Soursop And Szechuan Peppers

Today is my 1st day back in at the hospital after a day off and a two-day stint of project days at home.  I had to recertify in ServSafe and I had a big task to work on (updating the Nutrition Department’s Clinical Practice Guidelines to be more current/evidence-based) so my boss let me work from home, which was lovely.   I got to leisurely brew Phin coffee and sip while I worked!  Plus I ate a million snacks.  <– Normally I sit in the ICUs and wear an N-95 for most of the day so I took full advantage of having a free face!

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Highlights included…

The company that makes the instant espresso we love for Dalgona coffees also makes a really good espresso roast.

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Plain Greek yogurt bowl with blackberries, peach, cashew butter, and a chopped up Bueno Bar.  <– I realize it is ridiculous to stir a candy bar into your lunch but this was breath-takingly good and I’m glad I did it!

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Vanilla skyr yogurt bowl with blackberries, black plum, cashew butter, coconut chips, and starry sprinkles.

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Adam and I had to go into Manhattan for a doctor’s appointment so we stopped by Bibble and Sip for a cream puff.  A cream puff topped with crème brûlée and filled with milk tea cream and boba!

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I snacked on nuts every day this week.  These sweet Thai chili almonds were a favorite.

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Still obsessed with Hal’s caffeinated cola seltzer.

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Adam and are both head over heels for these dinner mints.  We made it through 12 years of marriage before we realized we are both fans of these guys!

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This soursop ice cream was possibly the very best packaged ice cream I’ve ever tasted.

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I topped this cheese enchilada meal with more cheese, sour cream, and Crystal hot sauce and it was 10/10.  P.S. I highly recommend Amy’s frozen meal options, this one is good even if you aren’t over the top about it.

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There’s a newish poke place in our neighborhood that lets you add a thousand toppings.  This was white rice with crabcake, tofu, eel sauce, spicy mayo, cucumber, shiitakes, shredded carrot, string bean, green onion, tamago (shredded egg omelet), oshinko (pickled veggies), inari (tofu skin), garlic crisps, and lotus chips.

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Blistered green beans – sauteed with garlic, ginger, and chili oil – with Trader Joe’s mini chicken and cilantro wontons.

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Have a great – safe, distanced – weekend!

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Summer Fruits And Veggies

It was a very good week in fruits and vegetables here!  We went to Whole Foods on Saturday to stock up.  With our new, pandemic-induced, bimonthly grocery schedule our first week of dinners/snacks always feels a lot fresher than the second week.

Highlights include…

Could Perfect Bars be any more perfect?  They are the optimal balance of sweet and savory.  I loved this trail mix flavor.

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My parents sent us a box of tamarinds and I found these strawberry cherries at Whole Foods.

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I also snagged a bag of genips (<– Caribbean fruit that I grew up picking from a tree near my house but have had an impossible time finding in New York) on the street corner near my hospital!

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Watermelon-themed things since it’s almost July 4th.  The winner of the bunch was definitely the Hal’s Seltzer.

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This dinner was brought to you by the color orange!  Salmon/trout salad bagel melts / local heirloom tomatoes with a bit of salt and pepper / roasted gold zucchini.

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We have been loving this black-eyed pea salad combo for almost a decade.  This batch was actually made with fancy heirloom yellow eyed beans since BEP were sold out at the store.  Beans, green pepper, smoked almonds, sharp cheddar, and green Tabasco.  It is such a simple combination but super satisfying.

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Roasted green zucchini topped with Moroccan tofu cubes and a simple yogurt sauce (plain skyr, mayo, olive oil, sumac, paprika, salt, and a little water).

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Our best meal of the week was this trio – baked tofu (cooked with a mix of soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, Sriracha, and honey) / Chinese smashed cucumber salad / fancy mushroom medley sauteed with salt, pepper, and butter.

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Double Dry Hopped

Highlights from this week include…

Cafe Bustelo with chocolate milk, aka one of the best espresso-roast coffees with the best chocolate milk.

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Yogurt bowls!  Working from home means I can make a fresh yogurt bowl every day and I have been loving the crap out of having berries around.  Very excited that we are going to the store tomorrow and can restock.  Icelandic-style coffee yogurt with blueberries, blackberries, and coconut chips.

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Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, berries, honey maple granola, and TJ’s flax and chia seed peanut butter.

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Plan skyr yogurt with cinnamon, maple syrup, berries, and almonds and candied walnuts.

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Korean snacks from this month’s Snack Crate.

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Vanilla pineapple IPA brewed with lactose.  I’m pretty sure I want every single beer that Collective Arts sells.

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Other Half Double Dry Hopped Broccoli.  This was insanely drinkable and mellow.

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Buffalo chicken pizza.

