Chocolate Strawberry And Banana Date

A short post for a short week; here were my top five tastes…

Snack-pack lunch at work.  Crispy broccoli, jerky(1), baby carrots, and a Cara Cara Orange.

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I am a sucker for limited edition Oreos(2).  I always eat them by splitting two in half to make one double-stuffed cookie.

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Homemade dinner, chicken with bbq sauce, roasted asparagus, and another killer potato(3) recipe from Serious Eats.

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Dinner out with a friend, I finally made it to Taïm  and I loved it.  We had sandwiches(4) and smoothies(5).

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  1. Smoked Salmon Maple Stick from EPIC
  2. chocolate-covered strawberry limited edition Oreos
  3. cheesy onion, bacon, and potato gratin
  4. pita with balaganoush, tahini, Moroccan carrots, and pickled cabbage
  5. date, lime, banana, and soy milk

Long Weekend Top Five

I had a very enjoyable weekend, including two fancy brunches and one entire day spent watching tv and eating nachos with a dog lounging in my lap.  There have been some very enjoyable eats over the past four days too.

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Here were the top five…

{1}  The final serving of my new favorite coffee combo.

Texas pecan cold brew + sweet buttercream creamer + ice + a straw = a very happy Emily.  Adam loved it too.

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{2}  Brunch at Gristmill in Park Slope.

We adored it and will definitely be back for dinner.  They are known for their garlic knots and that morning they had an everything garlic knot for The Loxness Knotster – with pastrami smoked salmon from ACME, cream cheese, ricotta,  and dill.

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I  got a Brunch Punch – with rum, lemon-lime shrub, grenadine, cinnamon, and clove.  It was so pink!

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Plus spicy potato hash with carrots, arugula, and poached egg.  This dish was soooo balanced and just a joy to eat.

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{3}  Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg.

I had an egg sandwich on brioche with gochujang aioli, crispy potatoes, and cheddar.  Plus a toasted oak soda with a shot of vodka.  <– such a genius idea that the owner came by and nodded his approval.

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{4}  Super soup.

Served with ridiculously cheesy buttered toast.

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Yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper, and carrot sautéed in evoo / white miso / low-sodium chicken broth / shredded turkey breast / pesto tortellini.  The soup was super easy since I already had the cooked meat in my freezer.  I boiled the pasta in my broth and it came out great.

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{5} Okonomiyaki aka Japanese cabbage pancake.

Thank you, Serious Eats, for introducing me to another new yummy thing.

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Served with quick salads of celery, red bell pepper, basil, and green onion, in a mustard vinaigrette.

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My pans stick so my okonomiyaki came out in pieces, but you could hardly tell once I smothered it in toppings!  Cabbage and Japanese sweet potato pancake / fish sauce aioli / gochujang / roasted seaweed / black sesame seeds / green onion.

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Next week is going to be less exotic but more cheesy, I’m making a gratin!

Mid-January

Tuesday night, I met up with my aunt in the Financial District for dinner and then coffees/cookies at the beautiful new 3rd story Eataly.

Wednesday, I was off from work and spent the entire day in bed, watching tv, eating pizza, and reading a Liane Moriarty book from start to finish.

Thursday, Adam and I went on a dinner date sans coats in 66 degree weather.

<– kind of a hard week to complain about, huh?

Here were my best bites…

New all-time favorite coffee combo: Texas pecan coffee concentrate with sweet buttercream creamer.  Swoontastic.

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I also tried the new Starbucks Cascara latte.  It was meh, too sweet but not in a brown sugar way as promised.

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Chilaquiles!

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Kinda, sorta.  I cooked thick tortilla chips in salsa and leftover spicy pepper sauce from my shakshuka.  Topped with black beans, shredded cheese, and fried eggs.

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Piñata apple with a spicy chicken epic bar.  I’ve really been enjoying these meat-based bar options.

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Yogurt bowl lunch.  Siggi’s with granola and chocolate tahini.  Plus pears.

