Friday, April 29, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 29th, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack

Another stop during T and her hubby G's visit here was the Ben & Jerry's in Dupont Circle - mainly because I had a 1/2 price coupon for there and I had to use it all in one visit, haha.  I took this opportunity to try out the Late Night Snack ice cream, woo!

...and yes, the whipped cream topping was necessary to get us over the minimum amount to use the coupon, thankyouverymuch.

The Late Night Snack ice cream consists of: Vanilla bean ice cream with a salty caramel swirl & fudge covered potato chip clusters.  Hands down the best part of this ice cream is the fudge covered potato chip clusters.  Sweet, salty, chocolatey but crispy, so good!  I really enjoyed this ice cream and thought it was a unique addition to the Ben and Jerry's lineup.  Give it a try if you're a fan of sweet and salty flavors! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 28th, 2011

Foodbuzz: Nature's Pride Hearty Wheat with Flax Bread

I recently received a loaf of Nature's Pride Hearty Wheat with Flax bread, courtesy of Nature's Pride and Foodbuzz.  Clearly I wouldn't be able to eat this whole loaf by myself in a reasonable amount of time, so I wrapped and froze the loaf in 2-slice packs for me to eat through.  

Here are some of the notable stats about this bread:
- 100% whole wheat bread made with pure olive oil
- Good source of Omega 3-ALA
- 22 grams of whole grains
- 100 calories per slice 

I've use this bread for savory sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, and toasted with Nutella spread on top.  For all of its nutritional factoids, this bread doesn't taste too healthy, if you know what I mean.  Clearly, you wouldn't mistake it for regular white bread, but it wasn't off-putting or grain-tasting, which I liked.  The way I figure it, if you're going to be eating bread anyway, might as well make it somewhat healthier for you, right? 

Thank you to Foodbuzz and Nature's Pride for sending me this bread to try out- I'm happy to have it in my kitchen and I'll keep an eye out for it the next time I buy sandwich bread! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 27th, 2011

Pillsbury Biscuit Pork Steam Buns

If you've ever had Chinese dim sum or most Asian foods, chances are you've heard of/tried steamed buns before.  In Japan, these are often called "nikuman", and they are pretty common in supermarkets, department store food halls, and even convenience stores.  My mom had heard about using Pillsbury biscuit dough - yup, those blue tubes - to make these, and we just had to try it out for ourselves to see if it really worked.

We made a basic pork dumpling filling, flattened out the biscuit rounds, and wrapped a little bit of the filling into each round. We then pinched the top of each bun tightly, making sure that there weren't any holes.  Due to the steaming process, if there are any openings in the buns, they could explode, haha.  We steamed them in a covered pot for about 10 minutes or so...   

Turns out - this method totally works!   While the buns themselves turned out smaller than most nikumans, the consistency and taste were pretty much spot on.  Once steamed, the dough doesn't taste anything like biscuits, and they have a soft texture throughout. 

Ok, so they aren't the prettiest things to look at, but they tasted great!  I would highly recommend getting the basic biscuit tubes, and not the "extra butter/flaky/etc." variations- I'm not sure they would work out as well, texture and taste-wise.  Another option is to make plain steamed buns like the ones on the Pillsbury site, using the same method!  I have to say I was v. skeptical of this trick at first, but I'm really glad that we tried it out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 26th, 2011

First Sprinkles DC Visit

T and her hubby G visited me a while back, and on the agenda was a trip to the new Sprinkles in Georgetown!   

The store isn't exactly the same layout as the one in LA (only one I've been to for comparison), but the general look is the same, with the window of cupcake offerings and the wooden cupcake shelving.  V. cute!
One thing I thought was annoying is how there isn't a natural progression when you walk into the store.  Most people naturally go to the right of the store, to see the cupcakes (photo above).  But the register where you order is to the left.  So, once you walk in and see the cupcakes, you then have to go through the other people in the center of the store in order to order, then stand in the middle with everyone else, since there isn't much space to begin with.  I guess you could just go straight in and to the left to order, but then you'd still have to deal with everyone else that is either waiting for their cupcakes or initially going to the right to look at the cupcakes and then ordering. 

