Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 31st, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!

Recipe Review: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Mise en place.

Another day, another pumpkin recipe- I just can't get enough!  This one I found online after Googling "Pumpkin and Cream Cheese", because I had purchased a few packs of cream cheese on sale the week before.  I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins from the Girl Gone Gourmet blog, and decided to try it out.  

The recipe is pretty straightforward- the only issue I had is with the cream cheese mixture.  One minute it was chunky and unwieldy- the next minute it was way too runny and practically a glaze.  I think it needed to be a little bit thicker in order to get the correct "swirl" effect, because this mixture was really thin and watery. 


Out of the oven.

Aside from the cream cheese mixture, the recipe came together easily and they smelled great coming out of the oven.  There wasn't as much of the cream cheese mixture in these muffins, but the overall effect was pretty, and you could see that these weren't just plain pumpkin muffins.  These tasted great, v. pumpkin-y, and would be a fantastic brunch option, and/or a good way to use up a little bit of leftover pumpkin puree.   

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 30th, 2009

  • Celebs: People Magazine's Best of 2009 photos.
  • TV Shows: A rundown of when shows will be returning in 2010. 
  • Everyone Loves Shake Shack: Especially fatty squirrels, haha. 
  • Lady Gaga: Randomly decided to go on Launch My Line (will be the first time I'll actually watch the show and not turn it off, haha).
  • CUUUUUUUTE: My Milk Toof holiday-style.

Bento Prize from Not Exactly Bento

My nifty gifties

Earlier this month, I found out that I had won the November Giveaway over at the blog Not Exactly Bento.  I love winning things!  It's a cute blue 2-tier bento box and a set of sauce containers with a sunflower-shaped dropper included.  Can't wait to use them for lunch starting in 2010!  Check out the blog if you get a chance- there are great photos, lots of recipes, and food reviews.  Thanks Not Exactly Bento for hosting a giveaway!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 29th, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 28th

  • Jaleo: I hate bourbon and this even sounds delicious to me.
  • Cheap Jap Blog: Great story- Who doesn't love a great (cheap) find?!
  • DIY Tube Pan: A great idea for people like me that don't want to buy a Bundt pan. 
  • Haha: Arnold Palmer making an Arnold Palmer. 
  • Eeeek: Signs your kitchen is making you fat.

Recipe Review: Martha Stewart's Banana-Pecan Cupcakes

Mise en place, sans the vanilla extract, whoops.

I've really enjoyed baking my way through the Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook, especially when it's done out of necessity, as the case was here.  As you can see above, my 2 remaining bananas were just past the "I'd like to eat this for breakfast" stage, so I took a look in the cookbook for a banana recipe.  The original recipe is for Banana-Pecan cupcakes with caramel frosting, but I decided to make them without the frosting, for more of a breakfast muffin-type item.  I also swapped in walnuts for the pecans, and sour cream for buttermilk, because that's what I already had in my apartment.  I checked online and sour cream seems to be an acceptable substitute for buttermilk, which I will be employing in the future.  I can't imagine most people keep jugs of buttermilk on hand (except maybe Paula Deen, ya'll), so it was nice to know that I could sub something in for that.   

 "Go Banana!" - Ralph Wiggum

Once again, Martha did not disappoint.  These muffins smell fantastic, and they are moist and delicious.  They weren't overly sweet which makes them a good brunch/breakfast option.  If you're a fan of banana bread, you will love these cupcakes!  It's a great recipe to keep around in general, but especially if you tend to neglect bananas for days at a time but don't want to waste them and throw them out, haha.   

Friday, December 25, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 25th, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!  Some Christmas-related links for you today:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 24th, 2009

Georgetown Cupcake: Holiday Flavors

Georgetown Cupcake always has cute and yummy special flavors which change each month.  Earlier this month, I had the chance to try out some of the December/Holiday flavors (above). 

