The End Of Apple Month

Highlights from this week…

Coffee coffee.  More Black Hand magic.

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

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

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

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

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And white truffle chips and baby carrots with garlic dip.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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Have a sweet weekend.

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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…

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

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The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

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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.

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As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

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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.

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And toasted marshmallow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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

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Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

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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.

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

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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.

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The lattes at Black Brick are roasty and delicious.

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{2}  brunch at Loosie’s Café

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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.

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{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.

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

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{4}  lime, mint, and elderflower sparkling water

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{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).

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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.

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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.

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{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.

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

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

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{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.

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Have a great weekend.

Freedom!

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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.

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

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

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

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Plain Greek yogurt with black plum and Oreo cheesecake.

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

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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.

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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.

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We also did lunch at Swell Taco.

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

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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.

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

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

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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

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

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Birthday cake soft serve with sprinkles at Milk Bar.

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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.

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Sweet milk and browned butter pecan ice cream at Malai.

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

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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.

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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

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

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

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

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

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P.S. It’s my birthday today!!

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Food and Fun in Philly

Adam had to take a quick trip to Philadelphia this week (less than 24 hours!) and I was able to work out my schedule to go with him.  It was a short but fun visit.

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Best bites of Brotherly Love…

Rooster Soup Co.  We went for the smoked matzo ball soup, which was sadly only ok.

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But I also had a fantastic salad with carrots, green beans, jicama, peanuts, currants, cilantro, and harissa-lime dressing; so good.

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Dessert at Scoop Deville.  We split an underbaked cookie dough(!) sundae with cookies and cream ice cream, hot fudge, and marshmallow sauce.

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It was rainy and gross for a bit in the morning, so I took advantage of the cable tv and got doughnuts and coffee to eat in bed!!

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Federal Donuts are the best donuts I’ve ever eaten.  I got cookies and cream and burnt caramel and they were both so well seasoned and balanced.  I usually don’t even love cake donuts but my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

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We also spent some time in Chinatown buying exciting candy.  And of course made a trip to Reading Terminal Market.  Old City Coffee is one of my must-do stops in Philly.

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I got a nonfat latte with an extra shot of espresso and a shot of local maple syrup.

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You have to get a cheesesteak.  I went vegetarian with seitan.  With hot and sweet peppers and provolone.

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Highlights from the work week…

Starbucks Cuban coffee doubleshot.

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Starbucks chicken and artichoke sandwich.

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Coffee + chicory yogurt bowl with Heritage Flakes, chia seeds, and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  Plus a lemonade apple and more La Colombe.

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After months of obsessive searching, I finally found the new cookie crunch Reese’s Cups in Philly.  <– love!

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It’s the weekend (almost)!

Duck Confit

Top 10 bites this week…

Pastries and coffees at Lilia.  An espresso-cream filled doughnut and something that tasted like a fancy funnel cake.

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Egg and cheese on a whole-wheat roll.  With an iced latte and a tangerine.

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Candy oats bowl.  Rolled oats with chia seeds, mini chocolate chips, and a few caramel M&M’s.  (<– they are so good!  Adam and I are both obsessed and we mailed a bag to my parents who flipped over them as well.)

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Nectarine yogurt and red cherries.  So excited that it’s cherry season.

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Cafeteria came through with a fancy pasta bar.  Tortelini with peas, pesto, and shrimp.

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Best meal of the week was a midweek lunch date at Sauvage.  The service was impeccable and the space was beautiful.

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I love a good tiled floor!

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We started with the seeded Kouign Amann which was buttery good.  Plus an unpictured cocktail that was fizzy and citrusy but that I’m not finding on the online menu.

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Adam ordered mind-blowingly good hen of the woods mushrooms with poached eggs.  I just got a salad — with oranges, za’atar, and duck confit!!  <– 2nd best duck I’ve ever eaten

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It is disgustingly warm in NYC and I had ice cream in some form every day this week.  Best = Van Leeuwen‘s honeycomb and black sesame and ash flavors.

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Yummy cola flavored hard candies.  Cola is our favorite candy flavor, hard, gummy, sour, or otherwise.

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Trader Joe’s frozen lemongrass chicken sticks with a side of baby carrots.

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2nd best meal of the week was this homemade masterpiece.  I know that chicken looks awful and raw but it was actually perfectly cooked.  I baked chicken thighs that marinated in miso, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and fish sauce all morning.

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Paired with roasted broccoli and kimchi and turkey bacon fried rice.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Salmon Cream Cheese Wontons

I had to work this weekend but somehow I ended up with a bunch of eats that were super good.  Because they all included sugar and/or cheese?  Probably!  Here were the highlights…

Three fun new coffee cups.  Halvah cotton candy on top.

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Chocolate milk ice cubes.

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Starbuck’s nitro cold brew.  I loved the velvety texture but was not a fan of it being served without ice.

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Pickings are slim at the cafeteria on the weekends but I put together a pretty good lunch plate.  BBQ wings, veggie lo mein, roasted baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes with blue cheese dressing.

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Mango yogurt with fresh mango on top.  Guys, fresh mangos are so flipping good, how did I forget about them all winter??

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Cookie and coffee break.  From Bittersweet (a hopping Fort Greene coffee spot with no less than 7 cute doggies waiting in line when I walked in).

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Another sweet snack, vanilla yogurt with chocolate peanut butter stirred in and mini chocolate chips on top.

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Cinnamon dusted apple slices with sharp cheddar squares and chocolate peanut butter sticks.

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Whole Foods hot bar dinner on an after-work shopping trip.  Crispy potatoes, vegan meat balls, roasted zucchini, tabbouleh, and pasta salad.

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Best meal of the week was this quick and easy dinner I threw together Friday night.

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Salmon cream cheese wontons!  I stuffed wonton skins with a mix of canned salmon, cream cheese, brown sugar, fish sauce, and minced ginger.  Baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

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They were creamy and crispy and delicious.  Served with roasted green beans.

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A close 2nd for best meal was our dinner at Lady’s, a newish Italian spot in Brooklyn.

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The food was all fantastic – so fresh, and perfectly seasoned.  Like this amazing salad with snow peas, sunflower seeds, and pickled radish.  <– 2nd best salad of my entire life

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We also started with hummus with crispy chickpeas, charred cucumber, lemon, and focaccia.

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With a yummy local watermelon ale.

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And for our entrée we shared pasta with crab,

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and honey butter pizza dough with sea salt and Calabrian chili.  The spicy-salty-sweet contrast was perfection.  I had a glass of prosecco with that course and the pairing was wonderful.

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I got a giant scoop of the new cheesecake flavor at Ample Hills for dessert.  It was a tasty weekend!