26 September 2012

Foster Farms House Party

If you were hungry last Saturday and in Lebanon, you should have been at my Foster Farms  Always Natural Always Fresh Chicken House Party! Each year Foster Farms sponsors a Cooking Contest where chefs (amateur or professional, I don't know) from around the west coast are invited to submit new and improved chicken recipes using fresh, local ingredients. Of course I volunteered to host a party where we would cook up some of these award-winning chicken recipes and feast like kings! As a party host I was given a recipe booklet from the 2011 Cooking Contest and recipes from the 2012 Third Annual Cooking Contest, that has not yet taken place.

I was chicken-cooking-crazy on Saturday, making three dishes from the 2011 cook-off and two from the new 2012 recipes. Actually, I first had to go to the grocery store Saturday to get the freshest ingredients. I snagged some cherry tomatoes and fennel from our local co-op for my recipes. Shopping for Foster Farms chicken was pretty fun too, because House Party sent me coupons for $50 worth of Foster Farms chicken trays. That turned out to be about six trays of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts. Seriously a LOT a LOT of chicken!

I made "Crispy Orange Chicken with Fennel, Avocado and Orange Salad," the 2011 Grand Prize winning recipe, "Olive and Lemon Poached Tuscan Chicken on Grilled Pitas with Spinach Spread," and "Pulled Chicken Sliders with Hoisin BBQ Sauce & Pickled Slaw." From the new recipes I tried "Cumin Chicken Paillards with Grape Tomatoes and Scallions" and "Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice."

The eight of us were all on chicken overload! We were able to determine, though, of all the dishes we preferred the "Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice." I thought it was even better than the 2011 Grand Prize dish! I asked Scott which one was his favorite, and he chose the Hoisin Glazed Chicken, saying "...because it reminds me of Chinese food, but better." All of the dishes were delectable and gourmet. I would say that they didn't take a lot of time, for all the compliments I received. But I can't say that because I literally spent all day prepping these five dishes. Maybe one gourmet chicken recipe is incredibly manageable. You should try that out and let me know. The recipes highlighted some fantastic flavor combinations I hadn't thought to try before.

Now that the party's over I have a fridge full of gourmet leftovers. Scott is going to be eatin' pretty this next week of lunches at school!

If you'd like to snag a copy of these 2012 recipes, visit the link here. You definitely want to try some of this deliciousness the next time you are eating chicken. You can also find the 2011 recipes and more on Foster Farms site!

24 September 2012

Audrey Two at OSU

I drove over to campus the other day to drop off some documents at Snell Hall, just in front of the baseball stadium. When I came out I found this plump looking flower looking rather pathetic.

My eyes may be deceiving me, but I don't remember this flower being there when I walked in. Pretty sure I would have noticed a beast of a sunflower growing all by itself.

Of course, I had to take a picture of this celebrity siting of Audrey II at OSU. It's not very often that you see a carnivorous flower this big! But seriously?! Who's idea was it to grow a single giant sunflower next to a sewer outside this old dormitory?

19 September 2012

High School Football

Would you believe it if I said I went to my first ever high school football game last weekend?

It's true. Sitka High School didn't even have a football team until I was a senior, and even then, who wants to sit out in the rain to watch our new team get crushed by the long standing Juneau team. Not I!

Scott and I have talked about going to a Lebanon High School football game since we moved here last year. The stadium always is crowded on game nights because I'm pretty sure most if not all of the town is out to support the team. The stadium also is host to a new turf field, which caught Scott's eye early on. We decided since this is maybe the nicest weather of the season in Oregon and possibly the last year we'll for sure be in Lebanon, to carpe diem and go to a game.

We were joined by two other med school families and had a ball! Tickets to watch the game were $6 for adults or $8 for reserved seats. Being frugal and five minutes late, that meant we were sitting right between the student section and the band.

I'm really into headbands right now. They push back awkward hair days and show off that my broken nose doesn't look too abnormal. Scott clearly is excited to be at a football game.
Scott and the band. Winston in the back is demonstrating what a nail biter this game was!
This football game might have been the biggest media story of the week... Maybe. 
The younger boys found their favorite attraction.

