The year’s been good so far! I started my 1/1/23 with a quick run before work to get things started on the right foot and had cold brew with sweetened condensed milk next for a sweet year. <– I made those traditions up but I love them. I also worked several lucky-for-the-new-year foods into our meals this week – cabbage, greens, noodles, and black eyed peas.
Highlights from the 1st week of the year included…
Coffee from Hawaii.
Surprisingly wonderful mochi doughnuts from Paris Baguette. The cinnamon one was stuffed with red bean.
Homemade popcorn with butter, furikake, togarashi, white sesame seeds, and salt/sugar.
Another hit from my favorite beer company (Abomination Brewing). This marshmallow IPA was great, though not as good as Fog Nog. I drank it on a date walk with Adam to get froyo topped with marshmallows, so that was perfect.
We also enjoyed this Mai Tai inspired sour from Mast Landing.
We celebrated New Year’s Eve by eating tons of Chinese take-out and falling asleep before 10pm (my very favorite way to spend NYE!). Zouji Dumpling House is my new favorite Chinese spot – we ordered a million things and loved it all. This leftovers dinner plate was scallion pancake / house chili oil / pan-fried lamb dumplings / veggie dumplings with cabbage, radish, and rice noodles / dry stir-fried cauliflower with onion, pepper, and garlic / Kung Pow chicken / and a scoop of sourkraut for luck.
Our favorite black-eyed-pea salad. With Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, Crystal hot sauce, and diced green bell pepper. Plus some roasted baby cauliflower.
Whole-wheat vermicelli noodles with zoodles, shredded chicken, and nước chấm. Topped with Sriracha.
Congee (brown rice cooked for an hour and a half in turkey stock) / layered with collard greens sauteed with green onion and ginger / and ground turkey sauteed with white onion, garlic, and Korean pepper / topped with chili crisp and green onions.
Popeye’s take-out with roasted broccoli from home. Biscuit, fries, nuggets with great sauces, and some of the best mac and cheese I’ve eaten in the States! Is Popeye’s my favorite restaurant? I want to be embarassed to be considering that but I probably should be more embarassed by the fact that this wasn’t the only time I ordered this this week!! The nuggets are shockingly good leftover.
Adam and I ended the year on a celebratory note with our fifteen year wedding anniversary! I thank my lucky stars everyday – realistically about 20 times a day! – that he’s my person! We had two fun nights that unfortunately I didn’t take a single photo of – at trip to Sundays in Brooklyn for their Snow Days pop-up (including themed cocktails, upscale popcorn, a giant burger, and fantastic roasted honeynut squash) and an evening of pizza take-out and tv in bed (an activity so wonderful I mentioned it in my wedding vows!).
Other highlights from last week included…
Jelly doughnut iced coffee for the last day of Hanukkah. Iced coffee with blueberry preserves and skim milk frothed with cinnamon, cocoa powder, and brown sugar.
Yogurt bowl – plain Greek with kiwi, persimmon, and vanilla almond granola.
Even more exciting than fresh persimmons is the start of citrus season; this Cara Cara was delicious and I also just bought a bunch of Sumos.
Snacks we brought home from Hawaii. Honolulu Cookie Company makes the best shortbread I’ve ever eaten.
Mochi and furikake seasoned popcorn.
Also these vegan gummies my mom put in my stocking were 10/10.
I’ve been seeing this ramen all over Instagram and I had to try it. Even with the addition of Kewpie and an egg it was almost too spicy for me!
A homecooked dinner. Roasted cauliflower and chopped onion / roasted chickpeas / fresh mint / tossed in honey, rice vinegar, and smoked paprika.
Peppermint pour-over coffee with egg nog cold foam.
Dalgona iced coffee with eggnog.
Red and green yogurt bowl. Trader Joe’s eggnog Greek yogurt with kiwi, raspberries, and vanilla granola.
Holiday special scoops from Odd Fellows Ice Cream. Buddi’s Spaghetti Sundae – maple ice cream, chocoalte cookie crumbs, mini marshmallows, m&m’s, sno caps, and corn nuts / Moose Nog – egg nog ice cream with fudge swirls and peanut butter cups.
Seasonal brews from Ardent Brewing. The gingerbread was perfect, not too spicy at all, and the Fog Nog is truly my all-time favorite beer/alcoholic beverage/beverage in general. 15/10.
A very close 2nd all-time-favorite is Leyenda’s Candy Striper – a frozen delight with cachaca, coconut, vanilla, lemon, peppermint, maple, and cardamom.
We went to their Sleyenda holiday pop-up for seasonal drinks and a wonderful dinner (it was too dark for photos but my shrimp arepas were amazing). I also had a Reindeer Games with tequilla, cachaca, banana, honey, maple, lemon, pine, and bitters.
Chinese take-out from Blue Wave. I got fantastic veggie stir-fried udon. Also the best scallion pancakes I’ve ever eaten.
Red and green salads. Red leaf lettuce with homemade ranch, red bell pepper, fresh mint, a soft-boiled egg, and a garlic and herb lobster cake (frozen, from Luke’s via Whole Foods).
