Three Day Weekend Wrap-Up

I give the last three days an A+!  I had a very inconveniently timed doctor’s appointment on Friday and it made more sense to take a vacation day than try to fit the travel time into a work day.  Serendipitously, Adam had switched some shifts with a coworker who was going to a wedding and he had most of the three off as well.  Yippee!

I’m going to do this post old school, stream of consciousness style, though there are some holes as this definitely does not show every single thing that I ate…

Friday, once I had finished up with the dermatologist and Adam had rested up from his overnight shift, we headed into Manhattan.


Our destination was Krispy Kreme, and these limited edition Ghostbusters donuts.


I ain’t afraid of no donut!  They were filled with marshmallow crème and were actually kind of amazing; maybe my favorite donuts I’ve ever tasted.

We wandered around Penn Station, then did lunch in Koreatown.  We had a(n impulse-bought) Groupon for food and booze at Boss Lounge.


I ordered a Pinch Me, which had Grey Goose, lychee, and grenadine.


Adam and I shared a kimichi and cheese roll.


As well as seaweed and tofu salad.


The tofu was silken and strangely sweet.  The husband loved it.

Afterwards we explored Koreatown a bit more.  We split a kimchi bun from a food court we want to go back to asap.


Tried whatever the heck this was?!


The top is mango and red bean but we couldn’t identify the white – chewy and gelatinous – stuff.  Neither of us could bring ourselves to swallow it!

And had a coffee popsicle from Tous les Jours for dessert.


Every single thing we’ve tried from TlJ has been awesome.  Adam took home cheese buns that he adored and I’m kicking myself for not buying a milk bun.

For dinner, we made our way over to Hardings’s.


Whiskey sour made with fresh lime, cane sugar, and egg whites!


Adam had yummy, crispy salmon and I did a fun combo of appetizers.


Pumpkin pie soup with spiced whipped cream.


And kale salad with chickpeas, Marcona almonds, shaved sunchokes, and lemon vinaigrette.


Ahaha, I didn’t realize until I reread the menu to write this post that those white shreds were sunchokes and not really stale parmesan.

Afterwards we trained it over to Lexington (and Dylan’s Candy!), then walked back to our car across the Queensboro Bridge.  It was a lovely nighttime walk but my calves are sooooo sore now!

We were parked in Long Island City and we stopped at The Baroness for a nightcap on the way.


We want to go back for a cheese plate immediately, but for now we shared a cute beer sampler.

Saturday was supposed to be spent at Smorgasburg, but yucky, rainy weather scared us back to Long Island.  Instead we ran local errands – groceries were shopped and both of our cars now have changed oil.

We had baked potatoes for brunch.


I swear that there is a potato under there.  Topped with butter, sharp cheddar, turkey bacon, leftover kale salad, jalopeño, sour cream, and a fried egg.


We poked the yolks into our buttered potatoes and it was pretty great.

We spent the evening cuddled on the couch with GIANT plates of nachos.  I also ate this licorice mix.


We are now completely caught up on new fall tv.  The Chicago’s (PD and Fire) are my favorite so far.

We had more to-do’s to check off on Sunday, and headed back into the city so I could buy a winter coat.


Train fuel = toasted everything bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.

We considered getting Chobani but the line was too crazy, so instead we got froyo.  Pumpkin pie and praline topped with caramel, toffee, Butterfinger, yogurt chips, and mochi.


Our bowls were tasty, and even better, free.  The last time I was at Yogurtland I was a hot mess and I dropped my credit card into my yogurt and the cashier felt so bad for me that he gave me a handful of vouchers for free yogurt.

I had several coffee this weekend (duh!), but the best was actually from 7-11.


Cinnamon coffee with pumpkin pie creamer and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I ate fruit salad while I prepped a batch for the upcoming week.


And we made big, hearty bowls for dinner.


Sprouted red jasmine rice // frozen spinach sautéed with bbq sauce, browned mushrooms and tons of onions // red lentils cooked with cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, curry powder, and more sautéed onion // sour cream and Sriracha on top.


We ate our warm meal while we worked on the winter-y activity of swapping out our summer wardrobes.  I still don’t have a ton of cold weather gear but I am excited to have my boots back out.

Back in the “old days,” blog posts always ended with a question:

Have you swapped out your summer and winter wardrobes yet?

