Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 31st, 2015

USPS - Vintage Rose Stamps

I recently saw these Vintage Rose stamps on the USPS website and had to order them ASAP! I actually thought the flowers were peonies at first, but they are very pretty stamps nonetheless.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the flowers are textured, so the stamps aren't completely smooth and you can feel the lines of the flower petals - how cool!  These are a very pretty design, and I'm sure I will be using them up very quickly, haha. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 30th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Twist Cupcake

What a pretty cupcake! This is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Twist cupcake that is a March flavor at Georgetown Cupcake. This cupcake consists of a Peanut Butter cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips and topped with a peanut butter and Callebaut chocolate "twist" frosting.

As someone that loves chocolate and peanut butter together, this was a definite favorite.  The frosting is really pretty with swirls of thick peanut butter and chocolate frosting - it's really tasty, and pretty to look at too! The peanut butter cupcake was delicious, and I haven't seen it often (if at all) at Georgetown Cupcake before.  I definitely hope they bring back at least this type of peanut butter cake soon, or better yet this exact cupcake flavor again!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 27th, 2015

Starbucks - Birthday Cake Frappuccino

It's been a minute since I've even had a Frappuccino, but this one is definitely worth trying out - Starbucks has a special Birthday Cake Frappuccino that is available until March 30th, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creamy blended drink.

It's supposedly a blend of vanilla and hazelnut, with a pretty pink (raspberry) whipped cream, and sounds like a great way to celebrate 20 years of Frappuccinos!  If you also want to celebrate, be sure to go to Starbucks before the 30th!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 26th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Mocha Fudge Cupcake

I got to try out the Mocha Fudge cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake a few times- as a free secret flavor, and as a menu purchase.  I love the way this particular cupcake flavor looks, hence the two different photos, haha.

The Mocha Fudge cupcake consists of a Valrhona chocolate cupcake filled with rich fudge and topped with mocha-infused frosting, a fudge star drizzle, and a chocolate espresso bean.

I LOVE the mocha frosting, it is definitely my favorite part of this cupcake.  It's like eating coffee ice cream (also one of my favorites) in frosting form, yum.  The other chocolate components go really well with the mocha frosting, and this really is like a Mocha in cupcake form - so good! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 25th, 2015

Pitango Gelato - Affogato

Man, I wish I had a Pitango Gelato near my work! The Affogato at Pitango Gelato isn't anything new, but it was so good that I just wanted to share. This pretty cup consists of their Gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) gelato with espresso poured over it.  As the gelato melts into the espresso, you get a pretty and creamy blend that is super delicious!  The gelato doesn't melt all at once though as you can see in the photo, so it's a great way to have gelato with a kick, haha. I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you haven't before! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 24th, 2015

Table for Two's Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I realize that pumpkin foods are generally abundant in the fall, but in my mind there's never a bad time for them, haha.  Canned pumpkin is so versatile and I especially love baking with it.  

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk Muffins from Table for Two's blog on my pumpkin Pinterest page, and thought it sounded like a good recipe to try out.  This recipe comes together very easily, and the pumpkin + chocolate in the oven smells amazing! The only modification I made was using a full bag of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chunks - which sounds like a lot, but it was awesome having so many chocolate chunks throughout, haha.  I brought these in to work to share, and they were a great breakfast muffin/afternoon snack.  I would definitely make these again and it's a great recipe for any time of the year!  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 23rd, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Ohhhhhhhh man.  This March-only flavor from Georgetown Cupcake is the Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, and it is soooooooooooooooo good.  It's basically a compilation of a bunch of my favorites: Mocha cheesecake cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips with an Oreo cookie crust, topped with mocha frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

This flavor is AMAZING.  It's perfect with a glass of milk, or even a real mocha if you want to really big, haha.  I especially loved the Oreo crust with the cheesecake, so so good. I'm a huge fan of their cheesecake "cupcakes" and I really hope they bring this back soon! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 20th, 2015

