Friday, December 30, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 30th, 2011

Shake Shack Christmas Cookie Custard

I finally had a chance to try out one of Shake Shack's December custards- the Christmas Cookie custard!

But first, can I just say that my Shackburger seemed supersized on this visit?? Not complaining but everything about this specific burger seemed much bigger than any of my past visits.  The pickle slices were about half the size of the bun, no joke!


Ok, ok, on to the custard itself.  It's v. festive, as you can see from the first photo.  I personally prefer regular sprinkles (or jimmies in some areas) vs. the translucent sprinkle cubes that are used here.  I don't know why exactly, they just don't taste as good to me.  So, the top layer of this custard wasn't really all that great for me, haha.  However, the liberal mixing of huge chunks of (what I assume are sugar) cookies throughout the cup is awesome.  The cookies are crisp and provide a nice contrast with the creamy custard.  

As far as the custard itself, I tried to figure out what the flavor is but I couldn't really tell.  For all I know it could be just plain vanilla, but it did taste a little different to me.  It looked pink in some parts- however, that could be in part to the aforementioned translucent cubes, so who knows.  I couldn't find any official description on the internet, so if anyone knows, please let me know haha. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 29th, 2011

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee Ornament

A little late, but I just wanted to share my newest Christrmas tree ornament!  I saw this at Dunkin Donuts and could not resist the tiny iced coffee cup, complete with the little orange straw.  It's a great addition to my food/candy themed Christmas tree :o) 

I hope everyone had a great Christmas if you celebrate it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 28th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - Holiday Hazelnut Cupcake

First things first, I'm in lurrrrrrrrve with the Instagram app on my phone.  Look at how artistic my cupcake looks, haha.

Here we have another December-only Georgetown Cupcake holiday cupcake: Holiday Hazelnut.  It's the regular Chocolate Hazelnut cupcake with a little fondant tree on top.  The candied chopped hazelnuts are DELICIOUS, and add that special crunch to the rich chocolate cake underneath.  So good!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 27th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - Toffee Caramel Crunch Cupcake

Hooray for a new free "secret" Georgetown Cupcake flavor!  This one takes a regular menu item - Toffee Crunch - and takes it up a notch with a little surprise:

A gooey caramel center!  The toffee pieces on top add such much needed texture since the frosting, caramel, and cake are all very soft, haha.  If you're a fan of candy bars or caramel anything- this would be the perfect cupcake for you :o)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 26th, 2011

Tout de Sweet - Pumpkin and Vanilla Macarons

I've mentioned my love for Tout de Sweet's vanilla macaron before, and yes, it's still as fabulous as ever.  I love places that do seasonal items, like pumpkin EVERYTHING haha.  The pumpkin macaron on the left was really really really tasty.  The perfect 2 bites of pumpkin, crisp, chewy, and all things good about macarons.  Also, I love the color of the pumpkin macaron, a great light shade of orange that was so pretty!  

Every time I go here I think that I need to go more often- hopefully this time I actually will go soon to try out new flavors... along with another vanilla macaron, haha!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 23rd, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - Holiday Designs

A Georgetown Cupcake post without ANY cupcake photos!?  It may never happen again, folks.

Right after Thanksgiving, Georgetown Cupcake switched over to this cute holiday packaging.  The bags and the stickers are so cute!


LOVE the cupcake-nosed reindeer!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 22nd, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake Holiday Cupcakes - Chocolate Eggnog Cupcake


What a fun way to kick off the holiday season!  Georgetown Cupcake offered this Chocolate Eggnog cupcake before December, when all of these holiday cupcakes are offered.  The really great thing was, it was offered as a free secret flavor so I could try it out gratis, haha.  

The cupcake is a "Valrhona chocolate eggnog infused-cupcake topped with a nutmeg-infused vanilla cream cheese frosting and a fondant snowflake".   I didn't really get much of a real eggnog flavor, but it definitely did not taste the same as their regular chocolate cupcakes.  Which might be a good thing, since I don't particularly like the taste of eggnog haha.  Still, I love that they offer festive flavors during the holidays and I look forward to blogging about all of them :o)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 21st, 2011

Hershey Christmas Candylane

Recently, my friend T, her husband, G, and I went to Hershey Park for their Christmas Candylane!  The majority of the park is lit up with all sorts of holiday-theme lights, and people can walk around and enjoy the park at night.  The majority of the rides (like the roller coasters) are not running but a good number of them (pirate ship, indoor rides, carousel, most of the kids rides) were running until closing.  

We checked out the light show that takes place every half hour with Christmas music - v. fun to watch!


