Goodbye, 2018

We finished out 2018 with some fun – a three-day weekend anniversary trip to NYC!

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Favorite Friday activity = Checking out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market.

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Favorite Saturday activity = Meeting up with friends for lunch + dinner and a long walk through Brooklyn in between (Park Slope,  Gowanus, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Dumbo).

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Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

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Favorite breakfast = Croissants at Cafe D’Avignon in Dekalb Market Hall.  They are the best in the city and we’re obsessed.  The coffee isn’t bad either.

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Favorite lunch = Ramen at Chuko.  I had the sesame garlic ramen with woodear mushroom, spicy mustard greens, and scallions topped with poached egg, fried tofu, and garlic chili oil.

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Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

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Favorite dinner = Oxomoco.  We told the waitress to stop us if ordered too much – she didn’t but I’m not mad!  The tamarind orange margarita was good.

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The Rosita – mezcal, sherry, grapefruit, and hibiscus – was even better.

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The caesar salad with wood fired romaine and cotija masa crunch was the best I’ve ever had.

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Masa fried cauliflower with black mole, butternut squash crema, pepitas, and oregano.

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Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

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Tlayuda Oxomoco – camote, quesillo, pipian, pomegranate, and brown butter. <– Adam’s favorite dish of the night

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Chicken al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple, crispy skin, and salsa morita.

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We powered through two desserts because we knew they’d be amazing.  Oaxacan chocolate cake with coffee ice cream, cajeta, and walnut crumble and black sesame curd with black sesame crumble and pasionfruit raspado. <– my favorite dish of my life

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Hi, 2019!

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…And A Partridge In A Pear Tree!

This post includes five sweet things, four holiday theme items, three types of eggnog, two homemade dinners…

Stumptown Cold Brew with Trickling Springs egg nog.

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Grady’s Cold Brew with Promised Land Holiday Nog.

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I made my banana toffee magic bars for a cookie exchange at work and they came out really well!  I subbed in caramel chips for butterscotch and it think it was an upgrade.

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Sweethaus‘ holiday cupcakes are somehow eight times better than their already fantastic regular offerings.  Eggnog and gingerbread with meringue frosting.

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Hardywood’s gingerbread stout is stupid good and dangerously easy to drink.

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This lavender can from Kombucha Town is my current favorite kombucha; it’s very mellow.

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Fancy tuna salad makes an easy dinner.  A mix of tuna and smoked sardines with mayo, dijon, and capers / roasted brussel sprouts / baby carrots / Trader Joe’s everything crackers.

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But Wegman’s take-home meal section makes an even easier dinner.  Spicy general tso chicken with fried rice and seaweed salad.

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And one night I did legitimately cook – a protein, some veggies, and even a sauce.  Asian take-out style tofu!  This recipe but with oven fried tofu (similar to this method) in place of chicken.  I also used rice vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and added in some cashews.

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Naughty Or Vice

I did not do such a hot job taking photos the last week so I only have a minimal amount to post.  We’re at that point in winter where I hate everything – particularly having to wear jackets, boots, and multiple layers – and just want to hibernate.  Let’s just share the top five from the last week.  More accurately, five photos of the top eight things…

Blanchard’s Dark as Dark coffee.  Roasty and smooth.  And yes, I stick with iced even when I’m holding my cup with a begrudgingly gloved hand.

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Peppermint gummy bears and licorice bears.  The mint-anise combo is surprisingly delicious.

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Holiday spice kombucha is my favorite Health-Ade flavor.  And Trader Joe’s eggnog yogurt is one of the very best holiday items, second only to actual ‘nog.

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Vice Cream ice cream.

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We generally only buy unsweetened (and unsulphered) dried fruit but I will absolutely make an exception for Trader Joe’s hibiscus.  They are sweet, chewy, and just a bit tangy, plus they look totally alien and cool.  And Adam and I were both very impressed with this vegan jerky.

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Supermoon And Sprinkles

It was my birthday!

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The day itself was pretty ho-hum – I worked an extra-long day, it rained like crazy, the cupcake shop I planned on visiting closed early without warning – but it’s always nice to have survived another year!  And my pre-birthday trip to New York was pretty fabulous; I am glad I got my good weather then.

Highlights from the week…

Pathetically, I ate this strawberry Airhead as my birthday-day dessert.

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But later in the week we splurged on this $9 pint of marshmallow and violet ice cream.  <– best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, including the stuff I ate at a Jeni’s in Ohio last fall

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Lately in coffee, I’ve tried and been disappointed by several packaged options.

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At least I fulfilled my favorite birthday tradition – freebie Starbucks quad iced latte with sprinkles on top.

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I made a cocktail with this dream team –

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We got salad bowls at Chipotle with so much cheese on them it was almost too much, almost.

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My birthday dinner was our first – mightily successful – trip to Beer Run.  They’re kind of famous for their nachos.

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And I had a salmon bahn mi (with pickled strawberries!) that was pretty good.

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Plus a key lime brown sugar margarita and a key lime pie tart ale.

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Yesterday we slow-cooked a delicious dinner.  Brown sugar garlic chicken thighs.  I added smoked paprika, but otherwise followed the recipe.  With roasted broccoli with crock pot drippings and Sriracha.

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Less than 12 hours to the weekend!

A New York Weekend

We just had the best! weekend!! ever!!!  Or at least that’s what Adam and I told each other multiple times each day.  It’s my birthday tomorrow (the 24th) and he took me back to New York to celebrate.

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We got super lucky with the weather and managed to do a million fun things, including try out a few new restaurants that we missed going to before the move, eat all the ice cream, and drink all the coffee (and put ice cream in our coffee!).

