Mount Hood

A guide to finding your music routine

Having a playlist for each daily task can make the day more enjoyable

Jude Bokovoy | Lifestyle Editor

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As an employed student-athlete, it is important that I am able to stay on task, which resultsing in what many would consider to be a borderline obsession with routine. Recently, I have found that listening to music has helped me tremendously in maintaining focus. When I am doing online school work, I make sure to put on blue light glasses and play a lo-fi playlist catered to the exact homework or study activity I am doing. By doing this continually I am able to stay on task. When I study without my glasses or lo-fi music, I tend to feel off kilter and face more distractions. Spotify has an abundance of lo-fi playlists catered to studying, reading, writing and more. 

I also listen to music to encourage myself to cook by putting on a playlist I made specifically for cooking. Music makes mundane chores — like doing dishes, wiping down counters or laundry — go by much faster.

Specificity is key. I work as a delivery driver and am able to stay concentrated by listening to a very specific artist for the duration of my shift. When I listen to a wide variety of artists and genres while delivering, I tend to get side tracked and forget the addresses and items.

The newest music involvement I have implemented into my routine has impacted my overall mood every day. Every morning when I make coffee, I put on a mellow worship playlist and do simple yoga stretches. This puts me in a positive and relaxed mood. Starting the day off with a routine that allows me to worship and gets my blood flowing has made a huge positive difference in my day-to-day life. 

Finding a good playlist for working out can be tricky. Most people want something that keeps them going while doing various exercises, but I tend to stick with the Spotify featured playlists in the workout genre. When I go on runs, my guilty pleasure is to listen to a 2000’s workout playlist. The nostalgia takes me back to elementary school P.E. classes — except now I am faster and actually have a boyfriend to sing about. 

Figuring out one’s music preferences can be a step in the right direction when it comes to creating a consistent daily routine and is incredibly mentally stimulating.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Three must-try dishes to celebrate

Kicking off this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month the right way

Mirella Barrera-Betancourt | Staff Writer

National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States runs from Sep. 15 to Oct. 15, a time that honors the history, cultures and traditions of Hispanic Americans. With their food being one of the many contributions to this nation, it’s no surprise that Hispanic food has become integrated into the American lifestyle and cuisine. What better way to celebrate this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month than with some of these tasty Latin American dishes.


Start to finish: 5 hours and 20 minutes

Yields: 6 to 8 servings 

¾ cup of dried chiles de árbol

4 or 5 dried ancho chiles

6 cloves garlic, 2 smashed, 4 finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut in half

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large white onion, chopped

8 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 bay leaf

Three 15-ounce cans white hominy, drained and rinsed

Break the stems off all the chiles and shake out as many seeds as possible. Put the chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Use a plate to keep the chiles submerged and soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Add the chiles, 1 ½ cups of the soaking liquid, smashed garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pushing the sauce through with a rubber spatula; discard the solids.

Rub the pork all over with the cumin and ½ teaspoon of salt; set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high. Push the onion and garlic to one side of the pot; add the pork to the other side and sear, turning, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Stir in 2 cups of water, chicken broth, oregano, bay leaf, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ cup to ¾ cup of the chile sauce depending on personal taste. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover and cook, turning the pork a few times until tender, about 3 hours.

Stir in the hominy and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the pork starts falling apart, about 1 more hour. Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the pork to a cutting board; roughly chop and return to the pot. Add some water or broth if the pozole is too thick. Season with salt. Serve with assorted toppings and the remaining chile sauce.

Recipe from Food Network

Gorditas are a staple in every Mexican dinner table.


Start to finish: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 gorditas

2 cups Maseca corn flour

½ tablespoon salt

2 cups water

10 ½ ounces ground pork rinds 

Mix the Maseca with the salt and water until it makes a soft uniform dough. Make small balls and flatten them slightly. Put the pork rinds in the middle and form the gordita.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the gorditas until they are golden brown. Put them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

To serve, open the gorditas in the middle and accompany them with onion, lettuce, cilantro and sauce as desired.

Recipe from

Take a break from classes and whip up some dobladas.


Start to finish: 30 minutes

Yields: 10 servings

1 cup farmer cheese, queso fresco or queso de capas

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

10 flour tortillas

Mix cheese, pepper, onion, black pepper, salt and garlic powder together.

Put 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the lower half of a tortilla and fold over to make a half-moon shape. Press lightly.

Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat and fry until crisp and golden on both sides.

Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Serve with salsa if desired.

Recipe from Hispanic Food Network

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Different meal hacks to dish out

Squeeze the day with these flavorful cooking tips

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

As someone who is still learning to cook, I know that no matter how closely I follow a recipe, some dishes just turn out bland. Experimenting with cooking can be intimidating, but luckily, there are some easy flavor hacks that can instantly level up mealtime. Here are some quick tips and tricks to make meals less boring and more flavorful.

Always strive to use the highest quality ingredients. This means shopping for in season produce, buying locally ⏤ such as from farmers markets ⏤ and using fresh ingredients. Check expiration dates on dried herbs and spices — though they may still be usable near their expiration date, their flavor will be quite diminished.

A little acid goes a long way; according to, acid such as that from citrus fruits or vinegar helps elevate the flavor of a dish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a salad or fish dish, add some citrus zest to dessert or make a marinade with some red or white wine vinegar.

To step up the vegetable game, try roasting them. Toss vegetables of choice in some olive oil, then spread them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, minced garlic or herbs like thyme and rosemary on top, then cook at 425 ºF until tender. Get creative and toss vegetables in different spices, such as dijon mustard or curry powder.

Looking for more flavor in meats? Try making a homemade marinade or brine. Soaking meat in a delicious, savory sauce infuses the meat with any flavor of choice. Find simple recipes online for sweet, savory or spicy marinades — whatever the mouth desires.

Another tip for improving meats is to brown them; this strategy involves using high heat to lock in naturally occurring juicy flavors. Heat up the pan thoroughly and salt the meat before dropping it in the pan to create a crust on the outside. Finish cooking the meat through in the oven.

Don’t be afraid to get creative — even if mistakes are made, experimenting with different flavors and techniques is the only way to improve one’s cooking skills.

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Super simple slow cooker soups

 Two slow cooker soup recipes for the winter months

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Combat the cold weather with a hearty soup recipe, like ham and potato or taco soup. Set it and forget it in a slow cooker for maximum convenience, and freeze some for later to enjoy a hot, easy meal for chilly days to come. 


Start to finish: 8 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 8

3 ½ cups potatoes, peeled and diced

⅓ cup celery, chopped

⅓ cup onion, finely chopped

1 cup ham, diced

3 ¼ cups water

6 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

5 tablespoons flour

5 tablespoons butter

2 cups milk

Stir all but flour, butter and milk into a slow cooker. Cook on low for six to eight hours; check the tenderness of the potatoes.

Minutes before serving, melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour then gradually add milk, stirring constantly over medium heat until thick. Stir this mixture into the slow cooker.

Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes more. Serve and top with optional toppings like bacon, green onions, cheese or sour cream.

Recipe from


Start to finish: 7 hours

Servings: 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef

1 ½ cups yellow or red onions, diced

2 to 3 cups chicken or beef broth

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

One 4-ounce can chopped green chiles

1 ¼ cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

2 ½ teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onions and cook for two to three minutes, until the beef is browned and the onions look soft around the edges. Use a spatula to break up the ground beef into smaller pieces as it cooks. Remove from heat and drain some grease if desired.

Combine the beef, onions and remaining soup ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for six to seven hours. Upon serving, top with toppings such as crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro, red onion and lime juice.

Recipe from

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