This house was made ALL out of candy!!

Of course I had to check out the huge gift shop located by the free Chocolate World ride as well.

Has anyone seen these Hershey's Pieces with Almonds in stores yet?  They looked really good!

This was one of the Christmas trees on display inside one of the gift shops - super cute!


Going to Hershey Park this time of year was a great way to get excited for the holidays and be surrounded by candy, haha!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 20th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake Holiday Cupcakes - Red Mitten Vanilla, Santa's Chocolate Chip, and Cinnamon Spice

Isn't this such a festive box of cupcakes???

I brought this box over to T and G's house a few weekends ago (when we went to Hershey Park) from Georgetown Cupcake - I LOVE their holiday cupcakes!

On the top left we have Santa's Chocolate Chip (Vanilla chocolate chip cupcake with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting topped with a fondant snowflake).

On the bottom right we have Cinnamon Spice (Cinnamon cupcake topped with a cinnamon buttercream frosting and a green fondant Christmas tree).

And the other two are the Red Mitten Vanilla cupcakes (Classic Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting and a red fondant mitten).

As you might guess, the cupcakes are the same as the regular menu Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Spice, and Vanilla Squared cupcakes, but just jazzed up for the holidays :o)  Super cute!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 19th, 2011

Seattle - Downtown Seattle Eats

Yes, it's super touristy.  Yes, it's packed on the weekends.  But if you get a chance, I'd highly recommend strolling through the Seattle Public Market on a weekday, in the middle of the day.  There were still people milling around, but it's definitely MUCH easier to walk through compared to a regular weekend.  We could actually stop at stands without being pushed by passerby, and take our time looking from stand to stand. 

The main reason why we were by the market at that time is for the Elliott's Oyster House's oyster happy hour nearby!  Starting at 3pm on Monday through Friday, fresh shucked oysters start at $0.75 each, to $1.25 at 4pm, and $1.75 at 5pm.  These oysters are FANTASTIC, really really really great.  Considering the quality of these oysters the happy hour is a great deal.  There were lots of people there right at 3pm (oyster happy hour is only valid at the bar) enjoying dozen after dozen of oysters.  If you're not a raw oyster fan, they also have little bites of fried snacks and other appetizers on the happy hour menu as well.  Also, baskets of delicious sourdough rolls are free of charge - I definitely had a Simpsons "Don't fill up on the bread!" moment before the oysters hit the table, haha.

I passed by a doughnut shop on my last visit, and this time around I had to check it out since we were walking by anyway.  Top Pot Doughnuts in Bis a really cute space - floor-to-ceiling windows so the whole place was really bright and open, lots of tables, and the smell of coffee and fried dough throughout.  There were lots of people enjoying doughnuts and coffee while reading or chatting with friends.  It was a good mix of families, students, and people just looking to take a little break in the day.  I would love to have a space like this by me!  

The doughnuts that we got were: Pumpkin Cake, Cake, and Old Fashioned.  It wasn't quite the same to bring the doughnuts home before trying them out, but I put them in the microwave for about 8 seconds (give or take) to warm them up a bit.  The pumpkin was great, chewy and sweet with a distinct pumpkin flavor.  The other two were good, didn't really taste like much besides fried dough, haha.  I would definitely go back for another special flavor - or if one of the plain ones were freshly made, for sure!

As always, lots of good eats on this visit to Seattle - writing these posts is making me hungry!

Elliott's Oyster House
1201 Alaskan Way
Pier 56
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 623-4340

Top Pot Doughnuts
2124 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 16th, 2011

Free Shipping Day

For all of you last-minute shoppers (or shoppers in general, haha) - today is Free Shipping Day!  The list of participating online retailers can be found here.

There's a LOT of participating companies, so hopefully you can find some nice gifts for others (or yourself) and not have to worry about shipping costs!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 15th, 2011

Seattle - Hello, Cupcake + Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co.

I spotted Hello, Cupcake after we were at the Museum of Glass, so of course I had to stop in and check it out.  The store itself is adorable, with lots of pastel details, little cupcake-related goods for sale, and of course, lots of cupcakes.  I picked up three mini cupcakes: chocolate with vanilla frosting, vanilla with chocolate frosting, and pumpkin.  These cupcakes were good, but not great.  They were a little dry which was surprising considering that small cupcakes tend to not be as dry due to their size alone.  I'm glad I stopped in though to check it out.

During my visit, I HAD to make sure to hit up Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. again- SO good!!

