It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Christmas

Eggnog, peppermint, and rugelach, oh my!

Adam and I spent the weekend eating all of the holiday things!  We did an eggnog tour of Brooklyn one day and then a Brooklyn holiday ice cream tour the next.  I learned that even if you share and leave a lot of leftovers you can still tire of eggnog very quickly, and I’m probably someone who enjoys eggnog more than the average reveler.  I also affirmed that no matter how many twinkly lighted and tinsel bedecked holiday pop-ups I encounter, I will still clap my hands in glee every time.

Alphabetically, here are some Brooklyn spots celebrating with holiday pop-ups and/or themed items:

16Handles.  Peppermint froyo with Oreo and hot fudge.

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Ample Hills.

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There were so many holiday choices we had to get a flight to taste them all!  In the front row – Eggnog with rum / Festival of Lights cream cheese ice cream with raspberry rugelach / Candy Cane.

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Bearded Lady.

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BL Eggnog – bourbon, spice, a whole egg.

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Brooklyn Cupcake.  Coquito cupcake.  <– not a seasonal item actually, it’s on the menu year-round

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Ladybird Bakery.  Eggnog mousse tart.  <– this was more visually appealing than anything, 5/10.

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Leyenda<– most festive stop of the weekend, 2nd only to Miracle on 9th Street

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Coquito Ho Ho – Resposado Espolon tequila, Oloroso sherry, Braulio, coconut cream, cinnamon, egg.

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Oddfellows.  Eggnog and Santa’s Cookies milk sorbet with chocolate chip cookies.

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And here were the highlights of my less festive eats…

We were pretty pleased with this 7-11 cold brew can.  Made with skim milk and minimal sugar and it had way more flavor than anything we can get from the thousand Dunkin Doughnuts near our apartment.

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Brunch at Forest Point.  We need to come here more often because it’s amazing.  Oban Sour – Moto Whisky, Mizu Lemongrass Shochu, yuzu-maple cordial, lemon, pimento dram.

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I also had hummus, Israeli cucumber salad, fantastic grilled naan, harissa, and perfectly poached eggs.

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Lunch at Lion’s Milk.  We shared a sandwich with black olive paste, toasted sesame oil, and kasseri cheese.  Plus Turkish coffees.

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Tofu bowls for dinner.  With mint lime kombucha.

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Roasted buckwheat and kobucha squash with roasted elephant garlic / roasted zucchini / baked garlic brown sugar tofu / Sriracha.  Except apparently neither Adam nor I like buckwheat one bit; we ate off our toppings and had cheese and crackers instead.

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I try to have every healthy dinner include a protein, carb, fat, and veggie, and technically these meals fit the bill.  Smoky honey chips with melted sharp cheddar and carrots with hummus.

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Homemade onion dip (with turkey bacon and sharp cheddar!) with roasted broccoli and TJ’s cheesy tree crackers for dipping.  I also dipped baby carrots and kettle chips but they didn’t make a nice forest.

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I shredded two large sweet onions and spent 50+ minutes caramelizing them and it was well worth it.

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Especially because I sipped this peachy and delicious Shiner Bock Holiday Cheer while I cooked.

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Two more nights of Hannukah and one week ’til Christmas!

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Oh, Christmas Tree

Adam and I checked off one of my favorite holiday activities this week – heading to Rockefeller to gape at the tree.  We also really enjoyed most of the department store window displays this year.

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Best six things I ate this week…

1. Eggnog iced coffee.

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2. Praline éclair from Éclair Bakery.

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3. Brown sugar latte from Stumptown at the Ace Hotel.

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4. Cake batter cookie dough.  <– reassurance for folks who baulk at the $7 price tag, two of us couldn’t eat this in one sitting, so if you can keep it cool enough to eat again later you do get a fair amount of bang for your buck

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5. Tofu bowl at Chikarashi.  A bed of rice with greens, marinated cucumber, seaweed salad, and insanely delicious fried silken tofu.

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6. Tres leches cake.  I made it for Adam’s birthday, and used eggnog instead of heavy cream as one of my three milks!

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Virginia Vacation

My week off from work has been pretty great so far!

Monday was my birthday.  I kept tradition going and enjoyed my free Starbucks birthday drink (quad nonfat iced latte) with sprinkles on top.

