Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 31st, 2016

Georgetown Cupcake - Football Field Chocolate Cupcake

It's obviously not football season right now, but I wanted to share this cupcake flavor that I got a while back.  I thought this was a cute and easy way to make a football themed cupcake for any time of the year.  This free secret flavor from Georgetown Cupcake consists of their classic chocolate cake with a big swirl of bright green turf colored vanilla frosting, and a little football shaped fondant topping.  I love the idea of a "sports field" cupcake for a theme party, and it doesn't require any fancy preparations! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 30th, 2016

March Skoshbox

The March Skoshbox was full of sweets that fit right in to the Winter to Spring transition perfectly!  There's a mix of "wintery" rice crackers and "spring" fruit-based sweets which made for a very diverse set of snacks.  

From the top left we have - Hi-chew grape gummies, Doraemon monaka (airy chocolate filling inside a crispy shell), mini strawberry chocolate chip cookies, yogurt candy, and lightly frosted savory rice crackers.  I have to say my favorite was the Doraemon monaka mainly because it was shaped like Doraemon and super cute!  With the next box being the April box I anticipate some more spring/fruit based snacks, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they send!    

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 29th, 2016

2016 Kenwood Cherry Blossoms

During the short but amazing cherry blossom season in the DC area, I always make it a point to go to both the Tidal Basin in DC, and the Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda.  Both can get very crowded during peak bloom dates, but it's totally worth it!

The Kenwood area is a sprawling neighborhood filled with beautiful homes, and cherry trees up and down practically every street.  It's quite a sight to behold and really amazing to walk through!  Because parking is a major issue (which makes sense as it really is a neighborhood and it would be a nightmare for the residents if street parking was allowed everywhere), I usually walk to Kenwood via the Capital Crescent Trail starting in downtown Bethesda.  It's an easy walk and I don't have to worry about parking at all in order to enjoy the cherry blossoms.  You can't miss the Kenwood area from the trail - as you walk away from downtown Bethesda you will see a LOT of cherry blossom trees directly in front of you.  

As you can see, it was a little overcast when I went this past weekend, but the trees were still full of flowers and really pretty.  There were lots of people out enjoying the walk through the neighborhood streets and taking photographs.  Even with the lack of parking, I highly recommend the Kenwood neighborhood as a major attraction on its own if you like cherry blossoms!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 28th, 2016

Georgetown Cupcake - Easter Surprise Cupcake

This cute little cupcake was the secret free flavor at Georgetown Cupcake yesterday - the Easter Surprise cupcake!  

It consisted of a vanilla cake with a "surprise" pink frosting core in the center, topped with a rich vanilla buttercream frosting and some fondant decorations.  The hot pink bunny was a festive little touch, and I loved the pastel pink frosting core in the middle of the vanilla cake.  I hope everyone that celebrates had a wonderful Easter yesterday! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 25th, 2016

2016 Cherry Blossoms in DC

It's currently Peak Bloom time for the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in DC, and yesterday was such a gorgeous day that I definitely wanted to go check them out!  While there were still some trees that hadn't all bloomed yet, it was still a gorgeous night to walk around and enjoy the flowers that have bloomed. Cherry blossom season in DC is notoriously crowded with both tourists and locals all packed into the Tidal Basin area, but a weekday morning or night is much easier to manage than a weekend day.  It's always a really pretty sight and I highly recommend it to everyone, even with the crowds! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 24th, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 21st, 2016

Macaron Kitchen Towels

Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and also Macaron day!  

This cute kitchen towel set that I recently got at TJ Maxx was a great item for me to celebrate both, with the pretty spring-like colors.  I actually didn't find this in the regular kitchen towel section, but off on its own in another section.  It's always good to make sure you thoroughly check the store if you're browsing because you never know what you might find! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 18th, 2016

Starbucks Cherry Blossom Frappuccino

I always look forward to cherry blossom season, especially in the DC area! I love how so many people and brands get excited for the pretty blooms and celebrate with special offers. This year, Starbucks has joined in with the Cherry Blossom Frappuccino which is available until March 20th.

