Flavors Of Fall

Next week is the start of Pumpkin Month!!  But first, here’s a collection of “fall flavored” things –

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The maple Mars bar was a disappointment.  (Mom, sorry, it came as part of a Snack Crate, I cannot get you one).

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But the pecan pie granola was a delight, especially paired with a Trader Joe’s caramel apple Greek yogurt!

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More apple goodness, this Rave variety was crispy and sweet.

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And in other packaged goods new, I obsessively searched for this Oreo coffee creamer for the past 2 months before I finally got my hands on it.  <– worth it

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Pimento cheese and crackers at Grit.

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I put leftover bbq chicken on a yummy salad.  With butter lettuce, honey mustard dressing, cashews, and cucumber.

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This frozen meal from Trader Joe’s remains the best chile relleno of my life.

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My in-laws were in town a few days this week and we had a great time seeing them.  Including a trip to Asian buffet.  I had really tasty seaweed salad and the best egg tart I’ve ever eaten.  Here were my fist and last plates (with several in between!).

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Three Kinds Of Eggs

Highlights from this week included eggs served three different ways, a new take on pesto, and my current favorite snack combo…

The week started out on a high point – a breakfast date at Golda.

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Quad espresso + ice + cream.

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I had the grilled asparagus toast – strawberry-chili mostarda / alfalfa / ras al hanout / soft egg / charred lemon / local sourdough.

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Homemade coffee combo = half and half, ice, and Stumptown Founders blend.

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Snacks of note include fresh alfonso mango with cottage cheese.

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Our Deadpool movie snack was right on the nose.  DP 2 was not as good as the first movie but still laugh out loud funny.

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My current favorite snack combo is roasted chickpeas with blistered peanuts.  Eaten in bulk.

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Tuesday – my early day, when I leave the house before 6 am – I drove across town after work to attend what ended up being a very disappointing lecture on TPN.  The speaker ran a bit late and I didn’t start heading home until after 9 pm, at which point I was basically whimpering from hunger.  Suffice to say, this is the most satisfying Chipotle bowl that’s ever been eaten!

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The other three nights I cooked legitimate meals and had some major successes in the kitchen!  Like a Mediterranean frittata, complete with a new recipe page.

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Replete with feta, zucchini, and sumac.

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One night I made okonomiyaki.  We use three eggs and a heaping 1/3 cup flour for 2 servings.  With shredded garnet yam, roasted cabbage, and ginger.  Topped with Sriracha, Kewpie mayo, green onion, and seaweed.

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I also tried a new take on pesto that turned out to be delicious.  The last time we made homemade pesto we found the raw garlic and basil to be a bit too spicy, so this time I cooked them.  Sweet onion, green onion, and garlic sauteed in evoo / basil cooked with the onion for 90 seconds or so / tossed in the food processor with more evoo, parmesan, and pine nuts.  Served with whole wheat pasta with baby kale, toasted white beans, and roasted heirloom tomato.

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Weekend plans include a bridge walk, a bar date, and a bbq spot.

Open Toasted Sesame

Highlights from the week…

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Lemon shortbread Greek yogurt with a Jaffa mandarin and a coconut seltzer.

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Coconut Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin and a lemon seltzer.

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Cookie butter cotton candy.

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Sandwich night.  Mock beef shaved tofu sauteed with red bell pepper and bbq sauce / served on a brioche bun / with mayo and provolone.  Plus broccoli.

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Barley bowls.  Barley / roasted zucchini / crumbled seaweed snacks / canned mackerel and smoked sardines mashed together with some mayonnaise / Sriracha and gojuchang on top.

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A knock-your-socks-off good dinner date at Gristmill.

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The Ali Baba cocktail = gin, lemon, cream, egg white, and toasted sesame.

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I went with the pre-fix option because I wanted too many things to choose!

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Local greens salad with carrot, watermelon radish, and toasted sesame vinaigrette.  This was delicious af and while we were eating it the owner came by and excitedly told us about sourcing his greens, so that was fun.

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Chicken liver mousse with bread crackers, concord grape jam, and dulce de leche.

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Best plain cheese pizza I’ve ever eaten.  <– Gristmill is famous for their wood-fired oven.

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Plus we had an affogato and that thing lurking in the back is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten with caramelized white chocolate ganache and sourdough pretzel crumbs.

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I work the weekend so I’m off today, woo hoo!

MadeMerry

I was not a stellar food blogger this week.  I had several work lunch parties and I didn’t take pictures then.  And it was a particularly heinously stressful work-week so adult dinners did not happen – one night I went out for drinks with a girlfriend, one night we ordered in pizza, one night I ate chips in bed and fell asleep fully dressed… you get the gist.  I do have photos of a fun box of samples and the exciting ensuing snacks!

