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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Three Things

Three things I liked this week:

{1}  Mint iced coffee!  Irving Farms espresso roast / half and half / homemade vanilla mint simple syrup.

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{2}  Kefir and apple work snacks.

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{3}  Starbucks’ prepared sandwiches that I’m weirdly obsessed with.  Chicken and artichoke flatbread with provolone and sun-dried tomato pesto.

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Three things I loved this week:

{1}  Homemade turkey cheeseburger fried rice.

Leftover brown rice stir-fried with soy sauce and liquid smoke / sauteed onions / roasted cherry tomatoes / ground turkey sauteed with fish sauce, ketchup, and mayo / eggs / cheddar cheese.

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{2}  Dinner at Pig and Khao.  I went with a girlfriend for her first visit and she loved it!

I ordered not one, but two, new to me dishes that were amazing.  Mushroom salad with shrimp and fried garlic and green papaya salad with chicken and crispy taro.

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{3}  Dinner at Freeks Mill that knocked our socks off.

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We started with roasted baby carrots with marcona almonds and herbed goat cheese.

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And we ordered all the poultry on the menu for dinner.  Chicken for Adam, smoked Poulet Rouge with wild mushrooms and spinach.

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Duck for me, dry aged duck with fried cranberry beans, fennel, and rosemary honey.  <– this was the singe best thing I've ever eaten!

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Three things I’m obsessing about that you don’t know about yet:

{1}  Nonfat quad iced lattes from Hungry Ghost.  There are three HGs on my walk to work and it is becoming a problem.

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{2}  Stolen Dance by Milky Chance.  This song is basically magic – I listened to it on a run and I swear my legs moved 50% more quickly than usual.

{3}  Moving??!  I’m not sure how I haven’t blogged about this yet, but yes, we’re moving!  Adam is doing his Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at UVA next year.  So we’re moving to Charlottesville.  In 50 days.  !!!

Coffees And Cocktails

Important things first – the pink and purple trees in our complex are amazingly gorgeous.

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This is the immediate view out of our front door and it makes me smile every day.

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My purple hair finally got too patchy to be cute, while remaining highly pigmented in a few spots, and my hairdresser had to make me super blonde to get rid of it all.

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I had a fantastic weekend – including a Lower East Side day, a Williamsburg/Bushwick day, and a Long Island day – and we ate all the things!  I love New York, I love New York, I love New York.

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We checked out OddFellows‘ new coffee and ice cream spot and I had an iced latte with toasted marshmallow milk.

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I also had a toasted marshmallow iced latte (good, but not as good, obviously) from Sweetie Pies on Main while we walked around Cold Springs Harbor.

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Japanese shaved ice from The Little One.  Strawberry sauce / sweetened condensed milk / roasted strawberries / coconut whipped cream.

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Arcade games and drinks at Barcade.  <– one of my favorite spots in the city even if I’m not very good at Pac Man or Tapper

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Craft cocktails on tap at Yours Sincerely.  Adam got a tasting flight and I had a Folsom Fizz with bourbon, cola syrup, and almond.

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Snacks at Smorgasburg.  Belgian fries with malt vinegar aioli and chipotle ranch.

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Noodle bowls at Just for Fen.  Can JfF be my new living room?  The space was so cute!

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And the food was wonderful.  I had smashed cucumber salad and spicy chicken rice noodles with housemade chili oil, pickled radish and cabbage, baby bok choy, scallion, cilantro, and peanuts.

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Dinner at Forrest Point.  On the patio!

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I had a fried chicken sandwich with jicima and blue cheese slaw.

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The few things we ate at home were pretty great too.  Trader Joe’s scallion pancakes are the best frozen meal of all time.  Served with baby carrots and bell peppers.

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I made us delicious rice bowls.  Brown rice / red, yellow, and orange bell pepper sauteed with onion and garlic / chicken breast slow-cooked in the crockpot with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, lime, and orange juice and then shredded and broiled until crispy / sharp cheddar / TJ’s tomatillo roasted yellow chili salsa.

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Plus mojito milkshakes!  Cruzan rum / homemade mint simple syrup / lime juice / vanilla ice cream / ice.

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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!