Random Thoughts

{with some random rants and a few photos from my phone}

I haaaaate when people leave their shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot.  Way to waste parking spaces because you’re too lazy to function.  Especially because most people only are buying a bag or two; why the heck do you even need to wheel that to your car?!  Use your arms so I don’t have to hate you!

I also hate the fact that this is my only post for the week because I’ve been in the mother of all bad moods and I was too cranky to do a wrap-up.

Part of why I’m cranky is the fact that I had to waste a vacation day on Tuesday because our clinic was closed for the “blizzard.”  But I do love that I got to spend that day like this –

Webster

And I’m glad that I took the dog on an extra long walk on Monday because while it may not have been the predicted snowpocalypse, the weather was bad enough that we didn’t leave the house at all on Tuesday.

Webster

Here is how Adam and I prepared for the inclement weather, by the way –

candy

That Lindt Hello popcorn bar was terrible.  Adam liked it, but the flavor was way too true to life:  I don’t want to taste popcorn when the texture in my mouth is creamy not crunchy.

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These Dang coconut chips were perfectly crunchy, and tasty.

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We started watching “Backstrom” this week and I’m not sure I’m going to like it even though I love Hart Hanson (creator of “Bones.”).  I’m going to give it three episodes, but I didn’t like “The Finder” at all either.

But Brooklyn-99 has been rocking my face off, per usual.

That’s all :)

Fudgy Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies {aka The Best Brownies Ever}

I’ve always thought that I kind of hated brownies, but recently I realized that what I hate is cakey brownies.  Not much of a surprise, considering that I hate chocolate cake.  Fudgy, chewy, hefty brownies?  It turns out that I love those.  And it doesn’t hurt if you add a layer of marshmallow.

fudgy triple chocolate marshmallow brownies

Inspired by the Baker’s Chocolate recipe, these guys only require you to dirty one bowl. Between the baking chocolate, cocoa powder, and milk chocolate chips, these brownies are intensely chocolatey.  Even better, they are quite fudgy.  If you like cakey brownies, then this is definitely not the recipe for you.

Fudgy Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies, yields 16 servings

  • 6 Tbsp salted butter
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg and egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1.5 cups marshmallow fluff
  1. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray foil with baking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place butter and baking chocolate in a large, microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring regularly until the butter and chocolate are completely melted.
  3. Stir sugars into melted chocolate.  Whisk in egg and vanilla.  Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Fold chocolate chips into batter.
  4. Divide batter in two and spread the first half evenly into the prepared baking pan.  Use a spatula to top evenly with a layer of fluff, followed by an even layer of the remaining batter.
  5. Bake for 30 – 33 minutes  or until a knife inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.  The marshmallow layer will bubble up into the top layer of batter in several spots, that’s ok – it gives the brownies a rustic look.
  6. Remove foil from pan and allow brownies to cool complete before slicing into 16 squares.  Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge.

fudgy triple chocolate marshmallow brownies

I still hate boxed brownies though.  Always and forever.

Weekend Wrap-Up; Marshmallow Madness

I am not 100% yet, but I am feeling much better. 90%?  Poor Adam, though, has gotten my cold x2, complete with an ear infection.  It’s put a real damper on how much sympathy I’m able to get!  At least we were both in the mood for a quiet, lazy weekend.

breakfast and lunch

Friday at work I had a Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar with WF’s Citrus Blend Italian Sparkling Mineral Water.

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Don’t get me wrong, nothing tops Diet Coke, but I am really loving those sparkling waters.  The strawberry flavor is the best.

Then for lunch, Grape Chobani with KIND Raspberry Chia Seed Clusters, an apple, and a Vita Coco Café.

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Again, not as amazing as iced coffee, but the espresso coconut water mash-up is damn good.

And I did have iced coffee this weekend.  With skim milk and vanilla creamer.

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Plus peanut/butter toast and a mini cheese for brunch.

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That is the only weekend breakfast or lunch picture I have because mostly we snacked on random things.

fudgy triple chocolate marshmallow brownies

Also I made and ate a lot of brownies (see below…).

dinner

Friday night we turned to the freezer for dinner.

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TJ’s vegan orange chicken was alright paired with broccoli.

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But it was basically the least filling thing on the planet.  We both ended up making sandwiches too.

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Fancy pb&j for me.

Saturday night was just straight fancy.

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I made baked shrimp!  Shrimp, chopped bell pepper, evoo, fresh cilantro, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, lime juice, and a sprinkle of chopped butter, baked at 425* for 12 minutes.  Served on top of jasmine rice cooked in chicken stock.

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This was tasty, healthy, and oh-so quick to prepare.  Triple win.

Sunday I started dinner in the car home after the world’s longest trip to Trader Joe’s.  Apparently people are freaking out about our potential blizzard.  By the by, please, please, please cross your fingers that it doesn’t blizzard!

