Cutting Garlic (by DontKill YourDate) #FlavorBomb #Cooking101 #CookingTips #Cooking #DatingSage #Food


DKYD Flavor Bomb: How to Sauté to Impress (by DontKillYourDate)

Yo Big Daddy, Flip Dat Thang!

So you want to learn how to sauté some goodies do you? Sautéing is one of the best, most popular, and fairly flashy ways to cook it up.

To sauté means to cook food quickly in hot fat of some kind while making the food “jump” out of the heat. Sauté comes from the French word for jump, “sauter.” This is a great way to sear and brown food quickly.

Normally you will cut vegetables into small, roughly bite sized, pieces to make them easily manageable so you can “flip” them using a little wrist action.

Heat the pan over medium to low heat for a few minutes.

Add the oil, let it heat up for a minute or so.

Then add your food, stir it or flip it till it is done in a few minutes.

That’s it.

In this video I will demonstrate this technique. But don’t worry, you can simply stir the food around as it cooks, you do not have to flip in order to sauté. But it sure looks cool when you do :).

Keep Spicin It Up!

Spike, The Dating Sage

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DKYD Flavor Bomb: Food Cutting Technique (by DontKillYourDate)


Nothing kills the mood on a date like rapid blood loss…

So you want to do some chopping and cutting and slicing like a pro to look cool, while you make that amazing dish that will win her heart. Totally achievable, my friend.

In this video I will demonstrate the proper technique of rocking the knife back and forth while you feed the food through toward the knife with your other hand.

All the while, keeping your fingers out of harms way, thus saving your hands, your dish, and your date from being covered in your blood. Always a good idea.

So watch, learn, and keep your lady happy.

Keep Spicin It Up!
Spike, The Dating Sage


MOTEL 6? Near Napa? Under $50?!? Really?!?… REALLY!

I know, I know, hard to believe, right? Well, it is true. For under $50 you are about 15 miles and 20 minutes away from the heart of downtown Napa. A perfect jumping off point for an affordable Napa Valley adventure.

As modeled by the lovely Kim above, you can see what a nice inviting hotel room this is. It is roomy, it is very clean and it has a nice relaxed funky minimalist vibe so reminiscent of the sleek affordable hotels and/or hostels I have seen in places like Europe or Australia and New Zealand. But this is not located in these far away places. Nope, this one is just outside of Napa and it is actually a Motel 6. This particular one is located at:

Motel 6 Fairfield - Napa Valley #4563

4376 Central Place
Suisun Valley at Central Place
Fairfield CA 94534
(707) 864-0800

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A Little Time In Dublin

And now for a whirlwind trip to the greenest place on Earth! I LOVE IRELAND! Granted I do have a little Irish blood in me, but everyone should absolutely LOVE this place. This blog is all about a very quick trip of a few days. When you don’t have a lot of time, here are some highlights to hit.

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A Nice Wine Country Run In Sonoma

So, my lovely lady, Kim, ran a half marathon last week in Healdsburg, CA. Some of you know that that is what we call Wine Country! Or as the Maverick Adventurer calls it, “My Playground!” I love this part of the world. I have been to wine areas all over the world - Australia, New Zealand, Paris, Canada, etc, but I have always enjoyed the Napa/Sonoma area the best. It’s just my taste. So when my gal runs a marathon there, what on Earth is a growing boy to do, but go and support his sweetie. Oh, and taste some wine……

So a little about Healdsburg. Walking around the tiny town is a joy. Just like so many of the little towns in this region, there is a warm feeling of a common love of all things wine, food, and quality. Everything is clean and well kept, the people are friendly, and the vibe is laid back. Though there is a bit of a rivalry between Sonoma and Napa, I believe the overall sense of the region to be open and inviting. Even though Napa’s wineries charge a lot more than Somoma. Just sayin.

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Test for MV FB only

Maverick Adventurer Melbourne Picks


Here are my favorite places to visit in Melbourne, Australia and the surrounding area…

Penguin Parade:

Yarra Valley Wine Tours:

Great Ocean Road/ Twelve Apostles:

Royal Zoological Gardens:

Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne’s Market since 1878

All About Melbourne:

I also highly recommend Chinatown, they do great duck just about everywhere. Some fun shopping along the river And I got a great brekky at a restaurant sitting on the river. I recommend it. Food is RIDICULOUSLY expensive there so Chinatown is again, a good bet.

Also, hit St. Kilda for a fun little beach jaunt.


Maverick Adventurer Melbourne Picks

Here are my favorite places to visit in Melbourne, Australia and the surrounding area…

Penguin Parade:

Yarra Valley Wine Tours:

Great Ocean Road/ Twelve Apostles:

Royal Zoological Gardens:

Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne’s Market since 1878

All About Melbourne:

I also highly recommend Chinatown, they do great duck just about everywhere. Some fun shopping along the river And I got a great brekky at a restaurant sitting on the river. I recommend it. Food is RIDICULOUSLY expensive there so Chinatown is again, a good bet.

