Thursday, June 28, 2012

Free Cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake

Who doesn't love free cupcakes??

Anybody? Anybody?

I didn't think so.

So what if I told you getting free cupcakes was as simple as following a company on Twitter? And not just one free cupcake and you're done. A free cupcake EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And a different flavor everyday too.

This is real life, people!

Thank God I don't live closer and I work during the day or this would be a serious problem.

So I'll stop the suspense. It's Georgetown Cupcakes.

As many of you probably know already, they recently opened up a shop on Newbury St. And there was a line of like 10,000 people to get free cupcakes for their grand opening a few weekends ago. A line so long that even I just gave up and bought some overprices roasted cashews in Copley Square instead. I passed up free cupcakes!! It was a really long line.

But fear not! Because now they post the day's "secret cupcake" on Twitter everyday. And all you have to do is go in and ask for the cupcake by name and you get it for FREE. Simple. You just have to pray that you got there early enough to get one because they only do 100 per location and 1 per customer. But I imagine they last awhile, especially on weekdays. At least until more people start finding out about it. I got there at 12:30 yesterday (they open at 10am) and there were still some left.

Yesterday's secret flavor was Blueberry Cheesecake. Now I looked on their menu and it said that the blueberry cheesecake cupcake was a blueberry mascarpone cupcake with vanilla icing and I got super excited because I LOVE mascarpone cheese! But alas, maybe it was just different because it was the secret flavor, but it was just an actual little mini cheesecake. Which is not to say that that's not okay, because it was still very delicious!

It had a graham cracker crust that was more of a crumble than a crust because it kind of just fell apart, but that's totally okay with me! And then a thick layer of cheesecake with blueberries throughout. It wasn't the best thing I've ever tasted, but it was definitely quite delicious!

And free.

Did I mention it was free?

But I guess it's a good thing that I got suckered into actually buying a cupcake too so I could get a taste of what their actual cupcakes were like. All in the name of research. Just for you fine readers. You're welcome.

So I went with the Vanilla Birthday Cake. Obviously.

I suppose for only $2.75, it's not a bad deal at all. About $3 with tax. A very standard cupcake price. I was pretty surprised at how small these cupcakes were though. Not that I'm complaining. All the more reason to go get free cupcakes everyday of the week because everyone knows that calories don't count in miniature things. Duh.

Even still, I was planning on saving the birthday cake one for the next day because I couldn't justify eating two cupcakes in one day. Even though I did walk ALL the way from work to Newbury St. just to get said cupcake! But in the end, I couldn't have a perfectly delicious-looking cupcake sitting there, looking at me, without eating it. And plus...I needed to evaluate it's flavor on the same day so I could judge it's freshness. Like I said...just for you guys!

I did manage to pawn off half of it onto my smiling roommate though. So I don't really feel guilty at all.

I really liked this cupcake. It wasn't phenomonal. I don't think it lives up to all the hype, but it was a very yummy cupcakes. And I think most of that hype just comes from the fact that they have a TV show (which you should never watch because it's really stupid and blatantly staged! Cupcake Wars all the way, baby!).

The frosting to cupcake ratio was pretty good with maybe a little too much frosting. But the flavors of both were very good. I don't know where this Madagascar vanilla stuff came from, but I've been seeing it in cupcakes everywhere lately and it is freakin good! Also the cake was pretty moist. I didn't really like the sprinkles though. They had a weird, tart flavor to them that didn't go with the rest of the cupcake.

So overall, I'd give it an A-.

I like how many different flavors they have! And they have different ones for everyday of the week. And different months have different featured cupcakes. The cupcakes all look pretty plain though. Which I guess isn't a bad thing, it just struck me as odd compared to say Crumbs or Sweet.

The store itself was pretty adorable! I liked the set up a lot. I took a gajillion pictures on my phone, but I got a new phone yesterday afternoon (the story of THAT hell is to come in a future blog post) and my memory card won't work in my new phone. So until I can go to the Verizon store and get that all sorted out, I am in desperate withdrawal of all my pictures.

So have you followed them yet??

Free. Cupcakes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Banana Pancakes for One

Let's get one thing out in the open. I love breakfast. Love love LOVE breakfast!


French Toast.


