It’s no wonder Ray Charles had her on his mind. Sometimes I ponder if it was for the same reasons as I. His hit song “Georgia On My Mind” was on the billboards for months, and with all the country singers out there would be nothing cool about another one, I think Ray got it right the first time.

When you think of Georgia you think south. Great food, great music, good people. But when I went there recently, I didn’t get into any of those things, i went for one, someONE, that is. What an amazing someone it was, what an amazing mother, daughter, and hard worker. She really lit up a room, well at least mine. I had never traveled across the country for anything else, well except the army but there wasn’t any fun or choice there. lol. But like the army I was willing to give my all, to make a change, and to follow better so I could be a good leader.

Georgia was a great place, and it supported my friends beauty well. The wooded lined streets and the beautiful hills to the beaches of savannah all play the backdrop of a beautiful life. I think that it is easy for great people to stand out there, I would go there in a heartbeat. I would call Atlanta the California of the South it instantly became one of my favorite city’s’ .

I hope next time I can get more into the food, but until then, there so be only one that always keeps Georgia on my mind.

So we’re all familiar with the term “surf ‘n’ turf.” It’s used usually to describe steak and seafood, sometimes a scampi dredged over a succulent prime rib, or a filet miñon accompanied by a lobster tail and lemon butter sauce. Yum! Right?

But how about if we put the “surf” inside the “turf” ?

Not only do you get an easy amazing combo, you also save a little money while your at it.

Anytime I’m creating I always have to have a good jam playing, usually Sublime Radio on pandora. Right now I actually have the eagles playing, with some Hotel California.

So maybe as you get ready to start cooking you might turn up some of your favorites too!

So let’s get started!

Here’s the unconventional lineup of your ingredients:

•Flank Steak(Local Natural Grass fed. thin sliced)
•Fresh shrimp
•Butter w/ olive oil
•cream cheese
•Green Onions
•Fresh minced Garlic (Christopher Ranch for you real garlic lovers.
•Heavy Cream
•Truffle Butter
•whole butter potatoes(side)
•parsley (for garnish- to impress the ladies) 😁😉
•cooking string (just in case)

The saving money part comes from having cream cheese, eggs, butter and those types of ingredient already in the house. The truffle butter can be hard to find and a little more expensive though, however you will be saving money on not having to buy multiple thick cut prime steaks.

Create your Waves
First clean the seafood, and peel shrimp if needed. Then toss scallops and shrimp in kooking pan with butter and garlic. In a microwave safe bowl cook cream cheese and chopped green onions on high until smooth and able to stir evenly. When seafood and cheese are both done mix shrimp and scallops with the butter into the melted cheese and mix evenly. Let mix sit to thicken.

Meanwhile on the mainlandprep oven at 375
Take the flat pieces of flank steak and char each side in flat cooking pan. I like to throw on some Montreal seasoning or whatever else I may have to add extra flavor. Pull the steak off with a quick char, but not cooked on inside(this is mostly to keep raw juices from contaminating our filling)You want to spread the steak out flat and even over wax paper that sits on a thin towel. Then spread the seafood filling with an even thickness over the entire steak but leaving space on the Ends where you will fold steak over. Then using the towel begin to roll your steak, when completely done fold down ends. If needed, use cooking rope to tie up. Place in center of oven. Cook until it smells good!

Truffle it up
In a sauce pan sauté cut mushrooms that you cleaned first 😉 then pour in the cream and cook till simmer over medium heat. Add truffle butter and toss in a pinch of salt and pepper keeping heat very very low, not to burn the truffle butter. Keep swirling around until melted.

In a separate bowl pour in truffle cream, add egg and mix. This is merely for cosmetic garnish on plate

At some point in all of this yumminess you want to go ahead and slightly boil then bake butter potatoes for your side.

When the roll is done let stand then slice into 1inch filets.
On a plate drizzle garnish sauce, then place 1 slice and dredge with truffle cream. Place baked potato on plate and parsley for garnish.

