Gojuchang And Reese’s

Some highlights from an exceptionally yummy week! We had some bonkers-good snacks and dinners the past few days…

Sumo mandarins and new Hunnyz apples – perfectly sweet and with a balanced texture, not super crisp but not at all mealy.

Yuzu beverages, both winners. I mixed the High Tide sparkling water with iced matcha and the Lunar hard seltzer with vodka.

Crispy lentils. I loved how roasty these were.

Snack Mates pizza and chicken and waffle flavored meat sticks. These were great.

Strawberry chocolate mochi. This was definitely the best packaged mochi I’ve tried.

The Reese’s Big Cups continue to be the ultimate candy; this new Reese’s Puffs variety was a 10/10. My personal ranking is potato chip > puffs > pretzel. Meanwhile, we liked these so much we bought a box of Puffs and I was very underwhelmed by them in cereal bowl form.

I don’t accept many product samples for the blog these days but this was truly the perfect fit – Prospector Popcorn. The flavors were delicious (the Belgian chocolate toffee was my favorite), they were super fresh, and none of the coatings contain palm oil. We truly loved these and have already ordered more bags with our own money. Huge bonus – this company is a non-profit dedicated to employing people with disabilities (74% of their current workforce).

Korean chicken bowls. Sliced chicken thighs marinated in gojuchang, soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar and sauted in canola oil. With green onion, sesame seeds, and chopped roasted baby cauliflower.

Salads. Green lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette, crispy lentils, roasted carrots (rainbow baby carrots roasted with butter, evoo, honey, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and urfa pepper), and a fried egg.

Pizza bites (this recipe – we loved it!), garlic turkey meatballs, and roasted romanesco with pizza sauce for dipping.

Pizza-inspired tteokbokki. Rice cakes / roasted cabbage and red onion / green onions / shredded chicken breast / pizza sauce with gojuchang, gochugaru, sugar, evoo, and water / pizza blend shredded cheese.

Merry And Bright

Highlights from a very festive Christmas weekend…

Peppermint pour-over coffee with egg nog cold foam.

Dalgona iced coffee with eggnog.

Red and green yogurt bowl. Trader Joe’s eggnog Greek yogurt with kiwi, raspberries, and vanilla granola.

Holiday special scoops from Odd Fellows Ice Cream. Buddi’s Spaghetti Sundae – maple ice cream, chocoalte cookie crumbs, mini marshmallows, m&m’s, sno caps, and corn nuts / Moose Nog – egg nog ice cream with fudge swirls and peanut butter cups.

Seasonal brews from Ardent Brewing. The gingerbread was perfect, not too spicy at all, and the Fog Nog is truly my all-time favorite beer/alcoholic beverage/beverage in general. 15/10.

A very close 2nd all-time-favorite is Leyenda’s Candy Striper – a frozen delight with cachaca, coconut, vanilla, lemon, peppermint, maple, and cardamom.

We went to their Sleyenda holiday pop-up for seasonal drinks and a wonderful dinner (it was too dark for photos but my shrimp arepas were amazing). I also had a Reindeer Games with tequilla, cachaca, banana, honey, maple, lemon, pine, and bitters.

Chinese take-out from Blue Wave. I got fantastic veggie stir-fried udon. Also the best scallion pancakes I’ve ever eaten.

Red and green salads. Red leaf lettuce with homemade ranch, red bell pepper, fresh mint, a soft-boiled egg, and a garlic and herb lobster cake (frozen, from Luke’s via Whole Foods).

Red and green rice bowls. Brown rice / sauted bok choy / sourkraut sauted with gojuchang and sugar / soy marinated eggs.

P.S. I am off of work most of this week, which is just lovely! I sipped a fancy coffee while I wrote this post!

(Raise The) Bar Food

Highlights from the past week…

This week’s eggnog plus coffee we brought back from Hawaii.

Sugar cookie kefir from Lifeway. Good, though not as good as I thought it would be.

Cosmic Crisp apple. It was good but hard to describe, somehow firm and juicy but not crispy?

Mountain Dew’s fruit cake soda is my new favorite mixer! Downright delicious with spiced rum.

