Brunch At Queens [blank]

In spite of the bitter, freezing cold, I spent my weekend appreciating Astoria.  I drove in Saturday and Sunday for two (cheese-packed) brunches.  Plus yummy post-brunch iced lattes – always iced, always – at Kinship and Gossip.  Finally, I did some expensive but adorable shopping at Lockwood.

Queens Kickshaw.  We started our meal with a gouda grilled cheese – brioche with gouda, pickled jalopenos, guava jam, and black bean hummus.  Such a good combination of flavors!

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I had an interesting cocktail with vodka, apricot liquor, golden raisin shrub, and orange bitters.

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And mac and cheese with broccoli pesto on the bottom and an egg on top.  The pasta was ridiculously good, but actually the best thing on the plate was the side salad; the salads were perfectly dressed rainbow chard with herbs.

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Queens Comfort.  We shared a King Kong Doughnut to start – banana bread with peanut butter topping.

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My friend and I both ordered the fried green tomato benedict – fried green tomatoes on a buttermilk biscuit with spinach, hollandaise, hot pepper jelly, and poached eggs.

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Back at my Queens apartment, I served a dinner and dessert worth noting.  Shave-ice style yogurt bowl – plain Greek with condensed milk, sliced banana, Frosted Flakes, and a few Luxardo cherries.

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Pasta bowls with torn lasagna noodles, tuna, roasted zucchini, and a sauce with gojuchang, brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce.

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Top Five This Week

{1}  Fiber One sent me samples of their newest product line – layered chewy bars.

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I’m a fan!  Sometimes fiber-added products hurt my stomach, but these gave me no issues.  They are chewy without being tooth-breaking and salty-sweet – my favorite flavor combo.  They come in double chocolate almond.

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And the even more delicious salted caramel and dark chocolate.

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{2}  I made a tasty strawberry sauce.

It was quick and easy, just fresh strawberries quartered and cooked in a skillet over medium heat.

Paired with passion fruit yogurt with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And plain yogurt with vanilla granola and a few Luxardo cherries.

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{3}  Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium partnered on a cookie dough beer and I paired it with cookie dough ice cream.

We ended up not loving the beer, which had a chemical aftertaste to it, but the ice cream (which I topped with melty Biscoff) was obviously delicious.

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And speaking of Speculoos…

{4}  Starbucks has a cookie butter bar and it is out of this freaking world.

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{5}  I spent 3+ hours making over-the-top lasagna.

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Loosely based on this recipe, it was totally worth the time commitment.

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I made a red sauce with ground turkey and TJ’s soy chorizo.  My béchamel was a four-cheese doozy made with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda. I skipped the ricotta, but did top my dish off with more parmesan-gouda.

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{bonus}  My schedule – I worked President’s Day and work this upcoming weekend which means I was off from work yesterday and today for a midweek weekend!  And Adam is off today too so we’ve got some Upper East Side fun planned.  See you next week!

Walking Weekend

I didn’t watch any of the game, but my weekend sure was super.  Saturday morning Adam and I woke up extra early and went into the city to watch the sunrise.  We parked in Dumbo, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, wandered around lower Manhattan, and then walked around Chelsea.  Then we took the subway to Park Slope, did a long loop through our old neighborhood, and walked back through Fort Greene to our car in Dumbo.  Throughout the day we ended up walking >11 miles.

Of course, the minute the sunrise started getting gorgeous my camera started dying/getting too cold to function.

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We punctuated our walk with stops for coffees and desserts, but most of it went unphotographed due to my technical difficulties.  Highlights included a dulce de leche iced coffee from Terremoto turned into an affogato with a scoop of goat milk tahini ice cream from Seed + Mill.

I did manage to get a shot of breakfast #1, at the Oculus.  We split a “hell of a nerve” from Joe and the Juice – banana, elderflower, and strawberry juice.

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Plus pastries and lattes at Eataly (with sips of Italian cola).  I got a cream filled croissant; the pastry wasn’t flaky enough for me but the cream was fantastic and I ate it out with a spoon!

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And I had to Instagram breakfast #2 at Santina.

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I had a fantasmic egg sandwich.  Fluffy egg on a soft bun with tons of fontina cheese and green chiles.  I pretty much swooned after every bite.

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Friday’s breakfast was a smoothie.  Frozen strawberries with plain Greek yogurt and chocolate-mint soy milk.

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And Sunday I made an egg sandwich at home.  Smoked gouda and a fried egg on a brioche bun.

