It’s Time For BBQ And Hot Dogs

Here were this week’s top three…

{breakfast}

Killer breakfast sandwich.  Turkey bacon, egg, and cheddar on a croissant.  If I could get the cafeteria to scramble me an egg with peppers to put on a sandwich I’d be in heaven.

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Coffee always makes the top of the list!  Black Hand with chocolate milk.

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With a Lavender Love kombucha.

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{lunch}

Yogurt bowls for the win.  With blueberries and chopped nectarine and modest variation in toppings.  2% Fage with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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4% Siggis with pecans, chia, and cookie butter.

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Passionfruit Chobani with Heritage Flakes, pecans, and chia.

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{snack}

This kettle corn is some of the best packaged popcorn I’ve ever tasted, it is super crispy.

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Another sweet and salty, a pixie tangerine with a chicken Wilde Bar.

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My coworker brought me in a grass jelly drink to try after I raved about the jelly at Boba Guys.  It was good!  Not very sweet at all and mildly grassy in a pleasant way.  I mixed it with vanilla soy milk.

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{dinner}

Our cooking took place indoors and up North but we still made the most of Southern bbq flavors for two of our meals this week.  Nacho night!  Carolina bbq chips, sharp cheddar, pulled turkey with bbq sauce, pinto beans, red onion, and roasted broccoli.

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A similar concept on salad – arugula with ranch / bbq turkey / pinto beans / red onion / cucumber / bell pepper.  With corn on the cob.  This was a fun dinner but it desperately needed some crunch and we ended up dumping kettle chips on our salads to act as de facto croutons.

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Hot dogs in scrambled eggs sounds low-brow but tastes amazing.  Our eggs included ‘dogs, red onion, arugula, and cheddar.  With avocado and roasted asparagus on the side.

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Now I just need to find myself some watermelon this weekend!

Quick Trip To DC 2016

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Part 2 of our vacation – a quick trip to DC/Maryland.  We had to squeeze it in between St. Thomas and time in the city so our visit was short but sweet.  We were drove to the District Tuesday morning and left to visit family in MD on Wednesday afternoon, but we still managed to fit in two museums, a long walk around Georgetown, and a visit with friends.  Plus of course we found time to celebrate May 4th, aka May the Fourth be with you!

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Our first sightseeing stop was the Museum of Natural History.  I love the human origins hall (did you know I strongly considered going back to school for anthropology instead of dietetics?) but the gems and minerals exhibit is always our favorite.  The stones all look like candy to me so I was very excited to buy some edible rock candy on our way out of the museum.

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The next day we did the Renwick Gallery.  The Wonder exhibition was fantastic.  The instillations are stunning and incredibly moving.  My pictures can’t do it justice but artist Gabriel Dawe turned string into light!

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My favorite was Maya Lin’s marble river.

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It flowed around the room in a way that was just breathtaking.

I skipped taking photos of most of our eats so I only have the really exciting stuff {coffee and sugar!}  The Coffee Bar was our first stop after the drive in.

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We went adventurous with an Americola – Americano with Mexican Coke – and the Honey Badger – cream, honey, and tons of espresso.

We also really enjoyed Compass Coffee.

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I had a yummy mint cold brew and Adam’s cortado had some of the best espresso we’ve ever tasted.

Baked and Wired was an obvious stop in Georgetown, their funfetti cupcake is called the Uniporn.

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We also tried the Texas Sheetcake, chocolate cinnamon cake with chocolate pecan frosting.

Dinner was one of the best parts of the trip.  One of my best friends (my maid of honor) lives in DC and travels a ton so it is always a big treat to get to spend time with her.  Her sister just opened a restaurant in Adams Morgan so we got to enjoy great food with our great company.  Real talk – Tail Up Goat easily makes the top three list for meals we’ve loved this year.

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I started by asking for the Hibiscus Agua Fresca with vodka in it because I’m a genius.

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This was the first of several rounds of drinks so please excuse the fact that my pictures are pretty rough.  I promise the food was actually as lovely as it was delicious.

There were four of us at the table and we ate family-style so we ended up getting to try a lot of the menu.  Crispy salt cod with smoked cauliflower and pickled red onion.  It was fun to try a different iteration so close on the heels of our salt fish patty back home.

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Brown rice bread with roasted carrot, blood orange, and hazelnut picada.  This was a great blend of textures.

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“Potato salad” with trout roe, spring onion, and dill.  I hate real potato salad but I would happily eat roasted potato with charred onion, pumpkin seeds, and pops of roe anytime.

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Adam wanted to order the asparagus the minute we sat down. Served with almond skordalia, cured egg yolk, and pecorino.  He came very close to licking the plate.

