Ice Cream In LA

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We took full advantage of our week off and took a trip out to the West Coast!  This was our first time in Los Angeles and we had a great trip.  We rented a car and had enough time to do some exploring.  Keeping with vacation tradition, I got sick with a sore throat, but thankfully half of our agenda was ice cream anyway!

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some of our favorite things we did – –

Chinatown // Griffith Park Observatory // La Brea Tar Pits

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// Malibu

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// Rodeo Drive // Santa Monica // Venice Beach

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// Venice Canals

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some of our favorite things we ate – –

Afters Ice Cream  <– this wins best ice cream of the trip

Brioche ice cream sandwich with cookie monster ice cream and sweetened corn flakes.  I couldn’t get a good photo in the sun but this was out of this world.

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B Sweet

Filipino dessert bars are the best.  I got amazing Halo Halo.

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Blue Star Doughnuts

The bottom one was terrible but the top one was a fantastic buttermilk glazed.  This was our very first stop on the trip and it was a nice start.

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Egg Slut

House-made turkey sausage, cage-free over medium egg, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard aioli in a warm brioche bun.

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Grand Central Market

There was so much to do here!  We got chicken tacos.

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And the best pad see eiw I’ve ever tasted.  The noodles were a little bit charred and perfectly chewy.  We were both in heaven.

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Magpies Soft Serve  <– this was the best soft serve we’ve ever had

I got a swirl with cherry cola(!!!) and sweetened cream.

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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

It was adorable in here and we almost came away with some gold pins.  California croissant with smoked salmon, ginger, wasabi, and nori.

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Philz Coffee

The mojito iced coffee lived up to expectations.  I do have to mention that it makes me crazy that they call this “mojito” though, mojitos have mint and sugar but they also have rum and lime and without the second two ingredients you have a mint iced coffee, not a mojito.

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Salt and Straw

It’s as good as they say.  We had salted, malted, chocolate chip cookie dough and almond brittle with chocolate ganache.

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Son of a Gun  <– this was our best meal of the trip

This tapas-style seafood restaurant pretty much blew our minds.  I drank a Ruby Red Julep – Angels Envy Bourbon, ruby red grapefruit, hibiscus, lemon, and mint.

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We had the lemonfish poke with black radish escabeche, citrus, and crispy sunchoke.

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Maple cream with smoked steelhead trout roe and pumpernickel flakes.

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Heirloom tomato salad with avocado, chili, lime, miso, and corn.

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Blackened rock cod with tomatillo salsa, fried tortilla, and crema.

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And for dessert, Italian Hamburger: a brioche ice cream sandwich with caramel and maldon sea salt.

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And now it’s back to work, wish me luck!

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New Noosas

I’m free (again)!  After a short return to work I’m back on vacation for the next week, woo-hoo!

Honestly?  I need a vacation.  I was only back at work three days but I stayed late for more than an hour on Thursday and Friday and now I’m tuckered out.

Thankfully I had a few exciting things to get me through my week.  Like a luscious line up of fun new beverages: Black Hand nitro cold brew / Secret Squirrel Vietnamese iced coffee / La Colombe triple draft latte / Maeil caramel macchiato / Harmless Harvest strawberry coconut water.

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And an extra exciting package of product samples from Noosa.

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Noosa yogurt is already pretty much angel pudding, so when they offered to let me try their new line of Noosa Mates (yogurt with premium mix-ins) I jumped at the chance.

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They were even better than anticipated!  Loved them all.  I was happy with the portion of both yogurt and toppings and each one has between 240-270 calories.  Banana Chocolate Peanut with Guittard chocolate chips and salted peanuts.

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Honey cranberry almond with pepitas and granola.

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Coconut almond chocolate.

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Maple ginger with candied ginger and gingersnap crumble.  I wasn’t expecting to like this because I think that I think that ginger is too spicy, but it was delicious!  The candied ginger was chewy and delightful.

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Honey pretzel peanut.

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I ate some fun stuff on my free days too.  Like doughnuts (which were just awful, but how cute is that pink wall?!).

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And a trip to Red Hook.

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We had key lime pie from Steve’s.

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And crab sandwiches from Brooklyn Crab.  Snow crab roll with Cholula-orange aioli.

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Alaskan king crab roll with warm butter and chives.

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Plus cole slaw.

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And a  Passion Paloma with mescal, passionfruit puree, and grapefruit soda.

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Plus we stopped at Baked for coffee and brought home a grasshopper bar for dessert later in the week.

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After a long span of eating every meal out, I was excited to make us a fancy dinner.

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Smoked turkey kielbasa with onions and bell pepper.

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Plus pommes aligot <– super cheesy potatoes.  I loosely followed this recipe.  I had to lighten up a few ingredients to accommodate what we had in the fridge (less butter, 2% milk instead of cream, low-fat three cheese cheddar blend) and it was still insanely yummy.

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I served my leftovers piled all together in a bowl with smoked paprika maple mayo on top.

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By the end of the week I was so exhausted by my three days of work that I got Chipotle instead of cooking anything!  Rice / sautéed veggies / chicken / pinto beans / corn salsa / spicy salsa / sour cream / cheese.

