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?

Weekend Wrap-Up; Good Eats

So much good food this weekend! I’m only sharing my top five since I didn’t do a great job of photo-taking…

{1} On Sunday, we had an amazing brunch at Russ and Daughters.

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My parents are obsessed with the store, and Adam and I checked out their newish cafe this weekend and fell in love.

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Best Bloody Mary of my life!

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Made with caraway-infused vodka. It had a sludge of caraway and horseradish on the bottom and I know that sounds terrible to some of you but it was wonderful.

We got pickled veggies to start.

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They were great, especially those whitish sticks, which turned out to be fennel.

Adam got a bowl of tasty whitefish chowder (with toasted matzah!).

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And the Pastrami Russ – pastrami-cured salmon, muenster cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, and pickle on a pretzel roll.

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We adored it, but my Super Heebster Bagel Toast stole the show.

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Whitefish and baked salmon salad, wasabi-infused fish roe, and horseradish dill cream cheese on a thinly sliced bagel. We were swooning… especially once we ordered a second round of drinks!

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Best brunch of the year.

{2} I normally try not to drink coffee after 3 pm, but on Friday I caffeinated on the train and actually managed to cook a real dinner.

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A pumpkin and sausage dish from Rachel Ray.

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Instead of pasta I served ours on top of rice cooked in chicken broth, which was delicious.

With asparagus baked with pecans and blue cheese.

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Adam was swooning.

{3} I am pretty proud of Saturday night too (particularly because I might have eaten Chipotle take-out for not one but two of my other meals this weekend!).

I had defrosted some nice shrimp for a recipe I changed my mind about, when I decided to combine a few recipes for Bang Bang shrimp.

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The shrimp were tossed in cornstarch and salt and pepper and cooked in canola oil, then served on top of whole wheat mac and cheese, and under a sauce of mayo, Sriracha, honey, and rice vinegar.

{4} We made the most of our trip to the city with stops for coffee and cupcakes.

Adam’s favorite coffee is Cafe Grumpy.

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I ordered him a flat white and he pretty much lost his mind over it.

We both think Sugar Sweet Sunshine has the best cupcakes in the city.

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Mocha and Oreo, yum

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{5} The best moment of the weekend was getting Adam to try Snowdays Shavery… and having him admit that it’s amazing.

Their shaved ice is like no other. It’s shaved instead of crushed and rather having the flavor poured on top the big blocks are already flavored so every bite is fluffy and infused with goodness.

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We got toasted sesame with sweetened condensed milk, mochi, and Fruity Pebbles. Fellow NYCers, now that it’s warmed up to a balmy 30 degrees this weekend, go get yourself some shaved ice!

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Lunch And Learn; Weekend Wrap-Up

I spent Friday and Saturday in New Jersey at a pediatric nutrition conference getting my learn on.  A girlfriend, a co-worker, and I all went together and we had a very nice time.  It stinks to lose a Saturday to “school,” but the lectures did include pediatric nutrition support, oncology, failure to thrive, and GI disorders; all big interests of mine.  The conference ran for 8 hours each day but since it was only an hour or so away from the city I did get to have some fun with the husband in the evenings too.

Here are five favorites from the weekend…

{1} Saturday’s breakfast.

Getting to Jersey for the conference meant waking up by 5:30 both Friday and Saturday.  On a typical workday, I should be up by 6:50; 50% of the time I set my alarm for 5:20, and 100% of the time I wake up after 7:10, so I was understandably a bit worried about the early wake-ups.  I was excited about the conference so I managed, but Saturday was easier because Adam drove us in and I was looking forward to time in the car with him.

We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for the new cookie lattes – Snickerdoodle and Sugar Cookie – which were only okay,

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and at La Bagel Delight for an everything bagel with jalopeño cheddar cream cheese.

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That was great, obviously.

{2} Conference eats.

I didn’t do the best job of packing breakfast/lunch the first day and was not very happy throughout the afternoon.  On Saturday, the three of us used the break to drive to Chipotle for a real lunch.

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My friend and I split a rice bowl, which is always good.

And, as we were driving home I spotted a Sonic!!

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Strawberry diet cokes are flipping amazing.  My friend thought I was crazy for freaking out when we saw the sign, but once she tasted it she got it.

{3} Dinner in Koreatown.

Friday night, I met Adam in Penn Station (we took the train that day) and we walked over to Koreatown for dinner.  There is a food court there that we had been dying to try.

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We shared a steamed red bean bun.

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Then got big bowls of bibimpap for dinner.

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Mine, with tofu and tons of kimchi, was delicious.

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We tried a canned coffee for dessert.

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And stopped at Tous le Jours for mochi to share as well.

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The chocolate was good but the maple was better.  Soooo chewy.

{4} Sushi in Park Slope.

