New Noosas

I’m free (again)!  After a short return to work I’m back on vacation for the next week, woo-hoo!

Honestly?  I need a vacation.  I was only back at work three days but I stayed late for more than an hour on Thursday and Friday and now I’m tuckered out.

Thankfully I had a few exciting things to get me through my week.  Like a luscious line up of fun new beverages: Black Hand nitro cold brew / Secret Squirrel Vietnamese iced coffee / La Colombe triple draft latte / Maeil caramel macchiato / Harmless Harvest strawberry coconut water.

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And an extra exciting package of product samples from Noosa.

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Noosa yogurt is already pretty much angel pudding, so when they offered to let me try their new line of Noosa Mates (yogurt with premium mix-ins) I jumped at the chance.

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They were even better than anticipated!  Loved them all.  I was happy with the portion of both yogurt and toppings and each one has between 240-270 calories.  Banana Chocolate Peanut with Guittard chocolate chips and salted peanuts.

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Honey cranberry almond with pepitas and granola.

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Coconut almond chocolate.

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Maple ginger with candied ginger and gingersnap crumble.  I wasn’t expecting to like this because I think that I think that ginger is too spicy, but it was delicious!  The candied ginger was chewy and delightful.

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Honey pretzel peanut.

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I ate some fun stuff on my free days too.  Like doughnuts (which were just awful, but how cute is that pink wall?!).

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And a trip to Red Hook.

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We had key lime pie from Steve’s.

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And crab sandwiches from Brooklyn Crab.  Snow crab roll with Cholula-orange aioli.

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Alaskan king crab roll with warm butter and chives.

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Plus cole slaw.

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And a  Passion Paloma with mescal, passionfruit puree, and grapefruit soda.

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Plus we stopped at Baked for coffee and brought home a grasshopper bar for dessert later in the week.

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After a long span of eating every meal out, I was excited to make us a fancy dinner.

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Smoked turkey kielbasa with onions and bell pepper.

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Plus pommes aligot <– super cheesy potatoes.  I loosely followed this recipe.  I had to lighten up a few ingredients to accommodate what we had in the fridge (less butter, 2% milk instead of cream, low-fat three cheese cheddar blend) and it was still insanely yummy.

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I served my leftovers piled all together in a bowl with smoked paprika maple mayo on top.

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By the end of the week I was so exhausted by my three days of work that I got Chipotle instead of cooking anything!  Rice / sautéed veggies / chicken / pinto beans / corn salsa / spicy salsa / sour cream / cheese.

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Have a great weekend!

Beans, Beans, Every Flavor Beans

I worked straight through Saturday to Thursday last week and it tired me out (hence the late post!).

The good news is that my work schedule meant I had a three day weekend.  And the better news is that I used my extra day to go on a quick trip to CT with Adam.  In other weekend excitement – we took the dog into the city to visit a dog park (he was not a fan).

Food themes for the week were beans and more beans, candy and more candy, and coffee (always coffee).  Here were the highlights…

Breakfast at Blue State Coffee in New Haven.  I had an egg and cheese sandwich on sourdough and an iced latte.

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Stumptown coffee.

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Pitaya smoothie with frozen cherries and cookies and cream pudding.  (<– bought the pudding on a whim, hated it, and was too cheap to toss it, but it was actually wonderful in the smoothie).

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Brunch at Fat Goose.

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I had a sparkling Paloma.

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And the foie gras panna cotta(!!!).  With strawberries, rhubarb, jam, and buttered challah.

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It was amazing.  And even better, there was a dog in my lap while I ate it!

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He got a bite of my ice cream for being a well-behaved brunch companion.

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Lemon yogurt with blueberries and maple granola.

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Plain yogurt with chocolate tahini, blueberries, and cotton candy grapes.

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Adam and I tried Costa Nova Waffle on an errands day.  They have tasty Portuguese coffee.  We had a crispy waffle with s’mores and a soft waffle with twix and both were delicious.

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Road trip snacks.

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Milk candy!  Japanese Hokkaido and Polish sesame milk caramels.

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These Haribo grapefruit candies are insanely good.

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Froyo on a hot day – birthday cake with mochi, nonpareils, and cereal marshmallows.

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Turkey BLT pasta (inspired by this Cooking Light recipe).   Whole wheat shells / turkey bacon / wilted arugula / roasted heirloom tomatoes / tossed with mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

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Salmon bacon sandwiches!

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Brioche buns with mayonnaise and gojuchang / sharp cheddar / a fried egg / and TJ’s salmon bacon.

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With roasted green beans.

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Red beans and rice (loosely inspired by this Serious Eats recipe).  Celery, green pepper, and onion cooked in evoo / salt, pepper, cayenne, and smoked paprika / with TJ’s turkey summer sausage / and red kidney beans / served on brown jasmine rice.

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White beans with turkey bacon, celery, and gojuchang.  Plus sweet potato cheese fries.

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Dinner in New Haven.  We got Thai takeout – chicken pad see ew and pad thai – to eat in our hotel room in front of the cable tv.

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Plus ice cream that was fantastically creamy and good, cookie dough and coffee oreo for me.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Japanese Kit-Kats And Trader Joe’s Nitro Cold Brew

Highlights from the week included…

Trader Joe’s nitrogen-infused cold brew, my new favorite bottled coffee.  It was so creamy and velvety!

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Check out that head (photo taken after I added cream).

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Yogurt bowls at work.  Plain Siggi’s with maple quinoa granola, chia seeds, brown sugar, and homemade raisins.  <– if I had included three favorites in my title this bowl would have been #3!  P.S. the raisins were much improved by a night in the fridge.

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Banana Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a piñata apple on the side.

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Snack attack.  There were curly fries in the cafeteria this week!

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I finally got my hands on some crazy-flavors Japanese Kit-Kats – butter cookie and pudding.  I would have liked both better with milk chocolate versus white but they were fun to try.

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Iced chai latte (that was way too spicy for me and ended up going in the garbage) and yummy honey caramel candies.

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I made a big batch of pesto and it was the cornerstone of most of our adult dinners last week.  Failed adulting dinners were cheese and crackers eaten in bed.  Pesto = basil, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan.  Most of it went into pasta bowls – whole wheat shells with shredded chicken and roasted zucchini, topped with more cheese and pine nuts and fried garlic panko bread crumbs for crunch.

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I also set aside some pesto for some truly epic egg sandwiches.

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Brioche bun / with pesto on one side / and gojuchang mayo on the other / with two fried eggs with a slice of fontina cheese melting in between.  <– ridiculously good and loosely inspired by the egg sandwich at Santina.

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With roasted green beans with more garlic panko.

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Saturday after work I met Adam for Southern fare at Pretty Southern.  We ordered both sherry drinks because cocktails with sherry are wonderful.  Carlita’s Colada – Palo cortado sherry, coconut cream, pineapple, and lime and Sunshine Way – Fino sherry, blackberry, pineapple, lime, and mint.  The coconut one was the best.

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We shared all of the things for dinner.  Chicken strips with the most amazing housemade pickles.

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Bourbon butter biscuit.   <– this was soggy and meh

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Fantastic mac and cheese with crispy fried onions on top.

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And a griddled sandwich with pimento cheese, tomato, and pickled jalapeño.

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I’ve got a busy but fun week ahead, please think calm thoughts for me!

Llamas, And Pigs, and Humans, Oh My!

Three-day weekend highlights, including lots of new “bests”…

Unicorn smoothie!  The layers were acai and pitaya with coconut water and plain Greek yogurt.

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Bananarama smoothie.  Frozen banana, plain Greek yogurt, a hot chocolate packet, and Banana Wave Banana Milk.  <– free product review alert: the banana milk is a vegan milk made of banana puree, soy, oats, and other ingredients.  One serving contains as much potassium as a small banana as well as 29 vitamins and minerals and 1200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.  One cup has 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of added sugar.

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Black bear, aka Otha‘s coffee concentrate with housemade chocolate milk.  This shop was adorable and we want to go back immediately.

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Du’s Donuts.  Adam’s all time favorites.

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Lunch at Llama Inn.

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I had soft-boiled eggs with delicata squash, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds, and chimichurri sauce.

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We got our own desserts, flan for Adam and key lime pie for me.  Best key lime pie of the decade, it was enrobed in toasted meringue!

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Lunch at Pig Bleeker.  We had a Salty Spritz – vodka, St. Germain, and apricot, with a salty white wine rinse, and a Champagne Sherry Cobbler that was the all-time best drink we’ve ever had – Fino sherry, fresh citrus, and champagne.

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I got a fried chicken thigh sandwich with Pig Beach mustard sauce, house pickles, mayo, and hot sauce.  The meat was smoked before it was fried and it was by far the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted.

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Durian mochi.

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Malter Chronkite from Mister Dips, a malty chocolate-dipped cone.

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Spicy crunchy tuna sushi bowl.  Brown rice with ginger, rice vinegar, seaweed, and black sesame seeds / canned tuna fish and smoked trout with Sriracha and mayo / quick pickled cucumbers / fresh avocado / panko and fried garlic toasted in butter / Sriracha on top.

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Chopped romaine salad with honey mustard dressing, dill, sautéed mushrooms with garlic, shredded chicken, crumbled blue cheese, and homemade raisins.

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I am on Saturday/Sunday so I’ve only got two days of work before a day off, woo-hoo!

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Pie In The Sky

This is a longer wrap-up (Monday through Sunday) but I’m missing a lot of photos because this week felt like the actual longest and I mostly just ate cheese on top of various things.  Adam and I both have a week off coming up at the end of the month and man, oh man, do I need it!  Three big complaints from this past week – 1. some horrible thing are happening in our department and my schedule/work-load is going to become ridiculous; 2. the “blizzard” killed my big Pi(e) Day plans; 3. I stood in front of an automatic door like an idiot and gouged my big toe and then bled all over the place in front of a bunch of cute doctors.

My schedule was all over the place last week so I was disoriented in addition to cranky.  Thanks to the weather-related NYC shut down, a last minute schedule change for a lunch and learn, and weekend coverage, I was off on Wednesday, worked a half day on Tuesday and Thursday, and worked a full day Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  But now I’m off again on Wednesday which is pretty much a golden lining!

