Birthday Cake Coffee And Jelly Bean Gum

Random notes:

  1. A bunch of bites slipped past the camera this weekend, though per usual, the majority of them were coffee and candy.
  2. I had big plans for excitement in the city this weekend and the snow (in March?!  seriously?) throw me off my game.  We did make it to the Lower East Side for a 2nd trip to Adam’s new favorite restaurant though.
  3. I binge-watched my way through the first 9 episodes of “Fresh off the Boat” and thought it was great.  The book has been on my Amazon wish-list for ages, and we recently visited BaoHaus, so it’s safe to say I’m currently infatuated with Eddie Huang.

Eats:

Double espresso with skim milk (over ice) at work.

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I’m not super hungry most mornings, but I try to get in a full 8 oz serving of dairy in my coffee.  The 8 grams of protein and 90 – 130 calories usually hold me just fine until my early lunch.  Usually.  I was so hungry all day on Friday that I was practically crying.

My lunch was delicious.

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Fresh blueberries on top of lemon Chobani with a  side of sugar cookie kettle corn.

But soon after lunch I was miserable.  And I took lunch an hour earlier than usual so it was looong afternoon.  I bought this thing of cheese and crackers from the cafeteria, scoffed at how ridiculously large the serving size was, and finished the whole thing 30 minutes later.

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And 30 minutes after that, I was buying coffee and a KIND bar for my train ride.

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Plus I ate Easter candy both before and after dinner.

My dinner, that in retrospect definitely could have used more protein, was a good one though, if a bit scattered.

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Salad = baby kale, cubes pesto gouda, dried blueberries, buckwheat groats, and honey/evoo/lavender salt for dressing.

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Our pasta bowls were more of the same; pesto gouda and baby spinach, along with tons of caramelized onions – finished with cream sherry! – and whole wheat boxed mac and cheese with a few giant shells thrown in for good measure.

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I was still hungry when we went to bed!  Thankfully I felt back to normal by Saturday morning.

My picture-taking motivation went downhill at that point – when I woke up to almost-April snow my plans to go to the gym, clean the floors, and generally accomplish anything all seemed to disappear – but I do have shots of the good stuff.

Adam loved the oatmeal raisin cookie smoothie that I made for my last Recipe Redux post a ton, so this weekend I worked up an official recipe.

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I made mine with plain almond milk.  ‘Twas good.

This gum is great.

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Doesn’t taste like a jelly bean, but it has a great, tart flavor.

Starbucks reached the 20th birthday of the Frappuccino last week and they celebrated with a limited-edition birthday cake flavor… with pink raspberry whipped cream!

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I asked for them to make me one into a skim iced latte.  So good.  Still ridiculous, but slightly less ridiculous.

I made Pinch of Yum’s Bourbon Chicken for Sunday dinner, though I trashed mine up a bit by substituting in turkey breast and Jim Beam’s Maple Bourbon.

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Served with brown rice and roasted broccoli, under a healthy drizzle of sauce.  My mother – a maple fanatic – bought me the bourbon for Christmas and I have so many cocktail ideas for it.

We had another amazing meal at Pig & Khao.  Adam is obsessed with this place and I don’t blame him.

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That’s my Reisling and our order of fried mantao buns.

The husband had a giant plate of pork leg, and I ordered the Khao Soi – red curry, coconut milk, chicken, egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, and shallots.

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I don’t even like red curry (understandably, the menu is mostly meats so there aren’t a ton of options for me) but I loooved this.  The flavors are just so balanced; you leave feeling unbelievably satisfied.

We had to make room for Halo Halo though!

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Shaved ice, leche flan, ube ice cream, macapuno (coconut), and pinipig (toasted puffed rice).  My favorite desserts are bat ping so, choclados, and halo halo, clearly I am all about shaved ice and sweet milk.

Did you try the birthday cake Frappuccino?

Five Things Better Than Easter Candy

Let’s be real – I’ve eaten a lot of Easter candy this week.  Here are five things that taste better than Easter candy…

{1}  TJ’s Espresso Pillows.

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I realize that these are still candy, but they felt like a very fancy way to end my lunch hours.  They are a bit smaller, and crunchier than typical chocolate-covered espresso beans.

{2}  Homemade oatmeal bowls on the go.

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1/3 cup rolled oats + 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries + 2 Tbsp malted milk powder + 1 Tbsp chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  I fill my bowl with hot water from the cafeteria (for tea) and have a yummy bowl of oats by the time I get back to my lounge.

{3}  Peanut butter yogurt.

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2% Plain Fage with my browned butterscotch peanut butter swirled in.

{4}  Fresh blueberries.

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This low-brow cereal bowl – eaten at my desk while I worked – was one of the best things I ate all week.

{5}  The Duck, Duck, Gouda from Bare Burger.

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A fried egg sandwich with duck bacon, gouda, and sweet tomato jam??  I was in heaven.

Have you gotten into the Easter candy yet?

Pig & Khao & Bao

New York gave us weather in the upper 40’s two days in a row and we had a fabulous weekend!  We went to two new (to us) restaurants and adored them both.  Here is a wrap-up of my favorite bites and sips, not including several more cups of coffee, several more cups of ice cream, and a windy but wonderful walk across the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

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Carolina Honey Argo Tea.

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This tea was honey perfection; I loudly “Mmmmn’d” at least five times before we had finished it.  And bonus – Adam and I adore reusing the bottles.

Iced latte from Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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A gorgeous espresso over skim milk, with raw sugar and a splash of cream.  We fought over it on the subway.  I also got another Maple Shay and learned that they will make it with skim milk and that it is even better that way.

Shaved ice at Snowdays.

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We shared a sweet cream with salted caramel, fruity pebbles, grass jelly, and mochi.  Snowdays is Adam’s favorite iced dessert option and mochi are my favorite iced dessert topping.

A stop at Sugar, Sweet, Sunshine.

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I actually passed on the cupcakes in lieu of puddings –

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Banana and chocolate chip cookie.

Baohaus rocked our socks off.  Their lighting scheme was dim with shades of yellow, so I couldn’t get a good shot, but the buns were outstanding.

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I got an Uncle Jessie: Organic fried tofu served with our Haus Seasoning Salt, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, cilantro, and Haus Sauce, and we shared a Coffin Bao: A large fried bao stuffed with our fried chicken topped with chili condensed milk syrup, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.  Chili condensed milk syrup is pretty much my love language!

Pig & Khao was even better.  Adam says this was the best meal he’s had in months.

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I had Vietnamese coffee.

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And Shan noodles: ground chicken, turmeric, peanuts, fermented mustard greens, rice noodles.

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Every dish had umami out the wazoo.  I poured a bit of Adam’s chili oil – for dipping with his steak and eggs – into my broth and the burn was so worth it!

Green eggs at home.

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Scrambled with fresh arugula and TJ’s fire roasted corn.  Instead of toast, I had ice cream.

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Jimmy Fallon can laugh at his own jokes, I don’t care, this is the best Ben & Jerry’s of all time: Caramel & Chocolate Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookie Swirls & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.  Funny fact – I thought I hated iced cream up until a year or two ago.

I made a new salmon dish – Sweet and Spicy Cilantro Baked Salmon.

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Recipe linked here.  I was pleased enough with how it came out to make a recipe page.

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With TJ’s Cruciferous Crunch (kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green  and red cabbage) sautéed with leftover cilantro sauce and Wegman’s Thai peanut sauce.

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This was worth dirtying up the food processor for.

Crossing my fingers that the weather stays “warm” this week.

Two For One {Recipe Redux}

And one for all!

From the Redux teamWe’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favorite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish. Or, whip up a new healthy recipe and give suggestions on how to make it a second meal. For example, slow cooker pot roast could become shredded beef tacos; or grilled chicken breasts might morph into chicken salad.

