Friday, February 28, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 28th, 2014

Shake Shack - Pretzel Caramel Custard

I've definitely mentioned this before, but I always love when I get the perfectly domed custard at Shake Shack, haha.  It looks so perfect when it's that circular ball o' ice cream.

The Pretzel Caramel custard was definitely one that I assumed would be a winner, just based on the two main components.  And as expected, I loved this one! There were not any visible pretzel pieces in my cup, but there was a salt and pretzel-y flavor definitely coming through in each spoonful.  I hope they bring this one back again sometime, it's a great custard flavor that I think a lot of people will enjoy! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 27th, 2014

Daikaya - Mugi-Miso Ramen

I'm a huge fan of the Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen at Daikaya, but every once in a while I actually manage to branch out a little, haha.  I chose the Mugi-Miso ramen during a recent visit: "Our barley miso ramen has a very fragrant quality and is lighter than traditional miso. Miso ramen is native to Sapporo, but using mugi-miso is special to Daikaya." 

The taste is definitely different than the shoyu ramen, but I did find this miso ramen to be delicious as well.  One main reason that I don't usually like miso ramen is because the miso flavor can be cloying and a little overwhelming, but this one had a very balanced flavor.  Considering I didn't think I liked miso either before enjoying this ramen, I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you're looking to switch it up a bit from the more widely-known soy sauce based broth. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 26th, 2014

Fresh Baguette - Bethesda, MD

A few weeks ago while I was making my regular pilgrimage to Georgetown Cupcake in Bethesda, I thought I would stop in Fresh Baguette as well.  Location-wise this worked out well, as Fresh Baguette is around one block from Georgetown Cupcake. 

The inside of this small shop smells amazing, assuming you love the smell of fresh baked bread. And if you don't, then I don't think we can be friends, haha.  After looking around at the selection of pastries and breads, I decided to try their chocolate croissant.  Chocolate croissants will always remind me of my semester abroad in London - which I know sounds random but stick with me here. I had an internship one day a week while I was in London, and the office had a coffee shop nearby that other employees would frequent for mid-morning breaks.  The chocolate croissant became one of my regular picks for these breaks, which sounds dangerously unhealthy to me now, but oh well, haha. 

Ok, so back to the chocolate croissant at Fresh Baguette.  This was my first time there, so it could have just been luck or good timing, but this croissant I got was warm, flaky, and SO good.  The chocolate was evenly distributed which was great- I hate when it's only in the first few bites or off to one side.  Even later when I warmed it back up to eat the rest of it, it was buttery and delicious.  It may also be worth noting that while I was enjoying my croissant, a few customers came in to pick up special orders - it seems like they have a number of dishes that would be great for parties, or to bring to a dinner at someone's house. I hope to go back to pick up a baguette or another pastry soon! 

Fresh Baguette
4919 Bethesda Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 25th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Cranberry Spice Cupcake

Clearly we are past the holiday season, but I still wanted to get this Cranberry Spice cupcake in the books, so to speak. This holiday offering from Georgetown Cupcake consists of a cranberry spice cake, cream cheese frosting, and a cute holly fondant decoration.  The cake had little bits of cranberry mixed throughout, and the spice cake balanced really well with the cream cheese frosting.  It looks like they will not be offering the Cranberry Spice cupcake during the holidays this year, but they may offer it as a free off-the-menu flavor at some point if anyone is interested in trying it! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 24th, 2014

Haute Papier Hautebox #4

Another fabulous HauteBox from Haute Papier! This one included a few seasonal items (Love postcard and St. Patrick's Day coaster), as well as everyday items that are always great to have handy.  I especially love the monogram neon pink notepad -  such a fun punch of color for my apartment! I always look forward to seeing what comes in these shipments and this one was great! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 21st, 2014

Birthday Freebies - Buzzfeed Post

So, browsing through my feedly list of blogs as I regularly do, I came across a Buzzfeed post titled "18 Free Things You Can Get On Your Birthday". Naturally, I clicked on it, seeing as I love signing up for birthday freebies.

It was a delightful surprise to see one of my own photos looking back at me, #11 on the list, haha!  Indeed, the free scoop of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins is a great birthday treat, and that one I had last year was delicious.  I highly recommend signing up for this, and other birthday freebies listed if you're interested!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 20th, 2014

Shake Shack Tote Bag

A big THANK YOU to Shake Shack for such an awesome gift! I had initially gone online to buy the NYC Tote but then noticed the shipping price (this is only available online, not in stores).  Shake Shack generously offered to send me a tote as a gift, along with a super cute sheet of stickers! It's such a cute bag with the iconic images of both NYC and Shake Shack. Check out the store if you're interested - there are lots of fun items, especially the T-shirts! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 19th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Super Bowl Cupcakes

I just had to share Georgetown Cupcake's offerings from Super Bowl Sunday a few weeks back - how cute are these??  In addition to the Denver and Seattle cupcakes, there were also regular football cupcakes and Puppy Bowl themed cupcakes, so they made sure to think of all "Bowl" fans, haha.  Georgetown Cupcake always provides a fun way to celebrate an event with something delicious! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 18th, 2014

Astro Doughnuts

I looooooooooooooved Astro Doughnuts' doughnuts at the insane BYT DonutFest, but I still hadn't made it over to their storefront until recently.  The space is tiny, but filled with lots of delicious goodies.  

