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?

Weekend-Ish

I know I said I was excited for this weekend, but it turned out that I spent 95% of it in bed.  Adam has been really sick and I felt very blah.

I managed to go out on Sunday to get groceries for next week but that was pretty much my only accomplishment.

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We legit ate Chipotle for three meals in a row.

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I’m pretty sure we are those people at the Chipotle now and we can never go back again.

The following was my only main meal that wasn’t a rice bowl –

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Buffalo chicken pizza,

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and leftover kale salad.

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Kale, garlic dressing, avocado, and roasted coconut – it held up very well in the fridge.

Finally, while I was out I got the Crème Brûlée Lindt Bar.

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We were fans.  I’m looking forward to packing the other half in my work lunches.

That’s all she wrote!

When It Snows It Blizzards*

When it comes to the big, important stuff – having jobs, our health, and a great marriage – Adam and I know that we are unbelievably lucky.  That said, man oh man, this week was annoying.  The snow has been relentless, I wore my favorite sweater to work only to get to the cafeteria and douse myself head to toe in balsamic vinegar, Adam had to have both of his big toe nails emergently removed, and my car has a flat tire.  When it rains it pours*.  I’m pretty sure I have never been so glad for a weekend!

There was a lot of stress snacking going down this week that I didn’t do the best job of photographing, but I am going to recap the most delicious things…

breakfast

Iced coffee on the train and plain yogurt with peanut butter at my desk.

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I had a ridiculously amazing coffee combo this week…  Cold-brew with chocolate milk and toasted marshmallow coffee syrup!

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So insanely good.

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Are you admiring my nails?  Scroll to the last section of this post.

snack

GH Cretors elevated our snacking game by sending me a big box of the two flavors from their new organic line – Simply Salted and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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

Pre-popped popcorn can never really compare to freshly popped, but these are definitely the best bagged varieties we’ve ever tried.  They are nice and crisp.  Adam – who likes to pretend that he doesn’t like popcorn – was crazy for them, so that’s saying something.  We preferred the Simply Salted because the EVOO was good, but not quite as flavorful.  Both are organic and kosher and have 40 calories per cup.

I surprised my sore husband with a giant, sweet latte.

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I got myself a rocky road latte as well.  Meh.

We tried the hazelnut torte bar from Lindt’s new “Creation” line.

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Now I want the crème brûlée flavor!

I’m still loving the Ice Chips.

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Lemon was a very nice way to transition back from lunch to work this week.

lunch

Fage with raspberry and butterscotch peanut butter.

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The citrus fruits shown in my lunches this week are fresh Mandarins from Trader Joe’s that were wonderful.  Very sweet and juicy with almost no seeds.

Baked yucca fries from the cafeteria.  I had about double what’s shown because I started eating before I sat down.

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They were paired with the salad that ruined my outfit.

TJ’s egg white salad and popcorn.

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The egg salad was practically inedible; whyyyy was there so much turmeric??

Popcorn, Applegate Farm sliced turkey, mini Jarlsberg, and olives.

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The tasting plates were fun, but I was missing my yogurt bowls.

dinner

If you judge a dish by how good it tastes cold and leftover, straight from the casserole dish – I definitely do! – then my pizza mac and cheese was a real winner.

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Adam heated his serving up, but he also recommends that you try the recipe.

Chipotle night.  I ate a giant rice bowl with chicken, veggies, and pretty much all of the toppings.

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Our neighborhood is pretty much a food wasteland, but I think Chipotle would be Adam’s first pick even if we lived somewhere with more going on!

This was our best dinner of the week:

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Roasted broccoli and kalettes (aka kale-Brussels sprout hybrids).

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Southern pickle “fried” chicken.  <– I am so proud of this one; check the recipe sidebar!

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I served mine on a toasted, open-faced sandwich with a bit of mayo.

Last night we had fabulous kale salads.

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I massaged a bunch of kale with Sepo sauce in the morning and then tossed it with roasted broccoli, cubed avocado, and roasted coconut chips when it was time for dinner.

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We were supposed to have chicken on top of our salads but I accidentally left the remaining tenders sitting out on the counter overnight so instead I had a grilled cheese sandwich while I wrote this post.

fancy nails

So my jazzy nail polish?  Actually nail wraps from Jamberry.

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One of the girls I used to cocktail waitress with is a Jamberry consultant (her sales page is what I linked above) and she sent me a sample kit so I could try them out.  I am pretty amazed by how easy they are to put on; really not tricky or time-consuming at all, maybe almost as easy as slopping painting on polish.  Plus they are very cute!  I will definitely buy some to try again.

P.S. Thanks to Way Back Machine, I was able to find my old employee profile (click to enlarge) –

employee profile

Omg!