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.

2018 Book List

Despite not making any resolutions, 2018 was a really fantastic year for me in accomplishments – I lost a little weight and scored a snazzy new job!  However, on the one goal I did set – read a least 1 book a month – I fell far short.  In New York I did 95% of my reading during my 2 hour+ plus daily commute and since we moved to Charlottesville I have basically stopped reading.  I desperately need to get back on the bookworm train (figuratively at least!).  So I guess for 2019 I will set one resolution: read at least one book per month.

Here were 201720162015, and 2014‘s lists.

And here is 2018 {in chronological order;  F = fiction, NF = nonfiction, and M = memoir} –

  1. Furiously Happy; a funny book about horrible things – Jenny Lawson  (m)
  2. The Children of Willesden Lane; a true story of hope and survival during World War II – Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen  (nf)
  3. Life Sentences – Laura Lippman  (f)
  4. Look at You Now; my journey from shame to strength – Liz Pryor  (m)
  5. Fresh off the Boat – Eddie Huang  (m)
  6. After I’m Gone – Laura Lippman  (f)
  7. The Hue and Cry at Our House; a year remembered – Benjamin Taylor  (m)
  8. An Abbreviated Life – Ariel Leve  (m)
  9. Break in Case of Emergency – Jessica Winter  (f)
  10. One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter – Scaachi Koul  (m)
  11. The Most Dangerous Thing – Laura Lippman  (f)
  12. I’d Know You Anywhere – Laura Lippman  (f)
  13. Uncommon Type, Some Stories – Tom Hanks  (f)
  14. Look for Me – Lisa Gardner  (f)

Weekend Things

4 things I loved this weekend that weren’t food:

{1}  Clothing – the anthropomorphic pizza t-shirt from Roberta’s that is officially my favorite thing I’ve ever owned.

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{2}  TV show – “Making It,” aka the best reality show ever created.  It’s super talented crafters making amazing projects that are rife with puns and have a million creative details plus unscripted Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler saying hilarious and supportive things.

{3}  Buds – these splendid flowers from Trader Joe’s.  I don’t even like roses but these take my breath away.

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{4}  Movie – Crazy Rich Asians.  This film was stunningly gorgeous, uproariously funny, and so darn touching that a moment towards the end brought the whole theater – including Adam and I – to tears.  Go see it!

4 edible things I loved this weekend:

{1}  A two-tone vanilla rose smoothie.  Banana, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and vanilla bean // with strawberries, plums, and rosewater.

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{2}  Coffee themed snacks.  Chocolate-covered beans from Shenandoah Joe’s.  <– I am obsessed

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A quad iced latte with a truffle.

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Kung Fu Tea oreo slush with tapioca and coffee flavored popping boba.

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{3}  Tacos from Brazos.  We shared grilled tilapia with red cabbage slaw, avocado sauce, radish, and lime / mashed potato, yam, mushrooms, cilantro, spicy honey, and jalopenos / and chicken with black beans, roasted corn, avocado, and jack cheese.

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{4}  Brunch at Fry’s Spring Station.  They improved upon fried chicken and waffles with smokey pimento cheese and candied pepper honey.

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Dachshund Diaries

Top five from this weekend…

{1} It was the seventh anniversary of Webster’s buyday! <– click that link for some amazing baby dachshund photos

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We ate some bacon-flavored wet food.

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And frolicked in the dog park.  There were no other dogs there, so it was basically Webster’s ideal afternoon

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{2} We found our new pizza spot – Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.

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Such tasty crust!  We had the Annie Oakley – spicy buffalo chicken breast, pineapple, pickled jalapeno, mozarella, and cheddar.  I did not know that spicy pizza was what was missing from my life!  Plus we had a pink lemonade sour.

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{3} Wegman’s bakery bar now has caramel stuffed brownies and cookie dough stuffed brownies and they are damn good.

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{4} We also loved this caramel pecan ice cream.