Besides the "line" confusion, we were able to order without any issues and bring back cupcakes :o)

Cupcake Twins!!  We wound up getting two of the same flavor because it just looked really good, haha.  It's the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake: Chocolate chip studded peanut butter cake with fudgy milk chocolate cream cheese frosting...and TONS of chocolate sprinkles, which is weirdly omitted from Sprinkles' menu description, haha. 

This cupcake was soooooooooooo good.  Loooooooooooooooved the chocolate chips in the peanut butter cake, plus the texture of the copious sprinkles on top.  Really really really really rich and decadent.  I would absolutely get this again, and for my own good I should get it with other people to share with, it's really rich, haha.

Unfortunately I won't be going here all the time (compared to Georgetown Cupcake in Bethesda), but I look forward to trying more flavors when I find myself in Georgetown! 

Sprinkles Cupcakes DC
3015 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20007

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 25th, 2011

Easter Package + Tea Strainer

I hope that you all had some yummy candy, even if you don't technically celebrate Easter! 

My mom had sent me a cute package a while back, and since it was Easter-themed, I thought I would share it with you today. 

Mmmmm... mini eggs!  On the left in the red bag are Lindt milk chocolate mini eggs, and the "carton" on the bottom right are Reese's mini eggs.  I love that the Reese's come in a "carton", so cute!  Plus some spring-themed cocktail napkins with a cute bunny on them. 

The last item in the package is this (above).  Anyone want to guess what this might be?  Well if you read the title of this post, you'd already know, haha. 

It's a tea strainer!  I'm sure this has been around for a while and I just haven't noticed it, but I thought it was cute and good to share with you all.  Basically you just pop off the pink bottom, fill the container with loose tea, pop the bottom back in, and dunk it into hot water to steep.  It's a great alternative to buying empty tea bags and/or the ball-shaped tea strainers that you normally see.  This one fits perfectly into a mug or travel mug for easy use and removal.  I recently bought a few tins of loose tea at Capital Teas so this is perfect for tea at work.  Loves it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 22nd, 2011

Free Coffee at Starbucks

In honor of Earth Day, Starbucks is giving away free coffee or tea (hot or iced) to anyone that brings in a reuseable mug today, woo!  It's a nice way for people waste a little less and get something good out of it. 

Just as a side note, you receive 10 cents off your order whenever you bring in your own mug every other day of the year :o)

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 21st, 2011

Homemade Smoothies!

I recently acquired my parents' blender - good things come to those who wait... or nag their mom about how it's being unused in their house, haha.  One of the reasons why I wanted a blender is to try out making smoothies.  I have a food processor and an immersion blender, but neither of those seemed like they'd be good for making smoothies, haha.   

It's been just over two weeks now of me making smoothies for breakfast- and so far, so good!  I started with a combination of baby spinach, frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, and fat free yogurt.

The green color takes some getting used to (especially when co-workers see it), but I've found it to be a refreshing and healthy breakfast option!  Since my first smoothie, I have tried adding honey, juice, skim milk, almond milk, and flavored yogurts as well.  It's still in the trial and error stages, but overall I have enjoyed them all.  I'm still considering adding some form of protein powder and/or green tea powder but haven't tried those out just yet.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know in the comments!  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 20th, 2011

The Beauty Department

Well well well, if it isn't the lovely Miss Lauren Conrad with a new beauty site, The Beauty Department!

It looks like the site is just getting started, but I like the fresh, clean look of the website so far.  Also, I am a huge fan of Lauren's style and hair, so I'm definitely looking forward to the tips and tutorials.  Hopefully this site will be updated often so I can get my Laguna Beach/Hills style fix from here :o)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 19th, 2011

Starbucks Petites

Starbucks had a promotion a while back for the launch of their Petite snacks, offering each customer a free Petite of their choice with a drink purchase.  Of course I jumped on the chance to try out these little treats! 

