S is for Saturday and for Salivating

Candide tells us “Il faut cultiver son jardin”.

I take that to mean that we should tend to the things that motivate us in life: food and friends.

To that end, I conducted some original research on how we have used food to brand our friendships via social media outlets over the past four years (and thus meant to post this as a #tbt, and then a #fbf, but both of those days passed me by…. so saturday, here we go)

 

Methods:

Data presented in this paper comes from social media search engine, Facebook. Author’s friendship posts with each blog contributor (n=10) were examined from 2012-2016 to determine shared recipe count. Recipes were collected if the following were present a) hot cheese  b) chocolate  c) nutella d) chocolate again e) ice cream

Key Findings: 

  1. Life is better (more sexually appealing, better tasting, more enjoyable, with a higher potential for dopamine release) if you have hot cheese, specifically fondue: 
    1. See Pesto Fondue and Garlic Herb Skillet Fondue.
    2. Grilled cheeses can also provide these benefits in your life. Specifically 31 different varieties of them.
    3. If you crave a more classy item, perhaps the butternut squash brie galette will excite your palette.
    4. If this wasn’t enough, prepare to be sexually amazed by hot cheese.
  2. Life is like a box of chocolates, except that you get to eat them all and you get to put them into delicious things like cookies, hot fudge and s’mores. 
    1. In particular, chocolate chip cookies really awaked our social imagination and we felt the need to share  recipes (Minimalist Baker), describe why they are the best, and also how to put chocolate chip cookies into our daily lives.
    2. Perhaps stemming from our twice-weekly dose of sundae bar to cure the Maine chill, hot fudge was also a hot ticket item: both how it could be incorporated into frosting and the intricate process of making hot fudge the centerpiece of a cupcake.
    3. In a similar vein, we expanded our views on brownie diversity. Not only did we expound on the good ole’ regular brownie and sundae brownie, we also ventured into the realm of the extravagant with oreo brownies and salted preztel fudge delights.
    4. We said more to s’mores. A whopping 39 different ways to make em.
  3. Is Nutella enough? Apparently not. 
    1. Evidently it does not suffice to simply lick Nutella from the jar, one must also make nutella pizza and nutella -stuffed churro muffins.
  4. It IS possible to think outside the chocolate cheese box when looking at recipes. 
    1. We did venture out of our chocolate and cheese comfort zones when trolling online! One savory venture (zuchinni cakes) and two sweet (heavenly hash donuts and brown-butter and sugar toasted almonds).

Cheers to eating with people you love. Have a glorious weekend and eat outrageously.

 

The Job Search

This is my confession: I’m not working so hard these days. I’m transitioning roles within my company, and no one is quite sure what they want to do with me, so I’ve been working a do-anything-and everything-but-also-there’s-not-that-much-for-you-to-do-at-the-current-juncture kind of job. Things have been  s   l   o   w.

Upon learning of my professional predicament, friends, family, coworkers and strangers alike prompt me to think long and hard about “my perfect job.”

“What would you do each day if you had your druthers?”

“What ways can you add value given your skill set?”

“If you could design a role for yourself, what would it look like?”

With my newfound free time, I’ve taken it upon myself to do just that: design my perfect job. Please see job description below.

Talking and Writing Coordinator, Global Issues Program

Here at the Center for Environmentalism, Women’s Empowerment, Public Health and Liberal Arts Buzzwords (CEWEPHLAB), we mobilize resources to solve important problems on community, national and global scales. With programs from New York to Nairobi, we focus on implementing climate friendly, female-centric poverty alleviation innovations that never fail, and attract extensive praise from various renowned industry experts and strategists, as well as political and celebrity personalities from around the world.

Overall Function:

CEWEPHLAB is seeking a young professional with 1-2 years of scattered work experience in intern and fellow positions within the non-profit and social enterprise sectors to support the Talking and Writing Team. Main goals include: maintaining good lively banter (both internal and external), writing and collecting newsletter fodder, and liaising with other department coordinators to encourage healthy and effective organization-wide communication. The TaW Coordinator will work with and answer to the Director of TaW, who at this time it a 28 year old woman who loves to mentor recent to mid-recent college grads, advocates heavily for work life balance, and gossips often about that latest trending Netflix shows (“Just WAIT til you get to episode 4 of Making a Murderer. It was UNREAL,” she can often be found saying throughout the office.).

