Heart On My Apron

It’s hard to believe that the Valentine’s celebration of love fell on a week when America really needs some extra love <– but more importantly needs better gun control legislation.

– – There is no good segue from my opening thoughts to blathering about my lunches so I’m just going to abruptly start talking about food here. – –

Highlights from this week…

Chocolate covered strawberry smoothie – plain Greek yogurt, frozen strawberries, and chocolate milk.

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Chocolate covered cherry iced coffee – espresso roast with chocolate milk and Luxardo cherry juice.

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There is a snazzy new Hungry Ghost location near my work and their fantastic iced lattes have not been a good thing for my coffee budget.

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Seriously though, the best coffee of my life was Sunday while grocery shopping – the frozen moolattas from Stew Leonard’s are unreasonably delicious.

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Birthday cake flavored protein bar.

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Sumo mandarin // conversation hearts // sweetened dried lemon and dried persimmon.

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Lavender yogurt with blueberries // dark chocolate heart.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with blueberries and a jaffa murcot mandarin.

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Coffee and chicory yogurt with blueberries // cinnamon churro crispy treat.

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Pinch of Yum’s bourbon chicken.  I used breasts instead of thighs, roasted shredded cabbage instead of rice, and upgraded to maple bourbon.

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Cheesy baked crab dip – with shredded crab, cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, Old Bay, minced ginger, and fish sauce.

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Scooped with orange bell pepper slices and Trader Joe’s coconut shrimp.

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Spiralized zucchini sauteed with lemon and pepper topped with  extra-firm tofu crusted in peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, canola oil, sugar, garlic, and ginger).

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I hope everyone has a fun, safe, love-filled weekend.

 

Super

Did all my American readers eat wings and gauc and dip last night?  I don’t even watch the Super Bowl but I try not to let that get in the way of my buffalo chicken consumption.

Weekend eats highlights –

We actually had dinner reservations at Evelina last night; a little Italian place with no tv, big screen or otherwise.  I had a fun Cordelia cocktail – mezcal, malted banana, pressed lime, and Coco Lopez.

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We shared two yummy salads to start.  Italian radicchio with roasted grapes, almonds, Blue di bufala, and vin cotto.

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Roasted beets with Fuji persimmon, house smoked ricotta, and hazelnut.

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Sadly our entrees were disappointing.  My cacio e pepe risotto with white shrimp was a major letdown.

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But that meant that we ended up grabbing pizza on the way home; buffalo chicken is never a letdown!

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I worked the weekend so most of my food was in snack form.  Two superior combos of iced coffee and chocolate milk.

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This citrus medley yogurt from Trader Joe’s is fantastically creamy and sweet, especially with sumo mandarin segments mixed in.

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Potato wedges from the cafeteria – gotta get in that blue cheese.

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And one morning Adam drove me into work and we went on a breakfast date at the Orwashers in the new Whole Foods 365.  Best chocolate croissant of all time!

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Random television musings –

  • My two favorite shows this season – The Good Place and Agents of Sheild
  • My least favorite new show – 9-1-1
  • The old show I am loving and tearing through seasons of at a disturbing clip – Cougar Town

Valentine’s freebie FYIs –

  • If you visit Godiva stores on Sunday, February 11th they’ll give you one free piece of chocolate while supplies last (no purchase required)
  • Aunt Annie’s is selling heart shaped pretzels buy-one-get-one-free on the 14th if you download their app
  • Not free and just for New Yorkers – FYI, Doughnut Plant is selling adorable rose shaped doughnuts right now and usually they have heart-shaped ones on Valentine’s

Quesadillas, Chilaquiles, And Burritos, Oh My!

As I flip from one classical musical references in my title to another in my opening line… This week these were a few of my favorite things

Favorite breakfast – This incredibly excitingly pink coconut water.

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One of my coffee combos – Birch Cold Brew roast with vanilla cashew milk.  <– good idea in theory but the mouthfeel and taste were both sort of “empty” to me and I ended up having to add a splash of cow’s milk.

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Favorite yogurt bowl – Vanilla & Cinnamon Chobani with Brown Sugar Cinnamon peanut butter.  Plus a Kanzi apple.

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Favorite snack – an assortment of nuts and dried fruits from Trader Joe’s.

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Pears, persimmons, and sweetened dried lemons plus TJ’s nut and seed medley.

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I can’t choose one favorite dessert, they were all so good!  We were surprised by how tasty these TJ’s churro bites turned out to be.

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I made a batch of snack attack brownies!  This recipe, minus marshmallow, plus crushed potato chips, pretzels, and m&ms.

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And I was killing it in the dinner department this week.  Baked burritos – whole wheat tortillas / shredded chicken breast / sauteed onions and orange and yellow bell peppers cooked with cumin / shredded sharp cheddar cheese / TJ’s double roasted salsa.

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Chilaquiles, mostly from scratch.

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I made chips out of the whole wheat tortillas / cooked in salsa and diced tomatoes / with leftover onions and peppers / shredded chicken / lime / cheese / topped with a sunny side up egg and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

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Egg and cheese sandwiches with homemade sausage.

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Whole wheat hamburger buns toasted with mayonnaise / cheese / fried egg / turkey sausage made with smoked paprika, fresh sage, and maple syrup.

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Plus roasted green beans.

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And yesterday I had a late doctor’s appointment in the city so I grabbed dinner at La Esquina.  I had a ridiculously delicious chicken quesadilla with salsa verde.

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I am off of work today with a three-day weekend and we’ve got super fun dinner plans tonight, woo-hoo!

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!!

Use Your Noggin

No full post this week – I’m feeling a bit under the weather – but I had to bop in and share the FANTABULOUS eggnog goodies I tried this week.

Eggnog in my coffee!  Trader Joe’s light ‘nog with Starbucks’ Christmas blend espresso roast.

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Eggnog Nutrament.  Also worth noting – TJ’s starfruit seltzer is pretty fantastic.

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Eggnog yogurt!!  With persimmon and a gingerbread oat bar.

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Eggnog ice cream.  It was so creamy.

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Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!

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!