Year 2011 had been rough - personally (snowboarding injuries and car troubles - times 3 - one after another) and also in general (earthquakes, tsunami and the nuclear armageddon situation in Japan, volcano eruptions, drought and flood in various parts of the world - how come they couldn't dump the water in flooding cities to the dried-up places?) Enough already!! Let's look forward to a bright new start in year 2012!!
Our local supermarket had these giant shrimps on sale, so I couldn't resist picking up a box - there are only 8 shrimps in a pound and each was at least as long as the full length of my hand. I got really excited getting them out of the box.
After thawing them and washing with a bit of salt, I had to used a pair of scissors to de-vein the shrimps and cut each open length-wise so that the halves are still attached by the shell on the back. Then I smeared finely chopped garlic all over the open side and lay them flat on vermicelli (the clear kind) that I had soaked in lukewarm water to soften.
The jumbo shrimps were cooked to perfection after 12 minutes of steaming, and I topped them with a sauce made with sauteed green onion, sugar and soya sauce, with a dash of chicken bouillon. We all enjoyed it a lot - so much so that I had forgotten to take a snapshot of the dish and only managed to get this picture of the shrimp - which had trouble fitting into my bowl. Since the prawns were still fairly expensive at 10 bucks a box, I had only picked up one to experiment - but now it seems like I should have bought more while it's on sale!
Have yet tried using it yet but was very happy to finally own a SILPAT - a re-usable baking mat made of silicone that I've seen often in culinary magazines and TV shows on the Food Network. Not to mention that I only paid about half the price it usually goes for wherever I see it. Score!
It's officially less than a week 'til Christmas so this week rather than our usual games we had a potluck and decorated gingerbread houses instead. A lot of things didn't go according to plan this evening but after a few drinks we still managed to have a great time :)
I hope everyone will also have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday!
Our team had always decorated our area for Christmas since we moved into this building, but this year it's made official that the Christmas contest would be one for the most festive cubicle - so people went all out! One lady turned her cubicle into a gingerbread house complete with candies stuck on the side; another team turned their aisle into Santa's sleigh path with a reindeer in each cubicle (Rudolf got the first!) and Santa himself stuck face-down flat against the wall. But the effort I found the most amazing was an aisle that was turned into something similar to Disneyland's "It's a Small World Holiday" boat cruise. Christmas lights were strung along the aisle and between each cubicles there was a banner that says "Merry Christmas" in a different language. Among these and Christmas wrappers, there were these giant paper ornaments that looked amazing but turned out to be pretty simple to make. My coworker was kind enough to supply colorful paper and show me how:
With my new haircut (done with layers and side bangs) I definitely needed a flat iron to keep the fizz down and to smooth out the ends of my hair, and this little baby I picked up from Wal-mart for under $20 had been SO handy:
I had bought it as my first flat iron just to try it out (to see if I really need to use it and if I really would have the time and patience use it) - because all the other flat irons I've looked at were at least 5 times more costly. Despite its small size, it heats up quickly and stays heated for as long as it's plugged in. And the iron being so short made it really easy to maneuver - I didn't have to worry about accidentally burning my scalp. So far it's been doing the job pretty well, so I might be able to put off getting another flat iron until this one goes. And I love the fact that it came with a little heat-resistant pouch that I can just stuff it into when I don't have time to wait for the iron to cool down before putting it away. Score!
Love the FlavorWave Oven - just used a metal steam rack over a metal place on the bottom and cooked the marinated beef ribs in single layer for 15 minutes and they turned out just as good as Korean BBQ.
At a dollar a pop in the Lisa's Cosmetic Warehouse Sale, I couldn't resist but to pick up this nail polish in a dark crimson red along with another one in a rich dark chocolate brown - both that would be great for winter wear. I loved the Real Royal from Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth plus Nourishing nail polish, but was a little disappointed in Always from the Diamond Strength line. I was really drawn to it because of the crimson color in the bottle, but on the nails the color is closer to a cherry red.
Way too loud and cheerful for the classy understated elegance I was looking for (like the Oxblood that Michelle was wearing on her accent nail) - but with some glitters (a la Nicole by OPI's Love Your Life), it's actually just what would be perfect for adding some holiday cheers :)
The Christmas Countdown, that is. It hit me as quite a shock that we are in December already (how time flies!) and it hit me harder when the stockings went up in the office to remind me I have just about 3 weeks to gather my wits and pull together a list of Christmas gifts ideas, actually go into a mall in this time of year (oh, the horror!) to buy these gifts, plan the holiday gatherings so the gifts and wishes could be delivered, and somehow squeeze some holiday baking in between. EEEK!! Stress levels on the rise... I think I need a drink, or two...