Deep Dish And Blue Berries

Biggest event from this week – I left the house to donate blood.  Guys, things in NYC are bleak.  If you are able to donate blood please consider it (we are facing a critical supply shortage because so many planned blood drives were canceled) and otherwise please stay home if you can!

Biggest culinary discoveries this week – 1) I love cinnamon in yogurt. 2) I love mint in smoothies.

Homebound food highlights this week include…

A tasty smoothie made with nectarine, grapes, blackberries, yogurt, honey, and fresh mint leaves.

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My favorite coffee (Grady’s) with my favorite coffee accouterment (sweetened condensed milk).

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Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, maple, blueberries, and cacao & cashew butter granola.

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Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, honey, TJ’s mixed nut butter, and granola.

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It feels weird to be obsessed with a low-calorie ice cream but this mocha fudge brownie flavor from Ben & Jerry’s moophoria line is kind of the best.  Especially topped with hot fudge!

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We are also very into these new peanut butter cup options from Theo.

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I made deep dish pizza with TJ’s dough (loosely based on this method) with turkey pepperoni.  Plus roasted veggies.

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I topped my leftovers with copious amounts of honey, Cholula, and chili flakes because the only benefit to eating all your meals at home is easy access to your condiments.

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TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi with pepperoni and pizza sauce.

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Leftover smoked salmon / roasted brussel sprouts with lemon zest, pepper, and parmesan / homemade garlic knots.

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Aha!

Highlights from this week (mostly beverages that blew my mind!) include…

Starbucks vanilla sweet cream nitro cold brew can gets a 7.5/10.  Not as good as a freshly made nitro but better than many canned coffees.

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Wendy’s new cold brew with chocolate Frosty creamer gets a 7/10; a great score for a fast food coffee.  It was not too sweet and the coffee was vastly more robust than Dunkin Donuts’.

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I always enjoy Health Ade Kombucha and their passion fruit tangerine flavor is my new 2nd favorite (it comes in behind their holiday spice flavor).

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AHA = my new favorite sparkling water.  This was the surprisingly fantastic flavor combo of cherry and coffee!  And it’s caffeinated!!

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A decked out yogurt bowl.  With vanilla bean powder, cinnamon, honey, banana, watermelon seed butter, and starry sprinkles.

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My favorite yogurt (Trader Joe’s plain skyr) with my new favorite oatmeal cookies (Stella’s easy one bowl recipe) and some mandarinquats (which I actually didn’t enjoy because they were impossible to eat).

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Crazy good take-out from Cheng Du.  I got kung pow tofu and Szechuan chili oil tofu and it was some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever tasted.

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This was hands-down the best sandwich I’ve ever made.  I could not stop raving out it.

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Brioche bun with Kewpie mayo / chicken thighs marinated in pineapple juice, brown sugar, sriracha, minced ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar then roasted / bbq sauce made with the reduced marinade plus ketchup / topped with sauteed sweet onion, poblano pepper, and pineapple.  Served with roasted broccoli.

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Dough My Goodness

Five things from last week:

{1} Cookie dough

Still obsessed with the cookie dough Perfect Bar (which still has no online presence?!).

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Newly obsessed with this monster cookie edible dough.  I may have eaten too much sugar this week.

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{2} Leftovers

Leftover homemade corn okonomiyaki topped with gojuchang mayo and gochugaru chile flakes (p.s. this is the brand I love for both).

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{3} Snacks from Trader Joe’s

TJ’s kills it in the snack game.  Dehydrated carrots.

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Sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds + dried baby pineapple.

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{4} Yogurt bowl

Guava passion fruit Greek yogurt (also from Trader Joe’s) with blueberries, sumo mandarin, and chocolate banana granola.

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{5} Veggie bowl

Roasted – shredded brussel sprouts, green onion, shishito peppers + sauteed – baby tomatoes, TJ’s turkey summer sausage.

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Souvenir Tastes

Highlights from this week include…

We were missing vacation and immediately ate all of our Hawaiian goodies.

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Taro macadamia shortbread / passion fruit gummies / li hing gummy pineapples.

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Also Hawaiian-inspired goodies, dried baby pineapple and tropical punch kombucha.

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We went to brunch at Comfortland and loved it x10,000.  The space was super cute and I wanted everything on the menu!

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We had a doughnut milk latte!  Plus a nutella creme brulee doughnut.  And a giant bbq fried chicken biscuit that I got too excited to photograph.

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Dinners were awesome thanks to some great H-Mart finds – jumbo puff tofu and Korean rice cakes.

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Stir-fry with tofu, baby bok choy, mushroom, green onion, and cherry tomato.  Sauce = soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, sugar.

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Stir-fry with chicken, egg, rice cake, cabbage, and onion.  Sauce = gojuchang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, lime, canola oil, brown sugar.

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Oahu Part III, Fun Places We Ate

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We were blown away by how good everything we ate on this trip was!  Hawaiian chefs are absolutely killing it.  The next time we go back to Hawaii I would strongly consider returning to Oahu just to revisit some of these spots!

I really tried to limit my picture taking and this post will be a million pages long if I list out every single thing we ate so this will just be the highlights of the highlights…

** Kona Coffee Purveyors.

Nitro Kona coffee with a black sesame kougan amann (not shown).  Affogato.

