Hello, hungry people of Hinge! We like eating (almost) as much as we like great dates, so we brought in a pro to help you strategize your first food-focused romantic encounter! This week’s ThursDater is guest written by Lindsey Becker of The Date Dish. But we added the GIFs (obviously).
Congratulations! You scored your first date with an amazing match on Hinge! You’re thrilled, excited, already worried about what you’re going to wear, but the real question has yet to be answered: what are you going to do on your first date? We’ve all gotten to a point where going to restaurant after restaurant can wreak havoc on the spontaneity of dating. You never know which place to go, it’s expensive, and bad service can absolutely ruin your night (“It’s not like we NEED bread, but I mean.. if it WAS here…”)
Anyway, for a first date, you want to make something that’s simple, looks great on a plate (no casseroles!) and is hard to screw up. Let’s face it, no matter how great of a cook you are, you’re going to be worrying about getting ready, making sure the apartment is clean, and texting your friends for advice until the minute he or she arrives. Keep it simple and quick for a first date so you can focus on having a good time with your hot new date.
For this delightful little evening, I would recommend The Date Dish’s Chicken Milanese, which is a fancy Italian name for sexy fried chicken. It takes all of 15 minutes, is budget-friendly, and pleases any palate. Crispy chicken cutlets topped with a fresh arugula salad and shaved Parmesan is a perfect date dish for a summer dinner. Recipe and video are below.
OK, so we’ve got the first date down. But what if you’ve already been out on a few of dates, but still want to wow your new catch in the kitchen? Well, I look at food in two categories, pre-date and post-date. Sometimes cooking post-date can be the best thing in the world for taking your relationship to the next level. And by next level, I’m talking breakfast in bed– there is nothing more satisfying. Actually, of course there is, but today’s topic is food. So let’s get our minds out of the gutter and cook, shall we?
You want to make a dish that doesn’t make it look like you’re trying too hard but still says loud and clear that you know what you’re doing. So, we’re back to the morning after. An absolutely delicious brunch dish that everyone goes crazy over is my strawberry stuffed French toast with mascarpone cheese (basically Italian cream cheese). Known as an aphrodisiac since the times of ancient Rome, the strawberry is the perfect fruit to feature in French toast. It’s also in season right now! Lucky you and your date. One bite of this and you may be staying for a while. (Recipe below!)
If you do in fact go out to dinner, please feel free to follow my Do’s and Don’ts below.
Gentlemen: Do NOT…
Now, on to the recipes! Chicken Milanese
(original recipe post here)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme
2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups lightly packed arugula
2 oz. fresh Parmesan
*Note: You can usually purchase chicken breasts that are already pounded out to 1/4 inch thick at your local grocery store.
(original recipe post here)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 of a day-old baguette, sliced diagonally into 1.5″ thick pieces
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
Butter, for cooking
Maple syrup, for serving
The Fourth of July is our favorite holiday. Sure, it’s kind of about our forefathers establishing the freedom-mongering country we all enjoy, but momentarily, let’s put aside life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There’s another important trio that’s really madeJuly 4th into what it is today: getting a day off work, partying like your brain is on vacation, and blowing shit up.
Add a little hot, steamy July weather to that slew of terrific things, and you’ve got perfect conditions to indulge in a night of summer debauchery that would make your college-self proud. And nothing screams/slurs college-self like an impromptu makeout; preferably in public.
In case you’re out of practice, we’ve brainstormed some opportunities you may encounter that are absolutely primo for July 4th makeouts, even if you might not think so at first glance. So heed our very professional guidance, should you find yourself in any of these circumstances with someone you want to kiss.
At your parents’ beach house. Sure, your childhood seashell collection has been scattered all over the floor, thanks to a “wizard’s staff” made of taped-together Coors Light cans. But, that’s an expected casualty when your parents give you the place for the weekend. Deal with cleanup tomorrow morning. This is the perfect opportunity to escape your belligerent friends for a hot second, and offer your crush a private, personally escorted tour of “Ocean Fantasea.” The key opener for a makeout here is to say something architecturally relevant AND romantic, like, “We just added a storm-resistant formal balcony in 2006… but mostly because I really like have time alone with the sea…” and dreamily stare out at the horizon. Then, switch on some sudden, penetrating eye contact– all systems go. Engage makeout.
The eating contest at a BBQ/Picnic. Did you know watermelon is an aphrodisiac? Well that’s ‘cause it isn’t… unless you’ve just challenged your crush to a melon scarf-down and they totally destroyed you, leaving both of you with the feisty high that only competitive binge eating can bring on. When the two of you go to clean up, gently brush away the pink chunks still lingering in their hair, congratulate them on their win, and make those come-hither eyes you’ve been practicing in your mirror before bed every night. The smooching conditions are perfect, now just try to ignore the part where you recently consumed your weight in fruit and might throw up.
