Sometimes it’s best to leave things at “Sorry.”

Early this year a Wisconsin man, Ronald Ball, opened up a can of Mountain Dew and was sorely disappointed to not have a delicious glowing green beverage, but instead a rather “rancid” one. After further inspection, Mr. Bull discovered that the can in fact had a dead mouse in it! I’ve never been a fan of Mountain Dew myself, but any liking I had for it just went down the drain… and, according to an article from PRNewser, it gets worse.

“After contacting the company, Ball sent the evidence to PepsiCo. Lawyers and experts from the company say that after closer examination, they determined that the mouse would’ve ‘dissolved in the soda’ in the time between bottling and consumption, turning it into a ‘jelly-like substance.'”

I'm gonna go on and skip this "experience."

Why on earth PepsiCo. thought the best way to approach this issue would be to admit their product can dissolve a mouse, I will never know. If I were a mother and read about this, I would never- ever! – let my kids drink Mountain Dew for fear that one day their organs would join the mouse and turn into a (probably bright green) jelly-like substance. Somewhere along the line PepsiCo. officials obviously forgot to consult their PR people before making this announcement.

I think consumers should be informed when something they’re consuming has the ability to dissolve a small rodent, but this was far from the right way, if there is such a thing, to do it. PepsiCo. should have offered an apology and perhaps some rodent-free Mountain Dew to Mr. Ball.


Meatless Mondays!

Around the middle of December I started considering whether or not I would like to make resolutions for the new year. I’ve made them in the past, and some I’ve stuck to while others were quickly forgotten. I took it as a sign when, while thinking this thought, I logged in to Twitter and the top post was from Runner’s World and said “Need a Resolution? Here are 7 suggestions”.

I can’t remember the other 6, but suggestion #4 was Meatless Mondays. It had a few sentences explaining that meat is full of saturated fat, and that eliminating meat from your diet even one day out of the week can be beneficial. For many things I have a “Hey, why not?” mentality, so I decided to give it a go. Not only is it healthy, I’ll learn new recipes!

So. The first two Mondays I’ll admit I missed. The first Monday of the year was not only the day of the Rose Bowl (yay, Ducks!) but a day I went and explored some lava caves on Mt. St. Helens. The second Monday was the first day of school. On both of these days I simply forgot.

My companions and I after emerging from the underground "Ape Caves"

My companions and I, after our trek through the underground lava caves.

Rejoicing over the Ducks' Rose Bowl win at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Last week I didn’t eat anything special and realized that if I’m going to not eat meat on Mondays I’ll need to make it fun. I hopped on Pinterest and started searching, and my first recipe is Black Bean Enchiladas (see the original here). The recipe is very simple, took about 40 minutes from start to finish, and is pretty inexpensive! I altered it slightly from the original and this is what I came up with:

1, 15 oz. can black beans
1, 15 oz. can corn
2 cups (ish) cooked brown rice
1, 16 oz bag tri-color bell pepper stips
1 packet enchilada seasoning
2 cups (ish) salsa (I used Emerald Valley)
1.5 cups Mexican cheese
12, 6″ tortillas

9×13 baking dish, oven preheated to 350.

First thing get the rice cooking. I generally do 1 2/3 cups water to 1 cup of rice. While the rice is cooking, rinse and drain your beans and corn, and defrost the peppers however the heck you prefer defrosting things. Mix the beans, corn, peppers, enchilada seasoning, and about 3/4 of a cup of salsa.

You're going to sample this every time you add something new. I mean, if you're like me you will.

When the rice is done mix it in and your filling is ready! I put a little cheese on the tortillas before laying down the filling… who doesn’t like extra cheese? I don’t have a specific amount to say to put in the for the filling, because my tortillas from Trader Joes were not equal sizes… mwerp. But this is what mine looked like:

Don't fill it all the way to the sides or it's going to fall out after you roll it up!

The work station.

I was able to fit 10 in the pan as pictured above, then 2 went along the side and it was a perfect fit. Once they’re all in the pan pour the remaining 1 1/4 cup of salsa on top and spread out with a spoon, then cover with cheese. Throw it in the oven for about 25 minutes and you’re done!

You can't really see the cheesy goodness that's on the inside, but it was definitely a good call.

It kind of blew my mind how delicious this recipe was. It would also be really easy to add meat to this and have it be equally tasty, and next time I’ll probably put some avocado on it. Either way, I’m glad for Meatless Mondays, because who knows how long it would have taken for me to realize there’s a quick and simple enchilada recipe that only dirties 3 dishes and a spoon!

Something squirrely

I wouldn’t be surprised if I were to find out that the girls at Wild Squirrel had super powers. Not only do they make some of the most incredible peanut butter on the earth (really, it’s incredible), they manage their social media like it’s nobody’s business.

I first heard about Wild Squirrel peanut butter about a year and a half ago, then called Flying Squirrel, while reading the University of Oregon’s student newspaper on my bus ride home. In a nutshell, two roommates (Keeley and Erika) started making peanut butter in their apartment and gave it to friends in mason jars. Their friends encouraged them to sell it online, and one day it was featured on the blog Kath Eats Real Food, and things progressed.

Since then, they’ve grown wildly in popularity and can now be found in Market of Choice and New Seasons stores, as well as some independent stores in Oregon. They use Facebook and Twitter as their very own public relations outlet to let followers know when they’ll be sampling at different stores and new locations their peanut butter can be purchased at, as well as to interact with people and offer random peanut and squirrel facts to keep things entertaining.

I have personally tweeted these lovely ladies a couple of times (yes, I’m obsessed with this peanut butter) and they replied to both. Not only do they have an amazing product but they let the people purchasing know how much they appreciate it! They’re on top of answering questions and offering new ways to enjoy their product. Do these students-turned-entrepreneurs have good PR skills? No doubt.

My personal favorites!

I’ve been eating Pretzel Pizazz while writing this, and as you may be able to tell in the photo I’m nearly out of Curious Cocoa-Nut! I’m going to go remedy this situation, and if you have never tried this peanut butter I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you want to know more about Wild Squirrel, click here!