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!

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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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!

Smorgasburg, Greenport, And The Weekend’s Top Five

{1}  A day trip to Greenport.

Greenport is one of Adam’s favorite Long Island areas and we finally had a Sunday together to go explore.

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We walked on the pier, walked on the beach, ate a kind of meh breakfast in town, plus got a great iced latte and an almond croissant.

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Aaaand a toasted marshmallow iced latte that knocked our socks off.

{2}  Our 1st kolache experience.

So exciting!

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I’ve been dying to try one ever since I started following Kylie and Brooklyn Kolache did not disappoint.

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We did one sweet and one savory – poppy seed and turkey, egg, and cheese – plus a delicious brown sugar iced latte.

{3}  Our 1st Smorgasburg visit of the season.

It was a good one!  We hit up Duck Season for duck fat fries with confit and a sandwich with confit, pickled cabbage, gojuchang, and craklins.

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Ube Kitchen for Halo Halo.  It was a nice dessert, but not Halo Halo – there was no nata de coco, no palm seeds, plus it had granola in it, and almond milk instead of condensed milk.

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Plus we got impossibly smooth coffee from Ministry of Kaapi.

{4}  BBQ chicken salad.

Baby romaine dressed in yogurt ranch, shredded chicken in Korean bbq sauce, cucumber, sharp cheddar, and smoked paprika.

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This was actually the appetizer course for a meal that included cheese fries and buffalo chicken wings!

{5}  A toasted marshmallow smoothie/shake.

Toasted marshmallows, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and vanilla hemp milk.

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It was wonderful.

P.S. This is currently the view when I step out my front door!!

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Coconut, Citrus, And Guava, Oh My

Did I mention last week that I need a vacation?  This week was worse.  Thankfully, starting tomorrow we are on vacation!!  Here are the highlights from the past five days that felt like they lasted for ten…

I kept my coffee combo the same, but did kick things up a notch one day with an Aussie iced coffee!

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Limoneira recently expanded their orchards to include blood oranges and Cara Cara oranges and they sent me a box of goodies to sample.

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The Cara Caras were good, and the blood oranges were the best I’ve ever had – juicy and sweet and just a bit tart.  They made a very good work snack (with roasted pecans and TJ’s butterscotch short breads).

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And were fantasmic mixed into coconut yogurt with Heritage Flakes.

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It was a week of exceptionally good yogurt bowls.  Plain Greek with TJ’s mixed nut butter, vanilla granola, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and shortbreads.

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Chicory + coffee yogurt with granola and nibs.

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Adam and I both were off on Wednesday and we went to Sunday in Brooklyn for brunch.  I had “The Elvis,” charred banana, housemade fluff, sunflower butter, and green apple, on whole-wheat bread.

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Plus pie and espresso at Blue Stove.  This guava chess was good but not great.

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Snacks of note included jelly beans on the first day of Spring.

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This lime fresco popcorn.

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And the epicness that is Trader Joe’s dried fruit selection.  Dried persimmon?!  The carabao mango is out of this world, it’s like candy.

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Three of five nights I ate a grilled cheese sandwich* while watching Bob’s Burgers** but twice I did manage to cook a legit dinner.  Like egg sandwich pitas.

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Scrambled eggs with smoked paprika, red bell pepper, and spring onion in a pita with mayo and sharp cheddar.

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Plus a cruciferous veggie mix sautéed with cashews and soy sauce.

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Green curry chicken and veggies.  The chicken strips were baked after marinating in a spicy Sriracha marinade, with yellow onion, green onion, green bell pepper, and roasted zucchini, in a green curry sauce.

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We kept the coconut theme going with our drink.

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*grilled cheese notes: this week they were on quinoa bread but rye or sourdough is best / sharp cheddar with pickle relish is my preferred combo / always cooked in butter.

**Bob’s Burgers is my new favorite cartoon series (other than Rick and Morty which is just one of the best tv shows of any genre), I like it even more than Futurama.  It’s the perfect balance of funny yet sweet.

See ya next week!

The End Of The First Month Of The New Year

I’m two weeks late and about a hundred pictures short, but here, finally, is a (bi)weekly wrap up for the end of January.  I blame a bout of the cold, a string of loser dinners, and a case of the mid-winter blues for my lack of timeliness and photo-taking-enthusiasm.

