Girls on Food

GOF Collaboration Posts

West Coast Media Tasting: Summer Solstice Party at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in Dallas and Orange, CA

Carla: Girls on Food got invited to the super fun Summer Solstice Parties at Lazy Dog’s participating locations last week. So I attended one in Orange, CA and Dawn attended the Dallas one. We were celebrating both the beginning of Summer and the release of their the new Huckleberry Haze IPA house beer (by Golden Road Brewing).

The setup for the event was really cute and had different stations for us to try all the different beers on tap. Tons of beer information was provided to us by their knowledgeable staff who gave great insight into Lazy Dog + Golden Roads awesome approach to beer and food pairings.

Summertime Spread – Image by Carla

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar  
Locations spread throughout California, Nevada, Texas and Colorado
https://www.lazydogrestaurants.com/

CarlaRight of the bat I wanted to try to Huckleberry Haze IPA and I fell immediately in love. Normally I’m a tequila or vodka type of gal (effective and calorie conscious drinks) so a lot can be said when I admit to an immediate infatuation with a beer. Huckleberry is super unique to beers and in this case a labor of love between Chef Gabe Caliendo at Lazy Dog and Head Brewmaster at Golden Road, Victor Novak.
Beer Tower – Image by Carla
For those unfamiliar, Hazy IPA’s are made when the hops are added at the end of the beer making process. In doing so the beer acquires a sweeter taste rather than a hoppy one. Fruit notes also tend to stand out much more with this process and they definitely did in this brew. You can totally taste the berries as well as a tiny hint of strawberry and other tropical flavors.
All the other beers provided were perfectly picked for summer. The Ankle Buster Blonde was pretty tasty and the Stargazer Nitro Stout was a bold choice. I totally recommend the Stargazer to anyone who loves a refreshing iced coffee on a hot summer morning.
Dawn: The new summer menu was something to howl about! One of my favorites was the Street Corn Wheels, perfectly grilled sweet corn on the cob seasoned with lime, garlic, queso blanco, tajin and cilantro.
Street Corn Wheels – Image by Dawn
Carla: Zero guilt was felt as I ate multiple of the new Grilled Artichokes. I was glad to have something so healthy and yummy! Seasoned with lemon and herbs then cooked on the grill these little veggies were incredible with their house made roasted garlic tahini.
Artichoke – Image by Dawn
CarlaThe mini corn dogs were the perfect size to nibble on while trying out the different beers. The Sun Spanked Red Ale contrasts beautifully with the corn batter and Nathan’s all beef hot dog.
Dawn: These babies are not are NOT the cereal-filled mini dogs of your childhood. These are all beef hot dogs dipped in a slightly sweet batter and served up with some IPA mustard and ketchup.
Corndogs – Image by Dawn
Carla: Finally the Chili Peanut Wings really stole the show. The sauce and flavors are rich while tangy and would pair great with either the Howling Hive Hefe or the Ankle Buster Blonde. Fun fact: Hef beers such as Howling Hive Hefe are made with German yeast and from this acquire the taste of banana and cloves. Go ahead and try it, its a super palpable taste.
Dawn: The wings are caramelized in mixture of pineapple juice, fish sauce, lime, jalapenos, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, crushed peanuts and cilantro. Think Kung Pao wings!
Chili Peanut Wings – Image by Dawn
CarlaAll in all, I’m glad Lazy Dog is as ready as I am for summer. Beers, bites and best of all the occasional cutie dog on the patio!
Thank you so much to C Squared PR for inviting the West Coast Girls on Food Team to this tasting. Although all food and beverages were comped, all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.  

Remembering Anthony Bourdain

Julianne: I woke up on the morning of Friday, June 8th, 2018 to a slew of text alerts from various friends and family. My heart sank because I just knew something terrible happened. I prolonged turning on the TV or even looking to see what these texts said until I’d fed my daughter and had a cup of coffee, cause sometimes, I preemptively “can’t even.”

The first alert I saw came from the TMZ app announcing that “Anthony Bourdain passed away at age 61” and I instantly hit a state of shock and disbelief. Was this an error in the TMZ app? There’s just no way this was real. After turning on CNN and seeing the news on TV, it all became very real. We lost him.

I watched the shows, followed his Twitter, admired him not only for his culinary genius but also as a male front-runner for the #MeToo movement. I realized he’s the only person I ever ate at restaurants because they made his show. My favorite being Nonna Betta in Rome which has his image all over the restaurant. Appearing on his show helped this business, as I imagined it helped many.

