My True Love Gave To Me…

Three peppermint snacks, two cocktail ingredients, and a yogurt with passionfruit in it!

Three (festive) things from this weekend…

I’m very into this fancy, dessert-y yogurt brand.

A peppermint-focused work snack. I forget every year how tasty the chocolate mint Perfect Bars are.

Coke didn’t release their cinnamon cola this season so I made my own boozy version.

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.

One Last Week Of Apple Month

Highlights from the past week included…

Over Easy apple cinnamon breakfast bar.

A yogurt bowl with Trader Joe’s honeycrisp apple cinnamon Greek yogurt. Plus granola nut butter, granola, and fresh bluberries.

My mom sent me a giant box of apple cider caramels for Apple Month! The spiced apple pie and apple brandy flavors were my favorite. I brought in a bunch for my coworkers and they loved them too. (Sidenote – they had no idea what Apple Month was. And when I brought in brownies for Rex Manning Day they had never heard of Empire Records, so they’re on thin ice!)

We finally got to try the much-lauded chocolate-stuff croissant from Lafayette Bakery.

Also treats from La Cabra. A rye and lemon tart and a cardamom twist.

And we had a fantastic lunch date at Yellow Rose. We shared chips and salsa.

A mezal margarita.

Sherry Cherry Coke, coca cola with sherry and jammy sour cherries.

Beef tacos.

Buttermilk chicken salad with Ruby Frost apples, pecans, and celery on Texas toast.

Rainbow, Sprinkle

Highlights from a quite tasty weekend —

Whistle and Fizz. We got a black sesame latte and a yuzu mint lemonade.

Fantastic espresso pain au chocolat from Librae Bakery.

Banana bars. I hated the Misfits one (I tried another flavor from them and hated that too, will not buy again) but loved the Bob’s Red Mill.

Tuna snack plate. Crackers, bell pepper, and a packet of spicy thai chili tuna.

Our first trip (of hopefully many!) to Lady Wong. We loved the coconut pandan steamed rainbow cake.

More rainbow – I added sprinkles to my epic Hanoi Dessert Shop sundae. Bright Eyes: vanilla soft serve, hot fudge, egg custard, chocolate sesame crunch, and Vietnamese coffee over crushed ice.

Cheese plate dinner! Mini brie / bell pepper / feta dip / cheddar crisps / seasoned pretzels / chocolate sea salt almonds / beef bacon / apple pie rice cakes / extra-sharp cheddar / smoked almonds / crackers / dried apples.

Plant-based chicken tenders plus chicken-based chips with roasted green beans and honey mustard.

A feast at Au Za’atar. We shared fried halloum with garlic, honey, and olive oil.

Plus Dalaa Mahshi, braised lamb shoulder with seasoned rice. The meat was amazing, particularly when paired with the complimentary pickles and garlic tahini.

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.

Eat Nice

Some things from the weekend…

Yogurt bowl. Plain Greek with maple, chia, praline pecan granola, and chopped aprium.

10/10 loved this new flavor from Over Easy.

On the other hand, this is a reminder for myself to stop buying this Oreo coffee because I do not like it. It tastes like a watery Oreo with no coffee whatsoever.

This Whole Foods almond milk ice cream was pretty good but not as good as non-vegan ice cream.

A breakfast bowl cheese fry situation. Trader Joe’s seasoned fries with mozarella, soft-scrambled eggs, roasted zucchini, and chicken breakfast sausage.

Chinese take-out!

So much Chinese take-out. Bok choy and mushrooms, fried tofu, sesame noodles, and a cheeseburger egg roll.

Mostly Bowls

Highlights from the past week include…

Dark roast coffee with ube condensed milk.

A loaded yogurt bowl – plain Greek, Mid-day peanut butter chocolate square, doughnut peach, aprium, praline pecan granola.

Cosmic Crisps are my new favorite apple.

We did not enjoy this key lime sour, but I am posting a photo as a reminder to Adam and myself because it so seems like something we would like.

On the other hand, we loved the flavor profile and political stance of this Greenpoint IPA.

Typically I don’t buy vegan ice creams but these bites are pretty satisfying.

Our favorite sheetpan hash – roasted Japanese sweet potato, bok choy, and green onion; topped with smoked salmon candy and roasted Norwegian salmon. I also added tons of Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.

Big summer salads. Local lettuce, honey mustard dressing, baby tomatoes, roasted corn, baked tofu, and homemade croutons.

Best bowl of the week – sauteed cabbage, snap peas, baby tomato, and green onions, with chicken maple breakfast sausage, peanuts, Korean chili flake, Sichuan pepper salt, and a nuoc cham inspired sauce.

Tons of Roast take-out – chicken taco sandwich, fries, buffalo-style roasted potatoes – plus roasted purple cauliflower.

Tres Leches Latte

Such a good week of meals! Highlights include…

Coconut tres leches iced latte! Espresso with a blend of coconut milk, condensed milk, and half and half. I was making a rose coffee syup at the same time so I went ahead and dyed it pink!

Yogurt bowl. Plain Greek with chia seeds and strawberry jam, yellow peach, passionfruit, and praline granola.

My birthday is this weekend so these felt appropriate. We have loved every single thing we’ve tried from Made Good.

Boozy grape slushie – grape soda ice cubes blended with vodka. <– my best idea of the summer

A take on callaloo. Collard greens, turkey bacon, and crab meat cooked with coconut milk, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, and chili flakes.

Adam paired his with rice like an adult and I paired mine with pizza like a winner.

Creamy, spicy, peanut noodles. Ramen noodles + stir-fried cabbage and red bell pepper + a sauce with cream cheese, peanut butter, and gojuchang.

I gussied up store-bought marinara to make a delicious meat sauce – turkey bacon, ground turkey, onion, chili flake, urfa pepper, fish sauce, and tons of garlic. Served on Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocci with a side of garlic bok choy.

We also used meat sauce on homemade pizza. Plus sauteed broccoli with butter, chili flake, and garlic.

Aloe, Banana, Congee

Highlights from this past week include…

I made my first ever loaf of banana bread! I added tons of coconut caramel jam to a traditional recipe and we loved it.

See also – banana bread cubes on a Greek yogurt bowl with nectarine, cinnamon, and honey.

This bar + coffee combo was a 10/10. I also ate a mini York with it – perfection.

See also – I made a mint syrup for my iced coffees this week and it was great in this iced matcha latte.

Sooo many snacks! The highlight of which was these crab roe flavored broad beans. They were the perfect amount of crunchy and the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

See also – aloe drink and my two favorite seltzers.

Tyger leftovers (sauteed water spinach and pad see ew) stir-fried with eggs and peanuts. The leftovers were mind-blowing so we clearly need to go back ASAP.

I made fantastic brown rice chicken congee. Filled with chopped chicken thighs and spicy chopped kale and red chard. We topped our bowls with peanuts, green onions, and chili crisp.