Quesadillas, Chilaquiles, And Burritos, Oh My!

As I flip from one classical musical references in my title to another in my opening line… This week these were a few of my favorite things

Favorite breakfast – This incredibly excitingly pink coconut water.

IMG_6695

One of my coffee combos – Birch Cold Brew roast with vanilla cashew milk.  <– good idea in theory but the mouthfeel and taste were both sort of “empty” to me and I ended up having to add a splash of cow’s milk.

IMG_6748

IMG_6756

Favorite yogurt bowl – Vanilla & Cinnamon Chobani with Brown Sugar Cinnamon peanut butter.  Plus a Kanzi apple.

IMG_6649

Favorite snack – an assortment of nuts and dried fruits from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_6674

Pears, persimmons, and sweetened dried lemons plus TJ’s nut and seed medley.

IMG_6666

I can’t choose one favorite dessert, they were all so good!  We were surprised by how tasty these TJ’s churro bites turned out to be.

IMG_6660

I made a batch of snack attack brownies!  This recipe, minus marshmallow, plus crushed potato chips, pretzels, and m&ms.

IMG_6704

And I was killing it in the dinner department this week.  Baked burritos – whole wheat tortillas / shredded chicken breast / sauteed onions and orange and yellow bell peppers cooked with cumin / shredded sharp cheddar cheese / TJ’s double roasted salsa.

IMG_6685

Chilaquiles, mostly from scratch.

IMG_6737

I made chips out of the whole wheat tortillas / cooked in salsa and diced tomatoes / with leftover onions and peppers / shredded chicken / lime / cheese / topped with a sunny side up egg and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

IMG_6742

Egg and cheese sandwiches with homemade sausage.

IMG_6713

Whole wheat hamburger buns toasted with mayonnaise / cheese / fried egg / turkey sausage made with smoked paprika, fresh sage, and maple syrup.

IMG_6721

Plus roasted green beans.

IMG_6718

And yesterday I had a late doctor’s appointment in the city so I grabbed dinner at La Esquina.  I had a ridiculously delicious chicken quesadilla with salsa verde.

IMG_6760

I am off of work today with a three-day weekend and we’ve got super fun dinner plans tonight, woo-hoo!

Columbus Travels

My weekend adventures in Ohio were absolutely fantastic!  My cousin had a gorgeous wedding and it was beyond fabulous to get to spend time with my family.

20171103_182203

IMG-20171104-WA0004

I got into town two nights ahead of the wedding and had the opportunity to explore Columbus a bit, including Easton, North Market, and German Village.

Culinary highlights…

Flowers and Bread – Iced latte with local milk and a chocolate-stuffed roll with housemade apple butter.

IMG_20171104_084518_366

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – Boozy eggnog and Black Cat espresso.

IMG_20171103_122202_239

Related:  I had my first eggnog iced latte of the season on this trip and it made me blissfully happy.

IMG_20171103_093900_411

Roosevelt Coffeehouse – Vietnamese iced coffee.

IMG_4556

The Roost at North Market – I had a giant burrito with scrambled egg, housemade chicken sausage, cheese, black bean salsa, and sour cream.  Plus tons of Franks.

IMG_4559

Wolf’s Ridge Brewery – I had a a flight of three fun beers, Clear Sky Loops a cream ale with orange, lime, and vanilla / Gose brewed with freshly ground coriander and gourmet sea salt / Pi made with spices and local pumpkins.

IMG_4545

The arugula salad with blue cheese, saison poached pear, dried cranberries, marcona almonds, and honey peppercorn dressing.

IMG_4549

And the sweet corn gnocchi with arugula coulis, crispy bread, roasted garlic, and roasted acorn and butternut squash.

IMG_4552

White Gummi Slushie

I worked the weekend (and had two weekdays off) so my schedule has been a bit out of whack.  It is still basically summer temperatures here so we haven’t moved on to hot chocolate and soups but we have been loving the crap out of Pumpkin Month.  Here were some highlights from the past 7 days…

Weekly coffee combo – Black Hand and chocolate milk.

IMG_4150

This pumpkin spice kefir is super tasty.

IMG_4191

Pumpkin Noosa with a TJ’s pumpkin cereal bar and a SweeTango apple.

IMG_4148

TJ’s pumpkin yogurt with pumpkin spice Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheats and a Starkrimson pear.

IMG_4158

Key lime skyr with pomegranate and Heritage Flakes.