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** Leonard’s Bakery.

This malasada (Portuguese doughnut) stuffed with guava cream was my favorite bite of the entire trip.

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** Matsumoto Shave Ice.

This was my favorite shave ice of the trip; the flavors were spot on and the ice cream was wonderfully chewy and a great foil to the ice.  Guava, passion fruit, and strawberry on top of vanilla ice cream and topped with condensed milk.

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** O’Kims.

Dumplings stuffed with king oyster mushroom, button ear wood, yellow squash, zucchini, and truffle paste, topped shoyu jelly and pickled dikon.

 

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Korean fried chicken with gochujang, housemade gnocchi, brussel sprouts, purple rice, and kimchi.

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** The Pig and the Lady.

Midday Run – mezcal, passion fruit, vanilla, habanero, and lemon (not shown).  Le Swoon – Kohana rum agricole, Okinawan sweet potato, pandan, coconut milk, cinnamon, lime, and aphrodite bitters.

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Chocolate banana tart with Valrhona dark chocolate cremeux, chocolate cookie crust, fresh banana and banana marmalade, toasted hazelnuts, and tamarind caramel.

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** Piggy Smalls.

This was hands down our best meal of the trip!  We ordered all the things.  Brussel sprouts with makrut lime, peanut, fried shallots, cabbage slaw, and pickled red onions.

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Stir-fried ramen noodles with aged garlic shoyu, Chinese chives, pickled fresno chile, and shrimp.

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Lychee infused milk cake with blueberry compote, lychee chantilly cream, and lemon citrus streusel.

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Hanoi egg coffee, Kona dark roast poured on whipped egg yolk and vanilla bean.

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** The Surfing Pig.

Best cocktails of the trip.  I drank way too much prior to our 10 hour red-eye flight.  The bartender was crazy talented and also maybe my new favorite person – she hugged us on our way out.  Smoked rosemary mezcal margarita.  I also had a spicy paloma with mezcal (not shown).

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** Waiola Shave Ice.

Guava and passion fruit with vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and housemade mochi.

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Oahu Part I, Fun Things We Ate

Adam and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary(!!!) with a trip to Hawaii and had an absolutely fantastic time.  We chose to spend our entire trip in Oahu – versus island hopping – and ended up being very happy with that decision.  We walked a ton, stuck our toes in the ocean, ate a million delicious things, and saw a billion beautiful things.  I did not even take as many photographs as I usually do but I still need to split my recap into multiple posts!

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I’ll share more about the amazing restaurants we visited in a later post, for now, here were some of the best Hawaiian bites…

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** Chicken katsu musubi – seasoned rice with seaweed and fried chicken.

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** Shrimp okonomiyaki – a savory Japanese pancake.

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** Garlic butter shrimp plates from the food trucks out on the North Shore.

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** The cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company are all 10/10 buttery and delicious.

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** Butter mochi – cake made with glutenous rice flour.

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** Dole Whip – blended frozen pineapple.

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** We ate shave ice practically every single day of the trip!  The standouts are in a later post but these were still pretty darn good!  Both of these were Japanese kakagori style versus the more traditional Hawaiian style.  From Ice Monster – coffee ice with brown sugar jelly, panna cotta, and cookies and cream gelato.

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From Snow Factory – cookie butter ice and butterscotch ice with mochi, coffee jelly, and condensed milk.

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Nacho Zip Code

My stuff, my husband, my dog, and I all finally live in the same place (New York) again!  What a surreal week!  I worked Monday-Tuesday, moved Wednesday, and unpacked Thursday-Friday.  I am thrilled to be with my amazing family and excited to be back in New York but am deeply mourning leaving Charlottesville, and my fantastic Virginia family and friends, and my unbelievably great job.  <– it’s an extremely good problem to have 🙂

My last Cville weekend was low-key because I was a bit under the weather.  I mostly watched tv in bed, drank Gatorade, and spent $8 on precut fruit.

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Before I knew it it was Tuesday and I was drinking my very last hospital coffee!  Sidenote – the coffee stands in the hospital served my favorite iced lattes in Virginia and I am going to miss them greatly.

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Also that afternoon coworkers took me out for coffee and then after work we went to Hardywood for a final round of marshmallow gingerbread stouts and by the time I packed my car I was a drunk, overly caffeinated mess.

My last night my family took me out for nachos – multiple plates! – and margaritas and I got to tell them how unbelievably grateful I am for their hospitality.  I lived with my cousin and her fiance for the last 4 months and they could not have made my life easier or more fun.  A lot of people thought I was insane for choosing to live apart from Adam and Webster for so long but one of the biggest silver linings of situation was the time I got with my Virginia family.

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And they would be thrilled to know that the very first thing I ate in New York was nachos!

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Once we got the car unpacked Adam and I headed to I am Nacho Mama for bbq chicken nachos and fancy honey coffee.

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I also had tacos – griddled cheese and salmon.

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Last night we had a fancy dinner at our local mall, Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Small Batch.

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Little gem lettuce with pecorino cheese, radishes, fried soft-boiled egg, and ceasar dressing.

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Local duck breast with honeynut squash, figs, and black garlic.

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Chocolate souffle cake with milk chocolate sauce, cookie crumbs, and bourbon-brown sugar ice cream.

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