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.

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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.

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

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

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Roosevelt Coffeehouse – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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This pumpkin spice kefir is super tasty.

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

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

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Key lime skyr with pomegranate and Heritage Flakes.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Campfire S’mores ice cream.

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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.

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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.

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Roasted squash and tuna quinoa cakes with cocktail sauce.

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

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Mexican food at Oak House in Floral Park.

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I had a Mezcal mojito.

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

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

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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.

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

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Chilaquiles!

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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.

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

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

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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.

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With leftover bok choy salad and roasted broccoli.

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

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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.

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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.

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Looking forward a long weekend!

Hello, 2017!

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

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

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

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

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

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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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

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{1} Kobrick Coffee

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

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{2} Pumpkin yogurt bowls

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

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

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Pumpkin Chobani with cereals and another apple.

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{3} Bobwhite Counter

Fried chicken sandwich with pickles and pimento cheese.

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{4} Pumpkin Smoothie

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

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{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.

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{6} Molly’s Cupcakes

They have a whole slew of gooey stuffed cupcakes.

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Cake better was perfection!

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{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.

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{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.

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{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.

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

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

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{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.

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

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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.

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

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Noosa pumpkin with pumpkin spice granola and pumpkin seeds.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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Also Dulce de Leche Lemon Popsicles.

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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.

Double Chocolate Cherry and Pumpkin Spice

We’re a week into Pumpkin Month and I still haven’t cracked open any of my pumpkin beers!  I have, however, purchased more (I spotted Schlafly in Manhattan – finally! – and couldn’t pass it up).  Thankfully I consider November gourd drinking time as well.

I didn’t do the best job with photos, but here were some of my eats last week…

Home-brewed coffee (espresso roast with fat-free half and half) with honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.

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I dumped most of that yummy coffee into my purse and consoled myself with espresso and chocolate milk when I got off the train.

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Pumpkin spice coffee with pumpkin juice that ended up being too spicy for me.  I wanted it to taste like that amazing pumpkin smoothie Odwalla used to sell.

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I also was NOT a fan of the pumpkin pie Quest bar, big surprise.  My coffee and chocolate-covered almonds were still a good snack though.

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As was this pear and Epic Bar combo.

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Liberte lavender! yogurt with banana and almonds for lunch.

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My other yogurts for the week came in the form of a product review – i.e. sent to me free of charge, with no additional compensation for this post.  Greek Gods yogurt is both Adam’s and my absolute favorite so when they offered to send me their three newest chocolate flavors I jumped at the opportunity.

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Because they’re made with whole milk, the yogurts have too much saturated fat for me to consider them an everyday staple, however, as a treat they are fantastic.  Compared with ice cream they have less than half the saturated fat and calories (and double the protein) and 100% of the flavor and creamy decadence.  Like I said, Adam and I both consider them to be the most pleasing yogurts on the market.  And we have been eating them everyday this week!

Chocolate Cherry I decided to use in a smoothie recipe.  For 2 – blend 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup frozen dark cherries, and 8 ounces chocolate milk.  Yum!

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Chocolate Strawberry I topped with freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, and pecans.

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And Chocolate Mocha turned into pumpkin spice mocha, with pumpkin spice granola and pepitas on top.

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Dinners were weak this week.  I made this ridiculous grilled cheese sandwich – Havarti and sharp cheddar on cinnamon swirl bread – three nights in a row!

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And leftovers saved me from having to cook the only meal that counts as a meal.  Pumpkin sausage pasta and broccoli salad were weirdly fantastic together.  Topped with smoked paprika and shredded cheese.

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Last night we went to Biang!  We split shredded potatoes and garlic bok choy and I had Mt Qi spicy pickled veggies on hand-pulled noodles.  My elbow was practically touching the girl next to me, so no photos.

Today, we’re hoping to go to Smorgasburg and dinner in Williamsburg.  Have a great weekend!