Monday, May 18, 2009
woooooohoooooooo! It's Annie's birthday!!! The moment we have all been waiting for. She is officially in her MID-mid 20s (yikes! I'm glad I am still in my EARLY-mid 20s). In honor of this glorious day in history, Annie and I did what we do best...Throw a dinner party, of course! The theme was barbecue. Josh got to get his grilling on outside while Annie and I made yummy treats. The menu included: grilled veggies (carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, bell pepper), grilled/roasted potatoes, Josh's special fried zucchini, burgers/veggie burgers, guacamole, salsa, and a new special bruchetta that we invented with some help from Josh's grilling book. And, to end the evening we did it in classic Annie/Lexy style...with a crap load of cupcakes! Cupcakes came from Mainstreet Cupcakes. Annie chose (since it was her special day) white chocolate key lime, lemon, sugar cookie, hazelnut, and I got a special pink lemonade one! Yummmm awesome birthday fun! Josh's family was nice enough to come and share the time with us as well :)
Main Street Cupcakes
Ambiance: 5 scoops of icing-- main street cupcakes has a lovely set-up with pretty wood tables and an adorable display case. also adorable was the pretty green bike sitting in front.
Customer Service: 5 scoops of icing-- the friendly staff was able to recognize josh's face (not sure if this speaks to their friendly nature, or the fact that josh is always there buying me cupcakes... probably both). the woman on the phone was also very nice when we called at 9:45 to ask what kind of cupcakes they were going to have that day.
Flavor Variety: 4.75 scoops of icing! there were so many flavors that is was difficult to choose! we ended up ordering 18 cupcakes (it was my birthday, don't judge!) because it was just too overwhelming. our only feedback was that it would be nice to know at the beginning of the week what the flavor options are going to be so that we can plan ahead.
Cupcake Size: 3 scoops-- they had the standard cupcakes, but not the super sized or tiny ones that we have seen in other stores.
Quality of Cupcake: 4 from annie, 3 from lexy. annie wishes that they had the harder icing, like White Flower... lexy wishes that the frosting had lots of flavor, but the cake did not. she wishes that her pear cupcake would have had the pear flavor in the cake like it did in the frosting, as she really enjoyed the frosting part.... so, in total, 3.5 scoops!
Overall Impression: around 4.5-- i am super glad that we chose main street cupcakes for my birthday celebration-- we can't wait to go back again!!!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
yesterday, i took lexy to the west side market, a real cleveland treat.
i introduced her to the BEST FALAFEL EVER at maha's falafel:
and we purchased ingredients to use for birthday dinner tonight! lexy also bought kevin a special gift that he is sure to enjoy. yay west side market!!!
Friday, May 15, 2009
12101 Mayfield Road
What's better than cupcakes?? Well...nothing, really. But, these came in a close second. For dinner Annie, Josh, and I went out to eat in Little Italy. Its a cute and fun area of Cleveland full of Italians (my people). After a yummy dinner of pizza we headed over to Presti's and got some
pretty magical Italian pastries. We got a puff pastry that was chocolate with some super good creme stuff in the middle, cassata cake (traditional Sicillian cake..with strawberries!), and a lemon cake. We played a game where you got one bite and then shifted the plates, Josh had a little trouble keeping up, but Annie and I were ready to go!
Stay tuned tomorrow for more adventures!!!
4145 Erie Street
Ambiance: 4.5 scoops of icing. Baby Cakes has some super cute whimsy, which every good cupcake shop should strive to achieve. There were cute little awnings above the tables and plenty of seating. Annie and I discussed that it would be a cute place for a party. Downfalls include that the cupcakes were not well labeled and it seemed a little cluttered at the counter. I would have liked a little more organization.
Customer Service: 5 scoops. The woman who helped us was very nice. She was super helpful (which was good since not all cupcakes were labeled--we almost missed out on a lemon cupcake!!). Also, she was decorating cupcakes, serving hungry cupcake critique-ers, and caring for 2 small children that were in a crib...crazy. (is that why its called baby cakes?)
Flavor Variety: 3 scoops. There were quite a few to choose from, but all the cupcakes seemed to be chocolate or vanilla varieties. I had a chocolate with coconut and Annie had a lemon. One fun bonus was that some had filling in the middle. We would have enjoyed a few more daring flavors.
Cupcake Size: 3 scoops. They had the basic size. We are still in search of the elusive cupcake store that serves jumbo, regular, and mini. Nothing super special to report here...
Quality of Cupcake: 3 scoops. Annie was not pleased with the icing. It was very creamy and we all know (or at least I do...) that Annie enjoys the harder/denser cupcake frosting. The cake part of the cupcakes was pretty soft as well. It was more like cake than a cupcake. Good, but not as dense as a lot of cupcakes.
