Couch Potato, Twice Baked

This past week I came home from vacation and went back to work.  It wasn’t all bad, the end of vacation means I get to see this face –

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We made it home in time to celebrate his Buyday.  With steak!

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Here are the highlights of what the humans ate this week…

Coffee (coffee! coffee!).  Wicked Joe Coffee sent me some samples.  WJC is a sustainable, family-owned company producing certified organic, fair trade coffees.  They offered to let me try out the goods in celebration of the fact that they are available in 247 Sprouts Farmers Markets nationwide.

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I tried both blends (cooked in our drip coffee maker than cooled and served iced) black and with skim milk to taste-test and give them two thumbs up!  I also did some fun, sugary coffee pairings based on the tasting notes to jazz up my return to work mornings.  Wicked French says “bakers chocolate with an unexpected hint of sweetness” so I used fancy chocolate milk.

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Big House has “sweet notes of caramel and citrus” so I swirled in dulce de leche.

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Yogurt bowls.  Vanilla almond granola / cloudberry peach skyr / and three(!) colors of plucots.

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Passion fruit Fage / an apple / and an Rx Kids chocolate chip bar.

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I snuck in one last day of midweek vacation with Adam on Wednesday and we went on a lunch date at the gorgeously cool Chaan Teng in Hell’s Kitchen.

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I had shrimp and chicken dumplings to start.

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And a sweet and spicy cocktail with tequila, tamarind, basil, Szechuan peppercorns, mango juice, lime, and chili.

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They had kung pow duck!  With chilis , peppers, peanuts, and jicama.

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Snack attack.  We finally got to Astoria to try Chip.  My s’mores cookie was gooey perfection and now I can’t wait to go back.

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Cola candies.

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Korean Chili KIND bar.  <– I like their savory flavors even better than the sweet

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These dried mangos from TJ’s are out of this world good.

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If you stretch the definition of “cooked” to its limit, I made five nights of home-cooked dinners!  Turkey and sharp cheddar sandwich on a toasted whole-wheat croissant.

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BBQ chicken salad.  Local greens / ranch / baby heirloom tomatoes / pulled chicken breast with Korean bbq sauce / smoked cheddar.

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An assortment of freezer items, and eggplant that I actually cooked myself.

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TJ’s Thai sweet chili veggie burgers.

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Crinkle cut fries (with ketchup and mayo).

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Steamed/sautéed eggplant cooked with canola oil, fish sauce, gojuchang, honey, and garlic scapes.

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I made pimento cheese twice baked potatoes!

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This was my first time making twice backed spuds (or even eating them for that matter) but they came out great.  The filling was a mix of potato / extra-sharp cheddar / diced pimentos / mayo / smoked paprika and cayenne.

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Served with baked tofu.

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And beautiful roasted purple and orange cauliflower.

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The potatoes were great leftover too.

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With leftover duck that I chopped up and reheated in a skillet.

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And oven-baked okra fries.

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Have a great weekend!

Freedom!

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I’m on vacation!  Friday was my last day of work for 11 glorious days!  I prepped for vacation by eating all of the ice cream last week 🙂

For a work-week this past week was not a bad one.  Adam and I were off together on Wednesday and got do some Lower East Side wandering.  And over the weekend we did some Long Island exploring.  Plus I met with friends for brunch.  And ate all the aforementioned ice cream.

Last week’s flavor themes: (Stumptown) coffee // ice cream // cheese // corn // egg.  Highlights…

Brunch at The General Greene.  I had the farro bowl with pesto, roasted sweet potato, avocado, and a poached egg.

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Black Brick Coffee just might be our new favorite spot.  It’s a neat space and my Stumptown latte was ridiculously good.

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Trader Joe’s new coconut cold brew coffee is pretty tasty, especially with chocolate milk.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with blackberries, granola, and chocolate tahini.

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Plain Greek yogurt with black plum and Oreo cheesecake.

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Sandwich with curly fries.  Spicy chicken / mayo and mustard / lettuce / pickles.

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Because I don’t eat enough nachos at home, they were a special in the cafeteria this week.  Pinto beans and cheddar with olives, corn, bell pepper, and onion.

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Our Long Island exploration took us to both Farmingdale and Babylon.  We had a flight of craft beers at Lithology.  My favorite was the honey rye with rosemary, followed closely by the sour farmhouse ale.

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We also did lunch at Swell Taco.

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My burrito was giant and packed with grilled chicken, refried pinto beans, rice, veggies, salsa fresca, sour cream, and Monterey jack.

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I’ve seen multiple foodie instagrammers try to say that Ben’s compares with Levain <– NO.  PSA – this was not good.  These cookies were greasy and terrible and I threw mine out after two bites and still had a stomach ache.

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We checked out the Filipino goodies at Johnny Air Mart and snacked on calamansi soda and Polvorón shortbread.

