Gingerbread Galore

So many holiday flavors consumed this weekend!  <– Squee!  It was just kind of a great weekend in general – we had no major to-dos looming and the weather was fantastic.  We got to go to brunch with my cousin and her boyfriend and on a long walk with the dog.  Next weekend brings out of town plans so it was really nice to keep things low-key.

Highlights…

Forager’s coconut cream cashew milk cold brew.  It was yummy but way too filling to consume all at once.

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Starbucks’ Juniper iced latte – I recommend getting double the espresso and half of the syrup so it’s not too pine-y [holiday flavor #1].

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Plain Greek yogurt with maple, almond butter granola, and the last of the cranberry sauce.

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Brunch at Renewal was delicious, we will definitely be back.  I had a gin fizz with egg white and cream.

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Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic fondue and sherry gastrique / field greens side salad with grapefruit vinaigrette / fries with pimento cheese and aioli.

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Sugar cookie frozen yogurt and eggnog gelato [holiday flavors #2 and 3}.

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King of Pop’s gingerbread was the best popsicle I’ve ever eaten, it was like a cookie dunked in milk [holiday flavor #4].  Enjoyed at Hardywood where I also had a Christmas Morning – gingerbread stout with Black Hand Coffee [holiday flavor #5].

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This Sweethaus gingerbread cupcake with meringue frosting was the best baked good we’ve ever eaten, hands down [also holiday flavor #6!].

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Trader Joe’s cauliflower latkes for the first night of Hannukah [holiday flavor #7] with a chicken thigh take on this Mississippi Roast recipe.

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Early Thanksgiving

Early post because my extended family is coming into town for Thanksgiving and I am taking a three-day weekend to spend time with my parents!  I’m working the holiday (today) and then I am free until Monday.  Early Thanksgiving because I already managed to cram five holiday meal flavors into a short week of eating.  <– good thing too, I spent yesterday evening baking my contributions for today’s meal and I did so much taste-testing that I may actually still be full this afternoon!

Eggnog (1) in my coffee.  I’ve moved on from the soy nog, I just wasn’t a fan this year.

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Pie (2) in my breakfast bar.  Betty Lou’s cherry.  I know cherry isn’t strictly a Thanksgiving flavor but I’m still counting it.

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Stuffing (3) with roasted brussel sprouts (4).  I actually made something of a stuffing-dressing/strata hybrid, with several eggs stirred into my stock.  Plus roasted celery and onion, hunks of raisin pecan sourdough, fresh sage and parsley, and turkey breakfast sausage.

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With a local cranberry (5) gose and maple brown ale for some thematic booze.

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I hope all of my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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A New York Weekend

Adam and I went on a quick vacation and just had the best weekend in NYC!  We got super lucky with weather that was warm/dry enough for a long day of walking (including two trips across the Williamsburg Bridge and a spin around Washington Square Park).  We tried a some new spots that totally knocked our socks off (see below).  We met up with friends for a fantastic dinner at Bellwether (highlights included duck liver mousse with ramp mustard, strawberry preserves, and crostini and a Oaxacan Sour cocktail with mezcal, luxardo, agave, egg white, and lime).

The best Thanksgiving item and the entire impetus for this trip = Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant stuffed with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

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The best coffee = a quad, non-fat, iced latte of Stumptown at Black Brick.

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The best doughnut = Alimama‘s sweet and savory mochi doughnut.  It was topped with salted caramel and Nutella and was unbelievably, perfectly chewy.  Plus we had a great ube cream puff.

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The best brunch = Bricolage.  There were so many things that sounded amazing we ended up ordering/sharing three entrees!  Duck bahn mi with chicken liver pate, shallot mayo, pickled daikon, carrot, and herbs // five-spice fried chicken and waffles with red cabbage and fennel slaw, sriracha butter, and maple syrup // croissant french toast topped with Vietnamese coffee whipped cream, condensed milk creme anglaise, and blueberries.

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The best ice cream = Morganstern‘s papaya guava ice cream alongside a scoop of American egg.  P.S. the new location was beautiful and the line was far less out of control.

IMG_2425I ♥ New York.

 

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Chili When It’s Chilly

It was a great week in packaged coffees.  Grady’s Cold Brew = 11/10 (it’s my very favorite!).  P.S. how great are our flowers??!

