May The Schwartz Be With You

^^^ That’s a Spaceballs quote for my title because this post includes a lot of meatballs!

Best bites this week…

Coffee combo from heaven, Birch cold brew roast and chocolate milk.

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Even better, chocolate milk with a Grady’s cold brew.

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Yogurt bowl wins.  Chobani mango with blueberries and doughnut cereal.

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2% Greek with blueberries and a big scoop of MaraNatha caramel almond butter.

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Important note – this is my new all-time favorite nut butter.  If you eat it straight out of the jar (as I’ve been doing all week) it tastes like delicious frosting!

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Ball!  I made a batch of baked turkey meatballs with sage, lemon, and whole wheat panade.

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Served on lemon pepper broccoli rice / with gussied up tomato sauce – with tomato paste, shredded sweet onion, garlic, anchovy, and oregano.

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Plus we made toasted meatball subs!  With smoked gouda and Parmesan.

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And a side of roasted broccoli.

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I also did another round of hot dish.  This time an Asian take with shredded turkey, ginger, gojuchang, peas, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and sweet potato tots.

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And you can never go wrong with pizza.  What am I even going to do when I don’t live walking distance from buffalo chicken?!

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I work the next three days but I hope everyone else enjoys their weekend!

Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken

This past week was extra-strength lengthy.  I stayed late at work a few days and had several issues with my train and the end result was that I was home more than two hours late almost every day this week – yuck!  I did manage to eat some good dinners still, but I did not manage to get this post up on time.

Best bites {or really should I be writing “superior sips” here because I always start with coffee?!} –

Iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk.

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I also had a yummy iced latte from Birch.

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And I tried the new blonde espresso from Starbucks.  <– quite good, felt like it should be paired with vanilla

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Peach Siggi’s with a Cara Cara orange and strawberry granola minis.

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Plain Icelandic style yogurt with maple taffy, Page mandarins, and sprinkled donut crunch cereal.

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I am a marketer’s dream; I don’t eat cereal all that often, and I hate Captain Crunch, but I still bought this because it was adorable!

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Adam and I both had Monday off, so we got to go on a lunch date!  Serendipity3.

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It was our best meal there to date, we were both swooning over our entrees.  I had curried chicken casserole with almonds and many bites of Adam’s sandwich.

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We came home with two-full-meals-worth of leftovers and were still almost too full for dessert.  Almost.  This sundae is the best thing ever – humble (peanut butter) pie / vanilla ice cream / sliced bananas / hot fudge.

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Bonus – we stopped at Dylan’s next door before our walk across the Queensborough bridge and bought a candy bar on a whim that ended up being fantastic.

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I made a big crockpot of Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken for dinners.  Basically this recipe but with Coke instead of Dr Pepper and chicken instead of pork and I diced up my cherries, chipotles, and jalapenos.

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Served on a sandwich with brioche bun and mayo.

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And roasted zucchini on the side.

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And served on top of nachos!

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My other dinners were brinners.

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Breakfast bowl with sauteed kale with tons of garlic and onion, Trader Joe’s meatless breakfast sausages, and two fried eggs.

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Scrambled eggs with tons of onion, chipotle, and sharp cheddar and roasted green beans on the side.

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Hello, 2018!

On a personal level, 2018 is off to a great start.  Adam’s and my last week of 2017 staycation was deeply wonderful, so I’m starting the year in a damn good mood.

Though perhaps I’ll be less ecstatic today, by the time this post goes live I will already be outside attempting to dig my car out from the foot plus of snow dropped by the bomb cyclone.  I work this weekend so thankfully I was already off for the worst of it on Thursday.

Here were the best bites from the year so far…

This week’s coffee – Starbucks espresso roast.

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Plus on my snow day I sipped on a super fancy Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew with chocolate milk.  Total frothy, creamy, goodness.

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Yogurt bowl work lunches are off to a good start.  Coffee and Cream Chobani with maple almond butter granola and a Pacific Rose apple and MadeGood chocolate chip granola minis.

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Mint Chocolate Chunk Chobani with chocolate Cheerios and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  This new flavor was surprisingly delicious, just like mint chip ice cream.

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Smoked turkey and Swiss sandwich box from Starbucks.

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Popping champagne gummies for the new year.  I have loved all of the bears from Project Seven that I’ve tried so far.

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Yummy vanilla bean French pudding.

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Exciting limited edition seltzers tasting.  We didn’t like the cola as much as I had hoped – it was too weird to have the flavor without the sweetness – and the unicorn kisses wasn’t magical but was very tasty.

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I totally rocked it in the kitchen this week; three meals were 10/10.  Like good luck bowls to start the year – forbidden rice / collard greens – sauteed with garlic / hoppin’ john – a slightly bastardized version with orange bell pepper added in.

