Howling Gourds

Adam and I both worked this weekend, so we didn’t have a lot of fun, but we did have some good snacks. Highlights included…

Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice protein smoothie. Mild flavor, good spice, and pretty filling.

Whole-wheat matzoh with melted cheddar. I haven’t fully sold Adam on matzoh brei yet but he’s onboard with the bread as a vehicle for cheese.

Howling Gourds is officially our new favorite pumpkin ale! It’s fairly hoppy and cinnamon-forward but most importantly it is 7% ABV which is higher than most other pumpkin beers we’ve tried in the past.

Clean-out-the-pantry pasta that was surprisingly good. Whole-wheat rotini with steamed broccoli, sautéed radish, Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo, and marinara sauce, topped with Manchego.

Deep Dish And Blue Berries

Biggest event from this week – I left the house to donate blood.  Guys, things in NYC are bleak.  If you are able to donate blood please consider it (we are facing a critical supply shortage because so many planned blood drives were canceled) and otherwise please stay home if you can!

Biggest culinary discoveries this week – 1) I love cinnamon in yogurt. 2) I love mint in smoothies.

Homebound food highlights this week include…

A tasty smoothie made with nectarine, grapes, blackberries, yogurt, honey, and fresh mint leaves.

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My favorite coffee (Grady’s) with my favorite coffee accouterment (sweetened condensed milk).

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Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, maple, blueberries, and cacao & cashew butter granola.

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Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, honey, TJ’s mixed nut butter, and granola.

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It feels weird to be obsessed with a low-calorie ice cream but this mocha fudge brownie flavor from Ben & Jerry’s moophoria line is kind of the best.  Especially topped with hot fudge!

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We are also very into these new peanut butter cup options from Theo.

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I made deep dish pizza with TJ’s dough (loosely based on this method) with turkey pepperoni.  Plus roasted veggies.

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I topped my leftovers with copious amounts of honey, Cholula, and chili flakes because the only benefit to eating all your meals at home is easy access to your condiments.

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TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi with pepperoni and pizza sauce.

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Leftover smoked salmon / roasted brussel sprouts with lemon zest, pepper, and parmesan / homemade garlic knots.

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LES = Let’s Eat Snacks

Adam and I spent both Saturday and Sunday walking around the Lower East Side eating all the things, admiring street art, and just generally having a fabulous time.  Plus we walked back and forth across the Williamsburg Bridge which is one of our favorite activities.

Weekend highlights include…

Smoothie time.  Beary flavored!  Banana, blueberry, blackberry, almond milk, and brown sugar.

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Brunch at Sonnyboy.  Bloody Mary.

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I got the harissa folded eggs with brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and basil.  I traded my avocado for a slice of Adam’s halloumi.

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Malaysian eats at Kopitam.  Bandung – condensed milk and rose syrup.

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Nasi Lemak – coconut rice, fried anchovies, cucumber, peanuts, and hard-boiled egg.

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Criss Cross ‘Shrooms – red chilies, wood ear mushrooms, and lotus.  These were actually a bit too spicy even for me, but I loved the fried basil.

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How exciting is this caffeinated cola flavored seltzer??!  It was basically diet Crystal Pepsi!

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Cookies at the newish Red Gate Bakery.  A caramel brownie and a housemade oreo.

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Ice & Vice always knocks it out of the park and their latest special is my new favorite thing – cream cheese soft-serve with guava white chocolate drizzle!

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A veggie-packed riff on my buffalo chicken baked pasta.  Spinach, riced cauliflower, whole-wheat pasta, ground chicken, cream cheese, honey habanero hot sauce, cheddar, and blue cheese.

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Have a great week!

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Cafe Con Leche, Cerveza Con Calabaza

Adam came to visit me last weekend, aka I had the best weekend ever!  He probably won’t be back in Virginia until my cousin’s wedding next year so we made the most of the visit.  We went to several old favorites and couple new favorites!

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Weekend highlights include…

Saturday was National Pumpkin Day and Tropical Smoothie Cafe sent me a free coupon to try their Pumpkin Pie Smoothie to celebrate.  Made with real pumpkin, Ghirardelli white chocolate, cinnamon, and non-fat yogurt.  It was very pumpkiny without being boring and just sweet enough.

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Drekker‘s Everybody Love Everybody is a rainbow sherbet sour and it’s PINK!

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Hardywood had a Halloween-themed black IPA on tap – the Heebie Jeebies!  Plus I had a None of This Makes Sense double IPA (my current favorite beer) and a soft prezel with cheese sauce.

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Gaujiros Miami Eatery is Charlottesville’s new Cuban spot and it is damn good!  I had eggs with beans and rice plus fried cheese.

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Plus a Cortadito that was so delicious I went back again the next day for another one!

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Quality Pie.  We split a Spanish Tortilla.

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And I had (super buttery, garlicy) foccacia with egg and cheese.

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Dinner at Comal with my cousin and her fiance.  I didn’t snap any photos but we had an absolutely amazing meal at this new Oaxacan spot in Belmont.

P.S. No more posts coming from me this week.  Tomorrow morning I’m on my way to Ohio to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday!

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I’m Not Crabby About It

Highlights from the week…

Coffee combo = Trader Joe’s Kona with chocolate milk.

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My snacks were all 10/10 this week!  TJ’s newest candy bar – white and dark chocolate with mini gummi bears.  I love the chocolate + gummi combo.

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CoolHaus milk and cookie crumb.  CH is quickly becoming my favorite ice cream brand.

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A Monster smoothie at Juice Laundry – cacao, cashew butter, banana, dates, and almond milk.

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Crazy good buffalo chicken pizza from Whole Foods.

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My dinners were not bad either.  I made crab salad!  Lump crab meat with mayo, dijon, lemon, paprika, and celery.  Served on butter toasted whole wheat hot dog buns.  Plus sauteed kale with lemon, celery, and onion.

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I turned my leftover salad into an okonomiyaki-esque crab pancake with flour, water, ginger, and eggs.  Plus roasted green beans on the side.

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Another night I stuffed a hot dog bun with two turkey dogs and ketchup.  Plus rainbow cauliflower (a frozen bag from TJ’s sauteed with taco seasoning, lime, and butter) and potato wedge fries from Wegman’s hot bar.

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Finally, we made cauliflower quesadillas that actually turned out pretty yummy.  Plus a side of fajita veggies.

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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.