After your sparkler performance. You thought that an impromptu Michael-Flatley-meets-fire performance would impress. And for good reason– who could resist you whipping that fire-stick around like a rhythmic gymnast going for the gold? Sure, at some point during this Jim Beam-induced sparkler showcase, you totally lost control, and badly scorched the mate of your dreams on the shoulder. But fortunately, here on earth there’s a liiiittle bit of love magic known as the Florence Nightingale Effect. As you affectionately apply Neosporin and a crazily unnecessary number of band-aids to their charred skin, the romance will be undeniable. You mended their hurt: guaranteed canoodling. Just try and avoid the lesion.
While watching fireworks. One weekend back in May, you and your friend found a roadside stand in North Carolina whose only products were fireworks, and some sort of alcohol/helicopter fuel that was packaged in an old coffee can and sealed with duct tape. But a 2-for-1 special on fireworks is not to be ignored, so naturally you both started stockpiling like your lives depended on it. Fast-forward to this year’s July 4th party, in the backyard of said friend’s apartment complex… watching them dangle a lit match over the entire haul. As soon as you spot the glimmer of fear in your special someone’s eye, gently seize their hand and ask if they’d like to go somewhere “a little quieter, away from the noise.” Then go there. Quickly. Feelings of relief and physical safety will quickly escalate into other feelings, and then… make out.
We know these kind of “fairy-tale” romantic situations are rare, so don’t beat yourself up if they don’t happen exactly like this. In fact, a much better (and generally safer) solution is to ask one of your Hinge matches to meet up for some patriotic festivities. Maybe hit a nice rooftop somewhere, eat firecracker popsicles and be merry. While not as exciting as a fruit binge or fire-dancer routine, a kiss is still probably in the cards. After all, this is America.
And, we can’t forget to mention– in order to help you out even more, we’ve just released a brand new feature that will help you get plans with your matches in motion faster! Hinge now lets you message your matches right from the app, making communication a much smoother and easier process. So make sure you download the update and go message those matches. Makeouts are waiting!
You may have heard that Hinge recently launched in NYC. Greetings, New Yorkers! We’re pumped to have you with us. Today’s ThursDater will provide some Hinge 101 for all you Hinge rookies.
Our advice here is to just stay sharp when you’re Hinge-ing. Notice last names, always double check your connections, and make those Favorites count!
You’ve probably heard us mention a couple (million) times that the more friends you have on Hinge, the better your potentials and the more plentiful your matches. And yesterday we released an update with a brand-new feature that will bestow glory upon you for getting friends to join. But you know what? Talk is cheap, and you deserve far classier proof.
So speaking of a proof, nothing confirms you know what you’re talking about better than some sound math. (Amirite nerds?) Check it:
1 friend on Hinge = 3x more matches than 0 friends.
4 friends on Hinge = 3x more matches than 1 friend.
12 friends on Hinge = 3x more matches than 4 friends.
Our Hingeoreum Theorum proves that the more friends you have on Hinge, the more potential matches you’ll get. But you don’t have to take our nerds’ words for it. We’ll put it into a real-life analogy, which is basically our sexy version of a word problem… where we also give you the answer. It’s kind of like having the Teacher’s Edition to Hinge. We’ll call it “party math.”
Let’s say you roll solo to a cocktail party where you don’t know anyone. Some people are naturally bold and mingly in these situations, but a solid number of us would appreciate a couple G&T’s to the face before approaching a cute stranger alone. And others of us you could find spooning the hors d’oeuvres table, quietly slipping into food comas as an empty tray of pigs-in-a-blanket clatters to the floor. But whatever, we digress.
Back to the party. Now, imagine you arrive and a friend is there who knows a few of the guests. Instant introduction, instant background check on new acquaintances, and instant convo starter. Now try walking in and getting four high-fives from people you know. Yep, all their friends now want high-fives from you too. Twelve familiar faces? Suddenly you’re a bonafide socialite; the “it” guest at the party. You’ll be leaving this shindig with your phone a-brimming with the digits of cool new friends of friends, and your schedule chock full ‘o great dates.
The more friends you have at a party (and on Hinge), the more people are able to connect you to great people they know. More options, more introductions, more potential dates.
So now that we’ve used the power of party math to illustrate how essential your friends are to your Hinge success, we’d like to remind you of the great news we mentioned earlier: we have an awesome app update (2.1) ready to download. So get yourself that update right quick, and start recruiting your party crew!