My first Petite was the red velvet whoopie pie (above).  As you can see, they aren't kidding about the "Petite"-ness, as the whoopie pie isn't much bigger than the Starbucks logo on the bag, haha.  For a little afternoon snack though, it was the perfect size and level of cuteness.  One thing I could do without is the red frosting drizzle on top, as this got stuck to my fingers and it looked like I had stigmata, ha.

On my second trip, I knew I had to try one of the cake pops.  Thanks largely to Bakerella and her amazing cake pops, seems like more and more of these are popping up in stores everywhere!

I have to say I was pretty impressed with the packaging for the cake pops.  They were placed into a cube, pop-side down, with a sleeve that fit over that cube with a space on the top for the stick portion to fit into.  No worries about smushed cake pops here- v. clever!

I tried out the Tiramisu cake pop, which consists of: Vanilla cake and Starbucks coffee with vanilla icing, dipped in mocha flavored chocolaty coating, with a chocolate coffee bean.

Loved the idea of this.  The chocolate coffee bean on top is super cute and the cake pop smelled like sweet coffee, mmm.  Taste-wise, it was good, but really really really sweet.  Like "I can feel a cavity forming" sweet.  For about 2 bites worth, it sure packed a sugarbomb punch.  But, for 70 calories, this will definitely squash your afternoon sugar cravings, and you could definitely do a lot worse.  

Overall I like the idea of these Petites- a little something sweet to go with your latte, always a good thing!  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 18th, 2011

Scharffen Berger Baking Chunks

I recently won a prize from Scharffen Berger's Twitter account, but wasn't sure exactly what to expect...

Turned out to 2 bags of their Semisweet baking chunks, yum!  The Twitter conversation was based on chocolate chip bagels, but I'm thinking of using these with a chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I want to use it on something that isn't too complicated because I really want the chocolate to stand out on its own.  Maybe a copycat Levain Bakery cookie recipe perhaps?  Thanks A for the recipe link!  Or who knows, I might just eat these chunks straight out of the bag, let's be honest :o)  Thank you Scharffen Berger for a great surprise gift!  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 15th, 2011

Cinnamon Burst Cheerios


Ooh la la, a new flavor of Cheerios!  Since I'm a fan of cinnamon-flavored treats, I saw these in the grocery store and was excited to try them out. 


I have to say that I was expecting these to taste like Cheerio'd Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  In that sense, these are significantly lower on the "sweet" scale compared to Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  However these do have a lot of flavor from the ample amounts of cinnamon.  I would like to try these in a cereal bar recipe, since I think the flavor lends itself well to those types of snacks.  If you're a fan of cinnamon, definitely try these out!  But don't expect them to be cinnamon-sugar flavored, like I initially did :o)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 14th, 2011

Whole Foods Rockville Pre-Opening Blogger Tour, Part 2

Continuing on from yesterday, we have Part 2 of my pre-opening tour (here's Part 1)...lots of yummy treats!!

Tower o' Chocolate - how could I *not* photograph this?  I especially liked the little tubs of chocolate pearls (bottom left in the photo) - I think these would be really cute as cupcake decorations!

Over in the Coffee section, they have lots of different coffee brands to choose from, including a wide selection of local coffees.  Holla Mayorga Coffee! (I used to work there part-time a long time ago, haha).  Always nice to show some local pride and support local vendors!

In the Restaurant Row section, which includes a pizza oven, smokehouse, burger bar, as well as an all-organic salad bar, there is also an Arepa station.  Yum, crispy grilled cornmeal cakes with lots of tasty fillings- I'm definitely going to try one soon!

And saving the best for last: the Bakery section, ooh la la!  SO many different treats to choose from, it was so overwhelming to take it all in - and they hadn't even finished putting everything out yet, haha.

