E12: ⚽️National Dish Standoff, the Latest in Cold Coffee

Plus: Costco hot dogs, summer beauty swaps, dumb phones

Happy Thursday!

Let’s get to today’s dose of healthy, snackable news: as always, The Skinny provides valuable (and entertaining) need-to-know items to improve your mood/mind/mojo. What we’re covering today:

  • National dish standoff: In today’s soccer matches, which teams’ national dishes are the winners?

  • Why dumb phones could be a smart choice

  • Travel-sized cold brew, to-go (and other cold coffee news)

  • Good news on Costco’s hot dog & soda combo pricing

  • How to lighten up your summer skin care routine

  • With tourists dying on hikes in Greece, hot-weather hiking tips

If you have friends who would love The Skinny or some of this week’s edition, you can share the love by forwarding this email. And if someone already in the know sent this, you can subscribe here.

Championship food

Beautiful game, beautiful dishes

The Skinny: Placing bets: Inspired by this post on Twitter/X, we are taking sides for today’s EURO 2024 matches based on the teams’ national dishes. Who will be victorious at the end of the day, Jill or Nicole?

Spain (Paella) vs.Italy (Ragu alla Bolognese). Illustrations by Rich Goehl.

🇮🇹Nicole lived in Italy for 2+ years and worked in Bologna, so her passionate choice for support is clear. Everyone should try their hand at making ragu alla Bolognese, but it will never, ever be as delicious as when you eat it within Bologna’s shadowy porticoes, as it was intended. You can find all the recipes and Youtube videos you want online to make it yourself, but whatever you do…DON’T serve it with this kind of pasta

🇪🇸 Jill’s pick: Spain.While Paella is the national dish, its origins are widely discussed, in very spirited fashion, with many saying the OG versions contained rabbit, chicken, green beans, snails and saffron. We are down with that, but somehow the dish has also migrated into a more common seafood and meat dish, which we can also appreciate…such as in this recipe for Chicken and Seafood Paella with Chorizo

Paella, Spain’s National Dish (photo by Armando Brenlha on Unsplash)

Denmark (Stegt flæsk) v England  (Chicken Tikka Masala)

Denmark (Stegt flæsk) v England  (Chicken Tikka Masala) 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Some might argue that the Brits are not typically known for “great cuisine” (but we’d argue that a sloppy English breakfast counts as such). And because the UK is made up of four separate nations, each of course has their own national dishes: Chicken Tikka Masala (as one national dish in England); Haggis in Scotland; Welsh Cawl in Wales; and Irish Stew in Ireland. Jill is all in for England on this one, and is also serving up a spicy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from her favorite Indian and outdoor-centric chef, Biju Thomas. 

🇩🇰Stegt flæskhas won the hearts, and tummies, of Danes for centuries” according to “Visit Denmark.” And with crispy pork, parsley sauce and potatoes, Nicole is down with the delicious simplicity of this and their underdog status. She hasn’t been to Denmark, but feels connected due to their affinity for hot dog stands and beer. Denmark for the win!

Slovenia (Štruklji) v Serbia (Cepavi)

 🇸🇮Jill has ridden her bike to Slovenia, so she is excited to support the team with a nod to their Štruklji, or rolled dumplings, which are one of Slovenia’s best-known dishes. The first recipes appear from the 16th century when these types of dumplings were served in monasteries. Try your hand at making some at home with this easy rolled dumpling recipe! Jill is an instant fan because these are made with, yep, cottage cheese.

🇷🇸 Of Greek ancestry and thus tangentially associated with the Balkans, Nicole is enthusiastically behind Serbia. And cepavi – seasoned, uncased meat links of beef and lamb (or pork), with veggies and ajvar as accompaniments – is 100% up her alley. Хвала вам to our new friends at Recipes from Europe, who provided this appetizing photo and recipe, with historical context, if you’d like to make it at home. Subscribe to their newsletter for more quality European food content! 

Balkan cepavi and avjar! Photo by Stefani Stefovska for ‘Recipes of Europe’

Phone home

Why dumb phones could be a smart choice

The Skinny: You read about The Light Phone here in The Skinny two weeks ago and, this past week, the company has blown up after Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld gifted their high school graduate son this minimalist flip phone, saying they “hoped he would turn in his smart phone.” The Light Phone does not emit blue light but does offer a camera, speakers for playing music, and messaging and maps capabilities. In other words, “everything needed for safety and functionality, none of the addictive apps.” 

