The Road of the Toad: A Look Back

dweber posted this December 17th, 2014

Something big is happening at Horny Toad on January 27. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we’re looking back on the road we’ve taken and the people who’ve joined us along the way. It’s because of the partners we’ve had and the decisions we’ve made that we’re able to move forward. So as we look to the big things coming up in 2015, we can’t help but take a stroll down memory lane, and detour down the Road of the Toad…

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1991 – Horny Toad starts in a garage in Telluride, CO where one woman is making one-of-a-kind, handmade winter toques (fleece hats for ski-bums).

1995 – The first brick and mortar Horny Toad store is established in downtown Telluride. It’s 300 square-ft. Meanwhile, headquarters is moved to Chicago and set up in Gordon’s living room. The entire company has 3 employees.

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1996 – Horny Toad Activewear launches at the Summer Outdoor Retail Tradeshow with no summer line, just our signature winter toques. Orders pour in for “Mixed Dozens”: An assortment of sizes and colors pulled from bins in the office. The company grows to 4 employees.

1997 – We join with Search, Inc. to create Planet Access Company (PAC) in Chicago. 95-96wkbk-copyPAC is a third party logistics warehouse that provides meaningful jobs for adults with developmental disabilities.

1997 – The pilot “Pillow Program” launches at PAC. PAC repurposes the fleece scraps from Horny Toad clothing and turns those scraps into pillowcases. The cases are sold across the country in outdoor retail stores with all proceeds going back to PAC; some of these proceeds are used to send PAC crew members on much deserved vacations to the great outdoors.

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1998 – PAC takes over all of Horny Toad’s logistics: 100% of our clothing is picked, packed, and shipped by PAC crewmembers (and it still is to this day!)

1999 – Horny Toad launches the first spring line, saying goodbye to unisex sizes, and hello to women’s apparel.

1999 – We sponsor the MountainFilm in Telluride film festival in Colorado for the first time.

2000 – Search for Adventure, mountainfilm a sister-program to PAC, officially gets off the ground. Proceeds from PAC and grants from Horny Toad provide much deserved vacations to the PAC crew, giving many their first experience of outdoor adventure.

2001 – The Horny Toad Outlet Store in Freeport, Maine opens. It’s meant to be a temporary pop-up shop, but after a successful winter it becomes a permanent fixture in downtown Freeport.

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2001 – Horny Toad is invited to join the Outdoor Industry Association as the voice of the next generation in the outdoor industry.

2002 – Team Toad relocates headquarters from Chicago to sunny Santa Barbara, CA. Four families, 2 dogs, and all our belongings pack into an 18-wheeler truck and hit the road across the SB1
country – garage band style. We set up shop in a small space right off main street. Horny Toad has grown to 8 employees.

2004 – “Cashmoore” becomes synonymous with Horny Toad. This micro-polyester fabric is buttery, indescribably soft, and full of eco-friendly fibers. Our Cashmoore pants and jackets put us on the map for the ultimate in cozy, fluffy goodness.

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2005 – Horny Toad becomes a member of the outdoor industry environmental collective, the Conservation Alliance.We go outdoors to be inspired, so it’s paramount to our success to keep it wild and free.

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2005 – We’ve outgrown our downtown location, so we find some new digs down by the beach. The company has swelled to 23 employees and 3 dogs.

2006 – Horny Toad becomes the proud owner of a handful of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through 3Degrees®. We tally up the amount of energy we use every year and commit to purchasing the relative amount in RECs. LL RECs allow us to channel funds to sustainable energy projects, offsetting the environmental impact of our energy use.

2007 – We open the Lizard Lounge, our second brick & mortar location, in Portland, Oregon. Horny Toad gets even hipper and now we have an excuse to visit Portland more often.

2008 – With their likeminded commitment to doing business for good and designing some seriously cool threads, Nau becomes an awesome addition to the Toad family for five years.

2009 – Our reputation for making functional yet feminine women’s dresses starts here: The Rosemarie Dress makes its debut in our spring line and is offered in four basic colors. BC3_v2 Rosemarie sells out before the spring season is over and we know we’ve found our new best friend.

2010 – We participate in the first annual Backyard Collective, joining forces with Conservation Alliance members and local organizations for a day of environmental action. We trade spreadsheets for shovels, getting our hands dirty restoring trails and creeks in our own backyard.

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2010 – Outside Magazine names Horny Toad one of the Best Places to Work. Beach cruisers, pig-pong, and pooches – we think it’s pretty great too.

