Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 22

The holiday season is not known for its light dessert fair, but Nate and I thought we would kick it off the right way by trying out the Cooking Light Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies.

There was pretty much less of everything in these cookies except for sugar, so they were quite crisp. There were also less chocolate chips, although you can't tell in ONE of the cookies below :)

So I think if you were a hard-core dieter, or had a health issue where you had to limit a bunch of stuff that is delicious but you know you shouldn't eat, then these cookies would be worth it.

But honestly, it doesn't save that many calories, and they just aren't as good as the real thing. And that is really all you can say about it.

Now--bring on the holiday treats!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

22 Hours of Black Friday

Thanksgiving weekend brought my Mom north to Minneapolis to partake in lots of shopping. And shopping we did.

Starting at 8PM on actual Thanksgiving which went to approximately 1AM. We took a break to catch some Zzzz's and then were back at it on Friday.

This was the damage after Friday (note we still had shopping to do, and that we did on Saturday...)

 I was pooped. My credit card was pooped. And I think by the end of the week even my Mom was pooped.

But we got lots of shopping done, so now let the wrapping begin!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reindeer Games

We are busy decking the Halls. The tree is up. The stockings are hung. Etc. etc. But the best part of Holiday decorating is decorating Lucy.

She loves it so much.

This year she wanted to help guide Santa's sleigh so we got her suited up:

I mean, I think she makes a pretty convincing reindeer. Sure she brought her grinch face, but reindeer can't be cheerful and bright all the time.

Happy Holidays for Nate and I, and the oldest cat alive.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Smackdown

It was a super smackdown in the Metrodome today as the Packers handed the Vikings another pathetic loss.

Nate and I still had the sad disappointment of last years loss at the Dome with us as we entered the building and we decided to try to keep an even lower profile this year since Vikings fans have a tendency to be complete A-Holes when they are winning--so we could only imagine what it would be like given their dismal record this year.

And clearly this assumption was a fact, because all over the dome were these signs:
These were also accompanied by fancy slogans like "We are Vikings, Not Barbarians...". Now admittedly I haven't been to a single other NFL stadium, but for some reason I feel like the Vikings probably have to deal with poor behavior the most.

And I say this from experience. The fans suck. Last year when they were winning, they couldn't even win with grace. Swearing, and shouting and doing all sorts of rude things to the Packer fans. This year, a whole new list of unsportsmanship-like behavior cropped up:
  • Automatically saying things like: "Well at least we aren't the Bears..." Really Vikings? Because I am pretty sure the Bears are winning our divison right now so....good logic.
  • Starting a stadium--wide chant: Fire Childress. I know nothing about coaching, so I guess i have no comment. Except to say that tearing a team apart with drama cannot be good for gametime.
  • Oodles of fans screaming that "Favre is pathetic," "Bench Favre"....and so on and so forth. Now, I admit last year when Favre cheated on us with the Vikings I was pissed. And I am not his #1 fan now. But was really gets me is that LAST YEAR the Vikings Fans were r-u-b-b-i-n-g it in our faces that they had Favre and we didn't. And now, after ONE year, they are booing him--offering to PAY us to take him back? Nice Vikings. Nice. At least it took Favre GOING TO THE RIVAL, and doing some inappropriate things with his smart phone to get the Packers fans to dislike him. Not a rough patch of some bad games.

Anyway, we pulled off a W, and Nate and I were very happy campers, and we waved to all of the Vikings fans who left the game in the 3rd quarter. Fair. Weather. Fans.

And we left the game with all bodily parts in tact. No beer on our heads. No ridicule or swearing. Of course, that is probably because all of the Vikings Fans had already cleared out...........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shut Up, Foodies!

It always makes my day when I come across another very amusing website to keep a smile on my face in moments of--well, not smiles.

Like F U, Penguin (although sadly, no new blog posts FOREVER). Nate and I still will randomly read those posts out loud and crack ourselves up for hours. I know...crazy fund times in the Hanson house.

Well today, I came aross this website: Shut Up, Foodies!. While it doesn't quite the wit and humor that FU Penguin does yet, it is pretty hilarious because...well it is a little like laughing at ourselves (although on the spectrum of wannabe foodie and actual foodie Nate and I are more on the wannabe end)...and it's so true.

Read their "about us" in the upper right corner...seriously who does care about ramps? What are they anyway and how did the human race come about eating them?

Anyway, enjoy the new site!

Monday, November 15, 2010

All I Want For Christmas is Heat

Either that, or a new electric company.

Remember the weekend of no power back in July? You know the one where our awesome neighbors went out of their way to take everythign from our fridge and freezer and put it on ice for us?

Or how about the random evening of no power in August? You know the one that just made no sense at all and it kept going on and off and on and off all night.