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After my pretzel roll I made a spinach salad.

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With balsamic vinaigrette, pomegranate, goat’s milk cheddar, and sweet and salty pecans.

snacks, aka marshmallow madness

My mother-in-law sent us a cute Valentine’s card and some strawberry Peeps.

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They were yummy, but the marshmallow extravaganza was just beginning… we also had a big container of fluff!

So I made the very best brownies I’ve ever tasted.

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Triple chocolate fudge with a layer of marshmallow fluff in the middle.

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Recipe is coming tomorrow and it is absolutely fantastic, I promise.

In the meantime, I did something else with the fluff.

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Oh yes, I did.  Malted Marshmallow Coffee Creamer.  If you put skim milk, marshmallow fluff (1:2 ratio with the milk), and malted milk powder (1:4 ratio with the milk) in the blender you can put it in your coffee and pretty much die of happiness.

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We used 2 cups skim milk, 1 cup fluff, and 1/4 cup malted milk powder, but as long as you follow the ratio above you can make a smaller or larger batch, no problem.  I highly recommend it!

Weekly Wrap-Up; On The Mend

I am still a teensy bit sick, but thankfully I am feeling much, much better than last weekend.  Hopefully by the end of this weekend I’ll be back to 100%!

breakfast

My first day back, when I came in feeling just terrible, my coworker surprised me with a bagel with lox and cream cheese.

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So sweet of her, and very serendipitous since I hadn’t managed to get coffee, let alone breakfast.

Adam drove me into work on Wednesday since he had errands to do in Brooklyn, so we went in early and made a date of it.

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Doughnut Plant!

doughnut plant - brooklyn

I got a coconut cream filled and a Valrhona hot chocolate.  Plus we stopped for an iced coffee along the walk.

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This was so much fun, I cannot even tell you; morning date for the win.

Yesterday I randomly woke up feeling sooo hungry so I pieced together a big breakfast in the cafeteria.

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Coffee with chocolate milk,

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and scrambled eggs, veggie sausage, and a croissant.

lunch

Veggie pizza from the cafeteria.

This was good, but it had corn on it which I found to be an incredibly strange topping choice.  Not that I don’t love corn, but on a pizza??!

Wednesday I brought an apple and a Jarlsberg Cheese Mini (more on that in a minute…) from home.

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Plus a salad from the cafeteria that I apparently don’t have a picture of.

Yesterday was another apple, plus an Apricot Ancient Grains Chobani with TJ’s Pumpkin O’s and KIND Banana Nut Clusters.

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I liked the Chobani much more than the one with oats I tried previously.  The pieces of apricot were quite nice.

snack

I don’t usually drink coffee after 4 pm but I ended up getting iced decafs twice this week because I was so obsessed with the idea of coffee flavor in the evening.

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With skim milk and a splash of cream.

Another night we had smoothies for our creamy drink fix.

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Chocolate peppermint soymilk with frozen strawberries and plain Greek yogurt.

Back to that cheese…

Jarlsberg mini

Jarlsberg recently started making minis and they sent me some to try.

jarlsberg minis

For full disclosure I will tell you that Adam didn’t like the flavor (“too mild”) but I did, and I thought the texture was great (firm bite – you could squeeze it between your fingers and the wheel held its shape – but very creamy).  70 calories per mini wheel, for a nicely portable snack.

Caramel apple plate,

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Caramel pecan popcorn and apple slices sprinkled with caramel cinnamon sugar.

caramel cinnamon sugar shaker

I brought that adorable shaker back from San Francisco’s Japantown.

Related note – this salted caramel hand sanitizer smells beyond amazing.

salted caramel - bath and body works

Another souvenir from our SF trip, Ruby Grand dried nectarines from Frog Hollow.

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Served on with vanilla shortbreads for a very fancy, only slightly Georgia O’Keefe-y snack plate.

dinner

An easy dinner for the first night I cooked after take-out for every meal all weekend.

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Salad with honey mustard dressing, parmesan, dried blueberries, and sweet and salty pecans.

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Eggs with sautéed onion and TJ’s canned mackerel scrambled in.  Plus turkey bacon.

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I cooked the bacon first so everything in my eggs was infused with that flavor.

Date night at Pequeña in Brooklyn.

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We started with an order of the fried sweet plantains.

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Pretty good, but I think I would have to go back home to really get my plantain craving satisfied.

I ordered veggie quesadillas for my entrée – Pan Fried Tortillas Stuffed with Oaxacan String Cheese And Zucchini, Peppers, Mushroom, Onion, and Squash. Topped with Salsa Roja, Queso Fresco and Cilantro.

veggie quesadillas at Pequena - brooklyn

I always cook my quesadillas in a pan, but apparently “pan fried” here meant legit deep fried quesadillas.  They were tasty but also a bit ridiculous; I ate one plus the filling out of the other.

