Yes, You Can Have Too Many Cupcakes #CupcakeCrawl2015

sigh

Sometimes I live such a tough life. We have an author event coming up next month at work, and we’ll need lots of cupcakes. The grave responsibility of finding just the right cupcakes fell on my shoulders. It’s a tough job, but I was willing to take one for the team.

I mean, imagine if we served sub-par cupcakes?! The horror!

So, I roped my friends into going on a cupcake crawl. They didn’t protest too much. In case you forgot, this is our second food crawl (we learned our lesson this time about not eating more than one at any restuarant). We really need to do more of these. I think someone suggested chocolate, or wine and cheese, or both for next time. Why are there so many wonderful restaurants in NYC?

Let’s get to the cupcakes….

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  1. Molly’s Cupcakes – Salted Butterscotch Caramel
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    I had every intention of trying only the mini cupcakes in classic flavors, since that’s what we’d be having for the event. But, salted caramel always calls to me. This cupcake is amazing. Moist, flavorful. Great filling. The frosting wasn’t too sweet. Actually it wasn’t sweet enough for me. But, the rest was so good, it wasn’t an issue. The top bakery of the day and the one we’ll be using for our event. Molly’s also gets points for a whimsical dining area, with swings at the counter, books and games you’re allowed to play with, and a sprinkle station for your cupcakes. Very adorable, fun area for the kid in all of us. Did I mention they won Cupcake Wars on FoodNetwork?
  2. Little Cupcake Bakery – Blue Velvet
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    Presentation matters. We eat with our eyes before food even gets to our mouths, so these cupcakes were a bit disappointing from the beginning. This is supposedly a blue velvet cupcake, but there was hardly any blue color. We Southerners do not play about our Red – or blue – velvet cake. And this just didn’t live up to its namesake. I’m not sure it this was a cake or a muffin with frosting. Aside from said really sweet frosting, there was no flavor. I love sweet frosting, but not if it’s being used to cover up tasteless cake.
  3. Sweet Buttons Bakery – Marple Bacon 
    wpid-20151025_140907.jpgI finally had a mini cupcake like I originally intended. From a bakery that wasn’t part of our itinerary, but Sweet Buttons is a cute little place that caught my eye. And yes, that is bacon. Nice, salty smoky bacon. And paired with the maple frosting, it was delicious! The cake was another disappointment. A little on the dry side. Texture was a crumbly also. I’d eat this maple frosting with bacon sprinkles by the bowl-full though.
  4. Sugar Sweet Sunshine – Coconut Mini
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    This was our last stop. Unfortunately, we had already reached our sugar limit by the time we got here. Maybe that contributes to why this was my least favorite of the 4. Maybe not. This one felt like something I could’ve done at home with a box mix, and with better results. It was very dry, almost to the point of stale. Nothing special about the frosting either. A completely unforgettable cupcake.

I hate sugar now. I don’t want to see anything sweet for the next two weeks at least. I feel totally drained and sluggish. Sugar is just evil, but so yummy.

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Review: Outlander Does Epic Sh*t… Blu-ray Special Features and Stuff

Around the World in 80 Books

epic ronOutlander showrunner Ronald D. Moore

We picked up Outlander Season 1, Part 1 Blu Ray special Edition from Target this week and decided to review it as our first page to screen adaptation. Since we’ve seen the first 8 episodes too many times to count, for this review, we’ll focus just on the features and deleted scenes.

Let’s start with the packaging.

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Everything about it is so well done. It’s beautiful and perfect. The stationery. The actual blu-ray case that looks like a book, complete with gorgeous hi-res production stills, script excerpts, and an intro written by Diana Gabaldon.

And there’s this thing (its fancy name is lenticular), which we adore:

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Of the special features, there are 6 behind-the-scenes looks, 4 of which are blu-ray exclusives, and 21 deleted scenes from all 8 episodes.

An Epic Adaptation — Nothing really new here, except the awesomeness of seeing Matt Roberts’ face (!!)…

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Tqwana Explains…Skinny Dip Noodles

Trying something new again. I don’t remember how I found out about this particular brand of shiritaki noodles, nor how I started getting weekly emails from them. But, when I got an email about a trial/tester pack, I figured I might as well test them out.

The brand is Skinny Dip Noodles. It’s called the 1x Variety Pak Sample and cost $23.95. In the ‘pak’ you get one bag each of  Angel Hair (I see a stir fry in my future), Fettuccine (chicken and broccoli Alfredo), Rice, Lasagna, and Spinach Linguine. They come in a compact brown box from a Weight Loss Media company. Bonus, the mail carrier is too lazy to bring things up to my apartment, so these stayed at the post office for a couple days. Still good to go when I picked them up.

Today I tried the spinach linguini. Don’t be put off by the liquid they float around in.
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First impression after removing it from the bag: still just as smelly as every other shiritaki noodle I’ve had, but they seem a little more dense and feel a bit more like fresh, homemade pasta and not like slimy worms.

Preparation is easy. First, rinse them thoroughly with cold water. This helps get rid of the smell. Then, boil them for one minute. The fresh pasta impression was even greater then. Drain, pat them dry with paper towels, and serve.
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The taste is bland. Really, they taste like nothing. Texture-wise, they are a little rubbery and chewy. Kinda reminded me of tofu, which I normally hate. I didn’t mind so much with these noodles.

Each bag is 2 servings, which I didn’t know when I started eating. No matter, they are incredibly filling, which I assume is because of the fiber. I ate half and was satisfied. Looking at the nutritional info, you’ll see that they are low carb, fat free, gluten free, etc.

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A good pasta substitute overall. Give them a try.

Until next time…