Hell Of A Halvah

Highlights from this week…

It’s really lovely to have a husband who arranges me flowers and buys me cupcakes when I’m cranky!  Related note – it’s also really nice to live walking distance from Sweethaus because apparently they are our favorite cupcakes on the planet.

IMG_0377

Random drink assortment from work, the lemon rose blossom water was surprisingly delicious.

IMG_0397

Weirdest/most exciting snack award goes to – this Japanese candy we brought home from NY.  It was like a fun dip but with a cola flavored lollipop and fizzy milk powder.

IMG_0404

Fantastic product sample – Absolutely Gluten Free sent me their newest snack item: TahiniBARs.  Halvah is a candy made of sesame paste and it is both Adam’s and my very favorite treat.

IMG_0277

The TahiniBARS come in vanilla, pistachio, and cocoa nibs.  They are certified kosher, dairy free, and gluten free.  Each serving has 100 calories.

IMG_0292

We LOVED them!  They absolutely stacked up to the halvah I grew up eating and the artisinal varieties we’ve had in NY.

IMG_0295

One of my favorite ways to eat halvah is crumbled up in yogurt, so one day I made an absolutely ridiculous snack – plain Greek yogurt / vanilla TahiniBAR / Soom chocolate tahini spread / red plum and green pluot.  Delicious.

IMG_0343

We had some tasty dinner too.  Like bbq chicken fried rice.  Fried rice / carmelized red onion / shredded rotisserie chicken / fresh corn / collard greens cooked with rice vinegar / bbq sauce / eggs.

IMG_0348

Jalopeno popper pasta, loosely inspired by this recipe.  We used whole-wheat shells, turkey bacon, no cream, and less cheese; plus I topped mine with panko.  With roasted zucchini.

IMG_0367

Leftovers with an assortment of baby wines.  I do NOT recommend the rose.

IMG_0389

Homemade buffalo chicken dip / scooped with baby carrots and potato chips / celery sauteed with butter, salt, pepper, and celery seed.

IMG_0412

I’m trying out a recipe that sounds super fun this weekend, so please cross your fingers for me that it turns out!

Broccoli And Cake

Highlights from the week…

Coffee coffee!  Irving Farms Blackstrap Espresso with half and half.

IMG_8923

Things that taste like cake!  Hot chocolate that was pretty good and a candy bar that was pretty meh.

IMG_8908

Blackberry yogurt bowl with chopped plums and Flax Plus Multibran Flakes.

IMG_8920

Plain Greek yogurt with black sesame halvah from Seed + Mill and an envy apple on the side.

IMG_8958

Dinners this week were easy (and very chip forward) but good.  The best night I ate a crappy sandwich on the train because… I went to the ballet!  My aunt brought me along with her to see Misty Copeland in Giselle.  It was beautiful and fantastic!

IMG_8951

Chips and dip.  I made homemade onion dip – sauteed sweet onion and green onions, turkey bacon, fresh chives, sour cream, and kewpie mayo.  Dipped with gojuchang kettle chips, baby carrots, and bell pepper.  It turned out very well and I definitely went back for more chips to keep scooping.

IMG_8934

Nachos!  Toasted tortilla chips / homemade nacho cheese sauce (you literally just melt together mild cheddar and sour cream, it was crazy easy) / ground turkey sauteed with taco seasoning and onion and bell pepper / green onion on top.

IMG_8975

Warm broccoli salad.  Roasted broccoli / turkey bacon / chives / raisins / blistered peanuts / sour cream, sugar, smoked paprika, and rice vinegar.

IMG_8964

I work the next five days but I hope everyone else has a fun weekend!

Law And Order SVU (Spectacular Vittles Unit)

I still don’t want to talk about anything important.  I’d rather think something else than the fact that my hometown was just ravaged by yet another hurricane.  St. Thomas – and the devastated Caribbean as a whole – is pretty much all I’ve been thinking about for the past 2 weeks.  Let’s talk about yummy food instead.

Three facts before we get into the meat of this post –

{1} I just learned that vittles is actually an outdated spelling of the word “victuals.”

