The year’s been good so far! I started my 1/1/23 with a quick run before work to get things started on the right foot and had cold brew with sweetened condensed milk next for a sweet year. <– I made those traditions up but I love them. I also worked several lucky-for-the-new-year foods into our meals this week – cabbage, greens, noodles, and black eyed peas.
Highlights from the 1st week of the year included…
Coffee from Hawaii.
Surprisingly wonderful mochi doughnuts from Paris Baguette. The cinnamon one was stuffed with red bean.
Homemade popcorn with butter, furikake, togarashi, white sesame seeds, and salt/sugar.
Another hit from my favorite beer company (Abomination Brewing). This marshmallow IPA was great, though not as good as Fog Nog. I drank it on a date walk with Adam to get froyo topped with marshmallows, so that was perfect.
We also enjoyed this Mai Tai inspired sour from Mast Landing.
We celebrated New Year’s Eve by eating tons of Chinese take-out and falling asleep before 10pm (my very favorite way to spend NYE!). Zouji Dumpling House is my new favorite Chinese spot – we ordered a million things and loved it all. This leftovers dinner plate was scallion pancake / house chili oil / pan-fried lamb dumplings / veggie dumplings with cabbage, radish, and rice noodles / dry stir-fried cauliflower with onion, pepper, and garlic / Kung Pow chicken / and a scoop of sourkraut for luck.
Our favorite black-eyed-pea salad. With Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, Crystal hot sauce, and diced green bell pepper. Plus some roasted baby cauliflower.
Whole-wheat vermicelli noodles with zoodles, shredded chicken, and nước chấm. Topped with Sriracha.
Congee (brown rice cooked for an hour and a half in turkey stock) / layered with collard greens sauteed with green onion and ginger / and ground turkey sauteed with white onion, garlic, and Korean pepper / topped with chili crisp and green onions.
Popeye’s take-out with roasted broccoli from home. Biscuit, fries, nuggets with great sauces, and some of the best mac and cheese I’ve eaten in the States! Is Popeye’s my favorite restaurant? I want to be embarassed to be considering that but I probably should be more embarassed by the fact that this wasn’t the only time I ordered this this week!! The nuggets are shockingly good leftover.
This week’s eggnog plus coffee we brought back from Hawaii.
Sugar cookie kefir from Lifeway. Good, though not as good as I thought it would be.
Cosmic Crisp apple. It was good but hard to describe, somehow firm and juicy but not crispy?
Mountain Dew’s fruit cake soda is my new favorite mixer! Downright delicious with spiced rum.
This week’s dinners were all a) great, and b) bar food themed! We covered tacos, nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pickles! Taco salad. Chopped romaine / Sugar Bomb tomatoes / avocado / black beans / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with white onions and taco seasoning / cracked pepper / homemade ranch dressing – sour cream, lime, Crystal hot sauce, and ranch seasoning. I would have said that I don’t care about ranch dressing but this stuff was fantastic.
Pickled oven baked tofu tenders plus roasted broccoli. Sprouted extra-firm tofu / marinated in pickle juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, and garlic / dipped in a mix of flour, cornstarch, sugar, and smoked paprika – then egg – then panko bread crumbs / baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. So crispy.
Cheeseburger inspired nachos plus roasted green beans with ranch. Trader Joe’s dill pickle chips / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with garlic, ketchup, and yellow mustard / Kewpie / chopped Sugar Bomb tomato, white onion, and dill pickle.
Traditional nachos, actual bar food. I worked a 10.5 hour day on Thursday (!!, coming back from a vacation means extra work, being short-staffed near the holiday means extra work, and training an intern means things move more slowly, and all three factors converged horribly this week) so I grabbed take-out for dinner on my way home. Nachos with cheese sauce and cheddar, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onion, and zucchini.
A delicious but non-traditional first night of Hanukkah. Trader Joe’s frozen latkes (potato and cauliflower) with sauted dinosaur kale and a fried egg. I pair my latkes with sour cream instead of applesauce.
This year I worked Thanksgiving Day but then had Friday off for a long weekend — so my parents came to visit! They loved getting to experience the cold (not many 45 degree days in St. Thomas!) and spend time with their granddog and we did a bunch of great New York exploring. Our travels included Time Square, Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, Industry City, Bushwick, Greenpoint, and Hudson!
I did not take a single dinner photo – we went to the oldest steakhouse in New York and also had outstanding meals at Kitty’s in Hudson and Glasserie in Brooklyn! – but here are a few highlights from the past week…
I managed to eat many on-theme things on Thanksgiving.
My parents and I stuck with tradition and ate Thanksgiving nachos – Trader Joe’s stuffing chips with smoked turkey, sauteed shishitos, swiss and gruyere, and cranberry sauce. Plus sauteed green beans with butter and lemon.
Plus Loryn Powell said that Fireball and banana cream rum tastes like a Cinnabon so my mom and I tried it with a maple pecan cream liquer and were quite impressed!
