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!

Salads In C-Ville

We moved!  I officially live in Virginia now.

The move itself was kind of terrible but we made it here intact with the dog and most of our stuff so I really can’t complain.  And first we took a fabulous trip home to St. Thomas!  Complete with highlights of the best banana daiquiri on earth and salmon pattys eaten in the airport with a vodka soda and local beer.

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Post-move, once the apartment was sort of set up, I focused on the really important stuff like finding all of the nearby beverage and dessert options.  Like La Flor Michoacana – a Mexican dessert place with the most exciting menu I’ve seen in my entire life.  I already had a scoop of soursop ice cream (with a scoop of mamey on the bottom)!

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And an eggnog paleta.

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Sweethaus for a quad iced latte and a crazy good salted caramel cupcake.  <– maybe the best frosting of my life.

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Grit for Cuban coffee.

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Also I loved this locally made fresh mint kombucha.

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On the food-food side I don’t have much to share because I’ve done zero cooking both due to being busy and having not moved any of our pots or pans.  We’ve mostly been eating junky take-out, and salads at home, and take-out salads.  Sweet baby lettuce blend / poppy seed dressing / strawberries / shredded chicken.

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Spring mix and herbs / Trader Joe’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / shredded chicken / roasted peanuts.

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From Fuzzy Taco – romaine / tomato / onion / fajita veggies / grilled fish / shredded cheese / tortilla strips / vinaigrette.

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From Roots Natural Kitchen – Arcadian mix / charred corn / pickled onion / roasted broccoli / hard-boiled egg / bbq tofu / cilantro lime dressing.

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Wish me luck exploring!

Brigadero, Beer, BBQ

I had a good New York weekend, one of a dwindling few remaining before the move!  Saturday, a girlfriend and I met near South Street Seaport for croissants, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, then spent the afternoon in Brooklyn for drinks and dinner.

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Here were my top nine, three per day for a three day weekend…

{1}  Iced latte from Everyman Espresso.  I walked down from Penn Station to the Seaport and the iced beverage was sooo necessary.

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{2}  It kind of makes me feel like an asshole, but the frozen coffee from Stew Leonard’s is one of my very favorite things.

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{3}  Croissants from Cafe Patoro.  Mine was stuffed with brigadero, aka condensed milk chocolate.

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{4}  Dessert bars from Hometown Bake Shop.  Key lime pie and s’mores.

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{5}  Cocktails at Grand Army.  The specialty drink menu is currently My Little Pony themed!!

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We decided I ordered the best two things on the menu.  Scootaloo – amburana cachaca, passionfruit, cardamom, lime, and orange.

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Pinky Pie – blanco tequila, escubac, aperol, lime, and salt.

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{6}  Pasta at Colonie.  Fazzoletti with blue crab, burrata, sorrel, and serrano chile.

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{7}  BBQ at Old Fields.  I had smoked chicken with smokey bbq sauce, pulled chicken, cole slaw, and a lot of Adam’s corn bread.

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{8}  I made a take on the creamy rice casserole from Eat, Live, Run.  Double the bell pepper, fire roasted ro-tel, and I swapped out shrimp for turkey sausage and red kidney beans.  It was delicious.  Topped with Sriracha and sour cream.

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{9}  Trader Joe’s sour grapefruit ale.

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Have a great week!

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Three Kinds Of Eggs

Highlights from this week included eggs served three different ways, a new take on pesto, and my current favorite snack combo…

The week started out on a high point – a breakfast date at Golda.

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Quad espresso + ice + cream.

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I had the grilled asparagus toast – strawberry-chili mostarda / alfalfa / ras al hanout / soft egg / charred lemon / local sourdough.

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Homemade coffee combo = half and half, ice, and Stumptown Founders blend.

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Snacks of note include fresh alfonso mango with cottage cheese.

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Our Deadpool movie snack was right on the nose.  DP 2 was not as good as the first movie but still laugh out loud funny.

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My current favorite snack combo is roasted chickpeas with blistered peanuts.  Eaten in bulk.

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Tuesday – my early day, when I leave the house before 6 am – I drove across town after work to attend what ended up being a very disappointing lecture on TPN.  The speaker ran a bit late and I didn’t start heading home until after 9 pm, at which point I was basically whimpering from hunger.  Suffice to say, this is the most satisfying Chipotle bowl that’s ever been eaten!

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The other three nights I cooked legitimate meals and had some major successes in the kitchen!  Like a Mediterranean frittata, complete with a new recipe page.

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Replete with feta, zucchini, and sumac.

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One night I made okonomiyaki.  We use three eggs and a heaping 1/3 cup flour for 2 servings.  With shredded garnet yam, roasted cabbage, and ginger.  Topped with Sriracha, Kewpie mayo, green onion, and seaweed.

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I also tried a new take on pesto that turned out to be delicious.  The last time we made homemade pesto we found the raw garlic and basil to be a bit too spicy, so this time I cooked them.  Sweet onion, green onion, and garlic sauteed in evoo / basil cooked with the onion for 90 seconds or so / tossed in the food processor with more evoo, parmesan, and pine nuts.  Served with whole wheat pasta with baby kale, toasted white beans, and roasted heirloom tomato.

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Weekend plans include a bridge walk, a bar date, and a bbq spot.

Claro, Cake, Carrots

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday (and I keep working Monday, Tuesday!) but I ate enough sugar the last three days to keep me Energizer Bunny-ing through.

Highlights from a tasty weekend…

Birthday cake iced latte from Milk Bar.

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Trader Joe’s cold brew bottles are the 3rd best packaged cold coffees, beat only by Chameleon and Grady’s.

