Tasty Tuesday: Make Your Treats Matter!

I won’t lie. I’m kind of a freak when it comes to desserts – in that I’m very picky about them. I cut out most processed sugars after college and truthfully haven’t really looked back. A good bowl of berries with a little shredded coconut is my definition of a wonderful dessert. But there is a GIANT exception to this rule. It’s not that I eschew all indulgences – it’s just that I firmly believe that you should make every bite worth it! A candy bar made by the millions isn’t remarkable. That’s not something you’ll linger over savoring each bite or are likely to think about the next day. I say if you’re going to go for it in the treats department, find something that heightens every sense. Indulge in what makes you dream about it for days before and days after. GO BIG.

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Like homemade ice cream sandwiches big! Why not enjoy a trip back to your childhood with deliciously thick chewy cookies and luscious, oozing, dripping ice cream to create the ultimate indulgent dessert. You see, I grew up taking summer trips driving down the Oregon Coast – staying at Cannon Beach and walking the boardwalks, but the vacation was never complete without a trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We got to see how Tillamook cheese was made – and we always stood in line for a precious scoop {well, let’s be honest, I always begged for a double cone} of fresh Oregon Strawberry Ice Cream. To me, the flavor just epitomizes summer, freedom and joy. So when I think of the ultimate way to enjoy a treat now – that’s the first place I go. But of course as an adult I like to kick the gourmet factor up a notch.

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To start, I now branch out to other ice cream flavors besides my good ole’ strawberry. We put Tillamook’s newest flavors, Cinnamon Horchata and Oregon Hazelnut & Salted Caramel to a serious taste test. The Cinnamon Horchata is so light and refreshing. I kinda wanted to eat it by the gallon full. The Oregon Hazelnut & Salted Caramel definitely satisfied my craving for something a bit crunchy, creamy and sweet. But really you can’t go wrong with any flavor you choose.

To kick our sandwiches up another notch, I wanted a similarly sophisticated cookie. And I won’t lie – in this case I headed to my trusty San Francisco bakery, Batter Bakery, for the best cookies in town. No one said it has to be made in your own kitchen to be exceptional! Think flavors like Salted Chocolate Chunk, Sand Angel {the best reinvention of the snickerdoodle you’ve ever had} and Triple Chocolate Espresso. Of course we threw in some Sprinkle and M&M cookies to satisfy our inner child! Then we rolled our sophisticated sandwiches in mini-chocolate chips, pistachios and coconut to make sure each one was unique.

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But now Tillamook has their own fix for your ice cream sandwich craving – a Tillamookie – made with waffle cone cookies. Kinda genius, no??

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So when it comes to finding your perfect sweet treat – my best advice is to select something made with amazing ingredients – you know, where you actually know come from. What I love about Tillamook now, as an adult, is their commitment to creating wholesome dairy products. They’ve actually been around as a farmer-owned co-op for over 100 years and seek to make their dairy products the good old fashioned way – without hormones, antibiotics and the like. And while you can find their famous cheddar or ice cream across the country, they still have that small, local hometown feel. I love that Tillamook uses amazing ingredients like those strawberries, hazelnuts, and honey all sourced from their own Oregonian backyard.

And Tillamook is now taking their commitment to “Dairy Done Right” one step further. They’re inviting all of us to join their Tillamook Co-op on Tillamook.com! As a Co-op Member you’ll enjoy:

> An invitation to the Tillamook Co-Op Annual Member Meeting in Tillamook, OR
> Access to exclusive Co-Op member chef dinners and events
> Access to new products and special offers
> The opportunity to vote and share suggestions on new products and flavor
> The opportunity to support artisans & entrepreneurs who are contributing to the real food movement through a partnership with KivaZip
> The chance to name a Tillamook County cow!!

There’s even going to be an in-person event in LA in May – so you’ll want to sign up on Tillamook.com. for details!

In the meantime, go ahead and treat yourself – it’s worth it!

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick // art direction & styling by team apartment 34 

 

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This post is in collaboration with Tillamook. To learn more about Dairy Done Right click here. Thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting partnerships we’re excited about and that keep Apartment 34’s doors open! 

Saving Dinnertime with Munchery

It’s no secret that I love good food. I love eating it {duh}, but I also really love making it. Whipping up a homemade meal has always been a favorite way to unwind at the end of the day. A nice glass of wine and a well-practiced recipe is always so satisfying. Hence my obsession with constantly banking new recipes and collecting cookbooks.

But with this whole about to have a tiny human thing, I’ve been warned that there will be little time and even less energy for cooking. And while I can survive on Thai takeout {it’s certainly been on heavy rotation throughout my pregnancy!!}, I’m one of those crazy health-nut types who can’t go very long without a good, balanced nutritious meal.

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Everyone has told me to start a meal train or freeze a bunch of stuff before the kid arrives, but I have a really hard time asking favors from friends or family. And sure, I have grand plans to stock pile the fridge as my due date rapidly approaches, but what if this kid decides to show up early??

Thankfully, there’s a whole new world of life saving apps out there – new ones literally pop up daily. Currently on the tippy top of my must-have list is Munchery. Sure, you’re likely familiar with some of the meal delivery services out there, but Munchery takes food delivery way beyond “takeout.” I was recently invited to give the service a pre-baby test run and was truly impressed {and admittedly immediately slightly addicted!!}. The deliciousness that landed on my doorstep each evening quickly made me forget about cooking!

