Best Caprese Salad Recipe

We call it the Leaning tower of Caprese

Caprese salads can be made in many ways. Manipulations of the three key ingredients (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil) will result in different varieties of the salad – all being delicious. Here is my favourite version of the Caprese – it’s not really a leaning tower so much as one that has fallen over. Read the recipe and try your own take on it by changing its geometry or adding your own secret ingredients.


  • Tomatoes – I prefer the Kumata brand with roughly 4-5 small sized tomatoes
  • Mozzarella – A large ball of fresh fior di latte or buffalo mozzarella
  • Basil – Buy it fresh and with full leaves
  • Olive oil – I like Italian or Greek olive oil that has a slight burning sensation when you taste a teaspoon of it
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Wash and dry the tomatoes and basil. If the basil leaves are still on the stem, remove and discard the stems. Tear the leaves into small pieces.
  2. Pour out the brine solution in the mozzarella packaging.
  3. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella in about equal sized pieces. Cut one more tomato slice than mozzarella. This will make sure that you have two tomato ends to help hold the shape together.
  4. Alternate tomato and mozzarella slices in a row. Use the tomatoes for structural integrity and position the end pieces to steady the whole salad.
  5. Sprinkle the basil leaves on top of the row. For me, it’s the more basil, the better.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

We also like to drizzle the salad with a bit of good balsamic vinegar.

For a hot version, I created a twist on a recipe I enjoyed at Mario Batali’s Osteria Mozza restaurant in Los Angeles. Roast cherry tomatoes with minced garlic, basil, olive oil and seasonings in the oven at 375 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes. Slice the mozzarella and place it on top of toasted baguette pieces. Top with the tomatoes and the cheese will melt slightly, making it the best version of bruschetta you will ever have.

Find the Perfect Rental Unit | How To

Searching for a rental unit can be tough, time-consuming, and stressful. Whether you’re desperate to move now or even looking well in advance, some tricks and tips can help ease the process so you can relax in your new home as soon as possible.

1. Know your limits and must-haves

These limits should incorporate all requirements for your new home. For most, the main limit is the budget. Work within a minimum and maximum window. Some don’t think to set a minimum, but choosing a minimum monthly rent can actually help eliminate units way below your standards and save you hours of search time. For example, if you are looking to spend $1500 on a 1 bedroom apartment, a good budget window is $1250 – $1750. The lower limit still allows for some larger bachelor or studio units worth looking at and the upper limit may include add-on’s such as a den, parking, etc..

Do you want to be close to work or school and have regional boundaries? Select a grid from which you will map the available units and try not to deviate far from the outermost streets you set. If you want to walk to work in under 20 minutes, make sure that these boundaries abide by that rule. You don’t want to regret moving 10 blocks further away to save $100/month in rent if it requires you to spend even more on public transit each day.

What is your move-in date? Do you need parking? A storage locker? An apartment or condo with gym and pool access? These are all things to consider.

2. Search multiple online resources

By far, the easiest way to sift through thousands of rentals is online. Take advantage of websites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, MapLiv,, and Padmapper, which allow you to peruse the latest rentals and quickly contact home owners, realtors, and landlords. In some markets, units can be signed away within hours. It is best to keep up-to-date on the current listings if you’re serious about finding your perfect new home.

3. Be picky about viewings

Initially, it may be best for you to take a look at a ton of units in your desired area so you can get a feel for what it is you want. This also helps you to figure out the size or layout you like and distinguish between what is a good unit and a good photographer. Once you are able to make judgement calls based on provided photographs or descriptions, you can cut down the viewings by about half. Only go see the units you would seriously consider leasing. It is not worth your time or effort to check out a basement apartment if your main requirements include floor-to-ceiling windows. By selectively setting up viewings for only the best rentals, you can spend your searching time more effectively with fewer disappointing results.

4. Check out the neighborhood

You have found the perfect rental unit. It fits your budget, general location, and size requirements. Before signing the lease, take a look around. This is easiest to do on the way to the viewing or immediately after. Do you feel safe walking the surrounding streets alone? Are there grocery stores nearby? Pharmacies? Coffee shops? Think about your daily (and nightly) activities and make sure this neighbourhood can offer you most of what you want. It’s not necessary for it to have everything on your wishlist, just know that it will create a positive atmosphere. If you want to be close to the nightlife, you may be happier with a 5 minute walk than a $20 cab ride to the hottest bars and clubs.

These tips can still apply when working with a realtor or looking to purchase a home. Now that you know some key concepts involved with the house hunt, you can spend less time searching under stress and more time enjoying your new pad.

Installing Software on Ubuntu Server 14.04

Install Oracle Java 7 on Ubuntu:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-set-default

Install Glashfish 4 on Ubuntu:

#Download Glassfish 4
#install the unzip program
apt-get install unzip
#unzip the glassfish zip to you /opt directory
unzip -d /opt
#start glassfish app server
/opt/glassfish4/bin/asadmin start-domain
#change the admin password (the current/default is blank):
/opt/glassfish4/bin/asadmin change-admin-password
#enable remote access to the admin console
/opt/glassfish4/bin/asadmin enable-secure-admin

#restart the domain
/opt/glassfish4/bin/asadmin restart-domain


Ignore Foreign Key Constraints During Truncate or Drop


If you are trying to drop/delete or empty/truncate a mysql table and you keep getting an error that you are violating a foreign key constraint, you may want to temporarily ignore that constraint. The code below demonstrates how you can tell mysql to ignore foreign key checks, delete/truncate the tables you need to, then re-enable foreign key checks


Create new MySQL user and allow them to connect from any IP

mysqlIf you are getting the error: user is not allowed to connect to this MySQL serverConnection closed by foreign host

Or : Access denied for user ‘root’@’’ (using password: YES))

Then you probably have not created your user properly in MySQL
Here is how to create a new MySQL user and give him access to connect to the database from any location (local host or remote host).

