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.

IMG_7105

Chocolate covered cherry iced coffee – espresso roast with chocolate milk and Luxardo cherry juice.

IMG_7167

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.

IMG_7154

Seriously though, the best coffee of my life was Sunday while grocery shopping – the frozen moolattas from Stew Leonard’s are unreasonably delicious.

IMG_7091

Birthday cake flavored protein bar.

IMG_7095

Sumo mandarin // conversation hearts // sweetened dried lemon and dried persimmon.

IMG_7126

Lavender yogurt with blueberries // dark chocolate heart.

IMG_7178

Vanilla bean yogurt with blueberries and a jaffa murcot mandarin.

IMG_7130

Coffee and chicory yogurt with blueberries // cinnamon churro crispy treat.

IMG_7183

Pinch of Yum’s bourbon chicken.  I used breasts instead of thighs, roasted shredded cabbage instead of rice, and upgraded to maple bourbon.

IMG_7165

Cheesy baked crab dip – with shredded crab, cream cheese, cheddar, green onion, Old Bay, minced ginger, and fish sauce.

IMG_7085

Scooped with orange bell pepper slices and Trader Joe’s coconut shrimp.

IMG_7079

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).

IMG_7136

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.

IMG_6396

IMG_6404

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

IMG_6376

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

IMG_6386

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.

IMG_6409

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.

IMG_6361

With a gose.

IMG_6350

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.

IMG_6366

Brown butter pecan cake with a sherry chocolate sauce.

IMG_6369

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

IMG_6411

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.

IMG_6418

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.

IMG_6423

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

IMG_6427

Sweet potato and uni dumplings.

IMG_6431

Cauliflower okonomiyaki with yuzukoshō mayo and spicy hazelnuts.

IMG_6434

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

IMG_6438

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.

IMG_6446

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.

IMG_6234

I also had a yummy iced latte from Birch.

IMG_6263

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

IMG_6322

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

IMG_6305

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

IMG_6284

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!

IMG_6273

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

IMG_6237

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.

IMG_6243

IMG_6248

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.

IMG_6255

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.

IMG_6264

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.

IMG_6332

Served on a sandwich with brioche bun and mayo.

IMG_6343

And roasted zucchini on the side.

IMG_6339

And served on top of nachos!

IMG_6347

My other dinners were brinners.

IMG_6288

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

IMG_6300

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

IMG_6314

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Christmas

Eggnog, peppermint, and rugelach, oh my!

Adam and I spent the weekend eating all of the holiday things!  We did an eggnog tour of Brooklyn one day and then a Brooklyn holiday ice cream tour the next.  I learned that even if you share and leave a lot of leftovers you can still tire of eggnog very quickly, and I’m probably someone who enjoys eggnog more than the average reveler.  I also affirmed that no matter how many twinkly lighted and tinsel bedecked holiday pop-ups I encounter, I will still clap my hands in glee every time.

Alphabetically, here are some Brooklyn spots celebrating with holiday pop-ups and/or themed items:

16Handles.  Peppermint froyo with Oreo and hot fudge.

IMG_5769

Ample Hills.

IMG_5745

There were so many holiday choices we had to get a flight to taste them all!  In the front row – Eggnog with rum / Festival of Lights cream cheese ice cream with raspberry rugelach / Candy Cane.

IMG_5749

Bearded Lady.

IMG_5694

BL Eggnog – bourbon, spice, a whole egg.

IMG_5698

Brooklyn Cupcake.  Coquito cupcake.  <– not a seasonal item actually, it’s on the menu year-round

IMG_5703

Ladybird Bakery.  Eggnog mousse tart.  <– this was more visually appealing than anything, 5/10.

IMG_5689

Leyenda<– most festive stop of the weekend, 2nd only to Miracle on 9th Street

IMG_5682

IMG_5679

Coquito Ho Ho – Resposado Espolon tequila, Oloroso sherry, Braulio, coconut cream, cinnamon, egg.

IMG_5686

Oddfellows.  Eggnog and Santa’s Cookies milk sorbet with chocolate chip cookies.

IMG_5759

And here were the highlights of my less festive eats…

We were pretty pleased with this 7-11 cold brew can.  Made with skim milk and minimal sugar and it had way more flavor than anything we can get from the thousand Dunkin Doughnuts near our apartment.

IMG_5655

Brunch at Forest Point.  We need to come here more often because it’s amazing.  Oban Sour – Moto Whisky, Mizu Lemongrass Shochu, yuzu-maple cordial, lemon, pimento dram.

IMG_5668

I also had hummus, Israeli cucumber salad, fantastic grilled naan, harissa, and perfectly poached eggs.

IMG_5674

Lunch at Lion’s Milk.  We shared a sandwich with black olive paste, toasted sesame oil, and kasseri cheese.  Plus Turkish coffees.

IMG_5763

Tofu bowls for dinner.  With mint lime kombucha.

IMG_5712

Roasted buckwheat and kobucha squash with roasted elephant garlic / roasted zucchini / baked garlic brown sugar tofu / Sriracha.  Except apparently neither Adam nor I like buckwheat one bit; we ate off our toppings and had cheese and crackers instead.

IMG_5713

I try to have every healthy dinner include a protein, carb, fat, and veggie, and technically these meals fit the bill.  Smoky honey chips with melted sharp cheddar and carrots with hummus.

