Merry And Bright

Last week was great, and filled with great eats. It worked out that I was off from work most of the week, which was just lovely! And Adam and I were both home together for Christmas, which has rarely happened in our marriage. The absolute best part of the week was walking around Manhattan (8 miles!) admiring holiday decorations and checking out the Rockefeller tree – – it was impossible to capture in a photo but even in the daytime the lights were stunning.

Other highlights included…

We obviously had to buy both of these eggnogs to do a comparison taste-test (premium was a bit better!).

Christmas morning dalgona coffee with eggnog.

Max Brenner‘s peanut butter hot chocolate blew our minds.

Trader Joe’s peppermint mini marshmallows are great.

And we loved this peppermint seltzer.

Birthday cake scone from Sweetie Pies on Main. We went out to Cold Spring Harbor to admire their decorations. And yes, we do have a car tree.

This snowball doughnut from Comfortland was insane. It was coated in coconut and stuffed with marshmallow cream.

Plain Greek yogurt bowl with banana, chocolate cashew butter, and cinnamon.

Very impressed with this vegan jerky.

I’ve had my eye on this salmon candy spread for months and it did not disappoint. Paired wonderfully with everything-style crackers.

Still very into this frozen meal. Also fresh mandarin oranges.

Best meal I’ve ever made – crockpot five spice chicken thighs / celery, bok choy, and scallions / rice cakes / gojuchang brown sugar sauce. Topped with chili crisp.

We broiled the leftovers with mozzarella cheese and it somehow got even better.

The best meal we’ve ever eaten came from Milu. Mandarin duck with duck fat rice and marinated cucumbers / brisket with chili garlic mint sauce and tofu seaweed salad / chili crisp fried chicken with scallion mayo. Plus egg tart soft-serve. Every single bite was swoonworthy.

A roasted sheet-pan meal with brussel sprouts, cave aged blue cheese, turkey sausage, dried sweet cherries, yellow raisins, and sweet and spicy pecans.

Soft-scrambled eggs with roasted broccoli rabe and purple cauliflower, cucumber salad, and hot-smoked salmon.

Best Weekend Ever

Adam and I had time together on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and we had just the best weekend ever! We got super lucky with nice weather which makes all of the difference this time of year.

Friday night we met up with friends for distanced fun in Brooklyn. Dinner and some stand-up comedy. Ample Hills does shows on their rooftop and each $10 ticket comes with a giant cup of ice cream! I got Coffee Toffee and No Sleep ‘Til Pumpkin – coffee ice cream with pumpkin gooey butter cake pieces.

Saturday we took a sixteen mile walk around the Upper West Side and Central Park.

And Sunday we visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Food highlights from the week include…

Rainbow cookie iced latte with edible glitter and pink whipped cream(!!!) from Crave.

Pumpkin things. PSLs from La Colombe and Nitro Beverage Co.

Orwashers sourdough bagel with hand-cut smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese.

Breakfast tacos. With sliced turkey, scrambled eggs, smoked cheddar, and red and green hot sauce.

We tried Laderach chocolate for the first time and now we are smitten.

Snacks from H-Mart. Oreo bubble tea candy and durian chocolates. Plus seaweed and salted egg potato chips.

A two chip chocolate chip cookie from Levain (newest best cookie ever) and a Campfire Cappuccino from Orwashers (with toasted marshmallow and hickory smoke, newest best marshmallow coffee ever).

Dinner at Tradisyon. I had Kare Kare – stewed oxtail and brisket in peanut sauce with eggplant, green beans, and bok choy and shrimp paste.

Plus we got delicious popsicles. Soy milk with mochi and brown sugar and calamansi cheesecake with meringue.

Sprinkles And Sushi

We were easing ourselves back to work so we kept my birthday weekend pretty low-key.  Adam and I made super exciting, sprinkle-packed coffees and walked around Cold Spring Harbor admiring the flowers in the morning and then got sushi take-out for dinner and  I video-chatted with my parents while opening presents.  And the next night we met up with friends for drinks/dinner/a long walk around Park Slope.  It was perfect!

Highlights include…

Birthday dalgona coffee.

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Quad iced latte from Balancero.

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Fredo cappuccino (espresso blended with ice and topped with frothed milk) from The Grand.  <– my new favorite coffee

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Lox and cream cheese biscuit from Comfortland.

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An epic yogurt bowl – – plain Greek yogurt with cashew butter, plum, plucot, apricot, and Bueno Bar.

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I left key lime pie off of my list of favorite foods the other day, but it’s definitely in the top fifteen!  Westbrook’s Key Lime Pie Gose is fantastic.  I also made a wonderful key lime pie cocktail with lime juice, vodka, sweetened condensed milk, and key lime seltzer.

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Birthday sushi.  I got seaweed salad, a roll with egg and pickled vegetables, and a roll with king crab, crunch, avocado, and spicy mayo.