The Chocolate Peppermint (Top Right) is a rich and very chocolately cupcake, finished off with pieces of peppermint, which adds a nice textural minty flavor.  The White Chocolate Peppermint (Bottom Left) is visually fun-looking (like a giant after-dinner mint, haha), and I found the white chocolate flavor to be balanced out (and not overpowered by) the somewhat plain cake.   The Gingerbread  (Bottom Right) is  probably the most surprising one for me, in terms of what I expected vs. how much I liked it.  I was expecting it to be cloying spice-dominant, but it was just the right amount.  The frosting on this one was delicious, and who doesn't love the cute little fondant gingerbread man?

I was pleasantly surprised by all 3 of these December flavors.  I have to admit that I wasn't particularly excited about any of them (I generally do not like mint chocolate or gingerbread, haha), but of course that didn't stop me from trying these out with friends.  I'm definitely glad I did- these are the perfect little cupcakes to put you in the holiday spirit!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 23rd, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lunchtime Links for December 22nd, 2009

Review: Starbucks Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

  • I Paid: $3.45 (with a coupon) at Harris Teeter
  • Description: Swirled Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Creams with Ribbons of Chocolate Fudge

Starbucks Ice Creams aren't new by any means- I think I ate a few flavors of their ice cream at least 5 years ago, possibly?  But this Hot Chocolate flavor was new to me, and I had a coupon, so I figured I would try it out.

Visually, it's got a good ratio of the chocolate, vanilla, and fudge components.  If you're like me and have scooped out only the chocolate and vanilla sections of Neopolitan ice cream, you'll love this flavor, haha.   Taste-wise,  this ice cream was deeeeeeeeeeeeelicious.  It's obviously not anything groundbreaking or crazy, but it's interesting enough to stand out from just a single-flavor ice cream.  I liked how the taste was reminiscent of a rich chocolate drink with vanilla whipped cream on top.  This is one of the few pints of ice cream that I've bought recently that I've actually less than a week, alone, haha! 

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 21st, 2009

    Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap #3

    Not even 24 hour turnaround time on the recap, nice job B-WOWW:

    Here are the quick hits from an otherwise bland episode of Jersey Shore (excluding that whole punching a girl in the face thing):

    Responsibility:  MTV felt it would be inappropriate to show Snooki getting jacked in the face during the show...however it's cool to promo the shit out of that same sequence for a whole month before.

    Even More Responsible:  Putting a 30 second ad up at the end of the show discouraging violence against women...followed by a preview where JWoww punches out another girl.

    I Immediately Regret this Decision:  Ron (aka Russ)'s face when Snooki said they could watch the sunrise from the beach.

    I Also Regret this Decision:  The poor girl who was with Pauly D on the first night.  Not only did her giant ass get exposed on television (Personally, I covered my face when they showed her in her underwear), but Pauly D lets the world know she's having her period.

    And Remember, Death is not an Option:  Having your friend sabotage a hookup, or waking up the next day and realizing that hookup would have been with The Situation?

    Looks Like You've Got Some More Work to do:  Snooki's version of growing up includes showing the world her crotch while doing reverse handsprings on a dance floor.

    Bumper Sticker I'd love to see: "It Doesn't Matter if my Child was an Honor Student, because They Ended up on Jersey Shore"

    Wait, are we Regretting Decisions?  Me too:  Getting called a "grenade" from the cast of the Jersey Shore is just demoralizing...

    Just Asking:  Then again, who got stuck with the grenade, Pauly D or the girl who had to hang out with him?

    Really Not Asking:  Situation please clarify, was it gym, tanning, haircut or haircut, tanning, gym?

    Also Not asking:  So you bang the ground on the dance floor because...

    So Much for Leaving it Up to the Imagination:  JWoww wears outfits that would make porn stars blush.

    What Could Have Been:  "Kids, I knew I loved your dad when I saw my roommate's penis ring and felt guilty"...

    Signs Your Relationship was Destined to Fail:  It was house music, it wasn't sexual.

