Recipe of the Week: Creamy Crawfish Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 bunch green onions (white parts only), chopped (reserve the greens for garnish)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 12-ounce package crawfish crawfish tail meat, thawed and drained
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Crusty bread and Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  2. Stir in the cream cheese, mayonnaise, creole seasoning, and cayenne; whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to low. Add the crawfish tail meat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately with toasted bread slices and hot sauce. Garnish with the green tops of the onions, if desired.

If Tinder and LinkedIn Spawned A Love Child, It Would Look Like This

In the age of Netflix ‘n’ Chillin’, technology has played a large part in the way we make connections with other people. While Tinder has made a huge impact in the way people meet each other, a turn of events has pitted the best parts of the dating app with LinkedIn-esque capabilities. Manifesting itself in PIF (Pay It Forward), the aptly-dubbed Tinder for networking entrepreneurs looks to help people within a specific industry meet each other. Starting with the start-up community, the app features familiar left/right swipe options depending on whether you want to connect with a certain individual. Each user has a profile and a short bio, verified using your Facebook account. Once a match has been made, the two networkers are placed in a conversation.

What makes the app interesting is the opportunity for users to be placed in a conversation with someone they wish to meet, without a mutual request from the other person. While this may seem unwarranted, the app acts on a “Pay It Forward” system, where users can start an unsolicited chat with someone for every unsolicited chat they accept. The app is available now on both iOS and Android.

This iPhone App Is Designed Around Your Brainwaves and Tai Chi to Help You Relax

Your phone may be a constant source of distraction, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Amid endless notifications and bombardment of visual stimuli, it may be hard to conceive your smartphone as a place of peaceful refuge. However, ustwo (the creators of the massively popular Monument Valley game) set out to turn that conception on its head.

Introducing Pause, ustwo has created an app that aims to help you relax to a calmer state of mind. Pause brings “focused attention” to your iPhone’s screen, and is grounded in cognitive psychology and physiology resulting in a patent-pending technique to activate the restoration process and relaxation response. Pairing up with PauseAble, the app is inspired by Tai Chi with slow and continuous movements. Essentially, it’s Tai Chi for your thumb, using a mix of sound and stimulation to keep your attention away from distracting and stressful thoughts. Learn more about the app at its website here, and purchase it for $2 USD on the App Store.

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Rate Your Friends Like They’re Restaurants with the Peeple App

A ‘Yelp’-style app for rating people is not a new idea, but nobody’s been terrible enough to actually build one in real life — until now. A startup company has launched an app called “Peeple” which has already raised $7.6 million in venture capital, according to theWashington Post. It lets anyone with a Facebook account and cell phone rate another person and assign them a star rating out of five in one of three categories: personal, professional and romantic. Though Peeple calls itself “a positivity app for positive people,” the idea of the app is largely being panned on social media.

For the many, many people who raised concerns about online bullying and shaming, Peeple founder Julia Cordray told the Post that the app’s “integrity features” will largely stem such problems. Namely, you must be 21, have a Facebook account at least six months old, and make reviews under your real name. In addition, you must affirm that you know the person you’re reviewing and input their cellphone number if they’re not in the database. Negative ratings for people won’t show unless they’ve registered for the site, and you have 48 hours to dispute a negative rating if you do register.

As Twitter users have already pointed out, there are a host of potential issues, however. Isn’t assigning a person a number Orwellian and ridiculous? What about the aforementioned bullying? What about the fact that reviews for restaurants, objects or sites are usually biased, a problem that could be exponentially worse with people? What if you give your phone number to someone on a date and they decide to use it to rate you romatically? And finally, what if you don’t want unsolicited opinions? Even the founder thinks that’s a bad idea, apparently.

Such issues haven’t discouraged the team, however — they think they’re “bold innovators” who help people get “feedback” on their lives. In fact, they created a blog post dedicated to themselves called “An Ode to Courage,” saying that “people are scared and they don’t understand” the app. “We are… sending big waves into motion and we will not apologize for that because we love you enough to give you this gift.” (We’re assuming the whole thing isn’t a joke, of course, because it certainly seems like one.)

Ironically, for a time they set the Peeple Twitter account to private following the deluge of criticism, though it’s now public again. In response, one Twitter critic said, “color me shocked; two blond-haired, conventionally pretty, well-off white women can’t conceptualize of why a ‘Yelp for people’ is a bad idea.”

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Get Ready For ‘Food Tinder’

There you are, alone with a growing desire which you hope to soon satiate. You want to know your options, so you try an app you’ve heard your friends murmuring about. Its interface allows you to swipe right or left depending on your personal tastes. When you see something you like, you start a discussion in hopes that there will be a spark. And if the response you get is positive? There is a stirring inside of you, a general enlivening of the spirit that can only be associated with one word: Possibility.

Maybe this time it will be special. Or maybe it’ll just be fun — something you want to enjoy again and again.

We’ve all been there, hungry and trying to figure out where to eat. The difficulty of matching humans with food that they’re excited about (and can agree on) is the problem that Jeong Uk Lee and John Kim are trying to solve with their app Foodie. It is, quite simply, Tinder for food. Instead of hooking you up with other people ready to have (hopefully) safe sex accompanied by varying degrees of guilt, it hooks you up with other people ready to have (hopefully) safe food accompanied by varying degrees of guilt.

Like Tinder, Foodie is based around “hotness.”

“We want to know where other people are around the location and then be able to give them what’s hot now,” Kim said to Tech Crunch. “That’s something Yelp doesn’t do; it shows you what was hot before, but it doesn’t show what’s trending now based on the weather. If it’s super hot, ice cream could be trending, for example.”

Unlike Tinder, Foodie wants to facilitate multi-person or group scenarios.

“We’re thinking of doing a chat room like Slack,” Kim said. “Think of this as a session and you invite your friends to this separately, and then when you go into it you see three people match and that [becomes] what all of us want.”

Foodie was part of Hackathon at TechCrunch 2015 so it’s still a little ways from launch, but the idea seems sound. Swipe right for donuts. Swipe right for tacos.

Today, Starbucks Launches Mobile Ordering Nationwide

Beginning today, you’ll never have to stand in the endless wasteland that is the Starbucks line ever again.

The mega coffee chain is rolling out its mobile app feature called Mobile Order and Pay nationwide, allowing its customers the ability to preorder and pay for food and beverages before they get to the store, bypassing the line completely. Although the app had a soft launch in Portland in December and other areas of the country earlier this summer, it is now available at more than 7,400 stores in the United States.

Using the iOS and Android app, customers are able to order items from the full menu, customize orders and pay through the app. In areas like New York City where there may be multiple locations nearby, the app will allow you to choose the location most convenient for you.

Although you can’t schedule a pickup time, the app does estimate a time when your order should be ready, and counts down until your order is complete.

Now, while this may seem like the beginning of the end of all human contact, the new app feature is convenient for a few different situations.

  • You’re in a rush or you’re running late.
  • You’re ordering for multiple people (rejoice, interns!).
  • You have young kids and standing in a long line with them sounds like a nightmare.
  • You can’t/don’t want to talk to anyone.

Although many people can probably relate to not feeling like interacting with people some days, Starbucks told Mashable during a demo of its app that they have had great feedback from persons with speech and hearing disabilities, allowing them to put in a customizable order, and pay and pickup their food and beverages easily.

So yes, this is yet another app addition that will keep you in your phone, but what were you doing while you stood in line waiting to place your order? Probably staring at your phone.

Someone Created a “Netflix and Chill” Dating App

If you’re under the age of 40 (and even if you’re over it), chances are you’re familiar with the phrase “Netflix and chill.” (And if you’re not, you better look that up right now!) Well, it should come as no surprise that someone finally created an app for the coded slang for hooking up.

Sadly, the Netflix and chill app isn’t eponymously named. Instead, it’s called TikiTalk and it was released for iOS earlier this week by a pair of developers in California and Texas, Fusion reports.

Like the name of the app suggests, this is not your typical dating app. Instead of searching by people, you search by activity. For instance, you choose various group activities (ie: “Get Brunch,” “Get Korean BBQ,” and, of course, “Netflix and Chill”) that you’d like to do and then the app shows you other available users based on location that you can invite to join you. If they agree, a chat window pops up and you can plan the date from there.

“Netflix and chill is just so funny,” said TikiTalk co-founder Daniel Ahn, who compared the app to Facebook’s poke feature. “It was everything we were about. Sending someone an invite or whatever, you can make them smile.”

Time will only tell if this app catches on and becomes the next Tinder.

Can Wilson’s Connected Basketball Make You A Better Shooter?

Connected sporting goods are not necessarily new, especially in the running world we have already seen a lot of products making sure all your moves are properly documented. Nevertheless these smart new features certainly become more prominent in the mainstream now and Wilson’s new connected basketball perfectly fits into the trend. The Wilson X smart basketball was first announced last year and comes with an embedded sensor. The sensor counts makes and misses in real time through a companion app for iOS devices, with the Android app following later this fall. The Wilson X can also track two-pointers, three pointers and free throws and then allows you to share the stats with your friends via social networks. One of the main misses with most of these gadgets is often the fact that you need to charge them. You do not have to charge the Wilson X and it will last up to 100’000 shots, which should get you pretty far. The Wilson X ball is available in the 29.5-inch Official size and a 28.5-inch Intermediate size, both going for $199. Take a closer look to see how it works in the video here below. It will be interesting to see if the basketball will become a niche toy or actually a product used by teams and coaches to up their games.

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Oscar Mayer Releases Sizzl, a Dating App Exclusively for Bacon Lovers

Oscar Mayer’s love for bacon has taken a romantic turn, as 360i today unveils Sizzl, an actual dating app built for people who dig on swine (which is to say, almost everybody).

You download the app, specify your bacon preferences in a customizable profile, upload photos and start swiping your greasy digits through pics of local fellow bacon lovers. Depending on how “Sizzl-ing” they are, you can message and meet up with other Sizzl users, based on a mutual-matching system, for what Oscar Mayer is calling “bacon-wrapped dates.”

“In love, as it is in bacon, it’s important to be discerning when selecting your perfect match and to never settle for less than the best,” Eric Dahmer, marketing director at Oscar Mayer, says in a statement. “We passionately cure our bacon for 12 hours, and lovingly smoke-house it for another 12, making it the true bacon for bacon lovers. With the launch of Sizzl, we’re thrilled to give our true bacon lovers the chance to find each other and potentially meet their soulmates, in life and in bacon.”

Bank of America Adds Fingerprint Logins to its Android and iOS Apps

One of the most anticipated features arriving with Android’s Marshmallow OS update is the new fingerprint reader capability. And while Marshmallow won’t go live until the end of the year, a number of companies are already gearing up with fingerprint-enabled apps. Bank of America is one of them. The company announced on Tuesday (via its app update screens) that it has added fingerprint recognition for both Android and iOS’ Touch ID to its mobile banking app.