Friday, August 31, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 31st, 2012

Shake Shack - Chocolate Custard with Marshmallow

Sometimes, all you want is a marshmallow cloud surrounding a mountain of chocolate custard.... just me?

One night I found myself in Shake Shack without getting the custard of the day, surprisingly enough.  I opted instead for the chocolate custard with marshmallow topping.  I was expecting a little dallop of marshmallow fluff - but I was pleasantly surprised to see SO MUCH marshmallow in the cup, haha.  This was a delicious combo and I'd definitely order the marshmallow topping at Shake Shack again :o)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 30th, 2012

Go Fish Food Truck - Mahi Mahi Bowl

I first tried the food from the Go Fish truck back in February, at the Wine & Food Truck pairing event.  I enjoyed their crab cake sandwich and hoped to try out their truck some point soon.  Fast forward a few months, and I was able to pick up lunch from the truck when they had a stop not too far from my work. 

There were a few tasty-sounding options on the menu that day, but I finally decided on the Mahi Mahi bowl.  This bowl is essentially the fish tacos minus the taco and plus lettuce, haha.  There's seasoned Mahi Mahi, lime-cilantro slaw, chipotle cream, and cheddar cheese on a bed of chopped lettuce.  There were plenty of chunks of fish in this bowl which I really liked, and the slaw was one of my favorite components as well.  For around $10, this was a substantial and delicious food truck meal! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 29th, 2012

Tout de Sweet - Vanilla + Cinnamon Hazelnut Chocolate Macaron

So, you may not be able to tell from the photo, but we have two different macarons from Tout de Sweet pictured: Vanilla (woo!) and a Cinnamon Hazelnut.

The Cinnamon Hazelnut had a great balance of flavors - it was pretty much like eating Nutella without the cocoa, haha.  The cinnamon flavor was present but not overpowering - I hate when something tastes too cinnamon-y, as if you had dumped a jar of cinnamon in accidentally, haha.  Another great macaron flavor to check off the list from Tout de Sweet :o)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 28th, 2012

USPS Pixar Stamps

These USPS Pixar stamps are almost too cute to use! There have been a few different types of Pixar stamps issued recently, and this set has some of my favorites.  Who wouldn't love Nemo or some Toy Story characters in their mailbox?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 27th, 2012

M&Ms Salty & Sweet Snack Mix

Most of the time when I hear about a new snack that's out on the market, I have to try it right away (hello, Birthday Cake Oreos?)  The M&M's snack mixes were no exception, since I'm a huge fan of the salty/sweet combinations.  Luckily for me, these happened to be on sale at CVS at the same time I had a coupon for it, woo!

This particular type of snack mix included roasted peanuts, pretzels, mini chocolate chip cookies, and regular milk chocolate M&Ms.  First things first- YES I am aware that one could make this mix at home by buying the ingredients separately, nothing too complicated here.  However, I will say that this cost me less than $1 which I am pretty certain would be less than buying all of the components separately, especially considering I wouldn't be eating this for an extended period of time, haha.  A good handful with the right ratio of salty and sweet components was quite tasty, and I could see this as being a good road trip or house party snack option. 

One disappointing feature was the abundance of pretzels long after the other components were gone - so if you're a huge fan of mini hard pretzels, you'll be delighted, haha.  I would not buy this at full price in the future, but if it's on sale I'd like to give the other bags a try (except the one with raisins, UGH). 

Friday, August 24, 2012

NYC Bachelorette Weekend

Hi everyone! I am off to celebrate my friend E's bachelorette and bridal shower in NYC this weekend!  It should be a great weekend of fun friends, wine tasting, and yummy food!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 23rd, 2012

Mean Girls Notecards from Hey Love Designs

How cute are these personalized chevron note cards that I ordered from Hey Love Designs??????

As soon as I saw the chevron note cards in her online shop, I KNEW that I had to do this Mean Girls inspired card, hahaha.

The only problem? They are so cute, I don't want to use them up!!

If you're interested in ordering these or other super cute items, check out her online store here!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 22nd, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcake Revisited

Back in July, I got a free Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcake, but the online menu photo showed a cupcake with vanilla frosting on top, which meant I *had* to come back in August to get the "official" cupcake again.

However, it looks like things were changed around a bit between July and now, because the new photo looks like the one above, and the description changed to "Blueberry Cheesecake is a fresh blueberry cheesecake cupcake topped with a blue fondant flower".

