Cheese In All Its Forms

Highlights from a lazy weekend…

Chocolate Stumptown cold brew + a peanut butter chocolate chip Perfect Bar.  <– my two favorite flavors from each company

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Mild cheddar Just the Cheese snack.  <– my official favorite flavor from my box of samples

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Garlic and chive cheese + a chicken sesame bbq Epic Bar.  <– my favorite flavor from Epic

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Grilled cheese + maple vanilla coconut chips.

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Plain Icelandic yogurt with yellow plum and chocolate caramel sunflower butter honey.  <– do NOT recommend those honey packets

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I am still having a Brazo’s Tacos obsession.

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Chicken and Mexican-style street corn frozen meal + a guava kombucha.  <– my favorite Synergy flavor, other than grape chia

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I made the quickest nachos dinner ever, by buying bbq chips and then filling a box at the Whole Food’s hot bar with shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, red onion, and roasted bell peppers.  5 minutes in the oven later…

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I Like My Snacks Like My Jokes – Cheesy

There was not a lot of excitement in dining the past week – I was fighting a cold over the weekend and my taste buds were out of whack, plus Adam has been out of town at a surgical conference the past week and I am unable to adult without an audience.  All that is to say I mostly ate take-out and crackers the past seven days.  I didn’t bother taking photos of my “meals,” but I did have several snacks worth sharing!

Snack themes include: cheese / coffee / chocolate + nut butter / yogurt bowls.

This Suju Uber Greens juice was the closest I got to a vegetable over the weekend.

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I received a verrrry exciting box of samples {these products were provided to me free of charge / no other compensation was provided / all opinions are my own} this week – Just the Cheese, aka 100% Wisconsin cheese baked into bars and mini bites.  They are gluten-free and trans-fat free and damn delicious.  Paired with an apple or some nuts they feel like a solid mini meal, the bars especially are quite satisfying.

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I believe I have tried every crispy cheese product on the market at this point and I can confidently say Just the Cheese is the best.  Per the company – “While most “cheese crisps” are air-dried, Just the Cheese® is oven baked, caramelizing the cheese which results in a cheesier flavor and crunchier texture.”  <– it’s true!

Aged Cheddar (my favorite flavor so far!), Grilled Cheese, and a honeycrisp apple.

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Wisconsin Cheddar and a side of Webster.

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Coffee combo for the week – Lavazza espresso and chocolate milk.

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This cold brew coffee drink from Koia was a caffeine failure; why is it so god-awful sweet?!

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Another loser was this almond butter chocolate bar, we are obsessed with Epic’s jerky bars in this house but this was too sticky for my tastes.

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Meanwhile, I am still obsessed with these dark chocolate almond Perfect Bars.  They taste like straight-up cookie dough.

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And I’m newly obsessed with these pb cups from Theo.  They are palm oil free and they are shaped like hearts!

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Liberte coffee bean yogurt with honey and peanuts.

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Plain Greek yogurt with banana, granola, and coconut cacao bliss.

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Strawberry Guava Passionfruit Mango Banana Pineapple Coconut Plum

There was not much excitement around here this weekend, Adam was out of town and I worked a Sunday coverage shift at work (and it was a particularly long and harrowing day!) – I mostly ate frozen meals and snack foods.  Here were the highlights…

How many drinks do I need to pack for a weekend work day?  Unsurprisingly, I’m a pretty big fan of the new strawberry guava diet coke.

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I tried the new cinnamon shortbread latte from Starbucks (with half syrup and double espresso), it’s pretty good.

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My 1st year working as a teacher in New York I ate about a million protein bars and lately I’ve gotten back on that train.

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Yogurt bowl wins.  Trader Joe’s guava passion fruit whole milk Greek yogurt (it’s amazing!) with sliced mango and TJ’s freeze-dried banana slices.

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Wallaby caramelized pineapple Aussie creme yogurt with chopped black plum and shredded coconut.

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Spicy shrimp tempura sushi from Whole Foods.

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Kashi Mayan Harvest bowl. 7/10 on the frozen meal scale.

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Red’s chicken and Mexican street corn (8.5/10).  Severe with roasted broccoli.  That whole plate got topped with copious amounts of Kewpie and Sriracha.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

There is no condiment I find as essential as hot sauce (fyi – I normally like to keep an open Cholula in the mix as well!),

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so when Moore’s Marinades offered to send me some samples from their new hot sauce line I jumped at the opportunity.

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We loved them both, even Adam who is a bit heat adverse.  The sauces brought a lot of flavor with the spice.  I prefer a hot sauce that I can take a taste of without running for a glass of milk (think Sriracha in terms of heat intensity).

With the Harissa Hot Sauce I made a smoky harissa turkey chili.

