Top Five This Week

{1}  Fiber One sent me samples of their newest product line – layered chewy bars.

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I’m a fan!  Sometimes fiber-added products hurt my stomach, but these gave me no issues.  They are chewy without being tooth-breaking and salty-sweet – my favorite flavor combo.  They come in double chocolate almond.

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And the even more delicious salted caramel and dark chocolate.

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{2}  I made a tasty strawberry sauce.

It was quick and easy, just fresh strawberries quartered and cooked in a skillet over medium heat.

Paired with passion fruit yogurt with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And plain yogurt with vanilla granola and a few Luxardo cherries.

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{3}  Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium partnered on a cookie dough beer and I paired it with cookie dough ice cream.

We ended up not loving the beer, which had a chemical aftertaste to it, but the ice cream (which I topped with melty Biscoff) was obviously delicious.

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And speaking of Speculoos…

{4}  Starbucks has a cookie butter bar and it is out of this freaking world.

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{5}  I spent 3+ hours making over-the-top lasagna.

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Loosely based on this recipe, it was totally worth the time commitment.

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I made a red sauce with ground turkey and TJ’s soy chorizo.  My béchamel was a four-cheese doozy made with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda. I skipped the ricotta, but did top my dish off with more parmesan-gouda.

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{bonus}  My schedule – I worked President’s Day and work this upcoming weekend which means I was off from work yesterday and today for a midweek weekend!  And Adam is off today too so we’ve got some Upper East Side fun planned.  See you next week!

It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Valentine’s

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As long-term blog readers know, the Emily holiday theme-food calendar is pretty packed.  There’s Apple Month (September) and Pumpkin Month (October into November), and November/December are the only time of year I’ll eat eggnog, candy cane, and gingerbread.

My mom recently asked me why Valentine’s Day and Easter don’t get any love?  I decided it’s lame that only August – December get theme flavors, so brought two new holidays into the party, albeit likely with less fervor.  Valentine’s Day (February) gets chocolate-covered cherry and cinnamon, and Easter (April) gets coconut and lemon.

Here was this month’s themed-food stash:

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Those goodies will be the main content of this post, along with a few other things that I LOVED (<– staying on theme).  It works out to be work lunches/snacks since this week’s dinner situation was beyond bleak – 1. nachos 2. Chipotle 3. frozen meal from Trader Joe’s 4. Adam and I got into bed and fell asleep before 8pm.

Chocolate cherry yogurt, chocolate cherry cashew KIND bar, and a Sumo mandarin.

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Valentine’s trail mix with chocolate hearts, dried dark sweet cherries, and roasted pecans.  Plus a Junami apple.

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2% yogurt with blackberries and muddy buddies.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with tangerine, blackberries, vanilla granola, and citrus crumble cake.

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A coworker just came back from the Philippines and she replenished my stash of these amazing powdered milk candies.

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Best bite sip of the week – very vanilla iced coffee.

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Do you have any romantic plans for next Tuesday?

The End Of The First Month Of The New Year

I’m two weeks late and about a hundred pictures short, but here, finally, is a (bi)weekly wrap up for the end of January.  I blame a bout of the cold, a string of loser dinners, and a case of the mid-winter blues for my lack of timeliness and photo-taking-enthusiasm.

Gaps aside, here were some eats from the past two weeks…

{rated within their category; i.e. the yogurt bowl is an 8 out of 10 compared with other yogurt bowls not compared other dissimilar items}

Green monster from the cafeteria.  They sometimes set up a smoothie bar at the rotating station.  I chose spinach, strawberry, mango, and coconut water.  8.5/10

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Chocolate iced coffee.  8/10

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Work snack – an apple and coconut caramel bar.  The score here is for the Thai Coco coconut milk drink, which was creamy and sweet.  9.5/10

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Soursop yogurt with blueberries and vanilla granola.  8/10

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Turkey reuben-ish sandwich from the cafeteria.  Sliced turkey, swiss cheese, pickles, spinach, and cole slaw on a whole-wheat wrap.  Plus french fries dipped in 1000 island.  6.5/10

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Cola kombucha.  6.5/10

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This Milka Oreo candy bar didn’t have as much cookie in it as I wanted.  6/10

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But these TJ’s sour gummies are the best gummy candies Adam or I have ever tasted.  10/10

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Biscuit breakfast sandwiches for dinner.  Buttermilk biscuits (<– I don’t recommend this recipe, the biscuits had no flake) / maple Sriracha mayo / smoked gouda / fried egg.  6/10

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Pumpkin soup.  Roux, canned pumpkin, and chicken stock with sautéed onions, carrot, and maple chicken breakfast sausage on the bottom.  This didn’t turn out as well as I was expecting it to, the salt and pepper pumpkin seed brittle I sprinkled on top was by far the best component.  5/10

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Escarole and white bean skillet with (turkey) bacon and artichoke.  7/10

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Creamy turkey pasta.  Ground turkey sautéed with garlic, browned mushrooms, and oven-roasted tomatoes, tossed with sour cream, and whole-wheat pasta.  7.5/10

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I’ve got some yummy things planned for this weekend so hopefully the next post will be slightly less lame!

 

Chocolate Strawberry And Banana Date

A short post for a short week; here were my top five tastes…

Snack-pack lunch at work.  Crispy broccoli, jerky(1), baby carrots, and a Cara Cara Orange.

