Short and Stout

>Is what I am. But good things come in small packages. Right? (right???)

I am soooo glad skinny jeans are out
Short girls should stay away from flats…. oh well 😉
Mixing prints

Yah. So I’m really making an effort to dress up a bit. The thing is…. I still want to be comfortable. So dressing up means jeans + “not a t-shirt.” Baby steps, my friends.

You might have already noticed, but yes,  I have been posting pictures of me. In clothes. In my bathroom at work. (The mirror in my bedroom is currently obstructed…by a pile of un-ironed clothes. I’m living big, folks.) This is not because I think I’m a fashion icon. Fashion icons are 1) not midgets and 2) do not spend their afternoons writing haikus inspired by their Neil Diamond Pandora station (it happens). I’m just trying to hold myself accountable. Also, I want my sister to see this. She needs to know 😉

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>Fleetwood Mac Did It Best

>I used to write a blog purely about break up songs. I know, kind of weird. And let me just say, first off, that it’s not because I was some sad single gal who was sitting at home feeling sorry for herself. Nope, just happen to love them. If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a little dramatic. I like to think it’s the Italian in me 😉

Anyway, after listening to this song for the 12th time this evening, I have come to the conclusion I must share. Yes, Cee Lo might have the catchiest “F you” song right now, but this was the O.G.. I promise.

I’m not going to lie, the past few weeks have not been going smoothly. But listening to this song helps. I feel kind of kick-ass. (The 3 pieces of Muenster cheese I just inhaled also helped. A lot.)

You all know the story behind this song, right? Boy and girl meet, sing in a band together and fall in love. Then one day, girl decides that she’s over it. Oh, but wait! They’re still in a band together. Boy writes super angry, bitter song and makes girl sing it in the ultimate act of F*%k you. Delicious.

>Shabu Shabu For the Win

>Shabu Shabu is one of those cuisines I have wanted to try for a long time. There is actually a sushi place in La Jolla, right by my house that does it. Unfortunately, it is extremely expensive. So when the President of my company, George, said that he and his family do it at home for all his family parties/events my ears perked up instantly. Apparently, so did the rest of my co-workers…because our Quarterly Meeting was promptly scheduled to take place at his house. YESSS!

Fast forward a few weeks, and I’m on my way to the O.C. (I may or may not have been singing a certain theme song whilst traveling up the 5) for our quarterly meeting and SHABU SHABU! It was a beautiful day, and I loooove driving along the highway with the ocean on my left. So pretty.

The meeting was good. Lots of projections, goals and analysis. Feeling pumped about the next few months. But really, let’s get to the heavy stuff.

Shabu Shabu!

George and his wife Alice went beyond anything I might have expected. They mean business. Seriously. They purchased their own meat slicer so that they could slice the steak to the appropriate thinness. These people do not mess around.

Take a look at the spread.

Just Another Friday Work Lunch…

Those silver pots? Individual burners and pots for everyone. Yes.  They have purchased not only their own industrial meat slicer, but they have an army of burners and pots.

For those of you not in the know, Shabu Shabu is Japanese cuisine made up of very thinly sliced beef (usually ribeye) that is dipped into boiling water that is flavored with veggies and other spices. A quick “swish swish” and you remove the now cooked beef, dip it into some ponzu sauce and voila! You can also do this with various fish and other meats. Veggies are good too.

Everyone had their own platter. From left to right: shrimp, fish balls and sliced ribeye.

It’s sliced very thin. But don’t be fooled – there is a lot of meat here!

Uncooked. But not for long…

The shrimp were ENORMOUS!

Veggies for our pots.

In the mix: mushrooms, corn, carrots, cabbage.

George was an excellent host. Walking around the table and instructing us all on how to proceed. He also filled our cups with cold sake 🙂

It’s delicious AND fun to eat

George’s kids, Justin and Serena joined in on the fun. These kids are experts! They wasted no time…

Ain’t no thang. 

Me however, not so much….

I’m concentrating very hard here.

The meat cooks almost instantly. The shrimp I let stew for about two minutes/until it turned nice and pink.

Taking the plunge!

A “swish swish” later.

Into the ponzu! (Ponzu was flavored with green onions, tons of garlic and sesame sauce….drool)

We quenched our thirst with some chilled sake. The added raspberry was amazing! It took the bite off the sake and made it go down incredibly smooth. I think I’m going to steal this idea…

So refreshing

After we had filled out bellies with all the fixins’,  George instructed us to save at least one piece of meat for the “soup.” SO GLAD I DID. The soup is basically the broth that you have been cooking the meat in. I had left a fishball in the broth the entire time to give the broth a nice flavor. That, and some of the leftover veggies that I hadn’t already eaten were added to the bowl. It was amazing.

Slurp!

The damage.

And as if we weren’t spoiled enough. George whipped out the Vitamix and made us all fresh sorbet.

Strawberry, mango and pineapple.

I am happy to say that this was easily one of the best meals I have ever had. It was surprisingly incredibly light. It was not surprisingly incredibly satisfying.

I think I’m going to have to fork out the dolla bills (yo) and make my way to some Shabu Shabu in La Jolla afterall…

Happy team

Thank you George and Alice for spoiling us so! It was amazing!

>I Love Carbs, But…

>I am NOT missing them. Not after this.

