Cinnamon And Marshmallow In My Coffee

I have eaten some very yummy things over the past four days!  Adam and I both worked the holiday, but first we got to spend almost two full weekend days together!!!  Good times.

Things [literal things] that made me happy this weekend…

20170903_140713

Thanks to all of Target’s cheap “back to school” goodies, we have a jazzy new shower curtain and bedspread.

IMG_3262

IMG_3255

The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

IMG_3248

A Saturday trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Such a fun way to spend a morning.  We were expecting things to be sparse due to the season but there was still a ton of beauty to admire.

IMG_3232

IMG_3212

IMG_20170902_121016_342

As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

IMG_3188

This spiced apple bourbon hand soap is currently the best smelling thing in our house!

Culinary highlights…

I haven’t eaten anything apple yet but I did cram some pretty fall-forward flavors into my coffees.  Cinnamon.

IMG_3193

And toasted marshmallow.

IMG_3237

Though I also had a very summer-y Australian iced coffee with Wandering Bear cold brew and vanilla Curious Creamery ice cream.

IMG_3210

Cheddar-chive biscuit and a matcha iced latte at Annex.

IMG_3313

Brunch at Maison Premiere.  We had a pastry assortment that was out of this world.

IMG_3272

Maison Jungle Bird – Hamilton Black Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, Campari, and sugar cane.

IMG_3268

I had the duck confit hash with bell pepper and poached egg.  <– not as good as Colonie, sadly

IMG_3275

While at the Garden, we had lunch at the Yellow Magnolia Café.  (<– newest venture from the chef/owner of Wilma Jean)

IMG_3224

I had wonderfully crispy, lemony fried chicken.  Served with habanero honey, collard green slaw, and delicious wild rice.  I suspect that there was honey butter in the rice because I don’t even like wild rice.

IMG_3228

We took a long post-lunch walk for coffee and ended up also getting ice cream for dessert – blueberry with blue velvet cake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

IMG_3235

Friday night I met a girlfriend in the Lower East Side for dinner and drinks.  Sizzling noodles at The Tang.

IMG_3204

I ended up with way too much food because I also couldn’t resist the Chungking Express salad – romaine, soft-boiled egg, honey, black vinegar, and chili oil.

IMG_3200

How fantastically ridiculous are the drinks at Mother of Pearl?!  My daiquiri – with Campari, grapefruit, and rosemary tincture – was tasty to boot.

IMG_20170901_192405_547

We made an oldie but a goodie – buffalo blue cheese black bean burgers.  Served with raw carrots and celery the first night.

IMG_3246

Our citrus-y sip-while-you-cook line up did not contain any winners, we hated both of these drinks!  <– normally I wouldn’t include this in a “highlights” section but they both sound so good in theory that I wanted to make sure I warned you

IMG_3279

Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

IMG_3287

Pan-fried catfish!  I made a spice rub with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika and cooked the fish for 3.5 minutes on each side.  Drizzled with a lemon butter pan sauce.

IMG_3292

Plus sautéed collard greens with shallots, toasted coconut, and avocado (plus lemon, rice vinegar, and liquid smoke).

IMG_3299

Flavor themes of the weekend – Campari / eggs / coffee / collard greens.

Buffalo Chicken Ballyhoo

Is it seriously September already??  Actually, don’t answer that; if I think about how fast this year seems to be going it makes my head spin.  At least now it’s Apple Month.

Here were eight things from the end of the eighth month…

{1}  coffee excitement

A match made in heaven?  I put creamy pecan popsicle in my iced coffee.

IMG_3121

IMG_3112

The lattes at Black Brick are roasty and delicious.

20170830_143709

{2}  brunch at Loosie’s Café

20170830_130749

20170830_130731

20170830_123634

20170830_123707

This space was gorgeous!  I had a grains bowl with shitake and king oyster mushrooms, purple kale, quinoa, roasted beets, cucumber raita, mint, and a soft egg.

IMG_20170830_123932_419

{3}  “milk and cookies” at The Bedford

Adam and I split a The Dude’s Caucasian – house-made vanilla bean espresso vodka on the rocks with a drizzle of cream.