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I made cheesy turkey sloppy joes.  Turkey breast sautéed with onion and green bell pepper and tomato paste, stirred into a sharp cheddar mornay sauce, and served on a brioche bun.  It was pretty damn good.

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With leftover bok choy salad and roasted broccoli.

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Our date night was a pizza date at Paulie Gee’s.

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It was our first time and we loved it.  I had a Milk and Honey Ale and a pizza with fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, olive oil, and garlic.

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Dessert at Ample Hills.  A new flavor, The View – chocolate marshmallow ice cream with ooey gooey butter cake pieces, brownies, and crack cookie; plus fantasmic dark hot chocolate.

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Looking forward a long weekend!

Carbo-Loading For The Work-Week

Three words to sum up this weekend’s eats – all the carbs.  Fourth word – yum!

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It was a very good weekend, in spite of the city’s first snow.  We drove (carefully!) into Brooklyn both days for tasty brunches, I cooked two new dishes, we cackled loudly at the Garfunkel and Oates special, and I polished off a bunch of freelance work.

Iced latte from Milk Bar.

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Starbucks smoked butterscotch latte.  I ordered this with four shots of espresso (normal x2) and two pumps of syrup (normal/2) and it was still too sweet.

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Espresso and chocolate milk.

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Best brunch of the new year at Sunday in Brooklyn.

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I drank a Sundae Coffee – cold brewed coffee, aged rum, allspice dram, and vanilla cream – and a Smoked Oak Soda, aka the best thing I’ve ever tasted.  It was like a glass of toasted marshmallow!!!

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We started with a pecan sticky bun and a maple cheddar biscuit.  It’s possible we got excited and basically ordered the whole damn menu. 

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I uncharacteristically ordered pancakes… malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline and brown butter.

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Plus we spit home fries and I stole several bites of Adam’s smoked salmon and pastrami cod.  We took some food home, obviously, and the dog was over the moon for that salmon.  <– I agree, best lox I’ve had yet.

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Work lunch yogurt bowl.  Vanilla bean with TJ’s almond butter granola and chocolate tahini, plus a Piñata apple.

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Pizza lunch at Emmy Squared.  We had waffle fries with bonito flakes.

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The Marn Blanc — white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, and caramelized onion – was good but intense; I’d probably get something with red sauce to cut through the fat next time.

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Snack time, tortilla chips and peanut butter cups.

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Dulce de leche iced chocolate from Cacao Market.

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Turkey salad for a simple dinner, with mayo, ground mustard, celery, sweet and spicy pecans, and cilantro.  Plus baby carrots and buttered sourdough toast.

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Nacho night.  Tortilla chips with sharp cheddar, chunky salsa, and black beans.  Plus more baby carrots on the side.

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Sunday I spent some time chopping in the kitchen and tried two new recipes.  I did a very loose interpretation of Mapo Tofu with ground turkey and gojuchang served on brown rice.

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Next to a bok choy salad.  I borrowed this sauce, and tossed it with chopped bok choy, red bell pepper, celery, green onions, and Valencia peanuts.  It was delicious!  This was our first time eating the bok choy raw and we loved it.

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I’d say my glycogen stores are fully replenished.  Have a fantastic week!

Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

Wrapping It Up

Thanks to the holiday day and compensatory days for working the preceding and following weekends… I only worked two days this week!  Tuesday and Friday on and the rest of the week to do as I pleased, not a bad way to end 2016.  Though now I do work both NYE and the first day of 2017.

It was also a big week in my personal life, on Wednesday Adam and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary (and 14th anniversary of being together)!  We didn’t exchange gifts or do anything crazy to celebrate, it’s hard to get too excited when we are so darn close to 10 years.  <– eeeeeeeeeeee!

Food highlights for the week – – –

Yogurt lunches.  Dulce de leche Chobani with granola, plus a snapdragon apple and a vanilla latte can.  Out of 10, the coffee and yogurt both get a 9+.

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2% Fage with Soom chocolate tahini, sweet and spicy pecans, chopped apple, and chia seeds.

