Convenience Foods And Cocktails

It was not a super exciting weekend for me – Adam was out of town and I worked on Sunday.  I spent my single day off on errands and chores around the house.  On the meal front I was all about snacks, convenience foods, and cocktails.

Highlights…

Iced coffee with vanilla bean powder.

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Perfect Bar comes in cookie dough flavor!! <– I’m not sure if this flavor is very old or very new but oddly I cannot find a single mention of it on their site or the internet in general

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Polar unicorn kisses seltzer.  I am obsessed with these fantasy-themed mini cans.

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Am I determined to try every existing variety of pimento cheese before I leave the South?  Yes.  Northerners, take note – this variety from Trader Joe’s is not very good; pimento dip should not be homogeneous but should have individual shreds of cheese.

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On the other hand, these (vegan!) mini marshmallows are vanilla-y perfection.

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Still in love with these chicken and waffle chips.

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Spicy ramen + agua fresca cerveza.

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A not very good frozen meal + a quite good rum and coke (with Vitae golden rum and tons of fresh lime).

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Local Love

Highlights from this week – my in-laws are in town and we had fun showing them Charlottseville one last time // we had some great dinners out, including a new spot that’s a new favorite // Wissotzky Tea Company – an international, family-owned tea company based in Israel with offices in London and the United States – sent me some of their inventive flavors to try…

Coffee for the week: Trader Joe’s espresso blend with sweetened condensed milk.

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Tea samples; their four newest, spiciest flavors: Ginger and Turmeric Spiced Chai, Pumpkin Spiced Chai, Salted Caramel Chai, Spiced Nana Mint Chai.  I cold-brewed my cups per the company’s instructions – a ratio of 4 cups cold water to 5 tea bags, covered in the fridge for 15-36 hours.

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Salted Caramel Chai with a splash half and half (added post picture).

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Spiced Nana Mint Chai with sugar and fresh lime.  <– fair warning, this flavor was too peppery for Adam’s tastes

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Tropical flavors from the Mexican ice cream place down the street: passionfruit, guava, and mamey!

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Plus I picked up these super interesting gummy candies.  They have milk in them and the texture is extra soft and very unique.

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Roasted green beans and TJ’s turkey corn dogs.  Apparently I love corn dogs, I couldn’t stop raving about how tasty these were!

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Sheet pan hash: potatoes, onion, bell pepper, shredded brussel sprouts, and maple chicken breakfast sausage.

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Smoked Kitchen and Tap: a bbq spot we love in Crozet.  I had smoked turkey, cole slaw, and creamed corn with smoked jalopeno.

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The Local: an amazing spot in Bellmont.  I had the best, most Southern plate – buttermilk-brined fried chicken with pimento cheese mac and cheese, collard greens, and house made hot sauce and a buttermilk-chive drizzle.

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Modern Nosh: a newish, super cute deli (which means I finally have a deli in Charlottesville!).

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I had a half turkey reuben and soup with the best matzoh ball of my life.

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Plus we split latkes that were wonderfully full of garlic.  Yum!

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Weekend Warrior

Last weekend we visited my family at their cabin in Solomon Island Maryland.  We got to see my dad, Webster went swimming, we ate crab cakes and rum and cokes… it was a perfect visit.

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This weekend I’ll be taking another trip.  I’m working a half day today and then heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for a nutrition support conference.

Five highlights from this week…

{1} Coffees in cans.  All three were good but the Madrinas vanilla cappuccino was my favorite.

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{2} Pie mixed in yogurt is my favorite dessert iteration.  And this combo was such a winner – Siggi’s guava and leftover key lime pie from the weekend.

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{3} Snow Cone Pouch!  In birthday cake!  The texture and flavor were both great, I highly recommend snagging one of these if you spot them.

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{4} Whole Foods hot bar dinner.  Thai green bean salad // baked beans // macaroni and cheese // steamed broccoli // tofu // orange chicken // Asian cabbage salad.

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{5} Chicken and rice soup.

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Berries In My Sandwich And My Beer

Five fun things from this week…

{1} Blanchard’s holiday blend coffee with sweetened condensed milk.  And the next day I made a shakerato!

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{2} A duo of fruity ales.  I did not care for the tea taste of the Suncrush but the Troegs bosenberry tart ale was super interesting and packed with flavor.

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{3} A toasted pb&j with this winning combo.  FYI: toasting your peanut butter sandwiches is the way to go.

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Served with the classic pb&j sides – baby carrots and apple slices.

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Plus a new favorite – chicken and waffle chicken chips.

