MadeMerry

I was not a stellar food blogger this week.  I had several work lunch parties and I didn’t take pictures then.  And it was a particularly heinously stressful work-week so adult dinners did not happen – one night I went out for drinks with a girlfriend, one night we ordered in pizza, one night I ate chips in bed and fell asleep fully dressed… you get the gist.  I do have photos of a fun box of samples and the exciting ensuing snacks!

IMG_5729

MadeGood reached out to me recently about trying their goods.  They are a certified organic company that makes granola bars, granola bites, and crispy treats.  Their products are vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and free of eight common allergens (dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, egg, fish, shellfish, and soy).  PLUS they are made with a vegetable powder made of spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shitake mushrooms and the granola products provide 20% of the RDA for vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, and E per serving.

IMG_5736

IMG_5743

Normally I am unmoved by snack items with “hidden” fruits and veggies – though I do totally understand why they can be helpful for picky kids! – but in this case I am 100% on board.  The MadeGood products all had a savory quality that made them completely addictive!  Adam and I both felt that the crispy squares were the best crispy treats we’d ever tasted!  And the granola items struck a good balance between chew and crunch.  In short – I am a new fan.

Snack attack highlights from the week…

Kanzi apple / chocolate banana granola bar / vanilla crispy square / kale chips / chicken Sriracha Epic bar.

IMG_5775

Strawberry granola minis / mixed berry granola minis / raspberry amazin’ raisins.

IMG_5831

Apple cinnamon granola minis / chocolate chip granola bar / seaweed snack / Pacific Rose apple.

IMG_5838

Malted milk hot chocolate (two pouches because I like my hot cocoa Turkish coffee style) / Lady Alice apple.

IMG_5814

I’m sad it’s my last week for eggnog in my coffee.

IMG_5800

But I did use plain skim in this Limitless Cold Brew so I could taste the vanilla.

IMG_5817

Some non-edible stuff {ranked from least to most exciting}…

It’s Christmas next week.

I am almost finished with Felicia Day’s memoir (and loving it) so I started watching her web-series The Guild and I’m loving that too.

Starting this morning Adam is on vacation for the next 10 days!

Next week is our ten year wedding anniversary!!

I am off part of next week too so we can celebrate together!!!

Winners And Losers

I ate some really yummy prepared foods this week but I did not do so hot cooking my own meals.  I had the day off on Wednesday and I spent most of the day cooking/baking and it did not go well.

I tried to make Oreo marshmallow peppermint magic bars.  No.  I ended up with a molten stew of brown gook.

IMG_5212

I couldn’t feed this to anyone but it actually did taste delicious and I did scoop a serving into a jar to eat with yogurt.

I also spent several hours making brown stock and then lentil and tortellini soup.  This venture at least looked like food but it tasted like… nothing.  We ate Chipotle bowls for dinner.

IMG_5229

Here were some of the things I ate that did work —

This work lunch looks unassuming but it was truly one of the best things I’ve eaten in months.  Vanilla bean Greek yogurt with cranberry relish and maple + almond butter granola.

IMG_5151

 

 

Plain Icelandic-style yogurt with cookie sludge, a SnapDragon apple, and La Colombe.

IMG_5219

 

Cherry vanilla Chobani with golden kiwis and Heritage Flakes.

IMG_5140

Some of my snacks were fairly fantastic as well.  Seaweed salad.

IMG_5157

Turkey jerky.

IMG_5189

Carrots and garlic hummus.

IMG_5181

Kombucha.

IMG_5199

Coffee Chai tea.  Good Earth offered to send me a sample and since chai is my favorite tea and I love coffee I accepted.  It was delicious!  Just a bit spicy and roasty.  I drank a cup at work instead of a 2nd coffee a couple of days and did not resent it.

IMG_5137

Hershey’s caramelized creme gold bar with peanuts and pretzels.  It was so interesting and tasty, way more complex than a regular Hershey bar.

IMG_5240

Treats at Vanilla Bean, our new favorite Long Island spot.

IMG_5207

I had a Nutella-studded brownie and a delicious iced latte.

IMG_5210

I may not have cook-cooked dinner but my throw-together dinners were good.  Trader Joe’s frozen section did not let me down.

IMG_5185

Fish sticks with roasted green beans and blue cheese and spicy cocktail sauce for dinner.

IMG_5196

I also made great “Thanksgiving leftovers” baked sandwiches.

IMG_5162

Sourdough, sliced smoked turkey, cranberry relish, mayo, and lots of Kerrygold Skellig sweet cheddar.

IMG_5175

With burnt broccoli that still wasn’t terrible.

IMG_5167

Please cross your fingers for no more kitchen disasters for me!

Thanksgiving Week

I always have a lot to feel thankful for and last week was no exception.  With working two weekends in a row and Turkey Day my schedule worked out perfectly for lots of fun free time with the husband!  We had a great time in the city on his post-call day and were able to drive to Pennsylvania Thursday evening to spend the holiday with his family.

IMG_5058

Highlights…

Fancy coffees –

IMG_5052

Noble Tree iced latte at Nickel and Diner.

IMG_5044

Stumptown Winter Cheer.

IMG_5092

Vietnamese cold brew.

