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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Similar To Cake By The Ocean

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I’m mashing last weekend’s post into this week’s – and we’ve done a lot of good eating! – so I had to filter down to only the most delicious things.  Here are the best bites from the top five categories…

{1} all the coffee!

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We ordered The Unicorn at Box Kite, obviously.

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We went to Birch Coffee and loved it so much that we went back at the end of the day to buy a bag of beans.

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Then went back again a few days later for another latte!

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Locally roasted coffee that comes in cups with trees on them is just too exciting.  And there were birch trees etched into the sidewalk out front!

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{2} protein-packed salads

Beans, eggs, and lots of fish.  At Whole Foods – spring mix with tangerine vinaigrette / salmon / two kinds of bean salads / parmesan / and a hard-boiled egg.

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At the cafeteria – romaine with blue cheese / veggies / corn / kidney beans / cheddar / egg.  Plus my coworker brought me a giant piece of baked salmon and I tossed that on top too.

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At the cafeteria when I worked last Sunday and pickings were getting slim – I did the best I could with fried fish and a steamed vegetable mix.

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It wasn’t bad, but I did buy a train snack that night.

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{3} killer sandwiches

Breakfast: egg and cheese on a croissant with turkey bacon.

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Lunch: do taquitos count as sandwiches?  I’m including them either way, because this lunch was too good not to share.  Tortaria knocked our socks off.  Adam and I split a platter with mahi and cauliflower (and pork for him).  Plus spicy fries and tons of guacamole.  And a tamarind agua fresca.

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The sauces sitting on the tables – green salsa, blended salsa, and something creamy and smoky – were astonishingly good.  And that ridiculous quantity of food (why include chips and fries in the same deal?!) cost less than twenty dollars.

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Dinner: cod bahn mi at a new Vietnamese/taco spot in Park Slope.

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Don’t question it, the combo worked, I went with a girlfriend who got tacos and we were both very pleased.

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{4} sweet stuff

Cake by the ocean.  Cookies by the Hudson.  We got giant chocolate chip walnut cookies from Levain and enjoyed them in Riverside Park.

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Tropical smoothie at home.  Frozen mango and soursop with guava paste and vanilla almond milk.

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Ben & Jerry’s Empower-Mint flavor is yummy and it supports an important cause.

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Siggi’s yogurt with berries and shredded halvah.

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Birthday cake croissant from Union Fare.  It’s topped with ground sprinkle dust and filled with sprinkle-studded pastry cream!

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It was also just one of the best croissant we’ve ever tasted.

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{5} hearty homemade dinners

Spanish flavors reigned supreme on the home front this week.  Tomato garlic crock pot chicken served with brown rice tossed with garlic, tomato paste, raisins, and chopped olives.  Plus roasted broccoli.

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I also made fantastic enchiladas.

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Whole Foods’ roasted garlic green chile enchilada sauce costs a ridiculous $4+ per can and it is soooo good.  Our filling was ground turkey breast cooked with TJ’s vegan chorizo and tons of roasted yellow squash and zucchini.  Plus cheese galore.

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Dinner Bowl

Do you have a preference for tableware and/or flatware?  Whenever possible, I eat out of a bowl, preferably with chopsticks.  Probably because it’s easier to chase every last bite when the food can’t roll off of the plate!  All of my dinners this week were delicious and I think it’s not a coincidence that they were all served in bowls.

breakfast

This was a weird week for me, I ate breakfast – as in chewable breakfast, not just tons of milk in my coffee – almost every day.

Sonja apple.

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String cheese and my last mango coconut almond thin.  {p.s. Kate won the giveaway!}

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String cheese and a KIND Salted Caramel Popped Bar.  <– very tasty and packs 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein for 140 calories thanks to the blend of whole grains.

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Don’t get me wrong, there was coffee too!  This one was TJ’s cold-brew with skim milk and toasted marshmallow syrup.

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And this monster was a Starbucks reward freebie that I took full advantage of – venti skim iced latte with extra espresso.

