Chili Cheese Fries Because It’s Still Chilly

Seriously, why is it so chilly still??  Over the weekend I dry cleaned our winter coats, packed up our sweaters, swapped boots for sandals, etc, etc, and then Monday morning it was a balmy 30 degrees.

Freezer-burn aside, I had quite a nice week!  Tuesday I took a personal day to spend time with Adam post-call and we tried some yummy spots in Bayside.  And I’m off again today because I work this weekend.

Here were the highlights from the week…

Chocolate glazed doughnut (from Dough) and a maple iced latte at Browny.

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Juicy watermelon wonder kombucha.

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Chia pudding.  Chia seeds / skim milk / maple syrup / vanilla bean powder / sliced banana.

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Peanuts are my favorite snack at the moment.

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Dinner out at Maria’s Mediterranean.  We got some complimentary bites to start, including the best olives I’ve ever tasted.

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Plus we ordered the chips and dip – housemade pita chips with tatziki / melitzanosalata, roasted eggplant puree / and tirokafteri, spicy feta spread.

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I got the spanikopita for my entree.

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And we tried something fun for dessert – ekmek, a bread pudding-baklava mash up with syrup-soaked shredded phyllo, custard, and whipped cream.

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I leaned into the weather and made us big steamy bowls of chili.  A loose version of this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats that is our favorite.  The baked beans take it over the top.

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I topped my bowl with sharp cheddar, plain Greek yogurt, and tons of Sriracha.

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Our leftovers turned into cheese fries!  Waffle fries / cheese – TJ’s 3 cheese blend / chili / bacon leftover duck.  Plus green beans for something green.

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And yesterday I made buffalo chicken meatballs.  Ground chicken / panade / buffalo sauce / egg / cream cheese / cheddar.  Plus sauteed carrots and celery to stay on theme.

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It’s supposed to warm up this weekend, woo-hoo!

And Now My Favorite Color is Zhough

Highlights from the week…

Fancy shmancy coffee.  I cold pressed espresso roast with vanilla bean powder, brown sugar, and clove.

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Honestly though, my current favorite-favorite combo is espresso, ice, and chocolate milk.

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Milkadamia sent me a box for review [no cash was exchanged, all opinions are my own, yadda yadda].  Their macadamia nut milk is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.  The unsweetened vanilla has 50 calories, 1 gram of protein, and zero grams of sugar (1 gram carbohydrate) per 8 oz serving.  The milk has almost no flavor, but that is pretty much what I’m looking for in my nut milks because I want them to make my coffee creamy without distracting from the coffee taste.  The unsweetened vanilla went perfectly with a cup of iced coffee this week, no clumping or separation to be found.

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I also used it in a smoothie with frozen blueberries and coconut chunks, vanilla, maple, and chia seeds.

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My packed work eats were all about the Sumo mandarin and plain Greek yogurt combo.  With maple or granola.

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Snack attack.  Peanut butter puffs.

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Mexican marshmallow shortbread cookies.

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Super sour soda and cola hard candies.

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Mini sundae from Van Leeuwen.  Cookies and cream topped with hot fudge, almond brittle, and sprinkles.

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All of our dinners this week had a Middle Eastern bent, thanks to lots of zhough and copious amounts of olive oil.  Like scrambled egg pita sandwiches.  Scrambled eggs / sauteed orange bell pepper and red onion / whole wheat pita / zhough.  With roasted zucchini.

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Pita chip nachos!  Sharp cheddar / red onion and cucumber / marinated chickpeas with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh parsley, oregano, cayenne, and paprika / zhough and tzatziki.

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Veggie bowls.  Sauteed red onion, yellow bell pepper, and roasted eggplant / tomato sauce / marinated chickpeas / zhough and tzatziki / fried egg.

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Also pizza.  Is there a better food on the planet than buffalo chicken pizza??

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It’s almost the weekend!  Who has green beer on their Saturday agenda?

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Adam is post-call this morning and I am taking my weekend day off so we get to share the same space for a bit, woo-hoo!  We have some really exciting date options to chose from, like a grocery trip and maybe the gym.

I worked Saturday and Sunday – and was off on Friday but spent the entire day reading and/or watching tv – so I don’t have too much excitement to share this recap.  We did go on a very delicious dinner date Saturday night though.

weekend highlights…

Coffee coffee.

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Cinnamon chocolate pudding.

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Snowdays shaved ice!  Black sesame with grass jelly, mochi, and strawberry sauce.

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Yesterday I made a dish that was moussaka-adjacent.  No potatoes but the other layers were there.  Roasted eggplant / sauteed turkey with tons of onions, spices, and tomato / mornay sauce with parmesan.

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And Saturday we did an awesome Israeli dinner at Timna.  You select an entree and then the table gets all of the appetizers tapas-style.  Also we ordered two desserts because we just couldn’t choose!  It was one of our best meals to date.  Falafel with pickled mango.

