Festival Of Links

to make you think

  1. Nutrition Unplugged looks at the positive sides of the Paleo Diet.  Spoiler – she’s still not a huge fan, but I think this post is very fair.
  2. Love and Zest talks a bit about protein.
  3. Oh My Veggies debunks some common myths about sugar.  I hear #2 and 3 all the time at work and it drives me crazy.
  4. Slate published a really great autobiographical piece on “Why Poor People Stay Poor.”

to make you giggle

Ahahahahaha!  source

oh the snowmanity

This is barely even hyperbolic.  source

life

I also really don’t like when my feet aren’t under the covers.  source

the bed is safe

This slays me…  source

he could not

Happy Hannukah to all of my readers who celebrate!

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas! Weekend Wrap-Up

It’s only 10 days ’til Christmas!  And Hannukah starts tomorrow!  And it was Adam’s 29th birthday on Thursday!  We had a lot to celebrate this weekend.  The last three days have been fabulous.  Lots of great meals, several at fancy restaurants, and they were usually followed by dessert!

Friday

Friday was a regular work day for me, but I had the excitement of knowing that the husband was coming to pick me up at the end of the day.  The switch to an electronic medical record system has gone fairly well, by the way; fingers are still crossed.

I ran out the door late in a flurry so breakfast came from Starbucks.

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Iced latte and a fruit pouch that was not great.

Lunch was pretty much the same thing, since I didn’t pack anything and made it down to the cafeteria late in the day.

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Iced coffee + chocolate milk, an apple, and a Gingerbread Larabar.

Plus some of the RDs came up to visit me – they liked my tiny office! – and brought me candy.

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I don’t know where my Russian coworker gets those caramels but they are great.

Adam met me after work and we spent the evening in the city.  Our dinner reservations weren’t until 8:00 so we did dessert first on a visit to the Winter Village at Bryant – Brrrryant! – Park.

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We got a dulce de leche cookie,

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then warmed up with a lusciously thick drinking chocolate – and a marshmallow! – from the from the Max Brenner stand.

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OMG.  We have been buying and hating hot chocolate since San Francisco but this liquid gold was exactly what we’ve been searching for. Super thick and rich but not sickeningly sweet.

We had a mile-ish walk to dinner and I’m terribly sad that it was too cold for my camera because I was basically dying at the gorgeous lights along the way.

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Tavern on the Green, Adam’s pick for his belated birthday dinner, was seasonally stunning as well.

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I got a Queens cocktail – Bootlegger vodka, Velvet Falernum, sorrel hibiscus liquor, pomegranate molasses, and lemon juice.  Yummy, and perfectly balanced.

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We shared the scallops with citrus butter, capers, and fried shallots to start. I’ve been having a love affair with fried shallots lately.

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None of the entrees jumped out at me so I ordered two veggie sides, crimini mushrooms with blue cheese and basil and broccoli rabe with lemon, garlic, and sea salt.

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It was a great night.

 Saturday

We had errands to run in SoHo on Saturday, so we parked in Brooklyn and took the train in and spent the day in the city.

There might have been booze in my coffee.

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I bought a snickerdoodle lattee from Dunkin and added a healthy pour of Rumchata (aka the snickerdoodle shot) and it was damn good.

While we were in Brooklyn, we split a sardine Bahn Mi from Bahnmigos.

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It was great! The little me who grew up in the Caribbean shunning seafood (whyyyy??) can’t believe I eat things like sardines and scallops now.

We did linner (super late lunch) at Freemans Restaurant.

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Blue Ridge Fizz = apple brandy, maple, allspice, and champagne.  Freemans is our favorite brunch spot in the city and their cocktails are always magnificent.

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I got poached eggs with tomato stewed kale, crispy shallots(!!), and hollandaise on sourdough toast.

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My eggs ended up being overdone but I forgave them because the kale was so good.

We went next door to Morganstern’s for dessert.

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We shared a cup of American egg custard and durian banana ice cream. Soo creamy! And the flavors were very true to life.

After a bit more exploring, we did round 2 at Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

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I got a shot of The Nog – pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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SSS never disappoints.

Sunday

Sunday was all about hanging out at home.  We would have stayed in our pajamas all day, had my dinner plans gone better.  We cuddled, watched tv, and got up some holiday decorations.

I woke up starving from our early dinner the night before so I made a big plate of eggs for breakfast.

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Scrambled with chopped jalapeno, corn, sliced turkey, sour cream, and goat’s milk cheddar.

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Plus Silk soy nog on the side.

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Instead of toast, I snacked on a bag of salted caramel popcorn.

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The plan for dinner was pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto but something went horribly wrong and my pesto was pretty much inedible.

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Instead, we salvaged our veggie side,

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and ventured out for Thai, stopping for mint chocolate froyo along the way.

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Much better. Enjoyed in front of Scrubs – which we are rewatching for the millionth time – it was a great end to a great weekend.

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This Week I Loved…

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*Silk Soy Nog*

I adore eggnog, and this (vegan, 80 calories per half cup) stuff is at least 90% as good as the real thing.  Enjoyed in both overnight oats and cold brewed coffee.

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*Sandwiches from the cafeteria*

I didn’t pack lunch for most of the week because I bought a sandwich on Tuesday and got hooked.  Turkey and provolone on an onion roll with mustard, mayo, and spicy banana peppers.

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*Chips*

I had tortilla chips – with cheese and fresh salsa – with my sandwich one day and became a woman obsessed.  I ended up making Adam a separate, grown-up person dinner and then eating chips and cheese several nights.

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*Cola-flavored candies*

So good!  Extra fizzy cherry cola Pop Rocks and cola float hard candies with a creamy center.

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*A new book obsession*

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

I finished Cutting for Stone this week and thought it was absolutely wonderful.  Author Abraham Verghese is a doctor as well as a writer and he did a skillful job of portraying the medical scenes in the story in clear and approachable way (most of the main characters are doctors so this came up a lot).  The characters are all flawed but beautiful, and I fell head over heals in love with Ghosh.

cutting for stone

What books have you loved lately?

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Doughnuts And Coffee; Weekend Wrap-Up

coffee, coffee

So, you know how we’re obsessed with coffee?  Like, problematically obsessed?  I might like it as much as Diet Coke.  This post is going to include a coffee brewer review.  Adam, who drinks at least two cups a day, prefers his hot.  I get iced 95% of the time, but when I’m home I’ll drink it hot if it’s fresh.  Long story short – even though I mostly stick with cold-brew in my French press, we do in fact need a more traditional brewing option in the house.  So when iCoffee offered to send me an Opus Single-Serve Brewer to review, I said “yes!”

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Please note – this product was sent to me free of charge to review.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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According to the company, the iCoffee system uses steam to help create a nice, smooth, non-bitter flavor.  A patent-pending SpinBrew needle spins, steams and stirs the coffee inside of the single-serve cup, creating a mini-French Press effect that cannot be achieved by other brewers.

The Opus has a “Dial-a-Brew” control which allows you to customize strength and taste by choosing any brew size between 4 and 12 ounces in half-ounce increments.  It can brew 10 ounces in less than 60 seconds, so it’s nice and quick.  The drip tray is magnetic, so it can pull out to accommodate my tall go-cup.

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They sent me a few cups to get me started.  Adam had one of the Marley Coffees and loved it.

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The Opus is cool because it is compatible with all k-type cups, including K-Cup, RealCup, OneCup and all private label cups (unlike the Keurig system that only uses K-cups).  That said, I find single use cups to be insanely wasteful, the reason I accepted the brewer to review is because it is compatible with a reusable iCup.

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I have made a few cups that way with the coffee we already had at home (marshmallow flavored!) and it’s all worked out quite well.  I could see how the cup could have the propensity to break but replacements are only $12.95.

In short – we are fans!  We would rate the system 4.5+ out of 5 and plan on giving it a permanent spot on our countertop.

copycat Chipotle bowls

Another thing we’re obsessed with?  Loaded rice bowls from Chipotle.  After making (multiple!) weekly Chipotle runs for the past several months it was time for us to finally make our own at home.

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So many layers of flavor!  Including:

  • jasmine rice with chopped cilantro and lime juice stirred in
  • sautéed mushroom, onion, and green pepper
  • corn sautéed with chopped jalopeño
  • black beans reheated with cilantro and lime juice
  • chicken that was marinated with lime juice, sugar, and green tomatillo salsa
  • shredded cheese, light sour cream, and homemade guacamole

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So darn good!

And round two the next night – topped with green Tabasco – was just as good, maybe even better.

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Plus we split a Warlock.

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And a Mokaccino TCHO bar that we brought home from Blue Bottle in San Francisco.

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Roasty good.

coffee and doughnuts

On Sunday we did a bit of a walking brunch around Chelsea in Manhattan.  Stumptown Coffee –> Doughnut Plant –> Blue Bottle Coffee –> Doughnuttery.  It was great fun!

We shared cold brew and an espresso at Stumptown.

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It was my first time at the Ace Hotel, which is stunning.

Then made our way to Doughnut Plant.

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We shared a hazelnut chocolate doughseed which was only ok.

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And I got a Tres Leches filled caked doughnut that was amazing.

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Best doughnut I’ve eaten all year.  The filling was definitely reminiscent of Tres Leches and the doughnut had a great, crisp crust.   I’ve been wanting to go get this flavor since last summer and it did not disappoint.

