Weekly Wrap-Up; Sweet and Spicy

This “week’s” wrap-up actually spans most of two weeks.  I know I went MIA (sorry, mom!) but I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately.  We have a lot of personal stuff happening this month and most of it is frustrating.  But there is good stuff this month too – like my 28th birthday and an upcoming trip back to Buffalo!

For having eaten two weeks worth of meals (plus, I am sooo not one of those “I’m too sad to eat” folks!), I don’t have a ton to share this post.  We did a lot of take-out and none of it was blogworthy, or even edible; we threw out a really annoying amount of food.  But even though the take-out situation in our neighborhood is dire, I do have some really tasty things to recap….

fruit salad for the fourth

I went all patriotic and made a lovely red white and blue fruit salad with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and sweetened shredded coconut (all mascerated with a little sugar and lime juice).


It would have been even more lovely consumed on the 4th, but we got busy moving and ended up eating red, white, and blue on July 6th.

The salad was especially nice with skim milk and Impact Maple Oat granola.


these tasty dinners were also eaten after Independence Day

I’m not sure what I was picturing because I knew we had to drive to PA and back, but I bought stuff for the grill to eat with our fruit salad.  Neither of these meals were eaten before the 7th, and we still haven’t fired up the grill, but they both sure were tasty.

Everything hot dogs and sautéed swiss chard.


I added way to much Worcestershire to the chard and it was sort of terrible, but we ate it anyway to get our greens in.


But the dogs were amazing.  I got the “everything dogs” idea from a Good Housekeeping.


Turkey dogs in toasted buns topped with onion cream cheese sauce – yellow onions sautéed in butter with low-fat cream cheese stirred in, plus a little light cream to loosen up the sauce – and poppy seeds.

Patty melts with kale chips.


Whole-wheat bread with 1.5 Trader Joe’s turkey burgers, ketchup, and sliced cheese.


The burgers were a higher fat % than what we usually buy and they sicked me out to cook, but the patty melts in the end were very good.

The kale chips were amazing.


I always used to burn kale chips into tiny shards of cancer but I did some Googling and think I finally found the right method.

getting saasy

The nice people at Saas Hot Sauce sent me some bottles of the hot stuff to review recently.


Please note – these products were sent to me free of charge to review.  All opinions are my own.

Saas is a LLC started in 2010 by a group of students looking to raise money for charitable donations (particularly to help protect traditional cultures around the world).  It comes in Original and Onion and Garlic.  They use no chemical additives or stabilizers in their sauces.

I love the company’s values and practices, but I have to say – this stuff is hot!  A little drop definitely goes a long way.  I am a spice lover and it was pretty intense for me, so while I do recommend Saas products, if you have a wimpier mouth please be careful.

For some reason the hot sauce just screamed “quesadillas!” to me, so that’s what I made for dinner… several days in a row.  Original Saas went in hot wing quesadillas.



Shredded rotisserie chicken mixed with Saas, blue cheese dressing, and mild cheddar.


Onion and Garlic Saas went in black bean quesadillas.



Smushed black beans with Saas, salt, lime juice, and sharp cheddar.


All of the cheesy triangles were quite pleasing; quesadillas were definitely a good idea.

two more home-cooked dinners

First, a mac-n-cheese style casserole of farro (the 10 minute bag from Trader Joes, so easy!), cheese sauce, and swiss chard.


I made the cheese sauce out of roux, light cream, sriracha, black pepper, sharp cheddar, and parmesan.


We both liked it but if I make the dish again I would add more spice, you need a lot of flavor to stand up to the stronger taste of the farro.

The best meal of this post is the next one, and it was super easy and healthy too.  Bbq kale and white beans with cheesy corn.


For the kale, I filled my 8×12 casserole dish with torn dinosaur kale, then topped it with a can of cannelloni beans, some chopped onion, and a bottle of honey bbq sauce before baking in a 350* oven.


I wrapped our corn in foil and threw it in the oven with the kale.  Mine got a layer of Sriracha mayo, parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper before it was foiled.  Delicious!