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I was more excited about the carrot ravioli with ramp greens, pistachio breadcrumbs, and apricots.  The pasta was perfect.

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We tried two of the entrees.  A stunning whole stuffed porgy with sunchokes, black walnut, and ramps.

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And smoked hen of the woods mushroom with burnt bread sauce and chicken crisps.

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This was my favorite dish of the night!  I’ve now had hen of the woods smoked and fried and I am obsessed with them.  Between the mushrooms and the burnt bread sauce this plate was perfectly umami.

We weren’t too stuffed for dessert.

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almond cake with mascarpone and rhubarb jam.  Fyi – tepache is a sweetened and fermented pineapple beverage and budino is a type of Italian pudding.

A fantastic meal all-around and it was really neat to get to see another high-school classmate rocking it in the culinary world.

I soaked up family time in Baltimore and didn’t take a single picture.  Coming up – the last leg of vacation is time off in NYC.

 

 

 

Reunited And It Feels So Good

I had an absolute blast in Buffalo but this past week I have been so freaking excited to be home with my boys.  I usually miss them by the end of my workday so a long weekend away feels like an eternity.  I am lucky to have a husband and dachshund who are both so great! {/sap}

breakfast

Black and white coffee.

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Or Vanilla Chameleon Cold Brew with chocolate milk and an apple on the side.

Cereal with milk.  And blueberries.

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Plus Guava Mandarin Polar seltzer.

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I lugged that back from Wegman’s in Buffalo and it was so worth it.

Coffee-eee-eee.

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Always worth it.  I’d be lying if I said my birthday drink freebie wasn’t bringing me a lot of anticipatory joy.

lunch

Asian-ish.

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Microwave noodles and roasted seaweed.

Oatmeal bowl.

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Chai-spiced oats from Target with maple almond butter on top and 2 black pluots on the side.

Yogurt bowl.

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Vanilla Skyr Icelandic yogurt with blueberries, KIND peanut butter granola, and chia seeds.  This was so tasty; I need more of that yogurt immediately.

dinner

Adam was at the hospital when I got home on Sunday so we had to turn Monday into date night.  He picked me up at work and came bearing red velvet cupcakes.

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We went to dinner at East Wind Snack Shop by Prospect Park.

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We came in for the foie gras bao, which ended up being only ok.  For the cheap price the amount of foie gras was very fair, but I would have rather paid a bit more and gotten a better meat-to-bun ratio.

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But my Happy Buddha Vegetables were yummy.

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They describe this dish as “jasmine rice, fermented tofu, seasoning, and all sorts of vegetables.” I’m not sure what the green sauce was but it was worth going back for.  Then we walked to the theatre (our movie theatre) to see “Ant-Man.”  The character development was weak but the movie was still hilarious so we’re glad we went.

I didn’t have time to do a real grocery trip this week so the following two nights were admittedly a little weak.  This meal was fine but it’s not winning any prizes.

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Cheez-its, leftover roasted veggies that Adam made last week, and a turkey and Havarti cheese sandwich.

This meal was a bit better.  It definitely tasted good.

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We needed a carbohydrate side so we had beer!  Tusker is one of my all-time favorite beers, and pretty much the only lager I enjoy.

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With roasted veggies – asparagus, okra, and zucchini – with Applegate chicken nuggets.

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A copious amount of ketchup was added after I took that picture.

My parents come to visit tomorrow.  And Friday is my birthday.  I’m old, but excited!

Mary Moon

Another great week came to an end.  We are looooving summer around these parts.  Amazingly, I got myself up and out of bed by 7 am both Saturday and Sunday and you wouldn’t believe how much time I felt like I had free to play.  It was great to get everything I wanted to do done – errands and fun stuff – and still make it to bed at a mature adult hour!

breakfast

Cereal and milk (and coffee).

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Smart Start cereal with blueberries and milk with a side of iced coffee.

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I rarely eat cereal with milk because I usually have it on top of yogurt but it is darn good with fresh berries on top.

Another day, another coffee.  Starbucks’ newest dark roast was quite tasty clover-brewed.

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With a Sonja apple and an Epic protein bar.

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I love the idea of the bars in theory, and the texture was great, but unfortunately I’m never a big fan of the cranberry almond pairing.

Finally, espresso from Brooklyn Roasting Company never lets us down.

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As you’ll see below, this was not our only coffee that day, muwhahaha!

snack

Friday afternoon, just as I was racking my brain for a way to get a cookie on my way home without missing my train, my phone rang – the social worker was calling to let me know that a sales rep had brought us cookies!