On the left we have the English Breakfast with Cream cupcake, and Sweet Potato Pie on the right.  Both of these were REALLY good.  I especially love the light whipped consistency of their frosting, so so so good.  Any chance I get to try tea-based baked goods, I'm all in - and this one was really great.  The sweet potato cake was rich but not too sweet, and a great way to celebrate fall.  If you're a fan of interesting flavor combinations like these two above, you'll love this place!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 14th, 2011

Seattle - Brugge Chocolates


Another fun little place that my parents introduced me to in Seattle was Brugge Chocolates in Redmond.  It's a tiny shop in an ordinary-looking shopping center, and the space was filled wall-to-wall with beautiful little chocolates and other treats.  The employee was very friendly and happy to provide us samples of one of the truffles, which was nice especially since it seems pretty high-end and intimidating inside, haha.  

We picked up six pretty truffles, including a seasonal pumpkin, Marco Polo (with crispy layers inside the chocolate), hazelnut, and some other flavors my parents picked out.  Unfortunately there isn't a list of flavors on their website to jog my memory, sorry!  

These were all SO good!  A little pricey for sure ($2ish per piece) but they all tasted amazing and the perfect little bite.  Each one was distinct in flavor but never overwhelming or overly sweet.  There were tons of different flavors, and they all looked great.  I'm definitely looking forward to trying out more flavors during my next visit!

15946 Redmond Way, Suite 103
Redmond, WA 98052

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 13th, 2011

Seattle - Fumie's Gold

I always love trying out new places, and being that I've just recently started visiting Seattle, there are TONS of places to check out!

My mom had recommended that we try some desserts from Fumie's Gold, a teeny-tiny little shop across the street from a park in Bellevue.  There were a handful of items available, so we got three to share.  On the top left is a cream puff (shu cream in Japanese), in the middle is a Mont Blanc, and on the top right is a matcha roll cake.

Everything was delicious!  They were very similar to pastries I've had in Japan before, which is pretty impressive.  They were just sweet enough to be a dessert but without feeling like it's just a bunch of sugar.  Mont Blancs aren't super popular in my area (as far as I know) so it was really nice to enjoy a tasty rendition of one.  I can't wait to come back and try more of their desserts!

Fumie's Gold
10045 NE 1st St
Ste CU2

(between N 100th Ave & N 102nd Ave)
Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 223-5893

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 12th, 2011

CVS Deals - Week of 12/11/2011

Once again, this week's CVS deals include another $10 gift card for purchasing $30 worth of specially marked items.

Remember, the $30 requirement is for the price of the items, not the price after coupons.  So with a little planning, you can spend less than $30 and still get the gift card.

This week I got:

  • Four Kleenex boxes: 3/$4 on sale, one $1/4 manufacturer's coupon.
  • Scott toilet paper 12-pack: $7.49 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon.
  • Boxed holiday cards: $4.99 - stocking up for next year!
  • Advil liqui-gels 80-count: $7.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon. 
  • Reese's candy: 2/$5 on sale, $1/2 manufacturer's coupon.

There's also a deal on Combos this week:
  • Combos: $2 on sale, $2 Extra Bucks back. 

Happy shopping everyone!   

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 9th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - December Flavors

The Georgetown Cupcake cupcakes are cute year-round, but the holiday ones are especially fabulous :o)  As some of you may recall, last December I attended a holiday decorating event, where almost all of this year's December holiday cupcakes were.  They are all v. festive and would make a great addition to any holiday party!

Here's the full run-down of the holiday flavors:
Most of these are a regular menu item (Red velvet, Vanilla, Lava fudge, etc.) with a holiday fondant decoration, but seeing as I haven't officially blogged about each one (although I've tried all of them, haha)... looks like I'll have to get each of these again this year to "officially" review them, haha!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 8th, 2011

Treats from Kirbie's Cravings

If you read my daily Lunchtime Links, you will know that Kirbie's Cravings is one of my favorite baking blogs- she makes SO much stuff that looks and sounds fantastic!

A while back I had mailed her a few new Japanese Kit Kats (posts on those two coming soon) because she was interested in the flavors.  Soon after that, I received a surprise thank you package from her, which you can see above :o)  It included some new-to-me Kit Kats which I was really excited about: Tiramisu and Custard Purin (pudding/flan basically), woo!

In addition to the Kit Kats, she also sent me a bunch of homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!  These were soft and super delicious.  Thank you for the great surprise package!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 7th, 2011

 Happy birthday to my friend S, who recently started her own food blog, Gluten Free Living in DC!

Marc By Marc Jacobs iPhone Case

Hello, iPhone world!  Thanks to my work I have joined the ranks of a bazillion iPhone lovers, haha.  So to celebrate of course I had to get a fun case!

