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!

Weekend Highlights + What’s In My Bag?

In alphabetical order, because why not?…

Brunch in SoHo.  I took a friend to Freeman’s.

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I had the poached eggs with sourdough toast and cheddar grits.

Chipotle.  Finally, we hadn’t been in almost a month!

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Chicken salad bowl for me with all of the toppings.  Plus way too many chips.

Chocolate-cherry smoothie.

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Frozen cherries and dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla almond milk.

Cookies with M&M’s.

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Have you made Number 2 Pencil’s awesome “single serve” recipe yet?  Put it on your to-do list.

Fast dinner thanks to Trader Joe’s freezer section.

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We had mahi burgers,

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plus veggies in garlic butter sauce.

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Popcorn.  Made on the stove.  <– so much better than the microwave bags

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Random – I swapped out my purses for the week so I figured I’d do one of those “what’s in my bag?” photos.

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Camera / day planner / book for the train (this week it’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog) / sunglasses / cell phone / keys / etc.  It is easy to switch up my bags because all of the ecetera lives in that Brooklyn bag and can easily move from purse to purse.

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Pens / gum / lip stuff / band aids / hair tie / hand sanitizer.

Salad and sandwich night.

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Arugula topped with toasted, shredded Brussels sprouts, sweet and spicy pecans, and honey and evoo.

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The amazing sandwiches were thanks to TJ’s new pastrami-style smoked salmon

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Inspired by the Pastrami Russ at Russ and Daughter’s Café.

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Pastrami-style lox on buttered and toasted pretzel rolls with pickles and muenster cheese.

Sprouted trail mix from my aunt.

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It is similar to “Gorp” and very yummy.

Turkey and cheese roll-ups.

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Yogurt bowl.

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Plain yogurt with chopped nectarines and dulce de leche.

What’s in your bag?  What items are always with you?

Mary Moon

Another great week came to an end.  We are looooving summer around these parts.  Amazingly, I got myself up and out of bed by 7 am both Saturday and Sunday and you wouldn’t believe how much time I felt like I had free to play.  It was great to get everything I wanted to do done – errands and fun stuff – and still make it to bed at a mature adult hour!

breakfast

Cereal and milk (and coffee).

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Smart Start cereal with blueberries and milk with a side of iced coffee.

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I rarely eat cereal with milk because I usually have it on top of yogurt but it is darn good with fresh berries on top.

Another day, another coffee.  Starbucks’ newest dark roast was quite tasty clover-brewed.

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With a Sonja apple and an Epic protein bar.

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I love the idea of the bars in theory, and the texture was great, but unfortunately I’m never a big fan of the cranberry almond pairing.

Finally, espresso from Brooklyn Roasting Company never lets us down.

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As you’ll see below, this was not our only coffee that day, muwhahaha!

snack

Friday afternoon, just as I was racking my brain for a way to get a cookie on my way home without missing my train, my phone rang – the social worker was calling to let me know that a sales rep had brought us cookies!

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How fortuitous.

The dog and I both think that cheese sticks make good snacks.

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On Saturday we enjoyed popcorn and a movie.

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This Churro flavored popcorn from Erin’s Popcorn was on point.  {it was also a free sample, please note that I did not receive further compensation for this post and all opinions are my own}  It had the perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar and was nice and crunchy.  The husband, the true churro connoisseur, could not keep his hands off of it.

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We snacked on it during Jurassic World, and I’ll just say that the popcorn was the best part of that outing.

Adam and I got hot and sunburnt walking around Smorgasburg and we split a cookie sandwich from The Good Batch.

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Chocolate brown-butter cookie, vanilla ice cream, toasted hazelnuts, and Nutella spread.  It was good but not great and we ended up not finishing it.

In contrast, we licked every last drop out of our ice cream cup at Morgensterns.

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American egg and sesame caramel ice creams topped with Luxardo cherries.  And now I know that I am obsessed with Luxardo cherries.

We had good coffee at Happy Bones.  Adam’s flat white was intensely velvety.

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But my skim lavender hot chocolate from Maman was even better.  Not too sweet or soapy, and thick enough to feel decadent, even with skim milk.

