Let Them Eat Cake

I am going on vacation next week and I definitely already have vacation brain!  The past 7 days I’ve done barely any cooking and taken barely any photographs of what I have been eating.

Here were five great highlights…

{1} Cake in all forms!  Billy Idol Cake from Paradox, aka white wedding cake with lemon curd.

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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{3} I have come around to Adam’s point of view that Sicily Rose makes the best lattes in Charlottesville.  Their fancy espresso machine is key.  Four shots on ice with skim milk in a small cup is 100% perfect.

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{4} Poblano x2 pasta bowls.  Trader Joe’s creamy chicken poblano ravioli with celery, poblano pepper, and TJ’s turkey summer sausage sauteed in a butter.

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{5} We finally made it to Lampo and it lived up to the hype.  The Fungi pizza was downright decadent; Sharondale Farm pioppini and oyster mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, panna, aged provolone, grana padano.

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Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

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Cavolo Nero – Tuscan kale, candied almonds, ricotta salata, golden raisins, pickled mustard seed, apple cider vinaigrette, crispy parsnip.  This was the best dish of the meal.

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Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

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And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

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P.S. I will not be blogging from vacation – though I will share some fun on instagram – so I’ll see you guys after St. Patrick’s Day!

I Like My Snacks Like My Jokes – Cheesy

There was not a lot of excitement in dining the past week – I was fighting a cold over the weekend and my taste buds were out of whack, plus Adam has been out of town at a surgical conference the past week and I am unable to adult without an audience.  All that is to say I mostly ate take-out and crackers the past seven days.  I didn’t bother taking photos of my “meals,” but I did have several snacks worth sharing!

Snack themes include: cheese / coffee / chocolate + nut butter / yogurt bowls.

This Suju Uber Greens juice was the closest I got to a vegetable over the weekend.

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I received a verrrry exciting box of samples {these products were provided to me free of charge / no other compensation was provided / all opinions are my own} this week – Just the Cheese, aka 100% Wisconsin cheese baked into bars and mini bites.  They are gluten-free and trans-fat free and damn delicious.  Paired with an apple or some nuts they feel like a solid mini meal, the bars especially are quite satisfying.

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I believe I have tried every crispy cheese product on the market at this point and I can confidently say Just the Cheese is the best.  Per the company – “While most “cheese crisps” are air-dried, Just the Cheese® is oven baked, caramelizing the cheese which results in a cheesier flavor and crunchier texture.”  <– it’s true!

Aged Cheddar (my favorite flavor so far!), Grilled Cheese, and a honeycrisp apple.

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Wisconsin Cheddar and a side of Webster.

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Coffee combo for the week – Lavazza espresso and chocolate milk.

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This cold brew coffee drink from Koia was a caffeine failure; why is it so god-awful sweet?!

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Another loser was this almond butter chocolate bar, we are obsessed with Epic’s jerky bars in this house but this was too sticky for my tastes.

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Meanwhile, I am still obsessed with these dark chocolate almond Perfect Bars.  They taste like straight-up cookie dough.

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And I’m newly obsessed with these pb cups from Theo.  They are palm oil free and they are shaped like hearts!

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Liberte coffee bean yogurt with honey and peanuts.

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Plain Greek yogurt with banana, granola, and coconut cacao bliss.

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Hello, 2019

Highlights from the new year…

The 454 Horse Power coffee from Kicking Horse is roasty and smooth.

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I bought these Chobani Gimmies products because I’m a marketer’s dream but I ended up being shocked by just how much I loved them.  Marshmallow yogurt!!

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Chewy things.  Cow Tales are one of my favorites and the honey nougat from Trader Joe’s wasn’t bad either.

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This No Resolutions IPA from Bronx Brewery was very on the nose for January 1st drinking.

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We made crock butter butter chicken.  I loosely followed this recipe except that I used chicken thighs, added tomato paste, and used way less butter.  Served on top of a blend of cauliflower rice and broccoli rice.

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We finally tried the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and now I totally get the hype.  Served with swiss chard, lemon brown butter sauce, and 2 fried eggs on top.

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P.S. I’ll be taking a blog break through the weekend.  My uncle passed away over the holidays and I’m heading home for a few days to be with family.

Goodbye, 2018

We finished out 2018 with some fun – a three-day weekend anniversary trip to NYC!

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Favorite Friday activity = Checking out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market.

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Favorite Saturday activity = Meeting up with friends for lunch + dinner and a long walk through Brooklyn in between (Park Slope,  Gowanus, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Dumbo).

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Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

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Favorite breakfast = Croissants at Cafe D’Avignon in Dekalb Market Hall.  They are the best in the city and we’re obsessed.  The coffee isn’t bad either.