Rather than stretching a dinner, I set my sights on dessert.  Who’s surprised there?!

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I am a big rice pudding fan, so my Chia “Rice” Pudding is one of my favorite treats.  This chia pudding is a quicker (tastier!) spin on rice pudding.  Chia seeds replace rice for a pudding that is still chewy, creamy, and sweet.  And since chia seeds are a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, this is pretty darn healthy for a yummy dessert.

Sadly, my husband is brave enough for chia seeds, but can’t stand good, old rice pudding, so I usually am enjoying the dish by myself.  For this challenge, I morphed the unwanted 2nd serving of the pudding into a quick and yummy cookie flavored smoothie that is packed with fiber.  The smoothie got rave reviews; ironically, my husband said it’s the best smoothie I’ve ever made!  It really does taste just like a liquefied oatmeal cookie.

Chia “Rice” Pudding

Servings: 2; Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk chia seeds into milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the egg in medium bowl.
  4. Whisk brown sugar into milk mixture.
  5. Slowly stream half of the milk mixture into the egg, whisking constantly so the egg doesn’t begin to cook.
  6. Whisk the egg mixture back into the pan and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins.

The pudding does not need to thicken or set so it can be served immediately.

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And the next day – – –

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie

Servings: 1; Prep Time: 5 minutes; Hands-On Time: 3 minutes

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • heaping 1/2 cup leftover chia rice pudding
  • small frozen banana
  • (optional) 2 Tbsp maple syrup or 2 pitted medjool dates
  1. Place oats and milk in your blender and let sit until softened, 3 – 5 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

I recommend trying it without the optional sweetener first and blending that in later at the end if you decide it’s needed.

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How do you feel about leftovers?  Love the convenience or hate the thought of a dinner repeat?

“It’s A Miracle!”

Who else has obsessively binge-watched their way though the entire first season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” already?  We finished the whole thing over the weekend.  We loved it!  I’m considering a rewatch.  I hate the two trial episodes – I thought they were god-awful, truly some of the worst television I’ve ever seen – but I adored everything preceding them.  The 10 second concept makes my life.  Unsurprisingly, this is another smart and funny win from Tina Fey.

The theme song has permanently ear-wormed its way into my brain.

Related, LisaBorn Round was amazing!

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I read it on the train and then would sit in my car in the parking lot for at least 20 minutes each night to keep reading.  I’m pretty sure Bruni should be giving TED Talks for all would-be crash dieters, emotional eaters, and aspiring journalists.

breakfast

I did the chocolate milk and iced coffee combo two days in a row.

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Paired with a Special K protein bar both days.

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Not the best bars – for taste or ingredient list – but they were free in the cafeteria and I had some extra morning hunger this week.

Another day I did hot chocolate mix in hot coffee with a lot of milk on top.

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So basically just the lukewarm version of my chocolate milk and coffee.

My breakfast plan for St. Patrick’s Day was a green smoothie.  Then I hit the snooze button and the plan was iced coffee with green dye in my milk.  Then I hit the snooze button five more times and I barely managed to get coffee, ice, and boring plain milk into my cup.

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…and then I also got Starbucks once I got off of the train.

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I usually don’t let myself do two coffees in the morning, but I had stayed in bed until literally 10 minutes before I needed to be in the car so clearly it was a double coffee kind of morning.  And yes, mom, I fixed my hat hair before I saw patients.

lunch

Thankfully the cafeteria totally came through and helped me get some green-theme on St. Paddy’s Day.

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My bagel was topped with pepperjack, sliced turkey, mayo, mustard, and frisee lettuce.  Plus baked onion rings on the side.

Blood orange Fage with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes and blackberries and a fresh mandarin orange on the side.

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I can’t believe I had only ever eaten canned mandarins up until this year, they are my new favorite citrus.