So, long story short, the free cupcake I got back in July is essentially the same as this "official" one from August, haha.  I don't love blueberries, but I do love cheesecake, so this was a nice little mini cheesecake treat.  For those of you that don't LOVE cupcakes all the time, this is a nice change of pace for dessert.  And Georgetown Cupcake, if you're reading this, please know that at least ONE person is paying attention to changes you make on your online menu, hahah.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 21st, 2012

Birthday Deals Roundup

It should come as a surprise to no one that given my love of coupons, I sign up for emails from a lot of companies/stores.  The main reason for doing so is for the birthday deals that they send out, woo!  Since the list of deals is pretty good, and a few friends asked about emails that I've received, I figured I'd put it out into one big list here to share with you all.

If you are interested in signing up for any of these, I would HIGHLY recommend having a separate email account just to sign up for these types of emails.  I do that so that my main email account isn't completely flooded with promotional emails, because that would drive me completely insane, haha.

Also, clearly I did not use ALL of these coupons, but it's fun to see what companies offer each year, haha.

- Againn DC: 20% off coupon.
- AMC Theatres: Free large drink (for AMC Stubs members).
- Baskin-Robbins: Free single scoop of ice cream.
- Bebe: $10 off coupon.
- Ben & Jerry's: Free single scoop of ice cream and $3 off of an ice cream cake. 
- Buca di Beppo: Free birthday brownie sundae. 
- California Tortilla: Free burrito (for Burrito Elito members).
- Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one creation, get one free coupon.
- Container Store: Birthday post-it set. 
- CVS: $3 Extra Bucks (for Beauty club members).
- DSW: $10 off coupon (for Premiere rewards members).
- Ella's Pizza: One free pizza. 
- Godiva: $10 off coupon (for Godiva rewards members).
- Hard Times Cafe: $5 off coupon.
- Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and coffee or fountain drink.
- Macaroni Grill: Free dessert.
- Maggiano's Little Italy: $10 off coupon.
- Noodles & Co.: Free bowl of noodles.
- Philosophy: Free birthday gift set (lip gloss + mini shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath) with online purchase of $25+.
- Progressions Salon: 10% off salon service. 
- Qdoba: Buy one entree, get one free coupon.
- Red Mango: 500 points ($5) added to my Club Mango card.
- Rent the Runway: $50 off coupon.
- RiRa Irish Pub: $10 off coupon.
- Rita's Italian Ice: Free regular Italian ice. 
- Sephora: Fresh Sugar mini lip duo (for Beauty Insider members).
- Sprinkles: Free cupcake.
- Wasabi Sushi: Free plate or kids' bento box. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 20th, 2012

Kate Spade Gold Purse

I've been wanting a "not-black going out purse" for some time, and this Kate Spade purse fit the bill perfectly!  It's a fun metallic light gold, with a little chain detail on the handle, but big enough to carry my usual phone/card case/lip gloss/etc. arsenal, haha.

Also, I always love the little surprise pattern/color in Kate Spade bags- so cute!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 17th, 2012

AC Birthday Weekend Part 2

A few non-Pauly D highlights from my weekend in Atlantic City :o)

The Celebration Cake at Central in the new Revel Resort - always a treat!

My friends A and D got me with a bottle of champagne sent up to the hotel room - such a fantastic surprise!!! 

I am currently obsessed with making the McKayla face, so of course I had to make everyone take photos doing the face as well.  If you're not familiar with it, please check out the McKayla Is Not Impressed Tumblr, and be prepared to lose many hours in your day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 16th, 2012

AC Birthday Weekend - DJ Pauly D!

For part of my birthday celebration, a few girl friends and I met up in Atlantic City for a night.  It was so much fun and I had a wonderful time!!

As you might be able to guess - the main event for the evening was seeing DJ Pauly D at The Pool After Dark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This actually wasn't part of the original plan, but as luck would have it he announced that he'd be at The Pool a few weeks before this specific weekend.

Ok yes, I have to say it - I didn't think it was possible, but he is even cuter in person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 15th, 2012

Boloco - Bethesda

Bethesda already has a ton of restaurant/food options packed into the downtown area, but it's always exciting to try out a new place.  Boloco took over the old Baja Fresh location, which is fine by me since I've never been a huge fan of Baja Fresh haha.  N took me as her guest to Boloco's pre-opening party which was great, and allowed us to try out a good chunk of their pretty extensive menu.  Luckily I didn't have to wait too long after that to try it out for a real meal!

M and I met up for dinner here, and the hardest part may have been narrowing down what to actually order, haha.  They have touch-screen menus that guide you through the ordering process, allowing people to completely customize just about every aspect of their meal.  It reminded me a lot of the fun MTO screens at Sheetz, haha.  

I wound up getting a Small bowl of Tikka Masala with creamy masala sauce, brown rice, steak, corn salsa, mango salsa, and lettuce.  The masala sauce was really great and I loved the texture of both salsas as well.  The ability to customize your order really goes hand in hand with their "globally inspired" theme.

