Chocolate “Cheesecake” Oatmeal

Kids.  Work is really freaking stressful this month.  My goodness.  I had Wednesday off this week (from working the previous weekend) and I practically spent the whole day in a coma.  And yesterday I bought multiple coffees before 10 am.  I promise to whine about post a work sitch update sometime soon, but for this post I’m keeping things short and simple.

Some of the best things I ate this week…

Oatmeal with chia seeds, two kinds of chocolate chips, and a scoop of cream cheese.  It was heavenly.

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Mango yogurt with Luxardo cherries, plus I added a banana from the cafeteria at work.

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Another dessert-y lunch, plain Greek yogurt with cookie butter, granola, and a Pink Lady apple.

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My mother-in-law sent us a giant box of sugar cookies for Easter.  Both of our mothers still send us Easter baskets, actually, there’s a lot of candy in this house!

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Leftover cheddar bbq meatloaf with roasted green beans.  Adam butchered the meatloaf getting it out of the dish and then mashed it onto my plate because I pretty much live like a princess.

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<– that was sarcasm, but I really am pretty spoiled.  Case in point – honey beer with dinner.

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Sweet potato fries with tons of extra-sharp cheddar and ground turkey with Korean bbq sauce.  I realize that the photo is pretty rough, but it was one of the yummiest things I ate all week.  We highly recommend the frozen fries from Trader Joe’s.

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Hot pasta salad.  I sautéed big chunks of green bell pepper and onion in tons of olive oil and smoked paprika, tossed with crispy roasted chickpeas, and cheese tortellini.

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Are you dying eggs this weekend??

Crab Rangoon Grilled Cheese

This post contains a week’s worth of wrap up – not just the sandwich – but the sandwich was awesome so it stole the title.  Maybe I’ll make a thing of it and start titling all of my weekly posts after the best bite?

Yummy things…

Our very last cup of chicory coffee from Café du Monde.  <– boo!  With a mandarin.  I spilled the 2nd to very last cup all over the counter and down the side of the fridge, so that was fun.

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More chicory coffee, in yogurt form.  With KIND maple quinoa granola and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.  Plus a Pacific Rose apple.

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The best chips of all time – honey butter flavored from Trader Joe’s.  Excluding, obviously, the freshly made honey butter chips served at Oiji.

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Another Trader Joe’s win – Kona coffee cookie mocha swirl ice cream.

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Homemade treats make the best snacks though.  I threw a wedding shower for one of the ladies at work this week and contributed cookie butter bars and brown butter chocolate chip cookies.

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The eponymous sandwich!

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Served with roasted brussel sprouts with paprika and Old Bay seasoning – to keep the seafood theme going.

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Toasted sourdough with crab rangoon in between.  The filling was a mixture of cream cheese, lump crab meat, green onion, minced ginger, brown sugar, and soy sauce.  They were wonderful.

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I loosely followed the recipe for Eat, Live, Run’s lemon brown sugar chicken.

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I added sliced green onions to the casserole dish and used extra smoked paprika, but primarily I swapped in MAPLE sugar for brown sugar.  Delicious.  We spooned the sauce on top of our veggies.

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Another night I loosely followed the recipe for Bon Appétit’s marinated beans.  Great northern beans with evoo, rice vinegar, cilantro, green onion, and gojuchang.  I served the beans on top of roasted green beans and sweet potato fries.

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With a sour beer on the side.

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I work the next five days, but I hope everyone else has a lovely weekend!

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!

Back At It

With a crazy-busy week at work and a weather in the tens in NYC yesterday, we are definitely not on vacation any more, Toto!

Thankfully my day-to-day life takes place in the best city in America with the world’s nicest husband and the universe’s cutest dog so it’s really not too bad.

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And I get to eat some pretty yummy food too.  Flavors of the week – salmon, green beans, eggs, and egg nog…

This week’s coffee combo decked my mornings with boughs of jolly.

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Christmas blend espresso roast with soy/nog.  I also had a 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) cup at work everyday because going back to work after a vacation kind of sucks.

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Vanilla bean yogurt with Bear Naked cacao + cashew butter granola.  Plus a super juicy Pacific Rose apple.

