Columbus Travels

My weekend adventures in Ohio were absolutely fantastic!  My cousin had a gorgeous wedding and it was beyond fabulous to get to spend time with my family.

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I got into town two nights ahead of the wedding and had the opportunity to explore Columbus a bit, including Easton, North Market, and German Village.

Culinary highlights…

Flowers and Bread – Iced latte with local milk and a chocolate-stuffed roll with housemade apple butter.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – Boozy eggnog and Black Cat espresso.

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Related:  I had my first eggnog iced latte of the season on this trip and it made me blissfully happy.

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Roosevelt Coffeehouse – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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The Roost at North Market – I had a giant burrito with scrambled egg, housemade chicken sausage, cheese, black bean salsa, and sour cream.  Plus tons of Franks.

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Wolf’s Ridge Brewery – I had a a flight of three fun beers, Clear Sky Loops a cream ale with orange, lime, and vanilla / Gose brewed with freshly ground coriander and gourmet sea salt / Pi made with spices and local pumpkins.

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The arugula salad with blue cheese, saison poached pear, dried cranberries, marcona almonds, and honey peppercorn dressing.

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And the sweet corn gnocchi with arugula coulis, crispy bread, roasted garlic, and roasted acorn and butternut squash.

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Last Week I…

Last week I loved: Webster!

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Adam and I can’t believe how handsome he is and we text each other pictures of him constantly but they’re on my phone so they usually don’t make it to the blog.

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Last week I watched: Rick and Morty.  We’re almost through the 3rd season and it has been fantastic.  I think season 2 was the best so far though.  I also have been re-rewatching The Office because I’m obsessed.  It’s so funny and I love when shows have characters (Jim and Pam) just adore each other with minimal drama.  The Micheal Scott seasons are perfectly cringe-inducing – I have really bad secondhand embarrassment anyways and I can barely watch most of his scenes.

Last week I ate: More samples from the healthy brand showcase.

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Setton Farms is America’s 2nd largest pistachio producer and their stuff is delicious.  We’ve been enjoying chocolate-covered pistachios along with the perfectly salted nut blend.

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I also liked the pineapple flavored raisins from Amazing Fruit.

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Last week I pumpkined: Four new items!  See more below.

Last week I drank:  Key lime La Croix.  The newest flavor is delicious, and currently my favorite fizzy water.

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Last week I listened to: “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B on repeat.  It’s super catchy and a lot of her word-play is very clever.  I’ve also been listening to a ton of Betty Who.

Other food highlights…

This week’s coffee combo.

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Pumpkin tres leches bubble tea from Teapsy in Astoria.

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Pumpkin and salted maple pecan frozen yogurt with peanut butter, marshmallow cream, Oreos, and mochi.

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I made a fancied-up version of my Spinach and Artichoke Egg Pie.  I precooked the veggies with olive oil, onion, anchovies, and tons of garlic.  Plus I substituted cottage cheese because I like it better than ricotta.

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No carbohydrate component to that meal so we had potato chips and pumpkin beers, woo-hoo!

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We tried pizza from a new place – Frantoni’s.  Adam and I shared four things so we could try a lot of the menu.  The eggplant slice was my favorite but the buffalo chicken was good too.

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I made bagel and lox nachos!  Everything bagel chips // TJ’s four cheese blend // hot smoked salmon // green onions // and cream cheese sauce with ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

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Plus roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

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I made buffalo chicken chili.  Tons of sauteed onion, green onion, carrots, and celery // tomato paste and crushed tomatoes // salt, pepper, celery seed, and smoked paprika // shredded chicken breast // black beans // cream cheese.

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Have a great week!

Weekend Update: Chilaquiles Edition

Our Saturday and Sunday plans mirrored each other and my weekend days ended up following a template:

maple iced latte in Brooklyn // brunch at a Chris Santos restaurant in the Lower East Side with chilaquiles // ice cream for dessert // walk across a bridge // a veggie-forward homemade dinner  {x2}

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Iced nonfat latte with four shots of espressso and maple at Otha’s.

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Iced nonfat Maple Shay with extra espresso at Brooklyn Roasting Co.

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Brunch at Beauty and Essex.  Vanilla doughnuts stuffed with raspberry jam to start.

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I ordered a cocktail with tequila, honey, and smoked blackberries.  It was good but Adam’s neon green Emerald Gimlet stole the show – Belvedere vodka, basil, lemon nectar, and fresh lime.

