(Winner, Winner) Chicken Dinners

Did this weekend feel far too short for anyone else??!  I’m working next weekend – and expecting horrid snow on Tuesday – so maybe I just had a lot of emotion riding on this free time.

We did manage a fair amount of productivity and fun – taxes were filed, groceries were replenished, and we spent a great evening with my cousin and her boyfriend.  They were only in Manhattan for a couple of hours but we managed to give them some good New York fun – drinks/games at Barcade and bbq at Blue Smoke.

If this post had six points my bbq dinner feast would have been #1, but since I didn’t bother with pictures while company was in town, here were the weekend’s top five…

{1}  Marshmallow flavored popcorn.

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It was yummy, and a little bit pink!

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{2}  This week’s coffee combo – chicory coffee and chocolate milk.

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{3}  A random lunch assortment – chocolate peanut butter packet, strawberry lingonberry yogurt, an apple, and a pink lady apple flavored kombucha.  The kombucha was my favorite component.

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{4}  Take-out galore.  Garlic fries, fried ravioli, southwestern salad, boneless wings, blue cheese, and honey bbq wings.

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{5}  An Asian-inspired dinner.  Scooped up with tortilla chips.

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Bok choy and edamame sautéed with garlic and soy sauce.

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Red curry chicken salad made with shredded chicken breast with mayo, red curry, red bell pepper, shallot, and toasted coconut chips.

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Brunch At Queens [blank]

In spite of the bitter, freezing cold, I spent my weekend appreciating Astoria.  I drove in Saturday and Sunday for two (cheese-packed) brunches.  Plus yummy post-brunch iced lattes – always iced, always – at Kinship and Gossip.  Finally, I did some expensive but adorable shopping at Lockwood.

Queens Kickshaw.  We started our meal with a gouda grilled cheese – brioche with gouda, pickled jalopenos, guava jam, and black bean hummus.  Such a good combination of flavors!

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I had an interesting cocktail with vodka, apricot liquor, golden raisin shrub, and orange bitters.

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And mac and cheese with broccoli pesto on the bottom and an egg on top.  The pasta was ridiculously good, but actually the best thing on the plate was the side salad; the salads were perfectly dressed rainbow chard with herbs.

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Queens Comfort.  We shared a King Kong Doughnut to start – banana bread with peanut butter topping.

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My friend and I both ordered the fried green tomato benedict – fried green tomatoes on a buttermilk biscuit with spinach, hollandaise, hot pepper jelly, and poached eggs.

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Back at my Queens apartment, I served a dinner and dessert worth noting.  Shave-ice style yogurt bowl – plain Greek with condensed milk, sliced banana, Frosted Flakes, and a few Luxardo cherries.

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Pasta bowls with torn lasagna noodles, tuna, roasted zucchini, and a sauce with gojuchang, brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce.

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4 x 3 = 12

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snack, here were my top three eats for this week…

breakfast{1}  The 2nd best* thing I ate all week – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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Café du Mondé coffee with chicory from our trip to NOLA with sweetened condensed milk.  Yum City.

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b{2}  A killer smoothie.

How pretty is this purple??  Frozen soursop and blueberries with cow’s milk and vanilla pudding mix.

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b{3}  Double chocolate oat bowl.

Oats, chia, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

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b{warning}  Do not recommend: this oatmeal drink box.

The flavor was way too artificial.  Adam tried a plain one and loved it so it’s probably the caramel flavor that’s the problem.

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lunch{1}  Cafeteria sandwich.

Turkey and cheese.  I mostly prefer to pack lunch for work but I hate trying to pack sandwiches so this is a great cafeteria option when I’m in the mood.

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l{2}  Yogurt bowl.

Coconut Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit is this year’s new favorite combo!  I snacked on the vanilla granola and chocolate coconut milk on the side.

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l{3}  Baked potato bar.

I topped my spud with cheese sauce, salsa, black beans, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

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snack{1}  Caffeine overload.

Iced latte with chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Full disclosure – I drank a sugar-free Red Bull around this same time and spent an hour or two pretty sure I could hear colors.

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s{2}  Cheesy bagel.

I toasted half a poppy seed bagel with butter and cheddar-gruyere/parmesan-gouda.  Eaten while prepping dinner because I just couldn’t wait.

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s{3}  Yogurt bowl with my favorite citrus.

Maple yogurt with Heritage Flakes.  Plus a Sumo Mandarin.