Execute the following 4 queries – probably easiest to just run them from within the SQL section of phpMyAdmin (use the same username and password in queries 2 and 4 – these are the username and password you want to give to the new user you are creating)

CREATE USER 'username'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
CREATE USER 'username'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

(note, make sure you have told MySQL to listen for connections from all hosts and not just localhost)

MySQL See all columns and tables that foreign key to a table or column

mysql foreign keyIf you’re trying to understand how an existing database has been setup it can be very useful to see all of the tables/columns that foreign key into some other table/column.

REFERENCED_TABLE_NAME = 'your_table_name'
AND REFERENCED_COLUMN_NAME = 'your_column_name'

Ruby MySQL Transaction Example

rubyHere is a simple tutorial showing how to implement transactions in Ruby with MySQL.

The code uses The MySQL2 Gem. We are showing the insert of 2 records into the customers table of a database. If either insert fails, both will be rolled back.

require "mysql2"
client_mysql = =>; "localhost", :username =>; "my_user", :password =>; "my_password")
mysql_query_insert_customer1 = 'INSERT INTO MyDatabase.CustomersTable (name, phoneNumber, address) VALUES ("FSB", "888-555-5555", "322 Firstsearch Way")'
result_insert_mysql = client_mysql.query mysql_query_insert_customer1
mysql_query_insert_customer2 = 'INSERT INTO MyDatabase.CustomersTable (name, phoneNumber, address) VALUES ("FSG", "887-555-5555", "322 Firstsearch Road")'
result_insert_mysql = client_mysql.query mysql_query_insert_customer2
rescue Exception => e
puts "+++++++ DB ERROR - ROLLING BACK ++++++++"
puts e #print the MySQL Error
client_mysql.query('rollback') #rollback both of our insert statements
exit #exit the script/app (you might want a softer touch)
client_mysql.query('commit') #commit the changes to the DB

Setup a new GIT repository

gitHere is a quick reminder of how to setup a new git repository on your git server and check it out on your client machine.

On The Server

cd /opt/git
mkdir newproject.git
cd newproject.git
git --bare init

On the Client

cd /home/user/projects
git clone [email protected]:/opt/git/newproject.git
cd newproject
git add .
git commit -m 'added new README'
git push origin master

Medical Alert Systems for 2013

medial alert systemAs our loved ones age, their safety becomes of real concern to us, especially when they are living alone or have a disability or illness. These days, we all lead extremely busy lives and we don’t always have the time to call around and check in on our elderly friends and relatives as much as we would like. Which means having the ability to keep track of, and monitor their safety from a distance becomes more and more necessary.

For years, countless manufacturers have tried and failed to come up with an innovative medical alarm system that both looks attractive and inconspicuous and works, no matter where the wearer might be. Unfortunately all of these designs have been, large, cumbersome and unsightly and most seniors refuse to wear them. Coupled with the fact that all of these medical alert systems only work within the confines of the wearers own home, it is no surprise that their success has been fleeting.

This has all changed however with the launch of the new medical alert system from Amulyte ( Also known as a Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (MPERS) the Amulyte is attractive, discreet and most importantly incredibly functional.

As a wearer, the Amulyte Personal Emergency Response System keeps you within constant reach of your loved ones and caregivers. Simply press the button on your Amulyte Alert System and they will be notified immediately; allowing you the freedom to do as you please when you please. No longer are you required to stay within range of the home base station that other medical alert systems require. Using the same technology a cell phone, the Amulyte medical alarm system eliminates the need for a base station, giving you the freedom and security to go anywhere you please.

As a friend, relative or carer  you can have complete peace of mind knowing that your loved one is always safe. The activity tracking facility allows you to monitor any changes in their level activity and learn when something changes. You can rest assured knowing that should your loved one require attention you can be notified immediately via text message, phone call, email or online via the Amulyte web portal. Amulyte is also fitted with an automatic fail-safe system should your loved one fall or become incapacitated and unable to activate the personal alarm manually.

Key Features of the Amulyte Medical Alert System

  • Help Button – An easy to press help button that will automatically connect your loved one to you if they need assistance.
  • Works Anywhere – Whether going for a walk or running errands, the pendant works anywhere, both inside and outside the home.
  • Easy to Wear – Can be worn as a necklace or a belt clip, designed to look good and be comfortable.
  • Waterproof – Can be worn in the shower, in a pool, or out in the rain.
  • Real Time Alerts – Get notified instantly if something isn’t right via text, phone call, email and online notification.
  • Status Update – Get a daily recap of a senior’s activity level, keeping you informed and letting you know that everything is OK.
  • Activity Tracking – Tracks when your loved one is moving, and the level of activity.
  • Lifestyle insights – Discover activity patterns, average activity level and learn when something changes.
  • Peace of Mind – If help is needed you will be the first to know, rest assured knowing your loved one is safe.

Give yourself and your loved one peace of mind by giving an Amulyte.

For further information visit the Amulyte website