It was nice to see Sticky Fingers, a local DC bakery, displayed in the Bakery section!  Hopefully this will entice people that haven't been to the bakery yet to try their products out. 

See anything interesting - besides the cupcakes obviously?

1- Whoopie pies!  A few different flavors along the bottom shelf.  That strawberry one was definitely calling out to me, I can't wait to try it out!

2- Cake Pops!  To be honest these looked pretty much like cakes on sticks- much larger than other one-bite cake pops I've seen, haha.  But hey, not complaining!  I think this would be a cute option for customers that need some party treats, especially in a pinch.

The Bakery department graciously offered us samples of their tea cakes - these were really good, and a cute little size to boot.  At the time they had four flavors: Earl Grey, Chinese Black, Pomegranate, and Lavender.  I will definitely be picking up some of these for a snack!


At the end of the tour, we were offered fresh fruit, cheese, and desserts, as well as a stuffed gift bag full of goodies (above).  Lots of things I already like and new things for me to try!

Thanks again to Whole Foods for providing bloggers a chance to check out the new store before it opened-  I seriously can't wait to start shopping here soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 13th, 2011

Whole Foods Rockville Blogger Pre-Opening Tour, Part 1

Some of you might recall my posts (Part 1 and Part 2) about the then-new Whole Foods in Friendship Heights, DC; it was such a great way to check out the store right before it was officially open! 

Well, earlier this week, I had a similar opportunity- this time it was for the new Whole Foods in Rockville, MD.  I was very excited to check out the inside of the huge store!

I won't go into a ton of detail about the store (I'm assuming most of you have been inside a Whole Foods/supermarket before, haha), but I did want to post about some of the highlights of my tour:

Lots and lots of different flowers greet shoppers when they walk in the front entrance.  I loved this big display of bright colored flowers!

On our first stop at the coffee bar, we sampled a mini cup of coffee.  Not just any old cup of coffee, but a $70/lb cup of coffee.  I don't even like hot coffee but obviously I couldn't pass up this opportunity, haha.  By no means am I any sort of expert, but this coffee, even with nothing added, tasted very smooth and without that bitterness that I typically associate with coffee. 

The produce section was laid out very nicely with lots of clear signage and labeling for organic and local items.  I especially like this tropical fruits section, with hanging b-a-n-a-n-a-s! Haha.

Over in the friendly Seafood department, they have lowered the partitions so that there is more interaction between the employees and the customers.  Also, I'm sure most supermarkets do provide cleaning and preparation services, but it was nice to see the options all laid out clearly for the customers. 

Over in the Bulk section is also the Cooking Rockville section.  According to the Whole Foods info sheet we were provided, "Shoppers at the new location will be the first to experience Whole Foods Market's new Cooking Rockville department and program, which combines designated workspaces, cookbooks, cooking tools, demonstrations, and themed, seasonal menus to engage, inspire, and educate shoppers about the joy of cooking.  The Cooking area will be an inviting, warm space featuring butcher block workspaces, chalkboards, and touch-screen technology, where Cooking Coaches - Whole Foods Market team members with in-depth culinary knowledge- will help shoppers bring the passion back into cooking seasonal meals at home."

It's an interesting concept, and I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of demonstrations and events they might be having around this Cooking Rockville idea.  Also, I am finding myself more and more interested in the Bulk section, considering I am normally cooking small amounts of food, and wouldn't always want to buy a full bag/container of grains or beans just for one recipe.  

One notable feature in the Dairy section are these doors that are energy efficient and keep the cases cool without distributing all the cold air throughout the rest of the store. 

Over in the Cheese and Specialty Foods section, there's lots and lots of cheeses to choose from, yum.  I also thought this sign featuring all of the local farms and vendors was interesting- always nice to know where your food is coming from!

