Cookie Monster

Friday, Friday, Friday!  How did a short week feel so long?  At least I had multiple sugar highs to carry me through.

Munk Pack sent me a sweet (but actually protein-packed) box of samples.  Munk Pack Protein Cookies contain a whopping 18 grams of plant-protein and 6 grams of fiber per cookie.  They are gluten-free, vegan, and do not contain sugar alcohols or soy.

IMG_6203

I let Adam review two flavors on his own because he’s the one whose lifestyle depends on quick, protein-packed snacks (and he’s already obsessed with Munk Pack’s oatmeal packets).  He thought double dark chocolate was good but not great and was over the moon for oatmeal raisin spice.  To quote – “5/5.  A little bit savory but not too spicy.  Firm on the outside but moist on the inside, with a good texture from the oats.  Very filling, it kept me satisfied for hours.”

IMG_6220

And personally I liked peanut butter chocolate chip but I loooooved the coconut white chip macadamia.  All of the flavors were very substantial, I actually ended up skipping lunch yesterday because I was still so satisfied from the cookie I ate for breakfast at 9!

IMG_6317

Peanut butter wasn’t necessarily a cookie-cookie but was a darn good protein bar but the coconut flavor was straight-up decadent.  It had the slightly gritty consistency of cookie dough and was one of the more delicious packaged cookies (dessert options included) I’ve ever eaten.

IMG_6533

Plus we threw a baby shower for a coworker this week and I made and ate a million desserts.  Matzoh toffee candy.

IMG_6495

Triple fudge brownies with maraschino cherries and cherry cream cheese frosting.

IMG_6520

I did eat one or two things that weren’t sweet.  Like super spicy Thai food.  I went out for lunch with a girlfriend in Astoria and had a great bowl of extra spicy pad see ew with mock duck.

IMG_6455

Plus Adam and I hung out for a bit at Gossip; love it there.

IMG_6451

Still obsessed with this Trader Joe’s seed and bean snack.

IMG_6527

It was a week of fantastic home-cooked dinners.  Like Asian-style cabbage wraps.  <– best dish of the week

IMG_6462

Red cabbage cups / ground turkey sauteed with shredded carrot, spring onion, orange and bell pepper/ crushed peanuts on top.

IMG_6473

Plus two dipping sauces – miso, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, gojuchang / avocado, cilantro, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, Greek yogurt, evoo.

IMG_6480

Another night I used the leftover avocado cilantro sauce to make a killer salad.  With red cabbage, arugula, spring onion, shredded carrot, yellow bell pepper, black beans, sharp cheddar, and salty peanuts.

IMG_6552

With an assortment of global gummy candies for dessert.

IMG_6534

And another night we made loaded cheeseburger cheese fries!

IMG_6501

Waffle fries / cheese / tons of sauteed onion / mini turkey cheeseburgers / with ketchup and mayo on top.

IMG_6512

Plus broccoli slaw on the side, sauteed with rice vinegar and cream cheese.

IMG_6510

Have a happy weekend!

Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, And Eggplant, Oh My!

Goodness me, did we fit in some fantastic eating this weekend!  Three restaurant stops that were three of our best meals in NYC to date.  I spent the past three days giddy and full.

Highlights…

First things first – they can’t all be winners.  Both of these products seemed like things I would flip for so it felt like I should put out a PSA that I was not a fan.  The protein krispie treat tasted stale and horrible and the drink was more peanut than caramel.  Plus I’ve decided that the new Starbucks blonde espresso is not for me because I like the roasty flavor of the traditional espresso.

IMG_6396

IMG_6404

I do recommend this salted caramel cold brew that I drank with skim milk.

IMG_6376

I am also a fan of toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches on brioche buns.  With kettle chips and roasted green beans.

IMG_6386

Now the stuff that knocked my socks off – Joyce Bakeshop.  We got baked goods with our coffees on a whim and the kouign-amann ended up being the single-best pastry I’ve ever had.