    Signs Your Better off Letting it Fail:  If your girlfriend is "battling" on the dance floor.
    Do you Hear Crickets Chirping?:  Ronnie and Sammi...turns out true love doesn't necessarily happen after two weeks.

    Someone has to Care, Right?  Right?:  Ronnie says something about Sammi being part of his he knows how to do math.

    Sex for Real Dummies:  "Jacuzzi, Bedroom, Business"

    In conclusion, the Jersey Shore:  Snooki's Mom:  "Looks Dirty to Me".  Snooki:  "It's the Jersey Shore".

    Or Maybe this is the Conclusion:  "Mike would bang a Gatorade bottle at this point"

    No Wait, Now in Conclusion..:  Couple should only fight when the man is sleeping only in a towel, and the woman is taking her hair extensions out.

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 17th, 2009

    • PW Cakepops: Bakerella + Pioneer Woman.
    • Top Chef: Washington Post Q+A with the Voltaggio brothers (pre-finale airing).
    • Yum: Grilled Cheese truck in LA.
    • Cute!: Pop pies from Blondie & Brownie.
    • Real Housewives: Recap of last week's episode.
    • Top Chef: Reunion recap from Food Network Humor.

    Shake Shack Midtown!

    You might be wondering why the news about Shake Shack opening a Midtown location is relevant/important to me.  Well, it's pretty much an OMGSOGOOD burger, I love the custards, and I try to go to the Madison Square Park location every chance I can in NYC.  Another Shake Shack location is only good news to me, it means a greater chance of me being close to one, especially if I find myself within the Midtown-ish region at some point.  Woo!   

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 16th, 2009

    • OBAO: A look at the new NYC restaurant.
    • Good Idea: Snacks to pack for holiday shopping trips.
    • Cheap Gifts: Kitchen gifts for under $10.
    • Wow!: 20-layer rainbow cake.
    • Healthy Gifts: Gift guide for a healthy eater.

    Thanksgiving Food

    A quick post on Thanksgiving foooood.  My family stopped having turkey for Thanksgiving years ago - at most it was just 5 of us eating to begin with, and no one ever really liked turkey much anyway.  In the past couple of years we've had roasted chicken, cornish hens, steaks, etc. as the main protein.  This year we were back to a simple and delicious roasted chicken with lemons and herbs (below). 

    I made a few side dishes for the occasion, but didn't really think to take many photos, unfortunately.  But here's a quick rundown of what I made:

    We also had the following:

    - Spinach Salad with Walnuts, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese
    - Beef-wrapped Asparagus Spears

    which I do not have recipe links for since my mom made them without recipes, haha. 

    I know this post is pretty late but- hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 15th, 2009

    • Mmmm: Apple and Pear Beignets recipe.
    • Thomas Keller: Sasses it up (sorta) at a book signing.
    • Cute: Wilton Brownie Bites Tray review.
    • Top Chef: Recap of the finale by Food Network Humor via Serious Eats.
    • Sounds Good!: Tea-infused hot chocolate, anyone?

    Georgetown Cupcake - New Georgetown Location!

    Georgetown Cupcake's new location opens today!  The Georgetown store will now be located at 3301 M Street, on the corner of 33rd and M.  They will be giving away FREE CUPCAKES (1 per person) all day today!

    Georgetown Cupcake - Flagship
    3301 M Street NW
    Washington, DC 20007

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 14th, 2009

    Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap #2

    Recap #2, courtesy of B-WOWW:

    Before we start, I'd like to address an issue that several people who were born and raised in New Jersey have said in regard to the show. They don't think it's fair to make fun of people from Jersey since most of these people on show are actually from New York. I disagree and here's why...your state is their Mecca. They're life goal is to end up at the Jersey shore. They treat that place like it's the island from Lost, as if it lives and breathes and will solve all their problems. If you create a safe zone for these people your state deserves to be ridiculed. Polygamy has been outlawed in the U.S. for almost 150 years yet we still make fun of Utah. Sorry, but you create utopia for people like that, you can't complain.

