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What Women Want: The Guide To Making A Restaurant Women Love And Men Will Tolerate

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Eating, Featured | 0 comments

Anyone who watches “Bar Rescue” knows that the number one goal of any establishment is to pack it full of vaginas so the men they come a’hollerin. This phenomenon, which I am hereby dubbing “Taffer’s Rule of Men Will Do Anything to Get Laid” probably has a lot to do with the recent saturation of new restaurants with super cute non-”restaurant” names obviously intended to appeal to women like “Bistro”, “Marketplace”, “Kitchen” and, my personal favorite “Wine Bar”. But it’s not enough to just have a cute name, you also have to have a super cute menu that contains food that all women love. But how do I know what those foods are, you ask? Well you could 1. Be a woman or 2. Turn to the guide to all thing women: Pinterest.

Lucky for you, I am card-carrying woman and, using my own taste and the bible that is Pinterest.com, was able to find the top ten foods every restaurant should have on the menu if they want that place packed with yoga pants by day and winged eyeliner by night. Note: All restaurant names below were completely made up by yours truly, though I’m sure they exist somewhere.

Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Via http://thecookingmom.com

#10 Brussel Sprouts (280,000 Pinterest Results)

If there’s two things women love it’s knowing a secret and judging other people’s poor life choices and Brussel Sprouts allows us to do both. This is what happens when women see brussel sprouts on a menu:
Women #1: OMG They have brussel sprouts
Women #2: Oh I love brussel sprouts, you know who has good brussel sprouts? Frederic’s Bistro and Wine Bar! They have bacon on them!
Women #3: OMG I loooove Brussel Sprouts with bacon, can you believe some people don’t like Brussel sprouts?
Women #4: Some people are so stupid.

#9 Beets (619,000 Pinterest Results)

Beets started gaining popularity somewhere around 2008 and now you can’t swing a humanely raised pig around an “Urban Kitchen” without hitting a beet and pistachio salad. I’m personally not a huge fan of beets but their bright pink color and Superfood status pretty much guarantees they’ll stay on the menu at “Serendipity Cafe and Marketplace” as long as they don’t stain the ivory tableware.

#8 Sushi (1,080,000 Pinterest Results)

Sushi is colorful, bite size, and very conducive to just “getting a lot of little things and sharing!” This is one of women’s favorite things to do. If you’re not a sushi restaurant, you can always throw an Ahi Tuna Salad on the menu and that will pass (and is what I will order please).

Hummus

Via foodess.com

#7 Hummus (1,130,000 Pinterest Results)

I know there was a time in my life when I was unaware of hummus, but I think I may have repressed the memory because it was just too painful. Hummus is delicious and if you eat it with cucumbers instead of pita, it has virtually no net carbs and therefore doesn’t even really count as consuming calories. Woman science.

#6 Goat Cheese (1,490,000 Pinterest Results)

If this list was called “What Georgeann Wants: Restaurant Edition”, goat cheese would probably be #1, #2, and #3. I could eat a goat cheese bruschetta appetizer, followed by goat cheese raviolis, and a dessert of goat cheese cheesecake and all would be right in my world. But the Pinterest numbers don’t lie and women ranked Goat Cheese as #6, based on my extremely unscientific methodology of doing a Google site search of “Goat Cheese” on Pinterest.com.

I know all cheese is delicious and totally worthy of a spot on this list, but goat cheese and feta are really the two with a disproportionate female to male fanbase. Feta isn’t on this list because it’s been on the restaurant radar for years, mostly in the crapfest that is a Greek Salad, and nobody really likes it that much we just eat it when we’re at a Greek restaurant or on a diet. Goat cheese, however, is heaven on a cracker and as long “Sophie’s Farm to Table Brunch Club” is serving it, woman will order it.

#5 Quinoa (3,680,000 Pinterest Results)

Another superfood, another super o-face for women everywhere who decided that they were DONE with processed grains and now only eat foods that were once only mentioned during the tiebreaker round of the National Spelling Bee. Seriously, if there are people in this world who did not learn how to say “Quinoa” by being corrected by someone after saying “Quinoa” wrong, I’d like to meet them. And then I’d like to punch them.

