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A Great Little Book ** Transparency ** and a Recipe

Before I get to the book and the fun dessert recipe, I want to ask you a favor.


Photo by Hannah Tims on Unsplash

When I started this blog over eighteen months ago, one of my goals was: The blog should generate revenue. Was I gonna be able to quit my “day job”? No, at least not right away. But could it supplement my income as I transition my photography business? Here I thought the answer was, Yes.

As I moved forward, I learned that while women’s fashion bloggers can make a decent living promoting what they wear and blog about, wine and food bloggers will not.  The food industry is still very much brick and mortar. And the wine industry is, well, still family-run businesses and legally complicated. This process is not going to be easy.

So I had to look at other retail categories that are wine and food adjacent to help me achieve this goal. This includes retailers created as an online business as well as catalog-driven businesses that have a significant online presence.

So Here We Are

You may have noticed some Amazon ads in the sidebar.  Additionally, you may have seen that I link products to Amazon. That is because I am now affiliated with Amazon and can receive a small commission on items I recommend on this blog. In the future, other companies may also be added as I explore these opportunities.

The Favor

So will you help me with my goal and shop with me. In my product links, I promise to mention only goods and services that I own or have used and meet the quality standards that I expect. Ads that appear on my Sidebar will only be from companies that I trust and where I shop. If I mention a product or service that you are interested in owning, please click on the embedded link and buy it through my blog. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.

And let me say, this blog will remain an outlet to share recipes, food and wine events, wine and winery reviews, restaurant reviews and just having fun drinking and laughing and eating. So when you need something food and wine adjacent and you see it mentioned on my blog… give it a go.  Thanks. And in the spirit of the above…

Book: The New Wine Rules

If I were to write a book about buying and drinking wine, it would be this one – The New Wine Rules by Jon Bonné. (only $12.61 on 7/12/18) Think of this as your guide to everything you needed to know, so I can feel confident, wine book. Honestly, I could use it as an outline for posts about what I should blog. It is an easy to read 150-page guide to basic wine knowledge helping you choose wine, serve wine, store wine, and pair wine. There is also a chapter on dining out and wine lists.


I love Rule 71. “If a glass of wine costs more than a quarter of the bottle {price}, skip it.” Or check out Rule 26, “A wines price rarely reflects its quality.” I laughed my butt off when I read that one. That said, I think the use of the word “rarely” is overstating it. I would use the word “often.” That does not mean, however, that I will not pay the price if I like the wine.


How I discovered this book.

I went to a book signing and tasting at Edmunds Oast Exchange, (EOX)  a couple of weeks back and picked up a copy. I loved hearing the story that was the impetus for the book. Jon and his wife are both in the wine business, and they know a lot about wine. While dining at a restaurant, they overheard a table of young folks laboring over the wine list, and they could tell they felt unsure about what they should order. So much so, that they almost went over to the table to help them. But that is “not done” in New York City. So they decided then and there to create a guide to help novices navigate and feel more confident about everything wine.

If you are local, you can buy a copy at EOX for $15.00. Or you can order it on Amazon by clicking here.

Chocolatey S’Mores Skillet Dip



3 Tbsp. salted butter, softened to melt easily
1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

3 cups mini marshmallows

Graham crackers, for dipping


Preheat broiler with oven rack in center position.

Place the butter in the bottom of your 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven while the broiler is heating up. Monitor it closely, so the butter does not burn. Toss in the pecans and turn to coat with melted butter.  Place back in the oven and broil the nuts for about 1 minute until the butter is bubbling. Remove from oven and set aside.

Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-proof bowl. Place in the microwave and heat just long enough to melt the chips – One minute at a time until melted and hot. Stir to combine.   Spread chocolate mixture over the pecans and to the edge of the skillet. Top evenly with mini marshmallows.

Broil until marshmallows are golden brown.  You have to watch this like a hawk. Some ovens this can take 5 minutes and others only a minute. Place in the middle of your table on a hot plate. Serve warm with graham crackers for dipping. This is a party dessert… you eat directly from the skillet using the graham crackers to scoop.



Download Printable PDF Version Here: Chocolatey S’Mores Skillet Dip


That is all for now!



Lodge 10″ Cast Iron Skillet only $14.88 today on Amazon 




  1. Love this post! Congrats for taking the step to being an amazon affiliate. Good luck!

    I love the s’mores dip recipe. That looks awesome.

  2. Nice post, Rick! I’ll have to try that s’mores recipe when my kids all visit later this month. I’ve got a newish blog and I’m trying also to monetize it. Thank you for your transparency about that. The FTC has rules about that too. Anyway, that book sounds great. If I decide to buy it, I’ll do it through your Amazon link.

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