Insta Vacation Highlights

Last week was perfectly relaxing bliss, I could not have asked for a better vacation!  Adam and I were thrilled to get to go home [St. Thomas, USVI].  I had time with the husband, friends, and family / I watched some of my favorite people get married on a beach in St. John / I ate tasty things / I stuck my toes in the sand and swam in the ocean!

We flew in and out of JFK to get home which meant sneaking in a little NYC visit as well  – we had just enough time for two fancy dinners and brunch with city friends.

The fun is fairly well-documented on my instagram but here are some highlights of the highlights…

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If I had to pick my top three sips/bites they’d be…

{1} Roasted baby carrots with harissa hot honey, peanut dukka, and hibiscus yogurt from Freek’s Mill.

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{2} A snow cone with tamarind and dulce de leche.

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{3} A salmon patty from the spot near the airport.

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Back to the grind.

Let Them Eat Cake

I am going on vacation next week and I definitely already have vacation brain!  The past 7 days I’ve done barely any cooking and taken barely any photographs of what I have been eating.

Here were five great highlights…

{1} Cake in all forms!  Billy Idol Cake from Paradox, aka white wedding cake with lemon curd.

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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{3} I have come around to Adam’s point of view that Sicily Rose makes the best lattes in Charlottesville.  Their fancy espresso machine is key.  Four shots on ice with skim milk in a small cup is 100% perfect.

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{4} Poblano x2 pasta bowls.  Trader Joe’s creamy chicken poblano ravioli with celery, poblano pepper, and TJ’s turkey summer sausage sauteed in a butter.

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{5} We finally made it to Lampo and it lived up to the hype.  The Fungi pizza was downright decadent; Sharondale Farm pioppini and oyster mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, panna, aged provolone, grana padano.

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Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

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Cavolo Nero – Tuscan kale, candied almonds, ricotta salata, golden raisins, pickled mustard seed, apple cider vinaigrette, crispy parsnip.  This was the best dish of the meal.

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Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

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And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

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P.S. I will not be blogging from vacation – though I will share some fun on instagram – so I’ll see you guys after St. Patrick’s Day!

Snack Attack

Highlights from the week…

This canned coffee from Dunkin was actually not too bad.

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But this quad non-fat iced latte from Marie Bette was better.  They were doing some work in our apartment this week and Webster had to be boarded; his vet is right next to the pastry spot so I finally got a chance to try their scrumptious pretzel croissants.

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This month’s Snack Crate goodies came from Hawaii.  Highlights included Maui onion chips and pineapple Hi-Chews.

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Kung Fu Tea = joy.  I got a Thai iced tea (half sweet, extra ice) with pudding and boba.

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Cookie Dough Life is life, this new flavor from Coolhaus knocked our socks off.

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Turkey sandwiches are the easiest dinner.  Toasted whole grain sourdough / smoked sliced turkey / sharp cheddar / spicy raspberry jam.  Plus roasted green beans.

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Actually, this was the easiest dinner.  I got a bowl (without rice) and chips from Chipotle and took them home to turn into nachos.  Chips / cheese / pinto beans / fajita veggies / chicken / corn salsa / tomatillo salsa / sour cream.

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And this was the tastiest dinner!  Toasted sourdough / topped with soft scrambled eggs / and smoked herring mashed with caramelized onion dip.  Plus roasted broccoli.  We were swooning after every bite.

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Cheese In All Its Forms

Highlights from a lazy weekend…

Chocolate Stumptown cold brew + a peanut butter chocolate chip Perfect Bar.  <– my two favorite flavors from each company

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Mild cheddar Just the Cheese snack.  <– my official favorite flavor from my box of samples

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Garlic and chive cheese + a chicken sesame bbq Epic Bar.  <– my favorite flavor from Epic

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Grilled cheese + maple vanilla coconut chips.

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Plain Icelandic yogurt with yellow plum and chocolate caramel sunflower butter honey.  <– do NOT recommend those honey packets

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I am still having a Brazo’s Tacos obsession.

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Chicken and Mexican-style street corn frozen meal + a guava kombucha.  <– my favorite Synergy flavor, other than grape chia

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I made the quickest nachos dinner ever, by buying bbq chips and then filling a box at the Whole Food’s hot bar with shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, red onion, and roasted bell peppers.  5 minutes in the oven later…

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I Like My Snacks Like My Jokes – Cheesy

There was not a lot of excitement in dining the past week – I was fighting a cold over the weekend and my taste buds were out of whack, plus Adam has been out of town at a surgical conference the past week and I am unable to adult without an audience.  All that is to say I mostly ate take-out and crackers the past seven days.  I didn’t bother taking photos of my “meals,” but I did have several snacks worth sharing!