If You're A Woman, You Hate Me Right Now (Via meversusmartha.tumblr.com)

If You’re A Woman, You Hate Me Right Now (Via meversusmartha.tumblr.com)


#4 Nutella (5,060,000 Pinterest Results)

Dream cream of women everywhere. Throw a Nutella inspired dessert on the menu and you will be able to SMELL the estrogen in the room rising. Is it the chocolate? The hazelnut? The fact that it makes us feel British? I don’t know but I’m just happy “Carly’s Healthy Kitchen” was able to look past its absolutely atrocious ingredient list to make sure we can pay $11 to get glorified peanut butter wrapped in a crepe. And I’m not even joking.

#3 Avocados (6,110,000 Pinterest Results)

There’s an old saying that goes “People who do not like avocados are idiots who cannot be trusted”. Okay there’s not but we should get that one going, shouldn’t we? There’s nothing not to like about avocados, least of which being that it is an ingredient in one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century: Guacamole. It’s pretty universally liked by men and women but the only people I’ve met who DIDN’T like them are men, which may or may not have been the inspiration for the quote above. Either way, once I see the presence of avocado in a salad, on a sandwich, or basically on anything, odds are that dish just shot to the top of my list of things I might order, just below the seared ahi salad or anything with goat cheese.

#2 Kale (6,150,000 Pinterest Results)

Of course, Kale. I think we’ve all accepted the fact that we either make kale a part of our lives or we die fat, slow, ugly deaths. Like all women, I’ve managed to trick myself into tolerating it enough to sub it for Romaine in a Caesar, or sauté it with garlic and pretend it’s spinach. Unlike all women, what I have NOT been able to do is convince myself that baking it raw and eating it like chips is somehow delicious. It is not and frankly, it’s an insult to the word “chips”. It tastes like what I would imagine licking the side of a fish tank would taste like. If you want to have them on your menu, fine, but know that I will be having the hummus.

#1 Wine (13,100,000 Pinterest Results)

I know I may be biased, but Pinterest doesn’t lie and wine is the number one item that women want at your restaurant/bistro/urban kitchen/trattoria/birthday party/baby shower/funeral/anything really.

OMG That looks just like the inside of Yvonne's Corner Bistro & Wine Spa! (Via Concierge.com)

OMG That looks just like the inside of Yvonne’s Corner Bistro & Wine Spa! (Via Concierge.com)

I don’t really have to say anything about why you need wine on your menu to attract women. Obviously, if you’re a restaurant you should just have wine, period (I got wine at Twin Peaks once so if they can serve it, anyone can). If you’re a restaurant for women, you need lots of it, at lots of different price points, and preferably a special or two, because as much as I’d like to spend 50% of my disposable income on wine, my financial advisor (the automatic emails I get from Bank of America when my checking account balance is low) appears to be against it. Which means if a restaurant has half price glasses of wine for happy hour, I’m going twice a week. Three times if they have goat cheese.

Now please, someone go make this restaurant. Name it “Dolce Fine Food & Cocktail Lounge” and erect it walking distance from my apartment. The women will come and then the men will come (might want to throw a BLT or something on the menu for them). Plus I will buy your half price glasses of wine forever and I’ll even pretend to like your stupid kale chips. Win, Win!

3DollarWine Vs. Making Pizza at Home: An Epic Battle

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Eating, Featured, Recipes | 0 comments

Lets just skip the “sorry I’m a horrible blogger” intro this time and get right to it, shall we?

Hope everyone had a great holiday season! I’m a little pissed it’s over, which is why I refuse to take down my tree. Cold weather just isn’t as fun without a Christmas Tree.

