Weekend Highlights; I ♥ New York

Taking Friday off meant I had a three-day weekend to spend exploring the city.  I’m a Brooklyn girl at heart but this weekend I was all about Manhattan.  We spent three full days walking or eating or eating while walking and you know those are all my favorite activities!  Long story with lots of gushing short: I love it here!  I think NYC is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Since we ate pretty much nonstop, this is going to be a lengthy post.  I cut what I could and am only including the exciting stuff.  Working alphabetically always seems to make the most sense to me…

Chelsea Market {Chelsea}.

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Friday afternoon, after my girlfriend left and before Adam got off of work, I took myself on a ramen date at Mokbar.

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I got the brothy chicken ramen – roasted ginger chicken broth, pulled chicken, and cucumber and garlic chive kimchi, topped with a soft-boiled egg.

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Very nice, especially the egg, but not quite as good as Chuko Ramen.

Gansevoort Market {Meatpacking District}.

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I actually didn’t love any of the items I ate there, but it was too pretty not to show.  A burnt, gross, maple cortado from Champion Coffee.

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And a shimmery birthday cake macaron from Dana’s Bakery.

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It wasn’t the best macaron ever (found at Bakeshop by Woops!), but I still want to go back for the s’mores and cookie dough.

The High Line {Chelsea}.

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I had a crab cake empanada from La Sonrisa.

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Lump blue crab, cream cheese, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, and spices.  Good, but nothing can hold a candle to the guava-cheese at the truck near my train.  <– The food was good this weekend but I guess a lot of it did come up short compared with past experiences.  Good thing the walking was so darn fun!

Magnolia Bakery {Greenwich Village}.

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Adam swooned over his s’mores cupcake and I got the legendary banana pudding.

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Totally worth the accolades and Magnolia’s tourist destination status.

Nutella Bar at Eataly.

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My Nutella iced latte was on point.

Peanut butter jelly smoothie.  The only homemade item yummy enough to make it into this post.

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We blended up frozen grapes and dark cherries with plain Siggi’s yogurt, peanut butter, and honey.

Brunch at Penelope {Kips Bay}.  A girlfriend from my University of Buffalo days came into the city for a visit.  We split a pitcher of rosé sangria with mango and watermelon.

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And I ordered a BBELT – double (fakin) bacon, over-medium egg, lettuce, and tomato, with black pepper balsamic mayo on toasted sourdough. With hand-cut fries.

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Much better than a boring old BLT.

Pier A Harbor House {Battery Park} for Brooklyn Brewery‘s Long Hall Lager.

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Sooooo creamy, it was fantastic.  And especially enjoyable after a 2 miles walk on the water down Battery Place.

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We stopped at Brookfield Place to admire the view and now need to go back immediately for lunch.

Red Farm {Greenwich Village} for playful dim sum.

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The space was beautiful, nothing was there by accident, and pro tip – the toilet seats are heated!  We shared drinks, small plates, and an entrée.  A nice rosé from Washington.

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The Bee’s Teas – Chamomile tea-infused Bird Dog Bourbon, figs, lemon, basil, Runny Honey, and chamomile tincture.  Not bad, but not as good as the honey drink we had last week.

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We got the Pac Man shrimp dumplings and the crispy duck and crab dumplings.

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Super fun, but we felt like the dim sum menu was more about the “wow factor” than great flavor.  Our entrée, on the other hand, was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

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The wide rice noodles with shredded duck were freaking packed with duck.  There was honestly more meat than noodles!  And the meat was perfectly cooked, crispy and succulent.  We were in heaven.

Smorgasburg Queens {Long Island City}.

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It was the perfect time to try Wooly’s shaved ice.

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Party rocks = crushed Fruity Pebbles and Pop Rocks.

Sokerbit {Greenwich Village} for gummy candy goodness.

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This Swedish candy shop is amazing, giant bulk bins of candy, mostly licorice and cola flavored (my two favorites!).  I came away with a giant bag.

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Everything we’ve tasted so far has been wonderful.

Victory Garden {Greenwich Village} for locally made goat’s milk yogurt.

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I got the tangy original flavor, topped with goat’s milk caramel, sprinkles, and halvah.  OMG.

What’s your favorite city?

