Friday, August 30, 2013

Storm in the Heartland

I haven't had cable television in five or six years. My connection to TV shows are strictly through Netflix and Hulu, so I"m always about a year behind story lines. However, with the miracles of social media and networking these days (which, while I'm no expert I'm also no novice) how could I not hear about the VMA and America's Sweetheart Miley Cyrus?

Okay, I couldn't help it. After seeing still frame images, hearing about furry freaking and something about Beetlejuice I had to find a video of the train wreck (link above). It was like a awful train wreck. You couldn't help but watch, mouth open in shock and horror, wanting to turn away and unable to longer than a few seconds.

I didn't grow up watching Hannah Montana so I don't have any childhood memories being shattered (except I don't think I can ever look at a teddy bear the same way again).

And in the end I just feel sorry for her. Not because of this video but because everything she does is scrutinized and under a magnifying glass. She grew up a famous singers daughter, turned into an American Sweetheart on a child's TV network and now that she's an adult and looking to "find herself" she's doing so with the internet full of gifs and whispers of "that poor girl".

Yes, this performance scared the crap out of me - but not because she's a twenty year old woman expressing her sexuality and (twisted) creativity. She's not the first and won't be the last American Sweetheart to buck and grind, to thrust and make us think "naughty thoughts' (heaven forbid).

Let's just leave Miley alone and let her find herself. We've all been there (searching for our adult selves not emerging from a giant robot bear).

PS. "Storm in the Heartland" is a song her father sang.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Designer Grilled Cheese

Sometimes nothing hits the spot like a good old fashioned grilled cheese. Childhood memories of white bread and gooey American cheese. But as an adult sometimes it's nice to make yourself a bit more of a designer grilled cheese. Still hits those comfort spots of childhood: crisp toasty bread, ooey-gooey cheese melting but with a few grownup twists. Here's what we did this past weekend.
Shredded jack & cheddar, as well as sliced baby brie, sliced tomatoes, sunflower seeds, a shmear of mayo on the inside and your choice of grilled chicken breast or sliced prosciutto

Layer it all up between slices of rustic cracked wheat sourdough bread. .

Butter the outside and toast with a cast iron skillet. MMmmm.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Podnah's Pit BBQ

We'd been hearing about Podnah's Pit BBQ for a few years now. It's written up as one of the best BBQ places in Portland. Finally we went! While they had good food (the "chili" melted in your mouth) it's a 30min drive from our house...probably won't be a regular because of this. But it was sure good.


Podnah's Horchata (with rum!)

Frito pie with melt in your mouth chili

Brisket and pork rib

Combo plate - pork and beef ribs, brisket and chicken

Pecan pie

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chili Verde

The original recipe is my uncle Andy's but over time, and making it my own, this is how I make chili verde for my family:

Ingredients: boneless country pork ribs, green roasted chilies, verde salsa, Mexican spiced diced tomatoes, chipotle chilies in adobe sauce, onion, garlic, garlic salt and black pepper.

Chop onions and sauté in olive oil with garlic and green chilies
Cube ribs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then brown in pan with onions (just brown do not need to cook through)
Everyone in the pool!! (only about one chipotle...maybe two depending on how much kick you want. These can be very spicy). Cook on the back of the stove (med-low) for five or six hours. Can also be done in the crockpot overnight.

Enjoy on a salad, with tortilla chips, in flour tortilla, as a taco...however you want! Yum Yum

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nail Dress

I came across these the other day and just fell in love. I enjoy having pretty nails (especially with so much interactions with students and administrative meetings lately) but going to a salon is so expensive. My salon charges $5/nail so to have something like this would cost me a hundred dollars. So to find a product that that gave me fun designs for pennies compared to a salon just made my day.
I'd seen similar products but they were always $15 and up...some even requiring devices ($60+) that require LED lights and driers. So these $6 beauties that just stick on your nails were a fantastic find!