10 Things


Long time no see!  My mini posting hiatus was not for lack of things to blather about.  The husband had a full day off on Saturday and we like to make the most of our time mooning at each other and eating mass amounts of cheese so I didn’t take any photos.  Then I spent Sunday eating more cheese and watching a truly horrifying amount of Netflix (more on that below!).

I picked ten things to share for this post, ranging from product reviews and beauty (ha!), to entertainment, to foodie.

{1} Let’s start with the best meal of the week, the best meal of the whole year, actually.


Runner & Stone, down in the burgeoning area on 3rd Ave in Park Slope, is officially my new favorite restaurant.


The space and the menu were beautiful and thoughtfully done.  The dishes are not too pricy, but this meal felt luxurious.  I don’t remember what was in this amuse-bouche, but it was complimentary and tasty.


As was the house-made bread and butter.


We started dinner with a round of drinks.  Vodka soda – with Industry Standard, a Brooklyn-distilled vodka – for me and a Gowanus – aka an extra dirty martini – for Adam.


He went with two small dishes for dinner.  White bean soup with sherry,


and the deconstructed duck pastrami.


Both were delicious, but my dish totally stole the show.


Rye pappardelle with smoked salmon, dill, and house-made crème fraiche.  I loved how playful this was, and more importantly, how tasty.

We obviously had to try dessert.


An orange wine with their buckwheat tres leches.


Runner & Stone, we’ll be back!  Soon!


We ended our date night by stopping in at some of our favorite Brooklyn haunts for drinks, as well as dessert round 2 at Ample Hills.  What a night!

{2} I’ll be less verbose about items 2 – 10, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less exciting.  This homemade dinner looks God-awful, but it really was wonderful.  TJ’s Sprouted Red Jasmine Rice with curried lentils and Jenna’s Baingan Bharta, topped with plain yogurt and Sriracha.


I didn’t love the eggplant – apparently I really do dislike garam masala – but I used to think that I hated lentils and I was pleasantly surprised by them.  I usually make lentils just to be nice to Adam, but now I want to make them again for my taste buds too.  They were soooo easy; we just simmered red lentils with water and a little salt, curry powder, turmeric, and smoked paprika.

{3} Another dinner success.


Arugula blend salad with cave-aged blue cheese, sweet and spicy pecans, and a maple vinaigrette,


topped with a Shallotta Salmon Burger.


I had big plans for a salmon burger and egg sandwich but apparently the patties were pretty good because by the time I went to make my eggwich Adam had eaten them all up.

{4} This item involves a generous box of free samples from Numi Organic Tea and Nutiva.


As I said, these items were provided free of charge.  I was no provided further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

They’ve teamed up to promote their genius mash-up recipe idea: chia iced tea.  Sounds good, right?  I haven’t actually tried the recipe yet – I’m getting on that this weekend – but I wanted to share it with y’all, along with my thoughts about the products in general.

Iced Tea + Lemonade and Chia Seeds

  • 1/2 tsp. Nutiva Organic Black Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. water, room temperature
  • 1 Numi Organic Tea – Breakfast Blend black tea bag
  • ½ cup water, boiling ½ cup lemonade Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices
  1. Add chia seeds to 2 tbsp. of room temperature water. Stir to combine, and set aside for 5 minutes, until chia soften. 
  2. Meanwhile, bring ½ cup of water to boil.  Steep tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes. 
  3. Discard tea bag and pour tea into a tall glass. Add lemonade and chia seeds and stir to combine. 
  4. Top with ice, garnish with a lemon wedge and serve. 

So far for the teas, I’ve only tried the Breakfast Blend so far.  The mint is definitely up next once I’ve thinned out my tea bag stash a bit; it smells insanely delicious.


I can’t say that I adored it, but I have been hating most hot teas.  I’m excited to try it iced, a much better test for me.

Chia seeds are always fun.  I used the black variety in one of my favorite smoothies.


1.5 Tbsp chia seeds + 1.5 cups frozen strawberries + 1.5 cups lemonade.

And the O’Coconut Snacks are great.


They’re basically macaroons, with chia and hemp for extra flavor.

{5} Speaking of coconut, I made coconut iced coffee that rocked my face off.


Cold brew with TJ’s coconut water and a big glug of Almond Joy coffee creamer.  Gah!

{6} A killer alcoholic beverage.  My strategy of choosing booze that sounds like dessert has never served me wrong.


