Hell Of A Halvah

Highlights from this week…

It’s really lovely to have a husband who arranges me flowers and buys me cupcakes when I’m cranky!  Related note – it’s also really nice to live walking distance from Sweethaus because apparently they are our favorite cupcakes on the planet.

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Random drink assortment from work, the lemon rose blossom water was surprisingly delicious.

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Weirdest/most exciting snack award goes to – this Japanese candy we brought home from NY.  It was like a fun dip but with a cola flavored lollipop and fizzy milk powder.

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Fantastic product sample – Absolutely Gluten Free sent me their newest snack item: TahiniBARs.  Halvah is a candy made of sesame paste and it is both Adam’s and my very favorite treat.

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The TahiniBARS come in vanilla, pistachio, and cocoa nibs.  They are certified kosher, dairy free, and gluten free.  Each serving has 100 calories.

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We LOVED them!  They absolutely stacked up to the halvah I grew up eating and the artisinal varieties we’ve had in NY.

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One of my favorite ways to eat halvah is crumbled up in yogurt, so one day I made an absolutely ridiculous snack – plain Greek yogurt / vanilla TahiniBAR / Soom chocolate tahini spread / red plum and green pluot.  Delicious.

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We had some tasty dinner too.  Like bbq chicken fried rice.  Fried rice / carmelized red onion / shredded rotisserie chicken / fresh corn / collard greens cooked with rice vinegar / bbq sauce / eggs.

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Jalopeno popper pasta, loosely inspired by this recipe.  We used whole-wheat shells, turkey bacon, no cream, and less cheese; plus I topped mine with panko.  With roasted zucchini.

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Leftovers with an assortment of baby wines.  I do NOT recommend the rose.

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Homemade buffalo chicken dip / scooped with baby carrots and potato chips / celery sauteed with butter, salt, pepper, and celery seed.

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I’m trying out a recipe that sounds super fun this weekend, so please cross your fingers for me that it turns out!

Supermoon And Sprinkles

It was my birthday!

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The day itself was pretty ho-hum – I worked an extra-long day, it rained like crazy, the cupcake shop I planned on visiting closed early without warning – but it’s always nice to have survived another year!  And my pre-birthday trip to New York was pretty fabulous; I am glad I got my good weather then.

Highlights from the week…

Pathetically, I ate this strawberry Airhead as my birthday-day dessert.

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But later in the week we splurged on this $9 pint of marshmallow and violet ice cream.  <– best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, including the stuff I ate at a Jeni’s in Ohio last fall

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Lately in coffee, I’ve tried and been disappointed by several packaged options.

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At least I fulfilled my favorite birthday tradition – freebie Starbucks quad iced latte with sprinkles on top.

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I made a cocktail with this dream team –

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We got salad bowls at Chipotle with so much cheese on them it was almost too much, almost.

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My birthday dinner was our first – mightily successful – trip to Beer Run.  They’re kind of famous for their nachos.

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And I had a salmon bahn mi (with pickled strawberries!) that was pretty good.

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Plus a key lime brown sugar margarita and a key lime pie tart ale.

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Yesterday we slow-cooked a delicious dinner.  Brown sugar garlic chicken thighs.  I added smoked paprika, but otherwise followed the recipe.  With roasted broccoli with crock pot drippings and Sriracha.

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Less than 12 hours to the weekend!

A New York Weekend

We just had the best! weekend!! ever!!!  Or at least that’s what Adam and I told each other multiple times each day.  It’s my birthday tomorrow (the 24th) and he took me back to New York to celebrate.

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We got super lucky with the weather and managed to do a million fun things, including try out a few new restaurants that we missed going to before the move, eat all the ice cream, and drink all the coffee (and put ice cream in our coffee!).

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Here were the highlights…

Staying in Williamsburg in the Pod hotel, which was adorable and totally big enough for us.  And they had games and a bar in the lobby with Grimm Icing on the Cake on tap.

Brunch at Fausto, our new favorite spot.  I had a cocktail with ontratto aperitif, aperitivo select, grapefruit, and tonic.  Polenta with braised duck, poached egg, and pea greens.  And hashbrowns with chili aioli.

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Quad, non-fat, iced lattes from Black Brick.

Aussie iced coffee from Sweatshop.  Basically a quad, non-fat, iced latte with a scoop of ice cream in it.

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West Side Story from Paper Plane Coffee = guava, sweetened condensed milk, and espresso.  It was surprisingly delicious, and pink!

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Running along the East River.

Lunch at Sauvage.  We split baked eggs and a salad with arugula, charred corn, pistachio, and whipped chevre.

