Boozy And Frothy

An eclectic but wonderful line up of things from the past week…

Late July street corn seasoned tortilla chips. Good but not great, I would buy them again but definitely wouldn’t eat them with salsa.

I am glad I bought these mini bottles of insanely flavored whiskeys from Skatter Brain because the resulting cocktails were perfect. Sidenote – I learned while writing this post that that is how you pluralize whiskey.

Birthday Cake Shake – Vanilla cake whiskey vigorously shaken with amaretto, fresh orange juice, sugar, and an egg white.

P.S. I used my egg yolk to make a fantastic mug brownie. I topped it with Ben & Jerry’s newest flavor (vanilla ice cream with salted caramel, graham cracker swirl, and cookie dough) and swooned.

Peanut Butter and Jellies – Peanut butter whiskey (plus a bit of vodka for balance) with blueberry jam, Luxardo cherry, and strawberry seltzer.

Related – I love passionfruit and this Truly hard seltzer was just great.

Roast take-out sandwich (bbq brisket with onion rings and jalopeno slaw on a pretzel roll!!) with a mountain of roasted green beans.

Spicy salmon sushi bake that we adored. With leftover brown rice and a blend of canned and hot smoked salmon. Plus a cucumber salad.

Best meal of the week – Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza (yum!) / sauteed bok choy / homemade turkey meatballs with panade, hoisin, and gojuchang / homemade Sriracha mayo and dumpling sauce (yum!).

Fellow Northeasterners, stay warm this weekend!

Sweet Potato

Weekend highlights…

The best vanilla iced latte we’ve ever had from Cafe d’Avignon. It was sweet and roasty and perfect and full of vanilla bean flecks.

Take-out dinner. Fries and a spicy chicken biscuit from Sweet Chick plus roasted cauliflower and garlic green beans from Whole Foods’ hot bar.

Dinner out at Kyu. Hamachi with ponzu, basil, and mint.

Tuna crispy rice.

Japanese sweet potato with butter and black sugar. <– best thing we ate all weekend

Beef tenderloin with garlic soy butter and housemade kimchi.

Burnt end style duck.

And a Lowrider cocktail with mango infused tequila, amaretto, almond, mango agave syrup, and orange bitters. The amaretto seemed like it was clarfied; this drink was so unique.

P.S. No photos but we also went on an epic bar crawl! Highlights were – Doctor Daniel the Milky Cola from Bandit’s, gin, rum, mezcal, scotch, coffee liqueur, chocolate, vanilla, walnut, angostura, lemon, and a coke on the side AND the hibiscus limeade with vodka and grapefruit soda from Pokito.

Sunday Sips

Things from the weekend…

Sparkling coffee soda (4/10).

Orange Squeeze Ollipop (5/10).

Arizona Lemon Hard Iced Tea (8/10).

Delicious crab dip with baby cucumbers. Also chips and bell pepper.

Veggie bowls. Roasted Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch mix and red onion / red bell pepper, chopped baby cucumber, and edamame / chopped smoked almonds / sauce – crunchy peanut butter, miso paste, soy sauce, maple, lemon juice.

See also – leftovers stir-fried with ramen, eggs, sesame seeds, and Sriracha.

Oahu 2.0

This week’s eats were like a mini vacation; the highlights were mostly things we brought back from Hawaii!

Coconut creme coffee with coconut cream. The cream was a terrible idea – it was too fatty and it clumped in the cold coffee – but the coffee with plain skim milk was dreamy.

Local jellies.

I made a yogurt bowl with passionfruit butter, banana, and vanilla almond granola.

And a killer drink with guava jelly, vodka, lime, and ginger seltzer.

The last of our 7-11 candy stash. The creamy peach seeds (basically candied peaches with li hing) were my favoite.

I didn’t bring this jelly sake drink back from Hawaii but that is where I discovered them. So thrilled to have found them close to home now too – they are definitely in my top five favorite drinks. They are sweet and fizzy and loaded with jelly (think grass jelly consistency from boba shops).

Finally, this dinner has nothing to do with Hawaii but it was too good not to share. Roasted riced cauliflower / locally made lamb sausage / topping made with deglet dates, pistachio, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and parsley.

When In 2023

Typing that year still throws me! I’m sure I’ll adjust by next November!

Some highlights from the weekend…

Starbuck’s iced espresso with their new pistachio cream cold foam. I’m a fan.

I liked not loved this new (to me?) cherry cola Olipop flavor.

Also new to me – Fonio chips. With caramelized onion dip.

Delicious tiramisu affagato from White Noise. We had forgotten how cute/wonderful it is there.

Adam and I had a great dinner at When in Bangkok. This was tequila, triple sec, and guava juice with a Thai-style chili salt rim.

We shared Giaw Tod – fried wontons stuffed with fish balls and served with a spicy tamarind sauce.