Saturday we ended up at Yamato, a favorite spot of Adam’s from when we lived in Brooklyn.

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Salad with ginger dressing to start.

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Veggie roll combo.

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The cucumber avocado roll was the best, but I smothered everything in wasabi.

Plus we stopped and got hot chocolate for dessert.

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That’s a homemade marshmallow!

{5} A package from Dannon Creamery.

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Dannon’s newest line, Dannon Creamery sent me a super cool box of samples.

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These desserts were sent to me free of charge to review.  I received no further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

DC makes cheesecakes made with Greek yogurt plus three flavors of pudding, all averaging about 200 calories per serving/cup.  I had tried the strawberry cheesecake on my own in the past and didn’t like it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the two other flavors I’ve tried so far.

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Lemon cheesecake was opened pretty much the minute I got the package.

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Nothing artificial about the topping and the mouthfeel of the cheesecake was great; I’m a fan!

I also quite enjoyed the dark chocolate pudding (with a leftover chocolate chip cookie).

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I’m looking forward to the other flavors.

Apples All Around; Long Week Wrap-Up

We have been enjoying the heck out of my apple picking haul.  There were a few days last week when I ate an apple with all three meals!  Too bad my husband’s a doctor, I don’t want to keep him away!

I haven’t blogged a recap since last Sunday so I’ve got quite a bit to share…

breakfast

An apple and a latte.

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Round 2; this was homemade cold-brew with Hint of Honey Almond Breeze.

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Then the next day I did skim milk and maple syrup.  Also delicious.

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An almond croissant with more coffee.

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Latte from David’s Tea while we walked around Park Slope.

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Cream of Earl Grey is the best.

lunch

Sandwich and salad day.  I think this is the largest lunch I’ve ever packed.  A pumpkin spice English muffin (<– oooh!) with pumpkin butter, roasted turkey, and sharp cheddar.

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Spinach salad with blue cheese, dried blueberries, sweet and spicy pecans, and honey mustard dressing.

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Oatmeal and an apple.

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I’ve decided that I hate that line of Quaker instant oatmeals but it was already waiting in my pantry so I gussied it up with chia seeds, butterscotch chips, and dried cranberries.

Pumpkin yogurt bowl.

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Pumpkin Chobani with TJ’s Pumpkin O’s amd butterscotch peanut butter.  Plus an apple, of course, though that was actually a SweeTango from a grocery trip before I had my orchard haul.

Cafeteria day.

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Salad bar and baked onion rings.

Sunday brunch at Talde.  There was pickled ginger in my Bloody Mary.

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We also shared a French Press of Illy.

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Fried avocado bao to share.

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And Korean chicken wings with waffles for me.

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With coconut brown butter, yum!

snack

An orange selection.

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Sweet stuff.

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Pumpkin Noosa with butterscotch peanut butter.

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Duh.

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TJ’s Cookies and Cream Butter.  <– ahhhhhhhh

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This jar lasted Adam and me less than a week!

dinner

A roasty fall meal.

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Squash with cinnamon and smoked paprika.  This was our first try roasting kombucha and it was good, though not quite worth the hype in my opinion.

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Asparagus sautéed with Bone Sucking mustard sauce and sliced almonds.

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And a big slice of my cheesy eggplant bake.

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We made this version in a pie dish and with mozzarella instead of provolone but it still ended up being delicious.

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With Naked Flock pumpkin cider to share.

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My co-worker brought me back the cider from the orchard where she went apple picking!

Leftovers night.  Eggplant bake side-by-side with tuna casserole, topped with additional cheese and crushed Cheez-its.

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I know that looks like a giant bowl of melted cheese, but I swear the layer underneath was mostly veg.  Plus we did salads for some green.  Spinach, chopped carrots, and edamame with sesame soy ginger vinaigrette.

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And a totes amaze apple cocktail.

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Honeycrisp cider with Apple Pie Moonshine.  I also did a splash of Goldschläger.

Chipotle.  Let’s be real, we got rice bowls two nights in a row.

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We shared some pumpkin brews to keep things fall-ish.

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Soup’s up.

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The TJ’s pumpkin soup was too thin and basically inedible.

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But my sides were awesome.  Three cheese grilled cheese = sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and blue cheese on wheat bread.

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And sliced apple.  I’m sure you’re not surprised that I ended up dipping my slices in melted cookies and cream butter.

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Mac and greens (and cheese!).

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Standby spinach salad – with dried blueberries, blue cheese, lavender salt, evoo, and honey – on the bottom.

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And mac and cheese – Pirate’s Booty aged white cheddar mac with tons of spinach, extra cheese, and Sriracha – on top.

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Adam hates when I pile things on top of one another but mac and salad go together really well.  You should try it!

What was the best fall flavor you had this past week?