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Ground turkey with shiitake mushrooms, onion, tomato paste, and sour cream on a bed of roasted cabbage.  This dish had so much umami!

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The best dish of the week = roasted cabbage // topped with seasoned baked tofu // and esquites.

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See Food Diet

Two key housekeeping things –

1) I recently kind of randomly started eating sashimi and burgers and I am now obsessed with both.  Also, apparently I’m into cake at the moment.

2) I had an absolutely fantastic time in St. Thomas!  I spent two weeks hanging out with my grandma and swimming in the ocean!

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Thankfully the weather in NYC has been nice enough for us to do a ton of walking (and a ton of cake, coffee, and fancy cocktail consuming!) so the transition has been pretty easy.

Recent highlights include…

Rum raisin iced latte at the Ace Hotel.  Related – I had a rose cold brew at Brooklyn Roasting Co that was mindblowing.

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I am definitely a fan of these new KIND nut butter bars whose product info is weirdly not on their website.

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Brunch at the Fulton in the Seaport District.  I had a smoked bloody mary margarita!

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We shared sashimi with spicy white ponzu.

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And brussel sprouts with mint and pecorino cheese.

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And I had the gruyere cheeseburger with au jus.

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Now that I’m into sushi, a girlfriend suggested we get lunch at Sugarfish.  I got the “Trust Me Lite” which included edamame and tuna sashimi.

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Albacore, salmon, and shrimp sushi.

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And a toro hand roll.

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Adam and I had a giant, epic lunch at Fan Fried Rice Bar in Bed Stuy.  Golden kimchi / cucumber salad / mush-mame fried rice with shiitake mushrooms, edamame, mixed vegetables, and fried shallots.

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Big Gay Ice Cream is my current favorite.  This was yellow cake soft-serve with dulce de leche and rainbow sprinkles in a biscoff lined cone.

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Dreamy cake slices – strawberry Good Humor bar and Oreo – at Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

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Brigadero cake and a cappuccino at Padoca Bakery.

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Leyenda‘s Candy Striper is a frozen blend of Leblon cachaça, coconut, vanilla, maple, lime, peppermint, and cardamom and it is the single best beverage I have ever put in my mouth.  Every sip was so interesting!

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Dinner at the Hi Hi Room.  We started with smashed potatoes with an herb aioli.

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Other Half Cream Get the Honey IPA.  <– IPAs brewed with lactose are my favorite

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Our reason for being there = hand-cut spaghetti with duck chili, cheddar, and white onion.  I couldn’t get a good photo but it was truly fantastic.

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Our apartment complex lost power for several hours on Friday night and we were forced to go out to a super fun dinner on the Upper East Side.  A friend sent me a list of “the best cocktail spots in NYC” and NR definitely earned its spot!

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Our favorites were the Japanese whiskey sour (above) with brown sugar, yuzu, and egg white and the Pistachio – dry gin, house-made pistachio cream, campari, and clementine!

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We also shared a truffle oil egg salad sandwich.

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And I had the hokkaido ramen with chicken, corn, butter, bean sprouts, and extra seaweed.

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A home-cooked meal!  Trader Joe’s frozen mahi mahi burgers, steak fries, and roasted baby cauliflower with sumac and smoked paprika.  All dipped in a sauce of honey habanero hot sauce, honey, and mayo.

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LES = Let’s Eat Snacks

Adam and I spent both Saturday and Sunday walking around the Lower East Side eating all the things, admiring street art, and just generally having a fabulous time.  Plus we walked back and forth across the Williamsburg Bridge which is one of our favorite activities.

Weekend highlights include…

Smoothie time.  Beary flavored!  Banana, blueberry, blackberry, almond milk, and brown sugar.

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Brunch at Sonnyboy.  Bloody Mary.

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I got the harissa folded eggs with brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and basil.  I traded my avocado for a slice of Adam’s halloumi.

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Malaysian eats at Kopitam.  Bandung – condensed milk and rose syrup.

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Nasi Lemak – coconut rice, fried anchovies, cucumber, peanuts, and hard-boiled egg.

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Criss Cross ‘Shrooms – red chilies, wood ear mushrooms, and lotus.  These were actually a bit too spicy even for me, but I loved the fried basil.

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How exciting is this caffeinated cola flavored seltzer??!  It was basically diet Crystal Pepsi!

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Cookies at the newish Red Gate Bakery.  A caramel brownie and a housemade oreo.

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Ice & Vice always knocks it out of the park and their latest special is my new favorite thing – cream cheese soft-serve with guava white chocolate drizzle!

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A veggie-packed riff on my buffalo chicken baked pasta.  Spinach, riced cauliflower, whole-wheat pasta, ground chicken, cream cheese, honey habanero hot sauce, cheddar, and blue cheese.

