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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Oh My Gourd, It’s Pumpkin Month!

I didn’t do the best job with photography this week but I wanted to post anyways to share my pumpkin stash!

Oooh.

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Ahhh.

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Woo-hoo!

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Here were some snacky, squashy highlights from the workweek…

Coffee = Wicked Joe’s with 1% cow’s milk.

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My hospital’s cafeteria has a sushi bar now.  They don’t have brown rice or any vegetarian options so it’s not something I’d get for lunch every day, but this spicy shrimp tempura roll sure was fun.

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Pumpkin spice Siggi’s with a Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice KIND bar and a SweeTango apple.

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KIND bar with a cranberry almond Noosa.

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I’ve been loving turkey-cheese roll ups as a snack recently.  Provolone, smoked turkey, and a bit of pesto rolled up and microwaved until warm and melty.

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La Colombe latte can with a polvoron (a fantastically delicious milk cookie my coworker brings us from the Philippines).

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Dragonfruit lemongrass kombucha.

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I got a blog invite for the 2017 Healthy Brand Showcase.  Adam and I tasted some yummy things (shared on my Instagram Live) and I came home with tons of samples.  I’ll be sure to share when I try product I love.

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Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Pecan Beer And Maple Sausage

Adam and I both worked all weekend but on the plus side we had Friday off together first.  And we have days off that line up this upcoming week too, woo-hoo!

Highlights from the (working for the) weekend…

On Friday, I blogged my last post from Loosie’s Cafe.

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That’s a cortado.  I also had an iced soy latte and a chocolate croissant while I typed.

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For my homemade coffee I was back on the Wicked Joe train.

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The cafeteria offerings are pretty sparse over the weekend, but I did pull together this tasty plate of macaroni and cheese and vegetable medley.

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And I packed the last of my Apple Month goodies for snacking – TJ’s fruit bar and dried apple rings plus TJ’s cheese bites and an instant coffee package.

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My outside of work snacks were all dessert based.  These crunchy cookie Reese’s cups are our very favorite American-made candy.

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We finally made it to Sundays in Brooklyn‘s coffee/dessert window.

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Dairy-free dark chocolate soft serve with sugar crisps and toasted marshmallow.  <– swoon

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After work dinners were quick but delicious.  And prep flew by with my weekend sip-while-you-work cooking cocktail hour.  I made a spritzer with calamansi juice, Goldshlager, and club soda.

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Abita’s pecan ale is super sweet and nutty.

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We made fish sticks from scratch.

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Salmon was on sale, so that’s what I bought, and it worked perfectly.  Breaded in panko and baked, then dipped in cocktail sauce.

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With broccoli on the side.

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Another night we had breakfast bowls.

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There was labne hiding on the bottom / topped with roasted tomatoes and sauteed onions with sumac and olive oil / roasted delicata squash / a fried egg / and maple chicken sausages.

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P.S. Pumpkin Month started yesterday!  I can’t wait to share my stash in Friday’s post.

Law And Order SVU (Spectacular Vittles Unit)

I still don’t want to talk about anything important.  I’d rather think something else than the fact that my hometown was just ravaged by yet another hurricane.  St. Thomas – and the devastated Caribbean as a whole – is pretty much all I’ve been thinking about for the past 2 weeks.  Let’s talk about yummy food instead.

Three facts before we get into the meat of this post –

{1} I just learned that vittles is actually an outdated spelling of the word “victuals.”

{2} I was serving on the jury for a criminal case for the past 5 days.  I don’t dread my civic duty at all, and it was a very positive experience.  Deciding a verdict is an awesome responsibility and I feel like I got a learn a lot about our legal system over the past week.

{3} I have added to my apple stash!  Gum, kombucha, and gummy bears, all of which I highly recommend, by the way.

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Plus Noosa Yoghurt sent me a fun package of fall flavors, including one of their newest flavors – Apple!

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The highlights…

This week’s coffee – Campfire Blend.  Plus I purchased a latte every day on my lunch break.

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Since I couldn’t have my camera with me in court, I’m missing a lot of my day-time eats this week, but I do have shots of my packed snacks (including a full lunch for my Thursday back at work).  Maple Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a gingergold apple.

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Apple Noosa with an apple bar.  This Noosa really does taste like pie filling!  The yogurt is soooo creamy and sweet and the apples are just a bit cinnamon-y.

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Pink lady apple kombucha, cinnamon apple sauce, cinnamon apple oatmeal, and sour caramel apple gummy bears.

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Snacks worth mentioning include: this 365 brand popcorn.  It’s low sodium but totally not bland; I loved it and I usually won’t even eat bagged popcorn.

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A yogurt bowl with chocolate Siggi’s yogurt, chopped plucot, granola, and a few caramel chips.

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Trader Joe’s new peanut butter roundels.  They are basically supersized peanut cups, so obviously we are obsessed.

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It’s not officially fall until today, but we still made some cold weather comfort foods for dinners.

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Grilled cheese sandwich on whole-wheat sourdough with labneh, sharp white cheddar, and a sprinkle of sumac.

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Dipped in tomato soup (a low-sodium boxed variety from TJ’s that was good but not great).

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With roasted squash.

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I also made a ridiculously delicious Mac and Cheese and Greens casserole.

