Local Love

Highlights from this week – my in-laws are in town and we had fun showing them Charlottseville one last time // we had some great dinners out, including a new spot that’s a new favorite // Wissotzky Tea Company – an international, family-owned tea company based in Israel with offices in London and the United States – sent me some of their inventive flavors to try…

Coffee for the week: Trader Joe’s espresso blend with sweetened condensed milk.

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Tea samples; their four newest, spiciest flavors: Ginger and Turmeric Spiced Chai, Pumpkin Spiced Chai, Salted Caramel Chai, Spiced Nana Mint Chai.  I cold-brewed my cups per the company’s instructions – a ratio of 4 cups cold water to 5 tea bags, covered in the fridge for 15-36 hours.

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Salted Caramel Chai with a splash half and half (added post picture).

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Spiced Nana Mint Chai with sugar and fresh lime.  <– fair warning, this flavor was too peppery for Adam’s tastes

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Tropical flavors from the Mexican ice cream place down the street: passionfruit, guava, and mamey!

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Plus I picked up these super interesting gummy candies.  They have milk in them and the texture is extra soft and very unique.

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Roasted green beans and TJ’s turkey corn dogs.  Apparently I love corn dogs, I couldn’t stop raving about how tasty these were!

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Sheet pan hash: potatoes, onion, bell pepper, shredded brussel sprouts, and maple chicken breakfast sausage.

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Smoked Kitchen and Tap: a bbq spot we love in Crozet.  I had smoked turkey, cole slaw, and creamed corn with smoked jalopeno.

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The Local: an amazing spot in Bellmont.  I had the best, most Southern plate – buttermilk-brined fried chicken with pimento cheese mac and cheese, collard greens, and house made hot sauce and a buttermilk-chive drizzle.

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Modern Nosh: a newish, super cute deli (which means I finally have a deli in Charlottesville!).

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I had a half turkey reuben and soup with the best matzoh ball of my life.

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Plus we split latkes that were wonderfully full of garlic.  Yum!

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I’m Not Crabby About It

Highlights from the week…

Coffee combo = Trader Joe’s Kona with chocolate milk.

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My snacks were all 10/10 this week!  TJ’s newest candy bar – white and dark chocolate with mini gummi bears.  I love the chocolate + gummi combo.

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CoolHaus milk and cookie crumb.  CH is quickly becoming my favorite ice cream brand.

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A Monster smoothie at Juice Laundry – cacao, cashew butter, banana, dates, and almond milk.

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Crazy good buffalo chicken pizza from Whole Foods.

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My dinners were not bad either.  I made crab salad!  Lump crab meat with mayo, dijon, lemon, paprika, and celery.  Served on butter toasted whole wheat hot dog buns.  Plus sauteed kale with lemon, celery, and onion.

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I turned my leftover salad into an okonomiyaki-esque crab pancake with flour, water, ginger, and eggs.  Plus roasted green beans on the side.

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Another night I stuffed a hot dog bun with two turkey dogs and ketchup.  Plus rainbow cauliflower (a frozen bag from TJ’s sauteed with taco seasoning, lime, and butter) and potato wedge fries from Wegman’s hot bar.

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Finally, we made cauliflower quesadillas that actually turned out pretty yummy.  Plus a side of fajita veggies.

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Berries In My Sandwich And My Beer

Five fun things from this week…

{1} Blanchard’s holiday blend coffee with sweetened condensed milk.  And the next day I made a shakerato!

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{2} A duo of fruity ales.  I did not care for the tea taste of the Suncrush but the Troegs bosenberry tart ale was super interesting and packed with flavor.

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{3} A toasted pb&j with this winning combo.  FYI: toasting your peanut butter sandwiches is the way to go.

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Served with the classic pb&j sides – baby carrots and apple slices.

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Plus a new favorite – chicken and waffle chicken chips.

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{4} Dinner from Got Dumplings.  Tofu dumplings, kimchi, and peanut noodles.  Plus guava and mango tea with boba and lyche jelly.

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{5} I made tom kha gai.  And it was good!

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Tastes Of The Tropics

Tropical tastes from the last week include – coconut, Cuban food, rum, soursop, starfruit.

The best things I ate last seven days…

Caramel spice latte in a can.  My brain won’t accept that I hate coconut milk in coffee yet but this did smell amazing.

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But I loooooove Kirt’s marshmallow ice cream blended into iced coffee.

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These 7-11 gummies were rainbow sherbet, cotton candy, and starfruit flavored.

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We ordered chocolates from Bon Bon Bon – an adorable candy shop in Detroit – and the packaging alone filled me with glee!

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Plus the bon bons were inventive and delicious (and adorable!!).

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Cocktails at Vitae, an amazing little local craft distillery.  I had a Flower Sour – barrel-aged rum, lavender, simple syrup, lemon, egg white, and lilac.

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And we brought home a bottle of golden rum and made yummy cocktails at home too – rum, soursop, and club soda.

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A duo of IPAs.

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We had a sampler of beers at Random Row. We did not do well at trivia, but had a wonderful time.

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Lunch at Ace BBQ.  I had a biscuit with pulled jerk chicken and pimento cheese.  Plus coleslaw and a grape soda.

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Sheet-pan – aka one pan – hash.  You cook everything on the same pan, starting with the hardiest vegetables and added the more delicate things as time goes on.  This was Japanese yam, purple sweet potato, bell peppers, green onion, pinto beans, and cojita cheese.

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Topped with baby heirloom tomato, cilantro, and homemade guacamole.  This was fantastic!

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And my leftovers – additionally topped with hot sauce and a fried egg – were somehow even better.