IMG_4228

Adam and I got a midweek lunch at Sweet to Lick vegan cafe and we are completely in love.  We had a terrific hero with bulgogi style setain, gochujang mayo, and pickled vegetables.

IMG_4198

Plus the best chocolate chip cookies ever sandwiched around Oreo cream filling!

IMG_4203

IMG_4206

Detroit Friends potato chips (expo sample).  These are some of the very best kettle chips we’ve ever tasted and their company is totally fantastic too – some of the potatoes are grown in a vacant lot in Detroit’s Hope District.

IMG_4169

Orange slice candies.  There’s a vitamin commercial where a woman squeezes an orange slice shaped gummy and it made Adam and I both immediately want to run out to the drugstore.

IMG_4164

Campfire S’mores ice cream.

IMG_4224

White gummi slushie from 7-11.  We are obsessed, these are so good.  I’m not sure what the actual flavor is (pineapple?  or maybe white grape?) but they are juicy and delicious.

IMG_4101

All-you-can-eat sushi buffet at Mizumi.  We love it there, everything is super fresh and expertly prepared.  I didn’t snap all of my plates but the highlights included crab cakes, inari, and seaweed salad.

IMG_4221

Roasted squash and tuna quinoa cakes with cocktail sauce.

IMG_4172

Veggie bowls.  Shredded cabbage tossed in this sauce / roasted edamame / marinated hard-boiled eggs (marinated in gochujang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar).

IMG_4218

Mexican food at Oak House in Floral Park.

IMG_4232

I had a Mezcal mojito.

IMG_4236

And veggie fajitas with carrots, onions, squash, peppers, and mushrooms.  They had chipotle Cholula at the table and we doused everything with it.

IMG_4240

Plus Adam and I split vanilla flan and tres leches cake for dessert.

IMG_4242

Have a great week!

Mid-January

Tuesday night, I met up with my aunt in the Financial District for dinner and then coffees/cookies at the beautiful new 3rd story Eataly.

Wednesday, I was off from work and spent the entire day in bed, watching tv, eating pizza, and reading a Liane Moriarty book from start to finish.

Thursday, Adam and I went on a dinner date sans coats in 66 degree weather.

<– kind of a hard week to complain about, huh?

Here were my best bites…

New all-time favorite coffee combo: Texas pecan coffee concentrate with sweet buttercream creamer.  Swoontastic.

dsc09049

I also tried the new Starbucks Cascara latte.  It was meh, too sweet but not in a brown sugar way as promised.

dsc09056

Chilaquiles!

dsc09083

Kinda, sorta.  I cooked thick tortilla chips in salsa and leftover spicy pepper sauce from my shakshuka.  Topped with black beans, shredded cheese, and fried eggs.

dsc09086

Piñata apple with a spicy chicken epic bar.  I’ve really been enjoying these meat-based bar options.

dsc09060

Yogurt bowl lunch.  Siggi’s with granola and chocolate tahini.  Plus pears.

dsc09091

I made cheesy turkey sloppy joes.  Turkey breast sautéed with onion and green bell pepper and tomato paste, stirred into a sharp cheddar mornay sauce, and served on a brioche bun.  It was pretty damn good.

dsc09075

With leftover bok choy salad and roasted broccoli.

dsc09072

Our date night was a pizza date at Paulie Gee’s.

dsc09097

It was our first time and we loved it.  I had a Milk and Honey Ale and a pizza with fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, olive oil, and garlic.

dsc09106

Dessert at Ample Hills.  A new flavor, The View – chocolate marshmallow ice cream with ooey gooey butter cake pieces, brownies, and crack cookie; plus fantasmic dark hot chocolate.

dsc09094

Looking forward a long weekend!

Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

dsc08907

dsc08858

dsc08946

Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

dsc08933

dsc08890

I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

dsc08869

Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

dsc08871

Veggie chili for my lunch.

dsc08872

I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

serendipity

Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

dsc08882

I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

dsc08883

Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

dsc08930

Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

dsc08911

Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

dsc08866

I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

dsc08898

Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

dsc08905

Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

dsc08927

I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

dsc08916

Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

dsc08941

Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

dsc08950

Served with hunks of sourdough.

dsc08958

I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

Top Ten Last Week

dsc07683

{1} Kobrick Coffee

I stepped up my espresso game with their housemade chocolate milk.  Adam and I were both swooning after every sip.