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Their gorgeous floral cups make me insanely happy.

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Uggh, why is the Lower East Side so adorable?!

lunch/dinner

We went outdoors and grilled!

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Lime seltzer with fresh mint and pineapple popsicle to drink.

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With corn on the cob, asparagus, sliced halloumi cheese, and Applegate uncured chicken hot dogs.

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The corn and the asparagus – cooked with a drizzle of olive oil and smoked paprika respectively – were roasted in the oven, only the amazingly squeaky cheese and the dogs (which were the best I’ve ever had!) were cooked on the grill.  But we ate on the lawn with Webster circling our feet and it was pretty great.

We did brunch at Root &Bone that ended up being one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.  Every single item was perfectly executed.  Even if Southern-style food isn’t your favorite I recommend checking this spot out.

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For drinks we shared the Colonel’s Daughter – 100 proof bourbon, preserved peaches, Amaro Montenegro, and rosemary and a wine spritzer that I cannot find the description for or begin to remember.

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We started with the crispy chicken biscuits which came topped with root chips and Tabasco jam and with a jar of pickles on the side.

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This was hands down the best chicken I’ve ever tasted.  I really hate the word succulent but it works the best.

Adam got the bacon benedict for his entrée and I went with the peach caprese – gooey pimento cheese croquette, charred peaches, pickled green tomatoes, baby heirloom tomatoes, and basil and molasses vinegar.

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Not surprisingly, smoky sweet charred peaches pair really darn well with fried pimento cheese.  We were swooning.

Sunday we had Chipotle for dinner, because we are very predictable.

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My salad bowl had chicken, sautéed veggies, sour cream cheese, and mild, medium, and tomatillo salsas.  I legit had a dinner planned and prepped but we walked 7.5 miles around SoHo and DUMBO and my feet were killing me!  The sights were worth it.

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Seoul Food Style

We got to spend time with several Buffalo friends, we went on some great walks, the puppy seems to be feeling a little better, and all in all it was a great weekend.  I’m missing a few shots, but here are most of my favorite eats…

breakfast

Giant iced coffee, always.

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That one has fat-free sweetened condensed milk and skim milk.  The SCM is leftover from a failed recipe trial, but Vietnamese-ish iced coffees are better than hot fudge root beer float popsicles (good in theory but I can’t make it work!) any day.

I tried the milk bread from TOUS les JOUR.

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Nice and vanilla-bean-y.

Another day, another coffee.

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I asked Starbucks to put the marshmallow whipped cream and milk chocolate from the S’mores Frappuccino into my skim latte and they happily delivered.  The taste was good but I was unbelievably ill by the halfway mark, I cannot even imagine drinking a full Frappuccino.

Plus Adam and I split a Pulsin’ maple peanut bar.

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It was vegan and made with pea protein and the nutrition stats were pretty good – 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber with 11 grams of sugar.  Not a bad breakfast for a busy morning of errands.

lunch

Lunch in Koreatown.  I set my mouth on fire with a kimchi bun and cooled it down with a (pink!) Harmless Harvest coconut water.

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Afterwards we shared dessert at Grace Street, our new favorite snow spot.

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We shared a machta latte.

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And a black sesame shaved ice with scm, boba, and mini marshmallows.

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Between the tapioca balls and the partially frozen marshmallows, this had so much chew!

“Dinner” for lunch.  We almost never cook a full meal in the daytime so this felt pretty fancy.

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Roasted broccoli with truffle salt,

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and “Cooking Light’s” Farro with Honey-Garlic Roasted Tomatoes.

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We added chopped turkey bacon and rotisserie chicken to the farro to make it a little more substantial.  Also I skipped the thyme (the bacon made up for the flavor), used fat-free feta, and subbed sherry for sherry vinegar.

snack

21st Amendment brews at the Gotham West Market.

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The market space was gorgeous and we want to go back for ramen and/or tacos soon but guys, holy crap, we paid $17 for two cans of beer!!!  At least, after a lot of walking along the piers, they were refreshing.

Can cookies at Schmackary’s become an every weekend tradition?

