Gingerbread Galore

So many holiday flavors consumed this weekend!  <– Squee!  It was just kind of a great weekend in general – we had no major to-dos looming and the weather was fantastic.  We got to go to brunch with my cousin and her boyfriend and on a long walk with the dog.  Next weekend brings out of town plans so it was really nice to keep things low-key.

Highlights…

Forager’s coconut cream cashew milk cold brew.  It was yummy but way too filling to consume all at once.

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Starbucks’ Juniper iced latte – I recommend getting double the espresso and half of the syrup so it’s not too pine-y [holiday flavor #1].

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Plain Greek yogurt with maple, almond butter granola, and the last of the cranberry sauce.

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Brunch at Renewal was delicious, we will definitely be back.  I had a gin fizz with egg white and cream.

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Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic fondue and sherry gastrique / field greens side salad with grapefruit vinaigrette / fries with pimento cheese and aioli.

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Sugar cookie frozen yogurt and eggnog gelato [holiday flavors #2 and 3}.

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King of Pop’s gingerbread was the best popsicle I’ve ever eaten, it was like a cookie dunked in milk [holiday flavor #4].  Enjoyed at Hardywood where I also had a Christmas Morning – gingerbread stout with Black Hand Coffee [holiday flavor #5].

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This Sweethaus gingerbread cupcake with meringue frosting was the best baked good we’ve ever eaten, hands down [also holiday flavor #6!].

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Trader Joe’s cauliflower latkes for the first night of Hannukah [holiday flavor #7] with a chicken thigh take on this Mississippi Roast recipe.

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Leftovers Love

Highlights from this week were foods that were made of and/or inspired by Thanksgiving leftovers!  Potato, turkey, and cranberries abound!

Related – my department gave me candy for working the holiday which is kind of the sweetest.

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Caramel Chobani with almond butter granola and cranberry sauce.

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Smoked turkey salad sandwiches with roasted green beans.  Chopped smoked turkey, smoked paprika, cream cheese, mayo, and celery.  On a bun with cranberry sauce.

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Poutine!  Waffle fries, smoked turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and cheese curds.

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Cauliflower gratin / turkey breakfast sausage and gravy / topped with a fried egg and chili oil.

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Flavors Of Fall

Next week is the start of Pumpkin Month!!  But first, here’s a collection of “fall flavored” things –

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The maple Mars bar was a disappointment.  (Mom, sorry, it came as part of a Snack Crate, I cannot get you one).

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But the pecan pie granola was a delight, especially paired with a Trader Joe’s caramel apple Greek yogurt!

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More apple goodness, this Rave variety was crispy and sweet.

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And in other packaged goods new, I obsessively searched for this Oreo coffee creamer for the past 2 months before I finally got my hands on it.  <– worth it

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Pimento cheese and crackers at Grit.

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I put leftover bbq chicken on a yummy salad.  With butter lettuce, honey mustard dressing, cashews, and cucumber.

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This frozen meal from Trader Joe’s remains the best chile relleno of my life.

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My in-laws were in town a few days this week and we had a great time seeing them.  Including a trip to Asian buffet.  I had really tasty seaweed salad and the best egg tart I’ve ever eaten.  Here were my fist and last plates (with several in between!).

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Well There Goes Your Social Life

Another New York snowstorm?!  Can it be Spring already??!  I shouldn’t complain, Adam and I both were off from work on Wednesday and I already drink enough coffee to power a small city so it’s not like the few minutes I had to wake up earlier on Thursday to deal with the snow were a big deal. <– I should note that I literally mean that I only need a few extra minutes, I don’t have to dig out my own car because I’m married to the kindest man on earth!

Highlight bites this week…

Coffee, coffee!  Cafe Bustelo.

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Cold brew with coconut palm sugar (and skim milk).

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Protein cookie and a sumo.

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Coffee Greek yogurt with coconut butter, red walnuts, and granola, plus a Pink Lady apple on the side.  The coconut/coffee combo is 10/10.

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These 7-11 bites are super cute, and I love anything that tastes like cake batter.

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It seemed like half of Queens had closed up shop on Wednesday but Adam and I still managed to find a good lunch.  Chicken and udon soup.