20170830_135041

And a Drunken Cookie – underbaked chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed injected with white chocolate.  <– omg

IMG_20170830_140538_309

{4}  lime, mint, and elderflower sparkling water

IMG_3170

{5}  Curious Creamery ice cream mix

Please note – this product was given to me free of charge to review.  I was not provided further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

It is mix that doesn’t require an ice cream maker, all you have to do is beat it with the milk of your choice and freeze.  It takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time, and we found the ice cream consistency to be enjoyable after 5 hours (and it continued to be good 48 hours later too).

IMG_3139

I used 2% cow’s milk but you can also use full-fat, skim, almond, etc – the mixes themselves are lactose-free and have no trans or saturated fat.  I made the vanilla packet plain – Adam thinks it tastes like marshmallows! – and the chocolate I mixed with dulce de leche and roasted pecans for a turtle sundae.

IMG_3149

We didn’t love the final product, but did quite like it.  I’d say the ice cream is better than 7-11 brand, Turkey Hill, or the no-name stuff at cafeterias; on par with most store-bought ice creams; and not as good as Ben and Jerry’s or the ice cream we can get at places like Ample Hills or Ice and Vice in the city.  If I’m living somewhere that isn’t NYC in the future I would definitely make it again.

{6}  the last of the seasonal summer beers

These ended up being two of my all-time favorite strawberry beers.  Shiner Strawberry Blonde / Saranac Strawberry Tart.

IMG_3185

{7}  out-of-this-world good buffalo chicken tenders

I base all of my “oven-fried” chicken on this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.  I used skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders and baked for 24 minutes at 425 degrees.  I mixed smoked paprika and cayenne in with my flour and used panko as my bread crumb.

IMG_3158

The final product was tossed with a mix of buffalo sauce, butter, and brown sugar.

IMG_3162

Paired with carrots and celery – steam/sautéed and finished with thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette – to keep the theme going.

IMG_3164

{8}  buffalo chicken and blue cheese cheese fries

Our leftover chicken got to participate in something magical – waffle fries baked with cheddar, blue cheese, and buffalo chicken on top.

IMG_3178

Have a great weekend.

Sandwiches And Scottie Dogs

Bites from this week…

I had an exciting product sample to review – Nocciolata Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread.  It’s organic, vegan, and made without palm oil.

IMG_3034

The spread tastes like Nutella but better – it’s creamier and the sweetness has less bite.  I ate many a spoonful this past week!

I also enjoyed it in an excitingly neon strawberry smoothie.  Frozen strawberries / pitaya / cow’s milk / chocolate hazelnut spread.

IMG_3086

And in yogurt bowls with Greek yogurt and a trio of plucots.

IMG_3038

Non-yogurt lunches came from the cafeteria (and were tasty as all get out).  Toasted sandwich – cheesy focaccia / mayo / spicy chicken / cheddar / tomato / spinach – with sweet potato fries.

IMG_3074

Bean and veggie quesadilla – with pinto beans / mozzarella / bell peppers / onions / corn / and tomato.

IMG_3069

This week’s work snack was candy – Japanese milk chews and black licorice.

IMG_3062

My coffee (former freebie) was 10/10.  This is less roasty than what I usually go for but still totally swoon-worthy, it isn’t the slightest bit bitter or sour.

IMG_3055

Adam was gone every night this week and I am unable to make myself adult if no one is there to see it so dinners were convince foods and/or nachos.

IMG_3060

I’m scheduled to work the next five days but feeding myself a vegetable is definitely job #1 for the weekend.

 

New Noosas

I’m free (again)!  After a short return to work I’m back on vacation for the next week, woo-hoo!

Honestly?  I need a vacation.  I was only back at work three days but I stayed late for more than an hour on Thursday and Friday and now I’m tuckered out.

Thankfully I had a few exciting things to get me through my week.  Like a luscious line up of fun new beverages: Black Hand nitro cold brew / Secret Squirrel Vietnamese iced coffee / La Colombe triple draft latte / Maeil caramel macchiato / Harmless Harvest strawberry coconut water.

IMG_2449

And an extra exciting package of product samples from Noosa.

IMG_2182

Noosa yogurt is already pretty much angel pudding, so when they offered to let me try their new line of Noosa Mates (yogurt with premium mix-ins) I jumped at the chance.

IMG_2458

They were even better than anticipated!  Loved them all.  I was happy with the portion of both yogurt and toppings and each one has between 240-270 calories.  Banana Chocolate Peanut with Guittard chocolate chips and salted peanuts.

