Soup’s Up

There was no post last weekend because I worked on Sunday and it totally knocked me out.  It was a busy day and I was basically still recovering most of this week, which is why there’s not much substance to this post either.  Hopefully I am well-rested now because we have some really fun plans for this weekend!

It’s beginning to taste a lot like the holidays…. This is my current themed flavors stash.

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Coffee with ‘nog is my favorite time of year.

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Snapdragon apple with a cinnamon protein bar.

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Plus I made two dinners that would be good any time of year.  Bon Appetit’s chicken soup with charred cabbage.

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Giant salad bowls.  Butter lettuce / maple syrup, Sriracha, and Kewpie / shredded rotisserie chicken / chopped fresh sage and parsley / fried halloumi cheese.  Plus a hunk of buttered walnut raisin sourdough.

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Chili When It’s Chilly

It was a great week in packaged coffees.  Grady’s Cold Brew = 11/10 (it’s my very favorite!).  P.S. how great are our flowers??!

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Black Hands can = 9/10.

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Blanchard’s can = 7.5/10.

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Other beverage fun included Polar hibiscus cloudberry seltzer.

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And this killer cocktail combo – cinnamon hibiscus tea, Goldschläger, and club soda.

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Snack attack.  Strawberry sage kombucha, a caramel chocolate granola bar, and an Autumn Glory apple.

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Can you believe I didn’t try a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich until after I left New York?  We were super impressed with this.

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Our dinners this week were definitely on a theme.  Chili.  Ground turkey / black beans and baked beans / sweet onion and poblano pepper / tomato paste and crushed tomatoes / clove, cumin, smoked paprika, brown sugar, fish sauce, liquid smoke, and gojuchang.  Topped with cheddar, plain Greek yogurt, and jalopenos.

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Bacon and cheese wrapped hot dogs.  Turkey hot dogs and halloumi cheese wrapped in turkey bacon on a whole-wheat bun with ketchup.  With a side of green bean fries.

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Bacon chili cheese hot dog casserole.  Double layers of cauliflower rice / turkey bacon / sliced turkey hot dogs / green onion / leftover chili / and sharp cheddar.  Topped with plain Greek yogurt and hot sauce.

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Yum!

All Hallow’s Eats

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Pumpkin Noosa for breakfast.  I sprinkled some crunchy granola from the cafeteria on top and it was fantastic.

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Maple glazed doughnut with a maple pancake iced latte from Sugar Shack.

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Snack attack.  Is it even Halloween week if you don’t make yourself sick eating too much sugar?  None of fun-sized candy at work was exciting to me and I had to drive myself to Wegman’s to buy my own chocolate.

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Crispy honey garlic tofu bites served on top of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  The tofu recipe was perfect, I couldn’t believe how crispy it came out.  After I took that photo I smothered my plate in Kewpie and Sriracha!

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This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.

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Sweet potato hash success.  Crispy sweet potato (cooked similarly to this method) / sauteed red bell pepper and spring onion with tumeric and smoked paprika / garlic chicken sausage / topped with a fried egg / and copious amounts of Cholula hot sauce.

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Our Halloween dinner was perfectly on theme – vampire killer pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin shaped pasta / garlic chicken sausage / sauteed spinach with tons of garlic / tossed in aioli / topped with pan-fried haloumi.

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Plus the best pumpkin beer of the year and a chai pumpkin ale.

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What I Wish I Was Eating

I didn’t do the best job of photo taking this week, so instead let’s talk about food a bit.  For funsies, 10 items I’ve been obsessing about recently –

  1. coffee – always
  2. plucots – I feel like my summer season of plum eating was way too short this year, I didn’t eat a single dinosaur plucot
  3. Insomnia Cookie – we’ve been getting cookie delivery way too often recently!  But their s’mores cookie is chewy and loaded with marshmallows and I’m smitten
  4. grilled romaine lettuce – my aunt served this last weekend and it was mind-blowingly good
  5. chicken and waffles – I need to go back to Mother’s Ruin for their Cholula glazed version asap
  6. bubble tea – this winter I think I want to try to make an eggnog with boba happen
  7. cheesecake – I haven’t actually eaten cheesecake in months and months but it keeps popping up in my online scrolling and always sounds so delicious!
  8. okonomiyaki – I haven’t been able to get my Americanized version out of my mind
  9. cookie butter frozen yogurt – we had some last week at Red Mango (with mochi and cookie butter drizzle!) that was just fantastic
  10. homemade ice cream – another item that’s been dominating my online reading, mostly because Stella Parks keeps being the best at what she does

And here were the highlights of what I’ve actually been eating…

Coffee for the week = TJ’s French Roast.

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I’m still having a moment with trail mix, I seriously eat at least one bag a day!  I guess that probably should have been on my obsessions list!

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Other snack specials included this new flavor of Luna Bar.

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And really tasty french onion dip my aunt sent home with us.

