Best Ever Iced Coffee

I survived the less-than-zero-degree weather!  My first winter in Buffalo I bought myself a pair of (children’s!) Sorrel snow-boots and they remain the single most essential item in my closet.

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so my weekend eats weren’t all that exciting.  Work was busy-busy so I mostly ate quick, snacky things.  The highlights…

Iced coffee with a crispy Pacific Rose apple.

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This New Orleans-style cold brew with sweetened condensed milk is officially my favorite coffee combo of all time.  I love Grady’s in general and this was perfectly spiced so with the SCM it was insanely delicious.

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Sooooo much hot chocolate.

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A giant smoothie I shared with Adam – plain Greek yogurt, frozen soursop, mango, and grapes.

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Toasted onion bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.  I ended up scraping off part of my mountain of cream cheese like some kind of tourist.

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Watermelon / Sriracha chicken bar / vanilla crispy square.

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Maple salmon bar / TJ’s dried chokanan mango / TJ’s seed & bean medley.

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The first two nights of dinner I was thanking past Emily for leaving me yummy leftovers.  Hot wing pasta.

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Hot dish.  With ketchup and Sriracha on top.

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And Sunday night I finally got around to cooking the meal I had planned for the first night of Hannukah!

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I had kind of a bad foodie/good foodie thing going on – my latkes were from a box but my matzoh brie was fried in duck fat.

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I sprinkle sugar on mine because that’s how I grew up eating it.  And that’s a blob of labne on my latkes that I wished was sour cream.   Plus we had roasted broccoli with sumac.

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I am off of work today! and we are going somewhere fun for lunch!!

Winners And Losers

I ate some really yummy prepared foods this week but I did not do so hot cooking my own meals.  I had the day off on Wednesday and I spent most of the day cooking/baking and it did not go well.

I tried to make Oreo marshmallow peppermint magic bars.  No.  I ended up with a molten stew of brown gook.

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I couldn’t feed this to anyone but it actually did taste delicious and I did scoop a serving into a jar to eat with yogurt.

I also spent several hours making brown stock and then lentil and tortellini soup.  This venture at least looked like food but it tasted like… nothing.  We ate Chipotle bowls for dinner.

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Here were some of the things I ate that did work —

This work lunch looks unassuming but it was truly one of the best things I’ve eaten in months.  Vanilla bean Greek yogurt with cranberry relish and maple + almond butter granola.

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Plain Icelandic-style yogurt with cookie sludge, a SnapDragon apple, and La Colombe.

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Cherry vanilla Chobani with golden kiwis and Heritage Flakes.

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Some of my snacks were fairly fantastic as well.  Seaweed salad.

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Turkey jerky.

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Carrots and garlic hummus.

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Kombucha.

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Coffee Chai tea.  Good Earth offered to send me a sample and since chai is my favorite tea and I love coffee I accepted.  It was delicious!  Just a bit spicy and roasty.  I drank a cup at work instead of a 2nd coffee a couple of days and did not resent it.

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Hershey’s caramelized creme gold bar with peanuts and pretzels.  It was so interesting and tasty, way more complex than a regular Hershey bar.

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Treats at Vanilla Bean, our new favorite Long Island spot.

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I had a Nutella-studded brownie and a delicious iced latte.

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I may not have cook-cooked dinner but my throw-together dinners were good.  Trader Joe’s frozen section did not let me down.

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Fish sticks with roasted green beans and blue cheese and spicy cocktail sauce for dinner.

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I also made great “Thanksgiving leftovers” baked sandwiches.

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Sourdough, sliced smoked turkey, cranberry relish, mayo, and lots of Kerrygold Skellig sweet cheddar.

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With burnt broccoli that still wasn’t terrible.

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Please cross your fingers for no more kitchen disasters for me!

A Week Of Splendid Sandwiches

Can I really use that title in a week without a single grilled cheese or lobster roll?  I did have some exceptionally above-bar poultry-based sandwiches.

The winning ‘wiches…

Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant is the best sandwich of all time.  Adam and I waited for it with baited breath this year.

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The seasoned croissant is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing!

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Flip Bird at the Ashland does a damn fine chicken sandwich – pulled chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and crispy skin.

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And my homemade toasted sandwich dinner was nothing to sneeze at.

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Sourdough / Applegate Farm smoked sliced turkey / 4 year aged cheddar / smoked maple mayo (olive oil based mayo, maple, liquid smoke, smoked paprika).

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With roasted zucchini on the side.

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Other fun stuff…

Vegan eggnogs in my coffee.  Adam really enjoyed the TJ’s almond milk version but I remain loyal to Silk.

