Hungry Haley

it's more than food

summer

Recent Eats

Recent EatsHaley Hansen1 Comment

Hello, food-loving friends! Ready to check out another collection of blog-worthy meals and snacks and whatnot? You better be. I'm one-month-deep into summer and it feels like heaven on earth - I'm sleeping in (and by that I mean roughly 7:30 AM at the latest), I'm working on the cookbook (!!!), I'm making progress on finishing This Is Us, and I'm continuing to learn more and more each day how to just relax. I'd say it's been pretty fantastic so far.

The most basic meal ever that just so happened to also be one of the most delicious was this one - garlic roasted Japanese sweet potato cubes + tempeh + mixed greens + avocado + feta. SO GOOD. 

Recent Eats

I came home one evening from wherever I was and found my roommates on our floor eating pizza and cookies and reminiscing on the last two years of living together/almost tearing up at the thought of no longer living together. 'Twas an emotionally challenging situation to walk into, but the Tollhouse cookies made it a little easier for all of us. 

Recent Eats

I told you we love happy hour! This spread is from Milestone Tavern in San Luis Obispo - a few of my friends and I treated ourselves on a Monday night to some appetizers and drinks and loved every bite. My favorites were the pretzel and cheese dip and the pulled pork slider (you should've seen that one coming)! 

Recent Eats

I wasn't much of a wine drinker until I discovered rosè - holy moly guacamole. Whenever my mom and I drink wine together, we love to add some fresh chopped fruit. The flavor isn't much different than wine without fresh fruit, but I'm convinced the small addition makes us feel... cooler? Fancier? Funner? Something like that. 

Recent Eats

One of my best friends recently married her college sweetheart, so my friends and I drove up to Northern California for the wedding a couple weekends ago. Our lunch, post four-hour-car-ride, was a stop at a cute local sandwich shop that was far too crowded for my liking, but the sandwiches were far too yummy for me to care that much about the line I had to wait in to get my hands on said sandwich. Speaking of that, it was something with garlic roasted turkey breast, brie, fresh veggies, and a spicy pepper aioli I think. 

Recent Eats

And the wedding dinner was chicken with veggies and mashed potatoes. The bread was a disappointing take on cardboard, but hey, we still love the bride and had plenty of food and cake for hours of dancing. Peep the adorable jar of homemade jam! 

Recent Eats

The girls and I had these breakfast burritos planned for the morning after the wedding about a week in advance and I could not have been more excited. Once we pulled out the breakfast sausages, I think my heart skipped a beat. Okay, but really, this was our last time together as roommates and it was both infinitely joyous and tear-jerkingly sad at the same time. We've all lived together for at least two years, so saying goodbye was harder than... hard. Gotta' do what ya' gotta' do. Sorry - I don't have any uplifting advice for goodbyes. 

Recent Eats

I usually pack a lunch or at least some snacks for work everyday, so here's one of them - some chopped nectarine (white ones are my favorite) and an RX Bar nut butter packet, which was p h e n o m e n a l by the way, and then a big ol' salad of mixed greens + chopped carrots and cucumber + black bean burgers + a hard-boiled egg + mayo whisked with salsa for the dressing. MMMM!

Recent Eats

Every so often, I'm lucky enough to take home some leftovers of whatever the chef made either that day or a few days prior, and this time it was a thick slice of jalapeño cheddar cornbread! He offered it up and I graciously volunteered to take this chunk of his hands. I'm so nice. Later that evening, I heated it back up and ate it alongside some roasted veggies and tempeh. 

Recent Eats

Grace and I treated ourselves to a new ice cream place in town - Nite Creamery. I don't remember exactly what we got, but we ordered the same thing and I think it was vanilla ice cream + cookie crumbles mixed in and a caramel drizzle. HELLO. So good. Well, like ice cream is delicious and all, but if you ask me, what really makes ice cream special is eating the ice cream with loved ones in the warmth of a summer Sunday night.  

Recent Eats

Dad and I couldn't decide what to do for dinner his last night in town, so I found a grill, bought some meat + veggies + burger buns and invited my friends over for the ideal summer dinner. We had burgers, roasted sweet potatoes, salad, fruit, and wine and capped the night off with a few rounds of banana-grams, which is hilarious and my new number one recommendation if you're looking for a simple yet effective game to keep a fun night extra fun. 

Recent Eats

After a magnificent brunch at Lido in Pismo Beach, I HAD to go back for something else... just to make sure the menu is consistent, ya' know? It is. It is consistently good. This was the nicest meal Dad and I have had in what feels like forever, for as long as we can both remember, and it was my gift to him for Father's Day (a whole month late) when he flew out here to spend a few days with me. He ordered the carbonara, I ordered the vegan pizza with a little cheese on top, and we split some roasted cauliflower. Everything was unbelievably good! 

For whatever reason, I think it's worth mentioning here that this wedding-centered weekend - from not being able to squeeze in a workout two days in a row, to snacking on leftover cake and wine at midnight (let alone cake in and of itself), to making breakfast burritos with sausage and white tortillas - would have stressed me out for weeks in advance and even more so during the event had it been three or four years ago. And this still hurts to say but even some of the time with my dad would've been spent planning meals and workouts and scheduling our day around when I can workout and where I can eat this or that. I've learned A LOT since then and I'm not saying that to brag, but rather to let those of you who aren't as happy as you might want to be in your relationship with food and/or body image that there is a way out of that mind-clogging, fun-sucking state. It can be a long, strenuous road with some disappointments and setbacks here and there, but it is worth the drive. The freedom to enjoy cake and breakfast burritos and the brain-space and energy to chat with friends and dance for hours instead of working out for 30 minutes is absolutely worth it. The freedom to savor a pizza and sip some damn good rosè overlooking the ocean with Dad by my side and the brain-space to discuss faith and our challenging questions and to reminisce on family memories and his college years and beyond is absolutely worth it. 

It's more than food. 

Life Lately (Moving & Ending, Working, Summer-ing)

LifeHaley Hansen2 Comments

My original intentions for this post were to tell you about some of the endings that have suddenly just appeared recently, but the more I wrote about those, the less I felt like my concluding words were anything vastly different or more impactful than what you've likely already heard, like "you just never know what's coming your way". And if you haven't yet heard that, well, I'm glad I could be the first. My current intentions for the post are to update you on life lately because a helluva lot is going on and I think you need a little taste of everything for it all to make sense. 

Life Lately (Moving & Ending, Working, Summer-ing)

1. MOVING & ENDING

First things first - I moved! Well, myself and all my roommates, that is. We left our little apartment that kept us cozy for two whole years and now we're a bit uncomfortable looking at the bare walls and empty rooms. I cried for three days straight - sometimes the tears came while schlepping boxes to and from wherever, and other times they came when exhaustion hit me like a wall and all I could do was cry and call Mom. This is an ending to two of the absolute best years of my life and that fact sits in my stomach like a brick. 

We laughed our azzes off and we cried our eyeballs out. We danced until sweat got the best of us and we slept until the sun woke us up. I grew my blog and let it transition through phases. I've baked endless batches muffins and cookies and sweet potatoes in that kitchen. I've found the friends I am not prepared at all to let go of. 

The thing with endings is that - for me at least - I'm often tied up in fears of the next chapter, too much so to think optimistically about the good it holds. Two years ago, moving into this house, I had no idea what to expect. I was scared then, too. Terrified, actually. And yet, within weeks, my roommates had me rolling off the couch onto the floor holding my stomach in that really good kind of pain laughter induces. Two years later, that still happens and that's one of the reasons I've felt terrified knowing that all - or at least about 90% of it - is coming to an end. 

