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Twelve Days of Christmas: Hot Buttered Rum

Originally posted on Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide:

Look it is the Christmas star

Look it is the Christmas star

These are sort of like hot toddies, but with butter! They go down super easy, so be careful. They’re stronger than they taste. The recipe below makes two, so adjust accordingly.

Hot Buttered Rum

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp mace
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 oz spiced rum
  • roughly 8 oz boiling water
  • 2 star anise

Cream butter, sugar and spice in a small bowl. Set a full tea kettle to boil. Divide butter mixture between two heatproof mugs. Pour 1 1/2 ounces of rum in each mug. Top with boiling water and garnish with star anise.

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Holidays With Honey – Gingerbread Men

Originally posted on Romancing the Bee:


“Run! run! as fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Who doesn’t love Gingerbread Men? Especially when they’re made with honey rather than molasses. Have some fun and make these tasty cookies. They’re great for gifts and decorations too!

This recipe makes a light brown Gingerbread Man, like the one above.

Yield:   26 Servings


1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice


In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the honey, egg and water. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or…

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Entrepreneur Tristan Walker Building a Procter & Gamble for People of Color

Originally posted on GOOD BLACK NEWS:

tristan walker

Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker

In his first few months as an entrepreneur in residence at Andreessen Horowitz, Tristan Walker dreamed big when it came to startup ideas. There were the seeds he planted for a new kind of bank. There was the idea for a venture aimed at tackling childhood obesity.

But, then, Walker decided his best bet was to found a company that was more “authentic” to him and his experiences. What he came up with was Walker & Company Brands, a next-generation Procter & Gamble with a straightforward, if ambitious, mission: To make health and beauty simple for people of color.

That’s what he told me in an interview on Sunday night about his new company, which has raised $2.4 million led by Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures, with backing from Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Collaborative Fund, Sherpa Ventures and the William Morris agency’s Charles King.


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Moms Demand Action: Moms and Mayors Join Forces For Gun Reform


By Jueseppi B.

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Moms and Mayors to Join Forces for Gun Reform


By Greg Toppo, USA Today & Moms Demand Action


Moms will soon join mayors in a push to limit access to illegal firearms, as two high-profile groups reveal plans to merge.




Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns on Thursday will announce that it is joining with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a year-old grassroots campaign launched the day after the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


The combined group will align Bloomberg’s deep pockets with the strong social network and media savvy the mothers’ group brings. The billionaire founder of Bloomberg News said last week that he’ll “devote extensive resources of my own” to the effort.


In a statement Wednesday, Bloomberg said, “Gun violence is, unfortunately, an issue that affects every community, and coming together with Moms Demand Action today will strengthen our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and save lives.”


Founded by Shannon Watts, an Indianapolis mother of five, Moms Demand Action says it has more than 130,000 members in all 50 states. It took on coffee chain Starbucks in July, pushing it to ban guns from its cafes. After a woman in Wake Forest, N.C., accidentally shot herself in the hand at a Staples store last August, the group urged company CEO Ron Sargent to adopt a company-wide ban on firearms in its stores. It also has aggressively lobbied congressional lawmakers on gun policy.


“I really feel like moms have been the missing voice in this national debate,” Watts says, adding that the Sandy Hook shootings were “the tipping point for mothers to say, ‘Enough.’ “


John Feinblatt, chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, calls the move “a turning point for the movement” to control firearms, with Watts’ group filling “the intensity gap” when it comes to grassroots activism.


Created in 2006, Bloomberg’s group claims 1.5 million supporters and about 1,000 mayors now backing its agenda. It pushes for better access to crime data tied to guns and works with lawmakers to fix what it calls weak gun laws that make it easy for “criminals and other dangerous people” to get guns.


The group lobbied last spring for the U.S. Senate to pass the Manchin-Toomey amendment. Proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), it would have required background checks on all commercial gun sales. The measure fell six votes short of getting enough support for a straight up-or-down vote last April.


Feinblatt says legislators will take the mothers’ group seriously because they represent constituents, not other lawmakers. “Combining moms and mayors is a pretty powerful force.”


He also says Watts’ group has matured quickly. “They’re only a year old, but they look and act like an organization that’s been around for five to 10 years.”


Los Angeles civil rights attorney Chuck Michel, whose clients include the National Rifle Association, says the merger is reminiscent of a similar one between the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Million Mom March in 2002. But in this case, he says, Bloomberg brings considerable private funding to the effort.


“This seems analogous to a corporate takeover, where a large company sees the advantage of acquiring the social media and brand of a target company, but their agendas are the same. In this case, their anti-Second Amendment agendas won’t change,” he says.


Read the full article at usatoday.com


Moms Demand Action


Mayors Against Illegal Guns


Normal from the Outside: A Family’s Story of Guns and Domestic Violence


Shannon Watts, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America


Some Startling Facts From Think Progress; The Year In Guns: What Has Happened — And What Has Not — Since Newtown


President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Light 26 Candles: Mark The One-Year Anniversary, Sandy Hook Shooting.


