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)!

Japanese Kit-Kats And Trader Joe’s Nitro Cold Brew

Highlights from the week included…

Trader Joe’s nitrogen-infused cold brew, my new favorite bottled coffee.  It was so creamy and velvety!

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Check out that head (photo taken after I added cream).

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Yogurt bowls at work.  Plain Siggi’s with maple quinoa granola, chia seeds, brown sugar, and homemade raisins.  <– if I had included three favorites in my title this bowl would have been #3!  P.S. the raisins were much improved by a night in the fridge.

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Banana Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a piñata apple on the side.

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Snack attack.  There were curly fries in the cafeteria this week!

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I finally got my hands on some crazy-flavors Japanese Kit-Kats – butter cookie and pudding.  I would have liked both better with milk chocolate versus white but they were fun to try.

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Iced chai latte (that was way too spicy for me and ended up going in the garbage) and yummy honey caramel candies.

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I made a big batch of pesto and it was the cornerstone of most of our adult dinners last week.  Failed adulting dinners were cheese and crackers eaten in bed.  Pesto = basil, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan.  Most of it went into pasta bowls – whole wheat shells with shredded chicken and roasted zucchini, topped with more cheese and pine nuts and fried garlic panko bread crumbs for crunch.

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I also set aside some pesto for some truly epic egg sandwiches.

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Brioche bun / with pesto on one side / and gojuchang mayo on the other / with two fried eggs with a slice of fontina cheese melting in between.  <– ridiculously good and loosely inspired by the egg sandwich at Santina.

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With roasted green beans with more garlic panko.

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Saturday after work I met Adam for Southern fare at Pretty Southern.  We ordered both sherry drinks because cocktails with sherry are wonderful.  Carlita’s Colada – Palo cortado sherry, coconut cream, pineapple, and lime and Sunshine Way – Fino sherry, blackberry, pineapple, lime, and mint.  The coconut one was the best.

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We shared all of the things for dinner.  Chicken strips with the most amazing housemade pickles.

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Bourbon butter biscuit.   <– this was soggy and meh

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Fantastic mac and cheese with crispy fried onions on top.

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And a griddled sandwich with pimento cheese, tomato, and pickled jalapeño.

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I’ve got a busy but fun week ahead, please think calm thoughts for me!

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!

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!

Chocolate “Cheesecake” Oatmeal

Kids.  Work is really freaking stressful this month.  My goodness.  I had Wednesday off this week (from working the previous weekend) and I practically spent the whole day in a coma.  And yesterday I bought multiple coffees before 10 am.  I promise to whine about post a work sitch update sometime soon, but for this post I’m keeping things short and simple.

Some of the best things I ate this week…

Oatmeal with chia seeds, two kinds of chocolate chips, and a scoop of cream cheese.  It was heavenly.

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Mango yogurt with Luxardo cherries, plus I added a banana from the cafeteria at work.

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Another dessert-y lunch, plain Greek yogurt with cookie butter, granola, and a Pink Lady apple.

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My mother-in-law sent us a giant box of sugar cookies for Easter.  Both of our mothers still send us Easter baskets, actually, there’s a lot of candy in this house!

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Leftover cheddar bbq meatloaf with roasted green beans.  Adam butchered the meatloaf getting it out of the dish and then mashed it onto my plate because I pretty much live like a princess.

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<– that was sarcasm, but I really am pretty spoiled.  Case in point – honey beer with dinner.

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Sweet potato fries with tons of extra-sharp cheddar and ground turkey with Korean bbq sauce.  I realize that the photo is pretty rough, but it was one of the yummiest things I ate all week.  We highly recommend the frozen fries from Trader Joe’s.

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Hot pasta salad.  I sautéed big chunks of green bell pepper and onion in tons of olive oil and smoked paprika, tossed with crispy roasted chickpeas, and cheese tortellini.

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Are you dying eggs this weekend??

Channeling Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, and Christopher Turk

Questions about my title?  They’re all characters who love breakfast foods.  This weekend we were all about breakfasts, brunches, and brinners.  In fact, we ate enough “breakfast” foods to fill this whole post…

Thompkin’s Square Bagels.  We had a perfectly chewy poppy seed bagel with birthday cake(!!) cream cheese.  Plus wonderful chocolate milk and coffee.

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Vanilla-berry smoothie.  Vanilla almond milk, vanilla pudding mix, chia seeds, frozen strawberries and dark sweet cherries.

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Pistachio pastry at Maman.

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I also had a lavender hot chocolate.  Their cups/wallpaper/whole aesthetic pretty much kill me.

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Nickel and Dinner.

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I had roasted maitake mushrooms with provolone, ratatouille, garlic butter, and poached eggs.  I didn’t love the ratatouille, but cheese and mushroom just might be my new favorite combo.

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Off-theme but worth mentioning: we had rolled ice cream for dessert and it was wonderful.  I CE NY for the win.  Coffee latte ice cream with Oreo mixed in and mochi, marshmallow, and condensed milk on top.

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Egg empanada at Butler.  Local eggs, arugula, and cheddar, plus a divine cilantro dipping sauce.

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Breakfast for dinner.

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Coffee ale since Shiner collaborated with my favorite cold brew.  This was very drinkable.

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I made scrambled eggs with cheese, browned mushrooms, and turkey ham.  Roasted green beans for me and asparagus for Adam.

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Other fun stuff?  We started rewatching “Parks and Recreation” (shocker), we spent an afternoon at the mall, and Saturday morning we headed into the city before dawn to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge at sunrise.

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Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!