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Oatmeal with chia seeds, chocolate-covered cacao nibs, and gingerbread spice.  Plus an apple on the side and a scoop of peanut butter on top once it was cooked.

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Yesterday I had a ridiculously cheesy toasted turkey sandwich from the cafeteria that I was too busy to snap a picture of.  And Wednesday the hospital served us a holiday luncheon, complete with the best steamed green beans any of us had ever tasted.

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It was a week of sweets, including on-theme jelly beans.

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Plus Brooklyn Cupcake.  Guava cheese and coquito <– the best flavor.

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I also ate all of the Oreo frosting off of this slice of red velvet.

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I knew Monday would knock me out, so I got dinner started before work that morning.  Strata with a super simple salad with honey mustard dressing.

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The egg casserole was this recipe but with whole-wheat pumpernickel, maple chicken sausage, and a nutty raw-milk cheddar.  The leftovers were great the next day too.

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Wednesday Adam and I did a date night at the beautiful Sisters’ Restaurant.  I want to go back for brunch so I get a better view, plus hopefully my food shots will be a little better.

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We shared drinks – Nine Pin Cider for me – and two appetizers.  Sweet potato fries with local maple crème fraiche and fried cauliflower and capers.  The cauliflower was ahh-mazing.  And we both decided the Nine Pin is the best cider on the market.

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I ordered the salmon niçoise, more green beans for me!  It was great, the fish was perfectly cooked.

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More salmon for dinner yesterday.  I made garlic salmon patties with sautéed bok choy with fried oyster mushrooms and a quick sauce of soy/honey/sriracha.  I ate my second patty while I assembled our plates, with a creamy cocktail sauce for dipping.

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Have a merry weekend!

New Orleans Vacation 2016

New Orleans was our best travel experience of 2016.  We stayed at a cute hotel in the French Quarter and had enough time to really get to know the area.  It was a great way to finish up the year.

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This was my first trip to Louisiana and I think we managed to pack a lot in.  We visited three local breweries, walked around Loyola and Tulane, explored the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, went to the World War II Museum….

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We also tasted tons of local (or at least Southern) flavors – pralines, divinity, snowballs, beignets, pimento cheese, etouffe, grits, chicory coffee, milk punch, and hurricanes.

Here were some of our best bites…

♥Pralines.  They were everywhere and the smell was amazing.

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♥Hurricanes.  We went to Pat O’Brien’s (<– yuck!) and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

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♥Frozen daiquiris, this one was eggnog!

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♥This pecan pie soda was actually horribly disgusting, but it was fun to try!

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♥Snowballs.  NOLA served me the best snow-cones of my life, I had one every day.  This was wedding cake (a blend of vanilla and almond) and egg custard topped with sweetened condensed milk.

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♥Breakfast at Café Du Monde.  This was a must-stop for us, it was actually the only activity I had planned when I booked our tickets.  The beignets did not disappoint and neither did the chicory coffee café au lait (served on crushed ice).

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♥Breakfast at District Doughnut.  We got a Nutella doughnut and a biscuit with pimento cheese.

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Plus yummy Vietnamese coffee and an iced coffee with cola and chocolate milk (<– delicious and infinitely better than it sounds).

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♥Brunch at Willa Jean.

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I had the shrimp and grits – gulf shrimp, etouffee gravy, grits, and slow poached eggs with cheddar biscuits on the side.

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Cookies and milk for dessert.  With a beater of dough and vanilla-infused milk.

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♥Flights at Abita.  <– one of our very favorite breweries  They had our old favorites and some fantastic limited edition flavors including vanilla Turbo Dog and a key lime gose.  We had beers, Zapps chips, and a root beer on draught and were in absolute heaven.

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♥Lunch at Cochon.  They had house-made eggnog.

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We split a variety of small plates – a roasted carrot special with mint, Louisiana blue crab rice, and whole fried shrimp with pickled mustard seed hot sauce.  The fried herbs were aromatic and wonderful and the best bites were a mix of everything at once.

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♥Dinner at Brennan’s.

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Insanely creamy Caribbean milk punch with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Mt Gay black barrel rum, cream, and vanilla bean.

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Ridiculous foie gras “sweet potato casserole,” with sweet potato puree and candied pecans.

