Black Sesame

I’m late — I worked the weekend and it knocked me out — but last week was too yummy not to post! Tons of ube, black sesame, and homemade fried shallots, oh my!

Highlights included…

Vietnamese coffee combo all week.

See also, phin-brewed coffee with sweetened condensed milk and black sesame paste.

Cookie dough Perfect Bar and a fresh peach = my new favorite breakfast combo.

Calpis filled marshmallows.

Everything new and ube from Trader Joe’s! P.S. we made epic sundaes with those items plus sliced banana, frosted flakes, sweetened condensed milk, and black sesame paste.

We have loved everything we’ve tried from Fat Orange Cat, particularly this sour double IPA.

Udon noodles / roasted zucchini, shredded rainbow carrot, green onion / ground turkey / sauce including doubangijang (spicy bean paste), chili crisp, tahini, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / fried shallots.

Roasted eggplant with shallot oil and sumac / roasted super firm tofu / sauce including tahini, black sesame paste, gojuchang, lemon, maple, and rice vinegar / green onion and fried shallots.

Baked chicken thighs / roasted green cabbage with carrots and green onion plus tons of fresh mint and cilantro / Nuoc Cham / fried shallots.

Weekend Provisions

Highlights from a yummy weekend include…

Pistachio milk iced latte at Post Factum.

We popped into Daily Provisions for a cappuccino and finally got our hands on one of their famous coffee crullers. <– worth the hype!

I took my cola + coffee obsession a step further with a boozy coke coffee float.

We had our best meal of the year at Bahn. Including Vietnamese iced coffee and a housemade strawberry lime soda.

Noodle salad bowl with lemongrass butter beef. That meat was so good it literally took our breath away!

We also had it on a bahn mi on perfect bread.

We got Win Son take-out after I had a little too much to drink at Evil Twin and ordered all of the things. Fried chicken sandwich with mayo and herbs / roasted spiced peanuts / marinated cucumber salad / braised beef in a scallion pancake / fried eggplant with black vinegar, labne, and spiced cashews / sesame noodles with black sesame and trumpet purée, oyster mushrooms, snow pea leaves, and peanuts.

Have a great week!

Mediterranean Cruise

I’m late posting from last week but our meals were too good not to share! We did a theme week – Mediterranean! Here were the highlights…

Coffee with Turkish spiced coffee sugar.

I expected to love the date & walnut ice cream from Adirondack Creamery and was pleasantly surprised by the Trader Joe’s halvah.

Panzanella. Lamb sausage / baked sprouted tofu / roasted eggplant / baby tomatoes / crumbled feta / kalamata olives / garlic flatbread.

Naanchos! Homemade baked flatbread chips / sharp cheddar / feta / lamb sausage / roasted eggplant / pickled red onions.

Plus a sour IPA with milk sugar, peach, hibiscus, and lemon peel.

Tuna pita melts. Tuna salad with pickled red onions and sharp cheddar in the whole-wheat pita that I practically deep-fried in butter. Plus roasted zucchini with sumac.

Tasting plates. Multigrain pita crackers / red, orange, and yellow bell pepper / smoked almonds / salami / roasted garlic hummus / kalamata olives / stuffed grape leaves.

Guava – Luxardo – Soursop

Highlights from this week include – easy frozen meals, my first time making (and eating!) carbonara, and cocktail walks with Adam and Webster…

Strawberry guava sour.

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Grimm (local) barrel-aged sour brewed with cashmere hops.

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Soursop daiquiris.

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This drink trio made a great team.

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Trader Joe’s frozen scallion pancakes with Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.

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Amy’s chile relleno frozen casserole.

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I made carbonara with turkey bacon and whole-wheat pasta and it was still 10/10 decadent!  With roasted baby eggplant.

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We had leftover egg whites from the pasta so I made scrambled eggs the next night.  With kale and Korean chili flakes.  Plus turkey bacon and buttered pumpernickel-rye toast.

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P.S. These chocolate-covered gummi bears were perfection!  The chocolate and the gummies were both amazing so the combo was even better.

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All By Myself

<– that title is facetious, I’m actually living with my cousin and her fiance and they are taking very good care of me!  But this was my first week surviving solo without Adam and Webster.  On a related note, look at the stickers I just bought!!!

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We had a fantastic, fantasmic, over-the-top wonderful vacation, by the way!  We hung out with some of our favorite people, ate some of our favorite things, and got to walk up and down the beach fifteen times, all the while exclaiming how beautiful the water was.

I brought back the best ever cold brew (Grady’s) from New York.

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Plus my new favorite cup, from St. Thomas!

