Monday, December 23, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 23rd, 2013

This will be my last post for 2013 - Happy holidays everyone!! See you all in 2014!

See's Candies

I was recently offered a chance to check out the See's Candies store to try some of their holiday items.  I opted to receive a $5 gift card so I could pick out the items that I wanted, and got the following treats:

- Dark Chocolate with Almonds bar
- Peanut Brittle bar
- Scotchmallow tree (regular Scotchmallows are here)

These three items were just over $5, and make great additions to Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers for anyone that's a fan of chocolate/sweets. This was my first time trying a Scotchmallow, and OMG it is delicious! I wish I had tried these before because they're pretty much amazing, and the cute Christmas tree shape just makes them all the more festive this time of year. The caramel, honey marshmallow, and dark chocolate combination is SO good.  If you're in a mall this time of year, chances are you will pass by the See's candy kiosk, so be sure to check out what they have before they're gone again after the holidays!

Note: I was given the chance to receive samples of See's holiday candies or a $5 gift card to go get my own selection, but not otherwise compensated or required to write a review about what I got. But seriously, those Scotchmallows are amazing so you should totally go buy some. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 20th, 2013

Union Market - Toki Underground Pop-Up

Back in late November, a few friends and I met up at Union Market to check out the shops and the Toki Underground pop-up restaurant.  The pop-up menu has changed a few times, and during our visit it was this rice noodle soup below:

This noodle bowl definitely warmed and filled me up!  The broth especially was very flavorful without being heavy, which I liked.  I could eat something like this for breakfast regularly, haha. 

After we ate, some of us walked over to the nearby Trickling Springs Creamery shop for some ice cream.  I got the Midnight Dreams and Pumpkin ice cream flavors for my bowl.  Chocolate and pumpkin is always a good combination in my book, and this was no exception.  It was a delicious and fun day with friends in DC!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 19th, 2013

Shake Shack - Pumpkin Pie Oh My Concrete, Take 2

Although you may not believe me, I wasn't originally planning on getting the Pumpkin Pie Oh My concrete again this year, since I had already enjoyed it last fall.  Then, I got the following Tweet reply from Shake Shack: "So happy you're a fan! The pumpkin pie is new this year, developed specially by our culinary director. Graham cracker crust = yes."

Well, of course now that meant it was NEW, so I HAD to get it this year...

Mmm, this concrete is just SO SO SO SO SO SO good.  There are big chunks of the pumpkin pie throughout the creamy vanilla custard, and it is a must-have for anyone that is a fan of pumpkin pie. I love that Shake Shack does seasonal menu items like this, especially during my favorite PUMPKIN EVERYTHING season, haha!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 18th, 2013

J. Crew Jewelry Tray

On Black Friday, I perused a few shops in a shopping center in NJ, and came across these super cute mint colored accessories in J. Crew.  I was instantly drawn to the little jewelry tray, but also loved the coasters, phone chargers, mini notebooks, and other accessories.  There were a number of color themes on the long display table- and I wanted them all! 

After I got back home, I still really wanted the mint "lovely" tray, so I went out to J.Crew where luckily the store was still doing the 30% off sale!  This is the perfect size to hold some rings and earrings, and is pretty enough to leave out on a table or on a dresser.  All of these small accessories would be a great gift for anyone that's a fan of J.Crew! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 17th, 2013

Georgetown Chocolate Tour

In the very end of November, my friend O and I took advantage of a great Groupon for a Georgetown Chocolate Tour by Great Food Tours. It was a chilly but fun afternoon walking around Georgetown and eating lots of chocolate!  We got to try lots of different forms of chocolate and even got to check out a new (to me) shop, Fleurir Chocolates.  If you're a fan of chocolate, this is a great way to check out lots of shops in Georgetown in one day!


Mini dark chocolate cupcake - Sprinkles

Sea salt caramel and Dark chocolate fudge - Thomas Sweet 

Chocolate and double chocolate Babka - Marvelous Market 

We didn't get these chocolates at Fleurir, but we did get a great chocolate covered salted caramel. 

Brown butter chocolate - Dean & Deluca. A mint chocolate was also offered but I didn't take it :o) 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 16th, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Veterans Day Vanilla Cupcake

Back in November, Georgetown Cupcake celebrated Veterans Day with a free Veterans Day Vanilla cupcake as the free secret flavor for the day. This cupcake consisted of a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and a fondant American flag.  It's always nice how Georgetown Cupcake acknowledges holidays throughout the year with themed cupcake flavors! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 13th, 2013

Shake Shack - Cranberry Almond Custard

The holiday-themed custards have come to Shake Shack in full force, and of course I wanted to try all of them out, haha.  I actually hadn't planned on getting this Cranberry Almond custard but since I was already there for dinner, I figured I might as well.

This review should probably be prefaced by the fact that while I like almonds on their own, I really don't like almond-flavored things, such as marzipan, almond cookies, or almond paste.  Unfortunately, that's exactly what this tasted like, a big cup of cold almond paste.  The dots of cranberries were nice and made this look festive as well, but couldn't save my personal feelings about almond foods, haha.  

If you're a fan of marzipan/almond cookies/almond paste though, you will no doubt love this custard, so feel free to have some on my behalf too, haha. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 12th, 2013

Holiday Items

Every year I look forward to accumulating new holiday stuff, and this year was no exception.  

I love the new holiday gingerbread house stamps - they are super cute and festive for holiday cards!

After Thanksgiving I popped into Sur La Table and spent some time perusing their fun food-themed ornaments.  A 30% off sale didn't hurt!

