Freeze Dried

How did my short three-day week feel soooo long?!  I am off again today because I’m actually heading to Traverse City, Michigan for the weekend to visit one of my best friends from when I was a kid.  So excited!  I will not be taking pictures though – I got such a cheap ticket that I don’t even get a carry-on, just a purse, so I won’t be spending space on a camera.

This week my snacks heavily featured super random dried / freeze-dried / turned-into-chips things.  Highlights include…

Freeze-dried fuji apples from Trader Joe’s + chicken chips.

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Trader Joe’s crispy broccoli.

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Trader Joe’s freeze-dried grapes + seaweed chips + chicken jerky.

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Also plain Siggi’s with fresh blueberries and Wild Friends chocolate peanut butter.

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And I ate the rest of my leftovers from last week (sheet pan hash + tabbouleh + zhoug) and immediately added more zhoug to my grocery list for next week!

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Apple Of My Eye

It was a good week in theme snacks, snacks in general, actually!

Today is National Coffee Ice Cream day and since I love coffee, and ice cream, and coffee ice cream (and dulce de leche!) I jumped at the chance when My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream offered to send me a box of samples to celebrate.  My/Mo Dulce de Leche = coffee ice cream, wrapped in mochi dough, with a caramel core.  I 10/10 loved them.  Hands down the best mochi I’ve ever eaten.  Now I’m dying to find their seasonal flavors!

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Meanwhile, in Apple Month… I ate a bag of Trader Joe’s freeze-dried honeycrisp apples that I forgot to take a picture of but totally recommend.  Also, pink lady kombucha and Siggi’s with apple.

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Other snack highlights include… cold brew with salted caramel dark chocolate milk.

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Black sesame cheese crisps.

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Cookie dough Perfect Bar with a maple chicken jerky.

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Birthday cake marshmallows (while reviewing glycolysis!).

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I really loved my dinners this week, thanks in no small part to the fact that they were all smothered in Trader Joe’s zhoug sauce.  Salads with romaine, baby heirloom tomatoes, TJ’s Greek feta dressing, TJ’s turkey summer sausage, tabbouleh, zhoug.

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The best sheet pan hash I’ve made yet – summer sausage, potato, sweet potato, green onion, and cabbage.

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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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Super Salad

We are 85% moved to NYC and the move went swimmingly!  Plus we had a fantastic time at our friends’ wedding.

Here were the highlights from this week…

These new Trader Joe’s chocolate covered espresso beans are my new favorite thing.  They have the perfect ratio of bean to candy and the chocolate coating isn’t waxy at all.

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Ridiculously good cake from Marie Bette; chocolate with salted caramel frosting.

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This cranberry sour ale was a total winner.

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I got a smoked chicken quesadilla from Asado that was shockingly good.  Plus fries with queso!

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I had an amazing salad bowl from Mezeh.  Mixed greens // veggie kefta // tabouleh // olives // red cabbage slaw // cucumber // caramelized eggplant // roasted corn // baba ganoush // harissa and tzatziki dressings.

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Plus we made wonderful salads at home.  TJ’s cruciferous crunch mix // spicy peanut vinaigrette // sesame honey cashews // hot smoked salmon // hard-boiled eggs.  I made the eggs in the oven because we don’t have any pots and they came out great!

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Finally, we met my cousin and her fiance for dinner at Maya.  I had catfish with sweet potato fries and garlic broccoli.  Plus we shared a cheese plate (with pickled apples!) and peanut butter pie.

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On The Move

It was an odd week here because we are moving all of our stuff to New York today.  Note – we’re not moving, all of our stuff is moving; we’re living out of suitcases in Charlottesville for the next month+.  Anyway, I was afraid to dirty anything in the kitchen while we were trying to sort and pack so 90% of our food this week came in a take-out box.

Here were the highlights…

Coffee combo – Starbucks Komodo Dragon blend with sweetened condensed milk.

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This month’s Snack Crate from Poland.

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Poke bowl from Poke Bowl.  Sushi rice with tofu, krab, cucumber, edamame, spicy mayo, seaweed salad, green onions, and onion crisps.

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Dumplings from Got Dumplings.  More seaweed salad plus tofu dumplings and curry chicken dumplings.

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One night we did sneak away from packing to get dinner and play in trivia night at Firefly.

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I had a mango margarita and totchos – tater tots with house-made cheese sauce, avocado, pico de gallo, black beans, and sour cream.

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We are crossing our fingers for a smooth move today and then tomorrow we’re heading to Pennsylvania for some friends’ wedding.  Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

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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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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