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Kubneh bread baked in a flower pot served with crushed tomato, creme-fraiche, and jalapeño salsa.

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Grilled beet salad with beluga lentils // tuna sashimi with green tabouli, tatziki, and ponzu // grilled cauliflower and artichoke with curried yogurt, homemade raisins, and pickled onion // smoked eggplant with feta cheese and sumac.

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I had “the fish,” striped bass with cherry tomato confit, grilled zucchini, grilled fennel, fried eggplant, Greek yogurt, and bread crumbs.  We loved the meal from start to finish but the fried eggplant was my favorite bite of the night.

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Kubneh bread with creme patisserie, white chocolate, and honey and sage ice cream.

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Sicilian pistachio ice cream with tahini, silan, and shredded halva.  swoon 

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Back to the grind we go!

Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, And Eggplant, Oh My!

Goodness me, did we fit in some fantastic eating this weekend!  Three restaurant stops that were three of our best meals in NYC to date.  I spent the past three days giddy and full.

Highlights…

First things first – they can’t all be winners.  Both of these products seemed like things I would flip for so it felt like I should put out a PSA that I was not a fan.  The protein krispie treat tasted stale and horrible and the drink was more peanut than caramel.  Plus I’ve decided that the new Starbucks blonde espresso is not for me because I like the roasty flavor of the traditional espresso.

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I do recommend this salted caramel cold brew that I drank with skim milk.

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I am also a fan of toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches on brioche buns.  With kettle chips and roasted green beans.

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Now the stuff that knocked my socks off – Joyce Bakeshop.  We got baked goods with our coffees on a whim and the kouign-amann ended up being the single-best pastry I’ve ever had.

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Dinner at LIC Market.  We ate on the beautifully verdant back patio and our scenery was lovely but the lighting was terrible.  Fries with raclette to start.

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With a gose.

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I ordered two veggie sides as my entree.  Brussel sprouts with soy, sweet chili, and garlic and eggplant with lemon aioli.  The eggplant was one of my favorite dishes of the past five years, which is really saying something because we’ve had some exceptional eggplant dishes lately.

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Brown butter pecan cake with a sherry chocolate sauce.

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Dinner at Olmstead.  Another stunning interior + terrible photo lighting situation.

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My cocktail was not great – the only item we didn’t swoon over – but Adam’s fig sherry with vanilla and bitters was pretty delicious.

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The menu is set up for sharing so we got to try a bunch of things.  <– We actually felt like they encouraged us to order a little too much because we ended up having to take leftovers home.  Duck liver mousse (with honey drizzled on top!) with garlic crostini and pickled cauliflower.

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Beer-battered delicata squash rings with green tomato and a spice crust.

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Sweet potato and uni dumplings.

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Cauliflower okonomiyaki with yuzukoshō mayo and spicy hazelnuts.

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I had trout with creamed brussel sprouts and shaved chestnuts as my entree.  Adam’s succulent tamarind lacquered lamb is lurking in the background.

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We ordered the “peanut butter and jello” for dessert because how could you see that and not??!  It was strawberry mousse with strawberry jello and peanut butter powder.  It was ridiculous and amazing and I literally giggled every time I took a bite.

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Olmstead, LIC Market, and Joyce Bakeshop, we will be back!

A Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate!  I am actually at work today, but Adam and I had a great weekend making merry.

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We pretended it wasn’t raining and took a long walk around Manhattan and over the Brooklyn Bridge.

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I was very excited to check out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market and the Oculus and Brookfield Place.

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Best bites highlights…

Nobletree eggnog cappuccino.

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I also bought a fancy Ronnybrook eggnog and dumped it over ice with a triple shot of espresso, so good.

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We had yet to stand in the Dominique Ansel line to try a cronut but when I read this month’s flavor I knew it was time – eggnog caramel!

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Crispy, chewy, gooey; they were totally fantastic and worth the wait.  Eggnog caramel may be my new favorite thing.

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Lunch at Kobrick Coffee.  I had a grilled cheese with swiss, shallots, and horseradish maple mustard.

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Plus a Strong Island Iced Tea – gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, cynar, Hella cola tonic, lime juice, and soda.  The little coffee cup was Adam’s cortadito – a crazy delicious cross between a cortado and a Cuban coffee.

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Holiday flavors jelly beans – eggnog, pumpkin pie, cranberry, hot chocolate, and peppermint.

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Harpoon Winter Warmer.  The pink drinks were my attempt at making a peppermint marshmallow vodka that did NOT work.

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Rice and Gold for dinner for a whole jerk roasted duck.  Wrapped up with jerk-hoisin sauce, pickled cucumbers, and moo shu pancakes.

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We also had cured salmon crudo with onion ash, myoga, jalapeno, and maple bourbon soy sauce.

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Charred eggplant with Chinese yogurt, scallion, and crispy shallot that was one of the best dishes I ate this year.