Overall Impression: 4.4 scoops. Baby Cakes was a new cupcake store for Annie so it was a fun adventure for both of us. We never turn down a cupcake, so it was a good time, however we wish the quality of the cupcakes was just a tad higher. But they definitely have the whimsy of what "magical cupcakes" means locked in. Well done.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
14718 Detroit Avenue
mmmm... melty goodness. what's better than melted cheese on buttery bread with french fries? the answer: nothing. lexy and i both enjoyed our sandwiches from Melt-- lexy ordered the Winter Chicken (grilled
chicken, creamy chipotle sauce, pepper jack cheese) and I ordered the Mushroom Melt (garlic portabellas, caramel port onion, provolone cheese). lexy liked her
sandwich so much that she ignored the pickles on the side and didn't freak out! hooray!
White Flower Cake Shoppe: LaPlace Shopping Center, Beachwood, OH
Ambiance: 2 scoops of icing. While the big pretend wedding cakes were quite impressive, it wasn't the cozy, sit down and lick-frosting-off-your-fingers kind of establishment that a cupcake shoppe should be. It was very white and almost sterile looking... although the smell was quite yummy.
Customer Services: 2 scoops of icing. The woman at the desk was nice, but not super-friendly. She seemed like maybe she could take or leave our business, and also assume that Lexy did not want a cupcake... Lexy is wondering if this means the woman thought she was too fat to eat
cupcakes... or maybe that she was so skinny that clearly she doesn't eat cupcakes-- either way, assumptions were made, and you know what happens when people make assumptions.
Flavor Variety: 4.5 scoops of icing. There were quite a few yummy choices-- we had a hard time choosing what we should get... there were lots of flavors and they all looked delectable. Both Lexy and myself chose the banana cream cupcakes, which the website describes as
NEW! Banana Creme Pie:Banana cake topped with custard and vanilla creme, and sprinkled with graham crumbs.
We both agreed that this was a good choice.
Quality of Cupcake: 3 scoops of icing. Individually, all the flavors were fantastic-- the custard, the cake, the icing... however, when they all came together, it was a big sloppy mess. The cake wasn't physically strong enough to hold up that yummy thick icing, so it kind of just became a big goopy mess-- a yummy one-- but, nonetheless, a mess.
Cupcake Size: 4 scoops of icing. White Flower did well in this department, as they carry large SUPER SIZE cupcakes with big pretty flowers on the top (meaning lots of yummy icing). One suggestion Lexy had was that they also carry "mini" cupcakes as well, so she could have tried more of the flavors.
Overall Impression: 3ish scoops of icing. White Flower was an excellent beginning to our cupcake adventures in Ohio and the Banana Cream cupcake was very good-- with just a little tweaking, it could be UNSTOPPABLE!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
In honor of mother's day I was making some fancy brunch for my boyfriend's mother. These little treats are super easy to make, and I think will impress those around you (which, I mean, isn't that what we're all about anyway?). Recipe comes from Taste of Home, health cooking.
So... all you have to do is take 10 wonton wrappers (you find these in the produce section at the grocery) and you mush them into cupcake tins (pre-sprayed with non-stick stuff). The recipe says "mini cupcake tin". I don't have a mini one, so I just used the normal one, and it seems to work out just fine. After you push them into the tin, spray the wonton wrappers and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, make the egg filling. Really all you need to do is make some scrabbled eggs. Recipe calls for 2 eggs, so I used the egg beater equivalent. It also called for salt and garlic powder and a little bit of hot sauce. I added some oregano and chopped up green onion. You can make the eggs however you like though...maybe with some sauteed peppers or tomatoes? Cook the eggs in a skillet.
Then, you just spoon the cooked scrambled eggs into the 10 wonton cups. You can decorate with a little bit of chopped tomato, green onion, or bell pepper on top! The recipe says that for 2 it is 110 calories, 4 fat, and 1 fiber. But, they use real eggs in theirs, so this has to be less. As it stands, that's 2 points for 2 (or, for you math geniuses out there... that's 1 point a per egg cup).
****REMEMBER***** On Wednesday night I (Lexy) am flying across the country in order to be with Annie for some more blogging craziness. We already have some cupcake stores scouted out and plan on cooking up some fun food! Also, its her birthday, so people should tell her happy birthday!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I never used to be a big cereal person, but I have found a lot of joy from Cheerios recently. There are two types that I currently love. The multi-grain Cheerios and the Banana Nut, and this is why...
You can have a WHOLE CUP of the multi-grain for only ONE POINT! That's pretty amazing. If you eat it with milk, then its two points, but still awesome for a cup of cereal. I like to take a cups worth to work and eat them dry for a great one point snack. The added benefit of this is that there is some sort of childhood joy of eating cheerios with my fingers out of a bag. :D
The banana nut Cheerios are super yummy, but not quite as healthy. You get 2/3 of a cup and if you eat it with milk its 3 points, but the taste is absolutely delicious if you love banana flavored things. Also a magical mid-day treat in order to regress like a child while at work.
EDIT: Kevin is throwing a wee bit of a fit right now because he is not getting any credit for being the person who first purchased the multi grain cheerios. Yes, dear Kevin, it was you who introduced me to the wonders of eating cheerios, and for this I am thankful and forever in your debt. Love you!