“…Of Course We Have Scampi!” Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant New York City | Cookbookmaniac

Warning! Warning!
Touristy restaurant review ahead
Proceed with caution
Warning! Warning!

Forrest Gump is one of my favourite films. I jumped with unabashed joy when we walked past the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant in Times Square, New York. I had no idea that the restaurant existed and I was determined to dine there. Just to give it a go. Bubba’s dream is alive!

I usually try and stay away from tourist-driven places when on holidays but I couldn’t help but giggle like a japanese school girl when I enter the premises.

The restaurant looks like the Hard Rock Cafe for Forrest Gump paraphernalia. Downstairs is filled with merchandise from the film. T-shirts, shorts, caps, mugs, pens, photo frames are printed with tacky sayings and logos mostly taken from the film.

This is my sister, Bunnifer

The restaurant was a little more tasteful and was themed more accurately to the film than the merchandise downstairs. There is a bar area and some semi-private rooms that are decorated like pergolas.

There is a sign on the table with “Run Forrest Run” and “Stop Forrest Stop” when you flip it. It is used to let the waiter know that you need something.

We ate our way through New York City. We gobbled down NY-style pizzas, bought freshly made bagels from food vans, snacked on NY hot dogs, dined at posh restaurants, devoured cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery and visited touristy restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

The “…Of Course We Have Scampi!” left the biggest impression on me. It obviously didn’t have a dusting of scampi, but was instead littered with shrimp/prawns. It was buttery delicious and was filled with garlicky goodness. My sisters and I couldn’t get enough of it. We had to order another serving of it.

I was experiencing major craving pangs for this when we returned to Sydney. I searched website after website for a recipe remotely similar to this but was not successful. After many weeks of trial and error I have come up with a recipe that is very similar to the real thing. Its not exactly the same… but it is good enough.

Everyone that I have served this to has loved it. I have been asked for the recipe numerous times and this is the first time that I am sharing it.

Garlic Prawn Linguine is an original recipe from cookbookmaniac.com

300g peeled raw prawns, tails intact
250g salted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
100g pickled capers, drained
4 large garlic cloves, chopped finely (do not use garlic press)
2 ripe plum tomatoes, diced to 1cm cubes
500g dried linguine pasta
2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

1/ Cook linguine pasta according to package instructions.

2/ Pour dry white wine in heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Boil the wine until the alcohol has evaporated.

3/ Add butter. When the butter has melted add the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Stir the mixture gently until it begins to boil and add prawns. Allow the prawns to cook for approximately 1 minute and turn the prawns over. Let it cook for another minute.

4/ Add the capers and stir the mixture gently. Add the tomatoes and switch the heat off.

5/ Add the parsley and serve.

Tips from cookbookmaniac
* Make sure the linguine is perfectly al dente. The pasta will soak up a lot of the sauce!
* The more garlic you add, the merrier the sauce! You can up the garlic factor by including garlic bread. Do you have a good garlic bread recipe?
* This isn’t the healthiest of recipes, which is why it’s so good!

Please excuse the amateurish photos of the restaurant. They were taken pre-blog

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant
1501 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-5505, United States

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Stephanie + Daniel’s Atlanta Wedding – Lisa Shelby Photography

Stephanie and Daniel’s wedding was absolutely gorgeous! They had a romantic outdoor ceremony after sunset in the front lawn of a charming cottage in Atlanta, GA. The bride and groom love gardening so the flowers were very important to them, especially the bride, and all the bouquets and florals were absolutely stunning! The indoor reception was so wonderfully decorated and the cake was gorgeous (and it was from GiGi’s Cupcakes… YUM)! Everything was just perfect and so beautiful right down to the smallest detail! Between the family and the wedding party (guests too I am sure) that were so much fun and all the dancing I don’t think anyone could say they didn’t have a blast! Even the parents and some grand parents were out on the dance floor!

We asked Stephanie and Daniel a few questions so we can learn all about them and their relationship leading up to their big day! Enjoy reading all about their wedding and love story!

Stephanie & Daniel | Our Wedding & Love Story

How did you first meet and what were your first thoughts/impressions of each other? Who, what, when, where, and why? Give us the details!

We met at The Port Dawg Challenge 2012 for our Air Force Reserve unit.

Stephanie: My first impression of Dan was that he was pretty tall and walked into a room like he was in charge so I was a bit intimidated. I waited a few days for him to talk to me first, then I became his tag-along the whole competition.

Daniel: My first impression of Stephanie when I first met her was that she was a really cute girl in our squadron. I made sure we got a contact list together for the challenge so that I could get her number.