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I had the cheddar risotto for dinner.  With Cherokee Rose cheddar, smoked maitake mushrooms, collard green puree, and a brown butter sauce.

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♥Dinner at SHAYA.  <– best meal of the trip and also best meal of the year

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That’s a halvah cappuccino.  I also had a Pearl Diver – vodka, labneh, vanilla, and lavender bitters.

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We shared a trio of appetizers – Moroccan carrots with chermoula and mint / baba ganoush with green garlic / tershi = a creamy pumpkin spread with crispy garlic and chili oil.  All with fantasmic pita bread and herbed olive oil.

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Also foie gras with rose tahini and carob molasses on challah toast (omg).

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I had the matzoh ball soup for my entrée.  With slowed cooked duck, dill, charred leaks, lemon oil, and a cinnamon-scented broth.  Best matzoh balls of my life!  Adam had slow cooked lamb and the bites I stole were truly the best thing I’ve ever tasted (fyi I don’t typically eat mammals but I’ll have a taste occasionally if I know the meat is humanely-sourced and Adam says the flavor is worth it).

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Dessert(s).  We basically rolled away from the table!  Chocolate babka with halva ice cream and labneh cheese cake with burnt honey ice cream.

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It was a wonderful trip!

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P.S. No post coming from this weekend, it was the husband’s birthday and I was in celebration-mode versus blogger-mode.  And now we’re both back at work.. womp wah.  Have a great week!

Queens International

NYC readers – did you march/attend Pride Parade yesterday??  It was my weekend to cover work but I did manage to snag some on-theme treats (x2).  And we didn’t have the energy to do much dinner cooking but we did have amazing Asian food in Queens (x2!).

Thursday through Sunday I worked every day but one so I’ve been drinking all of the coffee.  Thanks to caffeine, this post is mostly a complete recap, I think I’m only missing one meal from each category.  Here’s what I’ve got…

Seriously, all of the coffee.  Always in the morning and a few times as an afternoon snack as well.  Highlights include a latte from Hungry Ghost and a cold brew from Starbucks that I ordered full-strength (usually they add water).

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With yummy bars.  Coconut Chocolate Chip.

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Caramel Almond.

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A creamy tropical smoothie.  Frozen mango, guava paste, avocado, and vanilla almond milk.  I used a whole avocado (split into two servings) and I think next time I’d only use half, the creaminess was great but the flavor was a bit much for me.

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Doughnut Plant‘s Pride doughnut = yeast with raspberry glaze.

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Yogurt bowl.  Strawberry lingonberry with real berries and Heritage Flakes.

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Trail mix bags.  The standout ingredient was cinnamon roasted chickpeas.

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Mini peanut butter cups (x ten thousand) make the afternoons seem less lengthy.

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Sandwich and fries on a busy day.  I was worried about mealy tomatoes when I bought this but they ended up being roasted and the chew and smokiness totally made the sandwich.  There was a nice layer of spinach on there too, it was actually a pretty sandwich.

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Salad / mac and cheese / hardboiled eggs.

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Another Pride treat, from Ample Hills.  In a cone with oatmeal lace.

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The Queens International Night Market was fun, like a smaller, more focused Smorgasburg.

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We split a taro shaved ice with mango, scm, boba, and mochi.

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I had a very disappointing duck bao.

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And Filipino tacos that were absolutely one of the best dishes we’ve ever tasted.  Chicken sigsig, crispy shells, and lemon mayo.  They were such a pleasing mix of textures and flavors!

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The Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens is basically just the storefront version of the market.  I want to try something in practically ever window we walked by!  I loved what I had too.  Bahn Mi at JoJu.

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My “Hot Chicken” had grilled lemongrass chicken with spicy mayo and kimchi, plus pickled vegetables, and a soft cooked egg.  And for $5.99 it was giant, that picture only shows one half!

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And afterwards we walked to Red Ribbon Bakeshop.  The Ube Overload cake was gorgeous but bland and the Halo Halo was fantasmic.  Shaved ice with various sweetened beans and fruits, milk , leche flan, and whipped mango topping.

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My only “homecooked” meal was basically an assembly of parts but I ate chips and dips and three day old roasted broccoli for dinner while I wrote this post so I’ll pat myself on the back for it.  Plus it was delicious.

