Book List 2017

I know I said that I wasn’t blogging again this year, but I had to pop back in to share my final stats for my yearly resolution – read at least one book each month.

Here were 20162015, and 2014‘s lists.

And here were the books I read in 2017…

The list is in chronological order.  F = fiction, NF = nonfiction, and M = memoir.
  1. The Sound of Gravel – Ruth Wariner  (m)
  2. Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  3. Truly Madly Guiltily – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  4. What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  5. The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  6. The Dead House – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  7. The Bone Vault – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  8. The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  9. The Kills – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  10. Entombed – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  11. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion  (f)
  12. The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion  (f)
  13. Missing Pieces – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  14. Free Refills; a Doctor Confronts his Addiction – Peter Grinspoon, MD  (m)
  15. After Perfect, a Daughter’s Memoir – Christina McDowell  (m)
  16. Chaos – Patricia Cornwall  (f)
  17. Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty  (f)
  18. Once We Were Sisters – Sheila Kohler  (m)
  19. Legal Tender – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  20. Everywhere That Mary Went – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  21. The Light Between Oceans – ML Stedman  (f)
  22. Death Dance – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  23. Bad Blood – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  24. Killer Heat – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  25. Lethal Legacy – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  26. Dangerous When Wet – Jamie Brickhouse  (m)
  27. Rough Justice – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  28. Hell Gate – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  29. Silent Mercy – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  30. Night Watch – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  31. Death Angel – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  32. The Weight of Silence – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  33. Terminal City – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  34. Little Mercies – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  35. Devil’s Bridge – Linda Fairstein (f)
  36. Killer Look – Linda Fairstein  (f)
  37. These Hidden Things – Heather Gudenkauf  (f)
  38. Two Nights – Kathy Reichs  (f)
  39. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick  (m)
  40. Mistaken Identity – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  41. Right Behind You – Lisa Gardner  (f)
  42. Moment of Truth – Lisa Scottoline  (f)
  43. And When She Was Good – Laura Lippman  (f)
  44. To the Power of Three – Laura Lippman  (f)
  45. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) – Felicia Day  (m)
  46. Deadfall – Linda Fairstein  (f)

I read a lot of murder mysteries!  I didn’t have any standout favorite books this year but I did really enjoy everything by Liane Moriarty.

What was your favorite book you read this year?

Soul Mates

Today is my tenth wedding anniversary!!!

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Fun fact – we got married on our five-year dating anniversary so it’s actually our fifteenth anniversary as a couple.

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Somehow it feels both like we’ve been together forever and only a minute.  Adam and I started dating at seventeen and married at twenty-two and I feel so grateful that I basically got to watch him grow up, especially because he grew into the greatest person ever.  Adam is curious and conscientious and the kindest man I’ve ever met.

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We believe that we have the best relationship of all time.  We are honest with each other, always, and it means we’ve never had to wonder or worry about where we stand.  We love AND like one another.  We are perhaps unhealthfully obsessed with each other – Adam misses me pretty much the minute we’re apart and I give myself chest pain at least once a day getting overwhelmed with how happy I am to know him.

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It’s almost unbelievable to me that this handsome, funny doctor not only puts up with me, but truly thinks I’m amazing and cool.  Being loved unconditionally changes every experience – even ones when you’re not with your partner – and I feel so lucky to be a part of that.

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We are both off from work Wednesday – Sunday and there won’t be another post from me this week (this year!) because I’m going to be mooning at my husband instead of looking through my camera.  We do have some pretty epic dinner reservations planned though so I will be sharing a bit on Instagram.

Thank you for reading this year, enjoy the rest of 2017, readers!

MadeMerry

I was not a stellar food blogger this week.  I had several work lunch parties and I didn’t take pictures then.  And it was a particularly heinously stressful work-week so adult dinners did not happen – one night I went out for drinks with a girlfriend, one night we ordered in pizza, one night I ate chips in bed and fell asleep fully dressed… you get the gist.  I do have photos of a fun box of samples and the exciting ensuing snacks!

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MadeGood reached out to me recently about trying their goods.  They are a certified organic company that makes granola bars, granola bites, and crispy treats.  Their products are vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and free of eight common allergens (dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, egg, fish, shellfish, and soy).  PLUS they are made with a vegetable powder made of spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shitake mushrooms and the granola products provide 20% of the RDA for vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, and E per serving.

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Normally I am unmoved by snack items with “hidden” fruits and veggies – though I do totally understand why they can be helpful for picky kids! – but in this case I am 100% on board.  The MadeGood products all had a savory quality that made them completely addictive!  Adam and I both felt that the crispy squares were the best crispy treats we’d ever tasted!  And the granola items struck a good balance between chew and crunch.  In short – I am a new fan.

Snack attack highlights from the week…

Kanzi apple / chocolate banana granola bar / vanilla crispy square / kale chips / chicken Sriracha Epic bar.

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Strawberry granola minis / mixed berry granola minis / raspberry amazin’ raisins.

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Apple cinnamon granola minis / chocolate chip granola bar / seaweed snack / Pacific Rose apple.

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Malted milk hot chocolate (two pouches because I like my hot cocoa Turkish coffee style) / Lady Alice apple.

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I’m sad it’s my last week for eggnog in my coffee.