Here's the day's menu- I love that they showcase the day's selections in the actual doughnut form, such a delicious menu board :o)

Delicious doughnuts aside, my main focus was to try Astro's fried chicken, which I have never tried before.  I got the 2 piece fried chicken, and enjoyed it with my friend M out on the bench in front of the store.  This chicken wasn't really greasy at all and super crisp - a decadent and delicious start to my day for sure!  As long as you like sweets and/or fried chicken, there's something for all of your sweet and salty cravings here!

Astro Doughnuts
1308 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 14th, 2014

Valentine's Day Cards

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I love sending cards year-round, but I especially love sending cards for the holidays, when there's an excuse to use themed stationary items.

This year, USPS came out with these Cut Paper Heart stamps which are not only perfect for Valentine's Day cards, but would be cute for weddings and other celebratory mailings. 

In addition to sending Valentine's Day cards to friends, I also participated in Hey Love Designs' Valentine exchange, which meant I got to send out a few extra cards this year :o)  This year I used a mix of different types of cards - some purchased at CVS, some crafted using heart ribbon and my cupcake stamp, and a Tiny Prints order of personalized cupcake cards as well.  When I posted the photo below on Instagram, I hadn't mailed out my cards yet, which is why the Tiny Prints ones are partially hidden, haha.

Now that I've mailed out my cards, you can see the Tiny Prints cards above- aren't they super cute? These are meant to be classroom Valentines so they're very small, but I just put them into regular sized envelopes for mailing so it wasn't that big of a deal.  Whether or not you're sending out cards this Valentine's Day, I hope you're all spreading the love to friends, family, and loved ones today! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 13th, 2014

Target - Valentine's Day Mugs

Target, YOU SLAY ME. 

If I knew what was good for me, I would avoid going to Target during any calendar holidays, because they always have so much cute stuff for sale.  They really busted out the big guns for Valentine's Day this year, with the combination of cute drawings + mugs.  AKA my Kryptonite.


Seriously, so so cute.  I managed to only buy one of them - the "You are my cup of tea!" in the bottom photo.  Each of the designs is such a fun little gift for anyone, including yourself!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 12th, 2014

CVS Deals - Week of 02/09/2014

This week is a great week to stock up on some items if you're starting to feel sick, or just paranoid about getting sick from everyone else around you, haha.

- Softsoap hand soap: $1.88 on sale, $1 CVS kiosk coupon (just scan your Extra Card to get this)
- 2 Advil Congestion Relief cold medicine packs: $4.99 each on sale, $3/2 manufacturer's coupon, $3 ExtraBucks back.

And as with most weeks, great dental care deals this week as well:

- 2 Crest mouthwashes, 500ml: $3.99 each on sale, $1.50/2 manufacturer's coupon, $6 Extra Bucks back ($3 per item)
- New Crest Sensitive, or CrestBe toothpaste: $4.99 on sale, $1 manufacturer's coupon, $3 Extra Bucks back

Happy shopping everyone!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 11th, 2014

Marshmallow Crispy & Cookie Dough Oreos

There's nothing quite like a classic Oreo cookie, but boy do they seem to have fun coming up with new flavors, haha.  You may have heard of the new Marshmallow Crispy and Cookie Dough Oreos starting a few weeks ago, when initial reviews were starting to pop up online.  

I went to Target the week of the official release date for these, and didn't have to look too hard for them - they were prominently displayed by the entrance, haha.  I happily picked up both and managed to wait until after work to try them out.

As you can see, there's plenty of little bits inside both creme sections, which makes them look very different from regular Oreos right off the bat.  The Marshmallow Crispy is very tasty, especially if you're a fan of the rice treats that these are not-so-secretly named after, haha.  I am already a fan of Golden Oreos (the vanilla ones), so I'm sure that helped too.  

The Cookie Dough Oreos unfortunately didn't fare as well for me.  I didn't think anything cookie dough could go wrong, but unfortunately these didn't really taste much like cookie dough at all.  In fact, these have an extremely strong and sort of strange coffee taste - which seems to be the general consensus among other online reviewers as well.  Now don't get me wrong, I love coffee, but it's a little odd to have a super sugary coffee taste overpowering any cookie dough taste.  These may fare well broken up and mixed into brownies, which I might try out later on.  Either way, I'm glad that I found these and tried them out, I'm a huge fan of Oreos and I always enjoy trying the new flavors! 

