Tuesday, September 28, 2010

my theory... tonight, at least

i've just awakened from the strangest dream about scandinavians experiencing mid-life crises and blogging about them.
now, UFFDA!
i am indeed scandinavian, but i do not consider myself a mid-lifer at age 29 but perhaps am enduring some sort of a crisis... but definitely am not living on a windy fjord, retired and fiery and ready to share my deepest musings with world, even to the shock of my own relatives...?!
so very strange.
perhaps a future film script...

i haven't decided if waking up at this hour creates a fresh lucidity for both creative and spiritual reflection or if i am simplyhannah... and by the by, i must make a confession:
it has been so long since i blogged i had to search for "simply hannah" to find my own site and stumbled upon this which was highly interesting to my foggy, just-awakened brain. i ended up going to my Facebook page and clicking on my blog's URL. embarrassing.

in attempts to squeeze out my last drops of "lucidity" (or whatever we shall call this stream-of-consciousness rambling), i must also mention that once awake, i could not fall back to sleep due to the river of words, ideas, dialogue, poems flowing through my mind. i have not experienced this in quite some time, probably because of:
job #1
job #2
wedding planning
and the above events have clogged my brain to the point it apparently could not bear being forced to do the bidding of my Conscious any longer and simply exploded at 11:19pm on Tuesday night, waking me up without remorse.
that is my theory.

and my theory is not based on tonight, only, for this has happened before, MANY times, and used to happen more frequently. therefore i must conclude that i am either more OR less mentally stable than in past years... at this time, i choose to not draw a conclusion.

i have been musing also upon the subject of Contentment.
the stress i've been under is ridiculous but perhaps typical for a gal of my age and position in life. maybe i don't want it to be that way.
i wonder if those Passions and Loves that bring me such joy and make me want to drop everything in pursuit of Them exist for one purpose or maybe another...

One purpose being: to bring release, to ease pressure, like the pricking of plastic taut with steam, gently wafting through the openings to halt the cooking process.

Another purpose being: to awaken the soul (please advise on synonyms for "awaken," i have used it an embarrassing number of times already this post), to redirect, like the nod from a teacher when it's your turn to talk.

thus, to speak? or simply to rest?

in either case, certainly to be thankful for what may be enjoyed in that moment.

my policy is to never make any decisions at this hour, but rambling is allowed and even encouraged.

and may the rambling continue until the light of day sheds truth on what is to be.
be well,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

She's Back!... with RecipeShare #3

I have been the worst of blogger-offenders these past several months... how on earth do I expect anyone to read this when my posts are intermittent and unpredictable... AND when I don't keep my promises (see October post)?!

I apologize, my faithful few.

I am busy, indeed, but so are my mommy-blogger friends (and how!), and writing is one of my favorite self-therapies. Let those who desire to write, WRITE! And I shall now combine two of my favorite self-therapies (cooking and writing) by sharing my Award-Winning Spicy Black Bean Chili recipe. What was the award, you ask? Church-wide fame and a $10 giftcard to Wal-Mart. Yes, I am well on my way to an Iron Chef competition (one of my favorite shows).
And yes, I realize chili isn't exactly seasonal right now because NO, I will not be stewing and stewing on my stovetop in 110+ weather, but I must deliver as promised.

*Note: As all of you soup afficionados know well, soup-making is an art, not a science, which makes it fun to add this and that while simmering and tasting. I have listed the measurements that I used for the sake of exact replication in your own kitchen. Certain measurements may be modified to the extent you are comfortable with your own level of cooking prowess (Warning: modification may render this chili "Non-Award-Winning.")

Award-Winning Spicy Black Bean Chili

Foods you need:
Dry black beans


Raw hamburger

Large yellow onion

Olive oil

Garlic cloves

Coarse sea salt

Chili powder

Hot chili beans

Canned diced tomatoes

Tomato juice
Frank's RedHot

Cayenne pepper

Fresh jalapeno

Roma tomatoes

Tools you need:

Medium-sized saucepan (cooking the beans)

Large stockpot (making the chili)

Cutting board

Sharp knife

Measuring spoons

Liquid measuring cup
Garlic press
Big wooden spoon
Can opener
Colander/Sieve (draining the black beans and hamburger)

Paper towels

What you do:

In the medium-sized saucepan, combine:

1 1/2c. dry black beans

3 3/4 c. water

Bring to a boil and let 'er go for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. This will give you about 3c. of cooked black beans.

Set aside.

While the beans are "cooking" for that hour...

In the large stockpot, cook:

2 lb hamburger

Drain in the colander.
Let it hang out there until you're ready for it.
Wipe out the stockpot with a paper towel or two.

While the hamburger and beans are cooking, you'll have time to do some prep work on a large cutting board (veteran cooks know this boring part is the key to making magic in the kitchen- get the veggies ready!):

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed)

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped (skins and all)

The beans are probably still "cooking," but not for much longer...

In the aforementioned, wiped-out stockpot, heat (until a chunk or two of onion sizzles in it):
1 T. olive oil


1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T. coarse sea salt

1 T. chili powder

Saute all together over medium/medium-low heat (not too hot, or the garlic will get brown) until onions are soft and translucent (aka: cooked). Make sure you really incorporate the salt and chili powder, so it's all mixed up real good.

Crank up the heat under the onion mixture (medium-high) and add:

Cooked, drained hamburger

Cooked, drained black beans

15 oz. can hot chili beans (don't drain them!)

28 oz. can diced tomatoes (don't drain them!)

46 oz. can tomato juice

3 T. Frank's RedHot (i love this stuff)

1 t. cayenne pepper (aka: ground red pepper, same thing)

1 T. fresh jalapeno, chopped as finely as you can

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

Since you had all those veggies ready to go, it didn't take too long to throw everything together, huh? (you can lie...)

Bring everything to a rolling boil (get that tomato juice foaming), then bump the heat back down to medium-low or whatever will maintain a steady simmer (tiny bubbles all over) for 30 minutes.

Stir occasionally and take deep whiffs (and little tastes) to stimulate your appetite.

Serve in big soup bowls with big soup spoons.
It'll hit the spot (in cooler weather... well, maybe even in July).

Be well,