If I had known how easy it was to cook in the oven I would have been making corn all of the time.

glug, glug, glug

Lots of excitement in the beverage category this week.  I found several new favorites.  First, we headed over to Sweet Adele’s one afternoon for bubble tea.


They also have amazing looking fruit slice candy that I want to go back for immediately.  On that visit I got a lavender milk bubble tea.


What?! The flavor was more sweet than floral but it was still very exciting.

Also exciting was 7-11 day, aka July 7th (7/11).


I got a small cherry/cola for my free slushie.


There is just no topping the cherry/cola combo {more on that later}.

Finally, I found my new favorite Polar flavor.


I know I have a new favorite every week but seriously, green apple seltzer is amazing.

empanadas in the city

On Saturday Adam had a coveted weekend day off so the three of us headed into the city.


Let’s be real – blurry or not, this is the best picture anyone will ever take of Webster and me.

dog in a bag

We walked pretty far from the car to our final destination and the dog was such a little trooper about riding in my purse!  He was so adorable we could barely handle it.

The walk was worth my aching shoulder because we ended up with a great meal.  The PR team for Nuchas contacted me and asked if I would like to come by for lunch.


The following meal was provided to me free of charge to review on the blog.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Nuchas, started by Argentine-born Ariel Barbouth, is a empanada company in the city.  They have a food truck, a Time Square kiosk, and a catering division.  They bake their empanadas instead of frying them so the goods are actually pretty healthy (and portable!).  They have meat-based, vegetarian, and even vegan options.


Adam and I got four empanadas to share.


See how they label them with a little embossed letter?  Too cute.

The Argentine.


Pat Lafrieda’s ground beef, onions, peppers, scallions, potatoes & olives.  White dough.


This one was all Adam, obviously.  He was a fan, and said it had good flavor without being too spicy.  There was a nice amount of meat too; they didn’t load it up with potatoes like some places try to do.

The Portobello.


Portobello mushrooms, spinach, onions, mozzarella & fresh herbs.  Spinach dough.


Again, good flavor and a nice amount of filling.  The cooked spinach wasn’t watery at all and this felt healthy while still tasting good.  This flavor was the husband’s favorite.

The Spicy Cheese.


Assorted cheeses & caramelized onions.  White Parmesan dough.


I don’t know what spices were used here, but I was a big fan.  This flavor was my favorite, but it is worth noting that it was too hot for Adam’s taste.

The Cranberry, Apple, & Nutella.


Granny smith, cranberries, pear, nutella & chocolate.  White almond dough.


It was fun to try a dessert empanada.  This was like a slice of apple pie with nutella on top, and really, what dessert isn’t better with some nutella on top?

All in all, we were very impressed with Nuchas.  We both plan on going back and spending our own money the next time we head into Time Square.

the sweet stuff

Three things to share this post in the sweets category; all will be happening again.

I spent a ton of money buying local yellow cherries at Whole Foods one day and then promptly forgot about them for the rest of the week.  By the time I got to the bag, the cherries were still edible but too soft to really be enjoyable, so I baked them into a yummy dessert.


I modified this recipe from Eat, Live, Run to make a single-serve cherry clafoutis.


I could not even believe how simple this was to make.

My birthday is next week, and some of my favorite family members sent me this fun package to celebrate.



Danny Macaroons are actually made locally in NYC (which means we can get more, whee!).


The flavors were crazy, and included chocolate-dipped, Bailey’s, chocolate, and other fun combinations.  This salted caramel macaroon was the best cookie I’ve had in my life.


There were two salted caramels but I ate them both before Adam even got home from work.

Finally, there is an ice shop near our apartment and we are officially obsessed.


They have a million flavors and they are all exciting.  Shown here is toasted marshmallow with key lime cream ice.


That’s a small by the way; such a good deal for $3.  Marshmallow was great, obviously, but last night I had the best thing ever and now I’ll never be able to order anything else again – cola and strawberry water ice.  <— to die for

What is your very favorite flavor combo for frozen treats?

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