Claro, Cake, Carrots

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday (and I keep working Monday, Tuesday!) but I ate enough sugar the last three days to keep me Energizer Bunny-ing through.

Highlights from a tasty weekend…

Birthday cake iced latte from Milk Bar.

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Trader Joe’s cold brew bottles are the 3rd best packaged cold coffees, beat only by Chameleon and Grady’s.

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Fresh alphonso mango.  In strawberry lingonberry yogurt with bran flakes cereal.

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Desserts from House of Inasal.  Halo halo with the best leche flan of my life.

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And ube tres leches!

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Ice cream from Van Leeuwen.  A vegan flavor that was terrible and a s’mores flavor that was my new favorite.

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Dinner at Sauvage // French food.

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Lemony marinated olives.

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Charred heirloom carrots with labne, pistachio, vadouvan, and pistou.

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We shared all the entrees with mushrooms.  Salmon with sorrel, shiitake mushrooms, lentils, and buttermilk sauce.

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Poulet au Vin Jaune with morels and fava beans.  I don’t eat chicken skin that often but it was by far the best component of this particular dinner!

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Dinner at Claro // Oaxacan food.  I had the housemade tepache (a fermented, sweetened pineapple beverage) with a shot of mezcal – they separated my cocktail for me so I could taste the tepache on its own.

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The menu was meant to be enjoyed family style so we ordered all of the things.  Too many things in fact, I wish they had stopped us one or two dishes earlier.  Asparagus and avocado tostado with queso freso, radish, and spring onion.

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Tacos with chipotle shrimp and quesillo cheese.

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Garnachas (like an open quesadilla) with rabbit and duck confit, pate, fermented vegetables, and cojita cheese.

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Memela (masa cakes) with wild mushrooms, espazote, goat cheese crema, and pasilla.

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Goat’s milk chocolate ice cream with goats milk caramel, peanuts, and toasted marshmallows.

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Happy Monday!

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Three Things

Three things I liked this week:

{1}  Mint iced coffee!  Irving Farms espresso roast / half and half / homemade vanilla mint simple syrup.

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{2}  Kefir and apple work snacks.

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{3}  Starbucks’ prepared sandwiches that I’m weirdly obsessed with.  Chicken and artichoke flatbread with provolone and sun-dried tomato pesto.

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Three things I loved this week:

{1}  Homemade turkey cheeseburger fried rice.

Leftover brown rice stir-fried with soy sauce and liquid smoke / sauteed onions / roasted cherry tomatoes / ground turkey sauteed with fish sauce, ketchup, and mayo / eggs / cheddar cheese.

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{2}  Dinner at Pig and Khao.  I went with a girlfriend for her first visit and she loved it!

I ordered not one, but two, new to me dishes that were amazing.  Mushroom salad with shrimp and fried garlic and green papaya salad with chicken and crispy taro.

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{3}  Dinner at Freeks Mill that knocked our socks off.

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We started with roasted baby carrots with marcona almonds and herbed goat cheese.

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And we ordered all the poultry on the menu for dinner.  Chicken for Adam, smoked Poulet Rouge with wild mushrooms and spinach.

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Duck for me, dry aged duck with fried cranberry beans, fennel, and rosemary honey.  <– this was the singe best thing I've ever eaten!

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Three things I’m obsessing about that you don’t know about yet:

{1}  Nonfat quad iced lattes from Hungry Ghost.  There are three HGs on my walk to work and it is becoming a problem.

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{2}  Stolen Dance by Milky Chance.  This song is basically magic – I listened to it on a run and I swear my legs moved 50% more quickly than usual.

{3}  Moving??!  I’m not sure how I haven’t blogged about this yet, but yes, we’re moving!  Adam is doing his Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at UVA next year.  So we’re moving to Charlottesville.  In 50 days.  !!!

Three Day Weekend

My three day weekend is actually a ten day weekend!  I took a week+ off from work because I am going home for Carnival.  By the time you read this post I will (hopefully!) be on a plane to St. Thomas.

Here were the top three from the past three days…

{1}  Coffee (coffee, coffee).

[a]  I am still loving Trader Joe’s shade grown espresso blend.

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[b]  I found my new spot for coffee and cookies – For Five Coffee.

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They served me an perfectly roasty and creamy quad iced latte.

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And they have crispy yet cakey cookies from Duchess Bakeshop, including unicorn cookies stuffed with cheesecake.

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{2}  Fun in packaged foods.

The chile rellano from Trader Joe’s is my all-time favorite frozen meal and the mojito kombucha was even better than expected.

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{3}  Our best meal of this year.

Glasserie in Greenpoint pretty much blew our minds.  Their deal is Middle Eastern flavors mixed with contemporary techniques in a stunningly gorgeous former glass factory.  We swooned over every bite!

Sour from Grimm.

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Griddle bread that was chewy and perfect and sort of reminded me of funnel cake.

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Roasted cauliflower with cured labneh and marjoram.

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An assortment of mushrooms with celeriac puree, hazelnuts, and a soft boiled egg.

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Chicken with roasted sunchokes, fried potato, and sesame.  I almost never order chicken in restaurants but this was one of the best proteins I’ve ever tasted.

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Rose milk custard with candied pistachios for dessert.  This was just a bit tangy and just a bit floral and totally delicious.

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10/10.

May The Schwartz Be With You

^^^ That’s a Spaceballs quote for my title because this post includes a lot of meatballs!

