Garlic Roasted Yukon Potatoes and Asparagus Recipe

By Erik Gamboa

To many people, the word roasting may seem both intimidating and stressful. Whereas when people hear the word baking they assume “no problem”.  In reality, roasting and baking are nearly the same type cooking methods.  With today’s technology, roasting normally takes place inside an oven in the comfort of your own home whereas few hundred years ago and maybe even thousands, roasting took place over an open fire and a “peasant” or a “protege” of the king would have to endure the smoke rushing over their face. The peasant or protege would have to trim the meat where the fire made contact before it turned into char. Eventually the rotisserie method of cooking was invented and became a more precise and rewarding method of cooking. The rotisserie better allowed for an even cook because of the even heat distributed around the meat.  But of course no one other than a peasant or somebody under the jurisdiction of the king would take care of that job.

Thankfully, that we do not have to deal with the complications of a king therefore we are the king of our house and the conventional oven is out personal peasant. Just like the old days, roasting is none other than the dry heat cooking method, allowing one to form a nice crust on meats and a pleasant browning on some vegetables.

Just in time for the holidays, today I will be talking about how you can roast without the fear of over cooking and having to throw it away. I have come up with a recipe that will not disappoint if over cooked. First is roasting Yukon potatoes and asparagus with garlic and shallots. I added the zest of a whole lemon and the juice of half another lemon. To many people asparagus can have an earthy taste and my goal was to distract that flavor a little bit by adding squeezing lemon juice over them.

The Recipe

Garlic Roasted Yukon Potatoes and Asparagus


1              bunch                   asparagus spears

5              medium               Yukon gold potatoes

3              cloves                   Garlic minced

1              large                      shallot minced

3              Ts                            olive oil

1              medium               lemon

Kosher salt for taste

Fresh ground pepper for taste


1.) It is best to have all ingredients readily prepared so as to avoid rushing.  Cut the potatoes in quarters, trim the bottom of the asparagus spears about 2 to 3 inches, mince garlic and shallots and set aside.

2.) Preheat oven to 325.

3.) In a mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, half the garlic, shallots, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss these ingredients together so that all the flavors can be evenly distributed.

4.) Once the oven is done preheating, place the well coated potatoes on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes. Every 15 minutes turn over potatoes for an even browning.

5.) While the potatoes are roasting, give the asparagus a quick rinse. Place them in a clean mixing bowl. (Note: If using the mixing bowl used to toss the potatoes, make sure to thoroughly rinse the bowl because there will still be seasoning leftover and you want to avoid over-seasoning your asparagus) Add garlic, shallots, lemon zest (from the whole lemon) and the juice of half a lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss well (Note: toss the asparagus very carefully because they are fragile and break easily).

6.) Once the potatoes have roasted for 30 minutes, take baking sheet out of the oven carefully and make room for the asparagus, making sure to space out potatoes and asparagus evenly across the baking sheet. Roast potatoes and asparagus for another 15 to 20 min.

7.) The best way to know when your food is done is to pierce the vegetables with a fork and if it pierces easily, cooking is complete and you make take the sheet out of the oven. If you accidentally over cook them, they’ll still taste great, just don’t burn them.

Enjoy this recipe with which every meat you prefer. Grilled chicken, meat loaf, or a nice tender filet Mignon would all go great with these tasty vegetables.  With roasting, your options are endless.

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How To Change My Ip

how to change my ipI have come across this great piece of software called Hide My Ass that allows you to pretty much change your IP address to a TON of locations around the world. I have been using it for about a month now and man I must say its great! This service has tons of uses. Some of the most common uses are getting around geographical restrictions and browsing the web on a perfectly anonymous connection. There are tons of services that don’t allow users outside of the USA such as Netflix and Hulu. With Hide My Ass you can use any of those services and services alike just as if you were sitting in front of a computer in the USA.

The functionality of the software itself is actually pretty simple and does not require any complicated configuration and installation aside from just installing the download you initially get. Check out this video I found that shows that basic functionality of the service.

As you can see it is pretty easy to use! Its just a matter of going down a list and selecting which country you want to be connect to and then just click connect. Super easy!

One of the other cool aspects about this software is that there are no bandwidth limits. Other providers allow you to only use a certain amount of Gigabytes every month. However with this program there are no limits. Which makes it very ideal for things such as video streaming and possibly torrents.

The last thing I found that made it very great was that it works with all of the programs on your computer not just your browser. So if you have another program that needs to access the internet and you want to use it with this service you don’t have to change any further settings to get it to work.

To download a copy of hide my ass check out their website here. Give it a shot! You will fall in love with this software!


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Add IP Range To CentOS

ifconfigIf you are looking for a quick way to add an ip range to your CentOS server use this script. The first thing you need to do is go over to the following directory:

cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/

The next thing you have to do is create a new script named “ifcfg-eth0-range0”. You can do this by using the following command.

nano ifcfg-eth0-range0

Once you went ahead and created that file and its opened in nano or your favorite text editor you will need to add the following.


