Lemonade and Other Things

Random Things That Strike My Fancy

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Enchiladas for 30

The Race for Hope 5k was a great success! My team, put together in memory of my mom, raised over $3,200! A big group of us got together on race day and had a good time walking or running the 3.1 miles. One of the guys on our team finished really well- number 43 out of thousands of people- we watched him run towards the finish line while those of us who walked were still about 2 blocks from the start line. Insane.

Some of my team, posing together after the race.

After the 5k, the team came over to my place for enchiladas and margaritas (because it was Cinco de Mayo, after all!) I thought I had probably gotten myself in over my head with inviting 30 people over for food and drinks, but it ended up going without a hitch!

A peek into how crowded my studio apartment was…

I thought I’d post here just in case you find yourself needing to feed an obscene number of people- this recipe comes together easily, you can do almost all the steps in advance, and it’s cheap (which is nice when you’re feeding such a big crowd!). In terms of drinks, we got by quite nicely with two bottles of tequila, margarita mix, some limeade concentrate, and a big case of Yuengling for after people got their margarita fill. 

On to the enchilada recipe- here’s what you’ll need for 60 enchiladas:

60 burrito-sized tortillas (I used flour)
4.5 pounds of low-fat ground beef
4 packets of taco seasoning
2 onions, chopped
3 cups of white rice, cooked
4 cans of refried beans (I used a can that had both black and pinto)
1 large jar picante salsa
2 cans Rotel
2 small cans chopped green chilis
6 cans red enchilada sauce
Lots of shredded mexican cheese

1) Combine salsa with 2 cans rotel and 2 cans green chilis, set aside
2) Brown ground beef and onions in the same pan (I did this a pound at a time). When the meat is brown, mix in the taco seasoning following package directions. Set meat mixture aside.
3) Now you’re prepared to assemble the tortillas: I took one tortilla, spread some refried beans in a line down the middle, added a small amount of rice, a spoonful of the salsa mixture, and then the ground beef/onion mixture. 
4) Roll the enchilada (it will be open on both ends).
5) Arrange the enchiladas- I fit 10 in each 9x13 casserole pan, but they were a little cramped.
6) Once the enchiladas are at this step, you can put them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
7) To cook the enchiladas, cover each 9x13 dish of them with a can of enchilada sauce, and then sprinkle liberally with cheese.
8) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (because everything is cooked, this step is just to make them hot and melty). 

Yum- everyone seemed to like these. They are a little spicy, so if you’re sensitive to heat, just omit the canned green chilis. Best of all, they fed a crowd without costing too much, and they allowed me to be part of the party, since most of the prep work can be done the day before.

Filed under Recipes Food Recipe Enchiladas Race for Hope 5k Cinco de Mayo Food for a crowd

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Friday Photo Dump and a Fundraiser

Hello, all! I hope the 20 or so of you who still drop in EVERY SINGLE DAY looking for material are happy :P

Here’s pretty much every single instagram photo I’ve taken in the past month.

Let’s see. There were cherry blossoms, I went on a roadtrip, I scowled into the sun, I worked on legislation, I got the stomach flu, and I wore leggings as pants to the monuments. 

I am so close to summer. I CAN FEEL IT. 2L year, in all of its horribleness, will finally be behind me. I know I’ve still got three tests to go, but I have to say- I feel a little invincible.

The other reason I’m dropping in is to tell/remind you about the brain tumor 5k that is coming up, and to ask you all to either join my team (we’re running/walking/skipping/jumping in memory of my mom) or donate to us! As I write this, I’m just a tiny bit short of my $3,000 fundraising goal. If you’ll be in DC, please come join us (I’ll be making enchiladas and margaritas at my place for the whole team because I’m an overachiever like that). If you can’t make it, please consider donating- the money goes towards a great cause and will help support research into one of the most complex and least understood cancers.

Here’s my team link: http://www.braintumorcommunity.org/site/TR/2013/RFH-DC?team_id=58442&pg=team&fr_id=2021

Filed under Instagram Photo Dump Friday Photo Dump Collage Fundraising Brain Tumor Brain Cancer GBM

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Instagram Photo Dump (early for once!), etc.

All photos taken and edited in Instagram for Android. Hit me up on Instagram! My username is EcoAndi

Because I have Oprah on the brain right now, and haven’t posted any real content in an eternity (I promise, I’ll go on a fun vacation or try a new recipe or make a new craft eventually, and y’all will be the first to know), here’s a current run-down of “What I Know For Sure”

1) Picking Florida to win the championship in my March Madness bracket was a bold choice.

2) It is much too cold in DC right now for late March.

3) You get more spice in a soup by using canned green chilis instead of a chopped jalapeno. 

4) Penny wars are an interesting concept, but not great for actual fundraising.

5) Little feels better than getting back into an exercise routine after slacking off for a while. 

I hope all is well with you, and that your March Madness brackets didn’t get totally demolished after just the first few games…

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Friday Photo Dump only one day late!

Again, slim pickings for instagram photos- gotta motivate myself to start taking more! Follow me on instagram: EcoAndi

I’ve had a fun week- and now it’s spring break! I’m heading back to Florida tomorrow, should be great!

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My First Foray Into Politics

I thought I’d pop back in this evening to announce something new going on in my life:

I just won a student government position I didn’t even run for. 

