Coffees And Cocktails

Important things first – the pink and purple trees in our complex are amazingly gorgeous.

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This is the immediate view out of our front door and it makes me smile every day.

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My purple hair finally got too patchy to be cute, while remaining highly pigmented in a few spots, and my hairdresser had to make me super blonde to get rid of it all.

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I had a fantastic weekend – including a Lower East Side day, a Williamsburg/Bushwick day, and a Long Island day – and we ate all the things!  I love New York, I love New York, I love New York.

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We checked out OddFellows‘ new coffee and ice cream spot and I had an iced latte with toasted marshmallow milk.

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I also had a toasted marshmallow iced latte (good, but not as good, obviously) from Sweetie Pies on Main while we walked around Cold Springs Harbor.

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Japanese shaved ice from The Little One.  Strawberry sauce / sweetened condensed milk / roasted strawberries / coconut whipped cream.

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Arcade games and drinks at Barcade.  <– one of my favorite spots in the city even if I’m not very good at Pac Man or Tapper

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Craft cocktails on tap at Yours Sincerely.  Adam got a tasting flight and I had a Folsom Fizz with bourbon, cola syrup, and almond.

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Snacks at Smorgasburg.  Belgian fries with malt vinegar aioli and chipotle ranch.

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Noodle bowls at Just for Fen.  Can JfF be my new living room?  The space was so cute!

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And the food was wonderful.  I had smashed cucumber salad and spicy chicken rice noodles with housemade chili oil, pickled radish and cabbage, baby bok choy, scallion, cilantro, and peanuts.

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Dinner at Forrest Point.  On the patio!

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I had a fried chicken sandwich with jicima and blue cheese slaw.

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The few things we ate at home were pretty great too.  Trader Joe’s scallion pancakes are the best frozen meal of all time.  Served with baby carrots and bell peppers.

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I made us delicious rice bowls.  Brown rice / red, yellow, and orange bell pepper sauteed with onion and garlic / chicken breast slow-cooked in the crockpot with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, lime, and orange juice and then shredded and broiled until crispy / sharp cheddar / TJ’s tomatillo roasted yellow chili salsa.

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Plus mojito milkshakes!  Cruzan rum / homemade mint simple syrup / lime juice / vanilla ice cream / ice.

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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??

Popcorn And Poutine

Random updates…

Both sets of excisional biopsy stitches are out and today I am finally allowed to go to the gym, woo-hoo!  Also important – both biopsies came back clean.

We are finally catching up on Agents of Shield and LOVING it.  Hilarious as always and just crazy touching.  I’m not loving the “big bad” for this season but Fitz’s story-line is good enough that I don’t care.

I work this weekend but have super fun dinner date plans with the husband on Saturday.

Best bites from the week…

Coffee can and an Envy apple.

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Vanilla yogurt with nougat halva from Seed + Mill and a sumo on the side.  Halva mixed into yogurt is one of my favorite things.  I also really like key lime pie in yogurt.  Apparently I think you can improve dessert with Greek yogurt?!

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Tamarind my parents sent me from home.  I rode horses as a child and our stable had a patch of trees you could pluck tamarinds from and it’s one of my favorite memories.

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No photo because I ate it while sitting in traffic but I had the most deliciously meta thing from Schmackary’s – a chocolate chip cookie topped with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting!

Piles of popcorn.

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Spaghetti casserole with whole-wheat spaghetti, marinara, Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, and sharp cheddar.  Growing up, I hated spaghetti but adored this casserole.  This version was smokey and delicious.  With roasted broccoli on the side.

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Dinner at Mile End.  The poutine of the month is Nashville hot chicken, so obviously we ordered that.

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I also had a za’atar chicken salad with Boston lettuce, mint, Israeli salad, cucumber, and crispy chickpeas.  Fresh mint in salad is so good, it genuinely makes me smile.

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Happy almost weekend.

Best Babka In Brooklyn

Best bites from the weekend…

Best chocolate babka in Brooklyn, probably the world, at Oneg Bakery.  It was so chewy!  Yet crumbly and crisp too.  And the chocolate was basically brownie batter!  We were absolutely smitten and I ate too much and made myself sick.

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Vanilla iced latte at the adorable Hearts Coffee in Bushwick.

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Brunch at Meadowsweet.  My iced Oslo espresso had sugar, milk, and bourbon in it.