The way CentOS attaches new ips is by adding devices for example eth:0 eth0:0 eth0:1 eth0:2 and so on. So the example above will start at eth0:0 and will stop at the last IP. The IPADDR_START and the IPADDR_END specify the range. In this example it will add – Replace this with your range you have been given by your datacenter. This is also known as your usable IPs. After you added this to the file save and close out the editor.

This guide assumes that you have already added the primary IP address to your server much like most web hosts provide when you are initially provisioned a server.

Once you have done all of the above you can make the changes take effect by issuing the following command:

service network restart

Note: This will disturb any download in progress.

After you have done that if you didn’t get any strange errors then you have successfully added an IP range to your servers. The only thing you have to do is execute a ifconfig to view all of the devices.



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SSH Tunneling with Putty

SSH Tunneling

Do you want to tunnel your traffic to a secure server out on the internet cause you don’t trust your local lan? Or do you want to have a public ip address that is from another country? You can actually do their pretty easily if you happen to have a server with SSH installed plus putty.

You can download putty here.

The first thing you need to do is change some setting in your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file. You need to change the following :

#AllowTcpForwarding yes

You to uncomment that setting so it is enabled. (In other words remove the pound or tic tac toe looking sign from the beginning)

AllowTcpForwarding yes

The next thing you need to do is open up your putty and add the tunnel to your connection for the server you want to use.

putty settingsAdd the source port of 8080 (or whatever port you want ) and add the destination of which is the loopback ip. Then just click on add. Once you have those 2 pieces of information in go ahead and connect to your server.

To actually go ahead and use this proxy open you favorite browsers network settings.

firefox settingsIn this example we use Firefox. All we did here was add and the port 8080 for SOCKS. Once you have that click Ok and you should be good to go.

Enjoy your new proxy!



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SSH network monitor for Centos

iftopEver want to know whats going in and out of your server without having to setup any complicated software like cacti. Or maybe you are under a time crunch and don’t have the patience. Well lucky for us there is program called IfTop. What this program does in a nutshell is give you real time network usage stats. You can also find out which user is hogging up all your bandwidth with this. Another very interesting use for this program is find out if there are any other machines on the same network spamming packets (helped me do that not too long ago :P) and alert the owners.

If you want to install it on your machine you will need the RPMForge Repo Once you have the Repo in simply use the following command:

yum install iftop

Once it has installed all you have to do is type “iftop” without the quotes and you can sit back and watch your server work. If you want a similar network monitor look into “IPTraf” its much more polished that iftop.


Posted in Informational | Leave a comment low CPCs

adtegrity.comRecently I was going through my Google Adsense account data. I decided to look at all the data for one month for ad networks. I sorted my CPCs from high to low to see which ad networks were paying what. If you have never done this I encourage you to do so as there are lots of networks using google adsense that are purposely serving super low cpc ads (I like to call them “lowballers”) and are all together driving down you average CPC thus lowering the total money you earn.

adtegrity low cpc

The next thing I did was arrange my data from high to low for most clicks. As you can see with the image above we have Adtegrity with super low CPCs and super low RPMs despite the fact that I had over 200k pages views where one of their ads show up. Now I know what you are thinking “it also depends on where the traffic came from”. Well these particular websites get tons of USA traffic and very very little Iran traffic or Africa traffic (the typical kind of traffic that generates low CPCs) so that’s not the cause of this. I have since blocked Adtegrity from show any if their ads on my websites I recommend you do that same. You can do this via your Google Adsense control panel. Also make sure you search under ad networks for “ 2” as they seem to have caught on to people blocking their ads so they created a new account (since the default setting for Google Adsense is to automatically allow new ad networks). So the moral from all this is pay attention who is paying what cause there are a lot of these lowballer ad companies only in it to make money for themselves on the expense of webmasters.


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Make .htaccess files show in VSFTPD

The other day I was updating one of my websites. I was needed to block out a certain IP range at the website level so I decided to use a quick .htaccess rule to do so. So I fired up Filezilla to download my current .htaccess I had in place and to my surprise there was nothing there. I knew for a fact I DID already have a .htaccess file.

I tried a few things and came down to the conclusion that it was vsftpd messing with me. So I found this command that made it the .htaccess show up under the contents:


Add this command to your /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf then execute a /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart and you should be ready to go.

Simple as that!


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How Facebook Really Makes Thier Money (Tricky Tricky)

Just a few days ago I was looking for ways to bring more traffic to some of my websites and I went on Facebook ads to check their stuff out. They offer you some pretty appealing choices for advertising to the crowds of users that use Facebook everyday. You can target very specific things about the people you are trying to reach. Things like where they work, if they are married, and what their interests are. (Yea! Believe it or not all the stuff in your profile you input yourself is used to generate ads that are very likely to click on.) So after seeing all this I was distracted by something else and I did not purchase any ads at the time.

This morning as I was doing my normal morning stuff. I noticed an email come into my inbox. The subject read “Get $50 in free Facebook Advertising today” This is what it looked like:

So I said “Cool!” and went over to Facebook to make my ads. I went through the whole process of adding text and small image to the ad. After going thorough the whole process I went into the billing section to try and add the coupon I had received to get the 50 bucks credit.
So I selected my funding source. I picked “Facebook Ad Coupon”.

