Pumpkin Oolong

Cold weather fully hit Charlottesville this weekend so I kept things pretty low-key.  I did talk a walk around the neighborhood to stretch my legs on Saturday but then I spent the rest of the night huddled under the covers!

Amazingly, my food highlights from the weekend were not soup and hot chocolate…

Still loving plain Greek yogurt bowls with cupcake almond butter, MadeGood granola, and loads of fresh berries.

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I also enjoyed a bowl with this new Chobani flavor, caramel mocha.

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Whole Foods hot bar with a side of journal reading.  Best bites were the popcorn chicken and Spanish-style brussel sprout salad with sherry vinegar and yellow raisins.

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Pumpkin oolong milk tea(!) with boba and Oreo.

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I made the best sheet-pan hash.  Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit / prep a sheet pan with foil and baking spray / bake chopped Japanese sweet potato for 20 minutes / add chopped bok choy and green onion and bake another 25 minutes / top with smoked salmon candy / add kewpie mayo and Sriracha if desired.

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Candy break.

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Bunnies And Bears

My Ohio trip was absolutely perfect! My grandma had a great 90th birthday and it was fantastic to spend time with my family!

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Highlights from the week back home include…

La Colombe caramel oatmilk draft latte.

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Adorable elderberry Wild Kombucha with adorable Trader Joe’s tiny gummi bears.

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I had the best yogurt bowl toppings – Made Good Cocoa Crunch granola and Noosh cupcake almond butter.

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So I made the best yogurt bowls!  Plan Greek with almond butter, granola, and blackberries and blueberries.

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A friend and I met up at Hardywood to celebrate the release of Gingerbread Stout and discovered their newest beer – Christmas Pancakes, aka GBS with maple syrup!

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A NY Weekend > A New York Minute

I spent Friday night – Tuesday afternoon in the city enjoying a New York long weekend with my boys!  So much fun!  We ate ice cream at least once a day, took long walks around Williamsburg, the Lower East Side, and Long Island City, and had a great night with friends at a delicious dinner (Baoburg – I don’t have photos but it was fantastic!) followed by a trip to Barcade!

Highlights include…

A malted cold brew.

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Is one of my favorite things about NYC the ability to find weird and amazing drinks absolutely everywhere?  100% yes.  And we took full advantage of that this weekend.  New canned coffees from Chameleon Cold Brew, churro and cinnamon dolce.

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Strawberry sparkling water and a soursop and sea moss drink.

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Cinnamon Coke with rum.  <– strongly recommend!

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Baohaus‘ spiceland bao is a thing of beauty!  24-hour brined fried chicken served with lemon-garlic aioli, an 8-ingredient Szechuan chili oil, pickled cabbage, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.  Their menu is limited because the things they do they do exceptionally well.

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Great ice cream at Four Winters.  They make each cup individually with liquid nitrogen.  This was brown sugar speculoos with fudge, biscoff cookies, and extra sprinkles.

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Even better ice cream at Caffe Panna, the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten, in fact!  I got a cone with housemade whipped cream – panna – on brown butter straciatella and chocolate berry crunch (<– this flavor was the best ice cream we’ve ever tasted).

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Plus we got an affagato special – ice cream and espresso with whiskey caramel and cacao nib hazelnut brittle.

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Adam and I had an incredible dinner at Case Enrique – a Michelin starred, traditional Mexican spot in Long Island City.  I went for the drinks and they did not disappoint.  I had a soursop caipirnha!

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Plus a tamarind margarita.

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We started with the rojas con crema – roasted poblanos with onion, corn, cheese, and cream.  Scooped up with tortillas that were out of this world.

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And I ordered the mole de piaxtla – mole sauce over chicken and rice.

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Dessert!  Tres leches, flan, and cafe con leche.

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Other fun things… I pulled out this St. Thomas bag my parents got me.  It makes me happy every time I reach into my purse.

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And Adam bought me this gorgeous bracelet at a shop in Brooklyn.

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🙂

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Pumpkin And Paw Paw

I am headed to NYC next weekend so I kept these past three days especially low-key.  I went out for drinks with a coworker, bought a couple of sweaters, and caught up on tv while eating take-out.  And that was it!  I didn’t even make it to the gym.

Highlights in TV so far include All Rise, Evil, SNL, and The Rookie.

Highlights in food this weekend include…

A paw paw margarita from Vitae.

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I didn’t really care for this latte but I loved the new pumpkin pie Perfect Bar.

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These seaweed thins are delicious and way easier to eat than typical seaweed snacks (less crumbly and less greasy).

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Yogurt bowl perfection.  Pumpkin Noosa with blackberries and vanilla almond butter.

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Biggest wins so far in Pumpkin Month = Prairie Artisan Ale‘s Basic Becky (an imperial stout with pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, coriander, clove, and caraway) and Coolhaus pumpkin pie cheesecake ice cream (pumpkin and cheesecake ice creams with a graham cracker swirl).

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A Perfect Weekend

An ideal weekend would involve time with my boys, but this weekend did include several (quite yummy) snack items from the Perfect Snacks company!  Also a trip to the Farmer’s Market, an afternoon of day-drinking with my cousin, and a Sunday shift at the hospital.  Also, apparently, me being way too excited about everything I ate.