We were also pleased with these Tip Top mini canned cocktails.
We tried – and loved – one of the Zaro’s specialty black and white cookies – mint chocolate.
We found the Oishii omakase strawberries on sale! Fun to try but no one really preferred them to standard strawberries.
Everyone thought that Fortunes Ice Cream in Trivoli makes the best ice cream we’ve ever tried. I got persimmon and the sour cherry labne.
Broad rice noodles with tofu from Bangkok Bar in Industry City – I’ve wanted to go there for forever and now I want to go back immediately.
Great iced latte from Wycoff Starr.
Festive yogurt bowl with plain skry, frozen banana bread, brown sugar syrup, cinnamon, and sumatra mandarin.
Chobani pumpkin spice Greek yogurt with strawberries, granola, and chia seeds.
Noosa pumpkin yogurt with blackberries and granola.
See also – I really enjoyed this Elleno’s Greek yogurt with lemon curd.
As much as I love potato chips I also really like things that are pretending to be potato chips. Wilde’s chicken chips (this chicken and waffles variety is my favorite).
Biena’s Hawaiian bbq chickpea and veggie crisps.
Local pumpkin beers. Bronx Brewery’s Tattooed Pumpkin IPA (7.5/10) and Blue Point’s Big Mother Pumpkin imperial pumpkin ale (8.5/10).
Also local, also for spooky season – Sixpoint’s Screamsickle orange and vanilla hazy DIPA (8.5/10).
A fun date night – Adam and I went out to For Five Coffee for these tasty churro pancakes with dulce de leche drizzle, chocolate pearls, and horchatta ice cream.
Pumpkin Month pasta. Trader Joe’s butternut squash pasta with roasted zucchini, Seemore’s chicken kale pesto sausage, and Sauces n Love pink pesto sauce. [note to future Emily – we did not like the pink pesto!]
Fantastic noodles and veggie bowls. Whole-wheat vermicelli / nom choc / chicken breast cooked in the crockpot with soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime, ginger, and honey / roasted brussel sprouts / chili crisp.
Turkey reuben inspired sheet-pan hash. We loved this! Roasted potatoes and cabbage with smoked turkey, sourkraut, and homemade 1000 island dressing.
Is it supposed to be a balanced breakfast or a gourd-based breakfast? La Colombe pumpkin spice canned coffee plus Perfect Bar’s pumpkin pie seasonal flavor.
Lifeway pumpkin spice kefir. I am on a years’ long hunt for the eggnog version.
Trader Joe’s pumpkin Greek yogurt with plucot, chia seeds, and granola.
We liked but didn’t love Elysian’s Night Owl pumpkin ale.
Trader Joe’s Howling Gourds pumpkin ale makes it into Adam’s top five favorite beers.
And Southern Tier’s canned craft cocktail of their Pumpking whiskey and cola is officially in both of our top five for all-time-favorite beverages. I bought this months ago and squirreled it away and devestatingly I have been unable to find it again.
The nights we didn’t get take-out (we’ve had kind of crazy work weeks) we hit it out of the park with what we cooked for dinners. Super salad night – local lettuce with miso caesar dressing, bacon-flavored crunchy mung beans, Gardein vegan crab cakes, red bell pepper, and avocado.
Broiled salmon with a miso glaze plus baked green beans. Adam had his with rice but I went with bbq potato chips.
Emily Mariko style salmon bowls! Plus a side of smashed cucumber salad.
This Sriracha shrimp bowl from Trader Joe’s has held the title of my favorite frozen meal for more than a year.
Fries with beer cheese and short ribs from Greenpoint Brewery; all three of us were smitten.
Best meal of the month – takeout from Elder Greene. We shared crispy brussel sprouts with goat cheese and maple walnut aioli / The Burger – LaFrieda short rib blend, cheddar, American, pickles, onion, and special sauce / and a Waygu burger with white cheddar, arugula, lemon herb aioli, and a brioche bun.
We did not enjoy this key lime sour, but I am posting a photo as a reminder to Adam and myself because it so seems like something we would like.
On the other hand, we loved the flavor profile and political stance of this Greenpoint IPA.
Typically I don’t buy vegan ice creams but these bites are pretty satisfying.
Our favorite sheetpan hash – roasted Japanese sweet potato, bok choy, and green onion; topped with smoked salmon candy and roasted Norwegian salmon. I also added tons of Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.
Big summer salads. Local lettuce, honey mustard dressing, baby tomatoes, roasted corn, baked tofu, and homemade croutons.
Best bowl of the week – sauteed cabbage, snap peas, baby tomato, and green onions, with chicken maple breakfast sausage, peanuts, Korean chili flake, Sichuan pepper salt, and a nuoc cham inspired sauce.
Tons of Roast take-out – chicken taco sandwich, fries, buffalo-style roasted potatoes – plus roasted purple cauliflower.