Pumpkin And Papaya

Let’s just start this off with a GIANT sigh of relief! There was no post last week because I most ate a horrifying amount of ice cream while refreshing the election results. Thankfully our country made a move back towards decency this weekend and I was able to function as an adult and cook dinner and go to bed before 2 am.

Highlights from this weekend include…

Cherry cocoa coconut almonds. All of the mixes from Sahale have great balance.

I haven’t seen any eggnog yogurts yet this year so I’m still on the pumpkin. Siggi’s with granola, cashew butter, and maple syrup.

Paw-paya cocktail!

I loosely followed this recipe for Geng Dang Muu, swapping pork for turkey. Served with sticky sushi rice from one of our many nights of take-out last week.

We love this recipe for crock pot garlic brown sugar chicken (minus the bacon and with skinless chicken thighs). With sage and roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

Sunday we had – distanced, outdoor – reservations for the pre fixe dinner at Claro.

Our favorite dishes included a tostada with squash and peanuts and a ceviche-style artic char with smoked roe.

Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to

There was not a corn on the cob or a fresh melon to be found in the house this week, everything we ate was aggressively fall. Highlights include…

Freddo skim cappuccino from The Grand in Astoria. <– this is currently my favorite coffee/spot in the city

This New Orleans cold brew from Comfortland wasn’t bad either.

Plus we got a Halloween doughnut! And a Twix-inspired doughnut stuffed with caramel!!

Trader Joe’s snack hour with everything crackers and buffalo chicken dip.

The theme of this pre-dinner snack was orange.

The last of this year’s pumpkin beers. The Atomic Pumpkin was way too spicy for us but the Schlafly is a favorite every year.

I made loaded potato soup. Inspired by this recipe of mine but with additional cheese and spice.

I hope everyone enjoys lots of candy this Halloween weekend!

Lazy Sunday

We actually had a very busy Sunday but the title references something later in the post! Really, we had the best weekend ever. I know I say that every time Adam and I have a weekend together, but this one was my new favorite! We walked around the Lower East Side eating all of the things, took a long walk through Williamsburg/across the bridge, and made fancy sandwiches which we ate in bed while laughing hysterically at the latest SNL.

Highlights include…

Pumpkin things! Pumpkin pie Perfect bar with a Vietnamese iced latte.

Local pumpkin ales, which were good but not our favorites.

Caramel pumpkin yogurt with cashew butter and granola.

Love these seaweed chips!

I know this looks like a depression snack but these bbq kettle chips with melted Manchego were actually my favorite thing I ate all weekend.

Chip in Astoria has new seasonal fall lattes! We had dulce de leche and black and white cookie!

Plus a monster chip cookie.

We had the best parfait at Cha An. Tea jelly, fruit, mochi, brown sugar syrup, and green tea ice cream.

Dirt-pudding style bingsu from Lazy Sundaes!

10/10 meal at Thai Diner. Perhaps my new favorite spot? We shared Thai iced tea, milo hot chocolate with pandan marshmallows, and a spicy tamarind mezcal margarita.

Plus chicken phat see eiw (which was perfectly packed with basil and Chinese brocoli).

And spicy chicken and banana blossom salad.

Pumpkin Spice And Everything Nice

Highlights from this week include…

Phin-brewed Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee with sweetened condensed milk is obviously my new favorite thing of all time.

Pumpkin Noosa with papaya and cocoa granola. Was pleasantly surprised by how well these three flavors paired together.

Yummy candies my parents sent us from back home – tamarind balls and guava hard candies.

Be sure to grab yourself a bag of these cinnamon pretzels the next time you’re at a 7-11.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is one of our original pumpkin favorites.

And this limited release Stone double IPA was pretty great too.

Cheese plates for dinner! Bartlett pear / homemade spiced candied walnuts / maple-smoked cheddar / papaya / durian chocolate and milk chocolate / Manchego / garlic naan crackers from Trader Joe’s.

Egg casserole – with broccoli, green onion, shallot, TJ’s turkey summer sausage, and maple-smoked cheddar – plus beer cheese kettle chips. Inspired by this recipe.

Whole-wheat matzoh brei with roasted brussel sprouts.

A great take on sheet-pan fried rice (loosely based on this method) with cauliflower rice (seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and gojuchang), peas, green onions, and sausage.

Howling Gourds

Adam and I both worked this weekend, so we didn’t have a lot of fun, but we did have some good snacks. Highlights included…

Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice protein smoothie. Mild flavor, good spice, and pretty filling.

Whole-wheat matzoh with melted cheddar. I haven’t fully sold Adam on matzoh brei yet but he’s onboard with the bread as a vehicle for cheese.

Howling Gourds is officially our new favorite pumpkin ale! It’s fairly hoppy and cinnamon-forward but most importantly it is 7% ABV which is higher than most other pumpkin beers we’ve tried in the past.

Clean-out-the-pantry pasta that was surprisingly good. Whole-wheat rotini with steamed broccoli, sautéed radish, Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo, and marinara sauce, topped with Manchego.

Best Weekend Ever

Adam and I had time together on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and we had just the best weekend ever! We got super lucky with nice weather which makes all of the difference this time of year.

Friday night we met up with friends for distanced fun in Brooklyn. Dinner and some stand-up comedy. Ample Hills does shows on their rooftop and each $10 ticket comes with a giant cup of ice cream! I got Coffee Toffee and No Sleep ‘Til Pumpkin – coffee ice cream with pumpkin gooey butter cake pieces.

Saturday we took a sixteen mile walk around the Upper West Side and Central Park.