"Where's the Bakery???" you might be wondering.  OBVIOUSLY I would not miss out on posting about it- the rest of the store tour will be posted tomorrow! :o)

Whole Foods Rockville
11355 Woodglen Drive
Rockville, MD 20852

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 12th, 2011

Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's

It's that time of year again- free cone day at Ben & Jerry's!  I hope you all are able to get out to your nearby Ben & Jerry's and pick up a free scoop :o)

My personal recommendations would be Milk & Cookies (omgggahhhhsooooooooooogood) or the new Late Night Snack (mmmmm potato chips!).  Or, just try out a new flavor you've been wondering about- might as well, it's FREE!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 11th, 2011

Crumbs Mini Vanilla Cupcake


The first time I tried Crumbs in DC, I was pretty disappointed- the massive cupcake was dry along the outside, and the frosting felt dried out and crusty.  However, I figured I'd give them another try when I was by one recently; this time picking up one of their mini cupcakes to try out instead.

I'm glad I did, because this mini cupcake was much better than the regular cupcake I had tried previously.  It's a little two-biter, perfect for when you want a little something sweet.  The vanilla flavor is just right, not too overwhelming or perfume-y, as vanilla flavors can sometimes be.  The cake was moist, and the frosting was tasty as well.  Try out the mini cupcakes (they usually have a few flavors) if you're in the mood for a little bite of sweetness!    

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 8th, 2011

Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Cornflakes Bar

I've been a fan of Ritter Sport chocolates for a while, but up until now I have only tried their plain chocolates and the hazelnut flavor.  So when I saw a post on Serious Eats (slide #2) and said to myself "Ah! Cornflakes!"

Thus began the search for the Ritter Sport Cornflake bar.  And by "search", I really mean that I figured I'd check in the candy aisle of Target, and there it was, haha.  Woo!


As you can see, the milk chocolate bar is filled with little pieces of cornflakes throughout.  It added a lovely crunch to the chocolate, but not too much flavor, I have to say.  It's sort of like a chocolate-covered potato chip, minus the salty component.  Overall, I'm glad I tried this bar out, and would buy it again whenever I'm in the mood for a crunchy and unique chocolate bar!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 7th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake - Free DC Cupcakes S'Mores Cupcake

Helllllllooooooooooooooooo, S'mores.

This might possibly be one of my favorite new flavors at Georgetown Cupcake, forreallllllllllllll.  It's a chocolate cake with fudge core, fluffy frosting, fudge, toasted mini marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs.  SO SO SO good.  I don't care if you don't even think you like s'mores, EAT THIS CUPCAKE.  I especially like the torched marshmallows and the graham cracker crumbs- great additions to an already tasty cupcake!  I've had this cupcake a few times now, and I really don't see myself getting sick of it anytime soon. So good!

Unfortunately this has only been available as a free secret daily flavor and not a regular menu item, but I really really really really really (are you listening, Georgetown Cupcake?) really really hope they put it on their regular menu soon! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 6th, 2011

Crate & Barrel Bobble Bottle

Water bottle? Filtered water? Why not both?

I had heard about Bobble bottles before, so I was excited to see them sold at Crate & Barrel.  The idea of this bottle is pretty neat- the cap is attached to a small water filter, so you can fill up the bottle with regular tap water.  Once you fill and empty the water once or twice (you'll notice the water is a little discolored from the filter's charcoal), just keep refilling and drinking! 

One weird thing is the hissing air that happens every time I try to take more than a few sips- it literally sounds like the bottle is sighing at me, haha.  From a few reviews, it seems like the elongated filter might be the cause of that.  But clearly it's not a deal breaker for me.  Overall though, I like having this on hand, especially for trips away from home.  Having it around is also a good reminder to drink water throughout the day! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 5th, 2011

Snickers Peanut Butter

This Snickers product isn't really all that "new" any more, but a blog post about it slipped my mind, oops!  Regardless, onward we go with a tasty candy review.

First things first- notice on the bottom right hand corner where there's a picture of a square piece of candy, right where it says "Squared"?  Ok, for some reason I decided to completely disregard all of those and picked up a few bars, thinking they were broken in half, before realizing that it is NOT one full bar, haha.  