/end rant.  Here were some of the yummy things that put a smile on my face last week…

Coffee combo on point.  Chicory with sweet buttercream creamer.

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I also had wonderful iced lattes from Butler and City of Saints.

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Killer lunch components = California Grape kombuchaPeach and cloudberry(!) skyr yogurt with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin.

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Our lunch and learn was a Nestle presentation on perioperative nutrition.  It was more product promotion than educational, unfortunately, and the research wasn’t as robust as I had hoped.  My lunch was good though, grilled salmon and mixed veggies.

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Fabulous lunch date at the White Oak Tavern.

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I had a cocktail with whiskey, Kahlua, housemade butterscotch, espresso, and cream.

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We split a salad and salmon for lunch.  Chopped salad with cucumber, feta, olives, avocado, haricot vert, and tahini dressing.

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Pan seared salmon with a smoked tomato and piquillo puree, plus crispy potatoes and cipollini onion.

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We were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was because we definitely came for dessert – a dark chocolate brownie with butterscotch, walnuts, and toasted marshmallow.

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Fruit and cheese plate, the cafeteria was feeling fancy.

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Coffee break with a honey caramel chocolate bar.

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Adam totally saved Pi(e) Day by offering to bake with me.  We made S’mores Pie which is one of our favorites.  Almost as good as going on a pie crawl in Brooklyn, almost.

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The crust looks red because instead of graham crackers I made it out of Peeps flavored Oreos (<– which turned out to be freaking amazing).

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P.S. on Monday night while the grocery store was packed with people filling carts with bread, canned goods, and bottled waters, I got in line with Oreos, chocolate bars, marshmallows, and a case of soda.  I’d die first if the blizzard had been real but I’m still pretty sure I win.

Eggs for dinner that tasted far better than they looked.  Scrambled with sharp cheddar and brown sugar and Sriracha shredded chicken.

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When we were at the University of Miami I worked at an on-campus bar that served the yummiest pita tuna melts; it took me ten years, but I finally made them at home.

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Curried tuna salad – canned tuna with mayo, green curry paste, curry powder, spring onion, and shallots – with sharp cheddar stuffed in a pita and cooked in a skillet with copious amounts of butter.  They were 10/10 fantastic.

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Plus roasted green beans with shallots.

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Buffalo chicken and veggie bowls.

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Roasted sweet potato and brussels sprouts, topped with shredded chicken breast in buffalo sauce, and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.

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Have a great 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?

Bites And Frights

How in the world is it November???  I promise not to spend the rest of this year talking about how the year is running out, but it really is blowing my mind.

On the agenda before January?  Christmas shopping, finding the perfect day planner for 2017, and plans for three out-of-town trips right in a row.

Presently, I’m waiting for Adam to get home so we can go to brunch.  And these were the highlights from the past week…

I actually did a pretty good job with capturing things this week minus a plethora more of nachos and iced coffees.  I tried a new blend from Birch.

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Espresso and a KIND bar.

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Coffee, chai latte, and an almond croissant.

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I found a white chocolate seltzer for my Halloween lunch.  It didn’t have much flavor, but my oatmeal was good – with chia seeds, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and candy corn, plus I stirred in pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt cream cheese at the end.

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Other lunches centered around this sweet box of samples from LÄRABAR.  They offered me a chance to try their newest product – BITES, “truffle-like bites made from real food to satisfy your sweet craving.”  The bites are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and only use Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa and coffee.

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We tried three of four flavors (I’m saving mint chocolate for December, aka Peppermint Month) and were big fans.  Cherry Chocolate Chip was enjoyable but not our favorite, I thought Double Chocolate Brownie was fudgy and great next to coffee, and Adam loved the fact that Chocolate Macaroon was coated in coconut flour.

I had a serving of brownie bites with a Noosa pumpkin yogurt and some gum drop grapes(!!) for lunch.

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Coconut macaroon went with plain yogurt with yummy chocolate tahini on top.

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This week’s snack highlights were nut and seed centric.

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Also, of course, candy.  Another product review, Magic Candy Factory sent me a super exciting sample –

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That’s my name!  I think this company is really exciting, you can choose from 100’s of shapes, or write a custom message, and MCF will 3D print you a gummy.  The candy is vegan (no dairy, no gelatin), gluten-free, nut-free, and kosher.  Most importantly, it’s delicious.

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We tried sublime strawberry and Adam declared this his favorite gummy candy of all time.

Orange and black nachos for Halloween.  TJ’s pumpkin chips topped with cheddar, olives, black beans, and shredded chicken.

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Plus pumpkin beers and Peeps.  Warlock was fantastic this year.

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For the rest of the week, I made a big batch of pumpkin seed pesto.  Served on pizza with cheddar and sliced turkey, I promise it was tastier than it looked.  With a pea sprout salad.

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And we tossed the rest of the pesto with pumpkin-shaped pasta, parmesan, shredded chicken, and roasted cauliflower.  Almost nothing is better than pesto pasta.

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Enjoy your weekend!