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Smorgasburg!  We got fantastic okonomiyaki and a scoop of mint ice cream with toasted Swiss meringue on top.  <– my favorite iteration of marshmallow of all time

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Ice cream at Milk Bar.  I got a babyquake (aka mini blizzard) with birthday cake truffles and the best sprinkles.

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Stocking up on Japanese goodies at Midoriya.

Buying an adorable bear t-shirt for me and a succulent pin for Adam at Brooklyn Flea.

Dinner at Dez.  We shared cauliflower and crispy capers and chimichurri and I had a chopped vegetable salad with roasted potato, crispy eggplant, a seven minute egg, umbah, zhough, and tahini.

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Beating our favorite team shooting game (Ghost Hunter) at Barcade.

Getting drinks with old friends at Freemans.

Beers at Greenpoint Brewery.

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Walking across the Williamsburg Bridge.

I love New York.

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Let’s Taco ‘Bout The Weekend

Booze, tacos, doughnuts, and iced coffees… it was a good weekend!  Here were the highlights…

Cookie dough milk iced coffee.

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Cinnamon vanilla iced latte.

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Iced latte with toasted marshmallow syrup.

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Also I had a caramel macchiato doughnut.  Sugar Shack makes some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever tasted!

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Brunch at Marie Bette, a European-style bakery.

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I had a ho-hum grapefruit hibiscus cider.  <– I need to stop ordering ciders, I think I really am not a fan!

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And the quiche of the day – tomato and white cheddar.

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Sandwiches at Hot Cakes, another super cute bakery.  Rye, smoked turkey, muenster, and cole slaw.  I think cole slaw on sandwiches is the best.

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Take-out from Silk Thai.  Fried tofu and chicken pad see ew.

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Saturday night, we got tacos with my cousin and her boyfriend.  Brazos is dog-friendly, which is fantastic, and our tacos were delicious.  Triple pickle = refried black beans, mushroom bruja, roasted pepitas, chopped jalapeños, red onion pickles, jalapeño pickles, and pickled watermelon // tres quesos = Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // and a hibiscus margarita.

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Then we went to Three Notched and I had vodka (with mint limeade) and a dog in my lap – aka all my favorite things!

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Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great weekend!

Salads In C-Ville

We moved!  I officially live in Virginia now.

The move itself was kind of terrible but we made it here intact with the dog and most of our stuff so I really can’t complain.  And first we took a fabulous trip home to St. Thomas!  Complete with highlights of the best banana daiquiri on earth and salmon pattys eaten in the airport with a vodka soda and local beer.

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Post-move, once the apartment was sort of set up, I focused on the really important stuff like finding all of the nearby beverage and dessert options.  Like La Flor Michoacana – a Mexican dessert place with the most exciting menu I’ve seen in my entire life.  I already had a scoop of soursop ice cream (with a scoop of mamey on the bottom)!

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And an eggnog paleta.

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Sweethaus for a quad iced latte and a crazy good salted caramel cupcake.  <– maybe the best frosting of my life.

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Grit for Cuban coffee.

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Also I loved this locally made fresh mint kombucha.

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On the food-food side I don’t have much to share because I’ve done zero cooking both due to being busy and having not moved any of our pots or pans.  We’ve mostly been eating junky take-out, and salads at home, and take-out salads.  Sweet baby lettuce blend / poppy seed dressing / strawberries / shredded chicken.

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Spring mix and herbs / Trader Joe’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / shredded chicken / roasted peanuts.

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From Fuzzy Taco – romaine / tomato / onion / fajita veggies / grilled fish / shredded cheese / tortilla strips / vinaigrette.

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From Roots Natural Kitchen – Arcadian mix / charred corn / pickled onion / roasted broccoli / hard-boiled egg / bbq tofu / cilantro lime dressing.

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Wish me luck exploring!

Tasty Things

Tasty things from this week…

Mango in plain Greek is my latest favorite yogurt combo.  This bowl had nectarine in it, which was fantastic as well.

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Some of my favorite coworkers and I went out for a goodbye lunch at Dekalb Market Hall and I had great tacos.  Mushroom and corn / smoked crab.

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I finally got my hands on this new Reese’s Pieces bar and it was outrageously fantastic.

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For almost a week I had been having an oddly specific craving for rotisserie chicken and butter lettuce and this strangely topped salad was everything I was hoping for – spinach and butter lettuce mix dressed with evoo, salt, and sumac / warm, shredded, rotisserie chicken / pine nuts / sriracha and kewpie mayo.

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We made chilaquiles nachos.  Tortilla chips, roasted salsa, cheese, shredded chicken and sauteed onion and bell pepper baked with an egg on top.

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