It’s So Cold Outside!

Some highlights from this week include…

A very-berry smoothie. Frozen triple berry blend plus grapes, chia, brown sugar, and ube flavoring.

Some exceptionally good bars (plus mandarin oranges). Both were filling, sweet but not saccharine, and had a nice chewiness. 10/10, would buy both again!

Fun lattes from Grind House. This was raffaello-inspired, with coconut and white chocolate.

Still on my take-out sandwich obsession. This was a bbq chicken crunch wrap.

Homemade pasta. Whole-wheat spaghetti with sautéed mushrooms and ground turkey with smoked paprika, mace, and garlic plus sour cream and parmesan.

Taco night. Seasoned ground turkey on flour tortillas with sour cream and Whole Foods’ roasted chipotle salsa (our favorite). Plus tiny tomatoes and roasted cauliflower.

Breakfast For Dinner And Flowers For Lunch

Some highlights from the past week…

Ben and Jerry’s new tiramisu ice cream is 10/10.

Caribbean-inspired snacks. Guava paste + mozarella cheese. And hibiscus things.

Breakfast for dinner. Avocado toast (on rye, with turkey bacon) and fruit salad (blueberries, strawberries, mandarin, and banana). Plus a Bloody Mary! P.S. No, this single slice of toast was not enough dinner. I had other items planned but I had my cocktail before I started cooking and I ended up eating the tiramisu ice cream instead!

Big salads. Trader Joe’s herb salad mix with balsamic fig dressing, baby corn, blue cheese, peanuts, chickpeas, and ground black garlic.

Pasta night. Udon noodles with sautéed shitake and oyster mushrooms with cream cheese, lemon, and gojuchang; topped with kelp granules. Plus roasted baby cauliflower.

A take on okonomiyaki with roasted cabbage and turkey bacon. Topped with Sriracha, Kewpie, furikake, and bonito flakes.

Nut Butter Cups

Highlights from a low-key weekend…

I made a peanut butter iced latte!

Strawberry cheesecake oatmeal bowl with cream cheese and caramelized bananas.

Yogurt bowl with cinnamon, coffee cake, and blueberries.

Snack highlights; sweet.

And savory.

Our Whole Foods’ hot bar is rarely open so when it is I impulse buy all the things.

Two kinds of takeout sandwiches (brisket grilled cheese with mushrooms on sourdough // chicken panini with truffle artichoke spread) with two kinds of carrots (sautéed with celery // raw baby carrots).

Mint, Matcha, Meatball

For a week of easing back into real life from vacation the past 5 days weren’t too bad! I even managed to cook a few dinners. That said, work has been insane and I am not sad that I’m heading into a three day weekend!

Highlights from the past week include…

Coffee combo – Hudson Roastery with sweetened condensed milk.

See also – we are head over heels for this dulce de leche instant coffee.

Really enjoyed this energy tea; I’ve been loving mint drinks since December.

See also – we made green Thai tea iced lattes.

We also made fruity matcha spritzers. Matcha with key lime La Croix and fresh lime and orange juice.

Berry (beary!) milkshake – Thai tea ice cream mochi blended with vanilla almond milk and frozen strawberries and grapes.

Yogurt bowl – vanilla yogurt with peanut butter, chia, and granola.

These apple pie rice cakes have milk powder in them and a great sweet/savory thing going.

Vegan pepperoni-inspired jerky + everything seasoning chickpea snacks. Both were good but not my favorite. But a nice snack paired together.

Layered halvah. P.S. We also bought halvah-crusted pecans and they were insane.

Leftovers and lettuce wraps converged for the perfect dinner. We used butterhead lettuce to wrap ground turkey sautéed with gojuchang with celery, peanuts, quick pickled cucumber and carrot salad, and pickled radish. Plus leftovers from great take-out we got over the weekend – kimbap and Korean fried chicken.

It’s possible we over-purchased fried chicken… we snacked on it all week long!

A quick and easy dinner – chicken burgers from the freezer with sautéed bell peppers and green onion, mashed avocado, a fried egg, and fantastic hot sauce from back home.

