Okonomiyaki And Almost Green Papaya Salad

Loves of late – “Making It” (again), I am sad this season is almost over.  Also “Stan Against Evil;” I just learned that the 3rd season premiers on Halloween and I could not be more excited.

Flavor themes this week – cream cheese, salmon, bacon, cabbage, coffee (always)

Here were the highlights…

Coffee = cold pressed Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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On the snack front, the hospital cafeteria stocks a big variety of yummy trail mixes and I am obsessed with them.

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And this month’s Snack Crate was from Japan and it was super exciting.

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Jalopeno popper chicken.  Chicken baked with a topping of cream cheese, jalopeno, cheddar, and turkey bacon.  Plus roasted green beans.

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Salmon strata.  This recipe, but I subbed in cream cheese for cheddar and added dill.  Also I added an extra egg and used fat-free half and half in place of a 1/2 cup of milk which made the custard extra creamy.  Pro tip – we used Trader Joe’s white whole wheat and it was perfect.  Plus cherry tomatoes and roasted zucchini.

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Frozen salmon burgers (which frankly weren’t that good) on a delicious slaw.  I made green papaya salad but with cabbage.

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Americanized okonomiyaki, I used russet potato with turkey bacon and sharp cheddar.

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Weekend Things

4 things I loved this weekend that weren’t food:

{1}  Clothing – the anthropomorphic pizza t-shirt from Roberta’s that is officially my favorite thing I’ve ever owned.

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{2}  TV show – “Making It,” aka the best reality show ever created.  It’s super talented crafters making amazing projects that are rife with puns and have a million creative details plus unscripted Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler saying hilarious and supportive things.

{3}  Buds – these splendid flowers from Trader Joe’s.  I don’t even like roses but these take my breath away.

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{4}  Movie – Crazy Rich Asians.  This film was stunningly gorgeous, uproariously funny, and so darn touching that a moment towards the end brought the whole theater – including Adam and I – to tears.  Go see it!

4 edible things I loved this weekend:

{1}  A two-tone vanilla rose smoothie.  Banana, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and vanilla bean // with strawberries, plums, and rosewater.

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{2}  Coffee themed snacks.  Chocolate-covered beans from Shenandoah Joe’s.  <– I am obsessed

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A quad iced latte with a truffle.

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Kung Fu Tea oreo slush with tapioca and coffee flavored popping boba.

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{3}  Tacos from Brazos.  We shared grilled tilapia with red cabbage slaw, avocado sauce, radish, and lime / mashed potato, yam, mushrooms, cilantro, spicy honey, and jalopenos / and chicken with black beans, roasted corn, avocado, and jack cheese.

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{4}  Brunch at Fry’s Spring Station.  They improved upon fried chicken and waffles with smokey pimento cheese and candied pepper honey.

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Pizza Pizza

Flavor themes from the week – cherries and cheese.  These were the highlights…

Brooklyn Roasting Co coffee.  After this I have one last tin left from NY… guess we need to take another trip soon!

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It was a good week in snacks, thanks in part to a fun package full of goodies from my parents.  Including cherry cola Mike & Ikes and delicious chocolate-covered dried cherries.

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Two new to us snacks, salted caramel Somersaults (<– best flavor yet!) and Sweet Sapphire grapes.

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Another new flavor, sesame bbq chicken Epic bar.

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I cooked salmon for dinner one night.  Roasted coho topped with a vegan scallion pesto – food-processed pine nuts, parsley, sauteed green onions, and evoo.  Plus homemade cole slaw.  The sauce was great, but sadly the salmon was fairly flavorless without it.

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The rest of the week dinners were all about pizza!  I loosely followed this recipe for pepperoni pizza macaroni and cheese.  Whole wheat shell pasta > macaroni pasta.  Pro tip – any time I make macaroni and cheese (or any roux thickened sauce) I always substitute low-fat condensed milk for the recommended liquid.  The results always taste fantastic and it means we don’t have an open container of whole milk in the house which is great because both Adam and I dislike it.  Plus roasted zucchini.

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Meat lovers pizza.  Frozen crust from Trader Joe’s / we added tomato paste while we sauteed some chicken sausage and added that to our marinara sauce / topped with turkey pepperoni and turkey bacon / plus mozzarella and cheddar.  With roasted green beans.

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What is your favorite pizza topping?  Apparently mine is bacon!

Supermoon And Sprinkles

It was my birthday!

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The day itself was pretty ho-hum – I worked an extra-long day, it rained like crazy, the cupcake shop I planned on visiting closed early without warning – but it’s always nice to have survived another year!  And my pre-birthday trip to New York was pretty fabulous; I am glad I got my good weather then.