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dinner{1}  Let’s be real, the very best* thing I ate this week was nachos.

Four-cheese nachos with black beans and roasted garlic salsa.  Duh.  But no photo because we ate them in bed in the middle of the day (<–fabulous) and my main focus was on keeping them away from the dog.

d{2}  Gojuchang turkey rice bowls.

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Brown rice with cilantro, lime and butter / roasted cabbage / ground turkey sautéed with spring onions and cilantro and a sauce made out of gojuchang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / black sesame seeds and lime juice on top.

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d{3}  Cheesy eggs.

A scramble with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda.  Plus baby carrots for a quick veggie on the side.

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d{warning}  Do not recommend: the altered quinoa soup I blogged about last weekend.

I see why Cooking Light only used a quarter cup of grains, by day 2 our leftovers were very well-hydrated quinoa with not a drop of broth to be found.

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Coffee, Doughnuts, And Quinoa

Adam and I had the morning off together on Friday and we used the time for another sunrise bridge walk – Queensboro Bridge.

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3 down {Williamsburg Bridge} {Brooklyn Bridge}, and 1 to go {Manhattan Bridge}.  Perhaps in the summer we’ll reverse it and walk out of Manhattan at sunset.

After the bridge, we wandered around the Upper East Side and in and out of Central Park and ended up walking more than 8 miles (<–awesome).  The weather was so gorgeous I wore flip flops for the first time in months (again, awesome) and unfortunately now my calves are killing me (<– not awesome).  I’ve been limping for the past two days!

On the food front, here were my top three favorites…

#1 – breakfast pastries

We tried new treats at two new spots and they were reeeeeeally good!  At Padoca Bakery, brioche – chocolate and dulce de leche swirl and guava and cheese swirl.

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At Orwashers, we had a doughnut injected with strawberry preserves, which was good, and a chocolate almond croissant which was the single-best pastry I’ve ever eaten.

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You have to have coffee with doughnuts.

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The lattes at Bluestone Lane are divine.  We went to the UES location that shares space with a stunning church.

#2 – a new snack

I pack Adam crunchy chickpeas for work all the time and this Korean BBQ flavor is my new favorite thing.

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Related – Sumo Mandarins are officially my favorite fruit of the year.  They are always juicy and tart, and so easy to eat – they’re a snap to peel and have no seeds!

#3 – quinoa soup stoup

I got the idea from Cooking Light; you cook the quinoa in the broth with the other components so it comes together very quickly.

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For my version I used carrots, red bell pepper, celery, onion // s&p, turmeric, smoked paprika, celery seed // shredded turkey breast // 1 cup quinoa // low sodium chicken broth.

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Since I used more veggies and quinoa mine came out thicker like a stew.

This upcoming week I’m looking forward to: a fancy coffee combo this morning, watching the newest undercover episode of “Bones,” and having Thursday off of work.

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!

 

Warm Weekend Winners

It was 50 degrees outside this weekend!  Twice!!  I had an absolute blast pulling out my flip flops and spring jacket.

Conveniently, my favorite things from the past three days make one complete day’s worth of meals…

{coffee}

Maple Shay, a nonfat iced latte with maple syrup from Brooklyn Roasting Company.  I need to put maple into more of my lattes, it really is fantastic.

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{breakfast}

Brunch at Colonie.  I had the dandelion greens salad – with walnut, anchovy, tarragon, parsley, and a poached egg.  It was actually kind of terrible, beyond bitter, but thankfully Adam shared his duck hash with me.

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And dessert was good!  Eggnog panna cotta with bourbon and blood orange.

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{lunch}

Whole Food’s hot bar.  Clockwise from the bottom left – macaroni and cheese, buffalo-style seitan, roasted squash, roasted carrots, and honey Sriracha brussel sprouts.  Whenever I hit a hot bar I try to pick a protein, mostly veggies, and the cheesiest starch available.

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{dinner}

Tandoor Chef recently offered to send me some free-product coupons so I could try their frozen entrees.  I’ve loved their Pad Thai for years so I readily accepted.

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Adam reports that his chicken tikka masala was loaded with meat and that the sauce was creamy and well seasoned.  My channa masala was tasty as well, and quite filling; there were 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber for a 380 calorie serving.

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I served our meals with roasted broccoli with green onion, gojuchang, and black sesame seeds.

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{dessert}

Cake batter Cookie DŌ.  Ready-to-eat dough with white chocolate chips and sprinkles.

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{I love New York}

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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!