Law And Order SVU (Spectacular Vittles Unit)

I still don’t want to talk about anything important.  I’d rather think something else than the fact that my hometown was just ravaged by yet another hurricane.  St. Thomas – and the devastated Caribbean as a whole – is pretty much all I’ve been thinking about for the past 2 weeks.  Let’s talk about yummy food instead.

Three facts before we get into the meat of this post –

{1} I just learned that vittles is actually an outdated spelling of the word “victuals.”

{2} I was serving on the jury for a criminal case for the past 5 days.  I don’t dread my civic duty at all, and it was a very positive experience.  Deciding a verdict is an awesome responsibility and I feel like I got a learn a lot about our legal system over the past week.

{3} I have added to my apple stash!  Gum, kombucha, and gummy bears, all of which I highly recommend, by the way.

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Plus Noosa Yoghurt sent me a fun package of fall flavors, including one of their newest flavors – Apple!

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The highlights…

This week’s coffee – Campfire Blend.  Plus I purchased a latte every day on my lunch break.

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Since I couldn’t have my camera with me in court, I’m missing a lot of my day-time eats this week, but I do have shots of my packed snacks (including a full lunch for my Thursday back at work).  Maple Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a gingergold apple.

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Apple Noosa with an apple bar.  This Noosa really does taste like pie filling!  The yogurt is soooo creamy and sweet and the apples are just a bit cinnamon-y.

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Pink lady apple kombucha, cinnamon apple sauce, cinnamon apple oatmeal, and sour caramel apple gummy bears.

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Snacks worth mentioning include: this 365 brand popcorn.  It’s low sodium but totally not bland; I loved it and I usually won’t even eat bagged popcorn.

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A yogurt bowl with chocolate Siggi’s yogurt, chopped plucot, granola, and a few caramel chips.

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Trader Joe’s new peanut butter roundels.  They are basically supersized peanut cups, so obviously we are obsessed.

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It’s not officially fall until today, but we still made some cold weather comfort foods for dinners.

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Grilled cheese sandwich on whole-wheat sourdough with labneh, sharp white cheddar, and a sprinkle of sumac.

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Dipped in tomato soup (a low-sodium boxed variety from TJ’s that was good but not great).

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With roasted squash.

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I also made a ridiculously delicious Mac and Cheese and Greens casserole.

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Make a roux with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour // whisk in 1 cup skim milk and 8 cups baby spinach food processed until smooth with 3 Tbsp pesto and salt and pepper to taste // stir in 9 oz shredded sharp white cheddar and a healthy sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika // fold in 8 oz whole wheat shell pasta cooked according to package directions // pour into a casserole and top with 1 oz cheese // bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

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On the agenda this weekend?  We’re hoping the weather holds out for a final trip to Smorgasburg and a first-time visit to Roosevelt Island.

Coffee And Eggs

Important Things First

I was finally able to speak with my parents and they are alright (and the rest of my island family members are safe as well).  Phone service, power, and most cell service are out, so for the foreseeable future I can only talk to my parents when they manage to borrow a working cell phone.  Communication on-island is tricky as well, radio stations were down and when I spoke with my parents briefly Friday afternoon they didn’t even know that Jose had been updated to a category four (thankfully that ended up being a nonissue).  We got unbelievably lucky and our home’s roof is fully intact.  When I got off the train Friday morning I had a voicemail from my dad and I was so relieved I starting sobbing in the middle of the street like a crazy person.  It’s been an emotional weekend, I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude for how fortunate my family was.

The United States Virgin Islands as a whole was not so lucky.  St. Thomas and St. John were decimated by Hurricane Irma.  On St. Thomas, our only hospital, airport, fire station, and post office were destroyed.  Looking through my friends’ pictures of the destruction on Facebook is heart-wrenching.

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If you feel compelled to help the VI, here are some options:

  1. A friend I trust is crowdfunding via YouCaring and will distribute money to local foundations
  2. Tim Duncan vowed to match donations up to $1million
  3. Kenny Chesney also started a foundation
  4. If you are interested in volunteering to help with clean up, here is where you can register

Weekend Eats Highlights

{1}  apple adventures

I broke into some of my Trader Joe’s apple goodies – freeze dried Fujis and cereal bars.  Along with a coffee Chobani yogurt drink.

