Flan And Floats

Five fun things from the past weekend:

{1} My cousin graduated from VCU with her doctorate like a total badass so we had family in town for celebratory fun.

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{2} We had an amazing meal at Little Star, culminating in the best flan I’ve ever tasted.

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{3} My hair is pink(ish) thanks to this temporary tint spray.  It is subtle, but there’s more color than I was able to capture in a photo.

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{4} Adam and I had the best snacks.  Wegman’s mint chocolate chip yogurt.

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Super meta – smoked gouda pimento cheese dip scooped with pimento cheese chips.

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We made root beer floats with what turned out to be the best ice cream of all time – CoolHaus’ The Best of Both Worlds vanilla tastes like a marshmallow dream.

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{5} I made a tasty dinner.  Chicken tenders (cooked similarly to this) with whole wheat panko and silk chili // dipped in homemade honey mustard // with honey glazed brussels sprouts.

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We sipped on this surprisingly good Three Notch’d sugarcane pecan all while we cooked.

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Vino + Virginia Visitors

We had a great weekend being tourists in Charlottesville + the surrounding area because my mom was in town.  She came up for a quick visit and we all had a blast!

We celebrated May the Fourth…

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Went on wine tastings…

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Explored the farmer’s market…

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Five fun highlights were –

{1} Charlottesville City Market.  We saw someone hand-pressing tortillas so obviously we had to get a chicken taco.

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Plus I never turn down Vietnamese iced coffee.

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{2} Rocket Coffee in Crozet.  I had a great iced latte plus a bagel (<– shipped in from H&H in NYC!) with cream cheese.

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{3} Spirits from Vitae.  We loved it here!  So many Caribbean flavors and they did a theme menu for May the Fourth.  I had a taster of paw paw liquor plus a Cantina Punch – golden rum, mauby syrup, pomegranate juice, lemon, and aloe juice.

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{4} Dinner at Maya.  I didn’t snap any pictures but it was the best meal of the weekend!  I had the crispiest, most succulent duck confit of my life and we shared a s’mores torte with housemade marshmallow fluff!

{5} Dinner at Tillmans.  Greek salad plus pimento cheese served with red pepper jelly and crostini.

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Hope it’s a great week!

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Easter Weekend

I have an odd smattering of things to share this post.  Mostly because the weekend was a little all over the place – Saturday we had friends visiting from DC and Sunday I had to work.  The weekend coverage shifts here are actually kind of fun because I am responsible all of the nutrition support consults and I get to see surgical/trauma patients that are usually covered by a different team.  This weekend I had a ton of complicated TPNs to keep me on my toes!

Three fun things…

{1} On theme beverages.  I actually hated both of these a lot, but they were fun to try!

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{2} Beer flights at local breweries.  Pro Re Nata is always our favorite and their hazy IPA was my favorite taste of the day!

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{3} Dinner at Sultan Kebab.  We went with my cousin and we all were raving by the end.  I had my first knafeh experience (layers of shredded phyllo baked with fresh mozarella cheese drizzled with lemony sugar syrup) and it was life changing.  Plus, how amazing is their presentation of Turkish coffee with Turkish delight??

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Little Star = Big Star

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We ate some really yummy things last week!  Here were the highlights…

{1} Canned coffees that I schlepped back from New York.

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{2} Lemon meringue macarons at the farmers’ market at IX Park.

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{3} A Trader Joe’s shaped meal that was both quick and delicious.  Cauliflower gnocchi + turkey summer sausage + pizza sauce + broccoli rabe.  You can bake the gnocchi (425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes) and it comes out great.

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{4} A Korean feast at Maru on the downtown mall.  I had the spicy chicken and cheese plate – spicy gojuchang marinated chicken served with rice cakes and Korean sweet potato and topped with melted cheese.

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It was spicy, and smoky, and kind of amazing.  The portion was gigantic and my leftovers – which I stir-fried with eggs and roasted broccoli – were kind of amazing as well.

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We also had pat bing soo – shaved ice with red bean, mochi, and milk powder.

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{5} Dinner with my cousin at Little Star, a newish, supremely gorgeous, tapas spot.  The space and the tableware – which was thrifted and eclectic – were beautiful.

