Pumpkin Oolong

Cold weather fully hit Charlottesville this weekend so I kept things pretty low-key.  I did talk a walk around the neighborhood to stretch my legs on Saturday but then I spent the rest of the night huddled under the covers!

Amazingly, my food highlights from the weekend were not soup and hot chocolate…

Still loving plain Greek yogurt bowls with cupcake almond butter, MadeGood granola, and loads of fresh berries.

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I also enjoyed a bowl with this new Chobani flavor, caramel mocha.

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Whole Foods hot bar with a side of journal reading.  Best bites were the popcorn chicken and Spanish-style brussel sprout salad with sherry vinegar and yellow raisins.

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Pumpkin oolong milk tea(!) with boba and Oreo.

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I made the best sheet-pan hash.  Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit / prep a sheet pan with foil and baking spray / bake chopped Japanese sweet potato for 20 minutes / add chopped bok choy and green onion and bake another 25 minutes / top with smoked salmon candy / add kewpie mayo and Sriracha if desired.

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Candy break.

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A Perfect Weekend

An ideal weekend would involve time with my boys, but this weekend did include several (quite yummy) snack items from the Perfect Snacks company!  Also a trip to the Farmer’s Market, an afternoon of day-drinking with my cousin, and a Sunday shift at the hospital.  Also, apparently, me being way too excited about everything I ate.

Highlights…

Cinnamon bears with espresso is the best combo.

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Whole Foods uses a chocolate powder – versus a syrup – in their iced mochas and I am obsessed with them.

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This local cold brew – with chicory, cinnamon, and lavender! – was pretty good too.

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Still obsessed with this chocolate chip cookie dough bar that has no internet presence (they seem to be sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s?).

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Breakfast biscuit from Ace with pimento cheese, a sunny side up egg, and jerk chicken.

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Perfect for Apple Month – a caramel apple cocktail from Vitae!  Vitae Golden Rum, Zirbenz Pine Liquor, lemon juice, salted caramel syrup, and cinnamon apple cider.

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Still obsessed with the IPAs at Hardywood.

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These new peanut butter cups are extra-strength delicious!  They aren’t overly sweet and they don’t contain any palm oil, my two requirements in peanut butter cups.  They’re still not a “health food,” but compared with Resse’s they do have an extra 3 grams of protein and 10 grams less sugar.

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The last of my superior salad mix – romaine with Greek feta dressing, chorizo seitan, honey butter almonds, celery, and zhoug.

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Superior Salads

Fun things from this week: It’s Friday! // I have plans to see my boys again in less than 15 days! // Yesterday I went to Hardywood with a coworker for happy hour and free pretzels and pimento cheese. // I finally made it to the farmer’s market that sets up on the hospital grounds and had a really excellent iced mocha with macadamia milk. // The weather is starting to get a bit cooler but still isn’t cold yet.

Highlights included…

Local nitro cold brew with maple.

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Nothing beats Stumptown.

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Strawberry lingonberry yogurt with chocolate peanut butter is a pretty great combination.  Plus a Pazazz apple.

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Bars on bars.

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I had some really excellent topping ingredients on hand so I made this a week of salads.  Honey butter almonds and zhoug are fantastic on their own and even better when paired together.  Especially with a fun variety of proteins!

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Romaine / Greek feta dressing / zhoug / honey butter almonds / baby tomatoes / chorizo seitan.

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Romaine / champagne vinaigrette / zhoug / honey butter almonds / celery / vegan chicken salad.

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Romaine / champagne vinaigrette / zhoug / honey butter almonds / baby tomatoes / turkey pepperoni.  <– pro tip: if you bake pepperoni at 350 degrees for 15 minutes it turns into pepperoni chips!

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Quality Time

It was the best weekend ever; my boys came to visit me!!!!!

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The three of us had just the absolute best time.  It helped that we ate and drank such yummy things but mostly it was great to hold Adam’s hand while Webster sat in my lap.

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We really made the most of Charlottesville too, we went to our two favorite restaurants and our two favorite drink spots, walked a ton downtown, ran at Riverside Park, and even went to a polo match with a group of my coworkers.

Highlights (including some random things I ate on Friday) include…

An Apple Month breakfast, Trader Joe’s caramel apple yogurt with cinnamon cereal.

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Brunch at Quality Pie.  We split an egg and cheese biscuit and salmon with scrambled eggs and cream cheese on rye.

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Also a chocolate chip cookie.

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Hail Merry cookie dough bites.

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Beers at Hardywood.  Tropic like it’s Hot sour with dragon fruit, blueberry, passionfruit, and pineapple // Tropication IPA // The Great Return IPA // Raspberry Short Kate milkshake IPA brewed with milk sugar and fresh raspberries.

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Cocktails at Vitae.  S’mores = smoked rum, chocolate bitters, marshmallow simple syrup, orange, and a graham cracker rim.

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Hawaiian take out from Mochiko.  Mochiko fried chicken with cucumber kimchi, slaw, and rice.  Plus a passionfruit shortbread bar.

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A simple salad at home.  Romaine with champagne vinaigrette, celery, cashews, and curried chicken salad.

