Food, Respect and Love.

The way it was...is the way it could be

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Beer Cheese Soup for the Soul

I’ve wanted to cook my own beer cheese soup since before I was married.  I’m not sure what ever stood in the way.  Was it the lack of time, the lack of time or the lack of time.  The rabid tautologist in me thinks I was just strapped for time.

I took to the food network website via google, as any man with an iPhone would do, in search of “the best.” In and throughout the search, each was the best, easiest and fastest beer cheese soup in the modern world.

I settled on Otto’s Beer Cheese Soup, favored by Guy Fierri and the show Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives. The original recipe can be found at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ottos-beer-cheese-soup-recipe/index.html


I’ve listed my amended recipe here which, of course, included the substitution of bacon. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 chopped medium sized yellow onion
  • At least 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • At least 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2  cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer of choice (I went with Fat Tire)
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • 8 ounces processed Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound bacon, (ends and pieces) from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until softened. Add flour. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth and beer.

Drink a beer while stirring to get in the mood.

Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add half-and-half, salt, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened. Chop cooked bacon into small pieces and add to the soup, transfer to a large serving bowl and serve hot.

Drink beer with friends to enjoy.

Filed under beer chees soup bacon

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Farewell to Chipotle

It has been almost a decade since I feel in love with Chipotle.  It happened before I’d ever seen the front line, before I’d ever tasted a burrito and before I’d ever been into the restaurant. I fell in love with the people who make up the organization.  I knew that if I loved the people, the job would be easy.  Nearly seven years ago, I made the jump to become a marketing consultant for Minnesota.

In the past 7 years, I was privileged to take part in over 100 parades, nearly 3,500 marketing events and hosted over 150 fundraisers.  I was blessed with almost one thousand partners, many who became close friends.  I couldn’t have asked for better colleagues throughout the years, including many who remain at the helm of the Minnesota team.

I’ve learned so many things and grown both personally and professionally with Chipotle.  In my time with Chipotle, I’ve seen my family grow to include 2 children (#3 on the way in May), blasted through 4 company cars, seen the promotion of hundreds of friends (some to customer) and secured lifelong friendships. 

I’ll never forget the great times.  The short list of great memories include: Mike Fuller buying a bar, Brock getting attacked by a goose, Rafael adopting a baby, Berger catching a record musky whilst in a kayak, feeding hundred’s of families at Children’s hospital, the gay pride drag races, William’s rants, the LSM cruise and being the only employee in company history to Stupp Mr. Joe Stupp.

I’m likely most sad to be leaving behind the best partner one could ask for in Mike Fuller.  This is a guy who knows my every thought, my breakfast choices and might be the only person to fully understand my sense of humor.  This is a guy who brought flowers to my wife when her mother passed away and was the first visitor when we had our son Soren.  Mike knows what I’ll say in every situation and has my back every time.  He can break down a P&L, crush a pecan between his pecks and giggle endlessly at people getting hit in the groin on YouTube.  Beyond the funny,  I’m thankful that our friendship will last beyond our tenure as colleagues.

I’m leaving to pursue a great opportunity with a new company.  I’m excited about the people and the culture, as well as the career potential and amazing opportunity for growth.  I’m excited to be able to foster relationships with four different brands in seven states.  This is the right choice for my family and for my future and I can’t wait to see what happens.

I’ll be working through the end of November, then transitioning on.  In the meantime, I can be reached at rbmattson@gmail.com. 

 

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Only one body

We’re only given one body. Its a miracle, but I’m not sure we treat it that way.

I often hear about a heart attack survivor that says he’ll need to quit smoking, change the old diet and start walking.  The back surgery patient that has to stop lifting heavy things and doing some core workouts.  The type 2 diabetic has to change their diet or face the consequences.

Wouldn’t it make for a better scenario to drive our body like it was a really expensive classic car?  If we opt to not treat our bodies like dirt, they’ll likely return the favor by not shutting down.

The option to shop organic, take a walk or have your neighbor assist with that heavy lifting might take more cash, more time and more effort.  In comparison, however, it wont cost more than surgery, disability or death.

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Do the right thing, Alamo

On a recent trip with some military service member friends, we rented vans from Alamo. The first van was reserved, but not paid for online. Upon arrival, the Alamo representative informed my friends that they would not receive a military discount because it wasn’t checked online.
A military service member is standing in front of you, offering you business and you allow that little memo on the screen to prevent you from doing the right thing.
Shame on your corporate policy for not empowering a proper decision.

