Winter Weekend Wonderland

Three fun facts…

{1} NYC got its first snow this weekend.

IMG_5510

webster

{2} Adam and I used the blustery weather as reason to spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum.  So much Van Gogh!

IMG_5501

IMG_5506

{3} We also watched and loved the first season of Stan Against Evil.

{bonus fact} It’s Adam’s birthday today!  I was going to write a gooey, disgusting, you’re-my-everything post but our ten year anniversary is on December 28th so I’ll save up my feels.

Weekend eats highlights…

Eggnog ice cream spiked iced coffee.

IMG_5462

Jalapeño cheddar potato pierogis at Baba’s with caramelized onions and mushrooms.

IMG_5528

BBQ spread at Fletchers.  I had smoked chicken, cole slaw, pickles, and rivers of bbq sauce.

IMG_5533

Egg ‘n grog pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  It was a delicious, boozy custard.

IMG_5534

Edible brownie batter!  For 2, mix 1 Tbsp melted butter / 1 Tbsp granulated sugar / 2 Tbsp brown sugar / 1 Tbsp cocoa powder / 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour / 1.5 Tbsp milk of choice (I recommend eggnog).

IMG_5497

I made stroganoff-ish turkey bowls.  Ground meat sautéed with shallots, paprika, sour cream, and tons of fried mushrooms.

IMG_5490

With carrots and hummus for additional veggies.

IMG_5470

And Holiday Cheers Health-Ade Kombucha for fun.  <– I was expecting to hate the ginger but this ended up being my all-time favorite kombucha, it was all sweet and no spice

IMG_5475

Chicken tenders and slaw.

IMG_5514

Oven-fried chicken tenders (using a rough version of this method) coated in crushed Heritage Flakes and drizzled with homemade honey mustard.

IMG_5521

With homemade cole slaw on the side.  I adore slaw and this quick version was better than any I’ve had in a restaurant.  I didn’t make notes for a recipe but it’s sliced cabbage and golden raisins in a mix of mayo, sour cream, mustard, sugar, and rice vinegar.

IMG_5525

Fantastic cheese plates.  Fancy TJ’s crackers with white stilton with apricots, honey goat cheese, and raw milk cheddar.

IMG_5568

Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll Ale that tasted like a cookie.

IMG_5542

Plus carrots and orange bell pepper with hummus.

IMG_5556

And sugared nuts and dried figs.

IMG_5547

A Week Of Splendid Sandwiches

Can I really use that title in a week without a single grilled cheese or lobster roll?  I did have some exceptionally above-bar poultry-based sandwiches.

The winning ‘wiches…

Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant is the best sandwich of all time.  Adam and I waited for it with baited breath this year.

IMG_4867

The seasoned croissant is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing!

IMG_20171114_160635_733

Flip Bird at the Ashland does a damn fine chicken sandwich – pulled chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and crispy skin.

IMG_20171115_122351_142

And my homemade toasted sandwich dinner was nothing to sneeze at.

IMG_4882

Sourdough / Applegate Farm smoked sliced turkey / 4 year aged cheddar / smoked maple mayo (olive oil based mayo, maple, liquid smoke, smoked paprika).

IMG_4894

With roasted zucchini on the side.

IMG_4889

Other fun stuff…

Vegan eggnogs in my coffee.  Adam really enjoyed the TJ’s almond milk version but I remain loyal to Silk.

IMG_4814

Here’s my current holiday stash, so exciting!

IMG_4822

Amazin’ Raisin sent me some samples to review.  The fruit-flavored raisins contain three ingredients – California raisins, citric acid, and natural fruit flavors – and are packed with flavor but no artificial sugar or sulfur dioxide.  Adam and I have both been really enjoying them.  So far his favorite flavor is pineapple and mine is watermelon.

IMG_4835

Some key work eats included raisins and a Larabar.

IMG_4843

And blackberry Siggi with holiday grapes and a maple maca bar.