I was a little worried they wouldn't last through the first shampoo but they lasted over a week (as advertised on the front) and were super easy to put on. I had enough to do all my fingernails and my toes too.

I've since gone back and bought a few different designs (a herringbone and another being checkerboard). They were such a steal I figured stock up and be able to just have them on hand for the next time I want patterned nails (I went and had a mani/pedi on Tuesday with my staff so I'm set for a few weeks).
You just never know what goodies you're going to find when you're not looking.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Roast Fingerlings and Asparagus

This past weekend I went to two different farmers markets. One of the things I brought home was a bunch of fingerling potatoes. So last night when I made Swiss Steak for dinner I thought the fingerlings would be the perfect addition.
I also had a bunch of asparagus in the fridge... PERFECT!
So I diced the potatoes into small cubes, boiled them in salted water* and once they are about 1/2 done I tossed them with the 1in diced asparagus, olive oil, pepper and garlic salt. Tossed them under the broiler and 10minutes later had the most delicious side dish.


*put potatoes in cold water (not boiling) to have potatoes cook through evenly and not from the inside out.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Walla Walla

Walla Walla, Washington grows a delicious sweet yellow onion called "Walla Walla". They aren't available all year round so when they do come into season the PNW goes crazy. Every fast food and restaurant has their Walla Walla specialty dish - onion rings is my favorite.
Nothing smells more like home to me than sautéing onions and garlic. So when Walla Walls become available in stores we stock up and use them in everything. Since they are only available for a short time my mother had the great idea of buying a five pound bag of these little gems and cooking them down in the crock pot overnight.
Thin strips of onions (filling the pot to the top), a drizzle of water, a bit of olive oil and the S&P....turn the crock pot on and leave for 10-12 hours. They reduce down by half, turn translucent and the "juice" a deep rich brown.
Now obviously you could do this with any onion - sweet, white, yellow, red. We just love the mild flavor of Walla Wallas.
We put them in small Tupperware and tossed them in the freezer. We have a small crock pot so only around six or seven onions fit and, after reducing, only made five tiny containers. (I've already dove in and spread the onions on a chicken sandwich this afternoon).
Now we can have Walla Wallas all year round...okay for a few more months. We'll have to see how long they actually last us. We may need to make two batches next year.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Interracial Relationships Matter in America

I try to keep what I post here original pieces by me (or guest bloggers) however there are times when I come across something I want to share - and posting it to Facebook or twitter just won't cut it.

I'm not even sure how or why I received this email at work (I mean the obvious reason being that I do equity and inclusion work for my school) - I'm just glad I did. It's a beautifully written piece about interracial relationships and having cultural competency in relationships.

The article starts off with referring to a recent Cheerio commercial with an interracial family. In case you somehow missed it I'm sharing it here:

Here's the email I received in the mail today (it's long but worth the read):

Thursday, August 1, 2013

DIY Furniture

I love DIY crafts and projects as much as the next person...okay maybe not. Portland seems to be a DIY Mecca and people do tend to be a bit on the "extreme" side of DIYing. Let's try this again.

I enjoy DIY crafts and projects occasionally. But sometimes there are things I just want to be able to go to a store, pick out my shape/size/color and take home - no assembly required.

I was really hoping for a "no assembly required" coffee table.

For the last few years we've had these two beautiful bamboo bowl-like tv trays, side-by-side to act as a "coffee table". However, I have a couple 15+ pound cats that love sleeping in them and they've become a bit wobbly. So the hunt for a coffee table began.

I finally settled on a cheap-pressboard $20 build-your-own table from Walmart. I had just given up the search and figured even if it only lasts a year at least it saves the nice tv trays.

I HATE BUILD YOUR OWN FURNITURE!! After college I basically furnished my entire apartment in Ikea furniture (Ikea was only a block away) so I've done my fair share.

So there I was sitting on the floor putting Tab A into Slot B and trying to keep boards "E" from being mixed up with boards "F". In the end, I do like the table and is holding up nicely.