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!

Easter And Onward

This post feels long, and I am le tired, so I will try to be less loquacious than usual.

Very chatty sidenote – how great are some of the words that describe how much a person does or does not talk??  Loquacious.  Taciturn.  Verbose.  Gabby.  Love them!

Real talk though: I somehow caught a springtime cold and I am cranky and sniffling and need to go to bed.  I know I’ve wasted 60+ words on an intro, but I’ll try to let the pictures speak for themselves as much as possible.

breakfast

Vanilla iced coffee with vanilla milk.

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Smoothie #1 – strawberry mint.  Chocolate mint soy milk, frozen strawberries, and plain Greek yogurt.

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Smoothie #2 – blueberry bliss.  Frozen blueberries and dates with plain almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, and a little honey.

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I made another batch of Community Coffee French Roast, this time in our coffee machine.  Traditional/hot brewing did make this a little bitter, but it was still quite drinkable.  Especially with skim milk and a splash of toasted marshmallow coffee syrup or a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar.

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lunch

Subs with the in-laws for Easter.  With chips and hard-boiled Easter eggs.

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Coffee Chobani with Cocoa Coconut Renola and a Cara Cara.  I am very picky about my coffee yogurts and this stuff was on point.

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A half turkey sandwich from the cafeteria with seaweed salad and Easter candy delivered by a coworker.

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I apparently don’t have a photo to speak for itself, but another day I packed a sandwich from home.  An epic sandwich.  Sweet cheddar and extra-sharp cheddar on a toasted English muffin.  Swoon.

This mix was random, but it worked – spicy Thai chili tuna salad, brown sugar and sea salt seaweed, and a Cara Cara.

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snack

Coconut water for rehydration.

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These chips are amazing.

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Coffee, always.

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The husband and I are both obsessed with these two dessert items.

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Plain Greek yogurt with butterscotch peanut butter and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs

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I made How Sweet Eat’s Brown Butter Oatmeal Chunk Cookies for a birthday at work and they received rave reviews.  I subbed vanilla bean paste for cinnamon, subbed dark chocolate chips for chocolate chunks, and made much smaller cookies (for a yield of 40 cookies versus her 15), and I recommend all three changes if you make a batch of your own.

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I’m including two non-edibles that fed my soul.  The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman was like a grown-up version of Francesca Lia Block’s stuff.  It was hard to put down; I read on the train and one night I had to sit in my car in the parking lot for twenty minutes to keep reading.

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This lip-balm smells like my dreams.

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dinner

Easter dinner.

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Dessert was angel food cake layered with a yummy Cool Whip + vanilla pudding mix + shredded pineapple concoction.

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An easy, amazing soup.  I cooked shell pasta in chicken broth then dumped in sautéed chopped bok choy and green onions, shredded cooked chicken breast, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  My bowl was drizzled with sweet chili oil as well.  Adam absolutely raved about this dish.

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I turned the rest of my never-ending marinara sauce into a bastardized version of Jenna’s Channa Masala.  On top of brown rice and roasted broccoli.  Topped with plain Greek yogurt and sweet chili oil.

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Safe Catch sent me a can of their wild skipjack tuna.

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Please note: I was sent this product free of charge to review.  I was not provided with further compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Seafood is a great thing to include in your diet.  It is a lean protein, a good source of iron, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that seafood contains mercury, it may not be a good idea to consume it daily, and some varieties are safer than others.  Canned tuna, for example, I have to tell my pregnant patients to limit to </ once per week.  Safe Catch is a new, mercury tested, tuna brand that enforces a strict limit on the amount of mercury allowable in the fish that go into its products (their standards are 90% stricter than the FDA’s mercury safety limit of 1.0 parts per million).  Also important – the fish is caught exclusively with pole and line from managed stocks.

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I wanted to be able to really taste the tuna – we give it two thumbs up – so I made it into a super simple tuna salad.

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Served on a challah roll with a side of roasted broccoli.

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Last night was my sickest, and the husband worked overnight, so I made a(n incredibly tasty!) frozen meal from Trader Joe’s and called it a night.  I also ate a bowl of cereal in bed.