ANYTHING combining bananas and peanut butter and/or Nutella.

I go crazy.

Now let's get another thing out in the open. I'm a very routine kind of gal. Which often leads to me having the same exact thing every single morning for breakfast. 2 slices of toast (or bagel thins if I accidentally pass them in the grocery store and they fly into my cart), one slice gets covered in peanut butter (Peter Pan Honey Roast Crunch to be exact) and one slice gets covered in Nutella and then I slice up a banana and layer 9 slices on top of each slice.

I then proceed to eat half the peanut butter slice, then half the Nutella, then peanut butter, then finish with Nutella. Everysinglemorning!

But lately, I've been craving delicious breakfast foods. I just don't have time. (Waking up earlier is not an option).

I did make THESE peanut butter banana oatmeal squares one night last week and then heated one up in the morning, topped it with even MORE peanut butter and caramelized bananas. Heaven.

I apologize that that is such a bad picture, but it was early and the smell of caramelized bananas and peanut butter was intoxicating my brain.

So once I spoiled myself once, I was hooked and was craving delicious breakfasts all week. And I've been craving pancakes forEVER! I make THE most delicious whole wheat blueberry pancakes, but I think I'm the only one who would eat them and there is no room in our tiny refrigerator for pancake leftovers.

My prayers were answered when I stumbled across the pancake section of Katie's blog. And if you've never checked out her blog, you need to do it RIGHT NOW! It's a healthy dessert blog made with real foods and vegan-friendly foods. It's great.

And the best part? Pancakes for one!

I, of course, made the banana pancakes (with a few variations of my own) and it was super simple! I even had time to do it on my 7 am day! So if I can squeeze this into my morning routine, so can you!

1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
half a banana (mashed)
1/4 cup fat free milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Mix up your dry ingredients.

2. Then mix up your wet ingredients.

3. Then combine them all together and throw them down on a hot skillet!


I added more sliced bananas and blueberries to mine for good measure.

This made 3 pancakes for me, but my third was pretty big so you could probably get away with 4. And it's all for under 300 calories!

The lack of eggs did make them a little hard to flip and they weren't quite as fluffy as regular pancakes, but they still tasted GREAT!

Who doesn't want a pancake breakfast on a regular workday morning? And all in under 15 minutes.

I know I do!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brave: Movie Review

I was really hoping this wouldn't happen.

When I first started seeing trailers for Brave I was a little skeptical. It just didn't seem very Pixary. And trying new things is great and all, but I was really afraid that it would just not work out too well.

And I was right.

I love Pixar. Love love LOVE Pixar. I just checked the date on my Pixar calendar. (June is Wall-E, the one movie of theirs that I'm actually not crazy about, but I guess I've never really given it a real chance. I only half-watched it at the drive ins one summer.) But other than Wall-E, I absolutely LOVE every single one of their movies. (Cars 2 is just something we can all pretend never happened. But even that, I was at least thoroughly entertained through).

So let's talk about Brave.

I didn't like it. And I hate that I didn't like it, because I so desperately wanted to like it.

And if I had to narrow down the one thing I didn't like, it would be the plot. It was just weird. I can't think of any other word to describe it. If you are heading to this movie thinking you're going to see a great film about female empowerment and going after your dreams and creating your own destiny, you will be gravely disappointed. As I was. But that's exactly what the trailers made us think it would be about! It was supposed to be a princess movie with a twist (a GREAT idea for a movie plot) but it wasn't that at all.

I won't give away the "mid-movie twist," but it's not what you will expect from this film.
In Pixar's defense, the story was told well and it was a good movie. I just did not like the premise. And it wasn't Pixar at all.

Nothing really stood out and Wow'ed me. In Up, you have a house that flies away tied to balloons. In Ratatouille, you have a rat in someone's hat who can cook like a gourmet chef. Etc. Etc. Etc. Brave just didn't have that wow factor for me. There was no quirky sidekick or anything (although her little triplet brother terrors did offer some nice comic relief).

And the animation in Brave was impeccable. I read that it took them 3 years to develop 2 different software programs just for her hair. There are 1,500 bright red, curly strands of hair bouncing around on top of her head throughout the film, and the three years of hard work shows. The movie is just beautiful overall, slightly making up for the lackluster plot.