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Bubble tea from Vivi.  Grapefruit Yakult with crystal boba and coconut jelly.

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Brigadeiro Bakery taught me that I actually don’t like ice cream as much as I think because apparently brigadeiros are my favorite dessert.  <– they are a condensed milk candy so that’s not that surprising

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Stumptown coffee soft serve with sprinkles and cookie dough at Scoops.

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Birthday cake soft serve with sprinkles at Milk Bar.

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Cookie dough with toasted coconut soft serve at Stew Leonard’s.  This was both the best soft serve and the best edible cookie dough we’d ever tasted.

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Sweet milk and browned butter pecan ice cream at Malai.

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BBQ chicken salads.  Baby romaine with ranch / cheddar / cucumbers / leftover cole slaw / shredded chicken with Korean bbq sauce.

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Bean and chicken bowls.  Sautéed onions and green pepper / cheddar / shredded chicken with cilantro sauce – cilantro, roasted jalapeño, canola oil, honey, and salt / pinquito beans from Susie Q.

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The beans were a kit sent to me to review.  They came with a premixed seasoning packet (mild red chili, onion, garlic, and select spices) so they were a snap to prepare, and much tastier than canned beans.  They kept their shape after cooking and were firm but not chewy or mealy.  <– I would buy these with my own money

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I know these eggs look god-awful, but they were amazing.  Scrambled with unsulfured chicken hot dogs / kimchi / and cheddar.

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Dinner at Colonia Verde.  This restaurant is insanely gorgeous, Adam and I were in heaven.

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I drank the Patient Extra – Cachaca, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime, and citrus bitters, which was fabulous.

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And ate duck confit tacos and grilled sweet corn salad with carmelized pepitas, cotija cheese, and mint.

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P.S. It’s my birthday today!!

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Beans, Beans, Every Flavor Beans

I worked straight through Saturday to Thursday last week and it tired me out (hence the late post!).

The good news is that my work schedule meant I had a three day weekend.  And the better news is that I used my extra day to go on a quick trip to CT with Adam.  In other weekend excitement – we took the dog into the city to visit a dog park (he was not a fan).

Food themes for the week were beans and more beans, candy and more candy, and coffee (always coffee).  Here were the highlights…

Breakfast at Blue State Coffee in New Haven.  I had an egg and cheese sandwich on sourdough and an iced latte.

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Stumptown coffee.

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Pitaya smoothie with frozen cherries and cookies and cream pudding.  (<– bought the pudding on a whim, hated it, and was too cheap to toss it, but it was actually wonderful in the smoothie).

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Brunch at Fat Goose.

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I had a sparkling Paloma.

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And the foie gras panna cotta(!!!).  With strawberries, rhubarb, jam, and buttered challah.

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It was amazing.  And even better, there was a dog in my lap while I ate it!

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He got a bite of my ice cream for being a well-behaved brunch companion.

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Lemon yogurt with blueberries and maple granola.

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Plain yogurt with chocolate tahini, blueberries, and cotton candy grapes.

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Adam and I tried Costa Nova Waffle on an errands day.  They have tasty Portuguese coffee.  We had a crispy waffle with s’mores and a soft waffle with twix and both were delicious.

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Road trip snacks.

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Milk candy!  Japanese Hokkaido and Polish sesame milk caramels.

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These Haribo grapefruit candies are insanely good.

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Froyo on a hot day – birthday cake with mochi, nonpareils, and cereal marshmallows.

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Turkey BLT pasta (inspired by this Cooking Light recipe).   Whole wheat shells / turkey bacon / wilted arugula / roasted heirloom tomatoes / tossed with mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

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Salmon bacon sandwiches!

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Brioche buns with mayonnaise and gojuchang / sharp cheddar / a fried egg / and TJ’s salmon bacon.

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With roasted green beans.

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Red beans and rice (loosely inspired by this Serious Eats recipe).  Celery, green pepper, and onion cooked in evoo / salt, pepper, cayenne, and smoked paprika / with TJ’s turkey summer sausage / and red kidney beans / served on brown jasmine rice.

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White beans with turkey bacon, celery, and gojuchang.  Plus sweet potato cheese fries.

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Dinner in New Haven.  We got Thai takeout – chicken pad see ew and pad thai – to eat in our hotel room in front of the cable tv.

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Plus ice cream that was fantastically creamy and good, cookie dough and coffee oreo for me.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Butter Pecan Mochi

Apologies for another late post!  Honestly?  When I get home from work I get into bed fully dressed with a snack for at least 30 minutes and sometimes I just don’t get up again to do anything productive!  I know I haven’t really blogged about some of the big recent changes at work, but suffice to say I am tired.  <– but also really happy to be busy and getting some exposure to new things

Some of my favorite bites from the [last] week…

Watermelon kefir is an excellent idea.  P.S. When I went to the Lifeway website I discovered that they apparently make an eggnog kefir and now it’s pretty much all I can think about.

