Fun New Pork Tenderloin Recipe

16 06 2011

Pork Tenderloin Florentine

2 – 2.5# Pork Tenderloins
1 bunch fresh spinach
8 oz. cream cheese
3 Tbls. fresh ginger root
1 cup craisins
1 cup hot pepper jelly (see June 9 blog for perfect recipe, or store bought)
½# Prosciutto
3 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
2 cups Panko (Japanese Breading Flakes)
Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, freshly grated parmesan, all to taste

Wash, rinse, and pat dry spinach

Filet, flay, and pound out two pork tenderloins

Mix cream cheese, fresh ginger, craisins, and pepper jelly – spread on one side of each tenderloin. Follow with a thin layer of prosciutto. Follow with a thin layer of fresh spinach. Roll as tightly as possible, tie.

Make egg wash and dip each rolled tenderloin until thoroughly covered. Dredge each tenderloin in Panko/Italian Seasoning/Garlic Powder/Fresh Parmesan mixture (with a little salt/pepper to taste). Sauté in butter until browned on four sides, then bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Slice in ringlets and serve with roasted root vegetables.


Serrano Raspberry Jelly

9 06 2011

4 pounds Raspberries, carefully sorted, unrinsed
1 1/2 pounds Sugar
8 Red Serrano Peppers, chopped

1. Place the berries and peppers in a large, heavy stockpot and place them over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan, until the mixture begins to boil, which will take 10 to 15 minutes. Remove them from the heat and put them through a food mill, to extract the juice. You should have about 1/2 gallon of juice. You can choose to cheat (and make the recipe year round) using whole cranberry juice from a bottle – just assure the main ingredient is not water, and if there is a lot of sugar in the processed product, you will want to cut down the amount of sugar you use in the recipe).

2. Place the juice and the sugar in the stockpot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is boiling gently. Skim off any impurities (there aren’t likely to be many), and cook until the mixture falls thickly from the spoon, which should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and seal according to the jar manufacturer’s instructions.

This is great on cream cheese, served over pork or chicken, or my personal favorite – peanut butter and raspberry pepper jelly sandwiches.

And don’t forget this is perfect KCRiverFest celebration food. It just feels like Fourth of July food (red and hot as a firecracker)- and since KCRiverFest is actually celebrated this year on the 2nd and 3rd of July – you are free to use this great concoction with your family on the actual Fourth of July this year! Had to find some kind of a plug for the KCRiverFest event somewhere in here – it’s right around the corner!

Do The Math

27 05 2011

Harold Camping promised I would not need to write a blog this week, or any week hereafter. I never spoke with Harold directly, but he assured me (and his followers) that the world would end on May 21st, 2011. He painstakingly mapped out the timing for the end of the world using the calendar (admittedly the calendar used by Noah and the Gregorians – not the Julian Calendar which the rest of the world sans Aztecs use). His math skills are a little suspect – if you pick seemingly random numbers to make your point, you can probably prove or disprove anything. For instance:

Mr. Camping’s solution is to simply take the Holy Numbers (more about these later) 5, 10, and 17. Multiply each of these numbers consecutively times themselves twice and you will find the number 722,500. The estimated date of the crucifiction according to Camping is April 1, AD33 (April Fools Day?) If you add 722,500 days to the crucifiction date, you come to May 21, 2011 – Voila – the end of the world! The math checks out – how he came up with 6:00 PM is conjecture – none of the disciples had functioning watches, therefore the bible is relatively mum on exact times. But we are not finished with numbers yet.

Roughly 2% of the earth’s population is scheduled to be “raptured” into heaven – the remaining 98% will remain for “tribulation”, a five month conciliation period during which God will accept no excuses and everybody goes to hell in a handbasket literally and figuratively. According to Mr. Camping, God is waiving the rules and will no longer sit in judgment for 5 months, but will instead clean up the whole mess on October 21, 2011. I am siding with God on this one – let’s just get it over with.

On May 21, 1988, God finished using the Churches and Congregations of the world (again according to Camping). He says the bible also dictates that the great tribulation will occur exactly 23 years after this bold move by God – precisely May 21, 2011. Would this brilliant use of mathematics have fared well in the 5th grade? I think not – it is just too simple.

