It’s Here!!!

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Weekend Wrap-Up; We Had Visitors

On the excitement front this weekend – Adam’s parents came to visit!  We are going to see all of my in-laws soon for Thanksgiving, but it was good to catch up with the parents now before the craziness of eleven of us under one roof.  We had them Friday night through Sunday afternoon and we got to show off LI.

lunches

Packed for Friday – an AriZona Oak Tea and 2% Fage with a big baggie of pomegranate arils and chopped fruit punch plucot.

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I also bought mac and cheese and some greens from the cafeteria.

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Heartbreakingly, I think this was my last yogurt bowl with plucots for this season, the produce sections have all seemed to have moved on.

We had so much fun last weekend that we did a repeat this Saturday and drove the husband’s parents up to…

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Montauk!

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We went to the beach, the lighthouse, and of course, Lunch.

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Adam and I shared a buttery hot lobster roll,

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and a bowl of lobster chowder.

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My favorite part is the whiffs of sherry.

And that’s not a foamy beer head,

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we drank a chocolate egg cream for dessert.

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You could tell that it was made with Hershey’s (a true EC has U-Bet), but Adam was still a fan.

We kept things low-key before goodbyes on Sunday and hung out around the house.  Take-out from Luigi’s fit the bill.

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I had a side salad, a buffalo chicken slice, and a Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream that I split with my m-i-l.

snacks

Breakfast at my desk on Friday.  An iced Americano (with skim milk and cream) with a sticky-sweet Dark Chocolate Peanut Larabar.  –Ummm, and I just noticed on the site that Lara has new Pumpkin Pie and Gingerbread flavors!!  How do I find those immediately?–

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Sweet = Haribo Licorice Wheels plus some of the Mini Gold Bears that my s-i-l sweetly sent us.

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Salty = TJ’s pea crisps.

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Coffee from 7-11 is kind of amazing.

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Adam and I are embarrassingly into the Almond Joy Creamer they have there.  And our location has pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pie creamer, and (free!) pumpkin spice syrup.  What, what?!

dinners

Dinners were the least exciting meals of the weekend.  Friday night we kept thing simple while we finished our last-minute cleaning.

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A toasted sandwich of caramel apple swirl bread, herbed sliced turkey, light Havarti, and TJ’s sweet and spicy jalopeño jelly.

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With baby carrots on the side.

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Simple but good.

Saturday we went out to Tavern 18.

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I had a beer that was pretty good.

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And a Thai Noodle Salad that was pretty terrible.

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No veggies, no flavor, and I keep forgetting that I kind of hate Soba noodles.  I’m into pasta that is chewy, while Soba tends to fall apart in your mouth.

No complaints about dessert though!  The best thing about Tavern 18 is that it is spitting distance from Ralph’s Ices.

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Dulce de leche and pumpkin pie for me.  I practically licked the cup clean.

I didn’t want my awful leftovers to go to waste, so I gussied them up into something moderately edible for dinner last night.

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+ roasted broccoli and cauliflower and loads of creamy Sriracha sauce (tons of Sriracha whisked together with smoked brown sugar, mayo, and a little canola oil).

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Hot sauce can hide a multitude of sins.

P.S. It is October first on Wednesday!  <– in other words, it is three days until I drink pumpkin beers and pumpkin spice lattes like crazy

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Weekly Wrap-Up; Coffee Crazy

Soooo, that title probably could have worked for any week this year, huh?  What can I say, the addiction is not lessening.  I will totally cop to the fact that I allot more of my budget to coffees than clothing or shoes {priorities}.

DSC02458I have a good mix of meals to share today, including several that I definitely want to make again soon!  I could not wake up enough in the mornings for any breakfast shots, but overall I caught a good amount of the week on film…

lunch

Fantastically thick and creamy yogurt.  Coffee Fage Fruyo with a Honeycrisp and an AriZona Oak Reserve Tea.

DSC02460Plus a red pear and a turkey jerky stick that I snacked on later.

Salad from the cafeteria.

lunchRomaine topped with red onion, kidney beans, shredded cheddar, black olives, and too much blue cheese dressing.  Plus bbq chips on the side.

Apple themed oats.

DSC02509Apple & Cinnamon Quaker (which was gummy and not good) with a banana-applesauce and the last of my caramel apple candies.

Brunch.  Scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, and a chocolate croissant.

