to clean it.  What we thought was going to take a couple hours, ended up being an all-day / all-night affair.  There was just SO much dust, dirt, rubble, and paint splatters left behind from the renovation.  It was as if every surface was covered in a layer of dusty film.  But on top of that, we both had colds and were already exhausted from battling our constant coughing and runny noses in between all the scrubbing.

It took us about 8 hours to finish the job! Then I made instant ramen as our first meal in our new home.  We used our Keurig coffee maker box as our dining room table, and plopped down on the floor together to eat our dinner.  Then we went back to Joe’s parents’ house, where we were staying.

The next morning, the professional movers came, but since they charged by the hour, Joe and I loaded the truck with them.  And when we got to our new place, we told them to just drop the boxes “anywhere” in the living room, in order to save some time and money.  All the while, Joe’s cold morphed into flu-like symptoms, and he started suffering from body aches, and head congestion.

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Take a tour of our kitchen

Our renovation project is done and we moved into our new home!  To celebrate, we thought we would take you on a tour of our kitchen.  It may be small, but there’s a story behind every detail.  We were lucky enough to be able to “start from scratch,” when renovating it, so I have a personal attachment to every tile, cabinet, and appliance.  I cook our daily meals, develop and test recipes, and film our cooking show from here.  Well, technically you haven’t seen the episodes filmed from this kitchen yet, but don’t you worry…they’re coming soon!

Sometimes it’s the place that brings me joy, and other times, it’s the source of my stress.  But it’s still the heart of our home and I’m thankful for it.  I could go on and on about what this kitchen means to me, but just watch this video and you can hear more of my thoughts.  Get the first look of our kitchen below:

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Welcome to Our Yooniverse

We have really been enjoying filming Bits & Pieces so far.  Yeah, it’s a lot of work, and things don’t always go smoothly, but we can’t complain….it’s been great!  But one thing we’ve noticed since we started this show is that people often wonder what goes on behind the scenes, or what it’s really like working together as a husband and wife.  We get tons of questions like that, and we LOVE to share our lives freely.  So with that in mind, we have a little announcement to make.  Watch this video below and it should explain everything:

Up to speed?  Good!  Now go to our NEW Youtube channel and push SUBSCRIBE.  When you get there, you’ll see this intro video:

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We didn’t have time to style or stage these “AFTER” pictures of our condo renovation project, because I just couldn’t wait any longer to reveal them to you.  In fact, these pictures were taken immediately after the renovation was completed, before we moved in, and had a chance to clean it.  So pardon the dusty surfaces, and random tools on the counters.  This is real life baby!  But I just wanted to say thanks for patiently going on this journey with us.  If you missed our DEMOLITION PICS or CONSTRUCTION PICS, you can check those out too.

I really enjoyed sharing our process and the things we were honestly going through while trying to film Season 1 of Bits & Pieces.  We’re almost halfway through the season already!  Yes, it was a chaotic, confusing, and tiring time for us, but it’s over now, and we have a personalized new place we can call home.

You guys, some days I have to pinch myself because this is our FIRST place with an updated kitchen.  When we first laid eyes on this small, enclosed, dated kitchen, with the crazy cabinetry, and NO counter space, we didn’t know what to think.  Joe and I knew we were going to make changes, but we never imagined it could transform so much!

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Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

On Youtube, you have an option to upload a channel intro video, so that people can quickly get the gist of what you’re about, and then subscribe to your channel.  It’s supposed to be short and sweet, like a commercial.  Joe and I filmed it in our new kitchen, and had a little fun with this one.  So if you STILL haven’t subscribed to OUR CHANNEL yet, then watch our video.  It’s free to subscribe, and  you’ll automatically get notified through email whenever we post new videos!

Here’s how to subscribe:  Go HERE and push the SUBSCRIBE button at the top.

Stop by and say “hi” by leaving a comment under our videos.  We read every single comment, and I feel like I’m starting to get to know some of you.  I get SOOOO pumped anytime you try one of my recipes and tell me that you enjoyed it.  It keeps us going!

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