Coconut, Citrus, And Guava, Oh My

Did I mention last week that I need a vacation?  This week was worse.  Thankfully, starting tomorrow we are on vacation!!  Here are the highlights from the past five days that felt like they lasted for ten…

I kept my coffee combo the same, but did kick things up a notch one day with an Aussie iced coffee!

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Limoneira recently expanded their orchards to include blood oranges and Cara Cara oranges and they sent me a box of goodies to sample.

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The Cara Caras were good, and the blood oranges were the best I’ve ever had – juicy and sweet and just a bit tart.  They made a very good work snack (with roasted pecans and TJ’s butterscotch short breads).

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And were fantasmic mixed into coconut yogurt with Heritage Flakes.

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It was a week of exceptionally good yogurt bowls.  Plain Greek with TJ’s mixed nut butter, vanilla granola, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and shortbreads.

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Chicory + coffee yogurt with granola and nibs.

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Adam and I both were off on Wednesday and we went to Sunday in Brooklyn for brunch.  I had “The Elvis,” charred banana, housemade fluff, sunflower butter, and green apple, on whole-wheat bread.

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Plus pie and espresso at Blue Stove.  This guava chess was good but not great.

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Snacks of note included jelly beans on the first day of Spring.

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This lime fresco popcorn.

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And the epicness that is Trader Joe’s dried fruit selection.  Dried persimmon?!  The carabao mango is out of this world, it’s like candy.

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Three of five nights I ate a grilled cheese sandwich* while watching Bob’s Burgers** but twice I did manage to cook a legit dinner.  Like egg sandwich pitas.

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Scrambled eggs with smoked paprika, red bell pepper, and spring onion in a pita with mayo and sharp cheddar.

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Plus a cruciferous veggie mix sautéed with cashews and soy sauce.

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Green curry chicken and veggies.  The chicken strips were baked after marinating in a spicy Sriracha marinade, with yellow onion, green onion, green bell pepper, and roasted zucchini, in a green curry sauce.

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We kept the coconut theme going with our drink.

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*grilled cheese notes: this week they were on quinoa bread but rye or sourdough is best / sharp cheddar with pickle relish is my preferred combo / always cooked in butter.

**Bob’s Burgers is my new favorite cartoon series (other than Rick and Morty which is just one of the best tv shows of any genre), I like it even more than Futurama.  It’s the perfect balance of funny yet sweet.

See ya next week!

(Winner, Winner) Chicken Dinners

Did this weekend feel far too short for anyone else??!  I’m working next weekend – and expecting horrid snow on Tuesday – so maybe I just had a lot of emotion riding on this free time.

We did manage a fair amount of productivity and fun – taxes were filed, groceries were replenished, and we spent a great evening with my cousin and her boyfriend.  They were only in Manhattan for a couple of hours but we managed to give them some good New York fun – drinks/games at Barcade and bbq at Blue Smoke.

If this post had six points my bbq dinner feast would have been #1, but since I didn’t bother with pictures while company was in town, here were the weekend’s top five…

{1}  Marshmallow flavored popcorn.

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It was yummy, and a little bit pink!

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{2}  This week’s coffee combo – chicory coffee and chocolate milk.

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{3}  A random lunch assortment – chocolate peanut butter packet, strawberry lingonberry yogurt, an apple, and a pink lady apple flavored kombucha.  The kombucha was my favorite component.

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{4}  Take-out galore.  Garlic fries, fried ravioli, southwestern salad, boneless wings, blue cheese, and honey bbq wings.

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{5}  An Asian-inspired dinner.  Scooped up with tortilla chips.

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Bok choy and edamame sautéed with garlic and soy sauce.

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Red curry chicken salad made with shredded chicken breast with mayo, red curry, red bell pepper, shallot, and toasted coconut chips.

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4 x 3 = 12

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snack, here were my top three eats for this week…

breakfast{1}  The 2nd best* thing I ate all week – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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Café du Mondé coffee with chicory from our trip to NOLA with sweetened condensed milk.  Yum City.

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b{2}  A killer smoothie.

How pretty is this purple??  Frozen soursop and blueberries with cow’s milk and vanilla pudding mix.

