BBQ Chicken & Blue Cheese Pizza

As many of you know, I never really learned to cook. Since moving into my apartment, I have decided to take a turn in the culinary world. Although somewhat challenging (Paula Deen makes everything look so easy on TV), I actually love cooking dinner!

I am starting off with small and easy meals just like this recipe. But don’t make fun of me for my basic culinary skills! Any step into cooking is a big step for me!

Tonight’s dinner: BBQ Chicken & Blue Cheese Pizza 

1 prebaked thin pizza crust (I used Boboli Thin Crust)

1/3 cup barbecue sauce

1 1/2 cups diced chicken breast

1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion

1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2 small can of black olives

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 500°

Make your pizza and bake for 10 minutes!

Ta-Da! You have a fancy pizza

happy (and hungry) boyfriend

Both Steven and I loved this pizza. It was super filling and will make for great leftovers tomorrow. Next time I think I am going to add some green and red pepperssliced tomatoes, and more black olives (because who doesn’t love black olives?)

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Rusty Ray, forever our dog you’ll be

We will miss your cuddles and your bark. Your obsession with the heated blanket in the winter and “suntanning” on the back porch in the summer. Mickey Mouse waffles won’t be the same because you won’t be frantically hiding your waffle pieces around the living room.

I’m going to miss your whine and how excited you would be when we would come home. I’ll always remember our game of shake (and how you wouldn’t do it if anyone was watching.) You loved laying on your giant pillow with the fan blowing on you and running around the living room at turbo speed.

You were a great dog and we will miss you so much

Rusty Ray

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My University of Portland internship

My second of my two summer internships is at the one and only University of Portland. I have moved from the rooms of Franz Hall all the way to the glorious and elusive Waldschmidt Hall. I am interning in the Office of Marketing & Communication under the guidance of John Furey, the Director of Media Relations. 

As the Media Relations Assistant, I am in charge of writing various press releases and feature articles that all revolve around the University of Portland. I absolutely love my internship!

Working at UP and being a student at UP are drastically different and I am one of a lucky few who is able to see both sides. As a student I never took into account all the work that goes behind the scenes of the university. There is someone who writes the press releases and feature stories for the website; there is someone who writes the copy for the official brochures. And now that person is me! 

Through my internship, John has taught me how to simplify my writing style, which is the key to writing the perfect press release and feature article. I know so much more about the university with my four months in the Marketing & Communication Department than I did with four years as a student.

Being the Media Relations Assistant, I have been able to interview a variety of different people at the university to tell their story or share their event. I love coming into my internship (every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday) to get my new assignments for the day. I love being able to write about anything and everything UP.

Some of my favorite stories include: Nicaragua Plunge, PACE ProgramBuilding Girls Summer Camp, Lynn Toth feature, and Jared Bassett feature.

Mid-Week Music – Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & The Magentic Zeros are one of those strange and dynamic groups that you just can’t help but pay attention to.

I found this song randomly on Pandora a couple months ago and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s super quirky and fun and I always find myself singing the lyrics at random times during the day. My love affair with this song runs pretty deep. Maybe I’ll make Steven learn Alex Ebert’s part…

 “Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa
But not the way I do love you
Well, holy moly, me-oh-my, you’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I never loved one like you”

Currently reading…Mrs. Astor Regrets

Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach              by Meryl Gordon 

If you are looking for a non-fiction book that seems more like a fabulous Vanity Fair article, this is would be it. The book delves into the final years of New York socialite and philanthropist Brooke Astor and her life on Park Ave.

Throw in her trust-fund living son Tony who is accused of mishandling his famous mother’s financial affairs, and you have one great (and true) story. It’s Oscar de la Renta dresses & grand larceny; a look into the Upper East and the New York court system.

This story is upper-class tabloid fodder. And so far it’s been a real page turner.


The scoop on Informational Interviews

The informational interview…how daunting does that sound?!

Prichard interns do informational interviews!