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The most exciting thing on earth, however, is that they sent us home with crab cakes!!  Eaten with roasted brussel sprout and aioli.

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I made a great casserole.  Shredded chicken, black beans, cauliflower rice, onion, bell peppers, and green salsa, topped with an amazing tortilla chip and cojita cheese crumble.

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What foods have you been obsessing about recently?

Pizza Pizza

Flavor themes from the week – cherries and cheese.  These were the highlights…

Brooklyn Roasting Co coffee.  After this I have one last tin left from NY… guess we need to take another trip soon!

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It was a good week in snacks, thanks in part to a fun package full of goodies from my parents.  Including cherry cola Mike & Ikes and delicious chocolate-covered dried cherries.

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Two new to us snacks, salted caramel Somersaults (<– best flavor yet!) and Sweet Sapphire grapes.

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Another new flavor, sesame bbq chicken Epic bar.

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I cooked salmon for dinner one night.  Roasted coho topped with a vegan scallion pesto – food-processed pine nuts, parsley, sauteed green onions, and evoo.  Plus homemade cole slaw.  The sauce was great, but sadly the salmon was fairly flavorless without it.

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The rest of the week dinners were all about pizza!  I loosely followed this recipe for pepperoni pizza macaroni and cheese.  Whole wheat shell pasta > macaroni pasta.  Pro tip – any time I make macaroni and cheese (or any roux thickened sauce) I always substitute low-fat condensed milk for the recommended liquid.  The results always taste fantastic and it means we don’t have an open container of whole milk in the house which is great because both Adam and I dislike it.  Plus roasted zucchini.

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Meat lovers pizza.  Frozen crust from Trader Joe’s / we added tomato paste while we sauteed some chicken sausage and added that to our marinara sauce / topped with turkey pepperoni and turkey bacon / plus mozzarella and cheddar.  With roasted green beans.

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What is your favorite pizza topping?  Apparently mine is bacon!

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!

Well There Goes Your Social Life

Another New York snowstorm?!  Can it be Spring already??!  I shouldn’t complain, Adam and I both were off from work on Wednesday and I already drink enough coffee to power a small city so it’s not like the few minutes I had to wake up earlier on Thursday to deal with the snow were a big deal. <– I should note that I literally mean that I only need a few extra minutes, I don’t have to dig out my own car because I’m married to the kindest man on earth!

Highlight bites this week…

Coffee, coffee!  Cafe Bustelo.

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Cold brew with coconut palm sugar (and skim milk).

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Protein cookie and a sumo.

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Coffee Greek yogurt with coconut butter, red walnuts, and granola, plus a Pink Lady apple on the side.  The coconut/coffee combo is 10/10.

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These 7-11 bites are super cute, and I love anything that tastes like cake batter.

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It seemed like half of Queens had closed up shop on Wednesday but Adam and I still managed to find a good lunch.  Chicken and udon soup.

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With an Oreo milk tea with pudding.

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Plus we went to Coffee Factory for a ridiculously adorned coffee shave ice.

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It’s a testament to how good Stumptown is that I was equally excited about my iced latte.

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Do you remember last year when I declared that the spring holidays deserve theme flavors too?  Easter gets lemon, coconut, and anything in the shape of an egg!

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I snacked on coconut shortbread cookies and candied lemon slices to welcome the first day of Spring.

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The Trader Joe’s eggs were cute, but the chocolate to caramel ratio was too large for my liking.  I much prefer a thinner, softer shell, so the Godiva eggs were absolutely perfect.

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Godiva actually sent me the eggstra special chocolates to review on the blog {I received no additional compensation / all opinions are my own}.  The box includes solid milk chocolate, dark chocolate ganache (3rd favorite), dark chocolate with raspberry, milk chocolate with almond butter (my favorite), and milk chocolate caramel (2nd favorite).  There’s 60 calories per egg, which feels more than fair because these are definitely a two-to-three-bite candy.

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Important note – Godiva also has an assorted gift-box special for Spring that includes both cookie dough truffles and white chocolate pralines – among other flavors – and I’m having a very hard time not buying it immediately.

My dinners were darn impressive this week.  Spicy Cajun shrimp pasta bowls on whole wheat linguine with tons of roasted zucchini and sun-dried tomato.

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Homemade turkey Reuben burgers / roasted green beans / french fries / with ketchup and thousand island.

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Chicken sandwiches.  Boneless skinless breasts marinated in lemon juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and ginger; breaded in panko; and baked / on brioche buns / with mayo and provolone.

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Plus we had sauteed bok choy and leeks on the side.

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And buttermilk and chive chips while I cooked.

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Last night a girlfriend and I went on a balls tasting tour of the Lower East Side for dinner.  Boba Guys for Hong Kong milk tea with tapioca balls and almond jelly.

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Meatball Shop for chicken meatballs with pesto.  Plus a Dead Flowers & Red Bottoms cocktail – mezcal, tequila, lime, honey, and hibiscus.

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p.s. who is 1990’s enough to get the joke in my title??