Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Butterscotch Pudding Cupcake

Merry Christmas everyone!  I thought it would be appropriate to post a holiday flavor from Georgetown Cupcake!  This Butterscotch Pudding cupcake is a new one in the holiday lineup, which makes it extra fun, haha.  It is a "Butterscotch cupcake filled with butterscotch pudding and topped with a butterscotch-infused buttercream frosting, a butterscotch star, and a fondant holly leaf".  

So... I know I say this about a lot of the cupcake flavors - but this one was AWESOME.  The butterscotch pudding inside the cupcake tasted more like a vanilla custard to me, which I LOVE. It might sound like a complete overload of butterscotch flavor, but I really thought the flavors were balanced well and really delicious.  I hope they keep this one in future the future holiday lineup! 

This will be my last post for 2012 - here's to lots more fun and great food in 2013, everyone! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 24th, 2012

Starbucks 2012 Ornament

Every year I look forward to different stores offering limited edition Christmas ornaments, particularly Starbucks.  I have a few of these cute coffee cup ornaments, and it's fun to have something that I collect every holiday season.

This year, Starbucks offered two different cup designs. One was a gold-painted cup, and the other was this winking snowman. I went with the snowman, mainly because my other Starbucks ornaments are the "red cup" theme as well.  It is a cute little stocking stuffer or gift for anyone that is a fan of Starbucks!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 21st, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - English Christmas Cupcake

In addition to the usual holiday offerings at Georgetown Cupcake, they introduced two new flavors this season- one of them being English Christmas.  This cupcake is "Georgetown Cupcake’s version of the traditional English Christmas spice cake, baked with fresh cranberries and orange zest and topped with classic vanilla cream cheese frosting and a fondant holly leaf".

As you can see from the cross-section of the cupcake, there are lots of cranberries (and orange zest, if you look closely) throughout.  Although I can't say that this is a favorite of mine given my general dislike of fruit desserts, I actually liked the cranberries which added some tartness to the cake.  Fortunately, this tastes nothing like a dreaded fruitcake, haha.  It's a very pretty addition to the holiday lineup!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 20th, 2012

Shake Shack - Gingerbread Custard + Ornament

Mmm... yet another delicious trip to Shake Shack!  Here we have the Gingerbread custard, which is available on Saturdays in December.  It has a strong, spicy flavor that definitely tastes like a real gingerbread cookie.  Anyone that is a fan of gingerbread cookies will love this one! 

In addition to the tasty dinner, I also came in for another reason - to get this year's Shake Shack ornament!  This little beauty is free with a $25 gift card purchase during the holiday season.  Since I would very easily spend $25 at Shake Shack, this was an easy decision for me haha.  It's a cute scene of the original Madison Square Park Shake Shack with the Manhattan skyline in the background.  I'm excited to have this ornament for future tree decorating :o)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 19th, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Hanukkah Blue Velvet Cupcake

I always love how Georgetown Cupcake has different cupcake flavors for each of the holidays year after year.  This year for Hanukkah, Georgetown Cupcake offered a Hanukkah Blue Velvet cupcake.  It is a blue velvet cake topped with their signature cream cheese frosting and a fondant Star of David.  Despite the deep blue color, this is just like their regular red velvet cupcake, which is delicious.  I got this one for a friend of mine during Hanukkah - it's a nice gift for any friends that celebrate Hanukkah and love sweets :o)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 18th, 2012

Shake Shack - Halloweenie Dog + Peanut Butter Marshmallow Swirl Custard

I think this may have been the first time I did NOT get a Shackburger at Shake Shack, haha.  Well, if I'm going to stray from my usual, it might as well be for a special menu item!  

This is the Halloweenie Dog that I tried back in late October.  It's a "Vienna all-beef hot dog split and griddled crisp, topped with pumpkin mustard, crumbled bacon, cranberries and sage".  At first I was a bit skeptical of the mustard since I don't usually like it, but I found it to be a welcome addition to the other toppings.  I loved the combination of bacon and cranberries - a nice mix of sweet, salty, and tartness to go with the hot dog.  

