Friday, January 29, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 29th, 2010

Japanarama Review: Afternoon Tea - Milk Tea

Mmm..milk, sugar, oh and some tea, ha.

Cold Milk Tea is one of those items that you can find in pretty much every convenience store/grocery store/vending machine in Japan.  For me, it traces back to being little and drinking this (hot and cold) every chance I could get.  It's technically really easy to replicate at home: Black tea, sugar, and milk.  Taaaa-daaaaaaa.  But for some reason, especially if you grew up drinking the bottled kind, it just doesn't taste as good when you make it yourself, haha.   

I picked up this bottle of Afternoon Tea to try out because it was different from their regular Afternoon Tea drinks.  This one apparently has 2x the tea leaves and 2x the milk, compared to their regular Afternoon Tea bottles.  The drink is made by Kirin, which makes lots of consumer products- most notably, beer- but has a slew of other non-alcoholic beverages as well.

This tea is v. balanced in terms of tea vs. sweet flavors.  The Assam tea flavor is pretty strong, but there's enough milk in it to level it out.  It does get a little too sweet for me after drinking 1/2 of it- I probably wouldn't finish off a whole bottle in one sitting.  It's a great, nostalgic flavor that I think any tea drinker would enjoy.  I wish I bought another bottle- but on the other hand, it's a little dangerous to keep a lot of these on hand, because I'd probably drink a bottle every day if I could. 

I got this bottle at the Mitsuwa market in Edgewater, NJ.  If you have any Asian/Japanese markets by you, it might be worth taking a look through their refridgerated and shelf-stored beverage sections to find this one.   

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 28th, 2010

Review: When In Rome

Last night I attended a free preview screening of "When In Rome", sponsored by NBC Washington.  I was super excited that I won these tickets because I was planning on seeing this movie at some point anyway, but am usually pretty bad about seeing movies when they're in the theatres.  And hey, free movie?  Count me in!

S and I got to the theatre about 30 minutes before the starting time, and it was already packed.  Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) the prime viewing seats were reserved for press/reviewers, so we had to snag seats up towards the front of the theatre.  This was only an issue for fast-moving scenes- like in the beginning of movies when they pan around whereever the film is taking place and there's a lot of movement- but otherwise it was fine to watch from where we were sitting.

The movie is more or less your typical rom-com storyline, but with a few twists that makes it a little less predictable than most.  It was funny with some pretty good lines thrown in, especially by "Nick" (Josh Duamel)'s guy friends.  There are lots of random and funny cameos in the film that everyone seemed to like.  And hi, Josh Duhamel, I don't care if you're a skeezeball in real life, you are HOT, as usual.  Kristen Bell, although I now only associate her as "Gossip Girl", was cute and sort of reminded me of a younger Reese Witherspoon in a weird way.  Finally, not plot-related at all, but I thought it was sort of random/weird that she barely seems to wear any makeup in this film, especially eye makeup.

I wouldn't exactly say "Go run out and see this movie NOW!!!", but it was a light and fun movie, definitely worthwhile if you're already into the rom-com genre anyway.  There was a smattering of guys in the theatre, and I think the movie is funny enough and has some physical comedy in it to make it enjoyable for them too.  Also probably helps if they like Kristen Bell, haha.  Thanks NBC Washington for hosting the free screening!             

Restaurant Review: Mandu, DC

Somehow this post slipped through the cracks- N and I went to Mandu about a month ago?  I think, and I never put the photos into a post here.  Anyway, better late than never, right?  We went here mainly because I had purchased a 1/2 price Groupon gift certificate, and neither of us had been here before.  It's located in the Dupont Circle area, right down the street from Lauriol Plaza restaurant.  I've been to many Korean BBQ places in the past, but I knew that this one was more "city-fied", so I kept my expectations at bay...Meaning, my normal expectations for Korean BBQ is a loud, crowded, smoky, piles of meat and banchan, delicious, cheap meal.  Although, I can't really stop myself from comparing it to previous experiences, which you'll see from my comments below. 

Pa Jun

I got one of their fruit cocktails, and ordered the Pa Jun to start.  Pa Jun is a mixed seafood pancake with green onions.  These were smaller than I expected (I've usually seen them as one thin plate-sized pancake) but tasted like seafood and onions, pretty much what I expected.  They were tasty and hot, but v. greasy - I'd recommend sharing these with a large group.  


Complimentary Banchan

We got a few small dishes of banchan to share- a mix of mostly pickled and/or spicy veggies and other things.  These were tasty and I enjoyed having them with the rest of our food.  I have to mention that at other Korean BBQ places I've been, the banchan takes up about 90% of the table, normally I've had about 10-12 dishes at one time...alas, haha. 

Kalbi BBQ

For my entree I got the Kalbi plate, which is grilled marinated short ribs with rice and mixed vegetables.  This plate was ENORMOUS.  Pretty much the sizzling platters that Tex-Mex fajitas come on.  The bones on the short ribs (hidden under the meat) take up a good majority of the plate, but it was still a lot of food.  This was pretty difficult to eat but tasty and marinated well.   