So I wouldn't waste your money. It definitely wasn't worth the $9 I spent. Wait for it to come out on Red Box for a dollar and prepare to be disappointed. Or just looking at the screen at the end and saying "what just happened?"

Here's hoping the next Pixar movie is a great one! (Side note: the short before the movie, La Luna, was phenomenal!)

They're doing a prequel to Monsters, Inc. about their lives in Monster University. I can't wait. And Finding Nemo is coming out in 3D. That would be an amazing movie to see in IMAX!

(And on an un-Pixar-related note, THERE'S GOING TO BE A DESPICABLE ME 2! So excited. If you couldn't tell. And the teaser trailer was adorable! I guess that and La Luna was almost worth my $9. Almost.)

Also on that Yahoo article, there was a poll at the end asking 'What is your favorite Pixar movie?'

I of course picked Up. And to nobody's surprise, Toy Story was the clear favorite. Followed by of course Finding Nemo and surprisingly The Incredibles. I never would have guessed that.

You can vote for  yourself HERE.

But tell me what you think! What's your favorite Pixar movie? And for those of you who saw Brave, did you like it??

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sports Withdrawal and Nostalgia

I like summer. Don’t get me wrong. But I realize that I prefer a 70 (maybe 80) degree summer. Because this is crap. It even got 10 degrees cooler today, but it’s still a millionedy-percent humidity. (Yes, that is a real unit of measurement.) There was supposed to be this giant thunderstorm yesterday, but instead it only rumbled like twice and then rained a little and then WENT RIGHT BACK TO BEING JUST AS HUMID!
There are so many things I want to do around the city and just walk around, but I’ve locked myself in my room with the shades drawn, fan blasting on my face, reading a book and playing around on the computer. And occasionally venturing out to find air-conditioned buildings to hang out in (but that requires going into the deathly inferno which is outside, so I usually avoid that).
So please Mother Nature…I am begging you. Make it stop! I will never complain about it being cold evereverever again!
In other news, a future Terrier got drafted to the Bruins last night!! Woot! This means I can actually get super attached to him over the next few years and then don’t have to be heartbroken when he leaves BU and takes off for Colorado or something (I’m talking to you Keiran Milan). Because when he does finally leave BU for bigger and better things, it will be for the BRUINS! And I’ll still be able to watch and cheer for him all the time. Yay!
On that note, is it October yet?
Or even September 5th? Giants v. Cowboys, baby!!
Or even the Olympics?! When do those things start again? I can’t wait!
I’m having major sports withdrawal right now! Baseball is just so boring unless you’re actually there. All I have to do is check the score in the morning and I’ve got my fix.
And I’m really trying to get into this Euro 2012 thing, but I just don’t know who I should root for and then I find myself not caring and instead just mesmerized by how awesome some of their goals are. And then I start to really miss soccer. Like REALLY miss soccer. And then I start to miss high school, and study halls, and friends, and band trips. And it’s just not pretty.
Especially since the last of my high school friends just graduated this morning. How did this happen?? Where did the time go? Growing up is scary. I should be home now with nothing to do for the entire summer except sitting on my couch stuffing my face with food (because you could do that when you were little and not gain a single pound!) watching America’s Next Top Model reruns. And if it happens to get 95 degrees with 99.999999% humidity outside, that’s okay because I can just go to the local waterfall and hang out with the rest of my friends who don’t have any summer responsibilities and then come home and sleep in my air-conditioned room.
But no.
I had to grow up. And get big girl jobs and internships. And live in big girl apartments with no AC and really big bugs. And not stuff my face with food, because not only can I not afford it but it would also go straight to my stomach.
Being 13 is seriously underrated.
Anywho, I should probably go find a productive way to spend my day. Something that doesn’t include watching sports or going outside.  Sad face.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Best Night of my Life

So a few weeks ago the wonderful people at Live Nation called our Dean of Students office and asked if the BU Marching Band would be interested in performing with Foster the People on June 15th. We were interested.

They needed a 20 person horn section to play the synth music in their song Houdini. And I was one of the lucky ones who was chosen to go perform.

All in all it was a very long day of waiting around and freaking out, but it turned into the most memorable and amazing night of my life! Here is my experience in pictures and videos.