In addition to the Halloweenie Dog, I tried the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Swirl custard.  I knew this was going to be good before I even tried it, haha.  This was super delicious, with a really strong peanut butter flavor.  There wasn't much marshmallow that I could really detect, but it was likely mixed in to the custard - either way, I'm glad I tried this tasty custard!  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 17th, 2012

Crate & Barrel - Gingerbread Man Collection

As soon as I saw the Gingerbread Man collection in Crate & Barrel, I KNEW I had to buy something.  Everything looked so cute!  There were platters, dessert plates, mugs, children's mugs, and a few other pieces in the collection.  Unfortunately, I have negative cabinet space in my kitchen as it is, so I knew I couldn't buy all of it... but two mugs wouldn't hurt, right?

These mugs are super cute and a perfect festive addition to my ever-expanding mug collection.  They are perfect for drinking hot chocolate out of all winter long :o)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 14th, 2012

Starbucks Holiday Cups

There's just something about the Starbucks holiday cups that screams HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to people.  When those red cups come out, it's as if the floodgates of garland, tinsel, presents, holiday music, and all around holiday spirit to the face, in so many words.

Below are just two of the several holiday designs this year - what I like to call the Faceless Caroler and Sassy Fox.  They aren't the best designs that Starbucks has offered, but there's just something about the bright red cups that always make my latte much more festive :o) 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 13th, 2012

Seattle Eats - Fumie's Gold, Seabell Bakery, Red Mango

Of course a trip to Seattle wouldn't be complete with lots and lots of sweets as well, haha.

Here we have an assortment of delicious Japanese desserts from Fumie's Gold: Strawberry Shortcake, Matcha (green tea) Tiramisu, Sweet Potato Roll, and a Cream Puff. SO SO SO SO SO GOOD. I NEED this in DC.

I also checked out Seabell Bakery, which I had not been to before. It's a cute little shop with the standard Japanese sandwich bread, filled rolls, and sandwiches. Of course I had to try the Hello Kitty and Panda chocolate-filled breads, haha.

Finally, while this is not specific to Seattle, I tried out the pumpkin frozen yogurt at Red Mango - delicious!  I got it with sliced almonds and crushed graham crackers, which added a lot of texture and made it even more "pumpkin pie" ish. 

Seabell Bakery
12816 Factoria Blvd. SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

Red Mango - Bellevue Square
1031 Bellevue Square
Bellevue, WA 98004

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 12th, 2012

Seattle Eats - Din Tai Fung and Preservation Kitchen

Of course a visit to Seattle wouldn't be complete without some delicious food! While I was visiting my parents over Thanksgiving, I had great meals at both Din Tai Fung and Preservation Kitchen.  I'd highly recommend both restaurants for anyone visiting the Seattle area.

My mom and I tried out Din Tai Fung while we were out shopping in Bellevue Square - even at 2pm, the restaurant was packed!  The hosts will take your cell phone number and text you when your table is ready, which worked out well.  The food was great and the service was quick and friendly - I'm sure they get questions about their famous soup dumplings, and our server was happy to help out.

In addition to an order of sauteed spinach with garlic, we got:   

Pork and Crab Soup Dumplings

Vegetarian Shanghai Rice Cakes

The super cute soup dumpling mascot, greeting everyone at the front waiting area.

On another day, my parents and I tried out Preservation Kitchen's Dine Around Seattle menu, where participating restaurants offer $15 three-course lunches.  The restaurant is located outside of Seattle in what was originally home to the mayor of Bothell, WA.  This was a great deal, and the atmosphere of this small restaurant was wonderful as well!

Appetizer: Polenta Tots with Chipotle-Lime Aioli

Entree: Wild Boar Ragu- Pappardelle, Boar Shoulder Ragu, Parmesan Reggiano

Dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Din Tai Fung - Bellevue
700 Bellevue Way NE #280
Bellevue, WA 98004

Preservation Kitchen
17121 Bothell Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 11th, 2012

Panera - Pumpkin Pie Bagel

We finally meet, Panera Pumpkin Pie bagel! It's not so much that this bagel was hard to find, but more that I wasn't really by one in the morning when I could try it out.  I had my mom pick this up for me as I was en route to Seattle to visit them, which worked out well :o)

First off - if you're a fan of coffee or crumb cake, you will love the top of this bagel.  It's got the same crumbly sweet topping sprinkled liberally on top.  The rest of the bagel smelled like any other pumpkin baked good.  This really didn't resemble so much a bagel as a round, dense, pumpkin crumb pastry haha.  Which isn't to say it's bad, it's just incredibly sweet - but clearly, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  I'm glad I tried out this seasonal treat!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 10th, 2012

CVS Deals - Week of 12/9

This week's CVS circular has a lot of holiday candy and cold medicine deals, which makes sense since both of those are prevalent this time of year, haha.  So, if you are sick and/or craving holiday candy, head on over to CVS this week for some great deals!