Although the term sound dull, the informational interview can be every new graduate’s best friend. It’s a meeting where you are able to ask questions, get the inside scoop on organizations, and you are able to meet with people in the field your are interested in.

As I am just beginning my first round of informational interviews, I had a wonderful conversation with Mac at Prichard Communications about what it takes to make a great informational interview.

Mac’s advice is simple yet good advice for any new grad to hear!

1. Make a good impression:  Just like in a job interview this means you should dress professionally, bring a portfolio, and have your resume in hand (business cards if you have them too!). Arrive early and keep the informational interview relatively short, they should be no more than 30 minutes. You should also have an elevator pitch about yourself, just to give the person some background into your education, work experience, and career interests. This is not a job interview though! So don’t ask for a job!

2. Get insight: You should always be prepared to ask questions during an informational interview. You want to find out about the organization as well as how the person got to the position they are in. It’s important to gain as much insight as you can about your specific industry in your location.You should be prepared for questions as well, they might be interested in learning more about you (but again, this is not a job interview!)

3. Ask for suggestions: After the informational interview, ask if they have any suggestions for you of people you should contact or organizations you should look into. This allows you to make more connections and to learn about other organizations you might not have explored.

And finally, follow up with a handwritten thank-you note!

What has your experience been like on informational interviews?

Mid-Week Music – Haiti by Arcade Fire

I have officially decided that it would be fun to start a series on this blog. Why? The real reason is that I want to share my favorite songs. So ta-da, Mid-Week Music is born! 

First up, Arcade Fire’s Haiti. I have seen Arcade Fire twice in concert and they are by far one of the best bands I have seen perform live. It’s the energy and enthusiasm of the eight person band that really draws my attention.

This song has been my unofficial anthem for the past year…

Iorio: little slice of Italian food heaven

My favorite Portland restaurant has an unassuming window front on SE Hawthrone. Don’t let that fool you though, what lies inside Iorio Restaurant is the real treat.

Iorio Restaurant

Iorio wins points simply for their delicious food. Although it is a little pricey for my intern budget ($16 for an entree), the food is too delicious to pass up. My mantra: “No to daily Starbucks, yes to Iorio dinner.”

Steven found this restaurant on a recommendation from a co-worker for a good date place. And trust me, Iorio is perfect for any occasion. The dining room is small, with rich red walls and old photographs of the Iorio family. Each and every time we go there (it’s become “our” place”) the warm smells and the delightful staff greet you instantly.

The great thing about Iorio is that they have created light, sustainable, and local Italian food, which is hard to find in many Italian restaurants.

Monterey Bay calamari

Turns out that I am not the only one in love with Iorio. They were voted the 2010 best restaurant of the year by Portland Citysearch.

Last Saturday we dressed up for a cute date night at Iorio. We started with the Monterey Bay calamari, which was voted the best in Portland by the Oregonian. The lightly breaded calamari comes with two house-made dipping sauces, a lemon-preserve aioli (my favorite) and a serano chili vineager (Steven’s favorite). It’s truly delicious. If you love calamari, don’t miss out on this dish!


Main dishes

For dinner I ordered the handmade ravioli of the day. The filling concoction of grilled sirloin, basil, and cheeses was delicious in my perfectly shaped homemade ravioli. The layer of spicy marinara sauce gave the perfect amount of spice to the dish. I always end up getting the ravioli of the day, each time the concoctions are unique and completely delicious.

Steven got the New York strip steak which came with wild mushrooms and wilted greens. I can’t speak for Steven, but I know I kept stealing bites from his meal…It was perfectly seasoned and grilled. The mushrooms had a nice little kick to them as well.

We ended our great date night dinner with their homemade chocolate chip cookies & milk. There is a small delay, as they make each batch to order, but it’s truly worth it.

Eat at Iorio, I promise you will have a great food experience!

Tip: Be sure to get a reservation, they rarely take walk-in patrons because of their popularity! Check them out at Iorio Restaurant