Food To Stay

I’m posting a day early because my week ends a day early – I’m off today and then working through the weekend.  Unfortunately at 6:30 am I am already behind on my long to-do list, so I’ll try to keep this post short.

Highlights from this week…

Cafeteria sandwich day.  A wrap with turkey, cheddar, and veggies.

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Plus fries.

Coworker potluck lunch to celebrate the three of us with summer birthdays.

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My plate had sweet Filipino spaghetti with tofu, rice pilaf with dried fruit, and homemade falafel.  We also had 1 million +1 desserts.

Yogurt bowl with vanilla Siggi’s, chopped plum and nectarine, and maple peanut butter.

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The peanut butter is fantastic, we’ve been eating a lot of toast.

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Usually paired with these sugar crunch grapes.

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A final snack highlight was these dill almonds.

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I just tossed almonds, evoo, a pinch of salt, and several shakes of dried dill in a skillet until they were toasty.

Chipotle.  We may have eaten Chipotle 2 out of 3 days this week.

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I’m not exactly winning at dinnertime meal prep motivation lately.

I did make this yummy tossed-together dinner though.

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Leftover pasta with TJ’s turkey summer sausage, peas, red bell pepper, and sharp cheddar.

You guys know that I don’t often do beauty product reviews on the blog, but this pitch was sent the week I turned 31 and I was feeling vulnerable.

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I’m so glad I accepted because I ended up being impressed with the ToGoSpa products.  Rather than creams or gels – which, let’s be real, I’m too lazy to deal with – their active ingredients are packed in collagen gel pads you stick on your face.  P.S. they are paraben and dye free.

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I was afraid to smile when I took my selfies (see the horror show below) but I soon realized that the EYES pads actually stay put really well, I spent the 15 minutes with them on my face working around the house and they didn’t budge.  Bonus – the wording on the packing made me smile: “for best results, take them out of the package and put them on your face!”

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per usual, I was not provided further compensation for this post and all opinions are my own

I’ve tried the Ice Water and Green Tea ones so far, because I definitely sport dark circles thanks to my NCIS obsession.  True fact – it is really, really hard to take a flattering picture sans makeup, on a camera (so no front-facing option), and afraid to smile.

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You get the idea.  I can’t say that my face looked markedly different but the area under my eyes certainly felt much nicer.  I definitely plan on continuing to use the treatments.

Last Week’s Top Six

Better late than never?  I spent my weekend in a malstrom of giant bowls of stovetop popcorn and NCIS episodes and couldn’t pull myself away to blog.  I’m currently watching NCIS but it will probably be awhile before I eat any more popcorn!

Last week’s top six…

{1} Australian iced coffee.

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Cold brew concentrate, chocolate milk, ice, and a scoop of ice cream.  I started several mornings this way.

{2} Product samples from Viki’s Granola.

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They sent me some tasty granola to review.  Banana walnut was my favorite.  The granolas are gluten-free and have </160 calories per 1/4 cup.  The texture was unique, they were much softer and less clumped that most of the other granolas I’ve tried.

Very nice in my yogurt lunches.

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Especially with sugar crunch grapes.

{3} Compartes Birthday Cake Bar.

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White chocolate with sprinkles and three types of vanilla bean, it tasted like cake!  These bars are so worth the $10 price tag, I want to try more.

{4} Pasta salad, served cold.

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Whole wheat bow ties / spinach pesto / heirloom baby tomatoes / baked tofu with balsamic / cubes of swiss and sharp cheddar.  We almost never eat cold pasta salad and this felt fun and summery.

{5} Pimento cheese nachos.

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Our favorite meal, with a southern spin.  Zapp’s sweet pimento cream cheese chips, shredded chicken, red bell pepper, and candied pecans.

{6} Fantastic oven-fried chicken.

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We made a version of this chicken from A Cozy Kitchen and it blew our freaking minds.  With a garlic butter sauce instead of the spicy one.  We plan on making another batch this week.

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The King

The top five things I ate this week…

Birch Coffee cold brew blend.

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Chia!  Pudding with Hint of Honey almond milk, chopped dates, and chocolate covered cacao nibs.

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Yogurt with chopped plum and plucot and the last of the lavender almonds.

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This snack combo.  If I’d had some bacon jerky to go with my baby bananas and peanut butter cups I would have had a snack fit for The King.

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There were a couple of BIG stressful changes at work this week and I mostly ate pizza for dinners but I did make this one fantastic home-cooked meal.  A combo of my two favorite salads – Bahn Mi Chicken and Green Curry Turkey.

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Chicken with curried mayo and ginger, pickled vegetables, chopped red peppers, etc.  Plus honey butter Sriracha toast!

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Just today between me and the weekend!

