Pie In The Sky

This is a longer wrap-up (Monday through Sunday) but I’m missing a lot of photos because this week felt like the actual longest and I mostly just ate cheese on top of various things.  Adam and I both have a week off coming up at the end of the month and man, oh man, do I need it!  Three big complaints from this past week – 1. some horrible thing are happening in our department and my schedule/work-load is going to become ridiculous; 2. the “blizzard” killed my big Pi(e) Day plans; 3. I stood in front of an automatic door like an idiot and gouged my big toe and then bled all over the place in front of a bunch of cute doctors.

My schedule was all over the place last week so I was disoriented in addition to cranky.  Thanks to the weather-related NYC shut down, a last minute schedule change for a lunch and learn, and weekend coverage, I was off on Wednesday, worked a half day on Tuesday and Thursday, and worked a full day Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  But now I’m off again on Wednesday which is pretty much a golden lining!

/end rant.  Here were some of the yummy things that put a smile on my face last week…

Coffee combo on point.  Chicory with sweet buttercream creamer.

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I also had wonderful iced lattes from Butler and City of Saints.

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Killer lunch components = California Grape kombuchaPeach and cloudberry(!) skyr yogurt with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin.

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Our lunch and learn was a Nestle presentation on perioperative nutrition.  It was more product promotion than educational, unfortunately, and the research wasn’t as robust as I had hoped.  My lunch was good though, grilled salmon and mixed veggies.

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Fabulous lunch date at the White Oak Tavern.

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I had a cocktail with whiskey, Kahlua, housemade butterscotch, espresso, and cream.

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We split a salad and salmon for lunch.  Chopped salad with cucumber, feta, olives, avocado, haricot vert, and tahini dressing.

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Pan seared salmon with a smoked tomato and piquillo puree, plus crispy potatoes and cipollini onion.

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We were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was because we definitely came for dessert – a dark chocolate brownie with butterscotch, walnuts, and toasted marshmallow.

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Fruit and cheese plate, the cafeteria was feeling fancy.

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Coffee break with a honey caramel chocolate bar.

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Adam totally saved Pi(e) Day by offering to bake with me.  We made S’mores Pie which is one of our favorites.  Almost as good as going on a pie crawl in Brooklyn, almost.

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The crust looks red because instead of graham crackers I made it out of Peeps flavored Oreos (<– which turned out to be freaking amazing).

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P.S. on Monday night while the grocery store was packed with people filling carts with bread, canned goods, and bottled waters, I got in line with Oreos, chocolate bars, marshmallows, and a case of soda.  I’d die first if the blizzard had been real but I’m still pretty sure I win.

Eggs for dinner that tasted far better than they looked.  Scrambled with sharp cheddar and brown sugar and Sriracha shredded chicken.

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When we were at the University of Miami I worked at an on-campus bar that served the yummiest pita tuna melts; it took me ten years, but I finally made them at home.

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Curried tuna salad – canned tuna with mayo, green curry paste, curry powder, spring onion, and shallots – with sharp cheddar stuffed in a pita and cooked in a skillet with copious amounts of butter.  They were 10/10 fantastic.

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Plus roasted green beans with shallots.

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Buffalo chicken and veggie bowls.

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Roasted sweet potato and brussels sprouts, topped with shredded chicken breast in buffalo sauce, and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.

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Have a great week!

Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

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.

Stick To Your Ribs Dinners

Thank you, to all those who have served.

The weather is starting to cool down a bit more – I can no longer comfortably wear my sandals* – and our dinner choices have shifted towards steamy, stick to your ribs meals.  *Note – I’m still wearing the sandals, I’m just not comfortable any more.

This was also election week and it’s safe to say that I ate my feelings in the form of booze, caffeine, and sugar.  I am a woman, but I’m also cis/straight, white, sans disability or preexisting health conditions, and unlikely to get an abortion, so I know my feelings of disillusionment and heartbreak really pale in comparison to many others’.

On a happy note, here were some of the yummy things I ate this week…

This week’s coffee blend was soooo roasty and good.

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I doubled up with train coffee and post-train coffee a few days, but I’ll note that this quad was enjoyed on a day I skipped the 1st coffee.

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Starbuck’s holiday spiced sweet cream cold brew is good!  It tasted like good tidings and cheer!

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Did KIND bar read my blog?  Limited edition caramel apple pumpkin spice is right up my alley.  With a sweet Ambrosia apple.

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I also love LARA’s hazelnut, hemp, cacao option.  The crunchy nibs are great.

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I was too busy at work for lunch one day and ate this turkey and stuffing sandwich on the way home in literally less than 3 minutes.

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Plain Siggi’s with chocolate tahini and grapes with pumpernickel pretzels on the side.  Yes, I put the grapes in the yogurt.

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Elderflower yogurt (very floral) with persimmons and pumpkin spice Cheerios.

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Strawberry cottage cheese plus grapes and pumpkin spice pepitas and granola.  I didn’t enjoy this seltzer as much as I expected to.

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Stress eating candies of choice –

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Leftover turkey bolognaise that continued to knock our socks off.  Thanks to turkey bacon, mirepoix, and 2+ hours on the stove, this sauce was packed with flavor.

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With wine kombucha.  Blueberry Mint was sweet and drinkable.

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Leftover black eyed pea cakes.  Topped with cheddar, fire-roasted corn, salsa, and a sunny side up egg with smoked paprika.