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I was all about the premade coffees this week and they were surprisingly delicious.  Starbuck’s dark roast iced coffee.

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Caribou vanilla iced coffee.

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Cafeteria baked potato bar.  With sour cream, cilantro, cheese/sauce, and salsa.

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Yummy yogurt bowls.  Coffee Chobani with chocolate tahini, maple granola, and walnuts and an eve apple.

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Blood orange Chobani with Heritage Flakes and sunshine raspberries.

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Whole Foods hot bar = black bean sauce broccoli, green beans, curried cauliflower, pasta salads, sweet chili tofu.

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Plus I tried their mocha ice cream in butter pecan and black sesame.  <– this might be my new favorite thing

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Blue chip nachos!  With corn, cheddar, black beans, and fresh tomatoes.  I dipped them into roasted tomato salsa.

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I bought a bag of rolls at our grocery’s bakery ($1.69 for a variety pack of six?!) and we became obsessed with turkey and cheddar sandwiches.  The key is spreading the bun with a mix of mayo and gojuchang.

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I made a simple veggie and tofu bowl that was our favorite dinner of the week.

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Chopped raw bok choy with TJ’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / TJ’s teriyaki baked tofu / crispy edamame – tossed with evoo and salt and baked at 400* for 20 minutes / black sesame seeds.

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Leftover sesame noodles with chili oil with baked tofu and crispy edamame.

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A dinner in parts: Adam had to take a super quick trip to Delaware this week and I worked out my schedule to tag along.  We started with Mile End in Brooklyn for appetizers.  Garlic knish.

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Brussel sprouts salad (with a mix of raw and roasted!) with labne, sumac, and honeycomb and pumpernickel powder.  It was amazing.

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Mid-dinner dessert stop for churros with dulce de leche at the new DeKalb Market Hall.

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And finally Grain in Newark.  I had a great whiskey sour.

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And the best crab cake sandwich of my life; it was absolutely packed with crab meat, no filler to be found.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

It’s Hot Outside And I Want Ice Cream And Iced Coffee

Here’s a looong post because it’s been a looong time since I last posted!  20 things from the past 10 days…

{1-4} Cool Coffees.  New Orleans iced coffees from Homecoming and Otha’s.

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Toasted marshmallow iced latte from Sweetie Pies on Main.

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Homemade frappe with dark roast, milk, ice, and birthday cake ice cream (<– I enjoyed the Halo Top a surprising amount, and would definitely buy it again).

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{5-6} Decadent Doughnuts.  Nutella beignet from Maman.

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Rose and marmalade doughnut from Polka Dot.  <– one of the best doughnuts either of us had ever eaten

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{7-10} Work Bites.  Piñata apple, salted caramel Doubleshot, and an ancho pepper turkey stick.

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Almond water (<– yuck!), chocolate hazelnut croissant, and a smitten apple.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with white peach and crumbled cookies (<– the recipe I always make with butterscotch and dark chocolate chips and walnuts).

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TJ’s avocado citrus yogurt with fresh mango and a peanut butter Larabar on the side.

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{11-12} Lunch in Greenpoint.  Greenpoint Fish and Lobster.

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Watermelon lemonade with cava.

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Grilled bluefish tacos with citrus cabbage, chipotle-lime mayo, radishes, and cilantro on grilled corn tortillas.

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Greenpoint Beer and Ale.  I got the honey saison.

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{13} Quality Eats at Quality Eats.  French toast cocktail (<– extra points for the punny name!) = bourbon, maple syrup, cinnamon, egg white, and prosecco.

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I had fried eggs with avocado and salsa rosa, and a perfectly dressed salad.

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And we had the s’mores ice cream sundae for dessert, with burnt marshmallow ice cream.

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{14-17} Winner Dinners.  Kimichi quesadillas.  I stuffed wonderfully soft tortillas with a mix of sharp cheddar, chopped kimchi, and mayo.

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Served with sour cream, roasted zucchini, and a weisse beer with lychee and pink guava.

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Bean and cheese tacos.  With watermelon beer and seltzer.  I cooked pinto beans in a skillet with evoo, salt, pepper, curry powder, and cayenne, then mashed them up with a spoon.

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With sour cream, salsa, Mexican cheese blend, and sautéed onions and green pepper.

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Chicken wing pasta.  Whole wheat shells / shredded chicken / peas / habanero wing sauce / cream cheese / blue cheese.

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Our first trip to Win Son = the best meal of this post.

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I got the Breakfast of Champions drink with peanut milk, toasted sesame, rum, rum cream, and toasted coconut.

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Fried eggplant with black vinegar, kefir cheese, and spiced cashews.  <– maybe my favorite thing I’ve eaten this year

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Sesame noodles with scallions and oyster mushrooms.  Plus a metric ton of chili oil.

