Semi-Vacation

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Adam has been on vacation for the past two weeks which means that, even though I’ve been at work most of the days, it feels like I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks.  Nice!  Husband time is the best and getting to see him immediately before and after work (versus him going in while I’m asleep and coming home after dinner is made) is better than any white sand beach.

I mostly spent the past week making googly eyes at Adam.  But also, per usual, we walked and ate a ton when I wasn’t busy at work.  Here were the top ten eats for the week/end…

{1} Caramel coffee at home.

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{2} Coconut coffee from Konditori.

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{3} Brunch at Colonie.  Duck hash for two.

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With aioli, a poached egg, and the best fried potatoes.

{4} Drinks at Grand Army.

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The best round included this Under the Sea – Batavia Arrak agricole rum, navy-strength rum, absinthe, cinnamon, coconut, lime, and blue curacao.

{5} Fruity beers at home.

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We recently discovered that we adore New Belgium and their watermelon lime ale did not disappoint.

{6} Key lime pie.

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Adam explored the North Fork one day – and loved it – and brought me home some of the best pie.

{7} Mamey ice cream.

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I made a sundae with maple peanut butter, granola, and sprinkles.

{8} Ice cream with apple cider caramel.  Ample Hills is celebrating Roald Dahl this month.

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Enjoyed September 1st to celebrate the first day of Apple Month.

{9} Buffalo chicken quinoa bowls.

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I stirred sautéed onion, carrots, and celery into quinoa and topped it with fancy blue cheese and buffalo chicken dip.

{10} Seafood extravaganza at Littleneck.  We shared lobster and crab rolls.

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The very best dish of the night was this charred broccolini.

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With anchovy, lemon, and chili flakes.

{bonus} Dinner at Oiji.  I didn’t take a single picture but Adam and I enjoyed one of our favorite meals of all time there.  Among other things, we had a transcendent mushroom salad and honey butter chips that blew our minds.

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A Bunch Of Brunch

Chameleon’s Mexican coffee was delightful with a bit of milk.  Related – I am in physical pain that I can’t find the Texas pecan near me.

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Iced coffee is always good though.

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This cup from Colonie was knock-your-socks-off good.  There must have been a nitro tap somewhere because it was crazy velvety.

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I went for brunch with a girlfriend and we were both blown away by my duck hash.  With poached egg, red potatoes, roasted onion puree, and aioli.  I’m usually not that excited by potatoes but these were crispy perfection.

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Afterwards we went to Grand Army and had {too many!} drinks.  We practically tried the whole cocktail menu and everything was fantastic!

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Brunch numero dos at Tocolo Cantina.  I had the mushroom taquitos – crispy tacos filled with roasted mushroom, corn, and Chihuahua cheese.

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This cafeteria lunch wasn’t too bad either.  My wrap sandwich had grilled chicken, cheddar, veggies, and cilantro.

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Date shake smoothie.  Plain Greek yogurt, vanilla almond milk, ice, dulce de leche, and fresh dates.

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Lavender caramel.  I brought these back from my Philly trip and I wish I’d bought more!

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These leftovers eggs were better than they look.  With chicken hot dog, baby spinach, yellow bell pepper, and gouda cheese.

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A 2nd home-cooked dinner in one weekend?

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These – only ok – salmon patties came from the freezer, but I did make the tartar sauce.  Mayo, mustard, pickle relish, and dill.

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And I assembled the salads myself.  Romaine, ranch, heirloom baby tomatoes, pistachios, and an amazing blue cheese from Trader Joe’s.

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Duck, Duck… Bacon!

This week Adam and I tried duck bacon and fell head over heels in love.

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It’s probably a good thing that that package cost $14 or we’d be eating duck bacon for every meal!

Our other flavor theme was lavender caramelized almonds.

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Love Our Nuts sent me a giant bin (<– free sample) and I put them to good use.

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In a pan over medium-high heat dry toast 2 cups of raw almonds for 2-3 minutes until starting to brown.  Add 1 Tbsp evoo, 2 pinches of salt, and 1/4 cup lavender sugar and cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring regularly, until the sugar is fully melted and the almonds are coated.  Spread almonds on a greased cookie pan or sheet of tin foil until fully cooled before storing.  If you want to try this recipe at home Love Our Nuts is actually hosting a giveaway right now, all you have to do is visit their social media pages.

