Fresh On The Blog

Gotta love a three day weekend!  I don’t work today (hence the late post) and my plans include the dog, my bed, and The Office, the end.

My Friday, Saturday, Sunday were all pretty great too.  Friday, Adam drove me into work so we had before-work breakfast date and after-work dinner date (plus we basically consider the time driving in the car to be a date too!).  Saturday, I met up with girlfriends for brunch and discovered that Bayside, Queens – which is about 10 minutes from my house – is actually kind of great.  And Sunday, we had friends in from out of town and we got to show them the magic of Grand Central Whispering Gallery; plus the magic of coffee from Cafe Grumpy!

highlights…

Apertif.  I had a croque canard sandwich with duck rillettes, apple, brie, and béchamel.

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F.O.B.  A newish Filipino spot in Cobble Hill people have been (rightly) raving about.

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We got so much good food!  Corn bibingka – rice cake with farmers cheese, kesong puti, and coconut butter.

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Overnight chicken adobo and pechay – sautéed Chinese cabbage with chili and garlic.

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And Halo Halo – shaved ice with nata de coco, red beans, tapioca, mango, jackfruit, and ube ice cream!

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French Workshop.  We split something with white chocolate mousse, and hazelnuts, and milk chocolate ganache but there were about a million other things that looked good too.

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Joyce Bakeshop.  We’ve decided that we don’t love their coffee, but their kouign amann is my all-time favorite pastry.  Seriously, I like it more than filled croissants from Union Fair and cronuts from Dominique Ansel, and that bar is set pretty damn high.

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Kame Ramen in Nomad.  I had spicy chicken miso with sesame oil and a soft boiled egg.

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I did manage to cook one meal at home – loaded baked potato casserole / shredded chicken with bbq sauce / spinach salad with pomegranate, marcona almonds, and Trader Joe’s cilantro salad dressing.

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Have a great week!

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Super

Did all my American readers eat wings and gauc and dip last night?  I don’t even watch the Super Bowl but I try not to let that get in the way of my buffalo chicken consumption.

Weekend eats highlights –

We actually had dinner reservations at Evelina last night; a little Italian place with no tv, big screen or otherwise.  I had a fun Cordelia cocktail – mezcal, malted banana, pressed lime, and Coco Lopez.

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We shared two yummy salads to start.  Italian radicchio with roasted grapes, almonds, Blue di bufala, and vin cotto.

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Roasted beets with Fuji persimmon, house smoked ricotta, and hazelnut.

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Sadly our entrees were disappointing.  My cacio e pepe risotto with white shrimp was a major letdown.

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But that meant that we ended up grabbing pizza on the way home; buffalo chicken is never a letdown!

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I worked the weekend so most of my food was in snack form.  Two superior combos of iced coffee and chocolate milk.

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This citrus medley yogurt from Trader Joe’s is fantastically creamy and sweet, especially with sumo mandarin segments mixed in.

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Potato wedges from the cafeteria – gotta get in that blue cheese.

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And one morning Adam drove me into work and we went on a breakfast date at the Orwashers in the new Whole Foods 365.  Best chocolate croissant of all time!

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Random television musings –

  • My two favorite shows this season – The Good Place and Agents of Sheild
  • My least favorite new show – 9-1-1
  • The old show I am loving and tearing through seasons of at a disturbing clip – Cougar Town

Valentine’s freebie FYIs –

  • If you visit Godiva stores on Sunday, February 11th they’ll give you one free piece of chocolate while supplies last (no purchase required)
  • Aunt Annie’s is selling heart shaped pretzels buy-one-get-one-free on the 14th if you download their app
  • Not free and just for New Yorkers – FYI, Doughnut Plant is selling adorable rose shaped doughnuts right now and usually they have heart-shaped ones on Valentine’s

Good Coffee, Bad Coffee

Weekend coffee round-up:  The cold brew roast from Birch is fantastic.

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This Vita Cafe vanilla coconut water coffee is pretty darn good.

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And the vanilla iced latte from Panera is no good, terrible, very bad.  <– it was so sweet it was practically caustic, and that was with “light on syrup” and extra espresso!

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Saturday, Adam and I spent the day in Astoria.  We finally got to check out the Museum of the Moving Image, which had a great Jim Henson exhibit running.

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Plus we got a sprinkle cookie from Chip.

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Spent some time at the gorgeous newer, bigger Kinship.  <– maple cold brew, for the win

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And got brunch at Queens Comfort.  We shared the cornflake crusted chicken and waffle with maple tabasco glaze.

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And the Super Marios Benedict – cheesy cheddar chicken patty, home fries, poached egg, and hollandaise.

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Home-based highlights include a yogurt bowl for work – lemon Chobani, sour lemon raisins, blackberries, and strawberry granola minis.

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Cocktail hour.  Sprite, grapefruit seltzer, and vodka.

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Chicken hash bowls.

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Duck fat / shredded chicken / yellow onion / spring onion / red bell pepper / arugula / tater tots / cream cheese / smoked paprika / and a fried egg.

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Cookie Monster

Friday, Friday, Friday!  How did a short week feel so long?  At least I had multiple sugar highs to carry me through.

Munk Pack sent me a sweet (but actually protein-packed) box of samples.  Munk Pack Protein Cookies contain a whopping 18 grams of plant-protein and 6 grams of fiber per cookie.  They are gluten-free, vegan, and do not contain sugar alcohols or soy.

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I let Adam review two flavors on his own because he’s the one whose lifestyle depends on quick, protein-packed snacks (and he’s already obsessed with Munk Pack’s oatmeal packets).  He thought double dark chocolate was good but not great and was over the moon for oatmeal raisin spice.  To quote – “5/5.  A little bit savory but not too spicy.  Firm on the outside but moist on the inside, with a good texture from the oats.  Very filling, it kept me satisfied for hours.”

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And personally I liked peanut butter chocolate chip but I loooooved the coconut white chip macadamia.  All of the flavors were very substantial, I actually ended up skipping lunch yesterday because I was still so satisfied from the cookie I ate for breakfast at 9!

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Peanut butter wasn’t necessarily a cookie-cookie but was a darn good protein bar but the coconut flavor was straight-up decadent.  It had the slightly gritty consistency of cookie dough and was one of the more delicious packaged cookies (dessert options included) I’ve ever eaten.

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Plus we threw a baby shower for a coworker this week and I made and ate a million desserts.  Matzoh toffee candy.

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Triple fudge brownies with maraschino cherries and cherry cream cheese frosting.

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I did eat one or two things that weren’t sweet.  Like super spicy Thai food.  I went out for lunch with a girlfriend in Astoria and had a great bowl of extra spicy pad see ew with mock duck.

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Plus Adam and I hung out for a bit at Gossip; love it there.

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Still obsessed with this Trader Joe’s seed and bean snack.

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It was a week of fantastic home-cooked dinners.  Like Asian-style cabbage wraps.  <– best dish of the week

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Red cabbage cups / ground turkey sauteed with shredded carrot, spring onion, orange and bell pepper/ crushed peanuts on top.

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Plus two dipping sauces – miso, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, gojuchang / avocado, cilantro, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, Greek yogurt, evoo.

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Another night I used the leftover avocado cilantro sauce to make a killer salad.  With red cabbage, arugula, spring onion, shredded carrot, yellow bell pepper, black beans, sharp cheddar, and salty peanuts.

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With an assortment of global gummy candies for dessert.

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And another night we made loaded cheeseburger cheese fries!

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Waffle fries / cheese / tons of sauteed onion / mini turkey cheeseburgers / with ketchup and mayo on top.

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Plus broccoli slaw on the side, sauteed with rice vinegar and cream cheese.

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Have a happy weekend!

Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, And Eggplant, Oh My!

Goodness me, did we fit in some fantastic eating this weekend!  Three restaurant stops that were three of our best meals in NYC to date.  I spent the past three days giddy and full.

Highlights…

First things first – they can’t all be winners.  Both of these products seemed like things I would flip for so it felt like I should put out a PSA that I was not a fan.  The protein krispie treat tasted stale and horrible and the drink was more peanut than caramel.  Plus I’ve decided that the new Starbucks blonde espresso is not for me because I like the roasty flavor of the traditional espresso.

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I do recommend this salted caramel cold brew that I drank with skim milk.

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I am also a fan of toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches on brioche buns.  With kettle chips and roasted green beans.

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Now the stuff that knocked my socks off – Joyce Bakeshop.  We got baked goods with our coffees on a whim and the kouign-amann ended up being the single-best pastry I’ve ever had.

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Dinner at LIC Market.  We ate on the beautifully verdant back patio and our scenery was lovely but the lighting was terrible.  Fries with raclette to start.

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With a gose.

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I ordered two veggie sides as my entree.  Brussel sprouts with soy, sweet chili, and garlic and eggplant with lemon aioli.  The eggplant was one of my favorite dishes of the past five years, which is really saying something because we’ve had some exceptional eggplant dishes lately.

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Brown butter pecan cake with a sherry chocolate sauce.

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Dinner at Olmstead.  Another stunning interior + terrible photo lighting situation.

