Monday, March 31, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 31st, 2014

Target Pens

I never really used to pay too much attention to the $1 bins at Target, but they've really stepped up the selection over recent years!  These pens are $1 per pack of two pens, and come in lots of cute designs.  Best of all, these are actually nice pens - which isn't always a guarantee with cheapo pens, haha.  I love using these at work and for my planner - they add a fun pop of color to your daily writing needs :o)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 28th, 2014

Trader Joe's - Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl Spread

Hellooooooo, Speculoos and chocolate! I love Biscoff spread, and who doesn't love chocolate - so this was an easy purchase for me at Trader Joe's.  I will say, this might be a little intense for spreading on toast, which is what I normally do with Nutella, but it's still a great treat to have at home.  I think this would be delicious swirled into brownies or as a dip for fresh fruit.  Or, as fans of Nutella already know, the best way to enjoy this jar of deliciousness might be as simple as a spoon :o) 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 27th, 2014

Kirbie's Cravings - Peanut Butter Mug Cake

I love easy recipes that come together in a quick amount of time and effort - especially desserts! This peanut butter mug cake by Kirbie's Cravings looked delicious and suspiciously easy, haha.  

Aside from the microwave times, the recipe is exactly how she listed it in her post.  The cake was fluffy, with all of the taste of a cake in a convenient mug and short cooking time.  This is a must-try for anyone that loves peanut butter and quick desserts! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 26th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Free Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake

Count on Georgetown Cupcake to take something delicious like a chocolate covered strawberry, and turn it into a cupcake!  This cupcake consisted of their delicious strawberry-studded cake and a thick cover of their chocolate ganache.  This is such a great idea for a cupcake flavor, and I love the addition of fresh strawberry chunks in the cake.  I hope they bring this one back again soon! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 25th, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra Ice Cream

The Karamel Sutra Core flavor isn't one of the new Core ice creams that Ben & Jerry's came out with, but I wanted to try it anyway because I've never had a Core ice cream before.  I figured it was a good introduction to the Core concept before moving on to the new flavors, haha.

This consists of "Chocolate and Caramel Ice Creams with Fudge Chips & a Soft Caramel Core".  As you can see, there's plenty of caramel throughout the container - this ice cream definitely isn't lacking in any of the components!

As expected, this is sooooooooooooo delicious.  I initially thought that the caramel core would be too thick or gummy, but it was the perfect soft complement to the two ice creams and the crunchy fudge chips.  Whoever came up with this "two flavors + core" idea is a genius! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 24th, 2014

Shake Shack - Super Fry Frickle Dog + Golden Sponge Creme Cake Custard

I always love limited edition menu items at Shake Shack, and this one was extra special since it was just for the DC area!

The Super Fry Frickle Dog is a delicious collaboration between Shake Shack and Gordy's Pickle Jar, a local pickle company.  I love pickles, so this was definitely on my to-do list as soon as I could get over to a Shake Shack, haha.


I got a nice little bonus during my visit - for a limited number of orders, they were also giving out a free jar of Gordy's Thai Basil jalapenos, woo!  The hot dog was liberally covered with melted cheese and the fried shallots and jalapenos.  It might sound like an unusual combination, but I loved how the crunch of the toppings complimented the melted cheese and delicious hot dog.  

In addition to the Fry Frickle Dog, I also tried the Golden Sponge Creme Cake custard - mmmmmm, so good!  It looked like French Vanilla ice cream with the bright yellow color, but tasted just like a delicious vanilla cake ice cream.  I hope they bring back the Fry Frickle Dog and this custard again soon! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 21st, 2014

Shake Shack - Pretzel Caramel Custard

I'm always amazed at how much "blending" goes into the Shake Shack custards, especially with pretzel flavors like this Pretzel Caramel custard.  

