Coconut, Citrus, And Guava, Oh My

Did I mention last week that I need a vacation?  This week was worse.  Thankfully, starting tomorrow we are on vacation!!  Here are the highlights from the past five days that felt like they lasted for ten…

I kept my coffee combo the same, but did kick things up a notch one day with an Aussie iced coffee!

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Limoneira recently expanded their orchards to include blood oranges and Cara Cara oranges and they sent me a box of goodies to sample.

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The Cara Caras were good, and the blood oranges were the best I’ve ever had – juicy and sweet and just a bit tart.  They made a very good work snack (with roasted pecans and TJ’s butterscotch short breads).

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And were fantasmic mixed into coconut yogurt with Heritage Flakes.

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It was a week of exceptionally good yogurt bowls.  Plain Greek with TJ’s mixed nut butter, vanilla granola, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and shortbreads.

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Chicory + coffee yogurt with granola and nibs.

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Adam and I both were off on Wednesday and we went to Sunday in Brooklyn for brunch.  I had “The Elvis,” charred banana, housemade fluff, sunflower butter, and green apple, on whole-wheat bread.

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Plus pie and espresso at Blue Stove.  This guava chess was good but not great.

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Snacks of note included jelly beans on the first day of Spring.

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This lime fresco popcorn.

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And the epicness that is Trader Joe’s dried fruit selection.  Dried persimmon?!  The carabao mango is out of this world, it’s like candy.

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Three of five nights I ate a grilled cheese sandwich* while watching Bob’s Burgers** but twice I did manage to cook a legit dinner.  Like egg sandwich pitas.

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Scrambled eggs with smoked paprika, red bell pepper, and spring onion in a pita with mayo and sharp cheddar.

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Plus a cruciferous veggie mix sautéed with cashews and soy sauce.

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Green curry chicken and veggies.  The chicken strips were baked after marinating in a spicy Sriracha marinade, with yellow onion, green onion, green bell pepper, and roasted zucchini, in a green curry sauce.

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We kept the coconut theme going with our drink.

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*grilled cheese notes: this week they were on quinoa bread but rye or sourdough is best / sharp cheddar with pickle relish is my preferred combo / always cooked in butter.

**Bob’s Burgers is my new favorite cartoon series (other than Rick and Morty which is just one of the best tv shows of any genre), I like it even more than Futurama.  It’s the perfect balance of funny yet sweet.

See ya next week!

Pie In The Sky

This is a longer wrap-up (Monday through Sunday) but I’m missing a lot of photos because this week felt like the actual longest and I mostly just ate cheese on top of various things.  Adam and I both have a week off coming up at the end of the month and man, oh man, do I need it!  Three big complaints from this past week – 1. some horrible thing are happening in our department and my schedule/work-load is going to become ridiculous; 2. the “blizzard” killed my big Pi(e) Day plans; 3. I stood in front of an automatic door like an idiot and gouged my big toe and then bled all over the place in front of a bunch of cute doctors.

My schedule was all over the place last week so I was disoriented in addition to cranky.  Thanks to the weather-related NYC shut down, a last minute schedule change for a lunch and learn, and weekend coverage, I was off on Wednesday, worked a half day on Tuesday and Thursday, and worked a full day Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  But now I’m off again on Wednesday which is pretty much a golden lining!

/end rant.  Here were some of the yummy things that put a smile on my face last week…

Coffee combo on point.  Chicory with sweet buttercream creamer.

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I also had wonderful iced lattes from Butler and City of Saints.

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Killer lunch components = California Grape kombuchaPeach and cloudberry(!) skyr yogurt with Heritage Flakes and a sumo mandarin.

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Our lunch and learn was a Nestle presentation on perioperative nutrition.  It was more product promotion than educational, unfortunately, and the research wasn’t as robust as I had hoped.  My lunch was good though, grilled salmon and mixed veggies.

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Fabulous lunch date at the White Oak Tavern.

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I had a cocktail with whiskey, Kahlua, housemade butterscotch, espresso, and cream.