Best bites this week…

Coffee combo from heaven, Birch cold brew roast and chocolate milk.

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Even better, chocolate milk with a Grady’s cold brew.

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Yogurt bowl wins.  Chobani mango with blueberries and doughnut cereal.

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2% Greek with blueberries and a big scoop of MaraNatha caramel almond butter.

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Important note – this is my new all-time favorite nut butter.  If you eat it straight out of the jar (as I’ve been doing all week) it tastes like delicious frosting!

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Ball!  I made a batch of baked turkey meatballs with sage, lemon, and whole wheat panade.

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Served on lemon pepper broccoli rice / with gussied up tomato sauce – with tomato paste, shredded sweet onion, garlic, anchovy, and oregano.

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Plus we made toasted meatball subs!  With smoked gouda and Parmesan.

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And a side of roasted broccoli.

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I also did another round of hot dish.  This time an Asian take with shredded turkey, ginger, gojuchang, peas, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and sweet potato tots.

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And you can never go wrong with pizza.  What am I even going to do when I don’t live walking distance from buffalo chicken?!

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I work the next three days but I hope everyone else enjoys their weekend!

Hello, 2018!

On a personal level, 2018 is off to a great start.  Adam’s and my last week of 2017 staycation was deeply wonderful, so I’m starting the year in a damn good mood.

Though perhaps I’ll be less ecstatic today, by the time this post goes live I will already be outside attempting to dig my car out from the foot plus of snow dropped by the bomb cyclone.  I work this weekend so thankfully I was already off for the worst of it on Thursday.

Here were the best bites from the year so far…

This week’s coffee – Starbucks espresso roast.

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Plus on my snow day I sipped on a super fancy Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew with chocolate milk.  Total frothy, creamy, goodness.

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Yogurt bowl work lunches are off to a good start.  Coffee and Cream Chobani with maple almond butter granola and a Pacific Rose apple and MadeGood chocolate chip granola minis.

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Mint Chocolate Chunk Chobani with chocolate Cheerios and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  This new flavor was surprisingly delicious, just like mint chip ice cream.

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Smoked turkey and Swiss sandwich box from Starbucks.

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Popping champagne gummies for the new year.  I have loved all of the bears from Project Seven that I’ve tried so far.

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Yummy vanilla bean French pudding.

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Exciting limited edition seltzers tasting.  We didn’t like the cola as much as I had hoped – it was too weird to have the flavor without the sweetness – and the unicorn kisses wasn’t magical but was very tasty.

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I totally rocked it in the kitchen this week; three meals were 10/10.  Like good luck bowls to start the year – forbidden rice / collard greens – sauteed with garlic / hoppin’ john – a slightly bastardized version with orange bell pepper added in.

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Hot wing pasta with carrots and celery on the side.

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Whole wheat pasta shells / sauteed baby spinach and green onion with fish sauce / shredded chicken breast with cream cheese and hot sauce / sharp cheddar.

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Chick pot pie hot dish (loosely inspired by this recipe from Molly Yeh).

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Shredded chicken breast / tons of sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery, and peas / roux + caned low fat milk and chicken broth with sour cream, hot sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika / tater tots!

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Hope everyone’s 2018 is off to a good start!

Winter Weekend Wonderland

Three fun facts…

{1} NYC got its first snow this weekend.

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{2} Adam and I used the blustery weather as reason to spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum.  So much Van Gogh!

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{3} We also watched and loved the first season of Stan Against Evil.

{bonus fact} It’s Adam’s birthday today!  I was going to write a gooey, disgusting, you’re-my-everything post but our ten year anniversary is on December 28th so I’ll save up my feels.

Weekend eats highlights…

Eggnog ice cream spiked iced coffee.

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Jalapeño cheddar potato pierogis at Baba’s with caramelized onions and mushrooms.

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BBQ spread at Fletchers.  I had smoked chicken, cole slaw, pickles, and rivers of bbq sauce.

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Egg ‘n grog pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  It was a delicious, boozy custard.

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Edible brownie batter!  For 2, mix 1 Tbsp melted butter / 1 Tbsp granulated sugar / 2 Tbsp brown sugar / 1 Tbsp cocoa powder / 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour / 1.5 Tbsp milk of choice (I recommend eggnog).

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I made stroganoff-ish turkey bowls.  Ground meat sautéed with shallots, paprika, sour cream, and tons of fried mushrooms.

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With carrots and hummus for additional veggies.

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And Holiday Cheers Health-Ade Kombucha for fun.  <– I was expecting to hate the ginger but this ended up being my all-time favorite kombucha, it was all sweet and no spice

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Chicken tenders and slaw.

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Oven-fried chicken tenders (using a rough version of this method) coated in crushed Heritage Flakes and drizzled with homemade honey mustard.

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With homemade cole slaw on the side.  I adore slaw and this quick version was better than any I’ve had in a restaurant.  I didn’t make notes for a recipe but it’s sliced cabbage and golden raisins in a mix of mayo, sour cream, mustard, sugar, and rice vinegar.

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Fantastic cheese plates.  Fancy TJ’s crackers with white stilton with apricots, honey goat cheese, and raw milk cheddar.

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Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll Ale that tasted like a cookie.

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Plus carrots and orange bell pepper with hummus.

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And sugared nuts and dried figs.

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Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!