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Fresh alphonso mango.  In strawberry lingonberry yogurt with bran flakes cereal.

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Desserts from House of Inasal.  Halo halo with the best leche flan of my life.

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And ube tres leches!

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Ice cream from Van Leeuwen.  A vegan flavor that was terrible and a s’mores flavor that was my new favorite.

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Dinner at Sauvage // French food.

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Lemony marinated olives.

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Charred heirloom carrots with labne, pistachio, vadouvan, and pistou.

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We shared all the entrees with mushrooms.  Salmon with sorrel, shiitake mushrooms, lentils, and buttermilk sauce.

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Poulet au Vin Jaune with morels and fava beans.  I don’t eat chicken skin that often but it was by far the best component of this particular dinner!

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Dinner at Claro // Oaxacan food.  I had the housemade tepache (a fermented, sweetened pineapple beverage) with a shot of mezcal – they separated my cocktail for me so I could taste the tepache on its own.

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The menu was meant to be enjoyed family style so we ordered all of the things.  Too many things in fact, I wish they had stopped us one or two dishes earlier.  Asparagus and avocado tostado with queso freso, radish, and spring onion.

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Tacos with chipotle shrimp and quesillo cheese.

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Garnachas (like an open quesadilla) with rabbit and duck confit, pate, fermented vegetables, and cojita cheese.

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Memela (masa cakes) with wild mushrooms, espazote, goat cheese crema, and pasilla.

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Goat’s milk chocolate ice cream with goats milk caramel, peanuts, and toasted marshmallows.

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Happy Monday!

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My New Favorite Thing

This weekend was all about fancy coffees, restaurant brunches, and yummy home-cooked dinners.

I took a vacation day on Friday – just for funsies – and had lunch with one of my favorite former co-workers and her new baby!  Plus I took myself on a long walk: Penn Station down to Chelsea Market, over to Gramercy Park, and back up to Penn Station.  Saturday I had a literal every cloud has a silver lining situation – the gloomy weather gave me an excuse to wear my snazzy new rain boots!

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Here were the highlights…

Fancy coffees –  Iced latte from Seven Point Espresso.

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Rose iced latte from Terremoto.  <– best coffee of the weekend

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Crack pie latte from Milk Bar.

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Restaurant brunches – MeMe’s Diner.

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The O.C. = cara cara and blood orange, tequila, and Tang.

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I ordered the greens with chili oil and a fried chicken biscuit sandwich with spicy maple syrup and root vegetable slaw.  The picture does not do justice to just how gigantic that sandwich is.

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Cake!  I wish I had more photos because this cake is officially my new favorite thing I’ve ever eaten.  Vietnamese iced coffee cake with condensed milk frosting and cocoa cardamom fudge.  Moist cake, fluffy icing, perfectly balanced.

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Midwinter Kitchen.  I had a salad with pistachio crusted goat cheese, frisée, watercress, a sunny side up egg, and sherry vinaigrette.  Those goat cheese balls were out of this world.

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Home-cooked dinners –  Trout salad melts.  Trader Joe’s canned smoked trout with mayo and gojuchang on toast with sharp cheddar.  Plus roasted zucchini with sumac.

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And I had this killer drink line-up while I cooked – creamy mango soda and key lime pie gose.

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Eat Live Run’s green chile crock pot chicken.  I subbed in cauliflower rice to get some more veggies in there.

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Gojuchang turkey burgers on toast, smothered in a tasty sauce – kewpie mayonnaise, honey, dijon, and miso.  With a side of pear slices and chips – gojuchang kettle chips from Whole Foods and kettle popcorn chips from Trader Joe’s.

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Have a great work-week, guys!

 

Three Things

Three things I liked this week:

{1}  Mint iced coffee!  Irving Farms espresso roast / half and half / homemade vanilla mint simple syrup.

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{2}  Kefir and apple work snacks.

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{3}  Starbucks’ prepared sandwiches that I’m weirdly obsessed with.  Chicken and artichoke flatbread with provolone and sun-dried tomato pesto.

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Three things I loved this week:

{1}  Homemade turkey cheeseburger fried rice.

Leftover brown rice stir-fried with soy sauce and liquid smoke / sauteed onions / roasted cherry tomatoes / ground turkey sauteed with fish sauce, ketchup, and mayo / eggs / cheddar cheese.

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{2}  Dinner at Pig and Khao.  I went with a girlfriend for her first visit and she loved it!

I ordered not one, but two, new to me dishes that were amazing.  Mushroom salad with shrimp and fried garlic and green papaya salad with chicken and crispy taro.

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{3}  Dinner at Freeks Mill that knocked our socks off.

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We started with roasted baby carrots with marcona almonds and herbed goat cheese.

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And we ordered all the poultry on the menu for dinner.  Chicken for Adam, smoked Poulet Rouge with wild mushrooms and spinach.

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Duck for me, dry aged duck with fried cranberry beans, fennel, and rosemary honey.  <– this was the singe best thing I've ever eaten!

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Three things I’m obsessing about that you don’t know about yet:

{1}  Nonfat quad iced lattes from Hungry Ghost.  There are three HGs on my walk to work and it is becoming a problem.

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{2}  Stolen Dance by Milky Chance.  This song is basically magic – I listened to it on a run and I swear my legs moved 50% more quickly than usual.

{3}  Moving??!  I’m not sure how I haven’t blogged about this yet, but yes, we’re moving!  Adam is doing his Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at UVA next year.  So we’re moving to Charlottesville.  In 50 days.  !!!