5 + 5

Five random life updates –

{1} We took some stuff to Goodwill last weekend and now we are living in an empty apartment (minus a blow-up bed and all of my clothing).  Literally the only things in our living room are boxes of seltzer!

{2} Last weekend was the first time in 5 weeks that Adam and I were both home and not traveling.  Phew!

{3} This weekend we’re on the move again – we are heading to Solomon Island Maryland to spend some time with my family, including my youngest cousin who I haven’t seen since Thanksgiving!

{4} We finally saw “Late Night” and loved it.  If it’s still in theaters in your area I recommend going if you haven’t already.

{5} Then we watched “Always Be My Maybe” on Netflix and loooooooved it!  It’s officially our new favorite movie.  Super funny and touching.  Ali Wong is one my favorite comedians and she was fantastic as a leading lady.

Five things I ate and loved the last week – 

{1} Yogurt bowl.  Wegman’s chocolate Greek yogurt with pluots and Nature’s Path coconut chia granola.

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{2} Dehydrated rainbow carrot snacks from Trader Joe’s.

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{3} Cheese tea (aka bubble tea that you sip through foamy layer of milk and cream cheese sprinkled with salt) with strawberry heart jelly.

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{4} Marshmallow!  We shared a cup of carnival cake and marshmallow at Kirt’s Ice Cream.  And I was living my best life with this snack combo – Kilwin’s caramel chocolate marshmallow with iced coffee.

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{5} BBQ.  No Limits Smokehouse is a new-ish spot in Belmont and it’s wonderful.  I had a fried chicken sandwich (<– super juicy!) and collard greens, plus we got smoked mushrooms that were my new favorite savory thing I’ve ever eaten!

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Berries In My Sandwich And My Beer

Five fun things from this week…

{1} Blanchard’s holiday blend coffee with sweetened condensed milk.  And the next day I made a shakerato!

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{2} A duo of fruity ales.  I did not care for the tea taste of the Suncrush but the Troegs bosenberry tart ale was super interesting and packed with flavor.

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{3} A toasted pb&j with this winning combo.  FYI: toasting your peanut butter sandwiches is the way to go.

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Served with the classic pb&j sides – baby carrots and apple slices.

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Plus a new favorite – chicken and waffle chicken chips.

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{4} Dinner from Got Dumplings.  Tofu dumplings, kimchi, and peanut noodles.  Plus guava and mango tea with boba and lyche jelly.

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{5} I made tom kha gai.  And it was good!

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Let Them Eat Cake

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

Here were five great highlights…

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

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye, 2018

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

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

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

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Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

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

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

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Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

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

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

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

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

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Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

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

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

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

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Hi, 2019!

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My Kingdom For A Coffee

Random things from the weekend…

We tried what felt like a million different coffees.  I have yet to find a local ready-made option that can keep up with Grady’s.  Iced Vietnamese latte from Cville Coffee.

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Iced latte from Grit.

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Ice latte from Feast.

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Muddy Waters was meh.

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But much improved with a large scoop of violet marshmallow ice cream!

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We had really good bagels at Bodo’s.  Everything with olive cream cheese.  They are made fresh all day long and the texture is perfection.

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And only ok doughnuts from Duck.  Strawberry glazed with rainbow sprinkles and marshmallow drizzle.  I did not like that they were served fresh – aka hot – because it ruined the frosting.

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I made a delicious vegetarian dinner.  Cauliflower rice roasted in the oven / baked extra-firm sprouted tofu / scallion peanut salsa loosely based on this recipe.

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I am incapable of having peanuts in the house and not eating five plus handfuls per day.

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We went back to Maya and loved it a 2nd time!  We had two fantastic appetizers: a local mushroom plate with Sharondale Farm mushrooms, pork belly (for Adam!) spring onion grit cake, buttermilk curd, sunflower seed and sundried tomato pesto, and lemon parsley aioli // pimento cheese fritters(!!!) with hot pepper jelly and chive sour cream.

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I had the crab cakes for dinner, with sweet corn and green tomato chow-chow, smoked onion aioli, and mache.  Plus sauteed broccoli and leafy greens.

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And we somehow also ate peanut butter fluff pie for dessert.

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How is it possibly already August this week??!

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Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great weekend!

Coffee, Fried Chicken, And Ice Cream

So many things have been happening since I last posted, which is funny because life is going to be a a billion times busier the next few weeks.

My last day of work was wonderful.  I did end up doing patient care up to the very end – updating some enteral feeds for fluid restrictions, completing a palliative consult, troubleshooting a feeding tube that kept clogging.  My coworkers continued to be the sweetest and one of my friends even walked me to the door at the end of the day!  Then I met up with a friend from Buffalo for a final round of after-work drinks at Grand Army, which was perfect.

My parents were in town for the weekend and we had a great time doing fun city things with them. Plus we took a friend on a final foodie tour of the Lower East Side.

Adam “graduated” from residency and our families spent an afternoon celebrating what a smart, motivated, bad ass he is.

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And today I am on my way home to St. Thomas for a short vacation before the move.  Related update – we planned things out in a sort of ridiculous way and the moving process is going to be completely insane.  This will be the last time you’ll hear from me for a week or two because I’m not even going to attempt blogging while we try to get everything else done.

Before “good bye, for now,” the weekend eats highlights! Flavor themes were coffee, fried chicken, and ice cream…

Iced latte from Black Brick.

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Iced latte from Brooklyn Roasting Co.

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Rose milk tea with *baby boba* from Pa Tea.

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Scoops from Ice & Vice. Soursop pina colada and lemon poppyseed.

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Sprinkles and strawberry jam ice creams from Odd Fellows.

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I made tres leches cake for the party.

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A final round of spiceland bao (and fried fish!) from Baohaus.

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Dinner at Sundays in Brooklyn. I had a spicy grapefruit cocktail.

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And spicy togarashi fried chicken.

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Plus we shared a ton of delicious appetizers. Freshmade sourdough bread and beer butter plus Alpine cheese with kumquat jam. Black lentil dip with edible flowers and cultured buttermilk and flatbread. Crispy maitake mushrooms.

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See you soon!

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