Whats been happening?

I’m happy to have maintained this blog for more than four months now. While I’m trying better to stay in the present and not look back on the future, I must say the best decision I made for myself last year were: a) creating this blog and b) moving to Seattle. Both of these choices led to emotional and intellectual satisfaction as I’m now capable of nurturing a hobby and was fortunate enough to have had the chance to escape an unchallenging work environment in NYC.

I celebrated my first Boxing Day celebration at the home of a British friend – the fiancé and I brought Peruvian alfajores (of course) and enjoyed many glasses of gluhwein. I always appreciate learning of cultural traditions with which I’m not familiar. Boxing Day appeared to me to be a convivial winter holiday among friends old and new; one final social celebration around the Christmas tree!

Our post-Christmas tradition of dim sum at Jade Garden. Highly recommend ordering a serving of their Honey Walnut Shrimp and Salt & Pepper Calamari (very salty btw, you’ll need copious amounts of water after).

Shortly before the New Year, I took my first trip to Chicago. Though I probably came at the coldest and most stormy time of the year (there was heavy wet snowfall as soon as we landed in the morning until noon), Chi-town is a place where some of my dear friends are from so I appreciated getting a sense of this city. The prohibitive cold and my stubborn desire to wear a dress & tights led the fiancé and I to only stay around the neighborhood of our hotel (adjacent to Millenium Park).

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Attempted to capture the bleakness of the early-morning snowstorm.
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Unfortunately for us, Mr Oliver’s shows were sold out. If only I had known in advance!
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This sort of riverfront/waterfront walkways remind me of Paris (minus the skyscrapers). Perhaps that’s where city planners got the idea? Would look lovelier on a sunnier day.
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Snow-encrusted Bean at Millenium Park.
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I’m a sucker for tropical-themed drinks. Featured are 2 Mai Tais and a Banana Daiquiri

After spending a whirlwind 24 hours in Chicago, it was time to continue the rest of our adventure in Illinois – at a little town called Carbondale. We went there as we had family there; being an aficionado of large metropolitan areas, I would’ve gone elsewhere if I had the chance. However, we enjoyed a comfortable and warm week with family where I completely bombed on this game, Trivial Pursuit. Though I do believe I impressed some with my expert knowledge of figure skaters and the ingredients that compose a Pimm’s.

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New Years dinner – bok choy (not featured), slow-cooked ribs (some like 6 hrs in the oven) and cedar plank salmon.

I celebrated New Years Eve last year in NYC and let me tell you – NYC during the holidays is nothing like NYC during the rest of the year. During the winter holidays, NYC becomes incredibly touristy and you will not enter any bar where people are from out-of-state to celebrate big for the splendid occasion of partying it up in NYC. Glad I missed NYE in NYC this year; though it’s on my bucket list to play “tourist” and be in Vegas for NYE. One of these days!

Luckily I’m still absolutely loving my Modified Asian Ginger dressing (I recommend blending it!) and I even got my carnivore fiancé to eat a large bowl of salad because he loves this dressing so much! Keep in mind, this is a man who I’ve never seen eat more than one serving of fruit or vegetable in a day. As the dressing incorporates sesame oil, I felt it appropriate to top off the salad with a couple spoonfuls of toasted sesame seeds. It added just enough crunchiness and nuttiness, it really perfected the dish.

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