These leftovers lasted me for about 2 additional meals.  I saved a little bit of everything which was nice to have. 

Overall, Mandu is in the "good for what it is" category for me.  Meaning, if I lived in DC with no access to a car/suburbs of MD or VA, I'd be happy that a place like Mandu existed, for a quick and tasty Korean food fix.  It's a cute little restaurant and seems pretty popular from what I saw.  There's a nice variety of dishes on the menu that I'd be happy to try out again.  It also seemed to me like it'd be a good "beginner" place to bring someone that has never had Korean food/BBQ before, to get a feel for what flavors they like/don't like prior to them going to a suburban Korean BBQ restaurant.  Obviously it helped to have a 1/2 price gift certificate on this trip, but I'd recommend it for some after-work drinks and some tasty Korean food if you're in the area. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 27th, 2010

Recipe Review: Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Mise en place.

I usually bring the stuff I bake to work, so I wanted to try something out that could be a "morning"-ish item- or at least pretend to be (the same way most muffins and donuts are "breakfast" foods, haha).  I decided on this chocolate chip coffee cake recipe from Pete Bakes , because it sounded tasty and I also had some sour cream to use up.  The recipe came together fairly easily- the only issue I had was with the layering portion.  The dough was v. thick and gloppy, and hard to spread into the pan.  I also didn't seem to have enough of the dough to cover 2 layers, much less one solid layer.  So, you can't really tell in the photo, but I barely had enough dough for the top layer of the coffee cake.  Next time I might just mix the cinnamon mixture throughout one single layer instead. 

All done!

All dough issues aside, the coffee cake came out of the oven smelling delicious.  As instructed, I waited for the cake to cool to cut it, and the chips remained intact.   It was crumbly, cinnamon-y, buttery - everything you hope for in a coffee cake.  This would be fantastic for a brunch or breakfast party, especially if you're like me and this seems like a perfectly acceptable thing to eat first thing in the morning, haha.  Hey, I'd rather eat this over eggs any day!

Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap - Reunion Show

And now for the final recap (unless he's doing the "Audition special" airing tonight, haha), B-WOWW with his take on the Reunion Show:

Kids are Stupid, Reason Number 4,000: Giving the Jersey Shore cast a standing ovation.

I Think You Missed the Point: Italians don't hate you because of GTL and thinking t-shirts and corsets are in style...that's why everyone else hates you.

Cancer, it's a Bitch: Everyone had very nice tans, considering it was January. GTL baby!
Well I'll Be: Wow Situation, that analogy you made about being hungry and needing to eat is similar to hooking up with ugly girls was suprisingly accurate. It was dumb, but at this point I'm just glad you showed up to the Reunion and remembered to wear pants.

If a Breakup Appears to Happen, and No Cares, What Sound Does it Make: (yawn)

I See Your Lips Moving, but all I hear is Blah Blah Blah: To recap, Sammi did in fact hit on the cop, lying to Ronnie, something something something. Which means...

Your Relationship Must Really Blow if You're Pissed About that Five Months Later: (That wasn't a setup for anything. That relationship must really blow)

Breakups I was More Upset About Than Ronnie and Sammie: AC Slater-Jessie Spano, Tiger Woods-Ambien induced sexcapades, Lindsay Lohan-Penis (for now), Pluto-Other planets, Bert-Ernie (still good friends).

What a Waste of a Commercial Break: Come on Sammi, the shows only an hour, did you really need to storm off the stage and take up so much time? We could have heard the Situation make more suprisingly accurate analogies. I'm pissed off I have to spend so much time talking about this...

And Remember from Episode 1, She's Classy: Sammi breaks up with Ron Ron on TV.

Yeah, OK: Ronnie: "I cut girls quicker than barbers do, to be honest with you, so she could be right down the list if she wants. I really don't care."

Over/Under on the Number of Minutes Until Ronnie was Crying to Sammi Begging for Foregiveness: 8

Like the Sopranos but with Hair Extensions and Fake Boobs: Sammi and JWoww, unbesties?

And Remember, Death is Not an Option: Stalking an MTV reality show cast member, or getting rejected by a guy referred to as "the douchebag with the blow out"?

This is Gonna End up with a Bunny in a Pot of Boiling Water: It's called a restraining order bro, look into it.

Hot Tub Time Machine: Just wanted to say it again

Just be Glad They Didn't Make you Sit with the Audience: Angelina, hush. No one cares what you have to say.

Video I Want to See in Season 2: Vinny's mom cooking for Lil Situation the next morning...

I Want January 28th in the Breakup Pool: If you're Tommy, and decided to stick it out with JWoww despiting watching her cheat you on a couple of times (don't forget, all his friends watched also), how happy would you be to hear her exclude making out and hooking up from the definition of "cheating"?