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My cocktail was not great – the only item we didn’t swoon over – but Adam’s fig sherry with vanilla and bitters was pretty delicious.

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The menu is set up for sharing so we got to try a bunch of things.  <– We actually felt like they encouraged us to order a little too much because we ended up having to take leftovers home.  Duck liver mousse (with honey drizzled on top!) with garlic crostini and pickled cauliflower.

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Beer-battered delicata squash rings with green tomato and a spice crust.

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Sweet potato and uni dumplings.

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Cauliflower okonomiyaki with yuzukoshō mayo and spicy hazelnuts.

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I had trout with creamed brussel sprouts and shaved chestnuts as my entree.  Adam’s succulent tamarind lacquered lamb is lurking in the background.

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We ordered the “peanut butter and jello” for dessert because how could you see that and not??!  It was strawberry mousse with strawberry jello and peanut butter powder.  It was ridiculous and amazing and I literally giggled every time I took a bite.

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Olmstead, LIC Market, and Joyce Bakeshop, we will be back!

Best Ever Iced Coffee

I survived the less-than-zero-degree weather!  My first winter in Buffalo I bought myself a pair of (children’s!) Sorrel snow-boots and they remain the single most essential item in my closet.

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so my weekend eats weren’t all that exciting.  Work was busy-busy so I mostly ate quick, snacky things.  The highlights…

Iced coffee with a crispy Pacific Rose apple.

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This New Orleans-style cold brew with sweetened condensed milk is officially my favorite coffee combo of all time.  I love Grady’s in general and this was perfectly spiced so with the SCM it was insanely delicious.

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Sooooo much hot chocolate.

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A giant smoothie I shared with Adam – plain Greek yogurt, frozen soursop, mango, and grapes.

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Toasted onion bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.  I ended up scraping off part of my mountain of cream cheese like some kind of tourist.

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Watermelon / Sriracha chicken bar / vanilla crispy square.

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Maple salmon bar / TJ’s dried chokanan mango / TJ’s seed & bean medley.

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The first two nights of dinner I was thanking past Emily for leaving me yummy leftovers.  Hot wing pasta.

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Hot dish.  With ketchup and Sriracha on top.

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And Sunday night I finally got around to cooking the meal I had planned for the first night of Hannukah!

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I had kind of a bad foodie/good foodie thing going on – my latkes were from a box but my matzoh brie was fried in duck fat.

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I sprinkle sugar on mine because that’s how I grew up eating it.  And that’s a blob of labne on my latkes that I wished was sour cream.   Plus we had roasted broccoli with sumac.

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I am off of work today! and we are going somewhere fun for lunch!!

Hello, 2018!

On a personal level, 2018 is off to a great start.  Adam’s and my last week of 2017 staycation was deeply wonderful, so I’m starting the year in a damn good mood.

Though perhaps I’ll be less ecstatic today, by the time this post goes live I will already be outside attempting to dig my car out from the foot plus of snow dropped by the bomb cyclone.  I work this weekend so thankfully I was already off for the worst of it on Thursday.

Here were the best bites from the year so far…

This week’s coffee – Starbucks espresso roast.

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Plus on my snow day I sipped on a super fancy Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew with chocolate milk.  Total frothy, creamy, goodness.

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Yogurt bowl work lunches are off to a good start.  Coffee and Cream Chobani with maple almond butter granola and a Pacific Rose apple and MadeGood chocolate chip granola minis.

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Mint Chocolate Chunk Chobani with chocolate Cheerios and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.  This new flavor was surprisingly delicious, just like mint chip ice cream.

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Smoked turkey and Swiss sandwich box from Starbucks.

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Popping champagne gummies for the new year.  I have loved all of the bears from Project Seven that I’ve tried so far.

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Yummy vanilla bean French pudding.

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Exciting limited edition seltzers tasting.  We didn’t like the cola as much as I had hoped – it was too weird to have the flavor without the sweetness – and the unicorn kisses wasn’t magical but was very tasty.

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I totally rocked it in the kitchen this week; three meals were 10/10.  Like good luck bowls to start the year – forbidden rice / collard greens – sauteed with garlic / hoppin’ john – a slightly bastardized version with orange bell pepper added in.

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Hot wing pasta with carrots and celery on the side.

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Whole wheat pasta shells / sauteed baby spinach and green onion with fish sauce / shredded chicken breast with cream cheese and hot sauce / sharp cheddar.

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Chick pot pie hot dish (loosely inspired by this recipe from Molly Yeh).

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Shredded chicken breast / tons of sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery, and peas / roux + caned low fat milk and chicken broth with sour cream, hot sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika / tater tots!

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Hope everyone’s 2018 is off to a good start!