My mom got me this case at the Nordstrom in Seattle - how cute is it??  It's got the signature Marc by Marc Jacobs cute factor but it's still neutral enough - for me, at least :o)  I also like that it's textured on the back (the white "buttons" are raised) which lessens the chances of me slipping my phone out of my hands, haha.

Do any of you have fun phone cases?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 6th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - The Cupcake Diaries Book

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to TLC's Twitter account for having a DC Cupcakes contest - thanks to them, I received a copy of The Cupcake Diaries!!!!

This has a lot of stories about the sisters' childhood and rise to cupcake stardom, but more importantly...

RECIPES!  Helllllllllooooo, Red Velvet Cupcakes!  There are lots of recipes for cupcakes and other treats all throughout the book.  I can't wait to try out the recipes!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lunchtime Links for December 5th, 2011

CVS Deals - Week of 12/04/2011

Once again, this week's CVS deals include another $10 gift card for purchasing $30 worth of specially marked items.

Remember, the $30 requirement is for the price of the items, not the price after coupons.  So with a little planning, you can spend less than $30 and still get the gift card.

This week I got:

  • Reese's holiday candy bags: 2/$5 on sale, $1/2 manufacturer's coupon.
  • Garnier face towelettes: $5 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon.
  • 2 Chex mix bags: 2/$3 on sale, $0.50/2 manufacturer's coupon.
  • 2 Popcorn Indiana bags: 2/$5 on sale, two $1.00 manufacturer's coupons.
  • 2 Celestial Seasonings tea boxes: 2/$5 on sale, two $1 manufacturer's coupons.
  • 2 Jack Link's beef jerky: $6.99 each, buy one get one free. 

There's a few great Extra Bucks deals this week as well.
  • Candy canes 10-count: $1.27, $1.27 Extra Bucks back.  Be sure to get the "generic" candy canes, because they also sell other brands that aren't free (Hershey, Jolly Rancher, etc.).

This time of year, it's always nice to have a bag of M&Ms on hand, for parties or for holiday baking.
  •  2 bags of holiday M&Ms: 2/$5 on sale, $1/2 manufacturer's coupon, $1 Extra Bucks back.

If you like the sulfate-free L'Oreal hair products (EverPure, EverStrong, or EverSleek), you can get 2 products and receive $5 Extra Bucks back.  Since it's for any 2 products, I'd recommend buying the shampoo or conditioner vs. the treatments, which cost more.  

    • 2 L'Oreal EverPure products: $6.99 each, two $1 manufacturer's coupons, $5 Extra Bucks back.

     Also, if you spend $20 on Schick or Playtex products, you get $10 Extra Bucks back.
      • 2 Playtex: $5.79 each, two $1 manufacturer's coupons.
      • Schick Hydro shave gel: $4.59, $1 manufacturer's coupon.
      • Skintimate shave gel: $4.19, $0.55 manufacturer's coupon.

      Finally, there's a deal on household products, where if you spend $12 on select Glade, Oust, Pledge, or Scrubbing Bubbles products, you get $4 Extra Bucks back.  I hadn't originally intended on getting 4 candles, but the CVS I went to was out of the Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner I was going to get.  Glade makes a 1/2 custard, 1/2 apple scent candle I like so it worked out well :o)
        • 4 Glade candles: 2/$6 on sale, $0.75/2 manufacturer's coupon. 

        Happy shopping everyone!

        Friday, December 2, 2011

        Lunchtime Links for December 2nd, 2011

        Shake Shack - December Custard Flavors

        Another month, another set of custard flavors at Shake Shack!!

        • Monday: Egg Nog
        • Tuesday: Figgy Pudding
        • Wednesday: Christmas Cookie
        • Thursday: Chocolate Orange Chestnut
        • Friday: Gingerbread
        • Saturday: Candy Cane Crunch
        • Sunday: Apple Spice Cake

        All v. festive and a great way to celebrate the holidays!

        Thursday, December 1, 2011

        Lunchtime Links for December 1st, 2011

        Starbucks Let's Merry!

        Hello December!! Lovely to see you in all your festive holiday glory.

        Starbucks has a cute promotion starting today with 12 special deals on their products.  The Starbucks Let's Merry! site is super cute, and there are some great gift ideas (for yourself or others) on the Christmas tree :o)

        I really like the holiday mugs, however I'd need a separate cabinet just for mugs, I have so many.  If you're a fan of Starbucks products or looking for a cute little gift for someone that is, check this out!