DSC02526I was randomly extra hungry on Thursday morning so I went down to the cafeteria for a late breakfast.  I ended up getting slammed with follow-ups all afternoon and having to skip lunch, and serendipitously my late breakfast kept me from chewing off my own arm.

snacks

Gotta start with the coffee line-up!  From worst to best.  Starbucks Hazelnut Doubleshot was very meh.

DSC02512But I was quite excited to spot this new item at Konditori -

DSC02517I was a little sick of it by the end, but the coconut cream did a great job of keeping things creamy.  Nonetheless, the winner = Blue Bottle.

DSC02467These little milk boxes kill me and this was wonderfully creamy, sweet, and roasty.

Adam has a weird obsession with Au Bon Pain and he sweetly brought me home one of the pumpkin bunt cakes he’s been loving recently.

DSC02487I’m just not a huge cake person, but I loved getting a surprise treat.

The last of the Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato, topped with some melted (chunky/flax/chia)peanut butter from TJ.

DSC02494I’m glad I tried this with the end of the container or I would have gone back and made more!  Best combo ever.  Adam’s a little wary of the chunky pb but even he thought this was good.

Leftover slice of mushroom and olive pizza.

DSC02468Clover honey straw.  <– please note: I wouldn’t normally eat this straight like a total sugar freak, but it split open while I was trying to pack it in a lunch

DSC02497Coffee yogurt.

DSC02529The strangest pairing of the week was also the best.

DSC02498DSC02500Nonni’s Banana Dark Chocolate Almond Thins spread with Port Sault cheese were delicious.

dinner

A fantabulously fall salad.

DSC02479This was so flipping yummy that we ended up making it two nights in a row.

DSC02482Baby arugula and spinach blend topped with maple balsamic, pea shoots, Port Sault cheese, pomegranate arils, sweet and spicy hazelnuts [baked with canola oil, honey, cayenne pepper, and salt] , and roasted delicata squash [with coconut oil, cinnamon, and curry powder].

DSC02485The pizza on the side was this mushroom and black truffle flatbread from Trader Joe’s.

DSC02474All-in-all, a great meal.

Wednesday night I went out in Williamsburg for a friend’s birthday.

DSC02515No photos because I am socially awkward enough without the food photography, trust me.

And last night I threw together some fancied up macaroni.

DSC02536DSC02533Annie’s Shells and Cheddar with TJ’s smoked herring and some chopped up pea shoots.

DSC02534Pea shoots do not belong in pasta, but Adam seemed to like it.  I smothered my bowl in smoked brown sugar and Sriracha.

Have a great weekend!

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Weekend Wrap-Up; October Came Early in Montauk

The husband and I had quite the nice weekend.  <– do I always say that??!  A day of errands and a day trip up to Montauk.  We got to stick our toes in the sand!

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We also had some tasty eats.

Here’s how most of the last two days looked…

Errands day opened with a late brunch bowl at home.

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Apple Cinnamon Chobani topped with toasted coconut and pomegranate arils.  There was also a big blob of Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter hidden underneath the fruit.

Snacks of the day included two types of goodies from Haribo,

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and a Honey Crisp Crispin that I shared with the husband.

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This is our absolute favorite hard cider.

I also hungrily tore off bites of pretzel roll on the drive home from grocery shopping.

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I went late in the day and Trader Joe’s was getting slammed. Probably because the shelves all seemed to be brimming with new pumpkin goodies!

Dinner was an Apple Month special (unlike what’s coming in the rest of this post!).

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A toasted sandwich of Applegate Farm Smoked Turkey, TJ’s Light Havarti sliced cheese, and TJ’s hot pepper jelly, on Pepperidge Farm Caramel Apple Swirl Bread.

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Plus TJ’s nacho kale chips and baby carrots on the side.

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This sandwich was so yummy; love the spicy-sweet pairing.

Our drive to Montauk was nice and speedy (only about 2 hours; a Montauk local told me that traffic to the Hamptons cuts back nearly 2/3 after Labor Day) but it did require a little coffee.

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We shared some Vanilla Chameleon Cold Brew with skim milk and chocolate milk on the drive up

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and we got more of the good stuff locally while we walked around a ritzy shopping area.

We did lunch at Lunch, a lobster roll place right on the beach.

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Adam was all about the hot lobster roll.