Duck, Duck… Bacon!

This week Adam and I tried duck bacon and fell head over heels in love.

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It’s probably a good thing that that package cost $14 or we’d be eating duck bacon for every meal!

Our other flavor theme was lavender caramelized almonds.

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Love Our Nuts sent me a giant bin (<– free sample) and I put them to good use.

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In a pan over medium-high heat dry toast 2 cups of raw almonds for 2-3 minutes until starting to brown.  Add 1 Tbsp evoo, 2 pinches of salt, and 1/4 cup lavender sugar and cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring regularly, until the sugar is fully melted and the almonds are coated.  Spread almonds on a greased cookie pan or sheet of tin foil until fully cooled before storing.  If you want to try this recipe at home Love Our Nuts is actually hosting a giveaway right now, all you have to do is visit their social media pages.

I also had a lavender doughnut from Doughnut Plant.

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For this week’s coffee I cold brewed my Birch cold brew blend.

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The tasting notes say caramel and chocolate finish so I stirred a dollop of caramel into this cup because why not?

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I also had a really fantastic latte from Gorilla.

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And a Starbucks latte that didn’t actually pair that well with savory trail mix.

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Yogurt bowls for lunch.  Plain Siggi’s with chopped plum and lavender almonds.

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And fig with chopped plucot and KIND maple chia granola.  Plus a so-so kombucha from Trader Joe’s.

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Chocolate x2.

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A coworker and I got tasty drinks at Grand Army after a particularly long day.  This Trans-Siberian tasted like an adult Capri Sun!  I also had a fantasmic peach sour beer.

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The night Adam was at work I ate Mexican leftovers in bed.

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But the other nights were duck bacon extravaganzas!

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Like this duck bacon, double cream gouda, and egg toasted croissantwich.

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Served with a spinach salad with lavender almonds (dressed in evoo and lavender honey and lavender salt!).

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Killer cheese plate.

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Envy apple, baby carrots, orange and yellow bell pepper, lavender almonds, duck devils on horseback, gouda, and sharp cheddar.

Have you tried duck bacon yet?

Weekly Wrap-Up

Loves of Late

Family time: My parents were taking a quick vacation in Philadelphia this week and I took a mini road trip and drove up to spend the day with them!  I love the Magic Garden mosaics.

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TV: Rizzoli and Isles is on it’s final season and we have been loving it.  It is the most unrealistic of the cop shows that I enjoy but it’s also very funny and heartwarming.  All seasons are streaming on Hulu and I highly recommend going back to the beginning and giving it a watch.  Also, the first three episodes of Documentary Now.  Adam and I thought the 1st season went quickly downhill but the very first episodes are comedy gold.

Coffee: the beans we bought at Birch are fantastic, even when brewed in our crappy coffee pot at home.

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Every time I go to Reading Terminal I hit Old City Coffee.

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Also in Philly, I finally tried La Columbe.

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Stuff: My new planner!  I love new planners in general because I’m a dork but this one has shiny cut outs on the front. (from Blue Sky, fyi, but I couldn’t find it listed on the website)

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I also just bought a shirt with cut outs on it, apparently that’s my summer trend.

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The day I visited my parents we walked around the city all day and it was just so darn hot that we ended up buying me a new outfit so I could take the world’s most refreshing shower before dinner.

Eats

Coffee, duh!  More cups than were shown above, obviously.

Terrible picture of the yummy pecan pastries a coworker brought it.  She cut back on sugar which can leave baked goods overly tough but these ended up tasting like a pastry-scone hybrid.

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Yogurt bowl – plain Greek with chopped red plum, granola, chia, and sprinkles.

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Oatmeal bowl – with dark chocolate cacao nibs, chia, and coconut butter.  Plus an apple on the side.

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Chia pudding.  The fizzy coconut water was horrible, btw.

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When in Philly, (chicken) cheesesteak.

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Pocky stick snack.

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Turkey cheese roll ups.

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Dinner at Devon Seafood with my parents.

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I had the bouillabaisse.

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Chipotle night, midweek road trips tire you out.  My burrito was stuffed with chicken, pinto beans, peppers, cheese, sour cream, corn salsa, and lettuce.

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Best for last, the one thing I actually cooked myself!

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White quinoa / red lentils with lemon, tomato paste, and ginger / roasted zucchini and garlic sautéed mushrooms.

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Have a great weekend!

Destination City

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this week I loved…

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm.  It took me forever to find a balm with both tint and spf but this one fits the bill perfectly!

A blog book review.  Dawn Lerman’s My Fat Dad was sent to me free of charge to try/read for the blog.  Her chapter on moving to New York City walked the reader through the different cultural food neighborhoods in a way that made my mouth water.