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How fortuitous.

The dog and I both think that cheese sticks make good snacks.

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On Saturday we enjoyed popcorn and a movie.

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This Churro flavored popcorn from Erin’s Popcorn was on point.  {it was also a free sample, please note that I did not receive further compensation for this post and all opinions are my own}  It had the perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar and was nice and crunchy.  The husband, the true churro connoisseur, could not keep his hands off of it.

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We snacked on it during Jurassic World, and I’ll just say that the popcorn was the best part of that outing.

Adam and I got hot and sunburnt walking around Smorgasburg and we split a cookie sandwich from The Good Batch.

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Chocolate brown-butter cookie, vanilla ice cream, toasted hazelnuts, and Nutella spread.  It was good but not great and we ended up not finishing it.

In contrast, we licked every last drop out of our ice cream cup at Morgensterns.

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American egg and sesame caramel ice creams topped with Luxardo cherries.  And now I know that I am obsessed with Luxardo cherries.

We had good coffee at Happy Bones.  Adam’s flat white was intensely velvety.

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But my skim lavender hot chocolate from Maman was even better.  Not too sweet or soapy, and thick enough to feel decadent, even with skim milk.

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Their gorgeous floral cups make me insanely happy.

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Uggh, why is the Lower East Side so adorable?!

lunch/dinner

We went outdoors and grilled!

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Lime seltzer with fresh mint and pineapple popsicle to drink.

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With corn on the cob, asparagus, sliced halloumi cheese, and Applegate uncured chicken hot dogs.

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The corn and the asparagus – cooked with a drizzle of olive oil and smoked paprika respectively – were roasted in the oven, only the amazingly squeaky cheese and the dogs (which were the best I’ve ever had!) were cooked on the grill.  But we ate on the lawn with Webster circling our feet and it was pretty great.

We did brunch at Root &Bone that ended up being one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.  Every single item was perfectly executed.  Even if Southern-style food isn’t your favorite I recommend checking this spot out.

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For drinks we shared the Colonel’s Daughter – 100 proof bourbon, preserved peaches, Amaro Montenegro, and rosemary and a wine spritzer that I cannot find the description for or begin to remember.

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We started with the crispy chicken biscuits which came topped with root chips and Tabasco jam and with a jar of pickles on the side.

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This was hands down the best chicken I’ve ever tasted.  I really hate the word succulent but it works the best.

Adam got the bacon benedict for his entrée and I went with the peach caprese – gooey pimento cheese croquette, charred peaches, pickled green tomatoes, baby heirloom tomatoes, and basil and molasses vinegar.

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Not surprisingly, smoky sweet charred peaches pair really darn well with fried pimento cheese.  We were swooning.

Sunday we had Chipotle for dinner, because we are very predictable.

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My salad bowl had chicken, sautéed veggies, sour cream cheese, and mild, medium, and tomatillo salsas.  I legit had a dinner planned and prepped but we walked 7.5 miles around SoHo and DUMBO and my feet were killing me!  The sights were worth it.

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Eggcellent Eats

We bought tons eggs and dye for Easter this year, and of course, never did a darn thing with them.  The dye is in our “holidays bin” for next year, but the eggs had to be cooked. And so, I enjoyed hard-boiled eggs as a meal almost every day this week.

I was also all about the Cara Cara oranges and Medjool dates. It’s starting to taste like summer!

stuff

I started Ruth Reichl’s first autobiography on the train and I think I’m in love.

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She is so funny, and I love any story about food!

We were insanely busy at work all week and I’m dying. That’s why this post is a day late (and is short about 10 more coffee and candy pictures), because I did sessions with 18 patients on Friday – many of them with gestational diabetes – and when I got home I just wanted to lie down.

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breakfast

I made an awesome cold-brew blend this week: Community Coffee French Roast and BRC Peru with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.

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Served on ice with S’mores Milk and skim milk.

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So good.

I am almost through my Nonni’s Biscotti sample shipment and I am going to buy more when we’re out.

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They are yummy, even when not dipped in coffee.

I discovered the magic that is dates dipped in peanut butter.

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lunch

Kimchi noodle bowl.

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The Cara Cara was the best finish for my perfectly burning mouth.

I brought TJ’s cashew butter and tahini kale chips and crispy broccoli snacks (<– they’re back!!) to crunch on top of salad bar.

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With a big scoop of macaroni salad.

This tasting plate wins best lunch of the week.

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Dates / turkey bacon / hard-boiled egg / crispy broccoli / orange.

But this triple – chocolate oatmeal bowl wins a close second.

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Rolled oats with a heaping Tbsp of hot chocolate mix, chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, and dark chocolate chips.