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{18-20} Delicious Desserts.  Molly’s Cupcake for raw cake batter stuffed yellow cake.

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Bubble tea at Yaya Tea.  Guava black tea with yogurt popping boba and mango stars.  <– new favorite boba spot

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Ice and Vice seasonal flavor, No Whey – labne ice cream with burnt honey and preserved lemon.  This was so refreshing!

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Llamas, And Pigs, and Humans, Oh My!

Three-day weekend highlights, including lots of new “bests”…

Unicorn smoothie!  The layers were acai and pitaya with coconut water and plain Greek yogurt.

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Bananarama smoothie.  Frozen banana, plain Greek yogurt, a hot chocolate packet, and Banana Wave Banana Milk.  <– free product review alert: the banana milk is a vegan milk made of banana puree, soy, oats, and other ingredients.  One serving contains as much potassium as a small banana as well as 29 vitamins and minerals and 1200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.  One cup has 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of added sugar.

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Black bear, aka Otha‘s coffee concentrate with housemade chocolate milk.  This shop was adorable and we want to go back immediately.

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Du’s Donuts.  Adam’s all time favorites.

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Lunch at Llama Inn.

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I had soft-boiled eggs with delicata squash, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds, and chimichurri sauce.

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We got our own desserts, flan for Adam and key lime pie for me.  Best key lime pie of the decade, it was enrobed in toasted meringue!

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Lunch at Pig Bleeker.  We had a Salty Spritz – vodka, St. Germain, and apricot, with a salty white wine rinse, and a Champagne Sherry Cobbler that was the all-time best drink we’ve ever had – Fino sherry, fresh citrus, and champagne.

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I got a fried chicken thigh sandwich with Pig Beach mustard sauce, house pickles, mayo, and hot sauce.  The meat was smoked before it was fried and it was by far the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted.

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Durian mochi.

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Malter Chronkite from Mister Dips, a malty chocolate-dipped cone.

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Spicy crunchy tuna sushi bowl.  Brown rice with ginger, rice vinegar, seaweed, and black sesame seeds / canned tuna fish and smoked trout with Sriracha and mayo / quick pickled cucumbers / fresh avocado / panko and fried garlic toasted in butter / Sriracha on top.

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Chopped romaine salad with honey mustard dressing, dill, sautéed mushrooms with garlic, shredded chicken, crumbled blue cheese, and homemade raisins.

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I am on Saturday/Sunday so I’ve only got two days of work before a day off, woo-hoo!

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Salmon Cream Cheese Wontons

I had to work this weekend but somehow I ended up with a bunch of eats that were super good.  Because they all included sugar and/or cheese?  Probably!  Here were the highlights…

Three fun new coffee cups.  Halvah cotton candy on top.

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Chocolate milk ice cubes.

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Starbuck’s nitro cold brew.  I loved the velvety texture but was not a fan of it being served without ice.

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Pickings are slim at the cafeteria on the weekends but I put together a pretty good lunch plate.  BBQ wings, veggie lo mein, roasted baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes with blue cheese dressing.

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Mango yogurt with fresh mango on top.  Guys, fresh mangos are so flipping good, how did I forget about them all winter??

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Cookie and coffee break.  From Bittersweet (a hopping Fort Greene coffee spot with no less than 7 cute doggies waiting in line when I walked in).

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Another sweet snack, vanilla yogurt with chocolate peanut butter stirred in and mini chocolate chips on top.

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Cinnamon dusted apple slices with sharp cheddar squares and chocolate peanut butter sticks.

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Whole Foods hot bar dinner on an after-work shopping trip.  Crispy potatoes, vegan meat balls, roasted zucchini, tabbouleh, and pasta salad.

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Best meal of the week was this quick and easy dinner I threw together Friday night.

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Salmon cream cheese wontons!  I stuffed wonton skins with a mix of canned salmon, cream cheese, brown sugar, fish sauce, and minced ginger.  Baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

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They were creamy and crispy and delicious.  Served with roasted green beans.

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A close 2nd for best meal was our dinner at Lady’s, a newish Italian spot in Brooklyn.

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The food was all fantastic – so fresh, and perfectly seasoned.  Like this amazing salad with snow peas, sunflower seeds, and pickled radish.  <– 2nd best salad of my entire life

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We also started with hummus with crispy chickpeas, charred cucumber, lemon, and focaccia.

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With a yummy local watermelon ale.

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And for our entrée we shared pasta with crab,

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and honey butter pizza dough with sea salt and Calabrian chili.  The spicy-salty-sweet contrast was perfection.  I had a glass of prosecco with that course and the pairing was wonderful.

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I got a giant scoop of the new cheesecake flavor at Ample Hills for dessert.  It was a tasty weekend!