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!

Chicken Wing Style Meatballs

This week’s top three were tippity-top good!  Sweet and spicy, my favorite combo…

{1}  Fluffy cloud sesame vanilla yogurt bowl goodness.

TJ’s vanilla bean Greek yogurt with halvah cotton candy folded in.

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{2}  Chocolate chip vanilla chia pudding.

Chia seeds + vanilla hemp milk + mini chocolate chips.

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{3}  Chicken wing style meatball dinner.

Inspired by this Spicy Habenero Wing Sauce I got from Moore’s Marinades.  <– free sample alert – this product was provided for me without charge to review, I was not given any additional compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.

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I made spicy meatballs with wing sauce, ground chicken, and celery and onion (the veggies were minced and cooked in butter first).  I used panade instead of breadcrumbs and they ended up being the juiciest, best meatballs we’ve ever made eaten.

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Seriously, Adam and I ate the whole batch in one night because we kept going back for more!

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Served with an on-theme side, sautéed carrot, celery, and spring onion.

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Have a great weekend!

Pie In The Sky

This is a longer wrap-up (Monday through Sunday) but I’m missing a lot of photos because this week felt like the actual longest and I mostly just ate cheese on top of various things.  Adam and I both have a week off coming up at the end of the month and man, oh man, do I need it!  Three big complaints from this past week – 1. some horrible thing are happening in our department and my schedule/work-load is going to become ridiculous; 2. the “blizzard” killed my big Pi(e) Day plans; 3. I stood in front of an automatic door like an idiot and gouged my big toe and then bled all over the place in front of a bunch of cute doctors.

My schedule was all over the place last week so I was disoriented in addition to cranky.  Thanks to the weather-related NYC shut down, a last minute schedule change for a lunch and learn, and weekend coverage, I was off on Wednesday, worked a half day on Tuesday and Thursday, and worked a full day Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  But now I’m off again on Wednesday which is pretty much a golden lining!

/end rant.  Here were some of the yummy things that put a smile on my face last week…

Coffee combo on point.  Chicory with sweet buttercream creamer.

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I also had wonderful iced lattes from Butler and City of Saints.

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Killer lunch components = California Grape kombuchaPeach and cloudberry(!) skyr yogurt with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin.

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Our lunch and learn was a Nestle presentation on perioperative nutrition.  It was more product promotion than educational, unfortunately, and the research wasn’t as robust as I had hoped.  My lunch was good though, grilled salmon and mixed veggies.

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Fabulous lunch date at the White Oak Tavern.

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I had a cocktail with whiskey, Kahlua, housemade butterscotch, espresso, and cream.

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We split a salad and salmon for lunch.  Chopped salad with cucumber, feta, olives, avocado, haricot vert, and tahini dressing.

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Pan seared salmon with a smoked tomato and piquillo puree, plus crispy potatoes and cipollini onion.

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We were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was because we definitely came for dessert – a dark chocolate brownie with butterscotch, walnuts, and toasted marshmallow.

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Fruit and cheese plate, the cafeteria was feeling fancy.

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Coffee break with a honey caramel chocolate bar.

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Adam totally saved Pi(e) Day by offering to bake with me.  We made S’mores Pie which is one of our favorites.  Almost as good as going on a pie crawl in Brooklyn, almost.

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The crust looks red because instead of graham crackers I made it out of Peeps flavored Oreos (<– which turned out to be freaking amazing).

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P.S. on Monday night while the grocery store was packed with people filling carts with bread, canned goods, and bottled waters, I got in line with Oreos, chocolate bars, marshmallows, and a case of soda.  I’d die first if the blizzard had been real but I’m still pretty sure I win.

Eggs for dinner that tasted far better than they looked.  Scrambled with sharp cheddar and brown sugar and Sriracha shredded chicken.

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When we were at the University of Miami I worked at an on-campus bar that served the yummiest pita tuna melts; it took me ten years, but I finally made them at home.

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Curried tuna salad – canned tuna with mayo, green curry paste, curry powder, spring onion, and shallots – with sharp cheddar stuffed in a pita and cooked in a skillet with copious amounts of butter.  They were 10/10 fantastic.

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Plus roasted green beans with shallots.

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Buffalo chicken and veggie bowls.

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Roasted sweet potato and brussels sprouts, topped with shredded chicken breast in buffalo sauce, and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.

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Have a great week!

4 x 3 = 12

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snack, here were my top three eats for this week…

breakfast{1}  The 2nd best* thing I ate all week – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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Café du Mondé coffee with chicory from our trip to NOLA with sweetened condensed milk.  Yum City.

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b{2}  A killer smoothie.

How pretty is this purple??  Frozen soursop and blueberries with cow’s milk and vanilla pudding mix.

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b{3}  Double chocolate oat bowl.

Oats, chia, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

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b{warning}  Do not recommend: this oatmeal drink box.

The flavor was way too artificial.  Adam tried a plain one and loved it so it’s probably the caramel flavor that’s the problem.

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lunch{1}  Cafeteria sandwich.

Turkey and cheese.  I mostly prefer to pack lunch for work but I hate trying to pack sandwiches so this is a great cafeteria option when I’m in the mood.

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l{2}  Yogurt bowl.

Coconut Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit is this year’s new favorite combo!  I snacked on the vanilla granola and chocolate coconut milk on the side.

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l{3}  Baked potato bar.

I topped my spud with cheese sauce, salsa, black beans, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

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snack{1}  Caffeine overload.

Iced latte with chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Full disclosure – I drank a sugar-free Red Bull around this same time and spent an hour or two pretty sure I could hear colors.

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s{2}  Cheesy bagel.

I toasted half a poppy seed bagel with butter and cheddar-gruyere/parmesan-gouda.  Eaten while prepping dinner because I just couldn’t wait.

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s{3}  Yogurt bowl with my favorite citrus.

Maple yogurt with Heritage Flakes.  Plus a Sumo Mandarin.

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dinner{1}  Let’s be real, the very best* thing I ate this week was nachos.

Four-cheese nachos with black beans and roasted garlic salsa.  Duh.  But no photo because we ate them in bed in the middle of the day (<–fabulous) and my main focus was on keeping them away from the dog.

d{2}  Gojuchang turkey rice bowls.

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Brown rice with cilantro, lime and butter / roasted cabbage / ground turkey sautéed with spring onions and cilantro and a sauce made out of gojuchang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / black sesame seeds and lime juice on top.

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d{3}  Cheesy eggs.

A scramble with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda.  Plus baby carrots for a quick veggie on the side.

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d{warning}  Do not recommend: the altered quinoa soup I blogged about last weekend.

I see why Cooking Light only used a quarter cup of grains, by day 2 our leftovers were very well-hydrated quinoa with not a drop of broth to be found.

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