Tag Archives: Foodie

A Foodie Birthday!

Ahh yes, birthday time. Monday (6/28) I celebrated the big 24 (boooooring!), and received a lot of foodie (specifically baking) prizes. Yes, you read that correctly. I do not call gifts presents, rather prizes – it sounds more fun!

Most of the food related gifts actually came from my co-workers, and they’re smart; hopefully their prizes will get me in the kitchen, and therefore bringing in left over goodies to share with them. Good thinking! Anyway, in addition to the amazing MacBook from my fiancé that I’m currently using to type this up, an awesome new Coach bag, Forever21 gift card, shirt and earrings from my parents and sister, I got the following foodie items:


– A sweet set of baking dishes, and a Pyrex measuring cup, which we somehow don’t have. This is going to come in handy!


– I’ve been eyeing this cupcake recipe book for awhile. Everything is SO cute. I hope my lack of artistic ability will some how not transfer over to these cupcake decorations


– I’ll be making these cupcakes this weekend to bring to a 4th of July BBQ. Hopefully they are yummy!


– How can you go wrong with this?! Now I have an extra cupcake pan (having only one is annoying), a mini cupcake/muffin pan, AND a carrying case? SCORE!

So as you can see, I was spoiled with my foodie (and non-foodie) prizes! By the end of the week I’ll hopefully have used the pie dish, cupcake mix, and cupcake carrier. I’ll definitely be reporting back on those!

As for the eating aspect of my birthday, that was equally delicious. It started off before work with some Dunkin Donuts (iced coffee and a jalapeno bagel twist to be exact). It was later followed up with a junior homewrecker with tofu burrito from Moe’s Southwest Grill. Then, going for a double-dose of Mexican (how could I resist?!) the family took us to Jose Tejas, one of my favorite Cajun Creole/Mexican joints (you can read about the restaurant here)! After that we had some cake – a chocolatey moussey ganachey coconutty slice of heaven. Needless to say I had to roll myself into bed after eating all that!

Stay tuned for the results of all my awesome prizes, and happy nomzing! Oh, and thanks to everyone that made my birthday special!!

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Filed under Baking, Cupcakes, Food Review, Restaurant, Spanish Food

A Perfect Foodie Gift for Dad!

Late last week, I was contacted by Snubbr.com who offered to write up a guest post on some sweet cookbooks available to get for your dad for Father’s Day. My dad is a seriously awesome cook – you name it, he can make it, and it’s always delicious! So, since I’m still totally clueless as to what I should get my dad, I figured what the heck. Maybe I’ll purchase one of their suggestions!

You can expect a give-away some time in June from them, so stay tuned for that, too!

 

Baking Cookbook Gift Ideas For Father’s Day
by Shannon Clark, a Snubbr expert

Would you easily describe your dad (or husband) as a world class baker? If so, consider getting him a brand new baking cookbook this coming Father’s day. There’s always new techniques or recipes that he can try out as he indulges in this passion of his and best of all, if you’re lucky he may just share the end result.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the top rated baking cookbook options available so you can find the perfect pick for your father this coming father’s day.


The Complete Baking Cookbook: 350 Recipes From Cookies And Cakes To Muffins And Pies

If your dad likes baking a variety, this cookbook is sure to please him. With many different varieties of baked goods that he can prepare when he uses this cookbook, you can ensure he never gets bored. This book really outdoes itself when it comes to cookies especially with so many different varieties to choose from that span across all sorts of ingredients.

If he’s a pie fan as well, rest assured there will be plenty of different ideas to keep him occupied. The book even comes with troubleshooting tips and techniques so there’s a good chance he’ll improve his cooking skills while he bakes up the various recipes that are found in it.


The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets

If you have a father who’s a vegan, one of the most difficult types of dishes for him to prepare will be dessert since he’s not to eat any eggs or dairy. That’s where this cookbook comes in handy.

With 150 different recipes that span across cakes, pudding, cookies, crepes, and pies, there will be something that’s sure to please him. Since all are prepared without any animal products at all, you can also be confident that they’re going to be far healthier varieties to be adding to his diet helping him maintain his ideal weight range.

Whether he is rather new to the process of baking or is a seasoned pro with the oven, this cookbook will provide more than enough recipes to keep him busy for the coming months.


The Smart Baking Cookbook: Muffins, Cookies, Biscuits, and Breads

Has your father recently undergone a total health make-over? If so, this is the cookbook you should get for him. It contains 180 different dishes that are all low in fat, high in fiber, and contain no added sugar. All are made up of natural ingredients such as fruit, nuts, honey, cinnamon, or other herbs and flavorings so he gets a healthy dessert that’s still high on taste.