I can promise that you and your guests will want to eat this then another for desert.
Speaking of stop in tomorrow for a FoodDude desert recipe 😜

Once again friends-


Reference: Barefoot Contessa- food Network for the truffle butter cream(minus mushrooms)

So this blog isn’t about food or anything related to food, except for the fact that we all make and eat it, haha

The visual concept of men and women in relationship is that women, well are smarter than men. And let’s be honest, in today’s society it would Appear so. But once apon a time man rules the household and the term given was, “daddy dearest.” In most relationships, the man looks like the bigger skrew up. And let’s be honest men, we are pretty good at jacking things up. But if we’re being honest here the real truth is that we ARE skrew ups, all of us, and WE as man are going to jack things up.
So as smart as women are supposed to be, why can’t they see this and understand. I mean you definitely have your douche-bags, but what about the guy that is truly himself, and loves extremely hard. Why do you run? I mean that’s the one who is going to say and do all the wrong things! Why? Because he likes you! And who he is, he is a failure, a sinner, a joke. But who he is made to be, is a hero, a lover, A leader, all it takes is one that can see past the dirt and is ready to follow.
Someone I know once said, all they want is for someone to accept them, someone who holds that “come as you are” attitude. The way Jesus loves is like this, and so, the way I love will always be this.

“”But Adam, no suitable helper was found. So The Lord caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the mans ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then The Lord God mad a Woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ” this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. “” Gen 3:20-23

Today is the the infamous “Black Friday” and despite the more common waiting in lines and getting deals on stuff at best buy and walmart, I’d say there’s way better traditions to be apart of. Like… turkey sandwiches.

Every year my family in California, which i miss goes over to the grandparents house the day after and my grandpa makes the bomb turkey sandwiches. You can do open faced or cold, its with whatever was left over from the night before.

One of my favorites is by far the open faced hot turkey sandwich. This consists of two open faced buttered slices of bread, stuffing then turkey and topped with left over mashed potatoes and gravy or if you are a cranberry type, cranberry sauce.

The other think that can definitely be done, is a thanksgiving turkey reuben, In this case you use rye bread and make a cranberry aioli, put stuffing on the bottom, then dark meat turkey, top with some cole slaw melt swiss over slaw and spread the cranberry aioli.

Today i don’t really want to get in too deep with the recipe part of it, because i want you to just picture this sandwich in front of you more so, and imagine the taste, then I want you to think of some of the other possibilities that can be done with this left over turkey.

One idea i had myself then went online research was a thanksgiving tamale. The recipes for this were very different, I found one i liked with a turkey/ cranberry mole’ and thought this actually sounded the best, however, i still am all about doing my own thing.

Of course you use leftover turkey, and mix that turkey with its juices and gravy.For the masa to make my normal tamales   I  get the pre made bags from my local ranch market, or carneceria or tortarilla, what ever mexican/ cultural store usually has them pre made like that, ready to go.  In this case i would actually take the masa thought and mix in a blender with turkey stock and even chunks of the turkey in it.  Make sure you soak your corn husks to make them soft, then spread your masa and in the middle place a dallup of stuffing and the turkey gravy mixture and role. Do this process with how ever many you want. Place them folded in a large steam pot and let those suckers steam.

The coolest part is making a hot sauce now out of cranberries  and red peppers. Of course you grind up the peppers with some garlic and lemon and some tomatoes in a blender with a little water. But if you add some cranberries for a sweetness to it you get best of both worlds right? And when those tamale’s are done steaming you can pour that red sauce on and grub down.

Now i haven’t exactly tried this exact recipe myself, but if you understand flavor, and love food, its not hard to see that this is exactly what you need to be the cool kid at your work holiday party.

In fact what you could also do is make the tamales a little smaller so people could actually dip them in the sauce. You would definitely be the hit. Like i’v said before, I’m completely unconventional and out of the box, so an exact recipe is just not my style, but if you can copy and paste my directions, I can guarantee you a meal you will never forget.

Also I want you to remember that this is the season for giving and giving thanks. You may have a ton of leftovers and there may be a way to give others so they have something to be thankful for as well, i.e. a homeless park or the guy on the corner you see everyday.  Or that family that lost everything in a fire. Who knows? What I know is that I am truely thankful for the people in my life, even the ones who touched it briefly and are gone. Sometimes I feel like I need more but none the less, i’m thankful for all i have and all I don’t have as well.


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When I was a kid I remember my grandpa’s favorite all time meal being SoS or $h.. on a Shingle. My Grandpa is a retired Mp from the old school army air core. Hes a man of honor and integrity and an an amazing leader for our family. Today this new take on an old military recipe is inspired by him.

As an ex cook in the US Army myself, its also my favorite meal that i learned to cook. However, it has gone from the creamy chipped beef to ground beef gravy. Ill be honest i love to make it more in a breakfast gravy fashion with ground maple sausage over a fluffy  scramble. But tonight i’m gonna go the extra and give you a fun different take on this old favorite.

