Oct 31, 2010

We Love Daisy Cakes!

Remember on Wednesday I said that a surprise came to my work?  Well, it turned out to be two very sweet surprises: cakes! Last week while doing an in-store visit in Spartanburg, SC, TJ met the owner of Daisy Cakes. They chatted about Coast Apparel, his blog, and then he mentioned mine because I am a huge fan of carrot cake. Kim was gracious enough to send me her 24 Karat Cake and a bonus CoCo Mo' Cake !
I stored the cakes in the freezer as directed by Kim. In her sweet note to me, she said that I could just take them out for about 15 minutes, cut what I wanted to eat, and return the rest to the tin to keep frozen. How convenient! I saved the cake for my friend Callie's arrival to Charleston, and we, along with Margaret and Boding, had a tasting party!
To begin the celebration, we brought out some grape juice.
Although carrot cake is my favorite, I was really eager to try the coconut, so I dug in a little too early.
Clearly I wasn't strong enough, so I just called Boding for help.
We cut out 1/4 of the cake and let it sit for a while before sampling. Look at all those layers! And frosting!! 
When we were putting the rest of the cake back in the tin, we had a little oopsies.
Yeah. We dropped it. Whoops.
One by one, we each sampled the coconut cake as I jotted down our reactions.

Margaret: I like that this is a simple cake because it has a complex icing. The cake to icing ratio is good. I like that it's dense and fluffy. 
Callie: At first it tasted like plain white cake with weirdly textured icing. I didn't taste the coconut until after I swallowed my bite...it was like a last minute surprise!
Boding: The frosting is perfectly sweet. Whilst combined, the cake and frosting is a good mixture. I think it needs more frosting and coconut flakes.
Xtina: I love the texture from the coconut. It's not as sweet as I expected. This is a solid cake.

Then it was time for the carrot cake.
Margaret: There's too much icing. It kind of kills it. The cake is great - very moist and a good hint of carrot and cinnmon.
Callie: I've never had carrot cake! The frosting is creamy and sweet while the cake itself is a spiced cinnamon flavor. I would eat more!
Boding: The frosting has a good consistency and the texture of the cake is good. That's a good carrot cake.
Xtina: The frosting is so sweet and buttery. I love the golden raisins. 

Huge thanks to Kim for letting us overdose on sugar! I can't wait to share the rest of them with more friends...and yes, TJ that means you!! :) Interested in purchasing Kim's cakes? Check out her site to see all 5 of her awesome flavors!

Oct 29, 2010

Fun, Factual Friday

Last week, Lisa posted a fun survey that I wanted to fill out...THE ABC Survey.

What’s your age? 26, but really it's twenty-sexy.
What annoys you? Bad grammar. Bad spelling. Disorganized dishwashers. Fluorescent lighting. Waiting in line. Strangers touching me.
Do you have any allergies? Cats and nature.

When is your birthday? June 30th
Who is your best friend? I have several besties with breasties and a couple besties with testes.

What’s your favorite candy? Loaded question! Probably these:
When was the last time you cried? Teen Mom. I suck.
Have you been out of the country? Italy!!
Do you daydream? Occasionally.
What’s your favorite kind of dogWhite fluffy things!
How do you like your eggs? Every way. I love eggs!
What’s the easiest thing to do? Eat. Love. Eat with loved ones.
What’s one thing you love about your family? They're so accepting of odd behavior! ;)
Are you a giver or a taker? I'm equally both.
Do you like gummie candies? I go through phases.

How are you? My response is always "awesome."
What’s your height? 5’2
What’s your hair color? blonde-ish

Favorite ice cream? Pistachio gelato.
Have you ever ice-skated? Of course!

Do you wear nice jewerly? I have some good jewelry. Not like Lil Wayne or anything.
Do you tell jokes? I'm a terrible joke teller. I either laugh before I tell the punch line or I screw the whole thing up. 

Do you want to have kids? I'm not there yet so I don't know. I can't think about things until they're happening. For now, this is my baby.
Where did you have kindergarten? C.T. Douglas. Acton, MA
Are you laid back? Leaning toward no.
When’s the last time you sent a hand-written letter? On my birthday. 
Do you like mangos? No.
Do you still watch Disney movies? I LOVE the Little Mermaid
Do you have a nickname? Xtina! or just X. Sometimes Xtiny.
What’s your favorite number? 9

Are you an only child? I have 3 brothers.
Do you like the color orange? It's a favorite!

Do you think you are pretty? Silly question.
Do you play any instruments? Holy heck no.

Are you quick to judge people? It happens, but I'm a firm believer in NOT passing judgment until you know someone. Most people are really great and everybody deserves a chance.
What do you keep quiet about? Politics. Like what the fluff is that.
Do you have any quirks? ME? Everything. Exhibit A:
Do you think you are always right? Only when I'm playing Jeopardy.
Do you watch reality TV? Teen Mom is the greatest!!

Are you a social person? Very. I'll talk to anyone.
What states have you lived in? Massachusetts, Hawaii, South Carolina
What’s your favorite season? Spring!