2013 – We host the first annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown Invitational on our back patio. The results are delicious.

2013 – The Toads move up in the world 1ftpLogo.gif as we take our headquarters to the former 1920s hilltop home of UC Santa Barbara. We set up shop in the old library, replacing book stacks with 49 employees.

2013 – Horny Toad becomes a member of 1% For the Planet. It’s a proud statement of our commitment to PAC, SFA and creating meaningful change through socially and environmentally smart business.

2014 – For the 5th time, Horny Toad is named one of Outside’s Best Places to Work. They’re making us blush, but we couldn’t agree more.

2015 – On January 27, 2015 something BIG is happening.

Our Props Are Real: Cauliflower au Gratin

dweber posted this December 3rd, 2014

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This awesome, hot and cozy classic comes from iconic chef Jacques Pepin. Yes, we made it to use as a prop for the dinner scene on our photoshoot. And yes, we ate it before it got cold!

Cauliflower au Gratin

1 head of cauliflower
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups of milk
1 cup half & half
salt
fresh ground black pepper
a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese 

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Break the cauliflower into florets, cut the core into chunks. Boil for about 5 minutes until just barely soft.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, whisk in the flour and cook for a bit – be careful not to brown it! Add the milk and gently bring to a low boil, stirring so as not to scorch the mixture on the bottom. Add in the half & half, salt, pepper and nutmeg and bring to a boil for another minute or so. It should be thickening a bit. Remove from heat.

Butter a gratin or baking dish. Arrange the florets in the dish and sprinkle the cheese all over the top. Pour the sauce over and place dish on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Yum!

Deck the Halls, Win a Gift Card

dweber posted this December 3rd, 2014

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Submit a photo of your most creative holiday decorations with #HTSpirit through December 14! We’ll pick a winner and announce on Facebook December 15. Happy Decorating!

Join us on Giving Tuesday

ian jordan posted this November 28th, 2014

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Giving Tuesday is just around the corner – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – and it’s a global day of giving. This Giving Tuesday, December 2, we’re donating to  Search, Inc. It’s a cause that is very important to us and one that we have been deeply involved with since 1997.

What is Search, Inc.?

We think Search, Inc. has something special going on. Their mission is straightforward: They empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to achieve their full potential, accept a valued role in their community and lead rich, rewarding lives.  Search provides a wide range of flexible, personalized services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities including supported living arrangements, adult learning and employment programs, as well as medical, behavioral, therapy and home-based services.

Since day one we’ve made choices that reflect Horny Toad’s commitment to making a difference in the world beyond just making clothes. So in the mid-nineties Horny Toad and Search collaborated to found the Planet Access Company (PAC). PAC is a life-skills training group with a mission to positively change the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by providing them with training and work opportunities. The PAC work crew processes 100% of Horny Toad’s inventory and every unit of Horny Toad clothing is picked, packed, and shipped with unmatched enthusiasm by the PAC crew.

Another program that’s close to our hearts is Search For Adventure, a travel program dedicated to connecting members of the PAC crew to the wider world. Funded by proceeds from PAC and a grant from Horny Toad, every year about 50 clients and a handful of Toad volunteers travel together on much earned vacations. They enjoy places like the Appalachian Trail and New York City, and they always make a trip to visit Horny Toad Headquarters in Santa Barbara. Meeting the PAC crew and getting to host them is one of the highlights of our year and we always look forward to a great weekend.

PAC and SFA are just two of the great programs at Search, Inc. They also have a Visibility Arts program that offers everything from group learning to studio-time to gallery exhibitions. In fact, we had an exhibition at HT headquarters this past September and a number of the artists come to speak about their art. Other programs include Search’s Glidepath Curriculum and No Boundaries career services programs, the Planet Access Retail Store in Chicago, and JJs Lista certification program for businesses that want to partner with Search or make their businesses more accessible to folks with developmental disabilities. These programs make up Search, Inc and further their mission to empower Search clients to achieve their fullest, richest lives. The work that Search does is important to us so we’re supporting Search, Inc. this Giving Tuesday and we’re asking you to join us.

How to Donate

Search, Inc. has been invited by the Coleman Foundation to participate in its Giving Tuesday Matching Grants ProgramIn support of this goal, the Coleman Foundation will offer a dollar-for-dollar match of donations received online for 24 hours on December 2 from first time donors, up to a maximum of $15,000. search square

As a Thank You, search will be giving away prizes to top donors:

  •  First 10 people to donate receive reusable Search tote bags
  •  First 10 people to donate $50 or more will receive a set of Visibility Arts Holiday Note Cards
  •  Top 6 donors on December 2 will receive a painting done by Visibility Arts artists

Your donations on Giving Tuesday will support Search, Inc. as they continue to provide support and inspiration to families in need. With your help, Search will continue giving clients the opportunity to live, learn, work, play and share their unique abilities with their community – just like everyone else.