The famous Jerusalem Artichoke from Nonna Betta

This may be one of the first celebrity deaths to hit me hard. Sure, I’ve never actually met him, and I didn’t necessarily cling onto every single thing he ever said about food (especially his infamous thoughts on vegetarians), but he brought a lot of joy to his fans and had helped re-shape how many of us think about food.  

We’re still in a state of mourning here at Girls on Food, with the news of his death. Below, bloggers Sam and Iman remember the original culinary rebel with a cause, Anthony Bourdain.

Sam: Anthony shined a light on the culinary world, exposing it for all its glory; the truth about being a chef, the connections we have with food, of course, a few helpful tips to us aspiring young chefs.

“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go,” Bourdain said, and it’s true now more than ever.

Much like the rest of the culinary world, it still hurts to know he’s gone; it hurts a lot. Finding out he passed away left me with the same empty, numb feeling as I found out when my grandma had passed away. I only met him once, for 30 minutes at most, but it was one of the absolute best 30 minutes of my life, and I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity that so many others did not.

The date was March 18, 2009. Bourdain was doing a presentation in Johnson & Wales University’s Xavier Auditorium. As students were lining up to get a good seat outside, there was one student in particular, while she might have appeared composed outwardly, was panicking internally (in the best way possible) because she was sitting with him backstage, talking to him and interviewing for the college newspaper. 21 year old (back then) Sam was so happy & grateful for those precious minutes, and now, 30-year-old Sam is incredibly grateful and appreciative of those minutes.

Anthony and Sam

We chatted about so much in those 30 minutes; we spoke of the fantastic adventures he’d gone on, the difficulties of being away from his (at the time) young daughter, and of course, the pleasures of sharing a meal with beautiful people. Yes, they’re documented in the articles I wrote about that event, some pictures too, and even an autograph in a book I nervously asked him for. However, they’re permanently engraved in my memory, like my initials in my knives, and I’ll cherish them for the rest of my life. Chef, we’re heartbroken that you’re gone. However, we’ll keep your memory alive and keep you in our hearts as we’re eating, traveling, eating, and sharing. Rest In Peace.

Iman: Like so many others in the world, I was utterly blindsided by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s passing. I’ve always loved and admired his television series No Reservations, The Layover and Parts Unknown, but I don’t think I realized how much he impacted me until he was gone.

I remember watching No Reservations during early morning appointments when I was 14 – so, I’ve basically been watching him for half of my life. I’ve always wanted to travel and explore the world (my list is endless), and through Anthony’s shows, I was able to explore places I never imagined and got to experience the world during times when I wasn’t even able to leave my bed. I was able to explore the phenomenal and the mundane with his narratives. His honest depiction of the culture and the worlds he was in is what drew me in. He wasn’t there as an expert of the food and culture; instead, he relied on experts native to the respective country to guide and teach him – and all of us. His shows combined history, food, culture, and politics while humanizing the people we got to meet every week on television.

One of my favorite episodes was the Punjab episode on Parts Unknown, where Anthony goes through the province and takes the train to Shimla. This province is where my family is from and where my grandparents grew up before migrating to Pakistan during the Partition of India and Pakistan. While watching with my family, I got to learn a lot about my grandparents and great-grandparents from the stories my parents told me throughout this episode. It was also important to me because he showed how vibrant and unique Punjabis are and that they’re more than our perceived stereotypes – like so many other people around the world.

I’ve also gotten to try a couple of places that Anthony has gone in episodes, such as Cochon in New Orleans. Though it’s known for their pork dishes (Cochon means pork in French), I explored other parts of the menu, such as their delicious short rib, rabbit, and alligator. Thank you, Anthony, for showing us how to travel – by immersing yourself in a country’s culture, experiencing new things with a sense of earnestness, and finding the commonalities between all of us. You will be dearly missed.

Beef Short Rib with Tomato, Squash, Pickled Okra, and Slow Roasted Grits from Cochon

We’d like to extend our condolences to Anthony Bourdain’s family and friends. 

If you’re struggling with thoughts of committing suicide, please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

We are currently raising funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on our Facebook page. 

Grilled Zucchini Nachos with Work Sharp Culinary

I recently had the opportunity to test out a new line of knife sharpeners from Work Sharp Culinary. In case you missed my previous post on how to create the perfect cheese board, I utilized the Work Sharp M3 manual knife sharpening system.

Work sharp E5 sharpener

Work Sharp Culinary has also released an electric sharpening system that is easy to use, and creates professional results. Work Sharp Culinary provided me with a knife sharpening system to try out and review for our Girls on Food Readers! Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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Happy #nationalroséday From Girls On Food!