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But I did use plain skim in this Limitless Cold Brew so I could taste the vanilla.

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Some non-edible stuff {ranked from least to most exciting}…

It’s Christmas next week.

I am almost finished with Felicia Day’s memoir (and loving it) so I started watching her web-series The Guild and I’m loving that too.

Starting this morning Adam is on vacation for the next 10 days!

Next week is our ten year wedding anniversary!!

I am off part of next week too so we can celebrate together!!!

Winter Weekend Wonderland

Three fun facts…

{1} NYC got its first snow this weekend.

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{2} Adam and I used the blustery weather as reason to spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum.  So much Van Gogh!

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{3} We also watched and loved the first season of Stan Against Evil.

{bonus fact} It’s Adam’s birthday today!  I was going to write a gooey, disgusting, you’re-my-everything post but our ten year anniversary is on December 28th so I’ll save up my feels.

Weekend eats highlights…

Eggnog ice cream spiked iced coffee.

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Jalapeño cheddar potato pierogis at Baba’s with caramelized onions and mushrooms.

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BBQ spread at Fletchers.  I had smoked chicken, cole slaw, pickles, and rivers of bbq sauce.

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Egg ‘n grog pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  It was a delicious, boozy custard.

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Edible brownie batter!  For 2, mix 1 Tbsp melted butter / 1 Tbsp granulated sugar / 2 Tbsp brown sugar / 1 Tbsp cocoa powder / 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour / 1.5 Tbsp milk of choice (I recommend eggnog).

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I made stroganoff-ish turkey bowls.  Ground meat sautéed with shallots, paprika, sour cream, and tons of fried mushrooms.

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With carrots and hummus for additional veggies.

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And Holiday Cheers Health-Ade Kombucha for fun.  <– I was expecting to hate the ginger but this ended up being my all-time favorite kombucha, it was all sweet and no spice

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Chicken tenders and slaw.

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Oven-fried chicken tenders (using a rough version of this method) coated in crushed Heritage Flakes and drizzled with homemade honey mustard.

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With homemade cole slaw on the side.  I adore slaw and this quick version was better than any I’ve had in a restaurant.  I didn’t make notes for a recipe but it’s sliced cabbage and golden raisins in a mix of mayo, sour cream, mustard, sugar, and rice vinegar.

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Fantastic cheese plates.  Fancy TJ’s crackers with white stilton with apricots, honey goat cheese, and raw milk cheddar.

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Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll Ale that tasted like a cookie.

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Plus carrots and orange bell pepper with hummus.

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And sugared nuts and dried figs.

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Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!

It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Thanksgiving

Adam and I both worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday so I don’t have a lot to share.  THREE  exciting things: this weekend I…

{1} Made an on-theme Thanksgiving time dinner and ate it with the last pumpkin beer of the season.

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Chicken cooked in the crockpot with Korean bbq sauce and fresh cranberries / on a bed of roasted shredded brussel sprouts and cabbage.  Plus I went back and added melted extra-sharp cheddar on top, which was perfect.

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{2} Discovered the best ice cream flavor ever.

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{3} Dyed my hair purple!

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David S Pumpkins Pizza

Last weekend was great and this upcoming weekend is going to be great, which makes for a weird posting schedule but a happy life.

Life Stuff {3 highlights}:

{1}  In a few hours I am heading to the airport and to Columbus, Ohio.  One of my cousins is getting married this weekend and I get to spend time with my family — including my mom (who I haven’t seen since before the hurricanes)!

{2}  Last Saturday Adam and I took full advantage of the weather and walked through Central Park from top to bottom.  We watched a man feed the ducks, went gaga for the flowers, and ate Nuts for Nuts while watching an interpretive dance street performance.  It was the perfect New York day!

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{3}  Last Sunday we took a friend who is newish to the city from Buffalo on a fall-in-love-with-Brooklyn Williamsburg tour.  Highlights included Sunday in BrooklynSweet Chick, Brooklyn Brewery, and several hours drinking from the Halloween menu and playing games at Barcade.

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Important Note – Adam and I beat the high score on Golly Ghosts!

Foods Stuff {5 highlights}:

{coffee}

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Iced lattes from my two current favorite coffee spots: Birch,

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and Black Brick.

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{ice cream}

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16 Handles‘ spooky cookie and salted cookie dough yogurt with sprinkles, cake bites, and an animal cracker.

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Ample Hills‘ new circus flavor made with popcorn toffee and red sugar-toasted peanuts.

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{New York beers}

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In addition to Brooklyn Brewery, we also checked out LIC Beer Project.  My choice was a fantastic guava passion fruit Berliner weisse.

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{Halloween-themed eats}

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(David S)Pumpkin pizza – TJ’s frozen crust / pumpkin puree with nutmeg, allspice, and pepper / shredded mozzarella / turkey summer sausage.

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With a Southern Tier Warlock.

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{dinner at Miss Ada}

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We are newly obsessed with this Mediterranean spot in Fort Greene.  The outdoor area is gorgeous, the plates are gorgeous, the plating is gorgeous… Adam and I had a fabulous after-work dinner date.

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Baba ganoush with za’atar eggplant chips and ginger aioli and the best pita bread I’ve ever eaten.

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Za’atar crusted salmon with labne, charred shallots, and Japanese eggplant.

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