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Another highlight was dinner at Pig Beach.  We loved their vibe and their great 90’s music playlist <== we listened to “Pony” by Ginuwine!  There weren’t a ton of menu options for me so I ordered some sides and then got some from Whole Food’s hot bar later on.

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Macaroni and cheese, yummy purple cole slaw, and buckeyes for dessert.  Plus a 10/10 vodka soda and an amazing drink with vodka, honey, and rosé.

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I may not have watched the Super Bowl, but I definitely spent Sunday making and eating on-themed foods!  We had nachos with buffalo chicken on TJ’s honey butter chips.

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Muddy Buddies – made with Biscoff cookie butter instead of peanut butter because I’m bringing them into work at there’s a nut allergy.

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And I used a fun product sample from Moore’s Marinades to make my buffalo chicken baked pasta.

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I used their Blue Cheese Buffalo Wing Sauce – instead of putting in hot sauce and blue cheese separately – and my pasta came out great.  P.S. heat haters, this sauce is more tangy than spicy and I recommend it for wimps too.

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Have a super week!

The End Of The First Month Of The New Year

I’m two weeks late and about a hundred pictures short, but here, finally, is a (bi)weekly wrap up for the end of January.  I blame a bout of the cold, a string of loser dinners, and a case of the mid-winter blues for my lack of timeliness and photo-taking-enthusiasm.

Gaps aside, here were some eats from the past two weeks…

{rated within their category; i.e. the yogurt bowl is an 8 out of 10 compared with other yogurt bowls not compared other dissimilar items}

Green monster from the cafeteria.  They sometimes set up a smoothie bar at the rotating station.  I chose spinach, strawberry, mango, and coconut water.  8.5/10

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Chocolate iced coffee.  8/10

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Work snack – an apple and coconut caramel bar.  The score here is for the Thai Coco coconut milk drink, which was creamy and sweet.  9.5/10

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Soursop yogurt with blueberries and vanilla granola.  8/10

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Turkey reuben-ish sandwich from the cafeteria.  Sliced turkey, swiss cheese, pickles, spinach, and cole slaw on a whole-wheat wrap.  Plus french fries dipped in 1000 island.  6.5/10

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Cola kombucha.  6.5/10

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This Milka Oreo candy bar didn’t have as much cookie in it as I wanted.  6/10

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But these TJ’s sour gummies are the best gummy candies Adam or I have ever tasted.  10/10

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Biscuit breakfast sandwiches for dinner.  Buttermilk biscuits (<– I don’t recommend this recipe, the biscuits had no flake) / maple Sriracha mayo / smoked gouda / fried egg.  6/10

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Pumpkin soup.  Roux, canned pumpkin, and chicken stock with sautéed onions, carrot, and maple chicken breakfast sausage on the bottom.  This didn’t turn out as well as I was expecting it to, the salt and pepper pumpkin seed brittle I sprinkled on top was by far the best component.  5/10

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Escarole and white bean skillet with (turkey) bacon and artichoke.  7/10

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Creamy turkey pasta.  Ground turkey sautéed with garlic, browned mushrooms, and oven-roasted tomatoes, tossed with sour cream, and whole-wheat pasta.  7.5/10

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I’ve got some yummy things planned for this weekend so hopefully the next post will be slightly less lame!

 

Long Weekend Top Five

I had a very enjoyable weekend, including two fancy brunches and one entire day spent watching tv and eating nachos with a dog lounging in my lap.  There have been some very enjoyable eats over the past four days too.

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Here were the top five…

{1}  The final serving of my new favorite coffee combo.

Texas pecan cold brew + sweet buttercream creamer + ice + a straw = a very happy Emily.  Adam loved it too.

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{2}  Brunch at Gristmill in Park Slope.

We adored it and will definitely be back for dinner.  They are known for their garlic knots and that morning they had an everything garlic knot for The Loxness Knotster – with pastrami smoked salmon from ACME, cream cheese, ricotta,  and dill.

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I  got a Brunch Punch – with rum, lemon-lime shrub, grenadine, cinnamon, and clove.  It was so pink!

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Plus spicy potato hash with carrots, arugula, and poached egg.  This dish was soooo balanced and just a joy to eat.

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{3}  Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg.

I had an egg sandwich on brioche with gochujang aioli, crispy potatoes, and cheddar.  Plus a toasted oak soda with a shot of vodka.  <– such a genius idea that the owner came by and nodded his approval.

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{4}  Super soup.

Served with ridiculously cheesy buttered toast.

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Yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper, and carrot sautéed in evoo / white miso / low-sodium chicken broth / shredded turkey breast / pesto tortellini.  The soup was super easy since I already had the cooked meat in my freezer.  I boiled the pasta in my broth and it came out great.

