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Stuff That Makes an Aiden Happy

A while back, I created this to share with a partner. Since I keep being asked about my likes and dislikes, I figured it might be prudent to share this here.

Food:
I enjoy a wide array of ethnic foods and especially love being introduced to new ones. Favorite Genres: Thai, Italian, Indian, Japanese/Sushi, Ethiopian, Latin/Spanish, Dumpling Houses/Dim Sum, European, American
Food Restrictions: Currently vegetarian, but rare exceptions made for humane and locally sourced meats. Lactose intolerant, so I typically avoid cream
Spice Level: My palate runs mild to medium, but I occasionally can (and will) push my limits.
Favorite Vegetables: Broccoli (including Broccoli Rabe and Chinese Broccoli), Spinach, Artichokes, Mushrooms, String Beans, Carrots, Snap Peas, Romaine/Mixed Salad
Favorite Fruits: Figs, Blueberries, Strawberries, Bananas, Raspberries, Mango, Pomegranate, Apples (i.e. MacIntosh, Yellow Delicious), Grapes, Clementines
Favorite Condiments: Pepper, Garlic, Mustard, Vinegar, Pesto, Cilantro, Vegan Cream Cheese, Mayo, Organic/Low-Sugar Ketchup, Sugar-Free Maple Syrup, Ginger & Wasabi with sushi, Hummus, Low-sodium Soy Sauce (with dumpling/dim sum). (I can be picky on the volume of said condiments, so it is best to ask or apply thinly)
Favorite Salad Dressings: Balsamic Vinegar with Olive Oil, Carrot-Ginger, Caesar, Italian vinaigrettes
Favorite Sushi/Rolls: Unagi, Salmon, Tuna, Yellow Tail, Yam Tempuri, Rainbow
Favorite Meats: Currently Vegetarian — Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Seafood (e.g. Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Crab (large crab legs; no Maryland or soft shell), Lobster (occasionally as a treat), Squid and Calamari, Clams and stuff in Shells.
Red Meat: Medium-rare or Rare/Pittsburgh Red (essentially, I like it mooing)
Favorite Breads: Pumpernickel, rye, potato, Irish Soda and/or brown, and multi-grains that are super soft AND textured. Other enjoyed breads: banana, pumpkin, and cinnamon raisin.
Cheeses: Soft triple-creams, American, cheddar, brie, provolone, gouda, swiss, munster, mozzarella, and many others. I love cheese and crackers with wine!
Eggs: Scrambled Fluffy, Over-Easy, poached, omelets.
Breakfast style: I love brunch (e.g. eggs, bacon, pancakes or hash browns, and fruit), but will often eat yogurt or cold cereal in the morning.
Favorite Candies: Gummi anything, Twizzlers, e.g. Strawberry and Cherry Pull & Peel, Dots, Good & Plenty, and Raisinets.
Desserts: Pudding, e.g. Chocolate, Vanilla, tapioca, Tiramisu, Italian pastries, Tea Biscuits/Digestives are also a true love. Note: I’m not a big chocolate fan. I prefer dark chocolate and for it to be IN something or WITH something (e.g. fruits, nuts, coconut).
Cookies: Italian 7-Layer/Rainbow Cookies, *Chewy* Cookies (e.g. anything except peanut butter),
Favorite Sorbets & Ice Creams: Dark Chocolate, French Vanilla, Mint Chocolate, Coffee). I love frozen yogurt in LOTS of flavors; places like “16 Handles” make me very happy. I’m a “I’ll take some froyo with my sprinkles” type of person with my toppings – it’s all about the TEXTURE!
Favorite Cakes: German Chocolate, anything Pudding/Custard filled, carrot, and the occasional cheesecake.
Favorite Pies: Chocolate pudding, Blueberry crumb, Apple crumb, Pumpkin, Coconut Custard, fruit rhubarbs.