IMG_4854

Really, the best dinner of the week was movie theater pretzel bites with fake cheese.  We went to see Thor: Ragnarok and split our sides laughing.  Our AMC has extra-wide seats that fully recline so the whole experience was really nice.

We also went gaga for these scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_4847

They were crazy flavorful and satisfying.  I topped mine with mayo and Sriracha.

IMG_4861

With baby carrots and potato snacks for an appetizer for crunch.

IMG_4839

A girlfriend and I met for a mid-week dinner at Bricolage and were both big fans.  Sriracha butter wings to start.

IMG_4874

And we both had pink drinks!  She had the pink soda salted lemonade and I picked an option with a cute name that I can’t remember where you pick a spirit and let the bartender go crazy.  I said “vodka, no ginger” and ended up with something delicious with raspberry and lime.

IMG_4873

My caramelized shrimp claypot was 10/10.  Georgia white shrimp, vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, and chili paste with rice to soak up the sauce.

IMG_4880

Enjoy your weekends!

Last Week I…

Last week I loved: Webster!

IMG_4256

Adam and I can’t believe how handsome he is and we text each other pictures of him constantly but they’re on my phone so they usually don’t make it to the blog.

IMG_4249

Last week I watched: Rick and Morty.  We’re almost through the 3rd season and it has been fantastic.  I think season 2 was the best so far though.  I also have been re-rewatching The Office because I’m obsessed.  It’s so funny and I love when shows have characters (Jim and Pam) just adore each other with minimal drama.  The Micheal Scott seasons are perfectly cringe-inducing – I have really bad secondhand embarrassment anyways and I can barely watch most of his scenes.

Last week I ate: More samples from the healthy brand showcase.

IMG_4271

Setton Farms is America’s 2nd largest pistachio producer and their stuff is delicious.  We’ve been enjoying chocolate-covered pistachios along with the perfectly salted nut blend.

IMG_4274

I also liked the pineapple flavored raisins from Amazing Fruit.

IMG_4246

Last week I pumpkined: Four new items!  See more below.

Last week I drank:  Key lime La Croix.  The newest flavor is delicious, and currently my favorite fizzy water.

IMG_4266

Last week I listened to: “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B on repeat.  It’s super catchy and a lot of her word-play is very clever.  I’ve also been listening to a ton of Betty Who.

Other food highlights…

This week’s coffee combo.

IMG_4261

Pumpkin tres leches bubble tea from Teapsy in Astoria.

IMG_20171021_155438_493

Pumpkin and salted maple pecan frozen yogurt with peanut butter, marshmallow cream, Oreos, and mochi.

IMG_20171021_113631_657

I made a fancied-up version of my Spinach and Artichoke Egg Pie.  I precooked the veggies with olive oil, onion, anchovies, and tons of garlic.  Plus I substituted cottage cheese because I like it better than ricotta.

IMG_4299

No carbohydrate component to that meal so we had potato chips and pumpkin beers, woo-hoo!

IMG_4290

IMG_4283

We tried pizza from a new place – Frantoni’s.  Adam and I shared four things so we could try a lot of the menu.  The eggplant slice was my favorite but the buffalo chicken was good too.

IMG_4327

I made bagel and lox nachos!  Everything bagel chips // TJ’s four cheese blend // hot smoked salmon // green onions // and cream cheese sauce with ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

IMG_4312

Plus roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

IMG_4303

I made buffalo chicken chili.  Tons of sauteed onion, green onion, carrots, and celery // tomato paste and crushed tomatoes // salt, pepper, celery seed, and smoked paprika // shredded chicken breast // black beans // cream cheese.

IMG_4335

Have a great week!

The End Of Apple Month

Highlights from this week…

Coffee coffee.  More Black Hand magic.

IMG_3903

PSA – the maple pecan latte at Starbucks tastes like nothing and we do not recommend it.

