Heart On

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day!  I love a holiday with theme colors.

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This week I loved…

Stumptown cold brew with milk.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried the chocolate flavor before, I loved it.

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An epic chocolate cherry smoothie.  Plain Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, and chocolate milk.

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We don’t really do Valentine’s gifts, but the husband did buy me cupcakes!

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Salted caramel and a delicious funfetti.

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A take on this lemon poppy seed chicken casserole.  We added tons of roasted broccoli.

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A take on shakshuka, with red bell pepper and chipotle.  Topped with roasted zucchini, sumac, and two fried eggs.

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Adam was not around for Valentine’s dinner and I’m fighting a pretty bad cold so I loved myself with Brazos Tacos take-out for dinner.  The Solid – pulled chicken, refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sliced avocado, and jack cheese // Tres Quesos – Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // chips and salsa.

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Bonus – things I love deeply that you might not know about from the blog:

{1} Diet soda.  It is truly the only food I cherish more than coffee or cheese!

{2} Running.  I am not fast, and I am extremely careful with my knees so I don’t run that often, but it is one of my favorite things.  I run about 3 miles in about 30 minutes one time most weeks and I love every second of it.

{3} Wegman’s hot bar “Asian” section.  I get hot bar chicken at least once a week as a pre-dinner snack but it never makes it onto the blog because it just photographs so abhorrently.

{4} “The Office.”  My love of tv is well-documented and over the past year “The Office” has become one of my favorite shows.  I have seen every episode at least three times!  So much of what is happening with the world right now is scary and sad and I’m really loving feel-good shows that are an escape from reality.

Pumpkin Everywhere

It was a good week for pumpkin; I snuck it into my coffee, smoothie, pasta, beer, and nachos!  Highlights from the week included…

La Colombe Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte.

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Homemade salted maple cold foam coffee.

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Pumpkin pie smoothie.  Pumpkin puree, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, maple syrup, clove, and skim milk.  Pumpkin smoothies end up basically being puddings!

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Homemade fall flavors trail mix with Maple Cheerios, raisins, salted peanuts, and yogurt covered peanuts.  Plus a SweeTango apple.

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Adam and I went on a date to try the new Cannoli Bar.  Cannolis aren’t really my thing, but our bicerin – that’s drinking chocolate with espresso and frothed half and half – knocked my socks off.

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Whole Foods hot bar.  Including coconut chicken tenders, furikake fried tofu, horseradish and scallion cauliflower, vegan curry, plus an assortment of other veggies.

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This cheesy veggie bowl was one of my favorite dinners I’ve made all year.  Roasted broccoli / roasted potatoes (cooked similarly to this recipe) / topped with a take on vegetarian queso fundido – sharp cheddar, sour cream, green onion, yellow onion, serrano pepper, and Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo.  I enjoyed this so much I ended up eating my entire bowl followed by most of Adam’s!

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Pumpkin nacho night!  Trader Joe’s pumpkin tortilla chips baked with green onion, yellow, onion, sharp cheddar, and maple chicken sausage.  Then topped with copious amounts of Cholula and sour cream.  Plus roasted broccoli on the side.

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Pumpkin on pumpkin on pumpkin dinner.

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Trader Joe’s pumpkin pasta tossed with a sauce made of pumpkin puree, sour cream, shallots, spices, sage, maple chicken sausage, soyrizo, and parmesan cheese.

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Plus pumpkin beers.  I thought the AleWerks pumpkin ale was too sweet (though Adam was a big fan) but really enjoyed the Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head.

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Pumpkin purchase recommendations?  All of it!  Every product (and recipe) was delicious.  The La Colombe and AleWerks items weren’t quite to my taste, but Adam enjoyed them both so I can’t say I wouldn’t recommend trying them yourself.

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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And Now My Favorite Color is Zhough

Highlights from the week…

Fancy shmancy coffee.  I cold pressed espresso roast with vanilla bean powder, brown sugar, and clove.

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Honestly though, my current favorite-favorite combo is espresso, ice, and chocolate milk.

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Milkadamia sent me a box for review [no cash was exchanged, all opinions are my own, yadda yadda].  Their macadamia nut milk is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.  The unsweetened vanilla has 50 calories, 1 gram of protein, and zero grams of sugar (1 gram carbohydrate) per 8 oz serving.  The milk has almost no flavor, but that is pretty much what I’m looking for in my nut milks because I want them to make my coffee creamy without distracting from the coffee taste.  The unsweetened vanilla went perfectly with a cup of iced coffee this week, no clumping or separation to be found.

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I also used it in a smoothie with frozen blueberries and coconut chunks, vanilla, maple, and chia seeds.

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My packed work eats were all about the Sumo mandarin and plain Greek yogurt combo.  With maple or granola.

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Snack attack.  Peanut butter puffs.

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Mexican marshmallow shortbread cookies.

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Super sour soda and cola hard candies.

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Mini sundae from Van Leeuwen.  Cookies and cream topped with hot fudge, almond brittle, and sprinkles.

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All of our dinners this week had a Middle Eastern bent, thanks to lots of zhough and copious amounts of olive oil.  Like scrambled egg pita sandwiches.  Scrambled eggs / sauteed orange bell pepper and red onion / whole wheat pita / zhough.  With roasted zucchini.

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Pita chip nachos!  Sharp cheddar / red onion and cucumber / marinated chickpeas with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh parsley, oregano, cayenne, and paprika / zhough and tzatziki.

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Veggie bowls.  Sauteed red onion, yellow bell pepper, and roasted eggplant / tomato sauce / marinated chickpeas / zhough and tzatziki / fried egg.

