Hey lazydad! Love your blog. I'm new to the blogging world and tumbler, any tips? I'm not a professional writer any ways to get people to like and follow my blog? I have to say from reading your blog our boys are so similar! I'm trying to get my son to read Harry Potter and I'm using your son as an example. It's a no-go so far, oh well! Thanks!

Hey guurrl! Thanks for your nice note! We should be friends! And welcome to the weird and wonderful but mostly weird world of blogging!

I should preface by sayin’ that I don’t have the slightest idea what I’m doin’ with my blog most of the time, so you’ll probably wanna take whatever bad advice I’m about to give you with a giant grain of salt. 

Off the top of my head, here are a few thoughts about blogging and stuff:

  1. Keep it real, yo. Alternatively, this tip could be, “write what you know.” Or alternatively, this tip also could be, “create a very well-defined blogging character and run with it.”
  2. Don’t be a jerk. For whatever reason, (some) bloggers can be kinda sorta jerky and stuff. Take the high road and nevermind the bollocks. Apparently, some peeps like to stir up shizz and fight with anonymous peeps online. It’s weird.
  3. Have fun! Cuz if blogging becomes a drag for you, why do it, amirite? I’d say blogging is 70 percent fun, 25 percent drag and 5 percent black magic voodoo.
  4. Forget about likes or followers or whatevs. If your primary objective is to gain likes and/or followers, you probably wanna re-examine your motivations (and probably switch to a different, more “legit” publishing platform besides Tumblr). Like, are you tryna make a business from blogging? Cuz that shizz is hard to do, yo. If you wanna write cuz you gotta write, then just write, regardless of how many likes and/or followers that you have. If you have good-slash-interesting-slash-authentic-slash-relatable blog content, peeps will find you. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself when I’m cryin’ myself to sleep.

If all else fails, you can do stuff like tag your posts with appropriate tags and stuff (I don’t really subscribe to this practice, as I’m kinda sorta anti-SEO, but I’ve heard that this works for peeps). Also, you can follow like-minded peeps, and comment and stuff, I guess?

Thanks for your question and good luck with your blog!

For as much pho as the Busy-Lazy boys consume, you’d think that I would’ve figured out how to make the stuff myself by now. I dunno, I’ve been kinda sorta intimidated by the idea of making pho, partly cuz I know what the good stuff tastes like and I would be totes disappointed if I couldn’t make anything comparable, but mostly cuz pho is all about the broth and a really good pho broth recipe is probably a family secret handed down from your bà ngoại and stuff.
Since we missed Sunday pho day at our usual Vietnamese pho place, I decided to put on my big boy pants and have a go at making some pho broth myself. Turns out it’s surprisingly simple to make, if a little bit of a pain in the neck. A really good beef pho broth is rich, complex, and clear, like a French consommé. The pho broth I made requires quite a few steps, but your patience will be rewarded. Here’s how to make it:
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Boil about six quarts of water in a large stock pot. In another large pot, put about four or five pounds of beef and beef bones (I used a mix of oxtails, brisket, bone-in beef short ribs, and beef shank) and cover the meat and bones with enough water to cover, then bring the pot to a boil. As the meat and bones come to a boil, skim the crud from the top of the pot, then let it boil for about five minutes.
Using tongs, remove the boiled meat and bones from the second pot (discarding the cruddy water), and put the meat and bones into the first pot of boiling water. Add a large sweet onion (cut in half); about 10 peeled garlic cloves; one small daikon (or two turnips); a six-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and smashed); and a cheesecloth satchel filled with eight whole star anise, one cinnamon stick, about 10 whole cloves, two bay leaves, and a bunch of whole black peppercorns. Bring everything back to a boil, cover the pot, then turn the heat down to low and let the broth simmer for about three hours.
After three hours, add a cup of fish sauce, about two tablespoons of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Let the broth simmer for another hour.
After four hours, remove the meat and bones from the pot. You’ll want to put the meat in an ice bath so that it doesn’t discolor, and discard the bones at this point. 
Strain the broth in a fine colander. You might need to use cheesecloth, and you might need to strain the broth a coupla times to make sure it’s clear.
Put the strained broth back into the large stock pot, then turn the heat to medium-low. Add a handful of thinly sliced onion, and a few pieces of thinly sliced sirloin to the pot.
Remove the reserved meat from the ice bath and trim any fat and sinew. I also prepared tripe for the pho, but I doubt there are many tripe fans out there (besides my kid), so I’ll skip explaining how to get that shizz prepared. Hint: properly preparing tripe for pho is a pain in the neck.
To assemble a bowl of pho bo (beef noodle soup): put some cooked rice noodles and the reserved cooked brisket in your bowl. Ladle some piping hot pho broth over the noodles and meat. Garnish your bowl of pho with sliced jalapeño peppers, bean sprouts, sliced scallions, and cilantro. I couldn’t find any Thai basil, but I’d add that stuff, too, if I had some.
Voilà! The boy said my pho broth was awight, but not as good as our usual place’s pho. Busy daddy said my pho broth was “a gourmet achievement!” I say my pho broth was remarkably deloycious for my first try!
TBH, I might have left out a few ingredients and few steps, but you get the general idea. It’s pretty good!

For as much pho as the Busy-Lazy boys consume, you’d think that I would’ve figured out how to make the stuff myself by now. I dunno, I’ve been kinda sorta intimidated by the idea of making pho, partly cuz I know what the good stuff tastes like and I would be totes disappointed if I couldn’t make anything comparable, but mostly cuz pho is all about the broth and a really good pho broth recipe is probably a family secret handed down from your bà ngoại and stuff.