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We’ve loved this chili from Iowa Girl Eats for years.  This year I stepped it up a bit with lemon-pepper chicken, carrots and celery added to the base, and an additional hour of cooking time to concentrate the tomato before I added the beans.

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Pumpkin beers to keep me company while I cooked.  <– Adam and I both thought these two were some of the best of the season.

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I topped my bowls with shredded cheese, pickled jalapeño, and plain Greek yogurt.  Plus cucumber slices and Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup crackers on the side.

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Chili, meat sauce, baked potatoes… what’s your favorite hearty, stick to your ribs food for winter?

This Weekend’s Best…

…breakfast –

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A blueberry cheesecake smoothie!  Frozen berries with chocolate milk and low-fat cream cheese.  Adam and I both loved it.

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Plus the new cold brew from Dunkin.  Delicious with the Heath Bar syrup and some skim milk.

…brunch

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Colonie.  I got the duck hash again, because it makes the top five list for best dishes I’ve ever eaten.

…lunch –

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Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and the last of the cookies crumbled on top.

…brinner –

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Eggs with swiss cheese, a simple salad, and a towering stack of buttered toast.

…dinner

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Sandwich night with roasted broccoli.

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Toasted french bread / mayo with Sriracha, fish sauce, and dark brown sugar / baked extra-firm tofu / quick pickled cucumber and shallot / crispy garlic.

…book –

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Autumn Balloons, a memoir by Kenny Porpora.  It had me laughing and crying, both at an embarrassing volume, on the train.  Easily one of the most captivating memoirs I’ve ever read.

The King

The top five things I ate this week…

Birch Coffee cold brew blend.

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Chia!  Pudding with Hint of Honey almond milk, chopped dates, and chocolate covered cacao nibs.

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Yogurt with chopped plum and plucot and the last of the lavender almonds.

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This snack combo.  If I’d had some bacon jerky to go with my baby bananas and peanut butter cups I would have had a snack fit for The King.

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There were a couple of BIG stressful changes at work this week and I mostly ate pizza for dinners but I did make this one fantastic home-cooked meal.  A combo of my two favorite salads – Bahn Mi Chicken and Green Curry Turkey.

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Chicken with curried mayo and ginger, pickled vegetables, chopped red peppers, etc.  Plus honey butter Sriracha toast!

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Just today between me and the weekend!

Similar To Cake By The Ocean

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I’m mashing last weekend’s post into this week’s – and we’ve done a lot of good eating! – so I had to filter down to only the most delicious things.  Here are the best bites from the top five categories…

{1} all the coffee!

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We ordered The Unicorn at Box Kite, obviously.

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We went to Birch Coffee and loved it so much that we went back at the end of the day to buy a bag of beans.

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Then went back again a few days later for another latte!

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Locally roasted coffee that comes in cups with trees on them is just too exciting.  And there were birch trees etched into the sidewalk out front!

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{2} protein-packed salads

Beans, eggs, and lots of fish.  At Whole Foods – spring mix with tangerine vinaigrette / salmon / two kinds of bean salads / parmesan / and a hard-boiled egg.

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At the cafeteria – romaine with blue cheese / veggies / corn / kidney beans / cheddar / egg.  Plus my coworker brought me a giant piece of baked salmon and I tossed that on top too.

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At the cafeteria when I worked last Sunday and pickings were getting slim – I did the best I could with fried fish and a steamed vegetable mix.

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It wasn’t bad, but I did buy a train snack that night.

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{3} killer sandwiches

Breakfast: egg and cheese on a croissant with turkey bacon.

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Lunch: do taquitos count as sandwiches?  I’m including them either way, because this lunch was too good not to share.  Tortaria knocked our socks off.  Adam and I split a platter with mahi and cauliflower (and pork for him).  Plus spicy fries and tons of guacamole.  And a tamarind agua fresca.

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The sauces sitting on the tables – green salsa, blended salsa, and something creamy and smoky – were astonishingly good.  And that ridiculous quantity of food (why include chips and fries in the same deal?!) cost less than twenty dollars.

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Dinner: cod bahn mi at a new Vietnamese/taco spot in Park Slope.

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Don’t question it, the combo worked, I went with a girlfriend who got tacos and we were both very pleased.

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{4} sweet stuff

Cake by the ocean.  Cookies by the Hudson.  We got giant chocolate chip walnut cookies from Levain and enjoyed them in Riverside Park.

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Tropical smoothie at home.  Frozen mango and soursop with guava paste and vanilla almond milk.

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Ben & Jerry’s Empower-Mint flavor is yummy and it supports an important cause.

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Siggi’s yogurt with berries and shredded halvah.

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Birthday cake croissant from Union Fare.  It’s topped with ground sprinkle dust and filled with sprinkle-studded pastry cream!

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It was also just one of the best croissant we’ve ever tasted.

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{5} hearty homemade dinners

Spanish flavors reigned supreme on the home front this week.  Tomato garlic crock pot chicken served with brown rice tossed with garlic, tomato paste, raisins, and chopped olives.  Plus roasted broccoli.

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I also made fantastic enchiladas.

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Whole Foods’ roasted garlic green chile enchilada sauce costs a ridiculous $4+ per can and it is soooo good.  Our filling was ground turkey breast cooked with TJ’s vegan chorizo and tons of roasted yellow squash and zucchini.  Plus cheese galore.

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