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A Bondi Kelly – white rum, luxardo maraschino, lime, and charred pineapple.

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And a citrus salad dessert special with cardamom labne and yuzu nata de coco.

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We brought home our leftover duck to put on nachos which was the best idea ever.

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And our Christmas Eve dinner was snowflake pasta with pesto, red bell pepper, baby kale, and turkey pepperoni.

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May your day be bright.

David S Pumpkins Pizza

Last weekend was great and this upcoming weekend is going to be great, which makes for a weird posting schedule but a happy life.

Life Stuff {3 highlights}:

{1}  In a few hours I am heading to the airport and to Columbus, Ohio.  One of my cousins is getting married this weekend and I get to spend time with my family — including my mom (who I haven’t seen since before the hurricanes)!

{2}  Last Saturday Adam and I took full advantage of the weather and walked through Central Park from top to bottom.  We watched a man feed the ducks, went gaga for the flowers, and ate Nuts for Nuts while watching an interpretive dance street performance.  It was the perfect New York day!

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{3}  Last Sunday we took a friend who is newish to the city from Buffalo on a fall-in-love-with-Brooklyn Williamsburg tour.  Highlights included Sunday in BrooklynSweet Chick, Brooklyn Brewery, and several hours drinking from the Halloween menu and playing games at Barcade.

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Important Note – Adam and I beat the high score on Golly Ghosts!

Foods Stuff {5 highlights}:

{coffee}

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Iced lattes from my two current favorite coffee spots: Birch,

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and Black Brick.

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{ice cream}

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16 Handles‘ spooky cookie and salted cookie dough yogurt with sprinkles, cake bites, and an animal cracker.

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Ample Hills‘ new circus flavor made with popcorn toffee and red sugar-toasted peanuts.

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{New York beers}

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In addition to Brooklyn Brewery, we also checked out LIC Beer Project.  My choice was a fantastic guava passion fruit Berliner weisse.

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{Halloween-themed eats}

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(David S)Pumpkin pizza – TJ’s frozen crust / pumpkin puree with nutmeg, allspice, and pepper / shredded mozzarella / turkey summer sausage.

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With a Southern Tier Warlock.

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{dinner at Miss Ada}

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We are newly obsessed with this Mediterranean spot in Fort Greene.  The outdoor area is gorgeous, the plates are gorgeous, the plating is gorgeous… Adam and I had a fabulous after-work dinner date.

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Baba ganoush with za’atar eggplant chips and ginger aioli and the best pita bread I’ve ever eaten.

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Za’atar crusted salmon with labne, charred shallots, and Japanese eggplant.

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Last Week I…

Last week I loved: Webster!

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Adam and I can’t believe how handsome he is and we text each other pictures of him constantly but they’re on my phone so they usually don’t make it to the blog.

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Last week I watched: Rick and Morty.  We’re almost through the 3rd season and it has been fantastic.  I think season 2 was the best so far though.  I also have been re-rewatching The Office because I’m obsessed.  It’s so funny and I love when shows have characters (Jim and Pam) just adore each other with minimal drama.  The Micheal Scott seasons are perfectly cringe-inducing – I have really bad secondhand embarrassment anyways and I can barely watch most of his scenes.

Last week I ate: More samples from the healthy brand showcase.

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Setton Farms is America’s 2nd largest pistachio producer and their stuff is delicious.  We’ve been enjoying chocolate-covered pistachios along with the perfectly salted nut blend.

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I also liked the pineapple flavored raisins from Amazing Fruit.

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Last week I pumpkined: Four new items!  See more below.

Last week I drank:  Key lime La Croix.  The newest flavor is delicious, and currently my favorite fizzy water.

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Last week I listened to: “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B on repeat.  It’s super catchy and a lot of her word-play is very clever.  I’ve also been listening to a ton of Betty Who.

Other food highlights…

This week’s coffee combo.

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Pumpkin tres leches bubble tea from Teapsy in Astoria.

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Pumpkin and salted maple pecan frozen yogurt with peanut butter, marshmallow cream, Oreos, and mochi.

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I made a fancied-up version of my Spinach and Artichoke Egg Pie.  I precooked the veggies with olive oil, onion, anchovies, and tons of garlic.  Plus I substituted cottage cheese because I like it better than ricotta.

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No carbohydrate component to that meal so we had potato chips and pumpkin beers, woo-hoo!

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We tried pizza from a new place – Frantoni’s.  Adam and I shared four things so we could try a lot of the menu.  The eggplant slice was my favorite but the buffalo chicken was good too.

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I made bagel and lox nachos!  Everything bagel chips // TJ’s four cheese blend // hot smoked salmon // green onions // and cream cheese sauce with ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

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Plus roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

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I made buffalo chicken chili.  Tons of sauteed onion, green onion, carrots, and celery // tomato paste and crushed tomatoes // salt, pepper, celery seed, and smoked paprika // shredded chicken breast // black beans // cream cheese.

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Have a great week!