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lunch

Yogurt bowls for the win.  Adam and I are both head over heels for the KIND granola.

Local vanilla bean Greek yogurt with KIND maple, chia, quinoa granola and yellow nectarine, black plum, and blueberries.

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Plain Fage Greek yogurt with KIND granola and red plum and yellow nectarine.  Plus a serving of Lindt Pink Explosion on the side.

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Honey Fage with blueberries and TJ’s bran flakes.

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And Tuesday I had catered lunch thanks to a malnutrition policy education that I attended.  Dessert was chocolate-covered marzipan that a sweet coworker snuck to me.

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snack

A picture’s worth a thousand words.  Apparently I was all about the freeze-dried produce.

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dinner

Another reason we both like bowl-style meals is that it’s nice to have our grain/protein/veggie components layered together rather than served in separate piles on a plate.  I like to get a little bit of each flavor in every bite.

Honey-chipotle chicken Chipotle style bowls.

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This week’s dinners had a lot of components so I’m going to break them down bullet-point-style.

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  • sautéed local Satur Farms energy greens – aka a kale, spinach, etc mix
  • sautéed onions and green peppers with cilantro and lime
  • TJ’s Cuban-style black beans
  • pan-fried chicken breasts that were marinated overnight in chipotles in adobo, honey, evoo, lime juice, sherry, minced garlic, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper
  • avocado
  • shredded cheese / low-fat sour cream / cilantro

We were out of the onion and pepper mix for day 2’s leftovers so instead I served all of the other components on top of big bowls of kale and broccoli sautéed with garlic and lime.  Still good!  We decided that my version was almost as good as Chipotle.

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Our rice bowls were a more Asian-inspired.  They would have been better with a runny egg on top but I was pleased with how incredibly juicy the chicken came out.

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  • brown jasmine rice
  • browned mushrooms
  • roasted broccoli
  • baked chicken that was marinated overnight in soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, Sriracha, canola oil, lime juice, sugar, and minced ginger
  • bok choy, celery, green onion, and cilantro sautéed with a bit of the sauce from the chicken

Even on my night out I ate dinner in a bowl.  I met friends at Hanoi and ordered the Veggie Spring Roll Bun – room temperature vermicelli, lettuce, cucumber, scallion oil, shallot, peanut, fresh herb, and nuoc cham sauce.

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Would you have guessed that there would literally be a chopped up spring roll on top of the dish?  We were surprised, but agreed that it was darn tasty.  The best part of the meal was dessert though.  Maple soft-serve from Corner of Vermont.

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We ate our ice cream on a leisurely walk down 5th ave in Park Slope and the whole thing felt wonderfully summery!

Season’s Eatings; Christmas Wrap-Up

Merriment and good cheer all around!  I hope my readers who celebrate had a merry Christmas.  Adam, Webster, and I cuddled around the fireplace (Netflix had a fireplace video complete with crackles!) and had a grand time.

It’s been a busy week of eating, so instead of the typical wrap-up I’m just going to share some of the amazing seasonal goodies I enjoyed…

Lump of Coal dark holiday stout.  So good, we were impressed.

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Yes, you see crackers in the background.  We made a cheese plate for Christmas dinner and it was just wonderful.

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Stumptown Winter Cheer Cold Brew split with the husband on Christmas morning.  Also so good, festive but not too spicy.

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A big batch of cold brew which I mixed with low-fat eggnog for ahh-mazing breakfast coffees all week.

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Paired with holiday bars.

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Mint sparkling water from Whole Foods that rocked my face off.  Not as good as the strawberry variety, but a close second, especially when paired with a candy cane that my coworker delivered.

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Gingerbread Greek yogurt for lunch.  I enjoyed this even more than I was expecting to because it was sooo thick.

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Awesome pasta.  Leftover snow-shape pasta tossed with turkey bacon, sautéed mushrooms, onion, and kale, and hunks of creamy blue cheese Cambozola.

