Can we just talk about how many ah-mazing recipes there are on the internet?!?! Deciding what to make each week might actually be one of the more stressful things we do in our house, because there are just too many good options. For example, today I saved the following recipes: Baked Black Bean Burritos with Avocado, Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, and Butternut Squash Ravioli. Because clearly all of those things are related. But for real, it is SO hard to distill all the options out there down to the best choices for us. Our list is never-ending; it’s gotten so out of control that weekly, we have to go through our individual “reading lists” on our computers and transfer all the saved links over to our shared GoogleSheet, where we have a categorized list of recipes to make. I swear we’re always adding more than we’re making. It’s ridiculous.

Soy Chorizo TacosSo how exactly do you follow up on your big announcement post? Um, well, you can’t. At least not super easily. Instead of trying to do outdo the whole “we’re a .com now” thing, I figured it best to just keep chugging right along, business as usual. I mean, obviously I’m super stoked about the whole thing. Beyond stoked, actually. But that does you no good to hear me blabber on about the whole blog conversion thing, when you’re really just here for recipes. I’ll spare you the blabber and jump straight to it: Soy Chorizo Tacos. I hear half of you saying “ewwwww” and the other half saying “hmmm.” Fair enough, friends.

Cooking With Willis LogoThe day has finally come that this has happened. I present to you, the new and improved: Cooking With WillisCooking With Willis is finally a .com/privately owned webpage!!!! EEEEEE!!!!!! And not only did we buy the domain after years of debate, we also now host on WordPress instead
of Google Blogger. This is a big deal you guys. I have literally been going back and forth about doing this for at least two years. After reading tons of research on Pinch of Yum and discovering a new website to help guide me through it all, Fabulous Blogging, I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet and convert. I appreciate everything that Google Blogger had to offer over the last three and a half years, but owning my own domain and having more personalization features for the blog were increasingly becoming top priorities. Plus knowing that WordPress was the more universally accepted blogging platform, as well as the website platform most often used in the workplace, it only made sense to do a total conversion. So following POY’s and FB’s steady instructions, I personally managed to buy a domain and hosting package, import everything from Blogger to WordPress and to select a template that we hope will work for us, at least in the immediate future.

I think I qualify as a busy musician again, which is an interesting place to be after taking a couple years “off.” After casually committing to a couple ensembles at PLU that were scheduled for the same night, I am now occupied three nights a week, rehearsing! Two of the groups are PLU groups and the third is run by a PLU professor, the Washington Wind Symphony. Each are unique in their own way, as one is a wind symphony, one is a concert band mostly stacked with ed majors on their second instruments, and the third is a steel pan ensemble. Yup, steel pan. We all know that Will and I have enjoyed experiences in Middle Eastern music ensembles in the past, and at PLU the only “world” ensemble offered is steel pan. So I’ve joined them. We had our first rehearsal on Tuesday and I’m happy to report that I have good rhythm and the ability to get the groove. The bad news? I am horrible with any kind of drum stick and hitting things. But that’s okay, because it gives me an opportunity to grow and learn, which I have not been doing enough of since graduating with my masters over two years ago (eeeek).

Okay, so if you were hesitant to click on this post, I don’t blame you. I admit: tempeh is a little weird. It’s a bit strange in texture and has an odd flavor. This is our first venture down the tempeh pike and we’re a little unsteady in our steps. Was it immediately our favorite thing ever? Nope. Would we give it another try? Sure. Were the bones of this recipe good? Absolutely! So if you’re unsure of tempeh, you could easily swap tofu or chicken and enjoy this dish equally as much, if not more. The dressing was phenomenal and the ingredients were an incredibly flavorful mixture. We would try it again, likely with tofu, because we enjoyed the majority of aspects of this. As a plus, it includes fresh avocado, which you can never go wrong with! Give it a try and let us know how you improve it!

Who’s ready for another week? It’s hard to believe it’s already mid-September; it feels like time is flying by here. We have been busy bees at work, especially since students arrived last week. We enjoyed a date night Friday at a local tap room/brewery, which was a lot of fun! This weekend felt like things kicked off into high gear. I had an interview to be a volunteer at the local zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, then grabbed lunch before heading over to the Humane Society for my first volunteer shift! I got to hang out in the “cattery” washing dishes and litter boxes. It will be awhile before I can directly interact with the kitties that are waiting on their new families, but I can at least talk to them and show them some verbal love while I work. After volunteer activities were over, Will and I had a “treat yo self” moment and ventured to the mall for some new PNW-work clothes. We had so much fun, but are now poor haha. We hit it big-time at Old Navy and got a few things off our list that we were looking for. I’m also happy to report that I live super close to an H&M again, which makes my heart very happy. Will did not see the thrill as much as I did.

