Apple Picking; Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend I got to cross something major off of my fall bucket list – apple picking!

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I drove upstate to Lawrence Farms with some girlfriends and we came home with pounds and pounds of tasty apples.

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I also snagged Adam and I two pumpkins for carving next weekend.

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Check out my gorgeous haul (this is only a portion of it, the rest went into the fridge) -

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So far, my favorite variety is the Candy Crisp.

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Yum!  We had a ton of fun and I definitely want to repeat this activity next fall.

I don’t have much to share for this post, just three things.  I’m a bit under the weather and I spent almost all of Sunday tucked in bed.

Breakfast on the go.

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A smoothie  – water and meat from a Thai young coconut with canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, frozen banana, and maple syrup – and a Clif Maple Nut bar that I shared with the husband.  The bar was much better than the smoothie, which did not emulsify at all.

Getting in my green before a dinner of orange hues.

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Spinach salad with sweet and spicy pecans, dried blueberries, and buttermilk blue cheese, dressed with honey, evoo, and lavender salt.

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The oil came home from Italy with a friend and it was fantastic.

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Our main course was tuna casserole that I made and froze awhile back, so I don’t totally remember what was in it.  Definitely tuna, barley, spinach, green onions, peas, water chestnuts, roasted garlic and mushroom condensed soup, cheese, and crushed Cheez-Its on top.

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Plus carnival squash that we roasted with salt, smoked brown sugar, liquid smoke, and maple syrup.

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Dinner was delicious.  Sweet and smoky squash with cheesy casserole?  You can’t really go wrong!

Best bite of the week goes to dessert from Ample Hills.

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I got a kids’ cup of pistachio and honey and the flavors went together perfectly.

Hopefully I am over the hump with my sickness now.  The temperatures are finally dropping here and I really don’t want a cold to go with the cold!

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Books And Bites; Five Favorites From The Week

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{1} Coffee

I made a fantasmic batch of cold brew this week.  Brooklyn Roasting Company Iris Espresso brewed with pumpkin spice and vanilla bean paste.  Two notes – 1. Go read all of the coffee descriptions on BRC immediately; you’ll drool all over your keyboard.  2. I am adding vanilla bean paste to all of my coffees from here on out.

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Served over ice with Almond Breeze Hint of Honey.  <– I’m a fan.

{2} Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Mint from NibMor.

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Did y’all know that NibMore lives right up the road from me in Great Neck?  I’m excited that this tasty bar is local.

{3} Oatmeal for lunch

I know that these overnight oats look a little rough, but the flavor was perfect.  In the morning before work I stirred together 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup oats, 3/4 cup almond milk, and 1 Tbsp chia seeds.  The mixture thickened up nicely by lunchtime.

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The blob on top is butterscotch peanut butter.  <– Ahh-mazing!  Adam and I are obsessed.

Another day, another (oat)meal.

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Veggie and fruit leather, a SweeTango apple, and *new* Quaker Caramel Apple Oats.

{4} A great, Greek, green dinner

Leftovers.

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I was worried about the phyllo dough, but my Greek Tofu Pie reheated just fine.

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Plus leftover green beans sautéed with garlic aioli mustard sauce and sliced almonds.

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We had a rough week health wise – one night Adam had a fever and I had a migraine and we sat on the floor and ate chips and aspirin for dinner – so having leftovers available was great.

Worth mentioning too – My leftovers from Max in Williamsburg.

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The pasta and sauces are all made in-house and they are out of control.

{5} A new favorite novel

The Center of Winter by Marya Hornbacher.  I haven’t actually gotten all that far into this book yet – partially because I’ve needed to nap on the train and mostly because the writing is so beautiful that I go back to the beginning of the page and reread when I hit the end of most of the pages.

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Hornbacher is one of my favorite authors and her first book, a memoir focusing on her eating disorder, shaped the way I think about literature.  <– I am planning on blogging about that in more detail next week.

Her first novel has been truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.  I wanted to share a short {meta!} passage to give you guys a taste -

All the seasons here in the north move toward their own end, except winter, which moves towards its center and sits there to see how long you can take it.  Spring twitches impatiently in its seat like a child wanting to go outside, straining toward summer, and summer, all lush and showy, tumbles headlong toward the decay of fall.  Fall comes and goes so fast it takes the breath away, arriving in brocades of red and gold and whipping them off in only a few weeks, leaving a landscape ascetic, stunned with loss.

Outside, in the soft blue-gray dark, the snow fell.  A child sat at the kitchen table and pretended her father had not died, because you were there.  As long as you were there, she did not need to be afraid, or go outside, and so she was not afraid, of cold or anything else.  Death did not kill her off but merely left her maimed, like a shot animal that startles at the noise more than the pain and scrambles even faster through the underbrush, wide-eyed and sweating at the flanks, not pausing for the ripped and useless leg it now drags behind it as it runs.  The animal has three legs left.  Terror makes that enough.