Finally, here is where the Holy Numbers were found. According to Noah’s calendar, the flood started on May – hence the magic number 5. It also occured on the 17th of the month – hence the second magic number. We must assume that the number 10 is a holy number because there is not an explanation for it’s existence in the formula. Much of this formula is an assumption – the numbers really don’t matter – insert your own – create your formula for determining the end of the world. Then please call me so I will know when I need to post my next blog – I hate scheduling things to be published after earths’ expiration date has passed.

Meetings Spur Economic Growth*

19 05 2011

*This is a copy of an article by Jason Hensel from February 3, 2011. It is very informative and a different way of looking at how travel affects business. I have not had the opportunity to say thanks to Jason, so this is my way of doing so. Thanks Jason!

A new study by a Michigan State University (MSU) sociologist professor shows a great value of meetings: economic development.
Conventional wisdom holds that job growth attracts people to urban areas. But according to a study in the Journal of Urban Affairs, MSU’s Zachary Neal found the opposite to be true. Bringing the people in first—specifically, airline passengers traveling on business—leads to a fairly significant increase in jobs, he says.
“The findings indicate that people come first, then the jobs,” Neal said. “It’s just the opposite of an ‘If you build it, they will come’ sort of an approach.”
For the study, Neal examined the number of business air-travel passengers in major U.S. cities during a 15-year period (1993-2008). Business passengers destined for a city and not just passing through are a key to job growth, he says.
Attracting business travelers to the host city for meetings and other business activities by offering an easily accessible airport and other amenities such as hotels and conference centers is one of the best ways to create new jobs, he says. These business travelers bring with them new ideas and potential investment, which creates a positive climate for innovation and job growth. In the study, Neal analyzed all permanent non-farm jobs.
Neal says the finding does not contradict more direct job-creation strategies, including the construction of office and retail spaces, which can often lead to new jobs in the area. He noted that such approaches are unlikely to attract business travelers and others to the area. Thus, the study clarifies the relationship between the two main ways cities can grow: by attracting new people and by attracting new jobs. Attracting new people to a city leads to job growth, but job growth does not attract new people, he says.
According to the study, municipalities with the greatest potential to convert business passengers into new jobs were largely “sunbelt” cities such as Phoenix, Miami, Dallas, Houston and Riverside, Calif. Those with the least potential were mostly East Coast or Midwestern cities such as Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Neal added that business airline traffic is far more important for a city’s economic vitality than population size—a finding he established in an earlier study and reaffirmed with the current research.
“One might expect to see a bump up in jobs first, and then a year or two later an increase in business passenger traffic,” Neal said. “But we saw just the opposite. There was a bump up in business traffic, and then about a year later, a bump up in jobs. The business passengers were coming before the jobs did, rather than after.”
(Story materials provided by the University of Michigan.)

Crayons to CAD

12 05 2011

EventPros has enjoyed the opportunity to assist with NICE (National Institute of Construction Excellence) on their combination iBuild and Crayons to CAD program for the past 8 years. Crayons to CAD is an interactive, standards-based, middle school grade specific curriculum sponsored by NICE. It launches students into understanding the building environment as they construct “green” schools or new baseball fields or parks and community centers. Math, science, engineering, communication and technology are heavily embedded in the interactive, project-oriented program. The experience culminated this year at Bartle Hall at the annual showcase on April 28th, 2011. As usual, it was a tremendous success.

Coordinated almost entirely by volunteers, and planned over the course of many months, this process allows thousands of young adults to experience hands-on life experiences in the Building Trades. Sponsored by great organizations such as The Builders Association, MODOT, JE Dunn, (to name only a small few) and all of the Trade Unions; this event is a festival of concrete, painting, road safety, construction, architecture, and most importantly, education.