President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shooting


Published on Dec 14, 2013

Ths President and First Lady observe a moment of silence and light candles at the White House in honor of those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. December 14, 2013.






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The President And The First Lady Meet With Moms On The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES)


By Jueseppi B.

First Lady joined President Obama to meet with moms who are doing great work to help kids #GetCovered

First Lady joined President Obama to meet with moms who are doing great work to help kids #GetCovered


Remarks by the President and First Lady after Meeting with Moms on the Affordable Care Act


Oval Office

2:54 P.M. EST


The President and First Lady Discuss the Affordable Care Act with Moms

December 18, 2013 | 7:07 |Public Domain


President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet with a group of moms in the Oval Office to discuss how health care reform could benefit their families, as well as the critical role moms are playing in helping their families access quality, affordable health care by encouraging their adult children, family members and peers to sign up for coverage.





THE PRESIDENT:  Michelle and I just had a wonderful conversation with this group of moms and one aunt who have been working tirelessly out there on behalf of our mission, which is to make sure that everybody in America, regardless of where they live, their background, that they are able to get high-quality health care coverage that provides them with financial protection and looks after them when they get sick.


And obviously, over the last couple of months, we had a rocky start with the website and all this.  Despite that, we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people signing up, more and more every single day, in part because we’ve got these wonderful folks like the people we met with today who are out there telling their personal stories — what it’s like when a son gets sick and you have to make sure that not only are you providing the care that they need now, but also making sure that in the future they’re going to be able to get health care because they’ve got a preexisting condition; knowing what it’s like to be in a position where your child is transitioning from college to the workplace and maybe their first job is part-time or they’re working two part-time jobs, so they’re doing everything they can to be responsible but they still can’t get health care on the job.


And I think this conversation really drove home in a very personal way why this is important.  Sometimes here in Washington, this is a very abstract conversation or an entirely political conversation.  But when you boil it down to stories and people hear what it means to have the security of solid health insurance at an affordable price when you need it, it reminds me at least of why we’ve been fighting so hard to get this done.


And we anticipate that there’s still going to be challenges over the coming months and we’re going to continue to find ways to smooth out this transition and make sure that people know what the Affordable Care Act is actually about.


But we’re absolutely confident that the demand is there, the need is there, and the more people learn about the fact that we’ve got 3 million young people who are able to stay on their parents’ plan until they’re 26, or the more they learn about the free preventive care that can avoid illness in the first place, or the more that they hear about the fact that there are no lifetime limits so if you end up having a really severe illness you’re not going to be hurt with a bunch of fine print — the more information they get I think the more satisfied they’re going to be that this was the right thing to do and that it’s been worth the fight.


And the last point I would just make — and I know, Michelle, you want to say a little bit — is what we communicated to the women here is there’s something about moms — (laughter)  — that, number one, they’ve got credibility generally; number two, women oftentimes are the ones who are making the health care decisions of the family; number three, moms can tell young people who think they’re invincible that they’re not and prod them to at least get information.


So as much as here in the White House we’re going to continue to promote the Affordable Care Act, as much as we’re going to be working hard with other organizations like AARP and others around the country to make sure people are signing up, nothing can replace the story that Mary Todd is telling in the grocery store to somebody who may be skeptical.  And that kind of face-to-face interaction makes this concrete and it describes exactly why this is so important.


So I just want to say to all the women here who have been telling their stories and working with others to make sure that people get good information, we are grateful.  It’s a great gift, what you’re doing, and we’re really, really appreciative.


MRS. OBAMA:  The words that come to mind for me are peace of mind.  And what the Affordable Care Act provides and can provide for so many families out there is peace of mind.  This isn’t about politics; it’s about making sure that every family has the peace of mind to know that if a child gets sick, or someone loses a job, or someone has an illness that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in coverage, that they’re going to have the safety net that they need to make sure that they don’t lose their home, that they aren’t spending the rest of their lives paying off medical fees.




And as Barack said, your stories are powerful.  And it’s our job as mothers to make sure that our young people are informed about their “invincibility,” to make sure that other moms and families out there really understand what this law provides and that they can take advantage of it.  This is the beauty of it.  People have choices.  They can go on to the website; they can talk to a navigator; they can learn for themselves what the law means and what it doesn’t mean.  And that’s really, really what we want people to do, is educate yourselves.  Get that education. Make the choice that’s best for your family, because the options are there.


So we are, again, very grateful to you all.  And we urge everyone out there who has a story to share it.  And we urge people to reach out.  And if they’ve signed up their child, then sign up their friends.  If you’ve got grandkids, make it a Christmas treat around the table to talk about a little health care.  (Laughter.)  Ring in the New Year with new coverage.  (Laughter.)


But we can really change the face of health care in this country.  We can be a country that focuses on prevention.  We can be a country where no one goes bankrupt because they get sick.  And that is a worthwhile goal.  So thank you all for being a part of this.




THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you guys.


Q    Mrs. Obama, why did you want to be involved in the health care push?


MRS. OBAMA:  Because I’m a mom.


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you guys.  Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.


3:00 P.M. EST





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