IMG_5104

Fun city restaurants –

IMG_5034

Supermoon Bakehouse!

IMG_5018

IMG_5012

So cool.  We tried a banana split sundae twice baked croissant – caramelized sous vide whole bananas, banana caramel sauce, creme patissiere, and chocolate almond creme, topped with chocolate fudge, banana caramel, dehydrated banana, gold leaf, and torched meringue.

IMG_5021

And a Golden Boy Doughnut – golden turmeric brioche filled with mild chocolate salted caramel, rolled in sugar and topped with a chocolate shard – aka the best doughnut I’ve ever eaten.

IMG_5026

Crazy good ramen at Ganso.  A girlfriend and I went after work one night and it was so fantastic that I went back with Adam the next day!  The first time we shared blistered shishito peppers.

IMG_20171121_163253_915

And I had triple shrimp ramen – with shrimp paste chicken broth, thick Sapporo noodles, chili-fried shrimp, dried shrimp, garlic chives, and moyashi sprouts.

IMG_20171121_163055

The second time we had wings and beer.

IMG_5062

IMG_5067

And I had the Tori Shio – Japanese sea salt-chicken broth, toothsome Tokyo noodles, crispy chicken thigh chashu, ajitama egg, and greens.

IMG_5071

On-theme eats –

20171122_122748

Pumpkin yogurt with Heritage Flakes and a mini pumpkin persimmon.

IMG_4967

Fruit and nut yogurt with toffee bits, pecans, and orange raisins.

IMG_4999

 

A pre-holiday plate on Tuesday night.

IMG_4979

Crock pot cooked turkey, Trader Joe’s cornbread stuffing, cranberry dressing, and roasted green beans.

IMG_4994

Plus a cranberry beer!

IMG_4989

Our Thanksgiving tradition…

IMG_5074

Stuffing nachos!  With turkey, cranberry, and lots of cheese.

IMG_5095

Plus broccoli that I pretended was green beans.

IMG_5075

My actual Thanksgiving plate.

IMG_20171124_164654_341

Our contribution to the meal was peanut butter, butterscotch, toffee candy.

IMG_5087

Have a great week!

20171122_112517

It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Thanksgiving

Adam and I both worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday so I don’t have a lot to share.  THREE  exciting things: this weekend I…

{1} Made an on-theme Thanksgiving time dinner and ate it with the last pumpkin beer of the season.

IMG_4948

Chicken cooked in the crockpot with Korean bbq sauce and fresh cranberries / on a bed of roasted shredded brussel sprouts and cabbage.  Plus I went back and added melted extra-sharp cheddar on top, which was perfect.

IMG_4957

{2} Discovered the best ice cream flavor ever.

IMG_4958

{3} Dyed my hair purple!

IMG_4937

IMG_4916

A Week Of Splendid Sandwiches

Can I really use that title in a week without a single grilled cheese or lobster roll?  I did have some exceptionally above-bar poultry-based sandwiches.

The winning ‘wiches…

Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant is the best sandwich of all time.  Adam and I waited for it with baited breath this year.

IMG_4867

The seasoned croissant is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing!

IMG_20171114_160635_733

Flip Bird at the Ashland does a damn fine chicken sandwich – pulled chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and crispy skin.

IMG_20171115_122351_142

And my homemade toasted sandwich dinner was nothing to sneeze at.

IMG_4882

Sourdough / Applegate Farm smoked sliced turkey / 4 year aged cheddar / smoked maple mayo (olive oil based mayo, maple, liquid smoke, smoked paprika).

IMG_4894

With roasted zucchini on the side.

IMG_4889

Other fun stuff…

Vegan eggnogs in my coffee.  Adam really enjoyed the TJ’s almond milk version but I remain loyal to Silk.

IMG_4814

Here’s my current holiday stash, so exciting!

IMG_4822

Amazin’ Raisin sent me some samples to review.  The fruit-flavored raisins contain three ingredients – California raisins, citric acid, and natural fruit flavors – and are packed with flavor but no artificial sugar or sulfur dioxide.  Adam and I have both been really enjoying them.  So far his favorite flavor is pineapple and mine is watermelon.

IMG_4835

Some key work eats included raisins and a Larabar.

IMG_4843

And blackberry Siggi with holiday grapes and a maple maca bar.

IMG_4854

Really, the best dinner of the week was movie theater pretzel bites with fake cheese.  We went to see Thor: Ragnarok and split our sides laughing.  Our AMC has extra-wide seats that fully recline so the whole experience was really nice.

We also went gaga for these scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_4847

They were crazy flavorful and satisfying.  I topped mine with mayo and Sriracha.

IMG_4861

With baby carrots and potato snacks for an appetizer for crunch.

IMG_4839

A girlfriend and I met for a mid-week dinner at Bricolage and were both big fans.  Sriracha butter wings to start.

IMG_4874

And we both had pink drinks!  She had the pink soda salted lemonade and I picked an option with a cute name that I can’t remember where you pick a spirit and let the bartender go crazy.  I said “vodka, no ginger” and ended up with something delicious with raspberry and lime.

IMG_4873

My caramelized shrimp claypot was 10/10.  Georgia white shrimp, vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, and chili paste with rice to soak up the sauce.

IMG_4880

Enjoy your weekends!

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.