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{2}  delightful drinks

Iced coffee with chocolate milk, my favorite beverage combo.  I also loved my lavender mint water.

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{3}  stupendous snack

Trader Joe’s hit it out of the park with this seed and bean medley.  Apparently dried fava beans are my favorite thing, who knew?

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{4}  eggy eats

I breakfasted at the hot bar before starting my shopping at Whole Foods.  Scrambled eggs with potatoes and turkey bacon and an iced latte.

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Homemade chilaquiles!  Tortilla chips heated in a skillet with olive oil / tossed with green salsa and sour cream / with roasted zucchini folded in / and cheese / topped with two burnt fried eggs.

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{5}  Brooklyn bites

Brooklyn Kolache Co.

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We shared poppy seed, chocolate, and jalapeño egg and cheese.

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BKG Coffee Roasters.

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This spot was adorable and my latte was yummy.

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Cinnamon And Marshmallow In My Coffee

I have eaten some very yummy things over the past four days!  Adam and I both worked the holiday, but first we got to spend almost two full weekend days together!!!  Good times.

Things [literal things] that made me happy this weekend…

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Thanks to all of Target’s cheap “back to school” goodies, we have a jazzy new shower curtain and bedspread.

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The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

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A Saturday trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Such a fun way to spend a morning.  We were expecting things to be sparse due to the season but there was still a ton of beauty to admire.

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As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

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This spiced apple bourbon hand soap is currently the best smelling thing in our house!

Culinary highlights…

I haven’t eaten anything apple yet but I did cram some pretty fall-forward flavors into my coffees.  Cinnamon.

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And toasted marshmallow.

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Though I also had a very summer-y Australian iced coffee with Wandering Bear cold brew and vanilla Curious Creamery ice cream.

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Cheddar-chive biscuit and a matcha iced latte at Annex.

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Brunch at Maison Premiere.  We had a pastry assortment that was out of this world.

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Maison Jungle Bird – Hamilton Black Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, Campari, and sugar cane.

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I had the duck confit hash with bell pepper and poached egg.  <– not as good as Colonie, sadly

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While at the Garden, we had lunch at the Yellow Magnolia Café.  (<– newest venture from the chef/owner of Wilma Jean)

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I had wonderfully crispy, lemony fried chicken.  Served with habanero honey, collard green slaw, and delicious wild rice.  I suspect that there was honey butter in the rice because I don’t even like wild rice.

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We took a long post-lunch walk for coffee and ended up also getting ice cream for dessert – blueberry with blue velvet cake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

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Friday night I met a girlfriend in the Lower East Side for dinner and drinks.  Sizzling noodles at The Tang.

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I ended up with way too much food because I also couldn’t resist the Chungking Express salad – romaine, soft-boiled egg, honey, black vinegar, and chili oil.

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How fantastically ridiculous are the drinks at Mother of Pearl?!  My daiquiri – with Campari, grapefruit, and rosemary tincture – was tasty to boot.

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We made an oldie but a goodie – buffalo blue cheese black bean burgers.  Served with raw carrots and celery the first night.

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Our citrus-y sip-while-you-cook line up did not contain any winners, we hated both of these drinks!  <– normally I wouldn’t include this in a “highlights” section but they both sound so good in theory that I wanted to make sure I warned you

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Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

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Pan-fried catfish!  I made a spice rub with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika and cooked the fish for 3.5 minutes on each side.  Drizzled with a lemon butter pan sauce.

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Plus sautéed collard greens with shallots, toasted coconut, and avocado (plus lemon, rice vinegar, and liquid smoke).

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Flavor themes of the weekend – Campari / eggs / coffee / collard greens.

Virginia Vacation

My week off from work has been pretty great so far!

Monday was my birthday.  I kept tradition going and enjoyed my free Starbucks birthday drink (quad nonfat iced latte) with sprinkles on top.

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Adam and I took a quick three day trip to Virginia.  Road trip essentials include…

Snacks (highlights were sweet chili Doritos and Koru apples).

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Coffee (mojito black tie from Peet’s aka cold brew with sweetened condensed milk and mint).