Also, hit St. Kilda for a fun little beach jaunt.




(Re-Post of earlier article)

I sit silently as the last tiny bit of hair falls from high atop my head to settle at my feet. The high pitched whir of the antique looking shaver dies down as my barber, Yanagi, a very ebullient monk looks at his masterpiece. He has just balded a Gaijin. And he couldn’t be happier. And neither, in fact, could I.

I am in Mt. Koya, Japan, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is October. The leaves of the Japanese Maples are turning and the brilliant hues absolutely explode in blazing reds, oranges, yellows, and even purples. Monks in full traditional robes walk solemnly everywhere in this tiny mountaintop town. 3 hours, a few trains, a short tram ride and you are there. Mt Koya is known as the world headquarters of the Koyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism as well as the burial place of Kobo Daishi. I walked the Okuno-In, the inner sanctuary and surrounding forest that serves as a cemetery. It is stunningly beautiful, especially at night when you can barely see the trail as there are almost no lights at all and the moonlight is blocked by the huge trees standing vigil over the site. I am expecting a Ninja to leap out at any moment. At the end of the trail the tomb of Kobo Daishi is a sight to behold. It is a hall of a thousand lanterns simply known as Lantern Hall or Hall of the Lamps. It is glorious, it is beautiful, and it is cold! I’m now bald, remember?

I hadn’t planned on going bald, but staying at a monastery, it seemed like the right thing to do. And I knew they had the utensils. So why not? Mt. Koya was a perfect snapshot of ancient Japan, and it was one of the last places I visited. But there was so much more I had seen…

Why was I in Japan? Well, since a large portion of my career has come from there, I figured I needed to visit the homeland. I needed to get a handle on the culture that I had revered all my life. I had trained in Aikido. I had been a lover of all things Japan for a long time. And by a random twist of fate I was now immersed in translating one of their biggest imports for the Western world. Anime. I was there to visit a friend who was also a producer of Anime. So I was also writing everything off my taxes. That’s right folks, I’m a frickin genius.

Upon arrival in Tokyo I was met by incredible culture shock right away. I stared at the Japanese style toilet and thanked my lucky starts that a Western style toilet was nearby. Oy, how do they do it? I was struck almost immediately at the accurate portrayal that Anime gives to Japan, especially in the case of the school children. Yes, they look exactly like that! Except that I never saw their eyes get wide as saucers, nor there mouths open wide enough to swallow a spider monkey. But then again, I was only there for a short time…

After a quick and adventurous train ride, I was at my friend’s place and got to see a traditional modern Japanese home; tiny, every inch of space utilized and thoroughly modern. Loved it. While staying there I experienced my first earthquake. It was tiny, but a terrible reminder of what had recently happened in Kobe and what sadly was to come years later. We hit the town and visited all the places of note; Shinjuku, Roppongi, and several palaces, pagodas and shrines of all kinds. I felt tall, because of course, there, I was. I experienced Japanese foods that were completely exotic and unknown to me. I fell in love with Gyu Don, Tonkatsu, and, of course, Miso Soup! YUM! One awesome moment while walking the streets of Tokyo was when a little boy – dressed exactly like every child in every Godzilla movie I had ever seen; backpack, cap, shorts, perfect – noticed that I was American and decided to try his “Engrish.” As he walked by, he sang “hello” at the top of his voice, but it came out “Harrooooooooooooo!” And he sang that over and over until he vanished around a corner down the street. Awesome.

Tokyo is AMAZING, without a doubt, but I had places to go. First stop, Beppu on the south island of Kyushu. This was a long trip filled with many things so I will try to be quick and hit the highlights. Beppu is a sort of Vegas for the Japanese. It’s a great spot to visit. It is a long trip on the Shinkansen Bullet Train but totally worth it. I ate at my first Robatayaki and it was wonderful. There was a wall of meat and I had no idea what most of it was, but I was in heaven. I may have eaten horse, but not sure. Seriously, Kyushu is known for that. I checked out Monkyland (no that’s not a mis-spell). Well, it is, but not there. And yep, saw a lot of monkeys. Checked out the Hells of Beppu, several and various types of natural hot springs and geysers all bubbling and boiling in beautiful colors. I ate an egg that was boiled in one of the springs. The sulphur actually gave it a bit of flavor and the little tiny plastic fish bottle filled with soy sauce put it over the edge of nifty. At one stop, I tasted teas that were beyond description. I really should have written them down, but I can’t write Kanji. Experienced my first Japanese bath at a Minshuku with a natural hot spring. I’ll never forget the experience of soaping up on little stools and giggling like school kids with my lady before hopping in the tub all sparklingly clean. And at a sort of Japanese “Denny’s” I ordered an Omeret Rice. Yes that is a rice omelette and it was darn tasty.