Corn Hole SoS


  • Chipped Corned Beef
  • Flour- all purpose
  • Butter
  • Siracha
  • half cup heavy cream
  • half cup milk
  • Sweet yellow onion
  • Swiss Cheese
  • black pepper
  • bay leaf
  • chicken stock
  • Sour Dough bagel


You can crock pot the corned beef- for 8 hours on low with chicken stock, black pepper and a bay leaf.

For the cream, you want to start by melting and half stick of butter stirring in flour little by little until its an even sticky rue goo. Stir in cream and slowly add milk as need to  thin out.  Lower heat and Stir evenly not letting rue burn.  you can also pull heat back and cover reach thickening faster yet you want to keep stirring regularly for evenness. Season with salt and a couple good squeezes of siracha.

Cut and Caramelize onions in a separate pan with butter.

Toast a Sour Dough bagel and place a slice of swiss on top. Put grilled onions on cheese then top with chipped corned beef. Pour Cream over entirety of the open faced sammy and vwalla

The Corn Hole SoS!!!

Now I didn’t use specifics on the measurements because the truth is, and what every military cook will tell you is that even though we are taught by recipe, it was common to improvise and season by taste, that is when  we seasoned. Typical SoS was originally pretty bland as most military recipes due to  allergies and all the different taste buds you got coming through the defac on the regular basis, hooah.

I hope some of you will try this amazing take on our old favorite and maybe send some feedback over on how it went for you. The truth is i wasn’t able to go to the dust bowl and regret some of the choices that kept me from serving next to all my pals, i was so blessed and privileged to train under and with you, and today i salute you all along with my Grandpa Kit and my close fam and friends who served.

Happy Vets Day!!!!- TheFoodDude!!!



Apple Jalapeño cream stuffed Sirloin Burgers w/ a apple cider vinegar cilantro aioli… Ummm, yes please!


Burger patties
•Fresh sirloin- I picked up fresh young sirloin steaks and asked the butcher to grind it up for me
•Grape Jelly- yup 1/2 cup or so will do
•1/4 cup chopped red onion
•Spices: mesquite, black pepper, sea salt, garlic salt, chili powder, parsley and Montreal steak season

Apple Jalapeño cream cheese filling
•1 Granny smith Apple- I used organic
•4 tablespoons of sliced pickled jalapeños(I was lucky enough to have gotten some homegrown jalapeños canned by some friends-great touch)
•1 12 oz container of soft cream cheese
•shredded Parmesan cheese
•sliver slice jalapeños and 1/2 apples as small as possible then place in medium bowl with 12oz of cream cheese and small handful of shredded parm.

Put 1lb of ground sirloin 1/2 cup grape jelly, chopped red onion and all seasoning (by preference) except Montreal seasoning in a separate large bowl & mix evenly with bare hands until meat has an even infusion of all ingredients. Knead together then roll into balls. Then flatten into about 5 in cir patties and with your thumb make a little pool In the center.
Place dallup of filling in center pool on patties. Then in the same fashion as before flatten more patties just a little smaller and flatter and place on top, smoothing out and making one large stuffed patty. Then sprinkle Montreal steak seasoning on top each patty.
Place cookie sheet in fridge to settle 20minutes.

Cook patties in oven for about 10 minutes then toss on grill for char only about 3 minutes.
Top with pepper corn bacon and garnish with baby spinach and homemade aioli (instructions for both below) we served burgers on a honey wheat bun from trader joes but you can really do it how you want .enjoy!

Crackle black pepper on bottom of pan then place bacon in baking pan. Crackle more black pepper on top and spritz with apple cider vinegar and bake till crisp at 350

Apple cider vinegar & cilantro aioli
•1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
•1/2 cup grapeseed oil
•1 large egg
•1 tspn Dijon mustard
•2 medium garlic cloves
•sea salt
•1tspn apple cider vinegar
•cilantro- medium handful
•1/2 a lemon

Put egg, Dijon, and garlic in blender and blend till even on high. Then on low slowly pour in olive oil and then grapeseed oil, about 10 seconds. Add cilantro, two grinds from the sea salt shaker and squeeze of that half Lemmon then pulse 4 times.

I promise you absolutely love this aioli- and it can be re-used the next day as a salad dressing.

Checkout the pictures in process on my Facebook by searching Hospitable Me.

One of the best ways to influence peoples lives I believe is through the meals we share. I’m blessed with a passion not just for food but for loving people whole heartedly. My “Hospitable Me” campaign, though just beginning will give me a chance to use my gifts to enjoy people and share Gods love.