The concept in action: Utah Governor Spencer Cox recently declared statewide, summertime “Phone Free Fridays,” as a way to “disconnect witn devices and connect with the people around us.” We like it. So whether you’re in Utah from June 14-August 14 (the dates of the initiative) or not, it’s worth giving “Phone Free Friday” a try…and we’d love to hear how it went.

Crème de la Skinny  

A cold coffee primer, because it’s f-in hot

Cold brew concentrate-to-go with these adorable travel bottles from Explorer

Good morning, caffeinated friends! Today we are waking up with these awesome travel-sized cold brew concentrates from Explorer that you’re gonna want to stash this in your tote/handbag/backpack/fanny pack for your next trip. We love this concept since this means we always have high-quality cold brew on the go and will never have to resort to “airplane coffee” again. What’s also cool, and unique about Explorer, is that you can choose your caffeine level: Classic (regular level), Seeker (lower), Maverick (extra) and Daydreamer (the only decaf cold brew concentrate on the market). Note, the travel size only comes in Classic.

Along these lines, you’ll need to be aware of the difference between iced coffee and cold brew. Here’s everything to know and also, as is the case with Explorer…if you’re using cold brew “concentrate,” it needs to be mixed with water.

Last but not least: all the new ready-to-drink (RTD) cold and iced brew on the market, including one from Cafe Bustelo (see item below in the newsfeed).

Lighten up

Out with the heavies, in the with lightweights

Photo by Apple Bautista for Unsplash

The Skinny: Sun, humidity, wind, and heat can wreak havoc on our skin and beauty routines so when summer rolls in, we roll out a lighter regimen. If you’re like us, you might have one category where you splurge (such as…under-eye products, in Nicole’s case) but in general, you don’t need to overspend on skincare. Find 1-2 products that work for you (if they’re multi-tasking, even better…such as these 5 spf products that double as glowy primers). Less is more. 

Here’s what we’re loving to beat the heat (and not break the bank): 

Pantry raid

There’s a lot to discuss at Costco

Photo by Omar Abascal for Unsplash

Costco has new leadership, both CEO and CFO, and this duo seems interested in introducing our favorite warehouse club to our other friend, “technology.” Apparently the chain has resisted attempts to enter the modern era until now and according to this report, the new heads are investing to make their website more shopper-friendly and increase their “buy online and pick up” options. No word yet if they’ll bring curbside Egg Roll samples to you when you pick up your new TV.

In other news: 


This week’s newsfeed

Photo by Spyros Boutsikos for Unsplash

  • A handful of tourists in Greece (and also in CO) have turned up dead in the past couple weeks, and authorities suspect hiking in extreme heat is to blame. Don’t do that! The American Hiking Society warns of the dangers of hiking in high heat, which are primarily heat exhaustion and stroke, and how to stay safe (we like the tip about jumping in water with your clothes on). 

  • With that, let’s get geared up for summer hiking: The best hiking boots for women, from Travel & Leisure; this Hemlock straw hat that’s the rage in Colorado right now (and comes in a ton of patterns); the ultimate hiking shoe for guys (tested in heat and cold) from technical-meets-fashion brand Salomon; and this men’s Blackstrap UV Sun Shirt, which we love. 

  • As the market for non-alcoholic beers continues to grow (with U.S. sales averaging 32% annually, according to BevNet) the latest is Years’ Pilsner, founded by music industry veteran Pat Corcoran.

  • Hot off the press, reported by fellow newsletter Moonhead Coffee’s The Week in Coffee, we hear that Cafe Bustelo has a new line of RTD iced coffee rolling out in Target, Walmart and Kroger. Their high-powered, cheap Cuban-style coffee (must-watch reel, here…”they won’t even see you coming”) is crushing it – with net sales up 22% this quarter – as at-home coffee use continues to rise. Cafe Bustelo is definitely having a moment on social, from users promoting it as a great “pre-workout” drink, to this adorable planter for succulents.

  • Study: This kind of exercise in older age reaps benefits for years to come (plus, a strength routine of six body weight exercises you can do at home). 

  • In closing, our gratuitous The Skinny hot dog content: Today, we offer the hot dog martini (don’t say no, we urge you to take a look)

*If you purchase something linked in The Skinny, we may get an affiliate commission—but at no additional cost to you.