Another Video I Want to See in Season 2: More Snooki rejection montages! Poor girl gets turned down more than a hotel bed.

You're at 14 Minutes and 57 Seconds: The cast has come to together and demanded a raise as a group to participate in season 2...a la the cast of friends. Good call guys, since you're so irreplaceable. The only thing funnier than your "celeb status" is thinking there aren't a bunch of assholes like you in the pipeline. Oh, and Snookers, the Poof isn't the Rachel.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 26th, 2010

Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap - Finale

Sniff sniff... it's come to an end, my friends.  Here's B-WOWW with a recap of the Jersey Shore finale:

Apologies for not producing a Jersey Shore recap from hour 2 last week, but much like the Shore, one minute you're recapping, the next, jail. I'm very sad, but here is the Jersey Shore Finale recap. Hopefully they really will get that shore house next year...

(Editors Note: Too much happens when they have two hours of JShore, so there will be a Reunion recap next week, I promise this time.)

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies: Everyone knows Ronnie can be bailed out at 6:30, yet everyone sleeps in.

What's Plan B?: Snooki, do not call 911 to get information on bailing out Ronnie.

I'm Sensing an Anti-Semite Theme: First Pauly D, now Vinny making Israeli jokes...if Danielle wasn't so bat shit crazy this would be offensive.

This Puts You Over Home Plate??: Spending the night in prison makes Ronnie feel like a lowlife degenerate...unlike the steroids, the Ed Hardy t-shirts, the gallon of gel in his hair...

Then Again: Ronnie doesn't regret the punch that landed him in jail, so maybe that lowlife and degenerate thing is an either/or situation.

Four Words I Never Imagined Together: Hot Tub Time Machine

Sentences I'd Avoid When Asking a Guy Out: "Give me a call when you get this, or I'll call you like a stalker"

Hey Alanis, Isn't it Ironic: Snookers was destined to end up dancing on the Boardwalk...I just figured it would be for money.

Hey, At Least Your Ex-boyfriend didn't See that: Oh...awkward.

It Could Have Been Worse: At least you didn't lose a reliably Democratic Senate seat.

Hey Ronnie, Need a Cellmate: If she looks young Mr. Situation, always ask for ID. I don't care how large her ass is.

In Case You Can't Afford Hot Tub Time Machine: The Pregnancy Pact...this Saturday on Lifetime. Seriously.

Like Aristotle...with a blowout and a fake tan: "We've stayed boys throughout this whole thing. This bond that we share brings us together, and no one can take that from us ever. Like we take that with us forever, that bond". If that was as deep as Pauly D gets, I'm lighting myself on fire.

Maybe They Measure These Things in Dog Years: Here's the thing Pauly D, you were there for like 5 weeks. I hope you three can stay boys for the entire time. This goes for you too Snookers for still being in love with your ex-boyfriend of 8 months that you were dating in high school.

Back to that Fool Me Once, Shame on Me Thing: JWoww doesn't want Tommy to visit because she see a bunch of "gorilla juiceheads" on the beach.

Snooki, Please Explain What a Juicehead is?: "A juicehead is a hot, Italia..." Sorry to interrupt you there Snicks, but I was just kidding. We don't care.

More Reasons to Light Myself on Fire: "I don't see any fucking guido juice heads. You woke me up for nothing."

Nothing Like a Romantic Night on the Town: In your best t-shirt, with your girlfriend in shorts...that stop at her labia.

Dumbest Relationship Defining Conversation Ever?: No seriously, I honestly wasn't listening for that segment. Was it the dumbest DTR ever?

Uh. Huh.: The Situation on being picked on: "Nothing bothers me".

Vinnie Chipping in as Immanuel Kant: "Pauly ain't getting a date, I don't feel bad because he's ridiculously ridiculously good looking"

Like a Scene Out of a Horror Movie: Snooki, don't take your top off in the jacuzzi when you're drunk and vulnerable. You know the Situation is in there just waiting to prey on you!

Like the Ghostbusters and Crossing Streams, it's Just Not Supposed to Happen: Wait a minute, you two can't...back up! No, don't kiss! My eyes...they burn. Must gouge them out to stop seeing this...

There's nothing better than stupid people saying saying goodbye: Whether it's the Situation saying he ran the house (false), Snooki saying she grew up because of the experience (definitely false), or JWoww saying in 20 or 30 years she'll be really glad she did this show (er...that one's probably true), I think we can all agree people like this always need to be on TV. Who's Ready for the Real Housewives of NJ?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 25th, 2010

Recipe Review: Matcha Cookies


I tried out another matcha recipe from the Kirbie Cravings blog - I have previously made the matcha-cream cheese brownies from this blog as well, which I liked a lot.

I added a chopped walnut piece to the top of each of the cookies, which made them look pretty cute.  These cookies were crispy, buttery, and had a great color and flavor from the matcha powder.  I made these again recently, with more chopped walnuts on top, and they turned out pretty well also, lots of texture and flavor.