Tell us about your first date!

Stephanie: We didn’t really have a first date since we started off as friends. He took me or for dinner and drinks during the challenge we were competing in. We talked for an hour in the hall of our hotel before we split off to our rooms at the end of the night and I remember having a big smile on my face because he was so easy to talk to!

When did you first know he/she was the one? Was there something he/she did?

Stephanie: I knew he was ‘the one’ by the way he treated me. Dan supported me, listened to me, and was very protective. He always looked out for me to be safe and cared for. And he really clicked well with my family, that was a big factor!

Daniel: I knew she was ‘the one’ because she let me be myself without trying to change me. She liked me for who I am.

Tell us all about the proposal! (Did you see it coming? How long was it in the planning? How did you feel? Nervous, excited, freaking out?)

Stephanie: I felt like he was going to take forever before he proposed, and then it happened and I was shocked! I didn’t feel anything at first because I was trying to process everything after I said yes. I kept staring at my ring. When I called my parents a few minutes later to tell them, the excitement got me and I started crying. He proposed on my parents couch with one of my stuffed sloths as a distraction. He had come over earlier that same day to talk to my dad about marrying me, I had no idea!

Daniel: The proposal was a couple months in planning. I wasn’t too nervous to ask her, but I was a bit nervous.

What is the one thing you love most about each other?

Stephanie: I love how much fun Dan is to be around. He’s a wonderful provider and he’s a strong sense of support and calm for me (I’m pretty high-strung). What I come back to every time is how much fun I have spending time with him. He can always make me laugh and I love being around him! He’s good at making me happy.

Daniel: I love that she takes care of me. She’s fun to be around and she keeps me organized so I don’t lose track of time in my busy schedule.

If you feel comfortable, share with us something silly or quirky the other person does that is normally annoying or crazy, but makes you love them a bit more each time… Or you know you love them because when they do it, you don’t kill them!

Stephanie: I have some funny stuff but Dan won’t let me share.

Besides getting married what was your favorite part of your wedding day?

How much everyone danced and visited! We really enjoyed seeing all the guests and getting on the dance for and cutting up with everyone! Every guest was at or in our wedding because they are special to us, so it was fun seeing them enjoy themselves as much as we did! We felt honored to have so many people share our day!

We have really enjoyed getting to know Stephanie and Daniel. They are both so sweet and so much fun!!! Stephanie and Daniel your day was absolutely perfect and you two are so perfect together! Thank you for choosing us as your photographers and allowing us the honor of photographing your big day! We pray God blesses your marriage and you have a blessed life together!!!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycuC5kx1Leo]

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The Debate Around Life and Death in the Arts | by Devon Smith | Medium

Your Arguments

Here are some of the most common or substantive themes that I’ve heard across all of the social conversations to date:

“You don’t define what ‘failing’ ‘effective’ ‘arts’ or ‘institution’ actually mean, so it’s too vague of an argument to agree/disagree.”
In debate prep, we (moderator Shannon Daut, ‘disagree-side-advocate’ Aaron Dworkin) chose to define the arts as essentially nonprofit visual and performing arts organizations. It was with them in mind that we all constructed questions and arguments. But it’s a point that needs to be made crystal clear: I believe that (some) of these failing nonprofit arts organizations can die, and we can still retain the beneficial value of the arts through other media (e.g. other forms of art and culture), or other business models (e.g. for profit, co-working, fiscal sponsorships, etc). Defining failing and effective is far more difficult. And is the very first issue I brought up in the post-debate Q&A about where we believed the weaknesses in our argument were. We can’t be quite so pedestrian as “we know it when we see it,” especially when so much is at stake to a given failing/effective institution.

“You mixed real facts with made-up assertions, so I can’t believe anything you’re saying.”
I wish there was better research to support some of my assertions. How much time we spend with “traditional art” versus how much time we spend with “non-traditional art” just isn’t an area where a lot of funders and researchers are willing to spend time. The people in the “non-traditional” industry don’t care, because for many of them this argument is too inside baseball and doesn’t reflect how they operate or think of themselves. The people in the “traditional” industry have a lot to lose by comparing themselves to these more populist traditions. But ask yourself, for the average American, the average person: add up the time they spend in a given week attending a play, opera, symphony, dance, chorus, museum, or similar. Now compare that to the time they spend engaging with television, film, a busker in the subway, graffiti art under an overpass, a particularly compelling/thought provoking video game, marveling at the architecture of a building, and so on. I bet the second far outweighs the first, regardless of whether it’s 2x or 20x or 200x. Why do I get to compare organizations across this “traditional versus non-traditional” spectrum? Because A) consumers increasingly don’t make the difference between them; B) i believe they can be substitutes for each other when comparing the impact that “arts and culture” has on the world; C) artists float between these industries more and more; and D) most of the things in the first bucket are underpinned by institutions, while most of the things in that second bucket are not, and thus my advocacy for the death of failing institutions, not failing art forms, or artists. But none of those 4 assertions are sourced, so you don’t have to believe in the argument.

