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{1} I just learned that vittles is actually an outdated spelling of the word “victuals.”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

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!

IMG_0373

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

IMG_0307

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).

IMG_0387

And were fantasmic mixed into coconut yogurt with Heritage Flakes.

IMG_0314

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.

IMG_0394

Chicory + coffee yogurt with granola and nibs.

IMG_0319

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.

IMG_20170322_131112_139

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

IMG_0379

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

IMG_0317

This lime fresco popcorn.

IMG_0336

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.

IMG_0343

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.

IMG_0353

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

IMG_0364

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

IMG_0367

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.

IMG_0400

We kept the coconut theme going with our drink.

IMG_0405

*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.

IMG_0105

It was yummy, and a little bit pink!

IMG_0113

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

IMG_0103

{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.

IMG_0092

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

IMG_0146

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

IMG_0116

Bok choy and edamame sautéed with garlic and soy sauce.

IMG_0135

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

IMG_0127

Pumpkin Nice Latte

How are we more than halfway through October?  And less than three months away from the end of 2016??  I can’t handle it!  Here was this week…

I had leftover sweetened condensed milk from a recipe so I put it in TJ’s coffee concentrate.  Then I spent the entire morning certain I was going to die but also overcome with glee.

dsc07595

This Target brand salted caramel hot chocolate is delicious.  Apparently I was into my morning sugar this week.

dsc07542

Yogurt bowls for lunch.  All on theme, thank you.  Chobani pumpkin with pecans and pumpkin spice cheerios and frosted min wheats.  Plus an Asian pear.

dsc07529

TJ’s pumpkin yogurt with more cereal and an apple.

dsc07565

Noosa pumpkin with pumpkin spice granola and pumpkin seeds.

dsc07592

TJ’s caramel apple yogurt with Heritage Flakes and sliced almonds.  This was the best of the apple yogurts, fyi.

dsc07628

It was a snack-heavy week, here were the highlights –

dsc07543

dsc07549

dsc07578

dsc07622

Related – a new pretzel shop opened right above my train and it is a problem.

dsc07577

Most dinners this week were weaksauce.  Adam and I both get a bit bummed out as the weather cools down and we’ve had a hard time motivating ourselves in the kitchen.  Case in point – I ate nachos two days in the row.

dsc07570

At least these nachos had turkey breast on top.  And eggs with spinach in them on the side.

dsc07573

Another night I made a super simple turkey and cheddar toasted sandwich.

dsc07586

Inspiration did finally come, in the form of a box of lemons.  Limoneira sent me a sample of their citrus.  Limoneira Company is a 124 year old international agribusiness dedicated to sustainability.  Their lemons are quite tasty, almost sweet.

dsc07554

I made Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken.  Served with roasted broccoli and lemon pepper cauliflower rice.

dsc07616

Also Dulce de Leche Lemon Popsicles.

dsc07600

Cross your fingers for me that the weather’s nice in NYC today, if there’s no rain I’ve got a fun activity planned.

Palm Seed Fun

This post is running a little late because I am too – I have the day off!  Working last Sunday earned me a long weekend today.  It’s actually an extra-long weekend because I’m off Monday as well, I’m going to Ohio tomorrow to visit my grandma.  Today, I’m going to have some fun with Adam and Webster.

Highlights from this week…

I didn’t snap any iced coffee photos this week, but I promise it was consumed in substantial quantities.  There’s a chance I stayed up far too late watching Road Rules on YouTube one night.  <– not worth the exhaustion, that show spent way more time on relationship drama than I had remembered.

Apple oatmeal, with an Asian pear.

dsc06852

My Filipino coworker brought me in some palm seeds and I bought them to good use.  Chia pudding with palm seeds and banana.

dsc06805

Yogurt with palm seeds, Luxardo cherries, Cherrios, and an orange.

dsc06819

Another treat from the Philippines, polvoron, or powdered milk candy.  They were fantastic, crumbly and milky in such a pleasing way.

dsc06844

More candy, Justin’s peanut butter cups (I’m still obsessed with these) and a milk popping candy.  Sparkling water and diet coke are two of my favorite things and when you drink them together – as in at the same time, not in the same cup – they both taste even better.

dsc06834

Other snacks included apples we picked ourselves.

dsc06810

And the best microwave popcorn we’ve ever popped.  This tasted almost as good as stove-popped.

dsc06869

We kept dinners super simple this week.  Leftover smoked trout casserole, eaten cold out of the pan.

dsc06827

Salmon salad sandwiches – canned salmon with mayo, mustard, and pickle relish – on toasted TJ’s quinoa bread.

dsc06854

dsc06862

My most complicated night involved potato vareniki which cook in about 5 minutes.  Tossed with shredded rotisserie chicken / sautéed celery / garlic kale / and a sauce made of cream cheese and chicken stock.

dsc06882

I’m off to go start my day off!

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.

DSC06002

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.

DSC05928

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.

DSC05936

DSC05992

DSC05998

DSC05974

Especially with sugar crunch grapes.

{3} Compartes Birthday Cake Bar.

DSC06019

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.

DSC05980

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.

DSC06007

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.

DSC05950

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.

DSC05953

It’s Time For BBQ And Hot Dogs

Here were this week’s top three…

{breakfast}

Killer breakfast sandwich.  Turkey bacon, egg, and cheddar on a croissant.  If I could get the cafeteria to scramble me an egg with peppers to put on a sandwich I’d be in heaven.

DSC04575

Coffee always makes the top of the list!  Black Hand with chocolate milk.

DSC04553

With a Lavender Love kombucha.

DSC04592

{lunch}

Yogurt bowls for the win.  With blueberries and chopped nectarine and modest variation in toppings.  2% Fage with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

DSC04530

4% Siggis with pecans, chia, and cookie butter.

DSC04610

Passionfruit Chobani with Heritage Flakes, pecans, and chia.

DSC04559

{snack}

This kettle corn is some of the best packaged popcorn I’ve ever tasted, it is super crispy.

DSC04549

Another sweet and salty, a pixie tangerine with a chicken Wilde Bar.

DSC04603

My coworker brought me in a grass jelly drink to try after I raved about the jelly at Boba Guys.  It was good!  Not very sweet at all and mildly grassy in a pleasant way.  I mixed it with vanilla soy milk.

DSC04548

{dinner}

Our cooking took place indoors and up North but we still made the most of Southern bbq flavors for two of our meals this week.  Nacho night!  Carolina bbq chips, sharp cheddar, pulled turkey with bbq sauce, pinto beans, red onion, and roasted broccoli.

DSC04591

A similar concept on salad – arugula with ranch / bbq turkey / pinto beans / red onion / cucumber / bell pepper.  With corn on the cob.  This was a fun dinner but it desperately needed some crunch and we ended up dumping kettle chips on our salads to act as de facto croutons.

DSC04625

Hot dogs in scrambled eggs sounds low-brow but tastes amazing.  Our eggs included ‘dogs, red onion, arugula, and cheddar.  With avocado and roasted asparagus on the side.

DSC04640

Now I just need to find myself some watermelon this weekend!