(Raise The) Bar Food

Highlights from the past week…

This week’s eggnog plus coffee we brought back from Hawaii.

Sugar cookie kefir from Lifeway. Good, though not as good as I thought it would be.

Cosmic Crisp apple. It was good but hard to describe, somehow firm and juicy but not crispy?

Mountain Dew’s fruit cake soda is my new favorite mixer! Downright delicious with spiced rum.

This week’s dinners were all a) great, and b) bar food themed! We covered tacos, nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pickles! Taco salad. Chopped romaine / Sugar Bomb tomatoes / avocado / black beans / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with white onions and taco seasoning / cracked pepper / homemade ranch dressing – sour cream, lime, Crystal hot sauce, and ranch seasoning. I would have said that I don’t care about ranch dressing but this stuff was fantastic.

Pickled oven baked tofu tenders plus roasted broccoli. Sprouted extra-firm tofu / marinated in pickle juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, and garlic / dipped in a mix of flour, cornstarch, sugar, and smoked paprika – then egg – then panko bread crumbs / baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. So crispy.

Cheeseburger inspired nachos plus roasted green beans with ranch. Trader Joe’s dill pickle chips / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with garlic, ketchup, and yellow mustard / Kewpie / chopped Sugar Bomb tomato, white onion, and dill pickle.

Traditional nachos, actual bar food. I worked a 10.5 hour day on Thursday (!!, coming back from a vacation means extra work, being short-staffed near the holiday means extra work, and training an intern means things move more slowly, and all three factors converged horribly this week) so I grabbed take-out for dinner on my way home. Nachos with cheese sauce and cheddar, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onion, and zucchini.

It’s Starting To Taste Like Winter

Highlights from this week…

Wonderful yogurt bowl – plain skyr with granola and persimmon.

Milk Bar birthday cake iced latte.

Great horchatta with espresso at For All Things Good.

I pulled pumpkin chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer and they were even more amazing than I remembered.

I’m not ready for eggnog yet (make that – I am always ready for nog but I am not releasing the eggnog floodgate yet) but I have fully embraced peppermint! Like the limited release Wendy’s peppermint frosty.

Or Minter Wonderland ice cream.

Brooklyn Cupcake! Cojito, tiramisu, and guava cheese.

Best iteration yet of the butternut squash we make every year. This year we served it as a warm salad. Roasted butternut squash and shredded brussel sprouts, Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans, dried cherries, and homemade dressing (3 T lemon juice, 3 T maple syrup, 2 T stone ground mustard, 1 T Kewpie, 1 T crystal hot sauce.

A meta dinner win – cobb salad egg salad in endive lettuce cups. Eggs with mayo and mustard, chives, avocado, turkey bacon, and blue cheese.

Buffalo chicken salad (shredded chicken with mayo, Franks, vinegar, blue cheese, and chives) with roasted broccoli and Japanese sweet potato.

Top 5, x2

Some of our favorite things from an exceptionally delicious weekend. We went to our favorite brewery and tried two restaurants that both easily made the cut for top five meals we’ve eaten in 2022.

Drinks at Evil Twin – we had a fall x candy x Wonderland line-up of beers.

Even More Hydra fruited sour / Fresh Feet & No Chicken citrus milkshake IPA / Fun Sized Halloween candy sour ale / Marshmallow is the New Milk Sugar marshmallow triple IPA / Back to the Pumpkin Patch pumpkin milkshake IPA. Also a Concrete Jungle fruit punch gose.

Dinner at Sobre Masa – a Mexican restaurant and tortilleria in Bushwick.

We shared seared queso fresco with fresh salsa.

And the best chips and guacamole we’ve ever tasted, with a variety of salsas.

I drank an El Pastor De Flavor – fat-washed tequilla, rum, roasted guava, masa, Vino de Agave, lemon balsam magnolia aperitif, and Mexican bitters.

And I ordered the oyster mushrooms with cracked corn, hoja santa, and guajillo mole. Plus housemade tortillas.

Housemade flan and tres leches for dessert.

Dinner at Potluck Club – a Cantonese American Restaurant on the Lower East Side. Everything was fantastic and the space was so cute!

A yuzu hard seltzer and a Chinese pale ale.

Spicy eggplants with fried shallot and cilantro.

Braised short rib with kobucha squash.

Rice roll noodles with oyster mushrooms, asparagus, chives, and hanger steak. <– best dish of the weekend!

PB&J

Highlights from the weekend include…

Peanut butter and jelly protein bites – good.

Peanut butter and jelly Chip cookie – better.

An epic seasonal Southern Tier combo. *swoon*

Not seasonal but still good – Trader Joe’s starfruit sparkling water.

PSA – Whole Foods’ unseasoned microwaved popcorn is perfect. This bowl was both buttered and seasoned!

There is a new sushi spot near us and I am obsessed with their avocado bomb (stuffed with spicy tuna).

A simple but satisfying sandwich – smoked turkey, gouda, and mayo on a whole-wheat bun. Plus a mountain on roasted green beans.

Boo-zy

Highlights from last week included…

Chameleon cinnamon vanilla cold brew.

Is it supposed to be a balanced breakfast or a gourd-based breakfast? La Colombe pumpkin spice canned coffee plus Perfect Bar’s pumpkin pie seasonal flavor.

Lifeway pumpkin spice kefir. I am on a years’ long hunt for the eggnog version.

Trader Joe’s pumpkin Greek yogurt with plucot, chia seeds, and granola.

We liked but didn’t love Elysian’s Night Owl pumpkin ale.