I hope you enjoy- RockOn-BuonApetite&OneLove

The FoodDude



A Burger to die for!.

So the other day as I was driving home from work and as I am merging onto the freeway I look over and see this..,

7:30a.m. and larger than average woman is full on chowing down a huge burger. Now don’t get me wrong i love a good burger… In moderation! In fact I had one the other day at an amazing local restaurant owned by Rocker Alice Cooper, called Alice Cooperstown, which ill definitely go into detail about on my next post, because a place like deserves its own 5 page review but, can be summed up with one word, you have to follow my blog to see 😉
Anyways back to my thoughts on the ridiculousness of how we eat as Americans.
I would say it kind of begins with advertisement and marketing, and lets be honest, the segment this market is biased to is us men. Especially with food chains like Carl’s Jr. Putting out ads like this one:

Doesn’t that burger look amazing! In fact if i am being honest, there was definitely a time where if i saw this commercial i was ready to run out and get me a super star, or two. So, check out who else is watching this commercial:


And… as enjoyable as our model makes that burger look, can you picture her sitting next to our buddy here while they share in this amazing delight. NO!! Absolutely Not! She probably wouldn’t say two words to him if she saw him sitting there mowing that thing down with his shirt off, like he is here. Which is sad, because he’s probably one of the best dudes she may never meet.

For some of us, the “sex sells” style marketing doesn’t matter, the big seller is price, and convenience. Truth is, it is quicker and cheaper to just hit the drive through or toss in a frozen burrito to go. Ill tell you, egg burritos are my personal favorites!

What i have had to learn though is that easy and cheap, reflects on us… in this case, physically. If we spend a little more on the good natural essentials, and take the time to prepare the hard things all on one day. We not only save money, but we begin to feel lighter and more energized. Then when we do more physical activities we do less where we spend our money and as our bodies get healthier our mind gets sharper, opening us up to growth, socially and spiritually.

There is nothing like a good juicy burger with bacon and cheese, and i’m not saying “don’t eat burgers!” But, on a regular basis maybe substitute the bread with lettuce, if you have a special place, save it for the cheat day. If you make it yourself you can naturalize it and grill it yourself, using only prime cut meat and fresh organic veggies and almond cheese. Adding a good fat like California grown avocados and your splurge, a piece of bacon to any all natural home cooked burger can still be a healthy alternative than those quick chains.

A couple of Food Dude tips: Stay away from breads and the soda to wash down. Stick with water especially before the meal to get that fuller feeling. Also eating after exerting energy, i.e.,, working out is a plus because your body is already burning.

So Next time you are in a rush, and just Dying for that Burger, think about it like this: It’s like you, paying someone to kill you. It just doesn’t make sense…

Till next time…   RockOn-BuonApetite&OneLove    TheFoodDude!

When I was a teenager, all i wanted to do was be in my 20’s, i thought how cool will that be….hmmm.  My dad would tell me to slow down, he’d say, ” work hard now and you can have fun later, ” or “you don’t need to get married until you are in your 30’s.”  I thought he was crazy, but what did I know? I can say that now, ha, all I really knew, was what I knew, whatever that means right? If I could go back, i’d probably smack that kid and say, “listen to them, they know, they’re right, they know!”

I was definitely one of those kids that needed a good butt whooping, and that is exactly what my 20’s were!

I found myself getting by in my 20’s moving toward what i thought was different, but found myself a misguided step child of pop culture. Left in the dark being so ashamed of who i’d become. Good thing that guy Jesus died on that cross so many years ago and never gave up on me, i don’t know where i’d be now without that Love. But, still even after turning my life around, the remainder of my 20’s were spent catching up and trying to financially get out of the shadows set by that past life. Learning how to make better decisions. And relying on others, and most of all Christ- who btw “you can’t even see.” LoL

So, dad was kinda right huh. Now thirty, i am just barely in a career i want to stick with. I have my own place, its small, but its mine. I drive a big truck, that unfortunately i can’t afford. I am still paying for bad decisions though and being thirty sometimes is the hardest part. When i come home sometimes I can’t help but think… “this shouldn’t be a tiny apartment, and my dog, bless his heart, should be a family; a wife and a… little girl who thinks her daddy is superman and…for those of you who like latina’s, a mother-in-law or grandma, lol.

I have a barrel bbq meat smoker in my front yard, i look at every day. I can’t even get myself to light it up, i mean for what? Smoke some meat for bodie? In my front yard?