    Onto the quick hits. Here are the highlights and lowlights (mainly lowlights) from last night's Jersey Shore.

    And Then Their Were None: Couples didn't fare so well this week, as JWoww confessed her indiscretion to Tommy, Angelina and Apparently-Married-Guy ended what I can only imagine was the world's most obnoxious relationship, and Sammi and Ronnie have their first fight (on their first day as being a couple). Seriously, if you offered an over/under of 1.5 weeks from the time the cast moved in until they broke up with their significant others you'd have to take the under right?

    Seriously Though: If you're these girls' boyfriends, did you really think your love would survive through this show. I mean really? Really?

    Pack Your Suitcase Angelina: More like your trashbags, but regardless, you're time is up on the shore.

    Really Setting the Life Goals High: Ronnie to Sammi: "Honestly I thought the Shore House was the best thing to happen to me, but you are"...

    On Second Thought...: Ronnie shows his awful dance moves to some blond chick (who looked as if life had clearly given up on her). In retaliation, Sammi hits on a cop friend of hers, and Ronnie storms out of the bar in protest.

    In Case You Missed it: The situation was totally searching for buried treasure in that same blond woman's mouth with his tongue

    Just Wondering: Is JWoww's hair vomitting blond?

    Hey, One of You Doesn't Belong: An ad for a pregnancy test, an ad about sexting, an ad for a company that performs background checks...and an ad for Invictus.

    Speaking of Invicitus: How many people on the Jersey Shore could name Nelson Mandela...or locate South Africa on a map...or locate Africa on a map.

    I'm Not Holding my Breathe Waiting for the Answer: Will JWoww and her boyfriend get back together?

    Remember, Death is Not an Option: Waking up and seeing JWoww sans makeup or waking up and seeing Pauly D's bed head...

    I Know it's not Fight Club, but: Ronnie said Rule #1 of the Shore is never fall in love. I mean, come on guy, it hasn't even been a week!

    Definition of Class Continued: Dating a man who is not quite divorced

    Something Else I'm not Holding my Breathe for the Answer: Will JWoww see Pauly D's penis ring again?

    Guido Rule?: My girlfriend Grace asked a great question: "Does Ronnie even have a shirt"? BTW, before he put his other foot in the house after his fight with Sammi, Ronnie's shirt came off.

    Don't Forget She Does Great Things: Angelina refuses to talk to her boss/landlord after she skips work, which leads to her getting fired/kicked out. I've seen toddlers and retarded monkeys handle situations better. Can you even imagine what the mediocre things are that she does?

    You Might Not be Hot if: You're a female...grinding on another an empty bar...and middle aged men...look repulsed. Just sayin Snookers...

    Then Again: That's why God invented alcohol and hot tubs, right Situation?

    Didn't Hold my Breathe Waiting for the Answer, Still Didn't Care when I Found Out: Angelina and her bf did not get back together

    Remember, Only 13 More Shopping Days Until Christmas: Who wouldn't want the National Pimp Association (NPA) t-shirt prominently featured behind Angelina and the store manager as they were fighting?

    Don't Throw Stones in Glass Houses: Turns out Angelina found herself in The Situation on more than one occassion before the show started taping. Well, in fairness, it was the other way around, but that's really just semantics...

    Wolf Blitzer, Take Notes: Props to Julissa (or whatever her name was) for pointing out Angelina was a bit hypocritical for cockblocking the boys with their whores, when she in turn practices whorish behavior herself with a married man. If cable news were like this, I'd watch more.

    Next week, Snookie takes one in the face, and the guy who does it loses his job for punching a woman (if he hasn't already). You gotta love reality TV...