This week’s dinners were all a) great, and b) bar food themed! We covered tacos, nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pickles! Taco salad. Chopped romaine / Sugar Bomb tomatoes / avocado / black beans / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with white onions and taco seasoning / cracked pepper / homemade ranch dressing – sour cream, lime, Crystal hot sauce, and ranch seasoning. I would have said that I don’t care about ranch dressing but this stuff was fantastic.

Pickled oven baked tofu tenders plus roasted broccoli. Sprouted extra-firm tofu / marinated in pickle juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, and garlic / dipped in a mix of flour, cornstarch, sugar, and smoked paprika – then egg – then panko bread crumbs / baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. So crispy.

Cheeseburger inspired nachos plus roasted green beans with ranch. Trader Joe’s dill pickle chips / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with garlic, ketchup, and yellow mustard / Kewpie / chopped Sugar Bomb tomato, white onion, and dill pickle.

Traditional nachos, actual bar food. I worked a 10.5 hour day on Thursday (!!, coming back from a vacation means extra work, being short-staffed near the holiday means extra work, and training an intern means things move more slowly, and all three factors converged horribly this week) so I grabbed take-out for dinner on my way home. Nachos with cheese sauce and cheddar, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onion, and zucchini.

Hawaii 2022

Adam and I just returned from six fantastically glorious days in Oahu! Best vacation we have taken yet.

Everything was beautiful (of course!), we got incredibly lucky with the weather, we loved our hotel (Hotel La Croix – amazing staff, beautiful views, and perfectly walkable to the beach and downtown), and we swooned over every activity and meal! And we saw a seal!! I did not pack a camera but couldn’t stop myself from Instagramming incessantly.

Some of our favorite activities – – –

Hiking. We went on four hikes this visit. Makapu’u Light House Trail / Kuliouou Ridge Trail / Diamond Head / Ka’ena Point State Park.

We went to Green World Coffee Farm and walked through the coffee plants. We also got a fantastic tour (with tastes) of the Old Sugar Mill Brand Waialua Coffee where they grow coffee and cacao.

Some of our favorite bites – – –

Flavor themes of the week – ahi, malasada, mochi, musubi, passionfruit, poke, taro, and yuzu. I lost my photo but we had a wonderful traditional meal at Helena’s – my first time trying poi!

We walked over to Kona Coffee Purveyors several times. Also to the Starbucks Reserve for this delicious americano con crema with demura sugar and cinnamon.

Guava malasada from Leonards. Also my favorite thing I ate all trip was a taro mochi malasada from a convenience store.

There was a great Japanese store near our hotel and between that and the well-stocked 7-11 I tried some very exciting things.

Passionfruit mochi bar.

Salted cod roe and cheese musubi.

Halo halo.

Local fruits from a roadside stand. Starfruit, passionfruit, and coconut.

Shave Ice! We went to Waiola Shave Ice and Matsumoto Shave Ice. The boring looking one was actually white cake and yuzu (!!!) with vanilla ice cream and sweetened condensed milk.

Poke! So much fresh tuna. We went to Maguro Brothers and Ono Seafood.

Dinner at O’Kims. Fried chicken and purple rice with the best kimchi I’ve ever eaten.

Lunch at Piggy Smalls was our favorite meal of the trip! And dinner at Pig and the Lady was a close second. Twice fried brussel sprouts, tea leaf salad, brisket with pancakes and eggs, great cocktails (Adam had a POG slushie!), and an egg coffee.

A perfect trip!

It’s Starting To Taste Like Winter

Highlights from this week…

Wonderful yogurt bowl – plain skyr with granola and persimmon.

Milk Bar birthday cake iced latte.

Great horchatta with espresso at For All Things Good.

I pulled pumpkin chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer and they were even more amazing than I remembered.

I’m not ready for eggnog yet (make that – I am always ready for nog but I am not releasing the eggnog floodgate yet) but I have fully embraced peppermint! Like the limited release Wendy’s peppermint frosty.

Or Minter Wonderland ice cream.

Brooklyn Cupcake! Cojito, tiramisu, and guava cheese.

Best iteration yet of the butternut squash we make every year. This year we served it as a warm salad. Roasted butternut squash and shredded brussel sprouts, Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans, dried cherries, and homemade dressing (3 T lemon juice, 3 T maple syrup, 2 T stone ground mustard, 1 T Kewpie, 1 T crystal hot sauce.