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Dinner at Bubby’s.  I met a girlfriend in Chelsea midweek and this is where we ended up.  Neither of us ordered pie, but I had a great frisee salad with poached egg and sherry vinaigrette.

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Iced coffee with princess emulsion (fancy vanilla extract that had a strong undertone of lemon and actually wasn’t great in coffee).

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Fantastically roasty Terremoto Coffee skim latte was the best drink of the week, especially because I plopped a scoop of goat’s milk tahini ice cream in it a minute later.

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Gelt!

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On our anniversary – which we actually celebrated a day late because Adam’s schedule is insane – we cuddled on the couch and watched our wedding video with a split of champagne and the last eggnog iced coffee of the season.

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We did dinner at Shalom Japan and I didn’t take a single picture.  I did snap dessert – an ice cream date at OddFellows.  Toasted marshmallow + amazing caramel chocolate toffee.

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Best dish of the week = I made legit macaroni and cheese.  Pimento cheese macaroni and cheese.

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Whole wheat macaroni / sautéed green onions and chopped pimento / mornay sauce with sharp cheddar and raw milk cheddar / panko on top.

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With spinach salad with red bell pepper, sweet and spicy pecans, and honey mustard, and roasted green beans with fried green onion.

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See you next year!  <– my favorite dumb joke

Book List 2016

My favorite (only?!) resolution for the past six new years has been to read a least 1 book each month.  I’ve always loved to read, but keeping track has been a great addition because it lets me look back and fondly remember my favorites.  Here were 2015 and 2014‘s lists.

Books I Read in 2016 –

The list is in chronological order.  F = fiction, NF = nonfiction, and M = memoir.  I bolded the year’s top five favorites.
  1. Depraved Heart – Patricia Cornwell (f)
  2. I See Rude People; One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society – Amy Alkon (m/nf)
  3.  Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling (m)
  4. A Girl Walks Into a Bar… Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle – Rachel Dratch (m)
  5. The Skeleton Cupboard, The Makings of a Clinical Psychologist – Tanya Byron (m)
  6.  The Death Class, A True Story About Life – Erika Hayasaki (nf/m)
  7. Bonk, The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex – Mary Roach (nf)
  8. Find Her – Lisa Gardner (f)
  9. Nancy Drew and the Triple Hoax – Carolyn Keene (f)
  10. Egg and Spoon – Gregory Maguire (f)
  11. The Checklist Manifesto, How to Get Things Right – Atul Gawande (nf)
  12. My Fat Dad, a Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, with Recipes – Dawn Lerman (m)
  13. Life from Scratch, a Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness – Sasha Martin (m)
  14. Less Medicine, More Health; 7 Assumptions that Drive too Much Medical Care – Dr. H Gilbert Welch (nf)
  15. White Walls; a Memoir about Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In between – Judy Batalion (m)
  16. Bastards – Mary Anna King (m)
  17. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, A memoir of food and love from an American Midwest family – Kathleen Flinn (m)
  18. Autumn Balloons – Kenny Porpora (m)
  19. Stir; My broken brain and the meals that brought me home – Jessica Fechtor (m)
  20. Final Jeopardy – Linda Fairstein (f)
  21. Cooking as Fast as I Can; A Chef’s Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness – Cat Cora (m)
  22. Night – Elie Wiesel (m) {reread}
  23. The Point of Vanishing, a memoir of two years in solitude – Howard Axelrod (m)
  24. One More Thing, Stories and Other Stories – B.J. Novak (f)
  25. Likely to Die – Linda Fairstein (f)
  26. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, a mostly true memoir – Jenny Lawson (m)
  27. Cold Hit – Lisa Fairstein (f)
  28. After Alice – Gregory Maguire (f)
  29. Lust and Wonder – Augusten Burroughs (m)
  30. January First, a child’s descent into madness and her father’s struggle to save her – Michael Schofield (m)

What was your favorite book you read this year?  Do you make any NYE resolutions?