Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!

The End Of Apple Month

Highlights from this week…

Coffee coffee.  More Black Hand magic.

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PSA – the maple pecan latte at Starbucks tastes like nothing and we do not recommend it.

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I’ve finished out my Apple Month yogurts.  Cinnamon apple Chobani with chia seeds, vanilla almond granola, and an applesauce on the side.

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TJ’s caramel apple with Heritage Flakes and a SweeTango on the side.

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Snacks of note included apple mix candy corn (green apple, caramel apple, and apple pie flavored).

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And white truffle chips and baby carrots with garlic dip.

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I made bean burgers for dinner.  This recipe but with white beans (great northern and white kidney), pesto, and parmesan.  With roasted cauliflower and a smoked garlic aioli.

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Clean out the freezer night.  Veggies and orange chicken from Trader Joe’s.

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It was actually a pretty good meal, but cocktail hour was better – calamansi lime juice with club soda and vodka.

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Last night we did a dinner date in Brooklyn at LaRina.  10/10, we adored it!  Housemade pastas, an innovative menu, a great interior/vibe.  I had lemon gigli with duck ragu.

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And we had fantastic panna cotta with salted caramel for dessert.  YUM!

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Have a sweet weekend.

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Cinnamon And Marshmallow In My Coffee

I have eaten some very yummy things over the past four days!  Adam and I both worked the holiday, but first we got to spend almost two full weekend days together!!!  Good times.

Things [literal things] that made me happy this weekend…

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Thanks to all of Target’s cheap “back to school” goodies, we have a jazzy new shower curtain and bedspread.

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The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

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A Saturday trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Such a fun way to spend a morning.  We were expecting things to be sparse due to the season but there was still a ton of beauty to admire.

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As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

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This spiced apple bourbon hand soap is currently the best smelling thing in our house!

Culinary highlights…

I haven’t eaten anything apple yet but I did cram some pretty fall-forward flavors into my coffees.  Cinnamon.

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And toasted marshmallow.

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Though I also had a very summer-y Australian iced coffee with Wandering Bear cold brew and vanilla Curious Creamery ice cream.

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Cheddar-chive biscuit and a matcha iced latte at Annex.

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Brunch at Maison Premiere.  We had a pastry assortment that was out of this world.

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Maison Jungle Bird – Hamilton Black Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, Campari, and sugar cane.

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I had the duck confit hash with bell pepper and poached egg.  <– not as good as Colonie, sadly

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While at the Garden, we had lunch at the Yellow Magnolia Café.  (<– newest venture from the chef/owner of Wilma Jean)

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I had wonderfully crispy, lemony fried chicken.  Served with habanero honey, collard green slaw, and delicious wild rice.  I suspect that there was honey butter in the rice because I don’t even like wild rice.

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We took a long post-lunch walk for coffee and ended up also getting ice cream for dessert – blueberry with blue velvet cake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

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Friday night I met a girlfriend in the Lower East Side for dinner and drinks.  Sizzling noodles at The Tang.

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I ended up with way too much food because I also couldn’t resist the Chungking Express salad – romaine, soft-boiled egg, honey, black vinegar, and chili oil.

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How fantastically ridiculous are the drinks at Mother of Pearl?!  My daiquiri – with Campari, grapefruit, and rosemary tincture – was tasty to boot.

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We made an oldie but a goodie – buffalo blue cheese black bean burgers.  Served with raw carrots and celery the first night.

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Our citrus-y sip-while-you-cook line up did not contain any winners, we hated both of these drinks!  <– normally I wouldn’t include this in a “highlights” section but they both sound so good in theory that I wanted to make sure I warned you

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Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

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Pan-fried catfish!  I made a spice rub with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika and cooked the fish for 3.5 minutes on each side.  Drizzled with a lemon butter pan sauce.

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Plus sautéed collard greens with shallots, toasted coconut, and avocado (plus lemon, rice vinegar, and liquid smoke).

