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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1, 2, 3 / 366

We are four days into 2016 and I’ve yet to have a weekend day – my Christmas four-day weekend and an upcoming vacation (yay!) meant that it was my turn to work both the holiday and Saturday and Sunday. <–worth it!  The weekend coverage shifts – and subsequent week days off – are one of the main “perks” of my new inpatient position.  And clinically the last few days have been fascinating, lots of malnutrition, bowel obstructions, and parenteral feeds.

The only downside to the extra busy days (and terrible weekend-menu cafeteria food) is that there’s no #newyearnewyou around here, instead it’s been lots of junk food and zero gym time.  You win some, you lose some.

daytime eats

I opened the year with an extra shot of espresso in my iced latte, a good way to start anything.

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Plus an apple with cheese.  My apple selection this weekend was Piñata and Pink Ladies, all of which were exceptionally juicy and crisp.

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Saturday breakfast was all about the cartons – a winter cheer cold brew and an Icebox Water.  The water was a freebie product review.  It’s really hard to characterize the taste of water (unless you dislike it for some reason, Dasani tastes like carrots to me and I think it’s terrible) but I will say that I found this one enjoyable/refreshing and definitely inoffensive.

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Obviously the ideal would be that people would refill reusable water containers but Icebox Water does offer a more environmentally sustainable option to bottled waters.  Each BPA-free carton is 100% recyclable (and made of 76% less plastic than traditional bottles).

Sunday was my busiest day and thankfully my biggest coffee.  Plus strawberry champagne(!!) seltzer.

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The cafeteria is only partially open on the weekends and the offerings are grim.  I relied mostly on packaged foods from home for lunches.

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Plus gross cafeteria pizza that went unphotographed.

nighttime eats

You have to eat black eyed peas on the 1st.

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I made my favorite BEP recipe – beans / chopped green pepper / smoked almonds / chopped Dubliner cheese / green Tabasco / plus the new addition of shredded chicken breast.

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With a big pile of green beans roasted with shallots on the side.

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Saturday we gussied up some long-ago leftover leftovers.  I made my artichoke and mushroom pasta unhealthy great again by pan-cooking it in lots of evoo and adding an obscene amount of Sriracha and mozzarella cheese.

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This was better than the original dish.

Sunday, Adam met me after work for date night.  Fonda did not disappoint.  I spotted the Rosalita margarita on Instagram and knew that it would be fantastic.

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I was right!  It’s a hibiscus margarita with a hibiscus salt rim, swoon.

We split a salad that was scrumptious – avocados, roasted carrots, toasted pecans, soft goat cheese and romaine hearts drizzled with a lime mustard vinaigrette.  I swear, there was more avocado than lettuce!

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As well as fried sweet plantains with sour cream and queso fresco.

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Adam got chicken enchiladas and I got a vegetarian chile rellano.

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Roasted poblano pepper filled with carrots, zucchini, corn kernels, pickled jalapeños and Chihuahua cheese. Served with a roasted tomato guajillo sauce, pickled onions and Mexican crema.  Stuffed chiles are my favorite Mexican dish and this was the best version I’ve ever had.

With Kahlua tres leches for dessert.

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We both want to go back immediately.  I’ve got my eye on the brunch menu.

Snacks for the week included fancy popcorn from my stocking.

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And cookies.  David Lebovitz’s chocolate chip cookies really do deserve all the veneration they’ve gotten in the food press.  I made a batch for a NYE party and both the party-goers and my co-workers lost their minds over them.

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Recipe notes, because you know I always have to change something:  I used salted butter, skipped the nuts and doubled the chocolate instead – a mix of semisweet and milk chocolate chips, and refrigerated the cookies as preformed balls instead of slice and bake logs.  I don’t think my changes hurt anything, in fact I’m pretty sure the nut for chocolate swap was an improvement!

I also made a less lauded but still terrific peanut butter (chocolate chip) mug cookie.

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My year is off to a sweet start!

Merry Munching – Christmas Week Top Ten

I hope all of my readers who celebrate had a very merry Christmas yesterday!  Adam, Webster, and I had a great day full of cuddles, present opening, cheese eating, and “Frosty” watching!

