Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Caramel Apple Parfait

This post was inspired by wisdom teeth surgery (ow), McDonald's, and all the girls longing for fall.

Spoiler alert: It's still summer until September 22. I know we all want it to be fall, like, yesterday, but I personally really love summer. So, this treat is a summery snack/dessert/breakfast (or dessert for breakfast) option for those of us who are enjoying summer yet longing for the upcoming crunchy leaves and caramel apple season.

So, back to wisdom teeth. I had 'em removed recently, and as you likely know, I wasn't allowed to eat anything afterward. I mean, I could eat ice cream, and soup, and parfaits, but that's about it. I couldn't eat apples, or pretzels, or heaven forbid I try to eat a hamburger. It was a low point in my life.

So one day I'm eating a McDonald's Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait, and I decided it wasn't half-bad! (Did I just lose all of my "food blogger" internet cred?) I got to thinking about how I could make an at-home version of the snack, but with a twist.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup vanilla yogurt
- Apples, chopped (I used Granny Smith and Red Delicious)
- Pretzel crumbs
- Caramel

Little bit of trivia: "Parfait" got it's name from the French word for "perfect," and their origin dates all the way back to 1894. Parfaits are different all around the world, too. Don't order a parfait in the UK unless you want "a very smooth meat paste (or pâté), usually made from liver (chicken or duck) and flavoured with liqueurs." (Ew, right?) But this recipe won't be like that. It'll be good. Promise.

The best thing about parfaits is that they're so easy to make. That's probably why the French deemed them perfect. They're a quick-fix for a sweet tooth. Or if you're like me, a sweet+salty tooth.

Instructions:

Start by drizzling caramel in the bottom of your dish. Next, add a layer of the yogurt on top. Add some of the apples you've chopped, and sprinkle some of the crumbled pretzels on the same layer.

To finish off the parfait, simply add the same layers again! Caramel, yogurt, apples, pretzel. You could repeat these steps indefinitely if you're really hungry and want to eat a punch-bowl-sized serving, but my recipe only required 2 layers of parfait to fill the dish.

Drizzle some more caramel just for kicks, and you're ready to eat up!

I hope you enjoy this treat, friends! Let me know if you try it; I would say it is parfait for this time of year. Happy late-summer-almost-fall!



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I'm Wearing White Now

Guys. Monday was Labor Day. Yesterday, I wore white jeans. Nobody cared.

I proudly and confidently marched to my closet because I knew what pants I was going to wear (and that never happens), and then I had a small moment of insecurity while I debated how to make the outfit look a little summery and a little fall-y; but mostly, I was feeling like a real rule-breaker. Give me a Harley and a studded collar, folks, 'cause I'm wearing white after Labor Day! But still, nobody cared. Not one person commented on how rebel-without-a-cause I dressed on September 2nd. 

Everybody knows this ancient fashion faux-pas, but then Vogue and Marie Claire and everyone are all "10 Ways to Wear White after Labor Day!" So, how and why did "no white post-Labor Day" become a thing, and then not a thing? Labor Day has been around for a long time, and so has this societal rule. L-Day was declared an official holiday in 1894, but the first two were celebrated on Tuesdays. Can you imagine that? It seems like a bad idea to have a national holiday on a Tuesday because if you don't tack a day off to the end of the weekend, there's just this awkward day in the middle of the week to sit around and eat ice cream or watch The Hills or something. Right? I'm not really sure what they were thinking.

There are several theories on how this whole "no white" thing became a thing. One theory is that back in the day, before Google existed and random girls like me had blogs, the NY-based fashion magazines influenced much of what was worn. Since whites are impractical for a wet fall and winter (nobody wants an accidental 'wet jeans' contest), they were reserved for summer wear only. Another theory involves the snooty society people in the late 1800s and early 1900s: High society was ruled by the mega rich socialites, until more and more people started becoming well-to-do, and started dressing that way. To create a societal divide between old money and new money, the theory is that the "old money" socialites made up a bunch of silly rules to distinguish those who were "in the know" from others who were just dressing the part. I favor this theory because it sounds like Mean Girls, so it's most likely true. 

Now, the "no white" rule is defunct, and maybe that indicates that our society is a little less snooty? I'd like to think so. I think the most important thing to learn from Labor Day is to dress for the season. Pleasepleaseplease don't be the girl who wears Uggs in the summer. Don't wear rain boots if it's going to sprinkle in the morning and then sun for the rest of the day. You can wear white in the dead of winter if you want (winter whites, amirite?) but don't dress like you're about to go yachting (Sperry's and all) in January because you will make everyone jealous and increase their winter-induced depression. You'd probably be cold, too.

So, the moral of the story is this: It's not 1894 anymore, so you can wear white if you want to. White now, even. 


Outfit details: Jeans - F21, Striped top - Urban Outfitters, Sweater - F21, Purse - Longchamp.
Photography by Nick Warnock.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Does Detox Water Work?

Does detox water work?
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Read on.



Much like the coconut oil craze, recipes for detox water have been floating around the internet like they'll solve all your problems and make you lose 20 pounds overnight. But do they really?

According to the Mayo Clinic, putting some fruit in your water or doing a juice cleanse is not scientifically proven to detoxify your body. The body is designed to "detox" itself, so assuming your organs are functioning as they should, you don't necessarily need to add a bunch of fruits and veggies to your water to make it healthier. Normal water is pretty healthy, too, and has many benefits

That being said, infused water tastes better than the plain Jane, boring stuff you get at restaurants when you don't want to pay $3.00 for a Dr. Pepper. I have to really make a point to drink my water. My tendency is to drink coffee like it's going out of style, and given the choice, I would rather drink a raspberry mocha than a glass of H20. However, I know how important it is to stay hydrated by drinking water, so I gave this fancy water a shot. 

What's in my water?

Oranges: 
Why? Any way that you can get a little more Vitamin C in your life will boost your immune system. 

Lemons
Why? In addition to other health benefits, lemon water can be great for your skin



Cucumbers:
Why? Unpeeled cucumbers pack a solid amount of potassium. Potassi-yum is good for your heart, k?! (In case you missed it, that was a hilarious joke because potassium is vitamin k.)

Mint
Why? Yum. 



So, will detox water make your organs squeaky-clean and cause you to lose 20 pounds? Maybe not. Is detox water going to cut your cravings for BigMacs? Probably not. But a common misconception of hungry people is that they want food when they are simply dehydrated


Regularly drinking water can help cut out the dehydration pangs, so you can be sure that your body is actually hungry for food when your stomach starts growling. 



So, does detox water work? If it makes you drink more water, yes. Infused water is a great substitution for soda, and it's easy to sip on throughout the day without feeling guilty or consuming a lot of unnecessary sugars. Unfortunately, this is no substitution (in my opinion) for coffee. Nothing (in my opinion) is a substitution for coffee. 

I've never been able to make myself drink 8 glasses of water a day (how does anyone do that??), but putting fancy fruits in my cup certainly makes me want to get that much closer. Cheers to detoxing-- err, whatever that means!