We were first introduced to our "dressing room" (aka: a 10 ft by 10 ft tent with a table inside).

Then came the waiting part. We sat there for hours watching Tokyo Police Club and Kimbra's band do sound check. It was entertaining but still really boring. And atleast I got this picture of our conductor with a giant blow up that we thought resembled him!

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Then we finally got to break out our instruments and do a quick run through. Aka: just proved to the drummer that we could actually play notes.

That's the drummer. He told us we were the "best sounding band he's heard so far on the tour" but I'm pretty positive he was just saying that.

I really loved the venue too! The Bank of America pavilion is right on the water so you can hang out there while you wait for the show or listen to the opening acts or if  you just need a break from the crazy crowds.

Then it was showtime. First up was Kimbra (aka the girl who sings with Gotye in "Somebody That I Used to Know"). She was actually pretty good! And she was wearing a crazy outfit!

Next up was Tokyo Police Club. I was SO EXCITED when I found out they were opening! They sing one of my favorite songs: Breakneck Speed.

This is where we stood and watched the openings. We had super cool passes that could get us anywhere in the arena. Oh yeah, we're rockstars!

Then the sun began to set...

...And it was time to get all dressed up. Then we got to do more waiting! We stood outside the stage door for about an hour just waiting to go on. A few of us were even there before Foster the People went from their trailer to the stage and as they passed us they said, "Damn, you guys look sharp!" I died a little inside. And a little on the outside, but playing it cool is totally underrated.

Houdini was the second to last song, so we got to hear most of the concert through the back stage door. And we got to see Kimbra and Tokyo Police Club walk by quite a few times.

Then we had a quick "pep talk" from our conductor.

And then it was time to go on! This is my I'MSUPEREXCITEDANDNERVOUSANDFREAKINGOUT face.

And here's the concert in photos and videos...

Four of us got to play onstage while the rest of us were dancing and playing in the aisles.

And from our perspective...

And as crazy as that video is, it's a pretty accurate depiction of what we were experiencing! It was absolute chaos and amazingness! The crowd was wonderful! I did not expect them to cheer on a marching band that much, but they went NUTS! They were screaming and high fiving us and taking pictures with us. The people behind me didn't realize I was playing and kept tugging on my uniform saying "Hey, can we please get a picture??" It was amazing! I felt like a complete rock star!

And the best part was our group picture with the band afterwards.

And incredible, incredible night!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nestle CRUNCH Girl Scouts flavors

I'm a sucker for advertisements.

For example, here are a few things that I encountered the other day.

  • A giant poster for Six Flags New England: "Oh my god, we should definitely go to Six Flags this summer."
  • Walking through the North End, pass a sign for 'best gelato in Boston': "I should totally get my gelato from there!"
  • In CVS, a giant sign reading 'Try new Girl Scouts flavored Nestle Crunch!': "I so need those in my life! Let me buy one of every flavor!"

So here I am.

First up was the Caramel & Coconut (I hate people who spell carmel like that). Aka: Samoas.

It tasted just like a Samoa!! I was really afraid that I was going to be disappointed, but I definitely was not disappointed at all! It was just a Samoa with a crunchy texture. Thus the CRUNCH on the package!

There wasn't THAT much of a coconut flavor which is kind of disappointing, but I can understand that that would be hard to do with this kind of bar. You just can't beat a regular Samoa with actual toasted coconut on top. YUM.

Next up was the Thin Mint:

And it tasted guessed it...a Thin Mint! It was very good! I am a huge fan of any chocolate + mint combination and this one surely did not disappoint.

So there you have it, they are exactly what you would expect! They taste like the Girl Scout cookies they represent, only with an added crunch.

Excuse me while I return to CVS and buy 10 more.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Perfect Afternoon in Boston

So me and my roommate set out for the Back Bay Boston Pride block party today because we didn't have enough time to get all the way to Jamaica Plains. But alas, when we got there at about 12:15 it was pretty dead and we decided for the $10 it would cost us each to get in, we could get a good lunch and dessert in downtown Boston instead.

So we kept walking. And we found ourselves walking through Quincy Market where we each picked up a new boyfriend.