Incidentally, I received a package of the Marshmallow Crispy Oreos from a Twitter contest held by Oreo during the Grammys a few days after purchasing these - I'm glad they sent me extra of the flavor I liked better, haha! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 10th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Free Chocolate Strawberry Ganache Cupcake

So, this might be the only time (well, hopefully) that I post about Georgetown Cupcake without a photo, haha.

You see, the other day, the free cupcake of the day was posted as "Chocolate Strawberry Ganache", so I went to Georgetown Cupcake and asked for it.  At that point, I was told by the cashier that the free one that they had was a regular Chocolate Ganache cupcake, so I naturally assumed that's what it was.  Fast forward two days, and I bit into the cupcake without really thinking much of it.

Turns out, it WAS a Chocolate Ganache cupcake... with strawberry frosting in the middle, hahaha.  I had already split the cupcake into pieces so it wouldn't have made the best photo - just imagine a Chocolate Ganache cupcake with pink frosting in the middle.  I love Georgetown Cupcake's strawberry frosting so this was a nice flavor combination, like chocolate-covered strawberries.  Maybe they will offer this free cupcake again and I'll have a photo of it next time :o)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 7th, 2014

Lay's Milk Chocolate-covered Chips

I came across these chocolate-covered potato chips at Target late last year, and knew that I HAD to try them.  I mean, stuff like this is basically a guarantee that I will buy it, let's be honest.  

So, first things first - these potato chips are super thick, to the point that some of them looked more like chocolate discs and not potato chips at all.  But, I can see why they had to be thick, to hold all of that chocolate coating.  I actually liked the chips that were only partially coated more than fully coated - the full chocolate coverage was a little too much, especially after a few bites.  I liked having the plain chip sections to break it up a little bit.  I shared this bag with co-workers and I'm glad I did that, considering how rich these chips were, haha.  These were initially offered as a holiday-only promotional item, so we shall see if they'll be back in stores at some point in the future! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 6th, 2014

Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin + cream cheese, what's not to love? 

I Pinned this copycat Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffin recipe from Crazy for Crust a while back and I'm really glad that I finally tried it out.  While my muffins didn't turn out QUITE like the ones in her photos, they were still delicious and a big hit at work.  But seriously though, why do my cream cheese blobs look like they're trying to run away from the muffins, haha.  

There are two components to these muffins, but I assure you that it's really simple to put together. I think the main thing is to be prepared, and leave the cream cheese out to soften because it'll definitely make it easier to mix that way.  Try these out if you're a fan of the Starbucks version, or even if you have never tried them and just want something pumpkin! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 5th, 2014

Graffiato - New Brunch Items

Towards the end of 2013 I went to brunch at Graffiato with N to try out some of their new brunch menu items.  We ordered a good variety of dishes which were all delicious, as expected.  I liked that they had made some of the brunch dishes bigger compared to the initial brunch menu, especially if you're sharing with other diners. 

I just heard about Graffiato opening a second location in Richmond, VA, so if anyone is around that area once it opens - definitely try it for brunch! 

Sticky Bun $6
mascarpone, toffee, pecan

House-Cured Salmon $13
bagel, créme fraîche, red onion, caper

Braised Bacon Hash (unfortunately I don't see it on the online menu, it may have been a special?)

Calzone $18
lamb ragu, tomato, teleggio, egg

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 4th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - February Specials

Georgetown Cupcake's February specials all sound very cute and delicious, with lots of pink all over the place, haha:

- Strawberry Lava FudgeValrhona chocolate cupcake with a rich fudge core topped with a strawberry icing and a fudge star drizzle.
- Strawberry CheesecakeClassic madagascar bourbon vanilla cheesecake baked with fresh strawberries and topped with a fresh strawberry frosting and a fondant heart.
- Olympic Gold Medal Red VelvetClassic red velvet cupcake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting topped with a fondant Olympic “Gold Medal”.
- Valentine's Day XO ChocolateValrhona chocolate cupcake with baby pink buttercream and “XO” fondant.
- Valentine's Day XO VanillaClassic Madagascar vanilla cupcake with baby pink buttercream and “XO” fondant.

I love the strawberry frosting at Georgetown Cupcake, so I highly recommend those if you like strawberries as well! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lunchtime Links for February 3rd, 2014

Shake Shack - February Custard Menu

Monday: Chocolate Mint Fudge
Tuesday: Big Easy Banana Chip
Wednesday: Salted Caramel
Thursday: Blackout
Friday: Cupid's Passion (passion fruit pineapple)
Saturday: Coffee & Donuts
Sunday: Honey Roasted Peanut Brittle

Mmm, looks like another great month of custards at Shake Shack! I always love a month that offers Coffee & Donuts (SO good).  Also, I am intrigued by Thursday's - maybe because it reminds me of Britney Spears, haha!