My New Favorite Thing

This weekend was all about fancy coffees, restaurant brunches, and yummy home-cooked dinners.

I took a vacation day on Friday – just for funsies – and had lunch with one of my favorite former co-workers and her new baby!  Plus I took myself on a long walk: Penn Station down to Chelsea Market, over to Gramercy Park, and back up to Penn Station.  Saturday I had a literal every cloud has a silver lining situation – the gloomy weather gave me an excuse to wear my snazzy new rain boots!

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Here were the highlights…

Fancy coffees –  Iced latte from Seven Point Espresso.

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Rose iced latte from Terremoto.  <– best coffee of the weekend

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Crack pie latte from Milk Bar.

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Restaurant brunches – MeMe’s Diner.

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The O.C. = cara cara and blood orange, tequila, and Tang.

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I ordered the greens with chili oil and a fried chicken biscuit sandwich with spicy maple syrup and root vegetable slaw.  The picture does not do justice to just how gigantic that sandwich is.

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Cake!  I wish I had more photos because this cake is officially my new favorite thing I’ve ever eaten.  Vietnamese iced coffee cake with condensed milk frosting and cocoa cardamom fudge.  Moist cake, fluffy icing, perfectly balanced.

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Midwinter Kitchen.  I had a salad with pistachio crusted goat cheese, frisée, watercress, a sunny side up egg, and sherry vinaigrette.  Those goat cheese balls were out of this world.

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Home-cooked dinners –  Trout salad melts.  Trader Joe’s canned smoked trout with mayo and gojuchang on toast with sharp cheddar.  Plus roasted zucchini with sumac.

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And I had this killer drink line-up while I cooked – creamy mango soda and key lime pie gose.

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Eat Live Run’s green chile crock pot chicken.  I subbed in cauliflower rice to get some more veggies in there.

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Gojuchang turkey burgers on toast, smothered in a tasty sauce – kewpie mayonnaise, honey, dijon, and miso.  With a side of pear slices and chips – gojuchang kettle chips from Whole Foods and kettle popcorn chips from Trader Joe’s.

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Have a great work-week, guys!

 

Open Toasted Sesame

Highlights from the week…

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Lemon shortbread Greek yogurt with a Jaffa mandarin and a coconut seltzer.

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Coconut Chobani with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin and a lemon seltzer.

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Cookie butter cotton candy.

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Sandwich night.  Mock beef shaved tofu sauteed with red bell pepper and bbq sauce / served on a brioche bun / with mayo and provolone.  Plus broccoli.

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Barley bowls.  Barley / roasted zucchini / crumbled seaweed snacks / canned mackerel and smoked sardines mashed together with some mayonnaise / Sriracha and gojuchang on top.

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A knock-your-socks-off good dinner date at Gristmill.

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The Ali Baba cocktail = gin, lemon, cream, egg white, and toasted sesame.

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I went with the pre-fix option because I wanted too many things to choose!

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Local greens salad with carrot, watermelon radish, and toasted sesame vinaigrette.  This was delicious af and while we were eating it the owner came by and excitedly told us about sourcing his greens, so that was fun.

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Chicken liver mousse with bread crackers, concord grape jam, and dulce de leche.

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Best plain cheese pizza I’ve ever eaten.  <– Gristmill is famous for their wood-fired oven.

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Plus we had an affogato and that thing lurking in the back is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten with caramelized white chocolate ganache and sourdough pretzel crumbs.

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I work the weekend so I’m off today, woo hoo!

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?

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Adam is post-call this morning and I am taking my weekend day off so we get to share the same space for a bit, woo-hoo!  We have some really exciting date options to chose from, like a grocery trip and maybe the gym.

I worked Saturday and Sunday – and was off on Friday but spent the entire day reading and/or watching tv – so I don’t have too much excitement to share this recap.  We did go on a very delicious dinner date Saturday night though.

weekend highlights…

Coffee coffee.

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Cinnamon chocolate pudding.

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Snowdays shaved ice!  Black sesame with grass jelly, mochi, and strawberry sauce.

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Yesterday I made a dish that was moussaka-adjacent.  No potatoes but the other layers were there.  Roasted eggplant / sauteed turkey with tons of onions, spices, and tomato / mornay sauce with parmesan.

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And Saturday we did an awesome Israeli dinner at Timna.  You select an entree and then the table gets all of the appetizers tapas-style.  Also we ordered two desserts because we just couldn’t choose!  It was one of our best meals to date.  Falafel with pickled mango.

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Kubneh bread baked in a flower pot served with crushed tomato, creme-fraiche, and jalapeño salsa.

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Grilled beet salad with beluga lentils // tuna sashimi with green tabouli, tatziki, and ponzu // grilled cauliflower and artichoke with curried yogurt, homemade raisins, and pickled onion // smoked eggplant with feta cheese and sumac.