Have you read any of Hornbacher’s work yet?

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Insta-Wrap-Up, IX

Instagram dump, fall edition!

I was sad to have to put this lacy white dress away with my summer gear.

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But the closet swap meant that this scarf is part of my life again.  It was a Hanukkah gift from my cousins last year and it is so me.

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The fall smells at Bath and Bodyworks are killer.  We usual burn two at once to “blend” the scents.  Fun fact – Adam doesn’t actually have a sense of smell, but he still thinks these guys are fun.

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Our clinic is moving over to an electronic medical record soon {yay!} and I’m particular and obsessive so I’ve mapped out the entire nutrition section myself.  Then I wrote it all out by hand… with color coding… and a key.

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Pie at Four and Twenty Blackbirds.  My salted caramel apple slice was delish.  Also their espresso is our very favorite.

pie from four and twenty blackbirds in brooklyn

When I was a kid, my best friend and I used this book to memorize all of the US presidents in order.  We also had one for the US state capitals.  She recently texted me that she bought a copy and I died for jealousy and then immediately ordered one of my own.

yo, millard filmore!

The boys are ridiculous when they cuddle.  The dog isn’t happy unless one of us is spooning him in his sleep.

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He’s flying!

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It’s All Greek To Me! – Greek Tofu Pie

As promised, the killer dish from yesterday’s dinner.

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This recipe requires you to dirty your food processor and deal with phyllo dough, but I promise it’s worth it.  We couldn’t believe how well this all came together!

Greek Tofu Pie, serves 4 – 6

  • 1 Tbsp and 2 tsp evoo
  • 3 cups frozen spinach
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 a large lemon, juiced
  • 16 oz silken tofu, drained
  • 6 oz feta cheese
  • 4 oz sharp white cheddar
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Warm 1 Tbsp evoo in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Sauté mushrooms, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and the spinach has fully thawed.  Stir in salt, oregano, and lemon juice and remove pan from heat.
  3. Use a food processor to combine the tofu, feta, and cheddar.  Add cooked veggies and process until the mixture is homogenous.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and 2 tsp evoo.  Set up phyllo dough according to the package directions.
  5. Use a pastry brush to wet the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish with the butter mixture.  Brushing on the butter between layers, place 4 slices of phyllo dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish.  Spread the filling into the pie dish, smoothing the top so it’s level.  Top with remaining layers of phyllo dough, continuing to brush butter between the layers.  Use kitchen shears to trim off the excess phyllo dough that is hanging outside the edge of the pie dish.
  6. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.  The filling is safe to eat raw, but the longer it cooks the firmer it gets.  Cook for 30 minutes then check regularly and pull out of the oven as soon as the phyllo dough threatens to burn (you want it to get a light tan; pull from the oven as soon as any dark brown spots appear).
  7. Allow pie to cool and set for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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My Giant Post Disappeared, OMG

Uggggggggh! Welp the title kind of says it all. I spent more than an hour last night recapping all of the fabulous eats from last week and the post has disappeared. I’m dying, dying!

Photo-dump style, here are a few key players…

Amazing fruit salad with blueberries, strawberries, banana,  orange, and toasted coconut.

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Pumpkin yogurts for lunch.

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Plus two cafeteria winners.

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First pumpkin smoothie.

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So much good candy, including trail mix with pb pretzels, raisins, and candy corn m&m’s.

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Duh.

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The best pumpkin brew of the season so far.

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A salad bar lunch date at Whole Foods.

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Smorgasburg eats! Duck buns and other good but not as good buns (peanut chicken for me and pork belly for Adam) smothered in amazing chilli sauce.

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Plus an awesome good batch ice cream sandwich of coffee ic, caramel, and espresso beans on salted brown butter cookies.

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A fantastically “fall” meal that Adam said made him feel like a forest troll. Shredded brussels sprouts sautéed with turkey bacon, roasted butternut squash, baby spinach, shredded chicken, barley, sweet and spicy pecans, honey mustard dressing, and pomegranate.

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Delicious Greek Tofu Pie that I promise to retype the recipe for tonight.

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That is most of it. I hate computers!

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Loves Of Late

{1}  Chips with cheese.  Adam and I are having a problematic obsession.  We have been eating this “dish” at least once a week for the past month, and probably would eat it every single day if we thought we could get away with it.  And I can’t even call them nachos, just chips with cheese, because we literally just throw the two aforementioned items together in the oven.  Toppings would distract from the chips and cheese.

{2}  Another problem.  You know how I think that diet soda and coffee are the two best tasting things on the planet?

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I’ve discovered how extra amazing they are when you drink them side by side.

{3} Fall TV!  So excited that the shows are back.  Castle and Bones are both kind of driving me crazy with the long-running conspiracy dramas, but the Chicagos (Fire and PD) are killing it.