A Scottish lady took our picture for us while criticizing their fake British accents. Too funny.

But there were too many annoying tourists and screaming children there for us, so we kept walking and found ourselves in the North End, where I of course asked, "Have you ever been to Pizzeria Regina?"

Upon receiving "no" for an answer, we had finally determined our destination. I was very afraid that there would be a line halfway down the block on such a nice Sunday afternoon, but we were seated right away. And our food came out almost immediately. The fastest service I've ever experienced there. (And lucky thing because we were starving after walking the 5 miles there.)

We ordered a small plain cheese pizza. It definitely did not disappoint. And the small is the perfect size for two hungry college kids. We scarfed it right down!

Our waitress didn't really say more than two words to us, and our drinks were never refilled (as usual at Regina's), but other than that, it was another perfect meal at the best pizzeria in Boston.

And during the course of our meal, it also came to light that my roommate had never tried a cannoli. (WHAAAA?!?)

Well, it was the perfect time to discover this. Naturally, we walked our butts right over to Mike's Pastry and ordered that girl a cannoli. Amazingly, there was no line and we were served immediately (now I know the perfect time to go to the North End to avoid the crowds). She decided on the chocolate mousse cannoli and immediately fell in love.

I, however, was more in the mood for something cold, so I decided to just try the first gelato we came across. It ended up being at the Gelateria a few doors down from Mike's. I asked the server what her favorite flavor was and she said Coconut. Well she didn't need to tell me twice! It was $5 for a pretty small cup, but I guess that's how gelato goes in Boston. As far as taste, I couldn't find anything wrong with it at all! It was a delicious, strong coconutty flavor, and perfect for a hot summer afternoon! It was creamy but still had a slightly icy texture to it. I had no complaints. Which is why I was surprised that it got such terrible reviews on Yelp. I guess I've never had gelato anywhere besides Boston, so I'm by no means a gelato connoisseur, but it tasted delicious and that's all that matters!

So we took our desserts and settled down on the Greenway to inhale consume them.

Overall, a gorgeous day and the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I got my North End fix for the month and it all cost only about $10 each.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quinoa "Mac" n' Cheese

So funny thing...I was home for three weeks, doing absolutely nothing but watching every Grey's Anatomy episode known to man and cooking. Literally. So one would think that a person with a food blog would be posting everyday in this situation. This clearly was not the case.

Apparently my body decided to switch into full-blown summer vacation mode for those 3 weeks and did not want to do ANYTHING. Even talk about food! Blasphemy! I suppose it just knew that that was the only bit of summer vacation I was going to get since I'm now basically working three different jobs for the rest of the summer, so it went into super vacation mode.

Or maybe I'm just really lazy. And I was too busy consuming unreasonable amounts of calories to actually post about it. I didn't even take that many pictures!

So anywho, I will share the few recipes I actually really liked and took pictures of with you now. And then maybe we can talk about the giant bowl of seafood mac n' cheese I treated myself to today in Quincy Market today as a "First Week At My Internship" present to myself at a later time. (Preferably after I am out of this cheese coma. But seriously.)

So onto the healthiest mac and cheese you will ever eat! While still being very very delicious. I found this on Pinterest awhile back and finally got the chance to try it after 4 months straight of being at school and not having a kitchen.

Quinoa "Mac" n' Cheese
adapted from
Serves 4

1 cup quinoa (dry + 2 cups of water to cook)
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
1 clove of garlic
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs/Panko
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.

2. Meanwhile, chop up the broccoli and cauliflower. Saute in a saucepan with cooking spray, the diced garlic and a few tablespoons of water so it steams them a little.

3. When quinoa is done cooking (all water is absorbed) and broccoli and cauliflower are tender, remove from heat.

4. Whisk milk and egg together in a separate bowl and then add to the quinoa. Fold in Cheddar cheese and veggies until cheese starts to melt.

5. Pour into a small, greased casserole dish.

6. Top with breadcrumbs or Panko and Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown. (You may need to broil for 30 seconds to a minute at the end of the baking process to ensure a nice golden crust).

Yum! It looks (and tastes) just like mac and cheese, only with an awesome(in my opinion) texture!

Serve it up with some whole wheat garlic bread and you've got classic, HEALTHY comfort food.