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I had “the fish,” striped bass with cherry tomato confit, grilled zucchini, grilled fennel, fried eggplant, Greek yogurt, and bread crumbs.  We loved the meal from start to finish but the fried eggplant was my favorite bite of the night.

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Kubneh bread with creme patisserie, white chocolate, and honey and sage ice cream.

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Sicilian pistachio ice cream with tahini, silan, and shredded halva.  swoon 

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Back to the grind we go!

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.

 

Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, And Eggplant, Oh My!

Goodness me, did we fit in some fantastic eating this weekend!  Three restaurant stops that were three of our best meals in NYC to date.  I spent the past three days giddy and full.

Highlights…

First things first – they can’t all be winners.  Both of these products seemed like things I would flip for so it felt like I should put out a PSA that I was not a fan.  The protein krispie treat tasted stale and horrible and the drink was more peanut than caramel.  Plus I’ve decided that the new Starbucks blonde espresso is not for me because I like the roasty flavor of the traditional espresso.

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I do recommend this salted caramel cold brew that I drank with skim milk.

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I am also a fan of toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches on brioche buns.  With kettle chips and roasted green beans.

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Now the stuff that knocked my socks off – Joyce Bakeshop.  We got baked goods with our coffees on a whim and the kouign-amann ended up being the single-best pastry I’ve ever had.

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Dinner at LIC Market.  We ate on the beautifully verdant back patio and our scenery was lovely but the lighting was terrible.  Fries with raclette to start.

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With a gose.

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I ordered two veggie sides as my entree.  Brussel sprouts with soy, sweet chili, and garlic and eggplant with lemon aioli.  The eggplant was one of my favorite dishes of the past five years, which is really saying something because we’ve had some exceptional eggplant dishes lately.

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Brown butter pecan cake with a sherry chocolate sauce.

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Dinner at Olmstead.  Another stunning interior + terrible photo lighting situation.

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My cocktail was not great – the only item we didn’t swoon over – but Adam’s fig sherry with vanilla and bitters was pretty delicious.

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The menu is set up for sharing so we got to try a bunch of things.  <– We actually felt like they encouraged us to order a little too much because we ended up having to take leftovers home.  Duck liver mousse (with honey drizzled on top!) with garlic crostini and pickled cauliflower.

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Beer-battered delicata squash rings with green tomato and a spice crust.

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Sweet potato and uni dumplings.

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Cauliflower okonomiyaki with yuzukoshō mayo and spicy hazelnuts.

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I had trout with creamed brussel sprouts and shaved chestnuts as my entree.  Adam’s succulent tamarind lacquered lamb is lurking in the background.

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We ordered the “peanut butter and jello” for dessert because how could you see that and not??!  It was strawberry mousse with strawberry jello and peanut butter powder.  It was ridiculous and amazing and I literally giggled every time I took a bite.

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Olmstead, LIC Market, and Joyce Bakeshop, we will be back!

Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken

This past week was extra-strength lengthy.  I stayed late at work a few days and had several issues with my train and the end result was that I was home more than two hours late almost every day this week – yuck!  I did manage to eat some good dinners still, but I did not manage to get this post up on time.

Best bites {or really should I be writing “superior sips” here because I always start with coffee?!} –

Iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk.

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I also had a yummy iced latte from Birch.

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And I tried the new blonde espresso from Starbucks.  <– quite good, felt like it should be paired with vanilla

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Peach Siggi’s with a Cara Cara orange and strawberry granola minis.

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Plain Icelandic style yogurt with maple taffy, Page mandarins, and sprinkled donut crunch cereal.

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I am a marketer’s dream; I don’t eat cereal all that often, and I hate Captain Crunch, but I still bought this because it was adorable!

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Adam and I both had Monday off, so we got to go on a lunch date!  Serendipity3.

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It was our best meal there to date, we were both swooning over our entrees.  I had curried chicken casserole with almonds and many bites of Adam’s sandwich.

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We came home with two-full-meals-worth of leftovers and were still almost too full for dessert.  Almost.  This sundae is the best thing ever – humble (peanut butter) pie / vanilla ice cream / sliced bananas / hot fudge.

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Bonus – we stopped at Dylan’s next door before our walk across the Queensborough bridge and bought a candy bar on a whim that ended up being fantastic.

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I made a big crockpot of Spicy Cherry Coke Chicken for dinners.  Basically this recipe but with Coke instead of Dr Pepper and chicken instead of pork and I diced up my cherries, chipotles, and jalapenos.

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Served on a sandwich with brioche bun and mayo.

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And roasted zucchini on the side.

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And served on top of nachos!

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My other dinners were brinners.

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Breakfast bowl with sauteed kale with tons of garlic and onion, Trader Joe’s meatless breakfast sausages, and two fried eggs.

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Scrambled eggs with tons of onion, chipotle, and sharp cheddar and roasted green beans on the side.

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend!