My New Favorite Thing

This weekend was all about fancy coffees, restaurant brunches, and yummy home-cooked dinners.

I took a vacation day on Friday – just for funsies – and had lunch with one of my favorite former co-workers and her new baby!  Plus I took myself on a long walk: Penn Station down to Chelsea Market, over to Gramercy Park, and back up to Penn Station.  Saturday I had a literal every cloud has a silver lining situation – the gloomy weather gave me an excuse to wear my snazzy new rain boots!

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Here were the highlights…

Fancy coffees –  Iced latte from Seven Point Espresso.

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Rose iced latte from Terremoto.  <– best coffee of the weekend

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Crack pie latte from Milk Bar.

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Restaurant brunches – MeMe’s Diner.

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The O.C. = cara cara and blood orange, tequila, and Tang.

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I ordered the greens with chili oil and a fried chicken biscuit sandwich with spicy maple syrup and root vegetable slaw.  The picture does not do justice to just how gigantic that sandwich is.

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Cake!  I wish I had more photos because this cake is officially my new favorite thing I’ve ever eaten.  Vietnamese iced coffee cake with condensed milk frosting and cocoa cardamom fudge.  Moist cake, fluffy icing, perfectly balanced.

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Midwinter Kitchen.  I had a salad with pistachio crusted goat cheese, frisée, watercress, a sunny side up egg, and sherry vinaigrette.  Those goat cheese balls were out of this world.

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Home-cooked dinners –  Trout salad melts.  Trader Joe’s canned smoked trout with mayo and gojuchang on toast with sharp cheddar.  Plus roasted zucchini with sumac.

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And I had this killer drink line-up while I cooked – creamy mango soda and key lime pie gose.

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Eat Live Run’s green chile crock pot chicken.  I subbed in cauliflower rice to get some more veggies in there.

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Gojuchang turkey burgers on toast, smothered in a tasty sauce – kewpie mayonnaise, honey, dijon, and miso.  With a side of pear slices and chips – gojuchang kettle chips from Whole Foods and kettle popcorn chips from Trader Joe’s.

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Have a great work-week, guys!

 

Winter Weekend Wonderland

Three fun facts…

{1} NYC got its first snow this weekend.

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{2} Adam and I used the blustery weather as reason to spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum.  So much Van Gogh!

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{3} We also watched and loved the first season of Stan Against Evil.

{bonus fact} It’s Adam’s birthday today!  I was going to write a gooey, disgusting, you’re-my-everything post but our ten year anniversary is on December 28th so I’ll save up my feels.

Weekend eats highlights…

Eggnog ice cream spiked iced coffee.

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Jalapeño cheddar potato pierogis at Baba’s with caramelized onions and mushrooms.

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BBQ spread at Fletchers.  I had smoked chicken, cole slaw, pickles, and rivers of bbq sauce.

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Egg ‘n grog pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  It was a delicious, boozy custard.

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Edible brownie batter!  For 2, mix 1 Tbsp melted butter / 1 Tbsp granulated sugar / 2 Tbsp brown sugar / 1 Tbsp cocoa powder / 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour / 1.5 Tbsp milk of choice (I recommend eggnog).

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I made stroganoff-ish turkey bowls.  Ground meat sautéed with shallots, paprika, sour cream, and tons of fried mushrooms.

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With carrots and hummus for additional veggies.

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And Holiday Cheers Health-Ade Kombucha for fun.  <– I was expecting to hate the ginger but this ended up being my all-time favorite kombucha, it was all sweet and no spice

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Chicken tenders and slaw.

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Oven-fried chicken tenders (using a rough version of this method) coated in crushed Heritage Flakes and drizzled with homemade honey mustard.

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With homemade cole slaw on the side.  I adore slaw and this quick version was better than any I’ve had in a restaurant.  I didn’t make notes for a recipe but it’s sliced cabbage and golden raisins in a mix of mayo, sour cream, mustard, sugar, and rice vinegar.

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Fantastic cheese plates.  Fancy TJ’s crackers with white stilton with apricots, honey goat cheese, and raw milk cheddar.

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Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll Ale that tasted like a cookie.

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Plus carrots and orange bell pepper with hummus.

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And sugared nuts and dried figs.

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It’s Pumpkin Month!

Pumpkin Month is here!  On the Emily calendar September is for apples, October and November are for pumpkin, November and December are for eggnog and gingerbread, and December is for peppermint.  This month’s on-theme stash is especially bountiful.