The next thing I did was enter coupon code in the field provided.

So at this I point I was “Wow this is pretty simple. Man Facebook is great!” However I think I spoke too soon. Right after hitting submit I am greeted with the following message.

So apparently this is just a gimmick to pull people into spending money in their advertising. Just to drive my point I bit further. WHY WOULD YOU SEND ME AN EMAIL WITH A CODE AND SAY THAT THIS CODE IS NO LONGER VALID 3 MINUTES AFTER RECEIVING IT? Is it really possible that how ever many codes they “gave away” got activated in just 3 mins? Are people really waiting by their computer for these things? 3mins??? If we look a bit closer the bottom of the email DOES mention supplies are limited.

So no biggie there. But if you ask me I don’t think they ever intended to give anything for free. I think its just highly unlikely that the codes they “gave for free” ran out in the matter of 3 mins. Whats that you say? Why dont I just stop using facebook if I dont like it? Lets face it. At this point and time EVERYONE is on facebook. Unless you are someone who lives under a rock you will not stop using facebook. Im not saying it impossible either but lets not get carried away. We may not like some thing about facebook but w/e get over it. There are better ways of expressing how you feel….such as writing a blog like this.

Oh yea almost forgot. Thanks for nothing facebook.


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Find someones general location with a IP address.

Disclaimer: This blog will not be liable for any trouble you may find yourself in if you use this information the wrong way. This post simply provides a proof of concept that can certainly be used in real life. This is in NO WAY illegal but we still warn you. Use at your own risk.

Today I am going to talk a little about ip addresses and a free service that is available on the web that will allow you to get a general idea of where people are. So lets get right into it.

1. Getting the IP address.

Acquiring the ip address is the first part of this. Now I know what you are thinking…that this involves some crazy hacking scheme that requires you to bypass the mainframe and disabling the firewall (typical movies line). Well sorry to disappoint you but no. Usually the easiest way to acquire someones ip address is getting them to go on a site such as and once they have done so you ask them for the number they see on that page. 9 out of 10 people have no idea what an ip address is and what its used for. Other ways this can be used and its becoming more common is when buying stuff online. Usually when you purchase something online the “merchants” collect all this information to screen orders and make sure there aren’t any fraudulent orders placed. Usually when fraudulent orders are placed they loose money because the money they get paid usually gets taken back when the owner of the credit card finds out. So this can be used for good and for bad.

2. Whats next?

Ok so now that you have an ip address you can actually head over to this website This website is a company that provides a IP geo-location service. They pretty much took information from different sources and put it all together in a nice database and made it searchable. Their main goal is plot where IP addresses originate from. At the same time they also look for trends in suspicious activity. They see where abuse usually comes from and label those ip addresses as possible locations where fraud and spam come from (usually Africa and Middle Eastern ip ranges). So what you will do is grab the ip address and search it on the website. For example ill use the ip address of this website.

Searching the ip address

This is what I got back. It says the location for this ip address is Los Angeles and that is correct.

So that’s pretty much it. Experiment a little with this if you are curious.

Thanks for reading

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Not working for “the man”

There are many people in this world that don’t like their job. The only reason they stay at a job they don’t like is cause they need to pay the bills or they have a family they need to take care of. These are ALL valid reasons and I perfectly understand what that means. However for most of us “young people” we still have a chance to get out of this vicious cycle the majority of our parents have gone through. We ALL have SOMETHING we are good at. Some of us find it very early on in life others don’t. If you manage to find what your passion is, run with it! Chances are if you totally master this area people will pay good money for your expertise. All this focuses on my point of starting your own business. Its easier than you think in most industries. This is my train of thought.

After a few years of work and all the things I have seen in the IT industry, one thing I started to notice was how valuable time was. If you go to work for 8hrs a day and come home it would be dark and your day is gone. You have time to do nothing else. You get home and all you want to do is rest. Before my first job I would be on my computer every day doing some free work to sharpen my skills. So it was a drastic change. I no longer had time to do the things liked to do that I did before. So in the end all I had was tons of money to spend on things.

So that got me thinking. If I were to spend all this time and effort on something of my own wouldn’t I eventually gain more as opposed to working for someone else? If you remain working for someone else you may get paid well, get all kinds of perks from your job….but what do you really have? Your job will always be in the hands of someone. Someone decides your labor is no longer worth your salary you are gone. And you are back on the hunt for another job with more of the same. Why do we always have to be putting ourselves at the mercy of others? Why must we always have to satisfy others and let them determine whether we are “good enough” for the job? Why not run your own show and do everything your way?

Now running a business is not for everyone. Given there are many people that are perfectly happy with going and doing their 8 hours a day and coming home. There is nothing wrong with that. What I urge everyone to do is decide which kind of person you are before its too late. The more you wait the harder it gets. The time is now. The biggest barrier for most people is having a family. You do not want to put your whole family in jeopardy because of your bad decision.

The majority of this post is based of my personal experiences and may not apply to all industries. If you are in a industry with computers…you are in luck!

Thanks for reading and good luck!


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