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Black Hands can = 9/10.

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Blanchard’s can = 7.5/10.

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Other beverage fun included Polar hibiscus cloudberry seltzer.

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And this killer cocktail combo – cinnamon hibiscus tea, Goldschläger, and club soda.

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Snack attack.  Strawberry sage kombucha, a caramel chocolate granola bar, and an Autumn Glory apple.

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Can you believe I didn’t try a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich until after I left New York?  We were super impressed with this.

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Our dinners this week were definitely on a theme.  Chili.  Ground turkey / black beans and baked beans / sweet onion and poblano pepper / tomato paste and crushed tomatoes / clove, cumin, smoked paprika, brown sugar, fish sauce, liquid smoke, and gojuchang.  Topped with cheddar, plain Greek yogurt, and jalopenos.

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Bacon and cheese wrapped hot dogs.  Turkey hot dogs and halloumi cheese wrapped in turkey bacon on a whole-wheat bun with ketchup.  With a side of green bean fries.

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Bacon chili cheese hot dog casserole.  Double layers of cauliflower rice / turkey bacon / sliced turkey hot dogs / green onion / leftover chili / and sharp cheddar.  Topped with plain Greek yogurt and hot sauce.

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Yum!

All Hallow’s Eats

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Pumpkin Noosa for breakfast.  I sprinkled some crunchy granola from the cafeteria on top and it was fantastic.

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Maple glazed doughnut with a maple pancake iced latte from Sugar Shack.

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Snack attack.  Is it even Halloween week if you don’t make yourself sick eating too much sugar?  None of fun-sized candy at work was exciting to me and I had to drive myself to Wegman’s to buy my own chocolate.

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Crispy honey garlic tofu bites served on top of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  The tofu recipe was perfect, I couldn’t believe how crispy it came out.  After I took that photo I smothered my plate in Kewpie and Sriracha!

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This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.

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Sweet potato hash success.  Crispy sweet potato (cooked similarly to this method) / sauteed red bell pepper and spring onion with tumeric and smoked paprika / garlic chicken sausage / topped with a fried egg / and copious amounts of Cholula hot sauce.

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Our Halloween dinner was perfectly on theme – vampire killer pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin shaped pasta / garlic chicken sausage / sauteed spinach with tons of garlic / tossed in aioli / topped with pan-fried haloumi.

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Plus the best pumpkin beer of the year and a chai pumpkin ale.

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Booze In The Blue Ridges

Adam and I had a really fun weekend exploring some of the towns around C-ville.  Primarily we checked out Crozet and Waynesboro, both spots that are known for having fantastic breweries and wineries.

Highlights included – learning that while I dislike IPAs it turns out I adore double IPAs (especially the two at Pro Re Nata) // discovering Wild Wolf‘s super smoky Scottish ale // playing ping pong and skee-ball at Basic City // sipping espresso blended with sweetened condensed milk and mocha at Farm Haus

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Maple – Marshmallow – Cinnamon – Pumpkin

The flavors in my title were mostly enjoyed separately this week, but my goodness wouldn’t they be good all together?!

I missed last weekend’s post because I was out of town at a Nutrition Support conference.

Highlights from this week included…

A new all-time favorite coffee combo – Grady’s Cold Brew Concentrate with maple sweetened condensed milk!!  P.S. Grady’s is the best home-brewed coffee that money can buy.  P.P.S. The maple SCM is not to be missed either, if you spot it at your store I recommend buying multiple cans.

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Pumpkin power homemade trail mix.  Pumpkin Puffins / Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate M&M’s / roasted pumpkin seeds / pecans.

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A cookie and coffee date at Sweethaus.

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Pumpkin & Spice Siggi’s yogurt topped with Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes.

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New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin beer.  It was cinnamon-spicy and quite enjoyable.

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This month’s Snack Crate.

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Homemade basil turkey burgers with roasted green beans and TJ’s root vegetable medley.  I burnt the burgers just a little but I covered it up with ketchup and mayo.

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Green curry bowls.  Cauliflower rice cooked with coconut milk topped with ground turkey, onion, shredded carrot, green bell pepper, zucchini, and basil sauteed with green curry sauce.

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