White Gummi Slushie

I worked the weekend (and had two weekdays off) so my schedule has been a bit out of whack.  It is still basically summer temperatures here so we haven’t moved on to hot chocolate and soups but we have been loving the crap out of Pumpkin Month.  Here were some highlights from the past 7 days…

Weekly coffee combo – Black Hand and chocolate milk.

IMG_4150

This pumpkin spice kefir is super tasty.

IMG_4191

Pumpkin Noosa with a TJ’s pumpkin cereal bar and a SweeTango apple.

IMG_4148

TJ’s pumpkin yogurt with pumpkin spice Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheats and a Starkrimson pear.

IMG_4158

Key lime skyr with pomegranate and Heritage Flakes.

IMG_4228

Adam and I got a midweek lunch at Sweet to Lick vegan cafe and we are completely in love.  We had a terrific hero with bulgogi style setain, gochujang mayo, and pickled vegetables.

IMG_4198

Plus the best chocolate chip cookies ever sandwiched around Oreo cream filling!

IMG_4203

IMG_4206

Detroit Friends potato chips (expo sample).  These are some of the very best kettle chips we’ve ever tasted and their company is totally fantastic too – some of the potatoes are grown in a vacant lot in Detroit’s Hope District.

IMG_4169

Orange slice candies.  There’s a vitamin commercial where a woman squeezes an orange slice shaped gummy and it made Adam and I both immediately want to run out to the drugstore.

IMG_4164

Campfire S’mores ice cream.

IMG_4224

White gummi slushie from 7-11.  We are obsessed, these are so good.  I’m not sure what the actual flavor is (pineapple?  or maybe white grape?) but they are juicy and delicious.

IMG_4101

All-you-can-eat sushi buffet at Mizumi.  We love it there, everything is super fresh and expertly prepared.  I didn’t snap all of my plates but the highlights included crab cakes, inari, and seaweed salad.

IMG_4221

Roasted squash and tuna quinoa cakes with cocktail sauce.

IMG_4172

Veggie bowls.  Shredded cabbage tossed in this sauce / roasted edamame / marinated hard-boiled eggs (marinated in gochujang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar).

IMG_4218

Mexican food at Oak House in Floral Park.

IMG_4232

I had a Mezcal mojito.

IMG_4236

And veggie fajitas with carrots, onions, squash, peppers, and mushrooms.  They had chipotle Cholula at the table and we doused everything with it.

IMG_4240

Plus Adam and I split vanilla flan and tres leches cake for dessert.

IMG_4242

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}

IMG_4096

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

IMG_4067

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

IMG_4121

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

IMG_4075

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.

IMG_4072

 

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

IMG_4080

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

IMG_4084

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

IMG_4083

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.

IMG_4131

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

IMG_4127

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

IMG_4125

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

IMG_4123

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.

IMG_4094

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.

IMG_4134

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.

IMG_4108

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

IMG_4142

^^^

IMG_4088

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria

My title is a tongue in cheek joke about how the weather channel is turning me into a crazy person this month.  I was having such a good week too.  The VI was finally getting some desperately needed federal assistance and national news coverage and my parents got cell service back and I was able to talk to my mom.  But now, Maria is expected to hit the Virgin Islands as a category 3 hurricane this week.  Fantastic.

I’m still not really feeling up to prattling on about my days, but I did have some fun this week so I’m posting a top five…

{1}  favorite work bites

{a} coffee coffee coffee

IMG_3308

{b} I am still obsessed with that Trader Joe’s nut and seed mix

IMG_3456

{c} I also packed a nice tasting plate – dried apples, TJ’s crispy cheese bites, and a maple salmon bar.

IMG_3474

{d} This cafeteria wrap was on point.  Chicken / pinto beans / tomato / bell peppers / banana pepper / cheddar.

IMG_3450

{2}  apple eatventures

{a} I made caramel apple bread from scratch!  Basically just pumpkin bread made with apple sauce instead of pumpkin puree and totally just an excuse to use these caramel chips.