{2} I was serving on the jury for a criminal case for the past 5 days.  I don’t dread my civic duty at all, and it was a very positive experience.  Deciding a verdict is an awesome responsibility and I feel like I got a learn a lot about our legal system over the past week.

{3} I have added to my apple stash!  Gum, kombucha, and gummy bears, all of which I highly recommend, by the way.

IMG_3590

Plus Noosa Yoghurt sent me a fun package of fall flavors, including one of their newest flavors – Apple!

IMG_3604

The highlights…

This week’s coffee – Campfire Blend.  Plus I purchased a latte every day on my lunch break.

IMG_3663

Since I couldn’t have my camera with me in court, I’m missing a lot of my day-time eats this week, but I do have shots of my packed snacks (including a full lunch for my Thursday back at work).  Maple Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a gingergold apple.

IMG_3688

Apple Noosa with an apple bar.  This Noosa really does taste like pie filling!  The yogurt is soooo creamy and sweet and the apples are just a bit cinnamon-y.

IMG_3617

Pink lady apple kombucha, cinnamon apple sauce, cinnamon apple oatmeal, and sour caramel apple gummy bears.

IMG_3596

Snacks worth mentioning include: this 365 brand popcorn.  It’s low sodium but totally not bland; I loved it and I usually won’t even eat bagged popcorn.

IMG_3616

A yogurt bowl with chocolate Siggi’s yogurt, chopped plucot, granola, and a few caramel chips.

IMG_3679

Trader Joe’s new peanut butter roundels.  They are basically supersized peanut cups, so obviously we are obsessed.

IMG_3666

It’s not officially fall until today, but we still made some cold weather comfort foods for dinners.

IMG_3638

Grilled cheese sandwich on whole-wheat sourdough with labneh, sharp white cheddar, and a sprinkle of sumac.

IMG_3627

IMG_3657

Dipped in tomato soup (a low-sodium boxed variety from TJ’s that was good but not great).

IMG_3646

With roasted squash.

IMG_3648

I also made a ridiculously delicious Mac and Cheese and Greens casserole.

IMG_3677

Make a roux with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour // whisk in 1 cup skim milk and 8 cups baby spinach food processed until smooth with 3 Tbsp pesto and salt and pepper to taste // stir in 9 oz shredded sharp white cheddar and a healthy sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika // fold in 8 oz whole wheat shell pasta cooked according to package directions // pour into a casserole and top with 1 oz cheese // bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

IMG_3699

On the agenda this weekend?  We’re hoping the weather holds out for a final trip to Smorgasburg and a first-time visit to Roosevelt Island.

Sandwiches And Scottie Dogs

Bites from this week…

I had an exciting product sample to review – Nocciolata Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread.  It’s organic, vegan, and made without palm oil.

IMG_3034

The spread tastes like Nutella but better – it’s creamier and the sweetness has less bite.  I ate many a spoonful this past week!

I also enjoyed it in an excitingly neon strawberry smoothie.  Frozen strawberries / pitaya / cow’s milk / chocolate hazelnut spread.

IMG_3086

And in yogurt bowls with Greek yogurt and a trio of plucots.

IMG_3038

Non-yogurt lunches came from the cafeteria (and were tasty as all get out).  Toasted sandwich – cheesy focaccia / mayo / spicy chicken / cheddar / tomato / spinach – with sweet potato fries.

IMG_3074

Bean and veggie quesadilla – with pinto beans / mozzarella / bell peppers / onions / corn / and tomato.

IMG_3069

This week’s work snack was candy – Japanese milk chews and black licorice.

IMG_3062

My coffee (former freebie) was 10/10.  This is less roasty than what I usually go for but still totally swoon-worthy, it isn’t the slightest bit bitter or sour.

IMG_3055

Adam was gone every night this week and I am unable to make myself adult if no one is there to see it so dinners were convince foods and/or nachos.

IMG_3060

I’m scheduled to work the next five days but feeding myself a vegetable is definitely job #1 for the weekend.