The recipe recommends the dough to be about ping-pong ball shaped, but they can be made a little bigger depending on your preferences.  Just be sure to keep an eye on them in the oven because they will brown v. easily if they're left in just a little too long.  Even if you're not a huge green tea person, I'd highly recommend trying these out.  

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 22nd, 2010

  • Fun: MAC + Lilly Pulitzer.
  • Eeek: Sweet N' Low cake mix review.
  • Aww: Watermelon-chomping pets.
  • Bakerella: Awesome sweets tour!
  • Haha: Happy Tomato Cat.

Georgetown Cupcakes in January - Continued

As promised- here are a few more Georgetown Cupcakes that I've had since the last post

Strawberry (free!) + Key Lime
I never got a chance to try the Strawberry cupcake last summer when it was available, so I was super excited to try it out for free the other day.  I also picked up a Key Lime because I had not yet tried that one.  I LOVE the two together with the light pink and green - so cute!  The Strawberry cupcake was delicious, with a really fresh flavor and little specks of strawberry througout.  I am definitely getting it again next time it is available as a special flavor.  The Key Lime was good, tasted like a virgin margarita in cupcake form, and the little candy lime is a cute touch. I probably wouldn't get it again, but that's because it's not really that high on my list of flavors that I love personally. 

Lemon Blossom (also free!)

S also gave me a Lemon Blossom cupcake the other day, which was great since I had not yet tried this flavor either.  I'm pretty sure my feelings about this one would be different if I got it straight from the store - the cupcake literally broke into half and then crumbled as I unwrapped it..sad times!  But the frosting had great flavor, especially from the little bits of lemon zest (which you can sort of see in the photo). 

I just realized that all of these look v. SPRING, haha- wishful thinking on my part, I guess.

Georgetown Cupcake: Lava Fudge

 Another Georgetown Cupcake flavor review, woo!  I pretty much assumed that I would love this flavor, but obviously I had to try it out to be sure :o)

Aaaaand I dropped it...haha.

As you can see, I was so excited to get the photo done with so I could eat it- so much so that I flipped it over right as I was setting it down to photograph it.  So if you want to imagine a swirly fudge flower-ish pattern on the top of the cupcake...


True to its name, this cupcake was oozy lava-y goodness.  The cake and the fudge core were rich and delicious, perfect for a choco-holic like myself.  The vanilla frosting helped to balance out the flavors and added a nice color contrast. If they had the fudge core on every cupcake they offered, I would be one happy girl!  

The Lava Fudge Cupcake is currently being offered on Tuesdays and Fridays - I would absolutely recommend trying it out if you love chocolate!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 21st, 2010

  • Midtown Lunch: Zach is headed to LA.
  • Yum: Pretty-looking Cobb Salad recipe.
  • Review: Herb-Savor, I've always been curious about this gadget.
  • WTF?: Jimmy Choo + Ugg collaboration...??
  • Interesting: Pound cake recipe that uses Sprite.

It's Finally Here...

Guess who I am seeing tonight?????!!!!!!!!

Love, Love, Love: Sweetgreen Salad


With all the cupcake/sweets talk on here, you might be surprised to see a salad on this blog, haha!  But seriously, I am totally obsessed with salads from Sweetgreen.  I had only been to the Georgetown location once or twice, but I've been there more and more often once their Dupont and Bethesda locations opened.  I love all the yummy add-in options that they have available, and I've enjoyed a number of their signature salads.  However, my favorite one that I tend to order 90% of the time is: Make Your Own salad with mesclun, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, crushed pita chips, and their cilantro-lime jalapeno vinegarette.  The dressing is SO SO SO SO SO SO good.  It's especially good when you let the pita chips soak in the vinegarette for a few minutes before eating- super delicious!  Their sweetflow frozen yogurt is delicious too- can't wait until it gets warmer out to start getting that again :o)

Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap #5

Take it away, B-WOWW!:

Just Asking: Who's got bigger arms? Ronnie or Sammie...
Sometimes the Joke Tells Itself: "The only thing we care about is getting girls. Getting girls and going to the gym."
Um, Maybe Un-cougar?: What do you call the older woman is Vinnie hooking up with? I bet she lives in an RV, and thar her favorite breakfast food is Skol.

Do You See What I See?: You ever notice when Pauly D is DJing, no one is at the bar?

Fill in the Blank: If you were given one guess to name Snookie's college, wouldn't you're first reaction be "community"?'s Community College: It eats away at Snookers that she gave up her last semester of college for the Shore. Can someone remind her of the strict admissions policy of community colleges...
Again, Sometimes the Joke Tells Itself: "Keith and I didn't have sex, don't know why. I bet he's clean".

Priori-what?: Should I get smushed by a guy who refers to himself in the third nickname person, or go home and get up in time for my first day of work?