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Flavor themes of the weekend – Campari / eggs / coffee / collard greens.

Couch Potato, Twice Baked

This past week I came home from vacation and went back to work.  It wasn’t all bad, the end of vacation means I get to see this face –

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We made it home in time to celebrate his Buyday.  With steak!

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Here are the highlights of what the humans ate this week…

Coffee (coffee! coffee!).  Wicked Joe Coffee sent me some samples.  WJC is a sustainable, family-owned company producing certified organic, fair trade coffees.  They offered to let me try out the goods in celebration of the fact that they are available in 247 Sprouts Farmers Markets nationwide.

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I tried both blends (cooked in our drip coffee maker than cooled and served iced) black and with skim milk to taste-test and give them two thumbs up!  I also did some fun, sugary coffee pairings based on the tasting notes to jazz up my return to work mornings.  Wicked French says “bakers chocolate with an unexpected hint of sweetness” so I used fancy chocolate milk.

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Big House has “sweet notes of caramel and citrus” so I swirled in dulce de leche.

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Yogurt bowls.  Vanilla almond granola / cloudberry peach skyr / and three(!) colors of plucots.

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Passion fruit Fage / an apple / and an Rx Kids chocolate chip bar.

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I snuck in one last day of midweek vacation with Adam on Wednesday and we went on a lunch date at the gorgeously cool Chaan Teng in Hell’s Kitchen.

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I had shrimp and chicken dumplings to start.

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And a sweet and spicy cocktail with tequila, tamarind, basil, Szechuan peppercorns, mango juice, lime, and chili.

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They had kung pow duck!  With chilis , peppers, peanuts, and jicama.

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Snack attack.  We finally got to Astoria to try Chip.  My s’mores cookie was gooey perfection and now I can’t wait to go back.

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Cola candies.

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Korean Chili KIND bar.  <– I like their savory flavors even better than the sweet

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These dried mangos from TJ’s are out of this world good.

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If you stretch the definition of “cooked” to its limit, I made five nights of home-cooked dinners!  Turkey and sharp cheddar sandwich on a toasted whole-wheat croissant.

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BBQ chicken salad.  Local greens / ranch / baby heirloom tomatoes / pulled chicken breast with Korean bbq sauce / smoked cheddar.

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An assortment of freezer items, and eggplant that I actually cooked myself.

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TJ’s Thai sweet chili veggie burgers.

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Crinkle cut fries (with ketchup and mayo).

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Steamed/sautéed eggplant cooked with canola oil, fish sauce, gojuchang, honey, and garlic scapes.

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I made pimento cheese twice baked potatoes!

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This was my first time making twice backed spuds (or even eating them for that matter) but they came out great.  The filling was a mix of potato / extra-sharp cheddar / diced pimentos / mayo / smoked paprika and cayenne.

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Served with baked tofu.

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And beautiful roasted purple and orange cauliflower.

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The potatoes were great leftover too.

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With leftover duck that I chopped up and reheated in a skillet.

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And oven-baked okra fries.

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Have a great weekend!

Second Staycation

By the time you read this I’ll be on a plane heading west, woo-hoo!

We are on our final week of summer vacation.  We are excited for today’s travels, but when we made our plans we made sure to include time for some New York City love.  Adam and I spent the past three days having a blast in our hometown.  We ate all the things, got in some good dog cuddles, and spent some time showing off the Lower East Side to a friend (one of our favorite humans recent moved to the city for fellowship and we are excited to share the love).

Here were the top six edible highlights from the past three days…

{1}  Antica Pesa = our new favorite Italian spot

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Every piece of this meal was perfection.  From the “Stranger Danger” – Ilegal Mezcal, guava, mint, hot honey, lime, and a Campari float.

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To the cheese plate with the best blue cheese we’ve ever had.

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I had housemade fettuccine with fresh mozzarella and eggplant puree and Adam had outstanding lasagna.

