Pizza Pizza

Flavor themes from the week – cherries and cheese.  These were the highlights…

Brooklyn Roasting Co coffee.  After this I have one last tin left from NY… guess we need to take another trip soon!

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It was a good week in snacks, thanks in part to a fun package full of goodies from my parents.  Including cherry cola Mike & Ikes and delicious chocolate-covered dried cherries.

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Two new to us snacks, salted caramel Somersaults (<– best flavor yet!) and Sweet Sapphire grapes.

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Another new flavor, sesame bbq chicken Epic bar.

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I cooked salmon for dinner one night.  Roasted coho topped with a vegan scallion pesto – food-processed pine nuts, parsley, sauteed green onions, and evoo.  Plus homemade cole slaw.  The sauce was great, but sadly the salmon was fairly flavorless without it.

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The rest of the week dinners were all about pizza!  I loosely followed this recipe for pepperoni pizza macaroni and cheese.  Whole wheat shell pasta > macaroni pasta.  Pro tip – any time I make macaroni and cheese (or any roux thickened sauce) I always substitute low-fat condensed milk for the recommended liquid.  The results always taste fantastic and it means we don’t have an open container of whole milk in the house which is great because both Adam and I dislike it.  Plus roasted zucchini.

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Meat lovers pizza.  Frozen crust from Trader Joe’s / we added tomato paste while we sauteed some chicken sausage and added that to our marinara sauce / topped with turkey pepperoni and turkey bacon / plus mozzarella and cheddar.  With roasted green beans.

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What is your favorite pizza topping?  Apparently mine is bacon!

Bells, Poblanos, And Shishitos, Oh My

Highlights from this pepper-filled week…

Coffee coffee.

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I made bang bang shrimp with zucchini noodles loosely following this recipe.  I swapped in gojuchang and honey for sweet chili sauce and tossed the shrimp in some cornstarch to help give it a nice crust.

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Nacho night.  Kettle chips / shredded turkey breast / Camembert and cheddar cheese sauce / parsley // roasted green beans.

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Veggie bowls.  Sauteed red, orange, and yellow bell pepper with sweet onion and garlic / black beans sauteed with charred poblano pepper and cojita cheese / avocado / fried egg / sour cream and Cholula hot sauce.

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Cheese plate.  Grapes / Camembert and sharp cheddar / olives / tamari almonds / shishito peppers with sea salt, lime juice, and honey. <– I was so excited for this meal and it ended up not having enough protein being the least filling thing on earth and we both had to make sandwiches

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Local dessert love.  Cheesecake ice cream.

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Cupcakes from Sweethaus.  That middle one is cookie dough!

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We’re doing something fun this weekend…

Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great 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

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!!

A Week Of Splendid Sandwiches

Can I really use that title in a week without a single grilled cheese or lobster roll?  I did have some exceptionally above-bar poultry-based sandwiches.

The winning ‘wiches…

Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant is the best sandwich of all time.  Adam and I waited for it with baited breath this year.

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The seasoned croissant is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing!

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Flip Bird at the Ashland does a damn fine chicken sandwich – pulled chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and crispy skin.

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And my homemade toasted sandwich dinner was nothing to sneeze at.

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Sourdough / Applegate Farm smoked sliced turkey / 4 year aged cheddar / smoked maple mayo (olive oil based mayo, maple, liquid smoke, smoked paprika).

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With roasted zucchini on the side.

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Other fun stuff…

Vegan eggnogs in my coffee.  Adam really enjoyed the TJ’s almond milk version but I remain loyal to Silk.

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Here’s my current holiday stash, so exciting!

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Amazin’ Raisin sent me some samples to review.  The fruit-flavored raisins contain three ingredients – California raisins, citric acid, and natural fruit flavors – and are packed with flavor but no artificial sugar or sulfur dioxide.  Adam and I have both been really enjoying them.  So far his favorite flavor is pineapple and mine is watermelon.

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Some key work eats included raisins and a Larabar.

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And blackberry Siggi with holiday grapes and a maple maca bar.

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Really, the best dinner of the week was movie theater pretzel bites with fake cheese.  We went to see Thor: Ragnarok and split our sides laughing.  Our AMC has extra-wide seats that fully recline so the whole experience was really nice.

We also went gaga for these scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s.

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They were crazy flavorful and satisfying.  I topped mine with mayo and Sriracha.

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With baby carrots and potato snacks for an appetizer for crunch.

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A girlfriend and I met for a mid-week dinner at Bricolage and were both big fans.  Sriracha butter wings to start.

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And we both had pink drinks!  She had the pink soda salted lemonade and I picked an option with a cute name that I can’t remember where you pick a spirit and let the bartender go crazy.  I said “vodka, no ginger” and ended up with something delicious with raspberry and lime.

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My caramelized shrimp claypot was 10/10.  Georgia white shrimp, vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, and chili paste with rice to soak up the sauce.

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Enjoy your weekends!

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!