And Chinese broccoli with garlic, chili, and a fermented soy bean sauce.

I ordered the Pad Thai special that came topped with jumbo prawns and wrapped in an egg net. I also stole some wonderful bites of Adam’s Tom Kha and chicken Pad See Ew.

Our leftovers made the perfect easy Sunday dinner!

Hello, 2023

The year’s been good so far! I started my 1/1/23 with a quick run before work to get things started on the right foot and had cold brew with sweetened condensed milk next for a sweet year. <– I made those traditions up but I love them. I also worked several lucky-for-the-new-year foods into our meals this week – cabbage, greens, noodles, and black eyed peas.

Highlights from the 1st week of the year included…

Coffee from Hawaii.

Surprisingly wonderful mochi doughnuts from Paris Baguette. The cinnamon one was stuffed with red bean.

Homemade popcorn with butter, furikake, togarashi, white sesame seeds, and salt/sugar.

Another hit from my favorite beer company (Abomination Brewing). This marshmallow IPA was great, though not as good as Fog Nog. I drank it on a date walk with Adam to get froyo topped with marshmallows, so that was perfect.

We also enjoyed this Mai Tai inspired sour from Mast Landing.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve by eating tons of Chinese take-out and falling asleep before 10pm (my very favorite way to spend NYE!). Zouji Dumpling House is my new favorite Chinese spot – we ordered a million things and loved it all. This leftovers dinner plate was scallion pancake / house chili oil / pan-fried lamb dumplings / veggie dumplings with cabbage, radish, and rice noodles / dry stir-fried cauliflower with onion, pepper, and garlic / Kung Pow chicken / and a scoop of sourkraut for luck.

Our favorite black-eyed-pea salad. With Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, Crystal hot sauce, and diced green bell pepper. Plus some roasted baby cauliflower.

Whole-wheat vermicelli noodles with zoodles, shredded chicken, and nước chấm. Topped with Sriracha.

Congee (brown rice cooked for an hour and a half in turkey stock) / layered with collard greens sauteed with green onion and ginger / and ground turkey sauteed with white onion, garlic, and Korean pepper / topped with chili crisp and green onions.

Popeye’s take-out with roasted broccoli from home. Biscuit, fries, nuggets with great sauces, and some of the best mac and cheese I’ve eaten in the States! Is Popeye’s my favorite restaurant? I want to be embarassed to be considering that but I probably should be more embarassed by the fact that this wasn’t the only time I ordered this this week!! The nuggets are shockingly good leftover.

Merry And Bright

Highlights from a very festive Christmas weekend…

Peppermint pour-over coffee with egg nog cold foam.

Dalgona iced coffee with eggnog.

Red and green yogurt bowl. Trader Joe’s eggnog Greek yogurt with kiwi, raspberries, and vanilla granola.

Holiday special scoops from Odd Fellows Ice Cream. Buddi’s Spaghetti Sundae – maple ice cream, chocoalte cookie crumbs, mini marshmallows, m&m’s, sno caps, and corn nuts / Moose Nog – egg nog ice cream with fudge swirls and peanut butter cups.

Seasonal brews from Ardent Brewing. The gingerbread was perfect, not too spicy at all, and the Fog Nog is truly my all-time favorite beer/alcoholic beverage/beverage in general. 15/10.

A very close 2nd all-time-favorite is Leyenda’s Candy Striper – a frozen delight with cachaca, coconut, vanilla, lemon, peppermint, maple, and cardamom.

We went to their Sleyenda holiday pop-up for seasonal drinks and a wonderful dinner (it was too dark for photos but my shrimp arepas were amazing). I also had a Reindeer Games with tequilla, cachaca, banana, honey, maple, lemon, pine, and bitters.

Chinese take-out from Blue Wave. I got fantastic veggie stir-fried udon. Also the best scallion pancakes I’ve ever eaten.

Red and green salads. Red leaf lettuce with homemade ranch, red bell pepper, fresh mint, a soft-boiled egg, and a garlic and herb lobster cake (frozen, from Luke’s via Whole Foods).

Red and green rice bowls. Brown rice / sauted bok choy / sourkraut sauted with gojuchang and sugar / soy marinated eggs.

P.S. I am off of work most of this week, which is just lovely! I sipped a fancy coffee while I wrote this post!

(Raise The) Bar Food

Highlights from the past week…

This week’s eggnog plus coffee we brought back from Hawaii.

Sugar cookie kefir from Lifeway. Good, though not as good as I thought it would be.

Cosmic Crisp apple. It was good but hard to describe, somehow firm and juicy but not crispy?

Mountain Dew’s fruit cake soda is my new favorite mixer! Downright delicious with spiced rum.

