Monday, June 30, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 30th, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Fudge Core Ice Cream

When I saw the lineup for the new Ben & Jerry's Core ice creams, I was looking forward to all of them, but especially the Peanut Butter Fudge Core flavor.  This consists of "chocolate and peanut butter ice creams with mini peanut butter cups and a peanut butter fudge core". YUM!

This ice cream was as good as I hoped it would be, and probably more, haha. The mini peanut butter cups were awesome, and the layers upon layers of peanut butter and chocolate in different forms was fantastic.  Anyone that is a fan of chocolate and peanut butter (which really, should be everyone) will love this ice cream!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 27th, 2014

Goldbely - Ramen Burger

I missed out on getting Cronuts shipped to me from Goldbely a while back, so when I saw this "sale" for Ramen Burgers, I knew I had to try to get it!  Eventually, my order went through and I was able to get a set of two Ramen Burgers sent to my home, woohoo!

The package was huge, mainly due to the shipping container that kept the contents cold, and the package arrived completely intact.  Every component was separate, and all I had to do was prepare each component and assemble it.  

Here we have my first Ramen Burger with baby spinach added. The special sauce that they provided was delicious - it tasted like a mix of Japanese BBQ sauce with some daikon radish to me, but I'm not quite sure what is in it.  As you can see the ramen buns are prepared well so that they don't fall apart as soon as you start pan-frying them, which I was impressed with.  I thought this was such a fun way to eat ramen and a burger, and I love that Goldbely has continued to offer these opportunities to those of us that don't live near the store/restaurants! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 26th, 2014

bkr Storm Bottle

I readily admit that I have an obsession with collecting things, namely drinking vessels.  I have TONS of mugs, and I've started collecting lots of reusable travel bottles as well.  I have a few bkr bottles in various colors, but I couldn't resist this super cute "Storm" design, which is a dark grey bottle with a light pink heart in the middle.  I love the contrast of the dark background with the light pink, so cute!  I use the bkr bottles all the time at work, and these are a great way to increase your water intake during the day.  Check them out if you're in the market for a cute new travel bottle!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 25th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Blond Banana Cupcake

This month, Georgetown Cupcake has a Valrhona Blond Ganache cupcake on the menu, so it was probably a matter of time before the "secret" flavors started including this Valrhona Blond ganache frosting as well.  

This recent secret flavor was a banana cake with Valrhona Blond ganache on top as the frosting.  I definitely got a freshly frosted cupcake, as the ganache topping was glossy and still runny, haha.  I'm not really familiar with Valrhona Blond chocolate, but it reminded me of a rich caramel flavor, and it paired really well with the banana cake.  And, since it's a banana cake, it's ok to eat this for breakfast... haha.  This was a great combination, and I hope they bring it back again! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 24th, 2014

Daikaya - Vegetable Ramen

I recently headed over to Daikaya ramen for dinner, and decided to try out their Vegetable ramen.  For obvious reasons (PORK) I hadn't ordered this ramen before, but it sounded like a tasty and somewhat healthier (?) dish haha.  

The Vegetable Ramen is "Not exactly traditional, this is a 100% vegan ramen.  The vegetable shio broth is finished in the wok which adds roasted depth to the soup.  Topped with Brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, snow peas, carrots, onions, wood ear mushrooms, and braised Shiitake mushroom."

I did opt out of the mushrooms, but I enjoyed the variety of the other vegetables.  There was plenty of texture and volume in this bowl, especially with Brussels sprout pieces which I've never had in ramen before.  The broth was much lighter than their other ramen bowls which was expected, but I did miss the richness of the Shoyu ramen (still my favorite).  If you are a vegetarian/vegan, or feel like getting some extra vegetables in your ramen, definitely give this one a try! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 23rd, 2014

My 5th Blogiversary + Shake Shack - Union Station, DC Opening

This past Saturday was my 5th blog birthday, woohoo!!  It's been a fun and delicious five years, that's for sure.  Thank you to everyone that has come by and checked out my blog!

What better way to celebrate my 5th blog anniversary than another Shake Shack location in DC!! This one is schedule to open today at Union Station, which is fantastic for all the people that commute and travel to/from there.