IMG_2468

Honey cranberry almond with pepitas and granola.

IMG_2480

Coconut almond chocolate.

IMG_2511

Maple ginger with candied ginger and gingersnap crumble.  I wasn’t expecting to like this because I think that I think that ginger is too spicy, but it was delicious!  The candied ginger was chewy and delightful.

IMG_2535

Honey pretzel peanut.

IMG_2549

I ate some fun stuff on my free days too.  Like doughnuts (which were just awful, but how cute is that pink wall?!).

IMG_2489

And a trip to Red Hook.

IMG_2505

We had key lime pie from Steve’s.

IMG_2508

And crab sandwiches from Brooklyn Crab.  Snow crab roll with Cholula-orange aioli.

IMG_2499

Alaskan king crab roll with warm butter and chives.

IMG_2498

Plus cole slaw.

IMG_2502

And a  Passion Paloma with mescal, passionfruit puree, and grapefruit soda.

IMG_2493

Plus we stopped at Baked for coffee and brought home a grasshopper bar for dessert later in the week.

IMG_2544

After a long span of eating every meal out, I was excited to make us a fancy dinner.

IMG_2518

Smoked turkey kielbasa with onions and bell pepper.

IMG_2525

Plus pommes aligot <– super cheesy potatoes.  I loosely followed this recipe.  I had to lighten up a few ingredients to accommodate what we had in the fridge (less butter, 2% milk instead of cream, low-fat three cheese cheddar blend) and it was still insanely yummy.

IMG_2531

I served my leftovers piled all together in a bowl with smoked paprika maple mayo on top.

IMG_2538

By the end of the week I was so exhausted by my three days of work that I got Chipotle instead of cooking anything!  Rice / sautéed veggies / chicken / pinto beans / corn salsa / spicy salsa / sour cream / cheese.

IMG_2554

Have a great weekend!

Freedom!

IMG_2218

I’m on vacation!  Friday was my last day of work for 11 glorious days!  I prepped for vacation by eating all of the ice cream last week 🙂

For a work-week this past week was not a bad one.  Adam and I were off together on Wednesday and got do some Lower East Side wandering.  And over the weekend we did some Long Island exploring.  Plus I met with friends for brunch.  And ate all the aforementioned ice cream.

Last week’s flavor themes: (Stumptown) coffee // ice cream // cheese // corn // egg.  Highlights…

Brunch at The General Greene.  I had the farro bowl with pesto, roasted sweet potato, avocado, and a poached egg.

IMG_20170723_110039_569

Black Brick Coffee just might be our new favorite spot.  It’s a neat space and my Stumptown latte was ridiculously good.

IMG_2187

Trader Joe’s new coconut cold brew coffee is pretty tasty, especially with chocolate milk.

IMG_2147

Vanilla bean yogurt with blackberries, granola, and chocolate tahini.

IMG_2160

Plain Greek yogurt with black plum and Oreo cheesecake.

IMG_2235

Sandwich with curly fries.  Spicy chicken / mayo and mustard / lettuce / pickles.

IMG_2251

Because I don’t eat enough nachos at home, they were a special in the cafeteria this week.  Pinto beans and cheddar with olives, corn, bell pepper, and onion.

IMG_2157

Our Long Island exploration took us to both Farmingdale and Babylon.  We had a flight of craft beers at Lithology.  My favorite was the honey rye with rosemary, followed closely by the sour farmhouse ale.

IMG_20170722_140404_222

We also did lunch at Swell Taco.

IMG_2279

My burrito was giant and packed with grilled chicken, refried pinto beans, rice, veggies, salsa fresca, sour cream, and Monterey jack.

IMG_2282

I’ve seen multiple foodie instagrammers try to say that Ben’s compares with Levain <– NO.  PSA – this was not good.  These cookies were greasy and terrible and I threw mine out after two bites and still had a stomach ache.

IMG_2213

We checked out the Filipino goodies at Johnny Air Mart and snacked on calamansi soda and Polvorón shortbread.

IMG_2195

Bubble tea from Vivi.  Grapefruit Yakult with crystal boba and coconut jelly.

IMG_2289

Brigadeiro Bakery taught me that I actually don’t like ice cream as much as I think because apparently brigadeiros are my favorite dessert.  <– they are a condensed milk candy so that’s not that surprising

IMG_2219

Stumptown coffee soft serve with sprinkles and cookie dough at Scoops.