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Great Idea

Every great idea was, at one point, not considered.

There are people out there who do things with food that break the mold and define gastrogenius.  Who do you think it was that sat down to first say, “Let’s eat this duck liver”?  Since that time, nearly every foodie has adopted the love of foie. 

I’d like to be with someone, or heck, be someone who has the first version of the great idea.  I think that’s why I enjoy food and comedy so much.  Millions of comedians are out there searching the surface area of their brains for a different take on an idea.

Filed under ideas foie

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Apologies

When considering an apology, there is really two sides.  

One one hand, someone requires the apology.  In some cases, you’ve got to determine whether or not they are in need, and whether or not you’re ready to give one.  It takes an amazing amount of energy and courage to confront and educate someone that they’ve done wrong.  

Once you’ve been educated and informed, you have to pick the apology.  Is it one laden with excuses and defense?  Does it require a summary of all evils?  

In my opinion, apologies are best kept to six words.

"You’re entirely right. I’m so sorry."

Filed under apologies advice

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Southwest Success

Three times in the past three weeks, I’ve been delayed on a southwest flight.  Each of these times, I’ve had the opposite reaction of the hundreds of people around me.

I think Southwest is handling it beautifully, treating their customers with respect and trying to make things better.  This might be news to some, but the fine folks at SW cannot control the wind velocity in Las Vegas, or the amount of rain in Chicago. 

They make accommodations for people that approach with respect.  I was able to change my flight, get a free drink and sit in the exit row.  The entire airport was furious and I had a delightful experience.  Why?  Because SW and I have mutual respect.

Take that, lady in the black hat.

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Southwest

I’m a victim of high winds. Southwest delayed my flight, then twice more before delaying the last time. They did it right, notifying me via text and maintaining pleasantness throughout the time. Does it suck to be delayed and surrounded by entitled people? Yes. Would it be worse if it was another airline that clearly didn’t care about you, most definitely yes.

Filed under southwest airlines customer service delays

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Pig-Respecting Responsibility

Yesterday, I arranged a trip for 50 people to visit the HQ of the Niman Ranch Pork Company in Thornton, Iowa.  Living, working and playing at that farm are my dear friends Paul and Phyllis Willis.  They’ve raised pigs for almost 4 decades.  They’ve cared about the lives of each pig for decades.  No proactive antibiotics, no growth hormores, and most importantly, no confinement that prohibits a pig’s pigness.  

Why is that important?  Because it represents less then 5% of the production in the US.  That means 95% of the pork in the failed system is from a source that lives above its own feces, is confined to a space no wider and longer than its body and is jammed with antibiotics to ward off the infections caused by the dangerous conditions.

Why is this important to me?  Because it is my duty to tell the Willis’ story to anyone who’ll listen.  My kids should grow up in an environment that is free from torture.  

In 1955, we had an overflow of pork in the US.  We had no idea about confinement, no idea about proactive antibiotic treatments and people cared about their pigs.  It’s proof that we don’t need the current system to produce the food we need.

So, take a second look at your bacon. It matters.  Take a second look at that pork chop.  It matters.

It matters to a family somewhere that isn’t lowering their standards to make more money.  They aren’t putting the animal’s life last.  They have respect.

They have respect.  We must show the same respect.

Find your way to better food.

www.nimanranch.com

www.chipotle.com

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Vegas, not baby.

Honey, we’re having a conference in Vegas at the end of August.  Do you want to leave the kids back home and go with me early for a mini vacation?

Who knew that question would be more comfortable for Kari then for me.  When I dropped Soren off at daycare on Thursday morning, I could feel the tears welling in the back of my eyes.  I knew that I wouldn’t see him until Tuesday night. 

We were a little late getting off the ground in Mpls, but eventually that bird took to the air. 

We’re staying at the MGM grand.  This baby has 5500 rooms, and we’ve seen 2 of them.  They put us in the wrong room to begin with and we quickly remedied it.  Our room is uber contemporary, with a slate walk in shower and green glass accoutrements.  The lighting, the desk, the furniture and the bed are all contemporary as well.  Who would have thought that they’d stick a 27 inch philips standard TV in there?  weird.  The decor screams for a plasma.

Dinner last night was at Diego.  Nothing en fuego about it.  Tonight, we ride!