I also had a lavender doughnut from Doughnut Plant.

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For this week’s coffee I cold brewed my Birch cold brew blend.

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The tasting notes say caramel and chocolate finish so I stirred a dollop of caramel into this cup because why not?

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I also had a really fantastic latte from Gorilla.

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And a Starbucks latte that didn’t actually pair that well with savory trail mix.

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Yogurt bowls for lunch.  Plain Siggi’s with chopped plum and lavender almonds.

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And fig with chopped plucot and KIND maple chia granola.  Plus a so-so kombucha from Trader Joe’s.

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Chocolate x2.

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A coworker and I got tasty drinks at Grand Army after a particularly long day.  This Trans-Siberian tasted like an adult Capri Sun!  I also had a fantasmic peach sour beer.

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The night Adam was at work I ate Mexican leftovers in bed.

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But the other nights were duck bacon extravaganzas!

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Like this duck bacon, double cream gouda, and egg toasted croissantwich.

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Served with a spinach salad with lavender almonds (dressed in evoo and lavender honey and lavender salt!).

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Killer cheese plate.

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Envy apple, baby carrots, orange and yellow bell pepper, lavender almonds, duck devils on horseback, gouda, and sharp cheddar.

Have you tried duck bacon yet?

Queens International

NYC readers – did you march/attend Pride Parade yesterday??  It was my weekend to cover work but I did manage to snag some on-theme treats (x2).  And we didn’t have the energy to do much dinner cooking but we did have amazing Asian food in Queens (x2!).

Thursday through Sunday I worked every day but one so I’ve been drinking all of the coffee.  Thanks to caffeine, this post is mostly a complete recap, I think I’m only missing one meal from each category.  Here’s what I’ve got…

Seriously, all of the coffee.  Always in the morning and a few times as an afternoon snack as well.  Highlights include a latte from Hungry Ghost and a cold brew from Starbucks that I ordered full-strength (usually they add water).

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With yummy bars.  Coconut Chocolate Chip.

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Caramel Almond.

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A creamy tropical smoothie.  Frozen mango, guava paste, avocado, and vanilla almond milk.  I used a whole avocado (split into two servings) and I think next time I’d only use half, the creaminess was great but the flavor was a bit much for me.

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Doughnut Plant‘s Pride doughnut = yeast with raspberry glaze.

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Yogurt bowl.  Strawberry lingonberry with real berries and Heritage Flakes.

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Trail mix bags.  The standout ingredient was cinnamon roasted chickpeas.

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Mini peanut butter cups (x ten thousand) make the afternoons seem less lengthy.

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Sandwich and fries on a busy day.  I was worried about mealy tomatoes when I bought this but they ended up being roasted and the chew and smokiness totally made the sandwich.  There was a nice layer of spinach on there too, it was actually a pretty sandwich.

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Salad / mac and cheese / hardboiled eggs.

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Another Pride treat, from Ample Hills.  In a cone with oatmeal lace.

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The Queens International Night Market was fun, like a smaller, more focused Smorgasburg.

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We split a taro shaved ice with mango, scm, boba, and mochi.

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I had a very disappointing duck bao.

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And Filipino tacos that were absolutely one of the best dishes we’ve ever tasted.  Chicken sigsig, crispy shells, and lemon mayo.  They were such a pleasing mix of textures and flavors!

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The Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens is basically just the storefront version of the market.  I want to try something in practically ever window we walked by!  I loved what I had too.  Bahn Mi at JoJu.

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My “Hot Chicken” had grilled lemongrass chicken with spicy mayo and kimchi, plus pickled vegetables, and a soft cooked egg.  And for $5.99 it was giant, that picture only shows one half!

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And afterwards we walked to Red Ribbon Bakeshop.  The Ube Overload cake was gorgeous but bland and the Halo Halo was fantasmic.  Shaved ice with various sweetened beans and fruits, milk , leche flan, and whipped mango topping.

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My only “homecooked” meal was basically an assembly of parts but I ate chips and dips and three day old roasted broccoli for dinner while I wrote this post so I’ll pat myself on the back for it.  Plus it was delicious.

