3 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon onion salt or onion powder
Pepper & Salt to taste
2 drops Louisiana-style hot sauce
1/2 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1 cup brussels sprouts, quartered
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Bring potatoes, onion and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Do not drain. Mash potatoes (mixture will not be smooth). Stir in onion salt, pepper, salt and hot sauce; set aside.
In a large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute ham and brussels sprouts for 5-6 minutes or until sprouts are tender. Stir into the potato mixture. Add milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
Gradually stir in 1/2 cup cheese; cook for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining cheese.
The Office: Cocktails
Director J.J. Abrams, best known in the world of television for creating and executive producing Lost, Alias and Felicity, took the helm of this week's Office episode. In the same way that both Alias and Felicity followed strong female characters (Sydney Bristow and Felicity Porter, respectively), the Office episode "Cocktails" turned the spotlight on three of the female characters, as they show assertiveness, attempt to progress their relationships and deal with the (often crazy) men in their lives.
First up is Jan, who flabbergastingly has decided to make her relationship with Michael public, complete with a legal agreement (or "love contract," as Michael refers to it) that indemnifies Dunder-Mifflin against any lawsuits should they break up. Perhaps the best part of watching Jan interact with Michael is seeing how aware she is of the ridiculousness of dating him, yet she just can't help herself. Her description of the best and worst case scenarios of their relationship were great, with the worst possible outcome being that she would "collapse into myself like a dying star." I can't help but cringe and feel sorry for Jan every time Michael starts talking about their relationship with other people, yet at the same time be utterly amazed and confounded as to why she'd continue to be with him.
The next Office female in the spotlight is Karen, as she mercilessly strung Jim along all evening with tales of her past relationships with the various men at the cocktail party… only to reveal later that she'd been pulling his leg all along. It's the most confident I've seen Karen, who at times has come off as way more into being with Jim than Jim appears to be. Karen's game was ultimately harmless fun, but one supposes that her initial desire to make up the relationships were to see how Jim reacts, since she has to deal with his past feelings for Pam.
Last but not least I got to see an assertive side of Pam (don't call her Pammy, which I concur), as she declared to the camera, "I'm gonna start telling people what I want directly," and then proceeded to do just that, from making the bartender fix her drink order to telling Roy what he needs to do to be a good boyfriend. Her change in attitude and desire to make her relationship with Roy work this time spun wildly out of control when she decided to tell Roy what happened on "Casino Night."
On the surface, Roy's overly violent reaction is a bit baffling, but when I think about where he's coming from it makes a little more sense, since he's finally found out exactly why his relationship with Pam disintegrated and she cancelled their wedding. Regardless of his reasoning, Roy's actions this episode likely guarantee he'll never be with Pam again, and if he attempts to follow through with his declaration that he'll kill Jim Halpert and confronts Jim, he'll only make things worse for himself. It'll be interesting to see if a Roy-Jim confrontation brings out some feelings Jim still has for Pam to the surface, and if it'll affect Jim and Karen's relationship.
Aside from the female characters getting a chance to shine, there were quite a few great little moments this episode:
- Jan starting to talk dirty to Michael while still on speakerphone
- Michael's store-bought potato salad having been in his car all day
- A reference finally being made to Andy being away at anger management class (although he wasn't mentioned by name, it was still nice to see it make it in there)
- And a great Creed moment as he revealed he runs a fake ID company out of his car.
- I also saw Dwight and Michael unknowingly compete to be the most inappropriate person at the cocktail party. Michael's embarrassment of Jan aside, Dwight easily had the most inappropriate behavior at the party, culminating with an extremely creepy scene as he sat in a rocking chair in the bedroom of David Wallace's young son where the boy was sleeping.