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap #1

    I'll start off by saying that my friend B (in this case now deemed "B-WOWW")  is probably one of the best at recapping shows - his sense of humor and attention to the randomest details, not to mention our general alignment of shows that we watch, makes for a great combo to say the least.  He has started to recap Jersey Shore episodes via e-mails and I'm happy to share the awesomeness with you all.  Here is Recap #1 of Jersey Shore from B-WOWW, haa:

    Here's the situation. There are defining moments in our lives. Moments we always remember and will talk about to others. In some situations, it's a tragedy like Pearl Harbor or 9/11. In other situations, it's something happy like landing on the moon or beating the Soviets in hockey (USA! USA!). I think the premiere of Jersey Shore is one of those situations. MTV has always set the bar low. I mean, this is the network that gave us such quality entertainment as "16 and Pregnant", "My Super Sweet Sixteen", "I Want to be You", and of course "Teen Moms" (hey kids, get pregnant and you can be on TV, keep the baby and you can be on again!). Somehow, they managed to top all of thse though with Jersey Shore. This show found the sleaziest of people (New Jersey and non-Manhattan New Yorkers), and put them in a Real World style situation in a place where they only say m-o-r-a-l because they're saying the word immoral. I think you get an STD just watching this show. Anyway, here are some quick-hits from last night's two hour extraveganza.

    The Situation, Definition of Classy: Not getting nude in a hot tub, or doing anything with your male roommates...on the first two days.

    The Situation, Would you Rather: Be JWoww's boyfriend or Angelina's boyfriend

    The Situation, a Reason for Hope: Pauly D is 29! The MTV rule of "no one over 24" is done! We can all still be on an MTV show apparently! That Barack Obama was right, all you need is hope...

    The Situation, More on the Definition of Classy: Thong bikini in a hot tub? OK. Thong underwear and a bra in same hot tub? N-O!

    The Situation: Dumbest. Nickname. Ever. Somewhere Vinnie "the Microwave" Johnson is sulking about becoming runner up.

    The Situation, Remember, Death is not an Option: Having Snooki place a 911 call for you, or being the guy who purchases the hot tub once production shuts down.

    The Situation, Apparently Not Part of the Definition of Classy: Letting a complete stranger grab your ass, and possibly make out with him...while you have a boyfriend.

    The Situation, Biggest Surprise: Pink Eye was the first diagnosed disease?

    The Situation, Biggest non-Surprise: Pauly D has a cockring

    The Situation, I Think You Missed the Point: On Day 3, Snooki said she learned to grow up...and then she said she's ready to party, meet sexy guidos, and fuckin be single.

    The Situation, I Think You Also Missed the Point: Angelina: "I'm a bartender, I do like...great things.

    The Situation, Can't Wait to See You in Jersey Shore Season 2: Kenny from the Real World/Road Rules Challenges

    The Situation, for the Jersey Shore Men, and Remember, Death is Not an Option: Pick an item to lose for gel or protein powder

    The Situation, Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged: Pauly D found Angelina's trash bag suticase ghetto...this from a guy who does his hair for 25 minutes everyday.

    The Situation, Apparently Also Not Part of the Definition of Classy: Hooking up with two roommates...on the same night.

    The Situation, Second Biggest Surprise: One of them owns a Bible?

    The Situation, an Epiphany: I just got why MTV makes 16 and Pregnant and Teen Moms...its a breeding ground for future shows. Once the parents (and the children as well) become legal, they can end up on the future Jersey Shores!

    The Situation, Place I'd Actually like to Visit if it weren't for the People: The Jersey Shore

    The Situation, Biggest Surprise Non-Jersey Shore Moment (of Today): Some woman is crying on the news because the DC Zoo has to give one of its pandas back to China. Really? It's a panda...maybe if you're crying over a panda you should take a step back a realize your life must be pretty fucking good because you obviously don't have real problems.

    The Situation, What's that Sound You Hear?: Yeah, it's society vomitting.

    Lunchtime Links for December 11th, 2009

    December Deals

    As a result of signing up for every store membership possible, I get a TON of e-mails from the companies with news and special deals.  Not that big of a deal since I have a dedicated e-mail address to get just that mail (highly recommended btw), especially since a lot of them are pretty useful to know.  So this post is for all of you, in case you are also in the market for some deals - hopefully some of these will come in handy for your holiday shopping!

