Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Biting the Bullet


I know you! My name is Hannah, I write on this here blog. Well I used to...

The month of January is not over yet, and my resolution of maintaining a 4 post per week average has fallen to the wayside. In fact I haven't posted in over 2 weeks, which hasn't happened since.... August.

But I have a good excuse. At least I think it is a good excuse. I was dying.

And not in the stage four cancer, chronic illness, sort of way (which is totally serious, and sad, and valid). But in the, omgimsosickputmeoutofmymisery sort of way.

I had pnuemonia, with exacerbated asthma. It felt like I was dying. But I wasn't.

There is a long drawn out story involving two ER visits, being under medicated. Then being over medicated, getting sick in the second ER, not being able to breathe (that still continues today), a doctor visit, more medication, and 7 days of bed rest, but I won't bore you with the details. Just know that I was sick for 2 weeks straight, was on bed rest for one week, and am still not 100%.

But I am determined to get back to normal this week. Which is convenient, because my huge, annual, dance show fundraiser is this Saturday, and I have tons of work to catch up on for the show. Not to mention I didn't blog for the entire 2 weeks because holding up my head long enough to type anything was not happening, so there is catching up to be done here.

I have some posts nearly finished and lined up, and a lot of cooking to do as well.

But the important thing is I am better, and ready for action! So, I hope you are too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I had grandiose plans for today. Including some job hunting, meal planning, coupon clipping, bill paying, baking, blogging, and cleaning this:

Making this, and washing dirty clothes:

And washing these:
But I will be substituting a little of this:

(chicken noodle soup)

And drinking gallons of this:
(Chamomile, and green tea with honey)

Last night started out splendidly. I came home from dance (it was a drama filled practice but I got over it), and made a fantastic meal to make up for the crappy eats yesterday (i.e. bowl of cereal, fried egg, leftover, hasbrowns, toast, chobani, and blackberries) by making steak au poivre, pomme frites (french fries- I'm trying to make myself feel fancy), and a gorgeous green salad. With a lemon cream cheese pound cake for dessert. Then y throat started to feel scratchy, so I took vitamin C, a pain killer, drank of cup of tea, and went to bed. Only to wake u feeling like I'd been hit with a mach truck. Sore throat, cough, body aches, headache, runny nose.... I've got it all.

I am doing everything in my power to fight this thing, because I have a to-do list a mile long (per usual), and not enough hours in the day. So if you will excuse me, Boomer just got home from Blockbuster, the water for my tea is boiling, and the couch is calling my name.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It Ends Today

Christmas is coming down today.


I'm not one of those people that Christmas decorations has to come down on the first of the year. Christmas is a drug for me, and I need to slowly ween myself off of it. Especially because my decorations went up late this year. Between school, work, coaching, and the blog here, I didn't have the time right after Thanksgiving like I would have hoped. So they went up after the 1st of December, which is very unlike me.

For me after New Years I get a little bit SAD. It's all very anti-climactic for me. There is so much build up for this month and a half of festivities, and then it's over, and everyone is back to normal. It's no fun.


So with being 6 days into the new year, and school starting (for me) again next week, I am putting my decorations away, while listening to Christmas music (cringe if you must), and gearing up for the new year. Between my 2011 "to-do" list, and 101 things in 1,001 days, I'll be pretty busy this year.

Now if you will excuse me Bing Crosby just told me that Santa Claus is coming to town, and I need to set him straight.

Hannah L.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

101 in 1,001

We is 'bout to get real wordy up in here!

This whole 101 goals in 1,001 days thing I blame on my friend, Kristin. She posted her list on the 1st of the year, and after pouring over her's for almost an hour I decided I should write my own. While I do have an ongoing list (who's deadline I have pushed back twice) I have rolled that list over into this one, added a few more, and set a farther out deadline.

I like this concept of 101 things in 1,001 days because it really forces you to come up with big and small measurable goals. And gives you more than 2 years time (versus mine, where I gave myself a year) to complete. Which given the fact that it is much more extensive, is good, but it also takes the pressure off a bit, because some of these are easliy remedied with a trip to the mall. But, it has taken me approximately 4 days to compile this list. And after reading over it again, I find that a lot of these overlap, and by completing one goal, it takes me one step closer to completing another. Which, I believe, is key in keeping up the motivation.