From Editor-In-Chief JULIANNE:

Dear Rosé,

Although I had tasted you several times in my early to mid 20s, honestly… I just wasn’t that into you…until I picked up a cheap bottle of you at Trader Joe’s in West Seattle back in 2012. Over the next 5 years, I’d grow quite fond of you; sipping on a glass of you pretty much everywhere I go. 

Everything about you is a delight to us here at Girls on Food; your pale pink color, your dry, light-to-medium body and that fruity aroma. If this we were together in a movie, it would be Love, Actually and we’d all confess our love to you the way Andrew Lincoln’s character did to Kiera Knightly. To us, you are perfect.

My favorite rosé is Cloud Chaser. It’s my go-to whether I’m watching Real Housewives of… well, Anywhere, or enjoying a home-cooked meal. It’s one of the most versatile rosés I’ve ever come across.  

With #nationalroséday approaching tomorrow, a bunch of the Girls on Food wanted to share our favorite rosé bottles and recipes.

Congratulations to your growing success!

XOXO,

Julianne

VICTORIA: The Rose scene is new to me. I wanted to get into it like five years ago when I became a Bravo Housewife junky. I couldn’t find any unless it was a champagne version. Nowadays it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE.

Vinudilice caught my eye from the artistic label and the fact that it’s grown in the highest vineyard in Europe. The small (.35 hectare) vineyard is more than a century old and it’s on the side of a volcano named Etna in Sicily. It’s an up and coming area in Europe and the producer Salvo Foti is truly gifted in every aspect of the wine making process. I was lucky enough to meet him last year. He’s an incredible person and makes incredible wine. He uses old school techniques and even has a donkey working in the vineyard!

Fun fact: No refrigeration, yeasts or filtration are used in the winemaking process.

This bottle is acidic with a hint of tangerine and grapefruit. I’m not shy about being hard on wines and I can’t seem to complain about this one. It’s balanced, refreshing and sexy. A totally different style than the norm of rosé today.

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GOF Dish and Discuss: Our Favorite Lesser Known Sodas!

Nothing beats a ice cold soda pop in the middle of a heatwave! Most of our readers are familiar with Coca-Cola and Pepsi products, so we wanted to share some of our favorite sodas that you may not have heard of.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Rachel’s Ginger Beer 
Brittaney

Rachel’s Ginger Beer is straight outta Seattle, Washington. Rachel took handcrafted ginger beer to the next level. Whether it’s mixed with seasonal flavors or used as a base for a delicious cocktail (for first timers, I suggest the Moscow Mule) you are bound to find a ginger beer flavor that fits your needs!

I’m currently obsessing over the pink guava ginger beer! Add some tequila in the mix and you’re good to go. RGB on 12th Ave on Cap Hill also sells Sunset fried chicken sammy’s, it’s the perfect combination. Try it out for yourself, I promise it won’t disappoint. Rachel also has an incredible success story which you can learn about here.

Fever Tree

Fever-Tree
Amanda 

Fever-Tree is a UK-based tonic/soda brand that has flown across the pond and elevated the humble G&T. Although best known as a mixer, Fever-Tree’s products are also great on their own. Since switching from tonic to soda in my gin cocktails after college, I’ve found many tonics to be impossibly sweet. Fever-Tree’s Indian tonic and Naturally Light tonic balance the sweetness with a whopping punch of bitterness from the quinine. I pair either of these with a smooth, neutral gin to keep from overpowering the bold flavor of the tonic.

Fever-Tree has two ginger offerings: ginger beer and ale. It’s a lighter ginger beer, more of a soda, perfectly suited for bourbon. The ginger ale makes a dynamite Moscow Mule (just add vodka and lime). Either of these are refreshing by themselves, as well.

Their club soda is a wonder. Soft and crisp at the same time, and highly carbonated. Perfect for any spirit. I’ve saved my favorite, Bitter Lemon, for last. It’s a little bitter and a lot lemon, and I can drink it plain over ice or with gin or vodka. It’s a lemonade for grown-ups, and I love it.

cocorico

Coco Rico
Lauren

Living in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico) I’m down to try all things tropical. The food, culture and the language are very different from my East Coast upbringing. The best of the best in the Caribbean is the fruit. Pineapples, mangoes, and my favorite coconuts taste completely different here – and by different, I mean amazing.