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We ordered all the things and loved every single bite and sip.  All three of us agreed it was one of the best meals we had eaten all year.  Agave Angel – mezcal, lime juice, and cream.

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3 month aged manchego with apricot honey preserves.

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Charred shishito peppers with romesco and pasilla de Oaxaca chile.

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Sunny side up eggs with salsa negra, green onion, sesame seeds, grilled bread, and hickory sauce.  <– this was the top dish of the night, the contrast of the sweet hickory sauce with the eggs and salsa was divine

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Shrimp and grapes with garlic, leeks, tequilla, and pickled chiles.  We went right ahead and sipped that sauce.

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Seared tuna with rendered foie gras, salsa molcajete, cilantro oil, and charred onion.  <– 2nd best dish of the night, which is unsurprising when you consider the words “rendered foie gras”

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Coffee service.

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Crumb cake with meyer lemon curd, ear gray cream, and mezcal caramel.

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Creme carmel flan with peaches.

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*swoon*

Insta Vacation Highlights

Last week was perfectly relaxing bliss, I could not have asked for a better vacation!  Adam and I were thrilled to get to go home [St. Thomas, USVI].  I had time with the husband, friends, and family / I watched some of my favorite people get married on a beach in St. John / I ate tasty things / I stuck my toes in the sand and swam in the ocean!

We flew in and out of JFK to get home which meant sneaking in a little NYC visit as well  – we had just enough time for two fancy dinners and brunch with city friends.

The fun is fairly well-documented on my instagram but here are some highlights of the highlights…

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If I had to pick my top three sips/bites they’d be…

{1} Roasted baby carrots with harissa hot honey, peanut dukka, and hibiscus yogurt from Freek’s Mill.

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{2} A snow cone with tamarind and dulce de leche.

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{3} A salmon patty from the spot near the airport.

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Back to the grind.

Let Them Eat Cake

I am going on vacation next week and I definitely already have vacation brain!  The past 7 days I’ve done barely any cooking and taken barely any photographs of what I have been eating.

Here were five great highlights…

{1} Cake in all forms!  Billy Idol Cake from Paradox, aka white wedding cake with lemon curd.

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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{3} I have come around to Adam’s point of view that Sicily Rose makes the best lattes in Charlottesville.  Their fancy espresso machine is key.  Four shots on ice with skim milk in a small cup is 100% perfect.

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{4} Poblano x2 pasta bowls.  Trader Joe’s creamy chicken poblano ravioli with celery, poblano pepper, and TJ’s turkey summer sausage sauteed in a butter.

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{5} We finally made it to Lampo and it lived up to the hype.  The Fungi pizza was downright decadent; Sharondale Farm pioppini and oyster mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, panna, aged provolone, grana padano.

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Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

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Cavolo Nero – Tuscan kale, candied almonds, ricotta salata, golden raisins, pickled mustard seed, apple cider vinaigrette, crispy parsnip.  This was the best dish of the meal.

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Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

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And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

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P.S. I will not be blogging from vacation – though I will share some fun on instagram – so I’ll see you guys after St. Patrick’s Day!

Snack Attack

Highlights from the week…

This canned coffee from Dunkin was actually not too bad.

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But this quad non-fat iced latte from Marie Bette was better.  They were doing some work in our apartment this week and Webster had to be boarded; his vet is right next to the pastry spot so I finally got a chance to try their scrumptious pretzel croissants.

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This month’s Snack Crate goodies came from Hawaii.  Highlights included Maui onion chips and pineapple Hi-Chews.

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Kung Fu Tea = joy.  I got a Thai iced tea (half sweet, extra ice) with pudding and boba.

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Cookie Dough Life is life, this new flavor from Coolhaus knocked our socks off.

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Turkey sandwiches are the easiest dinner.  Toasted whole grain sourdough / smoked sliced turkey / sharp cheddar / spicy raspberry jam.  Plus roasted green beans.

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Actually, this was the easiest dinner.  I got a bowl (without rice) and chips from Chipotle and took them home to turn into nachos.  Chips / cheese / pinto beans / fajita veggies / chicken / corn salsa / tomatillo salsa / sour cream.

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And this was the tastiest dinner!  Toasted sourdough / topped with soft scrambled eggs / and smoked herring mashed with caramelized onion dip.  Plus roasted broccoli.  We were swooning after every bite.

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