Friday, May 31, 2013

Lots of cookies from West of the Rockies

Vacation is defined as that place you go where you buy a lot of Giant Cookies but never have time to review them. After vacation is the time when you sit and weep, look for all your receipts, most of which you already gave away to your employer for reimbursement, and then write oodles of reviews and cram them all into one blog post. This is going to be a tour de cookie force, I'm just warning you in advance.

Peanut Butter Cookie from Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee Shop (which  may or may not be it's precise name) sat pretty in Portland, and one rainy morning, I skipped the keynote speech for my conference and went cookie shopping there and several other places. This cookie, in brief, was nothing really special. It had barely any flavor, wasn't too crunchy, but not too deliciously soft, and did not pass the crumble test. I can't begin to speculate at its value because of the missing receipt issue already mentioned, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this cookie again.

WOW Peanut butter cookie

This was the first cookie I picked up while on this vacation. After carrying it around with me from city to city in a suitcase, it was somewhat the worse for wear when I finally ate it upon my return. It had a better flavor than the last peanut butter cookie, but still wasn't anything to shout about, and its crumbliness was phenomenal.

Flower cookie

Another place at which I stopped on my infamous morning cookie run in Portland was Helen Bernhard Bakery. There was a tempting array of cookies in her case, and I purchased several of them, but only this flower was big enough to qualify for a Giant Cookie review. It was nice and soft, but the frosting was crunchy, for the perfect contrast. It also boasted a delightful buttery flavor that reminded me of cookie dough—and if you know how much I like cookie dough, you'll know that means it was good! If I had a complaint, I would say it was a  little too  crumbly.

Vanilla frosted cookie from Starlight Bakery

 At Pizza Schmizza (a popular Portland place), I saw a rack of cookies in tantalizing rainbow-colored wrappers, sitting on the takeout counter. I added two of them to my bill. One of them I gave away. The other one, I ate upon my arrival at home. This vanilla frosted cookie was it. It reminded me of nothing so much as those puffy frosted Lofthouse cookies that come in a 10-pack and are always getting brought to cookouts. The cookie itself was very soft, which I liked, and the frosting was sweet, but, like the Lofthouse cookies, it was nothing to get all excited over.

Cow Chip cookies

Spoiler alert: Of all the cookies I acquired in my travels, these were my favorites. And that's after I bought them on discount at a day old, and then didn't eat them til a week and a day later! These cookies were more crunchy than I'd usually like, but at the same time, they weren't a brittle kind of crunchy, but quite substantial. If I were to ever call a cookie "muscular," it would be this cookie. The flavor was superb, and the abundance of walnuts sprinkled liberally on top was perfect if you like walnuts, which I do. If ever you are in Seattle, I strongly encourage you to seek out this cookie establishment.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Smoothie King Chocolate Chip cookie

The chocolate chip cookie I purchased at Smoothie King had a decently soft and chewy texture, but it also had a weird sour aftertaste. In other words, it tasted like a health food. I guess I should have expected that of a cookie that I purchased at a health food venue. The label proudly proclaimed that this cookie lacked trans fat, cholesterol, dairy, or animal products of any kind. Show me a healthy cookie that I love more than a junky cookie, and I'll show you myself lying on the floor in shock. But for what it was, it was edible. If I were on a diet and all I could eat were Smoothie King cookies, I probably wouldn't complain.

I might complain about the price, though.  It cost something like 2.2¢ per gram, making it not the most affordable diet staple.

The Bottom Line:
Taste: 2 stars
Texture: 4 stars
Price: 2 stars

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Status Update

In case you were wondering, my last post about falling in love the natural way wasn't just wishful thinking. It was actually happening. And now it is done happening and I am officially a girlfriend again.

Phew. It only took 3 months this time. And while I pretty much broke with all personal tradition and actually enjoyed being single for those 3 months, I enjoy being attached much more.

I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I would rather see him than eat cookies! That's how you know it's serious.

That's also my explanation for why my blogging has been a little sparse as of late—but I do have at least one Giant Cookie Review coming up for you soon.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese from the Maryland Smokehouse

When your coworkers all want to go to get barbecue for lunch one day, and you're a picky vegetarian, you groan and hope they serve macaroni and cheese.

Fortunately, the Maryland Smokehouse (a new independent restaurant, which always warrants special consideration) does (I might add, though, that their only veggie side dish is roasted zucchini and squash, which is gross).

I ordered it. It was soft and gooey, and had real cheese shreds on top, which is always a plus!

On the minus side, there was pepper in it, and you all know how I feel about pepper. This time it was black pepper, which is less offensive.

On the whole, I was not disappointed by this less-bland-than-my-usual-fare macaroni and cheese, though I probably will not go out of my way to order it again. I rate it one happy noodle.

1 happy noodle