Doughnuttery ended up not appealing to us, but we did enjoy another cold brew from Blue Bottle.

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I told you we have a coffee problem!

city living

We may not have gotten Doughnuttery, but it brought us into Chelsea Market which we loved the crap out of.

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It was gorgeous (Christmas decorations!),

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and there were so many tasty things that we want to try.

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We’ll be back.

Instead we headed uptown to Xi’an Famous Foods for hand-pulled noodles.

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Flipping yum!  I went with the vegetarian spicy noodles and they rocked my socks off.  The chew was out of control.

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Meanwhile Adam was positively swooning over his pork bowl.

Then we went to Rockefeller Center and stared at the tree.

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I ♥ New York!

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Cookie Monster

An old-school full-day wrap-up post?  Why not!  I felt the urge.

I cannot even tell y’all how excited I was this morning that today was Friday.  Adam has the weekend off and even though he has studying to do I’ll get to sit next to him on the couch!  I still needed coffee to help me face the day though.

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Non-fat iced latte (always iced!) and an apple.

I clearly wasn’t getting up early enough to pack a lunch, so I got food from the cafeteria today.

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A half sandwich – love that my caf. offers that – of tuna salad, provolone, lettuce, red onions, and honey mustard, on whole-wheat.

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Plus baked onion rings.

Dessert was candy that my co-worker sweetly brought me.

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A thank you for the gift I brought to her baby shower on Tuesday.  I am excited for her, but also a little bummed because she’ll be out on maternity leave soon and she’s one of my favorite people at work.

We have tons of leftovers from our take-out streak the past week so we kept thing simple for dinner.

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Buffalo chicken pizza.

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And green papaya salad from a new Thai place in Great Neck.

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The salad was flavorless and disappointing but it was my only shot at produce so I ate it anyway.

And cooooookies while we watched “Bones.”  The last caramel chip plus cookie creamer in my (half-caf) iced coffee.

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Both good, obviously.

My weekend plans include a long overdue visit to the gym, Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, and a doughnut spree in Manhattan if the rain holds off.

Have a happy weekend!

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A Weak Weekly Wrap-Up

I don’t have much to say or show, taking pictures was beyond me this week.  Having to be a grown-up again after two weeks of vacation pretty much kicked my butt.  I don’t have a single dinner shot but it’s no big deal because we ate Chipotle and/or pizza every night!

This week took so much coffee.

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This non-fat eggnog iced latte was the best.

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LÄRABAR sent me some of their new seasonal flavor, Gingerbread!  It was yummy, and I loved how smooth the texture was.

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A lunch.

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That’s Wildwood Royal Thai Tofu with pumpkin butter and Sriracha mayo.

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Apple, olives, cola float hard candies.

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Bears.

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I made caramel chip cookies.

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Another lunch: 2% Fage with pumpkin butter and cookies, plus an apple.

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I had to share this strawberry water because it was ridiculously delicious.

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I hope everyone else had a good week!

 

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Thanksgiving Week

Well, the two weeks are over and as of today I’m back at work.  This was officially our best vacation of all time.  You guys already know that San Francisco was wonderful and the past week visiting family in Ohio has been great as well.  I didn’t want to take away any family time on snapping pictures, so I don’t have much to share about Thanksgiving.  Instead, here are ten things about last week…

{1} We had to drive forever and a day to get to Piqua to visit my grandma.  We packed some truly ridiculous car snacks.

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{2} My grandma is a fantastic cook and she made us some great meals.

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{3} She also introduced us to Basils on Market, a fun restaurant that served me a Tres Leches White Russian and cheese-stuffed gnocchi.

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{4} We also got tasty coffee at Winans a few times.  Adam was in love.

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{5} But I preferred the iced latte with toasted marshmallow that I got at Sheetz.

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{6} From my grandma’s we went to my brother-in-law’s for Turkey Day.  It was so much fun to catch up with everyone, including our three nieces!  Dinner was quite yummy.  Adam and I brought wine, red and white, from Sonoma.

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{7} For the first time ever, we did some Black Friday shopping.  Barely.  I needed to buy new bras and I planned to go on Saturday originally but then I felt silly going to the mall the day after the sales.  We went late in the day when it wasn’t too crowded and I scored 4 new bras with a BOGO 50% off sale.

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{8} Another long day of driving later, and we were home for round 2 of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie – Boulder Canyon’s Thanksgiving Feast in a Bag.

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{9} We had beers with our chips.  Coney Island Brewing sent me their newest seasonal flavor, The Plunge, a Belgian-style ale brewed with ginger, orange peel, and fennel.  We were fans.  I’m not always into Belgian ales but this was nice and light.

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{10} Best thing of all: we’re finally back with our man!

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