Southern Baptist

Posted by Megan | Drinks

Another week, another drink recipe. A cocktail is always an appropriate hump-day recipe to share. After the busy workweek we’ve had with the onslaught of students returning to campus and sorting out all the things, it’s a time for a good stiff drink. As a co-worker of mine said today, “if I was a drinkin’ gal, I’d be a-drinkin’ tonight!” I assured her I’d have a drink for both of us, if she was going to pass on the whole thing. Instead, I went for a run and have rehearsal but ya know…details. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy this bev for all of us and it doesn’t mean you can’t keep enjoying it as the last days of summer drag on as we shift into fall. I got a prelim of fall today as I blazed through piles of leaves during my run, which actually made me jump because I wasn’t expecting to hear the loud crunching sound! West Coast > East Coast when it comes to jumping right into fall. I am so excited to see what the rest of the season brings. In fact, we may treat ourselves to a little PNW wardrobe flair this weekend: more flannel shirts, mid-weight sweaters, a new puff vest, and weather-appropriate wind/rain jackets. So thrilled for this beautiful weather and feeling fortunate to have moved here! Also, speaking of all wonderful PNW things, everyone needs to check out this hilarious Instagram account mocking the stereotypes of the area here. Trust.

Bet you were expecting something a little more exciting than a homemade pickle recipe after the long weekend, right? Welp, you were wrong. But that’s okay! These pickles are well-worth your while. Not a big pickle person? Neither was Will, until he made these. And then all of a sudden, pickles became more appealing. They’re great by themselves but are equally as awesome in tuna or chickpea salads! Enough about pickles, though. We went camping this past weekend for the Labor Day holiday and damn if it wasn’t cold! We have never been that cold over Labor Day, much less in September. Helllllooooo Washington, we have left the Southeast. Overnight temps in the 30s/40s on Sept. 5-7? Say what? But despite the freezing temps (combined with not being allowed to build campfires in our campground), we still had a great time. We spent Saturday piddling around our campsite at Indian Creek in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and exploring the lake we were staying at, which was being drained into a dam for the season. Therefore, we could walk out to the island in the middle of the lake and do some exploring, which was cool. Saturday was by far the coldest day, but we prevailed with hope the weekend would warm up!

Our new university is pretty cool. There, I said it. Hard to admit after coming from an awesome university where we both attended AND worked, in some capacity, 6 out of the last 8 years. A school that we are deeply rooted in, connected to, invested in emotionally (and financially), and the place we call home. But gosh darn, our new university is great in its own right and in its own way. Sharing so many similarities to our wonderful W&M, PLU is a place focused on community, service and growing into its high potential as a stellar institution. A baby school, celebrating only its 125th anniversary this year, PLU is deeply rooted in its community strength and support and even as a staff member, you feel it. It’s also deeply committed to serving three (really good) square meals to staff on university conference day, but that’s a different matter.

We attempted to take our kitty, Emma, for a walk for the first time the other night. On several occasions, we have dressed her up in her harness and even put her on a leash, but she has stubbornly wandered off or not desired to go past the front doorjamb. However, her recent behavior when we get home from work is to greet us and the door and try to casually wander outside if we don’t close it quick enough, causing me to reevaluate whether or not I can leash-train her. So in an effort to do so, on a day where she was feeling particularly energetic, I got her in her harness, strapped on the leash and her collar, and carried her outside. I am very pleased to report that we made it all the way to the sidewalk before she started howling as if she’d been kidnapped! We turned around and right at the edge of our building, I put her down to let her explore. Pretty soon, her howling stopped and her fluff-tail went away and while she was definitely still scared, her curiosity began to take over. She cautiously wander over rocks and sniffed the building, before we eventually were able to guide her back to our apartment door without having to drag her. And once we were inside, she already seemed ready to be “brave” and go back out, so I’m excited to see what kind of progress we can make! I am bound and determined to have a leash-trained cat; the dual-benefit of this could be to satiate my desire to have a dog to walk as well as to use up some of Emma’s unstoppable amounts of energy.