Browsing Tag


JAKE’s mom’s Christmas French Toast Casserole

Jake posted a photo of our french toast casserole Christmas morning and we had requests for the recipe, which takes more than Twitter’s 140 characters. We were introduced to this sugar and carb extravaganza courtesy of Jake’s pre-K best friend, Carly, and her mom, Annie, so we give thanks to them for providing us with this family tradition.

The photo @jakeow posted, above, is 2x the recipe below. We like to cook it in our Turkey roasting pan, which also gives me a really good excuse for not cooking Christmas dinner. #WorkingMomHack (I make this the night before, so we just put it in the oven Christmas morning.)

1 loaf sourdough bread (or 1.5 baguettes, if you like it with more crust, like we do)
8 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups of half and half
8 eggs
1 cup maple syrup (real syrup)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° and use some extra butter to grease a 12″ casserole pan with 4″ sides
  • Place two layers of cubed bread, then a layer of sliced (or chunked) cream cheese, then cover with the remaining bread.
  • Whisk together eggs, half and half, and 1/2 of the maple syrup.
  • Pour the liquid over the bread to saturate the top layer evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake for one hour at 350°  or until the mixture puffs and sets.
  • Melt the 1/2 cup of unsalted butter with the remaining 1/2 of the maple syrup. Drizzle the top of the casserole immediately before serving (shortly after it comes out of the oven). Sprinkle the top with sifted powdered sugar.

Not recommended pre-Overwatch game, for players or viewers. Excellent pre-nap meal. #OWL2018

Don’t Lose Your Edge (Knowing When to Leave)

I had breakfast today with a friend, Brent Stickels, who is a partner in YYES, an agency with offices in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. During our conversation, he mentioned another ambitious, smart friend who’s currently in a great new job at a company, unfortunately with a very disengaged culture. He’d advised her to get out “before you lose your edge.” I thought that was great advice, and worthy of a post.

When we talk about a group’s culture, there are a lot of ways it can go bad. There are toxic cultures, where there’s actively, aggressively unkind (or illegal) stuff going on and it’s unremarkable. There’s bullying and hazing. People stealing ideas, sabotaging other people’s efforts, or blind to the larger picture. If you’re in a group like this, you need to exit, as soon as possible, with some grace. (I’m not going to touch the recent blowup—I don’t have any direct intel—but I’ve been working long enough to tell you that in we’re-working-to-change-the-world conversations we universally love to romanticize an extreme work ethic.)

You don’t have to enter the workforce to encounter a bad culture within a group, it’s on even the most idyllic campus. Hazing isn’t just for the Greek system—other groups can be just as nasty in their rituals, nor are all fraternities guilty of this. Part of college is figuring out who you are and what you stand for. (There is more to these four years than getting a job—a really great school is going to help you learn how to make a life.) You’re going to get a lot to think about in the discussion of big ideas in the classroom and during office hours, but you should also be getting it in your non-academic engagements. Continue Reading

Speaking Meeting Agenda

Speaking at Meetings

Those of us in the work world are consumed by meetings. It’s a huge part of getting things done, or NOT getting them done. Sure, your classes have “meetings” but this is a whole other beast. Corporate meetings fall into two categories, much like class sizes.

There are big meetings, when a large group shows up to be lectured at by someone at the front of the room.

The speakers have info they think is vital to convey. By stopping all company work for their Town Hall, All Hands, or monthly webcast, they are really serious. It costs a lot of money to have everyone stop working at the same time. Pay attention. Just as a giant introductory class might not be the most interesting part of a given academic subject, it’s foundational for everything that will come later. You still need to listen and make sure you’re getting the material down. You’re in no position to guess what’s relevant and what’s not. It’s also a great chance to get a feel for the larger culture in any new job (or with any new client or vendor). How do the folks on stage dress? What do they look like? I’d take it to heart if I only saw really old white guys on the stage or you’re in marketing but the only people ever on stage are the folks from finance and operations. There’s a subtext there. Continue Reading


Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t,
and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.

—Robert Frost

Let’s assume you’re in the half that has something to say. You’re used to just saying it, but you’ve experienced a fairly forgiving audience—your peers, professors, and parents. (You are already used to competing with the electronics in the audience’s hands–that’s a good skill.) Out here in the real world it’s a whole new game. Everyone is strapped for time, so you’ve got to be concise. Everyone is juggling a lot of different roles and responsibilities: You’ve got to hit the audience at the right time. There can be a lot of different audiences so the words and venues you use may well be different for peers, upper management, and outside audiences. You need to practice to be good at these things. Work with similar groups on campus and get experience with a less safe audience or start asking a friendly group for feedback. (Ask your parents a serious question where they get to help with your future—they’ll be thrilled. Unless you have recovering helicopter parents—more on that in a future post.) In the interest of cutting to the chase: I’ve created a short list of the things you need to consider in communicating with other people and I’ve added context with the kinds of opportunities I think you can find on your campus. Continue Reading