4 x 3 = 12

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snack, here were my top three eats for this week…

breakfast{1}  The 2nd best* thing I ate all week – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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Café du Mondé coffee with chicory from our trip to NOLA with sweetened condensed milk.  Yum City.

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b{2}  A killer smoothie.

How pretty is this purple??  Frozen soursop and blueberries with cow’s milk and vanilla pudding mix.

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b{3}  Double chocolate oat bowl.

Oats, chia, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

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b{warning}  Do not recommend: this oatmeal drink box.

The flavor was way too artificial.  Adam tried a plain one and loved it so it’s probably the caramel flavor that’s the problem.

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lunch{1}  Cafeteria sandwich.

Turkey and cheese.  I mostly prefer to pack lunch for work but I hate trying to pack sandwiches so this is a great cafeteria option when I’m in the mood.

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l{2}  Yogurt bowl.

Coconut Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit is this year’s new favorite combo!  I snacked on the vanilla granola and chocolate coconut milk on the side.

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l{3}  Baked potato bar.

I topped my spud with cheese sauce, salsa, black beans, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

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snack{1}  Caffeine overload.

Iced latte with chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Full disclosure – I drank a sugar-free Red Bull around this same time and spent an hour or two pretty sure I could hear colors.

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s{2}  Cheesy bagel.

I toasted half a poppy seed bagel with butter and cheddar-gruyere/parmesan-gouda.  Eaten while prepping dinner because I just couldn’t wait.

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s{3}  Yogurt bowl with my favorite citrus.

Maple yogurt with Heritage Flakes.  Plus a Sumo Mandarin.

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dinner{1}  Let’s be real, the very best* thing I ate this week was nachos.

Four-cheese nachos with black beans and roasted garlic salsa.  Duh.  But no photo because we ate them in bed in the middle of the day (<–fabulous) and my main focus was on keeping them away from the dog.

d{2}  Gojuchang turkey rice bowls.

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Brown rice with cilantro, lime and butter / roasted cabbage / ground turkey sautéed with spring onions and cilantro and a sauce made out of gojuchang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / black sesame seeds and lime juice on top.

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d{3}  Cheesy eggs.

A scramble with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda.  Plus baby carrots for a quick veggie on the side.

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d{warning}  Do not recommend: the altered quinoa soup I blogged about last weekend.

I see why Cooking Light only used a quarter cup of grains, by day 2 our leftovers were very well-hydrated quinoa with not a drop of broth to be found.

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Coffee, Doughnuts, And Quinoa

Adam and I had the morning off together on Friday and we used the time for another sunrise bridge walk – Queensboro Bridge.

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3 down {Williamsburg Bridge} {Brooklyn Bridge}, and 1 to go {Manhattan Bridge}.  Perhaps in the summer we’ll reverse it and walk out of Manhattan at sunset.

After the bridge, we wandered around the Upper East Side and in and out of Central Park and ended up walking more than 8 miles (<–awesome).  The weather was so gorgeous I wore flip flops for the first time in months (again, awesome) and unfortunately now my calves are killing me (<– not awesome).  I’ve been limping for the past two days!

On the food front, here were my top three favorites…

#1 – breakfast pastries

We tried new treats at two new spots and they were reeeeeeally good!  At Padoca Bakery, brioche – chocolate and dulce de leche swirl and guava and cheese swirl.

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At Orwashers, we had a doughnut injected with strawberry preserves, which was good, and a chocolate almond croissant which was the single-best pastry I’ve ever eaten.

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You have to have coffee with doughnuts.

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The lattes at Bluestone Lane are divine.  We went to the UES location that shares space with a stunning church.

#2 – a new snack

I pack Adam crunchy chickpeas for work all the time and this Korean BBQ flavor is my new favorite thing.

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Related – Sumo Mandarins are officially my favorite fruit of the year.  They are always juicy and tart, and so easy to eat – they’re a snap to peel and have no seeds!

#3 – quinoa soup stoup

I got the idea from Cooking Light; you cook the quinoa in the broth with the other components so it comes together very quickly.

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For my version I used carrots, red bell pepper, celery, onion // s&p, turmeric, smoked paprika, celery seed // shredded turkey breast // 1 cup quinoa // low sodium chicken broth.

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Since I used more veggies and quinoa mine came out thicker like a stew.

This upcoming week I’m looking forward to: a fancy coffee combo this morning, watching the newest undercover episode of “Bones,” and having Thursday off of work.