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With an Oreo milk tea with pudding.

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Plus we went to Coffee Factory for a ridiculously adorned coffee shave ice.

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It’s a testament to how good Stumptown is that I was equally excited about my iced latte.

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Do you remember last year when I declared that the spring holidays deserve theme flavors too?  Easter gets lemon, coconut, and anything in the shape of an egg!

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I snacked on coconut shortbread cookies and candied lemon slices to welcome the first day of Spring.

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The Trader Joe’s eggs were cute, but the chocolate to caramel ratio was too large for my liking.  I much prefer a thinner, softer shell, so the Godiva eggs were absolutely perfect.

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Godiva actually sent me the eggstra special chocolates to review on the blog {I received no additional compensation / all opinions are my own}.  The box includes solid milk chocolate, dark chocolate ganache (3rd favorite), dark chocolate with raspberry, milk chocolate with almond butter (my favorite), and milk chocolate caramel (2nd favorite).  There’s 60 calories per egg, which feels more than fair because these are definitely a two-to-three-bite candy.

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Important note – Godiva also has an assorted gift-box special for Spring that includes both cookie dough truffles and white chocolate pralines – among other flavors – and I’m having a very hard time not buying it immediately.

My dinners were darn impressive this week.  Spicy Cajun shrimp pasta bowls on whole wheat linguine with tons of roasted zucchini and sun-dried tomato.

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Homemade turkey Reuben burgers / roasted green beans / french fries / with ketchup and thousand island.

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Chicken sandwiches.  Boneless skinless breasts marinated in lemon juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and ginger; breaded in panko; and baked / on brioche buns / with mayo and provolone.

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Plus we had sauteed bok choy and leeks on the side.

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And buttermilk and chive chips while I cooked.

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Last night a girlfriend and I went on a balls tasting tour of the Lower East Side for dinner.  Boba Guys for Hong Kong milk tea with tapioca balls and almond jelly.

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Meatball Shop for chicken meatballs with pesto.  Plus a Dead Flowers & Red Bottoms cocktail – mezcal, tequila, lime, honey, and hibiscus.

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p.s. who is 1990’s enough to get the joke in my title??

And Now My Favorite Color is Zhough

Highlights from the week…

Fancy shmancy coffee.  I cold pressed espresso roast with vanilla bean powder, brown sugar, and clove.

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Honestly though, my current favorite-favorite combo is espresso, ice, and chocolate milk.

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Milkadamia sent me a box for review [no cash was exchanged, all opinions are my own, yadda yadda].  Their macadamia nut milk is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.  The unsweetened vanilla has 50 calories, 1 gram of protein, and zero grams of sugar (1 gram carbohydrate) per 8 oz serving.  The milk has almost no flavor, but that is pretty much what I’m looking for in my nut milks because I want them to make my coffee creamy without distracting from the coffee taste.  The unsweetened vanilla went perfectly with a cup of iced coffee this week, no clumping or separation to be found.

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I also used it in a smoothie with frozen blueberries and coconut chunks, vanilla, maple, and chia seeds.

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My packed work eats were all about the Sumo mandarin and plain Greek yogurt combo.  With maple or granola.

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Snack attack.  Peanut butter puffs.

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Mexican marshmallow shortbread cookies.

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Super sour soda and cola hard candies.

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Mini sundae from Van Leeuwen.  Cookies and cream topped with hot fudge, almond brittle, and sprinkles.

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All of our dinners this week had a Middle Eastern bent, thanks to lots of zhough and copious amounts of olive oil.  Like scrambled egg pita sandwiches.  Scrambled eggs / sauteed orange bell pepper and red onion / whole wheat pita / zhough.  With roasted zucchini.

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Pita chip nachos!  Sharp cheddar / red onion and cucumber / marinated chickpeas with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh parsley, oregano, cayenne, and paprika / zhough and tzatziki.

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Veggie bowls.  Sauteed red onion, yellow bell pepper, and roasted eggplant / tomato sauce / marinated chickpeas / zhough and tzatziki / fried egg.