Highlights from the week…

Pathetically, I ate this strawberry Airhead as my birthday-day dessert.

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But later in the week we splurged on this $9 pint of marshmallow and violet ice cream.  <– best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, including the stuff I ate at a Jeni’s in Ohio last fall

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Lately in coffee, I’ve tried and been disappointed by several packaged options.

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At least I fulfilled my favorite birthday tradition – freebie Starbucks quad iced latte with sprinkles on top.

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I made a cocktail with this dream team –

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We got salad bowls at Chipotle with so much cheese on them it was almost too much, almost.

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My birthday dinner was our first – mightily successful – trip to Beer Run.  They’re kind of famous for their nachos.

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And I had a salmon bahn mi (with pickled strawberries!) that was pretty good.

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Plus a key lime brown sugar margarita and a key lime pie tart ale.

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Yesterday we slow-cooked a delicious dinner.  Brown sugar garlic chicken thighs.  I added smoked paprika, but otherwise followed the recipe.  With roasted broccoli with crock pot drippings and Sriracha.

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Less than 12 hours to the weekend!

A New York Weekend

We just had the best! weekend!! ever!!!  Or at least that’s what Adam and I told each other multiple times each day.  It’s my birthday tomorrow (the 24th) and he took me back to New York to celebrate.

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We got super lucky with the weather and managed to do a million fun things, including try out a few new restaurants that we missed going to before the move, eat all the ice cream, and drink all the coffee (and put ice cream in our coffee!).

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Here were the highlights…

Staying in Williamsburg in the Pod hotel, which was adorable and totally big enough for us.  And they had games and a bar in the lobby with Grimm Icing on the Cake on tap.

Brunch at Fausto, our new favorite spot.  I had a cocktail with ontratto aperitif, aperitivo select, grapefruit, and tonic.  Polenta with braised duck, poached egg, and pea greens.  And hashbrowns with chili aioli.

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Quad, non-fat, iced lattes from Black Brick.

Aussie iced coffee from Sweatshop.  Basically a quad, non-fat, iced latte with a scoop of ice cream in it.

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West Side Story from Paper Plane Coffee = guava, sweetened condensed milk, and espresso.  It was surprisingly delicious, and pink!

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Running along the East River.

Lunch at Sauvage.  We split baked eggs and a salad with arugula, charred corn, pistachio, and whipped chevre.

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Smorgasburg!  We got fantastic okonomiyaki and a scoop of mint ice cream with toasted Swiss meringue on top.  <– my favorite iteration of marshmallow of all time

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Ice cream at Milk Bar.  I got a babyquake (aka mini blizzard) with birthday cake truffles and the best sprinkles.

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Stocking up on Japanese goodies at Midoriya.

Buying an adorable bear t-shirt for me and a succulent pin for Adam at Brooklyn Flea.

Dinner at Dez.  We shared cauliflower and crispy capers and chimichurri and I had a chopped vegetable salad with roasted potato, crispy eggplant, a seven minute egg, umbah, zhough, and tahini.

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Beating our favorite team shooting game (Ghost Hunter) at Barcade.

Getting drinks with old friends at Freemans.

Beers at Greenpoint Brewery.

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Walking across the Williamsburg Bridge.

I love New York.

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Let’s Taco ‘Bout The Weekend

Booze, tacos, doughnuts, and iced coffees… it was a good weekend!  Here were the highlights…

Cookie dough milk iced coffee.

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Cinnamon vanilla iced latte.

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Iced latte with toasted marshmallow syrup.

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Also I had a caramel macchiato doughnut.  Sugar Shack makes some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever tasted!

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Brunch at Marie Bette, a European-style bakery.

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I had a ho-hum grapefruit hibiscus cider.  <– I need to stop ordering ciders, I think I really am not a fan!

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And the quiche of the day – tomato and white cheddar.

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Sandwiches at Hot Cakes, another super cute bakery.  Rye, smoked turkey, muenster, and cole slaw.  I think cole slaw on sandwiches is the best.

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Take-out from Silk Thai.  Fried tofu and chicken pad see ew.

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Saturday night, we got tacos with my cousin and her boyfriend.  Brazos is dog-friendly, which is fantastic, and our tacos were delicious.  Triple pickle = refried black beans, mushroom bruja, roasted pepitas, chopped jalapeños, red onion pickles, jalapeño pickles, and pickled watermelon // tres quesos = Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // and a hibiscus margarita.

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Then we went to Three Notched and I had vodka (with mint limeade) and a dog in my lap – aka all my favorite things!

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Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great weekend!