Weekend Things

4 things I loved this weekend that weren’t food:

{1}  Clothing – the anthropomorphic pizza t-shirt from Roberta’s that is officially my favorite thing I’ve ever owned.

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{2}  TV show – “Making It,” aka the best reality show ever created.  It’s super talented crafters making amazing projects that are rife with puns and have a million creative details plus unscripted Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler saying hilarious and supportive things.

{3}  Buds – these splendid flowers from Trader Joe’s.  I don’t even like roses but these take my breath away.

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{4}  Movie – Crazy Rich Asians.  This film was stunningly gorgeous, uproariously funny, and so darn touching that a moment towards the end brought the whole theater – including Adam and I – to tears.  Go see it!

4 edible things I loved this weekend:

{1}  A two-tone vanilla rose smoothie.  Banana, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and vanilla bean // with strawberries, plums, and rosewater.

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{2}  Coffee themed snacks.  Chocolate-covered beans from Shenandoah Joe’s.  <– I am obsessed

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A quad iced latte with a truffle.

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Kung Fu Tea oreo slush with tapioca and coffee flavored popping boba.

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{3}  Tacos from Brazos.  We shared grilled tilapia with red cabbage slaw, avocado sauce, radish, and lime / mashed potato, yam, mushrooms, cilantro, spicy honey, and jalopenos / and chicken with black beans, roasted corn, avocado, and jack cheese.

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{4}  Brunch at Fry’s Spring Station.  They improved upon fried chicken and waffles with smokey pimento cheese and candied pepper honey.

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Pizza Pizza

Flavor themes from the week – cherries and cheese.  These were the highlights…

Brooklyn Roasting Co coffee.  After this I have one last tin left from NY… guess we need to take another trip soon!

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It was a good week in snacks, thanks in part to a fun package full of goodies from my parents.  Including cherry cola Mike & Ikes and delicious chocolate-covered dried cherries.

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Two new to us snacks, salted caramel Somersaults (<– best flavor yet!) and Sweet Sapphire grapes.

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Another new flavor, sesame bbq chicken Epic bar.

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I cooked salmon for dinner one night.  Roasted coho topped with a vegan scallion pesto – food-processed pine nuts, parsley, sauteed green onions, and evoo.  Plus homemade cole slaw.  The sauce was great, but sadly the salmon was fairly flavorless without it.

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The rest of the week dinners were all about pizza!  I loosely followed this recipe for pepperoni pizza macaroni and cheese.  Whole wheat shell pasta > macaroni pasta.  Pro tip – any time I make macaroni and cheese (or any roux thickened sauce) I always substitute low-fat condensed milk for the recommended liquid.  The results always taste fantastic and it means we don’t have an open container of whole milk in the house which is great because both Adam and I dislike it.  Plus roasted zucchini.

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Meat lovers pizza.  Frozen crust from Trader Joe’s / we added tomato paste while we sauteed some chicken sausage and added that to our marinara sauce / topped with turkey pepperoni and turkey bacon / plus mozzarella and cheddar.  With roasted green beans.

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What is your favorite pizza topping?  Apparently mine is bacon!

My Kingdom For A Coffee

Random things from the weekend…

We tried what felt like a million different coffees.  I have yet to find a local ready-made option that can keep up with Grady’s.  Iced Vietnamese latte from Cville Coffee.

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Iced latte from Grit.

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Ice latte from Feast.

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Muddy Waters was meh.

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But much improved with a large scoop of violet marshmallow ice cream!

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We had really good bagels at Bodo’s.  Everything with olive cream cheese.  They are made fresh all day long and the texture is perfection.

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And only ok doughnuts from Duck.  Strawberry glazed with rainbow sprinkles and marshmallow drizzle.  I did not like that they were served fresh – aka hot – because it ruined the frosting.

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I made a delicious vegetarian dinner.  Cauliflower rice roasted in the oven / baked extra-firm sprouted tofu / scallion peanut salsa loosely based on this recipe.

