Thursday, March 13, 2008

Aloha Plates & Cherry Cupcakes

For the past year, every other Thursday my coworkers and I end the day with a little social hour, where we trade off bringing food, wine, beer, etc. to enjoy while we leave the projects and reports behind for awhile and get to know each other better. When it first started, our department had just grown by a couple people (myself included), and it was a great way to learn more about my new teammates. I think it's really helped us work better together, by accelerating the process of finding common interests and learning to communicate better with each other. This was the first event I was going to hopefully make it to since the new year, since I've been OOTO for several due to headaches and illness. Plus, our coworker Jen was going to be bringing in her new baby boy for everyone to meet, which was really exciting.

So last night, despite being wiped out, I made some Cherry Chip cupcakes with a marischino cherry juice flavored buttercream frosting. I frosted 16 of them as if they were one big cake, and brought them in for the party.

It turned out to be a great time. Anne made some delicious bar cookies, Yarrow made her grandmother's 'Working Girl's Snack' recipe (cream cheese with soy sauce and green onions, with triscuits), and we had wine and cheese and apple and my cupcakes.

For dinner tonight we had planned to try a new recipe for Shrimp Cous Cous, but we were so out of it last night that we forgot to take the shrimp out of the freezer. Plus, I ended up at work late for the social hour, so for a second night, we had to stray from our meal plan.

My fiance picked me up from work (in Downtown Seattle), and we swung by Uwajimaya, the Asian grocery superstore, to grab some takeout. It was after 7, so many of the restaurants had already closed, but we still had some good options. And as usual, the Aloha Plates siren song (they always offer samples and then hand you a menu when you get close enough) was too strong for us to resist. I ordered Kahaku Prawns (prawns in a really yummy creamy sauce) and my fiance ordered Huli Huli Chicken. It being the end of the night, I guess they had chicken to spare, so they hooked us up with twice the normal amount of chicken. Of course, being a Hawaiian restaurant, every menu item is served with a scoop of rice and a scoop of mac salad.

After getting our food, we were walking back through the store to our car and spotted a very special type of wine that we've been looking for. I won't risk spoiling a surprise for a friend, but we bought 3 bottles (there were 3 varieties), and then headed home to enjoy our dinner. More on the wine later.

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