Office Culture:

We are the kind of organization that has a foosball table and a fridge full of beer. We also have beanbag chairs, and encourage remote working when appropriate. We hire employees from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, so there will almost definitely be someone just like you already working here for you to bond with.

Key responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Write pieces for the monthly CEWEPHLAB newsletter, which functions like a blog shared between friends, and benefits from creative works as well as purely factual ones.
  • Hold regular team meetings to talk about effecting significant change in the world.
  • Coordinate rotating projects. Since you’ll be working in different fields all the time, you will never get bored, and you will be constantly intellectually stimulated.
  • Write kind and personal letters to donors. Maintain relationships with them and take the cool ones out to dinner on the company’s dime.
  • Attend conferences and workshops designed to unite the sector and disseminate new ideas.
  • Get to know your coworkers. Become best friends that still have vibrant social lives outside the office.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from a small liberal arts college in Maine
  • At least 1 year of work experience at 3 fellowships at 3 different organizations in both the US and abroad
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to take the full hour for lunch. Breaks are important to keep a nimble mind!
  • Proficiency with social media tools including Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, but excluding Google+; basic, millennial understanding of Microsoft Office a plus
  • Great delegation skills
  • Interest in equality, conservation, and world peace preferred

Location:

This position will be located in New York City, with frequent extended travel to our offices in San Francisco, Paris, Nairobi, Cape Town, Bombay, Melbourne, Bangkok, Patagonia, and other relevant geographic locations.

Compensation:

More than commensurate with experience, because this job is based in New York, which is an expensive place. Complete health and savings package included, because we realize that these arenas of the adult world are confusing for you.

To apply:

Give us a call and tell us about yourself. Feel free to email your resume to jobs@cewephlab.com because we know you’ve worked hard on it.

If anyone should come across a position with the above parameters, please email me as soon as possible at annarhess@gmail.com.

Cheers, Vacationland,

Anna

wednesday haikus

Today’s theme: Office Etiquette

 

Elevator Doors In Motion

i’m doin’ well, new day

thanks for asking, angela

how is your divorce

 

A Bean Is A Bean Is A Bean

boss just called in sick

coffee machine is broken

pants are coming off

 

A Sense of Place

don’t shit where you eat

be smart, be professional

plus, jerry has AIDS

 

Narcissism Is Me

i’m taking your job

sorry, there I go again

let’s talk about you

Getting Ready for the Oscars

As a self-proclaimed film buff (which most definitely does not make me a real film buff) I have taken it upon myself to watch as many of the 2016 Oscar nominated films and review them right here for your enjoyment. I know, you’re welcome. Hopefully my reviews will save you the trouble of getting up off your ass and going to the actual movies or at least save you a couple of bucks. If this starts to get annoying please tell me before I continue reviewing all of them. Time is money folks!

-The Chic Working Woman

The_Big_Short_teaser_poster

The Big Short

Nominated for:

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Supporting Actor

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Film Editing

This review probably won’t save you any money, because what I am going to tell you is this: WATCH THIS MOVIE. Maybe I’m totally late, but I know that I didn’t learn what a mortgage was until very recently. So a “subprime mortgage loan”? Forget about it. The Big Short tells the story behind the causes of the 2008 recession, which we all remember happening…which is what makes this film so interesting. Instead of telling this story through a boring documentary (though there probably is one) this movie is catered towards people who don’t know what a subprime mortgage loan is and so they tell you.

What makes the movie is its cast. In addition to its many other nominations, Christian Bale, who plays a socially awkward hedge fund manager who is the first to realize that doom is approaching the US housing market, was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. I’ve loved Christian Bale ever since he played Laurie in Little Women and though he’s not as sexy in this role, he’s an amazing actor and so convincing that you forget he ever was sexy.