IMG_3429

IMG_3395

{b} Caramel apple oatmeal.  Rolled oats / caramel chips / cinnamon / chia seeds / dried apples.

IMG_3463

{c} Caramel apple Twizzlers.

IMG_3502

{d} Apple pie milkshake.  Vanilla ice cream / Greek yogurt / applesauce/ cinnamon and gingerbread spice.

IMG_3525

{3}  cobb salad pasta salad

Whole wheat bowtie pasta / crumbled fancy aged blue cheese / turkey bacon / chopped chicken breast / hard-boiled eggs / diced avocado / shredded spinach / roasted baby tomatoes.

IMG_3482

{4}  a Mile End meal recreation

Mile End Deli has a Brussel sprouts dish on their menu that we were over the moon for, so I recreated it at home.  Our version was roasted brussel sprouts / tossed with crispy turkey bacon / plus olive oil and honey / sprinkled with sumac / on a base of labne.

IMG_3510

While we cooked – which took no time at all – we sipped on Switchel.

IMG_3417

Up Mountain Switchel sent me a box for review.  The lemon flavor was too spicy ginger for me, but I loved the Yerba Mate.  The ingredients list is short and simple (the four things listed on the front of the bottle plus water) and a serving has 54 calories and 10 grams of sugar.  It paired nicely with our meal and would be a good alternative option to booze or soda with dinner.

{5}  a trip to the South Fork of the Hamptons

IMG_3577

IMG_3580

{a} Doughnuts and coffee at Grindstone.

IMG_3544

IMG_3534

I had a Nutella s’mores brioche doughnut and a vanilla latte.

IMG_3539

{b} La Colombe black and tan (draft latte and cold brew) at Sag Town Coffee.  P.S. Apparently I am obsessed with Sag Harbor, it is so cute!

IMG_3547

{c} Lunch at Lunch.  Instead of a lobster roll I went with the seafood chili – with a bloody mary – and was quite pleased with my choice.

IMG_3570

{d} A cup of birthday cake ice cream at Scoop Du Jour.

IMG_3574

{e} And best of all, we got to stick our toes in the sand at the beach.

IMG_3553

It was a super foggy day and the crashing waves were gorgeous.  Plus we saw about a million seagulls.  <– best beach day ever

IMG_3564

Coffee And Eggs

Important Things First

I was finally able to speak with my parents and they are alright (and the rest of my island family members are safe as well).  Phone service, power, and most cell service are out, so for the foreseeable future I can only talk to my parents when they manage to borrow a working cell phone.  Communication on-island is tricky as well, radio stations were down and when I spoke with my parents briefly Friday afternoon they didn’t even know that Jose had been updated to a category four (thankfully that ended up being a nonissue).  We got unbelievably lucky and our home’s roof is fully intact.  When I got off the train Friday morning I had a voicemail from my dad and I was so relieved I starting sobbing in the middle of the street like a crazy person.  It’s been an emotional weekend, I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude for how fortunate my family was.

The United States Virgin Islands as a whole was not so lucky.  St. Thomas and St. John were decimated by Hurricane Irma.  On St. Thomas, our only hospital, airport, fire station, and post office were destroyed.  Looking through my friends’ pictures of the destruction on Facebook is heart-wrenching.

irma

If you feel compelled to help the VI, here are some options:

  1. A friend I trust is crowdfunding via YouCaring and will distribute money to local foundations
  2. Tim Duncan vowed to match donations up to $1million
  3. Kenny Chesney also started a foundation
  4. If you are interested in volunteering to help with clean up, here is where you can register

Weekend Eats Highlights

{1}  apple adventures

I broke into some of my Trader Joe’s apple goodies – freeze dried Fujis and cereal bars.  Along with a coffee Chobani yogurt drink.

IMG_3305

{2}  delightful drinks

Iced coffee with chocolate milk, my favorite beverage combo.  I also loved my lavender mint water.

