Monthly Archives: February 2012

when life hands you lemons…

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Well it took five months, but I finally got my visa. Went down to the city hall and was only waiting for about two minutes before the lady asked me for my autograph and 120 big ones. After all the hoops I jumped through to get this silly piece of plastic, I thought the moment it finally was in my hands would be a little more momentous, but she slid my hard-earned card to me like it was nothing and I was on my way. I have to admit I was a little let down by the lack of celebration, but the good news is that I’ll no longer have to worry about being interrogated/held captive by the Frankfurt border patrol.

When we got home I decided to bake a celebratory cake. Not just any ol’ cake either, but a lemon cake with yummy tea flavored frosting. I was inspired by an old friend who posted the recipe from a food and photo blog, and as soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had to give it a go. The recipe was a little more demanding than typical, requiring you to “add half of the dry ingredients, then a fifth of the wet, followed by eight twenty-thirds of the egg mixture” etc, but it proved to be worth it as the batter was phe-nom-enal. Baking the cake took a little trial and error too, as I was only using a bundt pan for the second time in my life.

a cake only a mother could love

It came out of the pan looking fantastic, right up until I tried to frost it. Have you ever tried to ice anything other than a sheet cake? Holy sh*t it was a hot mess. But if I learned anything in preschool it was to not eat the playdough judge a book by its cover, and my sinfully ugly cake was proof. The flavors were to die for. My only complaint was that the consistency wasn’t what I expected. “Lemon and tea cake” sounds like it should be delicate and moist, but mine came out relatively dense. Maybe I mixed it too long. Or MAYBE I wasn’t precise enough in the meticulous ingredient combination.

Who gives a rat’s ass, it tasted damn good.

I had a ton of left over ingredients from the cake, so I decided today to make a lemon-y pasta for Mike’s pregame meal. YUM. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, but altered it a smidge for two reasons: a. there is no way in hell I am squeezing fresh lemons when I have lemon juice in the fridge and b. because I said so. If you’re going to try this recipe (which I highly recommend) my slight alterations are in parenthesis/italics. I left the directions as-is, pertaining to the original recipe.

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2 full chicken breasts)
1 lemon, quartered (about 1 Tbls storebought juice)
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided (1 tsp, because nobody’s breath needs that much)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (fresh juice my ass)
1 (8 ounce) package rotelle pasta
1 cup heavy cream (3/4 cup, probably will use milk next time)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (too much work. take it out)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Okay, enough with the recipes. This isn’t a food blog.

HOLLA!

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pups and playoffs

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Last time I wrote, I left on a bad note. That wasn’t very nice of me, was it!? And I don’t have a whole lot to write about, but I figured it was time for an update, so here goes.

Early in Feb, the team took the guys and their families dog sledding at a place called Mountain Wolf Farm. It. was. amazing. We piled on the team bus with McDonalds and sack lunches, and started chugging along the Austrian highways. It was all fine and dandy until we started up the mountains, at which point I started panicking. And sweating (duh). We were vertical most of the ride up, and on the edge of drop-off cliffs. Obviously I was overreacting, but after the third icy hairpin turn, I started praying for all of us. Hail Mary, full of grace…

Nevertheless, we made it safe and sound, and the awesome day we had made up for my worries. The people from the farm let us walk around the kennels and check out the dogs – some of the most beautiful huskies and wolves I’ve ever seen – and then had us gather around for instructions. We were going to be driving our own dog sleds. Whhhhhaaaattt!!?? I was under the impression some professional sledder was going to sit us on a toboggan with hot cocoa and warm blankets and chauffeur us around on a scenic tour. This isn’t what I signed up for. The instructor told us we’d be on a sled led by two dogs each, but that the dogs wouldn’t work for you unless you worked for them too. Basically, after a few seconds of standing on the sled you had to help them along by pushing/running, so they wouldn’t think you were a total freeloader.

Well I ran, and I yelled, and I tried to bribe them with promises of chew toys and raw meat. But they wouldn’t move more than twenty feet before they stopped in the middle of the trail to poop/pee/sniff each others butts. Now, I know they weren’t working their hardest… the instructor told us the dogs could pull up to 300 kilos each. Or 300 pounds. Or something. Annnnyway, I don’t weigh 300 anything, so it should have been a cakewalk for them. And they shouldn’t have been too tired; it was only their second 10-minute trip of the afternoon. After I threatened to shake a penny can in their faces, they shaped up. The second half of the trail we flew along and had a great time.

after we went sledding, the dogs wowed us with a small choir concert

woofy

mike "the musher" lebler doin' his thang

After Mike and I both had a turn sledding, we headed back to the kennels to look at the dogs again. There were two in particular that I was ooh-ing and aah-ing over, so the instructors let us in with them. I was in L-O-V-E. The dogs were Irish Wolfhounds, and they were huge. The size of a small horse. And they weren’t even full-grown! All I could think of (other than how much I wanted one) was how gigantic their backyard business would be.