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He shared a few hunks of buttered meat with me (gah! yum!), as well as his cole slaw.

I know it’s only September, but there were two fantasmic sounding pumpkin items on the menu, and who knows when I’ll go back to Montauk, so I couldn’t pass them up.  Pumpkin and crab soup.

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And Post Road Pumpkin Ale with a cinnamon-sugar rim.

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OMG.

After lunch, a drive to the lighthouse, and a quick stop at the beach, we got more beer at the Montauk Brewing Company.

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Their tasting room was quite cheap – $8 for 4 pours – and you even got to keep your glass.

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I will definitely order their Driftwood Ale if I see it on menus in the city.

A final coffee for the road – I love Hampton Coffee Company -

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and we were on our way home.

We did dinner in front of reruns of “Chopped.”  We went high-brow with the food so it would match up with the high standards of the Chopped judges.

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Pizza Hut pizza and Cupcake Wine Moscato.  Keeping it classy.

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Things From The Week

Hello, hello!  I have a mere five things to talk about today, I was too busy with lots of little things last week to take many pictures.  I mostly wanted to check in and reassure y’all (MOM) that I’m out of my funk.  We spent the weekend eating tons of pizza and finishing up “The Office” and it totally cured my bad mood.

thing #1 – TV

Loooooooved the ending of The Office!  Pam was kind of starting to drive me crazy in the last seasons, but I thought the finale was perfect.  Both the wedding and the cameo made me cry!

thing #2 – Bars

Lots of on the go bites this week, and these were two of the best.  Zing Dark Chocolate Hazelnut.

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I liked the chewiness.  And I was quite pleased by this -

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I also loved the KIND Honey Smoked BBQ Bar, though I accidentally deleted the picture of it.  This savory line is perfection for the times you want the convenience of a bar but not the typically sweet flavor.

thing #3 – Yogurt

I found the pumpkin spice Chobani!!!  But you know I won’t eat that until October, so more importantly, I found the Apple Cinnamon Chobani.

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It was very delicious paired with pomegranate arils.

thing #4 – Baking

Part of what was keeping me busy this week were the three September birthdays in the Nutrition office.  I made a big batch of my Pumpkin Double Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins and they got good reviews.

thing #5 – Coffeeeeee

I found Chameleon Cold Brew in NYC, finally.  Yippee!

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I also scored more Stumptown boxes and the Blue Bottle boxes, so I’m going to have some extra-fancy caffeination next week.

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Recommended Reading

My mom is an elementary school librarian, so reading has always been a big part of my life.  The only resolution I repeat and consistently achieve each year is to “read at least 1 book per month.”  Lately it’s been more like 4+ books per month.  I complain a lot about my crazy long commute, but really I’m not sure what I’d do without the daily reading blocks my time on the LIRR gives me.  I’ve read more books this past year than any other time in my adult life!

I just wanted to pop in and share some of the things that have made my fingers flip through pages (or scroll through Feedly) extra quickly lately…

{think} blog posts from other RDs

According to Elle – “Debunking Yet Another Low-Carb Claim

          An educated look at the recent study that pitted a low-carb diet versus a low-fat diet.  I think this is basically a must-read!

Bitchin’ Nutrition – “Testing Your Intestines

          Information on the types of tests required to diagnose food allergies and intolerances involving wheat and gluten.

Grapefruit & Granola – “School Vs. Clinical Dietetics

          A comparison of her days in a school cafeteria versus the hospital.  This one is probably most interesting to other Dietitians.

Dietitian Cassie – “Are Organic Foods Worth It?

          I’m cheating, this is actually a video segment!  She discusses which foods it is most advisable to buy organic.

{fun} two books I really loved recently

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Little Giant of Aberdeen County

From the back of the book:

Meet Truly Plaice – part behemoth, part witch, part Cinderella.  Born larger than life into a small-minded town, Truly breaks her family into smithereens.  Her mother dies during Truly’s birth, and when her father follows shortly afterward, Truly and her dainty sister, Serena Jane, are destined for very different fates.  As Truly grows larger and larger on a rundown farm, she watches lovely Serena Jane become the town’s adored May Queen and the obsession of a local boy, Bob Bob Morgan – the youngest in a line of Aberdeen’s doctors, who for generations wove their influence among the town’s citizens.  Yet no matter how far apart life propels them, Truly and her sister are forever linked.  And Truly will find her future shaped by Serena Jane’s relationships, a centuries-old antique of Dr. Morgan’s, and the reality that love cannot be ordered to size.