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Have a great week!

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Souvenir Tastes

Highlights from this week include…

We were missing vacation and immediately ate all of our Hawaiian goodies.

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Taro macadamia shortbread / passion fruit gummies / li hing gummy pineapples.

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Also Hawaiian-inspired goodies, dried baby pineapple and tropical punch kombucha.

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We went to brunch at Comfortland and loved it x10,000.  The space was super cute and I wanted everything on the menu!

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We had a doughnut milk latte!  Plus a nutella creme brulee doughnut.  And a giant bbq fried chicken biscuit that I got too excited to photograph.

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Dinners were awesome thanks to some great H-Mart finds – jumbo puff tofu and Korean rice cakes.

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Stir-fry with tofu, baby bok choy, mushroom, green onion, and cherry tomato.  Sauce = soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, sugar.

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Stir-fry with chicken, egg, rice cake, cabbage, and onion.  Sauce = gojuchang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, lime, canola oil, brown sugar.

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Oahu Part III, Fun Places We Ate

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We were blown away by how good everything we ate on this trip was!  Hawaiian chefs are absolutely killing it.  The next time we go back to Hawaii I would strongly consider returning to Oahu just to revisit some of these spots!

I really tried to limit my picture taking and this post will be a million pages long if I list out every single thing we ate so this will just be the highlights of the highlights…

** Kona Coffee Purveyors.

Nitro Kona coffee with a black sesame kougan amann (not shown).  Affogato.

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** Leonard’s Bakery.

This malasada (Portuguese doughnut) stuffed with guava cream was my favorite bite of the entire trip.

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** Matsumoto Shave Ice.

This was my favorite shave ice of the trip; the flavors were spot on and the ice cream was wonderfully chewy and a great foil to the ice.  Guava, passion fruit, and strawberry on top of vanilla ice cream and topped with condensed milk.

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** O’Kims.

Dumplings stuffed with king oyster mushroom, button ear wood, yellow squash, zucchini, and truffle paste, topped shoyu jelly and pickled dikon.

 

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Korean fried chicken with gochujang, housemade gnocchi, brussel sprouts, purple rice, and kimchi.

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** The Pig and the Lady.

Midday Run – mezcal, passion fruit, vanilla, habanero, and lemon (not shown).  Le Swoon – Kohana rum agricole, Okinawan sweet potato, pandan, coconut milk, cinnamon, lime, and aphrodite bitters.

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Chocolate banana tart with Valrhona dark chocolate cremeux, chocolate cookie crust, fresh banana and banana marmalade, toasted hazelnuts, and tamarind caramel.

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** Piggy Smalls.

This was hands down our best meal of the trip!  We ordered all the things.  Brussel sprouts with makrut lime, peanut, fried shallots, cabbage slaw, and pickled red onions.

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Stir-fried ramen noodles with aged garlic shoyu, Chinese chives, pickled fresno chile, and shrimp.

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Lychee infused milk cake with blueberry compote, lychee chantilly cream, and lemon citrus streusel.

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Hanoi egg coffee, Kona dark roast poured on whipped egg yolk and vanilla bean.

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** The Surfing Pig.

Best cocktails of the trip.  I drank way too much prior to our 10 hour red-eye flight.  The bartender was crazy talented and also maybe my new favorite person – she hugged us on our way out.  Smoked rosemary mezcal margarita.  I also had a spicy paloma with mezcal (not shown).

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** Waiola Shave Ice.

Guava and passion fruit with vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and housemade mochi.

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A New York Weekend

I spent a long weekend visiting my boys in New York and had the best time ever!  I walked a ton, caught up with friends, ate all the things, slept with Webster pressed up against my ribs, and got to hold my husband’s hand while we talked about his new gig – perfect!

Highlights included…

A 7 mile walk down through Chelsea and across the bridge into Williamsburg.

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Iced lattes!  Terremoto and Cafe Leon Dore.

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Danish chocolate cinnamon swirl at Ole and Steen.

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Brunch with a former coworker at Penelope.  I love taking people there because they are always blown away by how cute it is.  And my croissant sandwich with scrambled eggs, cheddar, and pesto was delicious.

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Lunch at the new Xi’an Town.  Cold fried hand ripped noodles with veggies plus cucumber salad.

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Dinner with friends at Gertie.  I had the blue plate special – rotisserie chicken, local green beans, and schmaltzy fried potatoes.

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A half pound pink velvet cookie stuffed with cream cheese frosting from City Cakes.

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The best thing we ate all weekend = ice cream from Spoons.  Vanilla soft serve blended with sprinkles and Fruity Pebbles and topped with torched marshmallow!

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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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