One of the gifts I got Lance (read: Myself) this year was a Pizza Stone. He loves Pizza, and I love ambitious cooking experiments with little to no chance of success, so seems like a perfect fit, right? Well, our first attempt (two days ago) was pretty much a failure. Lance did okay mostly because he pre-baked his crust which, in my opinion, is cheating. Mine looked pretty good after it’s 12 minute stint on the stone, but upon cutting into it we discovered the crust was crispy on the outside, but raw on the inside. I blamed the oven not being hot enough and the dough not being “risen” enough and vowed to try again over the weekend. I WILL NOT not be able to make Pizza at home.

So today, I got to it. I also decided to document everything because, just in case this time DID result in an enormous success, I wanted to share with you all how to get the same results! That didn’t exactly happen, but I’ll still share, step-by-step, how I attempted to make Pizza at home (for the second time).

Step One: Buy your dough.

Whole Foods Pizza Dough Homemade Pizza

Yes, I said buy. No way I am taking the time to mix together flour and water when the nice people at Whole Foods can do it so much more efficently. Plus, I don’t own a mixer.

You need to let the dough rise for a LONG time before attempting to deal with it. As I learned the first day, dense dough is a BITCH to deal with and won’t cook right, so just chill out, have a glass of wine, preheat your oven and (with the pizza stone in it) and wait.

Step Two: Lay out some flour and cornmeal.

Flour and Cornmeal Homemade Pizza

Note: We did not have flour and cornmeal on our first attempt and it SUCKED. I wasn’t sure how much to use so I took the amount of awfulness not having flour was, converted units of awfulness to units of flour, and used about that much. It also helps to flour your rolling pin (another fun fact I found out too late).

Step Three: Roll Our Your Dough

Rolled out Pizza Dough Homemade Pizza

Don’t be a perfectionist about this, it’s tough to make a circle. Just try to get it flat. That’s hard enough.

Step Four: Apply Your Sauce

Pizza Sauce Homemade Pizza

You can buy pizza sauce, but I really like to taste the tomatoes on my pizza, so I just got a can of crushed tomatoes, mixed in some chopped fresh basil, some dried oregano, salt, and pepper and about half a can of tomato paste to thicken it up. I clearly made way too much, considering how much you actually need (which I would post a picture of except for it’s horrible blurry and embarassing. You only need like a tablespoon.)

Step Five: Add Cheese

Fresh Mozzarella Homemade Pizza

I’m a cheese snob so I won’t use the grated “product” they try to pass of a mozzarella. I originally went to Trader Joe’s because I had heard somewhere they had Buffalo Mozzarella, but I couldn’t find it so regular old fresh mozzarella it is. I also left a little aside to top the pizza with after it came out of the oven, which ended up being a really good decision on my part (you’ll see why later). Another good decision on my part: The wine.

Cheese Pizza Homemade Pizza

I also added some fresh basil because it’s pretty and I like the way it smells. This ended up being a really bad decision on my part (You’ll see why later).

Step Six: Somehow Get This Thing You’ve Been Working On Into The Oven

If you’re like me, this is the time when you realize that you didn’t build your pizza on parchment paper as originally planned and now have to find a way to get this blob of dough from your cutting board onto your pizza stone without ruining it or receiving a third degree burn. Parchment paper is nice because you can just kind of hammock the pizza on it and place it on the stone, paper and all. My attempts to gently lift the pizza were futile, so I decided the best course of action was to lift the board and kind of “slide” the pizza directly onto the stone. This didn’t work out so well. The very end of the pizza kind of got folded under itself but I was just pleased the pizza was in the oven and I was uninjured, so I didn’t attempt to fix it.

Step Seven: Wait

Don’t open the oven. Don’t stare at it. Just wait. Exact time varies and largely depends on how hot your oven gets. Given my 12 minute failure, I opted for 15 and sat down to watch the end of the Packers game.

Step Eight: GET THE PIZZA OUT OF THE OVEN

Now, if you’re like me, this is when you maybe get a little too involved in the end of the Packer game, and completely forget you have a pizza in the oven until it’s over (GOD DAMN 49ERS) and your microwave timer had gone off who know how long ago. So you freak out and “slide” your pizza back on to your still-floured cutting board only to find that it looks like this:

Bad Homemade Pizza

Sad right? And the main reason you probably shouldn’t put fresh basil on your pizza before cooking it, no matter how good it smells.