A meta dinner win – cobb salad egg salad in endive lettuce cups. Eggs with mayo and mustard, chives, avocado, turkey bacon, and blue cheese.

Buffalo chicken salad (shredded chicken with mayo, Franks, vinegar, blue cheese, and chives) with roasted broccoli and Japanese sweet potato.

Boo-zy

Highlights from last week included…

Chameleon cinnamon vanilla cold brew.

Is it supposed to be a balanced breakfast or a gourd-based breakfast? La Colombe pumpkin spice canned coffee plus Perfect Bar’s pumpkin pie seasonal flavor.

Lifeway pumpkin spice kefir. I am on a years’ long hunt for the eggnog version.

Trader Joe’s pumpkin Greek yogurt with plucot, chia seeds, and granola.

We liked but didn’t love Elysian’s Night Owl pumpkin ale.

Trader Joe’s Howling Gourds pumpkin ale makes it into Adam’s top five favorite beers.

And Southern Tier’s canned craft cocktail of their Pumpking whiskey and cola is officially in both of our top five for all-time-favorite beverages. I bought this months ago and squirreled it away and devestatingly I have been unable to find it again.

The nights we didn’t get take-out (we’ve had kind of crazy work weeks) we hit it out of the park with what we cooked for dinners. Super salad night – local lettuce with miso caesar dressing, bacon-flavored crunchy mung beans, Gardein vegan crab cakes, red bell pepper, and avocado.

Broiled salmon with a miso glaze plus baked green beans. Adam had his with rice but I went with bbq potato chips.

Emily Mariko style salmon bowls! Plus a side of smashed cucumber salad.

Well There Goes Your Social Life

This past week has been meatball week because I am all about a good dinner theme.

Homemade turkey meatballs (juicy thanks to panade, with urfa pepper) with red sauce and roasted spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is amazing I need to make it way more often!

Whole Foods vegan meatballs with olives, dolmas, roasted zucchini and sweet onion, and Trader Joe’s herbed tahini sauce.

Buffalo chicken meatballs (stuffed with blue cheese and cream cheese) with sauted carrots and celery.

Crab meatballs (with panade made out of Utz crab chips!) with a simple salad.

Mostly Bowls

Highlights from the past week include…

Dark roast coffee with ube condensed milk.

A loaded yogurt bowl – plain Greek, Mid-day peanut butter chocolate square, doughnut peach, aprium, praline pecan granola.

Cosmic Crisps are my new favorite apple.

We did not enjoy this key lime sour, but I am posting a photo as a reminder to Adam and myself because it so seems like something we would like.

On the other hand, we loved the flavor profile and political stance of this Greenpoint IPA.

Typically I don’t buy vegan ice creams but these bites are pretty satisfying.

Our favorite sheetpan hash – roasted Japanese sweet potato, bok choy, and green onion; topped with smoked salmon candy and roasted Norwegian salmon. I also added tons of Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.

Big summer salads. Local lettuce, honey mustard dressing, baby tomatoes, roasted corn, baked tofu, and homemade croutons.

Best bowl of the week – sauteed cabbage, snap peas, baby tomato, and green onions, with chicken maple breakfast sausage, peanuts, Korean chili flake, Sichuan pepper salt, and a nuoc cham inspired sauce.

Tons of Roast take-out – chicken taco sandwich, fries, buffalo-style roasted potatoes – plus roasted purple cauliflower.

Sandwich Week

This is a delayed post because we got back from vacation and both immediately had crazy work schedules including weekend coverage. But I declared last week “Sandwich Week,” which meant that all of our take-out was actually on-theme!

First – vacation was amazing. Truly one of the best weeks of our lives. We road-tripped to Provincetown Cape Cod –> Boston –> Portland, Maine –> Hudson, NY –> home. We got lucky with beautiful weather, admired astonishingly pretty flowers/landscaping, and ate some of the best meals of our marriage. I don’t have a single photo to share but I will link to some of our favorites.