IMG_2173

Birthday cake soft serve with sprinkles at Milk Bar.

IMG_2208

Cookie dough with toasted coconut soft serve at Stew Leonard’s.  This was both the best soft serve and the best edible cookie dough we’d ever tasted.

IMG_2276

Sweet milk and browned butter pecan ice cream at Malai.

IMG_20170723_122951_836

BBQ chicken salads.  Baby romaine with ranch / cheddar / cucumbers / leftover cole slaw / shredded chicken with Korean bbq sauce.

IMG_2169

Bean and chicken bowls.  Sautéed onions and green pepper / cheddar / shredded chicken with cilantro sauce – cilantro, roasted jalapeño, canola oil, honey, and salt / pinquito beans from Susie Q.

IMG_2242

The beans were a kit sent to me to review.  They came with a premixed seasoning packet (mild red chili, onion, garlic, and select spices) so they were a snap to prepare, and much tastier than canned beans.  They kept their shape after cooking and were firm but not chewy or mealy.  <– I would buy these with my own money

IMG_2231

I know these eggs look god-awful, but they were amazing.  Scrambled with unsulfured chicken hot dogs / kimchi / and cheddar.

IMG_2286

Dinner at Colonia Verde.  This restaurant is insanely gorgeous, Adam and I were in heaven.

IMG_2252

IMG_2256

I drank the Patient Extra – Cachaca, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime, and citrus bitters, which was fabulous.

IMG_2261

And ate duck confit tacos and grilled sweet corn salad with carmelized pepitas, cotija cheese, and mint.

IMG_2267

IMG_2271

P.S. It’s my birthday today!!

IMG_2199

IMG_2201

IMG_2183

 

Tastes Like Summer

This post is a day late and a dozen pictures short, but I worked the weekend shift so it is what it is.  The good news – now this is a four day work-week with Wednesday off.  The better news – starting this Saturday I’m on vacation! <– I’m taking a looong, overdue break, practically three weeks off (I’m off two full weeks with a three-day week in between).

Here were the bite highlights from last week…

Soursop smoothie.  <– creamy, but not flavorful and not as exciting as I was hoping for

IMG_2086

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

IMG_2047

Nectarine Siggi’s with chopped angelcot (aka white apricot) and Heritage Flakes.

IMG_2065

Vanilla Greek yogurt with dulce de leche and blackberries and apricot.

IMG_2045

Pesto pasta from the cafeteria.  With peas, cheddar, and tomato.

IMG_2122

Drinkable vanilla Siggi’s / rice crackers / yummy Ruby cherries.

IMG_2096

I’m not even close to sick of watermelon yet this summer.

IMG_2078

If I had to pick a favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s this would be it.

IMG_2057

Crunchy cola marshmallows; I’m not sure how many other people would like these, but they are pretty much my new favorite thing.

IMG_2128

Curried cauliflower salad.

IMG_2028

I very loosely followed this recipe.  With uncured chicken hot dogs.

IMG_2037

I made the fanciest salmon dinner.  And it didn’t even take that long!

IMG_2110

Salmon roasted in thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette with roasted kumato tomatoes with balsamic.

IMG_2121

Miso-glzed radishes.  <– apparently we love radishes, who knew!

IMG_2115

Maple baked beans (pinto beans, maple turkey sausage, maple syrup, cayenne, red pepper, and more) and homemade cole slaw with golden raisins.

IMG_2135

With a s’mores beer to round out the campfire vibe.

IMG_2136

P.S. I’m turning 32 in less than a week, my birthday is next Monday!

Watermelon Week

I did not do the best job of capturing the past week – I have a whopping 3 photos from the past 7 days.  At least all three pics are of staple items and/or July 4th excitement?

{1}  Coffee!  (<– always coffee)  I am still loving my Whole Food’s dark roast.

IMG_2014

{2}  Cheeeeeeese.  My cafeteria has these cheese and cracker cups that are just the best thing ever on afternoons when I feel like I need a snack.

IMG_2020

{3}  I worked on the 4th but I still managed to have fresh watermelon watermelon seltzer and watermelon yogurt with berries and s’mores maple marshmallows.

IMG_2008

Better luck this week!