Ryan Gosling plays a very Ryan Gosling-y part, but his role is essential and precisely what makes this movie so much fun to watch. Just when you begin to tune out as the cast members use terms like “subprime mortgage” and “collaterized debt obligations”, Gosling turns and faces the camera, acknowledging that it’s starting to get a little confusing. He then introduces an entirely new scene, starring real celebrities playing themselves, who go on to explain these terms to us (the audience) in “real people speak,” such as through Selena Gomez who explains synthetic CDOs over a game of Black Jack and Margot Robbie who explains these pesky subprime mortgage loans while drinking champagne in a bubble bath.

Screen_Shot_2015-12-14_at_5.17.32_PM_i24nes

These particular segments are just one of the many effects that make this movie so interesting to watch. The movie plays kind of like a highlight reel as it moves through the years leading up to 2008, flashing clips of music videos, photographs of pop culture icons, and paparazzi photos of the outfits celebrities were wearing at the time, completely submersing the audience into recent American history and to help us truly understand the shady business that was happening on Wall Street during these years.

More importantly it felt entirely relevant watching this movie just one day after hearing Obama say in his State of the Union, “Food stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis. Recklessness on Wall Street did,” a sentence that made me scream “AMEN” alone in my minivan.

While The Big Short is real and its truth is actually pretty frightening, I think I laughed  out loud the whole time, had fun all the way through, and learned a lot. What more can you ask for?

Nut Butters Galore :)

HIA CHICAS!!!

Helena, thank you for starting this….I love it 🙂

My first post is going to be food-related too because it’s winter and freezing, and that’s how I spend most of my free time these days! Cookin…eating out (Portland, can’t help it)… recipe browsing.

SO! For an easy (delicious one)…NUT BUTTERS….

You need….

  • Food Processor
  • Spatch
  • 2 cups nuts (any kind! Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are my favs…mix and match as you please….)
  • Walnut oil (optional)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey or maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Ok, step 1: roast the nuts on a cookie sheet (if you like that roasted taste). 250 degrees for 15 mins will do — watch them so they don’t burn (Maevo, that reminder is for you mwhaha)!!! Roasting isn’t necessary, but I like the taste better, and it also breaks the nuts down a bit so they grind up easier into the butter.

Step 2: Put nuts in a food processor and process until nuts break down and begin to release natural oils. If they seem quite dry, keep going….the oils will come. Stop the food processor every now and then, and scrape the sides with the spatch. Feel free to add a bit of walnut oil if you want creamier nut butter.

Step 3: Once the nuts are all broken down and well combined, add in the good stuff: cinnamon, honey or maple syrup, salt….yummmmmm 🙂

Step 4: Scrape into a container (mason jars work well) and VOILA! your own homemade nut butter! Keeps for about two weeks in the fridge.

XOXOXO,

Gretchen

 

Healthy Crock Pot Chili for the Win

Hello Friends,

So excited for my first blog post ever! What better way to start than with a post about one of my favorite things: a bowl of chili to warm you up on a snowy days like the one we’re having in Portland today. Seriously it’s been snowing all day and I haven’t left my apartment or changed out of my pajamas. 

VeggieTurkeyChili4.jpg

This recipe calls for a crock pot. If you don’t have a crock pot, I think it’s worth the investment. Kaylee and I use it almost weekly. You can find them pretty cheap, like $20-$30. I could also find one at Goodwill or somewhere like that. I’m happy to send you some of my other favorite crock pot meals if you decide to splurge for a crock pot. Ours is 4.5 quarts and I’d recommend getting one at least this size. Any smaller and it’s hard to fit everything inside your crock pot. This is the one we have.

Crock pots are perfect for me because I’m obsessed with easy meals that are ready when I get home. I don’t get home from work until 7pm and I’m already pretty hungry don’t want to start cooking that late. I’ll prep everything the night before and then put the ceramic crock pot basin part in the fridge. In the morning, all I have to do is put the crock pot back in its base and press start. Super easy.