 

Couch Potato, Twice Baked

This past week I came home from vacation and went back to work.  It wasn’t all bad, the end of vacation means I get to see this face –

IMG_20170806_213837_525

We made it home in time to celebrate his Buyday.  With steak!

IMG_20170812_140623_933

Here are the highlights of what the humans ate this week…

Coffee (coffee! coffee!).  Wicked Joe Coffee sent me some samples.  WJC is a sustainable, family-owned company producing certified organic, fair trade coffees.  They offered to let me try out the goods in celebration of the fact that they are available in 247 Sprouts Farmers Markets nationwide.

IMG_2842

I tried both blends (cooked in our drip coffee maker than cooled and served iced) black and with skim milk to taste-test and give them two thumbs up!  I also did some fun, sugary coffee pairings based on the tasting notes to jazz up my return to work mornings.  Wicked French says “bakers chocolate with an unexpected hint of sweetness” so I used fancy chocolate milk.

IMG_2846

Big House has “sweet notes of caramel and citrus” so I swirled in dulce de leche.

IMG_2969

Yogurt bowls.  Vanilla almond granola / cloudberry peach skyr / and three(!) colors of plucots.

IMG_2920

Passion fruit Fage / an apple / and an Rx Kids chocolate chip bar.

IMG_2976

I snuck in one last day of midweek vacation with Adam on Wednesday and we went on a lunch date at the gorgeously cool Chaan Teng in Hell’s Kitchen.

IMG_2891

IMG_2887

IMG_2907

I had shrimp and chicken dumplings to start.

IMG_2894

And a sweet and spicy cocktail with tequila, tamarind, basil, Szechuan peppercorns, mango juice, lime, and chili.

IMG_2898

They had kung pow duck!  With chilis , peppers, peanuts, and jicama.

IMG_2903

Snack attack.  We finally got to Astoria to try Chip.  My s’mores cookie was gooey perfection and now I can’t wait to go back.

IMG_20170816_121834_507

Cola candies.

IMG_2835

Korean Chili KIND bar.  <– I like their savory flavors even better than the sweet

IMG_2851

These dried mangos from TJ’s are out of this world good.

IMG_2937

If you stretch the definition of “cooked” to its limit, I made five nights of home-cooked dinners!  Turkey and sharp cheddar sandwich on a toasted whole-wheat croissant.

IMG_2828

BBQ chicken salad.  Local greens / ranch / baby heirloom tomatoes / pulled chicken breast with Korean bbq sauce / smoked cheddar.

IMG_2854

An assortment of freezer items, and eggplant that I actually cooked myself.

IMG_2869

TJ’s Thai sweet chili veggie burgers.

IMG_2878

Crinkle cut fries (with ketchup and mayo).

IMG_2881

Steamed/sautéed eggplant cooked with canola oil, fish sauce, gojuchang, honey, and garlic scapes.

IMG_2874

I made pimento cheese twice baked potatoes!

IMG_2944

This was my first time making twice backed spuds (or even eating them for that matter) but they came out great.  The filling was a mix of potato / extra-sharp cheddar / diced pimentos / mayo / smoked paprika and cayenne.

IMG_2964

Served with baked tofu.

IMG_2959

And beautiful roasted purple and orange cauliflower.

IMG_2954

IMG_2930

The potatoes were great leftover too.

IMG_2981

With leftover duck that I chopped up and reheated in a skillet.

IMG_2994

And oven-baked okra fries.

IMG_2989

Have a great weekend!

Freedom!

IMG_2218

I’m on vacation!  Friday was my last day of work for 11 glorious days!  I prepped for vacation by eating all of the ice cream last week 🙂

For a work-week this past week was not a bad one.  Adam and I were off together on Wednesday and got do some Lower East Side wandering.  And over the weekend we did some Long Island exploring.  Plus I met with friends for brunch.  And ate all the aforementioned ice cream.

Last week’s flavor themes: (Stumptown) coffee // ice cream // cheese // corn // egg.  Highlights…

Brunch at The General Greene.  I had the farro bowl with pesto, roasted sweet potato, avocado, and a poached egg.