I really love the multiple size options at Boloco - you can order a 2 Mini burrito bundle, Mini burrito or bowl, Small burrito or bowl, or Original burrito or bowl.  This also goes for their shakes, which enables me to order a Nutella shake (!!!) without it being ginormous haha.  In a family-oriented area like Bethesda, I'm sure the sizing options will be a hit with young children as well. 

I will definitely be back again to try out different combinations!

Boloco Bethesda
4930 Elm Street
Bethesda, MD 20814

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 14th, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Marble Brownie Fudge Cupcake

I always love when there's a brand new flavor at Georgetown Cupcake! During July this Marble Brownie Fudge cupcake was available: "A Valrhona chocolate and cream cheese marble brownie cupcake topped with a dark fudge frosting and a fondant flower".  Interestingly enough, the frosting on the website doesn't seem to be the frosting on the one I got, which was more of a fluffy milk chocolate frosting.  No complaints here though, this was delicious haha.

The chocolate and cream cheese cupcake portion (above) was a great combination of dense chocolate and creamy cheesecake.  This cupcake was fantastic and I really hope I catch it on a "secret free flavor" day again soon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 13th, 2012

Graffiato - Sweet Corn Agnolotti + Blue Crab Fettuccini

If you ask a bunch of Graffiato fans what dishes they would recommend in the summer, I bet the Sweet Corn Agnolotti would come up at least 90% of the time, haha.  The end of June marked the return of this popular dish, and as soon as I saw it posted on Twitter, I knew I had to make a reservation ASAP.

N and I both really enjoyed the sweet corn Agnolotti - I could definitely see what all the hype was about with this dish.  It was creamy yet light, with a punch of corn that was sweet, but not cloying.  I was also excited to see a crab dish on the menu - Fettuccini with blue crab, prosciutto, and leeks.  I was hoping that this pasta dish would be delicious as well, but it wound up being really salty.  And I enjoy my salt, and even I couldn't get over how salty it tasted.  The chunks of crab were still tasty, and the saltiness did offset the sweetness of the Agnolotti, so that was somewhat of a positive twist on things, haha.

Graffiato remains one of my favorite restaurants to frequent in DC, and I love that they offer many seasonal dishes.  It certainly makes going at different times of the year a lot more interesting!

Friday, August 10, 2012

DJ Pauly D Weekend!

I'll be heading to Atlantic City this weekend for a little pre-birthday celebration, and I'm sure it will be an amazing weekend!!!!

In addition to being with some fantastic friends, we will be enjoying desserts at Central at the new Revel Resort - yes, the original Central is here in DC, but the desserts are FANTASTIC and I wanted to check out the new resort.

And.... AND..... we will be going to The Pool at Harrah's where DJ PAULY D will be deejaying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This was actually not part of the original plan, but I found out about a week ago that he will be there this Saturday. THIS IS TOTALLY FATE, I AM SURE OF IT.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 9th, 2012

Seattle Visit Photos

To round out my Seattle visit posts - here's a few final photos from my trip:

My mom and I went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition which was really impressive to see in person!  The pieces were huge and the fact that it was all glass was really amazing. 

The exhibition is right next to the Space Needle, so you can check off a few tourist spots in one trip if you'd like, haha.

My parents and I went to dinner at Shiro's, which I had "been to" once before during the Belltown food and drink tour.  The highlights of this meal were definitely the soft shell crab tempura (in the background) and the sashimi!

Finally, a few new items filled up my suitcase heading back home, but I wanted to share these cute cupcake earrings I got at Nordstrom :o)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 8th, 2012

The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company - Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Cupcake

You know I can't go out to Seattle without a visit to the Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company, right??  We stopped in on a Thursday afternoon after popping into Top Pot for some iced coffee, and I was excited to check out the offerings for that day.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, for my health), there weren't too many "crazy" flavors by this point in the day, so I just got one cupcake - the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake cupcake.

Since the top was completely covered in frosting and a crumbly topping, I wasn't sure if this would still be a cupcake, or an actual cheesecake on the bottom. 

As you can see from this photo, it's a little of both!  The main portion of the cupcake is still cake, but there's a buttery crust on the bottom just like a cheesecake.  The cake was mostly vanilla-flavored with some strong caramel notes.  The frosting was much thicker than the other cupcakes I have tried from here, but still delicious.  Yet another delicious cupcake from Yellow Leaf :o)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 7th, 2012

Seattle Visit - Fuji Bakery

During my recent visit, I was especially excited to try Fuji Bakery in Seattle - Japanese bakeries always have so many fun menu items and I usually want to eat one of everything, haha.  

The store was small but packed with lots of different breads - above is just a small portion of all of the racks at the front of the store.