Gaps aside, here were some eats from the past two weeks…

{rated within their category; i.e. the yogurt bowl is an 8 out of 10 compared with other yogurt bowls not compared other dissimilar items}

Green monster from the cafeteria.  They sometimes set up a smoothie bar at the rotating station.  I chose spinach, strawberry, mango, and coconut water.  8.5/10

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Chocolate iced coffee.  8/10

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Work snack – an apple and coconut caramel bar.  The score here is for the Thai Coco coconut milk drink, which was creamy and sweet.  9.5/10

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Soursop yogurt with blueberries and vanilla granola.  8/10

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Turkey reuben-ish sandwich from the cafeteria.  Sliced turkey, swiss cheese, pickles, spinach, and cole slaw on a whole-wheat wrap.  Plus french fries dipped in 1000 island.  6.5/10

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Cola kombucha.  6.5/10

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This Milka Oreo candy bar didn’t have as much cookie in it as I wanted.  6/10

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But these TJ’s sour gummies are the best gummy candies Adam or I have ever tasted.  10/10

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Biscuit breakfast sandwiches for dinner.  Buttermilk biscuits (<– I don’t recommend this recipe, the biscuits had no flake) / maple Sriracha mayo / smoked gouda / fried egg.  6/10

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Pumpkin soup.  Roux, canned pumpkin, and chicken stock with sautéed onions, carrot, and maple chicken breakfast sausage on the bottom.  This didn’t turn out as well as I was expecting it to, the salt and pepper pumpkin seed brittle I sprinkled on top was by far the best component.  5/10

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Escarole and white bean skillet with (turkey) bacon and artichoke.  7/10

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Creamy turkey pasta.  Ground turkey sautéed with garlic, browned mushrooms, and oven-roasted tomatoes, tossed with sour cream, and whole-wheat pasta.  7.5/10

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I’ve got some yummy things planned for this weekend so hopefully the next post will be slightly less lame!

 

Queens International

NYC readers – did you march/attend Pride Parade yesterday??  It was my weekend to cover work but I did manage to snag some on-theme treats (x2).  And we didn’t have the energy to do much dinner cooking but we did have amazing Asian food in Queens (x2!).

Thursday through Sunday I worked every day but one so I’ve been drinking all of the coffee.  Thanks to caffeine, this post is mostly a complete recap, I think I’m only missing one meal from each category.  Here’s what I’ve got…

Seriously, all of the coffee.  Always in the morning and a few times as an afternoon snack as well.  Highlights include a latte from Hungry Ghost and a cold brew from Starbucks that I ordered full-strength (usually they add water).

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With yummy bars.  Coconut Chocolate Chip.

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Caramel Almond.

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A creamy tropical smoothie.  Frozen mango, guava paste, avocado, and vanilla almond milk.  I used a whole avocado (split into two servings) and I think next time I’d only use half, the creaminess was great but the flavor was a bit much for me.

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Doughnut Plant‘s Pride doughnut = yeast with raspberry glaze.

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Yogurt bowl.  Strawberry lingonberry with real berries and Heritage Flakes.

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Trail mix bags.  The standout ingredient was cinnamon roasted chickpeas.

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Mini peanut butter cups (x ten thousand) make the afternoons seem less lengthy.

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Sandwich and fries on a busy day.  I was worried about mealy tomatoes when I bought this but they ended up being roasted and the chew and smokiness totally made the sandwich.  There was a nice layer of spinach on there too, it was actually a pretty sandwich.

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Salad / mac and cheese / hardboiled eggs.

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Another Pride treat, from Ample Hills.  In a cone with oatmeal lace.

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The Queens International Night Market was fun, like a smaller, more focused Smorgasburg.

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We split a taro shaved ice with mango, scm, boba, and mochi.

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I had a very disappointing duck bao.

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And Filipino tacos that were absolutely one of the best dishes we’ve ever tasted.  Chicken sigsig, crispy shells, and lemon mayo.  They were such a pleasing mix of textures and flavors!

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The Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens is basically just the storefront version of the market.  I want to try something in practically ever window we walked by!  I loved what I had too.  Bahn Mi at JoJu.

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My “Hot Chicken” had grilled lemongrass chicken with spicy mayo and kimchi, plus pickled vegetables, and a soft cooked egg.  And for $5.99 it was giant, that picture only shows one half!

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And afterwards we walked to Red Ribbon Bakeshop.  The Ube Overload cake was gorgeous but bland and the Halo Halo was fantasmic.  Shaved ice with various sweetened beans and fruits, milk , leche flan, and whipped mango topping.

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My only “homecooked” meal was basically an assembly of parts but I ate chips and dips and three day old roasted broccoli for dinner while I wrote this post so I’ll pat myself on the back for it.  Plus it was delicious.

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Potato and onion pierogis with tons of roasted zucchini, tossed in a sauce made of cream cheese and chicken stock, topped with hot smoked salmon.

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I only work four days this week thanks to the weekend shift, woo-hoo!

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