This week’s dinners were all a) great, and b) bar food themed! We covered tacos, nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pickles! Taco salad. Chopped romaine / Sugar Bomb tomatoes / avocado / black beans / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with white onions and taco seasoning / cracked pepper / homemade ranch dressing – sour cream, lime, Crystal hot sauce, and ranch seasoning. I would have said that I don’t care about ranch dressing but this stuff was fantastic.

Pickled oven baked tofu tenders plus roasted broccoli. Sprouted extra-firm tofu / marinated in pickle juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, and garlic / dipped in a mix of flour, cornstarch, sugar, and smoked paprika – then egg – then panko bread crumbs / baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. So crispy.

Cheeseburger inspired nachos plus roasted green beans with ranch. Trader Joe’s dill pickle chips / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with garlic, ketchup, and yellow mustard / Kewpie / chopped Sugar Bomb tomato, white onion, and dill pickle.

Traditional nachos, actual bar food. I worked a 10.5 hour day on Thursday (!!, coming back from a vacation means extra work, being short-staffed near the holiday means extra work, and training an intern means things move more slowly, and all three factors converged horribly this week) so I grabbed take-out for dinner on my way home. Nachos with cheese sauce and cheddar, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onion, and zucchini.

Hawaii 2022

Adam and I just returned from six fantastically glorious days in Oahu! Best vacation we have taken yet.

Everything was beautiful (of course!), we got incredibly lucky with the weather, we loved our hotel (Hotel La Croix – amazing staff, beautiful views, and perfectly walkable to the beach and downtown), and we swooned over every activity and meal! And we saw a seal!! I did not pack a camera but couldn’t stop myself from Instagramming incessantly.

Some of our favorite activities – – –

Hiking. We went on four hikes this visit. Makapu’u Light House Trail / Kuliouou Ridge Trail / Diamond Head / Ka’ena Point State Park.

We went to Green World Coffee Farm and walked through the coffee plants. We also got a fantastic tour (with tastes) of the Old Sugar Mill Brand Waialua Coffee where they grow coffee and cacao.

Some of our favorite bites – – –

Flavor themes of the week – ahi, malasada, mochi, musubi, passionfruit, poke, taro, and yuzu. I lost my photo but we had a wonderful traditional meal at Helena’s – my first time trying poi!

We walked over to Kona Coffee Purveyors several times. Also to the Starbucks Reserve for this delicious americano con crema with demura sugar and cinnamon.

Guava malasada from Leonards. Also my favorite thing I ate all trip was a taro mochi malasada from a convenience store.

There was a great Japanese store near our hotel and between that and the well-stocked 7-11 I tried some very exciting things.

Passionfruit mochi bar.

Salted cod roe and cheese musubi.

Halo halo.

Local fruits from a roadside stand. Starfruit, passionfruit, and coconut.

Shave Ice! We went to Waiola Shave Ice and Matsumoto Shave Ice. The boring looking one was actually white cake and yuzu (!!!) with vanilla ice cream and sweetened condensed milk.

Poke! So much fresh tuna. We went to Maguro Brothers and Ono Seafood.

Dinner at O’Kims. Fried chicken and purple rice with the best kimchi I’ve ever eaten.

Lunch at Piggy Smalls was our favorite meal of the trip! And dinner at Pig and the Lady was a close second. Twice fried brussel sprouts, tea leaf salad, brisket with pancakes and eggs, great cocktails (Adam had a POG slushie!), and an egg coffee.

A perfect trip!

Festive Feasting

It was a fun week! My aunt and uncle were in town for a show and we had a great time meeting up with them. I didn’t take any photos but we had GREAT meals at Canary Club and El Quiote.

Highlights include…

I managed to eat a truly impressive amount of peppermint and/or Christmas themed food!

Blank Street‘s candy cane cold brew was possibly my favorite coffee of this year!

The coquito cold brew (with two shots of espresso) from 787 obviously isn’t bad either.

Health-Ade Holiday Cheers kombucha.

Peppermint vodka seltzer, yes, I dyed it green.

Amazing tiramisu eggnog at Dante.

Peppermint ice cream (12/10) with peppermint chocolate quinoa bites.

Adam’s favorite bakery in New York is probably Blacksmith’s Breads. He sweetly surprised me with a pretzel bread.

Greek yogurt bowl with tiger syrup, granola, and persimmon.

Good-not-great but incredibly convenient microwave rice rolls.

Very Spicy Vegan Dan Dan Noodles from Very Fresh Noodles. It wasn’t actually that spicy (more numbing than hot) but the noodles were unbelievably fresh, bouncy and perfect.

This was the best meal I’ve made this year. Roasted broccoli / roasted red onion / roasted white beans / dried cherries / best ever sauce; in the food processor – parsley, roasted jalopeno, Korean chili flake, smoked almonds, smoked sardines, parmesan, honey, garlic, salt, evoo, and a bit of water / and I topped my bowl with candied jalopenos.