Week 11 – Welcome Beignet

#73 Beignet Loves Visits

13 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Real life is more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker

–Zootopia

I just got to see Zootopia so much and I loved it so much I need to say something. What a great movie, that somehow managed to present some really heavy and complicated issues in a lighthearted and kid friendly way. Life is more complicated than a bumper sticker… but that doesn’t mean that big and complex ideas can’t be explained accessibly. Or with animals.

Speaking of which, Beignet loves it when Uncle Jesse and Aunt Raquel come to visit… and so do we. Although, we don’t call them that, only she does. Cause that would be weird.

#74 Biscuits and Pomegranate Jam

14 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

A little while ago, Deanna was inspired by the Great British Baking Show to try and make some biscuits. Apparently those biscuits didn’t turn out the way she intended. She was hoping for the American, big, fluffy biscuits-n-gravy sort of biscuits. Instead they came out more cookie like, but with a savory taste. Even if they weren’t what she intended, I thought they were a big success. Because the cookies were so plain, they paired up nicely with a jar of marmalade. I asked her for the recipe which she did not store in her memory.

I was inspired to make shortbread cookies because they’re great. Especially the Scottish style bars, with a bit of espresso ground. It pairs super well with a cup of coffee or cappuccino. If you buy them at a grocery store they can be a bit pricey which is odd, because they didn’t strike me as that tough to make. If you know how to do a pie crust, you’re a sugar ratio away from being there. So I decided to try and go for shortbread, and inspired by that marmalade pairing, make a pomegranate syrup.

So I had a good amount of fresh ricotta cheese left over after the avocado toast. Ricotta cheese notoriously doesn’t last long, so I tried to find as many ways as I could of using it up, and this was a really good one. A little smear of ricotta on top of one of these biscuits was perfect. Then a splash of syrup.

#75 Bracket Set

15 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

It’s taken me almost 26 years but I’ve finally given in to the Madness of March for the first time ever. I guess that’s a pretty short wait relative to CSU Bakersfield, but for both of us, the drought is over.

Deanna’s job is doing an office pool, so she handed me her bracket and I took the liberty to include a Steel Bridge Porter.

Who’ve ya got? I have Kansas topping Michigan State in the championship with Oklahoma and Kentucky rounding out the Final Four. I felt like a big homer picking Oregon to get all the way to the Sweet 16, but they have like, seven guys who could start and I legit think they have the best shot out of the Pac12.

Go Ducks.

#76 Authentic Happiness

16 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“The best we can do as individuals is to choose to be a small part of furthering this progress. This is the door through which meaning that transcends us can enter our lives. A meaningful life is one that joins with something larger than we are– and the larger something is, the more meaning our lives have.”

— Martin E.P. Seligman

This was a very different book than my usual sort of read. Actually, it’s primarily a psychology oriented read and it was one from Deanna’s bookshelf. But while she was reading it I thought some of the chapters about optimism seemed pretty interesting so I gave it a shot.

The last chapter had some really interesting ideas about the whole faith and science implications. Although Seligman’s been a lifelong secularist, he noted how studying positive psychology led him towards a concept of God that exists at the end of all things. It doesn’t exactly overlap with how I see things, but I always love it when people’s passions and expertise ultimately take them to a place of wonder and being blown away by everything.

#77 Pre’s Rock

17 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Today’s run started off at the site of the auto accident that claimed track and field legend Steve Prefontaine’s life at an early age some 40 years ago.

Seemed like a fitting day to start my run today. Six miles. That’s the most I’ve ever ran and from now until May I get to keep saying that sentence once a week. I’m still not sure if I can say that I enjoy running but I am pleasantly amazed each time at the distance I ran. I’m surprised I still feel pretty good after six when I used to loathe running two. Craziest is feeling like I could do another when I’m done. If enjoying running means being pleasantly surprised at what you can actually do, then I guess I’m enjoying it.

I’ve been learning so much about being challenged lately. I’m glad I have something as literal and tactile as a half marathon to harvest lessons from.

#78 Ducks Madness

18 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Well, thanks to Michigan State, I have very limited interest in cheering for games for the sake of my bracket.

Just in time for the Oregon game… so I can be a homer all the way.

Go Ducks!

#79 Puppy Egg Hunt

19 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Easter is on its way! We took our girl out to Greenhill Humane Society for a bit of a puppy adventure… an Easter egg hunt for dogs.

She had a good time, eventually discovering that the eggs were worth finding because there are actually treats inside. She made friends with a massive Great Dane and it was fun for mommy and daddy too.

Love that we’re getting some sporadic sunlight. It made it so much easier to give her a bath… necessary after she took her own plunge into a mud pool.

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