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Here were the highlights…

Staying in Williamsburg in the Pod hotel, which was adorable and totally big enough for us.  And they had games and a bar in the lobby with Grimm Icing on the Cake on tap.

Brunch at Fausto, our new favorite spot.  I had a cocktail with ontratto aperitif, aperitivo select, grapefruit, and tonic.  Polenta with braised duck, poached egg, and pea greens.  And hashbrowns with chili aioli.

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Quad, non-fat, iced lattes from Black Brick.

Aussie iced coffee from Sweatshop.  Basically a quad, non-fat, iced latte with a scoop of ice cream in it.

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West Side Story from Paper Plane Coffee = guava, sweetened condensed milk, and espresso.  It was surprisingly delicious, and pink!

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Running along the East River.

Lunch at Sauvage.  We split baked eggs and a salad with arugula, charred corn, pistachio, and whipped chevre.

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Smorgasburg!  We got fantastic okonomiyaki and a scoop of mint ice cream with toasted Swiss meringue on top.  <– my favorite iteration of marshmallow of all time

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Ice cream at Milk Bar.  I got a babyquake (aka mini blizzard) with birthday cake truffles and the best sprinkles.

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Stocking up on Japanese goodies at Midoriya.

Buying an adorable bear t-shirt for me and a succulent pin for Adam at Brooklyn Flea.

Dinner at Dez.  We shared cauliflower and crispy capers and chimichurri and I had a chopped vegetable salad with roasted potato, crispy eggplant, a seven minute egg, umbah, zhough, and tahini.

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Beating our favorite team shooting game (Ghost Hunter) at Barcade.

Getting drinks with old friends at Freemans.

Beers at Greenpoint Brewery.

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Walking across the Williamsburg Bridge.

I love New York.

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Salads In C-Ville

We moved!  I officially live in Virginia now.

The move itself was kind of terrible but we made it here intact with the dog and most of our stuff so I really can’t complain.  And first we took a fabulous trip home to St. Thomas!  Complete with highlights of the best banana daiquiri on earth and salmon pattys eaten in the airport with a vodka soda and local beer.

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Post-move, once the apartment was sort of set up, I focused on the really important stuff like finding all of the nearby beverage and dessert options.  Like La Flor Michoacana – a Mexican dessert place with the most exciting menu I’ve seen in my entire life.  I already had a scoop of soursop ice cream (with a scoop of mamey on the bottom)!

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And an eggnog paleta.

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Sweethaus for a quad iced latte and a crazy good salted caramel cupcake.  <– maybe the best frosting of my life.

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Grit for Cuban coffee.

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Also I loved this locally made fresh mint kombucha.

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On the food-food side I don’t have much to share because I’ve done zero cooking both due to being busy and having not moved any of our pots or pans.  We’ve mostly been eating junky take-out, and salads at home, and take-out salads.  Sweet baby lettuce blend / poppy seed dressing / strawberries / shredded chicken.

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Spring mix and herbs / Trader Joe’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / shredded chicken / roasted peanuts.

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From Fuzzy Taco – romaine / tomato / onion / fajita veggies / grilled fish / shredded cheese / tortilla strips / vinaigrette.

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From Roots Natural Kitchen – Arcadian mix / charred corn / pickled onion / roasted broccoli / hard-boiled egg / bbq tofu / cilantro lime dressing.

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Wish me luck exploring!

Last Day

Holy frick.  It’s my last day of work today!!

It’s been a weird last week – I’ve actually been crazy busy because a coworker is out sick so I’ve been covering additional units.  Usually you don’t do much patient care on your final day, but I’m planning on squeezing in a pretty full morning before I start my exit paperwork.  Plus I’ve been wrapping up various projects, including an hour-long presentation on critical care nutrition guidelines that I gave to the residents covering the ICUs.

It’d be nice to have some time to decompress but the last two weeks of June are going to be insane with the move.  And in busy-ness that is fun, my parents are coming into town tomorrow for a final city visit.  And then Adam’s family is joining us to celebrate his graduation next week!

Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy!  <– name that movie

Here were the highlights from my last week of work…

{fun in bottled coffee}  Cold brew from Trader Joe’s.

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Pecan cold brew from Chameleon Coffee.

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{fruit forward snacks}  Fresh watermelon chunks with TJ’s cucumber watermelon mint Greek yogurt.

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The last of the ambrosia my coworker made me.  I for sure ate out every single piece of palm seed.

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{vegetables masquerading as chips/fries}  Roasted green bean “cheese fries” with ketchup and mayo.  I’ll be honest, I wanted Kewpie mayo for years and finally bought a bottle the month before this move and now I’m looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to use it.

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Spinach and parmesan tzatziki dip scooped with sugar snap peas and baby carrots.

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{good foods and goodbyes with coworkers}  An after-work walk to DeKalb Market Hall for Ample Hills.  Baby I was Churned This Way.

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Lunch at Bolivian Llama Party in the Ashland.  I had a fried seitan sandwich and we split insanely good cilantro cheese fries.

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{New York must-eats}  A poppy seed bagel with jalapeno-cheddar cream cheese from La Bagel Delight.  <– eaten on the walk to work, key feature

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Shaved ice from Grace Street.  We swooned over black sesame ice with sweetened condensed milk, honey boba, and mochi.  <– all-time best boba and mochi in the city/world

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Hand-pulled noodles from Xi’an Famous Foods.  Extra spicy for me, with smashed cucumber salad.  The chew factor here is just perfection.

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I ♥ New York.

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