Beverages:
I generally do not use sweeteners and tend to drink beverages that are sugar-free or unsweetened.
Water: Cold filtered or bottled water with lemon. I prefer a glass or reusable bottle. Bubbles, i.e. Pellegrino and Seltzer, make me very happy.
Cold: Unsweetened Iced Tea (especially Mint), Iced Coffee with Coffee Mate/Soy Milk (black if no available non-dairy options.), Thai Iced Tea (a rare dairy exception), Juice (Non-concentrate Orange Juice with/out Pulp, No Sugar Added Apple, No Sugar Added Grape)
Soda: I prefer to avoid sodas, but in the absence of a sugar-free beverage option, I will choose: Throwback Pepsi/Coke, Coke Zero, Birch or Root Beer
Hot: I start my day with coffee: Dark/Bold Roast with Vanilla/Hazelnut CoffeeMate or other Non-Dairy Creamer, no sugar. I like my coffee the color of a cardboard box or caramel. I also love tea (e.g. Black, Green, Mint, etc) plain, with soy milk, or with honey/lemon. As a treat, I enjoy hot cocoa (dark chocolate, sugar/fat-free preferred).
Starbucks/Cafe: Chai Latte with Soy, Java chip/Skinny Mocha/Coconut Mocha Frappaccino with soy and whip, Vanilla or skinny mocha Latte with soy no foam, Peppermint mocha, egg nog, or gingerbread lattes during winter.
Beer & Cocktails: I rarely drink cocktails, but tend towards the whiskey/bourbon, rum/coke zero, or fruity (Malibu Bay Breeze, Sex on the Beach, Strawberry Daiquiri, Peach Bellini, Piña Colada, and Fuzzy Navel) drinks. I have also been known to drink mead, hard ciders (especially Magners or Swedish Pear), & the occasional Guiness or ale.
Wine: I love wine with good food and/or conversation. I especially enjoy Whites (e.g. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc) and Reds (e.g. Merlot, red blends, Tawny Port). Champagne is hit or miss.
Spoiling: Mango Nectar, Milkshakes (Cookies and Cream, Banana, Chocolate), Yoohoo, Starbucks.

Social:
Bar, Lounges, & Clubs: Since I don’t smoke cigarettes and rarely drink (unless I’m in a social environment), I don’t frequent many bars or cocktail events. Although I enjoy high-stimulation environments on occasion for dancing and mischief, I find it difficult to converse due to the noise and large crowds. I tend to prefer intimate venues where I can enjoy the company I keep.
Smoking: I do not smoke (except the occasional cigar) and prefer to avoid smoky environments. Cigars, pipes, and hookah are less of an issue, but will bother me after a while.
Having Fun: I am a big fan of hot tubbing, saunas, hot springs, horseback riding, dancing, canoeing, sailing, festivals and street fairs, carnivals, concerts, renaissance faires, hikes, poetry/book readings, food/gastronomical adventures (I am a big foodie), temperate weather camping, philosophical debates, board games, card games, and going out (or staying in) for movies. As a general rule, I love engaging (active) experiences – interactive theatre, museums, zoos, gardens, tours, educational workshops, libraries, etc.
Music: I have eclectic taste in music and enjoy being introduced to new artists and genres. I especially enjoy: Trance, Electronica, House, Pop, R&B/ Hip Hop, Latin, Reggaeton, Hard Rock, Gothic/ Industrial, Bhangra, almost anything Indian/Middle Eastern, Classical, Opera, Musicals
Movies: I enjoy a good movie, but rarely sit down to watch one unless someone suggests it. I’m a big kid and LOVE kids movies, but also enjoy Drama, Romantic Comedy, Mystery, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Action/Suspense. I tend not to enjoy Slapstick (e.g. Dumb & Dumber) and am a chicken-shit with a love/hate relationship of Horror movies with a plot. Note: I’m a VERY active (read: loud) movie-watcher who giggles, talks to the screen, and/or screams like a little girl in fright.
Mood: I tend to be perky and up for anything but occasionally run out of spoons. Depending on my stress level, I may or may not be up for being “out and about.”

Gifting:
Presents: I have an Amazon Wish List for ideas of things I’ve been eyeballing – it’s my way of keeping track of things I would like to purchase… eventually. I am incredibly finicky about event memorabilia, jewelry, clothing, expensive items, physically large items- if unsure, please ask before gifting. I also have an Etsy account with a lot of favorite items saved as favorites.
Gift cards: Amazon.com (I’m a HUGE bibliophile), Time Bomb Tattoo (Frederick, MD), Starbucks, iTunes, Target, Babeland, Passional, Delicious Corsets
Flowers: Tulips, Gerber Daisies, Roses (i.e. Deep Red, White, Orange/Red Two-Tone), Hydrangea, Daffodils, Gardenia, Calla Lily, Orchids, anything leafy

Miscellaneous:
Allergies: NKA
Kids: I love well-behaved children and am happy to be “kid-appropriate.”

At My Home:
Chores I Appreciate Assistance With: Household Organization, Running errands (groceries, shopping), Domestic Cleaning, e.g. scrubbing surfaces (sinks, tub, shower walls, counter tops), Dusting, Floors (vacuum, sweep, mop), Bed Making, Laundry, Ironing, Cooking, Baking, Doing Dishes, etc.

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