The best present of all?  Yesterday was start of a four-day weekend for me, I’ve got Friday though Monday off.  The weekend’s fun includes our 8-year wedding anniversary, so I doubt I’ll make time for any blogging.  See you next weekend!

Here are the top ten from last week…

{1} Brunch with friends

They introduced me to j’eatjet in Park Slope.  I had an Aperol Sidecar and a yummy breakfast veggie burger with swiss and a fried egg.

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Then I spent time slowly perusing the giant Whole Foods.

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With a Vietnamese iced latte at my side.

{2} Holiday themed breakfasts

These made for very pleasant mornings.  All with ice coffee with full-octane eggnog!

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That Nutrament was seriously the best eggnog item of the season.

{3} Strawberry chocolate mint smoothies

We love this combo every winter.

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Chocolate peppermint soy milk + plain Greek yogurt + frozen strawberries.

{4} Roasted veggie sandwiches for lunch

One of my nutrition co-workers is retiring next week so we took her out to lunch at an Italian place near the hospital.  I got a roasted veggie and mozzarella panini.

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And another day there were roasted veggies at the sandwich bar.

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I got them on a (giant!) wrap with tuna and cheese.

{5} Christmas morning sugar rush

I don’t have any pictures because we tore into the bags too quickly but my mom bought me two different cola-flavored gummies from German Haribo.

{6} Thai food in the city

I wish I’d paid more attention to the name of this spot (near Union Square Park) because the food was great.  I had a Malaysian iced coffee.

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And the Night Market Noodles – a combo of egg noodles and broad rice noodles with chili paste, bean sprouts, and a boiled egg.

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These were super spicy, aka perfect, I was crying with each bite.

{7} Halo Halo at Bago

I’m obsessed with Halo Halo so as soon as my cousin sent me this NYTimes link I added Bago to my to-do list.

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Their version is a tapioca shake with taro ice cream on top and red bean, palm seeds, and young coconut on the bottom.  It was fantastic!

{8} Kale, and eggs

We made wonderful sautéed kale with garlic, golden raisins, and blue cheese.

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Alongside eggs that were just horrible.  It turns out that ground turkey and pizza sauce do not belong in scrambled eggs.

{9} Christmas nachos

Apparently I’ve decided that nachos are holiday food.  This version was red and green at least.

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Chips with mozzarella, ground turkey, broccoli, and red bell pepper.

{10} Eggnog treats  <– I saved the best for last

Like the coquita cupcake from Brooklyn Cupcake.

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Coconut cake soaked in a creamy coconut milk egg nog with a hint of rum flavor and topped with a mascarpone whipped cream.

And the eggnog ice cream from Ample Hills is their best flavor yet.

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Creamy, eggnog, rummy goodness.

It’s Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Christmas!

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December 1st hits and right on schedule my head fills with thoughts of sugar plums!  Or rather thoughts of eggnog and hot chocolate, I’ve never actually tasted a sugar plum.

It’s not as big as my pumpkin bounty, but I was still pretty excited to pull out my holiday goods stash.

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I’ve marked all of the eats in this post that qualify as holiday foods with a ** for classification purposes, also because it feels me with glee.  I’m missing a lot of photos (I ate a ton this week) but here are the highlights…

breakfast

This week’s coffee – Breakfast Blend with TJ’s low-fat eggnog**.

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Plus I had an “original” eggnog iced latte**.

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This week’s tea – Gingerbread**.

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With a caramel apple biscotti (former freebie).

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Or a gingerbread biscotti** (meta!) and a juicy pear.

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Or a slice of carrot cake my coworker brought in.

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It was a good week for workplace treats, another coworker brought me Filipino-style ambrosia from her Thanksgiving.

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It was out of control good; I made myself ill scarfing down that container.  Less sugar than the American version and loaded with palm seeds and fresh coconut.

snacks

Maple leaf iced latte from Sweet Leaf.

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Yummy, but nothing can top the Voodoo Child (their take on Vietnamese iced coffee).  We also had a really yummy Spanish iced latte at a café in Park Slope later in the week.

Holiday doughnuts** from Doughnut Plant.

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Chestnut and a marzipan star.

Holiday milkshakes** from Shake Shack.

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We tried gingerbread and chocolate peppermint.  They weren’t all that good but the penguins on the cup make my day.