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{5} Simple salad dinner.  Sweet baby lettuce / baby carrots / pine nuts / ranch / herbed turkey.  With homemade cheesy garlic bread.

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Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great weekend!

Salads In C-Ville

We moved!  I officially live in Virginia now.

The move itself was kind of terrible but we made it here intact with the dog and most of our stuff so I really can’t complain.  And first we took a fabulous trip home to St. Thomas!  Complete with highlights of the best banana daiquiri on earth and salmon pattys eaten in the airport with a vodka soda and local beer.

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Post-move, once the apartment was sort of set up, I focused on the really important stuff like finding all of the nearby beverage and dessert options.  Like La Flor Michoacana – a Mexican dessert place with the most exciting menu I’ve seen in my entire life.  I already had a scoop of soursop ice cream (with a scoop of mamey on the bottom)!

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And an eggnog paleta.

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Sweethaus for a quad iced latte and a crazy good salted caramel cupcake.  <– maybe the best frosting of my life.

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Grit for Cuban coffee.

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Also I loved this locally made fresh mint kombucha.

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On the food-food side I don’t have much to share because I’ve done zero cooking both due to being busy and having not moved any of our pots or pans.  We’ve mostly been eating junky take-out, and salads at home, and take-out salads.  Sweet baby lettuce blend / poppy seed dressing / strawberries / shredded chicken.

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Spring mix and herbs / Trader Joe’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / shredded chicken / roasted peanuts.

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From Fuzzy Taco – romaine / tomato / onion / fajita veggies / grilled fish / shredded cheese / tortilla strips / vinaigrette.

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From Roots Natural Kitchen – Arcadian mix / charred corn / pickled onion / roasted broccoli / hard-boiled egg / bbq tofu / cilantro lime dressing.

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Wish me luck exploring!

Last Day

Holy frick.  It’s my last day of work today!!

It’s been a weird last week – I’ve actually been crazy busy because a coworker is out sick so I’ve been covering additional units.  Usually you don’t do much patient care on your final day, but I’m planning on squeezing in a pretty full morning before I start my exit paperwork.  Plus I’ve been wrapping up various projects, including an hour-long presentation on critical care nutrition guidelines that I gave to the residents covering the ICUs.

It’d be nice to have some time to decompress but the last two weeks of June are going to be insane with the move.  And in busy-ness that is fun, my parents are coming into town tomorrow for a final city visit.  And then Adam’s family is joining us to celebrate his graduation next week!

Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy!  <– name that movie

Here were the highlights from my last week of work…

{fun in bottled coffee}  Cold brew from Trader Joe’s.

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Pecan cold brew from Chameleon Coffee.

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{fruit forward snacks}  Fresh watermelon chunks with TJ’s cucumber watermelon mint Greek yogurt.

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The last of the ambrosia my coworker made me.  I for sure ate out every single piece of palm seed.

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{vegetables masquerading as chips/fries}  Roasted green bean “cheese fries” with ketchup and mayo.  I’ll be honest, I wanted Kewpie mayo for years and finally bought a bottle the month before this move and now I’m looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to use it.

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Spinach and parmesan tzatziki dip scooped with sugar snap peas and baby carrots.

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{good foods and goodbyes with coworkers}  An after-work walk to DeKalb Market Hall for Ample Hills.  Baby I was Churned This Way.

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Lunch at Bolivian Llama Party in the Ashland.  I had a fried seitan sandwich and we split insanely good cilantro cheese fries.

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{New York must-eats}  A poppy seed bagel with jalapeno-cheddar cream cheese from La Bagel Delight.  <– eaten on the walk to work, key feature

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Shaved ice from Grace Street.  We swooned over black sesame ice with sweetened condensed milk, honey boba, and mochi.  <– all-time best boba and mochi in the city/world

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Hand-pulled noodles from Xi’an Famous Foods.  Extra spicy for me, with smashed cucumber salad.  The chew factor here is just perfection.

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I ♥ New York.

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