There are many different focuses within the various organizations, and the students have multiple chances to learn about the wide variety of skills necessary to be successful in the Construction Industry. The Crayons to CAD portion of the event is a project based learning program where students from 6th through 8th grades compete in designing, constructing, and building their project from “found” materials. The dome of a new stadium might be the lid from a Dairy Queen cup; the grasses and trees are made from so many different creative forms of materials that it is impossible to describe. The projects are extremely creative, and the future of new buildings – the buildings that will be utilized by our great-grandchildren – are being envisioned and created by these students on their baby steps towards excellence in these various fields.

We are very proud to be associated with this organization and the group of people that put so much sweat equity into the project. Hats off to NICE, The Builders Association, all of the Judges and Volunteers who make this venture both an amazing experience to watch, but offers us the ability to see where the future of Construction could be heading. Even bigger kudos to the students who are learning how to improve both their lives and ours – here’s to a great future!

National Teachers Day

3 05 2011

Having been married for over 30 years to a teacher, and being surrounded by educators all the time, I have to admit a great deal of prejudice in their value. I probably rank somewhere in the top 10 worst students in the history of the world. I am a decent learner, but for some reason I have to learn things the hard way. This is something I do not think any of my teachers found very amusing. I owe so much to these people who stuck with me when I would have voted in favor of euthanesia if I had been in their position and had any opportunity to make that choice. Which is just one of the reasons we need to honor National Teachers Day.

National Teacher Day is today, May 3, 2011. Here is a very brief history of how this day became a reality:
The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.

Teachers don’t normally ask for much – pay attention, follow instructions, do your homework, etc. – the usual stuff. They don’t earn nearly what they are worth. Great teachers make great schools; great schools make great students; great students make great communities – and great communities are where we live. There is nothing more valuable than the process where this all begins.

So take a minute today to say “thank you” – maybe even give them a hug – our future is in their hands. Happy Teacher Day!

Blacks Abducted By Aliens?

27 04 2011

I recently came across an article (fairly suspicious content advisory) regarding the fact that UFOs/aliens never abduct black people (Google the subject – there is more goofy information out there than you would imagine), but the focus of the article was on the lack of black abductions. You can imagine the responses from the various people the interviewers chose to comment on this phenomenon. The responses mostly sounded like they were taken from the cast of The Dukes of Hazzard in character.

The main focus was that aliens are racist. I contacted two black friends who have been planning events and meetings (corporate and association) for years, and although they both felt that they may have experienced anal probes, they were certain their clients were the perpetrators, not aliens. Such is the world and life of Event Professionals whatever race or color. So how aliens could become racist is way beyond my comprehension. My only possible conclusions follow:

Thousands of years ago the first alien colonies stopped around where Africa is now located, picked up a few specimens, and found them offensive. This seems illogical because aliens now seem to pick up rednecks in rural areas and I can think of few things more annoying than those people.

Perhaps the group monitoring our planet tracked Malcolm X and the X Files in the same decade, and concluded that shows using the letter “X” were meant to be watched as “secret code” and that blacks were “on to them” and decided to leave them alone in case they accidentally picked up a spy.

Following the same logic, maybe they watched episodes of the Cosby Show, the Jeffersons, and any of the early Tyler Perry movies and decided they did not want any of these characters on board their mobile homes.

Maybe aliens just don’t care for dark meat – most Americans prefer white meat. There is no evidence that aliens eat their specimens, although one would think the anal probes would put them off their diets a little bit.

At any rate, it is about time blacks got a break from something – check out this video from The Onion to see how difficult it might be to be black in America. Just when they start making progress in America, along come the hispanics and become more highly populated than the black community, thus receiving more government agencies, money, etc.

Aliens should have every right that we all have to our opinions about race, color, or creed – but they should at least have the courtesy to voice their reasoning about such decisions. After all, white people seem to have come up with thousands of reasons to not like other people based on what they look like – aliens should be given the same privileges that we white folks have.

And yes, if you are reading my blog for the first time (or have no idea who I am), I am just kidding (but the stories are real – this information is out there – and as we all know, if it is in print, it is true).

Goat Cheese with Chipotle and Roasted Red Pepper

21 04 2011

I know – another food article on this blog. Sorry – it is the lazy way to write something, but you will be glad you tried this. It is easy to prepare, light, refreshing and feels like Summer is just around the corner.

