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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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria

My title is a tongue in cheek joke about how the weather channel is turning me into a crazy person this month.  I was having such a good week too.  The VI was finally getting some desperately needed federal assistance and national news coverage and my parents got cell service back and I was able to talk to my mom.  But now, Maria is expected to hit the Virgin Islands as a category 3 hurricane this week.  Fantastic.

I’m still not really feeling up to prattling on about my days, but I did have some fun this week so I’m posting a top five…

{1}  favorite work bites

{a} coffee coffee coffee

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{b} I am still obsessed with that Trader Joe’s nut and seed mix

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{c} I also packed a nice tasting plate – dried apples, TJ’s crispy cheese bites, and a maple salmon bar.

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{d} This cafeteria wrap was on point.  Chicken / pinto beans / tomato / bell peppers / banana pepper / cheddar.

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{2}  apple eatventures

{a} I made caramel apple bread from scratch!  Basically just pumpkin bread made with apple sauce instead of pumpkin puree and totally just an excuse to use these caramel chips.

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{b} Caramel apple oatmeal.  Rolled oats / caramel chips / cinnamon / chia seeds / dried apples.

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{c} Caramel apple Twizzlers.

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{d} Apple pie milkshake.  Vanilla ice cream / Greek yogurt / applesauce/ cinnamon and gingerbread spice.

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{3}  cobb salad pasta salad

Whole wheat bowtie pasta / crumbled fancy aged blue cheese / turkey bacon / chopped chicken breast / hard-boiled eggs / diced avocado / shredded spinach / roasted baby tomatoes.

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{4}  a Mile End meal recreation

Mile End Deli has a Brussel sprouts dish on their menu that we were over the moon for, so I recreated it at home.  Our version was roasted brussel sprouts / tossed with crispy turkey bacon / plus olive oil and honey / sprinkled with sumac / on a base of labne.

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While we cooked – which took no time at all – we sipped on Switchel.

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Up Mountain Switchel sent me a box for review.  The lemon flavor was too spicy ginger for me, but I loved the Yerba Mate.  The ingredients list is short and simple (the four things listed on the front of the bottle plus water) and a serving has 54 calories and 10 grams of sugar.  It paired nicely with our meal and would be a good alternative option to booze or soda with dinner.

{5}  a trip to the South Fork of the Hamptons

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{a} Doughnuts and coffee at Grindstone.

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I had a Nutella s’mores brioche doughnut and a vanilla latte.

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{b} La Colombe black and tan (draft latte and cold brew) at Sag Town Coffee.  P.S. Apparently I am obsessed with Sag Harbor, it is so cute!

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{c} Lunch at Lunch.  Instead of a lobster roll I went with the seafood chili – with a bloody mary – and was quite pleased with my choice.

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{d} A cup of birthday cake ice cream at Scoop Du Jour.

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{e} And best of all, we got to stick our toes in the sand at the beach.

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It was a super foggy day and the crashing waves were gorgeous.  Plus we saw about a million seagulls.  <– best beach day ever

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Sandwiches And Scottie Dogs

Bites from this week…

I had an exciting product sample to review – Nocciolata Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread.  It’s organic, vegan, and made without palm oil.

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The spread tastes like Nutella but better – it’s creamier and the sweetness has less bite.  I ate many a spoonful this past week!

I also enjoyed it in an excitingly neon strawberry smoothie.  Frozen strawberries / pitaya / cow’s milk / chocolate hazelnut spread.

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And in yogurt bowls with Greek yogurt and a trio of plucots.

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Non-yogurt lunches came from the cafeteria (and were tasty as all get out).  Toasted sandwich – cheesy focaccia / mayo / spicy chicken / cheddar / tomato / spinach – with sweet potato fries.

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Bean and veggie quesadilla – with pinto beans / mozzarella / bell peppers / onions / corn / and tomato.

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This week’s work snack was candy – Japanese milk chews and black licorice.

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My coffee (former freebie) was 10/10.  This is less roasty than what I usually go for but still totally swoon-worthy, it isn’t the slightest bit bitter or sour.

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Adam was gone every night this week and I am unable to make myself adult if no one is there to see it so dinners were convince foods and/or nachos.

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I’m scheduled to work the next five days but feeding myself a vegetable is definitely job #1 for the weekend.

 

Beans, Beans, Every Flavor Beans

I worked straight through Saturday to Thursday last week and it tired me out (hence the late post!).

The good news is that my work schedule meant I had a three day weekend.  And the better news is that I used my extra day to go on a quick trip to CT with Adam.  In other weekend excitement – we took the dog into the city to visit a dog park (he was not a fan).

Food themes for the week were beans and more beans, candy and more candy, and coffee (always coffee).  Here were the highlights…

Breakfast at Blue State Coffee in New Haven.  I had an egg and cheese sandwich on sourdough and an iced latte.

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Stumptown coffee.

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Pitaya smoothie with frozen cherries and cookies and cream pudding.  (<– bought the pudding on a whim, hated it, and was too cheap to toss it, but it was actually wonderful in the smoothie).

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Brunch at Fat Goose.

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I had a sparkling Paloma.

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And the foie gras panna cotta(!!!).  With strawberries, rhubarb, jam, and buttered challah.

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It was amazing.  And even better, there was a dog in my lap while I ate it!

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He got a bite of my ice cream for being a well-behaved brunch companion.

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Lemon yogurt with blueberries and maple granola.

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Plain yogurt with chocolate tahini, blueberries, and cotton candy grapes.

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Adam and I tried Costa Nova Waffle on an errands day.  They have tasty Portuguese coffee.  We had a crispy waffle with s’mores and a soft waffle with twix and both were delicious.

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Road trip snacks.

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Milk candy!  Japanese Hokkaido and Polish sesame milk caramels.

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These Haribo grapefruit candies are insanely good.

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Froyo on a hot day – birthday cake with mochi, nonpareils, and cereal marshmallows.

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Turkey BLT pasta (inspired by this Cooking Light recipe).   Whole wheat shells / turkey bacon / wilted arugula / roasted heirloom tomatoes / tossed with mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

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Salmon bacon sandwiches!

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Brioche buns with mayonnaise and gojuchang / sharp cheddar / a fried egg / and TJ’s salmon bacon.

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With roasted green beans.

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Red beans and rice (loosely inspired by this Serious Eats recipe).  Celery, green pepper, and onion cooked in evoo / salt, pepper, cayenne, and smoked paprika / with TJ’s turkey summer sausage / and red kidney beans / served on brown jasmine rice.

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White beans with turkey bacon, celery, and gojuchang.  Plus sweet potato cheese fries.

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Dinner in New Haven.  We got Thai takeout – chicken pad see ew and pad thai – to eat in our hotel room in front of the cable tv.

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Plus ice cream that was fantastically creamy and good, cookie dough and coffee oreo for me.

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Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Llamas, And Pigs, and Humans, Oh My!

Three-day weekend highlights, including lots of new “bests”…

Unicorn smoothie!  The layers were acai and pitaya with coconut water and plain Greek yogurt.

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Bananarama smoothie.  Frozen banana, plain Greek yogurt, a hot chocolate packet, and Banana Wave Banana Milk.  <– free product review alert: the banana milk is a vegan milk made of banana puree, soy, oats, and other ingredients.  One serving contains as much potassium as a small banana as well as 29 vitamins and minerals and 1200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.  One cup has 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of added sugar.

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Black bear, aka Otha‘s coffee concentrate with housemade chocolate milk.  This shop was adorable and we want to go back immediately.

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Du’s Donuts.  Adam’s all time favorites.

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Lunch at Llama Inn.

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I had soft-boiled eggs with delicata squash, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds, and chimichurri sauce.

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We got our own desserts, flan for Adam and key lime pie for me.  Best key lime pie of the decade, it was enrobed in toasted meringue!

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Lunch at Pig Bleeker.  We had a Salty Spritz – vodka, St. Germain, and apricot, with a salty white wine rinse, and a Champagne Sherry Cobbler that was the all-time best drink we’ve ever had – Fino sherry, fresh citrus, and champagne.

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I got a fried chicken thigh sandwich with Pig Beach mustard sauce, house pickles, mayo, and hot sauce.  The meat was smoked before it was fried and it was by far the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted.

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Durian mochi.

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Malter Chronkite from Mister Dips, a malty chocolate-dipped cone.

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Spicy crunchy tuna sushi bowl.  Brown rice with ginger, rice vinegar, seaweed, and black sesame seeds / canned tuna fish and smoked trout with Sriracha and mayo / quick pickled cucumbers / fresh avocado / panko and fried garlic toasted in butter / Sriracha on top.

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Chopped romaine salad with honey mustard dressing, dill, sautéed mushrooms with garlic, shredded chicken, crumbled blue cheese, and homemade raisins.

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I am on Saturday/Sunday so I’ve only got two days of work before a day off, woo-hoo!

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Smorgasburg, Greenport, And The Weekend’s Top Five

{1}  A day trip to Greenport.

Greenport is one of Adam’s favorite Long Island areas and we finally had a Sunday together to go explore.

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We walked on the pier, walked on the beach, ate a kind of meh breakfast in town, plus got a great iced latte and an almond croissant.

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Aaaand a toasted marshmallow iced latte that knocked our socks off.

{2}  Our 1st kolache experience.

So exciting!

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I’ve been dying to try one ever since I started following Kylie and Brooklyn Kolache did not disappoint.

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We did one sweet and one savory – poppy seed and turkey, egg, and cheese – plus a delicious brown sugar iced latte.

{3}  Our 1st Smorgasburg visit of the season.

It was a good one!  We hit up Duck Season for duck fat fries with confit and a sandwich with confit, pickled cabbage, gojuchang, and craklins.

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Ube Kitchen for Halo Halo.  It was a nice dessert, but not Halo Halo – there was no nata de coco, no palm seeds, plus it had granola in it, and almond milk instead of condensed milk.

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Plus we got impossibly smooth coffee from Ministry of Kaapi.

{4}  BBQ chicken salad.

Baby romaine dressed in yogurt ranch, shredded chicken in Korean bbq sauce, cucumber, sharp cheddar, and smoked paprika.

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This was actually the appetizer course for a meal that included cheese fries and buffalo chicken wings!

{5}  A toasted marshmallow smoothie/shake.

Toasted marshmallows, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and vanilla hemp milk.

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It was wonderful.

P.S. This is currently the view when I step out my front door!!

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Pastrami Smoked Salmon On Sourdough

Once again, this title reflects the most exciting thing I ate in this post.  Honestly though, everything I ate this weekend was pretty darn tasty!

Iced coffee with cake popsicle used for ice.  <– gaaaaah!  so swoontastic!

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Perfectly sweet just enough sour smoothie – passionfruit sorbet / plain Greek yogurt / frozen blueberries / princess flavoring / water.

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Snacky lunch at work.  Mandarin, uncured turkey pepperoni, yummy cinnamon roll Chobani.

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Cafeteria sandwich.  Spicy chicken, pesto, red pepper, and tomato, on an insanely cheesy roll.

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Mr. Flip sandwich from Flip Bird – pulled rotisserie chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and a piece of crispy skin.  It was a 10/10.

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Dinner from the freezer – ice cream and a naan pizza.

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The cilantro pesto pizza – which I got with a free coupon given to me for review – was delicious, the flavor was a bit spicy, which was a nice surprise.

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Lox and cream cheese on a bagel sourdough toast.

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This pastrami-style smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s is my all-time favorite smoked salmon.

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Served with a quick salad of tomato, cucumber, cilantro, green onion, olive oil, and Himalayan salt.

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I made a recipe!  Cheddar bbq turkey meatloaf.

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I ate all of the crispy cheese bits that started to burn to the pan and was sooooo happy.  Plus roasted broccoli.

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Do you have a favorite type of smoked fish to recommend?