Friday, September 28, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 28th, 2012

Nine West Metallic Flats from DSW

Opennnnnnnnnnn Sesame!  What a fun name for a shoe :o)

I got these light gold Nine West Open Sesame flats at DSW a while back - unfortunately they aren't available on the DSW site anymore, hence the Zappos link.  They're incredibly comfortable and great for work or with a pair of jeans on a weekend for running errands.  The light gold color is a fun shade but still works as a neutral since it's not super metallic-y.  Anyone that's looking for a little different pair of flats for the fall, these would be a great option!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 27th, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Free Triple Berry Cupcake

What a tasty way to celebrate America, haha!  Here we have Georgetown Cupcake's 4th of July offering for 2012 - the Triple Berry Cupcake.  The three berries were not specified, but I'm pretty sure it was strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  I'm not a big fan of fruit desserts, but the fluffy cake and creamy vanilla frosting helped, haha.  I love the idea of a multiple-berry dessert for the patriotic holidays, or anytime you're looking for a fun and colorful dessert :o)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 26th, 2012

Shake Shack - Smoke Shack Burger + Olive Oil Cake Custard

Mmm... Shake Shack.  A few months ago I read about the new Smoke Shack burger on Serious Eats, and I knew I had to try it out as soon as it was available in DC.  This burger consists of "a classic Shack Burger, minus the lettuce and tomato, and with the addition of cherry pepper relish and Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon".  Much like the Serious Eats reviewer, the highlight for me was the cherry pepper relish.  It added a nice tangyness and cut through the meats and cheese very nicely.  I also thought it was sort of funny how they omitted the usual tomato and lettuce in this burger, as if there was no room for such nonsense like a sliver of a vegetable, haha.  

When I went to try the burger, there was also a new custard flavor for me to try out - Olive Oil Cake.  If you've never had a olive oil cake before, you might think this sounds completely insane, haha.  I personally think olive oil cakes can be really good, when it's done well and it's not overwhelmingly greasy.  Well, Shake Shack definitely got the olive oil flavor down pat in this custard.  Unfortunately, I was hoping for some sort of cake pieces or something to break up the olive oil flavor in the custard, and there were none to be found.  I wouldn't get this again, but of course I was happy to try out another new flavor!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 25th, 2012

BourbonSteak DC - The Dog Days of Summer Special

Back in August my friend C and I met up at BourbonSteak in Georgetown with one thing in mind - The Dog Days of Summer special.  For $9, we got a cheddar corn dog using a Red Apron Butchery cheddar dog and a pint of Port City beer.  It was a great deal, especially for such a swanky lounge, that's for sure!

  I probably wouldn't have put mustard on top if they been left on the side, but I found that it contrasted well with the slightly sweet breading and the snappy dog inside.  It was a great little meal while catching up with a friend.  Although - is there a delicate way to eat a corn dog at a place like BourbonSteak? I wound up just cutting pieces off with a knife and fork, haha.  

Unfortunately this deal ended at the end of August (apologies for not knowing that until now), but hopefully they will be doing something similar again soon! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 24th, 2012

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Banana Greek Frozen Yogurt

Once I heard about Ben & Jerry's new Greek Frozen Yogurt a few months ago, I knew I had to try out the Banana Peanut Butter flavor.  I've never had a banana-based ice cream before, but I have enjoyed my share of peanut butter swirl ice creams.

I think they did a great job of combining the sweetness of bananas and peanut butter with the tartness of Greek yogurt.  It was definitely lighter than a regular Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but was still creamy and tasty.  The chunky swirls of peanut butter definitely were my favorite part!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 21st, 2012

Fall Foods Roundup

Well here we are again, the time of year where EVERY food blog mentions something pumpkin/apple/squash recipe imaginable, haha.  And please don't take that as a complaint - I personally LOVE anything pumpkin especially, and fall recipes are always so fun to browse through. 

In addition to all the fun recipes, lots of restaurants and stores have seasonal items available during this time.  Here are just a few that I look forward to having or have enjoyed in the past!

- Starbucks : Pumpkin Scone, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Salted Caramel Mocha.  This year they also have a Starbucks VIA Pumpkin Spice available, and it's already sold out in many areas.  Luckily I stocked up at a Starbucks by me, I can't wait to try these mixed in some warm milk!

- Panera: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Jack-o-lantern Cookie, Pumpkin Pie Bagel.

- Krispy Kreme: Caramel Apple Doughnut.

- Einstein Bros. Bagels: Frozen Pumpkin Latte, Pumpkin Latte, Pumpkin Muffin, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Poppers, Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Bagel and Shmear. 

No surprise here, but one of my favorites, Dunkin' Donuts, rolls out the red carpet for fall items...this list is huge!

- Dunkin' Donuts: Apple Orchard Donuts/Munchkins, Apple Crisp Muffin, Homestyle Apple Pie, Apple Cider (hot or iced), Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Pumpkin Coffee, Pumpkin Latte, Pumpkin Donut/Munchkins, Pumpkin Muffin.