And this busy day “lunch” was a loser. Vanilla soy milk at 11 am.

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And Easter candy at 4pm when there was finally a lull.

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dinner

Omg. Kids! I made the tastiest stroganoff-inspired noodle bowls ever. Adam and I could not get over them.

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Served in heaping scoops on egg pappardelle.

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Yummy Stroganoff-ish Pasta, serves 4

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp evoo in a large skillet over high-medium heat.  Add 20 ounces sliced white mushrooms, and a big pinch of salt, and cook until the mushrooms have lost their juices and browned, stirring regularly (10 – 13 minutes).  Deglaze the pan with a healthy pour of cream sherry.  Remove mushrooms from pan and reduce heat to medium-high, adding an additional Tbsp evoo if needed.
  2. Add 1 lb lean ground turkey and two large shallots, chopped to the pan.  Season with pepper and 1 Tbsp smoked paprika.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring regularly and breaking up the meat into small pieces with the side of your spatula.  Stir in 1/2 Tbsp ground garlic, 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce.  Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until meat is cooked through (5 – 7 more minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream.
  4. Serve on top of pasta of choice.

The leftovers were still great.

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Served on top of spinach salad. Plus, those of us who can eat chocolate had Lindt caramels for dessert.

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We had cobb salad.

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Baby spinach with balsamic / roasted asparagus / turkey bacon / avocado / TJ’s cave-aged blue cheese / hard-boiled eggs.

And egg salad.

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Eggs with shredded carrot, chopped green pepper, mayo, pickle relish, garlic mustard, dill, tumeric, smoked paprika, and s & p.  With great seeded crackers my parents sent us for Easter.

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And roasted broccoli and green beans.

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Egg salad is good – and I wasn’t even tired of eggs yet! – but roasted green beans are always the best part.

Then we finished the week out with Chipotle.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Veggie Lovers Pizza Mac & Cheese + Browned Butterscotch Peanut Butter Recipes

It was a low-key weekend – we never left Long Island – but I do have two legitimate recipes to share.  They’re very good!  Next weekend we have multiple city trips planned so I wanted to make the most of my free time in the kitchen.

This weekend I…

…Had a yummy breakfast at work.

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An opal apple and chocolate biscotti dipped in coffee.  I threw out the coffee as soon as my treat was gone, I just can’t do the hot stuff.  I made up for it with several iced coffees enjoyed during errands-running on the weekend.

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One of many.

…Enjoyed an even better work lunch.  1/3 cup rolled oats + 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries + 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 2 Tbsp malted milk powder + 1 Tbsp cocoa nibs.

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Just shake it together and cover with hot water when it’s time for lunch.  The crunchy chocolate bites were amazing; nibs are so much better in oatmeal than chocolate chips.

…Discovered my new favorite hard candy – Ice Chips.

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Please note – Ice Chips Candy reached out to me about doing a review and provided the above product samples free of charge.  I was not given any further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Ice Chips, which come in small chips shaped like shards of ice, are made of xylitol which is an anticariogenic sugar alcohol (i.e. eating gum or candy made with xylitol before acidogenic foods can help to reduce the formation of dental carries or cavities).  Xylitol is as sweet as table sugar but contains fewer calories so two Ice Chip candies only contain about 5 calories and if you ate an entire tin – as I was tempted to! – it would be about 125 calories.  <– don’t do that though, sugar alcohols give many people diarrhea when consumed in excess

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The texture of the chips is freaking amazing, hard enough to suck on but they break apart in a really pleasing way when you crunch them.  And their flavor game is on point – my favorite so far are Coffee ‘n Cream and Lemon, but I am really looking forward to Eggnog.

I also really liked this egg.

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I don’t even care that I’m a month early, birthday cake is a stupid Easter flavor!  It was really yummy though.

…Processed up some tasty (browned butterscotch)peanut butter.

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All you need is a food processor, 4 Tbsp browned butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, and 1 lb roasted, salted peanuts.

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I’m planning on packing the peanut butter with Greek yogurts for lunches this week.

…Drank a smoothie in the snow.  Not the best weather for it, but smoothies are always good.

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This one had (frozen:) blackberries, dates, and soursop puree, and Hint of Honey almond milk.

…Cooked green eggs and ham toast.

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The eggs were scrambled with spinach and leftover mushrooms and asparagus from Thursday’s dinner.

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The best buttered toast.

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Inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s “The Bread” we butter our toast first and then bake it.

…Drank a killer strawberry mojito.

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The dream team was Cruzan Key Lime Rum and Strawberry Minta soda.  With frozen strawberries instead of ice to keep things cool without watering it down.