Please visit search-inc.org and donate on December 2, 2014.

The Company We Keep

ian jordan posted this November 25th, 2014

Horny Toad has always been guided by the idea that things are better when we’re among friends and sharing with others. We place a high premium on keeping good company. Our employees, partners, vendors, retailers, distributors, and loyal customers make up the fabric of Horny Toad, and we’re grateful that all these people have chosen to collaborate with us.

There’s actually a word for this feeling: Hygge. Pronounced “hyoo-gah,” it’s a Danish idea that loosely means “simple, cozy, togetherness.” There’s no direct English translation, but Hygge is a celebration of the relationships and things that enrich our lives, whether that’s a great meal, a favorite sweater or your closest friends. Our design director encountered this word on an inspiration trip to Copenhagen, and after really digging into its meaning we realized we embraced hygge a long time ago. Now we have a word for it.

As we look back on the year and take stock of our friendships, we can’t help but feel a warm sense of appreciation – and hygge – for all the good in our work and our lives. We’ve been lucky enough to partner with folks who bring richness to our company and remind us that what we’re doing is so much more than making and selling clothes.

Founded on the desire to make a difference in the world beyond just making clothes, Horny Toad has partnered with socially and environmentally active companies, organizations and individuals since the beginning. As we grow, so do our partners, so every partnership is meaningful and woven into the fabric of how we do business:

• When you place an order from us, it is fulfilled by Planet Access Company. PAC is a life-skills training group with a mission to positively change the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by providing them with training and work opportunities. The PAC work crew processes 100% of Horny Toad’s inventory and every unit of Horny Toad clothing is picked, packed, and shipped with unmatched enthusiasm by the PAC crew.

• We support and participate in Search For Adventure, an adventure travel program funded by proceeds from PAC and a grant from Horny Toad that provides members of the PAC work crew trips to the great outdoors. Every year about 50 clients and a handful of Toads travel together, enjoying places like the Appalachian Trail, our seaside town of Santa Barbara and everywhere in between.

• We’re members of 1% For the Planet, meaning we donate 1% of gross sales annually to environmental and social causes that inspire us.

• We’re members of the Conservation Alliance, a consortium of Outdoor Industry companies that fund conservation projects. Every year our employees vote for which grassroots non-profit organizations receive the grants they need to protect the wilderness we all love. We also volunteer with local member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action through the Backyard Collective. We get out of the office and get our hands dirty doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards

• We stay closely connected to our roots in Telluride, Colorado by continuing to support MountainFilm in Telluride whose annual program of films and national tour bring awareness to environmental and social issues.

•  At Toad Headquarters in Santa Barbara, you’re just as likely to have a tasty Tibetan lunch made by the finance department as you are to catch an impromptu dance party from the sales team. With one big, bright, open room full of Toads and pups, our work environment feels more like a family picnic-meets-think tank than an office. From our annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown to monthly Fun Committees and regular Lunch & Learns, we think we’ve figured out this whole work-hard-play-hard balance.

• Most importantly, we want to acknowledge our customers. We hope what we do beyond making clothes is what makes you feel good about wearing the clothes we make. We value every note, comment and photo we get from you – it inspires our next move and makes us feel connected to you.

So consider yourself in good company. We’ve built Horny Toad on the foundation that the choices we make are as important as the clothes we create and we pride ourselves on being good partners in our relationships. So call it hygge, call it the holiday spirit, no matter how you say it, we appreciate you.

Modern Flannel

ian jordan posted this November 13th, 2014

Modern Flannel
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(Click to view: Dot Matrix Shirt, Birddog Flannel Shirt, Earle Shirt)

Image Map Horny Toad Dot Matrix Shirt Horny Toad Men's Birddog Shirt Horny Toad Men's Earle Shirt

We get excited when Horny Toad pops up in new places, so we were super psyched to see our friends at The Manual calling out our flannels as their go-to autumn gear this season. The Manual: The Essential Guide for Men is a website that performs just as a it sounds – it offers tips and insights on how men can live full, engaged lives whether it be through fashion, food, drink, travel, grooming or culture. So check out Austin Parker’s recent post on the our “Modern Flannels” and see why the folks at the Mannual are picking up three of our favorite shirts. 