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This time we split a giant, chewy funfetti cookie topped with cream cheese frosting and tons of sprinkles.

We’ve been loving fruit-infused water lately; having a big jug in the fridge makes me much more likely to pour a glass.

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This week was lime and mint and last week was mint and grapefruit, which was even better.

Corn was popped.

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Enjoyed while Netflixing approximately eight billion old episodes of “Criminal Minds.”

A girlfriend and I had planned on going to Rice to Riches ever since the first summer we moved here and Monday the time was finally right.  I got a cookie cream rice pudding with mocha crumbles.  We both liked the pudding but thought it would be more enjoyable served in a bowl instead of a trough.

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My fancy cup was a skim cortado from Happy Bones, so that was fun.  And we took a great walk across the Williamsburg Bridge.

dinner

Our friends’ adorable baby girl just turned one and they invited us to her Doljanchi, a Korean 1st birthday party tradition.

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The buffet was great,

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but the best thing ever was getting to catch up with all of the med school friends (and their babies!) that we’ve been missing.

Saturday night we had an absolutely amazing dinner at The Marshal, a Hell’s Kitchen farm-to-table spot that focuses on seasonal, local goodies.  Bonus – the waitstaff are all insanely cute!

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I got an Earl’s Tea to drink – chilled Earl Grey Tea, Peace Vodka, Catskills Provisions raw honey, lemon, and orange cream bitters.

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We started with scallops – bourbon planked herb crusted Massachusetts jumbo scallops with caramelized lemon and assorted local herbs.

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And Arcadian Pastures deviled eggs – ramps-infused yolks, micro-wasabi, and crispy duck prosciutto.

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None of the appetizers really knocked our socks off (good but not the best ever) but the duck prosciutto was definitely smoky and amazing.

Our meals, on the other hand, were mind-blowing.  Adam got a bacon-wrapped pork loin that he loved so much he didn’t speak for the rest of the meal and I did a trio of farm sides.

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Roasted Bulich Farm snow while mushrooms, herb butter, Upstate white wine // Sautéed Lancaster Farm dandelion greens, red pepper flakes, grapeseed oil, Finger Lakes white wine // Satur Farms sweet potato and kale au gratin.  The gratin was out of this word; it was so rich I couldn’t even finish it.

We were too stuffed to do more than pick at dessert, but we couldn’t skip it!

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Bittersweet chilled chocolate fudge in NYC honey with honey comb, bee pollen, and Blue Marble vanilla ice cream.

The Lower East Side has always been my Manhattan haunt of choice, but lately Hells Kitchen has been rocking our socks off!  NYC readers, what’s your favorite neighborhood?

Fun Facts From The Weekend

{1}  The special drink at Café Bene this month is handmade strawberry milk!  It’s called a “strawberry latte,” and as far as we could tell it is just milk and macerated strawberries.  The husband and I liked it a lot.

strawberry latte aka fresh strawberry milk

That’s more than I can say for the S’mores Frappuccino, as the whipped cream did not taste like marshmallows.

{2}  You can eat Kentucky Derby themed snacks even if you don’t watch the race and still have no idea who won.

This Dark Chocolate Walnut bar was yummy.

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And I made Adam and I “Derby Shakes” on Saturday.

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Milk chocolate gelato and toasted walnuts blended with skim milk, Jim Beam Maple Bourbon, and ice.

{3}  Bareburger’s new menu includes a burger topped with pimento cheese, pickled green tomato, a fried egg.

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I guess that technically fit in with our Derby eats too.

{4}  The new Avengers’ movie was not bad at all.  Even though it was long enough for us to need a refill on our giant soda.

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It was very funny; several quips had the whole theatre laughing out loud.  I think overall it would have been a lot more Whedon-y if it had been Natasha walking into the house instead in that final farm scene (<– intentionally vague so as not to give any spoilers).

{5}  You should totally make my newest recipe at home – Spicy Salmon Roll Casserole.

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It came together really quickly and Adam and I both enjoyed it.  Served with Bon Appetit’s Thai Celery Salad on the side.

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I’m looking forward to leftovers of both dishes.