I suggest you make a list of your own. It will really make you think.

Start Date: January 5, 2011
Completion Date: October 2, 2013

In Progress is in Italics

Completed is in Bold

1. Visit 3 new states (0/3)
2. Visit a new country
3. See the Grand Canyon
4. See Mount Rushmore
5. Visit Ground Zero
6. See Golden Gate Bridge
7. Fly first class
8. Go to a blogging conference (Foodbuzz, Blogher, EatWriteRetreat)
9. Take the train to Duluth
10. See the Vikings play outside of Minnesota

11. Get a brazilian wax
12. Read 10 new books (yes, cookbooks count!)
13. Run a 5K
14. Run a 10K
15. Run a 1/2 Marathon
16. Run a Marathon
17. Take a dance class
18. Go on a dance audition
19. Wear a bikini (in public)
20. Ride a motorcycle
21. Play a round of golf
22. Get my tattoo
23. Wear 5" heels
24. Write a list of 25 things I like about myself
25. Walk through a haunted house
26. Go Skydiving
27. Adopt a dog
28. Get my own place
29. Take a ballroom dance class
30. Purchase a DSLR
31. Take a photography class
32. Make a family calendar with photos I've taken
33. See a musical on Broadway
34. Purchase the t-shirt quilt I have been eyeing for 4.5 years

35. Lose 20 lbs

36. Lose 50 lbs
37. Lose 75 lbs
38. Lose 101 lbs
39. Drink 2 liters of water a day for 21 days
40. Run everyday for 21 days
41. Exercise everyday for 21 days
42. Take a daily vitamin for 21 days

43. Understand basic html
44. Learn the game of golf
45. Learn to play a song on the guitar
46. Learn to speed read
47. Plant a successful herb garden
48. Get CPR certified
49. Learn to play one card game, really well
50. Learn to knit
51. Knit an infinity scarf
52. Learn to drive a stick shift

53. Purchase Domain name
54. Design (or contract) a personalized header
55. Develop and post 30 new recipes (0/30)
56. Maintain an average of 4.4 posts per week
57. Write 4 guest posts for various blogs- if the opportunity arises (0/4)

58. Complete bachelor's degree
59. Get a full-time job
60. Get a freelance writing job
61. Go to 3 networking events (0/3)

62. Purchase an Erin Condren planner, and use it
63. Buy an external hardrive, and organize said hardrive
64. Get a closet organizer
65. File all of important papers (in a file cabinet)
66. Get rid of all clothes not worn in last 12 months
67. Get ANOTHER shoe organizer

68. Pay off credit cards
69. Save $1,001
70. Save for and purchase a new-to-me car
71. Invest more than the minimum to IRA for 6 months (0/6)

Food and Drink:
72. Drink only water for one week
73. Eat at 10 new(to me) local restaurants
74. Eat in for 1 whole month
75. Give up pop for 1 year
76. Eat at 3 "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" joints (0/3)
77. Try 5 new foods (0/5)
78. Make, pack, and enjoy a gourmet picnic
79. Visit a local farmer's market 3 times per season (0/9)
80. Host at least 4 dinner parties a year
81. Host a pizza party
82. Serve a gourmet 4-course dinner

83. Start and maintain a monthly away from home date night with Boomer
84. Write and send 1 "Just to say, Hi!" note every month for 6 months (0/6)
85. Start and maintain a bi-weekly girls night with Jules and J
86. Throw a kick ass bachelorette party for Jules
87. Foster relationships with 3 old friends-to the "hanging out/texting" stage (0/3)

88. Write and post 20 Operation Beautiful notes (0/20)
89. Give 5 "just because" gifts (0/5)
90. Volunteer at least 10 hours to a new charity (10 hours each) (0/10)
91. Give Blood
92. Let my sister know how much I appreciate her
93. Raise $300 for ADA's Step Out Walk
94. Actually RUN ADA'a Step Out Walk

95. Get 2 full body massages (0/2)
96. Get hair extensions
97. Get monthly manicure/pedicure from April-September (0/6)
98. Get a professional bra fitting
99. Buy 1 high quality bra

I am 2 short. This is mostly frustrating because I don't want to have to go back and re-number this list if they fall into one of the above categories.