As you know, the other day I tried my hand at brussel sprouts for the first time. So feeling a little cocky, I went for something else I have never tried — spaghetti squash.

I gotta tell you, I’m 2 for 2 this week. It was amazing!

I will warn you, the meal you are about to see is extremely weird. It is a product of what was in my pantry. So….slim pickings. (I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to the grocery store)

But that’s okay. Because it was so, so yum.

Spaghetti squash cut in half and seeds removed

Squash guts!

I simply put the two halves cut side down on a baking pan and placed in a preheated (350 degrees) onion and let cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile…

Half an onion, chopped, over medium heat with some olive oil.

I let the onions cook for about 5 minutes. They had just started to get a little soft.

Some chopped cauliflower (about 1/4 head)

Garlic!

Lot’s of garlic! (About 3 very large cloves worth)

You should always have this in your pantry.

Let this cook until the tomatoes were warm.

Salt, pepper and a heaping tbsp or two of red pepper flakes later…

Well look who’s ready!

Take a fork and start scraping. This was after one “scraping” motion.

30 seconds later.

Get out your favorite serving bowl.

A beautiful bed of steaming hot spaghetti squash.

Heap on the veggie mix and add a little feta.

I needed some protein? (Those are kidney beans that I had leftover)

Mix!

Heart healthy x 2 (The stray piece of broccoli makes it extra healthy. It’s science.)

I cannot express how satisfying this was. In the future I’m thinking some slices of sausage would be delicious (the beans were still surprisingly good). Also, if you’re going to do this – please, please make sure you add the feta. It adds a saltiness that just takes this entree to the next level.

I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow – leftovers!

>Missing a Beret

>

Feeling Frenchie

>I Never Knew!

>Brussell Sprouts are freaking delicious. Like, Seriously delicious.

Let me share my journey….

Miniature lettuce?
Remember to cut off the ends and pick off the yellow/brown pieces.

Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
Foil makes clean-up so much easier 🙂
40 glorious minutes later
Seriously. Do you see this? 

Consider me obsessed!

>You’re Never Too Old for Toys

>Quick! Gather all of the things you love most and place them around you. Preferably on your lap.

In this picture: 1 puppy, 3 toys.

I love having a puppy for many reasons – constant companionship, and excuse to get out more frequently, a cuddlebug at my beck and call, etc. But most of all, because he just makes me laugh. Tino, you are completely self-absorbed, ridiculously hyper, and a food machine…but at the end of the day, you make me laugh. And that counts for a lot.

p.s. I re-discovered my FAVORITE sweater of all time this morning.

Best Christmas Gift Ever.

It looks super lumpy on the side, it’s mostly the pattern. Mostly…not completely 😉

>If It’s Good Enough For Goats…

>I have a few obsessions: finding the perfect guacamole, shoes, wine (duh) and Neil Diamond. I think it’s time to add to the list: shiny hair. I am obsessed with finding the latest greatest hair potion that will make my hair silky smooth. (Wow, a girl wanting shiny hair…so out of the ordinary)

Today, I think I’m one step closer to fulfilling my shiny hair quest…

Shinnnnny

Argan Oil! How had I never heard about this before? For those not in the know, Argan oil derives from the pits of the Argan tree, which are found in Moracco. In years past, because the pits were difficult to crack, the broken down seeds were extracted from goat poop. Yup. Goat poop. Goats have a thing for Argan pits. So much so that they climb the trees to get these little treasures. 

Just chillin…

Anyway. That brings me to the other day. A trip to Whole Foods, a shower, and a few drops of this oily goodness later and I now have some serious shine going on. Lovely. 

Now I just wish the sun would start shining down here in San Diego and I would be one happy shiny-haired chica. (See what I did there? Shine?!)

>Sunny Day

>When people try to bring you down, I say throw on some bright yellow, put on your favorite heels and kick some ass (in life).

It’s been a rough week. But nothing I can’t handle. I am neither homeless nor without family and dear, dear friends. So I guess I’m doing alright.

Yellow. With Attitude.

Kick Ass Shoes.

What’s your remedy for a bad day?

>Did I Become a Cat Lady?

>I mean, it was bound to happen. A single gal in her (late) twenties….

My main squeeze

But in my defense, my “cat” is the most ADORABLE PUPPY EVER!

Some more proof of my singlehood?

Leftovers transformed?

Yes, it’s a sandwich. A delicious “pulled pork” sandwich. But the reason this delicious concoction came into fruition? Singlehood! It’s hard to cook for one – and so that means that I usually cook a few servings of whatever I fancy at a particular time, and then enjoy it several more times that week. It inevitably gets a little repetitive and so I’m forced to come up with new recipes to overcome my dilemma 😉

Last piece of evidence? Last night? Me in my living room, pajamas on, watching Eat Pray Love. My dinner of choice? A plate of cheese, some sliced pickles, some left over sweet potato fries (from lunch) and a glass of wine.

It’s a rough life I tell ya!

Pork ecstasy

P.S. – my “pulled pork” recipe? So easy! I just boiled some leftover pork loin in a sauce pan, covered with water, added some apple cider vinegar and bbq sauce and let boil for an hour. Then just pulled the pork out and shredded it with a pair of forks. Voila! (I added a TBSP or 2 extra of BBQ sauce after shredding…I like it saucy!)