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And I had a beyond fantastic bowl of duck pastrami hash with parsley salsa verde and poached eggs.

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Snack attack.  La Columbe canned coffee and a cheesecake cup.

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Fruity yogurt bowl, with citrus yogurt, sumo mandarin, and pomegranate.

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Leftover breakfast casserole with the dregs of my veggie drawer.

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Snazzy pasta bowls.  Whole wheat spaghetti / brown butter and lemon / peas, green onions, and sun-dried tomatoes / crab meat.

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Fresh On The Blog

Gotta love a three day weekend!  I don’t work today (hence the late post) and my plans include the dog, my bed, and The Office, the end.

My Friday, Saturday, Sunday were all pretty great too.  Friday, Adam drove me into work so we had before-work breakfast date and after-work dinner date (plus we basically consider the time driving in the car to be a date too!).  Saturday, I met up with girlfriends for brunch and discovered that Bayside, Queens – which is about 10 minutes from my house – is actually kind of great.  And Sunday, we had friends in from out of town and we got to show them the magic of Grand Central Whispering Gallery; plus the magic of coffee from Cafe Grumpy!

highlights…

Apertif.  I had a croque canard sandwich with duck rillettes, apple, brie, and béchamel.

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F.O.B.  A newish Filipino spot in Cobble Hill people have been (rightly) raving about.

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We got so much good food!  Corn bibingka – rice cake with farmers cheese, kesong puti, and coconut butter.

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Overnight chicken adobo and pechay – sautéed Chinese cabbage with chili and garlic.

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And Halo Halo – shaved ice with nata de coco, red beans, tapioca, mango, jackfruit, and ube ice cream!

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French Workshop.  We split something with white chocolate mousse, and hazelnuts, and milk chocolate ganache but there were about a million other things that looked good too.

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Joyce Bakeshop.  We’ve decided that we don’t love their coffee, but their kouign amann is my all-time favorite pastry.  Seriously, I like it more than filled croissants from Union Fair and cronuts from Dominique Ansel, and that bar is set pretty damn high.

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Kame Ramen in Nomad.  I had spicy chicken miso with sesame oil and a soft boiled egg.

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I did manage to cook one meal at home – loaded baked potato casserole / shredded chicken with bbq sauce / spinach salad with pomegranate, marcona almonds, and Trader Joe’s cilantro salad dressing.

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Have a great week!

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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!

Hello, 2018!

On a personal level, 2018 is off to a great start.  Adam’s and my last week of 2017 staycation was deeply wonderful, so I’m starting the year in a damn good mood.

Though perhaps I’ll be less ecstatic today, by the time this post goes live I will already be outside attempting to dig my car out from the foot plus of snow dropped by the bomb cyclone.  I work this weekend so thankfully I was already off for the worst of it on Thursday.

Here were the best bites from the year so far…

This week’s coffee – Starbucks espresso roast.

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Plus on my snow day I sipped on a super fancy Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew with chocolate milk.  Total frothy, creamy, goodness.

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Yogurt bowl work lunches are off to a good start.  Coffee and Cream Chobani with maple almond butter granola and a Pacific Rose apple and MadeGood chocolate chip granola minis.

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Mint Chocolate Chunk Chobani with chocolate Cheerios and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  This new flavor was surprisingly delicious, just like mint chip ice cream.

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Smoked turkey and Swiss sandwich box from Starbucks.

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Popping champagne gummies for the new year.  I have loved all of the bears from Project Seven that I’ve tried so far.

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Yummy vanilla bean French pudding.

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Exciting limited edition seltzers tasting.  We didn’t like the cola as much as I had hoped – it was too weird to have the flavor without the sweetness – and the unicorn kisses wasn’t magical but was very tasty.

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I totally rocked it in the kitchen this week; three meals were 10/10.  Like good luck bowls to start the year – forbidden rice / collard greens – sauteed with garlic / hoppin’ john – a slightly bastardized version with orange bell pepper added in.

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Hot wing pasta with carrots and celery on the side.

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Whole wheat pasta shells / sauteed baby spinach and green onion with fish sauce / shredded chicken breast with cream cheese and hot sauce / sharp cheddar.

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Chick pot pie hot dish (loosely inspired by this recipe from Molly Yeh).

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Shredded chicken breast / tons of sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery, and peas / roux + caned low fat milk and chicken broth with sour cream, hot sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika / tater tots!

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Hope everyone’s 2018 is off to a good start!