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Adam and I took a quick three day trip to Virginia.  Road trip essentials include…

Snacks (highlights were sweet chili Doritos and Koru apples).

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Coffee (mojito black tie from Peet’s aka cold brew with sweetened condensed milk and mint).

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Music.  I full-on head banged down the highway for a few hours thanks to our excellent music selections, including Betty Who, The Offspring, and this Regrettes song I’m obsessed with –

Richmond food highlights…

The coffee at Black Hand might be our all-time favorite.  We swooned over our choices and left with several bags of beans.

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Lunch at Urban Farmhouse.  I had a pimento cheese grilled cheese with local tomato and salad with cucumber, mint, and feta.

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One of my cousins lives in Charlottesville and she drove down for the day to spend my birthday with me.  We had an amazing dinner at Saison.  My Fuentes Fizz was smoky and delicious – Mezcal, Velvet Falernum, Cherry Herring, lime, grapefruit, egg whites, and soda water.

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We shared grilled okra and peaches to start.

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And I had the crispy rice bowl with fermented chili sauce, oyster mushrooms, pickled vegetables, and a poached egg.

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Dessert was just ridiculous.

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Panna cotta with honey glass and honey powder!

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Charlottesville food highlights…

Bagels at Bodo’s, where they ship in New York water for their dough.  I had an everything bagel with olive cream cheese and it was wonderful.

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Froyo at Arch’s.  Dulce de leche and cake batter with Oreos and a huge scoop of gooey brownie batter on top.

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We had dinner at Mas with my cousin and her boyfriend.

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I was too busy enjoying the company to take pictures (plus we ordered a million different plates!) but everything was fantastic.  The shrimp were out of this world.

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Now TODAY, I get to go pick up both Webster and my parents!  Enjoy the rest of your week!

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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Japanese Kit-Kats And Trader Joe’s Nitro Cold Brew

Highlights from the week included…

Trader Joe’s nitrogen-infused cold brew, my new favorite bottled coffee.  It was so creamy and velvety!

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Check out that head (photo taken after I added cream).

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Yogurt bowls at work.  Plain Siggi’s with maple quinoa granola, chia seeds, brown sugar, and homemade raisins.  <– if I had included three favorites in my title this bowl would have been #3!  P.S. the raisins were much improved by a night in the fridge.

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Banana Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a piñata apple on the side.

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Snack attack.  There were curly fries in the cafeteria this week!

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I finally got my hands on some crazy-flavors Japanese Kit-Kats – butter cookie and pudding.  I would have liked both better with milk chocolate versus white but they were fun to try.

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Iced chai latte (that was way too spicy for me and ended up going in the garbage) and yummy honey caramel candies.

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I made a big batch of pesto and it was the cornerstone of most of our adult dinners last week.  Failed adulting dinners were cheese and crackers eaten in bed.  Pesto = basil, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan.  Most of it went into pasta bowls – whole wheat shells with shredded chicken and roasted zucchini, topped with more cheese and pine nuts and fried garlic panko bread crumbs for crunch.

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I also set aside some pesto for some truly epic egg sandwiches.

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Brioche bun / with pesto on one side / and gojuchang mayo on the other / with two fried eggs with a slice of fontina cheese melting in between.  <– ridiculously good and loosely inspired by the egg sandwich at Santina.

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With roasted green beans with more garlic panko.

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Saturday after work I met Adam for Southern fare at Pretty Southern.  We ordered both sherry drinks because cocktails with sherry are wonderful.  Carlita’s Colada – Palo cortado sherry, coconut cream, pineapple, and lime and Sunshine Way – Fino sherry, blackberry, pineapple, lime, and mint.  The coconut one was the best.

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We shared all of the things for dinner.  Chicken strips with the most amazing housemade pickles.

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Bourbon butter biscuit.   <– this was soggy and meh

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Fantastic mac and cheese with crispy fried onions on top.

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And a griddled sandwich with pimento cheese, tomato, and pickled jalapeño.

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I’ve got a busy but fun week ahead, please think calm thoughts for me!

Llamas, And Pigs, and Humans, Oh My!

Three-day weekend highlights, including lots of new “bests”…

Unicorn smoothie!  The layers were acai and pitaya with coconut water and plain Greek yogurt.