Here at Hinge, we’ve recently come up with an important theory. There seems to be a new fear arising among some young adults, alongside really scary things like death and spiders, that is actually far less threatening: awkwardness.
This fear of awkwardness is becoming a major concern, and the people who suffer seem to be downright plagued by it. MTV named one of their garbage TV shows after it. Tweens, teens and even some early-stage adults blog about it constantly. But realistically, it’s the term most misused to describe moments better categorized as “unexpected,” “drunk,” or “I’m so addicted to texting that face-to-face conversations are weird now.” But we’ll get to that later.
Our surveys report that a majority of you are dominating your Hinge experience. You’re responding to your match emails, going on great dates, and straight killin’ it. And for those of you haven’t gotten matches yet, we’re tweaking our algorithms to ensure you’re getting matched faster and more often. So don’t worry your pretty little heads– you’ll be killin’ it in no time too. But this particular ThursDater is meant to offer helpful insight (as well as entertainment) to the silent minority of Hinge users– those who are on the shy side, or just claim their match emails are “awkward.”
Listen up, people: the fact that you “liked” your sorority, Game of Thrones, or Odwalla on Facebook is not awkward; it’s just social media. No shame! We’re all part of the Facebook nation together. Plus, that juice is crazy delicious, and excuse me, Winter is coming. These are important matters.
Now, why don’t we talk about some things that are, in fact, actually awkward?
-When you’re walking down the sidewalk and you acknowledge the person coming the opposite way too early in the walk-by. So both of you start rummaging in your purse/pockets, pretending to text, or looking straight into the sun to willingly burning your corneas out– just to occupy that silent passing time.
-When your roommate and their significant other think you’re sleeping, but you can hear EV. RY. THING. And you can’t unhear things. You just can’t.
-When you’re trying too hard to be funny and respond to someone’s question with, “no… but your mom does.” And then you find out the person’s mom died a few months ago, and you wish for a tornado to come sweep you away.
-Buying condoms and running into literally anyone you know.
-When you’re riding a packed bus with your overnight bag in tow and the bus turns so suddenly that a pair of your underpants catapults out of your bag, onto the the bus floor for everyone to see. And then you lunge for the underpants, miss and claw the air a couple of times, and then finally grab them and stuff them back into your bag. I think we can all agree that would HYPOTHETICALLY be so awkward we’d never take that particular route 29 bus again.
Now that we’ve established the real meaning of awkward, we think it’s pretty clear that responding to your match emails is definitely not awkward. In fact, it’s awesome. Making the first move might seem intimidating, but we’d like to remind you that matches mean you’re BOTH interested in each other! So be bold. Say hi. Exchange numbers. Go out together and talk about those “weird” Facebook likes. Who knows? You might share a strong penchant for Chipotle, but you won’t know until you get things started.
Furthermore, it should be noted that while technology and gadgets are awesome (trust us, we love them too), we are humans; apps and the internet can’t actually date people for us. But there’s one app that can (and will) do a bunch of wonderful things to enhance your human dating life: Hinge. We’ll eliminate that intimidating part in the beginning. We’ll help you easily find awesome dates who already know your friends. We’ll even throw some raging parties where you can plan to meet up with them!
Hinge is a return to real dating, with real connections. And all you have to do is ‘Reply All’ to your match emails to get this realness started. Now go out there and live a little. We know you’ve got it in ya.
|It’s officially spring, but this relentless winter weather keeps coming back and sneak-attack blasting you like Groupon emails. If you’re like us, you’re totally over it. You’ve been hibernating like a majestic Kodiak bear, just waiting to emerge from your unshaven seasonal slump to discover the exciting new crop of super cute salmon leaping in swarms from the mighty rivers.
But in just a matter of weeks, finer weather will emerge, and along with it, an infectious desire to seek courtship with all the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in town. You may not be prepared, but know this: a potent epidemic of Spring Fever is well on its way.
Early-stage symptoms of Spring Fever may sometimes go unnoticed. Are Kay Jewelers’ commercials for trailer park diamonds suddenly giving you butterflies? Find yourself flirting so desperately with the waitress at dinner she starts sending a coworker to refill your water glass? Been reminiscing all your exes, and pining for even the most royally F-tastic train wrecks of relationships past? Sure, they may have cheated on you with your roommate and destroyed your living situation. Or charged thousands of dollars to your credit card on Brazzers and called your mom a bitch one time, but they smelled pretty good and were excellent snugglers. And you miss that.
You can think of us as your new “love wealth” advisors; this is the perfect opportunity to start investing. And we’ve got street cred when it comes to this kind of thing. Did you check out our peek into the hottest workforces in DC? We know what we’re doing. Roll with us and you’ll become the Warren Buffett of dating, growing your romance capital like a boss– not flashing it around like some hobo who discovers a bag of money, and immediately spends it all on a chocolate mansion and a solid gold toilet seat.
