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March 7

SXSW publishes my world-famous gazpacho recipe

Gazpacho de JD
A serving of Gazpacho de JD

By JD Lasica

Today is the kickoff of the 20th annual South by Southwest Interactive, the seminal glimpse-of-the-future gathering held each March in Austin. I’ve attended four times, spoken there three times, was admitted as press last year but couldn’t attend, and can’t make it this year because I have to fly to Miami to attend the year’s biggest cruise conference.

But I’m still jazzed that SXSW has decided this year to publish “The Official SXSW 2014 Interactive Cookbook.” Inside the cookbook, you’ll find recipes from over 100 former South by Southwest speakers. The recipes, which span from Eggs Benedict Pasta to Vegetable Jell-O, speak to the creativity and diversity of the SXSW community.

Recipe for Gazpacho de JD


I contributed my own Gazpacho de JD to the cookbook. Here’s the recipe (though you should buy the cookbook — it’s for a good cause!):


10 big, plump, ripe red tomatoes, cut into chunks
3 cucumbers, peeled, diced
1 red onion, peeled, diced
2 medium green peppers, seeds removed, diced
1 serrano pepper, diced
2 small cans, diced green chiles (approx. 7 oz.)
2 small cans, tomato paste (approx. 6 ox.)
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red white vinegar
1/2 jalapeño pepper (depending on your preference)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic
salt, pepper to taste
lemon wedges as garnish


Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, green peppers, serrano pepper and
diced green chiles into a blender, followed by the cilantro, garlic,
salt and pepper. The bread crumbs are the last ingredient to add and,
yes, add more than you might think. Blend thoroughly. You’ll likely
need to do three or four batches in a standard blender, so proportion
the ingredients accordingly. Combine each batch into one or two large
serving bowls, cover and refrigerate. Chill thoroughly. Serve with
lemon wedges.


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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

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February 6

Photos from Startup Grind 2014

MC Hammer

Here are 63 photos I shot this week at Startup Grind, the startup conference that drew 1,000 attendees and speakers — including MC Hammer, above — to the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley.

December 21

Powerocks: How to get charged up


A portable charger for your digital lifestyle

By JD Lasica

Over the years, I’ve done product reviews for companies like Nokia, small camcorder companies and gadget startups in my role as a columnist for Engadget, all the while offering this disclosure statement that spelled out my affiliations.

powerocks-magicstick-charger200Well, let’s toss another one into the mix, because the good folks at Powerocks recently sent me the Powerocks Extended Battery Pak Super Magicstick (2800mAh) to test out, and within a week I began adding it to my road warrior arsenal.

Powerocks is a lightweight portable charger that takes the worry out of heading out of the house with a less than fully charged array of mobile gadgets, including the iPad, iPhone, Android phones, digital cameras, handheld game devices, GPS gizmos, MP3 players and more.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

June 30

Photos of Krakow & a startup conference

A street scene near Krakow Main Square.

By JD Lasica

I‘m just back from Poland, where I gave a talk on The Social Startup to the Bitspiration startup conference in Krakow.

This was my first trip to Poland, so naturally I did some sightseeing in Krakow. And I spent a day traveling in the Polish countryside to Spie, where my grandfather came from.

An iPhone 5 gets you only so far, so I brought my Canon 5D and created these photo sets on Flickr:

Krakow (58 photos)

Bitspiration (88 photos)

Rural Poland (34 photos)


Looking for relatives in Poland

June 30

Looking for relatives in Poland

That’s me with Bronislaw and Zofia Sudol in Spie, Poland.

By JD Lasica

My side of the Lasica family — the American side — has had only fleeting contact with our cousins in Poland since my grandfather, Wojciech (George) Lasica, arrived on Ellis Island on Feb. 13, 1912. (For some perspective, that was a month before the Titanic sank.) My grandmother, Katarzyna Delenta Lasica, and my aunt Tory (Sophie) Lasica Stagg, sent items of clothing over in the 1950s, but since then, the connections have faded away.

So when I headed to Poland last week for the first time, as a speaker at the Bitspiration startup conference, I decided to mix business with family affairs by hiring a Krakow-based family researcher from Your Roots in Poland to accompany me to the former Lasica family homestead in Spie, about 2 1/2 hours northeast of Krakow.

Here are 34 photos of my trip to Spie and the surrounding countryside.

Kinga, Krzysztof and I spent June 27 tooling around Wilcza Wola, the district that encompasses Spie, with a local historian, Wojchiech Mroczka. We spent an hour going through records dating back to the early 1800s in the church parish’s offices with the help of Father Stanislaw. But the highlight came when we visited the now-abandoned house at 11 Spie and met the neighbors, Bronislaw and Zofia Sudol, who still maintain the land there for the property owner.

I won’t go into the backstory of how a determined family matriarch, Maria Lasica Bordon, cajoled family members to up and move to Toronto. But the Łasica family (pronounced wa-SHEET-sa) left an indelible mark.

Here’s a short video I took of Bronislaw when we arrived — he was quite excited to pass along his recollections of family members who once lived there, and it was quite touching to meet him and Zofia. For your hospitality, dziękuję bardzo!


Photos of Krakow & a startup conference

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