Let Them Eat Cake

I am going on vacation next week and I definitely already have vacation brain!  The past 7 days I’ve done barely any cooking and taken barely any photographs of what I have been eating.

Here were five great highlights…

{1} Cake in all forms!  Billy Idol Cake from Paradox, aka white wedding cake with lemon curd.

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{2} Cake ice cream > ice cream cake.

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{3} I have come around to Adam’s point of view that Sicily Rose makes the best lattes in Charlottesville.  Their fancy espresso machine is key.  Four shots on ice with skim milk in a small cup is 100% perfect.

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{4} Poblano x2 pasta bowls.  Trader Joe’s creamy chicken poblano ravioli with celery, poblano pepper, and TJ’s turkey summer sausage sauteed in a butter.

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{5} We finally made it to Lampo and it lived up to the hype.  The Fungi pizza was downright decadent; Sharondale Farm pioppini and oyster mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, panna, aged provolone, grana padano.

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Adam and I shared two amazing salads.  Cavoletti di Bruxelles – shaved brussel sprouts, chives, fennel, hazelnuts, maple garum vinaigrette, pecorino.

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Cavolo Nero – Tuscan kale, candied almonds, ricotta salata, golden raisins, pickled mustard seed, apple cider vinaigrette, crispy parsnip.  This was the best dish of the meal.

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Plus I had the Hell and Honey cocktail; Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Espolon, aperol, grapefruit, scorpion pepper honey.

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And we had the budino for dessert; chocolate pudding, sweet cream, olive oil, salted hazelnut brittle.

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P.S. I will not be blogging from vacation – though I will share some fun on instagram – so I’ll see you guys after St. Patrick’s Day!

Snack Attack

Highlights from the week…

This canned coffee from Dunkin was actually not too bad.

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But this quad non-fat iced latte from Marie Bette was better.  They were doing some work in our apartment this week and Webster had to be boarded; his vet is right next to the pastry spot so I finally got a chance to try their scrumptious pretzel croissants.

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This month’s Snack Crate goodies came from Hawaii.  Highlights included Maui onion chips and pineapple Hi-Chews.

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Kung Fu Tea = joy.  I got a Thai iced tea (half sweet, extra ice) with pudding and boba.

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Cookie Dough Life is life, this new flavor from Coolhaus knocked our socks off.

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Turkey sandwiches are the easiest dinner.  Toasted whole grain sourdough / smoked sliced turkey / sharp cheddar / spicy raspberry jam.  Plus roasted green beans.

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Actually, this was the easiest dinner.  I got a bowl (without rice) and chips from Chipotle and took them home to turn into nachos.  Chips / cheese / pinto beans / fajita veggies / chicken / corn salsa / tomatillo salsa / sour cream.

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And this was the tastiest dinner!  Toasted sourdough / topped with soft scrambled eggs / and smoked herring mashed with caramelized onion dip.  Plus roasted broccoli.  We were swooning after every bite.

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Heart On

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day!  I love a holiday with theme colors.

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This week I loved…

Stumptown cold brew with milk.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried the chocolate flavor before, I loved it.

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An epic chocolate cherry smoothie.  Plain Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, and chocolate milk.

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We don’t really do Valentine’s gifts, but the husband did buy me cupcakes!

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Salted caramel and a delicious funfetti.

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A take on this lemon poppy seed chicken casserole.  We added tons of roasted broccoli.

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A take on shakshuka, with red bell pepper and chipotle.  Topped with roasted zucchini, sumac, and two fried eggs.

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Adam was not around for Valentine’s dinner and I’m fighting a pretty bad cold so I loved myself with Brazos Tacos take-out for dinner.  The Solid – pulled chicken, refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sliced avocado, and jack cheese // Tres Quesos – Oaxacan cheese, manchego cheese, and queso fresco, with refried black beans, sliced avocado, roasted corn pico, and pickled watermelon // chips and salsa.

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Bonus – things I love deeply that you might not know about from the blog:

{1} Diet soda.  It is truly the only food I cherish more than coffee or cheese!

{2} Running.  I am not fast, and I am extremely careful with my knees so I don’t run that often, but it is one of my favorite things.  I run about 3 miles in about 30 minutes one time most weeks and I love every second of it.

{3} Wegman’s hot bar “Asian” section.  I get hot bar chicken at least once a week as a pre-dinner snack but it never makes it onto the blog because it just photographs so abhorrently.

{4} “The Office.”  My love of tv is well-documented and over the past year “The Office” has become one of my favorite shows.  I have seen every episode at least three times!  So much of what is happening with the world right now is scary and sad and I’m really loving feel-good shows that are an escape from reality.

Smoky Salsa Sustenance

This was a good week in home-cooking!  And snacks.  And ice cream.  Highlights include…

Tortuga coffee with half and half.  I brewed it with a bit of vanilla bean powder.