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Make a roux with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour // whisk in 1 cup skim milk and 8 cups baby spinach food processed until smooth with 3 Tbsp pesto and salt and pepper to taste // stir in 9 oz shredded sharp white cheddar and a healthy sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika // fold in 8 oz whole wheat shell pasta cooked according to package directions // pour into a casserole and top with 1 oz cheese // bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

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On the agenda this weekend?  We’re hoping the weather holds out for a final trip to Smorgasburg and a first-time visit to Roosevelt Island.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria

My title is a tongue in cheek joke about how the weather channel is turning me into a crazy person this month.  I was having such a good week too.  The VI was finally getting some desperately needed federal assistance and national news coverage and my parents got cell service back and I was able to talk to my mom.  But now, Maria is expected to hit the Virgin Islands as a category 3 hurricane this week.  Fantastic.

I’m still not really feeling up to prattling on about my days, but I did have some fun this week so I’m posting a top five…

{1}  favorite work bites

{a} coffee coffee coffee

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{b} I am still obsessed with that Trader Joe’s nut and seed mix

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{c} I also packed a nice tasting plate – dried apples, TJ’s crispy cheese bites, and a maple salmon bar.

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{d} This cafeteria wrap was on point.  Chicken / pinto beans / tomato / bell peppers / banana pepper / cheddar.

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{2}  apple eatventures

{a} I made caramel apple bread from scratch!  Basically just pumpkin bread made with apple sauce instead of pumpkin puree and totally just an excuse to use these caramel chips.

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{b} Caramel apple oatmeal.  Rolled oats / caramel chips / cinnamon / chia seeds / dried apples.

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{c} Caramel apple Twizzlers.

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{d} Apple pie milkshake.  Vanilla ice cream / Greek yogurt / applesauce/ cinnamon and gingerbread spice.

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{3}  cobb salad pasta salad

Whole wheat bowtie pasta / crumbled fancy aged blue cheese / turkey bacon / chopped chicken breast / hard-boiled eggs / diced avocado / shredded spinach / roasted baby tomatoes.

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{4}  a Mile End meal recreation

Mile End Deli has a Brussel sprouts dish on their menu that we were over the moon for, so I recreated it at home.  Our version was roasted brussel sprouts / tossed with crispy turkey bacon / plus olive oil and honey / sprinkled with sumac / on a base of labne.

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While we cooked – which took no time at all – we sipped on Switchel.

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Up Mountain Switchel sent me a box for review.  The lemon flavor was too spicy ginger for me, but I loved the Yerba Mate.  The ingredients list is short and simple (the four things listed on the front of the bottle plus water) and a serving has 54 calories and 10 grams of sugar.  It paired nicely with our meal and would be a good alternative option to booze or soda with dinner.

{5}  a trip to the South Fork of the Hamptons

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{a} Doughnuts and coffee at Grindstone.

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I had a Nutella s’mores brioche doughnut and a vanilla latte.

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{b} La Colombe black and tan (draft latte and cold brew) at Sag Town Coffee.  P.S. Apparently I am obsessed with Sag Harbor, it is so cute!

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{c} Lunch at Lunch.  Instead of a lobster roll I went with the seafood chili – with a bloody mary – and was quite pleased with my choice.

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{d} A cup of birthday cake ice cream at Scoop Du Jour.

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{e} And best of all, we got to stick our toes in the sand at the beach.

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It was a super foggy day and the crashing waves were gorgeous.  Plus we saw about a million seagulls.  <– best beach day ever

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Coffee And Eggs

Important Things First

I was finally able to speak with my parents and they are alright (and the rest of my island family members are safe as well).  Phone service, power, and most cell service are out, so for the foreseeable future I can only talk to my parents when they manage to borrow a working cell phone.  Communication on-island is tricky as well, radio stations were down and when I spoke with my parents briefly Friday afternoon they didn’t even know that Jose had been updated to a category four (thankfully that ended up being a nonissue).  We got unbelievably lucky and our home’s roof is fully intact.  When I got off the train Friday morning I had a voicemail from my dad and I was so relieved I starting sobbing in the middle of the street like a crazy person.  It’s been an emotional weekend, I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude for how fortunate my family was.

The United States Virgin Islands as a whole was not so lucky.  St. Thomas and St. John were decimated by Hurricane Irma.  On St. Thomas, our only hospital, airport, fire station, and post office were destroyed.  Looking through my friends’ pictures of the destruction on Facebook is heart-wrenching.

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If you feel compelled to help the VI, here are some options:

  1. A friend I trust is crowdfunding via YouCaring and will distribute money to local foundations
  2. Tim Duncan vowed to match donations up to $1million
  3. Kenny Chesney also started a foundation
  4. If you are interested in volunteering to help with clean up, here is where you can register

Weekend Eats Highlights

{1}  apple adventures

I broke into some of my Trader Joe’s apple goodies – freeze dried Fujis and cereal bars.  Along with a coffee Chobani yogurt drink.

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{2}  delightful drinks

Iced coffee with chocolate milk, my favorite beverage combo.  I also loved my lavender mint water.

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{3}  stupendous snack

Trader Joe’s hit it out of the park with this seed and bean medley.  Apparently dried fava beans are my favorite thing, who knew?

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{4}  eggy eats

I breakfasted at the hot bar before starting my shopping at Whole Foods.  Scrambled eggs with potatoes and turkey bacon and an iced latte.

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Homemade chilaquiles!  Tortilla chips heated in a skillet with olive oil / tossed with green salsa and sour cream / with roasted zucchini folded in / and cheese / topped with two burnt fried eggs.

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{5}  Brooklyn bites

Brooklyn Kolache Co.

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We shared poppy seed, chocolate, and jalapeño egg and cheese.

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BKG Coffee Roasters.

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This spot was adorable and my latte was yummy.

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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.