19 December 2010

Tequila Sun Rice & Chipotle Ketchup

As always, the What is dedicated to presenting you with colorful ideas for everyday life. Many of our ideas are food-related, because we love food. Learning how to cook for yourself now that you no longer have your mom or your meal plan to provide your meals can seem like a daunting task. We at the What are here to show you that cooking can be fun, easy, and rewarding by offering up recipes like this from our personal cookbooks. As is the case with most of our recipe-based ideas, this one is simple and delicious, just like us.

Tequila Sun Rice & Chipotle Ketchup

Like most great accomplishments in science and history, good meals come from happy accidents. Such is the case with Tequila Sun Rice. I found myself with pork chops and nothing to accompany them, so I took a cup of Jasmine rice and jazzed it up into the best rice I've ever had. Unfortunately, I did not write anything down, so I'll be recreating this recipe by memory. I'm also going to be presenting it in two parts, the rice itself and the Chipotle Ketchup I whipped up to go along with it.

17 December 2010

Weekly Top Five - 17.Dec.10

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Staff Holiday Party Don'ts
With the holiday season in full-swing, it's about the time during which companies host their annual holiday parties. Often one will here tales of some outrageous behavior from these parties and my be inclined to participate in said behavior. What you need to remember is that while you may not be working, you will be surrounded by coworkers, supervisors, and executives and your behavior should be appropriate for this crowd. With that in mind, here are five things to avoid at your holiday party.

5. Talk the taboos: Shop, Sex, Politics, Religion - This rule can be limiting, but it has to be done. The office party is no place to discuss your views on sex, politics, or religion. Furthermore, avoid "talking shop" at all costs. Yes, you are with coworkers. But this is not work. You are all there to have a good time, not to talk about what you do at work all day. Everyone already knows what you do, find something that is interesting without being controversial to chat about and you will be set.

4. Stick to one group - Although this is somewhat contrary to the above rule, this is still an office function that can lead to some great networking opportunities. Don't limit yourself to your work friends, you'll talk to them Monday morning. Mingle! Socialize! Introduce yourself to people, strike up conversation. I'm not saying you should go up to the boss and casually slip in mention of a promotion, but a little chat could go a long way. Keep the conversation polite, intelligent, and light, and most importantly, be the one to initiate it and end it. It will look good on your part that the people you work with and for see you as someone who can interact with everyone in the organization.

3. Dress like a fool - "Dress festive." Two very simple words that are often misinterpreted. Imagine this: It's March and your up for your promotion. Do you want your boss to remember you as the guy from the holiday party with the musical tie or the girl with the reindeer antlers or as the young professional who was dressed to the nines? Gents, keep it simple with a shirt and tie, perhaps even a vest to spruce things up a bit. Ladies, a nice cocktail dress (err on the conservative side for this event) will do just fine. Red is a good color for anyone to wear to a holiday party. Oh, and no sweaters.

2. Hook up - Holiday parties can be full of temptations. Avoid them. I don't care how hot any of your coworkers are, now is not the time or the place to set such escapades in motion. If someone attractive catches your eye during the office shindig, leave it at a nice compliment about how they look that evening (keep it PG) and maybe save the rest for a few weeks into the new year when you ask if they'd like to get a drink after work some time.

1. Get drunk - I get it, open bars are tempting. You've been spending all of your hard-earned money on gifts for friends and family and, quite frankly, you deserve free booze! As much as it pains me to say it, it's best to avoid the bar at your party. Maybe have a drink or two to serve as a sort of "pre-game" for an after party at a local bar, a neutral territory where you can let loose a bit more.

A staff holiday party can be a lot of fun. It gives you the chance to show off a side that may not be well known to your coworkers. It also provides an opportunity to subtly impress the decision-makers where you work. Just remember to keep it simple and respectable, and you should be alright. Have fun!

10 December 2010

PRIMER - 2010 Gift Guides

This week Primer Magazine published its annual gift guides, one for the ladies and one for the gents. As usual, the guys and gals at Primer are right on the money with the best possible gifts for the college grads on your list. Swing over to Primer's website to check them out!

For the Ladies:

For the Gents:

09 December 2010

Weekly Top Five - 9.Dec.10

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

John Lennon Songs
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the night John Lennon was taken from this world, far sooner than he should have been. Several media outlets acknowledged this sad anniversary with tributes and commemorations, perhaps done best by Pierre Robert at WMMR. With Lennon's catalog far too diverse and impressive to narrow down to a top five list, today we present the top five John Lennon songs we heard yesterday.

5. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - This Beatles track from Rubber Soul was written mostly by John about having an affair. Norwegian Wood refers to the cheap style of pine used in many English flats at the time, which he would've seen plenty of when going home with any number of girls. George Harrison elected to play the sitar for this song, giving it its distinct sound.

4. Watching the Wheels - In the 1970's Lennon was often criticized for not doing anything. People felt he was crazy (or just lazy) for not continuing to capitalize on his success and fame by recording and touring more frequently. His response was to pen this song about how content he was spending time at home being a family man.

3. Instant Karma! - This song was written and recorded on the same day and released just ten days later, a rare speed in the record industry. Though it was released by the Plastic Ono Band, it was prior to the break up of the Beatles and George Harrison actually played electric guitar on the track.

2. A Day in the Life - Considered by many to be the greatest Beatles song ever composed, "A Day in the Life" is the perfect example of the Lennon/McCartney partnership. The haunting delivery of the story of a man who committed suicide by Lennon and the chipper presentation of a man getting ready for work blend together much like Lennon and McCartney did themselves, only to crescendo into a chaotic musical explosion at the end.

1. Imagine - At different times Lennon referred to this as the best thing he ever wrote or just another song. Regardless, its influence is undeniable. It actually projects a v ery strong message, but as Lennon remarked, Imagine is "anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic, but because it's sugar-coated, it's accepted."

03 December 2010

Weekly Top Five - 2.Dec.10

In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Christmas Movies & Specials
Last week we skipped the Weekly Top Five in order to enjoy some turkey. This week we're back with a special bonus edition top ten list to make up for it! Being that it is now December, here are the What's top ten Christmas movies.

10. The Santa Clause (1994) - This movie surprised me, and I did not really discover it until about ten years after it was released. I am, however, glad that I did finally watch it as it's a great Christmas movie, and Tim Allen is actually a fantastic Santa. The sequel is good too, but I can't vouch for the third film in the series.

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) - To pretty much everyone born after this was made, Burl Ives is known only in his snowman form. Ives is a wonderful narrator, taking you through the familiar story of Rudolph, with a few welcome variations from the song (misfit toys, Yukon Cornelius, etc).

8. A Garfield Christmas (1987) - I'm sure people will be taken aback that this special makes the list while It's A Wonderful Life and White Christmas do not. Well, this is my list. Make your own list. But do be sure to watch this when you get the chance. Garfield shows his softer side bonding with Jon's Grandma. If nothing else, watch it to see how wacky Jon's family is.

7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1970) - It just would not be Christmas without a full helping of the Rankin/Bass specials. Fred Astaire narrates this telling of Santa's origins, complete with some groovy seventies music.

6. Year Without A Santa Claus (1974) - Sometimes the sequel outdoes the original. Such is the case here, as this Rankin/Bass production outshines the previous one, thanks largely in part to the Heatmeiser and Snowmeiser singing their own praises.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) - While the 2000 version of this film was very good, it still isn't quite at the level of the original animated special. Boris Karloff takes a break from being creepy to narrate this Dr. Seuss tale that features one of the funniest theme songs ever.

4. Elf (2003) - The more of these lists I do, the more I realize 2003 was a fantastic year for films. Elf is one of very few recent attempts at a new Christmas tale that worked. This movie is hysterical, and if smiling is your favorite, you're sure to love this film.

3. Love Actually (2003) - This British ensemble romantic comedy doesn't necessarily define itself as a Christmas movie, but it takes place over the holiday and has a fair amount of holiday tunes on the soundtrack. No matter who I am with, this film is always a crowd-pleaser, so give it a shot this holiday season.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) - This is an absolute classic. Somehow this special manages to touch on a number of serious subjects surrounding Christmas while remaining cute, warm, and light-hearted (as every holiday movie should). It truly wouldn't be Christmas without this popping up on your television.

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) - Say what you will, but I have a degree in film and I say, without question, that this is the greatest film ever made. The Jim Henson Company, in an early partnership with Disney, take a classic and make it their own in this wonderful retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I highly recommend enjoying this in a room lit by Christmas lights and filled with the aroma of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, you will not regret it!

Clearly, many Christmas movies and specials did not make the list. It was difficult for me to narrow it to ten, and to disinclude movies like A Muppet Family Christmas and specials like Frosty the Snowman. Feel free to include your own top five or top ten lists in the comment section below, I'd love to see your favorites!