The cup of custard looks like a regular vanilla custard at first, but the caramel and pretzel flavors come through from the very first bite.  Even though there weren't any physical pretzel pieces in the custard, it definitely tasted like a salty soft pretzel, along with the sweet caramel flavor.  I hope they bring this one back again soon! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 20th, 2014

Donburi Restaurant - Washington, DC

A while back C, O, and I met up at Donburi in Adams Morgan to check out their dishes.  The restaurant is tiny and narrow, but the small menu and relative quickness of the meal itself keeps the seats moving pretty quickly.  

After looking over the menu, all three of us decided on the Mix Katsudon, haha.  I mean, why not go all out and get the fried pork cutlet PLUS fried shrimp?  I did find it interesting that the egg was placed on top of the fried components - when I've had this dish in Japan, the egg is cooked with the fried pork/shrimp, creating a loose Frittata-type dish.  However, I liked how the egg was separated in this one, because it left the pork and shrimp really crunchy.  The strong flavors were great with the ample rice underneath, making each bite very flavorful.  I would definitely like to come back to try the salmon sashimi bowl! 

2438 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 19th, 2014

Tout de Sweet - Coffee Macaron

I've always been a fan of coffee-flavored baked goods and ice cream, so when I saw a coffee macaron at Tout de Sweet I knew I had to try it out!  This was delicious, like a cup of sweet milky coffee in macaron form.  Since it's coffee flavored, this can totally be allowed as a breakfast food, right? This is the perfect little treat for any fellow coffee fans!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 18th, 2014

Goldfish Grahams - S'mores

I've never really paid too much attention to snacks that are geared towards kids, but I couldn't ignore the fabulous display of Goldfish at Target, haha.  I had no idea that they had so many different flavors now, I always assumed it was only the cheddar cracker version.  

This Grahams S'mores bag consists of three types of fish: graham flavored fish, chocolate flavored fish, and a smaller marshmallow fish (similar to Lucky Charms marshmallows). While this doesn't quite have that same "melted" quality of real s'mores, the flavors work really well together. All mixed together, this is a delicious snack, especially for anyone that loves the components of s'mores! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 17th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Free Banana Ganache Cupcake

If you're a fan of chocolate-covered bananas and/or "Arrested Development", this Georgetown Cupcake flavor is the right one for you!

Anyone that has had banana bread before knows that the addition of bananas in baked goods add great moisture, and this cake was delicious.  With the thick chocolate ganache coating, it really did taste like a soft chocolate-covered banana :o)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 14th, 2014

Stacy's Gingerbread and Cocoa Pita Chips

I normally only get the Simply Naked flavor of Stacy's pita chips, but as we all know I usually can't resist anything that is limited edition, haha.  Luckily I got these Gingerbread and Cocoa chips right when Wegmans had them on sale so that was a nice little bonus.

The cocoa chips were delicious as expected, but the real surprise for me was the gingerbread chips.  They had this great spicy, full-on gingerbread flavor all around the chips, and it was a really addictive taste.  I hope they bring these back during the holidays again! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 13th, 2014

Hot Chocolate Cookies

I saw this recipe for hot chocolate cookies on Janae's blog a while back, and thought they were perfect wintertime cookies to bring in to work! 

I bought a bunch of Starbucks hot chocolate packets so this was the perfect recipe to get a different use out of them.  The mini marshmallows are such a cute touch, and as you can see they get very soft and spread a little as they bake.  These were a big hit at work and I think they're a cute treat for anyone that also loves hot chocolate! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 12th, 2014

Shake Shack - Peanut Butter Candy Bar Custard

Mmm, peanut butter and chocolate!  As soon as I saw a "Peanut butter candy bar" listed on the Shake Shack custard menu, I knew I had to go try it out.  As expected, this flavor did not disappoint - it was a perfect blend of creamy peanut butter and chocolate.  Like a cup of Reese's in ice cream form - anyone that loves the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination will love this one! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 11th, 2014

Aggio Restaurant

M, her mom that was visiting, and I had a wonderful time trying out Chef Bryan Voltaggio's new Aggio - which is located inside Range restaurant.

