After weeks of preparation with dress-buying, dusting off of the black patent leather spiked heels, hotel reservation securing, and meditational deep breathing, last week culminated with all of the amazingness appearing in the above photo gallery - and more, actually, but I'm exercising a little bit of blog restraint to protect identities of teammates who likely read my posts. And now, just days after experiencing all that glitzy award ceremony excitement, I'm still feeling the happy endorphins and finding myself seeking out next year's ensemble - and looking forward to another ME night camped out at the fabulously posh Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District where I already know I'll be treated like royalty all over again.
(Yes Marriott, I got your email and will be hitting you up on some of your fine swag, too.)
I have to say one extremely cool thing about subscribing to Blue Apron is that after receiving shipments with hand-picked ingredients and trying out new recipes the family and I would probably never attempt otherwise, we are left with instructions to repeat on our own but with locally store-bought items. So that is what happened here tonight with a personal favorite, Shrimp & Fresh Basil Fettuccine with Roasted Broccoli. Yet on a side note: After having already cooked this up with Gallo Sauvignon Blanc wine a few months ago, which was also delicious as ever I must add, we switched it up with a Barefoot wine this time and were super surprised by how much flavor the crispy sweetness added to the meal both as an ingredient and as a pairing on the side.
Plus, it'll taste that much better with the late-night snack later on in the evening... just saying.
Today marked the 1-month anniversary of being employed in my dream position of a lifetime at the best employer worldwide, and I celebrated by eating lunch with my team at Black Oak Grill in Midtown Crossing, a hip and new favorite hangout of mine in Omaha. All prepared to eat as much dairy as I'd pleased with lactaid fully stocked, I had myself a loaded up grilled cheese sandwich & freshly made hot tomato soup and just about died with pleasure - it was so incredibly delicious. Not only that, but I was able to meet up with a remote teammate whom I'd only corresponded with via Skype prior to the visit and really got a kick out of his personality and charm, despite the fact that he dogged on my driving skills... but we won't go there in this blog post. Perhaps later.
So yeah, feeling freakishly blessed to know and hang with such amazing people and eat such crazily tasty food on the milestone I never would have seen coming, even in my wildest dreams over the past couple of traumatic years. Although, I seriously wouldn't have minded a sneak peek.
This photo collage is just a peek into all of the excitement I had partying it up on and around my actual birthday. Still coming down from all of the party goodness, I have to admit that shopping, food, and time with my people will never grow old, and neither will I.
... the first slide about the oldest turning 22 years old, anyway. Eating at Olive Garden to celebrate the occasion and licking our plates clean? COMPLETELY POSSIBLE.
Tonight the family and I concocted the Cheesy Black Bean and Chicken Enchiladas recipe via Blue Apron Shipment-of-the-Week, and it tasted much better than it looked. Our only advice for next time around? More cilantro + sour cream mix in the enchilada stuffing. Otherwise, tonight's meal was a great family team building moment and tasty dinner - although, being down one family member meant extra leftovers.
Not a bad deal, after all.
At the beginning of Summer Break 2018, I sent out a wish to get a certain College Peep hooked on sushi before the end of the break. And guess what?
I Did. Just. That.
This lovely slideshow is proof of my wish come true with pics of our delicious reverse happy hour sushi meal at H I R O 88, requested by none other than College Peep herself, complete with Shrimp & Veggie Tempura Appetizers, Husker / HIRO's Crunch / Sweet Chili Crab / West Coast Sushi Rolls, and Orange Mimosas to wash down all of that scrumptiousness.
And with that, Team Life-Long Sushi Quest just got one member stronger.
I'm kind of getting into shrimp-related recipes these days, and this one was one of the best yet:
Cajun-Style Shrimp with Zucchini Rice & Creamy Dressing
Total amazingness on a plate, which btw is not my actual plate shown here because I ate my meal so fast I forgot to take a blog picture. And as a side note, I swapped out Jasmine with Basmati rice - not that you could see much difference between the two, but full disclosure. Also included was a zucchini picked straight from the home garden making this meal that much more special. But the best part of all? Saving a whole bunch of $$ by cooking a knock-off version of Blue Apron's recipe, thus skipping this week's shipment.
Thankfully, I am reading this ridiculously high temperature shown here on my Apple Watch from the comfort of my air-conditioned house on this fine Memorial Day weekend. And so far, the family and I have taken advantage of the cool comfortableness our our home by not grilling outside but instead cooking up some copycat Applebee's wonton tacos indoors, complete with a side of rice pilaf and fresh limes. So not only are we feeling all cool temperature-wise, but we're also eating way cheaper than we would have if we'd headed out to the actual restaurant. WTG, Fam.
I am Brenda Swenson and sometimes I blog.