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Weekly Wrap-Up, Weddings Have Great Food

breakfast

Coffee.  With Hint of Honey Almond Milk and a GoMacro Bar.

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Or seltzer and an applesauce.

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Or chocolate milk.

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Another morning I tried to do the coffee + chocolate milk combo but my cafeteria was out of milk so I just drank it black and I had a stomach ache for the rest of the day.

lunch

Yogurt.  Strawberry Fage with plucots and pumpkin seeds on the side.

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Oatmeal.  Quaker Summer Berry oats with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter on top and plucots on the side.

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Sandwich.  A monster from the cafeteria with spicy turkey and fresh mozzarella on a brioche roll.

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Leftovers.  Egg salad (see below), TJ’s Crispy Broccoli – which I dumped into the egg salad! – and an apple.

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snack

Salty.

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Sweet.

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dinner

I am missing many photos from the start and end of this week, but I did a pretty good job capturing the middle days.

Monday my camera was dead all afternoon and through the evening.  You didn’t miss much though, I ate two grilled cheese sandwiches in bed.  Then I ate a second dinner of Thai take-out.  Also in bed.  Related fact – I have been burning through episodes of “Body of Proof” at an alarming rate.  It’s bad; not just the fact that I’m watching the show obsessively, but the show itself, is bad.

Tuesday was frozen shrimp goyza from Trader Joe’s.

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We sautéed broccoli and bok choy with ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, and soy sauce and served our pan-fried goyza on top.

I woke up early Wednesday morning to hard-boil eggs for salad.

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This was eggs with minced red bell pepper, mayo and a healthy dollop of sesame gojuchang which gave the salad a great spice and a little bit of smokiness.

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With roasted green beans on the side.

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Roasted green beans have always been one of my favorite foods but now that I’ve started topping them with sliced shallots they’re on a whole new level.

Thursday night I was way less pathetic, but I still don’t have any pictures.  A Buffalo friend came into town and took me to a wedding.  The event was in LIC at The Foundry and it was beyond gorgeous but way too dark for food pictures.

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I ate hummus, cocktails, mini cupcakes, and all the other wedding trappings but the only photo I have is a blurry shot of my friend and me.

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Fun fact – I met her straight from work and I had to get dressed in a Barnes and Nobel bathroom.  I am the classiest.

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I took today off to spend the morning with my girlfriend before she drives home so I have this whole Friday ahead of me to watch Body of Proof do fun stuff in the city!

Weekend Highlights – Rockaway Beach And Roberta’s

We have got to squeeze every last drop of fun out of this summer before fall hits.  We made the most of our weekend with a beach trip and ice cream all day every day.

I’ve been crazy hungry lately so these pictures are just a drop in the bucket, but here are the highlights…

Coffee!  While I made my grocery list.

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The Vietnam blend from Starbucks is great with cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar.

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And the maple latte at Caffé Bene is on point.

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Toasted turkey cheese sandwich.

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Multi-grain bread with smoked turkey, colby jack, mayo, and lots of pickles.

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Plus roasted broccoli on the side.

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More roasted broccoli (and more of that plate).

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This time with truffle salt.

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And Applegate chicken nuggets with a Sriracha honey mustard dipping sauce.

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Frozen yogurt.  Birthday cake topped with chocolate stuff and Nutella.

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Pizza from Roberta’s.  We will definitely be back!  Cheesus Christ = mozzarella, taleggio, parmigiano, black pepper, and cream.

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Sunday afternoon we went down to Tacoway Beach.  They put rum in our watermelon juice and guacamole on our fish tacos.

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Plus we got Tostilocos, a big back of chips, black beans, seasoned cabbage, cojita, and Japanese peanuts.

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Then we spent some time on the beach.

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And stopped by Connolly’s for the all-time best frozen piña coladas.

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Have a great week!

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Bahn Mi Chicken Salad {Back To The Dinner Table For Recipe Redux}

From the Redux team

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’ It might be a favorite family recipe from your childhood that you’ve ReDuxed; or maybe it’s your family’s current favorite. Let’s all gather back at the table!

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I think that having a big container of shredded chicken ready in the fridge – whether it’s rotisserie chicken from the store or breasts that you’ve poached or slow-cooked yourself – is one of the easiest ways to make sure that a homemade dinner makes it to the table on busy nights.