So many pumpkin items, I better get cracking on this list!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 20th, 2012

Ann Taylor Loft - Style Event

For anyone that has hung out with me in person before, this photo above may come across as completely shocking.  You see, the idea of "color" isn't really too prevalent in my wardrobe for the most part.  The majority of my clothes (especially work clothes) are black, grey, white, black, black, and more black. 

Earlier this month Ann Taylor Loft had a style event going on, so I figured I'd go check it out.  There were lots of good deals on fall clothes, and I figured this would be a good time to branch out a little and try some color in my life, haha.  Also, it didn't hurt that spending $50 got you $50 in rewards certificates to use later, plus they were doing hourly gift card giveaways :o)

Not all of the items are on their website, but here's what I could find on there:

- Stripe Cotton Back Zip Tee
- Pima Cotton 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan
- Mini Animal Print Dolman Sleeve Sheer Blouse
- Cheetah Print Banded Hem Shell
- Petite Paneled Colorblock Shift Dress

There's also a sheer dark grey short sleeve top and a cheetah-print pencil skirt in the photo above.  I have worn some of the pieces already and I love them all! For most people, these pieces probably don't seem too "crazy" but for someone like me that almost always dresses in dark solids, it's a big step, haha.  Ann Taylor Loft has been doing tons of promotions and sales lately so if you're interested in any current pieces I'd recommend keeping an eye out on their website for the sales!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 19th, 2012

Grace's Sweet Life Cookbook - Winner

Thank you to everyone that entered my cookbook giveaway last week! chose #6 as my winner:

I just had it tonight as it is my birthday--tiramisu
Congratulations suburban prep, and happy belated birthday to you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 18th, 2012

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

My friend T sent me a super fun birthday gift back in August - a Zoku Quick Pop maker!!

I've seen the multi-pop makers at Williams-Sonoma before, but I love that this is a single pop maker.  Since I generally keep my freezer fully stocked, it's nice to have something that doesn't take up too much space.  I can keep the base in the freezer and it's ready for ice pops whenever I want!

For my very first pop, I went with a nice summery option - orange juice and chopped strawberries.  This was a great refreshing combo and I can't wait to try out other flavors soon.  There are lots of suggestions on ingredients as well as layering/design options if you're feeling extra creative, or looking for a fun project with young kids especially.  If anyone has been curious about this Zoku product before - I recommend it as a fun, fast, and tasty treat! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 17th, 2012

Suri's Burn Book Cupcake

How cute are these special Suri's Burn Book cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake??

My friends and I went to the DC party to celebrate the launch of the book version of the hilarious blog.  It was fun to get to see the blogger that is behind the popular site, and enjoy some pink drinks as well.

This pocket-sized book is a great gift for anyone that loves some celebrity satire and snark :o)  Be sure to check out the blog if you haven't seen it yet!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 14th, 2012

Les Madeleines Kouing Aman

A big Thank you! to E for the lovely surprise of Kouing Amans from Les Madeleines Cafe in Utah!  These are buttery, flaky, with a super crunchy caramelized top.  I've seen these before on the Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate, so I was super excited to try them! It's not something you should eat every day, but it's an amazing treat for anyone that is a fan of croissants and pastries.

The packaging for these is also super cute - who doesn't enjoy some baked good love?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 13th, 2012

Flipping Out on Bravo

Anyone that knows me knows that I love Bravo TV, and one of my favorite shows, Flipping Out, just came back for another season.  Jeff Lewis might be craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy but he is incredibly funny and can create some beautiful homes for sure.

Still not convinced?  Here are some of my favorite quotes from a recent episode:

- "This is MY big day and I just want everything to be perf- sorry, Jenni's big day" - Jeff, during Jenni's wedding planning consultations.

- "I'm pretty sure Chad is really trying to become Jenni's main gay... well let's be clear because I am Jenni's main gay." - Jeff

- "I like to push people's buttons, it's like my hobby. Some people play tennis, I push buttons" - Jeff

- "Who spends 100% of their net worth on their wedding!?"  - Jeff to his main assistant Jenni, who is planning her wedding during this season.

- "I do know that if you get hit by a bus, you'll invite the bus driver to the wedding." - Jeff to Jenni on her large wedding guest list.

-"There could be a dead person in the bathtub in that house!" - A client, concerned about possible flooding in a house neighboring Jeff's new home.
-"I hope so, I want to buy that house" - Jeff

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 12th, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Bananas Foster Cupcake

September brings us a new flavor at Georgetown Cupcake - Bananas Foster! It is a "Rum-infused caramel cupcake baked with caramelized bananas, topped with a caramel buttercream frosting, a caramel drizzle, and a fondant flower".