The hardest part is looking at all of my friends and seeing them married, 4 out of 5 wives are prego. They most all have pretty decent careers, go on family vacations, etc, etc. Here i am, just starting a career, at the bottom working 70 hrs a week at $10/hr. Paying way too much on truck i could live in, and my social life is Facebook and the Hotel i work at.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely happy with where God has me, and I continue to trust Him and work hard. But what i wonder is why? And…how many other men are dealing with this same thing across the country.  For me a common feeling is, that even if I met someone, what do I have to offer, besides spiritual leadership and Love? And really, in todays society, that’s not enough at all, even for Christian woman. And at my age, lets be honest, most already have kids, which is ok i love kids but, that is one more aspect of the situation to think about being “good enough” for.

Truth is, there are thousands of amazing 30 something year old men, dealing with these same feeling every day. My message to them, or you, if this categorizes you, is that you are not alone. You are loved by a great God, he’s always there. And what gets me through is knowing that if I am worth dying for, i must be worth living with, its just going to take that special someone to realize it.  Which leads into you ladies; No one is perfect, but if you do want perfection, check out the life of Jesus- this dude was flawless, saved lives better than superman- and probably had some killer abs too. A man who is modeling his life after His is going to be the closest thing to great that you can ever get. And he one of those men, who started late and don’t seem to have much now, and he may seem far from perfect. But if he loves unconditionally like the way we are called to, and Loves Jesus. You have to know that this is just a small segment of his life, the hard will pass, and actually you might even be able to be a blessing in that too, great things can happen when we think selflessly.

Till next time…. RockOn-BuonAppetite&OneLove   FoodDude!

So last week the Food Dude was on Vacation. And even though the water was cold, the local restaurants were nice and toasty, stylee west coasty! Arrived to the beach just after dusk, to meet some awesome local friends from M&M Surf School at Seal Beach, they suggested Walt’s Wharf, which can be found right on Main Street in Seal Beach, Ca.

When I go to a new place I look for a few different things, atmosphere, wait time, service. And of course… I want to try what the place is popular for with the locals. And Walt’s is said to be known for their Oak Grilled Artichoke with a Lea and Perrins Aioli, yum. These artichokes were the best I’ve had, so tender. And the aioli was the we even got extra to dip our shrimp in with the main coarse. This was a food dude A- the minus is in the price, it is seafood, however if it’s a little ore affordable we could have definitely stayed and munched longer.

20130227-171407.jpg                                                           20130227-171541.jpg

Another Seal Beach favorite, which I mentioned in my last post is El Burrito Jr. They have everything from nachos, to enchiladas, but- what they’re most famous for is “the surfer special.” I’m pretty sure this was created specifically for my friends down at the surf school, but I’ve never asked. The surfer special includes: 2 bean & cheese burritos their homemade chips and a medium drink, which if all the local gromlets are like me they probably order the orange bang whip. These guys have been doing it right for years, their beans are actually the best refried beans I’ve ever tasted, well besides my Ortega fam beans I ate in the good growing up;)
Speaking of Growing I briefly stopped in and chatted with the folks at kraemers koffee bistro in my hometown of Riverside, what a kozy little spot in the Brockton/magnolia area near central. What draws me to talk about this place is the fact that they are hometown kids, my uncles grew up with owner and it seemed as though they new tons of locals I knew, and let’s be honest there’s nothing like that small kozy coffee shop feeling;)


One of my favorite reasons going home is seeing my dear Grama Elaine, I know I spelled Grandma wrong but since I was a kid… That’s what shes been, Grama.


This trip was the best, my mom and I picked up Grama early in the morning and headed out to beach for breakfast. There is only one spot I wanted to try, and that’s where the surfers go…so we headed to The Sugar Shack on main street Huntington Beach. The owners have kept this place in the family since the 1970’s. When you look in, it looks tiny, but head back they have a huge back patio. In order to get there you had to walk by the wall of Jesus and scripture pictures which if you know me, you know that is a huge + for the food dude report card. When people aren’t aren’t afraid to share faith and still run a successful service industry establishment. As far as the food goes it wa basic, they could definitely step up the portion size. But atmosphere and service definitely makes up. They were on top of everything for my gram in the wheel chair and speedy with a smile. Which puts them at an A rating.
There is so many places that are Amazing along that trip and I can’t wait to go back and hit some more, but for now I’m back in the desert and cooking up some sunshine so till next time…