IMG_3376

{3}  stupendous snack

Trader Joe’s hit it out of the park with this seed and bean medley.  Apparently dried fava beans are my favorite thing, who knew?

IMG_3382

{4}  eggy eats

I breakfasted at the hot bar before starting my shopping at Whole Foods.  Scrambled eggs with potatoes and turkey bacon and an iced latte.

IMG_3399

Homemade chilaquiles!  Tortilla chips heated in a skillet with olive oil / tossed with green salsa and sour cream / with roasted zucchini folded in / and cheese / topped with two burnt fried eggs.

IMG_3383

{5}  Brooklyn bites

Brooklyn Kolache Co.

IMG_3321

We shared poppy seed, chocolate, and jalapeño egg and cheese.

IMG_3332

IMG_3327

BKG Coffee Roasters.

IMG_3336

This spot was adorable and my latte was yummy.

IMG_3339

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…

20170903_140713

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

IMG_3262

IMG_3255

The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

IMG_3248

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.

IMG_3232

IMG_3212

IMG_20170902_121016_342

As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

IMG_3188

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.

IMG_3193

And toasted marshmallow.

IMG_3237

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

IMG_3210

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

IMG_3313

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

IMG_3272

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

IMG_3268

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

IMG_3275

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

IMG_3224

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.

IMG_3228

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.

IMG_3235

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

IMG_3204

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.

IMG_3200

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

IMG_20170901_192405_547

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

IMG_3246

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

IMG_3279

Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

IMG_3287

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.

IMG_3292

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

IMG_3299

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

Buffalo Chicken Ballyhoo

Is it seriously September already??  Actually, don’t answer that; if I think about how fast this year seems to be going it makes my head spin.  At least now it’s Apple Month.

Here were eight things from the end of the eighth month…

{1}  coffee excitement

A match made in heaven?  I put creamy pecan popsicle in my iced coffee.

IMG_3121

IMG_3112

The lattes at Black Brick are roasty and delicious.

20170830_143709

{2}  brunch at Loosie’s Café

20170830_130749

20170830_130731

20170830_123634

20170830_123707

This space was gorgeous!  I had a grains bowl with shitake and king oyster mushrooms, purple kale, quinoa, roasted beets, cucumber raita, mint, and a soft egg.

IMG_20170830_123932_419

{3}  “milk and cookies” at The Bedford

Adam and I split a The Dude’s Caucasian – house-made vanilla bean espresso vodka on the rocks with a drizzle of cream.

20170830_135041

And a Drunken Cookie – underbaked chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed injected with white chocolate.  <– omg

IMG_20170830_140538_309

{4}  lime, mint, and elderflower sparkling water

IMG_3170

{5}  Curious Creamery ice cream mix

Please note – this product was given to me free of charge to review.  I was not provided further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

It is mix that doesn’t require an ice cream maker, all you have to do is beat it with the milk of your choice and freeze.  It takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time, and we found the ice cream consistency to be enjoyable after 5 hours (and it continued to be good 48 hours later too).

IMG_3139

I used 2% cow’s milk but you can also use full-fat, skim, almond, etc – the mixes themselves are lactose-free and have no trans or saturated fat.  I made the vanilla packet plain – Adam thinks it tastes like marshmallows! – and the chocolate I mixed with dulce de leche and roasted pecans for a turtle sundae.

IMG_3149

We didn’t love the final product, but did quite like it.  I’d say the ice cream is better than 7-11 brand, Turkey Hill, or the no-name stuff at cafeterias; on par with most store-bought ice creams; and not as good as Ben and Jerry’s or the ice cream we can get at places like Ample Hills or Ice and Vice in the city.  If I’m living somewhere that isn’t NYC in the future I would definitely make it again.

{6}  the last of the seasonal summer beers

These ended up being two of my all-time favorite strawberry beers.  Shiner Strawberry Blonde / Saranac Strawberry Tart.