Ooops, I Guess It Could be Worse: At least your parents and boss won't find out...

Ok, But it Can't Get Any Worse Than That: Crap, they're showing the scene where you left your clothes and your dignity behind...

Sticking it to the Man: Props to Vinnie for laying into the Situation. I wouldn't want to be a (deep breath) 27-year-old-living-by-the-GTL-motto-who-spends-more-time-making-up-excuses-for-not-getting-laid-rather-than-actually-getting-laid either. Extra props for literally sticking it to the Situation by way of his sister...

Pauly D, Spiritual Adviser: Catholics and Jews, apparently like oil and water.

The Jackie Robinson of the Jersey Shore...: Danielle's "no sex until marriage" stance must be a Jersey Shore first

And You Thought the Duck Phone was Hard: Add hot tub to the list of things too hard for Snooki to maneuver

Quick Score Check (Smushing): Situation 1- Vinnie 1. Tiebreaker goes to Vinnie for his smush being with the female Situation

One More Score Check (AC Outfits): Situation 4-Pauly D 3 (don't forget, one night only)

Maybe It was the Bread?: Thanks to the Situation's "rolls" joke, Snookers says she doesn't want to eat anymore that night...after she finished her dinner.

What's the Word I'm Looking For: That girl who jumped on Vinnie and then the Situation, what's the word...oooh wait, prostitute! I knew it would come to me.

Bigger Scumbag: The Situation or Jay Leno?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 20th, 2010

  • Dos Toros Taqueria: Serious Eats does a delicious looking menu review.
  • Random: Gretchen from Real Housewives OC is a singer now, apparently.
  • Random: A NJ clothing store-centric reality show is in the works.
  • Alton Brown: Interesting "diet" sandwich.
  • Wendy's: Buy a key tag, get a free Jr. Frosty with every purchase.

Holiday Decorations

Just wanted to say Happy Holidays (again, yes I know it's January) to everyone, and thank my fabulous friends for sending me fun holiday cards (above).  It made for a festive-looking wall decoration in my apartment for sure!  

Georgetown Cupcake: January Flavors + Off-the-Menu Specials!

Again, I'm jumping around on posts a little bit, but I wanted to get this one out before the end of January since two of these are only available through January, haha.  Aka it'd be sort of dumb (and possibly mean) for me to write about these when they're no longer available.   

Georgetown Cupcake offers special monthly flavors, and I was especially excited for January's Toasted Marshmallow and Salted Caramel cupcakes.  To add to that, the lovely folks at GC had to go ahead and offer a FREE off-the-menu cupcake every day in January, which you can find out via Twitter (@gtowncupcake) and/or Facebook, on their Fan page.  All you have to do is find out the flavor for the day online, go to either location of GC, and ask for it by name.  No purchase necessary- Super exciting! 

Toasted Marshmallow + Pumpkin Spice

I went on the first day that the off-the-menu promotion started, which happened to be Pumpkin Spice, one of my favorites.  That Sunday was also a Toasted Marshmallow day (the monthly offerings alternate days that they are available), so obvi I got both.  The Pumpkin Spice is normally offered in the Fall (go figure), and is a fantastic, spice-filled cake topped with a creamy vanilla based (I think) frosting.  It's so good, especially for a pumpkin-fanatic like myself.  The Toasted Marshmallow cupcake was fantastic as well!  It consists of a chocolate cake with a soft marshmallow core, topped with a thicker ("spongy"?) marshmallow topping that is brulee'd like a s'more.  So cute to look at, even better to devour, haha.  I didn't eat all of the marshmallow topping because it was a little too much for me, but I loved the chocolate + marshmallow combo overall.   


Salted Caramel + Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

My second trip was v. conveniently on a Saturday that I needed to go into downtown Bethesda and a day that Salted Caramel was offered.  The Salted Caramel cupcake had a restrained sweetness that I liked.  It didn't have a caramel core like the Caramel Apple cupcake does, but I didn't miss it at all.  I didn't specifically catch any "salt" aspect of this- I guess I was expecting a sprinkle of sea salt or something more obvious that makes it "salted".  The Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cupcake was almost identical to their Peanut Butter Fudge cupcake, but with the fabulous addition of peanut butter chips in the chocolate cake.  AWESOME.  So so so so delicious, and it practically begs for a huge glass of milk to go with it. 

There will probably be a few more times that I'll go for a free cupcake (let's face it, there already was a 3rd trip ONE day after the 2nd trip above), which I will be posting later on.  I highly recommend you get your butts over to Georgetown Cupcake ASAP - come for the free cupcake, stay for the January flavors, haha :o)   

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 19th, 2010

Love, Love, Love: Muji Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Tea + Cookie = <3

Muji is a Japan-based lifestyle brand that is mostly known for modern and simple designs.  I've been a fan of the brand for a while, but only recently ventured into their food/snack sections in the Japanese stores.  I'm so so so so glad I did, or else I wouldn't have discovered these Earl Grey Tea Cookies! 

