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!

Weekend Update: Chilaquiles Edition

Our Saturday and Sunday plans mirrored each other and my weekend days ended up following a template:

maple iced latte in Brooklyn // brunch at a Chris Santos restaurant in the Lower East Side with chilaquiles // ice cream for dessert // walk across a bridge // a veggie-forward homemade dinner  {x2}

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Iced nonfat latte with four shots of espressso and maple at Otha’s.

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Iced nonfat Maple Shay with extra espresso at Brooklyn Roasting Co.

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Brunch at Beauty and Essex.  Vanilla doughnuts stuffed with raspberry jam to start.

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I ordered a cocktail with tequila, honey, and smoked blackberries.  It was good but Adam’s neon green Emerald Gimlet stole the show – Belvedere vodka, basil, lemon nectar, and fresh lime.

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BaE is tapas style so we ordered three savory dishes to share.  Crab egg foo young with shiitake mushrooms.

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Chilaquiles with and pulled chicken, sunny side up egg, cotija cheese, and pickled red onion.

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And braised chicken meatballs with sheep milk ricotta, wild mushroom, and truffle.

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Brunch at Stanton Social.  This is another sharing-encouraged spot so again we picked three plates to split.  Fried chicken on blue corn waffles with corn pudding, fresno chile, and maple syrup.

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Housemade naan with lamb bacon, zaatear spiced labneh, and pickled tomato.  It was totally swoonworthy.

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Chilaquiles with hand pulled chicken, sunny-side up egg, and feta.  We preferred the Stanton Social chilaquiles to Beauty and Essex.

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I also had a delicious Vietnamese coffee cocktail with Finlandia, Kahlua, cold brew coffee, and chocolate bitters.

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Fueled across the Williamsburg Bridge with a doughnut ice cream sandwich at Stax.  We had bourbon cornflake ice cream with Frosted Flakes and condensed milk on top.

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Fueled across the Manhattan Bridge with Ice & Vice.  Red (hibiscus, rose, Swedish Fish fluff) and Opium Den (white sesame, toasted poppy seed, lemon bread crouton) in a Froot Loops cone.  The red ice cream was our favorite thing we ate all weekend.

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I made an updated version of my Cheesy Eggplant Bake with meat sauce.  For the sauce I cooked ground turkey breast and onion in olive oil with garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne with tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.

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Quinoa bowls for Sunday dinner.  Tri-color quinoa topped with smoked trout, lemon pepper Swiss chard, and butter sautéed chanterelles.

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^^^

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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!

It’s Hot Outside And I Want Ice Cream And Iced Coffee

Here’s a looong post because it’s been a looong time since I last posted!  20 things from the past 10 days…

{1-4} Cool Coffees.  New Orleans iced coffees from Homecoming and Otha’s.

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Toasted marshmallow iced latte from Sweetie Pies on Main.

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Homemade frappe with dark roast, milk, ice, and birthday cake ice cream (<– I enjoyed the Halo Top a surprising amount, and would definitely buy it again).

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{5-6} Decadent Doughnuts.  Nutella beignet from Maman.

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Rose and marmalade doughnut from Polka Dot.  <– one of the best doughnuts either of us had ever eaten

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{7-10} Work Bites.  Piñata apple, salted caramel Doubleshot, and an ancho pepper turkey stick.

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Almond water (<– yuck!), chocolate hazelnut croissant, and a smitten apple.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with white peach and crumbled cookies (<– the recipe I always make with butterscotch and dark chocolate chips and walnuts).

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TJ’s avocado citrus yogurt with fresh mango and a peanut butter Larabar on the side.

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{11-12} Lunch in Greenpoint.  Greenpoint Fish and Lobster.

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Watermelon lemonade with cava.

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Grilled bluefish tacos with citrus cabbage, chipotle-lime mayo, radishes, and cilantro on grilled corn tortillas.

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Greenpoint Beer and Ale.  I got the honey saison.

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{13} Quality Eats at Quality Eats.  French toast cocktail (<– extra points for the punny name!) = bourbon, maple syrup, cinnamon, egg white, and prosecco.

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I had fried eggs with avocado and salsa rosa, and a perfectly dressed salad.

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And we had the s’mores ice cream sundae for dessert, with burnt marshmallow ice cream.

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{14-17} Winner Dinners.  Kimichi quesadillas.  I stuffed wonderfully soft tortillas with a mix of sharp cheddar, chopped kimchi, and mayo.

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Served with sour cream, roasted zucchini, and a weisse beer with lychee and pink guava.

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Bean and cheese tacos.  With watermelon beer and seltzer.  I cooked pinto beans in a skillet with evoo, salt, pepper, curry powder, and cayenne, then mashed them up with a spoon.

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With sour cream, salsa, Mexican cheese blend, and sautéed onions and green pepper.

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Chicken wing pasta.  Whole wheat shells / shredded chicken / peas / habanero wing sauce / cream cheese / blue cheese.

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Our first trip to Win Son = the best meal of this post.

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I got the Breakfast of Champions drink with peanut milk, toasted sesame, rum, rum cream, and toasted coconut.

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Fried eggplant with black vinegar, kefir cheese, and spiced cashews.  <– maybe my favorite thing I’ve eaten this year

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Sesame noodles with scallions and oyster mushrooms.  Plus a metric ton of chili oil.

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{18-20} Delicious Desserts.  Molly’s Cupcake for raw cake batter stuffed yellow cake.

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Bubble tea at Yaya Tea.  Guava black tea with yogurt popping boba and mango stars.  <– new favorite boba spot

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Ice and Vice seasonal flavor, No Whey – labne ice cream with burnt honey and preserved lemon.  This was so refreshing!

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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