IMG_3185

{7}  out-of-this-world good buffalo chicken tenders

I base all of my “oven-fried” chicken on this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.  I used skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders and baked for 24 minutes at 425 degrees.  I mixed smoked paprika and cayenne in with my flour and used panko as my bread crumb.

IMG_3158

The final product was tossed with a mix of buffalo sauce, butter, and brown sugar.

IMG_3162

Paired with carrots and celery – steam/sautéed and finished with thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette – to keep the theme going.

IMG_3164

{8}  buffalo chicken and blue cheese cheese fries

Our leftover chicken got to participate in something magical – waffle fries baked with cheddar, blue cheese, and buffalo chicken on top.

IMG_3178

Have a great weekend.

Ice Cream In LA

IMG_2763

We took full advantage of our week off and took a trip out to the West Coast!  This was our first time in Los Angeles and we had a great trip.  We rented a car and had enough time to do some exploring.  Keeping with vacation tradition, I got sick with a sore throat, but thankfully half of our agenda was ice cream anyway!

IMG_20170811_154419_381

IMG_2739

some of our favorite things we did – –

Chinatown // Griffith Park Observatory // La Brea Tar Pits

IMG_2732

// Malibu

IMG_2782

// Rodeo Drive // Santa Monica // Venice Beach

IMG_2654

IMG_2660

IMG_2670

// Venice Canals

IMG_2682

IMG_2689

IMG_2692

some of our favorite things we ate – –

Afters Ice Cream  <– this wins best ice cream of the trip

Brioche ice cream sandwich with cookie monster ice cream and sweetened corn flakes.  I couldn’t get a good photo in the sun but this was out of this world.

IMG_2803

B Sweet

Filipino dessert bars are the best.  I got amazing Halo Halo.

IMG_2816

Blue Star Doughnuts

The bottom one was terrible but the top one was a fantastic buttermilk glazed.  This was our very first stop on the trip and it was a nice start.

IMG_2664

Egg Slut

House-made turkey sausage, cage-free over medium egg, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard aioli in a warm brioche bun.

IMG_2676

Grand Central Market

There was so much to do here!  We got chicken tacos.

IMG_2751

And the best pad see eiw I’ve ever tasted.  The noodles were a little bit charred and perfectly chewy.  We were both in heaven.

IMG_20170809_125924_011

Magpies Soft Serve  <– this was the best soft serve we’ve ever had

I got a swirl with cherry cola(!!!) and sweetened cream.

IMG_2797

IMG_2794

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

It was adorable in here and we almost came away with some gold pins.  California croissant with smoked salmon, ginger, wasabi, and nori.

IMG_2724

IMG_2717

Philz Coffee

The mojito iced coffee lived up to expectations.  I do have to mention that it makes me crazy that they call this “mojito” though, mojitos have mint and sugar but they also have rum and lime and without the second two ingredients you have a mint iced coffee, not a mojito.

IMG_2769

Salt and Straw

It’s as good as they say.  We had salted, malted, chocolate chip cookie dough and almond brittle with chocolate ganache.

IMG_2674

Son of a Gun  <– this was our best meal of the trip

This tapas-style seafood restaurant pretty much blew our minds.  I drank a Ruby Red Julep – Angels Envy Bourbon, ruby red grapefruit, hibiscus, lemon, and mint.

IMG_2701

We had the lemonfish poke with black radish escabeche, citrus, and crispy sunchoke.

IMG_2704

Maple cream with smoked steelhead trout roe and pumpernickel flakes.

IMG_2706

Heirloom tomato salad with avocado, chili, lime, miso, and corn.

IMG_2709

Blackened rock cod with tomatillo salsa, fried tortilla, and crema.

IMG_2713

And for dessert, Italian Hamburger: a brioche ice cream sandwich with caramel and maldon sea salt.

IMG_2716

And now it’s back to work, wish me luck!

IMG_2774

IMG_2736