When I went to bite into the cupcake, I noticed that the caramel smell was really strong - if I didn't know any better I'd assume this cupcake was the Salted Caramel, haha.  I didn't detect too much of the rum or caramelized bananas in the cake portion, but it tasted more like a banana bread than the regular salted caramel cupcake, for what it's worth.  The best part was the caramel frosting- mmmmmmmmm, so good!  It's always nice to have a new flavor to try out, even if it doesn't end up being a personal favorite.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 11th, 2012

Momofuku B'day Cake Truffles

A HUGE thank you to A and D for a wonderful surprise birthday gift from Momofuku Milk Bar!  These b'day cake truffles were AMAZING, super duper decadent and delicious.  Not to mention how fun and festive they look! They are basically rainbow cake + sprinkles rolled together into truffles, so good!  If you're a fan of birthday cake-type sweets this would be perfect for you!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 10th, 2012

Grace's Sweet Life Cookbook - Vanilla Cream & Cookbook Giveaway

A while back I received an offer to check out Grace's Sweet Life's cookbook; being a big fan of sweets and desserts, of course I said yes!
First things first - there are tons of photos in this cookbook, which I really like.  My knowledge of Italian desserts doesn't go much outside of tiramisu, cannoli, and some pastries, so seeing the photos of the desserts was great.

Another thing I appreciated about this cookbook is that it has lots of recipes for dessert components - for example, how to make a ganache, or custard, or a choux pastry - which you can build from to create very elegant-looking desserts.  Each recipe is thorough and easy to understand. 

The first recipe I tried out was for a Vanilla Cream.  In my version I added chopped strawberries, but any fruit or other topping would also go great with this creamy dessert.  The use of fresh vanilla beans really made this cream so rich and wonderfully vanilla-y without any of that artificial "vanilla" flavor that some desserts can have.  This would make a wonderful make-ahead dessert for a dinner party, especially since a little goes a long way to feel like you've had a decadent dessert.

And now, time for a giveaway!  The PR firm has generously offered another copy for me to give away to one reader, woo! 

Here are the rules:
  • Enter to win a copy of the Grace's Sweet Life cookbook by commenting on this post with your favorite dessert to order in an Italian/Italian-American restaurant.
  • Giveaway will run from 10:00AM September 10th - 5:00PM September 14th (Eastern Standard Time).
  • Winner will be chosen via and notified via e-mail (so please make sure there is a valid e-mail address somewhere in your entry). The winner will be announced on my blog the following week (pending winner verification).
  • One entry per person, please.
  • This giveaway is open to residents of the US with a valid shipping address (no PO boxes please).  The PR firm will mail the cookbook directly to you. 

Good luck everyone, and I'm looking forward to hearing about your favorite Italian desserts! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 7th, 2012

Planters Nut-rition Energy Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

I recently received a nice little surprise in the mail by way of a somewhat creepy bad-ass Mr. Peanut, haha.  Who knew that his first name was Doug?

This peanut butter is one of the new ones in the Planters NUT-rition line, which consists of: Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut, Berry Nut, and Banana Granola Nut.  As soon as I saw "Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut", it made me think of trail mix, and how this might be good for a variation of a peanut butter cookie.

I based these cookies from the peanut butter cookie portion of Picky Palate's Mini Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buttercream Cookie Sandwiches recipe (BTW- LOVE her recipes!!).  Obviously I made my cookies much bigger as you can see below.

These were a big hit at work the following morning!  Everyone could taste the cinnamon and liked the pieces of raisin and granola throughout the cookie.  If I make this again I would probably add chocolate or maybe more chopped peanuts for more texture, but this was a fun way to try out this new peanut butter!

Note: I was sent a complimentary jar of the peanut butter to try out, but not obligated to review or write a blog post about it.  I just wanted to share a tasty way to utilize this new peanut butter :o)  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 6th, 2012

Fashion's Night Out - Free Georgetown Cupcake

Fashion + cupcakes, what's not to love?

All day today every Georgetown Cupcake location will be giving away free cupcakes to celebrate Fashion's Night Out!

Here are the details from Georgetown Cupcake's Facebook page:
Thursday, September 6th, we'll be giving out 1 FREE cupcake per person - any flavor - all day long from 10 AM - 11 PM at each of our locations! Stop by for a sweet treat during your day and night out shopping!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 5th, 2012

Shake Shack - September Custard Menu

September looks like a GREAT month for Shake Shack custard flavors!!!

Monday: Coffee & Donuts
Tuesday: PB&J
Wednesday: Red Velvet
Thursday: Figs & Coach Farms Goat Cheese
Friday: Banana Bread
Saturday: Buttery Caramel Cocoa Nib
Sunday: Oatmeal Creme Pie

SO many good choices this month, woohoo!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lunchtime Links for September 4th, 2012

Luke's Lobster Bethesda - Lobster Roll

I've been pretty vocal about my love for Luke's Lobster - I've had some tasty lobster rolls in both their original NYC and DC locations.  So, no surprise here, I was SUPER EXCITED for their Bethesda location to open.

Luke's Lobster packs in just SO much tasty lobster meat into the buttery split-top bun.  Every time I get one, I am amazed at how much lobster meat they pack in there, haha.  Anyone that is a fan of lobster MUST try their lobster roll ASAP!

The Bethesda location has a handful of communal picnic tables outside the store, which is a great way to enjoy the warm weather and the delicious beach-y food.  It's a very welcome addition to the downtown Bethesda restaurant scene!

Luke's Lobster - Bethesda
7129 Bethesda Lane
Bethesda, MD

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone enjoys their day off on this Labor Day! I plan on being productive with some shopping mixed in :o) There are lots of great sales online and in stores, so check them out if you also have a "need" for anything, haha.

Have a great day everyone!