img_20161029_113134

{2} Pumpkin yogurt bowls

2% Fage with pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter, cinnamon, slivered almonds, and pumpkin spice granola.  With an Asian pear.

dsc07675

Plain Siggi’s with pumpkin x2, pumpkin spice cheerios and frosted mini wheats, and a few candy corns.  With a gingergold apple.

dsc07691

Pumpkin Chobani with cereals and another apple.

dsc07721

{3} Bobwhite Counter

Fried chicken sandwich with pickles and pimento cheese.

dsc07735

{4} Pumpkin Smoothie

We make at least one every October.  Pumpkin puree, plain Greek yogurt, cinnamon, maple syrup, and vanilla almond milk.

dsc07702

{5} Xzibit “Pimp My Ride” style Reese’s

Reese’s stuffed with Reese’s Pieces.  My peanut butter cup obsession usually does not extend beyond Justin’s minis but I am bewitched by these; the bit of crunch takes the cups to a whole new level.

dsc07692

{6} Molly’s Cupcakes

They have a whole slew of gooey stuffed cupcakes.

img_20161029_124731

Cake better was perfection!

dsc07741

{7}  Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Unsurprisingly, Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess)’s 1st memoir did not disappoint.  I added her 2nd book to my Christmas list less than halfway through.

dsc07730

{8} Nachos

I turned my copycat Chipotle bowl leftovers into nachos.  Nachos > salad bowls.  Tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, sautéed onions and peppers, and shredded chipotle honey lime chicken.

dsc07697

{9} C’est Cheese

Adam and I had a weekday off together and we spent several hours of it on the phone dealing with our retirement accounts.  We desperately needed booze and cheese afterwards so we headed to Port Jefferson for lunch.  Baked brie with raspberry jam.

dsc07714

Beer flight – Post Road Pumpkin / Telekinesis sour / Framboise / Imperial Biscotti Break stout.

dsc07711

Plus a Spanish salad with mandarin oranges, Manchego, olives, and a honey tarragon vinaigrette.

dsc07718

{10}  David Pumpkins

Bless you, SNL, this is my new favorite thing.

{Bonus}  Be sure to check out SaveTheDay.Vote, Joss Whedon’s super PAC that produces short PSAs about the importance of voting (for Hillary).  The subject matter is sobering but somehow the videos are all still laugh out loud hilarious.  Whedon is already my role model, and I am so impressed with all of the celebrities to chose to participate.

P.S. Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Nice Latte

How are we more than halfway through October?  And less than three months away from the end of 2016??  I can’t handle it!  Here was this week…

I had leftover sweetened condensed milk from a recipe so I put it in TJ’s coffee concentrate.  Then I spent the entire morning certain I was going to die but also overcome with glee.

dsc07595

This Target brand salted caramel hot chocolate is delicious.  Apparently I was into my morning sugar this week.

dsc07542

Yogurt bowls for lunch.  All on theme, thank you.  Chobani pumpkin with pecans and pumpkin spice cheerios and frosted min wheats.  Plus an Asian pear.

dsc07529

TJ’s pumpkin yogurt with more cereal and an apple.

dsc07565

Noosa pumpkin with pumpkin spice granola and pumpkin seeds.

dsc07592

TJ’s caramel apple yogurt with Heritage Flakes and sliced almonds.  This was the best of the apple yogurts, fyi.

dsc07628

It was a snack-heavy week, here were the highlights –

dsc07543

dsc07549

dsc07578

dsc07622

Related – a new pretzel shop opened right above my train and it is a problem.

dsc07577

Most dinners this week were weaksauce.  Adam and I both get a bit bummed out as the weather cools down and we’ve had a hard time motivating ourselves in the kitchen.  Case in point – I ate nachos two days in the row.

dsc07570

At least these nachos had turkey breast on top.  And eggs with spinach in them on the side.

dsc07573

Another night I made a super simple turkey and cheddar toasted sandwich.

dsc07586

Inspiration did finally come, in the form of a box of lemons.  Limoneira sent me a sample of their citrus.  Limoneira Company is a 124 year old international agribusiness dedicated to sustainability.  Their lemons are quite tasty, almost sweet.

dsc07554

I made Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken.  Served with roasted broccoli and lemon pepper cauliflower rice.

dsc07616

Also Dulce de Leche Lemon Popsicles.

dsc07600

Cross your fingers for me that the weather’s nice in NYC today, if there’s no rain I’ve got a fun activity planned.