Flavors Of Fall

Next week is the start of Pumpkin Month!!  But first, here’s a collection of “fall flavored” things –

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The maple Mars bar was a disappointment.  (Mom, sorry, it came as part of a Snack Crate, I cannot get you one).

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But the pecan pie granola was a delight, especially paired with a Trader Joe’s caramel apple Greek yogurt!

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More apple goodness, this Rave variety was crispy and sweet.

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And in other packaged goods new, I obsessively searched for this Oreo coffee creamer for the past 2 months before I finally got my hands on it.  <– worth it

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Pimento cheese and crackers at Grit.

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I put leftover bbq chicken on a yummy salad.  With butter lettuce, honey mustard dressing, cashews, and cucumber.

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This frozen meal from Trader Joe’s remains the best chile relleno of my life.

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My in-laws were in town a few days this week and we had a great time seeing them.  Including a trip to Asian buffet.  I had really tasty seaweed salad and the best egg tart I’ve ever eaten.  Here were my fist and last plates (with several in between!).

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Butters, Brussels, And Broccoli

The five best things I ate this weekend were…

The best cup of coffee I’ve ever made myself (and I drank it hot!!).  A blend of Trader Joe’s French roast and Brooklyn Roasting Company’s Costa Rican with sweetened condensed milk, topped with vanilla bean powder.

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Chocolate peanut butter Shreds cereal.  Eaten dry out of the box.  They are basically addictive.

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Cocoa swirl cookie butter.  Also eaten straight out of the container.  Can you tell that Adam was out of town this weekend?? 🙂

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A meal so nice I made it twice.  Roasted brussel sprouts and TJ’s scallion pancakes drizzled in Sriracha and Kewpie mayo.

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A quickie version of Oyakodon served with roasted broccoli.  I skipped the broth and the sake and took a shortcut with a fried chicken cutlet from the freezer aisle.

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Coffees And Cocktails

Important things first – the pink and purple trees in our complex are amazingly gorgeous.

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This is the immediate view out of our front door and it makes me smile every day.

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My purple hair finally got too patchy to be cute, while remaining highly pigmented in a few spots, and my hairdresser had to make me super blonde to get rid of it all.

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I had a fantastic weekend – including a Lower East Side day, a Williamsburg/Bushwick day, and a Long Island day – and we ate all the things!  I love New York, I love New York, I love New York.

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We checked out OddFellows‘ new coffee and ice cream spot and I had an iced latte with toasted marshmallow milk.

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I also had a toasted marshmallow iced latte (good, but not as good, obviously) from Sweetie Pies on Main while we walked around Cold Springs Harbor.

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Japanese shaved ice from The Little One.  Strawberry sauce / sweetened condensed milk / roasted strawberries / coconut whipped cream.

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Arcade games and drinks at Barcade.  <– one of my favorite spots in the city even if I’m not very good at Pac Man or Tapper

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Craft cocktails on tap at Yours Sincerely.  Adam got a tasting flight and I had a Folsom Fizz with bourbon, cola syrup, and almond.

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Snacks at Smorgasburg.  Belgian fries with malt vinegar aioli and chipotle ranch.

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Noodle bowls at Just for Fen.  Can JfF be my new living room?  The space was so cute!

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And the food was wonderful.  I had smashed cucumber salad and spicy chicken rice noodles with housemade chili oil, pickled radish and cabbage, baby bok choy, scallion, cilantro, and peanuts.

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Dinner at Forrest Point.  On the patio!

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I had a fried chicken sandwich with jicima and blue cheese slaw.

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The few things we ate at home were pretty great too.  Trader Joe’s scallion pancakes are the best frozen meal of all time.  Served with baby carrots and bell peppers.

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I made us delicious rice bowls.  Brown rice / red, yellow, and orange bell pepper sauteed with onion and garlic / chicken breast slow-cooked in the crockpot with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, lime, and orange juice and then shredded and broiled until crispy / sharp cheddar / TJ’s tomatillo roasted yellow chili salsa.

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Plus mojito milkshakes!  Cruzan rum / homemade mint simple syrup / lime juice / vanilla ice cream / ice.

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Three Day Weekend

My three day weekend is actually a ten day weekend!  I took a week+ off from work because I am going home for Carnival.  By the time you read this post I will (hopefully!) be on a plane to St. Thomas.

Here were the top three from the past three days…

{1}  Coffee (coffee, coffee).

[a]  I am still loving Trader Joe’s shade grown espresso blend.

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[b]  I found my new spot for coffee and cookies – For Five Coffee.

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They served me an perfectly roasty and creamy quad iced latte.

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And they have crispy yet cakey cookies from Duchess Bakeshop, including unicorn cookies stuffed with cheesecake.

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{2}  Fun in packaged foods.

The chile rellano from Trader Joe’s is my all-time favorite frozen meal and the mojito kombucha was even better than expected.

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{3}  Our best meal of this year.

Glasserie in Greenpoint pretty much blew our minds.  Their deal is Middle Eastern flavors mixed with contemporary techniques in a stunningly gorgeous former glass factory.  We swooned over every bite!

Sour from Grimm.

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Griddle bread that was chewy and perfect and sort of reminded me of funnel cake.

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Roasted cauliflower with cured labneh and marjoram.

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An assortment of mushrooms with celeriac puree, hazelnuts, and a soft boiled egg.

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Chicken with roasted sunchokes, fried potato, and sesame.  I almost never order chicken in restaurants but this was one of the best proteins I’ve ever tasted.

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Rose milk custard with candied pistachios for dessert.  This was just a bit tangy and just a bit floral and totally delicious.

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10/10.

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!