A lot of their snacks and foods are packaged the same way that their other items are- simple and not fussy.  It's a small bag, perfect for snacking, and only costs 100yen (more or less $1.00).  It's got a strong tea flavor that I love, and they go perfect with milk, or a real cup of tea, haha.  They're crispy and the perfect size for a little snack.  

As far as I know, Muji does not sell their food products in the US, but hopefully one day they will :o)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 18th, 2010

  • Green Lantern: Blake Lively reportedly cast to be his love interest.
  • Cute: Paris Hilton on "I Get That A Lot".
  • Dozen: Bake Shop (the original cupcake shop is so cute also!)
  • Baohaus: An early look at the restaurant's offerings..yum!
  • Real Housewives: Bethenny will be starring in her own show.

Christmas Strawberry Roll Cake

Sorry for still having Christmas posts, I'm trying to get them all up before the end of January at the latest, haha. 

While I was home for Christmas, my mom and I decided to make a Japanese strawberry roll cake.  It's a variation of a Japanese strawberry shortcake, which is super popular in Japan (and many Japanese bakeries/cafes in the US also).  It's not too difficult to make, but definitely time-consuming and I don't really know if I could pull this off just on my own, to be honest.  My mom has made it for years so she's a pro at it by now.  It's basically a yellow sponge cake with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream. 

We decided to make a roll cake version so that we could shape it like a Buche de Noel, since it was Christmas and all.  The cake was delicious- it did not take long for just two of us to work our way through this cake, haha!  Hope you enjoy the photos :o)    


Friday, January 15, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 15th, 2010

  • Whoaaa: Deep-fried cupcakes on a stick, haha.
  • Ma Peche: Adds a few new Midtown Lunch options.
  • Seriously?: A group criticizes Snookie, as if she is actually influencing little children.
  • Momofuku: Noodle Bar adds caviar to their late-night menu.
  • Yum: Pumpkin-chocolate chip muffin recipe.

California Tortilla: California Screamin' Burrito Launch Party

This just might be the fastest turnaround time for a post of an event ever - don't get used to it, it just so happened that I was able to upload a bunch of photos last night when I got home, haha.  I also wanted to get this out before the official debut of the burrito on Monday.  What burrito?, you ask?  Keep on reading...

I'm usually all about planning ahead of time, but sometimes fun stuff can just appear out of nowhere.  Like yesterday, for example: I was just fiddling around on Twitter doing mostly celeb/free giveaway stalking (hey, at least I'm upfront about it) and I saw that California Tortilla was doing a promotion for their new California Screamin' Burrito. I e-mailed in a request as instructed, and voila, I was able to attend a free private launch party to be held that evening at the Courthouse CalTort.  WOO!  I've loved CalTort since I moved here in 2004, so I knew that no matter what the food would be yummy.   

It was a good-sized crowd, considering I had no idea what to expect. The event was also hosted by DC Tweetups and Twineups, which gets together on a somewhat regular basis (it seems) at different events/locations in DC. Everyone there (promoting and attending) was super nice and friendly.

Burritos, Chips, Guac, Salsa, and Queso, Oh My!

On to the food!  I was expecting samples to be available (like maybe the new burrito in taco-form or something, or cut up into pieces, I don't know) but I defintely got way more than I expected!  A buffet set up lined the left section of the CalTort by the window- huge burritos, chips, salsa, guacamole, hot queso, and drinks were there for the taking!  Sweeeeeeet.

California Screamin' Burrito: Innards

And here's my California Screamin' Burrito, in all its massive glory.  The card that described the burrito is not with me unfortunately, but from what I can remember it's: Signature Blackened Chicken, Peppers, Onions, California Screamin' Sauce, Queso, and Mexican Rice.  I guess I should mention that when I go to CalTort, no matter what I get, I will always bring 1-2 bottles of hot sauce to the table with me to add to my dish.  The fact that I didn't do that with this dish probably speaks to how much I enjoyed the spice level of it.  Obviously this has a kick to it, but not overwhelmingly so, probably because of the queso.  And it's definitely filling- I ate 1/2 of it and was completely stuffed.  I thoroughly enjoyed this burrito, it had a great flavor and I will absolutely order it once it's on the menu next week.  One thing I may change is to ask for queso on the side - I like cheese but I don't always like everything coated in it.  When I get this again for real, I might try dipping the burrito in the queso and see how that works out for me.    


This Swag Bag's got Swagger

As if the free burritofest wasn't enough, we were also given superfabulous swag bags to take home!  We got a tote bag, t-shirt, hat, various coupons, and the best part: A FULL BOTTLE OF CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN' HOT SAUCE.  Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.  Super duper excited, in case you couldn't tell. 

All in all, a totally unexpected but fun night at CalTort!  I look forward to trying the California Screamin' Burrito once it's officially available, and I'm also looking forward to checking out more Tweetups in the future :o)  Thank you to everyone involved in putting this great event together!