“Boards are responsible for killing/keeping alive these organizations. They have the power, and they should keep it. Not outside institutional funders, or individuals, or the IRS.”
I believe the second thing out of my mouth in the debate Q&A was my discomfort with giving any more power to institutional funders or the IRS, or allowing them to make these decisions, given potential conflicts of interest. However, this starts getting us into political policymaking. I would love to leave it up to individuals, whether in the community, the Board as representatives of that community, or those individuals within the organization. But in too many cases, Boards are not actually reflective of their community, and they’re not making responsible decisions on behalf of that community. And individuals have no plausible way to collect themselves into a decision making body and actually shut an organization down. I proposed a few ideas in the original blog post, but they’re a stretch at best. We need a body with significant purse strings, a (relatively) objective point of view, and frankly, power.

It’s like choosing to support the bill that you know isn’t the ideal version of the regulation, because you know you can actually get the votes for it. We don’t get to choose the “mythical best.” We have to look at what kind of “regulation” would actually “pass” so we can move on with the doing, and stop with all the discussing.

“You can’t compare everything to for-profit companies. The parallels don’t exist, or you’re proving your own point that those industries have in fact failed.”
I often find myself comparing nonprofit arts industry to other for profit, and non-arts industries to try to find a new angle, a new point of view, a new way of looking at the same old problems. Too often, we take for granted that our industry is a special snowflake, and the issues we’re dealing with are so different, and so much harder, than other industries. I think that’s bullshit. We talk ourselves in circles when we only consider what has already been tried within our own industry.

And those other industries can be our test case studies for how to (and not to) adapt. The general public is more informed on a wide range of foreign and domestic issues, even though many local newspapers and radio stations have gone out of business. Even as record companies die, indie musicians are still making a living, choosing to be musicians, and continuing to push the art forms of rock, and rap, and blues, and folk forward.

Art inspires personal reflection, empathy, economic development, aids in reforming the criminal justice system, provides aesthetic and aural beauty to the world, preserves our history, employs a diverse set of artists and administrators, and on and on. But so do other industries, and other business models. Sometimes better than the nonprofit arts. If they can do those things better than we can, from a rational point of view, money should flow towards them. If arts peg their value to economic revitalization, but it turns out opening a restaurant is more effective at doing that than opening an art gallery, I want my tax dollars (and tax incentives) to go to that restaurant.

Because this debate took place in Nashville, AFTA took pains to include a wide variety of Nashville artists in the discussion of the arts sector, so was I. AFTA sponsored an “arts tour” I attended to an arts co-working space that had screen printers working alongside motorcycle repair shop, next to a darkroom, with a skateboard shop on the side. We went to a hat-shop, and a leather-making studio, and a distillery. Those are all valid forms of art. To me.

“New arts organizations won’t step in, if the ones we have now fail.”
A long time ago, I worked at Intiman, and was crushed to see it fail. But the Seattle arts community has stepped in to fill the gap, where it’s been needed. The death of one institution can be a blessing for a community, by reallocating resources more effectively across the organizations that remain.

A funder from the San Jose arts community attended the debate, and during the Q&A spoke about the frustration the community at large felt that this organization hadn’t responded to the changing demographic of their potential audience, and even after millions of dollars in emergency funding, and an army of consultants and advisers, they couldn’t make the business model work. Why should that failing organization continue to receive funds from the city government, when there are more worthy arts organizations standing ready to better use those resources?

“Why do you have to kill them? Why not transform them?”
I’m totally on board with this one. Death and radical rebirth are equivalent in my mind. I believe that radical change is often needed to “give birth” to a new organization, and that it often requires new leadership, a new business model, or new programming. If there is an institution that is failing, but we can use its infrastructure (its building, its assets, its cashflow, its artistic capital, its influence in the community, its institutional knowledge) to create something new and more relevant, all the better, and that absolutely deserves an opportunity to compete for the resources and attention of the community and of institutional funders.

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Mean Girls’ Jonathan Bennett to star in Hallmark’s first gay Christmas film

Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett is set to star in Hallmark’s first ever gay Christmas movie, and we are already waiting patiently under the mistletoe in anticipation.