IMG_20170723_110039_569

Black Brick Coffee just might be our new favorite spot.  It’s a neat space and my Stumptown latte was ridiculously good.

IMG_2187

Trader Joe’s new coconut cold brew coffee is pretty tasty, especially with chocolate milk.

IMG_2147

Vanilla bean yogurt with blackberries, granola, and chocolate tahini.

IMG_2160

Plain Greek yogurt with black plum and Oreo cheesecake.

IMG_2235

Sandwich with curly fries.  Spicy chicken / mayo and mustard / lettuce / pickles.

IMG_2251

Because I don’t eat enough nachos at home, they were a special in the cafeteria this week.  Pinto beans and cheddar with olives, corn, bell pepper, and onion.

IMG_2157

Our Long Island exploration took us to both Farmingdale and Babylon.  We had a flight of craft beers at Lithology.  My favorite was the honey rye with rosemary, followed closely by the sour farmhouse ale.

IMG_20170722_140404_222

We also did lunch at Swell Taco.

IMG_2279

My burrito was giant and packed with grilled chicken, refried pinto beans, rice, veggies, salsa fresca, sour cream, and Monterey jack.

IMG_2282

I’ve seen multiple foodie instagrammers try to say that Ben’s compares with Levain <– NO.  PSA – this was not good.  These cookies were greasy and terrible and I threw mine out after two bites and still had a stomach ache.

IMG_2213

We checked out the Filipino goodies at Johnny Air Mart and snacked on calamansi soda and Polvorón shortbread.

IMG_2195

Bubble tea from Vivi.  Grapefruit Yakult with crystal boba and coconut jelly.

IMG_2289

Brigadeiro Bakery taught me that I actually don’t like ice cream as much as I think because apparently brigadeiros are my favorite dessert.  <– they are a condensed milk candy so that’s not that surprising

IMG_2219

Stumptown coffee soft serve with sprinkles and cookie dough at Scoops.

IMG_2173

Birthday cake soft serve with sprinkles at Milk Bar.

IMG_2208

Cookie dough with toasted coconut soft serve at Stew Leonard’s.  This was both the best soft serve and the best edible cookie dough we’d ever tasted.

IMG_2276

Sweet milk and browned butter pecan ice cream at Malai.

IMG_20170723_122951_836

BBQ chicken salads.  Baby romaine with ranch / cheddar / cucumbers / leftover cole slaw / shredded chicken with Korean bbq sauce.

IMG_2169

Bean and chicken bowls.  Sautéed onions and green pepper / cheddar / shredded chicken with cilantro sauce – cilantro, roasted jalapeño, canola oil, honey, and salt / pinquito beans from Susie Q.

IMG_2242

The beans were a kit sent to me to review.  They came with a premixed seasoning packet (mild red chili, onion, garlic, and select spices) so they were a snap to prepare, and much tastier than canned beans.  They kept their shape after cooking and were firm but not chewy or mealy.  <– I would buy these with my own money

IMG_2231

I know these eggs look god-awful, but they were amazing.  Scrambled with unsulfured chicken hot dogs / kimchi / and cheddar.

IMG_2286

Dinner at Colonia Verde.  This restaurant is insanely gorgeous, Adam and I were in heaven.

IMG_2252

IMG_2256

I drank the Patient Extra – Cachaca, Luxardo Maraschino, grapefruit, lime, and citrus bitters, which was fabulous.

IMG_2261

And ate duck confit tacos and grilled sweet corn salad with carmelized pepitas, cotija cheese, and mint.

IMG_2267

IMG_2271

P.S. It’s my birthday today!!

IMG_2199

IMG_2201

IMG_2183

 

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.

DSC06038

Plus fries.

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

DSC06024

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.

DSC06119

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

DSC06114

Usually paired with these sugar crunch grapes.

DSC06126

A final snack highlight was these dill almonds.

DSC06128

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.

DSC06027

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

I did make this yummy tossed-together dinner though.

DSC06136

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.

DSC06048

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.

DSC06060

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!”

DSC06051

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.

DSC06087

DSC06098

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.