Have suggestions? Share! For realisies. I need help!

Are you going to write a list? If so, please link! I would love to read it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tater Tot Hotdish


If you are from the northern midwest, specifically Minnesota, you have heard of a little thing called hotdish. It runs deep in our Lutheran-scandinavian veins, right along with lefse (yum!), and lutefisk (yuck).

And yes, I am talking hotdish. NOT casserole. Casserole is the pyrex, or Blue Cornflower corningware you put your hotdish in.

Sidenote: Yes, the blue cornflower design is a big deal in these here parts. I'm pretty sure every woman born in (or has a mother that was born in) Minnesota has at least one piece of corningware with the fantastically stylish blue cornflower design on it in her possession. I have sniped several from my mom's collection, but the quantity you see today was for a much larger crowd, so I made it in the largest roasting pan I could find.

Hot dish is something every Minnesota kids grows up eating. It is the ultimate church supper, pot luck, block party dish. And while we all grew up eating it, everyone has their own version of it. Hot dish is definetly the state dish, but there is no right recipe for it. That's the beauty of Minnesota, we embrace individuality. To each her own.

But, most have a few ingredients in common: some sort of protein, usually canned tuna, shredded chicken, or ground beef, Cream of something soup (cream of mushroom is typical, and I later found is referred to as the "Lutheran Binder"), usually a vegetable (canned or frozen), and starch (sometimes multiple) including but not limited to tater tots, pasta, or potato chips. Some people think rice is an acceptable starch, but I firmly disagree.

"Baked rice does not a hot dish make." I think my mother said that... or yoda... or yoda dressed as my mother... my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, scandinavian mother... or it was a dream.

Does my mother have a recipe for hotdish? Yes. Is it the perfect example of the "typical" hotdish? Yes. Do all of her children now make it in their own homes? Yes.

Is my mother blonde-haired, and blue-eyed? No. Is she in the slightest bit scandanavian? Definetly, not. Does she know a thing about hot dish, other than this recipe that she recieved from a coworker almost 30 years ago? No.

Is this recipe delicious? Absolutely.


My Jamaican Momma's Minnesota Hotdish

2 lbs ground beef
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 lb bag frozen peas
1 can milk
2 lb bag of frozen tater tots
3 tsps garlic powder
3 tsps paprika, divided
salt and pepper

-Preheat oven to 375*
- Heat a deep-sided skillet on high, and brown ground beef, drain fat
- Remove from heat, and stir in both cans of soup.
- Fill on of the empty soup cans with milk, and add to pan
- Stir in peas, a couple handfuls of tater tots, salt and pepper (remember-unless you buy low sodium soup the mixture may not need any salt), garlic powder, and 2 tsps paprika, taste mixture, adjust seasonings
- Pour mixture into 13"X9" casserole dish, and even out
- Arrange remaining tater tots on meat mixture in a pretty pattern
- Bake in oven from approximately 1 hour, until the filling is bubbly, and tots are browned
- Enjoy!

It really is a complete meal in one dish, and the only necessary accompaniment is ketchup. And for dessert? Bars. But that may be another post for another time.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

What day is it?

What time is it? What year am I in? What decade is this?

Happy New Year!!


It's 2011!! Can you believe a decade has come and gone already?! A lot of growth has happened in these last 10 years.

For your viewing pleasure: A Night in Pictures








My mom must think I am a huge lush. Because she is the only one that reads this.

Dear Mom,

I swear I am sober at least 3 days a week. No need to call that Intervention show. Or Dr. Phil. Or Oprah. Please not Oprah... I have always wanted to be on her show, but not under these circumstances... on second thought... I am a raging alcoholic and the only thing that will cure me is an appearance on Oprah... and a brand NEW CAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Your alcoholic, POS car driving daughter

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