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Have a great weekend!

Freedom!

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I’m on vacation!  Friday was my last day of work for 11 glorious days!  I prepped for vacation by eating all of the ice cream last week 🙂

For a work-week this past week was not a bad one.  Adam and I were off together on Wednesday and got do some Lower East Side wandering.  And over the weekend we did some Long Island exploring.  Plus I met with friends for brunch.  And ate all the aforementioned ice cream.

Last week’s flavor themes: (Stumptown) coffee // ice cream // cheese // corn // egg.  Highlights…

Brunch at The General Greene.  I had the farro bowl with pesto, roasted sweet potato, avocado, and a poached egg.

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Black Brick Coffee just might be our new favorite spot.  It’s a neat space and my Stumptown latte was ridiculously good.

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Trader Joe’s new coconut cold brew coffee is pretty tasty, especially with chocolate milk.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with blackberries, granola, and chocolate tahini.

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Plain Greek yogurt with black plum and Oreo cheesecake.

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Sandwich with curly fries.  Spicy chicken / mayo and mustard / lettuce / pickles.

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Because I don’t eat enough nachos at home, they were a special in the cafeteria this week.  Pinto beans and cheddar with olives, corn, bell pepper, and onion.

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Our Long Island exploration took us to both Farmingdale and Babylon.  We had a flight of craft beers at Lithology.  My favorite was the honey rye with rosemary, followed closely by the sour farmhouse ale.

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We also did lunch at Swell Taco.

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My burrito was giant and packed with grilled chicken, refried pinto beans, rice, veggies, salsa fresca, sour cream, and Monterey jack.

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I’ve seen multiple foodie instagrammers try to say that Ben’s compares with Levain <– NO.  PSA – this was not good.  These cookies were greasy and terrible and I threw mine out after two bites and still had a stomach ache.

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We checked out the Filipino goodies at Johnny Air Mart and snacked on calamansi soda and Polvorón shortbread.

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Bubble tea from Vivi.  Grapefruit Yakult with crystal boba and coconut jelly.

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Brigadeiro Bakery taught me that I actually don’t like ice cream as much as I think because apparently brigadeiros are my favorite dessert.  <– they are a condensed milk candy so that’s not that surprising

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Stumptown coffee soft serve with sprinkles and cookie dough at Scoops.

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Birthday cake soft serve with sprinkles at Milk Bar.

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Cookie dough with toasted coconut soft serve at Stew Leonard’s.  This was both the best soft serve and the best edible cookie dough we’d ever tasted.

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Sweet milk and browned butter pecan ice cream at Malai.

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BBQ chicken salads.  Baby romaine with ranch / cheddar / cucumbers / leftover cole slaw / shredded chicken with Korean bbq sauce.

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Bean and chicken bowls.  Sautéed onions and green pepper / cheddar / shredded chicken with cilantro sauce – cilantro, roasted jalapeño, canola oil, honey, and salt / pinquito beans from Susie Q.

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The beans were a kit sent to me to review.  They came with a premixed seasoning packet (mild red chili, onion, garlic, and select spices) so they were a snap to prepare, and much tastier than canned beans.  They kept their shape after cooking and were firm but not chewy or mealy.  <– I would buy these with my own money

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I know these eggs look god-awful, but they were amazing.  Scrambled with unsulfured chicken hot dogs / kimchi / and cheddar.

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Dinner at Colonia Verde.  This restaurant is insanely gorgeous, Adam and I were in heaven.

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I drank the Patient Extra – Cachaca, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime, and citrus bitters, which was fabulous.

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And ate duck confit tacos and grilled sweet corn salad with carmelized pepitas, cotija cheese, and mint.

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P.S. It’s my birthday today!!

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Butter Pecan Mochi

Apologies for another late post!  Honestly?  When I get home from work I get into bed fully dressed with a snack for at least 30 minutes and sometimes I just don’t get up again to do anything productive!  I know I haven’t really blogged about some of the big recent changes at work, but suffice to say I am tired.  <– but also really happy to be busy and getting some exposure to new things

Some of my favorite bites from the [last] week…

Watermelon kefir is an excellent idea.  P.S. When I went to the Lifeway website I discovered that they apparently make an eggnog kefir and now it’s pretty much all I can think about.

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I was all about the premade coffees this week and they were surprisingly delicious.  Starbuck’s dark roast iced coffee.

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Caribou vanilla iced coffee.

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Cafeteria baked potato bar.  With sour cream, cilantro, cheese/sauce, and salsa.

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Yummy yogurt bowls.  Coffee Chobani with chocolate tahini, maple granola, and walnuts and an eve apple.

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Blood orange Chobani with Heritage Flakes and sunshine raspberries.

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Whole Foods hot bar = black bean sauce broccoli, green beans, curried cauliflower, pasta salads, sweet chili tofu.

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Plus I tried their mocha ice cream in butter pecan and black sesame.  <– this might be my new favorite thing

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Blue chip nachos!  With corn, cheddar, black beans, and fresh tomatoes.  I dipped them into roasted tomato salsa.