IMG_3831

I’ve finished out my Apple Month yogurts.  Cinnamon apple Chobani with chia seeds, vanilla almond granola, and an applesauce on the side.

IMG_3835

TJ’s caramel apple with Heritage Flakes and a SweeTango on the side.

IMG_3864

Snacks of note included apple mix candy corn (green apple, caramel apple, and apple pie flavored).

IMG_3847

And white truffle chips and baby carrots with garlic dip.

IMG_3873

IMG_3843

I made bean burgers for dinner.  This recipe but with white beans (great northern and white kidney), pesto, and parmesan.  With roasted cauliflower and a smoked garlic aioli.

IMG_3856

Clean out the freezer night.  Veggies and orange chicken from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_3879

IMG_3895

It was actually a pretty good meal, but cocktail hour was better – calamansi lime juice with club soda and vodka.

IMG_3883

IMG_3888

Last night we did a dinner date in Brooklyn at LaRina.  10/10, we adored it!  Housemade pastas, an innovative menu, a great interior/vibe.  I had lemon gigli with duck ragu.

IMG_3911

And we had fantastic panna cotta with salted caramel for dessert.  YUM!

IMG_3913

Have a sweet weekend.

IMG_3826

Cinnamon And Marshmallow In My Coffee

I have eaten some very yummy things over the past four days!  Adam and I both worked the holiday, but first we got to spend almost two full weekend days together!!!  Good times.

Things [literal things] that made me happy this weekend…

20170903_140713

Thanks to all of Target’s cheap “back to school” goodies, we have a jazzy new shower curtain and bedspread.

IMG_3262

IMG_3255

The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

IMG_3248

A Saturday trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Such a fun way to spend a morning.  We were expecting things to be sparse due to the season but there was still a ton of beauty to admire.

IMG_3232

IMG_3212

IMG_20170902_121016_342

As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

IMG_3188

This spiced apple bourbon hand soap is currently the best smelling thing in our house!

Culinary highlights…

I haven’t eaten anything apple yet but I did cram some pretty fall-forward flavors into my coffees.  Cinnamon.

IMG_3193

And toasted marshmallow.

IMG_3237

Though I also had a very summer-y Australian iced coffee with Wandering Bear cold brew and vanilla Curious Creamery ice cream.

IMG_3210

Cheddar-chive biscuit and a matcha iced latte at Annex.

IMG_3313

Brunch at Maison Premiere.  We had a pastry assortment that was out of this world.

IMG_3272

Maison Jungle Bird – Hamilton Black Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, Campari, and sugar cane.

IMG_3268

I had the duck confit hash with bell pepper and poached egg.  <– not as good as Colonie, sadly

IMG_3275

While at the Garden, we had lunch at the Yellow Magnolia Café.  (<– newest venture from the chef/owner of Wilma Jean)

IMG_3224

I had wonderfully crispy, lemony fried chicken.  Served with habanero honey, collard green slaw, and delicious wild rice.  I suspect that there was honey butter in the rice because I don’t even like wild rice.

IMG_3228

We took a long post-lunch walk for coffee and ended up also getting ice cream for dessert – blueberry with blue velvet cake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

IMG_3235

Friday night I met a girlfriend in the Lower East Side for dinner and drinks.  Sizzling noodles at The Tang.

IMG_3204

I ended up with way too much food because I also couldn’t resist the Chungking Express salad – romaine, soft-boiled egg, honey, black vinegar, and chili oil.

IMG_3200

How fantastically ridiculous are the drinks at Mother of Pearl?!  My daiquiri – with Campari, grapefruit, and rosemary tincture – was tasty to boot.

IMG_20170901_192405_547

We made an oldie but a goodie – buffalo blue cheese black bean burgers.  Served with raw carrots and celery the first night.

