Oahu Part I, Fun Things We Ate

Adam and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary(!!!) with a trip to Hawaii and had an absolutely fantastic time.  We chose to spend our entire trip in Oahu – versus island hopping – and ended up being very happy with that decision.  We walked a ton, stuck our toes in the ocean, ate a million delicious things, and saw a billion beautiful things.  I did not even take as many photographs as I usually do but I still need to split my recap into multiple posts!

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I’ll share more about the amazing restaurants we visited in a later post, for now, here were some of the best Hawaiian bites…

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** Chicken katsu musubi – seasoned rice with seaweed and fried chicken.

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** Shrimp okonomiyaki – a savory Japanese pancake.

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** Garlic butter shrimp plates from the food trucks out on the North Shore.

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** The cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company are all 10/10 buttery and delicious.

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** Butter mochi – cake made with glutenous rice flour.

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** Dole Whip – blended frozen pineapple.

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** We ate shave ice practically every single day of the trip!  The standouts are in a later post but these were still pretty darn good!  Both of these were Japanese kakagori style versus the more traditional Hawaiian style.  From Ice Monster – coffee ice with brown sugar jelly, panna cotta, and cookies and cream gelato.

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From Snow Factory – cookie butter ice and butterscotch ice with mochi, coffee jelly, and condensed milk.

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Warm To Cold

St. Thomas was amazing, vacation was amazing.  My friends and I all had a really good time and want to go back immediately!

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I guess if I have to be back in the cold I’m glad it’s when New York is at its most glittery and beautiful!

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It was a short week with travel on Monday, but we have eaten some yummy stuff.

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Five highlights are –

{1} Mint Vietnamese coffee.  The pour over system was super easy and mint in coffee is delicious.

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{2} Lunch at Gramercy Tavern.  I met up with a girlfriend who suggested this spot and now I need to go back with Adam ASAP.  I had a Tower Bridge cocktail with gin, earl grey, almond grappa, and egg white.  And duck andouille sausage with grits and roasted pears.

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{3} After lunch I introduced her to Caffe Panna!  The affogato special sundae was peppermint mocha ice cream with junior mints, oreo crumble, nocciolata drizzle, mocha dusted whipped cream, and espresso.

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{4} Sushi!  I don’t crave/eat sushi all that often but we had it when we were in St. Thomas and ever since I’ve been obsessed.  It helps that Kaiyo is walking distance from our apartment and amazing.  I’ve gone there more than once this week!  This is spicy salmon // tuna and avocado topped with salmon, seaweed salad, and tobiko // spicy crab salad and avocado topped with tempura flakes, tuna, avocado, and special sauce.

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{5} Dinner at Atoboy, a shareable plates Korean restaurant in NoMad.  The style of the menu meant we got to try a ton.  Top highlights were charred cabbage with yuba (tofu skin) and smoked trout roe // chrysanthemum salad with leeks, plum, and cheddar // *sunchokes with oyster mushrooms, black truffle, and orange // sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch) granita with burrata soft serve and walnut.

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Hot Sauce And Cinnamon Gum

Flavor themes from this week include – hot sauce, coffee, chocolate.

Highlights…

Fun in coffee.  Iced with fancy egg nog.

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I had forgotten how much fun it is to have a milk frother!

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This bottled New Orleans coffee was delicious and contained 10 grams of protein.

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Seasonal fun at Doughnut Plant – a marzipan star and a mint tree filled with chocolate pudding.

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Still obsessed with these cookie dough Perfect Bars.

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Plain2% Greek yogurt bowl with chocolate sunflower seed butter and fresh blueberries.

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Just before I left VA one of my officemates got me hooked on cinnamon gum and lately I have been loving this version from Mentos.

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It was Adam’s birthday this week!  He got multiple cakes at work and brought me home a delicious slice of s’mores cheesecake.

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Amy’s tortilla casserole with black beans frozen meal.  Topped with copious amounts of Cholula.

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Shredded potatoes with smoked mackerel salad and soft scrambled eggs.  Topped with furikake.

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Breakfast cheese fries.  Sweet potato waffle fries with cheddar, eggs, maple chicken sausage, broccoli, and shishito peppers.  Topped later with Kewpie and Sriracha.

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My current favorite sheet-pan hash is Japanese sweet potato + bok choy + green onions.  Plus salmon candy and cashews on top.  Topped with furikake, Kewpie, and Sriracha.