Adam and I love chicken salad (I’ve got three legit recipes for it on the blog!) and this one, inspired by the Vietnamese sandwich masterpiece the Bahn Mi, comes together in a snap.   The sweet pickled vegetables help handle the heat from the Sriracha, but if you are really wimpy about spice, a Dijon mustard could sub in for the hot sauce nicely.

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Bahn Mi Chicken Salad, makes 6 servings

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 3/4 cup light canola oil mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  1. In a large bowl, combine carrots, cucumber, sugar, vinegar, and salt.  Let sit, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Drain all of the liquid off of the vegetables.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss until well-combined.

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Click below to see what other Redux members cooked up this month…

Left My Heart In Montana

I’m missing a lot of photos this week but the meals I do have to share were off the charts good.

lunch

Mostly I did lunches from the cafeteria this week, like a tasty broccoli and cheese baked potato whose cell-phone photo was an absolute horror.  Packed lunches featured a great fruit salad – Cara Cara Orange, strawberries, and 3 varieties of pluot.

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With plain yogurt and Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

notable snacks

Fresh mint in sparkling water is my jam.  This “mojito” rocked our socks off.

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We’ve kept the dessert every day thing going.  One morning Adam took me to work and we tried the doughnuts at Elsie’s Parlor.  I got the Confettura Di Fichi – filled with fig jam and topped with mascarpone and toasted almonds.

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I loved the idea of this, especially because the fig jam and mascarpone were delicious, but the texture was terrible, way too dense.  If I thought of it was a muffin it was great, but as a doughnut I ate half and we moved on to a tried and true.

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Now that’s a doughnut!  My peaches and crème doughseed had just the right balance of fluff and chew.  Plus it was perfectly tangy and sweet.

Vegan ice cream from Sky Ice.

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Thai iced coffee and Thai young coconut went great together.

Ice cream from Oddfellows.

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S’mores with amazing caramelized white chocolate with toasted almond.

Guava-cheese empanadas.

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Enjoyed with Ruth Reichl’s novel, which I read in a day and a half and enjoyed even more than her memoir.  She is such a good story-teller and her food writing makes your mouth water.

dinner

Leftover Korilla knock-off bowls were still yummy.

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I stir-fried mine with eggs to make up for the missing one on top.

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Also I kind of burnt the life out of it, but this was still good.

It was fitting that I put this dinner on my heart plate because I loved-loved-loved it.

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A tiny roasted pile of every single okra I could find at the stores this weekend.

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Plus I snacked on this for extra veggies.

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Toasted ciabatta sandwich with turkey, turkey bacon, Colby jack, and Smart Balance.

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The cheese was extra-thin sliced and it melted to perfection.

We checked out Bushwick’s Montana’s Trail House and our best meal of the week ended up being the best meal of the year!

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Adorable décor, amazing service, and freshly made food – most of it local – with well-balanced flavors.

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Captain Stormalong – Standard Heartcut White Whiskey, Campari, Demerara & Topped with Downeast Cider.

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Riff Randell – Vodka, Krupnikas Honey Liqueur, Contratto Aperitif, Luxardo Maraschino, Acid Phosphate, Sparkling Wine.  This was the best drink we’ve ever had.  It was like drinking pure honey but in an amazing way.  Similar to a great honey meade I had in SF.

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We started with the charred green beans – which were topped with browned garlic and soft-cooked eggs and served on top of housemade ricotta.  This was the best dish of the year, the lemony ricotta was fantastic with the drippy eggs and charred greens.

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Then we shared the dinosaur kale salad – with feta, roasted carrots, and kale that was grown in the restaurant’s rooftop garden!

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And the fried chicken with honey butter and housemade hot sauce.  Best fried chicken ever; super juicy and every bite had a whiff of honey.

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Dessert – aka the course I saw on Instagram that made me move this restaurant to my “must-eat” list – was banana bread s’mores.  <– squee!

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Also they brought us complimentary shots with our bill because we’d been raving about every bite we took.  Love.  NYC people – get yourself to Bushwick, you won’t regret it!

Weekend Highlights… A Bevy of Beverages

notable snacks – –

Froyo again.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.

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Plain tart and Nutella yogurts with Nutella, mini peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered pretzels, and rainbow sprinkles.

Pizza-pizza.

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Buffalo chicken.

We bought the new brownie batter Oreos.

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Pretty good, especially when you smush two together for a double-stuffed.

Fresh mint in bubbly seltzer is delicious.

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Best of all the many, many beverages we enjoyed this weekend.  There were also several iced coffees that didn’t make the photos cut.

Long Island City – –

Saturday morning I picked up a very tired husband from a long shift at work,

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and we finally hit up LIC Flea and Food.

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We got mac and cheese and chicken empanadas.

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And a Nutella gelato and macaroon ice cream sandwich from Bakeshop by Woops.

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We explored LIC a bit with a walk on the waterfront.

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A stop at the gorgeous newest Sweet Leaf location for an intensely creamy Vietnamese iced coffee.

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And finally a flight of beers from Rockaway Brewing Co.

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#2, 4, 7, & 8.  We were very impressed.  The cream ale was the best.

Williamsburg – –

Matchabar.

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Iced matcha on fresh watermelon juice.  It was good, but not something I’m dying to go back for again.

On the other hand, lunch at Meatball Shop will be repeated very soon.  I need to make an ice cream sandwich.

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I got the jello shot special – Jack and Rosé.

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And chicken meatballs with pesto.

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They were served on an assortment of veggies – fennel, salad with apple, roasted squash, cucumber, and fresh green beans – that were tasty but literally dripping with oil.

a doggy date – –

On Sunday Webster took his first ride on the subway.

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We went on a family trip to Central Park!

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He was a total trooper for 3 hours of walking around the park.  We cooled down with a honey iced tea,

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and a double caramel Magnum bar.

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And some of us had bowls of water that we stomped in and spilled all over the place.

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Webster was beyond tuckered out when we got home and spent most of the rest of the day curled up in my lap!

homemade Korilla knock-off bowls – –

I made knock-off chicken and rice bowls and the husband said I did as good of a job as Korilla!

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  • brown rice with chopped kimchi and turkey bacon
  • roasted broccoli
  • quick pickled carrots and cucumber
  • chicken that was marinated in Gochujang paste, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar
  • shredded cheese and a fried egg on top

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So good.  I am excited for the leftovers.

(Frozen)Yogurt

breakfast

Coffee!

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With caramel.

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Or with Hint of Honey Almond Milk and plums.

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Or a Clif Bar.

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Also one morning my coworker brought in yummy poppy-seed Danish.

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lunch

I had a really great sandwich with spicy sliced chicken, pickles, and fresh mozzarella from the cafeteria.

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The other days I did yogurt bowls featuring the new blended flavors from Chobani.  Coffee with plums and KIND peanut butter granola.

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Mixed berry with blueberries, raspberries, multi-grain o’s and Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And vanilla with more berries and bran flakes.

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The texture of the 2% yogurt was seriously creamy and good.

dinner

I can’t show you Monday/Tuesday’s dinner because it is my Recipe Redux for this month.  I will show you some of the tasty stuff we had with it though… Like roasted green beans on the side.  I added thinly sliced shallots and they got insanely crispy, crunchy, good.

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And frozen yogurt for dessert.  With all of the chocolate toppings.

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We liked the Nutella on top so much we ended up going back again the next night.

Wednesday was Webster’s Buyday (the anniversary of the day we brought him home) so we made a special dinner with some of his favorite foods – Nachos!  Chips with cheese, broccoli, cilantro, and chicken (pronounced chick-ON chick-ON in this house).

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He even had his own little dish.

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And of course we got Chipotle.

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Of course.

random thoughts

I am so freaking excited that Target is doing away with gender-based labeling in some of its children’s aisles!  When I worked at a toy store in college I hated when people would come in and ask for “boy toys” or “girl toys.”  This awesome graph sums up my thoughts pretty well –

gender based toys

I’ve already seen some pumpkin beers and it is taking all of my self-control to not start stockpiling.  I’ve told myself that I’m waiting until mid-September.

Poorly Drawn Lines is always hilarious but I feel like this week’s comics have been especially great.

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We had dessert every single night this week.  I want to nip that daily habit in the bud, but I also have fifteen plus new ice cream joints that I want to visit before summer ends.

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