LHS beat South Albany by who knows how many points. We actually left the game right before the end of fourth quarter... so I really don't know how many points. Lebanon was quite a ways ahead when we left, and we were worried that since the whole town was at the stadium it might be difficult to leave. We were able to witness the many, many, many, many two point conversations that Lebanon achieved without fail over South Albany. ALSO, we watched an amazing attempt at a come back where South Albany successfully completed a hail mary! I wish I had that on video.

 Instead, here is one of the MANY two point conversions:

14 September 2012

Lebanon Dance Walk

I'm driving home from work yesterday, going through downtown Lebanon, and I see two teenage boys shaking arrow signs next to the hospital. Teenage boys shaking signs is not unusual anywhere, especially for thrift stores in Lebanon.

But the hospital?! I'm thinking... blood drive? ... hospital gift store clearance? As I get closer I see the words on their sign read "Dance Walk." Say what?!

As soon as I walk into the apartment, I say to my studying husband, "Did you hear that there was a DANCE walk today starting at the hospital?"

"Oh... yeah. I guess I did."

"AND you didn't TELL me?!" I was flabergasted! I'm thinking that since we've never really danced since our wedding day that my husband may have forgotten who I am.

Or maybe he didn't want to walk next to me, when I was dancing like this...

I might need to get my pink leg warmers back from the young woman who borrowed them so I can make a video, and STAT.

Also, please tell me that we can do this in SLC when I come to visit!

12 September 2012

Youth Temple Trip

Right before Scott came back from Europe, the youth in my ward had a "Super Activity" where the group went to Medford for a temple trip and white water rafting the next day. Since my parents are in the Medford area and I would be home alone anyway, I opted to go with the youth to the temple and opted out of the white water rafting. As I explained to one of the 12 year-old beehive girls, "I'm more of a lazy river sort of girl."

Our little Lebanon ward is actually in the Portland temple district, so we typically take the youth there to do baptisms for the dead. It was fun to take the group to Medford, where it is a smaller temple with fewer volunteers and more responsibility in serving. We have such a great group of young men and women, and it was fun to be a part of their spiritual experiences that night.

10 September 2012

A Few Words for the Matrix

"It was a good car... while you had it." My dad had just helped me take all of my belongings out of the Matrix, and with trash bags in hand, we were staring at the smashed remains of my first car.

I purchased the Matrix only a few days after moving to Utah, and just after I had written the first post on this blog. Having returned from Europe a few months before, I had it in my mind that I wanted to own a Smart Car, or something equal in size and European flare. My mom was test driving new cars with me, and we were in a time crunch. She would return to Alaska in a few days, and I would begin my new life in "the bubble." We had driven the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, and the Scion Xa. Of course my mom was there to make sure that my first car was equipped with all the air bags I could possibly need. She was also concerned for passenger comfort.

"The Xa is so stiff and low! No one will want to drive with you... And what if you go on a road trip?"

"Mom! I'm not going on any road trips. Where would I go? This car is for to and from work, and maybe it will go with me wherever I do my MBA." My mom clearly had the bigger picture in mind when she suggested we test drive the Matrix, while I was still worried about just getting acquainted with "the valley" and finding income.

With absolutely no European flare, the Matrix won out after exclaimations of how much more comfortable it was compared with the smaller, smarter cars. Driving off the lot that day, I may not have been extatic, but I wasn't feeling any buyer's remorse. My mom was right, I needed to picture myself in my first car for more than a couple years.

I had imagined owning the Matrix possibly until the day it broke down. It gave me a good six years, almost to the day. I barely drove the car anywhere in the beginning, just to and from my new job, which happened to be a block away from my new apartment. I also drove to Salt Lake for Gilmore Girl Tuesdays with my best friend. My well-below-average mileage really paid off when I met Scott and we started taking multiple road trips to California. Then Oregon. Then a somewhat long, and now seemingly dangerous, commute to work in Corvallis.

The Matrix really did serve me well, as long as it was mine. So I guess I forgive you, Matrix, for breaking my nose... and I applogize for putting the Princess sticker on your bumper in the beginning. It really didn't fit you.