Stone Fence Cocktail

Sweetly tangy, and satisfyingly robust, fresh-pressed apple cider is springing up in greenmarkets and grocery stores everywhere right now. Dating back to the days of the American Revolution, this one’s an oldie, but a goodie: rich and fresh tasting – the perfect treat for a fall day. What’s your favorite way to drink apple cider?

Stone Fence (adapted from Imbibe! by David Wondrich)(makes one cocktail)

2 ounces bourbon (rum or brandy are other options)

fresh apple cider (approximately 5-6 ounces)

Pour the bourbon into an Old Fashioned or Collins glass, add two or three ice cubes, and top up with apple cider. Stir gently.




Oven Roasted Broccoli

This amazing roasted Broccoli recipe comes courtesy of Alton Brown.


1 pound broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and set aside.
Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.



I came across this recipe for a one dish breakfast that I can do in my cast iron skillet. It was really tasty.

Skillet Breakfast with Potatoes, Bacon and Cheese
The large skillet would feed 4-5 adults
4-5 baked potatoes (great way to use up leftovers)
1/2 sliced onion
1/2 sliced bell pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 pound of Bacon..cooked and diced
2 cups of cheddar cheese
6 eggs for the large skillet
1/2 cup of cream or milk
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and put skillets in oven.  BEWARE, they will get very hot!
2.  Saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic for 3 minutes in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add eggs and milk to a small bowl and whisked together.
4.  Using a thick hot pad, remove skillet from oven and coat with butter. Layer your buttered skillet in this order:
Onion and bell pepper
5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes in 400 degree oven.  The eggs should be puffy yet firm when touched.  See picture below.  Serve immediately.


This is really awesome. A bot that sits in front of your telephone and wrecks havoc on robo-callers.

Source: Jolly Roger Telephone


Grange BBQ Chicken Recipe

Barbeque Chicken that my ex father-in-law makes. It’s delicious.

Below is the recipe:

Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 butter

4 teaspoons Franks Red Sauce

2 TBS Black Pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Place……chickens, skin side up, on grill

Blend……remaining ingredients in bowl.

Cook……chickens for 1 1/2 hours, turning and basting with sauce every 5 minutes.

You know it’s done when you twist the drumstick and the bone twists off.


carmen’s kitch: Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon

Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon inspired from Ina Garten’s Steakhouse Steaks recipe2 (1o ounce) filet mignon

* 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
* 1 Tbsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
* 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
* 2 Tbsp unsalted butterDIRECTIONSPreheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot (5-7 minutes).

Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, and brush them lightly with oil. Combine the salt and pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to coat both sides.When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides, for 2 minutes per side.

Will take total of 10 minutes. 

Top each steak with 1T butter, and place skillet in the oven. For medium rare (125 degrees) cook for 7-10 minutes, testing with meat thermometer. Once you’ve achieved desired doneness, transfer the steaks to platter and cover tightly in aluminum foil.

Allow steaks to rest for 5-10 minutes. This really makes all the difference in the world!

Source: carmen’s kitch: Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon


Estate Tax no gain? I disagree.

There is a debate raging in Washington about repealing the estate tax. I recently was forwarded a piece written by @StephenMoore

I take issue with a number of points that the author makes and want to share them here.

1 – The fact that he calls it a “death tax” makes this is a propaganda piece. “Death Tax” was coined by Andrew Mellon specifically to garner wider support for repealing the estate tax even though it didn’t effect most Americans.

2 – We should get rid of the tax because, you know, it doesn’t really effect the budget that much. If that is the standard by which our government makes policy why does the GOP go after planned parenthood with vicious regularity? I mean their budget is only about 300 million dollars. A mere pittance against a multi-trillion dollar budget.

3 – Warren Buffet?That money isn’t “sheltered” they are giving it away to charities. He’s pledged to give away 99% of his fortune. Bill Gates? Same.

If the Koch Brothers and the rest of the billionaires effected by the repeal pledged to give most of their money away they wouldn’t be affected by the tax anyway.

4 – “Wouldn’t the smart way to create jobs be to make sure that the next generation can grow these enterprises rather than sell them off at auction to pay this economically destructive and fiscally inconsequential tax?” It’s a really stupid argument. If I’m a business owner I’m not going to decide to hire more people because I pay less taxes. Who would do that? I’m going to hire more people because demand for my goods and services have outstripped supply. What causes demand to out strip supply? More capital to more people so they can actually spend it.

Yet that reality tends to elude conservative economists who keep talking about trickle down economics. As rich executives continue to make more money year over year that demonstrably has not turned into greater salaries for others as shown in the graph below.

Or put it another way, rich people spend less. You can only consume so much stuff. You’re going to hit a point with your income that you just can’t spend anymore of it without giving it away. So the rich aren’t pumping dollars into the economy.

But they are investing you say. Yes, they are so maybe some percentage of that is indirectly going to businesses that may or may not be operating in the US. However, it’s not a guarantee that a billionaires investments are even tied to on shore assets where as a single Mom making 40k a year is mostly likely putting all her money into the national economy buying the stuff she needs to live.

5 – the fact that we’re even having this debate is kind of ludicrous. Congress shouldn’t have spent time even bringing this bill to the floor since it only does effect a few thousand people. Shouldn’t the GOP led Congress be focused on more pressing things?


Tin Can Margaritas Recipe : Emeril Lagasse : Food Network

Summer’s coming. We tried out this margarita recipe. It was pretty good. The only modification I might make next time is to add a 1/4 can of water.


1 lime, cut in wedges
Coarse salt, for glasses
1 large can frozen limeade
1 full can good-quality tequila
1/2 can triple-sec
1/2 can lemon juice

Rub rims of glasses with a lime wedge; place salt in a saucer and dip rims. In a pitcher combine remaining ingredients, stir well and fill up with ice. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses with lime wedges.

Read more at:


An Oral History of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ | Rolling Stone

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is my favorite Christmas movie. There are so many things to love about it. Here’s a post in Rolling Stone that talks about some behind the scenes stuff that went on.
Xmas or Bust: The Untold Story of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’


Crowdrise is a platform for fundraising.

It’s a great example of a company that does content writing well. This site was discussed as a case study in a presentation I saw of Anne Handley @MarketingProfs