The best dinner of the week/month/new year! I made buffalo chicken meatballs (with ground turkey since we were shopping during a winter storm, hot sauce, cream cheese, and blue cheese) with sautéed carrot and celery, and homemade garlic bread (garlic, butter, spices, and tons of parmesan baked on everything ciabatta rolls).

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas…

…And we made the most of it with tons of decadent and/or on theme snacks! I worked the holiday weekend but Adam and I were both off Christmas Eve so we got to spend time cuddling the dog, took a trip into the city to enjoy the light display at Hudson Yards, and drove around our area in the evening admiring decorations. Highlights included…

Peppermint cold brew with eggnog.

Stumptown’s salted maple iced latte.

This layered red and green smoothie was more successful in flavor than artistry. Ube, strawberry, grape layered with matcha banana.

The fanciest yogurt bowl – plain skyr with cinnamon, chia seeds, strawberries, nougat halvah, and chestnut paste!

Green juice and a candy cane.

Mint sparkling matcha.

Eggnog iced matcha latte.

Is there anything more luxurious than freshly made fruit salad? This was golden pinepple, strawberries, and mandarins.

This crab dip was a 6.5/10 but these crackers were a 9.5/10.

Peppermint chocolate crinkle cookie from Chip.

Repeat of my two new favorite beers. Cinnamon marshmallow cola sour ale from Evil Twin and an eggnog double IPA from Abomination Brewing.

Lunch at Dante in the West Village. It was worth sitting outside on one of the coldest days of this month! We split steak with salbitxada and a baby kale salad with beats, butternut squash, goat cheese, and hazelnuts. Plus fancy cocktails.

Avocado toast plus a quick pickled cucumber salad. Toasted sourdough, mashed avocado, a fried egg, and chili flakes.

Sautéed cabbage with peanut lime sauce and five spice candied peanuts (very loosely based on this recipe).

Roasted brussel sprouts (with chili flakes and smoked paprika) plus Christmas nachos! Kettle chips with extra-sharp cheddar, green onion, and duck sausage.

Earl Grey Of Sandwich

Highlights from this weekend include…

Chia pudding with eggnog and cinnamon and fresh strawberries.

Comfortland‘s eggnog croissant. <– my favorite seasonal item of this year

Earl grey pour-over coffee.

Topped with cinnamon vanilla ube cold foam.

See also – a delicious slice of ube tres leches.

Fries with spicy tuna salad, chili flakes, green onion, and furikake.

We have a loaf of Trader Joe’s sliced sourdough in the house so I, of course, planned sandwiches for every dinner! Maple smoked turkey with cheddar and honey mustard. Plus lemon mustard roasted green beans (roasted green beans tossed in honey mustard, garlic oil, and lemon juice).

Roast beef with cheddar and horseradish mayo. Plus roasted zucchini and smashed potatoes with garlic oil, cheddar, and paprika.

I didn’t mean for this plate to be so yellow, but it was the best meal of the week! Golden pineapple / roasted orange cauliflower / soft scrambled egg sandwich with tons of smoked salmon salad.

Festival Of Latkes

Happy Hanukkah to my readers who celebrate! Highlights from this week include…

My new favorite citrus – Kishu Mandarins. They are as juicy as they are small and adorable.

Fat Orange Cat double IPAs.

The most “me” beer I’ve ever purchased – Evil Twin’s cola sour with marshmallow and cinnamon.

A fun thing for this December – we bought a marshmallow advent calendar. Our first two flavors were cranberry and maple pancake.

My parents sent us an assortment of mint candies, including homemade buttermints!

A take on the New York Times’ cheesy white bean bake – I added shredded chicken, onion, chili flake, and urfa pepper.

Trader Joe’s cheese blintzes. Topped with cranberry sauce and a brown sugar vanilla yogurt sauce.

Chicken burger, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and Trader Joe’s latkes and cauliflower latkes.

Takeout from Roast – chicken taco sandwich / roast beef melt / crispy chili brussel sprouts – with leftover latkes.

With Cranberry On Top

What an odd-feeling week; Adam and I came back from vacation and then immediately both went to work on Saturday, then it was a holiday week which always feels special even though we both worked, and tomorrow we are heading to Pennsylvania for a belated holiday celebration with all of my in-laws. But first, tonight we are meeting out of town friends for Her Name is Han, which should be quite fun.