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Here’s my current holiday stash, so exciting!

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Amazin’ Raisin sent me some samples to review.  The fruit-flavored raisins contain three ingredients – California raisins, citric acid, and natural fruit flavors – and are packed with flavor but no artificial sugar or sulfur dioxide.  Adam and I have both been really enjoying them.  So far his favorite flavor is pineapple and mine is watermelon.

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Some key work eats included raisins and a Larabar.

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And blackberry Siggi with holiday grapes and a maple maca bar.

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Really, the best dinner of the week was movie theater pretzel bites with fake cheese.  We went to see Thor: Ragnarok and split our sides laughing.  Our AMC has extra-wide seats that fully recline so the whole experience was really nice.

We also went gaga for these scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s.

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They were crazy flavorful and satisfying.  I topped mine with mayo and Sriracha.

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With baby carrots and potato snacks for an appetizer for crunch.

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A girlfriend and I met for a mid-week dinner at Bricolage and were both big fans.  Sriracha butter wings to start.

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And we both had pink drinks!  She had the pink soda salted lemonade and I picked an option with a cute name that I can’t remember where you pick a spirit and let the bartender go crazy.  I said “vodka, no ginger” and ended up with something delicious with raspberry and lime.

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My caramelized shrimp claypot was 10/10.  Georgia white shrimp, vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, and chili paste with rice to soak up the sauce.

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Enjoy your weekends!

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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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!

Duck Confit

Top 10 bites this week…

Pastries and coffees at Lilia.  An espresso-cream filled doughnut and something that tasted like a fancy funnel cake.

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Egg and cheese on a whole-wheat roll.  With an iced latte and a tangerine.

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Candy oats bowl.  Rolled oats with chia seeds, mini chocolate chips, and a few caramel M&M’s.  (<– they are so good!  Adam and I are both obsessed and we mailed a bag to my parents who flipped over them as well.)

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Nectarine yogurt and red cherries.  So excited that it’s cherry season.

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Cafeteria came through with a fancy pasta bar.  Tortelini with peas, pesto, and shrimp.

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Best meal of the week was a midweek lunch date at Sauvage.  The service was impeccable and the space was beautiful.

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I love a good tiled floor!

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We started with the seeded Kouign Amann which was buttery good.  Plus an unpictured cocktail that was fizzy and citrusy but that I’m not finding on the online menu.

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Adam ordered mind-blowingly good hen of the woods mushrooms with poached eggs.  I just got a salad — with oranges, za’atar, and duck confit!!  <– 2nd best duck I’ve ever eaten

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It is disgustingly warm in NYC and I had ice cream in some form every day this week.  Best = Van Leeuwen‘s honeycomb and black sesame and ash flavors.

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Yummy cola flavored hard candies.  Cola is our favorite candy flavor, hard, gummy, sour, or otherwise.

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Trader Joe’s frozen lemongrass chicken sticks with a side of baby carrots.

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2nd best meal of the week was this homemade masterpiece.  I know that chicken looks awful and raw but it was actually perfectly cooked.  I baked chicken thighs that marinated in miso, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and fish sauce all morning.

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Paired with roasted broccoli and kimchi and turkey bacon fried rice.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Pastrami Smoked Salmon On Sourdough

Once again, this title reflects the most exciting thing I ate in this post.  Honestly though, everything I ate this weekend was pretty darn tasty!

Iced coffee with cake popsicle used for ice.  <– gaaaaah!  so swoontastic!

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Perfectly sweet just enough sour smoothie – passionfruit sorbet / plain Greek yogurt / frozen blueberries / princess flavoring / water.

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Snacky lunch at work.  Mandarin, uncured turkey pepperoni, yummy cinnamon roll Chobani.

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Cafeteria sandwich.  Spicy chicken, pesto, red pepper, and tomato, on an insanely cheesy roll.

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Mr. Flip sandwich from Flip Bird – pulled rotisserie chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and a piece of crispy skin.  It was a 10/10.

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Dinner from the freezer – ice cream and a naan pizza.

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The cilantro pesto pizza – which I got with a free coupon given to me for review – was delicious, the flavor was a bit spicy, which was a nice surprise.

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Lox and cream cheese on a bagel sourdough toast.

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This pastrami-style smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s is my all-time favorite smoked salmon.

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Served with a quick salad of tomato, cucumber, cilantro, green onion, olive oil, and Himalayan salt.

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I made a recipe!  Cheddar bbq turkey meatloaf.

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I ate all of the crispy cheese bits that started to burn to the pan and was sooooo happy.  Plus roasted broccoli.

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Do you have a favorite type of smoked fish to recommend?