Lilia, Looking Glass, Loves

In spite of the rain, Adam and I had an absolutely lovely weekend.  Let’s be real though, we think going to the grocery store is a hot date, so pretty much anytime we’re together is considered lovely!

We tried a new restaurant, explored Prospect Heights a bit, spent a rainy morning running errands, saw “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (<– only ok), got in a long walk with the dog before the rain, and caught up on TV.  I even managed to get in a short run before the skies opened.  I was up and out of bed before 7:30 on Sunday which gave us a much earlier start than usual.

Here are the highbites…  <— ahahahaha

Did everyone celebrate National Donut Day on Friday?  Doughnut Plant gave out free mini sprinkle doughnuts with all purchases.

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I got a tres leches cake doughnut and a super strong Vietnamese iced coffee.  The freebie was actually my favorite part.

Soursop (my favorite fruit!) juice from Gloria’s.

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It smelled amazing in there and we want to go back and get a meal soon.

The movie may not have been great but our cola-themed snacks were on point.

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We weren’t expecting much from 7-11 brand pop rocks but they were the fizziest I’ve ever had.

Saturday night we tried out a new restaurant in Williamsburg – Lilia.

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Our meal ended up being fabulous!  We started with housemade mozzarella on toasted garlic bread with lemon and bottarga (salted, cured fish roe).

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Plus roasted trumpet mushrooms with arugula, balsamic, and toasted almonds.  The ‘shrooms were too chewy for my taste, but Adam adored them.

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And I had an Aperol Spritz that was fantastic with our appetizers.

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My dinner was the best plate of the night, sheep’s milk cheese filled agnolotti pasta with saffron, honey, and dried tomatoes.  The creamy filling and (wonderfully) chewy pasta were wonderful with the slightly sweet and spicy (thanks to a bit of pepper) sauce.  We were both swooning.

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We had to go to dinner quite early to ensure we could score a table as a walk-in so we had time afterwards for more date night fun.  Brooklyn Cupcake – oreo cheesecake and flan filled.

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And beers at Barcade.

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Adam and I had an absolute blast playing a two-player game where you hunted ghosts.  I never played arcade games with guns growing up but I think I got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Sunday’s dinner made use of a former freebie – Popkoff’s Chicken Pelmeni.  The dumplings were delicious, the chicken was perfectly seasoned.

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We tossed them with sautéed onion, shredded brussels sprouts, and chicken hot dog, and Neufchatel cheese and smoked paprika.

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I have one more Popkoff’s coupon and then I will definitely be buying the products with my own money.

I’m Alive!

So it’s been awhile since my last post, huh?  My two-week illness (a cold and then the flu) turned into a three week plague extravaganza complete with conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis, and a two-day stay at the hospital.  Yippee.  I didn’t really feel like myself again until just a couple of days ago.

Now I’m back in action, and I even have a week’s worth of meals to share…

daytime eats

I was still recovering on Monday so I started my week off with mint sparkling water cut with Sprite.

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I’m usually not a clear soda (or non-diet soda) fan but the day I got home from the hospital I swear it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.  I didn’t even want diet coke that week, which says a lot about how sick I felt.

The real clue that I was basically dying is this – this small iced latte was my first cup of coffee in more than a week.

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I also had a glass of kefir.

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Maple was such a fun find.

By the next day I was fully ready for my lifeblood again.  Nonfat caramelized honey (<–yum) iced latte with extra espresso.  Sipped while grocery shopping.

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I worked Saturday/Sunday which thankfully meant I had Wednesday off.

And yesterday I had a yummy Kevita kombucha.

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Lavender melon.  Kevita is a little more refreshing – and less sour and yeasty – than other brands of kombucha.

Packed lunches were my old standbys.  Oatmeal.

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Oats with chia seeds, strawberry shortcake m&m’s, and Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter.  Plus a piñata apple on the side.

And yogurt bowls, with blueberries and blackberries. 2% Fage with maple pecan granola, chia seeds, and more pecans.

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Vanilla bean with Heritage Flakes.

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Plus truffles from a coworker for dessert.  With a side of Easter themed nails.