IMG_3246

Our citrus-y sip-while-you-cook line up did not contain any winners, we hated both of these drinks!  <– normally I wouldn’t include this in a “highlights” section but they both sound so good in theory that I wanted to make sure I warned you

IMG_3279

Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

IMG_3287

Pan-fried catfish!  I made a spice rub with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika and cooked the fish for 3.5 minutes on each side.  Drizzled with a lemon butter pan sauce.

IMG_3292

Plus sautéed collard greens with shallots, toasted coconut, and avocado (plus lemon, rice vinegar, and liquid smoke).

IMG_3299

Flavor themes of the weekend – Campari / eggs / coffee / collard greens.

Buffalo Chicken Ballyhoo

Is it seriously September already??  Actually, don’t answer that; if I think about how fast this year seems to be going it makes my head spin.  At least now it’s Apple Month.

Here were eight things from the end of the eighth month…

{1}  coffee excitement

A match made in heaven?  I put creamy pecan popsicle in my iced coffee.

IMG_3121

IMG_3112

The lattes at Black Brick are roasty and delicious.

20170830_143709

{2}  brunch at Loosie’s Café

20170830_130749

20170830_130731

20170830_123634

20170830_123707

This space was gorgeous!  I had a grains bowl with shitake and king oyster mushrooms, purple kale, quinoa, roasted beets, cucumber raita, mint, and a soft egg.

IMG_20170830_123932_419

{3}  “milk and cookies” at The Bedford

Adam and I split a The Dude’s Caucasian – house-made vanilla bean espresso vodka on the rocks with a drizzle of cream.

20170830_135041

And a Drunken Cookie – underbaked chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed injected with white chocolate.  <– omg

IMG_20170830_140538_309

{4}  lime, mint, and elderflower sparkling water

IMG_3170

{5}  Curious Creamery ice cream mix

Please note – this product was given to me free of charge to review.  I was not provided further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

It is mix that doesn’t require an ice cream maker, all you have to do is beat it with the milk of your choice and freeze.  It takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time, and we found the ice cream consistency to be enjoyable after 5 hours (and it continued to be good 48 hours later too).

IMG_3139

I used 2% cow’s milk but you can also use full-fat, skim, almond, etc – the mixes themselves are lactose-free and have no trans or saturated fat.  I made the vanilla packet plain – Adam thinks it tastes like marshmallows! – and the chocolate I mixed with dulce de leche and roasted pecans for a turtle sundae.

IMG_3149

We didn’t love the final product, but did quite like it.  I’d say the ice cream is better than 7-11 brand, Turkey Hill, or the no-name stuff at cafeterias; on par with most store-bought ice creams; and not as good as Ben and Jerry’s or the ice cream we can get at places like Ample Hills or Ice and Vice in the city.  If I’m living somewhere that isn’t NYC in the future I would definitely make it again.

{6}  the last of the seasonal summer beers

These ended up being two of my all-time favorite strawberry beers.  Shiner Strawberry Blonde / Saranac Strawberry Tart.

IMG_3185

{7}  out-of-this-world good buffalo chicken tenders

I base all of my “oven-fried” chicken on this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.  I used skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders and baked for 24 minutes at 425 degrees.  I mixed smoked paprika and cayenne in with my flour and used panko as my bread crumb.

IMG_3158

The final product was tossed with a mix of buffalo sauce, butter, and brown sugar.

IMG_3162

Paired with carrots and celery – steam/sautéed and finished with thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette – to keep the theme going.

IMG_3164

{8}  buffalo chicken and blue cheese cheese fries

Our leftover chicken got to participate in something magical – waffle fries baked with cheddar, blue cheese, and buffalo chicken on top.

IMG_3178

Have a great weekend.

Freedom!

IMG_2218

I’m on vacation!  Friday was my last day of work for 11 glorious days!  I prepped for vacation by eating all of the ice cream last week 🙂

For a work-week this past week was not a bad one.  Adam and I were off together on Wednesday and got do some Lower East Side wandering.  And over the weekend we did some Long Island exploring.  Plus I met with friends for brunch.  And ate all the aforementioned ice cream.