This book was 340 pages long and I tore through it in one day.  Putting it down was not an option!  Baker was beautifully descriptive and I think she achieved the perfect balance of tragedies to happy endings.

Dead Wrong by Allen Wyler

Dead Wrong

Note – This book I received free of charge to review from Astor + Blue.  I was not obligated to post unless I wanted to and I did not receive compensation for this post.  It’s also available on the Nook.

From the back of the book:

When a top secret program of implanting harrowing memories into innocent people comes to light, neurosurgeon Tom McCarthy is literally caught in the crossfire.  While McCarthy looks forward to a three-day weekend, his office is suddenly raided by two Department of Defense investigators bent on arresting him for a crime he didn’t commit. All hell breaks loose when an inadvertent scuffle escalates, leaving one agent dead at the hands of the other, and McCarthy fleeing but hopelessly trapped inside the labyrinthine corridors, heating ducts, and stairways of a gigantic Seattle medical center.

With the CIA and Seattle PD closing in, McCarthy unwittingly pulls Dr. Sarah Hamilton into the fray. And like rats in a maze, they struggle to stay one step ahead of their deadly hunters, while simultaneously uncovering a trail of corruption that reaches shocking dimensions.

Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler, DEAD WRONG brings the reader inside the world of an insidious and terrifyingly plausible narrative, to create a heart pounding, claustrophobic and nightmarish thriller.

The only reason I didn’t finish this one in one day as well was because I started it during the work week.  I could not wait to see what was going to happen next or to learn more about why things were unfolding the way they did.  Wyler did a nice job of switching between first and third person narrative and the shifts in perspective helped to pull me in as well.  I don’t want to give anything away, but I was pleased with the ending.

Do you have any books to recommend?

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Weekly Wrap-Up; Five Things, Crankily

I had a perpetual case of cranky-face this whole past week.  Nothing concrete set it off – Adam and I haven’t had a fight in ages, the dog hasn’t been being a little monster, and my work week was pretty varied so it was more interesting and less stressful than usual – but I was constantly in a bad mood.  I was also super hungry all week, which I guess probably was a trigger for some of my ire.  It was a real bummer.

Rather than trying futilely to fight it, I plan on giving in and wallowing.  I’m going to spend the next two days eating pizza and catching up on tv in the hopes that the grump works its way out of my system by Monday.

In the meantime, here are a few things that did make me smile last week…

{1} The best breakfast.  How flipping cute are these Stumptown Cold Brew boxes???

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Adam and I geeked out when we spotted them at WF.

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And it was totally delicious; sweet and creamy.  My Bananas Foster Larabar Uber wasn’t bad either.

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To quote Lara – “It’s basically bananamazing!”

{2} The most on-theme lunch.  Blueberries and caramel apple pie Greek yogurt, plus licorice and caramel apple Twizzlers for later.

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I loved the licorice; apparently I am a fan even when it’s not enrobed in candy coating (though that’s not to say that I didn’t also eat Good & Plenty several times this week!).  I was not a fan of the yogurt, though I can’t say that was really a surprise.  In my endless quest to try every apple(pie) flavored item on the market there are bound to be a few losers.

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Worst of all, it didn’t even fill me up, I got fries from the cafeteria as well.

{3} The best lunch.  This day’s break was much more satisfying, the honey-chia combination was killer.  I will be pairing those two up again soon.

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With blueberries and a Hemp & Chia O’Coconut snack on the side.

{4} The best dinner.  Eaten in two courses.  First, a snack plate of baby carrots, buffalo blue cheese pretzel nuggets, TJ’s turkey jerky, and Tribe roasted vegetable hummus.

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Then later, pizza pizza – buffalo chicken – and a side salad.

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From Luigi’s if any locals are looking for a recommendation.  The crust was so good; chewy almost like Naan!

{5} The best dessert {of the season}.  I know, I know, I’m eating pumpkin in September, but the Ralph’s location near our apartment closed early last fall and it’s essential that I get my fill of this goodness before it goes away.

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Salted caramel pretzel and pumpkin pie cream ices.  <– best flavor ever.

What do you do to help yourself get over it when you’re feeling cranky?

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