4 x 3 = 12

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snack, here were my top three eats for this week…

breakfast{1}  The 2nd best* thing I ate all week – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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Café du Mondé coffee with chicory from our trip to NOLA with sweetened condensed milk.  Yum City.

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b{2}  A killer smoothie.

How pretty is this purple??  Frozen soursop and blueberries with cow’s milk and vanilla pudding mix.

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b{3}  Double chocolate oat bowl.

Oats, chia, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

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b{warning}  Do not recommend: this oatmeal drink box.

The flavor was way too artificial.  Adam tried a plain one and loved it so it’s probably the caramel flavor that’s the problem.

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lunch{1}  Cafeteria sandwich.

Turkey and cheese.  I mostly prefer to pack lunch for work but I hate trying to pack sandwiches so this is a great cafeteria option when I’m in the mood.

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l{2}  Yogurt bowl.

Coconut Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit is this year’s new favorite combo!  I snacked on the vanilla granola and chocolate coconut milk on the side.

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l{3}  Baked potato bar.

I topped my spud with cheese sauce, salsa, black beans, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

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snack{1}  Caffeine overload.

Iced latte with chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Full disclosure – I drank a sugar-free Red Bull around this same time and spent an hour or two pretty sure I could hear colors.

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s{2}  Cheesy bagel.

I toasted half a poppy seed bagel with butter and cheddar-gruyere/parmesan-gouda.  Eaten while prepping dinner because I just couldn’t wait.

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s{3}  Yogurt bowl with my favorite citrus.

Maple yogurt with Heritage Flakes.  Plus a Sumo Mandarin.

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dinner{1}  Let’s be real, the very best* thing I ate this week was nachos.

Four-cheese nachos with black beans and roasted garlic salsa.  Duh.  But no photo because we ate them in bed in the middle of the day (<–fabulous) and my main focus was on keeping them away from the dog.

d{2}  Gojuchang turkey rice bowls.

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Brown rice with cilantro, lime and butter / roasted cabbage / ground turkey sautéed with spring onions and cilantro and a sauce made out of gojuchang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / black sesame seeds and lime juice on top.

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d{3}  Cheesy eggs.

A scramble with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda.  Plus baby carrots for a quick veggie on the side.

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d{warning}  Do not recommend: the altered quinoa soup I blogged about last weekend.

I see why Cooking Light only used a quarter cup of grains, by day 2 our leftovers were very well-hydrated quinoa with not a drop of broth to be found.

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Top Five This Week

{1}  Fiber One sent me samples of their newest product line – layered chewy bars.

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I’m a fan!  Sometimes fiber-added products hurt my stomach, but these gave me no issues.  They are chewy without being tooth-breaking and salty-sweet – my favorite flavor combo.  They come in double chocolate almond.

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And the even more delicious salted caramel and dark chocolate.

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{2}  I made a tasty strawberry sauce.

It was quick and easy, just fresh strawberries quartered and cooked in a skillet over medium heat.

Paired with passion fruit yogurt with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And plain yogurt with vanilla granola and a few Luxardo cherries.

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{3}  Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium partnered on a cookie dough beer and I paired it with cookie dough ice cream.

We ended up not loving the beer, which had a chemical aftertaste to it, but the ice cream (which I topped with melty Biscoff) was obviously delicious.

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And speaking of Speculoos…

{4}  Starbucks has a cookie butter bar and it is out of this freaking world.

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{5}  I spent 3+ hours making over-the-top lasagna.

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Loosely based on this recipe, it was totally worth the time commitment.

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I made a red sauce with ground turkey and TJ’s soy chorizo.  My béchamel was a four-cheese doozy made with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda. I skipped the ricotta, but did top my dish off with more parmesan-gouda.

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{bonus}  My schedule – I worked President’s Day and work this upcoming weekend which means I was off from work yesterday and today for a midweek weekend!  And Adam is off today too so we’ve got some Upper East Side fun planned.  See you next week!

Stick To Your Ribs Dinners

Thank you, to all those who have served.

The weather is starting to cool down a bit more – I can no longer comfortably wear my sandals* – and our dinner choices have shifted towards steamy, stick to your ribs meals.  *Note – I’m still wearing the sandals, I’m just not comfortable any more.

This was also election week and it’s safe to say that I ate my feelings in the form of booze, caffeine, and sugar.  I am a woman, but I’m also cis/straight, white, sans disability or preexisting health conditions, and unlikely to get an abortion, so I know my feelings of disillusionment and heartbreak really pale in comparison to many others’.

On a happy note, here were some of the yummy things I ate this week…

This week’s coffee blend was soooo roasty and good.

