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!

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

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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).

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And were fantasmic mixed into coconut yogurt with Heritage Flakes.

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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.

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Chicory + coffee yogurt with granola and nibs.

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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.

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

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

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This lime fresco popcorn.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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We kept the coconut theme going with our drink.

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*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.

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It was yummy, and a little bit pink!

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

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{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.

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

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

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Bok choy and edamame sautéed with garlic and soy sauce.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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Noosa pumpkin with pumpkin spice granola and pumpkin seeds.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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Also Dulce de Leche Lemon Popsicles.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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Other snacks included apples we picked ourselves.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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

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With a Lavender Love kombucha.

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{lunch}

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

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

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Passionfruit Chobani with Heritage Flakes, pecans, and chia.

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{snack}

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

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

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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.

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{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.

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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.

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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.

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

1, 2, 3 / 366

We are four days into 2016 and I’ve yet to have a weekend day – my Christmas four-day weekend and an upcoming vacation (yay!) meant that it was my turn to work both the holiday and Saturday and Sunday. <–worth it!  The weekend coverage shifts – and subsequent week days off – are one of the main “perks” of my new inpatient position.  And clinically the last few days have been fascinating, lots of malnutrition, bowel obstructions, and parenteral feeds.

The only downside to the extra busy days (and terrible weekend-menu cafeteria food) is that there’s no #newyearnewyou around here, instead it’s been lots of junk food and zero gym time.  You win some, you lose some.

daytime eats

I opened the year with an extra shot of espresso in my iced latte, a good way to start anything.

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Plus an apple with cheese.  My apple selection this weekend was Piñata and Pink Ladies, all of which were exceptionally juicy and crisp.

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Saturday breakfast was all about the cartons – a winter cheer cold brew and an Icebox Water.  The water was a freebie product review.  It’s really hard to characterize the taste of water (unless you dislike it for some reason, Dasani tastes like carrots to me and I think it’s terrible) but I will say that I found this one enjoyable/refreshing and definitely inoffensive.

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Obviously the ideal would be that people would refill reusable water containers but Icebox Water does offer a more environmentally sustainable option to bottled waters.  Each BPA-free carton is 100% recyclable (and made of 76% less plastic than traditional bottles).

Sunday was my busiest day and thankfully my biggest coffee.  Plus strawberry champagne(!!) seltzer.

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The cafeteria is only partially open on the weekends and the offerings are grim.  I relied mostly on packaged foods from home for lunches.

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Plus gross cafeteria pizza that went unphotographed.

nighttime eats

You have to eat black eyed peas on the 1st.

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I made my favorite BEP recipe – beans / chopped green pepper / smoked almonds / chopped Dubliner cheese / green Tabasco / plus the new addition of shredded chicken breast.

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With a big pile of green beans roasted with shallots on the side.

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Saturday we gussied up some long-ago leftover leftovers.  I made my artichoke and mushroom pasta unhealthy great again by pan-cooking it in lots of evoo and adding an obscene amount of Sriracha and mozzarella cheese.

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This was better than the original dish.

Sunday, Adam met me after work for date night.  Fonda did not disappoint.  I spotted the Rosalita margarita on Instagram and knew that it would be fantastic.

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I was right!  It’s a hibiscus margarita with a hibiscus salt rim, swoon.

We split a salad that was scrumptious – avocados, roasted carrots, toasted pecans, soft goat cheese and romaine hearts drizzled with a lime mustard vinaigrette.  I swear, there was more avocado than lettuce!

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As well as fried sweet plantains with sour cream and queso fresco.

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Adam got chicken enchiladas and I got a vegetarian chile rellano.

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Roasted poblano pepper filled with carrots, zucchini, corn kernels, pickled jalapeños and Chihuahua cheese. Served with a roasted tomato guajillo sauce, pickled onions and Mexican crema.  Stuffed chiles are my favorite Mexican dish and this was the best version I’ve ever had.

With Kahlua tres leches for dessert.

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We both want to go back immediately.  I’ve got my eye on the brunch menu.

Snacks for the week included fancy popcorn from my stocking.

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And cookies.  David Lebovitz’s chocolate chip cookies really do deserve all the veneration they’ve gotten in the food press.  I made a batch for a NYE party and both the party-goers and my co-workers lost their minds over them.

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Recipe notes, because you know I always have to change something:  I used salted butter, skipped the nuts and doubled the chocolate instead – a mix of semisweet and milk chocolate chips, and refrigerated the cookies as preformed balls instead of slice and bake logs.  I don’t think my changes hurt anything, in fact I’m pretty sure the nut for chocolate swap was an improvement!

I also made a less lauded but still terrific peanut butter (chocolate chip) mug cookie.

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My year is off to a sweet start!