Top Five This Week

{1}  Fiber One sent me samples of their newest product line – layered chewy bars.

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I’m a fan!  Sometimes fiber-added products hurt my stomach, but these gave me no issues.  They are chewy without being tooth-breaking and salty-sweet – my favorite flavor combo.  They come in double chocolate almond.

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And the even more delicious salted caramel and dark chocolate.

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{2}  I made a tasty strawberry sauce.

It was quick and easy, just fresh strawberries quartered and cooked in a skillet over medium heat.

Paired with passion fruit yogurt with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And plain yogurt with vanilla granola and a few Luxardo cherries.

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{3}  Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium partnered on a cookie dough beer and I paired it with cookie dough ice cream.

We ended up not loving the beer, which had a chemical aftertaste to it, but the ice cream (which I topped with melty Biscoff) was obviously delicious.

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And speaking of Speculoos…

{4}  Starbucks has a cookie butter bar and it is out of this freaking world.

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{5}  I spent 3+ hours making over-the-top lasagna.

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Loosely based on this recipe, it was totally worth the time commitment.

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I made a red sauce with ground turkey and TJ’s soy chorizo.  My béchamel was a four-cheese doozy made with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda. I skipped the ricotta, but did top my dish off with more parmesan-gouda.

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{bonus}  My schedule – I worked President’s Day and work this upcoming weekend which means I was off from work yesterday and today for a midweek weekend!  And Adam is off today too so we’ve got some Upper East Side fun planned.  See you next week!

Warm Weekend Winners

It was 50 degrees outside this weekend!  Twice!!  I had an absolute blast pulling out my flip flops and spring jacket.

Conveniently, my favorite things from the past three days make one complete day’s worth of meals…

{coffee}

Maple Shay, a nonfat iced latte with maple syrup from Brooklyn Roasting Company.  I need to put maple into more of my lattes, it really is fantastic.

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{breakfast}

Brunch at Colonie.  I had the dandelion greens salad – with walnut, anchovy, tarragon, parsley, and a poached egg.  It was actually kind of terrible, beyond bitter, but thankfully Adam shared his duck hash with me.

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And dessert was good!  Eggnog panna cotta with bourbon and blood orange.

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{lunch}

Whole Food’s hot bar.  Clockwise from the bottom left – macaroni and cheese, buffalo-style seitan, roasted squash, roasted carrots, and honey Sriracha brussel sprouts.  Whenever I hit a hot bar I try to pick a protein, mostly veggies, and the cheesiest starch available.

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{dinner}

Tandoor Chef recently offered to send me some free-product coupons so I could try their frozen entrees.  I’ve loved their Pad Thai for years so I readily accepted.

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Adam reports that his chicken tikka masala was loaded with meat and that the sauce was creamy and well seasoned.  My channa masala was tasty as well, and quite filling; there were 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber for a 380 calorie serving.

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I served our meals with roasted broccoli with green onion, gojuchang, and black sesame seeds.

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{dessert}

Cake batter Cookie DŌ.  Ready-to-eat dough with white chocolate chips and sprinkles.

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{I love New York}

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Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

Highlights From Last Week/end

Long time no blog! Life has been busy and work has been crazy and Adam had time to spend with me last weekend so I didn’t waste a single moment on the computer.  This weekend is going to be pretty exciting too… follow me on Instagram for instant updates.

Speaking of Insta, do you follow @coffeecupsoftheworld?  We went to the pop up exhibit in Manhattan last weekend and thought it was pretty neat.

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Fitting, since coffee’s been a pretty big feature of the past week.

Here were some of the best bites…

To start, the single best bites of the month.  Milk Bar for an iced latte (my favorite in the city) and a Thanksgiving croissant – “stuffing” flavored bread filled with in-house roasted, shredded turkey, homemade gravy, and cranberry sauce!  Adam and I swooned and were more than a little sad that we shared instead of getting one each.

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Chocolate halvah iced coffee.  Better in theory but still not terrible in practice.

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Chocolate cherry smoothie – plain Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, vanilla almond milk, vanilla bean paste, brown sugar,cocoa nibs.

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Brunch at Lighthouse.  With a grapefruit mimosa.  We were blown away by our first chilaquiles experience, they are like a bowl full of nachos!

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Brown butter sprinkled chocolate chip cookies I made for a birthday party at work.  I used the dough base from this recipe and they were fantastic, the little bit of crunch from the sprinkles was perfect.

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Ice cream from Davey’s.  A Halloween candy mashup and cookie butter chocolate chip.

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Dinner at Ducks Eatery.  I don’t have a photo of my dinner, which was undercooked and kind of gross, but the appetizer/drinks situation was breathtaking.  Exhibit A – smoked mussels with chili oil on toast with maple, smoked butter, and chives.

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12th st sour with egg white foam.

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Pièce de résistance – the Café Canard – Tullamore dew, espresso, brown sugar, cream, and nutmeg.  I’m not one for hot coffee but sipping it through a cloud of sweet, foamed cream is pretty appealing.

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Lentil bowls.  Red lentils cooked with with garlic, ginger, red bell pepper, carrot, onion, tomato paste, and turkey bacon.  Topped with cheese, hot sauce, plain Greek yogurt, and a serving of roasted zucchini.