    - West Elm: 20% off home scents.  In-store only.
    - BCBGMaxAzria: 50% off select holiday tops.
    - Ann Taylor Loft: Free shipping on purchases $125 and over.
    - Vineyard Vines:  Also, free shipping on orders over $150.
    - Lucy: 20% off regular priced items, with code 1209ESNOW (expires 12/24/09). 
    - Nine West: 30-50% off select items + free standard shipping.
    - Bliss: Free shipping on any order over $25 (expires 12/31/09).
    - DSW:  25% off 2 or more items with code CHEER (expires 12/16/09).  Also, free Steuben Glass crystal ornament with $99 purchase and online code GLASSGIFT (expires 12/16/09).
    - Qdoba: Purchase a $25 gift card and get a $5 voucher.
    - Vera Bradley: Lisa B bag for $25 (expires 12/15/09).
    - J. Crew: 30% off all Women's knits and tees, online only (expires 12/15/09).
    - Body Shop: 30% off gifts + Buy 3 get 3 free (Buy 3 get 3 in-store only).
    - White House Black Market: $25 off $125 (Code 8033) + $50 off $200 (Code 8035) (expires 01/03/10).
    - Bebe: Buy one, get one 50% off, in-store and online with code GET50OFF (expires 12/20/09).
    - Fat Witch Bakery: 5% off your order with code JINGLE (expires 12/31/09).

    I'll be updating this list through December as I see more offers.  Please make sure you double check either on the site itself or in-store for the applicable dates and all that shiz.

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 10th, 2009

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 9th, 2009

    • Bouchon Cookie: Mixed Review of the Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix.
    • Starbucks: Will sell French Macarons in-store...interesting.  
    • Jersey Shore: Recap- YESSSSS.
    • Muji: Holiday gift ideas from the fun Japanese brand.
    • Gossip Girl: NYMag Reality Index.
    • Top Chef: Recap of last week's episode - FINALE is tonight!

    Georgetown Cupcake - Bethesda Row Opening Day!

    Georgetown Cupcake opened its Bethesda Row location on Sunday, November 22nd, and of course you know I wouldn't miss being there for opening day!  I headed over to the area around 10:00am, and there was 1 woman standing outside.  After stopping in the Barnes & Noble cafe down the street, the line had grown into about 4 more people, so I figured I'd get in line. 

    Cute GC Balloons.


    Ribbon-Cutting (unfortunately I was directly behind them, haha)


    Inside the store!


    Display Cupcakes.


    The line after I got my cupcakes.


    The line went all the way down, past the car behind the red car!

    Top Row: Red Velvet, Pumpkin Spice; Bottom Row: Peanut Butter Fudge, Vanilla2.

    I'm glad I got there early- I had to wait close to an hour before the store opened, but it was well worth the wait!  Especially since as the hour went on, the line kept getting longer and longer, and I was happily standing 5th in line.  They were giving away one free cupcake to each person, so my box above is 1 free + 3 I paid for, to bring home for Thanksgiving. 

    A few things that I noticed about this Georgetown Cupcake location: 1) It's bigger.  Not by much, but noticably bigger and easier to maneuver around in.  2) They have separate Entrance and Exit doors, which keeps the line moving quickly and less bumping into each other, haha.  3) They put the cash register NEXT to the display cupcakes, which makes a lot more sense than the Georgetown location of behind the display.  I always hated reaching back and forth over the towers of cupcakes to pay, it feels so awkward.  Also, it helps keep the line moving- you look at what flavors are available, then order and pay once you've decided and moved through the line to the register.