MODERN FLANNEL: HORNY TOAD
Austin Parker – October 16, 2014

Whether you’re heading to a saturday afternoon wine tasting, or simply heading out for an afternoon walk with your trusty four-legged friend, Fall weather calls for a little more than the typical jeans and t-shirt you got away with this summer. Let’s be honest, aside from hipsters and lumberjacks (and maybe a few too many ski town “bros”) flannel hasn’t really been a part of most of our wardrobes for a few years. That’s about to change. After relaunching their line earlier this year, Horny Toad’s new outdoor lifestyle focused shirts are the perfect foundation for wearing around town this fall.

The cornerstone of the line is the Birddog Shirt. Featuring hollow-core polyester fibers, it has excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, and more importantly wicks moisture and dries quickly, so you can wear it directly from the office to the trail. Expect this one to be a go-to piece for a few seasons to come.

Not everything has to be technical though (our gear addicts on staff might beg to differ). The all new Earle is 100% organic cotton tweed, favoring classic construction and design. The athletic fit compliments the throwback colorway and iconic pattern. Just don’t be surprised when this one gets stolen by your girlfriend.

Our last pick isn’t quite flannel, but the Dot Matrix Oxford is a classic working man’s shirt that belongs in your closet. The subtle texture and heavier blend make this the perfect layering piece for an outdoor evening or night at the bar. You may need to just get one in every color. Right now is perfect time to expand and update some of the tired shirts you’ve been slowly wearing out, and it’s time to look at flannel again. Horny Toad’s fall line proves that you don’t have to work in a logging camp or drink terrible beer ironically to look good in a classic flannel shirt.

Potatoes Gratin, Farm Style

dweber posted this November 13th, 2014

This is one of those recipes that when you taste it you can’t believe how something so simple can be so crazy delicious.

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This is all you need: 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, a big sweet onion, two cloves of garlic sliced, a few sprigs of thyme, salt & pepper, 3-4 cups of homemade chicken or vegetable stock.

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Peel and slice up the potatoes and onions and put all the ingredients in a big sauce pan. Add the stock to not quite cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop.

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Bake at 400° for an hour. It’s not necessary to transfer to a gratin dish if your sauce pan is oven proof. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving – it’s very hot when it comes out of the oven. 

On the off chance there are leftovers, this is really good reheated the next morning topped with a poached egg, or at room temperature for lunch with salad.

Bread, the Slow Way

dweber posted this November 11th, 2014

What is it about fresh baked bread? It’s kind of amazing to what lengths people will go to get magic out of flour, water, salt and time.

This method of making bread comes from Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. It’s pretty much one of the farthest things from quick you can get. It takes weeks to bring the starter to life if you’re going from scratch. It then takes a day for the leaven. Then another whole day to make the bread finally happen. It’s worth every minute. And a minute is about how long it takes for your friends to devour it.

On the photoshoot we did for Fall 2104, we knew we’d be shooting inside the cabin all day, so we made “the bread”. Then we shot it and ate it. For real.

If you like to cook, hunker down and make this bread in celebration of November as National Bread Making Month. 

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Start by adding water and flour to leaven, which is made from water and flour that’s been brought to life by time, warmth and the yeast spores that float around your kitchen and live on your hands.

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Mix it all up, add a little salt, let it rise and shape the silky dough into a beautiful puffy ball.

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Baked at 450 degrees in a dutch oven for 20 minutes covered, then pull the cover off and cook for another 20 minutes. Cooking it uncovered is the secret behind that almost architectural, caramelized  and protective crust. Every time it comes out of the oven you just can’t believe you made it yourself. 

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It’s even more amazing on the inside, and the smell of fresh baked bread can’t be beat. 

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Here’s the prop we made for the photoshoot, shot by our photographer David McLain

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Deste models the Revery and kneads the bread.

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The gang sits down to eat in the cabin we rented in Tivoli, NY.

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The enthusiasm is just as real as the bread. You can’t fake this stuff.

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We had to shoot fast because once the feeding frenzy began, it wasn’t long before the bread was gone!