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There’s actually quite a lot to like about Munchery that goes far beyond the really yummy dishes. First of all, they work with local chefs with some pretty impressive pedigrees to create bespoke menus daily. The variety is nice, as you don’t have to pick from the same few choices everyday. A few of my faves to date have included a Vietnamese beef with rice noodles, stuffed winter squash with bulgar pilaf and walnut mint pistou and I won’t lie – I was totally tempted by a double chocolate brownie. That’s right – you can also add in desserts, sides, salads and beverages – even wine! Wine on demand for a new parent?! Now that sounds like the best idea EVER!

Munchery also uses organic and local ingredients as much as possible – a point that’s particularly important as I think about breast feeding. {yes, I just typed the words breast feeding – something I NEVER thought would be uttered here. I promise I won’t be mentioning it again. But I digress}. The app not only lists the ingredients for each dish, but also the nutrition information. That’ll definitely come in handy when I’m trying to shed those pregnancy pounds!

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But on top of all the personal benefits, Munchery also does good for the community. For every meal purchased they donate meals to local food banks to help feed people in need – an issue very near and dear to my heart. So really there’s kinda nothing not to love. You get a freshly made meal delivered to your door in minutes {or if you’re a tad more organized than I am you can schedule your delivery time!}. Simply heat things up and you get homemade yummy flavors and high quality ingredients – with zero pots and pans to wash when you’re done. It’s definitely a great way to remain well-fed when you can’t cook. I can now officially check that piece of new-parent anxiety off of my list!

And right now, Munchery is offering you a free meal! Sign up HERE and use the code APARTMENT34 for a $15 credit and give one of Munchery’s mouth-watering dishes a try. I just gotta warn you, you may find your desire to cook slightly impaired.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick // art direction + styling by erin hiemstra

This post is in partnership with Munchery. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that keep Apartment 34’s doors open! 

How to Have a Rockin’ New Year’s Eve…at Home!

Can you believe 2015 is just days away?! I’m more than excited to welcome it {given it means I’m only three months away from bebe!}, but when it comes to the biggest shindig of the year, I have to admit, I’m a bit of a party pooper. I’ve just never been a big fan of elbowing through huge crowds to watch fireworks {and freeze!} or countdown from 10 in the club with a bunch of drunk strangers. In fact, I 100% prefer staying home, cozy on the couch, watching the countdown on t.v. with a glass of something bubbly in hand. Yes – I’m totally old lady about the whole New Year’s Eve thing and I’m ok with that! But now with a growing belly, I have the perfect excuse to stay indoors and enjoy a slower paced, but equally celebratory way of toasting to 2015. Because, oh baby, it’s a wild world and I’d rather stay out of the fray!

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I think the perfect way to celebrate what is sure to be the most exciting time of my life looks a lot like this:

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Yup, over-indulging on cake with confetti flying around my head is ALL I want to do come midnight these days! I can see it now…

But just because I’ll be on my couch doesn’t mean I can’t snag the chance to still get a little glam. Even if it’s just while cooking in the kitchen or watching Ryan Seacrest freeze his ass off in NYC, I still want to make 2015 look good! Some of my go-to’s for making an at-home celebration feel special? A hot red lip never hurt anybody, especially while prancing around in a sexy pair of heels {I refuse to give them up!}. The dynamic duo certainly make cooking a New Year’s Eve dinner much more elegant and who says you can’t get dressed up in the comforts of your own home?!

I also think nothing screams home-bound holiday time like baking. So, I plan to whip up a batch of festive cookies and enjoy them in something luxuriously comfy! After a civilized meal, I’ll throw on a cute set of silk pajamas while the cookies are baking and hop on the sofa for some much needed mani/pedi/lounging/movie time before midnight {anyone have a favorite movie right now??}. I’ll get ready for the big 10-9-8…with cute confetti poppers and bring out the special glassware for toasting. Just because I can’t have any alcohol doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some bubbly – San Pellegrino that is! In a gold-tipped wine glass, the sparkling water glitters and feels uber festive and sophisticated!

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Get Your 2015 On:
> Oscar de la Renta Bow Heels
> Chanel Rouge Lipstick in Passion
> Black and Gold Confetti Poppers
> Shortbread Cookies
> San Pellegrino
> Equipment Striped Silk Pajama Set
> Norther Hemisphere Gold Wine Glass
> Porter Magazine Issue 6 > Jin Joon Nail Polish “Tout Ensemble”
> Jersey Boys Movie 

If you’re like me and will be spending your time reflecting on 2014 and cheering in new year at home, here are a couple of other fun indoor ideas on my radar!

Love these festive mylar “2015” balloons available at Urban Outfitters. You don’t need any other decoration with these hanging on your wall!

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This Salted Caramel Recipe looks like just the right amount of sweet and salty deliciousness for me. Since I haven’t been craving chocolate, this is a yummy alternative!

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How cute is this Gold Fringe Party Hat DIY? Putting on a party hat is such a fun way to still be festive in your pj’s!

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And if you’re headed to someone else’s house for the evening, I’m loving this idea. Wrap up a bottle of wine, bubbly {or Pellegrino!!} in a tea towel for the perfect hostess gift!

wine-bottle-hostess-gift Do you have any exciting New Year’s plans this week? Whatever they may be {even if you’re celebrating from your sofa too!} I wish you a safe and memorable holiday bringing in what’s sure to be an amazing year ahead!  

 

image 1 via // 2 via Karen Walker // 3 via Urban Outfitters // 4 via Donal Skehan // 5 via Almost Makes Perfect // 6 via Cotton & Flax  

This post is sponsored by San Pellegrino. Practice the Art of Fine Food, every time you can. All thoughts and opinions are100% my own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open!