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Potato and onion pierogis with tons of roasted zucchini, tossed in a sauce made of cream cheese and chicken stock, topped with hot smoked salmon.

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I only work four days this week thanks to the weekend shift, woo-hoo!

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Pi(e) Day 2015

Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is an infinite, constant number (i.e. the number goes on forever and it’s the same number for all circles of all sizes).  π equals 3.1415926535897932384626etcetera,etcetera.  Because of this, math-lovers and sugar-aficionados alike celebrate March 14 (3/14 = 3.14) as Pi Day each year.  This year was extra special because it was a once-a-hundred-years opportunity to celebrate a full five digits (3/14/2015 = 3.14[.]15).  Adam and I partook in both dessert pies and pizza pies to mark the occasion.

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Pi Day

Adam and I knew that we wanted to go for the double, so we headed to Park Slope, where both our favorite pie place and pizza place reside.  We were clearly not the only ones to have this idea –

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After an hour+ wait, we did dessert first with pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

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Malted chocolate pecan for him and buttermilk chess for me.  The crusts suffered a bit from what must have been a major uptick in production (Blackbirds was offering a 3 slices for $14 special) but the fillings were amazing as always.

Then we did slices of pizza pie at Pino’s.

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Bbq chicken for me.  Adam got more because he has π memorized beyond the first three digits 😉

Dinners in Bowls

I’m not so big on plates -I also prefer chopsticks to forks – and it feels like we eat the majority of our dinner out of bowls.  Extra-credit if the food is layered into the bowl instead of served as a homogenous dish.  Our dinners last weekend hit both counts.

We even ate dessert in bowls.

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The ice cream was good, but nothing about it was “Tres Leches.”  Boo.

Spicy sweet potato bowls.

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  • baked yam
  • creamy Sriracha sauce – Sriracha, mayo, and honey
  • sautéed broccoli – in soy sauce and rice vinegar
  • sunny side up egg – fried in coconut oil

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This was… not good.  The idea was good, I think, but the broccoli was freezer-burnt and the potatoes were old.

Our bbq bowls were much, much better.

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  • brown rice cooked in chicken stock
  • bbq pulled chicken – cooked in the crockpot with stock and smothered in TJ’s bbq sauce
  • collard greens sautéed with bbq sauce and turkey bacon
  • tons of caramelized sweet and red onions (cooked like this)
  • shredded sharp cheddar

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We’re going to put our leftovers on top of salad later this week and I’m pretty excited about it.

DUMBO Fun

Drinks in DUMBO.

I am obsessed with Brooklyn Roasting Company‘s coffee and we finally made it to their roaster/café.  I wish I had taken photos because the space was gorgeous and inviting, but we loved our beverages.

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Iced Maple Shay for me = espresso with cream and real maple syrup.  Amazingly, it was too sweet and creamy for me to finish.

Our next stop was the antithesis of maple and cream, green juice from Forager’s.

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Kale, spinach, cucumber, and papaya.  I will not be getting papaya again; I always like to include one sweet and juicy component in my green juice (carrot, apple, watermelon, etc) but the papaya did not bring any brightness to the party.

Williamsburg Fun

Sunday brunch and brunch dessert (<– that’s not a thing!) in East Williamsburg.  We ate at Brooklyn Star where Adam was 99.9% sure that Emma Stone was at the next table.  It wasn’t her, but it sure was her doppelgänger.

The bourbon bon bon – bourbon, iced coffee, sweetened condensed milk – was the menu item that called me in.

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Nope!  I love bourbon, and I love iced coffee, but apparently I don’t love them together.

My kale salad stole my heart though.

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You can’t see it under the giant cheese crisp, but there was raw kale with lemon vinegarette, roasted peanuts, and golden raisins.  Best kale salad ever.  I know I say that every time, but this one was my new favorite.

We also got coffee at Sweatshop.

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And the best sundae ever at Milk Bar.  With crack pie soft-serve.  The guy asked me if I wanted “hot fudge or cornflakes?,” and I answered “both.”

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That was the correct answer.

Do you celebrate Pi Day?  Favorite kind of pie?