Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rob's Really Good Pulled Chicken Enchiladas

Three things I’m really good at (Rob). Two of which are enchiladas and lasagna. So far I haven’t tasted any better than my own. While we’re still waiting for our camera to arrive so we can post vacation photos, I thought I’d take a moment to jot down a good chicken enchilada recipe.

It’s as easy as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7:

Roll up 1) chicken, 2) sour crème mix, and 3) cheese into 4) corn tortillas (not flour); place close together in a 13x9 dish; 5) pour red sauce over everything, and 6) sprinkle with more cheese. 7) Cook at about 350 until the red sauce boils. Voila!

Pulled chicken recipe: place whole chicken into pot, add 5-7 cups of water, 4 sprigs of basil, and 6 sprigs of oregano. (You can also use a bunch of chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, but add a cube of chicken bullion for depth of flavor.) Cover. On medium, bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Turn off stove and let it sit (covered) for between 10 minutes to 1 hour. Then simply pull the chicken off. Stringy, chunky, whatever is your fancy! Keep the broth for the next part.

Sour crème mix: Mix in a bowl a container (8 oz) of sour crème, about 1/4 cup of the spicy chicken broth, and 1/2 can of diced peppers (jalapeno, hatch, etc).

Cheese: Chedder, what else. If you have never tried Tillamook cheese, you’re missing out. Yes, you can even get Tillamook in Texas at almost any grocery store.

Red sauce: Olive oil (or whatever) with 1/2 onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Add 2 sprigs of basil and 2 sprigs of oregano. When onions are translucent, add 1 can of tomato sauce (organic is best) and 1 can of expensive enchilada sauce (most enchilada sauces are nasty gravy). Add spices (2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp Italian Seasoning (or something else green-ish), 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or something else spicy), and salt & pepper. Add the other 1/2 can of peppers. Simmer for a while (10-30 minutes, whatever). Remember to take out the sprigs of basil and oregano. That would be a nasty surprise in an enchilada.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Vacation Photos Soon

We left our camera in Boise (a surprisingly enjoyable city) - Sarah is mailing it to us soon, then we'll post some fun pics of our trip to Waldport. We really wish we had our camera between Boise and Houston. Some crazy stuff on the sides of the road in WY, NE, MO, KS, and OK.

In the meantime, here is a fun link: Wikihow. It's a compilation of "how to's" that anyone can edit. There's one on China adoptions, pretty nifty. The original author, Patti Urban, is a great help to prospective adoptive parents in the pre-adoption paperwork stage (of course my old agency, IFS, does this part of the adoption for free).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Comes to an End

Two months ago I spoke to my old friend Jon. I mentioned I was in Oregon for the summer. Conversation stopped, and he hesitantly asked, “Are you and Rachel okay?” Yes, yes, we’re fine, thank you. This is just what MBAs often do - internships are often somewhere else in the country. Rachel (the sugar-mama that she is) can’t exactly follow along for 12 weeks. But now those 12 weeks have passed, and I’m returning to Houston to finish up my last year of school. Some parting thoughts from this summer’s experience:

Rob says: Many thanks to my colleagues in LTD Strategic Finance at Intel. Five months ago I finagled my way into an internship by bugging more than a dozen employees. LTD provided a positive learning experience beyond my expectations. I’m looking forward to bragging about my adventures to my Rice colleagues: cool project, lots of support (thanks Chau, Craig, Roberto, George), fun activities, “private” jet to San Jose, etc…

Rachel says: Thanks for giving me back my husband

Next up: 3 day trip to Texas. Should be loads of fun!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Good Cuppa Joe

Now that we live next to a Starbucks, Rachel is starting to train their baristas (coffee makers). Rachel has specific taste when it comes to coffee, and it's not uncommon for her to have a drink remade, only to have me ask for it to be remade a 3rd time. An example of Rachel's discriminating palate: anything hot should be 170 degrees, and anything iced should have an extra shot. Not only this, but a mocha should have half the chocolate, and 1 pump of vanilla. Her summer drink is an "iced double tall 2-pump caramel latte with pump caramel instead of real caramel." (My summer drink is an iced grande no-water Americano with extra ice, Rachel just calls this "3 shots over ice." When at The Coffee Cottage, we both get a double iced white chocolate mochas, because they're fabulous)

Coffee Thoughts:
1) Baristas should have a license (like bartenders, only optional) so customers will know where to find the consistently good coffee.

2) A great idea is to have a computer screen where complicated drink-orderers can enter their drink information, and the information is sent to the barista ensuring that the drink will be correct.

3) Any coffee shop that invests the money in a La Marzocco machine probably cares about the coffee they make. Two places to find great coffee and La Marzoccos: Dog River Coffee in Hood River (owner thought I was swiping the logo from the machine), and Vivace Coffee & Crepes on Portland's 23rd Street (owner winked as I exclaimed, "ooh, La Marzocco").

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tater Tot Popularity

I have a theory that the popularity of tater tots has increased markedly in America since Napoleon Dynamite's famous lines: "Come on, Napoleon, give me some of your tots ... No, I'm freakin' starving!" Since I haven't found the answer, and it doesn't look like anyone has either, someone else can do the research and can probably get published.