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I am incapable of having peanuts in the house and not eating five plus handfuls per day.

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We went back to Maya and loved it a 2nd time!  We had two fantastic appetizers: a local mushroom plate with Sharondale Farm mushrooms, pork belly (for Adam!) spring onion grit cake, buttermilk curd, sunflower seed and sundried tomato pesto, and lemon parsley aioli // pimento cheese fritters(!!!) with hot pepper jelly and chive sour cream.

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I had the crab cakes for dinner, with sweet corn and green tomato chow-chow, smoked onion aioli, and mache.  Plus sauteed broccoli and leafy greens.

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And we somehow also ate peanut butter fluff pie for dessert.

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How is it possibly already August this week??!

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Supermoon And Sprinkles

It was my birthday!

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The day itself was pretty ho-hum – I worked an extra-long day, it rained like crazy, the cupcake shop I planned on visiting closed early without warning – but it’s always nice to have survived another year!  And my pre-birthday trip to New York was pretty fabulous; I am glad I got my good weather then.

Highlights from the week…

Pathetically, I ate this strawberry Airhead as my birthday-day dessert.

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But later in the week we splurged on this $9 pint of marshmallow and violet ice cream.  <– best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, including the stuff I ate at a Jeni’s in Ohio last fall

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Lately in coffee, I’ve tried and been disappointed by several packaged options.

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At least I fulfilled my favorite birthday tradition – freebie Starbucks quad iced latte with sprinkles on top.

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I made a cocktail with this dream team –

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We got salad bowls at Chipotle with so much cheese on them it was almost too much, almost.

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My birthday dinner was our first – mightily successful – trip to Beer Run.  They’re kind of famous for their nachos.

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And I had a salmon bahn mi (with pickled strawberries!) that was pretty good.

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Plus a key lime brown sugar margarita and a key lime pie tart ale.

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Yesterday we slow-cooked a delicious dinner.  Brown sugar garlic chicken thighs.  I added smoked paprika, but otherwise followed the recipe.  With roasted broccoli with crock pot drippings and Sriracha.

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Less than 12 hours to the weekend!

Bells, Poblanos, And Shishitos, Oh My

Highlights from this pepper-filled week…

Coffee coffee.

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I made bang bang shrimp with zucchini noodles loosely following this recipe.  I swapped in gojuchang and honey for sweet chili sauce and tossed the shrimp in some cornstarch to help give it a nice crust.

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Nacho night.  Kettle chips / shredded turkey breast / Camembert and cheddar cheese sauce / parsley // roasted green beans.

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Veggie bowls.  Sauteed red, orange, and yellow bell pepper with sweet onion and garlic / black beans sauteed with charred poblano pepper and cojita cheese / avocado / fried egg / sour cream and Cholula hot sauce.

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Cheese plate.  Grapes / Camembert and sharp cheddar / olives / tamari almonds / shishito peppers with sea salt, lime juice, and honey. <– I was so excited for this meal and it ended up not having enough protein being the least filling thing on earth and we both had to make sandwiches

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Local dessert love.  Cheesecake ice cream.

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Cupcakes from Sweethaus.  That middle one is cookie dough!

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We’re doing something fun this weekend…

Sour Cream Successes

Big life update – I have a job.  I joined a medical team for nutrition support (at the same hospital that Adam will be working at!).  It’s a fantastic learning opportunity but life has definitely been pretty crazy recently.  Actually, I interviewed for and was offered the position during my notice period at my last job, so things have been pretty crazy for the last month.  Also I started work the day after we moved.  Whew!

Big food updates – here were the highlights the past week…

Coffee combo = espresso from For Five with skim milk and ice.

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Rule Breaker Snacks sent me some cookie samples to try.  Their bean-based treats all have chickpeas as the first ingredient.  The concept is actually really neat, their snacks are all vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free -as well as free from the top 8 allergens – so they are a great option for a kid’s lunchbox (or to pack to eat at a hospital!).