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Here are some highlights from the weekend…

My favorite coffee combo – espresso and chocolate milk.  I hate “mochas” because the syrup is gross but this iteration of chocolate and coffee is the best.

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Brunch at Benchmark.

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I had a roasted vanilla lemonade with vodka.

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This unassuming omelette was actually stuffed with duck confit and goat cheese.

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My best lunch came from the Starbuck’s refrigerator case.

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We cooked two tasty dinners.  Broccoli salad based on this recipe from Cooking Light.  We roasted the broccoli and sauteed the onion and served the salad warm, which I highly recommend.  I also swapped maple for honey and rice vinegar for cider vinegar.

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Served with white bean and basil dip with orange bell peppers and potato chips.

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Plus a disappointing cider.

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And I loosely followed Rachel Ray’s recipe for pumpkin and sausage pasta.

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Served on butternut squash pasta shaped like tiny pumpkins!!

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With roasted honey sriracha smoked paprika cauliflower.

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And our last and favorite cider, just in time for pumpkin beers.

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Non-food wins included…

I started reading One More Thing, Stories and Other Stories and now I’m completely obsessed with B.J. Novak.  The collection of stories fits together in ways that are surprising, moving, and sidesplittingly wry.

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Watching the dog put himself to bed, complete with covers and his head on a pillow.

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He’s the best.

Road Trip Adventure

Two of our favorite people recently moved out of Brooklyn for Traverse City, MI and our last three days were spent on an epic journey road tripping to their gorgeous wedding.  We spent two full days in the car and only one day in Michigan but it was totally worth it to see one of my oldest childhood friends get married.

We were a bit worried about the 30+ hours we had to spend driving but it honestly ended up flying by.  We had my fully-stocked i-pod, a funny book on tape, and brand new scenery outside our windows.  Plus we are stupid in love with each other and probably could have just talked for 28 hours (I definitely fell asleep towards the end!) and had a good time.

Five out of six meals Friday and Sunday were eaten in our car, mostly junk food.  Here were a few of the culinary highpoints…

Apples with peanut butter.

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Carrots and dip.

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Not one, but two, marshmallow flavored lattes!!

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Cola gummies.

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This total throwback.

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The gas station cashier got such a kick over how excited we were to find Surge.  Unsurprisingly, it didn’t taste as good as I thought it did as a kid.

We ate very well in Traverse City too.  Breakaway for coffees.

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Espresso that actually happened to be roasted in Brooklyn!

Lunch and drinks at Rare Bird Brewery.

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Adam and I split macaroni and cheese with roasted duck and salad with roasted beets and spiced pepitas.

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The food was good but the drinks were better, I had a locally brewed ale that tasted like key lime pie!  Plus an apple sour beer.

Ice cream at Moomers.

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White chocolate Oreo and black cherry.  We actually had this twice in one day because our friends did an ice cream cake for the wedding.

Late bar food dinner at Workshop Brewery our first night in town.

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Nachos with beans and ancho chicken.

I’m off to spend the day with my husband!

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1, 2, 3 / 366

We are four days into 2016 and I’ve yet to have a weekend day – my Christmas four-day weekend and an upcoming vacation (yay!) meant that it was my turn to work both the holiday and Saturday and Sunday. <–worth it!  The weekend coverage shifts – and subsequent week days off – are one of the main “perks” of my new inpatient position.  And clinically the last few days have been fascinating, lots of malnutrition, bowel obstructions, and parenteral feeds.

The only downside to the extra busy days (and terrible weekend-menu cafeteria food) is that there’s no #newyearnewyou around here, instead it’s been lots of junk food and zero gym time.  You win some, you lose some.

daytime eats

I opened the year with an extra shot of espresso in my iced latte, a good way to start anything.

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Plus an apple with cheese.  My apple selection this weekend was Piñata and Pink Ladies, all of which were exceptionally juicy and crisp.

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Saturday breakfast was all about the cartons – a winter cheer cold brew and an Icebox Water.  The water was a freebie product review.  It’s really hard to characterize the taste of water (unless you dislike it for some reason, Dasani tastes like carrots to me and I think it’s terrible) but I will say that I found this one enjoyable/refreshing and definitely inoffensive.

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Obviously the ideal would be that people would refill reusable water containers but Icebox Water does offer a more environmentally sustainable option to bottled waters.  Each BPA-free carton is 100% recyclable (and made of 76% less plastic than traditional bottles).