And Sunday we visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Food highlights from the week include…

Rainbow cookie iced latte with edible glitter and pink whipped cream(!!!) from Crave.

Pumpkin things. PSLs from La Colombe and Nitro Beverage Co.

Orwashers sourdough bagel with hand-cut smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese.

Breakfast tacos. With sliced turkey, scrambled eggs, smoked cheddar, and red and green hot sauce.

We tried Laderach chocolate for the first time and now we are smitten.

Snacks from H-Mart. Oreo bubble tea candy and durian chocolates. Plus seaweed and salted egg potato chips.

A two chip chocolate chip cookie from Levain (newest best cookie ever) and a Campfire Cappuccino from Orwashers (with toasted marshmallow and hickory smoke, newest best marshmallow coffee ever).

Dinner at Tradisyon. I had Kare Kare – stewed oxtail and brisket in peanut sauce with eggplant, green beans, and bok choy and shrimp paste.

Plus we got delicious popsicles. Soy milk with mochi and brown sugar and calamansi cheesecake with meringue.

Pumpkin Month, Taco Week

Important things first – as of Thursday we have entered Pumpkin Month!

I am very excited about some of those beers. This year’s haul was more restrained than years past because I have accepted that I don’t actually eat cereal so I didn’t buy eight varieties of pumpkin spice cereal to sit and grow stale while they waited for Adam.

Highlights from this week included lots of fall flavors…

Like cinnamon vanilla cold brew.

And freeze-dried apple slices and dark chocolate covered cherries (plus birthday cake bunny grahams).

And all the salted caramel ice creams.

I also had some Perfect snacks.

And this next-level tasty Eleven Lives & Still Wandering double IPA.

I spent two solid hours in the kitchen last Sunday prepping meal components and it was worth it because we had a super easy and delicious taco week! Sautéed onion and red, orange, and yellow bell peppers with roasted zucchini // cauliflower and walnut vegan taco meat // crockpot shredded chicken thighs // homemade salsa (loosely inspired by this recipe). Tacos with veggies, salsa, cauliflower meat, and shredded cheese.

Giant protein bowls with veggies, shredded cheese, cauliflower meat, chicken, salsa, and a fried egg. Plus a cheese quesadilla.

Chicken chilaquiles (made with homeamde tortilla chips!).

Thankful For Nachos

Do I have zero chill?  Yes.  And did I fully lean in to all things holiday/Thanksgiving flavored in the second week of November?  Also yes.  I couldn’t help myself, I was ready for cranberry and eggnog and cozy cheer!

Holiday highlights from this week include…

Eggnog in my coffee!

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Cranberry seltzer.

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Pumpkin pie marshmallows.

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Thanksgiving nachos.  Trader Joe’s turkey and stuffing kettle chips / swiss and gruyere cheese / turkey andouille sausage / roasted green beans / poblano peppers / cranberry sauce.

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Thanksgiving totchos.  Tots / swiss and gruyere / poblano peppers / green onion / brussel sprouts / cranberry sauce.

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Upcoming highlights?  I am heading to New York this afternoon to visit Milk Bar’s Thanksgiving croissants my loving husband and dog.

Pumpkin Oolong

Cold weather fully hit Charlottesville this weekend so I kept things pretty low-key.  I did talk a walk around the neighborhood to stretch my legs on Saturday but then I spent the rest of the night huddled under the covers!

Amazingly, my food highlights from the weekend were not soup and hot chocolate…

Still loving plain Greek yogurt bowls with cupcake almond butter, MadeGood granola, and loads of fresh berries.

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I also enjoyed a bowl with this new Chobani flavor, caramel mocha.

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Whole Foods hot bar with a side of journal reading.  Best bites were the popcorn chicken and Spanish-style brussel sprout salad with sherry vinegar and yellow raisins.

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Pumpkin oolong milk tea(!) with boba and Oreo.

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I made the best sheet-pan hash.  Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit / prep a sheet pan with foil and baking spray / bake chopped Japanese sweet potato for 20 minutes / add chopped bok choy and green onion and bake another 25 minutes / top with smoked salmon candy / add kewpie mayo and Sriracha if desired.

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Candy break.

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Cafe Con Leche, Cerveza Con Calabaza

Adam came to visit me last weekend, aka I had the best weekend ever!  He probably won’t be back in Virginia until my cousin’s wedding next year so we made the most of the visit.  We went to several old favorites and couple new favorites!

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Weekend highlights include…

Saturday was National Pumpkin Day and Tropical Smoothie Cafe sent me a free coupon to try their Pumpkin Pie Smoothie to celebrate.  Made with real pumpkin, Ghirardelli white chocolate, cinnamon, and non-fat yogurt.  It was very pumpkiny without being boring and just sweet enough.

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Drekker‘s Everybody Love Everybody is a rainbow sherbet sour and it’s PINK!

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Hardywood had a Halloween-themed black IPA on tap – the Heebie Jeebies!  Plus I had a None of This Makes Sense double IPA (my current favorite beer) and a soft prezel with cheese sauce.

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Gaujiros Miami Eatery is Charlottesville’s new Cuban spot and it is damn good!  I had eggs with beans and rice plus fried cheese.

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Plus a Cortadito that was so delicious I went back again the next day for another one!

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Quality Pie.  We split a Spanish Tortilla.

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And I had (super buttery, garlicy) foccacia with egg and cheese.

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Dinner at Comal with my cousin and her fiance.  I didn’t snap any photos but we had an absolutely amazing meal at this new Oaxacan spot in Belmont.

P.S. No more posts coming from me this week.  Tomorrow morning I’m on my way to Ohio to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday!

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