I picked up this cute macaron ornament for my tree - it said "Lemon" on the tag, but I'll pretend it's vanilla, haha.

Finally - none of these mugs are new, but as you can see I'm a big fan of holiday themed mugs! Some have been office party prizes, while others have been ones that I bought during the holidays in the past. The big one on the left and two up top are from Starbucks; the reindeer mug is from Target; and the skating gingerbread man is from Crate & Barrel. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 11th, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Caramel Fudge Cupcake

Recently, Georgetown Cupcake's free "secret" flavors have included fudge and frosting-filled flavors, which have been a nice change of pace. 

This one is a Caramel Fudge cupcake, with a caramel cake, chocolate ganache top, and a fudge core in the middle.  I love both caramel and chocolate, so this was a great combination for me! While the ganache top means not as much frosting as the other cupcakes, the thick fudge core definitely made up for anything you might think was missing otherwise.  I'm glad I got the chance to try out this flavor!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 10th, 2013

Shake Shack - Shack O' Lantern Shake

A bit delayed, but I had to share my experience with the Shake Shack Shack O' Lantern shake from the very end of October - or should I call it, the OMGGGGGGGGGGPUMPKIN shake, haha

This limited edition shake was offered from 10/25 through 10/31 this year, and consists of "vanilla frozen custard handspun with pumpkin, marshmallow, and autumn spices".  

Clearly, I knew that I would love it before I even got my hands on the gigantic cup.  But really though, this shake was DELICIOUS.  It wasn't just a single note of pumpkin, but lots of spice and the creamy marshmallow flavor throughout, mmm.  It's a super rich and thick way to ingest pumpkin pie with ice cream, in the best way possible, haha. I can't wait for this to come back again next Halloween! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 9th, 2013

Bath & Body Works - Winter Candles

I've always been a fan of Bath & Body Works candles, and every year I look forward to the fall and winter seasonal scents. Of course I love the pumpkin-themed candles during the fall, but these winter scents were a pleasant surprise to see in the stores recently! 

As soon as I saw this Red Velvet Cupcake candle, I knew I had to get it! Aside from the cute label design, the candle smells like cocoa with a hint of cream cheese, yum! The deep red color is great to have out for the holidays as well.

During another mall visit, I happened to come across these cute candles with champagne glasses on the labels- super cute!  I'm glad I checked these out because a lot of them are in scents that I loved, like Peach Bellini, Champagne Toast, and Cranberry Pear Bellini.  These aren't so much holiday specific as they are more party/celebration-themed, which makes these a great gift idea even after the holidays! 

As anyone that shops at Bath & Body Works may know, they regularly offer coupons and deals both in-store and online, which is normally when I stock up on these seasonal candles. I would definitely recommend stopping in the store or checking out their website if you're looking for some fun candles for the holidays! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 6th, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Holiday Cupcakes

Every year around the holidays, Georgetown Cupcake ramps up their monthly featured flavors and offers a ton of holiday-themed cupcakes, woohoo!

Here's the lineup for this year:

- Chocolate Egg Nog
- White Chocolate Peppermint
- Chocolate Peppermint
- Gingerbread
- Snowball Coconut
- Rudolph Red Velvet
- Snowy Vanilla
- Christmas Caramel
- Holiday Lava Fudge
- Cranberry Spice
- Santa's Chocolate Chip
- Sticky Toffee Pudding

I always look forward to the holiday cupcakes because there's usually at least a few new ones mixed in with some old favorites. These are all super festive and would be a great treat to bring to holiday parties!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 5th, 2013

Shake Shack - 2013 Ornament

After getting the Shake Shack Ornament last year during the holidays, I was excited to see that a new design came out for their ornament this year! This hungry little snowman is part of the same deal - Buy a $25 gift card, get the ornament for free!

This Shake Shack snowman makes a lovely addition to my food-centric Christmas tree.  In this one section you'll find ornament representation from Shake Shack, Dunkin' Donuts, and Starbucks :o) 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 4th, 2013

Blog Prize - Keep It Sweet Desserts

A big "Thank you!" to the Dessert for Two blog, that recently hosted a great giveaway of Keep It Sweet Desserts!  

For my prize, I chose the Pumpkin Pie Blondies because they sounded seasonally appropriate and delicious! They came packaged in packs of 4 to a bag, with cute ribbon and tissue paper in the box (above). These were rich and delicious, with a deeper pumpkin pie than regular pumpkin cookies or blondies that I've had before.  If you're looking for a cute and delicious holiday sweet to send to someone on your list, I would recommend checking out the Keep It Sweet Desserts website!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 3rd, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Peanut Butter Chocolate Caramel Cupcake

Peanut butter + chocolate + caramel? Yes, please!  This fantastic combination was a recent freebie from Georgetown Cupcake. As expected, this was a delicious cupcake, with a great balance between the three flavors.  

Peanut butter and chocolate isn't such a unique cupcake flavor, but the addition of the rich caramel core was a tasty addition.  As I've likely mentioned before, Georgetown Cupcake's peanut butter frosting is AWESOME, and that was definitely my favorite part of this cupcake. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lunchtime Links for December 2nd, 2013

Shake Shack - December Custard Calendar

It's hard to believe that yet another year of Shake Shack custard flavors has gone by - here is the last custard calendar for 2013!

Monday: Frosted Holiday Cookie
Tuesday: Eggnog
Wednesday: Sweet Potato Marshmallow
Thursday: Chocolate Pecan Pie
Friday: Jelly Donut
Saturday: Gingerbread
Sunday: Candy Cane Crunch

I've got my eye on you, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday!