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!

Send Nood(le)s

Dinners this week were all about the pastabilities!  <– I’m done now, I swear

Homemade shrimp Pad Thai.

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Buffalo chicken baked pasta.  With ground chicken sauteed with buffalo sauce / riced cauliflower / celery and yellow onion / and sweet red cheddar, smoked cheddar, and blue stilton!

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Pasta pie.  A mix of TJ’s squid ink spaghetti and zucchini noodles baked with parsley, triple cream brie, and eggs, plus some panko on top.

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Snack attack.  The Chobani Gimmies line is still rocking my face off.

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img_3297Do I have enough liquids within reach to get me through dinner prep?  Sadly I found the milk stout to be too sweet for my tastes, but the can was just adorable.

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Thai iced tea win.  The tea drops were super easy/quick to use and the packets of sweetened condensed milk make my heart happy.img_3216img_3226Yogurt with sumo mandarin, honey mango, and candied walnuts.img_3258A “tasting plate” success – chicken nuggets, cheese, and baby carrots.img_3251

 

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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Christmas Cheer

Holiday highlights…

For the 1st time in six years Adam and I were both off for Christmas!  It was the perfect day.  We opened presents in front of Nick Offerman.

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And got Thai take-out and watched The Office.

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A good 90% of my gifts were edible so I spent the rest of the day eating sugar.

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Related – because my cousin knows me very well, her Christmas gifts to me included delicious homemade latkes

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and Christmas-themed beer.

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The rest of the week included…

I figured for my last round of coffee and ‘nog I should go big or go home – Homestead Creamery’s eggnog is the best I’ve ever tasted.

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I spent more than an hour one night making dal that ended up being inedible but the roasted purple brussel sprouts I tossed into the oven as an afterthought we stunningly good.

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We made red and green sheet pan crab fried rice.  Use this method.  With basmatti rice, crab, green onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli.

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P.S. Today is our 11th wedding anniversary (and our 16 year!! dating anniversary) and we have super fun stuff planned ♥♥

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Stuffed With Joy

Peppermint and egg nog > nonholiday flavors.  But even the nonseasonal bites were tasty this week.  Highlights include…

Coffee = Coffee Mate sweet cream cold brew.

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Also a peppermint mocha La Colombe can with a surprisingly good peppermint bark Clif Bar.

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Limited seasonal item eggnog shake from Cook Out.

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The best snacks of the week came from our Snack Crate.  Particularly these chewy items that were all a bit milky in a delightful way.

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Chicken fajitas stuffed peppers.  A blend of shredded chicken, sauteed onion, fajita seasoning, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and cojita cheese, baked inside green bell peppers.

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Homemade buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese.  Plus simple side salads, dressed with evoo, honey, lavender salt, and garlic and herb cashews.

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All Hallow’s Eats

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Pumpkin Noosa for breakfast.  I sprinkled some crunchy granola from the cafeteria on top and it was fantastic.

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Maple glazed doughnut with a maple pancake iced latte from Sugar Shack.

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Snack attack.  Is it even Halloween week if you don’t make yourself sick eating too much sugar?  None of fun-sized candy at work was exciting to me and I had to drive myself to Wegman’s to buy my own chocolate.

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Crispy honey garlic tofu bites served on top of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  The tofu recipe was perfect, I couldn’t believe how crispy it came out.  After I took that photo I smothered my plate in Kewpie and Sriracha!

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This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.

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Sweet potato hash success.  Crispy sweet potato (cooked similarly to this method) / sauteed red bell pepper and spring onion with tumeric and smoked paprika / garlic chicken sausage / topped with a fried egg / and copious amounts of Cholula hot sauce.

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Our Halloween dinner was perfectly on theme – vampire killer pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin shaped pasta / garlic chicken sausage / sauteed spinach with tons of garlic / tossed in aioli / topped with pan-fried haloumi.

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Plus the best pumpkin beer of the year and a chai pumpkin ale.

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Pumpkin Everywhere

It was a good week for pumpkin; I snuck it into my coffee, smoothie, pasta, beer, and nachos!  Highlights from the week included…

La Colombe Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte.

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Homemade salted maple cold foam coffee.

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Pumpkin pie smoothie.  Pumpkin puree, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, maple syrup, clove, and skim milk.  Pumpkin smoothies end up basically being puddings!

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Homemade fall flavors trail mix with Maple Cheerios, raisins, salted peanuts, and yogurt covered peanuts.  Plus a SweeTango apple.

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Adam and I went on a date to try the new Cannoli Bar.  Cannolis aren’t really my thing, but our bicerin – that’s drinking chocolate with espresso and frothed half and half – knocked my socks off.

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Whole Foods hot bar.  Including coconut chicken tenders, furikake fried tofu, horseradish and scallion cauliflower, vegan curry, plus an assortment of other veggies.

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This cheesy veggie bowl was one of my favorite dinners I’ve made all year.  Roasted broccoli / roasted potatoes (cooked similarly to this recipe) / topped with a take on vegetarian queso fundido – sharp cheddar, sour cream, green onion, yellow onion, serrano pepper, and Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo.  I enjoyed this so much I ended up eating my entire bowl followed by most of Adam’s!

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Pumpkin nacho night!  Trader Joe’s pumpkin tortilla chips baked with green onion, yellow, onion, sharp cheddar, and maple chicken sausage.  Then topped with copious amounts of Cholula and sour cream.  Plus roasted broccoli on the side.

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Pumpkin on pumpkin on pumpkin dinner.

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Trader Joe’s pumpkin pasta tossed with a sauce made of pumpkin puree, sour cream, shallots, spices, sage, maple chicken sausage, soyrizo, and parmesan cheese.

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Plus pumpkin beers.  I thought the AleWerks pumpkin ale was too sweet (though Adam was a big fan) but really enjoyed the Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head.

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Pumpkin purchase recommendations?  All of it!  Every product (and recipe) was delicious.  The La Colombe and AleWerks items weren’t quite to my taste, but Adam enjoyed them both so I can’t say I wouldn’t recommend trying them yourself.