Does honey beer even need more explanation?

{7} Another product review.


See disclaimer above.  Free item.  No other $ exchanged.  All my opinion.  Yada, yada.

Valentia sent me their Even Glow Vitamin C Serum (sold exclusively on Amazon).  I have basically no makeup or skin care regimen – no wrinkle cream, no foundation, and I guiltily put sunblock on once or twice a month – so I am not the best judge, but I was a fan.  The serum smells like lemon meringue pie!  I haven’t used it long enough to discern any long-term, wrinkle-busting effects, but day-to-day it makes my skin look a bit glowy.  Photo-evidence straight out of bed, 5 minutes after application, prior to putting on mascara or brushing my teeth.


Speaking of terrible selfies… I need to show you guys my hair.  My hair has been a hot mess ever since I dyed the whole thing brown after the purple to gray debacle.  It looked like it could be my natural color and was just inexplicably damaged.  I figured if I went blonde(ish) at least the damage would seem less sad.  So I went in for some highlights/ombre.


I love it!  I couldn’t get a great picture but this is definitely an improvement.

{8} While we’re taking about hair… Who saw season 1 of “The Killing?”  Linden’s 90’s style, face-framing wisp bangs drove me freaking crazy!  In spite of my ceaseless Facebook ranting about the bangs, over the past week I’ve Netflixed my way through almost all 4 seasons.  I haaaaaated the season 3 finale but I’m hoping they fix things up in the Netflix-exclusive final 6 episodes.  Also, I’m thrilled that Jewel Staite makes some appearances, but she has rocked as both a badass space cowboy/mechanic and badass space doctor, why have all of her recent parts been the easy-to-please girlfriend?

{9} I never watched Chelsea Handler’s tv show, but I just started her third book.


Her stories are hilarious.  The books are kind of terrible for my commute because I feel bad laughing so loudly on the LIRR.

{10} It’s Apple Month!!!  I’ve got a round-up post of important apple products headed your way tomorrow.  And yes, I’ve already started my pumpkin beer collection.

Do you think you’ve eaten your best meal of 2014 yet, or is it coming up this holiday season? 

Weekly Wrap-Up; Lots Of Leftovers

You saw most of this week’s eats yesterday, so this post is just to fill in the gaps.  What you’re not seeing – the coffee.  I was terrible about bedtime this week and the result was constant coffee consumption.  This work week ended up being particularly busy, so it was serendipitous that I was extra-caffeinated.


Numi Cardamom Pu-erh Tea with skim milk.

DSC07413Valentine’s style Junior Mints.

DSC07375Junior Mints are my favorite chocolate candy, second only to York and Pep bars, and these were shaped like freaking hearts!  Too exciting.

Popcorn with caramel and turkey bacon.

DSC07298Does that goodness need more explanation?

stuff I didn’t cook

Brunch at Biscuits and BBQ.

DSC07307DSC07299Adam went super Southern with chicken and waffles,

DSC07300while I got the bbq chicken sandwich.

DSC07303It was good, but I was expecting the meat to be pulled and smothered and I probably would have ordered differently if I’d known it wasn’t.  At least the serving was giant; Adam ate my 2nd half for lunch the next day.

We were mostly there for dessert anyway.  I read a review in the Times that said Biscuits and BBQ had some of the best key lime pie the reviewer had ever tasted.

DSC07305Yep.  Key lime pie is my favorite dessert and this was definitely one of the best slices I’ve had.  The only way it could have been better is if the traditional crust was a graham cracker crust – the way my mom makes it – because I like my extra-sweet with a side of extra-sweet!

Sushi take-out from Kisso.

DSC07327I went with two boring, cooked rolls (both with tempura!) but Adam said his chirashi was the best he’s ever had.

leftovers for lunch

Since I made a different recipe each night for my book review, I ended up with lots of leftovers for lunches.  Eating tapenade and tofu egg salad on my lunch break felt fancy!

A packaged lunch.

DSC07336Roasted seaweed.

DSC07338A Strawberry Apple Crusher.

DSC07341And some Bumblebee Spicy Thai Chili Tuna with crackers.

DSC07340I loooove that tuna, it is so flavorful.

An eggless lunch.

DSC07364Leftover eggless egg salad.

DSC07369Scooped with pita chips.

DSC07371With a side of green grapes.