- Four M&M holiday bags: 4/$10 on sale, two $1/2 manufacturer's coupons, $3 Extra Bucks back.  This includes the cute mini holiday baking M&Ms, which are great for holiday cookies and other treats.

- Buy 2 Advil, Robitussin, or Dimetapp medicines, get $3 Extra Bucks:

  • 50-count Advil tablets: $4.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon;
  • 10-count Advil congestion relief: $4.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon.
Happy shopping everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 7th, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - PB Fudge Cupcake

I've definitely had the PB Fudge cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake before, but once I realized I had never written about it, of course I "had" to get it again.

This cupcake is a "Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a fudge core topped with a peanut butter frosting and 
fudge star drizzle".  Anyone that's a fan of Reese's or peanut butter and chocolate in general will LOVE this cupcake.  It's really rich and the gooey center adds extra decadent flavors to the cupcake.  The peanut butter frosting especially is really delicious, I could eat just the frosting on its own, haha.  You just can't go wrong with a good peanut butter and chocolate combination! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 6th, 2012

Shake Shack - Heirloom Tomato Custard

Back on my birthday weekend, I met up with a group of friends at Shake Shack, so of course I had to try out the Heirloom Tomato custard which was available that day.  Yes, it sounds really weird and probably sort of gross.  However, curiosity clearly wins out for me in these cases, as it usually does.

The custard had sort of a yellow-orange hue which you may be able to tell in the photo above.  The custard smelled and tasted like, well, tomatoes - not ketchup, or pasta sauce, mind you, but straight-up tomatoes.  This might be one of the most bizarre Shake Shack custard flavors I've ever had, that's for sure.  Some of my friends found that dipping french fries into the custard actually made it pretty tasty, haha.  It reminded me of something I'd see at a molecular gastronomy-type restaurant, using tomato ice cream as a topping for some sort of salad or protein.  Needless to say I did not eat even close to the whole cup, but it was fun to try, haha. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 5th, 2012

Watch What Happens Live on Bravo - Kristin Cavallari


Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system - I finally made it through on the phone for Bravo TV's Watch What Happens Live online aftershow!!! I had been on hold and was supposed to be on the tv broadcast - even though that didn't work out, I'm happy to have made it on at all :o)

It was awesome enough to be talking to Andy Cohen (you may recall our MOMENT from his book signing earlier this year), but to talk to Kristin Cavallari, who has and always will be one of my favorites from Laguna Beach/The Hills, yes, this was quite AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Here's the online episode of WWHL, it's split into two segments and my call is in this one, starting at the 3:39 mark. 

I know I probably sounded like a dummy that wasn't ready for the call, hence my "..............................HELLO?", haha.  But I swear I was really trying to be coherent- it's a little hard to know what's going on since the audio that I was hearing over the phone was about 15 seconds ahead of what I was watching online.  

By the way, Kristin, Andy, and I are totally BFFs now, they just haven't realized it yet.  LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 4th, 2012

Shake Shack - December Custard Flavors

Woohoo, it's time for another month of new custard flavors at Shake Shack!

Monday: Eggnog
Tuesday: Honey Ricotta Chestnut
Wednesday: Uncle Danny's Chocolate Bourbon Pie
Thursday: Sweet Potato Marshmallow
Friday: Jelly Donut
Saturday: Gingerbread
Sunday: Candy Cane Crunch

As expected, the majority of the custard flavors are holiday-themed.  I have my eye on Tuesday and Thursday especially, but they all sound v. interesting!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lunchtime Links for December 3rd, 2012

Georgetown Cupcake - Free Chocolate Sundae Cupcake

This Chocolate Sundae cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake was another "new" flavor that consists of a combination of two existing flavors.  Either way, it's still new to me!

This cupcake is essentially the Banana Split cupcake, but instead of banana cake, it was chocolate cake, like the bottom of a Lava Fudge cupcake.  Georgetown Cupcake's chocolate cake is really delicious, so no complaints here on the cake switch :o)