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Also pizza.  Is there a better food on the planet than buffalo chicken pizza??

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It’s almost the weekend!  Who has green beer on their Saturday agenda?

Good Coffee, Bad Coffee

Weekend coffee round-up:  The cold brew roast from Birch is fantastic.

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This Vita Cafe vanilla coconut water coffee is pretty darn good.

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And the vanilla iced latte from Panera is no good, terrible, very bad.  <– it was so sweet it was practically caustic, and that was with “light on syrup” and extra espresso!

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Saturday, Adam and I spent the day in Astoria.  We finally got to check out the Museum of the Moving Image, which had a great Jim Henson exhibit running.

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Plus we got a sprinkle cookie from Chip.

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Spent some time at the gorgeous newer, bigger Kinship.  <– maple cold brew, for the win

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And got brunch at Queens Comfort.  We shared the cornflake crusted chicken and waffle with maple tabasco glaze.

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And the Super Marios Benedict – cheesy cheddar chicken patty, home fries, poached egg, and hollandaise.

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Home-based highlights include a yogurt bowl for work – lemon Chobani, sour lemon raisins, blackberries, and strawberry granola minis.

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Cocktail hour.  Sprite, grapefruit seltzer, and vodka.

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Chicken hash bowls.

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Duck fat / shredded chicken / yellow onion / spring onion / red bell pepper / arugula / tater tots / cream cheese / smoked paprika / and a fried egg.

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Cookie Monster

Friday, Friday, Friday!  How did a short week feel so long?  At least I had multiple sugar highs to carry me through.

Munk Pack sent me a sweet (but actually protein-packed) box of samples.  Munk Pack Protein Cookies contain a whopping 18 grams of plant-protein and 6 grams of fiber per cookie.  They are gluten-free, vegan, and do not contain sugar alcohols or soy.

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I let Adam review two flavors on his own because he’s the one whose lifestyle depends on quick, protein-packed snacks (and he’s already obsessed with Munk Pack’s oatmeal packets).  He thought double dark chocolate was good but not great and was over the moon for oatmeal raisin spice.  To quote – “5/5.  A little bit savory but not too spicy.  Firm on the outside but moist on the inside, with a good texture from the oats.  Very filling, it kept me satisfied for hours.”

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And personally I liked peanut butter chocolate chip but I loooooved the coconut white chip macadamia.  All of the flavors were very substantial, I actually ended up skipping lunch yesterday because I was still so satisfied from the cookie I ate for breakfast at 9!

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Peanut butter wasn’t necessarily a cookie-cookie but was a darn good protein bar but the coconut flavor was straight-up decadent.  It had the slightly gritty consistency of cookie dough and was one of the more delicious packaged cookies (dessert options included) I’ve ever eaten.

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Plus we threw a baby shower for a coworker this week and I made and ate a million desserts.  Matzoh toffee candy.

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Triple fudge brownies with maraschino cherries and cherry cream cheese frosting.

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I did eat one or two things that weren’t sweet.  Like super spicy Thai food.  I went out for lunch with a girlfriend in Astoria and had a great bowl of extra spicy pad see ew with mock duck.

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Plus Adam and I hung out for a bit at Gossip; love it there.

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Still obsessed with this Trader Joe’s seed and bean snack.

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It was a week of fantastic home-cooked dinners.  Like Asian-style cabbage wraps.  <– best dish of the week

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Red cabbage cups / ground turkey sauteed with shredded carrot, spring onion, orange and bell pepper/ crushed peanuts on top.

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Plus two dipping sauces – miso, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, gojuchang / avocado, cilantro, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, Greek yogurt, evoo.

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Another night I used the leftover avocado cilantro sauce to make a killer salad.  With red cabbage, arugula, spring onion, shredded carrot, yellow bell pepper, black beans, sharp cheddar, and salty peanuts.

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With an assortment of global gummy candies for dessert.

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And another night we made loaded cheeseburger cheese fries!

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Waffle fries / cheese / tons of sauteed onion / mini turkey cheeseburgers / with ketchup and mayo on top.

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Plus broccoli slaw on the side, sauteed with rice vinegar and cream cheese.

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Have a happy weekend!