Aha!

Highlights from this week (mostly beverages that blew my mind!) include…

Starbucks vanilla sweet cream nitro cold brew can gets a 7.5/10.  Not as good as a freshly made nitro but better than many canned coffees.

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Wendy’s new cold brew with chocolate Frosty creamer gets a 7/10; a great score for a fast food coffee.  It was not too sweet and the coffee was vastly more robust than Dunkin Donuts’.

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I always enjoy Health Ade Kombucha and their passion fruit tangerine flavor is my new 2nd favorite (it comes in behind their holiday spice flavor).

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AHA = my new favorite sparkling water.  This was the surprisingly fantastic flavor combo of cherry and coffee!  And it’s caffeinated!!

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A decked out yogurt bowl.  With vanilla bean powder, cinnamon, honey, banana, watermelon seed butter, and starry sprinkles.

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My favorite yogurt (Trader Joe’s plain skyr) with my new favorite oatmeal cookies (Stella’s easy one bowl recipe) and some mandarinquats (which I actually didn’t enjoy because they were impossible to eat).

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Crazy good take-out from Cheng Du.  I got kung pow tofu and Szechuan chili oil tofu and it was some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever tasted.

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This was hands-down the best sandwich I’ve ever made.  I could not stop raving out it.

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Brioche bun with Kewpie mayo / chicken thighs marinated in pineapple juice, brown sugar, sriracha, minced ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar then roasted / bbq sauce made with the reduced marinade plus ketchup / topped with sauteed sweet onion, poblano pepper, and pineapple.  Served with roasted broccoli.

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Dough My Goodness

Five things from last week:

{1} Cookie dough

Still obsessed with the cookie dough Perfect Bar (which still has no online presence?!).

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Newly obsessed with this monster cookie edible dough.  I may have eaten too much sugar this week.

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{2} Leftovers

Leftover homemade corn okonomiyaki topped with gojuchang mayo and gochugaru chile flakes (p.s. this is the brand I love for both).

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{3} Snacks from Trader Joe’s

TJ’s kills it in the snack game.  Dehydrated carrots.

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Sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds + dried baby pineapple.

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{4} Yogurt bowl

Guava passion fruit Greek yogurt (also from Trader Joe’s) with blueberries, sumo mandarin, and chocolate banana granola.

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{5} Veggie bowl

Roasted – shredded brussel sprouts, green onion, shishito peppers + sauteed – baby tomatoes, TJ’s turkey summer sausage.

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Oahu Part III, Fun Places We Ate

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We were blown away by how good everything we ate on this trip was!  Hawaiian chefs are absolutely killing it.  The next time we go back to Hawaii I would strongly consider returning to Oahu just to revisit some of these spots!

I really tried to limit my picture taking and this post will be a million pages long if I list out every single thing we ate so this will just be the highlights of the highlights…

** Kona Coffee Purveyors.

Nitro Kona coffee with a black sesame kougan amann (not shown).  Affogato.

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** Leonard’s Bakery.

This malasada (Portuguese doughnut) stuffed with guava cream was my favorite bite of the entire trip.

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** Matsumoto Shave Ice.

This was my favorite shave ice of the trip; the flavors were spot on and the ice cream was wonderfully chewy and a great foil to the ice.  Guava, passion fruit, and strawberry on top of vanilla ice cream and topped with condensed milk.

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** O’Kims.

Dumplings stuffed with king oyster mushroom, button ear wood, yellow squash, zucchini, and truffle paste, topped shoyu jelly and pickled dikon.

 

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Korean fried chicken with gochujang, housemade gnocchi, brussel sprouts, purple rice, and kimchi.

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** The Pig and the Lady.

Midday Run – mezcal, passion fruit, vanilla, habanero, and lemon (not shown).  Le Swoon – Kohana rum agricole, Okinawan sweet potato, pandan, coconut milk, cinnamon, lime, and aphrodite bitters.

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Chocolate banana tart with Valrhona dark chocolate cremeux, chocolate cookie crust, fresh banana and banana marmalade, toasted hazelnuts, and tamarind caramel.

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** Piggy Smalls.

This was hands down our best meal of the trip!  We ordered all the things.  Brussel sprouts with makrut lime, peanut, fried shallots, cabbage slaw, and pickled red onions.

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Stir-fried ramen noodles with aged garlic shoyu, Chinese chives, pickled fresno chile, and shrimp.

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Lychee infused milk cake with blueberry compote, lychee chantilly cream, and lemon citrus streusel.

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Hanoi egg coffee, Kona dark roast poured on whipped egg yolk and vanilla bean.

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** The Surfing Pig.

Best cocktails of the trip.  I drank way too much prior to our 10 hour red-eye flight.  The bartender was crazy talented and also maybe my new favorite person – she hugged us on our way out.  Smoked rosemary mezcal margarita.  I also had a spicy paloma with mezcal (not shown).

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** Waiola Shave Ice.

Guava and passion fruit with vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and housemade mochi.

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Hot Sauce And Cinnamon Gum

Flavor themes from this week include – hot sauce, coffee, chocolate.

Highlights…

Fun in coffee.  Iced with fancy egg nog.

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I had forgotten how much fun it is to have a milk frother!

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This bottled New Orleans coffee was delicious and contained 10 grams of protein.

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Seasonal fun at Doughnut Plant – a marzipan star and a mint tree filled with chocolate pudding.

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Still obsessed with these cookie dough Perfect Bars.

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Plain2% Greek yogurt bowl with chocolate sunflower seed butter and fresh blueberries.

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Just before I left VA one of my officemates got me hooked on cinnamon gum and lately I have been loving this version from Mentos.

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It was Adam’s birthday this week!  He got multiple cakes at work and brought me home a delicious slice of s’mores cheesecake.

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Amy’s tortilla casserole with black beans frozen meal.  Topped with copious amounts of Cholula.

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Shredded potatoes with smoked mackerel salad and soft scrambled eggs.  Topped with furikake.

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Breakfast cheese fries.  Sweet potato waffle fries with cheddar, eggs, maple chicken sausage, broccoli, and shishito peppers.  Topped later with Kewpie and Sriracha.

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My current favorite sheet-pan hash is Japanese sweet potato + bok choy + green onions.  Plus salmon candy and cashews on top.  Topped with furikake, Kewpie, and Sriracha.

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I made a yummy version of this baked Spanish rice recipe.  I added fish sauce and green olives and subbed in vegan soyrizo for chorizo.  Topped later with Cholula.

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FYI – there will be no post this weekend for the best reason ever: I am going home for a few days with a couple of NY friends!  Ocean, rum, and warm weather, here we come!

Thankful For Nachos

Do I have zero chill?  Yes.  And did I fully lean in to all things holiday/Thanksgiving flavored in the second week of November?  Also yes.  I couldn’t help myself, I was ready for cranberry and eggnog and cozy cheer!

Holiday highlights from this week include…

Eggnog in my coffee!

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Cranberry seltzer.

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Pumpkin pie marshmallows.

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Thanksgiving nachos.  Trader Joe’s turkey and stuffing kettle chips / swiss and gruyere cheese / turkey andouille sausage / roasted green beans / poblano peppers / cranberry sauce.

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Thanksgiving totchos.  Tots / swiss and gruyere / poblano peppers / green onion / brussel sprouts / cranberry sauce.

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Upcoming highlights?  I am heading to New York this afternoon to visit Milk Bar’s Thanksgiving croissants my loving husband and dog.

A NY Weekend > A New York Minute

I spent Friday night – Tuesday afternoon in the city enjoying a New York long weekend with my boys!  So much fun!  We ate ice cream at least once a day, took long walks around Williamsburg, the Lower East Side, and Long Island City, and had a great night with friends at a delicious dinner (Baoburg – I don’t have photos but it was fantastic!) followed by a trip to Barcade!

Highlights include…

A malted cold brew.

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Is one of my favorite things about NYC the ability to find weird and amazing drinks absolutely everywhere?  100% yes.  And we took full advantage of that this weekend.  New canned coffees from Chameleon Cold Brew, churro and cinnamon dolce.

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Strawberry sparkling water and a soursop and sea moss drink.

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Cinnamon Coke with rum.  <– strongly recommend!

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Baohaus‘ spiceland bao is a thing of beauty!  24-hour brined fried chicken served with lemon-garlic aioli, an 8-ingredient Szechuan chili oil, pickled cabbage, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.  Their menu is limited because the things they do they do exceptionally well.

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Great ice cream at Four Winters.  They make each cup individually with liquid nitrogen.  This was brown sugar speculoos with fudge, biscoff cookies, and extra sprinkles.

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Even better ice cream at Caffe Panna, the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten, in fact!  I got a cone with housemade whipped cream – panna – on brown butter straciatella and chocolate berry crunch (<– this flavor was the best ice cream we’ve ever tasted).

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Plus we got an affagato special – ice cream and espresso with whiskey caramel and cacao nib hazelnut brittle.

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Adam and I had an incredible dinner at Case Enrique – a Michelin starred, traditional Mexican spot in Long Island City.  I went for the drinks and they did not disappoint.  I had a soursop caipirnha!

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Plus a tamarind margarita.

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We started with the rojas con crema – roasted poblanos with onion, corn, cheese, and cream.  Scooped up with tortillas that were out of this world.

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And I ordered the mole de piaxtla – mole sauce over chicken and rice.

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Dessert!  Tres leches, flan, and cafe con leche.

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Other fun things… I pulled out this St. Thomas bag my parents got me.  It makes me happy every time I reach into my purse.

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And Adam bought me this gorgeous bracelet at a shop in Brooklyn.

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🙂

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Breakfast Totcho Hash

2/3 of what I have to share this week (yes, I did the math) is appropriately on theme for October!  Other fun in fall includes…  Pumpkin-scented sanitizers.

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And an orange-y yellow nail polish (Urbanized by Cirque Colors).

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Food highlights include…

The original bests in packaged cold brew – Stumptown and Blue Bottle.

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Wegman’s pumpkin pie yogurt with blackberries and maple pecan granola.

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Wegman’s pumpkin Greek yogurt with almond butter and honey butter almonds.

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A hazelnut, coffee, maca bar and some surprisingly good chickpea-based cookie dough.

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Two best pumpkin beers so far this season – coffee Pumpking and Schlafly Pumpkin Ale.

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Breakfast totcho sheet pan hash!  I baked sweet potato tots, with peppers, onion, cheddar, and scrambled eggs and it was delicious.

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It was so yummy it was even good mashed in a container and served leftover.

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