Beef and Broccoli (Recipe)

This is my first go at Beef and Broccoli.  While it’s not quite as “pretty” as the chicken dishes, it’s flavor and texture was outstanding.

I like doing this at home, from scratch, because it is a challenge, and lets me cook quite healthy food that tastes amazing.


  • Stir fry beef (1+ lb)
  • 2 big broccoli crowns (2+ lbs)
  • half a bag of sliced carrots (about 1/2 lb)
  • a large green pepper
  • kikkoman hoisin sauce (half jar – about 5 oz)
  • sesame oil (about 1-2 tsp)
  • peanut oil (about 4 tbsp)
  • fresh garlic (5-10 cloves, less than one head)
  • ground ginger (about 1 tsp)
  • kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce (a couple tbsp)
  • baking soda (1/4 cup or 4tbsp)

Prepare Rice

Put 1-2 cups of rice in your largest pot full of boiling water.  Keep on high.  After 13 minutes, dump in strainer and rinse with warm water to stop it from cooking.  Remove to bowl and wash your strainer :)

Prepare Meat

Trim meat down into consistently sized pieces.  Most of what I had was about 1/2″ wide by 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick.

Place in large bowl along with 4 cups warm water and 4 tbsp baking soda.  Agitate every couple of minutes to keep the baking soda from settling out.  After 10-12 minutes, place in strainer and rinse with cool/warm water, then after done dripping, move to a bowl and wash your strainer :)

Note: do not leave it in solution too long or it will start to gain a weird texture that is not appetizing.  If left in just the right amount of time it will have a soft texture like from a restaurant.

Once in the bowl, crush 5-10 cloves of garlic on the meat.  Sprinkle a generous amount of ginger on it as well (1 tsp).  Put 5-10 shakes of sesame oil on it as well (1 tsp).

Prepare Veggies

While meat is soaking, chop up pepper, carrots, brocolli into bite sized pieces.  Place in large bowl.

Get a large pot full of boiling water and dump the vegetables in.  Keep on high heat.  It only takes 3-5 minutes, you’ll know they are done by sampling them to see when they are soft but still crispy. Without delay, dump into strainer to stop them from cooking in the hot water.  Remove to bowl and wash your strainer :)

Cook Meat:

In your largest skillet, hopefully cast iron, and on super high heat (I use 2 burners with a 17″ skillet), get the skillet smoking hot.  Then add about 4 tbsp of peanut oil.  Promptly dump in the meat and then start and keep moving it around.  You want the skillet to stay hot hot hot.  When you think it is about done, snip a thick piece in half to see if it is cooked through.  Try not to over cook as this only takes about 3-5 minutes.

Once done keep heat on medium high and:

Assemble It:

Dump in veggies.  All of the veggies.  Dump in half a jar of hoisin sauce (about 4-5 oz).  Add a generous amount (1-2 tbsp) of soy sauce.  All this time you should be stirring so as to sizzle the veggies, but not too long, maybe 45 seconds or so.

Turn off heat.  Make sure it is all stirred together and if needed add a little more soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, salt, or hoisin sauce – all to taste.


Compared to many restaurant versions that are heavy on the sauce, this is a “light dish”,. It only has about 5 tbsp of oil covering 10 generous servings.  And the fact that 1 lb of meat is spread across 10 servings means it is mostly veggies.

We put down about 1/2 rice and cover it with about 1/2 beef and broccoli.


Note: this is a “draft recipe” from memory based on my first experience with cooking this dish.  But it did turn out well I thought I’d write it down.  I did not base this on another recipe, but rather from some techniques I’ve been practicing.



VisPy Sinewave Demo

VisPy is quite an interesting tool.  They say it is for “scientific visualization”.  Here is an example of that.  I took a demo from their github page and added a little code to generate a sinewave.  The cool thing is that the graph, scaling, panning, zooming, and redrawing all come out of the box.

I previously wrote about installing VisPy.  Thanks to the great efforts of some unnamed people, Python on Windows is really working nicely now.

Here is a screenshot:


Here is the code:

Installing VisPy on Windows 10

VisPy is a Python library for interactive scientific visualization that is designed to be fast, scalable, and easy to use.

Here is how I installed it:

First I installed the latest Python 3.6 on Windows 10 by following the directions on  Once this was installed, I opened up Windows PowerShell and ran this command:

py -m pip upgrade vispy PyQt5 --user

I found some sample code here, and using NotePad++, copied and pasted it, saving it to Desktop\Code\

In PowerShell, I changed to the directory that I saved the python code to and ran it:

cd Desktop\Code
py .\

Here is the output:


It’s a pretty smooth and clean looking UI.  It seems extremely powerful, but I’ll need to dig in and see what makes it tick…

2D Sine Wave Example Using PyOpenGL

Here is an example of a moving 2D sine wave using Python 3, PyGame, and PyOpenGL.  See a  for how to install them.


This sample program is designed to have a 100×60 unit working area with a 10 unit buffer around the edges.  You can see the axis in the lower-left (0,0) where Y+ is up, and X+ is to the right.

The structure of the program was created to make it super easy to work on the “guts” of the graphics without getting it confused with the “bookkeeping” end of OpenGL or PyGame.

Note: the glOrtho() command is how 2D “parallel perspective” is setup.  It defines the left, right, bottom, top, near plane, and far plane.  Because it is parallel, there is not the notion of a “camera” per-se, but rather section of the plane that should be viewed.  Documented here:

Here is the code!