Vanilla Beans And David Bowie

Fun things from this week –

Double vanilla bean coffee.  I added ground vanilla to the coffee grounds and the final cup.  Plus sweetened condensed milk!

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A tiny ice cream scoop.  Bluegrass Creamery does a “two bite” cup, which I think is the best idea ever and wish all eateries would offer.  Plus it came with a free topping!  This was cookie conundrum topped with chocolate chip cookie.

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Chicken nachos.  Black bean chips with cheese, shredded chicken, heirloom tomato, fresh corn, and homemade guacamole.

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Labyrinth on the big screen.  Yes, the Labyrinth.  Our local theater is showing old movies for $5 a ticket this summer.  It was great!  And I had the very best movie snacks.  A chocolate covered marshmallow from Kilwins + these new baby gummy bears from Trader Joes.

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Goses.  Passion fruit and sour tropic fruit.

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Tacos.  Three cheese (Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon) and fish (blackened tilapia, red cabbage slaw, red onion, avoverde, cilantro, and lime)  from Brazos.

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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!

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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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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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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Bowls On Bowls

Seven wins from the past seven days…

{1} Peeps coffee creamer!!  It tastes like vanilla marshmallow!!!  But they should have made it pink.

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{2} Speaking of marshmallow, I made cereal bars with Trader Joe’s neapolitan cereal.  I brought them to a work event and they were a hit.  I used my go-to recipe but took things up a notch with the addition of vanilla bean paste.

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{3} I placed a super exciting order with the Mexican Candy Lady.  The standout so far has been these flan gummies.

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{4} Berry breakfast bowls.  Liebe strawberry quark (<– this was 10/10, btw, super creamy and delicious!) / fresh blackberries / granola / cacao bliss.

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{5} Cava bowls are currently our favorite take-out, there are a ton of toppings to choose from.  This was greens / tzatziki / crazy feta spread / harissa / roasted vegetables / grilled chicken / pickled onion / cabbage slaw / chopped cucumber / kalamata olives / and green harissa dressing.  Plus a side of really yummy house-made pita chips.

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{6} I made my own bowls too.  Roasted sweet potato / bok choy sauteed with garlic and green onion / candy salmon / fried egg.

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{7} A take on okonomiyaki – pancakes stuffed with roasted cabbage and corn.  Topped with mayo and Sriracha.

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