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Plus for dessert we had coffee granite with chocolate cornflake crunch on top and a Gianduia hazelnut cream on the bottom that was my all-time favorite bite of dessert.

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{2}  Chef’s Club Counter

The boys liked their smoked salmon toasts and I loved my duck rice bowl with olives, citrus puree, and duck cracklins.

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{3}  Mother’s Ruin

My chicken and waffles were my favorite plate of food of the summer!  The wings were coated in ridiculously fantastic Cholula-honey glaze.  I also had a great drink with light rum, cava, honey, and mint.

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{4}  Booze in Brooklyn

We played our favorite game at Barcade (and were infinitely frustrated by Tapper) and I fell in love with Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench gose.

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Plus we had way too many drinks and fell in love with the vibe at Rocka Rolla.

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{5}  Treats at Bibble and Sip

Iced lavender latte and a coconut Thai iced tea panna cotta.  And now we want to go back and try every other flavor of panna cotta.

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{6}  Turkey cheese burgers

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We made yummy turkey burgers – simply seasoned and kept moist with a brioche panade – on brioche buns with sharp cheddar cheese and bread and butters from Pickle Guys.

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With roasted zucchini.

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And a duo of fruit beers – New Belgium Juicy Watermelon Ale / Flying Dog Tamarind Ale.

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See you this weekend!

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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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Beans, Beans, Every Flavor Beans

I worked straight through Saturday to Thursday last week and it tired me out (hence the late post!).

The good news is that my work schedule meant I had a three day weekend.  And the better news is that I used my extra day to go on a quick trip to CT with Adam.  In other weekend excitement – we took the dog into the city to visit a dog park (he was not a fan).

Food themes for the week were beans and more beans, candy and more candy, and coffee (always coffee).  Here were the highlights…

Breakfast at Blue State Coffee in New Haven.  I had an egg and cheese sandwich on sourdough and an iced latte.

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Stumptown coffee.

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Pitaya smoothie with frozen cherries and cookies and cream pudding.  (<– bought the pudding on a whim, hated it, and was too cheap to toss it, but it was actually wonderful in the smoothie).

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Brunch at Fat Goose.

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I had a sparkling Paloma.

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And the foie gras panna cotta(!!!).  With strawberries, rhubarb, jam, and buttered challah.

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It was amazing.  And even better, there was a dog in my lap while I ate it!

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He got a bite of my ice cream for being a well-behaved brunch companion.

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Lemon yogurt with blueberries and maple granola.

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Plain yogurt with chocolate tahini, blueberries, and cotton candy grapes.

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Adam and I tried Costa Nova Waffle on an errands day.  They have tasty Portuguese coffee.  We had a crispy waffle with s’mores and a soft waffle with twix and both were delicious.

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Road trip snacks.

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Milk candy!  Japanese Hokkaido and Polish sesame milk caramels.

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These Haribo grapefruit candies are insanely good.

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Froyo on a hot day – birthday cake with mochi, nonpareils, and cereal marshmallows.

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Turkey BLT pasta (inspired by this Cooking Light recipe).   Whole wheat shells / turkey bacon / wilted arugula / roasted heirloom tomatoes / tossed with mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

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Salmon bacon sandwiches!

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Brioche buns with mayonnaise and gojuchang / sharp cheddar / a fried egg / and TJ’s salmon bacon.

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With roasted green beans.

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Red beans and rice (loosely inspired by this Serious Eats recipe).  Celery, green pepper, and onion cooked in evoo / salt, pepper, cayenne, and smoked paprika / with TJ’s turkey summer sausage / and red kidney beans / served on brown jasmine rice.

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White beans with turkey bacon, celery, and gojuchang.  Plus sweet potato cheese fries.

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Dinner in New Haven.  We got Thai takeout – chicken pad see ew and pad thai – to eat in our hotel room in front of the cable tv.

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Plus ice cream that was fantastically creamy and good, cookie dough and coffee oreo for me.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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