Goodbye, 2018

We finished out 2018 with some fun – a three-day weekend anniversary trip to NYC!

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Favorite Friday activity = Checking out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market.

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Favorite Saturday activity = Meeting up with friends for lunch + dinner and a long walk through Brooklyn in between (Park Slope,  Gowanus, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Dumbo).

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Favorite coffee = Birthday cake iced latte at Milk Bar.

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Favorite breakfast = Croissants at Cafe D’Avignon in Dekalb Market Hall.  They are the best in the city and we’re obsessed.  The coffee isn’t bad either.

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Favorite lunch = Ramen at Chuko.  I had the sesame garlic ramen with woodear mushroom, spicy mustard greens, and scallions topped with poached egg, fried tofu, and garlic chili oil.

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Favorite drink = Frozen Painkiller at Ramona.

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Favorite dinner = Oxomoco.  We told the waitress to stop us if ordered too much – she didn’t but I’m not mad!  The tamarind orange margarita was good.

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The Rosita – mezcal, sherry, grapefruit, and hibiscus – was even better.

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The caesar salad with wood fired romaine and cotija masa crunch was the best I’ve ever had.

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Masa fried cauliflower with black mole, butternut squash crema, pepitas, and oregano.

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Charred carrot tamal with green garlic and hoja santa mole.

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Tlayuda Oxomoco – camote, quesillo, pipian, pomegranate, and brown butter. <– Adam’s favorite dish of the night

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Chicken al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple, crispy skin, and salsa morita.

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We powered through two desserts because we knew they’d be amazing.  Oaxacan chocolate cake with coffee ice cream, cajeta, and walnut crumble and black sesame curd with black sesame crumble and pasionfruit raspado. <– my favorite dish of my life

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Hi, 2019!

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Christmas Cheer

Holiday highlights…

For the 1st time in six years Adam and I were both off for Christmas!  It was the perfect day.  We opened presents in front of Nick Offerman.

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And got Thai take-out and watched The Office.

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A good 90% of my gifts were edible so I spent the rest of the day eating sugar.

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Related – because my cousin knows me very well, her Christmas gifts to me included delicious homemade latkes

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and Christmas-themed beer.

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The rest of the week included…

I figured for my last round of coffee and ‘nog I should go big or go home – Homestead Creamery’s eggnog is the best I’ve ever tasted.

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I spent more than an hour one night making dal that ended up being inedible but the roasted purple brussel sprouts I tossed into the oven as an afterthought we stunningly good.

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We made red and green sheet pan crab fried rice.  Use this method.  With basmatti rice, crab, green onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli.

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P.S. Today is our 11th wedding anniversary (and our 16 year!! dating anniversary) and we have super fun stuff planned ♥♥

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…And A Partridge In A Pear Tree!

This post includes five sweet things, four holiday theme items, three types of eggnog, two homemade dinners…

Stumptown Cold Brew with Trickling Springs egg nog.

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Grady’s Cold Brew with Promised Land Holiday Nog.

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I made my banana toffee magic bars for a cookie exchange at work and they came out really well!  I subbed in caramel chips for butterscotch and it think it was an upgrade.

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Sweethaus‘ holiday cupcakes are somehow eight times better than their already fantastic regular offerings.  Eggnog and gingerbread with meringue frosting.

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Hardywood’s gingerbread stout is stupid good and dangerously easy to drink.

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This lavender can from Kombucha Town is my current favorite kombucha; it’s very mellow.

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Fancy tuna salad makes an easy dinner.  A mix of tuna and smoked sardines with mayo, dijon, and capers / roasted brussel sprouts / baby carrots / Trader Joe’s everything crackers.

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But Wegman’s take-home meal section makes an even easier dinner.  Spicy general tso chicken with fried rice and seaweed salad.

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And one night I did legitimately cook – a protein, some veggies, and even a sauce.  Asian take-out style tofu!  This recipe but with oven fried tofu (similar to this method) in place of chicken.  I also used rice vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and added in some cashews.

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All Hallow’s Eats

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Pumpkin Noosa for breakfast.  I sprinkled some crunchy granola from the cafeteria on top and it was fantastic.

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Maple glazed doughnut with a maple pancake iced latte from Sugar Shack.

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Snack attack.  Is it even Halloween week if you don’t make yourself sick eating too much sugar?  None of fun-sized candy at work was exciting to me and I had to drive myself to Wegman’s to buy my own chocolate.

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Crispy honey garlic tofu bites served on top of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  The tofu recipe was perfect, I couldn’t believe how crispy it came out.  After I took that photo I smothered my plate in Kewpie and Sriracha!

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This Pumking version was toooo much bourbon for me.

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Sweet potato hash success.  Crispy sweet potato (cooked similarly to this method) / sauteed red bell pepper and spring onion with tumeric and smoked paprika / garlic chicken sausage / topped with a fried egg / and copious amounts of Cholula hot sauce.

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Our Halloween dinner was perfectly on theme – vampire killer pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin shaped pasta / garlic chicken sausage / sauteed spinach with tons of garlic / tossed in aioli / topped with pan-fried haloumi.