Japanarama: Snacks


One of the many things I look forward to when I am visiting my family is a chance to hit up Mitsuwa Market in Edgewater, NJ.  We've gone here for years and years (I remember when it was called Yaohan, before it became a Mitsuwa, haha) and it's a HUGE store filled with all sorts of goodies.  There's tons of packaged Japanese food as well as many food stands to choose from.  The photo above shows just a portion of the fun snacks that I got, and will be reviewing as soon as I start trying them out!   

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 14th, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 13th, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake Holiday Cupcakes, Continued

Love the holidays!!

We rounded out the Georgetown Cupcake holiday selections by trying out the Eggnog cupcake.  It was v......eggnog-y, not sure what else to say, haha.  Suffice to say, if you're a fan of eggnog, you will like this cupcake.  I don't particularly care for it, but I'm glad I tried this one out.  As you can see the other flavors we got this time around were the chocolate peppermint and the gingerbread, which I wrote about in the post here.

The last holiday cupcake is the Snowball (coconut) cupcake, which I did not try out, but I did give to my friend "I" since she likes coconut flavors.  From the looks of it, it looked like their regular Coconut cupcake, but apparently the Snowball has a cream filling.  "I" says: "I loved the Snowball cupcake! It had this really delicious cream filling. Plus, it is just pretty to look at."

Georgetown Cupcake definitely did not disappoint with their mostly delicious and varied holiday flavors.  Can't wait to try out January's: Toasted Marshmallow + Salted Caramel!  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 12th, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 11th, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake: Off-The-Menu Flavors!

From the fabulous folks at Georgetown Cupcake, some exciting news for the month of January!:

"For all of our Facebook fans and Twitter followers: Every day in January, we will be baking one secret off-the-menu flavor - chosen by YOU! It can be an old GTC favorite or something completely new!

We'll announce each day's "Fan Favorite" flavor on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Come in to our shops and order the secret off-the-menu flavor by its name and it's yours FREE!

Let us know what flavor you'd like us to bake up for Sunday! We'll announce it here on Sunday morning!

3301 m street nw | georgetown
4834 bethesda avenue | bethesda

Become a Fan on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:

Now, my only problem with this is forcing myself to NOT go every single day, haha.

Special Edition Jersey Shore Recap #4

Sorry for the lack of JS recap last week, but I didn't watch the show until Tuesday due to the holiday.  Plus it wasn't that funny an episode.  I can't decide if spending your NYE with the cast of Jersey Shore would be a good thing or not.  Anyway, on to the recap:

Couples I Hate More Than Ronnie and Sammi:  (Thinking)

And Remember, Death is not an Option:  Risking an eviction by hooking up with the bosses date, or going home with a cougar who looked like she spent her days smoking cigarettes at a bus station bar.

How Prophetic:  If you take your date to a place called "Karma", it's only right she goes home with someone else...

Who Knew?:  During Ronnie and Sammi's first fight, Snookers ended up as the voice of reason.

On Second Thought...  Until the next day when she took it upon herself to get Ronnie and Sam to hang out more (head shaking)

Douche Bags for Dummies:  Gym, Tanning, Laundry

Back to Couples I Hate More Than Ronnie and Sammi:  (Scratching my head)...

From the "Who Didn't See that One Coming Department":  Michael leaves Snookie to hit on other girls.

More D-Bags for Dummy:  "The outfit is key".

Angelina's Replacement?:  I would pay to have Michael Cera become the 8th guido.

Fool Me Once, Shame on Me, Fool Me Twice... Still shame on me.  Come on Alex.  Who hooks up with a guy on an MTV show calld Jersey Shore more than once? 

It Could Have Been Worse:  At least she wasn't arrested on TV...oh

The Search for Couples I Hate More than Ronnie and Sammi:  Oooh, almost had one

Speaking of Expressions:  I know if at first you don't succeed, try try again, but the Situation's streak of getting negged is starting to get painful to watch

Not Even 1 Million Drinks Would Make Me Do This:  Come on Vinnie, trust your gut.  Do you really want to hook up with The Situation without Abs?

This is Why the Terrorists Hate Us:  The Situation is like a Navy SEAL at the club...probably should add that statement to the "this is why the Armed Forces hate us" column also

I'm Pretty Sure that IS the Definition:  Sammi says she isn't like every other Jersey girl...then gets into a conversation while taking out her hair extensions.

Sniffle:  Only two weeks left in the House!

Only in Guido Language... would "Creep" be a positive term.  Smush too.

You Make the Call:  Which animal does the girl that punch Snookers resemble...I say a Brontosaurus?

Where was the Violence Against Men PSA:  Ronnie beats the crap out of some drunk guy, and yet we don't get any message at the end about how bad violence is?   How sexist...

