The Real Purpose of Business Cards

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They aren’t for networking events. They aren’t for making a ridiculous house of cards.

The main purpose of business cards is to fill fishbowls at restaurants for free lunch drawings.

It is known by many that my favorite food is “free.” And my favorite drink: whiskey, with a strong preference for free whiskey.

During a routine trip to Noodles & Company to pickup food for my office, I reached into my pocket, grabbed a business card and deposited it into the fishbowl full of elbow noodles. The following Monday I received a call from Noodles. I thought it was to check in on my catering order. Instead it was a man named Andrew–great name–who informed me that I’d been selected to enjoy a tasting menu with eight of my friends.

My first thought was “Do I have eight friends?”

After boasting of my good fortune on social networks, I extended an invite to coworkers who have taken me out to lunch, and to my team. All this serendipity came on the heels of Pablo Day. A sacred day where a generous and kind New Yorker (they do exist) paid for my pizza in the wee small hours, when, inebriated, I grabbed pizza and didn’t pay. Since then, I try to return the favor to someone on Pablo Day. The group was set and today we experienced a total immersion culinary adventure around the globe, one carb dish at a time.

I had no idea what to expect from their tasting lunch. All I knew is that they’d have my favorite food. Here’s what it means: They bring you one of everything on the menu. Every. Thing.

We started with salads before departing for Asia. After sampling pan noodles, pot stickers and pad thai, we worked our way west as part of some global manifest destiny. Next was the Mediterranean region: penne, pesto and problems. At this point everyone in the group started to get concerned that this was all part of an updated Hansel and Gretel situation.

How long before they started feeling our fingers for plumpness?

A few coworkers left claiming they had “work to do.” Those who remained soldiered on to get real work done–licking bowls clean and consuming more carbs than a runner the night before a marathon. The American noodle dishes were barely sampled as we all neared our breaking point.

“Do you want me to just wrap up the sandwiches?” Catherine, our tireless server asked. She saw the collective closing of eyelids and slouching in our chairs. One coworker waived his paper napkin in defeat.

They tossed in some cookies and krispie treats. The four remaining carb crushers and I waddled out the door with our large bags of leftovers.

So go ahead and order those business cards. They practically pay for themselves. Until you get diabetes or get fired for passing out at your desk. “Carb coma” isn’t recognized in the DSM-5.

I checked. Then passed out at my desk.

Eggs are Eggs, Jeremy!

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Some days you only have one slice of lunch meat left. And you know what they say. When life gives you an insufficient amount of meat for a sandwich, make an omelette. For some reason, that phrase never caught on as much as the one about lemons.

After a phenomenal concert last night at the Chicago Theater featuring Irvin Mayfield and the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, NOJO and some of my favorite Chicago players, I needed a bit of a lazy morning today. Whoever conceived of the 5-day work week should be found and [your violent act here]. I took today off anticipating a lethargic day ahead.

How to create this delicious omelette:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 slice of ham, chopped small
  • 2 strips of bacon, medium dice
  • a few slices of yellow onion
  • broccoli, small handful diced
  • Salt & pepper
  • Crushed red pepper, one shake
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 sprig thyme

I sauteed the bacon first. Then drained it on a paper towel. Cooked the onion and broccoli in the bacon fat for ~3 minutes. Put those in a bowl.

Put 1tsp oil in the pan and swirl it around. Beat 3 eggs with a fork. Dump the eggs into the hot pan and start pulling the rapidly cooking sides into the center. I’ll post a video of this at some point. The key is to not brown or burn the eggs, so you have to keep it moving. My pan was super hot so it was cooking hella quick, as they say in California. My intended omelette quickly morphed into a scrambled egg effort.

Dump in your veggies and cheese if you have it. Then either fold (omelette) or stir (scrambled) around. You can also eat this in a burrito. Just saying. Eggs take 3-4 minutes AT MOST to cook. Enjoy your second breakfast of the day.

Bacon-wrapped chicken salad

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Working from home has its perks. Namely the ability to make something better than a sandwich with a pickle while wearing your pajamas.

Today I used the mini chopper to pulverize leftover bacon-wrapped chicken. I did the same to a monstrously large carrot. I added some ranch dressing and BBQ sauce and a chopped rib of celery.

Toast up some bread and you have a rival to any sandwich shop on the block.