Last week’s flavor themes: (Stumptown) coffee // ice cream // cheese // corn // egg.  Highlights…

Brunch at The General Greene.  I had the farro bowl with pesto, roasted sweet potato, avocado, and a poached egg.

IMG_20170723_110039_569

Black Brick Coffee just might be our new favorite spot.  It’s a neat space and my Stumptown latte was ridiculously good.

IMG_2187

Trader Joe’s new coconut cold brew coffee is pretty tasty, especially with chocolate milk.

IMG_2147

Vanilla bean yogurt with blackberries, granola, and chocolate tahini.

IMG_2160

Plain Greek yogurt with black plum and Oreo cheesecake.

IMG_2235

Sandwich with curly fries.  Spicy chicken / mayo and mustard / lettuce / pickles.

IMG_2251

Because I don’t eat enough nachos at home, they were a special in the cafeteria this week.  Pinto beans and cheddar with olives, corn, bell pepper, and onion.

IMG_2157

Our Long Island exploration took us to both Farmingdale and Babylon.  We had a flight of craft beers at Lithology.  My favorite was the honey rye with rosemary, followed closely by the sour farmhouse ale.

IMG_20170722_140404_222

We also did lunch at Swell Taco.

IMG_2279

My burrito was giant and packed with grilled chicken, refried pinto beans, rice, veggies, salsa fresca, sour cream, and Monterey jack.

IMG_2282

I’ve seen multiple foodie instagrammers try to say that Ben’s compares with Levain <– NO.  PSA – this was not good.  These cookies were greasy and terrible and I threw mine out after two bites and still had a stomach ache.

IMG_2213

We checked out the Filipino goodies at Johnny Air Mart and snacked on calamansi soda and Polvorón shortbread.

IMG_2195

Bubble tea from Vivi.  Grapefruit Yakult with crystal boba and coconut jelly.

IMG_2289

Brigadeiro Bakery taught me that I actually don’t like ice cream as much as I think because apparently brigadeiros are my favorite dessert.  <– they are a condensed milk candy so that’s not that surprising

IMG_2219

Stumptown coffee soft serve with sprinkles and cookie dough at Scoops.

IMG_2173

Birthday cake soft serve with sprinkles at Milk Bar.

IMG_2208

Cookie dough with toasted coconut soft serve at Stew Leonard’s.  This was both the best soft serve and the best edible cookie dough we’d ever tasted.

IMG_2276

Sweet milk and browned butter pecan ice cream at Malai.

IMG_20170723_122951_836

BBQ chicken salads.  Baby romaine with ranch / cheddar / cucumbers / leftover cole slaw / shredded chicken with Korean bbq sauce.

IMG_2169

Bean and chicken bowls.  Sautéed onions and green pepper / cheddar / shredded chicken with cilantro sauce – cilantro, roasted jalapeño, canola oil, honey, and salt / pinquito beans from Susie Q.

IMG_2242

The beans were a kit sent to me to review.  They came with a premixed seasoning packet (mild red chili, onion, garlic, and select spices) so they were a snap to prepare, and much tastier than canned beans.  They kept their shape after cooking and were firm but not chewy or mealy.  <– I would buy these with my own money

IMG_2231

I know these eggs look god-awful, but they were amazing.  Scrambled with unsulfured chicken hot dogs / kimchi / and cheddar.

IMG_2286

Dinner at Colonia Verde.  This restaurant is insanely gorgeous, Adam and I were in heaven.

IMG_2252

IMG_2256

I drank the Patient Extra – Cachaca, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime, and citrus bitters, which was fabulous.

IMG_2261

And ate duck confit tacos and grilled sweet corn salad with carmelized pepitas, cotija cheese, and mint.

IMG_2267

IMG_2271

P.S. It’s my birthday today!!

IMG_2199

IMG_2201

IMG_2183