This chili is not just any chili, it’s my favorite because:

  1. There’s everything I love: turkey, beans, and more veggies than other recipes I’ve found. You can even add an extra pepper if you want to up the veggie portions.
  2. It makes a lot of chili. When I make this It feeds both me and my roommate, Kaylee, lunch/dinner multiple times of the week and when I get tired of it, I freeze whatever is left and pull it out when I’m too lazy to cook. The recipe I’ve adapted this from says it makes 6 servings but I’d say it makes closer to 7 or 8, especially if you serve it over some rice or quinoa (yum!)
  3. It’s a pretty cheap meal. I bought all the ingredients from Trader Joe’s (or TJ’s) and it cost between $12-$16 depending on the quality of turkey you buy. We splurged for extra-lean kosher ground turkey because we never buy meat and buying kosher ingredients makes me nostalgic for my kosher kitchen from last year.
  4. If you’re like me and Kaylee, we rarely cook meat because it’s more expensive…plus we hate dealing with raw meat and are afraid we’re going to make ourselves sick (if anyone has tips on cooking meat, I’d love to hear them). This is nice because you literally just throw everything in the crock pot (even the raw meat) and forget about it until you come home to a delicious smelling apartment.

Vegetable Turkey Chili

  • 1 pound Lean or Extra-Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2 15-ounce cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can Black Beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can Kidney Beans or chili beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can Fire roasteddiced tomatoes from TJ’s
  • 2 Large diced Bell Peppers (different colors)
  • 1 Large diced Yellow Onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced Carrots
    • Note: I use Trader Joe’s mirepoix mix. It saves time and I have the perfect amount of onions, celery, and carrots. Plus you don’t have to chop any onions.
  • 1 cup Corn kernels (I prefer to use frozen corn but a can of corn works as well)
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves, minced or several shakes of garlic powder if you’re like me and want to do the least amount of chopping possible.
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder (add more if you like spicier dishes
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Toppings: Sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc
  1. Crumble raw turkey into the base of a large crock pot. Add Tomato Sauce, all the Beans, drained Diced Tomatoes, corn, diced Bell Peppers, diced Onion, carrots, and celery,Garlic, Chili Powder, Cumin, and Chili Pepper. Stir so everything is combined.
  2. Cook on Low for 7-9 hours, or on High for 4-5 hours, until turkey is cooked and veggies are soft. Be sure to taste before serving it, I usually end up adding a few more dashes of spices and some salt and  pepper because I like things very flavorful and a little spicy.

Enjoy with the optional toppings or over a some rice or quinoa or with some homemade cornbread. Or not, it’s delicious however you eat it.


Seriously, that’s it. It’s so easy and so yummy.

This just made me so excited to share this with you all. Stay tuned for my next easy, cheap, and delicious meal inspired by my rock star mom.

xoxo,

Laurel

FRANDS OF MAINE

Here’s to all you beautiful ladies  that I’m honored to call my friends. In my remote and rural location (yeah, so, the White House lawn is practically the frontier), I’ve at times felt that…what’s it  called…fomo?..or ..nostalgia? …maybe just lonely….for lazy nights on futons playing ukulele, for jumpin’ in some icy Maine water, for late night nutella eats (oh wait, those still happen)…. etc.

To mitigate those particular yearnings….and to keep a running commentary on our chic werkin’ woman lives…this blog was born (and may yet be aborted…depending on you !) A while back, Maeve was telling me about how her sister Nora kept in touch with all her Middkids abroad with a blog.  We figured that we could employ a similar strategy with our Maine beaches (beaches, betches….tomato, tomaaato…. )

As you all know, timeliness is not a strong suit of mine and so its been several months in the making…

This is a blog about nything (I also don’t know anything about blogging…) … .work, school, play, recipes, pictures, articles, book titles, show reviewsobservations about the weightloss advantages to living in the cold,  podcasts (hey Overwater hey),beyonce wanne be videos…… the virtual world is your oyster. No limits.

So, if you feel compelled, post away!

xxx

hel