Weekly Wrap-Up; Appletastic

I don’t have a ton to share today – it’s only been two days since my last wrap-up and I didn’t photograph snacks at all – but what I do have is appletastic.  More than 50% of these eats involved apple in some form!  Let’s do this post old-school style…

Wednesday morning I made myself a go-cup of iced cold brew with vanilla almond milk.

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A few minutes after I snapped that picture I spilled the entire thing in my lap.  Whoops.

It was a good day to lose my coffee because I had a nice breakfast already packed for work.

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2% Coconut Chobani topped with two types of sliced plucot and some fresh raspberries.  I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to do when plucot season ends, they are my very favorite.  I’ve even gotten the husband hooked on them, finally.

I had an extra-busy morning at work playing catch up.  On Tuesdays I do coverage care on inpatient floors in the hospital so I’m not in the clinic.  Usually I only miss 1 or 2 new patients because that’s our slow day, but this week we got slammed, and I came in on Wednesday to several charts on my desk.  I spent the morning trying to call people to set up appointments but of course none of the numbers on file worked.  <– major flashbacks to my teacher days!

Lunch was apple walnut oatmeal with TJ’s freeze-dried apples.

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Appletastic!  {I promise to stop saying that now.  At least for this post.}

I thought I was fine without my morning coffee, but I practically missed my train home because I was so desperate to get a cup.

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Adam was working a 24-hour shift so I was on my own for the evening.  Fueled by caffeine, I had grand plans of hitting the gym and then cooking a respectable meal to leave in the fridge for the husband.  Really though, I ate two bags of microwave popcorn for dinner after reading this Buzzfeed sad Buffy Tumblr round up and crying so hard that I upset the dog.

Yesterday morning I had much more success with my java.  Coconut iced coffee – cold brew with Almond Joy creamer, skim milk, and coconut water – for the win.

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Plus a KIND apple cinnamon & pecan bar.

Lunch stayed on theme.

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An apple cinnamon raisin Fage with an acutal apple.  Plus I ate Good & Plenty and Diet Dr. Pepper at my desk while I charted at the end of the day.  I’m not sure what my deal is but I have been crazy obsessed with licorice lately.  I knew my lunch wasn’t big enough so I had also packed a seaweed snack for the afternoon but then I couldn’t bear to have anything but G&P.

Dinner came from the grill.  Our unseasonably warm weather has the upside that it encourages outdoor cooking.

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Jennie-O recently sent me some coupons, so the timing was perfect.  P.S.  The timing is good for your too, Jennie-O is running a sweepstakes through September 14th.

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Please note, I purchased the turkey with a free product coupon.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

My burger making skills?  Not so perfect.  There’s a reason that Adam is usually in charge of the grill.  I thought I had a genius idea, to make the patties out of just lean ground turkey, Worcestershire sauce, bbq sauce, and crumbled blue cheese. 

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Without bread crumbs or some other binder, the patties were wet and strange and they never did quite become burgers.  Next time I’ll use one of their recipes.

Our Moa kiwi hard cider definitely took some of the sting out of my failure.

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And overall dinner was pretty delicious.

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These were the two best looking patties, if that tells you anything.  I ended up smothering them in more bbq sauce.

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Plus corn on the cob – grilled in tin foil packets with evoo and truffle salt.

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And asparagus – marinated in evoo and Bone Suckin’ mustard before it went on the grill.

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Not bad, not bad at all.  And while I wrote this post I snacked on a small bowl of melted peanut butter (TJ’s chunky pb with chia and flax) with chocolate chips.

Can you even believe that tomorrow today is Friday?  Thank heavens for the short weeks that follow three-day weekends!

Weekend Wrap-Up; Last Days Of Summer

I don’t know how it got to be mid-August already, but we are doing everything we can to make the most of our last days of summer.  This weekend we grilled, ate too many bowls of ice cream, and even got our toes wet going stand up paddle boarding!

SUP has been on my bucket list for years and I am so thrilled I finally got to try it out.  I loved it!  Amazingly, given my general level of grace and athleticism (level: zero), I didn’t fall once.

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We had an absolute blast and the hour flew by.  SUP is definitely something I want to do again.  I can see how on-board yoga would be a ton of fun too.

Here are some of our sunny eats…

lunch

A pink grapefruit bonanza Friday at work.  Chobani 2% Pink Grapefruit Yogurt with two sliced red plums and Polar Pink Grapefruit Seltzer on the side.

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I ran out of time in the morning to also pack an afternoon snack and, duh, this wasn’t enough food.  Enter candy at my desk.

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I’m not a big black licorice person either, but I don’t know how anyone dislikes Good & Plenty.

A strangely satisfying sandwich.

