Insta Vacation Highlights

Last week was perfectly relaxing bliss, I could not have asked for a better vacation!  Adam and I were thrilled to get to go home [St. Thomas, USVI].  I had time with the husband, friends, and family / I watched some of my favorite people get married on a beach in St. John / I ate tasty things / I stuck my toes in the sand and swam in the ocean!

We flew in and out of JFK to get home which meant sneaking in a little NYC visit as well  – we had just enough time for two fancy dinners and brunch with city friends.

The fun is fairly well-documented on my instagram but here are some highlights of the highlights…

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If I had to pick my top three sips/bites they’d be…

{1} Roasted baby carrots with harissa hot honey, peanut dukka, and hibiscus yogurt from Freek’s Mill.

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{2} A snow cone with tamarind and dulce de leche.

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{3} A salmon patty from the spot near the airport.

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Back to the grind.

Let Them Eat Cake

I am going on vacation next week and I definitely already have vacation brain!  The past 7 days I’ve done barely any cooking and taken barely any photographs of what I have been eating.

Here were five great highlights…

{1} Cake in all forms!  Billy Idol Cake from Paradox, aka white wedding cake with lemon curd.

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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{3} I have come around to Adam’s point of view that Sicily Rose makes the best lattes in Charlottesville.  Their fancy espresso machine is key.  Four shots on ice with skim milk in a small cup is 100% perfect.

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{4} Poblano x2 pasta bowls.  Trader Joe’s creamy chicken poblano ravioli with celery, poblano pepper, and TJ’s turkey summer sausage sauteed in a butter.

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{5} We finally made it to Lampo and it lived up to the hype.  The Fungi pizza was downright decadent; Sharondale Farm pioppini and oyster mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, panna, aged provolone, grana padano.

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Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

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Cavolo Nero – Tuscan kale, candied almonds, ricotta salata, golden raisins, pickled mustard seed, apple cider vinaigrette, crispy parsnip.  This was the best dish of the meal.

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Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

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And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

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P.S. I will not be blogging from vacation – though I will share some fun on instagram – so I’ll see you guys after St. Patrick’s Day!

Smoky Salsa Sustenance

This was a good week in home-cooking!  And snacks.  And ice cream.  Highlights include…

Tortuga coffee with half and half.  I brewed it with a bit of vanilla bean powder.

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These peanut butter cookie dough protein bars are legit.

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We roasted Japanese yams with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika and they were delicious; just amazingly creamy.

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Trader Joe’s honey hedgehog butter cookies.  Just a little bit savory and sweet.

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Freeze-dried banana slices.

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These Jalapeño Popper Turkey Burgers are one of the best recipes on my site.  With roasted broccoli.

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Okonomiyaki!  With purple Japanese yam, roasted green cabbage, and green onion.  Topped with Kewpie and Sriracha.

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Plus Thai iced tea on the side.

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We made the best tacos I’ve ever eaten, hands down.  Filled with a loose take on this slow cooker chicken taco recipe.  We used chicken thighs, taco seasoning, paprika, garlic, lime, serrano pepper, sweet onion, and red and yellow bell pepper.

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Topped with cheese, sour cream, and a loose take on this smoky salsa roja recipe.  We used extra chipotle and subbed in lime and brown sugar for vinegar and molasses.

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IPAs on the side.

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For nacho night we baked our flour tortillas into chips.  Topped with cheese, sour cream, homemade salsa, and black beans sauteed with green onions and serrano pepper.  Plus a side of roasted green beans.

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Happy weekending!

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Send Nood(le)s

Dinners this week were all about the pastabilities!  <– I’m done now, I swear

Homemade shrimp Pad Thai.

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Buffalo chicken baked pasta.  With ground chicken sauteed with buffalo sauce / riced cauliflower / celery and yellow onion / and sweet red cheddar, smoked cheddar, and blue stilton!

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Pasta pie.  A mix of TJ’s squid ink spaghetti and zucchini noodles baked with parsley, triple cream brie, and eggs, plus some panko on top.

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Snack attack.  The Chobani Gimmies line is still rocking my face off.

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img_3297Do I have enough liquids within reach to get me through dinner prep?  Sadly I found the milk stout to be too sweet for my tastes, but the can was just adorable.