#ModernTraveler: Whitefish, MT

dweber posted this November 7th, 2014

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You might think that Whitefish, Montana was a town built on the old railroad industry that came roaring through the Rockies in 1904, but the town of Whitefish was actually built on the irresistible charm of its locals. True to tradition, hearty locals overflowing with charm (and just a hint of innocent mischief) continue to make this mountain town a Paul Bunyan-esque Wonderland for residents and visitors alike. With a bustling local economy and a deep, fun-loving affinity for the great outdoors, it’s easy to assume that every Whitefishian was probably a bubbly boy or girl scout who hiked into town and never left. Their enthusiasm for their home is abundant and infectious and one can’t help but feel right at home upon arrival. Every winter they roll out the welcome mat with celebrations like the Whitefish Winter Carnival, complete with costumed pond skimming on Big Mountain (the local Mountain Resort), a penguin plunge, Beer Barter, yetis, hockey tournaments, vikings, snow sculptures, and even Wayne Newton. On a more serious note but just as dazzling, Glacier National Park is in Whitefish’s backyard and offers some of the greatest hiking and biking in the world. Catch stunning views of the Rockies and great opportunities for a glimpse of some of the more wild residents in Montana. So grab some bear spray and a flask and prepare to do Whitefish the only way there is – the local way.

What to do:

Loula’s Café: Located in the historic Masonic Temple building in downtown Whitefish, there’s nothing mysterious about this place: It’s just good, homemade food. Adhering to the farm to table motto serving up local produce and Montana pork and beef, Loula’s has been dishing out Whitefish’s premier comfort food for years. Lemon stuffed French toast is always a crowd pleaser, the fried chicken and mashed ‘taters will have you seriously considering seconds, and the eggs benedict with truffle oil hollandaise is truly something to write home about. Their large portions are great for filling up or refueling after a day on the slopes, or just pop in for an afternoon snack – Huckleberry Peach Pie, anyone?

Glacier National Park: Just 32 miles from downtown Whitefish is the West entrance to one of the country’s greatest wonders – Glacier National Park. From the West entrance you’ve got loads of great hiking options to choose from. The Lake McDonald Trail is 12 miles along the west side of the lake, or Avalanche Lake Trail is a stunning 6 mile loop with spectacular views (but get an early start since it’s a popular trail). After a morning hike, take the scenic “Going to the Sun Road”, a magnificent route that connects West and East Glacier. With its rugged terrain, this route is not for the faint of heart but the views are well worth any butterflies in your stomach. On the Sun Road, stop at the Logan Pass midway point for a great view, a few close encounters with native Big Horn Sheep, and a bear sighting or two. If you’re headed to Whitefish, you’re headed to Glacier.

Whitefish Trail: Recently completed as a result of a community collaborative project, Whitefish trail whisks outdoor enthusiasts through some of Western Montana’s most scenic public and private lands. Miles of stacked loop trails, scenic overlooks, and gated logging roads make this trail system one of the best kept secrets in the country for hikers, bikers, dog walkers, and equestrians.  You really can’t go wrong with any of the trails, but we love the Swift Creek Trail for it’s gorgeous views of Swift Creek and Smith Lake. Whether Smith Lake is pleasantly blue of frozen over with a frosted topping, you’re sure to see a ton of deer, insane views of the Whitefish Range, and generally feel like you’ve stepped into a scene in A River Runs Through It.

Tupelo Grille: If you’re looking for some Cajun Southern Comfort food in Big Sky Country, you’ll find all the spice you need at Tupelo. With the recent remodel and an updated Piano bar, Tupelo is the place to catch live music and satisfy your inner foodie any day of the week. We like the shrimp and grits, the Montana Lamb with cherry chutney, and   the most mouthwatering gumbo we’ve ever had (seriously). Saunter on into the bar to catch the smooth sounds of late-night jazz and consider having dessert as an appetizer – the bread pudding perfectly compliments a great bottle of wine.


Great Northern Brewery: Named for the Great Northern Railroad that helped jumpstart Whitefish, this brewery has the best views and brews in town. Situated in a modern glass building right downtown, there isn’t a bad view in the house as you soak up the glory of Whitefish Range before your eyes. Cheers to a great and exhausting day of exploring with some of their local beers on tap. It’s not just the names that get us, but the “Good Medicine Imperial Red Ale” and “Dark and Ominous” stout are as flavorful and delicious as they sound.

What to wear:

Mojacette: Deftly engineered to act like a jacket but feel like a shirt, the Mojacette Shirt is made of richly colored flannel and fully lined with a buttery T-shirt knit, both made of 100% organic cotton. Jacette styling includes snaps at the chest pockets, cuffs and front placket and a relaxed, shirttail hem. The fit is feminine, but relaxed enough to wear over tee shirts.