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b{3}  Double chocolate oat bowl.

Oats, chia, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

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b{warning}  Do not recommend: this oatmeal drink box.

The flavor was way too artificial.  Adam tried a plain one and loved it so it’s probably the caramel flavor that’s the problem.

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lunch{1}  Cafeteria sandwich.

Turkey and cheese.  I mostly prefer to pack lunch for work but I hate trying to pack sandwiches so this is a great cafeteria option when I’m in the mood.

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l{2}  Yogurt bowl.

Coconut Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit is this year’s new favorite combo!  I snacked on the vanilla granola and chocolate coconut milk on the side.

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l{3}  Baked potato bar.

I topped my spud with cheese sauce, salsa, black beans, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

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snack{1}  Caffeine overload.

Iced latte with chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Full disclosure – I drank a sugar-free Red Bull around this same time and spent an hour or two pretty sure I could hear colors.

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s{2}  Cheesy bagel.

I toasted half a poppy seed bagel with butter and cheddar-gruyere/parmesan-gouda.  Eaten while prepping dinner because I just couldn’t wait.

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s{3}  Yogurt bowl with my favorite citrus.

Maple yogurt with Heritage Flakes.  Plus a Sumo Mandarin.

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dinner{1}  Let’s be real, the very best* thing I ate this week was nachos.

Four-cheese nachos with black beans and roasted garlic salsa.  Duh.  But no photo because we ate them in bed in the middle of the day (<–fabulous) and my main focus was on keeping them away from the dog.

d{2}  Gojuchang turkey rice bowls.

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Brown rice with cilantro, lime and butter / roasted cabbage / ground turkey sautéed with spring onions and cilantro and a sauce made out of gojuchang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / black sesame seeds and lime juice on top.

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d{3}  Cheesy eggs.

A scramble with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda.  Plus baby carrots for a quick veggie on the side.

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d{warning}  Do not recommend: the altered quinoa soup I blogged about last weekend.

I see why Cooking Light only used a quarter cup of grains, by day 2 our leftovers were very well-hydrated quinoa with not a drop of broth to be found.

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Coffee, Doughnuts, And Quinoa

Adam and I had the morning off together on Friday and we used the time for another sunrise bridge walk – Queensboro Bridge.

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3 down {Williamsburg Bridge} {Brooklyn Bridge}, and 1 to go {Manhattan Bridge}.  Perhaps in the summer we’ll reverse it and walk out of Manhattan at sunset.

After the bridge, we wandered around the Upper East Side and in and out of Central Park and ended up walking more than 8 miles (<–awesome).  The weather was so gorgeous I wore flip flops for the first time in months (again, awesome) and unfortunately now my calves are killing me (<– not awesome).  I’ve been limping for the past two days!

On the food front, here were my top three favorites…

#1 – breakfast pastries

We tried new treats at two new spots and they were reeeeeeally good!  At Padoca Bakery, brioche – chocolate and dulce de leche swirl and guava and cheese swirl.

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At Orwashers, we had a doughnut injected with strawberry preserves, which was good, and a chocolate almond croissant which was the single-best pastry I’ve ever eaten.

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You have to have coffee with doughnuts.

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The lattes at Bluestone Lane are divine.  We went to the UES location that shares space with a stunning church.

#2 – a new snack

I pack Adam crunchy chickpeas for work all the time and this Korean BBQ flavor is my new favorite thing.

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Related – Sumo Mandarins are officially my favorite fruit of the year.  They are always juicy and tart, and so easy to eat – they’re a snap to peel and have no seeds!

#3 – quinoa soup stoup

I got the idea from Cooking Light; you cook the quinoa in the broth with the other components so it comes together very quickly.

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For my version I used carrots, red bell pepper, celery, onion // s&p, turmeric, smoked paprika, celery seed // shredded turkey breast // 1 cup quinoa // low sodium chicken broth.

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Since I used more veggies and quinoa mine came out thicker like a stew.

This upcoming week I’m looking forward to: a fancy coffee combo this morning, watching the newest undercover episode of “Bones,” and having Thursday off of work.

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!

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!

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!