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Thai chicken pizza.  I made a sauce out of tamarind, peanut butter, and ginger and we topped it with shredded chicken, mozzarella cheese, and carrots, green onion, and cilantro.

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Simple sandwich night – Trader Joe’s white whole wheat topped with mayo, yellow mustard, colby cheese, and smoked turkey.  Plus baby carrots and chicken and waffle chicken chips!!

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Adam had to travel near Richmond this weekend for work and I tagged along for dinner at Kuba Kuba, a great Cuban spot.  Cafe con leche with condensed milk.

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Codfish cakes with enchilada sauce, fried eggs, and Cuban toast.

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And we shared flan and tres leches!

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Best dinner of the week award goes to this plate – chicken salad made with toasted almonds and kimchi / potato pancakes with paprika and ginger / roasted green beans.

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Have a great week!

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Tahini And Tamarind

Highlights from a yummy week…

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

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It was Carnival back home while my mom was visiting us and she brought up the best tamarind balls I’ve ever eaten.

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These dried baby pineapples from Trader Joe’s (unsweetened, unsulfured) are delicious.

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Chocolate-dipped gummi bears.

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Chocolate-dipped, cookie dough-wrapped ice cream balls!  We are obsessed with these Wallops.

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Double dose of double IPAs.

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Simple sandwich night.  TJ’s white whole wheat bread, Sir Kensington urfa chili mayo, smoked sliced turkey, havarti.  With roasted green beans.

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I made a tasty hash.  Shredded potatoes with kimchi, leeks, green onion, and turkey bacon.  Plus a fried egg.

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This was the best meal of the week though.

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Egg casserole – baked eggs with chives, sun-dried tomato, and mozzarella.

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Broccoli salad – roasted broccoli and red onion / turkey bacon / raisins / sunflower seeds / maple tahini sauce.

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Snack Assist

Serendipitously, on a week when my meal plan was absolutely anemic, I received an awesome box of goodies from deliciousness.com.  <– samples were provided to me free of charge but with no additional compensation, all opinions are my own

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CrrrunchBites Chili Lime Almonds.  It’s an almond, wrapped in a rice cracker, coated in seasoning.  They were crunchy and tasty (and not too spicy for Adam).  Very satisfying to snack on (though I also could have easily kept eating the whole bag!)  They’re vegan and gluten-free and there was nothing on the ingredients list that concerned me.

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Mozaics Popped Veggie Chips.  They are gluten-free, vegan, and primarily made of peas!  BBQ was good but Salsa was great; once again, flavorful without being too spicy or too salty.  The chips are popped instead of fried so a 1 oz/23 chip serving only has 100 calories and thanks to the peas each serving contains 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

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Hope & Sesame sesame milks.  I think these fill a really big hole in the plant-based milk market!  The products are all vegan (and therefore dairy-free and lactose-free), soy-free, and gluten-free, and except for the chocolate-hazelnut flavor they are tree-nut-free.  A 1 cup serving has 8 grams of protein – just like cow’s milk, which is awesome because the low-protein content is my main concern about most alternative milks.  Plus they are creamy and taste like sesame.  We liked vanilla straight from the carton but hated it in coffee and loved the chocolate hazelnut all-round – in a cup of strong coffee the chocolate didn’t come through much but it was creamy without separating and left you with coffee’s roastiness but none of the acidity.

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Highlights from the week include…

Coffee coffee.

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Mango beer line-up.  The sour wasn’t worth finishing but we enjoyed the IPA.

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We finally saw End Game!  We loooooooved it.  I laughed, cried, and enjoyed the heck out of Captain America and Captain Marvel’s uniform-clad behinds.  Our movie snacks weren’t bad either.

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Sandwich night.  We made simple sandwiches that were terrifically good – Trader Joe’s white whole wheat bread (untoasted), smoked turkey, havarti cheese, and mayo and yellow mustard.  Plus baby carrots and Salsa Mozaic Chips.

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Salad night.  These were the best salads I’ve made all year.  Sweet lettuce with Greek feta dressing / Mexican street corn salad / chili lime almonds / heirloom baby tomatoes / hot-smoked salmon.

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BBQ Chips, BBQ Beans, BBQ Nachos

Highlights from the last week include several new (to me) things…

I don’t usually show my at-work meals, but I wanted to share one of the perks of working in the South – biscuit breakfast sandwiches in the hospital cafeteria.  This had turkey chorizo sausage, a cage-free fried egg, and cheddar.

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These Don’t Go Nuts granola bars have the best texture, almost like a streusel.

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Other snack highlights include this assortment of bbq flavored crisped chickpeas and corn.

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Chocolate beers and hibiscus drinks.  I loved the s’mores beer, liked the tea, and hated the other two.

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My aunt shared a recipe for Chicken Provencal Soup with us and we loved it for dinner.  It’s packed with potato, diced tomato, onion, carrot, and celery.  I dipped some naan in my broth.

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We made fantastic bbq bowls another night.  Collard greens and celery (sauteed with lemon, garlic, butter, and harissa hot sauce) // shredded chicken (cooked in the crock pot with ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, cayenne, paprika, and red onion) // baby heirloom tomatoes // and smoked paprika candied pecans.  Remind me to cook more collards!

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We turned our leftovers into something fantastic with the help of these two products.  1) Hickory BBQ kettle chips that Boulder Canyon sent me to sample.  FYI – Boulder Canyon chips are – certified gluten free – trans fat free -vegan – kosher – made with green energy.  They had a good amount of smoke and tang and weren’t greasy at all.  Bonus, my bags, at least, had tons of foldsies!  2) Borlotti beans that we bought at Mekelburg’s just because the box was so pretty.

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BBQ kettle chips + beans + leftover chicken + roasted corn + sharp cheddar + smoked paprika = nachos!

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