Wednesday at home I made an Easter-inspired spread.

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Egg salad with potato chips, and warm carrot slaw (sautéed shredded carrots tossed with golden raisins, walnuts, mayo, and stone-ground mustard).

nighttime eats

Monday night I took the dog on an extra-long walk after work… and then laid down on the couch in my coat for more than an hour!  I was too tired to cook anything, but hungry enough to go back and reheat a second plate of leftover pizza.

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Plus baby carrots.

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We try to always keep them on hand because they are perfect for distracting the dog while he gets his nails clipped.

Tuesday I managed to cook dinner and try a blog product sample (two birds with one stone).  Popkoff’s sent me some free coupons for their new line “farm to freezer” frozen Russian dumplings.

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The farmer’s cheese Pelmeni were fantastic – they cooked in under 10 minutes and were perfectly tender yet chewy.  Plus, you have to love the short ingredient list: “Farmer’s Cheese, Wheat Flour, Water, Egg, Sour Cream, Salt, Sugar.”  We kept things simple and tossed them with sautéed mushrooms and cabbage and low-fat sour cream.

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Topped with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  I have two more freebie coupons and I would purchase the dumplings with my own money so this is a meal you’ll likely see again.

Wednesday was the warmest of the season (68!) and we made the most of it by taking the dog on a long walk – in sandals and t-shirts – for water ice.  My strawberry and cola cup hit the spot.

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Then we did fish taco night for dinner.  We need to make tacos more often, Adam and I were both raving about this meal.

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Toasted taco shells / sautéed onions and bell pepper / shredded cheese / roasted tomatillo salsa / mahi mahi cubes sautéed with lime, cilantro, and green onions / dollops of sour cream.

Yesterday I ate a guava and cheese empanada on the train.

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Dinner part deux was TJ’s frozen gnocchi with eggplant and zucchini.

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10/10.  We relied a lot of frozen foods to get through this week but the quality of our meals didn’t suffer any.

I hope everyone is feeling well for the weekend!

Goodbye, Apple Month

Can you believe that it is already October?!  Time has felt like it is flying ever since we moved back to the city but this year in particular is booking it.  Never mind the fact that I am somehow 30 years old even though I still feel like high school was maybe six years ago tops.

breakfast

I kept this week’s coffee combo simple –

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I wanted to be able to get a good feel for this stuff –

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This was the perfect month to review* Rigoni di Asiago’s Dolcedì sweetener because it is made of apples!  10 kilograms of organic apples go into 1 kilogram of Dolcedì.

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The liquid sweetener is USDA certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher, and can be used in the same ways you would use table sugar (1 teaspoon of Dolcedì would substitute for 1 teaspoon of sugar, a 1:1 ratio) in hot and cold drinks.  It has 15 calories per Tbsp (table sugar has 15 per teaspoon).  You can also use it in baking but I haven’t tried that yet.

The liquid is sweet but flavorless so it really doesn’t alter the taste of your drink – unlike honey and agave – and I found that it quickly dissolved completely into solution in my iced coffee.  I don’t typically sweeten my drinks but when I do I would definitely use the Dolcedì again in the future.

Along with my sweetened coffees I had bars

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and orchard apples.

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We were not impressed with the scant variety available for apple picking but these ended up being some of the best apples any of the four of us have ever eaten.

lunch

Plain yogurt with blueberries and pomegranate, sea salt caramel apple granola and chia seeds, and an apple on the side.

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Plus I brought in turtle pretzel magic bars for my coworkers and I totally snagged one for after lunch.

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The other days I stuck with THIS for dessert –

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Omg.

Kodiak flapjack on the go and TJ’s freeze-dried Fuji apple slices.

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I hated the pancake cup – it was like choking down raw batter – but those apples are amazing.  I shared a taste with two coworkers who said they were the best they’ve ever had.

Plain Siggi’s with blueberries, strawberry preserves, and caramel apple granola and chia seeds.

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The caramel apple chia combo has rocked my world this month, though I have had to start carrying floss in my purse to deal with errant seeds.

