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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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!

…And A Partridge In A Pear Tree!

This post includes five sweet things, four holiday theme items, three types of eggnog, two homemade dinners…

Stumptown Cold Brew with Trickling Springs egg nog.

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Grady’s Cold Brew with Promised Land Holiday Nog.

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I made my banana toffee magic bars for a cookie exchange at work and they came out really well!  I subbed in caramel chips for butterscotch and it think it was an upgrade.

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Sweethaus‘ holiday cupcakes are somehow eight times better than their already fantastic regular offerings.  Eggnog and gingerbread with meringue frosting.

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Hardywood’s gingerbread stout is stupid good and dangerously easy to drink.

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This lavender can from Kombucha Town is my current favorite kombucha; it’s very mellow.

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Fancy tuna salad makes an easy dinner.  A mix of tuna and smoked sardines with mayo, dijon, and capers / roasted brussel sprouts / baby carrots / Trader Joe’s everything crackers.

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But Wegman’s take-home meal section makes an even easier dinner.  Spicy general tso chicken with fried rice and seaweed salad.

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And one night I did legitimately cook – a protein, some veggies, and even a sauce.  Asian take-out style tofu!  This recipe but with oven fried tofu (similar to this method) in place of chicken.  I also used rice vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and added in some cashews.

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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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