All of my personal issues w/ the bar size aside, this is a tasty little square!  It could've been a little more peanut buttery in my opinion, but I'm pretty much obsessed with peanut butter so that's not really surprising, haha.  I thought it was pretty clever how they have a hard/twist tie-ish so you can save one piece for later.  Although... c'mon, who's not going to eat both pieces in one sitting?? :o)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 4th, 2011

Mushroom Mountain Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies


Normally, I'm not a huge fan of fruit + cream desserts, but the novelty of these strawberry cheesecake cookies definitely made me want to try them out.   Also, I love these little mushroom mountain cookies in general- the size is perfect for a little snack, and a good chocolate/cookie ratio in one bite.  

These cookies smell like strawberry jam, pretty strong but not overwhelming if you're a fan of strawberries.  I really enjoyed that the strawberry chocolate portion (the pink part of the mushroom) had little tiny bits, sort of like eating a real strawberry with the seeds.  Overall, I enjoyed these cookies very much, and would definitely get them again if they are available again.  If only they were available year-round!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lunchtime Links for April 1st, 2011

Jersey Shore Recap

And so it has come time to say goodbye to the Jersey Shore cast once again... here's B with the finale recap!

Someone's pants are on fire:  Arvin says he made out with Sam.  Sam says they did not.
Sam's sinking faster than Two and a Half Men:  Sam is a terrible liar.  She clearly made out with Arvin.  If Sam were a spy during the Cold War, we'd all be speaking Russian right now.

Technically that's plural:  Sam fesses up to making out with Arvin when she was 21, or as she puts it "years ago".  Sam is 23...

Revisitionist history is the best kind of history:  Agreed Ronnie, Sam totally screwed you over in this relationship.

I'll one-up you here Ron, I'm embarrassed for both of you:  Why are you talking about getting back together???  Do you both need to be abused, sad, and hated by an entire country that badly?
As badass as Donkeylips from "Salute Your Shorts":  Ronnie wears a t-shirt from the other Jersey Shore t-shirt store (The Rush shop), and takes a 4 hour nap since he's not working on his last day.

This totally makes up for the toilet:  Danny throws an end-of-summer BBQ for the kids.  They make you famous, and you thank them with an invitation to your house with working toilets???

Uh, Papa JWoww you might want to get a paternity test:  I know JWoww is 92% plastic, but are we sure this is her real dad?

You can only make a first impression once:  Way to look your finest Roger.  I know Papa JWoww looks like he's into sci-fi and Magic the Gathering, but that's no excuse to look like a parolee.

Pauly D's friend "Big Jerry" does a killer worm, but not as good as my friend Edward McCaffrey:  There is no joke to this one.  I just wanted to give Eddo a shout out for his killer worm abilities.

Relationships 101:  Everyone knows Mike is a d-bag Sam, but I don't think you're in a position to make demands to Ronnie right now.

Lower back tattoo?  Might as well be a bullseye:  Deena brings her friend Lisa into town, and even though you can't see if she has a lower back tattoo, her attraction to Vinny all but confirms it.  (The other giveaway is that she is from Jersey)
I didn't see Vinny cockblock you with Uncle Nino:  Deena cockblocks Vinny with Lisa because she's worried that Snooki will be upset.

Take it easy there Champ.  Why don't you stop talking for a while:  Vinny gets pissed at Deena for the cockblock, and blows the whole situation out of proportion.  You can give the horse cock a rest for one night buddy.  You shouldn't pick on Deena unless you're ready to drop an A-bomb...

Oh no you di’int (feel free to insert your own craptacular 90's phrase):  Vinny compares Deena to Angelina...Mayhem ensues.

How about we drop in "all that and a bag of chips":  Deena's friend takes Vinny's side in the argument, because she wants to join the select group of girls who have banged a Jersey Shore guy on camera.