With the help of the fresh mozzarella I set I aside, I managed to dress it up to something that could pass as edible, and to be honest, it didn’t taste bad at all. The crust was both crispy AND thoroughly cooked, and even the parts that look super burnt were soft and chewy on the inside, so all in all I’m actually pretty pleased. However, I am VERY VERY open to suggestions so if you have any, please fire away in the comments.

Now excuse me while I, along with the San Francisco 49ers, enjoy my marginal victory while it lasts.

Final Pizza Homemade Pizza

Dollar for Your Thoughts: Breaking Bad Finale

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Dollar For Your Thoughts, Featured, Pop Culture | 0 comments

I know it’s been a while since I blogged.  But, to my credit, I was very exhausted after completing THREE whole entries.  A two month hiatus is perfectly acceptable after that amount of hard labor, isn’t it? Ok fine. Actually I had a bunch of shit going on. Here’s a recap: I moved in with my boyfriend, I went to two weddings, I set foot in five different states, two different countries, and probably eight different airports, I did the master cleanse that was supposed to be 10 days but only lasted 3, I turned 28, I freaked out about turning 28, I quit drinking for a month, I finished “Divergent”, and I caught up on Breaking Bad. I think that’s all the important stuff.

That last one is especially pertinent to this post since I was about 3 seasons behind before I realized that the end was imminent, so my boyfriend and I binged on about 4 episodes a day before we finally caught up three episodes before the finale, which worked out pretty perfectly.  Now, about three days late (get used to it), I’d like to share three dollars worth of thoughts.

1) Finally, Jesse Pinkman gets a break (I guess).

Okay, so everyone’s all happy that Jesse finally “got a break”.  And I suppose after two dead girlfriends, one dead mentor, one poisoned child, drug addiction, captivity, and countless nicotine fits, getting the chance to strangle your arch nemesis with your own handcuffs and drive a stolen car to god-knows-where might be considered a “break”.  But yes, I’m glad Jesse didn’t die.  I really thought they might have offed him in the same episode as Hank and Gomez, just to really screw with us, so it’s nice they showed him some mercy.

2) How Cute Is It That Creepy Todd Gave Sociopathic Lydia Her Own Ringtone?

Homicidal neo-nazi meth dealers: They’re just like us!

3) Thank You, Breaking Bad writers

Finally, THANK YOU Breaking Bad for finally giving everyone what they really want: CLOSURE.  I know it’s tempting to be artistic, and we might ACT like we want shows to be deep and meaningful and open for interpretation but let’s be real: Just tie up the lose ends, preferably by killing as many bad guys as possible, and don’t leave us wondering what the hell we just spent 6 years of our lives on. THANK YOU FOR GETTING IT. Because I swear to god if the final scene was Walt waking up from some kind of chemo-induced dream, I would have given up on television. And this is coming from someone who actually liked the series finale of Lost.

So there you have it, three thoughts at a dollar a piece (overpriced, I know).  I actually really liked the finale, and thought the song they played at the end was absolutely perfect, so kudos to whoever brokered that deal. What did you think of the finale?  Are you going to tune in to “Better Call Saul” spinoff? And what the hell happened to Brock?

Cheap Wine Review or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Box

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Cheap Wine Reviews, Drinking, Featured | 0 comments

 

What: Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon
Where: Target
Price: $15.99 for 3 WHOLE LITERS
Taste Rating: 3/5 (Not amazing, but totally drinkable)
Hangover: NONE

