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.
And got Thai take-out and watched The Office.
A good 90% of my gifts were edible so I spent the rest of the day eating sugar.
Related – because my cousin knows me very well, her Christmas gifts to me included delicious homemade latkes
and Christmas-themed beer.
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.
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.
We made red and green sheet pan crab fried rice. Use this method. With basmatti rice, crab, green onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli.
P.S. Today is our 11th wedding anniversary (and our 16 year!! dating anniversary) and we have super fun stuff planned ♥♥
This post includes five sweet things, four holiday theme items, three types of eggnog, two homemade dinners…
Stumptown Cold Brew with Trickling Springs egg nog.
Grady’s Cold Brew with Promised Land Holiday Nog.
I made my banana toffee magic bars for a cookie exchange at work and they came out really well! I subbed in caramel chips for butterscotch and it think it was an upgrade.
Sweethaus‘ holiday cupcakes are somehow eight times better than their already fantastic regular offerings. Eggnog and gingerbread with meringue frosting.
Hardywood’s gingerbread stout is stupid good and dangerously easy to drink.
This lavender can from Kombucha Town is my current favorite kombucha; it’s very mellow.
Fancy tuna salad makes an easy dinner. A mix of tuna and smoked sardines with mayo, dijon, and capers / roasted brussel sprouts / baby carrots / Trader Joe’s everything crackers.
But Wegman’s take-home meal section makes an even easier dinner. Spicy general tso chicken with fried rice and seaweed salad.
And one night I did legitimately cook – a protein, some veggies, and even a sauce. Asian take-out style tofu! This recipe but with oven fried tofu (similar to this method) in place of chicken. I also used rice vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and added in some cashews.
Peppermint and egg nog > nonholiday flavors. But even the nonseasonal bites were tasty this week. Highlights include…
Coffee = Coffee Mate sweet cream cold brew.
Also a peppermint mocha La Colombe can with a surprisingly good peppermint bark Clif Bar.
Limited seasonal item eggnog shake from Cook Out.
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.
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.
Homemade buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese. Plus simple side salads, dressed with evoo, honey, lavender salt, and garlic and herb cashews.
It was a great week in packaged coffees. Grady’s Cold Brew = 11/10 (it’s my very favorite!). P.S. how great are our flowers??!
Black Hands can = 9/10.
Blanchard’s can = 7.5/10.
Other beverage fun included Polar hibiscus cloudberry seltzer.
And this killer cocktail combo – cinnamon hibiscus tea, Goldschläger, and club soda.
Snack attack. Strawberry sage kombucha, a caramel chocolate granola bar, and an Autumn Glory apple.
Can you believe I didn’t try a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich until after I left New York? We were super impressed with this.
Our dinners this week were definitely on a theme. Chili. Ground turkey / black beans and baked beans / sweet onion and poblano pepper / tomato paste and crushed tomatoes / clove, cumin, smoked paprika, brown sugar, fish sauce, liquid smoke, and gojuchang. Topped with cheddar, plain Greek yogurt, and jalopenos.
Bacon and cheese wrapped hot dogs. Turkey hot dogs and halloumi cheese wrapped in turkey bacon on a whole-wheat bun with ketchup. With a side of green bean fries.
Bacon chili cheese hot dog casserole. Double layers of cauliflower rice / turkey bacon / sliced turkey hot dogs / green onion / leftover chili / and sharp cheddar. Topped with plain Greek yogurt and hot sauce.
Pumpkin Noosa for breakfast. I sprinkled some crunchy granola from the cafeteria on top and it was fantastic.
Maple glazed doughnut with a maple pancake iced latte from Sugar Shack.
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.
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!
This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.
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.
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.
Plus the best pumpkin beer of the year and a chai pumpkin ale.
Next week is the start of Pumpkin Month!! But first, here’s a collection of “fall flavored” things –
The maple Mars bar was a disappointment. (Mom, sorry, it came as part of a Snack Crate, I cannot get you one).
But the pecan pie granola was a delight, especially paired with a Trader Joe’s caramel apple Greek yogurt!
More apple goodness, this Rave variety was crispy and sweet.
And in other packaged goods new, I obsessively searched for this Oreo coffee creamer for the past 2 months before I finally got my hands on it. <– worth it
Pimento cheese and crackers at Grit.
I put leftover bbq chicken on a yummy salad. With butter lettuce, honey mustard dressing, cashews, and cucumber.
This frozen meal from Trader Joe’s remains the best chile relleno of my life.
My in-laws were in town a few days this week and we had a great time seeing them. Including a trip to Asian buffet. I had really tasty seaweed salad and the best egg tart I’ve ever eaten. Here were my fist and last plates (with several in between!).
I had some real flops in the dinner department this week, and I don’t photograph my work lunches, so most of what I have to share in this post is dessert!
I tried chocolate oat milk in my iced coffee and I didn’t totally hate it.
Wegman’s coffee counter shopping treat, salted caramel cold foam iced latte. Cold foam gets two thumbs up from me, I would get it again on an unflavored latte.
The cookie butter flavor at Red Mango is hands down the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever tasted! Topped with mochi and butterscotch chips.
Homemade tahini cookies stuffed with m&ms. A riff on this recipe because No. 2 Pencil’s cookie recipes are all genius.
Chipotle salads are my favorite restaurant meal at the moment and I’m not even ashamed about it. My perfect combo = greens, chicken, extra fajita veggies, corn salsa, hot salsa, sour cream, and cheese. Eaten at home with a super tasty Dogfish Head Dragon and Yum Yums beer.
This salad was a homemade dinner success! Sauteed broccoli slaw / shredded chicken breast / toasted almond slivers / a food processed sauce of cilantro, parsley, orange juice, lime juice, evoo, honey, and rice vinegar.