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Dinner at Little Star = the best meal of the weekend and also maybe the best thing I’ve eaten in 2019.  We ordered all of the things but it was serendipitous that we overordered because now Adam has dinner for tonight after his long drive.

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Heirloom tomatoes with strawberries, house-made ricotta, basil, red wine dressing and chili flakes.

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French fries with tarragon aioli.

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Esquites, sweet corn with spring onions, Kewpie mayo, chili corn hot sauce, cilantro, and green onion.

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Braised lamb with pasilla de Oaxaca romesco, butter braised leeks, and sweet onions.

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Chicken with mojo verde, brown butter, and crispy epazote.

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Local coffee.

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Basque cheesecake.

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I Needed My Coffee

Fun fact – I had an amazing time last weekend!  It was fantastic to see my friends and Traverse City is quite possibly my new favorite place (we walked a ton (by the lake!) and drank cocktails with coffee, Mexican Coke, and locally-made vodka, so how could it not be?!).

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Not so fun fact – I spilled an entire coffee yesterday morning and ruined everything in my purse including my dayplanner/brain and camera.  The only thing that’s really missing from this post is the fun lunch I ate at the farmers’ market with my coworker yesterday, but I’m not sure what my plan will be for this weekend since I hate taking photos on my phone.

Here were the highlights before the flood…

Grady’s Cold Brew really is the best, and I say that even I smelled like it all day at work.

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Berry breakfast.  Cereal and milk with blueberries.

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Yogurt bowl 1 – Fage, blueberries, vanilla peanut butter.

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Yogurt bowl 2 – Trader Joe’s vanilla skyr, red plum, walnut butter.

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I finally ate my first fresh apple of the month, a crunchy Pazazz apple.

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I had the day off on Tuesday and I took myself to breakfast at Quality Pie.  Tortilla with egg, chicken, queso, and salsa verde.

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Graeter’s makes my new favorite s’mores ice cream.  It contains no palm oil and the marshmallows are unbelievably soft.

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Related – sadly I can’t recommend this; the texture was actually great but the only flavor present was coconut.

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I am still obsessed with these seaweed chips.  BBQ is even yummier than the original flavor.

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This is the easiest dinner on earth but it tastes soooo good.  Throw Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi on a baking sheet with some turkey pepperoni, bake at 450 for 20 minutes, top with pizza sauce.

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Super salad – romaine, champagne vinaigrette, maple roasted walnuts and cranberries, chopped celery, vegan “chicken salad.”

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Apple Of My Eye

It was a good week in theme snacks, snacks in general, actually!

Today is National Coffee Ice Cream day and since I love coffee, and ice cream, and coffee ice cream (and dulce de leche!) I jumped at the chance when My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream offered to send me a box of samples to celebrate.  My/Mo Dulce de Leche = coffee ice cream, wrapped in mochi dough, with a caramel core.  I 10/10 loved them.  Hands down the best mochi I’ve ever eaten.  Now I’m dying to find their seasonal flavors!

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Meanwhile, in Apple Month… I ate a bag of Trader Joe’s freeze-dried honeycrisp apples that I forgot to take a picture of but totally recommend.  Also, pink lady kombucha and Siggi’s with apple.

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Other snack highlights include… cold brew with salted caramel dark chocolate milk.

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Black sesame cheese crisps.

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Cookie dough Perfect Bar with a maple chicken jerky.

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Birthday cake marshmallows (while reviewing glycolysis!).

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I really loved my dinners this week, thanks in no small part to the fact that they were all smothered in Trader Joe’s zhoug sauce.  Salads with romaine, baby heirloom tomatoes, TJ’s Greek feta dressing, TJ’s turkey summer sausage, tabbouleh, zhoug.

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The best sheet pan hash I’ve made yet – summer sausage, potato, sweet potato, green onion, and cabbage.

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Coconut, Coffees, And Chickpeas

Excitement from last weekend: I hung out with my extended family!  At their cabin on the river in Maryland where we went boating and ate fresh crab!!  And my boys were there!!!

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Upcoming this weekend: Nothing as exciting as seeing Adam and Webster.  Actually, I am working on Sunday.  And on Saturday I am signed up for a 4 mile race with several of my coworkers.

Food highlights from the week:

Trader Joe’s coconut cold brew.  The coconut is nice but this is too sour for my tastes.

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Triple Draft La Colombe cans are kind of ridiculously frothy.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Vanilla Siggi’s with chocolate hazelnut and almond butter and blackberries.

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This was a I got hungry while grocery shopping and couldn’t wait snack but it ended up being quite tasty.

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This double IPA is my favorite beer I tried all summer.  Honestly all of the things from True Respite look amazing right now, they have a sour beer brewed with Gushers?!!

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The best dinner I ate all week was the night my cousin had friends over and we had crab cakes and salad with fresh corn.  But this Greek-style salad wasn’t bad either.  Romaine / TJ’s Greek feta dressing / green olives / cucumber / roasted chickpeas / dolmas.

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And one night I made a yummy tasting plate.  Dubliner cheese / chicken and maple jerky hard-boiled eggs / dolmas / roasted green beans.

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