Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken

This past week was extra-strength lengthy.  I stayed late at work a few days and had several issues with my train and the end result was that I was home more than two hours late almost every day this week – yuck!  I did manage to eat some good dinners still, but I did not manage to get this post up on time.

Best bites {or really should I be writing “superior sips” here because I always start with coffee?!} –

Iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk.

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I also had a yummy iced latte from Birch.

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And I tried the new blonde espresso from Starbucks.  <– quite good, felt like it should be paired with vanilla

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Peach Siggi’s with a Cara Cara orange and strawberry granola minis.

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Plain Icelandic style yogurt with maple taffy, Page mandarins, and sprinkled donut crunch cereal.

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I am a marketer’s dream; I don’t eat cereal all that often, and I hate Captain Crunch, but I still bought this because it was adorable!

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Adam and I both had Monday off, so we got to go on a lunch date!  Serendipity3.

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It was our best meal there to date, we were both swooning over our entrees.  I had curried chicken casserole with almonds and many bites of Adam’s sandwich.

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We came home with two-full-meals-worth of leftovers and were still almost too full for dessert.  Almost.  This sundae is the best thing ever – humble (peanut butter) pie / vanilla ice cream / sliced bananas / hot fudge.

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Bonus – we stopped at Dylan’s next door before our walk across the Queensborough bridge and bought a candy bar on a whim that ended up being fantastic.

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I made a big crockpot of Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken for dinners.  Basically this recipe but with Coke instead of Dr Pepper and chicken instead of pork and I diced up my cherries, chipotles, and jalapenos.

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Served on a sandwich with brioche bun and mayo.

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And roasted zucchini on the side.

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And served on top of nachos!

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My other dinners were brinners.

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Breakfast bowl with sauteed kale with tons of garlic and onion, Trader Joe’s meatless breakfast sausages, and two fried eggs.

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Scrambled eggs with tons of onion, chipotle, and sharp cheddar and roasted green beans on the side.

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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!

Oh, Christmas Tree

Adam and I checked off one of my favorite holiday activities this week – heading to Rockefeller to gape at the tree.  We also really enjoyed most of the department store window displays this year.

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Best six things I ate this week…

1. Eggnog iced coffee.

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2. Praline éclair from Éclair Bakery.

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3. Brown sugar latte from Stumptown at the Ace Hotel.

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4. Cake batter cookie dough.  <– reassurance for folks who baulk at the $7 price tag, two of us couldn’t eat this in one sitting, so if you can keep it cool enough to eat again later you do get a fair amount of bang for your buck

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5. Tofu bowl at Chikarashi.  A bed of rice with greens, marinated cucumber, seaweed salad, and insanely delicious fried silken tofu.

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6. Tres leches cake.  I made it for Adam’s birthday, and used eggnog instead of heavy cream as one of my three milks!

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A Week Of Splendid Sandwiches

Can I really use that title in a week without a single grilled cheese or lobster roll?  I did have some exceptionally above-bar poultry-based sandwiches.

The winning ‘wiches…

Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant is the best sandwich of all time.  Adam and I waited for it with baited breath this year.

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The seasoned croissant is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing!

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Flip Bird at the Ashland does a damn fine chicken sandwich – pulled chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and crispy skin.

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And my homemade toasted sandwich dinner was nothing to sneeze at.

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Sourdough / Applegate Farm smoked sliced turkey / 4 year aged cheddar / smoked maple mayo (olive oil based mayo, maple, liquid smoke, smoked paprika).

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With roasted zucchini on the side.

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Other fun stuff…

Vegan eggnogs in my coffee.  Adam really enjoyed the TJ’s almond milk version but I remain loyal to Silk.

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Here’s my current holiday stash, so exciting!

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Amazin’ Raisin sent me some samples to review.  The fruit-flavored raisins contain three ingredients – California raisins, citric acid, and natural fruit flavors – and are packed with flavor but no artificial sugar or sulfur dioxide.  Adam and I have both been really enjoying them.  So far his favorite flavor is pineapple and mine is watermelon.

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Some key work eats included raisins and a Larabar.

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And blackberry Siggi with holiday grapes and a maple maca bar.

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Really, the best dinner of the week was movie theater pretzel bites with fake cheese.  We went to see Thor: Ragnarok and split our sides laughing.  Our AMC has extra-wide seats that fully recline so the whole experience was really nice.

We also went gaga for these scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s.

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They were crazy flavorful and satisfying.  I topped mine with mayo and Sriracha.

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With baby carrots and potato snacks for an appetizer for crunch.

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A girlfriend and I met for a mid-week dinner at Bricolage and were both big fans.  Sriracha butter wings to start.

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And we both had pink drinks!  She had the pink soda salted lemonade and I picked an option with a cute name that I can’t remember where you pick a spirit and let the bartender go crazy.  I said “vodka, no ginger” and ended up with something delicious with raspberry and lime.

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My caramelized shrimp claypot was 10/10.  Georgia white shrimp, vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, and chili paste with rice to soak up the sauce.

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Enjoy your weekends!

Won’t You Brie My Neighbor

Bites from the week…

I was on a FUN – aka sweetened and spiced – iced coffee kick.  Dark roast cold brewed with brown sugar, pumpkin spice, and extra cinnamon.

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La Colombe pumpkin spice draft latte.

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Vanilla cold brew from Bowery Coffee Co with half and half.

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Since we have multi-grain sourdough in the house I’m back to loving toast.  With Smart Balance, strawberry jam, and cheese!

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Yogurt bowl lunches.  Pumpkin Chobani with toffee bits and sweet and spicy pecans and a Snap Dragon apple.