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Egg ‘n’ Grog pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds.  Basically creamy, sweet rum in a gingersnap crust.  Heavenly.

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Growing up, for as long as I can remember, my family would open stockings and then eat scrambled eggs with red and green peppers before opening Christmas presents, so you know what we ate for brunch on Thursday.

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Bonus – two off-theme snacks that were too good not to share.  The juice bar at Whole Foods is great, unsurprisingly, but the make-your-own option was surprisingly cheap.  I recommend this combo.

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This Crispy, Crunchy, Mixed Fruit – coconut, pineapple, mango, and jackfruit – is fan-freaking-tastic!  I seriously could not stop eating it.  Crunch City.

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Does your family have a Christmas food tradition?

Weekend Wrap-Up; We Had Visitors

On the excitement front this weekend – Adam’s parents came to visit!  We are going to see all of my in-laws soon for Thanksgiving, but it was good to catch up with the parents now before the craziness of eleven of us under one roof.  We had them Friday night through Sunday afternoon and we got to show off LI.

lunches

Packed for Friday – an AriZona Oak Tea and 2% Fage with a big baggie of pomegranate arils and chopped fruit punch plucot.

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I also bought mac and cheese and some greens from the cafeteria.

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Heartbreakingly, I think this was my last yogurt bowl with plucots for this season, the produce sections have all seemed to have moved on.

We had so much fun last weekend that we did a repeat this Saturday and drove the husband’s parents up to…

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Montauk!

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We went to the beach, the lighthouse, and of course, Lunch.

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Adam and I shared a buttery hot lobster roll,

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and a bowl of lobster chowder.

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My favorite part is the whiffs of sherry.

And that’s not a foamy beer head,

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we drank a chocolate egg cream for dessert.

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You could tell that it was made with Hershey’s (a true EC has U-Bet), but Adam was still a fan.

We kept things low-key before goodbyes on Sunday and hung out around the house.  Take-out from Luigi’s fit the bill.

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I had a side salad, a buffalo chicken slice, and a Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream that I split with my m-i-l.

snacks

Breakfast at my desk on Friday.  An iced Americano (with skim milk and cream) with a sticky-sweet Dark Chocolate Peanut Larabar.  –Ummm, and I just noticed on the site that Lara has new Pumpkin Pie and Gingerbread flavors!!  How do I find those immediately?–

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Sweet = Haribo Licorice Wheels plus some of the Mini Gold Bears that my s-i-l sweetly sent us.

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Salty = TJ’s pea crisps.

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Coffee from 7-11 is kind of amazing.

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Adam and I are embarrassingly into the Almond Joy Creamer they have there.  And our location has pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pie creamer, and (free!) pumpkin spice syrup.  What, what?!

dinners

Dinners were the least exciting meals of the weekend.  Friday night we kept thing simple while we finished our last-minute cleaning.

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A toasted sandwich of caramel apple swirl bread, herbed sliced turkey, light Havarti, and TJ’s sweet and spicy jalopeño jelly.

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With baby carrots on the side.

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Simple but good.

Saturday we went out to Tavern 18.

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I had a beer that was pretty good.

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And a Thai Noodle Salad that was pretty terrible.

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No veggies, no flavor, and I keep forgetting that I kind of hate Soba noodles.  I’m into pasta that is chewy, while Soba tends to fall apart in your mouth.

No complaints about dessert though!  The best thing about Tavern 18 is that it is spitting distance from Ralph’s Ices.

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Dulce de leche and pumpkin pie for me.  I practically licked the cup clean.

I didn’t want my awful leftovers to go to waste, so I gussied them up into something moderately edible for dinner last night.

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+ roasted broccoli and cauliflower and loads of creamy Sriracha sauce (tons of Sriracha whisked together with smoked brown sugar, mayo, and a little canola oil).

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Hot sauce can hide a multitude of sins.

P.S. It is October first on Wednesday!  <– in other words, it is three days until I drink pumpkin beers and pumpkin spice lattes like crazy