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I doubled up with train coffee and post-train coffee a few days, but I’ll note that this quad was enjoyed on a day I skipped the 1st coffee.

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Starbuck’s holiday spiced sweet cream cold brew is good!  It tasted like good tidings and cheer!

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Did KIND bar read my blog?  Limited edition caramel apple pumpkin spice is right up my alley.  With a sweet Ambrosia apple.

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I also love LARA’s hazelnut, hemp, cacao option.  The crunchy nibs are great.

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I was too busy at work for lunch one day and ate this turkey and stuffing sandwich on the way home in literally less than 3 minutes.

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Plain Siggi’s with chocolate tahini and grapes with pumpernickel pretzels on the side.  Yes, I put the grapes in the yogurt.

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Elderflower yogurt (very floral) with persimmons and pumpkin spice Cheerios.

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Strawberry cottage cheese plus grapes and pumpkin spice pepitas and granola.  I didn’t enjoy this seltzer as much as I expected to.

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Stress eating candies of choice –

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Leftover turkey bolognaise that continued to knock our socks off.  Thanks to turkey bacon, mirepoix, and 2+ hours on the stove, this sauce was packed with flavor.

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With wine kombucha.  Blueberry Mint was sweet and drinkable.

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Leftover black eyed pea cakes.  Topped with cheddar, fire-roasted corn, salsa, and a sunny side up egg with smoked paprika.

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We’ve loved this chili from Iowa Girl Eats for years.  This year I stepped it up a bit with lemon-pepper chicken, carrots and celery added to the base, and an additional hour of cooking time to concentrate the tomato before I added the beans.

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Pumpkin beers to keep me company while I cooked.  <– Adam and I both thought these two were some of the best of the season.

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I topped my bowls with shredded cheese, pickled jalapeño, and plain Greek yogurt.  Plus cucumber slices and Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup crackers on the side.

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Chili, meat sauce, baked potatoes… what’s your favorite hearty, stick to your ribs food for winter?

Extra-Long Weekend

My long weekend plus 1 (Friday through Monday) was an absolute delight.  I got a full day off with the husband and most of three days in Ohio with my grandma.  Four days of good food and great company!

Friday, Adam and I headed to Mizumi for all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.

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I had that plate x 10 thousand.  Not only was it plentiful, this was the best tasting sushi I’ve had yet in Long Island.

Late that afternoon we attempted to take the dog into Brooklyn for a picnic.

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I’m married to a doctor, so we made it about ten minutes before Adam got called back home to do something for work.  Just as well, because traffic was brutal.  A couple of hours later we left Webster at home and had a people-only dinner at Hail Mary.

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It was too dark for pictures but we’ll be back soon because the meal was amazing.  A high point was my housemade cherry cola with whiskey.

My Ohio visit was perfect.  It’s always great to see my grandma and I managed to get in time with my aunt and uncle and a cousin and her fiancé too.

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Nana is a fantastic cook and everything I ate at her house was delicious (and beautiful).

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Plus we enjoyed some good meals out, including personal pizza with basil and green olives.

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And wonderful spinach quiche.

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We went out for several lattes, explored cute Ohio towns, and took in a movie (“Sully,” because it didn’t occur to either of us until afterwards that a movie about a plane crash probably wasn’t the best choice a day before my flight!).

And now I’m home safe with my boys, and only have four days to go in my work-week.

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Palm Seed Fun

This post is running a little late because I am too – I have the day off!  Working last Sunday earned me a long weekend today.  It’s actually an extra-long weekend because I’m off Monday as well, I’m going to Ohio tomorrow to visit my grandma.  Today, I’m going to have some fun with Adam and Webster.

Highlights from this week…

I didn’t snap any iced coffee photos this week, but I promise it was consumed in substantial quantities.  There’s a chance I stayed up far too late watching Road Rules on YouTube one night.  <– not worth the exhaustion, that show spent way more time on relationship drama than I had remembered.

Apple oatmeal, with an Asian pear.

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My Filipino coworker brought me in some palm seeds and I bought them to good use.  Chia pudding with palm seeds and banana.

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Yogurt with palm seeds, Luxardo cherries, Cherrios, and an orange.

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Another treat from the Philippines, polvoron, or powdered milk candy.  They were fantastic, crumbly and milky in such a pleasing way.

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More candy, Justin’s peanut butter cups (I’m still obsessed with these) and a milk popping candy.  Sparkling water and diet coke are two of my favorite things and when you drink them together – as in at the same time, not in the same cup – they both taste even better.

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Other snacks included apples we picked ourselves.

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And the best microwave popcorn we’ve ever popped.  This tasted almost as good as stove-popped.

