Coming to terms

The last time I put up a post, the world was vastly different from what it is today. It almost seems like a lifetime ago. There are too many thoughts to process, and I wouldn’t think to burden anyone with them, least of all the few (if any at all) folks who check in here from time to time.

Suffice to say I hope that we are beginning to walk towards some semblance of normality — albeit with bated breath — as we wait for an effective vaccine to become widely available. I also hope that especially in light of recent events, we are also walking towards a society that is much more conscious of its ills and is willing to take decisive steps to cure itself. Finally, I hope we have a much better appreciation of the value of life, time, and the relationships we cultivate.

Keep safe out there, everyone.

Scholl Canyon Ball Fields
Glendale, CA

Shrouded in Gray

The Golden Gate bridge is ALWAYS a sight to see — at least in my opinion. I’ve been to San Francisco four times already, and I still marvel at the sight of this man-made wonder. Some might argue that the view is cliché and over-shot — a sentiment I agree with to some degree; but I always feel that it’s worth the effort (especially since it’s a 5-hour drive from where I live and I don’t get to shoot often) to at least set up and take a few shots, trite or whatnot.

Getting a GOOD shot of the Golden Gate is another subject entirely. This visit saw extremely strong and chilly winds — I could barely open the car door. And it was overcast to boot, but as I always say, you make do with what you have.  

Bits and pieces: Nami Island

I’ve decided to start a type of post I’m calling “Bits and pieces,” which are just one-shots of a particular moment I chanced upon or found interesting.

Here’s the first one, taken at Nami Island, South Korea.

Alive and cooking

Well, hello, it seems I’m back at this whole blogging thing, at least for now. It’s been awhile, and in the middle of all the writing I’ve been doing, I realized I need to pen something for myself for a change. Hopefully shake off all the cobwebs and keep at this going forward.


Anyway, a lot has happened. We moved to the U.S. for good, and I’ve been blessed to be able to still work freelance for a number of folks while staying with the kids at home. Speaking of kids, Amy is no longer swinging solo — her sister Clara was born last year and has recently turned one year old. I feel especially older realizing, once again, how fast they grow up.

So precious, these two.

One of the new things I’ve picked up is cooking, which I’ve been fairly successful at so far, if I do say so myself. One of the more elusive dishes I’ve tried to make — with hits and misses — is Korean braised beef stew. It’s also something my mom made for us growing up. I’ve had varied levels of success in the several times I’ve tried to make this, until now. Before, I included red apples and bosc pears in the puree, which wasn’t only more labor intensive, it also made the sauce pulpy. Not to mention it’s hard to approximate taste with fresh fruit.

Good thing I came across Chef Roi Choi’s recipe while I was watching the Chef Show on Netflix. He also blended and pureed his braising liquid, but used apple juice and orange juice instead of fresh fruit. Genius! I also modified his recipe a bit, searing and salting the meat first on both sides before I cooked everything in a slow cooker. The result was pretty good, if I do say so myself — and with the much simpler recipe, I feel relatively confident I can replicate this in the future.

Korean-style braised beef short ribs (Galbijim)


  • Beef short ribs
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Ginger
  • Olive oil
  • Mirin
  • Apple juice
  • Orange juice
  • Garlic
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sugar
  • Beef stock
  • Shitake mushrooms (Portobella/cremini or white/button mushrooms will do in a pinch)
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots


Create a puree with the garlic, ginger, onions, sugar, scallions (be sure to set aside some for garnish later), apple juice, orange juice, mirin and soy sauce. I used equal parts soy sauce, and orange and apple juice, around a cup each (but it depends on how much meat you have), then half a cup of mirin and a quarter cup of brown sugar.

It’s ideal that you soak the meat in cool water inside a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight. This sucks out the impurities. If you can’t for some reason, I think that’s alright. Once you’re ready to cook, throw out the water, then score the meat on both sides, season with salt and pepper, and then sear on a hot pan with a little olive oil.

Set the beef inside the slow-cooker, including the oil. Pour the puree in and set the slow-cooker on high for around 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. You can add the mushrooms, potatoes, butternut squash and carrots around 1-2 hours before the cooking timer ends.

Once done, top the dish with some chopped scallions (the more the better, in my opinion), and sesame seeds (which you can opt to toast a little beforehand). Best eaten with rice. Enjoy!