From the Starbucks Newsroom, the Cherry Blossom Frappuccino is "a blend of sweet strawberries and cream with white chocolate sauce and matcha drizzle, topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of matcha".

So yeah - the first thing people might notice is that the base consists of a strawberry base, which really has nothing to do with cherry blossoms, cherries, or anything remotely close to that, haha. But for selfish reasons I am fine with that, since I don't like cherry flavors anyway and the strawberry makes for a pretty pink color :o) 

 I wish there was more of a matcha flavor, because there was basically none at all even though there were swirls of green around the inside of the cup, and some matcha powder sprinkled on top. Basically, this was a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino with a little bit of matcha included.  So, nothing really quite as special as the cherry blossom season offerings at Starbucks in Japan but I'm always happy to see another way to celebrate the cherry blossoms!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 17th, 2016

Georgetown Cupcake - St. Patrick's Day Chocolate

Happy St. Patrick's day everyone! I figured it was the perfect time to review the St. Patrick's Day Chocolate cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake since lots of people will be celebrating everything green today :o)

The St. Patrick's Day Chocolate cupcake consists of a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with light green vanilla buttercream frosting and a fondant four-leaf clover.  The classic chocolate cake has a fluffy swirl of mint-colored frosting on top, and I love the pretty color combination.  Also, as a lot of green baked goods tend to use mint which I don't personally like, I'm happy that this frosting is just colored vanilla frosting, haha.  I hope everyone wears or eats something festive and green like this cupcake today to celebrate! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 16th, 2016

Kate Spade "Eat Cake for Breakfast" Tumbler

I've always liked the items from the "Cake" line at Kate Spade for a while, but when I recently saw this insulated tumbler on sale I had to grab one!  

This tumbler is huge and will be great for weekend errands or drinking enough water at work during the week.  The cap screws on nice and tight, and it's a very sturdy travel tumbler.  Most importantly, it's a great conversation starter with anyone else that loves sweets, haha :o) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 15th, 2016

Iron Rooster Brunch - Baltimore

A while ago, my friend S and I met up for brunch at Iron Rooster in Baltimore, which serves lots of homestyle dishes and breakfast all day.  It was packed when we first arrived, but luckily this restaurant is in the middle of a big shopping center with an Old Navy, Target, and other stores to peruse while you are waiting for your table.

It didn't take much convincing to try out one of the house made "Pop Tarts" - this one was rich and filled with a delicious brown sugar filling, and definitely big enough to share!

Our server told us about a super fun and delicious promotion they have at the restaurant - if you post about the restaurant on social media during the visit, you get a free jar of bacon!  Since I love posting photos on Instagram anyway, this was a no-brainer for me haha.  

BLT&E crispy pork belly / lettuce / fried green tomato / garlic aioli / egg any style / warm brioche bun / $10.95

I chose the BLT&E sandwich (above), and it was HUGE - even more so with the giant side of home fries, haha. The sandwich was delicious, and packed a ton of flavor and texture.  I really loved the crispy edges of the home fries as well.  Service was super friendly and not rushed, and portions were very generous.  I would love to go again to try out some of their other dishes! 

Iron Rooster - Baltimore
3721 Boston Street
Baltimore, MD 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 11th, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 10th, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 8th, 2016

Momofuku Milk Bar - Winter Treats

I've really enjoyed having a Momofuku Milk Bar in DC, and I love that they've had seasonal treats available in addition to the regular menu.  Two of the winter offerings were the Cranberry-gingerbread cake truffles and the Maple sugar cookie.

I wasn't really sure about the combination of cranberry and gingerbread, but they went together much better than I had imagined.  Both flavors were very strong in the cake truffles, and I especially liked the spices for the gingerbread component.  I'm still on the fence about cranberry baked goods (or really fruit in baked goods in general), but I'm glad I tried it out.  