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Hot wing pasta with carrots and celery on the side.

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Whole wheat pasta shells / sauteed baby spinach and green onion with fish sauce / shredded chicken breast with cream cheese and hot sauce / sharp cheddar.

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Chick pot pie hot dish (loosely inspired by this recipe from Molly Yeh).

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Shredded chicken breast / tons of sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery, and peas / roux + caned low fat milk and chicken broth with sour cream, hot sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika / tater tots!

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Hope everyone’s 2018 is off to a good start!

Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!

Last Week I…

Last week I loved: Webster!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I also liked the pineapple flavored raisins from Amazing Fruit.

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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.

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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.

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Pumpkin tres leches bubble tea from Teapsy in Astoria.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Plus roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

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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.

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Have a great week!

Weekend Update: Chilaquiles Edition

Our Saturday and Sunday plans mirrored each other and my weekend days ended up following a template:

maple iced latte in Brooklyn // brunch at a Chris Santos restaurant in the Lower East Side with chilaquiles // ice cream for dessert // walk across a bridge // a veggie-forward homemade dinner  {x2}

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Iced nonfat latte with four shots of espressso and maple at Otha’s.

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Iced nonfat Maple Shay with extra espresso at Brooklyn Roasting Co.

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Brunch at Beauty and Essex.  Vanilla doughnuts stuffed with raspberry jam to start.

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I ordered a cocktail with tequila, honey, and smoked blackberries.  It was good but Adam’s neon green Emerald Gimlet stole the show – Belvedere vodka, basil, lemon nectar, and fresh lime.

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BaE is tapas style so we ordered three savory dishes to share.  Crab egg foo young with shiitake mushrooms.

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Chilaquiles with and pulled chicken, sunny side up egg, cotija cheese, and pickled red onion.

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And braised chicken meatballs with sheep milk ricotta, wild mushroom, and truffle.

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Brunch at Stanton Social.  This is another sharing-encouraged spot so again we picked three plates to split.  Fried chicken on blue corn waffles with corn pudding, fresno chile, and maple syrup.

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Housemade naan with lamb bacon, zaatear spiced labneh, and pickled tomato.  It was totally swoonworthy.

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Chilaquiles with hand pulled chicken, sunny-side up egg, and feta.  We preferred the Stanton Social chilaquiles to Beauty and Essex.

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I also had a delicious Vietnamese coffee cocktail with Finlandia, Kahlua, cold brew coffee, and chocolate bitters.

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Fueled across the Williamsburg Bridge with a doughnut ice cream sandwich at Stax.  We had bourbon cornflake ice cream with Frosted Flakes and condensed milk on top.

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Fueled across the Manhattan Bridge with Ice & Vice.  Red (hibiscus, rose, Swedish Fish fluff) and Opium Den (white sesame, toasted poppy seed, lemon bread crouton) in a Froot Loops cone.  The red ice cream was our favorite thing we ate all weekend.

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I made an updated version of my Cheesy Eggplant Bake with meat sauce.  For the sauce I cooked ground turkey breast and onion in olive oil with garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne with tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.

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Quinoa bowls for Sunday dinner.  Tri-color quinoa topped with smoked trout, lemon pepper Swiss chard, and butter sautéed chanterelles.

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^^^

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Top Five This Week

{1}  Fiber One sent me samples of their newest product line – layered chewy bars.

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I’m a fan!  Sometimes fiber-added products hurt my stomach, but these gave me no issues.  They are chewy without being tooth-breaking and salty-sweet – my favorite flavor combo.  They come in double chocolate almond.

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And the even more delicious salted caramel and dark chocolate.

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{2}  I made a tasty strawberry sauce.

It was quick and easy, just fresh strawberries quartered and cooked in a skillet over medium heat.

Paired with passion fruit yogurt with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And plain yogurt with vanilla granola and a few Luxardo cherries.

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{3}  Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium partnered on a cookie dough beer and I paired it with cookie dough ice cream.

We ended up not loving the beer, which had a chemical aftertaste to it, but the ice cream (which I topped with melty Biscoff) was obviously delicious.

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And speaking of Speculoos…

{4}  Starbucks has a cookie butter bar and it is out of this freaking world.

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{5}  I spent 3+ hours making over-the-top lasagna.

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Loosely based on this recipe, it was totally worth the time commitment.

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I made a red sauce with ground turkey and TJ’s soy chorizo.  My béchamel was a four-cheese doozy made with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda. I skipped the ricotta, but did top my dish off with more parmesan-gouda.

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{bonus}  My schedule – I worked President’s Day and work this upcoming weekend which means I was off from work yesterday and today for a midweek weekend!  And Adam is off today too so we’ve got some Upper East Side fun planned.  See you next week!