Highlights from the week include – mostly things that were on-theme!

I want to say I don’t have a limited/seasonal release item problem but this year I stockpiled things that were on-theme for Thanksgiving, so you tell me. My Christmas collection is also pretty robust.

I needed special coffee to ease back into work so I pulled out Hudson Opera House Espresso beans from our last trip to Hudson Roastery.

Perfect Bar’s new chocolate toffee flavor was yummy (still can’t compete with the cookie dough one though).

See also – I liked Barebell’s holiday crisp even better. I couldn’t totally identify the flavor profile – coconut? – but it was creamy and delicious.

Yogurt bowl. With pumpkin seed butter, cranberry sauce, and maple and almond butter granola.

Peanut brittle Reese’s?! I actually loved these (still not as good as the pretzel cups!).

Homemade bbq turkey and black bean chili. Topped with cheese, cranberry sauce, and Trader Joe’s hot and sweet jalapenos.

Plus herbed stuffing veggie chips.

Salads. Sweet baby lettuce with black garlic balsamic vinaigrette, Trader Joe’s maple roasted almonds, smoked turkey, and roasted butternut squash.

Plus a mix of stuffing chips; we much preferred Trader Joe’s to the Whole Foods version.

Nachos! Stuffing chips with cheese, cranberry sauce, and smoked turkey.

Calamansi, Chestnut, Coconut, Cookie

Highlights from this past workweek – – –

Yogurt bowl with blackberries and a salted caramel cookie.

Best (non-coffee) drinks of the week – calamansi sparking water (7/10) / lemon rose sparkling tonic (9/10) / imperial IPA (8/10)

A new-to-me apple variety – Senecacrisp.

I had an evening appointment in the city and I got to check out Marvelous by Fred and their Merveilleux (aka floofy piles of whipped cream and meringues). I tried coffee and seasonal chestnut.

I enjoyed these vegan ice cream bites even more than I was expecting to; something about the chocolate was very satisfying.

These smoky, crunchy yellow peas are also pretty addictive.

BBQ rice bowls – brown basmati rice / sautéed kale with yellow onion and passionfruit vinegar / roasted zucchini / ground turkey with bbq sauce, Korean chili flake, and brown sugar / avocado.

Leftover rice stir-fried with garlic, evoo, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and Sichuan pepper salt / with turkey summer sausage / green onion / a gourmet mushroom blend / kumato tomatoes / and egg.

P.S. By the time you read this we will be on vacation! Adam and I have seven straight days off together!! Woo-hoo!

Spooky Season

It was a nice, Long Island weekend! We tried several new-to-us spots and went to Farmer’s Markets in Huntington and Port Jefferson.

I kicked off Pumpkin Month with a pumpkin pie soda taste-test at work! We were split 50/50 on liking it or not (not for me but it was fun to try, fyi).

Also new cookies and scream m&m’s. Again, split, my coworkers who really like m&m’s at baseline thought they were great.

And Adam and I kicked off spooky season with a trip to GHOST brewing.

Bougie green juice – pineapple, ginger, lemon, cucumber, kale, and mint.

We made a baby iced matcha with salted maple cold foam.

Blackberry jam stuffed doughnut.

Yogurt bowl with honey, jumbo blueberries, coconut, and sweet and spicy pecans.

Tiny cucumbers with buffalo chicken dip.

Macarons from Crave – Oreo and peanut butter cup.

Ridiculous scrambled eggs with butter, cheddar, gouda, leftover roasted squash, urfa chili, and gochugaru.

Whole Foods hot bar – salmon, cauliflower, broccoli, mac and cheese, and roasted butternut squash.

Chicago dog from Rock City Dogs, with crispy fries.

Plus I got a pumpkin ale with an amazing cinnamon sugar rim.

Best meal of the weekend goes to dinner at Ella’s. Great pizza! Tell All Your Friends – roasted Japanese eggplant, marinara, ricotta, garlic confit, mozzarella, and pickled fennel // Dark Side of the Moon – smoked duck, brie cream, caramelized onions, and mozzarella.

Plus inventive cocktails, I had a cherry coke with vodka, bitters, and fernet and a smoked tequila with coffee and grapefruit.