Monday, March 3, 2014

Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton

Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton
by Michael Chiarello

* Cook Time: 40 min
* Yield:  6 servings


  * 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  * 5 cloves minced garlic
  * 8 cups thinly sliced onions
  * Gray salt
  * 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  * 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  * 1 1/2 cups dark beer (recommended: Guinness)
  * 6 cups beef stock
  * 6 slices country bread cut 1/2-inch thick, toasted
  * 1/2 pound Irish Cheddar, sliced thin


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to release aroma. Add onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown.

Add the thyme, vinegar, and beer. Reduce beer by half and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof soup bowls. Top with toasted bread slices and sliced Cheddar. Broil until cheese melts and starts to brown slightly. Serve piping hot.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


"Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and 
have always in view not only the present but also the coming 
generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface 
of the ground -- the unborn of the future Nation."

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations


Thursday, February 14, 2013


“To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.” -- Jean-Paul Sartre

Monday, February 4, 2013

Regrets of the Dying

A few years ago, someone posted a story about Bronnie Ware's blog post entitled "Regrets of the Dying" on my Facebook feed.  Here are the top 5 regrets she encountered while caring for the dying:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

 #3 has never been a problem for me,  #1 I thought I had whipped, but when you really sit down and think about what you are doing and why...well it might not be as true as you thought.  At least that was the case for me.  #4 is a toss up, since if I have let people slide from my life it is probably for good reason.  #2 is the one I really needed to work on, but not in the traditional sense.   The context here is for your typical male worker of a generation that preceded the Internet.  Someone who was away from home and family.  I by comparison don't think working hard has to be bad, if you can do something that is fulfilling and especially if you can do it with your spouse.

And that leaves #5.  That has been the hardest.  It's not that I am unhappy, it is more that I don't seek happiness but rather fulfillment.   Sometimes I will #2 and not take the time to #5.  I'm working on it.

Further reading:

The Helpful Guide to Living an Intentional Life

There's More to Life Than Being Happy

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fantasy Senator League

So what if we could generate the same kind of enthusiasm for our politician's performance as we do for NFL players? Well, OK I'm not that much of an idealist, but it would be nice if we had a site with a pleasant UI, decent infographics, etc. that didn't look like a bunch of PolySci majors designed it. There are plenty of watchdog groups with sites, but most are specific to a cause and are reminiscent of 1995 design astetics. A couple decent organizations with poor websites:

Pogo (Project on Government Oversight) is more modern, but too cluttered with 'sign up' 'like us' and 'donate' distractions.

The most promising is Tampa Bay Times' Politfact

But it still is a hot mess and could use some serious UI/UE work.   In their defense they are fair and have been steadily evolving, and most importantly are trusted.  They are the Snopes of the political world in my opinion.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I'm not sure what the point of this post is, but I just find these images to be worth pointing out. I just think it is a sad state of affairs when The Daily Show is more informative than CNN, Fox News and MSNBC combined.