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BaE is tapas style so we ordered three savory dishes to share.  Crab egg foo young with shiitake mushrooms.

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Chilaquiles with and pulled chicken, sunny side up egg, cotija cheese, and pickled red onion.

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And braised chicken meatballs with sheep milk ricotta, wild mushroom, and truffle.

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Brunch at Stanton Social.  This is another sharing-encouraged spot so again we picked three plates to split.  Fried chicken on blue corn waffles with corn pudding, fresno chile, and maple syrup.

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Housemade naan with lamb bacon, zaatear spiced labneh, and pickled tomato.  It was totally swoonworthy.

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Chilaquiles with hand pulled chicken, sunny-side up egg, and feta.  We preferred the Stanton Social chilaquiles to Beauty and Essex.

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I also had a delicious Vietnamese coffee cocktail with Finlandia, Kahlua, cold brew coffee, and chocolate bitters.

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Fueled across the Williamsburg Bridge with a doughnut ice cream sandwich at Stax.  We had bourbon cornflake ice cream with Frosted Flakes and condensed milk on top.

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Fueled across the Manhattan Bridge with Ice & Vice.  Red (hibiscus, rose, Swedish Fish fluff) and Opium Den (white sesame, toasted poppy seed, lemon bread crouton) in a Froot Loops cone.  The red ice cream was our favorite thing we ate all weekend.

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I made an updated version of my Cheesy Eggplant Bake with meat sauce.  For the sauce I cooked ground turkey breast and onion in olive oil with garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne with tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.

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Quinoa bowls for Sunday dinner.  Tri-color quinoa topped with smoked trout, lemon pepper Swiss chard, and butter sautéed chanterelles.

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^^^

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Law And Order SVU (Spectacular Vittles Unit)

I still don’t want to talk about anything important.  I’d rather think something else than the fact that my hometown was just ravaged by yet another hurricane.  St. Thomas – and the devastated Caribbean as a whole – is pretty much all I’ve been thinking about for the past 2 weeks.  Let’s talk about yummy food instead.

Three facts before we get into the meat of this post –

{1} I just learned that vittles is actually an outdated spelling of the word “victuals.”

{2} I was serving on the jury for a criminal case for the past 5 days.  I don’t dread my civic duty at all, and it was a very positive experience.  Deciding a verdict is an awesome responsibility and I feel like I got a learn a lot about our legal system over the past week.

{3} I have added to my apple stash!  Gum, kombucha, and gummy bears, all of which I highly recommend, by the way.

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Plus Noosa Yoghurt sent me a fun package of fall flavors, including one of their newest flavors – Apple!

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The highlights…

This week’s coffee – Campfire Blend.  Plus I purchased a latte every day on my lunch break.

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Since I couldn’t have my camera with me in court, I’m missing a lot of my day-time eats this week, but I do have shots of my packed snacks (including a full lunch for my Thursday back at work).  Maple Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a gingergold apple.

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Apple Noosa with an apple bar.  This Noosa really does taste like pie filling!  The yogurt is soooo creamy and sweet and the apples are just a bit cinnamon-y.

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Pink lady apple kombucha, cinnamon apple sauce, cinnamon apple oatmeal, and sour caramel apple gummy bears.

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Snacks worth mentioning include: this 365 brand popcorn.  It’s low sodium but totally not bland; I loved it and I usually won’t even eat bagged popcorn.

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A yogurt bowl with chocolate Siggi’s yogurt, chopped plucot, granola, and a few caramel chips.

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Trader Joe’s new peanut butter roundels.  They are basically supersized peanut cups, so obviously we are obsessed.

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It’s not officially fall until today, but we still made some cold weather comfort foods for dinners.

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Grilled cheese sandwich on whole-wheat sourdough with labneh, sharp white cheddar, and a sprinkle of sumac.

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Dipped in tomato soup (a low-sodium boxed variety from TJ’s that was good but not great).

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With roasted squash.

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I also made a ridiculously delicious Mac and Cheese and Greens casserole.