I am now the GW Law SBA Day Division Senator at-large. Wednesday was election day, and this position didn’t have any candidates running. I convinced a few of my friends to write me in (what? I have some ideas for SBA…), and later that night, I got an email that I had tied another write-in candidate and that we would be having a run-off. The run-off election took place today. I was at work for the majority of the day, so I couldn’t really campaign, but I told my friends to vote.

Apparently it was enough- I just got an email that I won! Though this came as kind of a surprise to me, I’m actually really excited to be on the Student Senate. I have a few VERY PRESSING ISSUES I’d like to advance (floppy hats and ice cream, to be specific). 

To be fair, the title of this post isn’t 100% accurate. If my memory serves, I actually ran for some kind of student government position in early elementary school. My mom and I came up with a campaign slogan that somehow centered on “AAA”, which stood for something along the lines of Absolutely Awesome Andrea. Somehow, despite that convincing slogan, I didn’t win. Maybe now I can finally feel vindicated?

Also, just to make Shane happy, I’m including the following photo:

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Inauguration- that time I looked like a total tourist in my own city.

First things first- thank you so much to everyone who viewed my afghan post, reposted it, sent it to your friends, or gave it a thumbs up on Stumble-Upon. There was a fun little exciting period where it went kind of viral for a few hours. It’s just nice for me to every now and then come up with some content that people actually enjoy! :P

For reference, here’s the graph of my daily blog viewership (guess which day the afghan post was…):

I removed the axis scale because I’m so mysterious, but you get the idea- it was a lot more hits than usual! 

This past weekend was tons of fun. My friend Ashley came in from Baltimore and we met up with Katie at my place in the city. We like to refer to ourselves as three generations of Sustainable UF, because we’ve all worked there at different times.

We decided to brave the crowds and head out to the National Mall to see the inauguration. Here’s a photo of us while there:

Yeah, I wore a cowboy hat. Because it makes total sense, that’s why. 

Actually, we were all kind of operating under the assumption that the mall would be a huge mess of tourists wearing all kinds of crazy red/white/blue things. Wanting to blend in, we threw on all our patriotic clothes. And then we got there, and I’m pretty sure we were the most patriotic/cheesily dressed people in our area. Whoops. I definitely looked like a tourist.

On to the actual ceremony: I have to be honest, it was kind of disappointing. They set up big screens all along the mall so people can watch it. Unfortunately, our screen was having some severe technical difficulties which they never really sorted out. Essentially, we ended up only being able to hear about 1/5 of the words spoken, and the video kept cutting in and out. Whatever contractor was hired to make the AV happen dropped the ball. People in our area were yelling and we actually got worried at one point that people would stampede; we came up with an escape plan of how we’d get out if something started happening. 

Luckily, everyone kept their cool, and we eventually gave up and went to Bobby’s Burgers (holy yum, as always). After, we walked back to my place and watched the speeches/performances on youtube while sipping wine. I think if I’m still in D.C. come next inauguration (and whoever is being inaugurated doesn’t disgust me too thoroughly), I’d try to go again. I’d recommend just getting there early and trying to be closer to the actual capitol building though. 

I hope you’re all staying warm! Yesterday, I almost slipped on an iced-over puddle on the sidewalk and had to deal with the “feels like 8 degrees” wind. Unpleasant.

Filed under Inauguration DC Washington President District Problems

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My first afghan- I get crochet bragging rights now, yes?

Hello all!

I PROMISE I’m going to try to post some more stuff this year. Life gets nuts and this is the last thing I think to do, particularly during times I’m trying to keep my head above water with my schoolwork.

But I couldn’t resist popping back in today, even if it’s just to brag a little.

I finished my first crocheted afghan! (See it here, classing up my Target futon)

I started in August, and worked on it in bits and pieces since then. Some of the hexagon were made while sitting in the ICU room with my mom, lots were done sitting in my apartment while drinking iced coffee and watching Game of Thrones. My biggest mistake (and one I likely wont repeat again) was choosing a pattern which necessitated making over 300 individual hexagons. Those suckers were time-consuming, but I think I could make them in my sleep now. 

I used this hexagon pattern: http://oneloopshort.blogspot.com/2009/07/super-simple-hexagon.html

I used really cheap yarn, a few different brands, but whatever was on sale at Michael’s really. For that reason, the yarn costs came in easily under $50. 

Here’s a close-up of the hexagons

I started this project without any understanding of how big I wanted the final afghan to be, so I just kept adding rows until I was satisfied with the size. With about 300 hexagons, I got an acceptable size for use on a full bed.

Here’s a photo of the afghan on my bed (I do not actually use the afghan on my bed because my apartment is inexplicably boiling hot all the time.)

(Calendar posters available at The Paper Source, if you were wondering)

I used this method to join the hexagons (note: if I were to do this again, I’d probably join them as I went, as opposed to joining a pile of 300 after they were all done) : http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/joining-granny-sqaures.html

And here’s the picture of the afghan as it currently sits (please ignore my dying plants- we’re currently battling spider mites…): 

Anyway, I love the final project, and it was a great distraction while I was making it. I got an afghan pattern book for Christmas, so I’m already planning my next project; I’ll either do something with a much larger granny square, or I’ll attempt to foray into tunisian crochet. 

I hope you’re all having a lovely new year, and are still staying totally on top of any resolutions you’ve made!

Filed under Crafts Crafting Crochet Crocheting Afghan Blanket DIY Tutorial Project Fiber Yarn