Warning: there will be another food recipe coming your way in June when the Raspberries are peaking. It can be used for multiple recipes and you will love it! For now, here is a recipe for the growing warmth of May. Event Planners and Professionals love the warmer seasons – please enjoy with us!

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 11-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese
1 cup drained roasted red pepper strips from jar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons toasted salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
Baguette slices or crackers

To Prepare:
Toast cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Cool.
Place goat cheese log on platter. Cover with sheet of plastic wrap. Press into large rectangle approximately 8 by 3 inches. Sprinkle with cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix roasted red peppers, olive oil, hot sauce, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and chopped cilantro in small bowl. Pipe mixture on crostini or your favorite hearty crackers. Makes between 40-50 pieces.

Campaign Event Planning

14 04 2011

EventPros just completed assisting with a political campaign lasting over two years, and we have new insight into planning events in the political arena.

One of the first things you must prepare for is the fact that most events virtually erupt around you. A phone call might come in for an event occuring less than a day out (a blink of an eye in the normal world of Event Planners). Fortunately, media professionals are used to this and can adapt to any situation they are given. The people behind the scenes at television stations are unsung heroes in our book – they adjust, scramble, and deal with a multitude of different last minute challenges every time they go out – and just like professional event planners they don’t stop to complain – they look for solutions and simply make it happen.

While we are used to planning decor, color schemes, plotting the best room set-up scenarios, and discussing for long periods of time the perfect ways to create the best event possible: political events must often be thrown together with the same degree of professionalism but almost no time to discuss details – much less plan.

Most importantly, when working with corporations, which are our primary clients, their staff’s believe (for the most part) in what their company stands for, and understand their company goals. The people we have worked with on this campaign are fanatically devoted to their cause 24/7.

There is a huge difference between having a strong interest in your company and what you do for a living, versus living to fulfill the dream of seeing your candidate win. These campaign folks, paid or volunteer, are steadfastly true to their cause – they are true believers. They work constantly, every breath is about the campaign – every spoken word directly or indirectly involves their candidate. Every day involves one goal and one goal only: win.

We have always known that corporate event planning; association event planning; wedding event planning; and festival/fair event planning are completely different animals. Now we know that campaign event planning is also a universe of its own. The complexities are astonishing, and reaction time is Olympic standard. It has been an incredible experience working with this amazing group of people – but for now, I think we will concentrate on the type of events that we are known well for achieving.

Respect Your Elders

7 04 2011

“Respect Your Elders”. This little tidbit of advice from adults is probably the biggest batch of crap that can be handed down from generation to generation. Surely Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson’s parents offered this sage advice to their nieces and nephews. Respect is earned, not granted.

Kids forgive most everything, so earning respect should not be a difficult thing. However, being told what to do goes against every grain of my being. There are so many people I have known who have had no right for respect ever – they are dishonest, disloyal, solicitous, obnoxious, inconsiderate, and mean. A few of these have been family members – luckily for me very few, but occasionally some sneak through.

Once a person has gained your respect, you should pay close attention to what they say and the examples they set. If your judgement is sound and well-reasoned, these “elders” can offer perspective, advice, and attitudes that are invaluable if you can just listen, listen, listen, and then assimilate.

Of course, all of these great encouragements are worthless if you have chosen to respect an aunt, uncle, cousin, or other relative who enjoys disembowling living creatures, various forms of torture, pedophilia, or can’t believe that none of the “Saw” movies were ever nominated for an Academy Award. Again, this is why the phrase “Respect Your Elders” should not be followed without close examination. Even when you are young, you should trust your judgement sometimes.

We all eventually make our decisions who to respect, disrespect, hang around with, and run away from. This direction cannot come from anybody else telling you to “Respect” someone just because they are older – age does not inherently bring wisdom. Let them earn it – and remember, you need to earn others’ respect also. For instance, one way not to set an example is to hide under the stairwell during a family holiday get-together drinking Thunderbird from a paper bag and occasionally yelling “my thong is riding up again!” On the other hand, this behavior is likely to garner the respect of at least one off-kilter person in the family – this kind of stuff is what makes generational anthropology so much damn fun!