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We split a salad and salmon for lunch.  Chopped salad with cucumber, feta, olives, avocado, haricot vert, and tahini dressing.

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Pan seared salmon with a smoked tomato and piquillo puree, plus crispy potatoes and cipollini onion.

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We were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was because we definitely came for dessert – a dark chocolate brownie with butterscotch, walnuts, and toasted marshmallow.

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Fruit and cheese plate, the cafeteria was feeling fancy.

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Coffee break with a honey caramel chocolate bar.

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Adam totally saved Pi(e) Day by offering to bake with me.  We made S’mores Pie which is one of our favorites.  Almost as good as going on a pie crawl in Brooklyn, almost.

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The crust looks red because instead of graham crackers I made it out of Peeps flavored Oreos (<– which turned out to be freaking amazing).

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P.S. on Monday night while the grocery store was packed with people filling carts with bread, canned goods, and bottled waters, I got in line with Oreos, chocolate bars, marshmallows, and a case of soda.  I’d die first if the blizzard had been real but I’m still pretty sure I win.

Eggs for dinner that tasted far better than they looked.  Scrambled with sharp cheddar and brown sugar and Sriracha shredded chicken.

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When we were at the University of Miami I worked at an on-campus bar that served the yummiest pita tuna melts; it took me ten years, but I finally made them at home.

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Curried tuna salad – canned tuna with mayo, green curry paste, curry powder, spring onion, and shallots – with sharp cheddar stuffed in a pita and cooked in a skillet with copious amounts of butter.  They were 10/10 fantastic.

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Plus roasted green beans with shallots.

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Buffalo chicken and veggie bowls.

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Roasted sweet potato and brussels sprouts, topped with shredded chicken breast in buffalo sauce, and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.

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Have a great week!

Brunch At Queens [blank]

In spite of the bitter, freezing cold, I spent my weekend appreciating Astoria.  I drove in Saturday and Sunday for two (cheese-packed) brunches.  Plus yummy post-brunch iced lattes – always iced, always – at Kinship and Gossip.  Finally, I did some expensive but adorable shopping at Lockwood.

Queens Kickshaw.  We started our meal with a gouda grilled cheese – brioche with gouda, pickled jalopenos, guava jam, and black bean hummus.  Such a good combination of flavors!

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I had an interesting cocktail with vodka, apricot liquor, golden raisin shrub, and orange bitters.

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And mac and cheese with broccoli pesto on the bottom and an egg on top.  The pasta was ridiculously good, but actually the best thing on the plate was the side salad; the salads were perfectly dressed rainbow chard with herbs.

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Queens Comfort.  We shared a King Kong Doughnut to start – banana bread with peanut butter topping.

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My friend and I both ordered the fried green tomato benedict – fried green tomatoes on a buttermilk biscuit with spinach, hollandaise, hot pepper jelly, and poached eggs.

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Back at my Queens apartment, I served a dinner and dessert worth noting.  Shave-ice style yogurt bowl – plain Greek with condensed milk, sliced banana, Frosted Flakes, and a few Luxardo cherries.

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Pasta bowls with torn lasagna noodles, tuna, roasted zucchini, and a sauce with gojuchang, brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce.

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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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Top Five This Week

{1}  Fiber One sent me samples of their newest product line – layered chewy bars.

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I’m a fan!  Sometimes fiber-added products hurt my stomach, but these gave me no issues.  They are chewy without being tooth-breaking and salty-sweet – my favorite flavor combo.  They come in double chocolate almond.

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And the even more delicious salted caramel and dark chocolate.

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{2}  I made a tasty strawberry sauce.

It was quick and easy, just fresh strawberries quartered and cooked in a skillet over medium heat.

Paired with passion fruit yogurt with Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.

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And plain yogurt with vanilla granola and a few Luxardo cherries.

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{3}  Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium partnered on a cookie dough beer and I paired it with cookie dough ice cream.