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Chuko Ramen.  I got the kimchi ramen with soy eggs.  It was so great to see friends for the first time in months… we were sitting outside and only took our masks off to eat and we all felt pretty safe about it.

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Cross your fingers for me that it’s an easy transition back to work, please!

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Aha!

Highlights from this week (mostly beverages that blew my mind!) include…

Starbucks vanilla sweet cream nitro cold brew can gets a 7.5/10.  Not as good as a freshly made nitro but better than many canned coffees.

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Wendy’s new cold brew with chocolate Frosty creamer gets a 7/10; a great score for a fast food coffee.  It was not too sweet and the coffee was vastly more robust than Dunkin Donuts’.

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I always enjoy Health Ade Kombucha and their passion fruit tangerine flavor is my new 2nd favorite (it comes in behind their holiday spice flavor).

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AHA = my new favorite sparkling water.  This was the surprisingly fantastic flavor combo of cherry and coffee!  And it’s caffeinated!!

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A decked out yogurt bowl.  With vanilla bean powder, cinnamon, honey, banana, watermelon seed butter, and starry sprinkles.

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My favorite yogurt (Trader Joe’s plain skyr) with my new favorite oatmeal cookies (Stella’s easy one bowl recipe) and some mandarinquats (which I actually didn’t enjoy because they were impossible to eat).

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Crazy good take-out from Cheng Du.  I got kung pow tofu and Szechuan chili oil tofu and it was some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever tasted.

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This was hands-down the best sandwich I’ve ever made.  I could not stop raving out it.

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Brioche bun with Kewpie mayo / chicken thighs marinated in pineapple juice, brown sugar, sriracha, minced ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar then roasted / bbq sauce made with the reduced marinade plus ketchup / topped with sauteed sweet onion, poblano pepper, and pineapple.  Served with roasted broccoli.

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An Oatsome Good Time

Highlights from this week include – a day trip into Brooklyn // tons of tortilla chips and salsas // a product review.

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Oatsome sent me a carton of their oat-milk to try {I was provided no additional compensation and all opinions shared are my own}.  I have a three pronged review –

  • 1) Taste: the flavor is similar to skim milk in that it is not strong at all; I could definitely identify that oats were involved but it wasn’t “oat forward.”  It was inoffensive in coffee and cereal which is basically what I’m looking for in my non-dairy milks.  I could not get it to foam for coffee, likely due to its low protein content.  Tastewise, Oatsome is definitely my new favorite non-dairy option.  Typically I won’t order at coffee shops that don’t stock skim milk but I would consider places with oat milk more regularly now.
  • 2) Nutrition: one cup of Oatsome contains 130 calories and 2 grams of protein.  It does not contain dairy, nuts, or added sugars and it is gluten free.  It’s a low sodium option with 60 mg per cup.  Oatsome is fortified with calcium (provides 20% DRI), vitamin D (provides 10% DRI), riboflavin (provides 40% DRI), and vitamin B12 (provides 40% DRI).  For vegans, it is awesome that this is fortified with B12.  However, for anyone who depends on dairy to help meet their daily protein needs at 2 grams per cup Oatsome probably isn’t the best choice (versus skim milk with 8 grams protein per cup).
  • 3) Environmental impact: oats require 80% less water to grow than almonds.

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I had Oatsome in a cup of espresso roast with brown sugar.

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And in a bowl of Heritage Flakes with blueberries.

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Vanilla bean Greek yogurt with blueberries and a honey tangerine.

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An egg sandwich from Golda with muhumarra, kashkaval, dill, sumac’d onion, and beef bacon.  Plus a salted tahini oat milk latte!

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Baby carrots and roasted broccoli dipped in Asian ginger dressing.

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Homemade chilaquiles.  We used yellow and orange bell pepper, serrano pepper, sweet onion, leftover salsa, and tortilla chips.  Topped with eggs, homemade cilantro crema, and Cholula.

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Nacho night.  Tortilla chips, black beans, poached chicken thighs, sauteed onion and poblano pepper, cheese, Trader Joe’s salsa, and sour cream.

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Dough My Goodness

Five things from last week:

{1} Cookie dough

Still obsessed with the cookie dough Perfect Bar (which still has no online presence?!).

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Newly obsessed with this monster cookie edible dough.  I may have eaten too much sugar this week.

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{2} Leftovers

Leftover homemade corn okonomiyaki topped with gojuchang mayo and gochugaru chile flakes (p.s. this is the brand I love for both).

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{3} Snacks from Trader Joe’s

TJ’s kills it in the snack game.  Dehydrated carrots.

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Sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds + dried baby pineapple.

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{4} Yogurt bowl

Guava passion fruit Greek yogurt (also from Trader Joe’s) with blueberries, sumo mandarin, and chocolate banana granola.