Mini cupcakes from Sweet Haus Cupcake Café.

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We shared red velvet, salted caramel, and cookie dough.  Cookie dough = a literal scoop of cookie dough!

Hot cocoa Hubba Bubba** as an after lunches palate cleanser.

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I don’t know how they managed to make the gum so chocolatey!

Mug cookies for the win.

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Number 2 Pencil’s winner recipe with salted brown butter dark chocolate.

lunch

Brunch with Adam on Sunday.  We went to Greenpoint for Five Leaves.  I got a so-so Bloody Mary.

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And we shared an amazing braised duck pot pie.

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And an egg sandwich.

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The pot pie was succulent duck, root vegetables, and parsnip veloute, in an herbed crust with wilted brussels sprouts leaves.

Cafeteria food is listed from least to most enjoyable –

One day there was nothing that looked appetizing so I ate a spicy tuna salad package from the snack stash in my desk.  Plus cafeteria baked fries.

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Another day I ate Asian tofu and steamed squash and wished I’d stuck with my desk snacks.

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This tossed salad – with lettuce, ranch, pickles, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and pinto beans – was pretty good.

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And this taco salad was a winner.

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From the salad bar and the taco bar I assembled lettuce, veggies, cheddar, sour cream, salsa, and black bean and corn salsa.

dinner

Pizza-pizza.

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Turkey pepperoni and mozzarella balls on top of marinara sauce and a TJ’s frozen crust.

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With salads on the side.

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Arugula / roasted broccoli / balsamic, honey, evoo, and lavender salt / sweet and spicy pecans.

Pasta with veggies and sauce.  We topped whole-wheat penne with Bertolli mushroom and truffle sauce mixed with browned mushrooms, chopped spinach, and TJ’s vegan chorizo.

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With huge hunks of ciabatta slathered with Smart Balance.

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This meal was good several nights in a row.

Veggie miso ramen from Chuko.  With scallions, bamboo shoots, butternut squash, shredded chicken, soft boiled egg, and their fantastic sesame greens.

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I had a sore throat all week and this – plus a big scoop of honey ice cream at Ample Hills – was just what the doctor ordered.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

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My Year Is Off To A Good Start

enjoyed all week

Coffees.  Also naps.

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Apparently my parents wore us out; I had a to take a nap before I could make dinner the first three nights of the week.

Diet chocolate soda from Polar.

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I know it sounds a little strange but we were fans.

Our leftovers from The Smith.  Eaten cold while standing in front of the open fridge.

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My mac and cheese was fantastic leftover and so was my mom’s Mexican corn.

A big box of free samples {free as in provided free of charge / no other compensation for this post / yada, yada } from Super Seedz.

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I wouldn’t have thought of pumpkin seeds as a favorite of mine but I’ve loved all of the flavors we’ve tried so far.  Flavor options include: Really Naked, Sea Salt, Cinnamon & Sugar, Coco Joe, Tomato Italiano, Curious Curry, Somewhat Spicy and Super Spicy.  They pack a nutritional punch – see the infographic (provided by the company) below – and Super Seedz are allergen friendly – peanut-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, soy-free and made with gluten-free ingredients.

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breakfast

After we dropped my parents at the airport on Monday, Adam and I went on a doughnut(plant) and coffee date before work.  Because apparently we hadn’t eaten enough crap over my birthday weekend.

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My strawberry-filled vanilla got two thumbs up.

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As did my maple latte from Gorilla.

Coco pumpkin seeds and cold-pressed watermelon juice.

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TJ’s came through on this juice, it was wonderfully refreshing.

Chocolate-cherry smoothie.

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Vanilla almond milk with coco powder, frozen cherries, and dates.  I enjoyed this combo and want to make it again soon.

Snack plate.

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A cheese stick, cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds, and a medley of grapes.

lunch

Chocolate chip cookie oats.

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With an apple and coco pumpkin seeds.

Sweet and spicy tuna salad.

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With grapes and cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds.

I didn’t have to provide my own lunch the rest of the week!  I attended a lunch-and-learn on malnutrition in surgical patients on Tuesday.

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They gave us education, salad, and yummy sandwiches with hummus and roasted eggplant.  And I mainlined coffee (with tons of milk and cream) when I got back to my desk.