  • Cape Cod: Bookstore (great lobster rolls and view) / Scott’s Cakes (yellow cake with pink buttercream only, best I’ve ever tasted)
  • Portland: Bao Bao (our favorites – bang bang chicken salad, crab rangoon spring rolls) / Crispy Gai (wonderful Thai, plus cocktails) / Duck Fat (duck on duck on duck poutine) / HiFi (all-time best doughnuts) / Izakaya Minato (amazing crudo and okonomiyaki) / Time and Tide (inventive lattes)
  • Hudson: Breadfolks (all-time best pastries) / Gracie’s Lunchonette (our favorites – pink horchatta iced latte, tuna melt with freshly baked tuna) / Kitty’s (Adam’s favorite meal of the week; our favorites – potato chips with dip and salmon roe, crispy broccoli) / Lil’ Deb’s Oasis (caribbean/eclectic, one of my favorite restaurants on earth)

Second – Some non-sandwich highlights from the past week…

This week’s coffee combo.

It’s stone fruit season! I will be snacking on nectarines, peaches, plums, and plucots for the foreseeable future.

Malted blueberry smoothie. Frozen blueberries with chocolate milk, plain Greek yogurt, and malted milk powder.

I scored cake-flavored beer that wasn’t a stout and loved it.

Boozy cherry coke slushy – frozen cherry coke cubes, frozen cherries, Luxardo cherries, and vodka.

Breakfast for dinner with freezer-staples the night we got home. Hashbrown and Trader Joe’s gojuchang veggie mix with soft-scrambled eggs.

Plus a brinner cocktail with decaf iced coffee, amaretto, coffee liquor, and sweetened condensed milk.

Finally – SANDWICH WEEK! Definitely a little inspired by Trader Joe’s sourdough bread.

Roasted sliced turkey, turkey bacon, strawberry jam, honey dijon. Plus roasted green beans.

Soft-scrambled eggs topped with smoked salmon salad. That green pile in the back is sauteed shredded brusell sprouts with shallots and dried cherries.

Heirloom tomatoes, gojuchang mayo, smoked sliced turkey, turkey bacon. Plus baby cucumbers with Bitchin Sauce.

Shake Shack cheeseburger and fries. We also shared an oreo funnel cake milkshake that was surprisingly delicious.

Take-out from Roast – aka our ultimate sandwich experience. Their roast beef melt is my all-time favorite. With fries and roasted green beans.

Turkey cheeseburger-inspired trail mix. Meat stick, cheddar moon cheese, dill pickle flavored almonds.

Turkey cheeseburger-inspired salad. Local lettuce with honey mustard dressing, baby tomatoes, dill pickle almonds, dill pickle slices, turkey meatballs (seasoned with dill pickle juice and yellow mustard), sharp cheddar, and homemade croutons with furikake.

Lattes, The Tyger, and Bambina Blue, Oh My

Highlights from an exceptionally yummy weekend…

We made dalgona iced lattes with chocolate milk. This is my favorite coffee texture.

Iced cinnamon roll from Mel The Bakery, aka the best cinnamon roll we’ve ever eaten. We regretted not buying more things and want to go back immediately.

Tres Leches x3 doughnut ice cream sandwich (tres leches ice cream sandwiched in a tres leches cake doughnut and dipped in tres leches chocolate coating!) from Doughnut Plant.

Hazelnut crunch gelato at Bambina Blue. We thought we weren’t big gelato fans but this spot has changed our tune.

Topo Chico has officially 100% sold me on alcoholic seltzers. These cans are delicious.

We had a wonderfully good lunch at The Tyger.

I had a Tyger Strype Slushee – Espolòn tequila, Shoumei white tea, peach, lemon, and smoke layered with Espolòn tequila, mango, lemon, honey, and cardamon.

Also a non-alcoholic Green Woods Laugh – mint, pandan, cucumber, and lemon – with Tito’s.

We shared hamachi crudo with Vietnamese salsa verde, coconut, microgreens, and cherry tomato.

Chicken satay with the most interesting/layered peanut sauce I’ve ever tasted.

Stir-fried water spinach with chili, garlic, and shrimp paste.

And Pad See Ew with Chinese broccoli and tofu. The tofu was a salt and pepper crusted silken tofu and it was fantastic.

Plus a Thai coffee tart with a bruleed top for dessert.

Dinner salads. Local butter lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette, mint, peas, lamb sausage, and raw milk aged cheddar. I see why the lamb + mint + pea pairing is a classic.