Snack themes include: cheese / coffee / chocolate + nut butter / yogurt bowls.

This Suju Uber Greens juice was the closest I got to a vegetable over the weekend.

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I received a verrrry exciting box of samples {these products were provided to me free of charge / no other compensation was provided / all opinions are my own} this week – Just the Cheese, aka 100% Wisconsin cheese baked into bars and mini bites.  They are gluten-free and trans-fat free and damn delicious.  Paired with an apple or some nuts they feel like a solid mini meal, the bars especially are quite satisfying.

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I believe I have tried every crispy cheese product on the market at this point and I can confidently say Just the Cheese is the best.  Per the company – “While most “cheese crisps” are air-dried, Just the Cheese® is oven baked, caramelizing the cheese which results in a cheesier flavor and crunchier texture.”  <– it’s true!

Aged Cheddar (my favorite flavor so far!), Grilled Cheese, and a honeycrisp apple.

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Wisconsin Cheddar and a side of Webster.

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Coffee combo for the week – Lavazza espresso and chocolate milk.

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This cold brew coffee drink from Koia was a caffeine failure; why is it so god-awful sweet?!

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Another loser was this almond butter chocolate bar, we are obsessed with Epic’s jerky bars in this house but this was too sticky for my tastes.

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Meanwhile, I am still obsessed with these dark chocolate almond Perfect Bars.  They taste like straight-up cookie dough.

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And I’m newly obsessed with these pb cups from Theo.  They are palm oil free and they are shaped like hearts!

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Liberte coffee bean yogurt with honey and peanuts.

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Plain Greek yogurt with banana, granola, and coconut cacao bliss.

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Heart On

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day!  I love a holiday with theme colors.

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This week I loved…

Stumptown cold brew with milk.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried the chocolate flavor before, I loved it.

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An epic chocolate cherry smoothie.  Plain Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, and chocolate milk.

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We don’t really do Valentine’s gifts, but the husband did buy me cupcakes!

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Salted caramel and a delicious funfetti.

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A take on this lemon poppy seed chicken casserole.  We added tons of roasted broccoli.

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A take on shakshuka, with red bell pepper and chipotle.  Topped with roasted zucchini, sumac, and two fried eggs.

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Adam was not around for Valentine’s dinner and I’m fighting a pretty bad cold so I loved myself with Brazos Tacos take-out for dinner.  The Solid – pulled chicken, refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sliced avocado, and jack cheese // Tres Quesos – Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // chips and salsa.

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Bonus – things I love deeply that you might not know about from the blog:

{1} Diet soda.  It is truly the only food I cherish more than coffee or cheese!

{2} Running.  I am not fast, and I am extremely careful with my knees so I don’t run that often, but it is one of my favorite things.  I run about 3 miles in about 30 minutes one time most weeks and I love every second of it.

{3} Wegman’s hot bar “Asian” section.  I get hot bar chicken at least once a week as a pre-dinner snack but it never makes it onto the blog because it just photographs so abhorrently.

{4} “The Office.”  My love of tv is well-documented and over the past year “The Office” has become one of my favorite shows.  I have seen every episode at least three times!  So much of what is happening with the world right now is scary and sad and I’m really loving feel-good shows that are an escape from reality.

Smoky Salsa Sustenance

This was a good week in home-cooking!  And snacks.  And ice cream.  Highlights include…

Tortuga coffee with half and half.  I brewed it with a bit of vanilla bean powder.

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These peanut butter cookie dough protein bars are legit.

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We roasted Japanese yams with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika and they were delicious; just amazingly creamy.

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Trader Joe’s honey hedgehog butter cookies.  Just a little bit savory and sweet.

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Freeze-dried banana slices.

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These Jalapeño Popper Turkey Burgers are one of the best recipes on my site.  With roasted broccoli.

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Okonomiyaki!  With purple Japanese yam, roasted green cabbage, and green onion.  Topped with Kewpie and Sriracha.

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Plus Thai iced tea on the side.

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We made the best tacos I’ve ever eaten, hands down.  Filled with a loose take on this slow cooker chicken taco recipe.  We used chicken thighs, taco seasoning, paprika, garlic, lime, serrano pepper, sweet onion, and red and yellow bell pepper.

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Topped with cheese, sour cream, and a loose take on this smoky salsa roja recipe.  We used extra chipotle and subbed in lime and brown sugar for vinegar and molasses.

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IPAs on the side.

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For nacho night we baked our flour tortillas into chips.  Topped with cheese, sour cream, homemade salsa, and black beans sauteed with green onions and serrano pepper.  Plus a side of roasted green beans.

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Happy weekending!

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