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MadeGood reached out to me recently about trying their goods.  They are a certified organic company that makes granola bars, granola bites, and crispy treats.  Their products are vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and free of eight common allergens (dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, egg, fish, shellfish, and soy).  PLUS they are made with a vegetable powder made of spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shitake mushrooms and the granola products provide 20% of the RDA for vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, and E per serving.

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Normally I am unmoved by snack items with “hidden” fruits and veggies – though I do totally understand why they can be helpful for picky kids! – but in this case I am 100% on board.  The MadeGood products all had a savory quality that made them completely addictive!  Adam and I both felt that the crispy squares were the best crispy treats we’d ever tasted!  And the granola items struck a good balance between chew and crunch.  In short – I am a new fan.

Snack attack highlights from the week…

Kanzi apple / chocolate banana granola bar / vanilla crispy square / kale chips / chicken Sriracha Epic bar.

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Strawberry granola minis / mixed berry granola minis / raspberry amazin’ raisins.

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Apple cinnamon granola minis / chocolate chip granola bar / seaweed snack / Pacific Rose apple.

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Malted milk hot chocolate (two pouches because I like my hot cocoa Turkish coffee style) / Lady Alice apple.

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I’m sad it’s my last week for eggnog in my coffee.

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But I did use plain skim in this Limitless Cold Brew so I could taste the vanilla.

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Some non-edible stuff {ranked from least to most exciting}…

It’s Christmas next week.

I am almost finished with Felicia Day’s memoir (and loving it) so I started watching her web-series The Guild and I’m loving that too.

Starting this morning Adam is on vacation for the next 10 days!

Next week is our ten year wedding anniversary!!

I am off part of next week too so we can celebrate together!!!

Oh, Christmas Tree

Adam and I checked off one of my favorite holiday activities this week – heading to Rockefeller to gape at the tree.  We also really enjoyed most of the department store window displays this year.

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Best six things I ate this week…

1. Eggnog iced coffee.

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2. Praline éclair from Éclair Bakery.

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3. Brown sugar latte from Stumptown at the Ace Hotel.

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4. Cake batter cookie dough.  <– reassurance for folks who baulk at the $7 price tag, two of us couldn’t eat this in one sitting, so if you can keep it cool enough to eat again later you do get a fair amount of bang for your buck

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5. Tofu bowl at Chikarashi.  A bed of rice with greens, marinated cucumber, seaweed salad, and insanely delicious fried silken tofu.

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6. Tres leches cake.  I made it for Adam’s birthday, and used eggnog instead of heavy cream as one of my three milks!

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Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!

Winners And Losers

I ate some really yummy prepared foods this week but I did not do so hot cooking my own meals.  I had the day off on Wednesday and I spent most of the day cooking/baking and it did not go well.

I tried to make Oreo marshmallow peppermint magic bars.  No.  I ended up with a molten stew of brown gook.

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I couldn’t feed this to anyone but it actually did taste delicious and I did scoop a serving into a jar to eat with yogurt.

I also spent several hours making brown stock and then lentil and tortellini soup.  This venture at least looked like food but it tasted like… nothing.  We ate Chipotle bowls for dinner.

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Here were some of the things I ate that did work —

This work lunch looks unassuming but it was truly one of the best things I’ve eaten in months.  Vanilla bean Greek yogurt with cranberry relish and maple + almond butter granola.

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Plain Icelandic-style yogurt with cookie sludge, a SnapDragon apple, and La Colombe.

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Cherry vanilla Chobani with golden kiwis and Heritage Flakes.

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Some of my snacks were fairly fantastic as well.  Seaweed salad.

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Turkey jerky.

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Carrots and garlic hummus.

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Kombucha.

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Coffee Chai tea.  Good Earth offered to send me a sample and since chai is my favorite tea and I love coffee I accepted.  It was delicious!  Just a bit spicy and roasty.  I drank a cup at work instead of a 2nd coffee a couple of days and did not resent it.

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Hershey’s caramelized creme gold bar with peanuts and pretzels.  It was so interesting and tasty, way more complex than a regular Hershey bar.

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Treats at Vanilla Bean, our new favorite Long Island spot.

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I had a Nutella-studded brownie and a delicious iced latte.

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I may not have cook-cooked dinner but my throw-together dinners were good.  Trader Joe’s frozen section did not let me down.

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Fish sticks with roasted green beans and blue cheese and spicy cocktail sauce for dinner.

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I also made great “Thanksgiving leftovers” baked sandwiches.

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Sourdough, sliced smoked turkey, cranberry relish, mayo, and lots of Kerrygold Skellig sweet cheddar.

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With burnt broccoli that still wasn’t terrible.

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Please cross your fingers for no more kitchen disasters for me!