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Favorite lunch = Ramen at Chuko.  I had the sesame garlic ramen with woodear mushroom, spicy mustard greens, and scallions topped with poached egg, fried tofu, and garlic chili oil.

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Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

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Favorite dinner = Oxomoco.  We told the waitress to stop us if ordered too much – she didn’t but I’m not mad!  The tamarind orange margarita was good.

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The Rosita – mezcal, sherry, grapefruit, and hibiscus – was even better.

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The caesar salad with wood fired romaine and cotija masa crunch was the best I’ve ever had.

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Masa fried cauliflower with black mole, butternut squash crema, pepitas, and oregano.

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Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

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Tlayuda Oxomoco – camote, quesillo, pipian, pomegranate, and brown butter. <– Adam’s favorite dish of the night

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Chicken al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple, crispy skin, and salsa morita.

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We powered through two desserts because we knew they’d be amazing.  Oaxacan chocolate cake with coffee ice cream, cajeta, and walnut crumble and black sesame curd with black sesame crumble and pasionfruit raspado. <– my favorite dish of my life

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Hi, 2019!

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Stuffed With Joy

Peppermint and egg nog > nonholiday flavors.  But even the nonseasonal bites were tasty this week.  Highlights include…

Coffee = Coffee Mate sweet cream cold brew.

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Also a peppermint mocha La Colombe can with a surprisingly good peppermint bark Clif Bar.

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Limited seasonal item eggnog shake from Cook Out.

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The best snacks of the week came from our Snack Crate.  Particularly these chewy items that were all a bit milky in a delightful way.

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Chicken fajitas stuffed peppers.  A blend of shredded chicken, sauteed onion, fajita seasoning, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and cojita cheese, baked inside green bell peppers.

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Homemade buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese.  Plus simple side salads, dressed with evoo, honey, lavender salt, and garlic and herb cashews.

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Gingerbread Galore

So many holiday flavors consumed this weekend!  <– Squee!  It was just kind of a great weekend in general – we had no major to-dos looming and the weather was fantastic.  We got to go to brunch with my cousin and her boyfriend and on a long walk with the dog.  Next weekend brings out of town plans so it was really nice to keep things low-key.

Highlights…

Forager’s coconut cream cashew milk cold brew.  It was yummy but way too filling to consume all at once.

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Starbucks’ Juniper iced latte – I recommend getting double the espresso and half of the syrup so it’s not too pine-y [holiday flavor #1].

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Plain Greek yogurt with maple, almond butter granola, and the last of the cranberry sauce.

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Brunch at Renewal was delicious, we will definitely be back.  I had a gin fizz with egg white and cream.

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Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic fondue and sherry gastrique / field greens side salad with grapefruit vinaigrette / fries with pimento cheese and aioli.

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Sugar cookie frozen yogurt and eggnog gelato [holiday flavors #2 and 3}.

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King of Pop’s gingerbread was the best popsicle I’ve ever eaten, it was like a cookie dunked in milk [holiday flavor #4].  Enjoyed at Hardywood where I also had a Christmas Morning – gingerbread stout with Black Hand Coffee [holiday flavor #5].

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This Sweethaus gingerbread cupcake with meringue frosting was the best baked good we’ve ever eaten, hands down [also holiday flavor #6!].

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Trader Joe’s cauliflower latkes for the first night of Hannukah [holiday flavor #7] with a chicken thigh take on this Mississippi Roast recipe.

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All Hallow’s Eats

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Pumpkin Noosa for breakfast.  I sprinkled some crunchy granola from the cafeteria on top and it was fantastic.

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Maple glazed doughnut with a maple pancake iced latte from Sugar Shack.

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Snack attack.  Is it even Halloween week if you don’t make yourself sick eating too much sugar?  None of fun-sized candy at work was exciting to me and I had to drive myself to Wegman’s to buy my own chocolate.

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Crispy honey garlic tofu bites served on top of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  The tofu recipe was perfect, I couldn’t believe how crispy it came out.  After I took that photo I smothered my plate in Kewpie and Sriracha!

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This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.

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Sweet potato hash success.  Crispy sweet potato (cooked similarly to this method) / sauteed red bell pepper and spring onion with tumeric and smoked paprika / garlic chicken sausage / topped with a fried egg / and copious amounts of Cholula hot sauce.

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Our Halloween dinner was perfectly on theme – vampire killer pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin shaped pasta / garlic chicken sausage / sauteed spinach with tons of garlic / tossed in aioli / topped with pan-fried haloumi.

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Plus the best pumpkin beer of the year and a chai pumpkin ale.

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