DSC07373Crudités for lunch.

DSC07378Leftover lentil tapenade with celery and baby carrots.

DSC07391A giant honeycrisp.

DSC07385And baby Lindt HELLO bars.

DSC07382a dinner

The night I was left to my own devices in the kitchen I made mac and cheese and trees for dinner.

DSC07428Just a box of this adorable winter shapes mac and cheese with 0% Greek yogurt, smoked paprika, a tin of Bella cayenne pepper smoked sardines, and broccoli roasted with truffle salt.

DSC07408DSC07426Gussied up box macaroni is the best easy dinner.

What’s your go-to order when you’re channeling the deep South?  Adam does chicken and waffles while I like pulled chicken and fried okra.

Livin’ Lean With Trader Joe’s {Book Review}

I recently was contacted about doing a review of Jamie Davidson’s new book, Livin’ Lean with Trader Joe’s.  Since January is the month of resolutions to eat better/lose weight/get healthy/et al, it seemed like the perfect time to share my thoughts with you guys.  I even have a sample recipe for you.

Livin' Lean with Trader Joe'sNote – I was sent a PDF copy of the book to review, free of charge.  All opinions are my own.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.

About: The Author

Jamie has a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and has been teaching people how to eat nutritiously and conveniently for over 20 years.  She is also the author of Quick and Healthy Meals from Trader Joe’s and Simmering Solutions, Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes.  I don’t believe that she has any formal chef training, but she is quite adept at putting together meals that are balanced and flavorful while still being healthy.  While I think that Registered Dietitians should be the gold standard source for nutrition advice, Jamie’s background makes her far more qualified than most of the other authors of this season’s diet advice.

My Thoughts: The Book

Two thumbs up!  Adam and I loved all of the recipes that we tried – they were tasty, healthy, and a snap to prepare.

The first few chapters of the book focus on Jamie’s advice for weight loss and healthy living, followed by a comprehensive collection of more than 150 recipes.  As a Registered Dietitian, I think that her philosophy is solid.  She promotes exercise and a balanced diet (note – “diet” as in a lifestyle or way of eating, not meaning a short-term, quick-fix “diet”) and doesn’t make outrageous claims.  She does a great job of explaining why and how her recipes can help you lose weight.

Many of the recipes are simple assembly and prep, and if you are a more advanced cook this book may be too basic for you.  But if you are struggling in the kitchen or have made a recent commitment to prepare healthier meals – whether you are looking to lose weight or just lead a healthy life – I wholeheartedly recommend purchasing this book.

The Goods: Recipes I Made

{1} Lentil Tapenade (Wrap).

DSC07322This recipe combined some of Adam’s favorite flavors – lentils, olive tapenade, and feta – that I would not have thought to put together on my own.  It took less than 5 minutes to throw together and we loved the final result.

The recipe was for a wrap, but we made a (double) batch of the spread and served it as part of a cheese plate instead.

DSC07325Lentil tapenade, buffalo blue cheese kettle chips, green grapes, pesto gouda, and an amazing goat’s milk cheddar.

{2} BBQ Chicken over Polenta.

DSC07407This was one of those basic prep recipes; not something I would normally look for in a cookbook but a great find on a late night when I would have ordered take-out (for 8 billion calories) but spent 5 minutes throwing this together instead (for less than 200 calories a serving with 16 grams of protein).

Served with green beans.

DSC07400DSC07396FYI, I did skew my serving ratio a bit towards chicken versus polenta.

{3} Really Low Fat Greek Yogurt Dressing.

DSC07354Served on a salad, obviously.  With romaine, smoked almonds, raisins, and pesto gouda.  I liked the tang of this a lot.  And I loved that there were only about 35 calories a serving, because the husband tends to coat his salads in dressing.

DSC07352Served with…

{4} Eggless Egg Salad.

DSC07361This was our favorite recipe of the bunch.  It has a tofu base, but an avowed tofu hater wouldn’t know it was in there until you told them.  I don’t usually put so many veggies in my egg salad (though I totally should) so I tasted this before I added in most of the produce and yep, it tasted just like egg salad!

DSC07348This was delicious, and vegan to boot.  Definitely a recipe I plan on making again.  And you can make it too, since Jamie said it was ok to share the recipe with you guys (click on the image to enlarge) –

Eggless Egg SaladDSC07344Did you make any health related resolutions this New Years?