IMG_6409

Dinner at LIC Market.  We ate on the beautifully verdant back patio and our scenery was lovely but the lighting was terrible.  Fries with raclette to start.

IMG_6361

With a gose.

IMG_6350

I ordered two veggie sides as my entree.  Brussel sprouts with soy, sweet chili, and garlic and eggplant with lemon aioli.  The eggplant was one of my favorite dishes of the past five years, which is really saying something because we’ve had some exceptional eggplant dishes lately.

IMG_6366

Brown butter pecan cake with a sherry chocolate sauce.

IMG_6369

Dinner at Olmstead.  Another stunning interior + terrible photo lighting situation.

IMG_6411

My cocktail was not great – the only item we didn’t swoon over – but Adam’s fig sherry with vanilla and bitters was pretty delicious.

IMG_6418

The menu is set up for sharing so we got to try a bunch of things.  <– We actually felt like they encouraged us to order a little too much because we ended up having to take leftovers home.  Duck liver mousse (with honey drizzled on top!) with garlic crostini and pickled cauliflower.

IMG_6423

Beer-battered delicata squash rings with green tomato and a spice crust.

IMG_6427

Sweet potato and uni dumplings.

IMG_6431

Cauliflower okonomiyaki with yuzukoshō mayo and spicy hazelnuts.

IMG_6434

I had trout with creamed brussel sprouts and shaved chestnuts as my entree.  Adam’s succulent tamarind lacquered lamb is lurking in the background.

IMG_6438

We ordered the “peanut butter and jello” for dessert because how could you see that and not??!  It was strawberry mousse with strawberry jello and peanut butter powder.  It was ridiculous and amazing and I literally giggled every time I took a bite.

IMG_6446

Olmstead, LIC Market, and Joyce Bakeshop, we will be back!

Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken

This past week was extra-strength lengthy.  I stayed late at work a few days and had several issues with my train and the end result was that I was home more than two hours late almost every day this week – yuck!  I did manage to eat some good dinners still, but I did not manage to get this post up on time.

Best bites {or really should I be writing “superior sips” here because I always start with coffee?!} –

Iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk.

IMG_6234

I also had a yummy iced latte from Birch.

IMG_6263

And I tried the new blonde espresso from Starbucks.  <– quite good, felt like it should be paired with vanilla

IMG_6322

Peach Siggi’s with a Cara Cara orange and strawberry granola minis.

IMG_6305

Plain Icelandic style yogurt with maple taffy, Page mandarins, and sprinkled donut crunch cereal.

IMG_6284

I am a marketer’s dream; I don’t eat cereal all that often, and I hate Captain Crunch, but I still bought this because it was adorable!

IMG_6273

Adam and I both had Monday off, so we got to go on a lunch date!  Serendipity3.

IMG_6237

It was our best meal there to date, we were both swooning over our entrees.  I had curried chicken casserole with almonds and many bites of Adam’s sandwich.

IMG_6243

IMG_6248

We came home with two-full-meals-worth of leftovers and were still almost too full for dessert.  Almost.  This sundae is the best thing ever – humble (peanut butter) pie / vanilla ice cream / sliced bananas / hot fudge.

IMG_6255

Bonus – we stopped at Dylan’s next door before our walk across the Queensborough bridge and bought a candy bar on a whim that ended up being fantastic.

IMG_6264

I made a big crockpot of Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken for dinners.  Basically this recipe but with Coke instead of Dr Pepper and chicken instead of pork and I diced up my cherries, chipotles, and jalapenos.

IMG_6332

Served on a sandwich with brioche bun and mayo.

IMG_6343

And roasted zucchini on the side.

IMG_6339

And served on top of nachos!

IMG_6347

My other dinners were brinners.

IMG_6288

Breakfast bowl with sauteed kale with tons of garlic and onion, Trader Joe’s meatless breakfast sausages, and two fried eggs.