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These peanut butter cookie dough protein bars are legit.

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We roasted Japanese yams with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika and they were delicious; just amazingly creamy.

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Trader Joe’s honey hedgehog butter cookies.  Just a little bit savory and sweet.

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Freeze-dried banana slices.

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These Jalapeño Popper Turkey Burgers are one of the best recipes on my site.  With roasted broccoli.

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Okonomiyaki!  With purple Japanese yam, roasted green cabbage, and green onion.  Topped with Kewpie and Sriracha.

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Plus Thai iced tea on the side.

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We made the best tacos I’ve ever eaten, hands down.  Filled with a loose take on this slow cooker chicken taco recipe.  We used chicken thighs, taco seasoning, paprika, garlic, lime, serrano pepper, sweet onion, and red and yellow bell pepper.

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Topped with cheese, sour cream, and a loose take on this smoky salsa roja recipe.  We used extra chipotle and subbed in lime and brown sugar for vinegar and molasses.

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IPAs on the side.

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For nacho night we baked our flour tortillas into chips.  Topped with cheese, sour cream, homemade salsa, and black beans sauteed with green onions and serrano pepper.  Plus a side of roasted green beans.

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Happy weekending!

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7 For 7

Long time no blog!  Here were 7 highlights from the past 7 days…

{1} This chocolate chip cookie dough chia bar is quite tasty.  With a pinata apple.

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{2} We finally went to Paradox Pastry and now it’s my new favorite place.  The nutella hand pie and birthday cake macaron we shared were out of this world delicious and I wanted to try pretty much every item on the menu.

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{3} We went on a crepe date at The Flat.

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Shredded chicken with brie and local Jams by Daniel.

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The Owl Man = milk chocolate, cinnamon, and marshmallow fluff.

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{4} My mom sent some Rothschild Farms raspberry honey mustard dip in my stocking this year and it’s like snacking on my childhood.  Pretzels for dipping are nonnegotiable but baby carrots aren’t bad either.

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{5} Dinner bowl #1 – Stir-fried cauliflower rice (with soy sauce, rice vinegar, cashews, and eggs) with Trader Joe’s Mandarin orange chicken-less morsels.

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{6} Dinner bowl #2 – Broccoli rice and shredded carrots stir-fried with zhoug sauce // honey garlic chicken thighs – thighs, garlic, honey, and soy sauce put in the crock pot on low for 8 hours // bok choy sauteed in some extra sauce // a fried egg.

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{7} My cousin introduced us to Peter Chang’s.  We had sweet glutinous rice cakes and I had numbing shredded duck.  Szechuan chili is such a fun spice sensation.

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I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Hot, Hot, Hot

There is no condiment I find as essential as hot sauce (fyi – I normally like to keep an open Cholula in the mix as well!),

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so when Moore’s Marinades offered to send me some samples from their new hot sauce line I jumped at the opportunity.

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We loved them both, even Adam who is a bit heat adverse.  The sauces brought a lot of flavor with the spice.  I prefer a hot sauce that I can take a taste of without running for a glass of milk (think Sriracha in terms of heat intensity).

With the Harissa Hot Sauce I made a smoky harissa turkey chili.

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Ground turkey / olive oil / sweet onion / celery / bell pepper / poblano pepper / salt, pepper, smoked paprika / liquid smoke / harissa hot sauce / white beans / crushed tomato.  Topped with cheddar.

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On the side, I made dumb bread! <– from scratch!

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With the Spicy Mustard Hot Sauce I made hot honey mustard chicken nuggets.

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Homemade baked chicken nuggets (chicken chunks / dipped in flour / then egg / then breadcrumbs) tossed in the tastiest sauce I’ve ever made – honey, spicy mustard hot sauce, mustard, butter.

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Send Nood(le)s

Dinners this week were all about the pastabilities!  <– I’m done now, I swear

Homemade shrimp Pad Thai.

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Buffalo chicken baked pasta.  With ground chicken sauteed with buffalo sauce / riced cauliflower / celery and yellow onion / and sweet red cheddar, smoked cheddar, and blue stilton!

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Pasta pie.  A mix of TJ’s squid ink spaghetti and zucchini noodles baked with parsley, triple cream brie, and eggs, plus some panko on top.

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Snack attack.  The Chobani Gimmies line is still rocking my face off.

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img_3297Do I have enough liquids within reach to get me through dinner prep?  Sadly I found the milk stout to be too sweet for my tastes, but the can was just adorable.

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Thai iced tea win.  The tea drops were super easy/quick to use and the packets of sweetened condensed milk make my heart happy.img_3216img_3226Yogurt with sumo mandarin, honey mango, and candied walnuts.img_3258A “tasting plate” success – chicken nuggets, cheese, and baby carrots.img_3251