Freeze Dried

How did my short three-day week feel soooo long?!  I am off again today because I’m actually heading to Traverse City, Michigan for the weekend to visit one of my best friends from when I was a kid.  So excited!  I will not be taking pictures though – I got such a cheap ticket that I don’t even get a carry-on, just a purse, so I won’t be spending space on a camera.

This week my snacks heavily featured super random dried / freeze-dried / turned-into-chips things.  Highlights include…

Freeze-dried fuji apples from Trader Joe’s + chicken chips.

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Trader Joe’s crispy broccoli.

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Trader Joe’s freeze-dried grapes + seaweed chips + chicken jerky.

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Also plain Siggi’s with fresh blueberries and Wild Friends chocolate peanut butter.

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And I ate the rest of my leftovers from last week (sheet pan hash + tabbouleh + zhoug) and immediately added more zhoug to my grocery list for next week!

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Party Peeps

7 highlights from the last 7 days…

Chocolate chip banana bar.  I found it in our hospital’s cafeteria but apparently it’s such a new product it hasn’t made it to the website yet.

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Crazy freeze-dried fruits from Trader Joe’s.  The dragonfruit wasn’t a fit for my tastes but the grapes were sweet and amazing.

IMG_4283Birthday cake Peeps!  Look at their adorable sprinkled butts!

 

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Kung Fu Tea.  Almond milk tea (half sweet, extra ice) with Oreo and aloe jelly.

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Squid ink pasta with tahini sauce, 5 spice tofu, roasted zucchini, and chili oil.

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Slow-cooked parmesan garlic chicken and potatoes + broccoli.  We didn’t brown our chicken and it still came out great.

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Greek salad – romaine and cucumber with TJ’s Greek feta dressing, green olives, crispy cheese bites, and roasted chickpeas.

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Have a great week!

Little Star = Big Star

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We ate some really yummy things last week!  Here were the highlights…

{1} Canned coffees that I schlepped back from New York.

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{2} Lemon meringue macarons at the farmers’ market at IX Park.

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{3} A Trader Joe’s shaped meal that was both quick and delicious.  Cauliflower gnocchi + turkey summer sausage + pizza sauce + broccoli rabe.  You can bake the gnocchi (425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes) and it comes out great.

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{4} A Korean feast at Maru on the downtown mall.  I had the spicy chicken and cheese plate – spicy gojuchang marinated chicken served with rice cakes and Korean sweet potato and topped with melted cheese.

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It was spicy, and smoky, and kind of amazing.  The portion was gigantic and my leftovers – which I stir-fried with eggs and roasted broccoli – were kind of amazing as well.

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We also had pat bing soo – shaved ice with red bean, mochi, and milk powder.

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{5} Dinner with my cousin at Little Star, a newish, supremely gorgeous, tapas spot.  The space and the tableware – which was thrifted and eclectic – were beautiful.

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We ordered all the things and loved every single bite and sip.  All three of us agreed it was one of the best meals we had eaten all year.  Agave Angel – mezcal, lime juice, and cream.

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3 month aged manchego with apricot honey preserves.

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Charred shishito peppers with romesco and pasilla de Oaxaca chile.

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Sunny side up eggs with salsa negra, green onion, sesame seeds, grilled bread, and hickory sauce.  <– this was the top dish of the night, the contrast of the sweet hickory sauce with the eggs and salsa was divine

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Shrimp and grapes with garlic, leeks, tequilla, and pickled chiles.  We went right ahead and sipped that sauce.

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Seared tuna with rendered foie gras, salsa molcajete, cilantro oil, and charred onion.  <– 2nd best dish of the night, which is unsurprising when you consider the words “rendered foie gras”

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Coffee service.

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Crumb cake with meyer lemon curd, ear gray cream, and mezcal caramel.

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Creme carmel flan with peaches.

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*swoon*

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