We ended up not loving the beer, which had a chemical aftertaste to it, but the ice cream (which I topped with melty Biscoff) was obviously delicious.

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And speaking of Speculoos…

{4}  Starbucks has a cookie butter bar and it is out of this freaking world.

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{5}  I spent 3+ hours making over-the-top lasagna.

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Loosely based on this recipe, it was totally worth the time commitment.

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I made a red sauce with ground turkey and TJ’s soy chorizo.  My béchamel was a four-cheese doozy made with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda. I skipped the ricotta, but did top my dish off with more parmesan-gouda.

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{bonus}  My schedule – I worked President’s Day and work this upcoming weekend which means I was off from work yesterday and today for a midweek weekend!  And Adam is off today too so we’ve got some Upper East Side fun planned.  See you next week!

Channeling Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, and Christopher Turk

Questions about my title?  They’re all characters who love breakfast foods.  This weekend we were all about breakfasts, brunches, and brinners.  In fact, we ate enough “breakfast” foods to fill this whole post…

Thompkin’s Square Bagels.  We had a perfectly chewy poppy seed bagel with birthday cake(!!) cream cheese.  Plus wonderful chocolate milk and coffee.

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Vanilla-berry smoothie.  Vanilla almond milk, vanilla pudding mix, chia seeds, frozen strawberries and dark sweet cherries.

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Pistachio pastry at Maman.

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I also had a lavender hot chocolate.  Their cups/wallpaper/whole aesthetic pretty much kill me.

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Nickel and Dinner.

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I had roasted maitake mushrooms with provolone, ratatouille, garlic butter, and poached eggs.  I didn’t love the ratatouille, but cheese and mushroom just might be my new favorite combo.

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Off-theme but worth mentioning: we had rolled ice cream for dessert and it was wonderful.  I CE NY for the win.  Coffee latte ice cream with Oreo mixed in and mochi, marshmallow, and condensed milk on top.

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Egg empanada at Butler.  Local eggs, arugula, and cheddar, plus a divine cilantro dipping sauce.

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Breakfast for dinner.

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Coffee ale since Shiner collaborated with my favorite cold brew.  This was very drinkable.

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I made scrambled eggs with cheese, browned mushrooms, and turkey ham.  Roasted green beans for me and asparagus for Adam.

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Other fun stuff?  We started rewatching “Parks and Recreation” (shocker), we spent an afternoon at the mall, and Saturday morning we headed into the city before dawn to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge at sunrise.

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♥♥♥

Did everyone have a happy / romantic / chocolate-coated Valentine’s Day?  Mine was good; Adam and I don’t do gifts but we went out of a yummy dinner on the 13th, and some of my coworkers brought in candy.

Top five tastes from the week…

{1♥} chocolate-covered cherry <– one of this month’s theme flavors!

CCC smoothie – chocolate milk, frozen dark cherries, plain Greek yogurt.

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CCC coffee – cold brew, chocolate milk, Luxardo cherries with juice.

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The coffee seriously made me swoon with happiness.

{2♥} best Mexican food in Brooklyn

I read two different places that El Atoradero had the best nachos in New York, so clearly we had to go there immediately.  They were delicious, though not as good as the nachos I bake at home.

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This was the best chicken burrito I’ve ever eaten though.  The chicken tinga was smoky and roasty and there were peas and carrot in it giving little pops of sweetness.

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Ample Hills for dessert!

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{3♥} yogurt bowls

Toasted marshmallow yogurt(!!) with vanilla granola and chocolate tahini/Biscoff.

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Siggi’s raspberry with mixed nut butter.

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{4♥} deep-dish pepperoni pizza

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I used TJ’s whole-wheat dough and cooked it in a casserole dish.  With mozzarella, pizza sauce, and turkey pepperoni that I apparently did not have the skill to cut into hearts.

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{5♥} English butter fudge

I love you, Trader Joe’s; this was the single best candy I’ve ever eaten.  If you’re a fan of penuche/praline/brown sugar I recommend you buy this immediately.

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Have a nice weekend!