What time did you wake up? 7:30 AM
When did you last sleep in a tent? Frisky!! It's been a while.
Do you like tomatoes? Sure. But I LOVE ketchup.
Do you listen to Usher? Usher "makes me wanna leave the one I'm with" every time he comes on the radio. Goooooooood grief.
Do you have an umbrella in your car? I need a lime green umbrella.

What’s your next vacation planned? That's a mystery! I hope it's Greece.
What’s the worst veggie? Red onions make me really nervous.

Have you ever wakeboarded? Yes.
Do you wish on stars? I'm not 5.

Have you ever had an x-ray? I don't think so. Unless you count at the dentist.
Have you watched the X-games? Negative.

Do you like the color yellow? I like orange.
What year were you born? 1984. 

Do you believe in the Zodiac? Not seriously but sometimes I like to make life decisions based off of them. Ha ha. (Excuse the bad grammar in the picture below.)
Have you been to the zoo? My life is a zoo.
Has your bank account been to zero? No!!! I am anal retentive with banking/budgeting.


Oct 27, 2010

Best Wednesday Ever!!!

For some reason, each time I wear my cowboy boots, I have an awesome day. I think they're my lucky boots. Clearly I was meant to live in the South...
Exhibit A: My first Clemson game / reuniting with Cory:
Exhibit B: Oyster roast with awesome friends: Amanda, Mary, Margaret, Nicole:
Exhibit C: Popping champagne with Matt: (You can't see the boots.)

So I'm sitting at work today (wearing my boots) and I get a gchat message from TJ. 

tjdelduca: look far right

Holy heck it's us!!! Then...I'm clicking other links on the site and BAM!
I felt famous. It made my whole day!

After work, Amanda and I went to boot camp. Today's session was tough! I was soaked in sweat - even my legs were dripping! It felt good to work that hard because a couple hours later, we met back up for dinner. Graze is a new restaurant in the Whole Foods shopping center in Mt. Pleasant. Their menu contains fresh, seasonal ingredients and has something for everyone. While we scanned the menu, we munched on some bread with citrus flavored butter...
...and sipped on some Pinot Grigio.
There were a bunch of options from many different cuisines - Italian, Greek, Korean, American, Spanish, and more! We asked for entree recommendations and were daring enough to tell our waitress to pick out an appetizer for us. There were just too many good choices! She ended up bringing us exactly what we were hoping for: Lobster Mac n Cheese.  
 And they aren't kidding when they say there's lobster. We found TWO claws of meat! The creamy bowl of orrecchiette was loaded with lobster meat, fontina, and smoked cheddar, and topped with toasted Panko crumbs.
 For my entree, I chose the Lemon-Thyme Encrusted Rainbow Trout. It was served with a balsamic grilled summer vegetable and quinoa salad, smoked olive oil, and fire roasted romesco sauce. The fish was lightly seasoned and very moist, but I enjoyed the quinoa most! 
Amanda chose the Korean Style Beef BBQ. It was soy marinated flank steak with house made kimchi, brown rice, and roasted seaweed. Our waitress recommended she use the seaweed to roll the kimchi and beef up like a taco. It was a great way to experience all the flavors at once.
Overall, it was a great meal. Everything was cooked right and presented beautifully. Our server and the manager were very welcoming and Amanda and I both agreed we'd love to come back to try more.
Graze on Urbanspoon
And the other awesome part of my day? A surprise package sent to my work!! Stay tuned for a DELICIOUS treat!

Don't forget to enter my Uncle Sam Cereal giveaway!

Oct 26, 2010

Help Me and I'll Help You!

Okay people, listen up. I have a baby and I don't know what to do with him. There's a nifty guide mode, and of course the auto mode works great too, but I want to know more. I love new toys - but even more so I love learning about all of their features. I spent an obnoxious amount of time learning every single thing my Blackberry Bold was capable of doing and now consider myself a Blackberry Goddess. I wanna be a Nikon Goddess!! So, I'm turning to my readers. If any of you know any sites with DSLR guides, tips, or how-tos, I would greatly appreciate you recommending them!

In return, I have a little giveaway. You do not have to send me a site to participate in the giveaway, but I would definitely appreciate if you have one.

A couple weeks ago, Annelies from Attune Foods offered to send me some more Uncle Sam cereal. I had previously reviewed the Uncle Sam Original flavor, but now that they have three new flavors, I was going to get to try those too! 
First, I tried the Wild Strawberry. This one is lightly sweet and full of dried strawberries. I was really impressed with the amount of strawberries in the cereal. The Strawberry flavor packs the most fiber of the three - 8 grams in a 3/4 cup serving. 
My second flavor was the Honey Almond. This one is so crunchy! It would be great on top of Greek yogurt. It's not as sweet as I was expecting and has a very natural taste.
Finally, I tried the Great Multi-Grains. I expected this flavor to be bland, but it is actually my favorite! I swear it tasted like it contained cinnamon, but according to the ingredients it doesn't! The only thing I may have been tasting that was different from the other two was oat flakes. 
Would you like to try a box of Uncle Sam cereal? Leave me a comment telling me which flavor you'd like to try the most and you just may win a box! For nutritional information on these products, please check out the Uncle Sam site. There are also some great recipes - one of which is mine! :) Giveaway will end at noon on Friday, October 29th, when I will randomly choose a winner. Good luck!