IMG_6300

Scrambled eggs with tons of onion, chipotle, and sharp cheddar and roasted green beans on the side.

IMG_6314

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Best Ever Iced Coffee

I survived the less-than-zero-degree weather!  My first winter in Buffalo I bought myself a pair of (children’s!) Sorrel snow-boots and they remain the single most essential item in my closet.

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so my weekend eats weren’t all that exciting.  Work was busy-busy so I mostly ate quick, snacky things.  The highlights…

Iced coffee with a crispy Pacific Rose apple.

IMG_6154

This New Orleans-style cold brew with sweetened condensed milk is officially my favorite coffee combo of all time.  I love Grady’s in general and this was perfectly spiced so with the SCM it was insanely delicious.

IMG_6128

Sooooo much hot chocolate.

IMG_6156

A giant smoothie I shared with Adam – plain Greek yogurt, frozen soursop, mango, and grapes.

IMG_6185

Toasted onion bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.  I ended up scraping off part of my mountain of cream cheese like some kind of tourist.

IMG_6176

Watermelon / Sriracha chicken bar / vanilla crispy square.

IMG_6124

Maple salmon bar / TJ’s dried chokanan mango / TJ’s seed & bean medley.

IMG_6149

The first two nights of dinner I was thanking past Emily for leaving me yummy leftovers.  Hot wing pasta.

IMG_6140

Hot dish.  With ketchup and Sriracha on top.

IMG_6171

And Sunday night I finally got around to cooking the meal I had planned for the first night of Hannukah!

IMG_6195

I had kind of a bad foodie/good foodie thing going on – my latkes were from a box but my matzoh brie was fried in duck fat.

IMG_6179

I sprinkle sugar on mine because that’s how I grew up eating it.  And that’s a blob of labne on my latkes that I wished was sour cream.   Plus we had roasted broccoli with sumac.

IMG_6199

I am off of work today! and we are going somewhere fun for lunch!!

Hello, 2018!

On a personal level, 2018 is off to a great start.  Adam’s and my last week of 2017 staycation was deeply wonderful, so I’m starting the year in a damn good mood.

Though perhaps I’ll be less ecstatic today, by the time this post goes live I will already be outside attempting to dig my car out from the foot plus of snow dropped by the bomb cyclone.  I work this weekend so thankfully I was already off for the worst of it on Thursday.

Here were the best bites from the year so far…

This week’s coffee – Starbucks espresso roast.

IMG_6027

Plus on my snow day I sipped on a super fancy Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew with chocolate milk.  Total frothy, creamy, goodness.

IMG_6095

Yogurt bowl work lunches are off to a good start.  Coffee and Cream Chobani with maple almond butter granola and a Pacific Rose apple and MadeGood chocolate chip granola minis.

IMG_6041

Mint Chocolate Chunk Chobani with chocolate Cheerios and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  This new flavor was surprisingly delicious, just like mint chip ice cream.

IMG_6072

Smoked turkey and Swiss sandwich box from Starbucks.

IMG_6032

Popping champagne gummies for the new year.  I have loved all of the bears from Project Seven that I’ve tried so far.

IMG_6075

Yummy vanilla bean French pudding.

IMG_6101

Exciting limited edition seltzers tasting.  We didn’t like the cola as much as I had hoped – it was too weird to have the flavor without the sweetness – and the unicorn kisses wasn’t magical but was very tasty.

IMG_6059

I totally rocked it in the kitchen this week; three meals were 10/10.  Like good luck bowls to start the year – forbidden rice / collard greens – sauteed with garlic / hoppin’ john – a slightly bastardized version with orange bell pepper added in.

IMG_6050

Hot wing pasta with carrots and celery on the side.

IMG_6079

Whole wheat pasta shells / sauteed baby spinach and green onion with fish sauce / shredded chicken breast with cream cheese and hot sauce / sharp cheddar.