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Bananarama smoothie.  Frozen banana, plain Greek yogurt, a hot chocolate packet, and Banana Wave Banana Milk.  <– free product review alert: the banana milk is a vegan milk made of banana puree, soy, oats, and other ingredients.  One serving contains as much potassium as a small banana as well as 29 vitamins and minerals and 1200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.  One cup has 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of added sugar.

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Black bear, aka Otha‘s coffee concentrate with housemade chocolate milk.  This shop was adorable and we want to go back immediately.

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Du’s Donuts.  Adam’s all time favorites.

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Lunch at Llama Inn.

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I had soft-boiled eggs with delicata squash, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds, and chimichurri sauce.

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We got our own desserts, flan for Adam and key lime pie for me.  Best key lime pie of the decade, it was enrobed in toasted meringue!

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Lunch at Pig Bleeker.  We had a Salty Spritz – vodka, St. Germain, and apricot, with a salty white wine rinse, and a Champagne Sherry Cobbler that was the all-time best drink we’ve ever had – Fino sherry, fresh citrus, and champagne.

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I got a fried chicken thigh sandwich with Pig Beach mustard sauce, house pickles, mayo, and hot sauce.  The meat was smoked before it was fried and it was by far the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted.

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Durian mochi.

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Malter Chronkite from Mister Dips, a malty chocolate-dipped cone.

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Spicy crunchy tuna sushi bowl.  Brown rice with ginger, rice vinegar, seaweed, and black sesame seeds / canned tuna fish and smoked trout with Sriracha and mayo / quick pickled cucumbers / fresh avocado / panko and fried garlic toasted in butter / Sriracha on top.

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Chopped romaine salad with honey mustard dressing, dill, sautéed mushrooms with garlic, shredded chicken, crumbled blue cheese, and homemade raisins.

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I am on Saturday/Sunday so I’ve only got two days of work before a day off, woo-hoo!

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Salmon Cream Cheese Wontons

I had to work this weekend but somehow I ended up with a bunch of eats that were super good.  Because they all included sugar and/or cheese?  Probably!  Here were the highlights…

Three fun new coffee cups.  Halvah cotton candy on top.

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Chocolate milk ice cubes.

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Starbuck’s nitro cold brew.  I loved the velvety texture but was not a fan of it being served without ice.

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Pickings are slim at the cafeteria on the weekends but I put together a pretty good lunch plate.  BBQ wings, veggie lo mein, roasted baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes with blue cheese dressing.

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Mango yogurt with fresh mango on top.  Guys, fresh mangos are so flipping good, how did I forget about them all winter??

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Cookie and coffee break.  From Bittersweet (a hopping Fort Greene coffee spot with no less than 7 cute doggies waiting in line when I walked in).

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Another sweet snack, vanilla yogurt with chocolate peanut butter stirred in and mini chocolate chips on top.

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Cinnamon dusted apple slices with sharp cheddar squares and chocolate peanut butter sticks.

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Whole Foods hot bar dinner on an after-work shopping trip.  Crispy potatoes, vegan meat balls, roasted zucchini, tabbouleh, and pasta salad.

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Best meal of the week was this quick and easy dinner I threw together Friday night.

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Salmon cream cheese wontons!  I stuffed wonton skins with a mix of canned salmon, cream cheese, brown sugar, fish sauce, and minced ginger.  Baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

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They were creamy and crispy and delicious.  Served with roasted green beans.

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A close 2nd for best meal was our dinner at Lady’s, a newish Italian spot in Brooklyn.

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The food was all fantastic – so fresh, and perfectly seasoned.  Like this amazing salad with snow peas, sunflower seeds, and pickled radish.  <– 2nd best salad of my entire life

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We also started with hummus with crispy chickpeas, charred cucumber, lemon, and focaccia.

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With a yummy local watermelon ale.

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And for our entrée we shared pasta with crab,

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and honey butter pizza dough with sea salt and Calabrian chili.  The spicy-salty-sweet contrast was perfection.  I had a glass of prosecco with that course and the pairing was wonderful.

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I got a giant scoop of the new cheesecake flavor at Ample Hills for dessert.  It was a tasty weekend!