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Music.  I full-on head banged down the highway for a few hours thanks to our excellent music selections, including Betty Who, The Offspring, and this Regrettes song I’m obsessed with –

Richmond food highlights…

The coffee at Black Hand might be our all-time favorite.  We swooned over our choices and left with several bags of beans.

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Lunch at Urban Farmhouse.  I had a pimento cheese grilled cheese with local tomato and salad with cucumber, mint, and feta.

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One of my cousins lives in Charlottesville and she drove down for the day to spend my birthday with me.  We had an amazing dinner at Saison.  My Fuentes Fizz was smoky and delicious – Mezcal, Velvet Falernum, Cherry Herring, lime, grapefruit, egg whites, and soda water.

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We shared grilled okra and peaches to start.

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And I had the crispy rice bowl with fermented chili sauce, oyster mushrooms, pickled vegetables, and a poached egg.

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Dessert was just ridiculous.

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Panna cotta with honey glass and honey powder!

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Charlottesville food highlights…

Bagels at Bodo’s, where they ship in New York water for their dough.  I had an everything bagel with olive cream cheese and it was wonderful.

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Froyo at Arch’s.  Dulce de leche and cake batter with Oreos and a huge scoop of gooey brownie batter on top.

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We had dinner at Mas with my cousin and her boyfriend.

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I was too busy enjoying the company to take pictures (plus we ordered a million different plates!) but everything was fantastic.  The shrimp were out of this world.

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Now TODAY, I get to go pick up both Webster and my parents!  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Pie In The Sky

This is a longer wrap-up (Monday through Sunday) but I’m missing a lot of photos because this week felt like the actual longest and I mostly just ate cheese on top of various things.  Adam and I both have a week off coming up at the end of the month and man, oh man, do I need it!  Three big complaints from this past week – 1. some horrible thing are happening in our department and my schedule/work-load is going to become ridiculous; 2. the “blizzard” killed my big Pi(e) Day plans; 3. I stood in front of an automatic door like an idiot and gouged my big toe and then bled all over the place in front of a bunch of cute doctors.

My schedule was all over the place last week so I was disoriented in addition to cranky.  Thanks to the weather-related NYC shut down, a last minute schedule change for a lunch and learn, and weekend coverage, I was off on Wednesday, worked a half day on Tuesday and Thursday, and worked a full day Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  But now I’m off again on Wednesday which is pretty much a golden lining!

/end rant.  Here were some of the yummy things that put a smile on my face last week…

Coffee combo on point.  Chicory with sweet buttercream creamer.

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I also had wonderful iced lattes from Butler and City of Saints.

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Killer lunch components = California Grape kombuchaPeach and cloudberry(!) skyr yogurt with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin.

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Our lunch and learn was a Nestle presentation on perioperative nutrition.  It was more product promotion than educational, unfortunately, and the research wasn’t as robust as I had hoped.  My lunch was good though, grilled salmon and mixed veggies.

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Fabulous lunch date at the White Oak Tavern.

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I had a cocktail with whiskey, Kahlua, housemade butterscotch, espresso, and cream.

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We split a salad and salmon for lunch.  Chopped salad with cucumber, feta, olives, avocado, haricot vert, and tahini dressing.

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Pan seared salmon with a smoked tomato and piquillo puree, plus crispy potatoes and cipollini onion.

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We were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was because we definitely came for dessert – a dark chocolate brownie with butterscotch, walnuts, and toasted marshmallow.

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Fruit and cheese plate, the cafeteria was feeling fancy.

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Coffee break with a honey caramel chocolate bar.

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Adam totally saved Pi(e) Day by offering to bake with me.  We made S’mores Pie which is one of our favorites.  Almost as good as going on a pie crawl in Brooklyn, almost.

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The crust looks red because instead of graham crackers I made it out of Peeps flavored Oreos (<– which turned out to be freaking amazing).

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P.S. on Monday night while the grocery store was packed with people filling carts with bread, canned goods, and bottled waters, I got in line with Oreos, chocolate bars, marshmallows, and a case of soda.  I’d die first if the blizzard had been real but I’m still pretty sure I win.