“dinner”

Dinners this week were exceedingly weak.  Apparently our busy weekend of walking wore us out because Adam and I have been unbelievably tired.  Like on Monday we got into bed at 7:30 pm tired.  And then on Tuesday we took a nap before bed.  I guess maybe I do feel thirty!

Monday I ate a Starbucks chicken Santa Fe sandwich on the train.

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It was good, and thank goodness because when I got home I ate this strawberry Cow Tail under the covers.

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Hence “dinners.”

Tuesday I at least legitimately included some vegetables in my snack-based dinner.  Carrots with hummus.

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Several rounds of pretzels with string cheese.

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And roasted green beans.

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This was actually a pretty balanced meal.

And Wednesday I cooked a grown-up dinner.

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Can you call heating up a package of TJ’s Palak Paneer cooking?

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I had to make the brown jasmine rice and roasted zucchini we served it with so I’m counting it.

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With a dollop of goat’s milk yogurt on top.  And my final La Brea Bakery review* on the side – flatbread.

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They were all good but this was our favorite bread so far.  It had that perfect naan texture, fluffy yet chewy.  And the flatbread includes sprouted whole wheat flour (along with white flour) which made the flavor just a bit more interesting.  A+.

P.S. Now it’s October it is finally Pumpkin Month!!!

*These products were provided to me free of charge to review.  I was not provided any additional compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Weekend Top Five

{1} Apple picking upstate.

The selections were pretty weak – they only had two varieties!

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We picked small bags and then moved on to the brewery.

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They had housemade cider and wine slushies so that part of the day was a bit more exciting.

{2} Pecan Pie Bar.

Omg, kids, this candy was ridiculous good.

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I’m not even embarrassed that I ate it two months early – pecan pie month isn’t until November on the Emily is crazy calendar – because this is my new favorite thing.

{3} Friday dinner at home.

Leftovers scrambled into easy eggs.

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Turkey hot dogs, roasted broccoli, and spinach.

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With cider from Wolfer Estates.

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It was good but not my favorite.

{4} Saturday pizza night.

TJ’s red pepper, provolone, and pearl mozzarella wood-fired pizza.

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With roasted zucchini.

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I burned the life out of the pizza but roasted squash is our end of summer favorite.

{5} Sunday night Thai food with friends.

We went to Siam Orchid, a tiny little spot that makes the best Thai food in Brooklyn.

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My drunken noodles with vegetarian duck were on point!

Royal Weekend; Highlights

Normally I am a Brooklyn girl, but over the three-day weekend I spent some time loving Queens.  One day for Flushing and one for Astoria.  Also Adam and I both had Monday off and we spent the day eating our way from Chelsea to SoHo!

Here are the highlights, minus several ice cream stops and several more coffees…

Doughnut date!

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Chocolate salted caramel from Dough and a latte from Blue Sky.

Fancy yogurt bowls.

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Plain Siggis + 2 types of plucot + chia seeds + crumbled graham cracker pie crust.

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The crust was leftover from a failed s’mores cookie batch I attempted last week.

Brunch with a girlfriend at Burnside Biscuits.  We both got Salty Dogs.

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And I got a classic (duck fat!) biscuit with a sunny side up egg and sharp cheddar.

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Related:: Adam and I went to Sweet Chick for a dimly lit dinner and had duck sloppy joes.  Also two different cocktails with sherry!

Sandwiches at BEC = bacon, egg, and cheese.

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I got a Junior with turkey bacon.

Sandwiches at Blue Ribbon.  I got the pulled bbq chicken with cole slaw on top.

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BRFC feels pretty chain restaurant/fast food but the sandwich was delicious.  The bun was meh (I rarely eat the bun on a sandwich like this anyway) but the chicken was juicy with some perfectly charred crispy bites.

Presso Coffee is the cutest and their maple lattes are on point.

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Related:: another day I got a quad nonfat latte from Kinship Coffee Cooperative that was super good.

Oreo milk tea with boba and pudding from Kung Fu Tea.

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We explored the New World Mall food court and want to go back asap.

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We didn’t stop to eat that day though, our hearts were already set on Xi’an Famous Foods.