Shake Shack - Chocolate Pecan Pie Custard

This cup of chocolate-y deliciousness is Shake Shack's Chocolate Pecan Pie custard.  Admittedly, I'm not really sure that I've had pecan pie before, and even less likely I've had a chocolate version.  However, since the majority of this ice cream flavor is their chocolate custard, I knew it would be good.  There were plenty of big chunks of pecan pieces throughout, which added a nice crunch.  In fact, it was almost a little too much crunch - the bigger pieces of pecans were definitely a little surprising when I was eating this, haha. Overall this was a tasty flavor and I'd recommend it for anyone that likes pecan pie! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 19th, 2015

Kit Kat - Tiramisu

Mmm, Tiramisu!  I love the flavors of real Tiramisu so I basically knew that this Kit Kat flavor was going to be a winner, haha.  As you can see this Japanese Kit Kat is white chocolate based, which makes sense for a dessert like this one, where the Mascarpone cheese is a big component.  I have no idea how they do it, but there really was a coffee-soaked-vanilla-ish element in both the smell and the taste.  This was definitely one of the better Japanese Kit Kats I've tried, and would love to have this flavor again! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 18th, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Boom Chocolatta! + Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Cores

After taking quite some time for me to find one of the Cookie Cores, it was quite easy to find the remaining two flavors, haha.  I found these in their own freezer section (so not with the other Ben & Jerry's pints) at Safeway and couldn't wait to try them out!

The Boom Chocolatta! ice cream consists of Mocha & Caramel ice creams with Chocolate Cookies, Fudge Flakes & a Chocolate Cookie Core.  Given my love of the chocolate cookie crumbles in other Ben & Jerry's flavors, this one was really a home run in my book.  I loved all of the components, and they all went perfectly together in each spoonful. 

The Spectacular Speculoos flavor consisted of Dark Caramel & Vanilla ice creams with Speculoos Cookies & a Speculoos Cookie Butter Core.  If you like Speculoos (also known as Cookie Butter or Biscoff), this is like an overload of Speculoos flavor in every spoonful.  The only thing I wish for with this flavor is more actual bits of Speculoos cookies, the crunchy parts are the best!

It looks like more stores are starting to carry these Cookie Core flavors, so be sure to keep an eye out on your next shopping trip if you want to try these out! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 17th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - St. Patrick's Day Vanilla Cupcake

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!  

As always, Georgetown Cupcake has a nice job with holiday cupcakes, and I loved the light green color of this St. Patrick's Day Vanilla cupcake! This cupcake is a Classic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cupcake with light green vanilla buttercream frosting and a fondant four-leaf clover.  

The best part of this cupcake for me is that it's a green frosting, but not mint flavored, haha.  I hope everyone has a great day and doesn't get pinched! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 16th, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Buttah Cookie Core

Mmm, peanut butter cookies in ice cream form!  I looked around for a while for the new Cookie Core ice creams by Ben & Jerry's, and finally came across them recently!  This one was discovered in the back of a top shelf in the Target freezer section, and I had to track down a tall shopper to begrudgingly get it down for me, haha.

As you can see on the label, this consists of peanut butter ice cream with crunchy peanut butter sugar bits, peanut butter cookies and a peanut butter cookie core.  As you can see, a LOT of peanut butter goodness! I especially love the peanut butter cookies and sugar bigs - so much texture and lots of peanut butter flavor! With a lot of different types of peanut butter items in the ice cream, it's definitely not monotonous or boring, especially if you love peanut butter as much as I do! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 13th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Valentine's Surprise Cupcake

Just under a month later, I'm writing about the Valentine's day cupcake at Georgetown Cupcake - better late than never, right?   

The Valentine's Surprise cupcake looked like a Chocolate Ganache cupcake from the regular menu, but biting in to it revealed a strawberry frosting core.  I love the strawberry frosting at Georgetown Cupcake, so it was indeed a nice surprise in the chocolate cupcake.  It was a cute and delicious way to celebrate Valentine's Day - you can't go wrong with chocolate and strawberries!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 12th, 2015

Shake Shack - Jelly Doughnut Custard

I fully admit that a jelly doughnut wouldn't be one of my top choices given a dozen assorted doughnuts, but of course as a Shake Shack custard flavor I had to give it a try.  You can see the little bits of jelly throughout the vanilla custard, and there were a few small pieces of doughnut mixed in.  I may have had a bad scoop because there wasn't really enough "doughnut" in this cup to make it really feel like a jelly doughnut, but the flavors were still good.  I've had other "doughnut" custards at Shake Shack before which were delicious, so I'm sure this one could be really great with the right proportion of components.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 11th, 2015

Gimme Some Oven's Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

These Peanut Butter Banana Cookies from Gimme Some Oven are the perfect recipe for when you have ripe bananas, but don't want to make yet another banana bread.  I also love that all of the other ingredients are readily available in most kitchens, even if you are an occasional baker.