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Make a roux with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour // whisk in 1 cup skim milk and 8 cups baby spinach food processed until smooth with 3 Tbsp pesto and salt and pepper to taste // stir in 9 oz shredded sharp white cheddar and a healthy sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika // fold in 8 oz whole wheat shell pasta cooked according to package directions // pour into a casserole and top with 1 oz cheese // bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

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On the agenda this weekend?  We’re hoping the weather holds out for a final trip to Smorgasburg and a first-time visit to Roosevelt Island.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria

My title is a tongue in cheek joke about how the weather channel is turning me into a crazy person this month.  I was having such a good week too.  The VI was finally getting some desperately needed federal assistance and national news coverage and my parents got cell service back and I was able to talk to my mom.  But now, Maria is expected to hit the Virgin Islands as a category 3 hurricane this week.  Fantastic.

I’m still not really feeling up to prattling on about my days, but I did have some fun this week so I’m posting a top five…

{1}  favorite work bites

{a} coffee coffee coffee

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{b} I am still obsessed with that Trader Joe’s nut and seed mix

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{c} I also packed a nice tasting plate – dried apples, TJ’s crispy cheese bites, and a maple salmon bar.

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{d} This cafeteria wrap was on point.  Chicken / pinto beans / tomato / bell peppers / banana pepper / cheddar.

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{2}  apple eatventures

{a} I made caramel apple bread from scratch!  Basically just pumpkin bread made with apple sauce instead of pumpkin puree and totally just an excuse to use these caramel chips.

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{b} Caramel apple oatmeal.  Rolled oats / caramel chips / cinnamon / chia seeds / dried apples.

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{c} Caramel apple Twizzlers.

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{d} Apple pie milkshake.  Vanilla ice cream / Greek yogurt / applesauce/ cinnamon and gingerbread spice.

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{3}  cobb salad pasta salad

Whole wheat bowtie pasta / crumbled fancy aged blue cheese / turkey bacon / chopped chicken breast / hard-boiled eggs / diced avocado / shredded spinach / roasted baby tomatoes.

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{4}  a Mile End meal recreation

Mile End Deli has a Brussel sprouts dish on their menu that we were over the moon for, so I recreated it at home.  Our version was roasted brussel sprouts / tossed with crispy turkey bacon / plus olive oil and honey / sprinkled with sumac / on a base of labne.

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While we cooked – which took no time at all – we sipped on Switchel.

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Up Mountain Switchel sent me a box for review.  The lemon flavor was too spicy ginger for me, but I loved the Yerba Mate.  The ingredients list is short and simple (the four things listed on the front of the bottle plus water) and a serving has 54 calories and 10 grams of sugar.  It paired nicely with our meal and would be a good alternative option to booze or soda with dinner.

{5}  a trip to the South Fork of the Hamptons

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{a} Doughnuts and coffee at Grindstone.

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I had a Nutella s’mores brioche doughnut and a vanilla latte.

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{b} La Colombe black and tan (draft latte and cold brew) at Sag Town Coffee.  P.S. Apparently I am obsessed with Sag Harbor, it is so cute!

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{c} Lunch at Lunch.  Instead of a lobster roll I went with the seafood chili – with a bloody mary – and was quite pleased with my choice.

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{d} A cup of birthday cake ice cream at Scoop Du Jour.

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{e} And best of all, we got to stick our toes in the sand at the beach.

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It was a super foggy day and the crashing waves were gorgeous.  Plus we saw about a million seagulls.  <– best beach day ever

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Cinnamon And Marshmallow In My Coffee

I have eaten some very yummy things over the past four days!  Adam and I both worked the holiday, but first we got to spend almost two full weekend days together!!!  Good times.

Things [literal things] that made me happy this weekend…

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Thanks to all of Target’s cheap “back to school” goodies, we have a jazzy new shower curtain and bedspread.

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The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

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A Saturday trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Such a fun way to spend a morning.  We were expecting things to be sparse due to the season but there was still a ton of beauty to admire.

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As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

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This spiced apple bourbon hand soap is currently the best smelling thing in our house!

Culinary highlights…

I haven’t eaten anything apple yet but I did cram some pretty fall-forward flavors into my coffees.  Cinnamon.

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And toasted marshmallow.

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Though I also had a very summer-y Australian iced coffee with Wandering Bear cold brew and vanilla Curious Creamery ice cream.

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Cheddar-chive biscuit and a matcha iced latte at Annex.

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Brunch at Maison Premiere.  We had a pastry assortment that was out of this world.

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Maison Jungle Bird – Hamilton Black Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, Campari, and sugar cane.