Next stop: Hiroshima! But firstly, a brief visit to Miyajima, a lovely little island near the city known to be full of deer. And they weren’t kidding. Not 5 minutes off the ferry, a deer bit at my partner’s travel pack and broke the strap. Little F***er! Took the funicular to the top of the island and hoofed it back down stopping at a little café in the woods where I tried Udon for the first time. And so did the little deer that invaded our table. Had to fight him off with a seat pillow. Little F***er! But overall a great little island full of beautiful scenery and wildlife. In fact there are also monkeys that roam wild there. I even saw a monkey jump out and do a hit and run on a lady and grabbed an orange out of her purse. Little F***er!

Hiroshima is a BIG city. They definitely came roaring back after the horror that decimated the city so long ago. I stood at ground zero and strolled around the A Bomb Dome – the only building that survived the blast – and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The memorial that stood out to me was the crane memorial to Sadako Sasaki, a 12 year old girl who survived the blast. She thought if she folded 1000 cranes, she would live. Sadly, she did not. And people bring chains of folded cranes in her memory and lay them at the memorial.

Hiroshima was where I first experienced Nabemono, a Japanese one-pot stew. Just throw all kinds of goodies in and turn on the heat. When it boils, dig in! It’s great stuff. There are so many things to see in Hiroshima, and I can’t really describe them all, but the city is obviously very modern. You must visit Hiroshima Castle and the incredible gardens of the city. I will say, a memorable moment was sitting at breakfast in a Mr. Donut and hearing the theme song from “Shaft” playing on the radio. Brilliant.

Next stop: Kyoto! Stayed at a little Ryokan with the oldest massage chair on the planet. It beat the crap outta me. There are so many frickin shrines in Kyoto it would take you forever to see them all, but I tried. My favorite was the Golden Temple of Kinkakuji. It is stunning. The temple is actually covered in gold – gold leaf. When the lake on which it sits is still, the temple has a mirror reflection that will just take your breath away. I also enjoyed the Zen garden of Ryoan-Ji Temple. And who could forget the Imperial palace and Noji Castle? There’s just sooooo much to see in Kyoto. So be sure and put Kyoto on your bucket list. And be sure to walk around Gion, known as the Geisha district and you just might catch a glimpse of a working Geisha. There are tons of fabulous tiny little eateries to check out, but you might need a guide. And you have to swing by the Toei Uzumasa Eigamura (also known as Kyoto Studio Park). This is where they film Samurai and Kung Fu movies. They have fun shows and even a mechanical ninja on a wire that silently creeps overhead. You can walk ancient Japanese streets and imagine you are there. It made me feel like a kid again.

And now to finish up our trip, in Tokyo again, by sampling as many beers as we could buy from vending machines in the street. Seriously, huge honkin bottles of beer available to anyone right there in the street. The Japanese LOVE vending machines. And so do I. My most memorable machine moment came when I tried a green tea and azuki bean popsicle. I loved it! And I have never been able to find one since. Damn. And after Tokyo, I would head over to Seoul in South Korea. But I would be remiss if I did not mention a couple of side trips while still there in Japan.

I spent a day at Lake Ashi, or Hakone Lake, a lovely little resort town not too far out from Tokyo. This area is known for it’s fabulous views of Mt. Fuji. But sadly, on this day, the weather was not cooperating. I couldn’t see a bit of Mt. Fuji. But I did get to visit the very interesting Hakone Open Air Museum, an outdoor museum and sculpture garden. It was really impressive; art with a natural backdrop. Strolled the town and did some shopping and found some naughty tea sets featuring penis cups and such. I totally should’ve bought one.

And I cannot forget to mention that I had Kobe Beef (Wagyu, as it is actually called) in Kobe, Japan! I went to the Hotel Okura and up to the restaurant where some of the world’s finest beef was about to get in mah belly! The restaurant was empty, except for the chef. I bought a steak about the size of a deck of cards and it cost me $75. And it was totally worth it! The chef was preparing it teppanyaki style while we talked back and forth in broken phrases and he was impressed that he had an actor in front of him who had recently worked with Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality (I was cut out of the film). He went about his work skillfully and fashioned a brilliant plate with a buttery, silky, perfectly marbled and now cubed and lightly cooked to perfection slab of Kobe Beef love as the star. There were other items there that have all but faded into oblivion, but I will never forget that steak. I’m drooling a bit as I write this as a matter of fact.

As I left that sublime moment and was to head back to Tokyo, I paused at the shrine that was dedicated to the people who were lost in the deadly Hanshin Earthquake that hit Kobe in 1995. On that terrible day, a magnitude 6.8 quake hit with the epicenter only 20km away from Kobe. Subsequently, 6434 people lost their lives. It was a terrible tragedy and I said a prayer that this would never happen again. Sadly my prayers were not answered in the affirmative. The recent calamity that has befallen this beautiful land is a horrible reminder that we live in an ever-changing world. Just like they have done in the past, the Japanese people will survive and they will thrive once again. And all of our prayers will go with them. I personally have benefitted immensely from their culture. I have always been a fan and I will see that amazing country again. Once I am there I will visit another temple, I will light more incense and I will again pray for the Japanese people to say thank you once more. May God watch over you all.

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