I’m writing this post before dinner on Thursday, but it’s gotten pretty late and I’m leaning towards a big salad and an old-school pb&j.  :)

Goods And Bads; Weekend Wrap-Up

I wasted an entire long weekend being sick in bed with a cold.  Uggh!  All the signs were there – cough, sniffles, headaches, plus we ate nothing but take-out, I watched about a billion episodes of Friends, I used two boxes of tissues and a toilet paper roll blowing my nose, and I haven’t worn pants since Friday.

Thankfully I had two healthy days at work Thursday and Friday, so I do have a few good things to share…

Iced coffee with chocolate milk is always good.

iced coffee with chocolate milk

iced coffee and chocolate milk

But I also learned that Starbucks’ salted caramel pretzel bars are really good.

starbucks caramel pretzel bar

And the ‘Bucks didn’t let me down with these almonds either.

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On the healthier side, heirloom red spinach is also good.

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salad with heirloom red spinach

This coconut milk totally helped me feel better – for a minute or two – on Sunday.

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And TJ’s Crispy, Crunchy Broccoli is fantastic.

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Plus, Chobani’s new grape yogurt tastes like Greek yogurt with a purple pixie stick mixed in!

Now I’m crossing my fingers that I can make it through today with only one box of Kleenex.  Think dry thoughts for me!

Around The Web

FYI – No wrap-up post this week.  I checked my camera last night and found a total of four (out of focus) photos; whoops.  Instead, here are some of my favorites from sites that were putting out actual content…

{for learning}

1) A post from Real Mom Nutrition on how people who don’t strictly calorie count can still use the nutrition information on restaurant menus.

2) Another one from Sally, on why she doesn’t like using the word “never” to describe foods.  I am in 100% agreement with every word of this.  And it’s funny!

3) Science-Based Medicine explains why “detoxes” are bullshit.  <– I highly recommend this site

4) 4 myths about gluten-free from RDelicious Kitchen via Fannetastic Food.

5) Grapefruit and Granola looks back at her first year as a Registered Dietitian.

{for laughing}

csi my house

source

50 shade of unrealistic

source

adopt a sense of humor

source

fruit bat's fruit bat

source

what is like

source

That last one is definitely me with television!  And music, books, foods, and pretty much everything else.

Weekend Wrap-Up; Good Eats

So much good food this weekend! I’m only sharing my top five since I didn’t do a great job of photo-taking…

{1} On Sunday, we had an amazing brunch at Russ and Daughters.

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My parents are obsessed with the store, and Adam and I checked out their newish cafe this weekend and fell in love.

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Best Bloody Mary of my life!

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Made with caraway-infused vodka. It had a sludge of caraway and horseradish on the bottom and I know that sounds terrible to some of you but it was wonderful.

We got pickled veggies to start.

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They were great, especially those whitish sticks, which turned out to be fennel.

Adam got a bowl of tasty whitefish chowder (with toasted matzah!).

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And the Pastrami Russ – pastrami-cured salmon, muenster cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, and pickle on a pretzel roll.

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We adored it, but my Super Heebster Bagel Toast stole the show.

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Whitefish and baked salmon salad, wasabi-infused fish roe, and horseradish dill cream cheese on a thinly sliced bagel. We were swooning… especially once we ordered a second round of drinks!

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Best brunch of the year.

{2} I normally try not to drink coffee after 3 pm, but on Friday I caffeinated on the train and actually managed to cook a real dinner.

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A pumpkin and sausage dish from Rachel Ray.

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Instead of pasta I served ours on top of rice cooked in chicken broth, which was delicious.

With asparagus baked with pecans and blue cheese.

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Adam was swooning.

{3} I am pretty proud of Saturday night too (particularly because I might have eaten Chipotle take-out for not one but two of my other meals this weekend!).

I had defrosted some nice shrimp for a recipe I changed my mind about, when I decided to combine a few recipes for Bang Bang shrimp.

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The shrimp were tossed in cornstarch and salt and pepper and cooked in canola oil, then served on top of whole wheat mac and cheese, and under a sauce of mayo, Sriracha, honey, and rice vinegar.

{4} We made the most of our trip to the city with stops for coffee and cupcakes.

Adam’s favorite coffee is Cafe Grumpy.

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I ordered him a flat white and he pretty much lost his mind over it.

We both think Sugar Sweet Sunshine has the best cupcakes in the city.

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Mocha and Oreo, yum

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{5} The best moment of the weekend was getting Adam to try Snowdays Shavery… and having him admit that it’s amazing.

Their shaved ice is like no other. It’s shaved instead of crushed and rather having the flavor poured on top the big blocks are already flavored so every bite is fluffy and infused with goodness.

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We got toasted sesame with sweetened condensed milk, mochi, and Fruity Pebbles. Fellow NYCers, now that it’s warmed up to a balmy 30 degrees this weekend, go get yourself some shaved ice!

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