IMG_6085

Chick pot pie hot dish (loosely inspired by this recipe from Molly Yeh).

IMG_6106

Shredded chicken breast / tons of sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery, and peas / roux + caned low fat milk and chicken broth with sour cream, hot sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika / tater tots!

IMG_6117

Hope everyone’s 2018 is off to a good start!

Book List 2017

I know I said that I wasn’t blogging again this year, but I had to pop back in to share my final stats for my yearly resolution – read at least one book each month.

Here were 20162015, and 2014‘s lists.

And here were the books I read in 2017…

The list is in chronological order.  F = fiction, NF = nonfiction, and M = memoir.
  1. The Sound of Gravel – Ruth Wariner  (m)
  2. Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  3. Truly Madly Guiltily – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  4. What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  5. The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  6. The Dead House – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  7. The Bone Vault – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  8. The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  9. The Kills – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  10. Entombed – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  11. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion  (f)
  12. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion  (f)
  13. Missing Pieces – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  14. Free Refills; a Doctor Confronts his Addiction – Peter Grinspoon, MD  (m)
  15. After Perfect, a Daughter’s Memoir – Christina McDowell  (m)
  16. Chaos – Patricia Cornwall  (f)
  17. Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  18. Once We Were Sisters – Sheila Kohler  (m)
  19. Legal Tender – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  20. Everywhere That Mary Went – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  21. The Light Between Oceans – ML Stedman  (f)
  22. Death Dance – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  23. Bad Blood – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  24. Killer Heat – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  25. Lethal Legacy – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  26. Dangerous When Wet – Jamie Brickhouse  (m)
  27. Rough Justice – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  28. Hell Gate – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  29. Silent Mercy – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  30. Night Watch – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  31. Death Angel – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  32. The Weight of Silence – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  33. Terminal City – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  34. Little Mercies – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  35. Devil’s Bridge – Linda Fairstein (f)
  36. Killer Look – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  37. These Hidden Things – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  38. Two Nights – Kathy Reichs  (f)
  39. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick  (m)
  40. Mistaken Identity – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  41. Right Behind You – Lisa Gardner  (f)
  42. Moment of Truth – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  43. And When She Was Good – Laura Lippman  (f)
  44. To the Power of Three – Laura Lippman  (f)
  45. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) – Felicia Day  (m)
  46. Deadfall – Linda Fairstein  (f)

I read a lot of murder mysteries!  I didn’t have any standout favorite books this year but I did really enjoy everything by Liane Moriarty.

What was your favorite book you read this year?

Soul Mates

Today is my tenth wedding anniversary!!!

20

Fun fact – we got married on our five-year dating anniversary so it’s actually our fifteenth anniversary as a couple.

me and adam3

Somehow it feels both like we’ve been together forever and only a minute.  Adam and I started dating at seventeen and married at twenty-two and I feel so grateful that I basically got to watch him grow up, especially because he grew into the greatest person ever.  Adam is curious and conscientious and the kindest man I’ve ever met.

adam and me

We believe that we have the best relationship of all time.  We are honest with each other, always, and it means we’ve never had to wonder or worry about where we stand.  We love AND like one another.  We are perhaps unhealthfully obsessed with each other – Adam misses me pretty much the minute we’re apart and I give myself chest pain at least once a day getting overwhelmed with how happy I am to know him.

adam and emily 2

It’s almost unbelievable to me that this handsome, funny doctor not only puts up with me, but truly thinks I’m amazing and cool.  Being loved unconditionally changes every experience – even ones when you’re not with your partner – and I feel so lucky to be a part of that.

me and adam10

We are both off from work Wednesday – Sunday and there won’t be another post from me this week (this year!) because I’m going to be mooning at my husband instead of looking through my camera.  We do have some pretty epic dinner reservations planned though so I will be sharing a bit on Instagram.

Thank you for reading this year, enjoy the rest of 2017, readers!