Highroad Pant: At the intersection of workwear, streetwear and get-out-there is the Highroad Pant. Made from a sturdy and substantial twill, it’s mostly organic cotton because we love it’s natural comfort, but we added some poly for durability and a hint of spandex for movement-enhancing stretch. A soft peach finish ensures love at first meeting, and a great fit means the love is built to last.

Faroe Jacket: Here’s the sartorial equivalent of hot mulled cider in front of a roaring pub fire. No, the Faroe Jacket won’t save your life in a blizzard, but it’ll certainly warm your spirits through the gray days. Inside, there’s a 60-gram layer of poly insulation for all-around warmth – plus a split lining of plaid poly-wool flannel on top and poly taffeta below (for easy mobility). The cotton-nylon shell is wax-treated for good weather resistance, and the coat boasts six exterior pockets to hold your gear and gadgets.

Mission Ridge Pant: All work and no play make twill a dull fabric. So we jacked these khakis with fresh threads and an updated fit for town-to-trail versatility. Soft organic cotton makes them all-day comfortable, polyester adds rugged punch, and there’s a dash of spandex stretch for active movement. The fit is modern – somewhere between slim and relaxed, and everywhere you want to be.

Presidential Sandwiches

dweber posted this November 4th, 2014
JFK's "Bay of Pigs" Pulled Pork and Apple Bacon Slaw Sammy

JFK’s “Bay of Pigs” Pulled Pork and Apple Bacon Slaw Sammy

So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What do sandwiches and US Presidents have in common?” Well aside from each inciting fierce loyalty in followers, both sandwiches and US Presidents have a place of honor at the table today. In honor of National Sandwich Day (November 3) and Election Day (November 4), we came up with a few sandwich recipes based on some of our most infamous US Presidents. So get out there and Vote today and grab a sammy as well, because nothing says democracy like choosing the perfect sandwich!

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JFK’s “Bay of Pigs” Pulled Pork and Apple Bacon Slaw Sandwich (makes 6 servings)

To make pulled pork:
3 lbs bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt, with the excess fat trimmed off.
1/2 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp dried sage
2 cups fresh apple cider
salt and pepper for seasoning

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker, coating the pork with the juices and seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 6 hours. Once the pork is done, pull it out of the slow cooker and shred ( it should come right off the bone!). Pour half of the leftover sauce on the shredded pork and use the rest to make a homemade BBQ Sauce: In a saucepan bring 2 cups of strained crock pot sauce, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and pepper to a boil on medium heat, stirring until the sauce is nice and thick! Pour sauce over pulled pork or keep for sandwiches.

To make apple bacon slaw:
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 granny smith apples, skinned and julienne
4 strips of crunchy bacon diced into bacon bits (or more if you really love bacon)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp apple cider

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and let sit in your fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

With your pulled pork and your slaw all made, toast a few rolls and butter or mayonnaise the bread, then stuff with a heaping mound of homemade pulled pork and top with a big spoonful of apple bacon slaw. Drizzle some of that homemade BBQ sauce on there and you’ve got a sandwich that even Jackie O. would roll up her sleeves for.

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Nixon’s “I am not a Crook Monsieur” (makes 4 servings)

3/4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper for taste
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 lb sliced ham
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
1 long loaf of ciabatta bread

To make béchamel sauce:

In one saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until hot. In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in flour stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add thyme then gradually whisk in milk. Simmer for 2 minutes while whisking, then remove from heat and add salt and pepper.

To assemble Sanwhich:

Cut the rounded top crust off of the bread so that the loaf has a flat top. Then slice loaf in half horizontally. Fill with mustard, ham, and half the Gruyere. Toast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and spread your bechamel on top, sprinkle the remaining gruyere and parmesan on top. Broil until golden brown and bubbling (about 6 to 7 minutes). Garnish with pepper and any remaining thyme for taste and let sit for about 10 minutes before eating. While you wait for it to cool, read instructions on how to set up your wire tap.

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“Coolidge as a Cucumber” Veggie Wrap (makes 4 servings)

2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
1 red or orange bell pepper, widely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil for marinating
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup hummus
4 pieces of lavash bread (about 9″ in diameter)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups baby spinach
1/2  red onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Brush both sides of the zucchini slices and  peppers with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. On a grill or grill pan, grill veggies until tender and slightly browned (about 4 minutes per side). Spread 1/4 cup of the hummus over each layer of lavash bread and sprinkle pine nuts on top. Top with a few slices of zucchini, red pepper and cucumber, a handful of spinach, a few sliced  red onions, and a sprig or two of mint. Roll each of them up and cut in half on a diagonal.