Tasty Tuesday: Cookie Craving

Guys, fall must be looming cuz I wanna bake. In a real bad way. While baked goodies are usually banned from the loft, the craving to whip up a batch of dough has slowly been creeping up on me and now I’m finding it almost irresistible {as my Pinterest feed attests}.

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However, I’m also a total cookie snob so rather than waste a good round of cheat calories on a ho-hum treat, I’ve gone on a mission to find the ultimate cookie recipe. In my book that includes chewy with a gooey-soft middle, maybe some nutritionally redeeming qualities {substitute white sugar perhaps, maybe include some whole grains}, but most importantly a boat load of chocolate, because really it’s called an indulgence for a reason.

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So I’m turning to you dear readers. With a lovely long weekend ahead of us, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to finally give in and bake. But I want to put a recipe to a taste test! Sure, I’ve banked quite a few here, but I haven’t zeroed in on THE one yet. I need a personal recommendation.

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Do you have a fool-proof cookie that you swear by?? Pretty please leave me a link in comments! I would love to give it a go – and of course I’ll share my results with everyone!

images via pinterest, cookies and cups & half baked harvest

What’s Your Wine Profile?

With hundreds of wine bottles staring at you in the grocery aisle, it’s certainly never easy to choose which one to grab. I mean, really, how do you do it?? If you’re like us, it’s often a crap shoot. Go with the coolest label? Guilty. Eenie, meenie, minie, mo? Don’t tell anyone we admitted to that. B-line towards the one you’ve been buying every week since you visited their winery? So true. Unless you’re a sommelier, it’s pretty impossible to know what each varietal tastes like, let alone which will pair perfectly with what’s on the dinner menu tonight.

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There is in fact a science behind a wine’s flavor profile {you can learn about it and even be a part of the wine making process through La Crema’s new Virtual Vintner experience! On their new site not only can you learn if you’re more of a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir person, but you can actually partake in community wine making. We certainly are intrigued to see how the final product turns out!}. While we’d never claim master sommelier status {or anything close!}, we have learned a thing or two. It’s safe to say we’ve drank our fair share of wine, after all. Pulling out tasting notes and pairing is actually quite fun and doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think!

Our little trick is simple: start with the winemaker’s notes. They often describe the influences you technically should be able to taste in that varietal {oh and varietal is a just a wine-industry word for type of grape – aka Chardonny vs. Pinot Noir}. Even if you can’t particularly taste “alluring boysenberry,” in your glass, you can use those flavors as your pairing guide.

For example, if plum notes are in there, think what food pairs with plums? A grilled pork loin with grilled plums and kale would be ah-mazing. But don’t stop there. Expand a step further past the obvious. Plums are often in jelly, right? I have this amazing Chipotle and Raspberry jelly in the fridge that is amazing on ribs! Perfect pairing? Done and done.

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Sometimes tasting notes aren’t quite as specific. What if you only get “juicy tropical flavors” as the descriptor on your Chardonnay label? You don’t need to freak if you don’t see a specific ingredient jump out at you. You could throw together a fresh papaya salad. Or think about it, avocados grow in tropical places- maybe a creamy avocado sauce over chicken? The fattiness of the avocado will balance the acidic tones of the wine perfectly. And don’t axe out dessert! A key lime pie is superb with an exotic Chardonnay!

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Of course the rule of thumb of pairing red wine with meats, mushrooms and hearty dishes is foolproof. Same goes for seafood, chicken and salads with white! Try any these scrumptious recipes with these wines for a dee-licious pairing:

Pinot Noir:

Mushroom + Kale Risotto
Turkey Meatballs + Zucchini Noodles
Black Bean + Corn Enchiladas Verdes

Chardonnay:

Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata
Almond Crusted Chicken + Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpea Salad with Jalapeño Lime Dressing

Any wine aficionados out there? What are your go-to tricks for picking the perfect wine to go with your food??

 

photography by aubrie pick // art direction by erin hiemstra // styling by bianca sotelo

This post is in partnership with La Crema. Head HERE to partake in the Virtual Vintner experience for a chance to win an all expenses paid trip to the La Crema Winery. All opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open!

What Food Turns You On?

It’s really easy to look at a stack of chocolate chip cookies on Pinterest, an ice cream cone on Instagram or a beautiful homemade cake in a cooking magazine and begin to drool. The desire for a sweet treat is a mighty strong pull. I mean, you never hear someone say “I’m so bad – I’m indulging in some bell peppers today!” But who says salad isn’t a treat! I’ve long had a personal passion for healthy eating, but I’m also normal. I constantly fight back my choco-holic habit – which is especially hard when I’m scrolling past all the pics from National Chocolate Day on my Instagram feed.

That’s why I was so intrigued to learn about The Food Porn Index. The site aggregates all the “food porn” hashtags from various social media platforms to illustrate how much social media love the latest cronut craze is getting vs. say…broccoli. Every time a specific food is mentioned in a hashtag (#cauliflower or #cake) the count is added to the constantly growing list at FoodpornIndex.com. I bet you can guess who wins most often…

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The idea is that the site will prompt people to stop posting as many pictures of junk food as #foodporn and instead, start snapping pictures of equally beautiful #foodporn-worthy healthy stuff! Apparently we still have some work to do because right now, junk food “foodporn” beats out healthy options by more than two to one – 64%!

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Sure, sure I love a good #bacon covered…well anything, but I love the idea of using Instagram to give #pie, #donuts and #pizza a run for their {albeit tasty!} money. It’s certainly easier to whip up a salad then a layer cake! I’m also the first to admit it’s not necessarily easy to start a social movement, but who knows. Maybe giving our greens or our favorite fruit more love on Instagram might help someone else put down the hamburger. It may not work, but I do love the idea of celebrating healthier choices rather than glorifying junk food. So what do you say??

Shall we give radishes their day in the sun at #foodpornindex? I’m in if you are! — Erin

images via nicole franzen, the design filesblogging over thyme and glamour mag

This post is in partnership with Bolthouse Farms and the #FoodPornIndex. All opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open.