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Stoneridge Orchards sent me a nice package of dried fruits to try.  Their products are all organic and always produced without sulfites, artificial preservatives, colors, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

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Dark chocolate cherries with almonds were a work snack.

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P.S. that snazzy glitter sleeve is part of my ongoing campaign to make my office life more enjoyable.  Fancy glass water bottle and a felt succulent.

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The rest of the berries were paired with toasted nuts and roasted things for some “it still feels like fall” dinners.  10 out of 10 for this product review, by the way, these were by far the best dried fruits I’ve ever eaten.  Sometimes dried cranberries can be displeasingly chewy but the texture here was quite pleasant.

Warm kale salad – sauteed kale / dried blueberries / pepitas / turkey bacon / honey thyme balsamic vinaigrette.

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Cranberry almond chicken salad – shredded chicken breast / mayo / stone ground mustard / dried cranberries / slivered almonds.  The sweetness of the cranberries was perfect with the mustard.

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Roasted vegetable medley – butternut squash / shredded brussel sprouts / dried cherries / pecans / more vinaigrette / topped with goat cheese.

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I’m off to enjoy a long weekend!

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Bites And Frights

How in the world is it November???  I promise not to spend the rest of this year talking about how the year is running out, but it really is blowing my mind.

On the agenda before January?  Christmas shopping, finding the perfect day planner for 2017, and plans for three out-of-town trips right in a row.

Presently, I’m waiting for Adam to get home so we can go to brunch.  And these were the highlights from the past week…

I actually did a pretty good job with capturing things this week minus a plethora more of nachos and iced coffees.  I tried a new blend from Birch.

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Espresso and a KIND bar.

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Coffee, chai latte, and an almond croissant.

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I found a white chocolate seltzer for my Halloween lunch.  It didn’t have much flavor, but my oatmeal was good – with chia seeds, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and candy corn, plus I stirred in pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt cream cheese at the end.

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Other lunches centered around this sweet box of samples from LÄRABAR.  They offered me a chance to try their newest product – BITES, “truffle-like bites made from real food to satisfy your sweet craving.”  The bites are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and only use Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa and coffee.

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We tried three of four flavors (I’m saving mint chocolate for December, aka Peppermint Month) and were big fans.  Cherry Chocolate Chip was enjoyable but not our favorite, I thought Double Chocolate Brownie was fudgy and great next to coffee, and Adam loved the fact that Chocolate Macaroon was coated in coconut flour.

I had a serving of brownie bites with a Noosa pumpkin yogurt and some gum drop grapes(!!) for lunch.

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Coconut macaroon went with plain yogurt with yummy chocolate tahini on top.

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This week’s snack highlights were nut and seed centric.

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Also, of course, candy.  Another product review, Magic Candy Factory sent me a super exciting sample –

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That’s my name!  I think this company is really exciting, you can choose from 100’s of shapes, or write a custom message, and MCF will 3D print you a gummy.  The candy is vegan (no dairy, no gelatin), gluten-free, nut-free, and kosher.  Most importantly, it’s delicious.

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We tried sublime strawberry and Adam declared this his favorite gummy candy of all time.

Orange and black nachos for Halloween.  TJ’s pumpkin chips topped with cheddar, olives, black beans, and shredded chicken.

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Plus pumpkin beers and Peeps.  Warlock was fantastic this year.

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For the rest of the week, I made a big batch of pumpkin seed pesto.  Served on pizza with cheddar and sliced turkey, I promise it was tastier than it looked.  With a pea sprout salad.

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And we tossed the rest of the pesto with pumpkin-shaped pasta, parmesan, shredded chicken, and roasted cauliflower.  Almost nothing is better than pesto pasta.

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Enjoy your weekend!

 

Pumpkin Yogurt — Froyo — Beer

This weekend was low-key but exactly what we needed.  Inclement weather killed our Saturday plans (instead we ran some errands and caught up on tv) and Sunday I was scheduled to work.  I’ve got Wednesday off in exchange for yesterday so my workweek will be two mini 2 day blocks <– nice!

Here were the weekend’s top eats…

We made a quick trip down to Rockville Center to check out Kookaburra Coffee.  They had toasted marshmallow coffee syrup!!  Fan-freaking-tastic in my triple shot iced latte.

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Spooky yogurt bowl.  Plain Fage with pumpkin butter stirred in, topped with chia seeds, salted peanuts, cocoa nibs, and a few candy corn.

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I put a lemon cream popsicle in seltzer water with some whiskey.  Creamy, fizzy, and boozy, the trifecta.

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Pumpkin pie froyo, topped with pretty much all of the dessert-y toppings.

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Cheese plate dinner.  With dates, apple, and sautéed green beans with almonds.

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The highlights were this paprika cheese from TJ’s,

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and these Malbranche Mura Cha Cha matcha tea biscuits I was sent to review.  The cookies are gluten-free and vegan and absolutely bursting with matcha flavor.  Be forewarned – if you don’t like the tea you won’t like the cookie, Adam loves both.

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Copycat Chipotle salad bowls.  Romaine // spicy salsa // shredded cheese // chipotle honey lime chicken // sautéed onion and orange and yellow bell pepper // black beans // fire-roasted corn.

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I sipped pumpkin beer while I sautéed my chicken.  Both were delicious, 8-9/10.

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I’ve got three different pumpkin iterations packed for tomorrow’s lunch!

 

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.