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Potato and onion pierogis with tons of roasted zucchini, tossed in a sauce made of cream cheese and chicken stock, topped with hot smoked salmon.

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I only work four days this week thanks to the weekend shift, woo-hoo!

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It’s All Greek To Me!

My four-day workweek helped ease me back into real life after vacation.  I was also assisted by copious amounts of sugar, coffee, and alcohol.  And thanks to the holiday, next week is short too, wahoo!

daytime eats

Cereal and milk coffee.

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Coffee, Fiber One bar, Pink Lady apple.

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Latte and a tangelo.

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We got to sample some of the new desserts that are going to be sent up to patients on their birthdays.

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And our cafeteria’s brownies are always to die for.

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I don’t even really like brownies but these are terrifically fudgy.

Loaded veggie pizza.

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Cafeteria-assembled Mediterranean salad.  Romaine and ranch topped with marinated cucumbers, taboule, chickpeas, and cheese; plus a falafel, pita chips, hummus, and a pickle.

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Oatmeal with chocolate hazelnut butter and a side of fresh melon.

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This was my first time trying steel cut oats and I really enjoyed them.

nighttime eats

Leftover pineapple turkey chili pulled down from the freezer.

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Topped with pickled jalapeños and apricot stilton.  With buttered toast and a side of baby carrots and hummus.

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I was majorly thanking my past self for saving some chili for a future quickie dinner.

Scrambled eggs made for another easy night.

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Filled with broccoli, cauliflower, shredded chicken breast, and three cheese blend.

Mediterranean salad at home.  My cafeteria version was good but this was the better of the two; the crispy chickpeas took it to the next level.

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Baby romaine with TJ’s feta dressing / roasted zucchini / hard-boiled egg / crispy chickpeas / taboule / and feta cheese.

TJ’s chile relleno with cheesy eggs and buttered toast.

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This was an arbitrary assortment of foods but it worked.

Adam brought me home a giant salted caramel macaron from our favorite spot in Grand Central Station.  He was on an “away” rotation at NYU that ended yesterday so this was the last of the midweek Manhattan treats.

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I paired a cocktail grapefruit with a sticky toffee beer that was only so-so.

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And chocolates (nonpareils and dipped gummy bears) with a Dino S’mores Imperial Stout.

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Never mind the fact that the label is a mouse in a dinosaur costume making a s’more (<– !!!!!), this stout is brewed with graham flour, fluff, vanilla, and cocoa nibs, and it tastes like a freaking toasted marshmallow.  ♥♥♥♥

P.S. Have you seen the Tatum on Tatum episode of Lip Sync Battle?  I laughed so hard I’m pretty sure I scared the neighbors!

Weekend Highlights… A Bevy of Beverages

notable snacks – –

Froyo again.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.

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Plain tart and Nutella yogurts with Nutella, mini peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered pretzels, and rainbow sprinkles.

Pizza-pizza.

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Buffalo chicken.

We bought the new brownie batter Oreos.

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Pretty good, especially when you smush two together for a double-stuffed.

Fresh mint in bubbly seltzer is delicious.

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Best of all the many, many beverages we enjoyed this weekend.  There were also several iced coffees that didn’t make the photos cut.

Long Island City – –

Saturday morning I picked up a very tired husband from a long shift at work,

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and we finally hit up LIC Flea and Food.

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We got mac and cheese and chicken empanadas.

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And a Nutella gelato and macaroon ice cream sandwich from Bakeshop by Woops.

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We explored LIC a bit with a walk on the waterfront.

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A stop at the gorgeous newest Sweet Leaf location for an intensely creamy Vietnamese iced coffee.

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And finally a flight of beers from Rockaway Brewing Co.

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#2, 4, 7, & 8.  We were very impressed.  The cream ale was the best.

Williamsburg – –

Matchabar.

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Iced matcha on fresh watermelon juice.  It was good, but not something I’m dying to go back for again.

On the other hand, lunch at Meatball Shop will be repeated very soon.  I need to make an ice cream sandwich.

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I got the jello shot special – Jack and Rosé.

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And chicken meatballs with pesto.

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They were served on an assortment of veggies – fennel, salad with apple, roasted squash, cucumber, and fresh green beans – that were tasty but literally dripping with oil.

a doggy date – –

On Sunday Webster took his first ride on the subway.