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Also pizza.  Is there a better food on the planet than buffalo chicken pizza??

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It’s almost the weekend!  Who has green beer on their Saturday agenda?

Heart On My Apron

It’s hard to believe that the Valentine’s celebration of love fell on a week when America really needs some extra love <– but more importantly needs better gun control legislation.

– – There is no good segue from my opening thoughts to blathering about my lunches so I’m just going to abruptly start talking about food here. – –

Highlights from this week…

Chocolate covered strawberry smoothie – plain Greek yogurt, frozen strawberries, and chocolate milk.

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Chocolate covered cherry iced coffee – espresso roast with chocolate milk and Luxardo cherry juice.

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There is a snazzy new Hungry Ghost location near my work and their fantastic iced lattes have not been a good thing for my coffee budget.

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Seriously though, the best coffee of my life was Sunday while grocery shopping – the frozen moolattas from Stew Leonard’s are unreasonably delicious.

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Birthday cake flavored protein bar.

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Sumo mandarin // conversation hearts // sweetened dried lemon and dried persimmon.

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Lavender yogurt with blueberries // dark chocolate heart.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with blueberries and a jaffa murcot mandarin.

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Coffee and chicory yogurt with blueberries // cinnamon churro crispy treat.

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Pinch of Yum’s bourbon chicken.  I used breasts instead of thighs, roasted shredded cabbage instead of rice, and upgraded to maple bourbon.

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Cheesy baked crab dip – with shredded crab, cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, Old Bay, minced ginger, and fish sauce.

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Scooped with orange bell pepper slices and Trader Joe’s coconut shrimp.

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Spiralized zucchini sauteed with lemon and pepper topped with  extra-firm tofu crusted in peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, canola oil, sugar, garlic, and ginger).

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I hope everyone has a fun, safe, love-filled weekend.

 

Best Ever Iced Coffee

I survived the less-than-zero-degree weather!  My first winter in Buffalo I bought myself a pair of (children’s!) Sorrel snow-boots and they remain the single most essential item in my closet.

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so my weekend eats weren’t all that exciting.  Work was busy-busy so I mostly ate quick, snacky things.  The highlights…

Iced coffee with a crispy Pacific Rose apple.

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This New Orleans-style cold brew with sweetened condensed milk is officially my favorite coffee combo of all time.  I love Grady’s in general and this was perfectly spiced so with the SCM it was insanely delicious.

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Sooooo much hot chocolate.

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A giant smoothie I shared with Adam – plain Greek yogurt, frozen soursop, mango, and grapes.

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Toasted onion bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.  I ended up scraping off part of my mountain of cream cheese like some kind of tourist.

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Watermelon / Sriracha chicken bar / vanilla crispy square.

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Maple salmon bar / TJ’s dried chokanan mango / TJ’s seed & bean medley.

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The first two nights of dinner I was thanking past Emily for leaving me yummy leftovers.  Hot wing pasta.

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Hot dish.  With ketchup and Sriracha on top.

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And Sunday night I finally got around to cooking the meal I had planned for the first night of Hannukah!

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I had kind of a bad foodie/good foodie thing going on – my latkes were from a box but my matzoh brie was fried in duck fat.

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I sprinkle sugar on mine because that’s how I grew up eating it.  And that’s a blob of labne on my latkes that I wished was sour cream.   Plus we had roasted broccoli with sumac.

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I am off of work today! and we are going somewhere fun for lunch!!

Pumpkin’s Still In Season

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This post includes three more days of vacation (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday); I eased back into the work-week after my trip.  It’s supposed to be in the 20’s in NYC later today so now I kind of wish I was away on vacation again!

Highlights from the week…

Coffee!

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Pumpkin spice my grandma brought me from Winans.

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Pumpkin smoothie with Greek yogurt, maple syrup, cow’s milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

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BBQ at Salt and Bone.

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I got a ridiculous but tasty Percocet with aged rum, coco lopez, citrus.

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And had turkey breast – 3 hour smoked with a butter sauce – cole slaw, and a few bites of Adam’s potato salad.

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Thai food in Sunnyside.  Fried tofu.

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And drunken noodles that actually had enough veggies for my tastes.

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One of our favorite winter traditions is visiting Winter Village at Bryant Park for a thick hot chocolate.

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Gooey walnut chocolate chip cookie from Chip in Astoria.

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Buckeye straight from Ohio.

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We tried something fun from Minamoto Kitchoan – Sakura Gomora, sweet bean and mochi wrapped in a cherry blossom pancake.

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Packed lunch – strawberry and rosehip kefir cup with a cupcake crumbled in!  Plus a snap dragon apple.

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I brought in chocolate cupcakes (from a mix!) with homemade cream cheese frosting and Amy Sedaris sprinkles for a coworker’s birthday.

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Yogurt with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice Cheerios and Frosted Mini Wheats.

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Roasted fall salad – quinoa / shredded brussel sprouts / leeks / turkey bacon / sweet and spicy pecans / gold raisins / and oven-fried sage.

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One of the co-founders of CHUT UP reached out to my about sampling their new line of condiments and I happily accepted, so those were featured in dinners for the rest of the week.  All three flavors are made with minimal processing and no added sugars (and they’re tasty!).

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I made a veggie-packed version of chana masala with the addition of celery and orange and yellow bell pepper.

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Topped with apple and caramelized onion chutney.

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And a dinner for dipping with blue cheese dressing and beet ketchup.

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Roasted broccoli and a root veggie mix from Trader Joe’s (carrots, beets, parsnips, and sweet potato).

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Baked chicken tenders crusted in panko after an overnight marinate in peri peri hot sauce, minced ginger, lemon, and brown sugar.

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