IMG_5644

Homemade onion dip (with turkey bacon and sharp cheddar!) with roasted broccoli and TJ’s cheesy tree crackers for dipping.  I also dipped baby carrots and kettle chips but they didn’t make a nice forest.

IMG_5792

I shredded two large sweet onions and spent 50+ minutes caramelizing them and it was well worth it.

IMG_5789

Especially because I sipped this peachy and delicious Shiner Bock Holiday Cheer while I cooked.

IMG_5782

Two more nights of Hannukah and one week ’til Christmas!

IMG_5662

Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

IMG_5298

IMG_5302

And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

IMG_5361

IMG_5354

Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

IMG_5286

IMG_5281

IMG_5285

The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

IMG_5292

And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

IMG_5295

Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

IMG_5245

Orso.

IMG_5346

IMG_5331

Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

IMG_5391

Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

IMG_5307

The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

IMG_5251

Luda’s Dumplings.

IMG_5335

We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

IMG_5343

Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

IMG_5311

IMG_5314

I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

IMG_5316

The NameShake.

IMG_5320

Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

IMG_5325

The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

IMG_5253

You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

IMG_5260

The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

IMG_5267

Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

IMG_5263

Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

IMG_5270

My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

IMG_5402

Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

IMG_5403

An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

IMG_5373

Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

IMG_5379

Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

IMG_5386

Happy 1st week of December!

A Week Of Splendid Sandwiches

Can I really use that title in a week without a single grilled cheese or lobster roll?  I did have some exceptionally above-bar poultry-based sandwiches.

The winning ‘wiches…

Milk Bar‘s Thanksgiving croissant is the best sandwich of all time.  Adam and I waited for it with baited breath this year.

IMG_4867

The seasoned croissant is stuffed with turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing!

IMG_20171114_160635_733

Flip Bird at the Ashland does a damn fine chicken sandwich – pulled chicken, harissa honey, pickled coleslaw, sambal mayo, and crispy skin.

IMG_20171115_122351_142

And my homemade toasted sandwich dinner was nothing to sneeze at.

IMG_4882

Sourdough / Applegate Farm smoked sliced turkey / 4 year aged cheddar / smoked maple mayo (olive oil based mayo, maple, liquid smoke, smoked paprika).

IMG_4894

With roasted zucchini on the side.

IMG_4889

Other fun stuff…

Vegan eggnogs in my coffee.  Adam really enjoyed the TJ’s almond milk version but I remain loyal to Silk.

IMG_4814

Here’s my current holiday stash, so exciting!

IMG_4822

Amazin’ Raisin sent me some samples to review.  The fruit-flavored raisins contain three ingredients – California raisins, citric acid, and natural fruit flavors – and are packed with flavor but no artificial sugar or sulfur dioxide.  Adam and I have both been really enjoying them.  So far his favorite flavor is pineapple and mine is watermelon.

IMG_4835

Some key work eats included raisins and a Larabar.

IMG_4843

And blackberry Siggi with holiday grapes and a maple maca bar.

IMG_4854

Really, the best dinner of the week was movie theater pretzel bites with fake cheese.  We went to see Thor: Ragnarok and split our sides laughing.  Our AMC has extra-wide seats that fully recline so the whole experience was really nice.

We also went gaga for these scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_4847

They were crazy flavorful and satisfying.  I topped mine with mayo and Sriracha.

IMG_4861

With baby carrots and potato snacks for an appetizer for crunch.

IMG_4839

A girlfriend and I met for a mid-week dinner at Bricolage and were both big fans.  Sriracha butter wings to start.

IMG_4874

And we both had pink drinks!  She had the pink soda salted lemonade and I picked an option with a cute name that I can’t remember where you pick a spirit and let the bartender go crazy.  I said “vodka, no ginger” and ended up with something delicious with raspberry and lime.

IMG_4873

My caramelized shrimp claypot was 10/10.  Georgia white shrimp, vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, and chili paste with rice to soak up the sauce.

IMG_4880

Enjoy your weekends!

Columbus Travels

My weekend adventures in Ohio were absolutely fantastic!  My cousin had a gorgeous wedding and it was beyond fabulous to get to spend time with my family.

20171103_182203

IMG-20171104-WA0004

I got into town two nights ahead of the wedding and had the opportunity to explore Columbus a bit, including Easton, North Market, and German Village.

Culinary highlights…

Flowers and Bread – Iced latte with local milk and a chocolate-stuffed roll with housemade apple butter.

IMG_20171104_084518_366

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – Boozy eggnog and Black Cat espresso.

IMG_20171103_122202_239

Related:  I had my first eggnog iced latte of the season on this trip and it made me blissfully happy.

IMG_20171103_093900_411

Roosevelt Coffeehouse – Vietnamese iced coffee.

IMG_4556

The Roost at North Market – I had a giant burrito with scrambled egg, housemade chicken sausage, cheese, black bean salsa, and sour cream.  Plus tons of Franks.

IMG_4559

Wolf’s Ridge Brewery – I had a a flight of three fun beers, Clear Sky Loops a cream ale with orange, lime, and vanilla / Gose brewed with freshly ground coriander and gourmet sea salt / Pi made with spices and local pumpkins.

IMG_4545

The arugula salad with blue cheese, saison poached pear, dried cranberries, marcona almonds, and honey peppercorn dressing.

IMG_4549

And the sweet corn gnocchi with arugula coulis, crispy bread, roasted garlic, and roasted acorn and butternut squash.

IMG_4552