Living in a destination city.  I had two different sets of friends visiting NYC for work trips this week.  It was fantastic to get to catch up with them!  However, I went out after work for dinner and/or drinks multiple times and I am flipping exhausted.

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P.S.  My favorite bar (Pork Slope in Park Slope) now has $1 jello shots, clearly I backed the right horse!

this week I ate…

Vietnamese-ish iced coffee.

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A killer smoothie – with banana, blueberry, and avocado.  So creamy.

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Poppy seed bagel with olive cream cheese.

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Oatmeal bowl.  With cookie butter and a pixie tangerine.

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Greek yogurt bowl with Cheerios and plums.  I also crumbled a brownie in there (see below) and it was pretty fantastic.

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Taboule salad from the cafeteria.

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Whole Foods hot bar.  Lots of veggies, rice with black beans and cheddar, and broccoli mac and cheese.

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I needed a 2nd coffee snack more than once.

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Turkey jerky.

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Best ever brownies.  Just this recipe without the fluff.

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Baby carrots with great feta dip.

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I had Thai food in Williamsburg with Adam and a girlfriend.  Drunken noodles with mock duck that were as spicy as they were delicious.

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We cooled our mouths down with soft-serve from Milk Bar.  Fruity pebble soft-serve(!!) with fudge sauce and sprinkles.

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Indian at the Grand Central food court.  And yes, I realize that is a lame spot to take an out-of-towner.

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Starbucks sandwich for a quick dinner on the train and then I went straight to bed!

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I did make dinner at home one night!  Whole-wheat vermicelli noodles with ginger and garlic chicken, shredded cabbage, bell pepper, and a tahini lime sauce.  With cashews on top plus tons of Sriracha after the picture.

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We snacked on a servings’ worth of cashews and sliced bell pepper while we cooked.

Good friends, good eats, it was a good week!

Last Week’s Top Ten

{1} Swapping out my wardrobe to welcome in the spring-ish weather.

So today and tomorrow are supposed to be pretty darn cold, but the rest of the month is looking so nice that I went ahead and traded my summer and winter gear.  Scarves and boots are still available but if we get a freak snowstorm I’m out of luck because all my coats are at the cleaners.  It felt good to get that big project done.

{2} Enjoying coffee again.

Extra espresso in my giant iced latte?  My health is officially back to 100%.

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This upcoming week I did brew a batch so I won’t have an excuse to buy coffee out every day.

{3} Berry smoothie.

Maple kefir, dates, and frozen mixed berries.

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Kefir was the perfect smoothie liquid.

{4} Dessert-y oatmeal bowls for lunch.

Oats with chia, freeze-dried raspberries, pecans, and strawberry shortcake M&Ms.

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Oats with chia, freeze-dried raspberries, and a big scoop of Biscoff.

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I bought a jar of Biscoff last Saturday and it is practically empty now – – I am the only member of the household who eats Biscoff.

{5} National Pecan Day is April 14th and Nonni’s sent* me some Turtle Pecan Biscotti to celebrate.

*Free sample alert – no additional compensation was provided for this post, all opinions are my own.

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The biscotti was quite good next to my coffee – crunchy but not toothbreakingly so and a good balance of salty and sweet.

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But even better crushed into my all-time best yogurt combo.  Turtle pecan yogurt bowl: maple yogurt, toasted pecans, chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, biscotti, and chopped plucot.

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Or check out Nonni’s Pinterest page for some other pairing ideas.

{6} Binge-watching “Hart of Dixie” on instantwatch.

Yes, the show where Rachel Bilson plays a doctor in the deep south.  And yes, it is totally a soap opera.  But it is completely addictive!  I am a woman obsessed, or I should say I was a women obsessed – I may have already finished watching all four seasons!

{7} Kombucha.

The Master Brew line from Kevita has been knocking my socks off.

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Grapefruit was perfectly sweet and tart.

{8} Healthy sticks to scoop up less-healthy dips.

Baby carrots and green pepper in spinach and artichoke dip.

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Apple slices in melted Biscoff and dark chocolate peanut butter.

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Apple dippers in cookie butter are even more satisfying than licking it off of a spoon like I usually do.

{9} Taco brinner.

We loved our fish tacos so much the week before that I knew we needed a repeat.

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This time our hard shells were stuffed with sautéed onions and peppers, shredded cheese, roasted tomatillo salsa, and scrambled eggs.  This was practically the only meal I cooked all week, the other nights I mostly ate chips with cheese and salsa so I’d have time to watch my stories!

{10} Chuko Ramen.

I introduced a girlfriend to the joy that is their veggie miso with a soft egg and chili garlic oil on top.

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It is the perfect dinner spot because Ample Hill’s ice cream is just a short walk down the block!

What are you looking forward to this week?