{4} Girls with Slingshots.  Have you started reading this cartoon soap opera yet?

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It has the perfect balance of goofy to touching/serious.

{5} The Chris Pratt SNL opening episode.  No, this can not fit under “Fall TV,” because Chris Pratt is basically a god so he deserves his own category.  All of his sketches were pretty spot on but the one I’ve linked below is my favorite.  Aidy Briant is also my favorite.

What do you think of the current SNL cast?

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Three Day Weekend Wrap-Up

I give the last three days an A+!  I had a very inconveniently timed doctor’s appointment on Friday and it made more sense to take a vacation day than try to fit the travel time into a work day.  Serendipitously, Adam had switched some shifts with a coworker who was going to a wedding and he had most of the three off as well.  Yippee!

I’m going to do this post old school, stream of consciousness style, though there are some holes as this definitely does not show every single thing that I ate…

Friday, once I had finished up with the dermatologist and Adam had rested up from his overnight shift, we headed into Manhattan.

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Our destination was Krispy Kreme, and these limited edition Ghostbusters donuts.

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I ain’t afraid of no donut!  They were filled with marshmallow crème and were actually kind of amazing; maybe my favorite donuts I’ve ever tasted.

We wandered around Penn Station, then did lunch in Koreatown.  We had a(n impulse-bought) Groupon for food and booze at Boss Lounge.

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I ordered a Pinch Me, which had Grey Goose, lychee, and grenadine.

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Adam and I shared a kimichi and cheese roll.

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As well as seaweed and tofu salad.

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The tofu was silken and strangely sweet.  The husband loved it.

Afterwards we explored Koreatown a bit more.  We split a kimchi bun from a food court we want to go back to asap.

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Tried whatever the heck this was?!

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The top is mango and red bean but we couldn’t identify the white – chewy and gelatinous – stuff.  Neither of us could bring ourselves to swallow it!

And had a coffee popsicle from Tous les Jours for dessert.

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Every single thing we’ve tried from TlJ has been awesome.  Adam took home cheese buns that he adored and I’m kicking myself for not buying a milk bun.

For dinner, we made our way over to Hardings’s.

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Whiskey sour made with fresh lime, cane sugar, and egg whites!

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Adam had yummy, crispy salmon and I did a fun combo of appetizers.

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Pumpkin pie soup with spiced whipped cream.

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And kale salad with chickpeas, Marcona almonds, shaved sunchokes, and lemon vinaigrette.

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Ahaha, I didn’t realize until I reread the menu to write this post that those white shreds were sunchokes and not really stale parmesan.

Afterwards we trained it over to Lexington (and Dylan’s Candy!), then walked back to our car across the Queensboro Bridge.  It was a lovely nighttime walk but my calves are sooooo sore now!

We were parked in Long Island City and we stopped at The Baroness for a nightcap on the way.

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We want to go back for a cheese plate immediately, but for now we shared a cute beer sampler.

Saturday was supposed to be spent at Smorgasburg, but yucky, rainy weather scared us back to Long Island.  Instead we ran local errands – groceries were shopped and both of our cars now have changed oil.

We had baked potatoes for brunch.

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I swear that there is a potato under there.  Topped with butter, sharp cheddar, turkey bacon, leftover kale salad, jalopeño, sour cream, and a fried egg.

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We poked the yolks into our buttered potatoes and it was pretty great.

We spent the evening cuddled on the couch with GIANT plates of nachos.  I also ate this licorice mix.

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We are now completely caught up on new fall tv.  The Chicago’s (PD and Fire) are my favorite so far.

We had more to-do’s to check off on Sunday, and headed back into the city so I could buy a winter coat.

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Train fuel = toasted everything bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.

We considered getting Chobani but the line was too crazy, so instead we got froyo.  Pumpkin pie and praline topped with caramel, toffee, Butterfinger, yogurt chips, and mochi.

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Our bowls were tasty, and even better, free.  The last time I was at Yogurtland I was a hot mess and I dropped my credit card into my yogurt and the cashier felt so bad for me that he gave me a handful of vouchers for free yogurt.

I had several coffee this weekend (duh!), but the best was actually from 7-11.

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Cinnamon coffee with pumpkin pie creamer and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I ate fruit salad while I prepped a batch for the upcoming week.

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And we made big, hearty bowls for dinner.

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Sprouted red jasmine rice // frozen spinach sautéed with bbq sauce, browned mushrooms and tons of onions // red lentils cooked with cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, curry powder, and more sautéed onion // sour cream and Sriracha on top.

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We ate our warm meal while we worked on the winter-y activity of swapping out our summer wardrobes.  I still don’t have a ton of cold weather gear but I am excited to have my boots back out.

Back in the “old days,” blog posts always ended with a question:

Have you swapped out your summer and winter wardrobes yet?

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