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On Thursday the hospital threw an employee appreciation bbq.

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Very sweet!

dinner

Pizza, pizza.

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We used TJ’s frozen crusts and were so impressed with how they turned out.  Topped with marinara, mozzarella, and tons of garlic and onion sautéed mushrooms.

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Plus super simple salads on the side.

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Just arugula blend with ranch dressing.  They were a bit depressing.  But we also had beer.

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I carried this Southern Tier Compass all the way back home from Buffalo but unfortunately it was a bit hoppy for our tastes.

Burger night.

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I made my Buffalo Blue Bean Burgers.  They don’t look like much but this is one of my best recipes!

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With a trio of roasted veggies: Brussels sprouts, green beans, and broccoli.

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Served with maple bacon kettle chips, aka my favorite chips because they are the best chips of all time.

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They were doing a promotion and handing out mini bags at my railroad station and it was very exciting.

Last night I met up with a girlfriend for dinner in Brooklyn.  We checked out Elbow Room, the mac and cheese window at Morgan’s BBQ.

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Milk stout.

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Old School Mac – NY state sharp cheddar, béchamel, and garlic breadcrumbs.

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With collard greens that were spicy and vegetarian.  Dinner was good but dessert was better.

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Salted crack caramel and honey peanut butter ice creams from Ample Hills.  But they were supposed to have key lime pie ice cream available and they didn’t so now I need to go back immediately and it’s a problem.

It’s The Weekend And I’m Not Crabby

That title is a play on words referencing a tasty casserole I made this week, but real talk – I was super cranky this week and I only have a few snippets to share…

breakfast

Coffee and a watermelon Greek yogurt.

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I was hoping that the cafeteria would have fresh watermelon on hand to pair with it but honestly that flavor is pretty delicious on its own.

Iced Americano with skim milk and a splash of half and half.

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I asked for Americano with “light water” which seems to be my perfect order; mostly espresso without being just espresso.

Cherries and a cheese stick.

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Yum!

lunch

Tropical chia pudding.

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Chia seeds soaked in canned coconut milk with honey and vanilla bean paste with a smashed banana stirred in the next day.

Cafeteria sandwich.

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Tuna salad on multigrain with veggies and muenster.

Cafeteria Inception-style salad.

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Greens with oil and balsamic vinegar topped with shredded cheddar and cucumber and carrot salads.

snack

Self-explanatory…

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Most of our snacks revolved around our homemade no-churn vanilla bean ice cream. <— have you commented on the cookbook giveaway post yet??

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Topped with melted dulce de leche and Valencia peanut butter.

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And whirled into ridiculous milk shakes with Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

dinner

Last night we went on a date to the mall to buy Adam sneakers and me bras and underwear because apparently we have a serious case of the olds.  We did keep things young and fresh by getting a fancy dinner at the food court.

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That’s “Drunken Noodles” from the new Thai spot, I guess.  The veggies were tasty (there were amazing pieces of eggplant) but it was a pretty poor representation of the dish.

The rest of our nights centered around this Cheesy Crab Pasta Bake.

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You see the creeper in that photo?  That’s how you know it’s good!

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Cheesy Crab Pasta Bake; serves 6-8

  • 8 oz dry bow-tie pasta
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 heaping Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz shredded pepperjack
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 sliced green onions (green and white parts)
  • (2) 6 oz cans crab meat, drained and picked through if needed
  • 3 oz crab seasoned chips, crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prep an 8×8 inch casserole dish with baking spray.
  2. Cook al dente pasta according to manufacture’s instructions then rinse and set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk flour into butter to form a roux and cook 1-2 more minutes until it has slightly darkened.  Whisk milk into roux and cook 3-4 more minutes until thickened, stirring out any lumps as needed.  Working in batches, stir cheeses into sauce.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stir Old Bay, fish sauce, lemon, and garlic into sauce.
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in pasta, green onions, and crab, tossing until mixture is well-combined.  Pour into prepared casserole dish and top evenly with crushed chips.
  6. Bake 23 – 25 minutes.

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Served with spinach salad with champagne vinaigrette, pepitas, and roasted broccoli.

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Have a great weekend!