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{5} Okonomiyaki aka Japanese cabbage pancake.

Thank you, Serious Eats, for introducing me to another new yummy thing.

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Served with quick salads of celery, red bell pepper, basil, and green onion, in a mustard vinaigrette.

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My pans stick so my okonomiyaki came out in pieces, but you could hardly tell once I smothered it in toppings!  Cabbage and Japanese sweet potato pancake / fish sauce aioli / gochujang / roasted seaweed / black sesame seeds / green onion.

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Next week is going to be less exotic but more cheesy, I’m making a gratin!

Wrapping It Up

Thanks to the holiday day and compensatory days for working the preceding and following weekends… I only worked two days this week!  Tuesday and Friday on and the rest of the week to do as I pleased, not a bad way to end 2016.  Though now I do work both NYE and the first day of 2017.

It was also a big week in my personal life, on Wednesday Adam and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary (and 14th anniversary of being together)!  We didn’t exchange gifts or do anything crazy to celebrate, it’s hard to get too excited when we are so darn close to 10 years.  <– eeeeeeeeeeee!

Food highlights for the week – – –

Yogurt lunches.  Dulce de leche Chobani with granola, plus a snapdragon apple and a vanilla latte can.  Out of 10, the coffee and yogurt both get a 9+.

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2% Fage with Soom chocolate tahini, sweet and spicy pecans, chopped apple, and chia seeds.

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Dinner at Bubby’s.  I met a girlfriend in Chelsea midweek and this is where we ended up.  Neither of us ordered pie, but I had a great frisee salad with poached egg and sherry vinaigrette.

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Iced coffee with princess emulsion (fancy vanilla extract that had a strong undertone of lemon and actually wasn’t great in coffee).

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Fantastically roasty Terremoto Coffee skim latte was the best drink of the week, especially because I plopped a scoop of goat’s milk tahini ice cream in it a minute later.

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Gelt!

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On our anniversary – which we actually celebrated a day late because Adam’s schedule is insane – we cuddled on the couch and watched our wedding video with a split of champagne and the last eggnog iced coffee of the season.

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We did dinner at Shalom Japan and I didn’t take a single picture.  I did snap dessert – an ice cream date at OddFellows.  Toasted marshmallow + amazing caramel chocolate toffee.

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Best dish of the week = I made legit macaroni and cheese.  Pimento cheese macaroni and cheese.

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Whole wheat macaroni / sautéed green onions and chopped pimento / mornay sauce with sharp cheddar and raw milk cheddar / panko on top.

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With spinach salad with red bell pepper, sweet and spicy pecans, and honey mustard, and roasted green beans with fried green onion.

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See you next year!  <– my favorite dumb joke

Merry Christmas!

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My holiday greeting is a few days late but that’s ok, my holiday celebrating was late too!  Adam and I both worked Christmas day this year (and Thanksgiving… and New Years) so we saved our gift opening and merriment for the 26th.  It was actually kind of fun, we had an item that needed to be exchanged and we just ran right out to the mall and did it.

Here were the food-based highlights, no candy canes, sugar plums, or fruit cakes, but good all the same…

Making the most of the end of eggnog season with several eggnog iced lattes (with a quadruple dose of espresso!).

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Christmas day I packed a bottled coffee for work (1.5 thumbs up) plus an exciting peppermint seltzer.

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Saturday we headed to Brooklyn for Thai food at super artsy and cool Samui.

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Apparently Christmas Eve lunch is not a thing because we were the only people in the restaurant!  At least there was no one blocking our view.

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The food was great, this was the 2nd best green papaya salad I’ve ever gotten.

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And I had yummy shrimp Pad Thai in an egg crepe.

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Ice cream for dessert to celebrate the first night of Hannukah – “Festival of Lights”cream cheese ice cream with pieces of chocolate rugelach.

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Actual Christmas day I came home from work and ate leftovers with the dog, but Christmas Eve I had a pizza and beer party with the husband.

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We made taco pizza that was fantastic.  TJ’s thin crust / refried beans / Mexican cheese blend / seasoned ground turkey / cilantro sour cream.  With roasted zucchini on the side.

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And for our belated Christmas dinner we made brinner, aka breakfast for dinner.

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Red and green eggs – a scramble with red bell pepper, green onions, spinach, and parsley, plus cheddar.

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The best roasted potatoes from Serious Eats.  <– seriously, they were THE BEST

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Enjoy the rest of your year!