Red and green rice bowls. Brown rice / sauted bok choy / sourkraut sauted with gojuchang and sugar / soy marinated eggs.
P.S. I am off of work most of this week, which is just lovely! I sipped a fancy coffee while I wrote this post!
A delicious but non-traditional first night of Hanukkah. Trader Joe’s frozen latkes (potato and cauliflower) with sauted dinosaur kale and a fried egg. I pair my latkes with sour cream instead of applesauce.
Peppermint ice cream (12/10) with peppermint chocolate quinoa bites.
Adam’s favorite bakery in New York is probably Blacksmith’s Breads. He sweetly surprised me with a pretzel bread.
Greek yogurt bowl with tiger syrup, granola, and persimmon.
Good-not-great but incredibly convenient microwave rice rolls.
Very Spicy Vegan Dan Dan Noodles from Very Fresh Noodles. It wasn’t actually that spicy (more numbing than hot) but the noodles were unbelievably fresh, bouncy and perfect.
This was the best meal I’ve made this year. Roasted broccoli / roasted red onion / roasted white beans / dried cherries / best ever sauce; in the food processor – parsley, roasted jalopeno, Korean chili flake, smoked almonds, smoked sardines, parmesan, honey, garlic, salt, evoo, and a bit of water / and I topped my bowl with candied jalopenos.
This year I worked Thanksgiving Day but then had Friday off for a long weekend — so my parents came to visit! They loved getting to experience the cold (not many 45 degree days in St. Thomas!) and spend time with their granddog and we did a bunch of great New York exploring. Our travels included Time Square, Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, Industry City, Bushwick, Greenpoint, and Hudson!
I did not take a single dinner photo – we went to the oldest steakhouse in New York and also had outstanding meals at Kitty’s in Hudson and Glasserie in Brooklyn! – but here are a few highlights from the past week…
I managed to eat many on-theme things on Thanksgiving.
My parents and I stuck with tradition and ate Thanksgiving nachos – Trader Joe’s stuffing chips with smoked turkey, sauteed shishitos, swiss and gruyere, and cranberry sauce. Plus sauteed green beans with butter and lemon.
Plus Loryn Powell said that Fireball and banana cream rum tastes like a Cinnabon so my mom and I tried it with a maple pecan cream liquer and were quite impressed!
We were also pleased with these Tip Top mini canned cocktails.
We tried – and loved – one of the Zaro’s specialty black and white cookies – mint chocolate.
We found the Oishii omakase strawberries on sale! Fun to try but no one really preferred them to standard strawberries.
Everyone thought that Fortunes Ice Cream in Trivoli makes the best ice cream we’ve ever tried. I got persimmon and the sour cherry labne.
Broad rice noodles with tofu from Bangkok Bar in Industry City – I’ve wanted to go there for forever and now I want to go back immediately.
Great iced latte from Wycoff Starr.
Festive yogurt bowl with plain skry, frozen banana bread, brown sugar syrup, cinnamon, and sumatra mandarin.
Fun things from this weekend – we early voted and it only took a couple of minutes! The weather was gorgeous and we took a bunch of long, beautiful walks.
Food highlights included…
In a fit of out-of-season joy I bought and loved a peppermint mocha ice latte.
Brunch at Emilia’s Bakehouse in Melville. We had great lattes.
And a preztel croissant.
Loved this Aura Bora flavor. They have two new seasonal flavors I am dying to get my hands on.
I also tried and loved two new boozy seltzer cans. The June Shine passion fruit vodka soda has all my favorite things!
Great new flavor from Chip – a brown sugar cookie made with apple butter, stuffed with a caramel apple filling, and topped with cinnamon sugar.
Desserts in Astoria. Baklava and Knafeh.
Thai food in Astoria. I got extra-spicy drunken noodles with extra veggies and mock duck.
Plus we shared great crab rangoon.
Trader Joe’s pumpkin-shaped pasta with homemade meat sauce (pizza sauce with ground turkey and ground chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, urfa pepper, smoked paprika, and three cheese blend). Plus rainbow cauliflower.
I’m posting a day early because I am heading to Ohio to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday! My mom will be there too!! It’s all very exciting!
Highlights from this past week include…
It’s Pumpkin Month but the apple selection has still been great – Lady Alice, Snap Dragon, and SweeTango.
I saved my favorite pumpkin beers for last – Schlafly pumpkin ale and Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin.
Kilwin’s chocolate dipped marshmallows are one of my favorite treats, especially with holiday sprinkles.
We 11/10 loved these elevated jalpeno poppers from Whole Foods.
Pumpkin turkey chili. Ground turkey, sweet onion, poblano pepper, yellow and orange bell pepper, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, black beans, great northern beans, pumpkin ale, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, cinnamon, mace, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and minced ginger. Topped with sour cream and Trader Joe’s hot and sweet pickled jalopenos.
Served with pumpkin tortilla chips and pimento cheese dip.
Pumpkin pasta. Ground turkey with pumpkin puree, chili crisp, and sour cream on whole-wheat pasta.
Plus roasted broccoli tossed with a mix of Korean chili flake, brown sugar, minced ginger, fish sauce, and rice vinegar.