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Thai iced tea win.  The tea drops were super easy/quick to use and the packets of sweetened condensed milk make my heart happy.img_3216img_3226Yogurt with sumo mandarin, honey mango, and candied walnuts.img_3258A “tasting plate” success – chicken nuggets, cheese, and baby carrots.img_3251

 

Double Bacon Cheese Beyond Burgers

My trip home last weekend was perfect and we survived “Winter Storm Gia” this weekend… 2019 is looking like my year.

Highlights from week 2 include…

Iced coffee with black walnut extract and sweet cream creamer.

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Stumptown cold brew coffee box.

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Who knew that Perfect Bars were so freaking delicious?!  This peanut butter chocolate chip one was basically cookie dough.

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Stonyfield chocolate yogurt pouch (7/10), a Kiku apple (8/10), and a chocolate peanut butter filled Clif bar (9.5/10).

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I brought these yummy coconut candies back from St. Thomas.

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Shiner S’more is officially my new favorite beer.

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Guzzled while assembling everything but the kitchen sink cookies with caramel, kettle chips, toffee bits, caramel chips, and chocolate chips.

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This quickie packaged foods dinner was sooo good.  Chicken and cheese pupusas + bbq chicken chips + roasted broccoli + Trader Joe’s Zhoug sauce.

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I have an unhealthy obsession with the “Asian” section of Wegman’s hot bar.

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We made insanely, over-the-top, decadent double cheese burgers with Beyond Burger patties.

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Two patties on a brioche bun with mayo, turkey bacon, and smoked cheddar slices.  Plus kettle chips and veggies from the Whole Foods’ hot bar – curry caulilini and roasted rainbow carrots, mushrooms, and root vegetables.

img_3144Then later in the week we did a similar thing with Boca Chick’n patties.

 

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We made killer sheet pan hash browns.  Potato, sweet potato, purple sweet potato, olive oil, smoked paprika, green onion, turkey bacon, and red, yellow, and orange bell pepper.

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Topped with Zhoug and fried eggs.

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Hello, 2019

Highlights from the new year…

The 454 Horse Power coffee from Kicking Horse is roasty and smooth.

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I bought these Chobani Gimmies products because I’m a marketer’s dream but I ended up being shocked by just how much I loved them.  Marshmallow yogurt!!

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Chewy things.  Cow Tales are one of my favorites and the honey nougat from Trader Joe’s wasn’t bad either.

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This No Resolutions IPA from Bronx Brewery was very on the nose for January 1st drinking.

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We made crock butter butter chicken.  I loosely followed this recipe except that I used chicken thighs, added tomato paste, and used way less butter.  Served on top of a blend of cauliflower rice and broccoli rice.

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We finally tried the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and now I totally get the hype.  Served with swiss chard, lemon brown butter sauce, and 2 fried eggs on top.

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P.S. I’ll be taking a blog break through the weekend.  My uncle passed away over the holidays and I’m heading home for a few days to be with family.

Goodbye, 2018

We finished out 2018 with some fun – a three-day weekend anniversary trip to NYC!

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Favorite Friday activity = Checking out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market.

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Favorite Saturday activity = Meeting up with friends for lunch + dinner and a long walk through Brooklyn in between (Park Slope,  Gowanus, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Dumbo).

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Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

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Favorite breakfast = Croissants at Cafe D’Avignon in Dekalb Market Hall.  They are the best in the city and we’re obsessed.  The coffee isn’t bad either.

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Favorite lunch = Ramen at Chuko.  I had the sesame garlic ramen with woodear mushroom, spicy mustard greens, and scallions topped with poached egg, fried tofu, and garlic chili oil.

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Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

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Favorite dinner = Oxomoco.  We told the waitress to stop us if ordered too much – she didn’t but I’m not mad!  The tamarind orange margarita was good.

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The Rosita – mezcal, sherry, grapefruit, and hibiscus – was even better.

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The caesar salad with wood fired romaine and cotija masa crunch was the best I’ve ever had.

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Masa fried cauliflower with black mole, butternut squash crema, pepitas, and oregano.

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Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

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Tlayuda Oxomoco – camote, quesillo, pipian, pomegranate, and brown butter. <– Adam’s favorite dish of the night

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Chicken al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple, crispy skin, and salsa morita.

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We powered through two desserts because we knew they’d be amazing.  Oaxacan chocolate cake with coffee ice cream, cajeta, and walnut crumble and black sesame curd with black sesame crumble and pasionfruit raspado. <– my favorite dish of my life

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Hi, 2019!

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