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I got back to Charlottesville from New York on Sunday night so I didn’t have time for a grocery trip this week which meant I mostly ate a bunch of (tasty) nonsense.  Like cafeteria food that I carted home.  Chicken tenders + fries + seaweed salad.

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A Beyond Burger with hot sauce and tomatoes.

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And Wegman’s hot bar.  I pretty much got every chicken and vegetable option from the “Asian” section.

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One night my cousin threw a dinner party and cooked an honest-to-god, grown up meal – eggplant parmesan and garlic bread (plus a fancy cheese plate and homemade chocolate chip cookies).

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And Thursday I finally made it to free pretzel night at Hardywood because my work hosted an after-hours journal club there.

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Super Salad

We are 85% moved to NYC and the move went swimmingly!  Plus we had a fantastic time at our friends’ wedding.

Here were the highlights from this week…

These new Trader Joe’s chocolate covered espresso beans are my new favorite thing.  They have the perfect ratio of bean to candy and the chocolate coating isn’t waxy at all.

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Ridiculously good cake from Marie Bette; chocolate with salted caramel frosting.

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This cranberry sour ale was a total winner.

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I got a smoked chicken quesadilla from Asado that was shockingly good.  Plus fries with queso!

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I had an amazing salad bowl from Mezeh.  Mixed greens // veggie kefta // tabouleh // olives // red cabbage slaw // cucumber // caramelized eggplant // roasted corn // baba ganoush // harissa and tzatziki dressings.

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Plus we made wonderful salads at home.  TJ’s cruciferous crunch mix // spicy peanut vinaigrette // sesame honey cashews // hot smoked salmon // hard-boiled eggs.  I made the eggs in the oven because we don’t have any pots and they came out great!

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Finally, we met my cousin and her fiance for dinner at Maya.  I had catfish with sweet potato fries and garlic broccoli.  Plus we shared a cheese plate (with pickled apples!) and peanut butter pie.

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Weekend Top 5

{1}  High Brew Double Espresso = a packaged coffee option I actually enjoyed.

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{2}  My first Mezeh experience.  I went with Kath!  It was great to catch up with her and the food was great too.  Caramelized eggplant should be on every menu.

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{3}  Creamy honey mustard skillet chicken.  Served with brussel sprouts.

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{4}  Strawberry rose frozen dessert.  This stuff was so good!  And all I did was food process strawberries, sweetened condensed milk, and rose water and then freeze.

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Related note – this shampoo has been rocking my face off.

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{5}  Related note 2 – while I had scm open in the house I made a shakerato and it was the best coffee to ever come out of my kitchen.

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A New York Weekend

We just had the best! weekend!! ever!!!  Or at least that’s what Adam and I told each other multiple times each day.  It’s my birthday tomorrow (the 24th) and he took me back to New York to celebrate.

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We got super lucky with the weather and managed to do a million fun things, including try out a few new restaurants that we missed going to before the move, eat all the ice cream, and drink all the coffee (and put ice cream in our coffee!).

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Here were the highlights…

Staying in Williamsburg in the Pod hotel, which was adorable and totally big enough for us.  And they had games and a bar in the lobby with Grimm Icing on the Cake on tap.

Brunch at Fausto, our new favorite spot.  I had a cocktail with ontratto aperitif, aperitivo select, grapefruit, and tonic.  Polenta with braised duck, poached egg, and pea greens.  And hashbrowns with chili aioli.

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Quad, non-fat, iced lattes from Black Brick.

Aussie iced coffee from Sweatshop.  Basically a quad, non-fat, iced latte with a scoop of ice cream in it.

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West Side Story from Paper Plane Coffee = guava, sweetened condensed milk, and espresso.  It was surprisingly delicious, and pink!

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Running along the East River.

Lunch at Sauvage.  We split baked eggs and a salad with arugula, charred corn, pistachio, and whipped chevre.

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Smorgasburg!  We got fantastic okonomiyaki and a scoop of mint ice cream with toasted Swiss meringue on top.  <– my favorite iteration of marshmallow of all time

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Ice cream at Milk Bar.  I got a babyquake (aka mini blizzard) with birthday cake truffles and the best sprinkles.

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Stocking up on Japanese goodies at Midoriya.

Buying an adorable bear t-shirt for me and a succulent pin for Adam at Brooklyn Flea.

Dinner at Dez.  We shared cauliflower and crispy capers and chimichurri and I had a chopped vegetable salad with roasted potato, crispy eggplant, a seven minute egg, umbah, zhough, and tahini.

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Beating our favorite team shooting game (Ghost Hunter) at Barcade.

Getting drinks with old friends at Freemans.

Beers at Greenpoint Brewery.

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Walking across the Williamsburg Bridge.

I love New York.

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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?