Of course I am excited to have another Shake Shack nearby, mainly for the location-specific concrete flavors.  I love that they both incorporate local businesses (Baked & Wired and Pollystyle).Here are some of the details (courtesy of Popville):

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is proud to announce that it will open its fourth Shake Shack® location in our nation’s capital this Monday, June 23 at 10:30AM inside historic Union Station, one of the largest and busiest transportation hubs in the U.S.
Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, delicious flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, hand-cut fresh fries, craft beer and wine, and more. A fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal, Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following in DC and across the globe.
Like its DC predecessors on F Street, in Dupont Circle, and at Nationals Park, Union Station’s menu has all the Shake Shack classics, from delicious 100% all-natural Angus beef ShackBurgers® and griddled-crisp flat-top dogs to our exclusive Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister® Ale. The Shack will have two location-specific frozen custard concretes that feature local bakers: Busy Bee (vanilla custard, strawberry puree and Baked & Wired Bee Sting bar with sliced almonds and honey); and Beaux-Arts Banana (vanilla custard, caramel sauce, banana and graham crackers from Pollystyle). The Dupont Circle Shack’s popular Washington Monu-Mint (chocolate custard, minted marshmallow sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough) will also be available at Union Station.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 20th, 2014

Shake Shack - Caramel Praline Cake Custard

First, I'd like to point out how much I love the Shake Shack tray paper design - I would totally buy stationary that had the cute food designs on it, haha.  

The Caramel Praline Cake custard wasn't on the top of my list last month, but it sounded interesting enough for me to try it out - I'm definitely glad I did!  In the standard Shake Shack tradition you can see just how blended these custard flavors are - it's like a vortex of  ice cream in that cup haha.  The strongest flavor was the caramel, but you definitely got the taste of pralines throughout as well.  One thing I don't love about praline desserts is how big the praline pieces usually are, so this was a great way for me to get the praline flavor without the giant chunks.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 19th, 2014

Seattle Visit - Afternoon Tea

While I was in Seattle back in May, I took my mom out for afternoon tea at the Fairmont Olympic hotel in downtown Seattle.  I was a little worried that it would totally empty (I'm not sure how many people actually go to afternoon tea these days), but there turned out to be a number of other guests also enjoying the tea as well, including a big bridal shower group.   

The service was attentive but not overbearing, and the selection of foods we were served were a nice mix of savory and sweet.  I especially liked the cute passion fruit macaron lollipops and the open-faced smoked salmon sandwiches.  I tried the 1907 blend which was made for a Fairmont hotel anniversary, which was bolder than my mom's Darjeeling (she tends to like lighter flavored teas), and I enjoyed it a lot. 

A nice surprise at the end of our tea was this plate of fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries with a candle and mother's day message!  It was a great way to celebrate Mother's day one day early with my mom and cap off a tasty afternoon tea. 

The Fairmont Olympic 
411 University Street 
Seattle,WA 98101 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 18th, 2014

Maple Bacon Kettle Chips

Mmm... kettle chips.  I am obsessed with most flavors of the Kettle brand - have you tried the Spicy Thai??, so I was really excited to see a new (to me) flavor: Maple Bacon.  

This may sound like a weird combination at first (especially for potato chips), but if you're a fan of sweet + salty, you will love this flavor.  After all, most people wouldn't think twice about enjoying sweet and savory foods together for breakfast, so why not do this in chip form?  The bacon flavor isn't too overpowering but both maple and bacon flavors are present in each chip.  And you might even get away with eating these for breakfast based on the picture on the bag, I won't judge :o)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 17th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Marble Brownie Fudge Cheesecake

Ain't she a beaut? This Marble Brownie Fudge Cheesecake is available at Georgetown Cupcake through June, and it's a must-have for anyone that likes chocolate and cheesecake!

This cupcake is a "Marble Brownie Fudge cheesecake topped with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting", and super rich in both texture and flavor. So much so, that I didn't even eat most of the frosting but focused on the creamy cheesecake portion when I tried this, haha.  Be sure to try this out before the end of this month if you can! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 16th, 2014

Trader Joe's Tea Card

I always love checking out the card section at Trader Joe's - they have a nice variety of card designs, and they're $0.99 each!  I especially love the cards that make for cute framed decorations, like this tea one that I recently found. Even though the inside of the card is technically a "Get Well" card, I think this would be a cute piece for a kitchen for tea lovers like myself. Be sure to take a look at the card section next time you're shopping at Trader Joe's! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 13th, 2014

Kate Spade Candles

I recently got these Kate Spade candles during the Nordstrom sale online, and I think they are super cute! It almost feels like a waste to burn the candles inside, but I think the porcelain containers will be just as fun to have out on display once the candle portion has been used up. They would also make a great gift for anyone that's a fan of Kate Spade, or likes collecting fun, decorative items for their home! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 12th, 2014

Union Market Eats - May 2014

M and I met up recently for a food-filled morning at Union Market - because it was over Memorial Day weekend, it was way less crowded than a usual weekend.  This allowed us to sit and try out multiple shops inside Union Market, which was a lot of fun!  We hit up a few places and had a delicious morning, especially the soft shell crab, one of my favorite seasonal items. 

I loved the Pyrex coffee sets at Buffalo & Bergen!