The End Of The First Month Of The New Year

I’m two weeks late and about a hundred pictures short, but here, finally, is a (bi)weekly wrap up for the end of January.  I blame a bout of the cold, a string of loser dinners, and a case of the mid-winter blues for my lack of timeliness and photo-taking-enthusiasm.

Gaps aside, here were some eats from the past two weeks…

{rated within their category; i.e. the yogurt bowl is an 8 out of 10 compared with other yogurt bowls not compared other dissimilar items}

Green monster from the cafeteria.  They sometimes set up a smoothie bar at the rotating station.  I chose spinach, strawberry, mango, and coconut water.  8.5/10

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Chocolate iced coffee.  8/10

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Work snack – an apple and coconut caramel bar.  The score here is for the Thai Coco coconut milk drink, which was creamy and sweet.  9.5/10

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Soursop yogurt with blueberries and vanilla granola.  8/10

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Turkey reuben-ish sandwich from the cafeteria.  Sliced turkey, swiss cheese, pickles, spinach, and cole slaw on a whole-wheat wrap.  Plus french fries dipped in 1000 island.  6.5/10

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Cola kombucha.  6.5/10

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This Milka Oreo candy bar didn’t have as much cookie in it as I wanted.  6/10

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But these TJ’s sour gummies are the best gummy candies Adam or I have ever tasted.  10/10

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Biscuit breakfast sandwiches for dinner.  Buttermilk biscuits (<– I don’t recommend this recipe, the biscuits had no flake) / maple Sriracha mayo / smoked gouda / fried egg.  6/10

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Pumpkin soup.  Roux, canned pumpkin, and chicken stock with sautéed onions, carrot, and maple chicken breakfast sausage on the bottom.  This didn’t turn out as well as I was expecting it to, the salt and pepper pumpkin seed brittle I sprinkled on top was by far the best component.  5/10

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Escarole and white bean skillet with (turkey) bacon and artichoke.  7/10

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Creamy turkey pasta.  Ground turkey sautéed with garlic, browned mushrooms, and oven-roasted tomatoes, tossed with sour cream, and whole-wheat pasta.  7.5/10

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I’ve got some yummy things planned for this weekend so hopefully the next post will be slightly less lame!

 

Long Weekend Top Five

I had a very enjoyable weekend, including two fancy brunches and one entire day spent watching tv and eating nachos with a dog lounging in my lap.  There have been some very enjoyable eats over the past four days too.

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Here were the top five…

{1}  The final serving of my new favorite coffee combo.

Texas pecan cold brew + sweet buttercream creamer + ice + a straw = a very happy Emily.  Adam loved it too.

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{2}  Brunch at Gristmill in Park Slope.

We adored it and will definitely be back for dinner.  They are known for their garlic knots and that morning they had an everything garlic knot for The Loxness Knotster – with pastrami smoked salmon from ACME, cream cheese, ricotta,  and dill.

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I  got a Brunch Punch – with rum, lemon-lime shrub, grenadine, cinnamon, and clove.  It was so pink!

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Plus spicy potato hash with carrots, arugula, and poached egg.  This dish was soooo balanced and just a joy to eat.

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{3}  Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg.

I had an egg sandwich on brioche with gochujang aioli, crispy potatoes, and cheddar.  Plus a toasted oak soda with a shot of vodka.  <– such a genius idea that the owner came by and nodded his approval.

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{4}  Super soup.

Served with ridiculously cheesy buttered toast.

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Yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper, and carrot sautéed in evoo / white miso / low-sodium chicken broth / shredded turkey breast / pesto tortellini.  The soup was super easy since I already had the cooked meat in my freezer.  I boiled the pasta in my broth and it came out great.

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{5} Okonomiyaki aka Japanese cabbage pancake.

Thank you, Serious Eats, for introducing me to another new yummy thing.

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Served with quick salads of celery, red bell pepper, basil, and green onion, in a mustard vinaigrette.

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My pans stick so my okonomiyaki came out in pieces, but you could hardly tell once I smothered it in toppings!  Cabbage and Japanese sweet potato pancake / fish sauce aioli / gochujang / roasted seaweed / black sesame seeds / green onion.

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Next week is going to be less exotic but more cheesy, I’m making a gratin!

Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas

Technically this should be known as “the week of the sandwich.”  I don’t actually have a single picture (I was kind of a disaster this week) but I ate a sandwich for at least one meal, some times two, a day.

I was a bit under the weather so for non-sandwich meals I made a giant batch of chicken soup.  Shredded chicken breast / onion, celery, red bell pepper, carrots, evoo, tomato paste / chicken broth / brown rice.