Mike, get me one of these dogs. Oh, and maybe pick up an excavator and dump truck while you’re at it.

pooper scooper XXXL

hi i'm five

We ended the day all packed in the warm lodge with soup and drinks. Snowy, sunny, and dog-filled, it was the perfect day.

The following week, Mike and I kept it low-key. I baked some Valentine’s cookies, attended another baby shower, visited the dentist, and watched a few movies; nothing out of the ordinary. Valentine’s Day came and went, and while Mike and I didn’t do anything extravagant, we had a nice day. The next day we were pleasantly surprised when a care package from my parents came. It was filled with sweet treats and a valentine for each of us. They also sent a month’s worth of word games from The Gazette… jackpot!

Other than completing crosswords and Sudoku, our days have been filled with job-stuff and hockey. Mike and I have both been applying like crazy (to no avail) trying to find something to do this summer. He’s got this idea that if neither of us gets a job, he’s going to build a hut in the woods and hunt/fish all day. Please God, let us find something.

Playoffs started for the guys last week, and so far they are 2:1 against the Vienna Capitals. They play best of seven games against the Capitals before the next round starts. Tonight is game four and is going to be shown live online. If you want to check it out, the puck drops around 10:15 am central time. Let’s go Black Wings!!

tlc=totally lame clichés

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I don’t get heated about many things, but today I am feeling a little warm. Why, sweet Jenna? What’s got you so upset?

Well….. as many of you know, I am a member of a sorority. A very.proud.member. And I get a little mother bear when someone talks smack about my cub. My cub being sorority life, of course. So when my good friend (and sorority sister) opened my eyes to TLC’s new show “Sorority Girls” I was a little peeved to say the least.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, this show features five American sorority girls who travel to the UK to establish Britain’s first ever sorority. Of course the show’s promo promises a season full of drama and scandal. This is upsetting to me for two reasons. One: I already have too many trashy shows to keep up with. I don’t need another. And two (the real reason): it is an awful and inaccurate portrayal of what sorority life actually is. It represents sorority women in a poor light and promotes negative attitudes toward something that is in fact, extremely postitive and life-changing.

Gamma Phi was the organization that lead me to my best friends. It opened all sorts of doors for me and taught me how to be a strong, independent, and fearless woman. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t joined a sorority.

Okay. Let’s face it. If it weren’t for Gamma Phi, I’d probably be some friendless riffraff rocking back and forth in a corner somewhere because I was never properly socialized. I’d also probably own a hairless cat.

It’s no wonder I get emotional about something so close to my heart.

Anyway, I have a favor to ask you: please click here and sign the petition to end TLC’s show. Do it ’cause you love me.

home(less) is where the heart is

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When I first got here, time seemed to stand still. I was pretty homesick and the days just drug on, one after another, and verryyy slowly. Now that I’ve been here for over three months though, it seems strange that it’s been that long. My time here is already halfway over. I mean, it’s February, fachrissakes! (Sidenote: this is the first week that it’s been even relatively cold here. I am starting to think that we are just going to pass winter and jump straight to spring. Can I get a hell yeah!?) So going home has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Actually, figuring out where home is has been on my mind.

Mike and I obviously have different roots, so recently, deciding where to go after the season is over has been the topic of conversation… It’s Canada vs. the U.S. It’s the beav in one corner and the bald eagle in the other. It’s maple leaves or stars and stripes forever.

Nope, I lied. It’s wherever we can find jobs. If we are hired in the Himalayas as Sherpas, we’ll take it.

Honestly though, we need to figure out where we’re going and what we’re doing. Mike’s been diligent in job searching but I can’t say the same for myself. I really don’t have any excuses either, except that I hate doing it. It’s time-consuming and boring, and it can be pretty heart-breaking when you get turned down. Maybe I should just skip the disappointment that is job-hunting and go straight to living on the streets. With a witty sign and some patience, I bet I could make a pretty penny.