    It wouldn't take a genius to figure out that I am SO SO SO SO excited to have a Georgetown Cupcake store in downtown Bethesda- much easier for me to get to, parking/metro-wise, and in an area that is really perfect for the business (lots of restaurants, lots of families, heavy pedestrian traffic).  Also, they're open on Mondays, which the original location currently is not (although they will be once they move to their new location on 33rd & M).  If you haven't been yet and you're in the area- check it out!!  

    Georgetown Cupcake at Bethesda Row
    4834 Bethesda Avenue
    Bethesda, MD 20814

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 8th, 2009

    Tackle Box - Georgetown

    About 2 weeks ago when I and B were visiting, we met up with S at Tackle Box in Georgetown for lunch.  We all hadn't been there in a while, plus I wanted to use my $30 for $15 gift certificate from LivingSocial.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were using real plates now, and the fried food seemed to be better than in past visits early on when they first opened.     

    S: Fried Scallops, Broccoli, Clam Chowder.


    I: Fried Scallops, Mac n Cheese, Cole Slaw.


    B: Lobster Roll, Fries, Clam Chowder.


    Me: Lobster Roll, Fries.

    This was my first time trying the Lobster Roll here, and it was v. delicious!  Pretty much all meat in the toasted, buttered split bun = lots of lobstery goodness.  Not too heavy on the mayo which I liked.  I had expected some sort of crunch factor (like chopped celery) for some contrast, but it wasn't that big of an issue.  The fries were crispy, sufficiently potato-y, and capped off a rather indulgent lunch, haha.  It was a great lunch for a sunny fall day in Georgetown!     

    S said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Tackle Box! It had been a year since I'd eaten there, and I must say that I loved being back. The fried scallops were delicious and my sides of broccoli was just right. Overall, three stars!"

    "I" said: "Tackle Box was delish as always. I love the mac and cheese!"

    Tackle Box
    3245 M Street NW
    Washington, DC 20007

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 7th, 2009

    Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to S today!  She's been a regular participant in blog-related food tastings, commenting on the site, plus a fabulous friend all-around. 

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 4th, 2009

    ACKC + Kyotofu Goodies

    After dinner at Rice, the three of us walked down the street to ACKC for some hot chocolate and to check out the store!  I had never been to ACKC before so I was pretty excited about it.  There's a LOT to take in when you walk into the small store- chocolate and other goodies EVERYWHERE!  Lots of cute wrapped gift-appropriate candies and chocolates, plus a wide selection of chocolates in the glass cases.  One thing that bothered me when I was looking around, though: there was a fly trapped in one of the chocolate cases, just flying around inside with all the chocolate.  It wasn't a huge issue per se but just sort of threw me off, I have to admit.  And it seemed sort of strange that none of the employees noticed it, because if you are continuously straightening up or cleaning around the store you definitely would've seen it.  Oh well.    


    Vanilla Caramels + Honey Chipotle Chocolate Bar

    I purchased these two items as gifts.  The Vanilla Caramels were given to I and B when they visited, and I brought the Honey Chipotle chocolate bar home for Thanksgiving.  The Honey Chipotle bar was crunchy, and definitely had a kick to it!  It was an interesting combo especially if you are into spicy + sweet things.  I also got a Lucy drink, which is on the menu as: "This fiery redhead starts with semi-sweet chocolate infused with chipotle and is topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon".  It was really spicy for the first couple of sips, definitely great for a cold night! 

    Kyotofu Goodies!

    N had just been to NYC and brought back all sorts of goodies from Kyotofu to share!  We split up most of the items so that I was able to try one of each.  We all shared the regular-sized Pumpkin-kabocha cupcake at ACKC, and I took home the following: 

    - Genmai Almond Financier
    - Matcha Almond Financier
    - Ginger Spice Financier
    - Black Sesame Shortbread Cookie
    - 4-pack: Chocolate Soufflé, Matcha Green Tea, Yuzu-Vanilla, and Pumpkin-Kabocha

    I had all of these over a few days and they were all delicious!  Since they're so small it's easy enough to snack on one or two without feeling too guilty, haha.  And the flavors are really intense for such a small package, so you really get a true taste of the ingredients and flavors.  Thanks N for being so generous with your Kyotofu stash!