Contrary to what you might think, considering the name of this blog is 3 Dollar Wine, I have never actually purchased wine that comes in a cardboard box.  Shocking, I know. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Until recently, boxed wine was disgusting .  I may like my wine cheap but I will NOT stoop to Franzia.
  2. I have a strong aversion to buying things in bulk, due to the fact that I’m lazy and don’t like carrying or storing large quantities.  Plus, small things are inherently cuter.
  3. When you drink from a box, you have no idea how many bottles you drank.  I can tell you off the top of my head that a bottle of 13% ABV pinot noir is roughly 520 calories (thanks to this site) How am I going to know how many calories I’m drinking now? Use a thermos? (Note to self: Invent wine thermos)
  4. This is probably the most important reason. I like my red wine just BARELY chilled.  As in, you keep it at room temperature and put it in the fridge about 20 minutes before opening the bottle.  However, I don’t know where, besides the fridge, I can keep a BOX OF WINE in my kitchen without looking like a raging alcoholic.  It’s not the classiest thing to have on your counter but if you hide it in the pantry, it’s like you have a drinking problem.  You really can’t win.

All that being said, I tried a box of Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon from Target last night that might bring me to the not-so-dark-anymore side.  It tasted really decent, definitely not Franzia-like, it has adorable packaging that would not look too ridiculous on a kitchen counter, and the best part is that it costs $16 for THREE liters.  That’s FOUR bottles of wine for $16 which puts it right in my pricing sweet spot at about $4/bottle.

I try not to get too crazy on weeknights due to the aforementioned 520 calories/bottle and the fact that apparently hangovers don’t truly begin until you’re old enough to actually have a job that requires early morning thinking, but I did go a little overboard with the novelty of the box last night and to my surprise this morning: NO HANGOVER.  Actually, I’d say I felt BETTER than I do most mornings.   It was fantastic!

 

Apparently Boxed Wine has a Slight "Image" Issue

Apparently Boxed Wine has a Slight “Image” Problem

A sommelier once told me that boxes are actually the most effective way to store wine, because the bag is less likely to let air in than a cork and because the cardboard box is a better protector against light than a glass bottle, but no good wineries produce boxed wine because of the image associated with it.  So basically the whole wine drinking population is suffering because wineries don’t want their “image” associated with some drunk  chick drinking Carlo Rossi straight from the bag while tubing down the salt river (ok that was me).  Well, I’m going to put a stop to this. I’m taking a stand. I am admitting right now that I am an educated, employed, hygienic wine drinker and I DRINK WINE FROM A BOX.  But I still won’t drink Franzia.

Loving It: Spring Breakers

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Featured, Loving, Pop Culture | 0 comments

This might be a bit premature for my first “Loving It” post considering this movie is not even in my top 100, but I did enjoy, in some sick way, watching Disney stars get essentially visually molested for anyone’s gratuitous gain, and this area needs content so let’s put it here.  I liked this movie. I found it thought-provoking and entertaining.  I was battling a massive hangover while watching it and had a hard time leaving the screen to fill up my oversized water glass and 4 ibuprofen every four hours prescription I gave myself, so that says something. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

So I did what I consciously try NOT to do after watching something that makes me think and I googled what others thought.  The reason for this is I try to develop my own thoughts and am afraid that someone else’s idea would somehow inception its way into my brain not unlike the Ziggy bedsheets did to Elaine and I would accidentally pass someone else’s thought off as my own.  I’ve had enough tweets stolen to know that I hate plagiarism. Here are two of the articles I read, and I thought they were both really good:

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/column/173330-living-inside-the-cliche-spring-breakers/

http://www.hecklerspray.com/spring-breakers-dont-die-brutally/2013101805.php

Anyway, the movie starts off pretty fucking dumb.  It’s basically bored girls in a small town acting up. They rob a chicken shack to go on spring break, and as someone who HAS been robbed at a chicken shack, I realize how traumatic that can be.  They end up in Florida “finding themselves” when….what does that even mean? I’m 27. I’ve completed four years of college and been on MANY vacations. When the hell am I going to find myself? I always figured as long as I could tell a cab driver my current location, I pretty much knew where I was.  Maybe I’m just not spiritual enough.

The movie was uncomfortable, for me, because I 1) saw my own 15 year old self in these idiots.  And trust me that is a time period in my life I’d rather forget. 2) I might be old for saying this but I was REALLY uncomfortable with the idea of Selena Gomez/Vanessa Hudgens fans probably just approaching puberty seeing this film which glamorizes being not only a complete douchebag, but a violent douchebag with absolutely no moral compass, with promises of success and riches.