The recipe is very easy to follow, but it definitely helps to have a stand mixer or hand mixer if possible, just to keep things moving.  Instead of rolling out each cookie by hand like in the original recipe, I instead scooped out the dough using an OXO Medium Cookie Scoop, which makes very uniform cookies but not the perfectly smooth edges like you see on the original recipe.  Even so, the taste isn't affected and these are delicious!  Since my cookies were a little more pillowy than the original recipe, they were cakey and soft.  They were a big hit at work, and great for a morning snack thanks to the combination of banana and peanut butter. Give this recipe a try if you're looking for something different to bake with a ripe banana!        

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 10th, 2015

Ben & Jerry's - The Tonight Dough

What a fun package to come home to!  Soon after I heard about this new Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show-themed ice cream flavor, I was lucky enough to win a pint from Ben & Jerry's directly, via a Twitter contest.  

The Tonight Dough consists of caramel & chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough & gobs of peanut butter cookie dough.  I love that it makes multiple references to "gobs", we should really be using that word more often, haha.  

As you can see, there's a lot going on in this pint!  It's like cookie dough and peanut butter ice cream mixed with caramel - so so good!  The chocolate cookie swirls reminded me of my favorite flavor, Milk & Cookies, and are always welcome in my book.  This new flavor is awesome for just about anyone that likes ice cream! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 9th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Chocolate-dipped Maple Chocolate Chip Cupcake

Chocolate-dipped AND chocolate chips? Count me in!

This chocolate-filled treat from Georgetown Cupcake is a Chocolate-Dipped Maple Chocolate Chip cupcake.  I love that the cake tastes like chocolate chip pancakes, thanks to the extra maple flavor in each bite.  The little chocolate chips add the perfect amount of texture to the cake.  Anything chocolate-dipped is delicious, and this has a thick coating of chocolate ganache to make it extra decadent.  A must-try if you love chocolate! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 4th, 2015

Max Brenner's Hot Chocolate

One nice thing about this cold winter weather is the chance to drink a lot of yummy hot drinks, haha.  The Max Brenner hot chocolates are delicious, and I think a good portion of it can be attributed to their adorable hug mugs.  As you can see, the mug is slightly pointed on one side.  It's just the right shape for cupping in your hands and enjoying a warm mug of chocolate.  I got the dark chocolate hot chocolate with marshmallows this time, and it was a fantastic weekend treat! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 3rd, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - March Flavors

There are a few fun flavors this month at Georgetown Cupcake - be sure to head over before the end of March if you want to try any of these!

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

- Chocolate Mint Crunch: Chocolate cupcake baked with chocolate mint cookie pieces, topped with a mint-infused whipped chocolate ganache frosting, mint cookie crumble and a mini green fondant heart

- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Twist: Peanut Butter cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips and topped with a peanut butter and Callebaut chocolate "twist" frosting

- Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake: Mocha cheesecake cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips with an oreo cookie crust, topped with mocha frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean

- St. Patrick's Day Chocolate: Valrhona chocolate cupcake with light green vanilla buttercream frosting and a fondant four-leaf clover

- St. Patrick's Day VanillaClassic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cupcake with light green vanilla buttercream frosting and a fondant four-leaf clover

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lunchtime Links for March 2nd, 2015

Shake Shack - March Custard Calendar

It looks like another great month overall for custard flavors at Shake Shack this month:

- 3/2 - 8: Salted Buttery Caramel
- 3/9 - 15: Chocolate Hazelnut
- 3/16 - 22: Mast Brother Chocolate Mint
- 3/23 - 29: Golden Sponge Cake
- 3/30 - 31: Malted Marshmallow Peanut Butter

I am particularly excited about going at the end of the month - according to the Shake Shack calendar, the "Golden Sponge Cake" looks a lot like Twinkies... haha!