    1529C 14th Street NW
    Washington, DC 20005

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 3rd, 2009

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 2nd, 2009

    Rice - DC

    Two weeks ago, N, her friend S, and I met up at Rice for dinner.  As you can see on the extensive menu, the restaurant is Thai-based but split into 3 sub-sections: Rice Specialty, Authentic Thai, and Healthy Green.  They also had a seasonal menu - which unfortunately for me was about 99% mushroom-based so I didn't really have to ponder over those for too long.  I was a little surprised at the lack of noodle-based dishes they offered for dinner- yes, I realize it's called Rice, but still, it's a Thai restaurant, and I tend to gravitate towards noodle dishes at Thai places.  Well, it was a good chance to make me order something different, haha. 

    Appetizer: Spring Roll Rice-Style with Taro, Carrot, Celery

    I really enjoyed these spring rolls, from the Healthy Green section.  I'm assuming the "healthy" portion really comes from what's inside these, because they were definitely still fried to a crisp.  They came out hot and crunchy on the outside.  The taro added an interesting texture, and I would definitely order these again. 

    Entree: Spicy Duck with Thai Herbs and Crispy Wild Ginger

    It took a while for me to decide on my entree, but I'm glad I went with the spicy duck.  I chose this mainly because duck isn't something I would cook at home myself, so I figured I could give it a try here.  The portion was more than ample, especially after the spring rolls and bites of the other appetizers that N and S had ordered.  I know the photo is pretty dark but there was large slices of duck mixed with herbs, really spicy peppercorns, and crispy ginger pieces throughout.  I love spicy foods but I really had to make sure to take out the peppercorns from the dish- it was definitely spicy enough as it was without having to actually eat around those, haha.  I did think the duck was a little too chewy/overcooked, but I feel like duck is something that can v. easily be overcooked, especially with a high-heat stir fry like this dish.     

    ...with a side of Rice

    The entree came with this side of rice, which had some sort of flavoring to it that I couldn't put my finger on.  It was fine- I  mean it's just a plate of rice after all, haha.  It was definitely needed to balance out the sauciness/spicyness of the duck. 


    <3 Leftovers

    I figured this leftovers photo would give you a better idea of what the duck looked like, haha.  This was a wonderful lunch for the next day :o)

    I'm glad I tried out this place and had an enjoyable dinner there.  My only issue would be the pricing, but that's because I am probably used to cheaper Thai places out in the suburbs, and not in the middle of DC.  While it's a casual spot, it definitely had a more modern/cozy atmosphere than other Thai restaurants, which also changes the price point in general.  Plus, it's a great option for dinner if you are planning on going to ACKC, right down the street, like we did!

    Rice Restaurant
    1608 14th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20009

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Lunchtime Links for December 1st, 2009

    Newseum + Tangysweet (Gallery Place)

    View from the Newseum balcony. 

    A few weekends ago P and I checked out the Newseum, the museum of news (go figure), and they weren't kidding with the name!  This place is packed with all sorts of interesting artifacts and tons of information about about a billion different historical events.  It was serious information overload, but seeing the actual objects that are a part of history was really great.  Definitely better than just reading signs about what happened, that's for sure.  There were, obviously, a good percentage of depressing things to see (being that it's a news/history-based collection), but overall an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.   The normal tickets are  $19.95 (adult), but I got tickets through Groupon for $10 each, which made it even better.

    Original Tart Yogurt + Red Velvet Crumbles

    After the Newseum, P and I walked down to the Penn Quarter location of Tangysweet, where I redeemed a half-price $50 gift card from LivingSocial and we each got original frozen yogurt with red velvet cake crumbles on top.  The yogurt and the red velvet cake were better separate vs. in a cup together.  The tangy yogurt doesn't really mesh well with sweets, in my opinion, so next time it'll be back to fresh strawberry topping for me!