I don't know how you don't know this Sam:  You really don't know if you can trust or believe Mike?   My dog could figure that out, and last night he mistook a dresser drawer for his dog bed.

And remember, death is not an option:  Being called "Angelina" or being called "Ron and Sam"?

At least give her credit for wearing underwear:  Snooki does a kooka-test in the mirror.  Fails.  Does nothing to fix it.

Of course you see Roger from 50 feet away JWoww:   Even Stevie Wonder would see Roger from 50 feet away.  Someone who looks like a tattoo covered hairless Big Foot tends to stick out.

Relationships 102:  Ron and Sam, please take note that everyone was happy for Roger and JWoww when they became exclusive.  That's a good sign for a relationship, even if people stopped asking each other to go steady once the calendar hit 1960 and they got out of middle school.

Just asking:  Did anyone else check how many of their friends knew what the dip is?  Or was that just me?

Barefoot, not pregnant, and in the kitchen:  Great work by Dr. Nick.  He gets a second appearance on the show, has Snooki cook him a grilled cheese, makes demands about how she cooks that grilled cheese, and avoids having to sleep with that gnome thanks to a sudden case of whiskey dick.  Well played, Dr. Pauly D Wannabe.  Well played.

For the record:  Not having to bang Snooki is the only reason a guy is thankful for whiskey dick.

Is it opposite day:  Why does everyone on the Shore insist on eating fatty, greasy food before having sex? 

Shit or get off the pot:  Quit telling me you're "done" if you plan on getting into another huge fight about being a couple.   Maybe it's time to stop being a couple. You're keeping the entire house up for crying out loud.  If it weren't for Ronnie's violent outbursts, I would think MTV was replaying the same fight over and over.  These two get along worse than the Arab world and democracy.  Too soon?
Damn right you're real Ronnie:  You say so in the Xenadrine commercial.  Plus you've gone like three episodes in a row without crying.  That's totally keeping it re...crap.

Hey, you guys finally agree on something.  This sounds like something to build your relationship on...:  Unfortunately you both agree dating one another is your biggest regret.  Hey, it's a start!

Another surprisingly accurate analogy:  Mike compares Ronnie and Sam's relationship to the dog-shit stained rug.  I knew JWoww's dogs served a purpose this season.

Man MTV, I hope you recap that whole Ronnie-Sammie fight, because we need more of that:  That was sarcasm guys.

With friends like these, who needs enemies:  Because if this is how you get along with your best friend Ronnie and Sam, I would hate to see how your enemies treat you.

You're kidding me...:  Yes Sam, we know you're not sensitive and lovey dovey.  I would also suggest throwing in "nice", "not annoying", and "less cuddly than the poisonous cobra that just escaped from the Bronx Zoo".

I've found the one thing less likely than Ron and Sam making it as a couple:  Ron and Sam being best friends when they are not a couple

Better late than never...:  Does not apply in this situation.  Ron breaks up with Sam in the last five minutes of the season.  We had to suffer through 26 episodes before you could figure this out.

Paging Hollywood execs:  Vinny and Snooki are "friends with benefits".   They should make a movie around this novel concept...

Obama is sweating:  Snooki - Deena in 2012!  The economy will be fixed, everyone will be tan, and all radios will play house music.   Key takeway:  Even Snooki knows the old campaign slogan "it's the economy stupid".

Final takeaways:  Ronnie uses protein powder as a decoy since he's clearly on steroids.  Apparently cuddling with Roger is as sanitary as sleeping on a used shore House mattress since JWoww doesn't have sheets on her bed.  New Jersey is one big toilet because no one seems the slightest bit fazed that the dogs shit in the house.  Snooki does not get the point of the video camera, since she says she would take Ron over Sam for next year.

Special Shout-out:  I want to recognize my buddy Dan McCaffrey (wormin’ Eddo's older bro) for looking these emails over before they go out.  He knows exactly what parts to fix, and tells me when things are falling flat.  Thanks for that buddy.  I'll see you all for season 4 in Italy!