But I look back and realize that I've been through this before. I've seen and endured endings in my life and I will see through this one, too. It's hard to see the next good beginning when there's a tough ending fogging up the windshield, but I'm reminding myself there is a good beginning coming. Actually, it's probably already arrived and I haven't even noticed it yet. One thing I am really looking forward to in this whole process is starting this next chapter with just me. Throughout the last couple of years, I've carved out some me-time when I need it, but other than that, I spent most of my time with my girls. And don't get me wrong - I LOVE THEM, obviously because if I didn't I wouldn't be missing them. But, four years ago when I went through the most challenging moving-&-ending I have experienced up-to-date (a rough break-up right before college), I did so on my own and because of that, had every opportunity to sculpt myself into the woman I want to be. It's not that I can't do that with my friends around (in fact, they help in my discovery of myself), but I am an introvert at my core and I have been craving some self-exploration and I feel that having few people physically here with me to lean on will somehow benefit me, though it may not always feel that way. 

Life Lately (Moving & Ending, Working, Summer-ing)

2. WORKING

I am a working woman! And by that I mean I'm not completely reliant on self-employment via this blog to financially support myself. When I began pursuing this as my only job, it provided everything I wanted and more in terms of income and job description, but that changed as the months went on and now I'm here wishing more than ever for some interaction with other humans. Like in person. That feels strange to say because, as I mentioned before, I am an introvert, but I've concluded that I'm an extroverted-introvert. 

A week or two after school ended, I vowed to very intentionally send out my resume to a few restaurants and gyms (those are the only two places I can see myself working right now). Suddenly a popular job-search website suggested I apply for a hostess position at a restaurant inside one of the beach hotels in Pismo Beach and nothing really sounded much better than that, honestly. I met with the managers and within a day or two they brought me on the team! Since then, though, I've been doing some thinking and considering and exploring of other opportunities, and I predict some changes to come with my working situation. 

Ultimately, my goal right now is to save lots of money because I am still a college student, after all, and besides "homework", "saving money" is one of the middle names that comes with the student life. My second goal and therefore second priority I keep in mind when looking for opportunities is to gain experience in the restaurant industry, more on the casual dining/cafe side of the spectrum (which is not where I am right now working in this restaurant, but it's still useful experience). In ten or so years from now, I hope to have my own cafe up and running, so right now I want to gather knowledge on how to even do so because I feel as clueless as I did in my hardest chemistry class. And my third goal is to involve myself more in this community. It is a wonderful community, to say the very least, and I want to meet the farmers from whom I buy my produce at the market. I want to know the chefs and baristas and waitresses at my favorite places to eat. You know? 

Life Lately (Moving & Ending, Working, Summer-ing)

3. SUMMER-ING

It's technically not a word, but we don't worry about small things like that here on this blog. During our first week of summer, Grace (bff/roommate - remember?) and I took on this triple-hike challenge and as we trotted ever-so-not-gracefully down the last of the three hikes, I listed off a few things I really want to do this summer and she looked back at me with a grin and said, "It's like you come out of hibernation when school is out". HAHAHA. It's true. My other friends backed that statement up. I can't help it! My classes this year were intense times a million, and hibernation is actually a very accurate description. What else would you call a routine like this: wake up, workout, go to class, go to more class, study, more class, come home, and keep studying 'til bedtime? To think that I missed out on several fun outings with friends makes me tear up sometimes, but I know that I'm pursuing my passion and there are inevitable sacrifices sometimes. 

So, when school is out and doesn't require 90% of the energy I have each day, I. Want. To. Have. Fun. And I have been having so much fun during this first month of summer. My friends and I are fans of happy hour, beach days, Bachelorette nights (go Blake!), and even going to the bars downtown (yes - I stay up past my bedtime and drink alcohol on occasion), among a long list of other things. One day, Grace and I spent the entire morning watching This Is Us and I felt like a kid watching cartoons all day on Saturday. It was awesome. Oh, and last weekend, one of our best friend's married than man she has loved for the last three years and it was a wedding to remember forever. We love you, Phoebe and Brent!

Summers in SLO are indescribable. Almost perfect. Ehh, they're actually probably perfect. 

And that's life lately! Thanks for reading along here and following along wherever else I am. This blog means the world to me and I plan to continue pursuing it - I just need to find a... what's that word? Oh, yes - balance :) 

Life Lately (Moving & Ending, Working, Summer-ing)