Bennett, who played Cady Heron’s dreamy love interest Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, will star in The Christmas House, which will debut on the Hallmark channel on Sunday, 22 November.

The actor, who is openly gay, will play Brandon Mitchell, while his husband Jake will be played by Brad Harder.

The Christmas House will follow Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (played by Sharon Lawrence) and father Bill (played by Treat Williams) as they summon their grown-up sons home for the festive season to help recreate the magic of Christmas past.

Bennett plays one of the adult sons, who returns to his family home with his husband for the Christmas season.

Jonathan Bennett said he is ‘so proud’ to be a part of Hallmark’s first gay Christmas film.

The film will follow the couple as they anxiously await a phone call about their plans to become first-time dads by adopting a child together.

Sharing the news on Instagram stories, Jonathan Bennett said he was “so proud” to be part of the “amazing project”.

The Hallmark Channel has a stellar reputation among Christmas lovers for its enormous line-up of original festive films each year.

The films are so widely loved that they have spawned countless memes, as each year, people across the world tune in to watch the predictable but addictive line-up.

However, LGBT+ fans have long been crying out for a queer festive film – and this year, they have finally been granted their grown-up Christmas wish.

Hallmark confirmed details of the film on Wednesday (23 September) following months of speculation that the channel would introduce its first queer Christmas film in 2020.

“For more than a decade, Hallmark holiday movies have represented the gold standard that many aspire to replicate,” said Wonya Lucas, CEO of Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media.

More from PinkNews

“What we bring to the table and what truly sets us apart is an immersive holiday experience that has become a pop culture phenomenon for millions of fans.”

The company previously said they would release an LGBT+ themed film this year.

Michelle Vicary of Crown Media added: “Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever. This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families, including The Christmas House, featuring a storyline about a gay couple looking to adopt their first child.

“Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions – a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year.”

In July, queer Hallmark Christmas fans were sent into a frenzy when the company confirmed that LGBT+ Christmas films were on the way.

The company had initially faced backlash when it announced details of 18 new Christmas films – all of which focused on straight characters.

However, Crown Media spokesperson George Zaralidis later said: “I can confirm that we will include LGBT+ storylines, characters and actors. We are in active negotiations and look forward to announcing more details when we can.”

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The Death of RBG Vindicates My Vote for Trump

Many Republicans, like myself, did not at first jump on the Trump bandwagon in 2015 and 2016. We feared, and not without reason, that Trump would lead the GOP to perdition — and, what’s almost as bad, defeat. A vote for Trump would thus help elect Hillary Clinton.

Not for the first or last time, I was wrong in 2016. I gradually came to realize this. I warmed to Trump, and in the end I voted for him — proudly and without a moment’s hesitation. Many Republicans took the same journey as me.

Why did I plunk for Trump? I did so not because I thought he would win any awards for congeniality. We are all aware that Trump is, to say the least, mortal. He has character flaws. He makes mistakes. He doesn’t always understand the niceties of conventional politics.

Above all, though, I and millions of Americans like me voted for Trump for one simple reason: the barbarians were at the gates, and only Trump could save us, and America, from their ravages.

Liberals — you are the barbarians in this little analogy. Try to keep up.

Simply put, had Hillary Clinton won in 2016, she would have chosen the replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. The balance on the Court would have shifted decisively to the left. The Supreme Court, therefore, which Republicans already view warily, even with a “conservative” majority, would have become far more activist, far more aggressive, and far more beholden to left-wing ideology.

Any conservative can tell you that a Republican-appointed judge or justice is only occasionally a reliable supporter of conservative, constitutionalist principles. A Democrat-appointed judge or justice, on the other hand, is a supporter of “progressive” causes, and the narrow interests of the Democratic Party, 100 percent of the time.

Thus, a liberal majority on the Supreme Court would have guaranteed, in this hyper-partisan era, that conservatives would never again receive a sympathetic hearing there. Anything that the Left wanted would have been approved by judicial fiat. Even the integrity of future elections, which Republicans and conservatives might or might not win, would have been jeopardized, because a liberal Court would simply throw out results that didn’t accord with their wishes.

This, then, was the judicial apocalypse that we conservative patriots believed we were facing in 2016. As it turned out, only one man could save us, and our beloved Constitution, from the coming cataclysm: Donald Trump.

I therefore voted for Trump, in the fervent hope that he would win. I hoped, if he won, that he would build the Wall, fight for trade fairness, reduce regulation, keep us out of pointless regime change wars, and much more. I hoped for these things, but I knew that Trump would appoint new justices to the Supreme Court that would be a thousand times better than the reliable progressives and social justice warriors that Hillary would surely name to the bench.