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Plus the best pumpkin beer of the year and a chai pumpkin ale.

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Pumpkin Everywhere

It was a good week for pumpkin; I snuck it into my coffee, smoothie, pasta, beer, and nachos!  Highlights from the week included…

La Colombe Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte.

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Homemade salted maple cold foam coffee.

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Pumpkin pie smoothie.  Pumpkin puree, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, maple syrup, clove, and skim milk.  Pumpkin smoothies end up basically being puddings!

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Homemade fall flavors trail mix with Maple Cheerios, raisins, salted peanuts, and yogurt covered peanuts.  Plus a SweeTango apple.

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Adam and I went on a date to try the new Cannoli Bar.  Cannolis aren’t really my thing, but our bicerin – that’s drinking chocolate with espresso and frothed half and half – knocked my socks off.

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Whole Foods hot bar.  Including coconut chicken tenders, furikake fried tofu, horseradish and scallion cauliflower, vegan curry, plus an assortment of other veggies.

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This cheesy veggie bowl was one of my favorite dinners I’ve made all year.  Roasted broccoli / roasted potatoes (cooked similarly to this recipe) / topped with a take on vegetarian queso fundido – sharp cheddar, sour cream, green onion, yellow onion, serrano pepper, and Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo.  I enjoyed this so much I ended up eating my entire bowl followed by most of Adam’s!

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Pumpkin nacho night!  Trader Joe’s pumpkin tortilla chips baked with green onion, yellow, onion, sharp cheddar, and maple chicken sausage.  Then topped with copious amounts of Cholula and sour cream.  Plus roasted broccoli on the side.

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Pumpkin on pumpkin on pumpkin dinner.

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Trader Joe’s pumpkin pasta tossed with a sauce made of pumpkin puree, sour cream, shallots, spices, sage, maple chicken sausage, soyrizo, and parmesan cheese.

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Plus pumpkin beers.  I thought the AleWerks pumpkin ale was too sweet (though Adam was a big fan) but really enjoyed the Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head.

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Pumpkin purchase recommendations?  All of it!  Every product (and recipe) was delicious.  The La Colombe and AleWerks items weren’t quite to my taste, but Adam enjoyed them both so I can’t say I wouldn’t recommend trying them yourself.

My Kingdom For A Coffee

Random things from the weekend…

We tried what felt like a million different coffees.  I have yet to find a local ready-made option that can keep up with Grady’s.  Iced Vietnamese latte from Cville Coffee.

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Iced latte from Grit.

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Ice latte from Feast.

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Muddy Waters was meh.

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But much improved with a large scoop of violet marshmallow ice cream!

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We had really good bagels at Bodo’s.  Everything with olive cream cheese.  They are made fresh all day long and the texture is perfection.

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And only ok doughnuts from Duck.  Strawberry glazed with rainbow sprinkles and marshmallow drizzle.  I did not like that they were served fresh – aka hot – because it ruined the frosting.

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I made a delicious vegetarian dinner.  Cauliflower rice roasted in the oven / baked extra-firm sprouted tofu / scallion peanut salsa loosely based on this recipe.

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I am incapable of having peanuts in the house and not eating five plus handfuls per day.

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We went back to Maya and loved it a 2nd time!  We had two fantastic appetizers: a local mushroom plate with Sharondale Farm mushrooms, pork belly (for Adam!) spring onion grit cake, buttermilk curd, sunflower seed and sundried tomato pesto, and lemon parsley aioli // pimento cheese fritters(!!!) with hot pepper jelly and chive sour cream.

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I had the crab cakes for dinner, with sweet corn and green tomato chow-chow, smoked onion aioli, and mache.  Plus sauteed broccoli and leafy greens.

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And we somehow also ate peanut butter fluff pie for dessert.

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How is it possibly already August this week??!

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Let’s Taco ‘Bout The Weekend

Booze, tacos, doughnuts, and iced coffees… it was a good weekend!  Here were the highlights…

Cookie dough milk iced coffee.

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Cinnamon vanilla iced latte.

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Iced latte with toasted marshmallow syrup.

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Also I had a caramel macchiato doughnut.  Sugar Shack makes some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever tasted!

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Brunch at Marie Bette, a European-style bakery.

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I had a ho-hum grapefruit hibiscus cider.  <– I need to stop ordering ciders, I think I really am not a fan!

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And the quiche of the day – tomato and white cheddar.

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Sandwiches at Hot Cakes, another super cute bakery.  Rye, smoked turkey, muenster, and cole slaw.  I think cole slaw on sandwiches is the best.

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Take-out from Silk Thai.  Fried tofu and chicken pad see ew.

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Saturday night, we got tacos with my cousin and her boyfriend.  Brazos is dog-friendly, which is fantastic, and our tacos were delicious.  Triple pickle = refried black beans, mushroom bruja, roasted pepitas, chopped jalapeños, red onion pickles, jalapeño pickles, and pickled watermelon // tres quesos = Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // and a hibiscus margarita.

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Then we went to Three Notched and I had vodka (with mint limeade) and a dog in my lap – aka all my favorite things!

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