Tart cherry Noosa with coconut butter, homemade butterscotch peanut butter, and a Pinata apple.

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We are loving the new 4 oz Noosa packs.  Noosa is Adam’s top favorite yogurt – in fact it’s one of his favorite foods in general – but the original packages were a bit too large to enjoy on the go.

Vanilla-caramel yogurt with blackberries and 18 Rabbits caramel apple granola.

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I loved the flavor of the grass-fed yogurt but I’d still be a little nervous about trying it plain.

snack

Popcorn / all-time best Easter candy / beer…

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All good.

A small but gourmet sandwich.

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Toasted whole-wheat with Applegate Farm herb sliced turkey, mayo, and leftover carmelized onions.

Weird pasta salad from the cafeteria.

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Why do they keep putting croutons in pasta??

An Austrian iced coffee.

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Aka coffee (delicious Grady’s cold-brew in this case) with ice, (skim) milk, and (vanilla-caramel) ice cream.

dinner

Asian-style baked shrimp bowls.

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From the bottom up, I filled my casserole with quartered bok choy, sliced wild mushrooms, chopped orange and yellow bell pepper, shrimp, fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, and Sriracha.  Then I baked it for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

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Served on top of brown rice cooked in chicken stock.

Leftover bbq salads.

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Spicy, local arugula topped with bbq sauce, cucumber, avocado, bell pepper, caramelized onions, and TJ’s fire-roasted corn cooked with turkey bacon.

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These were some of the best salads we’ve made in months.

The next night I did a 180 from salads and made my grandma’s recipe for an awesomely retro chicken and rice casserole.

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Complete with condensed soups, chow mein noodles, and crushed chips on top.  I swapped half of the rice for shredded cauliflower but otherwise did not healthy it up at all.

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Served with green beans baked with fish sauce, honey, Sriracha, and evoo.

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We ate casserole the next night too.

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And we will probably been eating casserole the next few nights as well!

Hope everyone has a great weekend, good luck getting that song out of your head!

Pi(e) Day 2015

Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is an infinite, constant number (i.e. the number goes on forever and it’s the same number for all circles of all sizes).  π equals 3.1415926535897932384626etcetera,etcetera.  Because of this, math-lovers and sugar-aficionados alike celebrate March 14 (3/14 = 3.14) as Pi Day each year.  This year was extra special because it was a once-a-hundred-years opportunity to celebrate a full five digits (3/14/2015 = 3.14[.]15).  Adam and I partook in both dessert pies and pizza pies to mark the occasion.

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Pi Day

Adam and I knew that we wanted to go for the double, so we headed to Park Slope, where both our favorite pie place and pizza place reside.  We were clearly not the only ones to have this idea –

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After an hour+ wait, we did dessert first with pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

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Malted chocolate pecan for him and buttermilk chess for me.  The crusts suffered a bit from what must have been a major uptick in production (Blackbirds was offering a 3 slices for $14 special) but the fillings were amazing as always.

Then we did slices of pizza pie at Pino’s.

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Bbq chicken for me.  Adam got more because he has π memorized beyond the first three digits ;)

Dinners in Bowls

I’m not so big on plates -I also prefer chopsticks to forks – and it feels like we eat the majority of our dinner out of bowls.  Extra-credit if the food is layered into the bowl instead of served as a homogenous dish.  Our dinners last weekend hit both counts.

We even ate dessert in bowls.

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The ice cream was good, but nothing about it was “Tres Leches.”  Boo.

Spicy sweet potato bowls.

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  • baked yam
  • creamy Sriracha sauce – Sriracha, mayo, and honey
  • sautéed broccoli – in soy sauce and rice vinegar
  • sunny side up egg – fried in coconut oil

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This was… not good.  The idea was good, I think, but the broccoli was freezer-burnt and the potatoes were old.

Our bbq bowls were much, much better.