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The P’nutter chocolate chip blondie only got a 7/10 from us because the flavor that was similar to peanut but not actually peanut threw us a bit and we found there to be somewhat of a baking soda aftertaste.  If you were someone with a peanut allergy you definitely may feel differently though.

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But the birthday cake blondie was a 10/10!  Truly, rating it just as a cookie and not a “healthy” cookie, I loved it.  It just tasted like a really yummy sugar cookie.  The sprinkles were super fun and didn’t have a chalky taste.  And the texture of both bars was perfection – chewy without being crumbly.  You would have no idea that either flavor was bean-based.

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I get subsidized meals at the hospital cafeteria so I mostly will be eating lunches there and will have less to share on that front, though this week I did eat three (incredible!) lunches at my desk and was able to take a picture.  Salad with marinated mushrooms, chickpea salad, celery, grapes, and honey mustard dressing.

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Salad with mushrooms, salmon, banana peppers, and blue cheese dressing.

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Turkey burger with cheddar, blue cheese, red onion, and pickles.  Plus pita chips.

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We finally got ourselves some pans and to celebrate I made some reeeeeally good dinners.  Key note – I put Trader Joe’s low-fat sour cream in everything we ate this week and everything was fantastic so I think I will start keeping sour cream in stock more often.

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Esquites – loosely following this recipe – aka the best dish I’ve ever made.  I swapped serrano for jalopeno and used half mayo and half sour cream.

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With baked shrimp and cabbage.  I marinated the shrimp with evoo, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, and tomato paste and baked it on top of shredded cabbage.

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A hot take (<– that’s a pun!) on my black eyed pea salad.  Sauteed red, orange, yellow, and green bell pepper and green onions / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / BEP / turkey bacon / cubes of cheddar / mayo and sour cream / topped with Cholula.

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Stroganoff-ish turkey.  With tons of sauteed mushrooms and roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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One night we had a tasty meal out at Mono Loco.  Fresh grapefruit mojito with Cruzan rum!

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And I got nachos with pinto beans and crazy good roasted chicken.

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Snack highlights this week were ice cream!  Whole Food’s vegan peanut butter chocolate bar(!!) topped with cardamom ice cream and strawberry sprinkles.

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Scoops of tres leches and cream cheese from La Flor Michoacana.

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Have a great weekend!

Salads In C-Ville

We moved!  I officially live in Virginia now.

The move itself was kind of terrible but we made it here intact with the dog and most of our stuff so I really can’t complain.  And first we took a fabulous trip home to St. Thomas!  Complete with highlights of the best banana daiquiri on earth and salmon pattys eaten in the airport with a vodka soda and local beer.

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Post-move, once the apartment was sort of set up, I focused on the really important stuff like finding all of the nearby beverage and dessert options.  Like La Flor Michoacana – a Mexican dessert place with the most exciting menu I’ve seen in my entire life.  I already had a scoop of soursop ice cream (with a scoop of mamey on the bottom)!

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And an eggnog paleta.

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Sweethaus for a quad iced latte and a crazy good salted caramel cupcake.  <– maybe the best frosting of my life.

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Grit for Cuban coffee.

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Also I loved this locally made fresh mint kombucha.

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On the food-food side I don’t have much to share because I’ve done zero cooking both due to being busy and having not moved any of our pots or pans.  We’ve mostly been eating junky take-out, and salads at home, and take-out salads.  Sweet baby lettuce blend / poppy seed dressing / strawberries / shredded chicken.

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Spring mix and herbs / Trader Joe’s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette / shredded chicken / roasted peanuts.

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From Fuzzy Taco – romaine / tomato / onion / fajita veggies / grilled fish / shredded cheese / tortilla strips / vinaigrette.

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From Roots Natural Kitchen – Arcadian mix / charred corn / pickled onion / roasted broccoli / hard-boiled egg / bbq tofu / cilantro lime dressing.

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Wish me luck exploring!