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There were entirely too many photos of my hands in this post.

Last Week’s Top Five

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{1} Coffee, always.

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The Hint of Honey Almond Breeze is coffee’s perfect companion.  (note – I prefer the original to vanilla)

{2} Dates with turkey bacon.

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I agree, everything on that napkin looks like a cockroach (dates one major downfall!), but the combination was delicious.

{3} Good lunches from the cafeteria.

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A winning tuna salad sandwich and a giant burrito with chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and tons of broccoli that they sweetly let me add from the salad bar.

{4} Berry yogurt bowl.

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Fresh blues / Stonyfield Strawberry Oh My Yog! / Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes.  I did not enjoy the sour, whole milk taste of the yogurt, but several coworkers tasted the cereal after I raved about it and wrote down the specs so they could buy some too!

{5} A meze plate.

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All from Trader Joe’s – dates / green and orange bell peppers / baby carrots / dolmas / olives / kalamata olive hummus.

Cookie Monster

An old-school full-day wrap-up post?  Why not!  I felt the urge.

I cannot even tell y’all how excited I was this morning that today was Friday.  Adam has the weekend off and even though he has studying to do I’ll get to sit next to him on the couch!  I still needed coffee to help me face the day though.

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Non-fat iced latte (always iced!) and an apple.

I clearly wasn’t getting up early enough to pack a lunch, so I got food from the cafeteria today.

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A half sandwich – love that my caf. offers that – of tuna salad, provolone, lettuce, red onions, and honey mustard, on whole-wheat.

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Plus baked onion rings.

Dessert was candy that my co-worker sweetly brought me.

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A thank you for the gift I brought to her baby shower on Tuesday.  I am excited for her, but also a little bummed because she’ll be out on maternity leave soon and she’s one of my favorite people at work.

We have tons of leftovers from our take-out streak the past week so we kept thing simple for dinner.

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Buffalo chicken pizza.

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And green papaya salad from a new Thai place in Great Neck.

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The salad was flavorless and disappointing but it was my only shot at produce so I ate it anyway.

And cooooookies while we watched “Bones.”  The last caramel chip plus cookie creamer in my (half-caf) iced coffee.

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Both good, obviously.

My weekend plans include a long overdue visit to the gym, Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, and a doughnut spree in Manhattan if the rain holds off.

Have a happy weekend!

Apple Picking; Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend I got to cross something major off of my fall bucket list – apple picking!

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I drove upstate to Lawrence Farms with some girlfriends and we came home with pounds and pounds of tasty apples.

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I also snagged Adam and I two pumpkins for carving next weekend.

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Check out my gorgeous haul (this is only a portion of it, the rest went into the fridge) –

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So far, my favorite variety is the Candy Crisp.

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Yum!  We had a ton of fun and I definitely want to repeat this activity next fall.

I don’t have much to share for this post, just three things.  I’m a bit under the weather and I spent almost all of Sunday tucked in bed.

Breakfast on the go.

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A smoothie  – water and meat from a Thai young coconut with canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, frozen banana, and maple syrup – and a Clif Maple Nut bar that I shared with the husband.  The bar was much better than the smoothie, which did not emulsify at all.

Getting in my green before a dinner of orange hues.

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Spinach salad with sweet and spicy pecans, dried blueberries, and buttermilk blue cheese, dressed with honey, evoo, and lavender salt.

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The oil came home from Italy with a friend and it was fantastic.

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Our main course was tuna casserole that I made and froze awhile back, so I don’t totally remember what was in it.  Definitely tuna, barley, spinach, green onions, peas, water chestnuts, roasted garlic and mushroom condensed soup, cheese, and crushed Cheez-Its on top.

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Plus carnival squash that we roasted with salt, smoked brown sugar, liquid smoke, and maple syrup.

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Dinner was delicious.  Sweet and smoky squash with cheesy casserole?  You can’t really go wrong!

Best bite of the week goes to dessert from Ample Hills.

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I got a kids’ cup of pistachio and honey and the flavors went together perfectly.

Hopefully I am over the hump with my sickness now.  The temperatures are finally dropping here and I really don’t want a cold to go with the cold!

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