First things first: leave all your past where it is and start fresh. This is the season of new beginnings, and you have a batch of new potentials at your fingertips every single day at noon! No more running back to exes or old hookups. You’re preparing a gourmet meal here– a sophisticated spread of better dates. It requires strategic preparation and good taste, so stop grazing on tired leftovers.
Now don’t forget your friends! Invite them to Hinge. The more friends you invite, the more potential dates you get, and you’re also helping your best single peeps cure their own Spring Fever. It’s win/win, they’re gonna love you for it, and you can consider yourself a philanthropist for the perpetually lonely. Bravo to your kind heart, social awareness, and enduring sense of community contribution.
In closing, we’d like to remind you that you’re the bomb. Although this tail end of winter feels bleak, it’s about to get warm outside, you’re about to start having way more awesome friend-of-friend dates than you ever thought possible, and people are about to start regularly day-drinking on patios. Really, is there anything more delightful in life?
So now, go forth. Let the fire inside your invigorated heart melt away those lingering chills, and start Spring like the fun, fierce party it should be. Get it.
Well, we’re in the final stretch for holiday shopping. Assuming you’ve already taken care of the fruitcakes and snowglobes for your family and friends, it’s time to focus on the gifts that make a difference. We know you want to catch the attention of your friend’s cute friend, or maybe even DTR with someone you’ve been casually seeing. Start by asking your mutual friends what they might like. Or what they’d hate. Or what their ex got them last year so you can completely one-up that loser and show them how awesomely intuitive you are to their every interest and desire.
For extra assistance, Hinge has organized a guide to common gift ideas. We’ve found that certain items can say much more than you anticipated, so educate yourself and thank us later.
Jewelry. When girls receive jewelry too soon, it either totally freaks them out or sets up some kind of creepy (and wallet-clearing) sugar daddy thing. When guys receive jewelry ever, it says the girl who gave it to them thinks Criss Angel and Bret Michaels are stylish gents worth emulating. So if you accept her gift of bling, know that she might have a life-long dream of prowling the Vegas strip in an Ed Hardy bus, looking for white trash tourists who will shell out cash for photos with D-list celebrities. No comment if that’s your thing.
Food. Finding out their dream dinner from a friend and cooking it for them? Triple score holiday jackpot. Surprising them at home with baked goods or a nice fruit basket? Generic, but it’ll do. Banging on their front window, blackout drunk with a bag of Cheetos, a single banana, and a now half-empty jug of Carlo Rossi at 3am? Hey, it didn’t work for us last year, but never say never. Holiday spirit can go a long way.
Clothes. Clothes can say a number of things. One of them is “Oh, you’re a Medium? I thought you were an XL and now I have knit proof of it.” Another one is “I am already trying to dress you, because I’m a stage 5 clinger and want to own your life forever.” Either way, do some size and style research through your mutual friends beforehand. And if you can’t do that, everyone is in the market for a flowing, unisex cape, right?
A puppy/kitten. “Here’s a baby substitute that you didn’t seek out for yourself and are now forced to take care of in your 1-bedroom apartment.” Absolutely not. No, no, a thousand times no.
iPhone 5. Actually, this is something we’d like. Just thought we’d just slip it in here as a suggestion. Come on, you’ll already be shopping…
* * *
So, since you got us that new iPhone, we can’t wait to use it to showcase our awesome gift to YOU: a brand-new Hinge mobile app!
The new Hinge will be an entirely new experience, with a more functional interface and a gorgeous redesign. You’ll be able to rate your friends-of-friends right from your mobile device, and if there is mutual interest we’ll introduce you. The new version of Hinge won’t be released until early February, but we are major believers that something great is worth waiting for. Plus, it’ll be just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your future boyfriend/girlfriend! (See how effective our gift advice is?)
Sign up for the new Hinge and get a sneak peek at the redesign at Hinge.co. We’ll contact you as soon as the new Hinge is live in the app store!
We’re thrilled to give you a fabulous new Hinge, and we’d wager to say your new-found knowledge of gifting would impress even the three wise men. Although, just as an FYI, don’t take gift ideas from the Magi either… unless you want your date to smell like they just got back from Bonnaroo. Save the gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh for your Phish friend, because after following them on tour all summer and fall, he or she will probably be flat broke and in desperate need of something to disguise that unshowered musk.
In closing, may the retail gods provide you with the perfect holiday gift ideas, and ultimately, a real spark with that special someone. Happy Holidays!