Isn't That One of the Stereotypes?:  Everyone was surpised about the size of Vinnie's family.  It's like being surprised if The Situation's dad was in waste management...

The Quest for Couples I Hate More Than Ronnie and Sammi:  That Jon and Kate were pretty annoying

"I Have the Best Girl in Seaside":  I take that last one back.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 8th, 2010

Recipe Review: Oreo Cookie Cookies (Holiday-style!)

Mise en place.

When we have lunch meetings at work, there is always one item that I literally can never pass up- the Oreo Cookie-Cookie.  It's a cookie that has chopped up Oreos inside.  TWO cookies in one.  AMAZING.  I figured it couldn't be that hard to make, so I looked online for a recipe, and decided to use this one from the Sugar Cooking blog.

Since I was making them for my friends' holiday potluck dinner, I decided to make them a little festive by using Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's in place of regular Oreos.  These have a great minty flavor to them, and I even like them (surprising, considering I don't usually like mint chocolate flavors).

The recipe is v. simple and easy to follow.  You can crush the Oreos as finely or as chunky as you like, depending on how you want them to be in the finished product.  

Out of the oven.


These cookies turned out great.  A little more crispy than I had imagined, but that actually turned out to be better for packaging into the bags (above) because I didn't have to worry about them smashing together if they had turned out softer.  The Oreos are definitely the stars of this cookie- lots of great chocolate mintyness going on in the cookies. If you package them in little bags like I did, they are a great little gift for your next party, holidays or not!  I will definitely try these again with regular Oreos - or maybe even the different-colored ones they have during other holidays in the year, haha. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 7th, 2010

  • Bento: See if bento-making is a right fit for your lifestyle.
  • Healthy Eats: 9 healthy foods for you.
  • Jersey Shore: TVGasm recap.
  • Iron Chef America: Food Network Humor's brief recap of the White House episode.
  • Love It!!!: Michael Cera meets Jersey Shore.
  • Giveaway: Fun girly giveaway from Miss Notty Littl' Evil (via Shop n' Chomp).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 6th, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Remix

Remixed cookies.

I've made the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a few times since I first tried them out- everyone seems to like them, and they're super easy!  So I decided to try it out with a few additions to bring to my friends' potluck dinner party.  The cookies above had mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and chopped walnuts.  As you can see the mini marshmallows more or less exploded while baking, which made for a weird-looking pool of sugar on the bottoms of the cookies.  But besides that, these cookies turned out great.  Lots of texture and flavors that mixed nicely together.  I can't wait to try the recipe out with even more new mix-ins next time!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 4th, 2010

Restaurant Review: Rosa Mexicano, DC

Frozen Pomegranate Margarita

I've been to Rosa Mexicano many times in the past, but it's been a while (and definitely pre-blogging), so here's a look at what S and I got at dinner a few weeks ago.  Starting off with the usual, frozen pomegranate margarita, pictured above.  Even when I didn't like hard alcohol, I still liked this drink, haha. 

Guacamole en Molcajete

Another "usual" menu item for us is the tableside guacamole.  Can't have a meal here without it!  I like that you can be specific about the spice level and texture for the guacamole. 

Special: Rolled Lobster Tacos

We each ordered that day's special appetizer, the rolled lobster tacos above.  In retrospect, we probably could've ordered one order to share, but we weren't sure about how big they were/how many there would be on the plate.   The crispy taco shell, the lobster chunks, and the sauce were great.  The only thing I didn't like was the chunky potato filling inside- it was too much for me and took away from the other fresh flavors.  

Empanadas de Jaiba (Crab Empanadas)

I ordered another appetizer as my entree- the crab empanadas above.  First- I'm not really sure about their plating on this one.  Doesn't it look so lonely?  I feel like the way it's plated makes it seem like something's lacking, but maybe that's just me.  These were tasty pockets of crab, and I loved the mango salsa that came alongside it. 

Budin de Pollo (Chicken Tortilla Pie)

S got the chicken tortilla pie, which was an enormous plate of cheesy goodness.  It had a great mix of flavors, the chicken wasn't dry, and fantastic to warm up with on a cold night. 

Pinguino (Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcake)

Finally, for dessert, we split the hazelnut chocolate cupcake.  I liked the whipped cream and the sauce on the bottom, haha.  The cupcake itself was pretty dry and could've definitely been prepared better. 

Overall, Rosa Mexicano has been a good standby  for fun food and drinks.  It's located directly across from the Gallery Place Metro,  so it's v. easy to get to.  If anything, it's a great place to stop in for a few margaritas and some guacamole :o)  

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lunchtime Links for January 1st, 2010

Happy 2010 everyone!!
  • Yumm: Snickerdoodle Lemon Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
  • DIY: Home projects that cost under $50.
  • Xmas Leftovers: 15 ways to recycle wrapping paper.
  • Contest: Enter to win, from Real Simple Magazine.
  • Barnes & Noble: After-holiday sale: great for calendars and 2010's Christmas cards.