Well the 3rd time is the charm because our power is just off. Period. And is not coming back on. And I want to be nice and understanding about the 'heavy' snow. But, when your house is 47 degrees and everyone around you has their lights and and their house taunts you with it's warm glows all niceness flies out of the window.

And, guess what. Losing power 3 times in 4 months is not normal. So Xcel Energy needs to just FIX IT.

Have you seen this video? Click Here. This is how I feel about our power. Last night when we went to bed with a severe fire hazard that was about 15 candles (don't tell our insurance agent) and headlamps on so we could have some sort of entertainment, all I could think was "when I wake up in the morning it better be FIXED."

And it wasn't. So as I hovered over my ice cold toilet seat, put my contacts on in the dark, and stumbled my way out the door, I can only say that if it is not FIXED when I come home tonight we are going to have problems. I don't know where Xcel Energy is located, but I will find them. Yes. I will find them. And tell them to show their automated message machine that won't let you get through to an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING, who is boss.

On the bright side, I've never been more excited to come to work on a Monday for the sheer fact of heat. So there's that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Worthy

As a person who looks forward to perusing my blog scroll every day, I felt it was my duty to alert all other bloggy friends of a new blog that just hit the presses: Sina's Cupboard.

Check it out here:

Sina is my neighbor and friend and is also a pretty fabulous dietician. She single handedly showed me the way to eat kale (ugh...seriously who eats this) in a way where I now actually crave the stuff and could eat it every night. Sure she has the legit credentials, but take the 'makes kale delicious' credential as the ultimate reason to check out her blog.

We have enjoyed swapping Cooking Light recipes and vegetables over the literal and figurative neighborly fence.

So check it out, follow it, and eat healthy the tasty way (really the only way to do it in my opinion)!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Listmania: The Best Christmas Songs of All Time

Yes, it is that time of year again. To turn up the holly jollies, and turn off the hip hop blaring from my stereo. Quite the range of music, I know.But there is just something about Christmas music that makes me happy and feel all warm and cozy. And yes, there are approximately 1 million renditions of I'll Be Home For Christmas and Silent Night, but here are a few of the favorites in the Hanson Household.

1) All I Want For Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. Perhaps one of the best Christmas albums of all time. I couldn't NOT start with this song as this was my opening song of choice for this holiday season. It just doesn't get better than this. Upbeat, fun, incredibly hard to actually sing but in your head when you are jamming out to it in your car--you are killing it.

2) White Christmas by The Drifters. Two words. Home . Alone. All I want to do when I hear this song is grab my hairbrush and lip synch in the mirror.

3) Sleigh Ride--any rendition. The reason any rendition will do is because all I think about when I hear this song is some middle school band concert somewhere, anywhere really. The kid that gets to make the big clapping noise has the most important solo, followed closley by the trumpet player who gets to fake the horse whinney....good stuff.

4) It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams. After seeing Mr. Williams in person in his Branson palace, how could a person leave him off of a list as important as this. He is Father Christmas after all.

5) Silent Night--by Candlelight.  There is nothing better than the night Christmas Eve service at church, when they dim the lights, pass out the candles and we sing ALL verses of Silent Night. It is the epitome of the holiday caroling season.

Yes, I am sure there are (and my iPod says approximately 427) more awesome Christmas songs to consider. So, what did I miss on this list? Anyone have any must add's to the above?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 21

We tried to get every last second of this warm weather out of this weekend as the reality of winter draws nearer. Besides a 3 hour Target run (not even lying--wish I was), we got to enjoy some really nice time outside.

And what better way to hold onto the last degrees of summer/fall than enjoying a semi-summery lunch of Basil Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

I am not a huge mayo lover, so I was nervous but it was such a small amount (obviously---it is Cooking Light afterall) I hardly noticed.

Add on some crisp lettuce, roasted red peppers and a nice dill on the side and you have yourself a pretty impressive lunch!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Running Dirrrty

Picture this: Halloween Morning in Madison. Approximately 0 degrees*. 1300 people dressed up and ready to run.

And not just run through the beautiful campus. No, this was a slightly different type of running. It involved 15 obstacles. The FIRST of which was crossing a stream of moving water that went up to my armpits. Which meant the remaining 4.6 miles were done soaking wet.

Fast forward through some walls to throw yourself over. Hay bales to jump over. Tires to run through, etc etc etc and the grand finale was crawling through a massive mud pit.
Oh. yeah.

Check out Emily's diver pose. You just can't compete with that.

 And the after-effect is exactly what one would imagine. Messy. Dirty. Sloppy fun. Oh and freezing cold. But mostly just fun.

**Note: temperature may be slightly exaggerated, but this is what it felt like.