Sunday was my busiest day and thankfully my biggest coffee.  Plus strawberry champagne(!!) seltzer.

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The cafeteria is only partially open on the weekends and the offerings are grim.  I relied mostly on packaged foods from home for lunches.

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Plus gross cafeteria pizza that went unphotographed.

nighttime eats

You have to eat black eyed peas on the 1st.

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I made my favorite BEP recipe – beans / chopped green pepper / smoked almonds / chopped Dubliner cheese / green Tabasco / plus the new addition of shredded chicken breast.

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With a big pile of green beans roasted with shallots on the side.

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Saturday we gussied up some long-ago leftover leftovers.  I made my artichoke and mushroom pasta unhealthy great again by pan-cooking it in lots of evoo and adding an obscene amount of Sriracha and mozzarella cheese.

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This was better than the original dish.

Sunday, Adam met me after work for date night.  Fonda did not disappoint.  I spotted the Rosalita margarita on Instagram and knew that it would be fantastic.

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I was right!  It’s a hibiscus margarita with a hibiscus salt rim, swoon.

We split a salad that was scrumptious – avocados, roasted carrots, toasted pecans, soft goat cheese and romaine hearts drizzled with a lime mustard vinaigrette.  I swear, there was more avocado than lettuce!

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As well as fried sweet plantains with sour cream and queso fresco.

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Adam got chicken enchiladas and I got a vegetarian chile rellano.

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Roasted poblano pepper filled with carrots, zucchini, corn kernels, pickled jalapeños and Chihuahua cheese. Served with a roasted tomato guajillo sauce, pickled onions and Mexican crema.  Stuffed chiles are my favorite Mexican dish and this was the best version I’ve ever had.

With Kahlua tres leches for dessert.

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We both want to go back immediately.  I’ve got my eye on the brunch menu.

Snacks for the week included fancy popcorn from my stocking.

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And cookies.  David Lebovitz’s chocolate chip cookies really do deserve all the veneration they’ve gotten in the food press.  I made a batch for a NYE party and both the party-goers and my co-workers lost their minds over them.

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Recipe notes, because you know I always have to change something:  I used salted butter, skipped the nuts and doubled the chocolate instead – a mix of semisweet and milk chocolate chips, and refrigerated the cookies as preformed balls instead of slice and bake logs.  I don’t think my changes hurt anything, in fact I’m pretty sure the nut for chocolate swap was an improvement!

I also made a less lauded but still terrific peanut butter (chocolate chip) mug cookie.

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My year is off to a sweet start!

Homemade S’mores Milk and Weekend Brooklyn Love

Adam and I had a pretty great weekend… in spite of me misplacing my – expensive! – favorite sports bra and spending half of Saturday in mourning.  Seriously – I don’t change at the gym, I didn’t pack it on a trip, and we are very careful to check the machines for runaways when we do our laundry – where the frick is it?!!  But when we weren’t checking and rechecking literally every drawer in the house, we did manage to have some fun.

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highlights…

Homemade S’mores Milk

It’s official, I’m a genius.  I put it in coffee, obviously.

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S’mores Milk, makes 2 cups

Inspired by Tosi’s Cereal Milk.  This recipe requires you to strain the solids out of the milk, you can use a fine mesh sieve but I used my French Press and that worked really well too.  Smooshy marshmallows will not work for this, you need crispy ones; if you can’t find the Mallow Bits I recommend picking the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms!

  • 2 cups skim milk or milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup Jet Puff Mallow Bits
  • 4 squares graham crackers, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp hot chocolate milk
  1. Place all of the ingredients together in a container and stir to combine.  Cover and store in the fridge for 8 – 16 hours.
  2. Strain, discarding solids.  Milk can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Cheesy Spicy Eggs

Coming up somewhere just behind coffee, diet coke, dulce de leche, and popcorn, corn cooked in scrambled eggs is one of my favorite meals.

This plate was TJ’s frozen fire-roasted corn, chopped spinach, and sliced shishito peppers (<– so much spicier than I was expecting!) cooked in coconut oil with eggs scrambled in and chunks of Kerrygold Skellig sweet cheddar tossed in at the end.

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C’est Cheese in Port Jeff

C’est Cheese is always worth the drive up Port Jefferson for dinner.

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We shared a beer sampler.  The Framboise was my favorite.