The wine list was extensive, and also pretty funny if you read the different categories and the descriptions.  

We had a great dinner with delicious food, and fantastic service (Gerard was awesome!)  It definitely had a special occasion atmosphere but not stuffy at all.  I look forward to coming again to try out more dishes!

Amuse - Parmesan funnel cake

Chioggia Beets - tonnato sauce, charred rosemary, pine nuts, mullet roe, arugula

Cavatelli and Clams - rye, soffrito, soda crackers toasted in brown butter, prosciutto lardo

Pistachio in Olives - olive oil cake, pistachio cream, cara cara orange sorbet, crispy pomegranate, kumquats

Bonus dessert - Espresso and Campari grapefruit chocolates 

5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20015

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 10th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Chocolate Mint Crunch Cheesecake

The Chocolate Mint Crunch Cheesecake is one of the special March flavors at Georgetown Cupcake, and as far as I know it's the first time this flavor has been sold there.  This is a "Chocolate mint cheesecake baked with mint cookie pieces, topped with mint-infused whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting and mint cookie crumble and fondant mint leaf".

I'm not a big fan of mint chocolate flavors, but I liked that this was a cheesecake-based cupcake because I've enjoyed their cheesecake offerings before.  If you're a fan of mint chocolate, especially Thin Mint cookies, you will love this one! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 7th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Red Carpet Red Velvet Cupcake

I hope everyone else enjoyed the Oscars this past Sunday - I thought Ellen did a great job, and there were so many fun moments throughout the show.  On that day, Georgetown Cupcake offered a Red Carpet Red Velvet cupcake as their free secret flavor, which is their red velvet cupcake with a celebrity-sized gold fondant star on top, haha.  This was a cute twist on a regular menu item to celebrate the end of awards season! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 6th, 2014

Winter Flower Stamps

I love the new Winter Flowers collection of stamps that recently came out - how pretty!  For someone like me that sends cards out year-round, these are a pretty transitional stamp between the holidays and spring/summer. And yes, I do tend to use specific stamps at certain times of the year, haha.  If you're a fan of flowers, or of pretty stamps in general, make sure to pick up a sheet or two!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 5th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Valentine's Day XO Vanilla Cupcake

I always love Georgetown Cupcake's holiday-specific cupcakes, and this year's Valentine's day cupcakes were no exception.  Here we have the XO Vanilla cupcake, which consists of a "classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake with baby pink buttercream and XO fondant". 

There was also an XO chocolate version, but for that day I decided on just the vanilla.  The buttercream frosting is thicker than the standard cream cheese-based frosting, but the vanilla flavor is delicious as expected.  This was a super cute way to celebrate Valentine's day, especially for anyone that loves the color pink!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 4th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - March Flavors

March is all about the start of spring, and a fun holiday like St. Patrick's day - here are this month's special flavors at Georgetown Cupcake:

Cherry BlossomClassic Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake baked with fresh cherries and topped with a cherry infused cream cheese frosting and a fondant cherry blossom

Chocolate Mint Crunch Cheesecake: Chocolate Mint Cheesecake baked with mint cookie pieces, topped with mint-infused whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting and mint cookie crumble and fondant mint leaf

St. Patrick's Day Chocolate: Valrhona chocolate cupcake with light green buttercream frosting and a fondant shamrock

St. Patrick's Day VanillaClassic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cupcake with light green buttercream and a fondant shamrock

Be sure to get to a Georgetown Cupcake during March if you're interested in any of these special flavors! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lunchtime Links for March 3rd, 2014

Shake Shack - March Custard Flavors

Happy March everyone!  A new month means another new selection of custards at Shake Shack, woo!

Monday: Mint Chocolate Chip
Tuesday: Boston Cream Pie
Wednesday: Black Sesame Citrus
Thursday: Pineapple Brown Sugar
Friday: Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter
Saturday: Golden Sponge Creme Cake
Sunday: Buttery Caramel Cocoa Nib

I am definitely interested in Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday the most!