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{5} Veggie bowl

Roasted – shredded brussel sprouts, green onion, shishito peppers + sauteed – baby tomatoes, TJ’s turkey summer sausage.

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Heart On

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day!  I love a holiday with theme colors.

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This week I loved…

Stumptown cold brew with milk.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried the chocolate flavor before, I loved it.

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An epic chocolate cherry smoothie.  Plain Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, and chocolate milk.

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We don’t really do Valentine’s gifts, but the husband did buy me cupcakes!

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Salted caramel and a delicious funfetti.

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A take on this lemon poppy seed chicken casserole.  We added tons of roasted broccoli.

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A take on shakshuka, with red bell pepper and chipotle.  Topped with roasted zucchini, sumac, and two fried eggs.

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Adam was not around for Valentine’s dinner and I’m fighting a pretty bad cold so I loved myself with Brazos Tacos take-out for dinner.  The Solid – pulled chicken, refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sliced avocado, and jack cheese // Tres Quesos – Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // chips and salsa.

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Bonus – things I love deeply that you might not know about from the blog:

{1} Diet soda.  It is truly the only food I cherish more than coffee or cheese!

{2} Running.  I am not fast, and I am extremely careful with my knees so I don’t run that often, but it is one of my favorite things.  I run about 3 miles in about 30 minutes one time most weeks and I love every second of it.

{3} Wegman’s hot bar “Asian” section.  I get hot bar chicken at least once a week as a pre-dinner snack but it never makes it onto the blog because it just photographs so abhorrently.

{4} “The Office.”  My love of tv is well-documented and over the past year “The Office” has become one of my favorite shows.  I have seen every episode at least three times!  So much of what is happening with the world right now is scary and sad and I’m really loving feel-good shows that are an escape from reality.

Send Nood(le)s

Dinners this week were all about the pastabilities!  <– I’m done now, I swear

Homemade shrimp Pad Thai.

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Buffalo chicken baked pasta.  With ground chicken sauteed with buffalo sauce / riced cauliflower / celery and yellow onion / and sweet red cheddar, smoked cheddar, and blue stilton!

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Pasta pie.  A mix of TJ’s squid ink spaghetti and zucchini noodles baked with parsley, triple cream brie, and eggs, plus some panko on top.

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Snack attack.  The Chobani Gimmies line is still rocking my face off.

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img_3297Do I have enough liquids within reach to get me through dinner prep?  Sadly I found the milk stout to be too sweet for my tastes, but the can was just adorable.

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Thai iced tea win.  The tea drops were super easy/quick to use and the packets of sweetened condensed milk make my heart happy.img_3216img_3226Yogurt with sumo mandarin, honey mango, and candied walnuts.img_3258A “tasting plate” success – chicken nuggets, cheese, and baby carrots.img_3251

 

Yum Yums And Cheer

I had some real flops in the dinner department this week, and I don’t photograph my work lunches, so most of what I have to share in this post is dessert!

I tried chocolate oat milk in my iced coffee and I didn’t totally hate it.

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Wegman’s coffee counter shopping treat, salted caramel cold foam iced latte.  Cold foam gets two thumbs up from me, I would get it again on an unflavored latte.

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The cookie butter flavor at Red Mango is hands down the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever tasted!  Topped with mochi and butterscotch chips.

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Homemade tahini cookies stuffed with m&ms.  A riff on this recipe because No. 2 Pencil’s cookie recipes are all genius.

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Chipotle salads are my favorite restaurant meal at the moment and I’m not even ashamed about it.  My perfect combo = greens, chicken, extra fajita veggies, corn salsa, hot salsa, sour cream, and cheese.  Eaten at home with a super tasty Dogfish Head Dragon and Yum Yums beer.

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This salad was a homemade dinner success!  Sauteed broccoli slaw / shredded chicken breast / toasted almond slivers / a food processed sauce of cilantro, parsley, orange juice, lime juice, evoo, honey, and rice vinegar.

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Buchi, Boba, Bacon

Highlights from a yummy week…

Coffee combo = Brooklyn Roasting Co with sweetened condensed milk, shakerato style.

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This pineapple + mint Buchi is my new favorite kombucha.

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Kung Fu Tea served me a fantastic bubble tea, rosehip milk tea with coconut jelly and boba.

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Chipotle salads are possibly one of my top five favorite foods.  Romaine, chicken, fajita veggies, pinto beans, hot salsa, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese.

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Homemade green curry.  Chicken sausage and zucchini / on cauliflower rice / with green curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime.

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Tasty egg sandwiches.  Seeded challah rolls with fried eggs, sharp cheddar, turkey bacon, and mayo and gojuchang.  Plus the simplest salads – romaine with ranch.

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Dinner out at Bebedero.

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We had great drinks – a paloma with mezcal, rosemary, and black sea salt and tepache, a fermented pineapple drink.

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And I had nachos with cheese sauce and house-pickled jalopenos.

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