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  • brown rice cooked in chicken stock
  • bbq pulled chicken – cooked in the crockpot with stock and smothered in TJ’s bbq sauce
  • collard greens sautéed with bbq sauce and turkey bacon
  • tons of caramelized sweet and red onions (cooked like this)
  • shredded sharp cheddar

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We’re going to put our leftovers on top of salad later this week and I’m pretty excited about it.

DUMBO Fun

Drinks in DUMBO.

I am obsessed with Brooklyn Roasting Company‘s coffee and we finally made it to their roaster/café.  I wish I had taken photos because the space was gorgeous and inviting, but we loved our beverages.

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Iced Maple Shay for me = espresso with cream and real maple syrup.  Amazingly, it was too sweet and creamy for me to finish.

Our next stop was the antithesis of maple and cream, green juice from Forager’s.

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Kale, spinach, cucumber, and papaya.  I will not be getting papaya again; I always like to include one sweet and juicy component in my green juice (carrot, apple, watermelon, etc) but the papaya did not bring any brightness to the party.

Williamsburg Fun

Sunday brunch and brunch dessert (<– that’s not a thing!) in East Williamsburg.  We ate at Brooklyn Star where Adam was 99.9% sure that Emma Stone was at the next table.  It wasn’t her, but it sure was her doppelgänger.

The bourbon bon bon – bourbon, iced coffee, sweetened condensed milk – was the menu item that called me in.

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Nope!  I love bourbon, and I love iced coffee, but apparently I don’t love them together.

My kale salad stole my heart though.

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You can’t see it under the giant cheese crisp, but there was raw kale with lemon vinegarette, roasted peanuts, and golden raisins.  Best kale salad ever.  I know I say that every time, but this one was my new favorite.

We also got coffee at Sweatshop.

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And the best sundae ever at Milk Bar.  With crack pie soft-serve.  The guy asked me if I wanted “hot fudge or cornflakes?,” and I answered “both.”

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That was the correct answer.

Do you celebrate Pi Day?  Favorite kind of pie?

My Cranky Pants Are On

I’m pretty sure I have a special kind of Seasonal Affective Disorder called “I grew up on an island, what is this shit? Seriously, why do I live somewhere so cold?!” It’s not good.

I get through Winter alright, but ever since I moved North I’ve spent pretty much every Spring pissed off. The problem is twofold – first, the first 22 years of my life (growing up in St. Thomas to undergrad in Miami) I was able to throw on jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals and walk outside. Period. Having to put on shoes and socks – let alone a coat – to leave the house still confuses and infuriates me. Second, I grew up without  daylight savings. I’ve lived in the states since I was 18 and it’s starting to look like my body clock will never get the whole springing forward concept (even though it technically puts me back to the “correct” time that my parents are on). It takes weeks before my mornings stop feeling ridiculous.

tl;dr? I’m cranky this week!

Obviously getting through took a lot of coffee. DSC06043DSC06067DSC06070DSC06044

Also a lot of unphotographed candy.

My lunches were my healthy meals for the week. Salad bar mixes with hard-boiled eggs for protein. 20150311_13320520150310_125412

Yogurt, fruit, and cereal bowls.

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Wednesday was Registered Dietitan Day and my inpatient boss got us flowers and cake. IMG_20150311_12415120150311_142400

So sweet!

Dinners were less RD-esque. Case in point: I ate an empanada on the train and ice cream on the couch for dinner on two different days. DSC06075DSC06073

And yes, that is the ice cream we tried and hated, my brain short-circuited when I  saw the words cookie butter.

The best night of the week we went to Williamsburg to celebrate the engagement of two amazing people. DSC06050

After some well-wishing, Adam and I ate a romantic married people dinner at Max. With desserts at Momofuku! DSC06053DSC06055DSC06058DSC06064And my leftovers – eggplant in tomato sauce and gnocchi – were quite delicious for dinner the next day. DSC06079

One more day, and I can spend the weekend hibernating.

Who else is sick of it not being summer yet?