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I bought a bag of rolls at our grocery’s bakery ($1.69 for a variety pack of six?!) and we became obsessed with turkey and cheddar sandwiches.  The key is spreading the bun with a mix of mayo and gojuchang.

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I made a simple veggie and tofu bowl that was our favorite dinner of the week.

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Chopped raw bok choy with TJ’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / TJ’s teriyaki baked tofu / crispy edamame – tossed with evoo and salt and baked at 400* for 20 minutes / black sesame seeds.

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Leftover sesame noodles with chili oil with baked tofu and crispy edamame.

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A dinner in parts: Adam had to take a super quick trip to Delaware this week and I worked out my schedule to tag along.  We started with Mile End in Brooklyn for appetizers.  Garlic knish.

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Brussel sprouts salad (with a mix of raw and roasted!) with labne, sumac, and honeycomb and pumpernickel powder.  It was amazing.

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Mid-dinner dessert stop for churros with dulce de leche at the new DeKalb Market Hall.

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And finally Grain in Newark.  I had a great whiskey sour.

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And the best crab cake sandwich of my life; it was absolutely packed with crab meat, no filler to be found.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

New Orleans Vacation 2016

New Orleans was our best travel experience of 2016.  We stayed at a cute hotel in the French Quarter and had enough time to really get to know the area.  It was a great way to finish up the year.

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This was my first trip to Louisiana and I think we managed to pack a lot in.  We visited three local breweries, walked around Loyola and Tulane, explored the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, went to the World War II Museum….

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We also tasted tons of local (or at least Southern) flavors – pralines, divinity, snowballs, beignets, pimento cheese, etouffe, grits, chicory coffee, milk punch, and hurricanes.

Here were some of our best bites…

♥Pralines.  They were everywhere and the smell was amazing.

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♥Hurricanes.  We went to Pat O’Brien’s (<– yuck!) and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

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♥Frozen daiquiris, this one was eggnog!

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♥This pecan pie soda was actually horribly disgusting, but it was fun to try!

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♥Snowballs.  NOLA served me the best snow-cones of my life, I had one every day.  This was wedding cake (a blend of vanilla and almond) and egg custard topped with sweetened condensed milk.

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♥Breakfast at Café Du Monde.  This was a must-stop for us, it was actually the only activity I had planned when I booked our tickets.  The beignets did not disappoint and neither did the chicory coffee café au lait (served on crushed ice).

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♥Breakfast at District Doughnut.  We got a Nutella doughnut and a biscuit with pimento cheese.

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Plus yummy Vietnamese coffee and an iced coffee with cola and chocolate milk (<– delicious and infinitely better than it sounds).

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♥Brunch at Willa Jean.

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I had the shrimp and grits – gulf shrimp, etouffee gravy, grits, and slow poached eggs with cheddar biscuits on the side.

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Cookies and milk for dessert.  With a beater of dough and vanilla-infused milk.

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♥Flights at Abita.  <– one of our very favorite breweries  They had our old favorites and some fantastic limited edition flavors including vanilla Turbo Dog and a key lime gose.  We had beers, Zapps chips, and a root beer on draught and were in absolute heaven.

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♥Lunch at Cochon.  They had house-made eggnog.

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We split a variety of small plates – a roasted carrot special with mint, Louisiana blue crab rice, and whole fried shrimp with pickled mustard seed hot sauce.  The fried herbs were aromatic and wonderful and the best bites were a mix of everything at once.

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♥Dinner at Brennan’s.

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Insanely creamy Caribbean milk punch with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Mt Gay black barrel rum, cream, and vanilla bean.

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Ridiculous foie gras “sweet potato casserole,” with sweet potato puree and candied pecans.

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I had the cheddar risotto for dinner.  With Cherokee Rose cheddar, smoked maitake mushrooms, collard green puree, and a brown butter sauce.

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♥Dinner at SHAYA.  <– best meal of the trip and also best meal of the year

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That’s a halvah cappuccino.  I also had a Pearl Diver – vodka, labneh, vanilla, and lavender bitters.

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We shared a trio of appetizers – Moroccan carrots with chermoula and mint / baba ganoush with green garlic / tershi = a creamy pumpkin spread with crispy garlic and chili oil.  All with fantasmic pita bread and herbed olive oil.

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Also foie gras with rose tahini and carob molasses on challah toast (omg).

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I had the matzoh ball soup for my entrée.  With slowed cooked duck, dill, charred leaks, lemon oil, and a cinnamon-scented broth.  Best matzoh balls of my life!  Adam had slow cooked lamb and the bites I stole were truly the best thing I’ve ever tasted (fyi I don’t typically eat mammals but I’ll have a taste occasionally if I know the meat is humanely-sourced and Adam says the flavor is worth it).

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Dessert(s).  We basically rolled away from the table!  Chocolate babka with halva ice cream and labneh cheese cake with burnt honey ice cream.

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It was a wonderful trip!

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P.S. No post coming from this weekend, it was the husband’s birthday and I was in celebration-mode versus blogger-mode.  And now we’re both back at work.. womp wah.  Have a great week!

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.