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We kept dinners super simple this week.  Leftover smoked trout casserole, eaten cold out of the pan.

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Salmon salad sandwiches – canned salmon with mayo, mustard, and pickle relish – on toasted TJ’s quinoa bread.

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My most complicated night involved potato vareniki which cook in about 5 minutes.  Tossed with shredded rotisserie chicken / sautéed celery / garlic kale / and a sauce made of cream cheese and chicken stock.

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I’m off to go start my day off!

Semi-Vacation

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Adam has been on vacation for the past two weeks which means that, even though I’ve been at work most of the days, it feels like I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks.  Nice!  Husband time is the best and getting to see him immediately before and after work (versus him going in while I’m asleep and coming home after dinner is made) is better than any white sand beach.

I mostly spent the past week making googly eyes at Adam.  But also, per usual, we walked and ate a ton when I wasn’t busy at work.  Here were the top ten eats for the week/end…

{1} Caramel coffee at home.

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{2} Coconut coffee from Konditori.

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{3} Brunch at Colonie.  Duck hash for two.

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With aioli, a poached egg, and the best fried potatoes.

{4} Drinks at Grand Army.

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The best round included this Under the Sea – Batavia Arrak agricole rum, navy-strength rum, absinthe, cinnamon, coconut, lime, and blue curacao.

{5} Fruity beers at home.

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We recently discovered that we adore New Belgium and their watermelon lime ale did not disappoint.

{6} Key lime pie.

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Adam explored the North Fork one day – and loved it – and brought me home some of the best pie.

{7} Mamey ice cream.

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I made a sundae with maple peanut butter, granola, and sprinkles.

{8} Ice cream with apple cider caramel.  Ample Hills is celebrating Roald Dahl this month.

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Enjoyed September 1st to celebrate the first day of Apple Month.

{9} Buffalo chicken quinoa bowls.

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I stirred sautéed onion, carrots, and celery into quinoa and topped it with fancy blue cheese and buffalo chicken dip.

{10} Seafood extravaganza at Littleneck.  We shared lobster and crab rolls.

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The very best dish of the night was this charred broccolini.

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With anchovy, lemon, and chili flakes.

{bonus} Dinner at Oiji.  I didn’t take a single picture but Adam and I enjoyed one of our favorite meals of all time there.  Among other things, we had a transcendent mushroom salad and honey butter chips that blew our minds.

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Time Crunch

Remember when I said seven days of work in a row wouldn’t be too bad?  I’m old now.  I am tired.  I don’t have a ton to share because 2/4 dinners this week were Chipotle.  And I only cooked one of the two non-Chipotle nights, the other we walked the dog to get milkshakes and then I got into bed the minute we got home at 7:30, fully dressed.

Coffee, obviously.  Starbucks pro tip – order the cold brew “with room, no water” so you can ensure it doesn’t get too diluted behind the counter.  I put milk in my coffee anyway so I’d rather temper the concentrate strength myself.

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With almonds.

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I’m still dying over the Grady’s Cold Brew with fat-free half & half and milk.

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My lunches this week were centered around a generous box of freeze-dried fruits samples from Crunchies.  The products are vegan, gluten-free, and kosher, and they contain no added sugars or flavorings, just fruits that have undergone a low-pressure drying process.  Bonus – Crunchies sources the fruits directly from the farmers who grow them.

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the free products were my only compensation for this post, all my own opinions, blah blah

We buy a lot of freeze-dried fruit because Adam often packs it for work so we were excited to try some new options.

Lows – raspberry.  Too seedy and sour/bitter.  To be fair, I don’t like any of the freeze-dried raspberries I’ve tried and I don’t love fresh raspberries.

High – everything else!  These were the best freeze-dried fruits we’ve tasted.  The strawberries weren’t too sweet or sour – no mouth pucker, the banana flavor was super strong, the grapes were sweet and a bit chewy, as were the pineapples.  10/10.

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I enjoyed the fruits in yogurt bowls for lunch (I took half the bag and Adam took the other half with him).  Plain Siggi’s, strawberry banana, Nonni’s dark chocolate banana.

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0% Fage, raspberries, pom seeds, maple peanut butter.

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Vanilla yogurt, grapes, pom seeds.

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2% Fage, pineapple, coconut butter.

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And here’s my only dinner photo, turkey and eggs.

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Ground turkey sautéed with celery, evoo, tomato paste, Sriracha, brown sugar, and fish sauce.  Topped with soft scrambled eggs.  I made Adam a similar but less spicy dish for breakfast when he got home from work and he loved it.

Now I have a three-day weekend!