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We went on a family trip to Central Park!

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He was a total trooper for 3 hours of walking around the park.  We cooled down with a honey iced tea,

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and a double caramel Magnum bar.

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And some of us had bowls of water that we stomped in and spilled all over the place.

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Webster was beyond tuckered out when we got home and spent most of the rest of the day curled up in my lap!

homemade Korilla knock-off bowls – –

I made knock-off chicken and rice bowls and the husband said I did as good of a job as Korilla!

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  • brown rice with chopped kimchi and turkey bacon
  • roasted broccoli
  • quick pickled carrots and cucumber
  • chicken that was marinated in Gochujang paste, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar
  • shredded cheese and a fried egg on top

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So good.  I am excited for the leftovers.

My Year Is Off To A Good Start

enjoyed all week

Coffees.  Also naps.

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Apparently my parents wore us out; I had a to take a nap before I could make dinner the first three nights of the week.

Diet chocolate soda from Polar.

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I know it sounds a little strange but we were fans.

Our leftovers from The Smith.  Eaten cold while standing in front of the open fridge.

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My mac and cheese was fantastic leftover and so was my mom’s Mexican corn.

A big box of free samples {free as in provided free of charge / no other compensation for this post / yada, yada } from Super Seedz.

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I wouldn’t have thought of pumpkin seeds as a favorite of mine but I’ve loved all of the flavors we’ve tried so far.  Flavor options include: Really Naked, Sea Salt, Cinnamon & Sugar, Coco Joe, Tomato Italiano, Curious Curry, Somewhat Spicy and Super Spicy.  They pack a nutritional punch – see the infographic (provided by the company) below – and Super Seedz are allergen friendly – peanut-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, soy-free and made with gluten-free ingredients.

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breakfast

After we dropped my parents at the airport on Monday, Adam and I went on a doughnut(plant) and coffee date before work.  Because apparently we hadn’t eaten enough crap over my birthday weekend.

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My strawberry-filled vanilla got two thumbs up.

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As did my maple latte from Gorilla.

Coco pumpkin seeds and cold-pressed watermelon juice.

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TJ’s came through on this juice, it was wonderfully refreshing.

Chocolate-cherry smoothie.

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Vanilla almond milk with coco powder, frozen cherries, and dates.  I enjoyed this combo and want to make it again soon.

Snack plate.

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A cheese stick, cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds, and a medley of grapes.

lunch

Chocolate chip cookie oats.

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With an apple and coco pumpkin seeds.

Sweet and spicy tuna salad.

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With grapes and cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds.

I didn’t have to provide my own lunch the rest of the week!  I attended a lunch-and-learn on malnutrition in surgical patients on Tuesday.

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They gave us education, salad, and yummy sandwiches with hummus and roasted eggplant.  And I mainlined coffee (with tons of milk and cream) when I got back to my desk.

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On Thursday the hospital threw an employee appreciation bbq.

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Very sweet!

dinner

Pizza, pizza.

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We used TJ’s frozen crusts and were so impressed with how they turned out.  Topped with marinara, mozzarella, and tons of garlic and onion sautéed mushrooms.

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Plus super simple salads on the side.

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Just arugula blend with ranch dressing.  They were a bit depressing.  But we also had beer.

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I carried this Southern Tier Compass all the way back home from Buffalo but unfortunately it was a bit hoppy for our tastes.

Burger night.

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I made my Buffalo Blue Bean Burgers.  They don’t look like much but this is one of my best recipes!

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With a trio of roasted veggies: Brussels sprouts, green beans, and broccoli.

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Served with maple bacon kettle chips, aka my favorite chips because they are the best chips of all time.

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They were doing a promotion and handing out mini bags at my railroad station and it was very exciting.

Last night I met up with a girlfriend for dinner in Brooklyn.  We checked out Elbow Room, the mac and cheese window at Morgan’s BBQ.

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Milk stout.

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Old School Mac – NY state sharp cheddar, béchamel, and garlic breadcrumbs.

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With collard greens that were spicy and vegetarian.  Dinner was good but dessert was better.

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Salted crack caramel and honey peanut butter ice creams from Ample Hills.  But they were supposed to have key lime pie ice cream available and they didn’t so now I need to go back immediately and it’s a problem.