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I am a sucker for limited edition Oreos(2).  I always eat them by splitting two in half to make one double-stuffed cookie.

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Homemade dinner, chicken with bbq sauce, roasted asparagus, and another killer potato(3) recipe from Serious Eats.

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Dinner out with a friend, I finally made it to Taïm  and I loved it.  We had sandwiches(4) and smoothies(5).

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  1. Smoked Salmon Maple Stick from EPIC
  2. chocolate-covered strawberry limited edition Oreos
  3. cheesy onion, bacon, and potato gratin
  4. pita with balaganoush, tahini, Moroccan carrots, and pickled cabbage
  5. date, lime, banana, and soy milk

Mid-January

Tuesday night, I met up with my aunt in the Financial District for dinner and then coffees/cookies at the beautiful new 3rd story Eataly.

Wednesday, I was off from work and spent the entire day in bed, watching tv, eating pizza, and reading a Liane Moriarty book from start to finish.

Thursday, Adam and I went on a dinner date sans coats in 66 degree weather.

<– kind of a hard week to complain about, huh?

Here were my best bites…

New all-time favorite coffee combo: Texas pecan coffee concentrate with sweet buttercream creamer.  Swoontastic.

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I also tried the new Starbucks Cascara latte.  It was meh, too sweet but not in a brown sugar way as promised.

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Chilaquiles!

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Kinda, sorta.  I cooked thick tortilla chips in salsa and leftover spicy pepper sauce from my shakshuka.  Topped with black beans, shredded cheese, and fried eggs.

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Piñata apple with a spicy chicken epic bar.  I’ve really been enjoying these meat-based bar options.

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Yogurt bowl lunch.  Siggi’s with granola and chocolate tahini.  Plus pears.

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I made cheesy turkey sloppy joes.  Turkey breast sautéed with onion and green bell pepper and tomato paste, stirred into a sharp cheddar mornay sauce, and served on a brioche bun.  It was pretty damn good.

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With leftover bok choy salad and roasted broccoli.

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Our date night was a pizza date at Paulie Gee’s.

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It was our first time and we loved it.  I had a Milk and Honey Ale and a pizza with fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, olive oil, and garlic.

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Dessert at Ample Hills.  A new flavor, The View – chocolate marshmallow ice cream with ooey gooey butter cake pieces, brownies, and crack cookie; plus fantasmic dark hot chocolate.

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Looking forward a long weekend!

Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

Tastes Like Thanksgiving

I hope all my American readers stuffed themselves silly yesterday (all of my readers really!) and made good memories with family and/or friends.  Adam and I both had to work, so no festivities here, but thankfully I spent time with 3/4 of my family in St. Thomas last weekend.  P.S. No post from last weekend, I didn’t take many pictures, but I did eat johnny cake with cheese and day drink almost daily.

In spite of being kind of lame on Turkey Day, I did manage to pack my week with holiday flavors – cranberry, green beans, turkey, pumpkin, and egg nog.  Plus, apparently I’ve decided that chips are an on-theme holiday flavor!

Winter Cheer Stumptown with a cranberry clementine seltzer and a giant pomelo.

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Cranberry turkey Wilde bar with a snap dragon apple and a cranberry cider seltzer.  <– are we appreciating the cranberry seltzers I squirreled away for this week?!

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Holiday spiced sweet cream cold brew.

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Thursday felt like an appropriate time to get my eggnog goodies going.

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Veggies with pita chips for scooping from the cafeteria for lunch.  Tomato, green bell pepper, corn, cheddar, and beans.

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Oats in a jar.  I dumped hot oats with chia seeds and pepitas into the last of the chocolate tahini.  Plus an ambrosia apple.

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With more chocolate for dessert, I snacked on a cookie dough bar and a latte.

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The cafeteria made a special Thanksgiving lunch.  I had veggie lasagna, stuffing, and green beans.

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Tuesday night – aka the first time Adam and I laid eyes on each other since last Wednesday! – we went out for dinner before making an overdue grocery run.  I got a chopped salad with green chili lime vinaigrette, roasted corn, cucumber, jicama, and tons of avocado plus blue tortilla nachos with black beans, serrano salsa fresca, and Oaxaca queso sauce.

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Post-dinner coffee to get me through Trader Joe’s.  The aged Sumatra is tasty.

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And the next morning I was able to get dinner going in the crock pot – cranberry bbq chicken that knocked our freaking socks off.  In a slow cooker on low for 8 hours / chicken breast / maple whiskey bbq sauce / fresh cranberries tossed with minced garlic and a bit of sugar.  I topped my bowl with some shredded cheese.

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Served with roasted green beans and pumpkin beers.

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I was the only RD at work on Thanksgiving and the day ended up being pretty exhausting.  Thankfully I already had planned the ultimate lazy dinner – nachos.  I kept things on theme though!  TJ’s turkey and stuffing kettle chips / cheddar, swiss, and gruyere / turkey breast / cranberry sauce.  With green beans in thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette.

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Served with – just under the wire – the last pumpkin beer of the season.

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Plus a nauseating amount of baking nibbles for dessert, we are doing a belated Thanksgiving with my in-laws this weekend and I’m bringing cookies.

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What’s your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dish?  I won’t judge you if you say nachos.