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Ground turkey / olive oil / sweet onion / celery / bell pepper / poblano pepper / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / liquid smoke / harissa hot sauce / white beans / crushed tomato.  Topped with cheddar.

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On the side, I made dumb bread! <– from scratch!

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With the Spicy Mustard Hot Sauce I made hot honey mustard chicken nuggets.

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Homemade baked chicken nuggets (chicken chunks / dipped in flour / then egg / then breadcrumbs) tossed in the tastiest sauce I’ve ever made – honey, spicy mustard hot sauce, mustard, butter.

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Double Bacon Cheese Beyond Burgers

My trip home last weekend was perfect and we survived “Winter Storm Gia” this weekend… 2019 is looking like my year.

Highlights from week 2 include…

Iced coffee with black walnut extract and sweet cream creamer.

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Stumptown cold brew coffee box.

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Who knew that Perfect Bars were so freaking delicious?!  This peanut butter chocolate chip one was basically cookie dough.

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Stonyfield chocolate yogurt pouch (7/10), a Kiku apple (8/10), and a chocolate peanut butter filled Clif bar (9.5/10).

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I brought these yummy coconut candies back from St. Thomas.

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Shiner S’more is officially my new favorite beer.

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Guzzled while assembling everything but the kitchen sink cookies with caramel, kettle chips, toffee bits, caramel chips, and chocolate chips.

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This quickie packaged foods dinner was sooo good.  Chicken and cheese pupusas + bbq chicken chips + roasted broccoli + Trader Joe’s Zhoug sauce.

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I have an unhealthy obsession with the “Asian” section of Wegman’s hot bar.

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We made insanely, over-the-top, decadent double cheese burgers with Beyond Burger patties.

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Two patties on a brioche bun with mayo, turkey bacon, and smoked cheddar slices.  Plus kettle chips and veggies from the Whole Foods’ hot bar – curry caulilini and roasted rainbow carrots, mushrooms, and root vegetables.

img_3144Then later in the week we did a similar thing with Boca Chick’n patties.

 

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We made killer sheet pan hash browns.  Potato, sweet potato, purple sweet potato, olive oil, smoked paprika, green onion, turkey bacon, and red, yellow, and orange bell pepper.

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Topped with Zhoug and fried eggs.

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Hello, 2019

Highlights from the new year…

The 454 Horse Power coffee from Kicking Horse is roasty and smooth.

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I bought these Chobani Gimmies products because I’m a marketer’s dream but I ended up being shocked by just how much I loved them.  Marshmallow yogurt!!

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Chewy things.  Cow Tales are one of my favorites and the honey nougat from Trader Joe’s wasn’t bad either.

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This No Resolutions IPA from Bronx Brewery was very on the nose for January 1st drinking.

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We made crock butter butter chicken.  I loosely followed this recipe except that I used chicken thighs, added tomato paste, and used way less butter.  Served on top of a blend of cauliflower rice and broccoli rice.

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We finally tried the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and now I totally get the hype.  Served with swiss chard, lemon brown butter sauce, and 2 fried eggs on top.

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P.S. I’ll be taking a blog break through the weekend.  My uncle passed away over the holidays and I’m heading home for a few days to be with family.

Gingerbread Galore

So many holiday flavors consumed this weekend!  <– Squee!  It was just kind of a great weekend in general – we had no major to-dos looming and the weather was fantastic.  We got to go to brunch with my cousin and her boyfriend and on a long walk with the dog.  Next weekend brings out of town plans so it was really nice to keep things low-key.

Highlights…

Forager’s coconut cream cashew milk cold brew.  It was yummy but way too filling to consume all at once.

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Starbucks’ Juniper iced latte – I recommend getting double the espresso and half of the syrup so it’s not too pine-y [holiday flavor #1].

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Plain Greek yogurt with maple, almond butter granola, and the last of the cranberry sauce.

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Brunch at Renewal was delicious, we will definitely be back.  I had a gin fizz with egg white and cream.

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Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic fondue and sherry gastrique / field greens side salad with grapefruit vinaigrette / fries with pimento cheese and aioli.

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Sugar cookie frozen yogurt and eggnog gelato [holiday flavors #2 and 3}.

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King of Pop’s gingerbread was the best popsicle I’ve ever eaten, it was like a cookie dunked in milk [holiday flavor #4].  Enjoyed at Hardywood where I also had a Christmas Morning – gingerbread stout with Black Hand Coffee [holiday flavor #5].

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This Sweethaus gingerbread cupcake with meringue frosting was the best baked good we’ve ever eaten, hands down [also holiday flavor #6!].

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Trader Joe’s cauliflower latkes for the first night of Hannukah [holiday flavor #7] with a chicken thigh take on this Mississippi Roast recipe.

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