…Checked out The Little Beet at the newly revamped mall food court.

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The new options were all awesome, there is a potato place that looks very unhealthy but very delicious.  Adam had a cheesy meal at Melt Shop.

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And I got a trio of charred string beans, charred kale, and buckwheat soba noodle salad.

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The kale was soooo good, a little bit spicy and much more flavorful than the kale chips we make at home.

…Made gooey macaroni and cheese that tasted like a pizza!

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Veggie Lovers Pizza Macaroni and Cheese; serves 4 – 6

  • 6 oz short-cut pasta
  • 4 cups chopped, cooked broccoli
  • 1 cup sliced, canned mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 25 slices turkey pepperoni, sliced in half
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2 heaping Tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 cups skim milk
  • 5 oz reduced-fat mozzarella, shredded
  • 5 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Prepare an 8×8 inch casserole dish with baking spray.  Mix the mozzarella and cheddar together and put aside 1 large handful (2 oz).
  2. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan (large enough for all of your ingredients) over medium-high heat.  Whisk flour into melted butter to form a roux.  Cook 60 – 90 seconds, whisking constantly, until roux has darkened to a sandy tan color.  Whisk milk into roux and cook 1 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened.  You shouldn’t have any lumps, but if you do now is the time to whisk them out.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add 8 oz of cheese to the sauce, working in 3 small batches and stirring until the cheese has fully melted.
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in cooked pasta, vegetables, and pepperoni.  Pour mixture into your prepared casserole dish.
  6. Top the casserole with an even mixture of marinara sauce, followed by the remaining 2 oz of cheese.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese has browned.

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Home Again, Home Again

I am feeling much better now, though the week did feel very long to me.  Here’s to hoping the weekend feels long too!  I have not been to the grocery store since a week before I left for St. Thomas, but somehow we made it through.

breakfast

Adam sweetly helped ease me back in to normal, non-vacation life by driving me in to work on Tuesday.  We made a doughnut date of it!

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Pecan praline beignet for me.  Doughnut Plant is great so it’s super fun that there’s a location right near my hospital now.

An apple and a hot chocolate.

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Less exciting than doughnuts, but still good.

Iced coffee with chocolate milk and a bar.

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I loved the Oatmega bar in theory, but unfortunately it was insanely fishy.  I just couldn’t do it.  I ended up going down to the salad bar for a snack in the late morning.

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Cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds packed a protein punch (8 grams of protein if you assume 2 Tbsp of each) to make up for the bar I threw away.

lunch

Salad bar and french fries.

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Baby spinach topped with cucumber, olives, broccoli, a marinated veggie mix, and balsamic dressing.  The blob in the left corner is fried plantains.

Salad bar and blurry Chipotle leftovers.

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Baby spinach with ranch and a bit of extra cheese, topped with my dinner leftovers.

Oatmeal day.  Quaker cherry pistachio oatmeal topped with coconut butter with a cinnamon applesauce on the side.

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This was the day I had my salad breakfast snack so I did manage to hit up the salad bar three days in a row, a feat that feels extra impressive when you remember that my stomach was still a bit iffy.

dinner

Chipotle night.  We legit eat Chipotle at least once a week, it’s a problem.

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Brown rice with sautéed veggies, pinto beans, chicken, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and all of the salsas.  The three salsa combo was key to helping me enjoy the brown rice (I really prefer white rice but brown is a whole grain so it has more protein and fiber).

We did a pre-dinner dessert date at Ample Hills.

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I didn’t love the red velvet, but their caramel and honey flavors are all deep burnt sugar good.

Adam was on call on Wednesday and I definitely made myself a big bowl of chia pudding for dinner.  Thank goodness for those lunch salads, eh?

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Gina’s recipe base – 3 Tbsp of chia seeds in 1 cup of Hint of Honey almond milk with a splash of vanilla and honey whisked in.  I topped my bowl with Girl & The Fig salted fig caramel and it was flipping amazing.

Last night’s dinner came straight from the freezer.  Salmon patties from Whole Foods plus asparagus and a mushroom medley from Trader Joe’s.

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The patties were unpleasantly dry so I made a dipping sauce of mayo, garlic aioli, pickle relish, and smoked paprika.

I drank a Genny Cream Ale while I cooked.

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And ate a zoo of gummies for dessert while we watched the “Parks and Rec” finale.

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Omg.  The P&R finale basically killed me – I loooved it.  Every single detail was perfect, down the very last second of the ending being a sweet moment from Ben.  LOVE.

Do you watch “Parks and Recreation?”  What’d you think of the finale?