November 23, 2016

Where's the Beef?

Squirrels Chili Cook-off

If there is one thing you should know about us, it’s that we take chili very seriously.

Squirrels celebrated its fourth annual chili cook-off last Friday. Seven unique employee-made chilis were entered into the contest. We’re just now coming out of the food coma, and we have absolutely no regrets about the amount of food we consumed. We’ve learned that it’s best to view the chili cook-off as Thanksgiving preparation. Although it was 70 degrees and sunny outside, that didn’t stop us from enjoying the chili utopia and copious amounts of deserts that employees graciously made for the day.

Also, we are forever thankful to whoever provided the cornbread.

After sampling all of the goodness and tallying up votes, the “Jons” continued their Squirrels chili cook-off dominance.  Reigning champion Jon Bishop was crowned the winner once again with his “Cornquistador” chili. Cornquistador is a thick, spicy pork and corn chili with a cheesy base and a lasting–but bearable–heat. It contains three types of meat (bacon, chorizo and ground pork), six different spices and six kinds of veggies, all sliced to perfection.

Here’s the complete recipe:

VEGGIES:
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 bag of small sweet peppers (yellow and red), deseeded, diced small
1 shallot, minced as finely as possible (it’ll basically dissolve overnight)
4 jalapeños, chopped, seeds in
2 serrano chili peppers, thinly sliced

Veggies go into the crockpot first.

MEAT:
1lb. of ground pork, browned in Sriracha, salt and pepper
1lb. of chorizo, crumbled, browned in the same skillet
9 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut into bits, drizzled in honey and seared in the same skillet

Throw all of that into a bowl, drain the fat. Add to chili after the veggies and before the sauce and spice.

SAUCE:
1 can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese sauce
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro

SPICE:
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
Spread the sauces over the meat, add spice and stir. Cook on low for 6 hours.

AFTER 6 HOURS ADD THIS:
2 cans of corn, drained
2 extra jalapeños, chopped
1 extra Serrano chili, thinly sliced
1.5 packages of tex mex shredded cheese
The juice of 1 lime
Season to taste (I added a little extra salt, paprika and chili powder)

This is Jon’s second consecutive win, following two-time champ Jon Zelasko. Will anyone ever dethrone the “Jons?”

Sam Coffman came in second with her “Give Thanks” chili, which was an all turkey, Thanksgiving-inspired recipe. This sure gave us all the warm, cozy feels with Thanksgiving just days away.

Squirrels Chili Cook-off

Although only one chili was crowned champion, we couldn’t have made this day happen without the rest of the amazing chilis that are all winners in our hearts: Coco B. Crisp (Ashley Swinehart), Wine Chili (Andrea Sommers), Chili – by name only (Mike Bruin), Burnt Nose (Aaron Rinier) and Membabeans N’ Meat (Jessica Chevalier and Kyle Gritzan).

Squirrels Chili Cook-off Winner

 

June 8, 2016

Squirrels Creative Team Attends HOW Design Live Conference

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One of the perks of being a member of the Squirrels team is the opportunity for professional development. We believe professional development is vital to the growth of our employees. Plus, it’s always refreshing to meet and learn from new, creative-minded individuals.

Our entire creative team took advantage of this ideology to travel to the hot city of Atlanta to attend the HOW Design Live conference. Yes, the rest of us were jealous.

The HOW Design Live conference is a five-day event that gives attendees the chance to network with industry leaders, join breakout sessions to learn tips/tricks to apply to their work and hear from keynote speakers who challenge conventional thinking.

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The conference thrives on creating positive energy through outside-the-box ideas and events including a 5k run through the streets of Atlanta, a costume-themed closing party and many other opportunities to allow people to explore what they're passionate about.

When reflecting on which sessions were a home run, it was hard for our creative team to pick just one. Here are a few that stood out:

  • David Lesue – 7 Things Every Designer Should Know Before Becoming a Creative Director
  • Stefan Mumaw – Storybuilding: Using Story to Connect Brands with Humans
  • Von Glitschka – Seek, Hustle and Create

These sessions gave our creative team a new outlook on how to manage a team of highly creative people, engage consumers by creating a brand storylines and how to pursue a graphical design career in small, practical steps.

If you’re wondering how to sum up the work done at a creative conference, we’ll leave you with this quote by graphic designer Chip Kidd:

“The design has to work when I leave the room.”

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About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. We create high-quality, budget-friendly screen mirroring and device management software that’s compatible with today’s most popular devices. To date, our software can be found in hundreds of thousands of classrooms, businesses and homes. Follow our blog for all the latest product updates, Squirrels news and technology insight!