The Maple sugar cookie on the other hand was delicious right from the start.  I wouldn't necessarily choose a maple flavored item from the start, but I've found that I like them because they remind me of pancakes - especially anything Maple from Georgetown Cupcake.  The maple touch to the sugar cookie was really delicious! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 7th, 2016

Shake Shack - Chick'n Shack

This lovely Shake Shack Chick'n Shack debuted at all US Shake Shack locations back in January, and I was super excited to try it out.  The Chick'n Shack previously was only available at the Brooklyn locations so it was really great to hear that they had expanded this menu offering.  

"The Chick’n Shack, Shake Shack’s modern twist on a classic, is crafted from a cage-free chicken breast—no hormones or antibiotics ever—slow-cooked in a creamy buttermilk marinade, hand-dipped into Shack-made batter, dredged through seasoned flour and crisp-fried. The Chick’n Shack is topped with pickles, crisp shredded lettuce and a tangy Shack-made buttermilk herb mayo made with chives, parsley and thyme."

The super crunchy batter is soooooooooooo delicious, and it was love at first bite for me.  I've had the Chick'n Shack twice since January and both times it was cooked perfectly and was a tasty, decadent meal.  I will always love the original Shackburger, but this is a great new menu option, and also for anyone that loves fried chicken! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 4th, 2016

Seattle Visit - Hello Kitty Exhibit

While I was in Seattle back in December, I had the chance to check out the Hello Kitty exhibit at the EMP museum, which was really fun and had SO many pieces of Hello Kitty history to look at!

From the EMP museum site: Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty invites you to explore Hello Kitty’s colorful history and influence on art and culture in the first-ever exhibition of its kind. Organized as part of Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary celebrations, Hello! showcases rare and unique pieces from Sanrio’s archive alongside mixed media works from contemporary artists around the globe inspired by Hello Kitty and her world.
Gain a new appreciation for the evolution of this transcontinental icon, and learn about the critical role she’s played in bridging Japanese and American cultures in the US. As Hello Kitty always says, “You can never have too many friends!”
They did an amazing job putting SO many Hello Kitty related items together in a cohesive collection - from the early days of developing the Hello Kitty character, to all of the modern items with the Hello Kitty face on them.  They even had the dress made out of Hello Kitty plush dolls that Lady Gaga wore for a photo shoot!

This Hello Kitty exhibit runs until May 2016 so be sure to check it out before then if you are in the area!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 3rd, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 2nd, 2016

Shake Shack - March Custard Calendar

It's another new month of Shake Shack custard flavors!  I am particularly looking forward to trying the Matcha Citrus custard, because I always love trying out foods with Matcha incorporated in them.  For any chocolate lovers out there, there are a few different chocolate-based custards as well!

- 03/01 - 03/06: Coconut Tres Leches
- 03/07 - 03/13: Matcha Citrus
- 03/14 - 03/20: Mast Brothers Chocolate Mint
- 03/21 - 03/27: Boston Cream Pie
- 03/28 - 03/31: Mud Pie

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lunchtime Links for March 1st, 2016

Georgetown Cupcake - March Flavors

This month we have a LOT of delicious special flavors at Georgetown Cupcake - so fun!

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

- Cherry CheesecakeCherry cheesecake cupcake with a graham cracker crust and topped with a cherry infused frosting and cherry blossom fondant

- Chocolate Mint CrunchValrhona 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

- HummingbirdGeorgetown Cupcake's version of a Southern classic — fresh banana, pineapple, and pecan cupcake topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans, and a blue fondant hummingbird

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

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

- 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

- Caramel-filled Chocolate Easter BunnyValrhona chocolate cupcake with a creamy dulce-de-leches core topped with a light green vanilla buttercream frosting and fondant bunny

- Caramel-filled Vanilla Easter EggClassic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cupcake with a creamy dulce-de-leche core, topped with light pink buttercream frosting and a fondant Easter egg