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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BLT FTW

Life highlights from the past six days –

  • I survived my 2nd week without my boys.  Adam has been super sweet about sending me a million photos of the most handsome dog in the world!
  • I’ve had a ton of TPNs at work lately and I realized the other day just how comfortable I feel managing them now – I will never stop being grateful for this job opportunity, I have grown so much as a clinician the past year.
  • I saw, and loved, The Farewell.  Such a sweet, funny movie; I can’t recommend it enough.
  • I went to a free yoga class with one of my coworkers and loooooved it!  I had forgotten about just how much I enjoy yoga.  I haven’t been in several years and it seems my balance has gotten much worse but my flexibility has gotten much better – I got myself into camel pose easily and comfortably.

Food highlights –

All of the coffee.

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Hey Day Cold Brew.

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Black and white milkshake cold brew – Grady’s with vanilla bean powder and chocolate milk.

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Still obsessed with this chocolate chip cookie dough Perfect Bar that seems to only be sold at Trader Joe’s and has no internet presence.

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This mango and nut mix is perfectly spicy-sweet.

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This yogurt bowl was amazing.  Strawberry quark with pluots, maple cashew butter, and homemade chocolate chip cookie.

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I had a great assortment of gummy candies for the movie, lots of cola options.

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These s’mores mochi have graham cracker ice cream and and a marshmallow center and all three of us thought they were fantastic.

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Raspberry Short Kate!  Hardywood‘s newest IPA brewed with milk sugar and raspberry.

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Whole Foods hot bar – kale salad, cabbage crunch salad, carrot and harissa salad, breakfast potatoes, chicken sausage – with a side of chicken and waffle chips.

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A swoon-worthy sandwich – local heirloom tomato, turkey bacon, and kewpie mayo on a bun.

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BLT salad.  Sweet baby lettuce with champagne vinaigrette, heirloom baby tomatoes, bacon, Dubliner cheese, and hickory smoked peanuts.  Plus spicy roasted okra that my cousin made.

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Leftover salad with delicious crab cakes that my cousin made.

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Trader Joe’s frozen scallion pancakes with mayo, sriracha, and a side of roasted green beans.

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Local Love

Highlights from this week – my in-laws are in town and we had fun showing them Charlottseville one last time // we had some great dinners out, including a new spot that’s a new favorite // Wissotzky Tea Company – an international, family-owned tea company based in Israel with offices in London and the United States – sent me some of their inventive flavors to try…

Coffee for the week: Trader Joe’s espresso blend with sweetened condensed milk.

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Tea samples; their four newest, spiciest flavors: Ginger and Turmeric Spiced Chai, Pumpkin Spiced Chai, Salted Caramel Chai, Spiced Nana Mint Chai.  I cold-brewed my cups per the company’s instructions – a ratio of 4 cups cold water to 5 tea bags, covered in the fridge for 15-36 hours.

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Salted Caramel Chai with a splash half and half (added post picture).

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Spiced Nana Mint Chai with sugar and fresh lime.  <– fair warning, this flavor was too peppery for Adam’s tastes

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Tropical flavors from the Mexican ice cream place down the street: passionfruit, guava, and mamey!

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Plus I picked up these super interesting gummy candies.  They have milk in them and the texture is extra soft and very unique.

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Roasted green beans and TJ’s turkey corn dogs.  Apparently I love corn dogs, I couldn’t stop raving about how tasty these were!

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Sheet pan hash: potatoes, onion, bell pepper, shredded brussel sprouts, and maple chicken breakfast sausage.

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Smoked Kitchen and Tap: a bbq spot we love in Crozet.  I had smoked turkey, cole slaw, and creamed corn with smoked jalopeno.

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The Local: an amazing spot in Bellmont.  I had the best, most Southern plate – buttermilk-brined fried chicken with pimento cheese mac and cheese, collard greens, and house made hot sauce and a buttermilk-chive drizzle.

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Modern Nosh: a newish, super cute deli (which means I finally have a deli in Charlottesville!).

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I had a half turkey reuben and soup with the best matzoh ball of my life.

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Plus we split latkes that were wonderfully full of garlic.  Yum!

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5 + 5

Five random life updates –

{1} We took some stuff to Goodwill last weekend and now we are living in an empty apartment (minus a blow-up bed and all of my clothing).  Literally the only things in our living room are boxes of seltzer!

{2} Last weekend was the first time in 5 weeks that Adam and I were both home and not traveling.  Phew!

{3} This weekend we’re on the move again – we are heading to Solomon Island Maryland to spend some time with my family, including my youngest cousin who I haven’t seen since Thanksgiving!

{4} We finally saw “Late Night” and loved it.  If it’s still in theaters in your area I recommend going if you haven’t already.

{5} Then we watched “Always Be My Maybe” on Netflix and loooooooved it!  It’s officially our new favorite movie.  Super funny and touching.  Ali Wong is one my favorite comedians and she was fantastic as a leading lady.

Five things I ate and loved the last week – 

{1} Yogurt bowl.  Wegman’s chocolate Greek yogurt with pluots and Nature’s Path coconut chia granola.

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{2} Dehydrated rainbow carrot snacks from Trader Joe’s.

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{3} Cheese tea (aka bubble tea that you sip through foamy layer of milk and cream cheese sprinkled with salt) with strawberry heart jelly.

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{4} Marshmallow!  We shared a cup of carnival cake and marshmallow at Kirt’s Ice Cream.  And I was living my best life with this snack combo – Kilwin’s caramel chocolate marshmallow with iced coffee.

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{5} BBQ.  No Limits Smokehouse is a new-ish spot in Belmont and it’s wonderful.  I had a fried chicken sandwich (<– super juicy!) and collard greens, plus we got smoked mushrooms that were my new favorite savory thing I’ve ever eaten!

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