Trader Joe’s Howling Gourds pumpkin ale makes it into Adam’s top five favorite beers.

And Southern Tier’s canned craft cocktail of their Pumpking whiskey and cola is officially in both of our top five for all-time-favorite beverages. I bought this months ago and squirreled it away and devestatingly I have been unable to find it again.

The nights we didn’t get take-out (we’ve had kind of crazy work weeks) we hit it out of the park with what we cooked for dinners. Super salad night – local lettuce with miso caesar dressing, bacon-flavored crunchy mung beans, Gardein vegan crab cakes, red bell pepper, and avocado.

Broiled salmon with a miso glaze plus baked green beans. Adam had his with rice but I went with bbq potato chips.

Emily Mariko style salmon bowls! Plus a side of smashed cucumber salad.

A Is For

A few highlights from the weekend…

Apple snacks at work. Freeze-dried Fuiji apples and an apple ginger bar. Both were wins.

Apple pie matcha! I will definitely make this combination again.

We finally made it to Zaab Zaab, a very well-loved Isaan Thai spot in Elmhurst. Everything we got was fantastic. The spice level was exactly to my liking and I was glad I ordered the creamy cold brew with condensed milk. Green papaya salad.

Prawn Pad Thai.

Rib eye Pad Krapow.

I made the world’s most decadent bowl of leftovers. Basil beef / shredded duck (leftovers from a fun meal Adam had without me) / sauteed spinach and onion / fried egg / smashed avocado.

Apple Month

It’s September, aka Apple Month! Here is this year’s themed-food haul –

P.S. I started yesterday morning with an apple crisp macchiato from Starbucks and it was perfect!

My favorite eats this week were mostly fun beverages and eclectic dinners. Highlights included…

A yogurt bowl with blackberries and my newest nut butter obsession – oaty nut butter from Fix & Fogg.

The grapefruit lime is my favorite of this non-alcoholic tepache.

Yuzu brown sugar sparkling iced matcha.

We tried the newest Coke flavor – Dreamworld. It was a bit too fruity for me; I preferred the Starlight and would much prefer if they would just bring back Diet Cherry Coke.

Tangerine sparkling soju. <– we were not expecting to enjoy this as much as we did

Caramel apple margarita!!

Egg casserole with crusty bread, chicken soup sausage, sauteed mushrooms, roasted zuchinni, and gouda. Plus a side of blackberries.

I wanted leftover rice for dinners so I ordered a bunch of Thai food! This bowl was chicken pad see eiw, cashew chicken, and shrimp dumplings.

Salmon roll bowls. Thai sticky rice, baked salmon, spicy cucumber salad, avocado, roasted zucchini, Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.

Fried rice with onion, bok choy, chicken sausage, eggs (plus aromatics and seasoning).

Trader Joe’s Guajillo Salsa

Highlights from a tasty week…

Still in love with these pie cookies from Whole Foods – they are shortbread with jam (raspberry, pineapple, or guava!) and streusel; I’m obsessed.

Nacho night! Tortilla chips with cheese (sharp cheddar, swiss, and gruyere) and black beans topped with salsa, sour cream, radish, tomato, and spring onion.

Plus a green juice for health.

And a sparkling tequilla canned cocktail for fun.

Chicken and veggie bowls. Shredded chicken (a mix of white and dark meat, cooked in the crockpot), roasted zucchini, black beans, roasted bell peppers and yellow onion, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cheese, radish.

Chilaquiles. Tortilla chips, chicken, peppers and onions, salsa, and cheese; topped with roasted zucchini, a fried egg, radish, sour cream, and Crystal hot sauce.

Supernova

Important things first – Adam and I are both off from work next week! We have a little (lobster roll-centric) road trip planned but mostly we are excited to be together multiple days in a row!

Some highlights from this week…

Coffee combo. Loved the coffee, do not recommend the milk.

Adam was away a few days doing something for his parents and I mostly adulted and cooked dinners. Mostly.

California roll bowls. Imitation crab stick, avocado, cucumber, and green onion tossed with Kewpie, Sriracha, rice vinegar, and furikake. Plus a side of seaweed.

Hot and cold tofu – silken tofu topped with a mix of green onion, chili crisp, urfa chili paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Plus roasted cauliflower.

Damn The Man, Save The Empire

It was an absolutely fantastic weekend! We ate tons of good things, had a bunch of time together, and saw some gorgeous signs of spring all around the city. Highlights included… A long, gorgeous walk from Dumbo, across the bridge, around the Seaport, and up through Midtown.

Iced cortado from Interlude.

Brigadero iced latte from Cafe Patoro.

Vietnamese iced coffee from Lucy’s.

Iced matcha latte made at home.

Not surprised that I am into alcoholic seltzers now. My favorite so far have been from Trip and Topo Chico.

We made extra-chocolately brownies and rewatched Empire Records to celebrate Rex Manning Day 2022!

Affogato special from Caffe Panna – caramel and pistachio.

My leftover sesame noodles were even better stir-fried with extra eggs plus green beans and chili crisp.

We had lunch at Empire Diner and it was hands-down the best meal of this year so far.

I had a spicy Bloody Mary with everything bagel seasoning.

And a great cocktail with mezcal and fresh ginger.

Tuna tartar with avocado, ginger cilantro oil, white soy, frizzled shallots, and housemade chips.

I had the pastrami sandwich with melted swiss and horseradish coleslaw on marble rye. It came with the best mustard and the best herb fries I’ve ever tasted.