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I had the duck confit hash with bell pepper and poached egg.  <– not as good as Colonie, sadly

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While at the Garden, we had lunch at the Yellow Magnolia Café.  (<– newest venture from the chef/owner of Wilma Jean)

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I had wonderfully crispy, lemony fried chicken.  Served with habanero honey, collard green slaw, and delicious wild rice.  I suspect that there was honey butter in the rice because I don’t even like wild rice.

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We took a long post-lunch walk for coffee and ended up also getting ice cream for dessert – blueberry with blue velvet cake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

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Friday night I met a girlfriend in the Lower East Side for dinner and drinks.  Sizzling noodles at The Tang.

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I ended up with way too much food because I also couldn’t resist the Chungking Express salad – romaine, soft-boiled egg, honey, black vinegar, and chili oil.

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How fantastically ridiculous are the drinks at Mother of Pearl?!  My daiquiri – with Campari, grapefruit, and rosemary tincture – was tasty to boot.

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We made an oldie but a goodie – buffalo blue cheese black bean burgers.  Served with raw carrots and celery the first night.

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Our citrus-y sip-while-you-cook line up did not contain any winners, we hated both of these drinks!  <– normally I wouldn’t include this in a “highlights” section but they both sound so good in theory that I wanted to make sure I warned you

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Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

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Pan-fried catfish!  I made a spice rub with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika and cooked the fish for 3.5 minutes on each side.  Drizzled with a lemon butter pan sauce.

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Plus sautéed collard greens with shallots, toasted coconut, and avocado (plus lemon, rice vinegar, and liquid smoke).

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Flavor themes of the weekend – Campari / eggs / coffee / collard greens.

Buffalo Chicken Ballyhoo

Is it seriously September already??  Actually, don’t answer that; if I think about how fast this year seems to be going it makes my head spin.  At least now it’s Apple Month.

Here were eight things from the end of the eighth month…

{1}  coffee excitement

A match made in heaven?  I put creamy pecan popsicle in my iced coffee.

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The lattes at Black Brick are roasty and delicious.

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{2}  brunch at Loosie’s Café

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This space was gorgeous!  I had a grains bowl with shitake and king oyster mushrooms, purple kale, quinoa, roasted beets, cucumber raita, mint, and a soft egg.

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{3}  “milk and cookies” at The Bedford

Adam and I split a The Dude’s Caucasian – house-made vanilla bean espresso vodka on the rocks with a drizzle of cream.

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And a Drunken Cookie – underbaked chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed injected with white chocolate.  <– omg

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{4}  lime, mint, and elderflower sparkling water

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{5}  Curious Creamery ice cream mix

Please note – this product was given to me free of charge to review.  I was not provided further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

It is mix that doesn’t require an ice cream maker, all you have to do is beat it with the milk of your choice and freeze.  It takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time, and we found the ice cream consistency to be enjoyable after 5 hours (and it continued to be good 48 hours later too).

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I used 2% cow’s milk but you can also use full-fat, skim, almond, etc – the mixes themselves are lactose-free and have no trans or saturated fat.  I made the vanilla packet plain – Adam thinks it tastes like marshmallows! – and the chocolate I mixed with dulce de leche and roasted pecans for a turtle sundae.

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We didn’t love the final product, but did quite like it.  I’d say the ice cream is better than 7-11 brand, Turkey Hill, or the no-name stuff at cafeterias; on par with most store-bought ice creams; and not as good as Ben and Jerry’s or the ice cream we can get at places like Ample Hills or Ice and Vice in the city.  If I’m living somewhere that isn’t NYC in the future I would definitely make it again.

{6}  the last of the seasonal summer beers

These ended up being two of my all-time favorite strawberry beers.  Shiner Strawberry Blonde / Saranac Strawberry Tart.

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{7}  out-of-this-world good buffalo chicken tenders

I base all of my “oven-fried” chicken on this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.  I used skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders and baked for 24 minutes at 425 degrees.  I mixed smoked paprika and cayenne in with my flour and used panko as my bread crumb.

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The final product was tossed with a mix of buffalo sauce, butter, and brown sugar.

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Paired with carrots and celery – steam/sautéed and finished with thyme honey balsamic vinaigrette – to keep the theme going.

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{8}  buffalo chicken and blue cheese cheese fries

Our leftover chicken got to participate in something magical – waffle fries baked with cheddar, blue cheese, and buffalo chicken on top.

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Have a great weekend.