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I put two split hot dogs on a Bagel Thin (toasted with butter) with shredded light three-cheese blend and balsamic ketchup and this throw-together-the-last-of-the-fridge-contents-before-grocery-shopping sandwich ended up rocking my face off.

snacks

Friday’s at-work breakfast.  <– I wake up too late for breakfast most weekend days so I couldn’t make this a category

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An Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood packet (from Urthbox) with vanilla soy milk and a Pink Crisps apple.

I was all about the coffee this weekend.  I ended up calling Adam on the ride home from work practically crying while I stared at a McDonald’s coffee advertisement.  This home-brewed Starbucks espresso blend with fat-free sweetened condensed milk hit the spot.

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I did go to McDonald’s for a $1 iced coffee the next morning though.  Meh.  These guys were much better.

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All shared with the husband, who is another raging java addict.

It is fair to say that I was also all about the ice cream.

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I’m retty damn excited about that Horchata spiced Blue Moon as well!  I had Strawberry Biscoff Sour Cream Gelato over warm double-chocolate sour cream brownies two nights in a row.

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The brownies were just the Baker’s One Bowl recipe with a heaping cup each chocolate chips and low-fat sour cream stirred into the batter once it was mixed up.

To end the weekend, on Sunday we went big before we went home, with Pat Bing Soo from Tous le Jours.

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Now I get why people rave about TlJ, that bowl was Adam’s favorite shaved ice yet.  Milk and strawberry shaved ices topped with scm, vanilla ice cream, red bean, watermelon, mocha, strawberry, kiwi, and mango.  Everything was delicious but we could barely make a dent in that monster!

dinner

Friday, we ate the last of our veggie, turkey, and marinara pasta bowls.

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This meal is really a better fit for fall and you will definitely be seeing it again in the months to come.

On Saturday, we grilled.

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Adam did an awesome job making dinner and then the three of us ate our meals outside (the boys also had steak).

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My plate had grilled asparagus, zucchini, and turkey hot dogs, oven-roasted corn on the cob, a few sautéed mushrooms (topping for the steak), and Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce for dipping.

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We marinated the asparagus in A-1 citrus marinade and tossed the squash in evoo before grilling.  Everything came out fantastically.  I can’t believe we lived in this apartment for more than a year before we fired up our grill!

And on Sunday, we went out in the city.  Haru unveiled a new Times Square Location and a new seasonal cocktail this summer and they invited me in to check them both out.

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The restaurant is down a side street and out of the tourist foot traffic of Times Square and the location is quite pretty.

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The lighting was terrrrrrrible for photos – too yellow for my crappy camera and nonexistent photog skills – but good for eating, and the tables were nicely lit at 7pm.  I hate eating a meal in the dark.  The music was unobtrusive – mellow and pretty quiet.  I hate dark rooms and loud noises because I basically like to dine like an 80-year-old.

Adam ordered hot sake and said it gave him a nice warm feeling.

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I am not a sake girl, but I stuck my tongue in and did have to agree that it was smooth.

I, of course, went with the seasonal cocktail – The Red Lotus.

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If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, I have the recipe to share with you!

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Yum!  The drink was not too sweet but it felt nice and juicy.  It went down very easily.  I adore lychees and am always sad that you don’t see them on more menus but now that I have the recipe I can make this drink at home.

Adam started with the miso soup.

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He said it was what you would expect.

And we shared an order of the appetizer special – Lobster Gyoza.

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Holy lobster meat, Batman Aquaman!  The dumplings were bursting with lobster – this dish is a steal for just $10.  The gyoza were a good size and they were easy to bite; I hate struggling with stringy foods and chopsticks.  The flavors were very straightforward, which let the lobster shine.

The husband went with the sushi for dinner.  2 tuna / whitefish / yellowtail / albacore tuna /shrimp / tobiko / and a tuna roll.  (I count an extra piece but I’m not sure what it was.)

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His fish was fresh and flavorful.  Adam said the size, texture, and temperature were all good.  Usually you see yellow caviar instead of red so he was very excited about his tobiko roll.

I did the vegetarian sushi.

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Avocado / eggplant / shitake mushroom / tofu / asparagus / oshinko / inari / and an avocado cucumber roll.

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My plate looks simple, but this was the best veggie sushi I’ve had in years.  The rice was nicely seasoned and the vegetables were all cooked beautifully.  The mushroom had an almost smoky flavor and that bite of eggplant was the best tasting vegetable I’ve had at a restaurant this year!

All in all, we both agreed that the menu was straightforward but on point.  Haru isn’t doing anything unique – there weren’t any specialty rolls that thrilled us – they are doing the basics incredibly well.  We’ll be back!

Please note – I dined at Haru free of charge.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.  As always, all opinions are my own.

The Red Lotus Seasonal Cocktail, for 1

  • 2 oz. peach vodka
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • 3 lychees
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 lychee for garnish

Muddle lychees and shake with vodka, juice and syrup.  Squeeze in some lime, drop the wedge in and shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish the drink with lychee for soothing effect.

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