I tried - from front to back : Spicy Curry-pan, Cream-pan, and the Brioche Japon, aka The Main Reason I wanted to come here.  You see, just before my visit I read this Serious Eats post about 10 pastries in Seattle, and as soon as I saw the Brioche Japon I was dead-set on going.  As luck would have it, there is one (Bellevue) near my parents' house that they already frequent, haha.

Here we have a cross-section of the Brioche Japon.  It's actually quite small in person, maybe about 1/2 the size of a Rubik's cube or so.  It's packed with lots of sweet azuki bean paste and a small but tasty swipe of raspberry puree as well.  I'm so glad I got to try this!  The spicy curry-pan and cream-pan were also delicious.  Japanese breads and pastries always manage to have this balance of being really flavorful but also really light/delicate, so good!

My parents also had a few matcha azuki buns that I took home with me - these were delicious as well!  The green tea flavor was strong and it went so well with the sweet bean paste.

Unfortunately, Fuji Bakery is currently closed for renovations but is supposed to re-open in the fall of this year.  Which works out well for me, since I'll be back for Thanksgiving, haha!

Fuji Bakery - Bellevue
1502 145th Place SE
Bellevue, WA 98007

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 6th, 2012

Shake Shack - August Custard Calendar

A new month = new custard calendar at Shake Shack!

Monday: Strawberry Cheesecake
Tuesday: Malted Marshmallow Milk Chocolate
Wednesday: Fromage Blanc Raspberry Swirl
Thursday: Apricot Jam Cookie
Friday: Blueberry Coffee Cake
Saturday: Salted Caramel
Sunday: Heirloom Tomato

So... tomato, eh?  I might just have to try it since it just sounds so bizarre, haha.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 3rd, 2012

Woodberry Kitchen Brunch

Back in July, N, J, and I ventured up to Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore for brunch.  We had talked about going for brunch for some time, and luckily found a morning that worked for all of us!


We started off with some necessary caffeine, and shared the Morning Flatbread (BBQ pork shoulder, potato, Hawks Hill cheddar, farm egg) - this was really delicious, with tender pork, crispy potato bits, and bits of egg to round things out.  I especially loved how the potato came as a shredded hash, which made for lots of crispy potato pieces throughout the flatbread.

There were tons of delicious-sounding options on the brunch menu, but I finally just went with my initial choice of the Tilghman Island Soft Shell Crabs (Pullman toast, tarragon mayonnaise, cherry tomato, cucumber).  I'm a HUGE fan of soft shell crab, and I always regret not having more of it within its relatively short season.  This dish featured two tasty crabs, with a big pile of summer vegetables underneath.


One menu item I was absolutely sure of before even going was the CMP (Malt ice cream, chocolate sauce, marshmallow fluff, wet peanuts), which you'll see on the right in this photo.  On the left is the day's special sundae, which I believe had a mint chocolate component and some toffee or brittle on top?  The CMP was really interesting because the top marshmallow layer is bruleed, meaning my spoon cracked the top of the sundae when I went to take my first bite, haha.  I loved the peanuts and the marshmallow fluff components the most about this sundae.  One not-so-great part of dessert was that both sundaes seemed to be pretty melted by the time they got to us, so after a few bites we found ourselves basically spooning in melted ice cream soup for the most part. 

Overall, this meal was fantastic and it was a really lovely brunch with two lovely ladies!  I am definitely looking forward to coming here again for dinner, or another brunch, for sure.

Woodberry Kitchen
2010 Clipper Park Road
No. 126
Baltimore, MD 21211
410.464.8000 // On OpenTable

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 2nd, 2012

Bourbon Steak DC Bar Treats

A few weeks ago N and I met up at Bourbon Steak in Georgetown after work, with one mission in mind- to try the Pork Cupcake on their bar menu, woooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

After ordering the pork cupcake (it's best to order it when you sit down because it takes a little longer), we also got The Other KFC - Bourbon Steak's version of Korean fried chicken (below).

These were crispy with a pretty sweet and interesting sauce coating each wing.  They were good, don't get me wrong, but to me it just can't compare to Bon Chon, haha.

But....... the pork cupcake. OMG.  This was soooooooooooooo good.  The pork was delicious, but the cheddar scallion biscuit/cupcake portion was outstanding.  If a basket of just the biscuits was available I would totally order them in a second.  The idea of a "pork cupcake" might throw off some people, but I would definitely recommend trying this out, it was so fantastic!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lunchtime Links for August 1st, 2012

I'm on Bravo TV!

Ok, so it's really more of a technicality of being "on" Bravo, but I still say it counts, haha.  If you're a fan of any Bravo shows and tweet during the show, you may find yourself on the future "social" editions of the episode like me!