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Adam and I shared this winter vanilla stout while we cooked.

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I packed so many veggies into my pot that I ended up with more of a stoup, so I topped my bowls with cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños, like I would a chili.

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It was also a week of eggnog coffee, of course.

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And it’s worth noting that the one day I did pack lunch – yogurt with granola and an apple – this strawberry yogurt and TJ’s coffee can were both excellent.

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This post was kind of a disaster, wasn’t it?

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A very happy 1st night of Hanukkah for all my readers who celebrate and I hope my readers who celebrate Christmas have a merry, jolly weekend.

New Orleans Vacation 2016

New Orleans was our best travel experience of 2016.  We stayed at a cute hotel in the French Quarter and had enough time to really get to know the area.  It was a great way to finish up the year.

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This was my first trip to Louisiana and I think we managed to pack a lot in.  We visited three local breweries, walked around Loyola and Tulane, explored the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, went to the World War II Museum….

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We also tasted tons of local (or at least Southern) flavors – pralines, divinity, snowballs, beignets, pimento cheese, etouffe, grits, chicory coffee, milk punch, and hurricanes.

Here were some of our best bites…

♥Pralines.  They were everywhere and the smell was amazing.

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♥Hurricanes.  We went to Pat O’Brien’s (<– yuck!) and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

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♥Frozen daiquiris, this one was eggnog!

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♥This pecan pie soda was actually horribly disgusting, but it was fun to try!

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♥Snowballs.  NOLA served me the best snow-cones of my life, I had one every day.  This was wedding cake (a blend of vanilla and almond) and egg custard topped with sweetened condensed milk.

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♥Breakfast at Café Du Monde.  This was a must-stop for us, it was actually the only activity I had planned when I booked our tickets.  The beignets did not disappoint and neither did the chicory coffee café au lait (served on crushed ice).

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♥Breakfast at District Doughnut.  We got a Nutella doughnut and a biscuit with pimento cheese.

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Plus yummy Vietnamese coffee and an iced coffee with cola and chocolate milk (<– delicious and infinitely better than it sounds).

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♥Brunch at Willa Jean.

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I had the shrimp and grits – gulf shrimp, etouffee gravy, grits, and slow poached eggs with cheddar biscuits on the side.

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Cookies and milk for dessert.  With a beater of dough and vanilla-infused milk.

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♥Flights at Abita.  <– one of our very favorite breweries  They had our old favorites and some fantastic limited edition flavors including vanilla Turbo Dog and a key lime gose.  We had beers, Zapps chips, and a root beer on draught and were in absolute heaven.

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♥Lunch at Cochon.  They had house-made eggnog.

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We split a variety of small plates – a roasted carrot special with mint, Louisiana blue crab rice, and whole fried shrimp with pickled mustard seed hot sauce.  The fried herbs were aromatic and wonderful and the best bites were a mix of everything at once.

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♥Dinner at Brennan’s.

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Insanely creamy Caribbean milk punch with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Mt Gay black barrel rum, cream, and vanilla bean.

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Ridiculous foie gras “sweet potato casserole,” with sweet potato puree and candied pecans.

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I had the cheddar risotto for dinner.  With Cherokee Rose cheddar, smoked maitake mushrooms, collard green puree, and a brown butter sauce.

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♥Dinner at SHAYA.  <– best meal of the trip and also best meal of the year

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That’s a halvah cappuccino.  I also had a Pearl Diver – vodka, labneh, vanilla, and lavender bitters.

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We shared a trio of appetizers – Moroccan carrots with chermoula and mint / baba ganoush with green garlic / tershi = a creamy pumpkin spread with crispy garlic and chili oil.  All with fantasmic pita bread and herbed olive oil.

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Also foie gras with rose tahini and carob molasses on challah toast (omg).

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I had the matzoh ball soup for my entrée.  With slowed cooked duck, dill, charred leaks, lemon oil, and a cinnamon-scented broth.  Best matzoh balls of my life!  Adam had slow cooked lamb and the bites I stole were truly the best thing I’ve ever tasted (fyi I don’t typically eat mammals but I’ll have a taste occasionally if I know the meat is humanely-sourced and Adam says the flavor is worth it).

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Dessert(s).  We basically rolled away from the table!  Chocolate babka with halva ice cream and labneh cheese cake with burnt honey ice cream.

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It was a wonderful trip!

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P.S. No post coming from this weekend, it was the husband’s birthday and I was in celebration-mode versus blogger-mode.  And now we’re both back at work.. womp wah.  Have a great week!