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Pumpkin Noosa with a brown sugar cinnamon peanut butter packet.  Plus a honey tangerine and a Sweet Thorn kombucha.

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Maple yogurt with vanilla granola, banana chips, and tangerine.

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Plus one day I got cafeteria sushi.

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A quick but delicious dinner.

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Roasted brussel sprouts and a sliced RosaLynn apple.

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A toasted sandwich with smoked sliced turkey, pumpkin butter, and brie.  The sandwich was so freaking good that I ended up making it again for dinner the next night too (except we were out of turkey so I added cheddar for a double-cheese dream!).

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Pumpkin sausage pasta topped with cheese and fried sage!

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I loosely followed this recipe from Rachel Ray.  A few key changes – I toasted my pasta / I used half as much pasta (whole wheat bow ties) so there was a greater ratio of sauce / I used turkey maple breakfast sausages / I added orange bell pepper with my onions / I used extra stock instead of wine / I added cayenne pepper / I used fat-free half and half.

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Best thing I ate all week?  Banoffee (aka banana toffee) Magic Bars!

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My coworkers loved them so much they asked my to post the recipe on the blog.

Banana Toffee Magic Bars, makes 24 squares

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 15 sheets graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1 cup chopped dried baby bananas (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup unsweetened banana chips
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place butter in a 9×13 inch baking dish in heating oven.
  2. When butter is fully melted, remove dish from oven and combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.  Mix well, then press firmly into the bottom of the dish.
  3. Sprinkle remaining ingredients on top of crust then top evenly with sweetened condensed milk.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned.
  5. Allow to cool before cutting.  I recommend storing these in the freezer and letting them come to room temperature to serve.

Oh My Gourd, It’s Pumpkin Month!

I didn’t do the best job with photography this week but I wanted to post anyways to share my pumpkin stash!

Oooh.

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Ahhh.

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Woo-hoo!

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Here were some snacky, squashy highlights from the workweek…

Coffee = Wicked Joe’s with 1% cow’s milk.

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My hospital’s cafeteria has a sushi bar now.  They don’t have brown rice or any vegetarian options so it’s not something I’d get for lunch every day, but this spicy shrimp tempura roll sure was fun.

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Pumpkin spice Siggi’s with a Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice KIND bar and a SweeTango apple.

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KIND bar with a cranberry almond Noosa.

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I’ve been loving turkey-cheese roll ups as a snack recently.  Provolone, smoked turkey, and a bit of pesto rolled up and microwaved until warm and melty.

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La Colombe latte can with a polvoron (a fantastically delicious milk cookie my coworker brings us from the Philippines).

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Dragonfruit lemongrass kombucha.

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I got a blog invite for the 2017 Healthy Brand Showcase.  Adam and I tasted some yummy things (shared on my Instagram Live) and I came home with tons of samples.  I’ll be sure to share when I try product I love.

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Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Cinnamon And Marshmallow In My Coffee

I have eaten some very yummy things over the past four days!  Adam and I both worked the holiday, but first we got to spend almost two full weekend days together!!!  Good times.

Things [literal things] that made me happy this weekend…

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Thanks to all of Target’s cheap “back to school” goodies, we have a jazzy new shower curtain and bedspread.

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The sheets underneath are pretty happy-making too.

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A Saturday trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Such a fun way to spend a morning.  We were expecting things to be sparse due to the season but there was still a ton of beauty to admire.

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As of last Friday, it’s Apple Month.

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This spiced apple bourbon hand soap is currently the best smelling thing in our house!

Culinary highlights…

I haven’t eaten anything apple yet but I did cram some pretty fall-forward flavors into my coffees.  Cinnamon.

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And toasted marshmallow.

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Though I also had a very summer-y Australian iced coffee with Wandering Bear cold brew and vanilla Curious Creamery ice cream.

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Cheddar-chive biscuit and a matcha iced latte at Annex.

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Brunch at Maison Premiere.  We had a pastry assortment that was out of this world.

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Maison Jungle Bird – Hamilton Black Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, pineapple, Campari, and sugar cane.

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I had the duck confit hash with bell pepper and poached egg.  <– not as good as Colonie, sadly

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While at the Garden, we had lunch at the Yellow Magnolia Café.  (<– newest venture from the chef/owner of Wilma Jean)

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I had wonderfully crispy, lemony fried chicken.  Served with habanero honey, collard green slaw, and delicious wild rice.  I suspect that there was honey butter in the rice because I don’t even like wild rice.

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We took a long post-lunch walk for coffee and ended up also getting ice cream for dessert – blueberry with blue velvet cake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

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Friday night I met a girlfriend in the Lower East Side for dinner and drinks.  Sizzling noodles at The Tang.

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I ended up with way too much food because I also couldn’t resist the Chungking Express salad – romaine, soft-boiled egg, honey, black vinegar, and chili oil.

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How fantastically ridiculous are the drinks at Mother of Pearl?!  My daiquiri – with Campari, grapefruit, and rosemary tincture – was tasty to boot.

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We made an oldie but a goodie – buffalo blue cheese black bean burgers.  Served with raw carrots and celery the first night.

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Our citrus-y sip-while-you-cook line up did not contain any winners, we hated both of these drinks!  <– normally I wouldn’t include this in a “highlights” section but they both sound so good in theory that I wanted to make sure I warned you

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Sunday night I got fancy with a Southern dinner.

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Pan-fried catfish!  I made a spice rub with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika and cooked the fish for 3.5 minutes on each side.  Drizzled with a lemon butter pan sauce.

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Plus sautéed collard greens with shallots, toasted coconut, and avocado (plus lemon, rice vinegar, and liquid smoke).

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Flavor themes of the weekend – Campari / eggs / coffee / collard greens.