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I made a yummy version of this baked Spanish rice recipe.  I added fish sauce and green olives and subbed in vegan soyrizo for chorizo.  Topped later with Cholula.

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FYI – there will be no post this weekend for the best reason ever: I am going home for a few days with a couple of NY friends!  Ocean, rum, and warm weather, here we come!

Pumpkin And Paw Paw

I am headed to NYC next weekend so I kept these past three days especially low-key.  I went out for drinks with a coworker, bought a couple of sweaters, and caught up on tv while eating take-out.  And that was it!  I didn’t even make it to the gym.

Highlights in TV so far include All Rise, Evil, SNL, and The Rookie.

Highlights in food this weekend include…

A paw paw margarita from Vitae.

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I didn’t really care for this latte but I loved the new pumpkin pie Perfect Bar.

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These seaweed thins are delicious and way easier to eat than typical seaweed snacks (less crumbly and less greasy).

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Yogurt bowl perfection.  Pumpkin Noosa with blackberries and vanilla almond butter.

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Biggest wins so far in Pumpkin Month = Prairie Artisan Ale‘s Basic Becky (an imperial stout with pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, coriander, clove, and caraway) and Coolhaus pumpkin pie cheesecake ice cream (pumpkin and cheesecake ice creams with a graham cracker swirl).

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I Needed My Coffee

Fun fact – I had an amazing time last weekend!  It was fantastic to see my friends and Traverse City is quite possibly my new favorite place (we walked a ton (by the lake!) and drank cocktails with coffee, Mexican Coke, and locally-made vodka, so how could it not be?!).

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Not so fun fact – I spilled an entire coffee yesterday morning and ruined everything in my purse including my dayplanner/brain and camera.  The only thing that’s really missing from this post is the fun lunch I ate at the farmers’ market with my coworker yesterday, but I’m not sure what my plan will be for this weekend since I hate taking photos on my phone.

Here were the highlights before the flood…

Grady’s Cold Brew really is the best, and I say that even I smelled like it all day at work.

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Berry breakfast.  Cereal and milk with blueberries.

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Yogurt bowl 1 – Fage, blueberries, vanilla peanut butter.

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Yogurt bowl 2 – Trader Joe’s vanilla skyr, red plum, walnut butter.

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I finally ate my first fresh apple of the month, a crunchy Pazazz apple.

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I had the day off on Tuesday and I took myself to breakfast at Quality Pie.  Tortilla with egg, chicken, queso, and salsa verde.

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Graeter’s makes my new favorite s’mores ice cream.  It contains no palm oil and the marshmallows are unbelievably soft.

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Related – sadly I can’t recommend this; the texture was actually great but the only flavor present was coconut.

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I am still obsessed with these seaweed chips.  BBQ is even yummier than the original flavor.

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This is the easiest dinner on earth but it tastes soooo good.  Throw Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi on a baking sheet with some turkey pepperoni, bake at 450 for 20 minutes, top with pizza sauce.

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Super salad – romaine, champagne vinaigrette, maple roasted walnuts and cranberries, chopped celery, vegan “chicken salad.”

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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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All By Myself

<– that title is facetious, I’m actually living with my cousin and her fiance and they are taking very good care of me!  But this was my first week surviving solo without Adam and Webster.  On a related note, look at the stickers I just bought!!!

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We had a fantastic, fantasmic, over-the-top wonderful vacation, by the way!  We hung out with some of our favorite people, ate some of our favorite things, and got to walk up and down the beach fifteen times, all the while exclaiming how beautiful the water was.

I brought back the best ever cold brew (Grady’s) from New York.

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Plus my new favorite cup, from St. Thomas!

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I got back to Charlottesville from New York on Sunday night so I didn’t have time for a grocery trip this week which meant I mostly ate a bunch of (tasty) nonsense.  Like cafeteria food that I carted home.  Chicken tenders + fries + seaweed salad.

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A Beyond Burger with hot sauce and tomatoes.

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And Wegman’s hot bar.  I pretty much got every chicken and vegetable option from the “Asian” section.

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One night my cousin threw a dinner party and cooked an honest-to-god, grown up meal – eggplant parmesan and garlic bread (plus a fancy cheese plate and homemade chocolate chip cookies).

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And Thursday I finally made it to free pretzel night at Hardywood because my work hosted an after-hours journal club there.

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