Eggs for dinner that tasted far better than they looked.  Scrambled with sharp cheddar and brown sugar and Sriracha shredded chicken.

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When we were at the University of Miami I worked at an on-campus bar that served the yummiest pita tuna melts; it took me ten years, but I finally made them at home.

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Curried tuna salad – canned tuna with mayo, green curry paste, curry powder, spring onion, and shallots – with sharp cheddar stuffed in a pita and cooked in a skillet with copious amounts of butter.  They were 10/10 fantastic.

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Plus roasted green beans with shallots.

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Buffalo chicken and veggie bowls.

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Roasted sweet potato and brussels sprouts, topped with shredded chicken breast in buffalo sauce, and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.

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Have a great week!

Coffee, Doughnuts, And Quinoa

Adam and I had the morning off together on Friday and we used the time for another sunrise bridge walk – Queensboro Bridge.

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3 down {Williamsburg Bridge} {Brooklyn Bridge}, and 1 to go {Manhattan Bridge}.  Perhaps in the summer we’ll reverse it and walk out of Manhattan at sunset.

After the bridge, we wandered around the Upper East Side and in and out of Central Park and ended up walking more than 8 miles (<–awesome).  The weather was so gorgeous I wore flip flops for the first time in months (again, awesome) and unfortunately now my calves are killing me (<– not awesome).  I’ve been limping for the past two days!

On the food front, here were my top three favorites…

#1 – breakfast pastries

We tried new treats at two new spots and they were reeeeeeally good!  At Padoca Bakery, brioche – chocolate and dulce de leche swirl and guava and cheese swirl.

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At Orwashers, we had a doughnut injected with strawberry preserves, which was good, and a chocolate almond croissant which was the single-best pastry I’ve ever eaten.

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You have to have coffee with doughnuts.

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The lattes at Bluestone Lane are divine.  We went to the UES location that shares space with a stunning church.

#2 – a new snack

I pack Adam crunchy chickpeas for work all the time and this Korean BBQ flavor is my new favorite thing.

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Related – Sumo Mandarins are officially my favorite fruit of the year.  They are always juicy and tart, and so easy to eat – they’re a snap to peel and have no seeds!

#3 – quinoa soup stoup

I got the idea from Cooking Light; you cook the quinoa in the broth with the other components so it comes together very quickly.

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For my version I used carrots, red bell pepper, celery, onion // s&p, turmeric, smoked paprika, celery seed // shredded turkey breast // 1 cup quinoa // low sodium chicken broth.

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Since I used more veggies and quinoa mine came out thicker like a stew.

This upcoming week I’m looking forward to: a fancy coffee combo this morning, watching the newest undercover episode of “Bones,” and having Thursday off of work.

It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Valentine’s

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As long-term blog readers know, the Emily holiday theme-food calendar is pretty packed.  There’s Apple Month (September) and Pumpkin Month (October into November), and November/December are the only time of year I’ll eat eggnog, candy cane, and gingerbread.

My mom recently asked me why Valentine’s Day and Easter don’t get any love?  I decided it’s lame that only August – December get theme flavors, so brought two new holidays into the party, albeit likely with less fervor.  Valentine’s Day (February) gets chocolate-covered cherry and cinnamon, and Easter (April) gets coconut and lemon.

Here was this month’s themed-food stash:

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Those goodies will be the main content of this post, along with a few other things that I LOVED (<– staying on theme).  It works out to be work lunches/snacks since this week’s dinner situation was beyond bleak – 1. nachos 2. Chipotle 3. frozen meal from Trader Joe’s 4. Adam and I got into bed and fell asleep before 8pm.

Chocolate cherry yogurt, chocolate cherry cashew KIND bar, and a Sumo mandarin.

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Valentine’s trail mix with chocolate hearts, dried dark sweet cherries, and roasted pecans.  Plus a Junami apple.

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2% yogurt with blackberries and muddy buddies.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with tangerine, blackberries, vanilla granola, and citrus crumble cake.

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A coworker just came back from the Philippines and she replenished my stash of these amazing powdered milk candies.

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Best bite sip of the week – very vanilla iced coffee.

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Do you have any romantic plans for next Tuesday?