Category Archives: Personal

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Cooking Project: Reverse Sear

So this weekend I was feeling a little tired and I also wanted to try something new–so I decided to get some extra Iron into my system and make some steaks! It was actually the first time I’ve ever cooked a steak and the first time I’ve cooked beef since before I was pescetarian for a little over a year.

I had read about a technique called reverse sear, which essentially means that you cook the interior of the steak first and the exterior last. This is in contrast to the typical process, where grillmasters will sear the steak to “lock in” the fats and juices, and then finish the rest of the steak in the oven to get it to its right temperature. One of the advantages of reverse searing is that you are more easily able to evenly cook the entire steak and maximize the area of the ideal doneness. Searing the steak first will generally cause different “layers” of doneness within the steak due to the uneven heating; as a result, only a small part of the middle is actually the truly desired outcome.

Here’s the process:

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Long time no blog, but honestly I really should post more–especially considering I have some more free time. Anyways, In the last few months, I’ve:

  • Gotten a new, awesome job
  • Moved to Ohio for said job
  • Trained and completed a marathon
  • Turned 25

I could recap all of those, but hey, might as well move forward and not dig too far back. Anyways, to celebrate my 25th birthday I went to FunFunFunFest in Austin, TX and got to see one of my best friends, hear some of my favorite artists, and devour some of the best Tex-Mex this country has to offer (although I’ll say, my favorite Mexican torta still resides in Columbus). Not pictured: a beautiful run around the Colorado River, Texas’s football victory over ranked West Virginia, and even more food.

Here are the photos. I think I’ll start taking more of these.

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Culinary adventures from the past week: rendering duck fat and shucking oysters.

This past week was quite an adventure in the cooking realm. Last weekend, my roommate and I went to Jessup, MD to a fish market to scoop up 112 oysters (and 4 lbs of mussels for myself). We also learned to shuck them as well, which is not nearly as easy as it looks — some took about five minutes just to shuck! However, it made it all the more rewarding.

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“The Rainbow and the Bridge.” The only proverb I’ll ever write.

Let me forecast this story as something that’s pretty corny. But seeing as I’ve rarely been inspired to actively blog, I have to say that this was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.

For a brief backstory, I began to enjoy running over the summer. I was working longer hours over the summertime for my job, so a lot of my stress relief was dictated through forms of exercise–whether it be dancing, running, or lifting. Eventually, I had run so far that I decided to run in the Seattle Half-Marathon for my first road race. (If you’re asking “why so far away from VA?”, the answer is that I also had a lot of vacation time saved up from the year!). The half marathon in itself is another story–I smashed my race goal–but basically I traveled to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco for a 9-day “tour of awesome” (as described by a couple of locals I met in Portland).


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New Year’s Eve recipe: 12-hour Smoked Pork Shoulder

The end of the world is coming! Eat as good as you can.

So instead of doing an unnecessarily high expectation New Year’s event, my roommates and I decided to throw a BBQ potluck. The star dish of the day would be a smoked pork shoulder/butt (although they seem to be opposite ends, they are the same cut of meat). Mind you, neither of us had smoked anything in our leaves but we were eager with excitement. (This was my roommate’s idea by the way–I don’t want to steal the credit. Thus, we went to Costco and bought a 17 pounder of pork shoulder. We then cut it to half the size for maximum cooking efficiency to about 8 pounds and froze the rest.

The juices of the meat after unwrapping it:


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Clip from my gig last weekend.

PARTY ROCKIN’ from Nolan Chao on Vimeo.

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