Soft and tasty knish from Buffalo & Bergen

Rappahanock Oyster Bar - Grilled oyster with Jalapeno compound butter

Rappahanock Oyster Bar - Softshell crab tempura with charred asparagus, asparagus vichyssoise, lemon creme fraiche 

Toki Underground Pop-up - Steamed pork buns

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 11th, 2014

Shake Shack - Pecan Pie Oh My Concrete

I'm the first to admit that I'm not a big "pie" person, but of course Shake Shack could convince me to try out just about anything, haha.  

Over Memorial Day weekend, Shake Shack offered this Pecan Pie Oh My concrete, which is vanilla custard with a slice of local pecan pie blended in.  Mmmm, so good!  I really liked the chunky pie crust pieces and the strong flavors of the pecan pie with the creamy vanilla custard.  It's not going to beat out my love for the Pumpkin Pie Oh My concrete that's offered in the fall, but it's always fun to try out new items that are not on the normal menu! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 10th, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I love that Georgetown Cupcake has been offering more cheesecake options these days - they are the perfect size for a decadent snack or dessert! This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is a "Creamy peanut butter cheesecake cupcake baked with an Oreo crust, dipped in a rich chocolate ganache icing and topped with a peanut butter swirl". 

As soon as I saw this flavor on the calendar, I couldn't wait to try it out.  Chocolate and peanut butter is always a great combination, and the addition of Oreo crumbles and a creamy cheesecake is delicious! The peanut butter cheesecake is super smooth and delicious - I would love to try to recreate this myself as a whole cheesecake. I hope they bring this cupcake back again soon! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 9th, 2014

Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato

I've seen tubs of Talenti gelato at the supermarket before, but I had never tried it until now.  I had a free coupon for a pint, so I went all out and got the Caramel Cookie Crunch flavor, yum!

As expected, this gelato was soooooooooooooooooooooo good.  There's plenty of cookie pieces mixed throughout the smooth gelato, as well as the ribbons of caramel.  Talenti has lots of different flavors, from refreshing fruits to rich and decadent chocolate-based flavors.  I look forward to trying out some of the other flavors that Talenti offers soon! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 6th, 2014

National Doughnut Day

Happy national doughnut day everyone!  I'm sure lots of doughnut shops are celebrating in one way or another today, but here are two of the big ones:

Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut, no purchase necessary.
Dunkin' Donuts: Free doughnut with any beverage purchase.

Luckily (?) I have both located very close to my work, so I'm sure I will be celebrating in some capacity today, haha. I hope you all partake today as well!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 5th, 2014

Pinkberry - Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

I normally stick with the regular tart flavor at Pinkberry, but since I had a free birthday coupon, I decided to use that opportunity to try out a new flavor.  Luckily, I happened to be at Pinkberry when the peanut butter flavor was available, yum!  I added fresh strawberries and round chocolate crispies which went really well with the peanut butter.  I am really happy I got a chance to try it out! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 4th, 2014

Shoo-fly Diner - Baltimore, MD

I recently enjoyed a great brunch at the Shoo-Fly Diner in Baltimore, which is another restaurant from the Woodberry Kitchen group.  This restaurant is located in a small strip mall in a residential area, but the inside was very much in the same rustic and comfortable environment like their other restaurants.

I opted for some classic Southern dishes, although it was hard to decide on what to get with so many tasty sounding dishes.  I look forward to trying Shoo-Fly Diner again for brunch, or definitely for one of their milkshakes!

Beignets with maple and powdered sugar

Sausage gravy biscuit

Shoo-Fly Diner
510 E Belvedere Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21212

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 3rd, 2014

Shake Shack - June Custard Flavors

Here's the custard lineup at Shake Shack this month:

Monday: Cherry Chip
Tuesday: Coffee & Donuts
Wednesday: Fromage Blanc Raspberry Swirl
Thursday: Chocolate Toffee Coffee
Friday: Biscuits & Jam
Saturday: Mud Pie
Sunday: Butter Peach Pecan

Tuesday's always a winner, and I am pretty interested in trying Thursday through Saturday. I love that there are lots of flavors that haven't made an appearance recently!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lunchtime Links for June 2nd, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake - June Flavors

Georgetown Cupcake is offering three special flavors for June, and all of them sound delicious!

Valrhona Blond Ganache: Valrhona Blond cupcake topped with a Valrhona Blond ganache frosting and fondant flower.

Marble Brownie Fudge Cheesecake: Marble Brownie Fudge cheesecake topped with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting

Peanut Butter BananaFresh banana cupcake topped with peanut butter frosting and a fondant flower

I know that I'll already love the Peanut Butter Banana, but I am really looking forward to the other two flavors as well!