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!

Wrapping It Up

Thanks to the holiday day and compensatory days for working the preceding and following weekends… I only worked two days this week!  Tuesday and Friday on and the rest of the week to do as I pleased, not a bad way to end 2016.  Though now I do work both NYE and the first day of 2017.

It was also a big week in my personal life, on Wednesday Adam and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary (and 14th anniversary of being together)!  We didn’t exchange gifts or do anything crazy to celebrate, it’s hard to get too excited when we are so darn close to 10 years.  <– eeeeeeeeeeee!

Food highlights for the week – – –

Yogurt lunches.  Dulce de leche Chobani with granola, plus a snapdragon apple and a vanilla latte can.  Out of 10, the coffee and yogurt both get a 9+.

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2% Fage with Soom chocolate tahini, sweet and spicy pecans, chopped apple, and chia seeds.

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Dinner at Bubby’s.  I met a girlfriend in Chelsea midweek and this is where we ended up.  Neither of us ordered pie, but I had a great frisee salad with poached egg and sherry vinaigrette.

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Iced coffee with princess emulsion (fancy vanilla extract that had a strong undertone of lemon and actually wasn’t great in coffee).

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Fantastically roasty Terremoto Coffee skim latte was the best drink of the week, especially because I plopped a scoop of goat’s milk tahini ice cream in it a minute later.

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Gelt!

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On our anniversary – which we actually celebrated a day late because Adam’s schedule is insane – we cuddled on the couch and watched our wedding video with a split of champagne and the last eggnog iced coffee of the season.

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We did dinner at Shalom Japan and I didn’t take a single picture.  I did snap dessert – an ice cream date at OddFellows.  Toasted marshmallow + amazing caramel chocolate toffee.

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Best dish of the week = I made legit macaroni and cheese.  Pimento cheese macaroni and cheese.

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Whole wheat macaroni / sautéed green onions and chopped pimento / mornay sauce with sharp cheddar and raw milk cheddar / panko on top.

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With spinach salad with red bell pepper, sweet and spicy pecans, and honey mustard, and roasted green beans with fried green onion.

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See you next year!  <– my favorite dumb joke

Back At It

With a crazy-busy week at work and a weather in the tens in NYC yesterday, we are definitely not on vacation any more, Toto!

Thankfully my day-to-day life takes place in the best city in America with the world’s nicest husband and the universe’s cutest dog so it’s really not too bad.

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And I get to eat some pretty yummy food too.  Flavors of the week – salmon, green beans, eggs, and egg nog…

This week’s coffee combo decked my mornings with boughs of jolly.

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Christmas blend espresso roast with soy/nog.  I also had a 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) cup at work everyday because going back to work after a vacation kind of sucks.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with Bear Naked cacao + cashew butter granola.  Plus a super juicy Pacific Rose apple.

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Oatmeal with chia seeds, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and gingerbread spice.  Plus an apple on the side and a scoop of peanut butter on top once it was cooked.

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Yesterday I had a ridiculously cheesy toasted turkey sandwich from the cafeteria that I was too busy to snap a picture of.  And Wednesday the hospital served us a holiday luncheon, complete with the best steamed green beans any of us had ever tasted.

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It was a week of sweets, including on-theme jelly beans.

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Plus Brooklyn Cupcake.  Guava cheese and coquito <– the best flavor.

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I also ate all of the Oreo frosting off of this slice of red velvet.

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I knew Monday would knock me out, so I got dinner started before work that morning.  Strata with a super simple salad with honey mustard dressing.

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The egg casserole was this recipe but with whole-wheat pumpernickel, maple chicken sausage, and a nutty raw-milk cheddar.  The leftovers were great the next day too.

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Wednesday Adam and I did a date night at the beautiful Sisters’ Restaurant.  I want to go back for brunch so I get a better view, plus hopefully my food shots will be a little better.

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We shared drinks – Nine Pin Cider for me – and two appetizers.  Sweet potato fries with local maple crème fraiche and fried cauliflower and capers.  The cauliflower was ahh-mazing.  And we both decided the Nine Pin is the best cider on the market.

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I ordered the salmon niçoise, more green beans for me!  It was great, the fish was perfectly cooked.

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More salmon for dinner yesterday.  I made garlic salmon patties with sautéed bok choy with fried oyster mushrooms and a quick sauce of soy/honey/sriracha.  I ate my second patty while I assembled our plates, with a creamy cocktail sauce for dipping.

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Have a merry weekend!

This Week’s Top Five

December is here!  The last themed-food month of the year (also the last month of the year, holy crap)!

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Here were the top five from this week…

{1} Christmas-flavored coffees

Eggnog iced lattes have been rocking my face off, and I was also really into the holiday-spiced sweet cream cold brews this week.

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{2} Triple Draft Latte from La Colombe

Delish!  I enjoyed this can more than the store-made lattes I’ve gotten from this company.  I never did eat that pomelo though, it’s been a busy week at work.

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{3} Eggnog overnight oats

TJ’s low-fat eggnog / rolled oats / chia seeds / cinnamon and nutmeg / sliced banana.

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{4} Quesadillas

I ate one every day this week!  The hospital cafeteria kept having them and the one day I ate a different lunch I met up with a girlfriend for dinner and tequila after work.  Pictured is a jerk chicken quesadilla with corn, bell pepper, and cheddar and pepperjack.

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{5} Thanksgiving leftovers pasta

With turkey, roasted brussel sprouts, gruyere, and cranberry sauce.

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Now I’m looking forward to a month of mulled spices, eggnog, gingerbread, and peppermint.

Tastes Like Thanksgiving

I hope all my American readers stuffed themselves silly yesterday (all of my readers really!) and made good memories with family and/or friends.  Adam and I both had to work, so no festivities here, but thankfully I spent time with 3/4 of my family in St. Thomas last weekend.  P.S. No post from last weekend, I didn’t take many pictures, but I did eat johnny cake with cheese and day drink almost daily.

In spite of being kind of lame on Turkey Day, I did manage to pack my week with holiday flavors – cranberry, green beans, turkey, pumpkin, and egg nog.  Plus, apparently I’ve decided that chips are an on-theme holiday flavor!

Winter Cheer Stumptown with a cranberry clementine seltzer and a giant pomelo.

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Cranberry turkey Wilde bar with a snap dragon apple and a cranberry cider seltzer.  <– are we appreciating the cranberry seltzers I squirreled away for this week?!

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Holiday spiced sweet cream cold brew.

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Thursday felt like an appropriate time to get my eggnog goodies going.

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Veggies with pita chips for scooping from the cafeteria for lunch.  Tomato, green bell pepper, corn, cheddar, and beans.

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Oats in a jar.  I dumped hot oats with chia seeds and pepitas into the last of the chocolate tahini.  Plus an ambrosia apple.

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With more chocolate for dessert, I snacked on a cookie dough bar and a latte.

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The cafeteria made a special Thanksgiving lunch.  I had veggie lasagna, stuffing, and green beans.

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Tuesday night – aka the first time Adam and I laid eyes on each other since last Wednesday! – we went out for dinner before making an overdue grocery run.  I got a chopped salad with green chili lime vinaigrette, roasted corn, cucumber, jicama, and tons of avocado plus blue tortilla nachos with black beans, serrano salsa fresca, and Oaxaca queso sauce.

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Post-dinner coffee to get me through Trader Joe’s.  The aged Sumatra is tasty.

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And the next morning I was able to get dinner going in the crock pot – cranberry bbq chicken that knocked our freaking socks off.  In a slow cooker on low for 8 hours / chicken breast / maple whiskey bbq sauce / fresh cranberries tossed with minced garlic and a bit of sugar.  I topped my bowl with some shredded cheese.

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Served with roasted green beans and pumpkin beers.

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I was the only RD at work on Thanksgiving and the day ended up being pretty exhausting.  Thankfully I already had planned the ultimate lazy dinner – nachos.  I kept things on theme though!  TJ’s turkey and stuffing kettle chips / cheddar, swiss, and gruyere / turkey breast / cranberry sauce.  With green beans in thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette.

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Served with – just under the wire – the last pumpkin beer of the season.

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Plus a nauseating amount of baking nibbles for dessert, we are doing a belated Thanksgiving with my in-laws this weekend and I’m bringing cookies.

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What’s your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dish?  I won’t judge you if you say nachos.

Bites And Frights

How in the world is it November???  I promise not to spend the rest of this year talking about how the year is running out, but it really is blowing my mind.

On the agenda before January?  Christmas shopping, finding the perfect day planner for 2017, and plans for three out-of-town trips right in a row.

Presently, I’m waiting for Adam to get home so we can go to brunch.  And these were the highlights from the past week…

I actually did a pretty good job with capturing things this week minus a plethora more of nachos and iced coffees.  I tried a new blend from Birch.

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Espresso and a KIND bar.

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Coffee, chai latte, and an almond croissant.

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I found a white chocolate seltzer for my Halloween lunch.  It didn’t have much flavor, but my oatmeal was good – with chia seeds, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and candy corn, plus I stirred in pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt cream cheese at the end.

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Other lunches centered around this sweet box of samples from LÄRABAR.  They offered me a chance to try their newest product – BITES, “truffle-like bites made from real food to satisfy your sweet craving.”  The bites are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and only use Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa and coffee.

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We tried three of four flavors (I’m saving mint chocolate for December, aka Peppermint Month) and were big fans.  Cherry Chocolate Chip was enjoyable but not our favorite, I thought Double Chocolate Brownie was fudgy and great next to coffee, and Adam loved the fact that Chocolate Macaroon was coated in coconut flour.

I had a serving of brownie bites with a Noosa pumpkin yogurt and some gum drop grapes(!!) for lunch.

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Coconut macaroon went with plain yogurt with yummy chocolate tahini on top.

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This week’s snack highlights were nut and seed centric.

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Also, of course, candy.  Another product review, Magic Candy Factory sent me a super exciting sample –

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That’s my name!  I think this company is really exciting, you can choose from 100’s of shapes, or write a custom message, and MCF will 3D print you a gummy.  The candy is vegan (no dairy, no gelatin), gluten-free, nut-free, and kosher.  Most importantly, it’s delicious.

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We tried sublime strawberry and Adam declared this his favorite gummy candy of all time.

Orange and black nachos for Halloween.  TJ’s pumpkin chips topped with cheddar, olives, black beans, and shredded chicken.

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Plus pumpkin beers and Peeps.  Warlock was fantastic this year.

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For the rest of the week, I made a big batch of pumpkin seed pesto.  Served on pizza with cheddar and sliced turkey, I promise it was tastier than it looked.  With a pea sprout salad.

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And we tossed the rest of the pesto with pumpkin-shaped pasta, parmesan, shredded chicken, and roasted cauliflower.  Almost nothing is better than pesto pasta.

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Enjoy your weekend!