Written by the editor of Prevention magazine, which is a magazine filled with top-notch health information, you can be sure there’s nothing but high quality here.


Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Perhaps no other name is as famous in the household of a baking enthusiast than Martha Stewart. Known for her delicious desserts and world-class presentation, you know your father will appreciate every single one of the recipes that comes in this book.

She begins the book by providing you with a wide variety of general baking tips, which your dad can then use to improve his own techniques in the kitchen. After that the book includes a complete illustrated guide to the various types of baking equipment that will be utilized in the recipes so he’ll never feel lost in the dark about what’s going on.

Also included in the book are plenty of recipe substitutions that can be used so if something happens and your dad doesn’t happen to have the stated ingredient at home, he’ll quickly be able to find a swap for it that won’t wreck his afternoon of baking.

Various recipes include din this guide are cakes, pies, tarts, coffee cakes, scones, biscuits, muffins, crackers, breads, as well as fine pastries. You know he’ll never get bored when using this cookbook.


The Low-Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook

Has your dad recently adopted a low carb diet? If so, this is the book for him. It’s filled with a variety of different recipes from breads, pastries, to confections, all of which will be low carb in nature. Do take note that the ingredients called for in this book will be slightly atypical as they do have to be lower in carbs, so he’ll have to shop around when preparing these recipes.

If he has a serious sweet tooth however and is very committed to sticking to his diet, you know that this cookbook will definitely make achieving his goals easier.

So keep all of these cookbooks in mind as you shop for a gift for your father this coming Father’s Day. Any one of these will definitely make his holiday.

If you need more unique gift ideas, check out snubbr.com. They’re a Q&A site for shopping advice, backed by thousands of experts. You simply ask a question, and they search for experts to answer it for you.

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A Failed Attempt at Cupcake Camp NYC Still Ended Sweetly

This past Friday was the second annual Cupcake Camp NYC. You may find yourself asking, “What is this camping cupcake nonsense?” Well, yes, there are cupcakes, but no, there isn’t any camping. It’s basically an ad-hoc gathering for cupcake lovers alike. From bakers to writers and bloggers, and everyone in between, it’s an event to get together and mingle with other cupcake nerds. And Cupcake Camp happens all over the WORLD!

Having heard about the event awhile ago, I was pumped and ready to go. When the tickets were finally made available in March, I made sure to get myself and my fiancé a pair. Since they were free, I was more than ecstatic at the mere thought getting to see (let alone eat) some awesome cupcakes, and potentially brush shoulders with some seriously important cupcake people. You know, like my favorite blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. Or the owner of Buttercup Bake Shop! So once the day rolled around, my fiancé and I made sure to leave work 45 minutes early to get into the city as soon as possible.

Cupcake Camp was held at Happy Ending on Broome Street on the lower east side. When we were approaching our destination, my heart sunk. The event started at 7pm, and it was only about 7:10. The line was not only out the door, but down the street, and around the corner. I mean, I knew it was going to be crowded – everyone loves cupcakes. I couldn’t help but think to myself; “I got my tickets a month early! I love cupcakes way more than these people! I’m even wearing my cupcake necklace! My fiancé and I have mushy gushy cupcake love! THIS ISN’T FAIR!”

The dreaded line

The dreaded line

After whining in my head till the end of the line, we got in line, and waited. We waited and waited, and we didn’t actually get in until just a bit after 8pm. On the way in, we heard a few people echoing “There aren’t any cupcakes left!” while they walked out with boxes of leftover goodies. I sincerely hoped they were lying, but my hopes were dashed once I finally got inside. Any cupcakes that were left were already spoken for by others. There were a few authors selling their cupcake books, and everyone was just mingling and enjoying one another’s company. The bar was so packed, it was nearly impossible to move. After making our rounds, my fiancé and I left, a little disappointed, and very hungry.

I am utterly shocked at how many people were there! It was truly impressive. I mean, I know cupcakes are the “it” trend right now, but man! I suppose the word “free” might have played it’s part as well. I’m definitely going to make an attempt at next year’s gathering. But I think some camping might be involved this time. Forget about leaving work 45 minutes early – I’m going to need to take the whole day!

After that fail, we decided to head over to Dos Toros Taqueria, a place I had read about on SeriousEats. They compared it a lot to Chipotle, so as a burrito fanatic, I was in. When we got there, though, we faced our second fail of the evening. It’s an extremely small place – only one window bench with about 4 seats. And, the line was out the door. Since it was a bit chilly and windy, we decided to save that deliciousness for a day we could really enjoy it. We settled on the Thai restaurant Spice. We passed one of their other locations en route to Dos Toros and had already perused the menu, so we figured that would suffice. I really think Friday was the night of the foodies. We walked past Momofuku‘s Milk Bar and that line was even more outrageous! [I still need to get in on that chicken dinner!]