And so he has.

Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh might not vote all the time the way conservatives would like them to, but they have not corrupted our democracy, they have not shamed the judiciary with legal sophistry, and they have not legislated from the bench.

What’s more, if Democrats cheat in the 2020 election, or in the counting of votes that follows, we can safely assume that a mostly conservative Court will hold them accountable for it. That gives a conservative like me peace of mind.

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, therefore, confirms that my choice to vote for Donald Trump in 2016 was right — even righter than I realized at the time.

For, not only will President Trump hold left-wing judicial activism at bay; he is in a position to tilt SCOTUS even further to the right, further perhaps than at any time in the last century.

For those of us who believe that liberal justices have already taken us much too far down the path of “reimagining” our Constitution, the opportunity to return to first principles, to limit the growth of federal power, to curb judicial activism, and to return many rights and powers to the states and to the people, is like a dream come true.

President Trump, therefore, has exceeded the expectations of many of us who voted for him. That will sound incredible to progressives, but it is the truth.

Democrats and liberals, you see a president and a Senate preparing to dash your dream of a judicially-mandated forced march to the sunlit uplands of a neo-Marxist utopia. We Republicans and conservatives see a president and a Senate about to reverse much of the damage you’ve already done to the country we so love, and about to reaffirm the Constitution, rather your wild fantasies and rigid ideology, as the law of the land.

Thank you, President Trump, for doing what We the People elected you to do.

I look forward to your nomination of an outstanding new Justice of the Supreme Court.

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Learning from Death: How We Change When Losing a Loved One

There is no easy way to write about death that doesn’t risk trivializing it or being overwhelmed by it. Fortunately, I have never suffered a tragedy, such as the loss of a child or spouse or family member before their natural time.

You don’t have to lose someone or face your own death to learn from it.

I have spent a lot of time personally and professionally with people who have had to grapple with the questions that none of us have answers:   

Why did this happen? 

What did I do wrong? 

How can I make this pain go away? 

If I could only have… 

With all the pain of loss and grief, I do like one aspect of what death does to those left behind: it pushes out all the extraneous noise of our lives and forces us to deal with only that which really matters. Most often, someone who has been shattered by a loss is very, very real. It’s almost like you’re speaking to someone on a drug when what comes out is pure, true, and undefended. 

I find such experience deeply grounding, and I enjoy being in an atmosphere of such truth. It is at such times that I understand what might draw someone to work in hospice care. The opportunity to work in an environment where everything is on the line, where there is no point in pretense, where life is stripped down to the bare essentials: it seems to me it’s like a spiritual backpack trip. You have only what you really need to survive; everything else is extra baggage you don’t want to carry. You are reminded of how little you really need, and how simple and pure life can be.

 Sometimes when I’m working with a couple, and they’re sniping at each other over the “he said/she said” of married life, I cut through the static with the following intervention:   

I have them sit across from each other and fill in the blank to the sentence – “If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, what I would want you to know today is…” 

That gets their attention. They immediately drop out of the argument and say things like “I love you” or “I’m sorry I wasn’t a better husband/wife.” 

Why does this happen? 

I think most of the time, most of the day, our ego is running the show. We are concerned first and foremost with the survival of the “I” of the ego. This can take countless forms, but just a few examples to help you know what I mean would include:  

Worrying about what I get out of this situation

How I look to others or wanting to hurt someone who hurt me

Wanting to fend off possible criticism

Needing to be right  

All of the above actions are about the importance of Ego.  

We don’t know what happens when we die. 

Although most of us have beliefs about it. Here’s one of the things I feel relatively sure about: the ego dies with the body.

If any part of us survives our physical death, I cannot believe it is that aspect of us which worries how we look, if only because I see how that drops away in those who have just lost someone. 

Letting death be our teacher, through making us aware of what truly matters, is one of the best ways I know to be truly alive.  

If you knew you were dying tomorrow, what would you do differently today?

If you’re struggling with loss, grief, and death, we’re here to help with Imago  and . We also have Online Couples Therapy and Online Couples Workshops right now!  

 Josh GresselThis blog post was written by Josh Gressel, a clinical psychologist and certified Imago therapist in practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He is the author of  (University of America Press, 2014) and “Disposable Diapers, Envy, and the Kibbutz: What Happens to an Emotion Based on Difference in a Society Based on Equality?” in Envy at Work and in Organizations (Oxford University Press, 2017).  He has just completed a book on masculinity.  

Check out Josh’s website: joshgressel.com

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