31 October 2012

Halloween Chili Winner

This lovely bowl of goodness brought me a big win at our church harvest festival this last weekend. The harvest festival included a chili cookoff, pie bake-off, Halloween carnival, and Trunk-or-treating. The Young Women in our ward helped with some of the Halloween games, including a blindfolded touch test of "eyeballs" and "intestines." When we asked the kiddos what it felt like they would say things like, "cold" and "sphegetti." They have well established fine motor skills. When the Young Women asked Scott if he would like to test the "intestines" and "eyeballs" he informed them that he had felt real human intestines and eyeballs. That turned the trick on them! They were looking a little squeamish after that.

Anyway, I am a proud winner of a cardstock certificate that reads "Best White Bean Chili." This recipe is really so good that I only ate my own chili out of the 20 options that were available. I wonder if they judged based on whose crockpot was empty? If that's the case I may need to go confess.

To be posted: our family portrait taken at the harvest festival.

26 October 2012

Election Year

With the presidential election on our doorstep, I have been thinking a lot about voting and the responsibilities of leaders.

I was reminded of my junior year in high school. At the end of the school year I decided to run for a study body office and prepared a speech. I detailed all of my qualifications and wrote witty lines in between, though not laugh out loud funny. I was quite proud of my speech, and I'm sure I made some signage as well to hang around the school.

Speeches were given at a school assembly from the lowest study body position to the highest ranking candidates. When my turn came to speak, I was nervous but felt well prepared. My opponent had the opportunity after me to give a speech, but that's not exactly what happened. Instead of speaking, my opponent did a strip tease dance to music. I can't remember him saying anything except, maybe a "Vote for me!" at the end. He won.

Is it any surprise? Of course it was high school, but I would say that attitude about voting is fairly comparable with our society today. Marketing is big - who's name do you remember when you're at the booth to vote? What one word misspoken in the debate changed your opinion of the whole race? The candidates are so opinionated in the beginning and yet middle-of-the-road near the end that it's hard to tell what anyone really stands for - and they are doing it because "that's what the people want." I'll still vote, though, because it's my responsibility and privilege.

With all this in mind I read this quote from my MBA case study about Interface, Inc. - a company that has pledged to be oil-free by 2020:

"Paul Hawken (author of The Ecology of Commerce) argued that business people alone could reverse the trend of environmental degradation from industrialization. Individuals did not possess the collective power to do so. Governments were typically reactive rather than proactive and thus were unequipped to provide the transformation change. Thus, said Hawken, it was up to capitalist business, 'the only institution large enough, wealthy enough, and pervasive and powerful enough to lead humankind out of the mess we are making.'" - Strategic Management: Concepts & Cases by Frank T. Rothaermel

Statements like this remind me that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on society through business, even when our political leaders are incapable.

While we're on the topic of speeches, voting, and making a difference you should know that this week the hubby ran for Vice President of his class.

He says that he's more than prepared to take over for the student government president and protect the school, should the student president ever be promoted to Washington.

22 October 2012

Birthday Weekend

It's the hubbie's birthday today and we have been celebrating all weekend long - including traveling to Eugene for some birthday shopping, watching the Beavs achieve 6-0, and making this special breakfast from Pinterest! Not to mention Group Power at the gym tonight and dessert and games with friends.

Good birthday? I think so.

I will post more pictures later this week.

The crepes were delish, BTW. I've decided that all my crepes should involve sweet potatoe or pumpkin puree from now on.

12 October 2012

Best Pizza Dough Recipe

"I DID IT!" I yelled to Scott as he come home from school with dinner ready on the table. I found it! The BEST pizza dough recipe yet. Thank you America's Test Kitchen! You're the best.

The crust has the perfect crunch on the edge and foldable center. My favorite part - it has to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Obviously that won't work if your craving for pizza requires you to eat it immediately, but it's the perfect solution for Pizza Fridays.

The long search is over. Now I just need to make Scott's favorite crust - pan. Maybe I'll use this recipe from cdKitchen that I pinned.

08 October 2012

Brew BQ - Corvallis

It's not very often that I can say I have tried a new restaurant in the Corvallis area. Most restaurants have been around much longer than I have and keep a stream of foodie clientel coming through the doors. However, just the other day we heard that a southern-like BBQ shack with Pacific Northwest flare opened in Corvallis. Of course, Morgan being from Texas was anxious to try, and I being an avid blogger was anxious to document.

Brew BQ is located in downtown Corvallis where I recall a french restaurant once resided.  Meats are smoked daily and can be ordered on the side, in combos, or on sandwiches with 6 sauces to choose from. Sauces like "Blackberry Bourbon BBQ" or "Sweet and Sticky." The sauces are available for every table and are numbered, with numbering system outline on their napkin dispensers.

Morgan ordered a quarter pound of brisket. I ordered a brisket sandwich and we split some piggy tails (curly fries). There was plenty of food between the two of us, and enough fries and meat to try out all of the sauces.

Our conclusion was that this was an extremely tasty BBQ place, and we definitely had to bring the hubbies back someday soon! We also concluded that 1/4 lb of meat looked really small on their massive plates, and that the sauces were a bit on the runny side. We imagined that was for getting in all the nooks and crannies of sandwiches and the like.

Now that we've tried and verified the brisket, we may need to try the specials, because house-made smoked chicken and bacon macaroni and cheese sounded lovely.

05 October 2012

15 Minutes of Paper Magic

Sometimes work is slow and Arby's toys become an addition to my OSU cubicle shrine. This bad boy must have added some good mojo because OSU is doing better than ever in the football world. Actually, they really came out of nowhere compared to last year! But with co-workers, students, and donors happy, I'm not complaining.

BTW, if anyone wants to join up with me on a business plan/graphic design scheme to create these paper toys for sale at university bookstores, send me a line! I'm seeing little dollar signs. Maybe their actually cent symbols, but cents can add up.

03 October 2012

Ground Breaking Changes

The field next to Western University's Lebanon campus has seen better days. Maybe I should just say more peaceful days, because hopefully the tearing-up occurring now in the field will bring about great things for this community.

The field is now home to a Central Willamette Credit Union and construction site for a 16-bed dialysis center.

The construction doesn't end there. In our neck of the field, there's construction on additional Cascade Ridge office buildings with "luxury" apartments above those offices.

And across the street from the bank, next to the elementary school where there used to be another peaceful field, there are a multitude (really too many to be practical) of dump trucks and digger machines ready to create the foundation for the new veteran's home.

Lebanon is growing in leaps and bounds. Now we just need a franchise sit-down restaurant. Any takers?