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Their spicy hand-torn noodles make the most satisfying dish you’ve ever tasted.

Trader Joe’s chile relleno is the best frozen meal ever.

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I would give this dish two thumbs up if I thought a restaurant had made it fresh.

Important note – you can buy cups of edible cookie dough.

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Just fyi.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

Weekly Wrap-Up, Weddings Have Great Food

breakfast

Coffee.  With Hint of Honey Almond Milk and a GoMacro Bar.

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Or seltzer and an applesauce.

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Or chocolate milk.

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Another morning I tried to do the coffee + chocolate milk combo but my cafeteria was out of milk so I just drank it black and I had a stomach ache for the rest of the day.

lunch

Yogurt.  Strawberry Fage with plucots and pumpkin seeds on the side.

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Oatmeal.  Quaker Summer Berry oats with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter on top and plucots on the side.

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Sandwich.  A monster from the cafeteria with spicy turkey and fresh mozzarella on a brioche roll.

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Leftovers.  Egg salad (see below), TJ’s Crispy Broccoli – which I dumped into the egg salad! – and an apple.

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snack

Salty.

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Sweet.

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dinner

I am missing many photos from the start and end of this week, but I did a pretty good job capturing the middle days.

Monday my camera was dead all afternoon and through the evening.  You didn’t miss much though, I ate two grilled cheese sandwiches in bed.  Then I ate a second dinner of Thai take-out.  Also in bed.  Related fact – I have been burning through episodes of “Body of Proof” at an alarming rate.  It’s bad; not just the fact that I’m watching the show obsessively, but the show itself, is bad.

Tuesday was frozen shrimp goyza from Trader Joe’s.

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We sautéed broccoli and bok choy with ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, and soy sauce and served our pan-fried goyza on top.

I woke up early Wednesday morning to hard-boil eggs for salad.

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This was eggs with minced red bell pepper, mayo and a healthy dollop of sesame gojuchang which gave the salad a great spice and a little bit of smokiness.

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With roasted green beans on the side.

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Roasted green beans have always been one of my favorite foods but now that I’ve started topping them with sliced shallots they’re on a whole new level.

Thursday night I was way less pathetic, but I still don’t have any pictures.  A Buffalo friend came into town and took me to a wedding.  The event was in LIC at The Foundry and it was beyond gorgeous but way too dark for food pictures.

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I ate hummus, cocktails, mini cupcakes, and all the other wedding trappings but the only photo I have is a blurry shot of my friend and me.

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Fun fact – I met her straight from work and I had to get dressed in a Barnes and Nobel bathroom.  I am the classiest.

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I took today off to spend the morning with my girlfriend before she drives home so I have this whole Friday ahead of me to watch Body of Proof do fun stuff in the city!

Weekend Highlights – Rockaway Beach And Roberta’s

We have got to squeeze every last drop of fun out of this summer before fall hits.  We made the most of our weekend with a beach trip and ice cream all day every day.

I’ve been crazy hungry lately so these pictures are just a drop in the bucket, but here are the highlights…

Coffee!  While I made my grocery list.

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The Vietnam blend from Starbucks is great with cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar.

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And the maple latte at Caffé Bene is on point.

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Toasted turkey cheese sandwich.

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Multi-grain bread with smoked turkey, colby jack, mayo, and lots of pickles.

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Plus roasted broccoli on the side.

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More roasted broccoli (and more of that plate).

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This time with truffle salt.

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And Applegate chicken nuggets with a Sriracha honey mustard dipping sauce.

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Frozen yogurt.  Birthday cake topped with chocolate stuff and Nutella.

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Pizza from Roberta’s.  We will definitely be back!  Cheesus Christ = mozzarella, taleggio, parmigiano, black pepper, and cream.

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Sunday afternoon we went down to Tacoway Beach.  They put rum in our watermelon juice and guacamole on our fish tacos.

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Plus we got Tostilocos, a big back of chips, black beans, seasoned cabbage, cojita, and Japanese peanuts.

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Then we spent some time on the beach.

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And stopped by Connolly’s for the all-time best frozen piña coladas.

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Have a great week!

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