Highlights…

Cinnamon bears with espresso is the best combo.

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Whole Foods uses a chocolate powder – versus a syrup – in their iced mochas and I am obsessed with them.

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This local cold brew – with chicory, cinnamon, and lavender! – was pretty good too.

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Still obsessed with this chocolate chip cookie dough bar that has no internet presence (they seem to be sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s?).

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Breakfast biscuit from Ace with pimento cheese, a sunny side up egg, and jerk chicken.

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Perfect for Apple Month – a caramel apple cocktail from Vitae!  Vitae Golden Rum, Zirbenz Pine Liquor, lemon juice, salted caramel syrup, and cinnamon apple cider.

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Still obsessed with the IPAs at Hardywood.

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These new peanut butter cups are extra-strength delicious!  They aren’t overly sweet and they don’t contain any palm oil, my two requirements in peanut butter cups.  They’re still not a “health food,” but compared with Resse’s they do have an extra 3 grams of protein and 10 grams less sugar.

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The last of my superior salad mix – romaine with Greek feta dressing, chorizo seitan, honey butter almonds, celery, and zhoug.

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Quality Time

It was the best weekend ever; my boys came to visit me!!!!!

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The three of us had just the absolute best time.  It helped that we ate and drank such yummy things but mostly it was great to hold Adam’s hand while Webster sat in my lap.

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We really made the most of Charlottesville too, we went to our two favorite restaurants and our two favorite drink spots, walked a ton downtown, ran at Riverside Park, and even went to a polo match with a group of my coworkers.

Highlights (including some random things I ate on Friday) include…

An Apple Month breakfast, Trader Joe’s caramel apple yogurt with cinnamon cereal.

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Brunch at Quality Pie.  We split an egg and cheese biscuit and salmon with scrambled eggs and cream cheese on rye.

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Also a chocolate chip cookie.

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Hail Merry cookie dough bites.

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Beers at Hardywood.  Tropic like it’s Hot sour with dragon fruit, blueberry, passionfruit, and pineapple // Tropication IPA // The Great Return IPA // Raspberry Short Kate milkshake IPA brewed with milk sugar and fresh raspberries.

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Cocktails at Vitae.  S’mores = smoked rum, chocolate bitters, marshmallow simple syrup, orange, and a graham cracker rim.

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Hawaiian take out from Mochiko.  Mochiko fried chicken with cucumber kimchi, slaw, and rice.  Plus a passionfruit shortbread bar.

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A simple salad at home.  Romaine with champagne vinaigrette, celery, cashews, and curried chicken salad.

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Dinner at Little Star = the best meal of the weekend and also maybe the best thing I’ve eaten in 2019.  We ordered all of the things but it was serendipitous that we overordered because now Adam has dinner for tonight after his long drive.

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Heirloom tomatoes with strawberries, house-made ricotta, basil, red wine dressing and chili flakes.

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French fries with tarragon aioli.

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Esquites, sweet corn with spring onions, Kewpie mayo, chili corn hot sauce, cilantro, and green onion.

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Braised lamb with pasilla de Oaxaca romesco, butter braised leeks, and sweet onions.

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Chicken with mojo verde, brown butter, and crispy epazote.

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Local coffee.

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Basque cheesecake.

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I Needed My Coffee

Fun fact – I had an amazing time last weekend!  It was fantastic to see my friends and Traverse City is quite possibly my new favorite place (we walked a ton (by the lake!) and drank cocktails with coffee, Mexican Coke, and locally-made vodka, so how could it not be?!).

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Not so fun fact – I spilled an entire coffee yesterday morning and ruined everything in my purse including my dayplanner/brain and camera.  The only thing that’s really missing from this post is the fun lunch I ate at the farmers’ market with my coworker yesterday, but I’m not sure what my plan will be for this weekend since I hate taking photos on my phone.

Here were the highlights before the flood…

Grady’s Cold Brew really is the best, and I say that even I smelled like it all day at work.

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Berry breakfast.  Cereal and milk with blueberries.

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Yogurt bowl 1 – Fage, blueberries, vanilla peanut butter.

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Yogurt bowl 2 – Trader Joe’s vanilla skyr, red plum, walnut butter.

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I finally ate my first fresh apple of the month, a crunchy Pazazz apple.

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I had the day off on Tuesday and I took myself to breakfast at Quality Pie.  Tortilla with egg, chicken, queso, and salsa verde.

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Graeter’s makes my new favorite s’mores ice cream.  It contains no palm oil and the marshmallows are unbelievably soft.

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Related – sadly I can’t recommend this; the texture was actually great but the only flavor present was coconut.

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I am still obsessed with these seaweed chips.  BBQ is even yummier than the original flavor.

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This is the easiest dinner on earth but it tastes soooo good.  Throw Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi on a baking sheet with some turkey pepperoni, bake at 450 for 20 minutes, top with pizza sauce.

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Super salad – romaine, champagne vinaigrette, maple roasted walnuts and cranberries, chopped celery, vegan “chicken salad.”

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