Korean Beef over Rice

By , January 14, 2016 22:20

I’m not sure what makes this dish Korean, but I’ve always known it as such.  There are several approaches to this dish, but this particular method is my wife’s favorite.  She’s the one pushing me to get more involved with this site and explore my creativity.  She doesn’t like my preferred way of doing this dish, so much for creativity.

I’ve made some great meals lately and looking forward to sharing them with everyone.  Namaste and Yankees suck!


Korean Beef

  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • white rice, steamed
  • Sriracha sauce


Heat the olive and sesame oils in a large stir-fry pan.  Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a couple minutes.  Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper and cook through.  Once beef is browned add the soy sauce and brown sugar.  Stir over high heat until it is dissolved and completely combined.  Lower hear to medium and cook for another few minutes.

Spoon the mixture over steamed white rice (make sure to scoop up some of the juices too).  Drizzle with Sriracha sauce and top with diced green onions.  Enjoy!

Trattoria Bella Mia

By , July 20, 2010 13:07

Sometimes something totally awesome runs you over like a freight train and you never saw it coming. That’s what happened to me at Trattoria Bella Mia in Beverly, MA.  I went there to wait for a friend, have a beer and some quiet time to go over some work … what I got was so much more.

I moved to the area about five years ago from California.  I lived for a few years in Hamilton and now I’m in Beverly Farms.  I’d say about 50% of my bar hopping and restaurant outings occur in Beverly. And even then, I frequent very few places.  I go to the places I like and know will serve me well.  I’ve probably driven past Bella Mia a few thousand times and never really thought to try it out.  A while ago someone kept telling me to give this place a try.  Well, this person is a maniac, so I never really paid the recommendation much mind.

So like a week or two ago I decide to walk in and see what this place is all about.  It was pretty much dead.  I slid up to the bar, ordered a beer and watched some sports for a while and then scrammed.  A couple days later I do the same thing.  While I was there a friend called and asked me where I was.  I say, “Bella Mia on Cabot!” … They had no idea where this place was even through they lived about 100 yards away.  So I go meet them at another place and I head back to Bella Mia a few days later.  Same thing, kind slow.  I drink a few beers, watch some sports and leave.

This was going to be my new hide out. It’s perfect. It’s right in the middle of everything in Beverly, but no one knows it’s there. I could go there, chill out in peace and be left alone. No one is going to find me!  Life is grand.

So I was invited by a new friend to a Pan-Massachusetts Challenge cancer fundraiser cocktail party last week at Bella Mia.  Since this is my new hide-out I figured I better get to know the locals there. They put out some fried chicken tenders, pizza, stuffed mushrooms and shrimp cocktail as appetizers. All of it awesome!  I knew no one at the cocktail party and wasn’t really in the mood to mingle, but I had some beers and chilled out in the peripheral.  The crowd seemed pretty cool and I knew I would get to know this place very well in the future.  What really struck me is that at the restaurant I briefly met what has to be one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Seriously. Not kidding.

Well, back to the lecture at hand. Last night I went back to my hide-out to sip some brews in peace.  I decided to take a look at the menu and order up something since I was wicked, wicked staaahvin.  I decided on the Veal Florentina.  I love my vitello.  Some people don’t eat veal cuz they hear of all the inhumane treatment a baby cow goes through before it becomes a grilled veal chop.  I love animals. Really.  However, baby cow is just soooooo good.

The food comes … tender veal sautéed in wine with mushrooms and spinach covered in perfectly melted fresh mozzarella cheese.  Wow.  Amazing!  Oh, lets not forget the side of fresh house-made fusilli pasta smothered in a very fresh tasting robust marinara sauce.  I was in heaven.  I mean HEAVEN.  The food tasted so fresh and delicious I just couldn’t get over it.

I believe the key to my enjoyment of this meal was it’s simplicity.  I could vividly taste every ingredient in the dish.  Simple satisfaction is always a worthy goal.  Simple, delicious and amazing meal.  The veal was tender, the wine sauce was savory, the mushrooms were cooked perfectly and the spinach was just divine!  It seemed as if every ingredient amplified the pure, natural, intense flavors of all the others.

I guess I’m giving up my new hiding place by telling everyone I know about it’s total awesomeness.  I cannot in good conscience keep my mouth shut about Bella Mia.  I also can’t imagine not eating here at least once a week for next ten years or more.  This is a charming neighborhood restaurant that should be a lot busier than it is.

Yankees suck!

Coquito – Puerto Rican Egg Nog

By , November 24, 2009 08:08

‘Tis the season to be hammered … I can’t get enough Coquito during the holidays.  Actually, two glasses is enough for me at one sitting.  It packs a serious Latin punch.  J.Ho tested … J.Ho approved !!!

1 15 oz can Coco Lopez cream of coconut
1 14 oz can Carnation sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz can Carnation evaporated milk
1 cup white rum
1 cup water
3 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
4 egg yolks, well beaten
ground cinnamon and nutmeg

Combine the coconut, condensed and evaporated milks and the rum in a blender or a food processor.  Set aside.  Boil the water with the cinnamon sticks for about five minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Discard the cinnamon sticks.

Combine all of the ingredients except the ground cinnamon and nutmeg and beat well in a blender or food processor in batches.  Pour eggnog into bottles and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve in your favorite glasses sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon … with a dash of Yankees Suck!

Far Away Communiqué – San Francisco

By , December 7, 2008 18:04

Part One … San Francisco is by far the favorite of the vastly geographically separated trinity of metropolitan areas I call home. Last September I left the wicked awesome confines of Boston to embark on a business trip to the City by the Bay. This business trip turned out to be all pleasure.

So my plane lands on an early Saturday afternoon. I was to stay with the JilliBean at her crash pad on Sutter & Jones for a few days and then check into the Grand Hyatt for the remainder of my stay. My post-sortie ingress plan was to take the BART from the airport into downtown San Francisco, meet up with the JilliBean, drop my gear off at her pad and cruise the city. I’m never one for plans anyway.

I get off the BART at the Powell station and the first things I notice are how many more bums were around than usual and the awesome weather. I mean awesome weather. You know, the perfect kind that only San Francisco can provide. The kind of weather that has something for everyone. Warm, sunny and a slight breeze mixed in with extreme cold, wind and gloomy fog. A paradox like no other.

So I step over my quota of bums and call the JilliBean. No answer. I call again. No answer. I call one last time. Beat. Luckily, I had accounted for this contingency in my ingress plan. So I’m on my own in downtown San Francisco for a while, where do I go to kill some time? The Gold Dust Lounge, that’s where!

Where else would you go if you were a busted ass kid like me wandering around the shopping mecca/tourist trap that is Union Square? A bar! Not really a bar, more of a saloon. Near the southwest corner of Geary & Powell, the Gold Dust Lounge is a throwback to the old San Francisco days which existed way before I was probably born. High-back chairs and benches accented with gaudy red velvet padding and model airplane paint gold trim. Totally worn out wood paneling, old smoky mirrors, wicked tarnished brass lamps and cherubs painted (or probably wallpapered) on the ceiling. The second you walk in you’ll notice the smell. It’s a kind of like stale beer, ass, piss and a hint of vomit smell. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Pssssst … it’s the smell that keeps the tourists out.

If you’re lucky, you can score the table immediately to the left when you walk through the entrance. It’s a small round table that juts out a bit towards the sidewalk behind a semi-circular window with small red velvet padded brass stools. There is no better spot in the city for people-watching while sipping your suds in peace. I walk in and my table was taken. Beat! So I waddle up to the bar with my extremely heavy woodland MARPAT duffel bag, desert MARPAT backpack, Targus laptop bag and Lowepro camera bag. I had that look as if I just traveled 3000 miles and I need a beer! I order a Stella draft with a Wild Turkey on the side. You know, the J.Ho Combo. At last, I’m home.

I score my drinks, sit down and absorb the fact that I’m back in San Francisco wishing it was to stay. I used to sit at the same bar while my former better half and her friends would go shopping in Union Square. I’ve stumbled in and out of cabs while coming and going from this place. I miss it. I never really missed the bathroom though. I give it only one star. I had to go wizzle, so I walk towards the back and hold my breath as I walk in the tiny bathroom. What was the first thing I saw? What was the perfect San Francisco greeting? I had to take a quick picture.


Indeed, I’m home. No town in the world does obscene bathroom wall literature better than San Francisco. Just to the left this shot someone wrote, “Michael Savage for President.” Then someone had crossed out the Michael part and wrote in Dan. This is just a taste of how polarizing the political landscape can be in this fine city. Actually, I believe Michael Savage and Dan Savage are equally irrelevant.

The next fine example of San Francisco bathroom wall literature was one of the most timeliest I’ve ever experienced. See below …


I had to adjust my flash a bit from when I took the first shot. It says, “100 years till the next one! Go home Bostonian! Don’t like home? Women are ugly? Weather is awful? California … priceless!”

Interesting comment. I assumed they were talking about the Red Sox winning another World Series. The funny thing is about six weeks later, the Sox did just that! The rest of the writing is spot on, though. Trust me. I’ve lived both places. Trust me, San Francisco is in no place to say another city has ugly women. We’ll save that topic for another rant.


After several J.Ho Combos and many, many tall tales shared with the bartenders, it was time for me to continue on my travels. I didn’t get to stop by the Gold Dust again during my trip, but the short time to water up and reminisce was all I needed. The two pictures below are a shot of the Gold Dust entrance taken from my hotel room and a picture of the J.Ho Combo.

Check out the Gold Dust if you’re in the area. Live jazz almost every night.

Too be continued …

Yankees suck! Giants too. Both Giants.