When I’m feeling stressed I sometimes turn to Doritos

Vendor Manger by day. Home cook, food blogger and aspiring cookbook author by night and weekend. Working in technology, in “the channel” is not exactly related to the food world I inhabit in my off hours, but managing vendor relationships and working with companies to develop strategies to mutually grow business in the partner community has its own excitement. Stay with me here. It gets better and I promise there is food at the end of this story. Doing business in the channel usually involves lunch or dinner at some great restaurants. This is where technology meets food. These two seemingly unrelated topics actually do have a very small intersection in common.

Invariably I talked food in between talking shop each day with my vendor partners. I quickly learned that most of my colleagues had strong culinary opinions and a penchant for food as great as mine. Often food became a common bond not only in conversation but in practice. I built genuine, lasting relationships with my vendor partners, usually around a meal.  In that respect, the channel (or middleman between the manufacturer and the marketplace) is not so unrelated to the message of this blog. Ok. It might be a stretch, but working in technology, in the reseller world only confirmed my strong belief that food is the basis for nurturing and maintaining relationships. In the New York metro area, it’s an industry of smart, savvy, hard-working people who appreciate good food and use it to impress business partners and encourage sales. That’s how important sharing a meal is!

It was a bit traumatic for all the obvious reasons

That culture is hardly superficial. If you follow Big Bites Tiny Kitchen you know how important regular family meals are to us. It’s an experience that can extend to other relationships in your life as well. Breaking bread is not just important among families, it’s also invaluable for nurturing friendships and yes even strengthening business partnerships. I rarely toot my own career horn, but I have been extremely successful at forging and maintaining business relationship for various companies from a pretty young age and have always enjoyed it, but never as much as I did in the four years I worked in technology.

You can imagine how disheartened I was when my company experienced lay-offs and my teammates and I were let go. It was a bit traumatic for all the obvious reasons, but not the least of which being the sheer pleasure and satisfaction of that role. I received the news on a frigid morning in January. Having been sick all week unable to shake whatever bug was lingering in the winter air, I was working from home when just like that my last day was behind me. No good-byes. No farewell happy hour. It was just over. My last day at my dream company had already taken place and I didn’t even know it as I walked out the door.

I knew exactly what I needed to do

Don’t worry. There’s a bright side to all this. The company was and remains very good to me. Everyone from my peers to executives to HR reached out to offer me assistance and glowing references. Business contacts were calling me and asking for my resume before I could dial their numbers to break the news. In those first moments, I was dizzy. I couldn’t think clearly enough to formulate my plan. Was I sniffling because of the news or more likely due to the nasty cold taking over my body. I was achy, tired, congested and suddenly unemployed. This was not my best day. By the afternoon however, I had promptly taken action. I knew exactly what I needed to do. There was nothing left but to eat a family size bag of Doritos and watch several episodes of Sex and The City – food and friends on call! It was the middle of the day…a week day! With work out of the way, I didn’t have any other plans.

Reconnecting with Carrie and the girls over a bag of salt and cheese worked wonders. With every tangy crunch I became more and more immersed in the dating problems of fictional New York women, living overly privileged lives in only the best apartments and restaurants of New York City. You would think it would depress me, but somehow it motivated me. After all, I already found love and was living in the middle of my favorite city in a perfectly cool, almost grown-up apartment. But if you believe Carrie Bradshaw, “in New York you’re either looking for a job, an apartment or a boyfriend.” For the past four years I happily had all three! Was Carrie right? “In New York, you can have a great job, a great apartment and a great companion, but not all three.”  After all the years of hard work to get here, was my time up?

I began cooking and that’s when I really felt calm

It took me less than twenty-four hours until I was head down in my laptop for fifteen hours a day working on the job search. When I finally exhausted myself after weeks and weeks of this robotic schedule, I began cooking. That’s when I really felt calm. It’s the thing that made me actually believe the positive story I was telling myself and others. Just like I could choose to cook, I could choose to make this seemingly bad experience a positive one.

I love Doritos, but the amount needed to dull the sting of losing your job just isn’t healthy. If you ever find yourself experiencing a similar loss, I urge you to put down the bag and pick up this recipe for Dorito Chicken. There are no actual Doritos in this dish but the flavor is pretty close and I have Epicurious to thank for that. I spied the ingredients to make this Dorito seasoning mix on Instagram almost two years ago. I have no idea why it took me so long to try it. I guess I needed a life changing experience to create the need.

As a life-long Dorito addict, I always thought it would be great to sprinkle the flavor on something healthy

It’s absolutely genius and I’m actually a little disappointed that I didn’t think of it myself. As a life-long Dorito addict, I always thought it would be great if I could sprinkle the flavor of Doritos on something healthy, magically producing that intense spicy, cheesy flavor without the vice of a processed snack! I thought it was a pipe dream until this Dorito mix entered my life thus proving you can turn around an unhealthy situation. We chose chicken for our first attempt but I can’t wait to try this mix on roasted nuts or as an alternative seasoning on garlic bread.

As for Carrie Bradshaw’s Season 5 proclamation, I’m not buying it. After all, by the end of the series didn’t she end up an accomplished author, with the perfect Manhattan apartment AND the elusive Mr. Big? I hope I’m not jinxing Carrie’s dream relationship or my next job opportunity, but I just don’t think it works the way she described it. I don’t think you only get two out of three big things in life. I know Dorito flavoring can’t  fix all of life’s problems, but it can cheer you up and it’s a far healthier option than my favorite salty snack. And if turning junk food into a healthy-ish chicken dish is any indication, I’ve got this. I can turn a tough break into the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Don’t forget to get the recipe for Dorito Chicken here!