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About flatspot

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    woah, big guy, WOAH!
  • Birthday 01/01/1978

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    Another wedding website.
  1. I like this. And I agree, a good reminder for getting back into just about any good habit.
  2. This is great! A few times a year I have dinner out with someone who is a great tipper, but also a big punisher, and you can tell the servers read him the minute he comes in. It sucks because, while I'm sure we'd get great service anyway, it's awkwardly great. And the stuff he "punishes" for is total bullshit. The power play of it all would make you cringe. I think this is one of the practices that Europeans have right - pay servers a living wage, recognize it as a real job that requires real skills, and a small tip is a bonus.
  3. My husband does NOT like lentils. I made this anyway, because I do, and I never get to eat them. He went back for seconds. Not polite seconds... real seconds. I used bacon instead of pancetta and put in a little extra because the flavor never seems as strong to me. I cooked dry lentils (soaked them all day, then microwaved them to soften them a little more). I didn't add as much extra water as it calls for, probably 1/2 a cup only. I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 regular spaghetti. Pasta with Pancetta and Lentils Ingredients Kosher salt 12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling 1/2 cup finely chopped pancetta (about 2 ounces) 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 14-ounce can lentils, drained 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand 8 basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for topping 1/2 cup grated parmesan Directions Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs; drain. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils, then add the tomatoes, 2 cups water, the basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a boil; cook 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the pasta to the sauce along with half of the parmesan. Season with salt and toss. Divide among bowls; drizzle with olive oil and top with the remaining parmesan and more basil. Per serving: Calories 650; Fat 20 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 1,099 mg; Carbohydrate 91 g; Fiber 14 g; Protein 26 g Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pasta-with-pancetta-and-lentils-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
  4. I couldn't really stomach this. Ugh. I think the worst part about it is that he will probably continue to get laid, because he knows how to prey on the emotions of vulnerable women. Ugh. Yuck yuck yuck.
  5. Ugh. I had to cover it with my hand while I watched it in case something jumped out. But it was almost creepier that it didn't! Of course, then I googled it and read a bunch of other crazy stuff about that hotel. So, so scary.
  6. I think it's partly a postpartum thing, definitely. Also, I've realized that some of the things I used to be passionate about I wasn't very good at, so there's an element of pre-mid-life, er, "crisis" in there too. I'm not upset about it and don't feel like anything's missing.
  7. I am gladly engaged in things I like, but I wouldn't say I'm passionate about anything. Anymore. I used to be, and I'd guess that I will be again. I think I am in a ... holding pattern of sorts when it comes to what matters enough to me to be a passion.
  8. Um, what?
  9. I'm reading the Shirley Jackson short stories after a discussion here about The Lottery. I think she writes some of the best dialogue I've read. Ever.
  10. That looks amazing! And it sounds really easy. Very nice.
  11. Did I post the spicy tilapia in here before? I threw in some green beans with the pasta and cooked both for 7 minutes, perfect. And substituted arugula for the basil because it's what I had. And used hake instead of tilapia because it was on sale. And used red instead of white wine because it was already open. So, I brutalized the recipe and it was still good. And fast. And made good leftovers. Ingredients 1/2 pound tilapia fillets, cut into small chunks 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping Kosher salt 10 ounces multigrain spaghetti 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Directions Toss the tilapia, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to soften, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. When the pasta is almost done, add the tilapia to the skillet with the tomato sauce and simmer, stirring gently, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup basil; season with salt. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Divide among bowls and top with more basil. Per serving: Calories 435; Fat 9 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 28 mg; Sodium 71 mg; Carbohydrate 63 g; Fiber 13 g; Protein 24 g Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/spicy-pasta-with-tilapia-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
  12. Here's a blog I found the other day that might work: http://wearychef.com/ I say might because I made a recipe from it last night but ended up in the kitchen for 90 minutes. That wasn't the plan. And it used up the entire afternoon nap! Here's the recipe I made from wearychef. I doubled it so I'd have some to freeze, and I made my own saffron rice instead of using the box. I made extra-extra of that to save in individual freezer bags for multiple meals. On the downside, I used a mix of white and brown basmati for the saffron rice, and that just didn't taste right. Let's face it, that really needs to be white jasmine rice for it to work just right. If I made the sausage recipe again, I'd skip the saffron rice altogether and just serve it over brown rice. Keep it simple, and the sausage has a ton of flavor, anyway. It was a great use of my fresh kale, though. Oh, also, since I ended up buying fresh sausage in casing rather than loose sausage, I squeezed it out of the casing in little balls. That was faster than cutting open the casings to crumble it, and it looked cool. If you double the recipe, like I did, I'd recommend using a dutch oven to make this.
  13. The Gray Line tours are fine to get from place to place in good weather. I mean, they're okay, economical, and a good way to pop from site to site without having to get on and off the subway. Check out the loops before you go and see if it would be convenient and economical for you. It's not a good fit for everyone's approach to travel, but it works for some! http://www.newyorksightseeing.com/ But if you really want to learn and experience a thing, I highly recommend Context Travel. We did several tours in Italy, and will do them again without question. They are led by real experts (docents, not tour guides), small groups, thorough, informative, and really interesting. http://www.contexttravel.com/city/new-york
  14. Oh, do you want some old school dinner and dancing? We went to a place not far off Broadway that was great for that. I can look it up if you want.
  15. What a great time to visit NYC! We love it anytime of year, but at Christmas it really is beautiful. And I have to second that your hotel is the perfect location. I've stayed there a couple of times and the coming and going is hectic, but it's fun. There are a ton of places we love to visit/eat, so it's going to sound silly that I'm recommending a PB shop, but (a) as a PB lover, it really does make a nice place to stop for a little snack, and (b) the neighborhood has a great vibe and is perfect for browsing and people watching in decent weather. http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/sandwichshop I completely agree about Chinatown at night, which abuts Mulberry Street, which still passes for Little Italy. If you go during the day and are up for an adventure, one of the most amusing afternoons I had there was buying a knock off bag with my aunt. It's sketchy as hell and it looked like only the tourists were doing it, and you should definitely read more about how to accomplish it if you're going to try. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/heres-how-to-buy-a-fake-bag-in-chinatown.html Definitely skip the Jimmy Buffet, Bubba Gump, etc. Disney-esque bits of Times Square. Less than a block in each direction there are plenty of places with much better food and much better experiences. Do you use Yelp on your phone? Check out the Yelp Monacle, and you'll be surprised what is literally lurking around the corner. Get a good paper tourist map of Manhattan. This is so much easier than trying to use your phone for everything, and it's nice to be able to spread out on the table during a meal and discuss what's next. Take the subway. It is so, so easy to get around that way, and you can save taxi fare for when you are tuckered the hell out. Check out Gothamist and Time Out New York for things that might interest you (they have good lists of best bagels, best donuts, etc.), so you're not flailing about just trying one, if that's your thing. And definitely, definitely take a walk in Central Park. Also, I second the New Jersey thing. It's really no big whoop, and it's a pain in the ass to get there.