For what it’s worth, these Disney girls worked for their money. Vanessa Hudgens would clean up at a strip club, which might be where she belongs if not for the fact that she can string a written sentence together with some believability so I guess now she’s an actress.  Selena Gomez stayed true to her Wizards of Waverly Place nature by being a general party pooper and leaving the second a black guy hits on her. So if her fans leave with anything it’s probably: Stay away from black guys. But Justin Bieber is totally fine.

Oh I forgot to mention the other star of the movie: James Franco.  I had a massive crush on him for several years after Pineapple Express but this role was just too gross.  And again, this is probably because of past experience.  Basically, I wanted to be a bad bitch in my early years and dealt with many guys like “Alien” and I regret it so much that I have acid-flashback type periods of remorse after being subjected to a stimuli such as James Franco in this movie. That said, he’s still hot and I’d still hit it. As long as he took out the grill.

I know you’re probably thinking: Why is this under “Loving It”?  Well…basically because when I started the movie I had a massive hangover and by time it ended I was fine.  So it did something.  I also took the time to Google it after the fact.  I don’t even know.  Maybe I hated it. But at least it took some thought to figure it out.

 

Congratulations on Your Emmy Nominations, Vada and Blossom

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Featured, Living, Pop Culture | 0 comments

The Emmy Nominees were announced today. If you didn’t notice it’s probably because the Emmy’s are pretty much the most anticlimactic awards of all time due to the fact that THE SAME PEOPLE ALWAYS WIN.  You know why? Shows are on the air for like 7 or 8 seasons. You think Brian Cranston is just going to start sucking at acting come Season 3?  And seriously does the WHOLE CAST of Modern Family need to be nominated every year?  They should just decide at the beginning of every season who will win the Emmy and be like “Okay guys, this season Ed is going for the gold.  Maybe tone it down a bit so it’s not all awkies on set the Monday after.”

But one thing that really surprised me this year (and no, I was not shocked at the absence of Jon Cryer.  Two and Half Men is one of the most garbage television shows ever to exist and its continued success is proof that we are outnumbered by idiots and need to remember that) was that not one but TWO names that I thought I’d never read again were both on the ballot for best supporting actress! Who you ask??? UMM ONLY BLOSSOM RUSSO AND VADA SULTENFUSS!!!! Okay those aren’t their real names.  But they might as well be.  Basically two chicks (Mayim Bialik and Anna Chlumsky, respectively) who haven’t acted for about 40 years between them both decided to show up to set one day and snag an emmy nom real quick. Don’t call it a comeback.   Actually, do. There’s really no other word for it.

What was WRONG with me?

What was WRONG with me?

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Blossom. And I’m sure even more of you are VERY familiar with Blossoms’s brother Joey (though I must admit, I thought the older one was cuter. I was a troubled child.), you might not be as familiar with Vada Sultenfuss because unlike me, you probably were not  obsessed with Macaulay Culkin as a 9 year old.

If you haven’t seen “My Girl” here’s a spoiler alert: Precocious girl and shy boy are friends, they kiss, boy dies.  I mean, a little more happens but that’s mostly it.  I was basically obsessed with the whole movie from start to finish and I truly believe I have a lifelong fear of bees because of it. I’ve seriously considered carrying an epi pen around with me despite no evidence of having an allergy whatsoever.  But seriously, guys, that movie is good. And I don’t care what anyone says, Macaulay Culkin was ADORABLE.  However, as you can see by my taste in the Russo brothers, I clearly have awful taste in men, because this is what Macaulay Culkin looks like now:

Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

For reference, this is what Joey Lawrence looks like now:

JoeyLawrence

I’d still hit it

But this post isn’t about them. This post is about me congratulating two of my nineties queens on their 2013 Emmy Nominations.  Congratulations Mailik and Anna! I’ve always been rooting for you despite the fact that I just forgot both of your names even though I literally just Googled them three paragraphs ago.  I hope one of you beats those Modern Family bitches.

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