Daily Life Food Inspiration Tips & Guides

Hello, paper sunshine!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. After a busy week, I’m enjoying my quiet Sunday afternoon at home, baking toasted sesame bagels in the kitchen and working on some new project(s). I’m so excited to share some incoming snail mail inspirations and my bagel recipe with you.

Here’s the tiniest mail I received from talented illustrator,Β Rhya.

Enclosed is a little drawing.

Paper sunshine!

My friend Bibi moved to Japan around the time I was leaving Yunnan. Her package arrived this week, full of small goodies from Kofu. Don’t you love the llama stickers?

A mix-cd in a hand-folded packaging.


Bibi knows what makes me smile!

Tangerine print fabric!

Toasted Sesame Bagel Recipe
adapted from “boiled bagels” and “new york style bagels

Bagel Ingredients:
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Bagel Topping:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup sesame seeds

1. In a small bowl, pour in warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes before stirring.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture and beat with a mixer at a low speed.
3. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10 minutes. You want a moist and firm dough.
4. Place dough in oiled bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Let it rise for 45 minutes.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

6. Divide the dough into 8 portions and shape into balls. Gently press a finger into the center of the ball to make a hole, and work the bagel into a uniform shape. Repeat for the remaining dough. Cover with wet paper towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
7. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, then reduce the heat. Put 4 bagels into the simmering water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip over, and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Drain them. Boil the other 4 bagels the same way.
9. In a small bowl, whisk egg and water to make an egg wash. Lightly coat the top of each bagel with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
10. Place prepared bagels on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Because I’m ridiculously indulgent: cream cheese mixed with crispy bacon, bacon grease (yep!), andΒ finely chopped scallions.

It might be because I spent one too many years without a proper oven, I’m on a huge baking kick lately! I always thought bagels would be difficult to make, but it was really fun and easy.

Do you have any favorite recipes or something you’ve always wanted to bake from scratch?


  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    lovely little things <3

    • Reply
      March 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks, Catarina! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Veronica Fish
    March 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love it all – look at you all Russ Daughters!!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Those are the cutest snail mail packages I have seen in a while! Kinda jealous, because I don’t really receive snail mail (apart from bills) anymore!
    Ronnie xo

  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    かわいい~~ eveything is so cute! and thank you for the simple recipe!! I think I will love it πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Wauw, I love the things you received! Especialy that small envelope, how cute.
    And those bagels look so deliciouss πŸ™‚ makes me hungry, I’d probably get some breakfast πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    kelly zarb
    March 5, 2012 at 3:04 am

    I love Rhya’s little mail package its rad. One of my favourite baked recipes is making my apple and cinnamon topped cake and carob and coconut brownies. yum!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Yummy! Baking is kind of healing! And I love this tangerine fabric! Enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Studio Meez
    March 5, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Lovely mail you got and I definitely will try out the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Hey Sewon!
    I love your snail mail upate, you get the lovliest things!
    Your bagel recipe looks really good, I’m definitely gonna try that some time!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 7:24 am

    That bagels look so yum! I am so jealous with your baking skill since mine is zero 😑
    And your photography skills. And your lovely friends sending you those cute little packages!

    Anyway I am starting a publication in http://www.vociferousmag.com perhaps you would like to drop by πŸ™‚ This month’s theme is about apocalypse so it’s rather gloomy tho :p

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 7:27 am

    this could possibly be one of the loveliest, cheeriest, most summery post i’ve seen in awhile! πŸ™‚ i think all the little things in your life are so adorable. such a ray of sunshine those packages are. and those bagels look so darn good! xxxx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I have never seen such tiny mail! It’s so cute!
    Love the fabric!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    beautiful mail πŸ™‚
    those bagels looks absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    such a cute package, loaded with beautiful gifts !

    your bagels kick ass, they look delicious !

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Those bagels look awesome! I don’t have a good oven, so unfortunately I don’t bake. Although I’ve always wanted to so much!

    That mix cd cover is incredibly creative!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 12:30 am

    I wish I have found out about this bagel recipe earlier. I was crazily craving for bagels when i was in China! The ones you made look amazing!

    Btw, can you send me your current address to me through email? I have sth to send to you too!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

    thank you so much for the wonderful craft it forward snail mail you sent me,
    i LOVED everything!: )

    nice to see the lovely little things you show, little things that makes one very happy : )
    and that bagel looks heavenly…yum!!!


  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I love your blog style! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I really adore the mail you received!
    And i am deffs going to try out that recipe! Xo

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

    you have any favorite blogs to see cause urs is nice!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Incredible pictures as always! Heyyy I’ve received your mail dear Sewon! It’s soooo great! I just looove your tiny polaroids, your photo catalogue and the sweet little things I would call “brimborions” and that make life so nice! So thank you so so much and I wish you a very nice spring. I’m preparing something for you asap! Love love love.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Oh thanks for this yummy recipe!!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2012 at 11:03 am

    That wrapped cd mix tape is soo pretty, what a genius way to wrap a gift! Also those bagels look super yummy, they must have been so nice fresh out of the oven!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Love the itty bitty envelope! Love the package for the mix tape as well! Your blog never fails to make me smile. So cute!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

    The amount of patience it took to make that small envelope – I admire that person. Absolute badass right there!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

    omg, this looks so yummy!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    sewon! I want to do this but can I do it with royal instead of the yeast? if so, do I add everything else on the list?

    • Reply
      November 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Pau, you’ll need to use levadura de panadero (yeast). I’ll get in touch with you via Twitter!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    aww, I love the tiny envelope!

  • Reply
    30 Days of Thankfulness (Days 1 – 10)
    August 28, 2015 at 12:22 am

    […] idea and when my weekend picked up it was her idea not to worry about them.)  I used Sewon’s bagel recipe, but left off the sesame seeds and incorporated dried cranberries and orange zest into the dough […]

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