Since we missed Sunday pho day at our usual Vietnamese pho place, I decided to put on my big boy pants and have a go at making some pho broth myself. Turns out it’s surprisingly simple to make, if a little bit of a pain in the neck. A really good beef pho broth is rich, complex, and clear, like a French consommé. The pho broth I made requires quite a few steps, but your patience will be rewarded. Here’s how to make it:

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After lunch, we stopped by the Korean market to pick up a few provisions. Turns out there are a bajillion varieties of fish balls. Who knew? Today we learned 1) Chinese peeps aren’t as nice as Vietnamese peeps and 2) Korean markets are way fancier than Chinese markets. It’s like the world is conspiring against my people, yo! #technicallynotchinese #taiwanese4lyf

After lunch, we stopped by the Korean market to pick up a few provisions. Turns out there are a bajillion varieties of fish balls. Who knew? Today we learned 1) Chinese peeps aren’t as nice as Vietnamese peeps and 2) Korean markets are way fancier than Chinese markets. It’s like the world is conspiring against my people, yo! #technicallynotchinese #taiwanese4lyf

We don’t often have Chinese eats, partly cuz Chinese eats in the Northeast are generally pretty blech compared to Chinese eats on the west coast, but mostly cuz have I mentioned that Chinese eats are pretty bad here?

The boy said our excursion to the Chinese market yesterday reignited his interest in soup dumplings, and he requested them for lunch today, so that’s what we had.

We found a nearby soup dumpling joint and the eats were pretty good, although the service was kinda awful. The boy said, “Chinese people aren’t as nice as Vietnamese people.” And I said, Yeah, sorry. And the boy said, “Technically not your fault, dad, but apology accepted.”

It’s fun to take my kid to the Chinese market. Instead of being grossed out by the unusual assortment of products and produce, the boy is delighted to see all of the different types of things that the Chinese market has to offer.
When I was a kid, I was often ashamed of the “weird” food that I ate at home cuz it wasn’t “American” or wasn’t American enough. But times have changed, and what once was considered weird is now considered haute cuisine. Luckily, my kid doesn’t seem to care what other peeps think about the food that he likes to eat. The boy seems to subscribe to the Andrew Zimmern school of thought: If it tastes good, then eat it.
At the Chinese market today, the boy and I were browsing the wares that the fishmonger and butcher had on display. The boy spied some oxtails and asked if they were any good. I told him that my mother makes a deloycious oxtail soup, and the boy asked me if I could make it for dinner tonight, so I did. It’s a hearty soup-slash-stew, and it’s super-easy to make. Here’s how:
Dredge about three pounds of oxtails in some flour, then brown the oxtails in a bit of canola oil in a Dutch oven. When the oxtail pieces are browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.
In the same Dutch oven, brown two medium onions (diced). When the onions are golden brown, stir in three tablespoons of tomato paste, then slowly add about three quarts of water.
Return the browned oxtails to the Dutch oven, then add: two bay leaves, some thyme (fresh or dried), some parsley (fresh or dried), a coupla pieces of whole cloves, and a dollop of minced garlic. Add a coupla pinches of salt and a coupla grinds of black pepper to taste.
Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about two-and-a-half hours.
Add a coupla potatoes (quartered) and a coupla handfuls of baby carrots, and let the soup simmer for an additional hour or so, or until the oxtails are fork tender (probably about three-and-a-half or four hours total).
Voilà! Let the soup settle for 15 minutes or so, then spoon off the top layer of fat. Some peeps will remove the oxtails from the pan and extract the meat before serving the soup, but I can’t be bothered, so I just ladled the soup over a hunk of oxtail and served. It’s pretty good! You should try it!

It’s fun to take my kid to the Chinese market. Instead of being grossed out by the unusual assortment of products and produce, the boy is delighted to see all of the different types of things that the Chinese market has to offer.

When I was a kid, I was often ashamed of the “weird” food that I ate at home cuz it wasn’t “American” or wasn’t American enough. But times have changed, and what once was considered weird is now considered haute cuisine. Luckily, my kid doesn’t seem to care what other peeps think about the food that he likes to eat. The boy seems to subscribe to the Andrew Zimmern school of thought: If it tastes good, then eat it.

At the Chinese market today, the boy and I were browsing the wares that the fishmonger and butcher had on display. The boy spied some oxtails and asked if they were any good. I told him that my mother makes a deloycious oxtail soup, and the boy asked me if I could make it for dinner tonight, so I did. It’s a hearty soup-slash-stew, and it’s super-easy to make. Here’s how:

  • Dredge about three pounds of oxtails in some flour, then brown the oxtails in a bit of canola oil in a Dutch oven. When the oxtail pieces are browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same Dutch oven, brown two medium onions (diced). When the onions are golden brown, stir in three tablespoons of tomato paste, then slowly add about three quarts of water.
  • Return the browned oxtails to the Dutch oven, then add: two bay leaves, some thyme (fresh or dried), some parsley (fresh or dried), a coupla pieces of whole cloves, and a dollop of minced garlic. Add a coupla pinches of salt and a coupla grinds of black pepper to taste.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about two-and-a-half hours.
  • Add a coupla potatoes (quartered) and a coupla handfuls of baby carrots, and let the soup simmer for an additional hour or so, or until the oxtails are fork tender (probably about three-and-a-half or four hours total).
  • Voilà! Let the soup settle for 15 minutes or so, then spoon off the top layer of fat. Some peeps will remove the oxtails from the pan and extract the meat before serving the soup, but I can’t be bothered, so I just ladled the soup over a hunk of oxtail and served. It’s pretty good! You should try it!