Party Peeps

7 highlights from the last 7 days…

Chocolate chip banana bar.  I found it in our hospital’s cafeteria but apparently it’s such a new product it hasn’t made it to the website yet.

IMG_4303

Crazy freeze-dried fruits from Trader Joe’s.  The dragonfruit wasn’t a fit for my tastes but the grapes were sweet and amazing.

IMG_4283Birthday cake Peeps!  Look at their adorable sprinkled butts!

 

IMG_4333

IMG_4341

Kung Fu Tea.  Almond milk tea (half sweet, extra ice) with Oreo and aloe jelly.

IMG_4358

Squid ink pasta with tahini sauce, 5 spice tofu, roasted zucchini, and chili oil.

IMG_4298

Slow-cooked parmesan garlic chicken and potatoes + broccoli.  We didn’t brown our chicken and it still came out great.

IMG_4315

Greek salad – romaine and cucumber with TJ’s Greek feta dressing, green olives, crispy cheese bites, and roasted chickpeas.

IMG_4344

Have a great week!

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.

IMG_4036

{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

IMG_4032

{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.

IMG_4043

{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.

IMG_4069

{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.

IMG_4053

Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

IMG_4047

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.

IMG_4051

Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

IMG_4059

And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

IMG_4062

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.

img_3234

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!

img_3290

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.

img_3308

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

img_3279

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.

img_3268

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!

IMG_2942

IMG_2965

IMG_2960

IMG_3017

Favorite Friday activity = Checking out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market.

IMG_2946

IMG_2944

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).

IMG_3018

Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

IMG_20181229_151315_941

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.

IMG_3006

IMG_20181230_102636_224

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.

IMG_20181229_131240_551

Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

IMG_2972

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.

IMG_2979

The Rosita – mezcal, sherry, grapefruit, and hibiscus – was even better.

IMG_2992

The caesar salad with wood fired romaine and cotija masa crunch was the best I’ve ever had.

IMG_2981

Masa fried cauliflower with black mole, butternut squash crema, pepitas, and oregano.

IMG_2987

Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

IMG_2988

Tlayuda Oxomoco – camote, quesillo, pipian, pomegranate, and brown butter. <– Adam’s favorite dish of the night

IMG_2983

Chicken al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple, crispy skin, and salsa morita.

IMG_2996

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

IMG_3002

Hi, 2019!

IMG_3011

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.

IMG_2891

And got Thai take-out and watched The Office.

IMG_2901

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

IMG_2909

IMG_2894

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

IMG_2870

and Christmas-themed beer.

IMG_2923

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.

IMG_2860

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.

IMG_2882

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

IMG_2937

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

IMG_2880

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.

IMG_2605

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

IMG_2622

Limited seasonal item eggnog shake from Cook Out.

IMG_2648

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.

IMG_2608

IMG_2633

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.

IMG_2661

IMG_2669

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

IMG_2630

IMG_2643

All Hallow’s Eats

IMG_2004

IMG_2017

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

IMG_1995

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

IMG_2038

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.

IMG_2046

IMG_2088

IMG_2080

IMG_2013

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!

IMG_1983

This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.

IMG_1974

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.

IMG_2036

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.

IMG_2076

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

IMG_2067