Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Portland Snowpocolypse

In case you haven't heard, we have had a ton of snow in Portland. It all started last Sunday (as in 9 days ago). Tomorrow (Christmas Eve) might bring more, but supposedly that'll be the end of it. I don't really mind the snow too much, although getting around is somewhat challenging because I don't have snow boots. Here are few pictures ...

This is our Pathfinder on Sunday morning. You should have seen it later that day!
Carl spent an hour digging it out.

Here's a photo of the playground, taken from our loft window.

And finally, some of the plants in our front yard.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mmmmm, butter

Yesterday, I received a press release announcing the Dairy Farmers of Oregon Butter Up the Holidays Recipe Contest. Usually, I delete unsolicited press releases -- but when I saw the words "butter" and "contest" in the subject line I was intrigued (I do love baking, after all) and had to keep reading.

I am determined to win this contest (the grand prize is a $150 gift certificate to Park Kitchen -- a restaurant that has been on my must-check-out list forever -- as well as $100 gift card to Zupan's)!!! I have lots and lots of great buttery recipes (like my magical pecan bars and my delish Nutella cookies), and fortunately you can enter as often as you wish. So, that is exactly what I'll be doing for the duration of the contest (entering as often as I wish). I already entered one recipe -- creamy veloute sauce -- but I don't really expect it to be a contest winner. I just wanted to get something in asap because the first 50 people to enter receive a four pack of tickets to Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Pittock Mansion, and I know that recipe off the top of my head.

So anyway, here is a copy of the press release with all the pertinent details ...

PORTLAND, Ore.- (December 1, 2008) –The Dairy Farmers of Oregon is calling for entries for its inaugural “Butter Up the Holidays Recipe Contest” this holiday season. To enter the butter recipe contest, log on to www.butteruptheholidays.com throughout December and submit your recipe. The Dairy Farmers of Oregon welcomes any butter recipe: holiday dish, baked goods, appetizers, main courses, desserts, snacks - or any creative recipe you would like to submit.

“Butter is one of the most important and used ingredients during the holiday season,” said Dan Cox, Director of Marketing and Communications, Oregon Dairy Products Commission. “We would love to see how butter is incorporated in a variety of foods through recipes from a variety of people – from home cooks to foodies to experienced chefs.”

Two grand prize winners will receive gift certificates for $150 each to Park Kitchen Restaurant, located in Portland’s Pearl District, and a $100 gift card to Zupan’s Markets in the Portland area. Additionally, two runners-up will receive a hardbound copy of the of The Great Big Butter Cookbook.

Entries will be judged on the successful use of butter as a major recipe ingredient. Individuals can enter as often as they wish; however multiple entries of the same recipe will not be accepted.

Deadline for submissions is December 31, 2008. Winning entries will be announced and winners contacted no later than Friday, January 30, 2009. To enter and see a full list of contest rules, go to www.butteruptheholidays.com.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wal-Mart trampling

Did you hear about the man working at Wal-Mart who got trampled to death when he unlocked the store's doors on Black Friday? How sad. And how pathetic that people are so eager to get a bargain that they are willing to charge through the doors like that! I place most of the blame on Wal-Mart, though. The company exploits the very people they supposedly "serve," and many of its business practices are deplorable. Why didn't they have safety measures in place? This tragedy was completely avoidable, and I think Wal-Mart should be held accountable. I wish people would just stop shopping at that place.

Four Christmases

I didn't make it on opening night, but I did see the movie before the end of the long weekend. Just ignore the reviews that say this movie is predictable and unfunny -- I had fun, and if you like Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn and/or chick flicks I think you'll enjoy yourself at Four Christmases, too. The only other movie out this holiday season that I really want to see is Marley & Me. I have a feeling Marley & Me will make my all-time favorite movie list (I hope I'm not disappointed). Move over Enchanted, Office Space, Legally Blonde and Nacho Libre.