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A cheese plate.  Adam loved the Tallegio and I was all about the 7-year Gouda.

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And a grilled cheese with blue cheese and a raspberry-cranberry relish on marble rye.  The cheese and jam combo made for the best bites of the night.

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Snacky in Williamsburg

This weekend one of my lifelong best friends celebrated her 30th(!!!) birthday.

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After the party, the husband and I had dinner at Snackys, one of my favorite Williamsburg spots.  We shared a seaweed salad and a Chinese big bun stuffed with pickled vegetables.

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And did rice bowls for dinner.  I know the photos aren’t much, but my Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken Bowl was great, yummy sauce and big bites of kimchi.

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Our 1st Smorgasburg of 2015

NYC people – if you haven’t done Smorgasburg yet you need to get your life together.  They added a few new vendors this season and it is happy, foodie, perfection.  We couldn’t find the Snowday truck but you can bet I’ll keep an eye out from now on.

We got lattes at Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Buns from Bite Sized Kitchen.  I got red curry chicken with peanuts, cilantro, and fried garlic and shloots (topped with loads of sweet chili sauce).

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And beer-battered cheese curds with truffle cheese sauce from Curd’s the Word.

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Remember this post?  The stupid sports bra is the fourth item I’ve ever lost… which would be a really good track record if 2, 3, and 4 hadn’t all been within the last year!

The Girl In Sonoma {San Francisco}

Our last two days were spent enjoying the beauty of California wine country.  And eating.  So much eating!  We were trying to pack in as much fun as possible on our last full day and we went a little crazy ordering food.  We definitely didn’t finish everything shown, but we did eat quite a lot.

We started Friday with coffee,

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and fruit and bread.

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We split a Satsuma, an unpictured banana, and a rosemary roll from ACME Bread Company.

We saved the sourdough roll for an amazing lunch of bread, cheese, and chocolate.

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Plus earl grey panna cotta for dessert.

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We had the Cowgirl Creamery Mount Tam fresh from the source because we were there for a history lesson and cheese tasting.

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Best tour of the trip!

After cheese, it was time for wine, with a tasting at Matanzas Creek.

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The grounds were gorgeous and the wine was de-lish!  We liked it so much we even bought a few bottles to bring to Thanksgiving.

Next up was beer (and more cheese!) at Lagunitas Brewing Company.  Brown Shugga was my favorite, unsurprisingly.

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They had pretzels out for palate cleansing between tastes,

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but we also got a big plate of cheesy nachos.

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This was the point in the day where I was getting a little too full!

But we forged ahead with a trip to Bouchon Bakery for a butterscotch éclair.

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And finally settled in at The Girl and the Fig for an outstanding dinner.

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Those light green olives were shockingly good.

I had to get a lavender mojito, it was made with Cruzan rum!

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We started with a cheese plate with apple, house-made fig cake, spiced nuts and baguette.

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We choose a P’tit Basque sheep’s milk, Bohemian Creamery’s The Bomb goat’s milk, and a Bleeting Heart Moolicious Blue.  Because we had to fit cheese into every single meal that day.

Adam and I shared for dinner.  Local mushroom raviolo with sunchoke purée, truffle pesto, local mushrooms, and chicories.

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And the house-smoked trout sandwich with farm egg salad, caper aioli, pickled red onion and dill.

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Both were absolutely amazing.  The sauce under the pasta and the pickled red onions on the trout totally made the dishes.

We got an after-dinner drink with Firelit coffee liquor and Sailor Jerry rum.

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And had dessert that was my favorite dish of the entire trip.  Chocolate and salted fig caramel trifle with cocoa nibs and Italian meringue.

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Adam was amazed by the nibs and I was obsessed with the marshmallowy meringue.  Plus we came home with a jar of their salted fig caramel.

We had such a wonderful dinner at The Girl and the Fig that we ended up going back for brunch on Saturday!  We met up with a medical school friend who is doing his residency in Fresno and he said The Girl was his favorite Sonoma spot.

Fig Fashioned.

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Mussels and frites for the table, which I was totally brave about and ended up loving.

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And the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life.

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We left completely stuffed; the three of us were barely able to get coffee, hours later.

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Our flight was a red-eye and it didn’t leave until after 10 pm so we were able to spend the whole day catching up.  Our friend chose to spend his one day off for the week with us so we were thrilled to make the most of it.

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A perfect end to a perfect vacation!