When we got to Spice, we were told we’d have about a 20 minute wait, which isn’t so bad for 9pm on a Friday in the city. Thankfully, we only wound up waiting about 10 minutes, and we were brought upstairs to our table. We decided to get an order of the spicy calamari to share. It wasn’t spicy so much as it had a nice crisp black pepper taste. The dipping sauce was sweet, tangy, and peanuty with a little kick all at the same time. I really enjoyed it.

Spicy Crispy Calamari with Sriracha honey chili sauce

For our entrees, I went with the Drunken Man Noodles, and my fiancé went for his go-to Pad Thai. The Drunken Man Noodles were broad rice noodles (my favorite!) with chicken, shrimp and squid along with chili, egg, and green beans.

Drunk Man Noodle

Our food came quickly, and it was actually really good. Being the spicy lovers that we are, we asked for extra spice. Surprisingly, despite the restaurant’s name, the food wasn’t spicy. That would be my only gripe about the place. The service was friendly, but they didn’t check-up on us once. It worked out since everything was fine, but if it hadn’t been, I wonder if we would have had trouble flagging someone down. At any rate, for a $30 dinner in the city, I really can’t complain.

To end our night on an even higher note, we headed over to 16 Handles. My fiancé and I actually went here on our fourth date, after dining at the Telephone Bar which is sadly now closed. 16 Handles really is as great as it sounds. There are 16 different flavors of frozen yogurt that you get to choose from yourself, followed by a plethora of toppings. It’s all done buffet style, so you get to pick your cup size, yogurt and topping choices, and then pay by weight. They have everything from sweet to tart flavors, non-dairy and low fat options, and both fruity and candy-like toppings. Being the sweets junkie that I am, I went for red velvet, cookies & cream, New York cheesecake and peanut butter yogurt (just a dollop of each!). I then topped it off with some cookie dough bites, brownie bites, crushed graham crackers, crushed Oreo, and mashed Reese’s peanut butter cups. Oh. Yes. Take a look at the masterpiece!:

16 Handles of deliciousness

So all in all, despite not getting a cupcake, I think I had a successful foodie evening. And I made up for the lack of cupcakes by getting a Crumbs cappuccino and half baked cupcake Saturday. Plus, I’m on Sunday I was able to whip up some peanut butter cupcakes from my 500 Cupcakes recipe book! Maybe next year I’ll be adventurous and bake my OWN cupcakes for the event! We’ll see 🙂

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Filed under Cupcakes, Food Review, Restaurant

Christmas Gift Review 1: Contigo Travel Mug

Since this past Christmas was quite the foodie Christmas, I’ve decided to review most of my presents that would be of any use to anyone on this site. So, first up is my Contigo Travel Mug! I have to say I was a bit wary of it’s claims at first, but so far so good.

I’m an avid coffee drinker; I bring it to work every day in an effort to save money, but also because the coffee at my office is less than stellar. I was finding that by the time I arrived at work, my coffee was cold and needed to be reheated in the microwave. Now, this wasn’t usually a problem, unless I happened to bring a non-microwavable mug. Then I had to go through the process of pouring it into a regular cup, heating it up, then pouring it back in hopes of it retaining it’s heat for a little.

I’m also unable to prevent coffee from spilling on myself. I’m by no means a klutz, but for whatever reason coffee always seems to leak out or spill on me. So, I really needed a mug that I could rely on to close all the way.

With all of the aforementioned issues taken into consideration, my boyfriend decided on a red Contigo mug for me. Not only does it keep warm beverages warm for up to 4 hours (and cold up to 12), but it also is leak and spill proof! That is by far the best part. I have turned the mug upside down from side to side on multiple occasions to demonstrate, and not a single drop has appeared any time.

I am seriously impressed by this mug. It seems to have everything; I can fit 16 oz. in it, and it stays drinkably warm for quite a few hours. And, if I happen to be wearing a white blazer and reach over my mug, I don’t have to worry about it spilling all over myself and needing to use two Tide-to-go pens to try and get it out (yes, this has happened). It has also come in handy for my weekend morning trips to the movies with bagels and coffee; my usual plastic bag and hope for the best method can be laid to rest.

So, if you drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or even super cold drinks close to as much as I do, I can’t recommend this enough! I know they have them on Amazon, and you can also get them directly from their site. Next time you’re in the market for a new travel mug, check this bad boy out!

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