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{4} Dinner from Got Dumplings.  Tofu dumplings, kimchi, and peanut noodles.  Plus guava and mango tea with boba and lyche jelly.

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{5} I made tom kha gai.  And it was good!

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BBQ Chips, BBQ Beans, BBQ Nachos

Highlights from the last week include several new (to me) things…

I don’t usually show my at-work meals, but I wanted to share one of the perks of working in the South – biscuit breakfast sandwiches in the hospital cafeteria.  This had turkey chorizo sausage, a cage-free fried egg, and cheddar.

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These Don’t Go Nuts granola bars have the best texture, almost like a streusel.

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Other snack highlights include this assortment of bbq flavored crisped chickpeas and corn.

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Chocolate beers and hibiscus drinks.  I loved the s’mores beer, liked the tea, and hated the other two.

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My aunt shared a recipe for Chicken Provencal Soup with us and we loved it for dinner.  It’s packed with potato, diced tomato, onion, carrot, and celery.  I dipped some naan in my broth.

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We made fantastic bbq bowls another night.  Collard greens and celery (sauteed with lemon, garlic, butter, and harissa hot sauce) // shredded chicken (cooked in the crock pot with ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, cayenne, paprika, and red onion) // baby heirloom tomatoes // and smoked paprika candied pecans.  Remind me to cook more collards!

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We turned our leftovers into something fantastic with the help of these two products.  1) Hickory BBQ kettle chips that Boulder Canyon sent me to sample.  FYI – Boulder Canyon chips are – certified gluten free – trans fat free -vegan – kosher – made with green energy.  They had a good amount of smoke and tang and weren’t greasy at all.  Bonus, my bags, at least, had tons of foldsies!  2) Borlotti beans that we bought at Mekelburg’s just because the box was so pretty.

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BBQ kettle chips + beans + leftover chicken + roasted corn + sharp cheddar + smoked paprika = nachos!

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Hot, Hot, Hot

There is no condiment I find as essential as hot sauce (fyi – I normally like to keep an open Cholula in the mix as well!),

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so when Moore’s Marinades offered to send me some samples from their new hot sauce line I jumped at the opportunity.

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We loved them both, even Adam who is a bit heat adverse.  The sauces brought a lot of flavor with the spice.  I prefer a hot sauce that I can take a taste of without running for a glass of milk (think Sriracha in terms of heat intensity).

With the Harissa Hot Sauce I made a smoky harissa turkey chili.

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Ground turkey / olive oil / sweet onion / celery / bell pepper / poblano pepper / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / liquid smoke / harissa hot sauce / white beans / crushed tomato.  Topped with cheddar.

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On the side, I made dumb bread! <– from scratch!

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With the Spicy Mustard Hot Sauce I made hot honey mustard chicken nuggets.

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Homemade baked chicken nuggets (chicken chunks / dipped in flour / then egg / then breadcrumbs) tossed in the tastiest sauce I’ve ever made – honey, spicy mustard hot sauce, mustard, butter.

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Goodbye, 2018

We finished out 2018 with some fun – a three-day weekend anniversary trip to NYC!

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Favorite Friday activity = Checking out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market.

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Favorite Saturday activity = Meeting up with friends for lunch + dinner and a long walk through Brooklyn in between (Park Slope,  Gowanus, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Dumbo).

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Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

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Favorite breakfast = Croissants at Cafe D’Avignon in Dekalb Market Hall.  They are the best in the city and we’re obsessed.  The coffee isn’t bad either.

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Favorite lunch = Ramen at Chuko.  I had the sesame garlic ramen with woodear mushroom, spicy mustard greens, and scallions topped with poached egg, fried tofu, and garlic chili oil.

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Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

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Favorite dinner = Oxomoco.  We told the waitress to stop us if ordered too much – she didn’t but I’m not mad!  The tamarind orange margarita was good.

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The Rosita – mezcal, sherry, grapefruit, and hibiscus – was even better.

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The caesar salad with wood fired romaine and cotija masa crunch was the best I’ve ever had.

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Masa fried cauliflower with black mole, butternut squash crema, pepitas, and oregano.

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Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

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Tlayuda Oxomoco – camote, quesillo, pipian, pomegranate, and brown butter. <– Adam’s favorite dish of the night

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Chicken al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple, crispy skin, and salsa morita.

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We powered through two desserts because we knew they’d be amazing.  Oaxacan chocolate cake with coffee ice cream, cajeta, and walnut crumble and black sesame curd with black sesame crumble and pasionfruit raspado. <– my favorite dish of my life

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Hi, 2019!

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