I had seen Coco Rico soda all over the island of Puerto Rico, but didn’t try it until I had been living here almost 6 months. What a mistake, I was missing out! Coco Rico, which translates to “delicious coconut” from Spanish is my favorite soda, hands down. While I love the natural flavor of coconut, I think my reluctance to first try this soda stemmed from the unknown coconut flavor. Would it be that artificial, cloying coconut flavor? Not at all. Imagine fresh coconut water, a hint of sweetness and light effervescence. I can easily drink two sodas back to back and not feel “bubbly.”

chubby soda
Left to right: Fruit Punch, Orange Tango, Cola, Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum, Pineapple Sunshine, Reggae Gold (Champagne Kola), Cream Soda, Purple Power (Grape)

Chubby 
Shanlli

Growing up, Chubby was everywhere and always a grocery treat. Every time we’d go to the grocery store and I’d spot Chubby, I would rush over, grab a few and convince my parents to buy it for me for school (plus they’re under a $1 each!). As you can see from the picture there are MANY MANY flavours. Unfortunately, I was only able to locate nine of them. I enlisted my brother to help me try all nine flavours to relive our childhood and to see if we remember how they tasted.

We agreed our top two to be Purple Power (Grape) and Orange Tango! I think we agreed on these because they do taste like your usual grape/O]orange soda that you can traditionally associate with the flavours. The strangest one would have to be bubble gum; it’s not that it doesn’t taste like bubble gum but the fact that it eerily does taste like bubble gum (well, the old-school pink Hubba Bubba gum). It tastes so much like bubble gum that we couldn’t decide where to place it, but we just put it last since we don’t see ourselves finishing it.

What is there to love about Chubby? Not only is there a huge variety of flavours (a Google search showed an image of a flavour called “Green”!) but they are not too sweet or bubbly. They more resemble bubbly juice. They are also the perfect size of 250mL and in a small bottle that can be tossed into any bag.

ONYS

Original New York Seltzer 
Julianne 

First off, yes, that is a real glimpse into my fridge!

The choice is clear! I LOVE Original New York Seltzers! I always make sure my fridge is stocked with all 9 flavors, and I can’t wait to start stocking up on the new Orange flavor once that comes out. ONYS were popular in the 80’s and early 90’s but disappeared. In my research, I can’t seem to find why the discontinuation happened. But it was revived last year and when I saw it at Jerry’s Market in Culver City one day, I thought it was a joke, or maybe I transported back to 1989 somehow…

I was able to purchase all the flavors and my favorites are the Concord Grape, Blueberry, Peach and Lemon & Lime. I love that they’re caffeine-free, only 100 calories per serving and there are no artificial flavors. Stay tuned to Girls on Food for cocktail recipes with all the ONYS flavors! 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @girlsonfoodblog!

Girls on the Best Foodie Films

The bloggers of Girls on Food are all friends with each other on Facebook, and a lot of us LOVE staying in and binge watching Netflix food related docs. These docs have been mouth-watering, but the film biz has been lacking in great “foodie” movies lately. Has anyone else noticed this?

Today, we’re dishing on our favorite feature films that have the best in food and drink.

Dawn Fried Green Tomatoes was a great book and an even better movie. The characters are as richly developed as the food served up at the Whistle Stop Café owned by Idgie Threadgoode. Set in 1940s Alabama, the film will take you on a trip through time back to the 1940s. Idgie Threadgoode owns and runs the Whistle Stop Café serving up homemade southern cooking made from scratch by mother and son team, Sipsey and Big George. The amazing cast includes Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker and Cecily Tyson.

87459_lg
Image: Universal Pictures

I recommend reading the book first. At the back of the book, you will find a gold mine of mouth-watering recipes including Sipsey’s Southern Fried Chicken, chicken and dumplings, coconut cream pie and, of course, fried green tomatoes. Get ready for a roller coaster ride of loss, revenge, murder, love and deep friendship.
Reno Tastebuds – If you have ever worked in the food service industry behind the scenes as a Chef, then you can relate to the stress and feeling of the dinner rush that gets your adrenaline pumping on a daily basis!

Image: Open Road Films
Image: Open Road Films

After watching the movie, Chef, I fell in love with my career all over again. That satisfaction of feeding thousands of people and watching the smiles your food brings to their face are priceless. But being a Chef isn’t all sweet smiles and warm fuzzies, you also get your “critics” who waltz in, judge your hard work harshly and drop their opinions which may or may not always be accurate. The frustration and flared tempers that were portrayed in the movie towards those “opinions” were 100% dead on in real life. Be kind to your Chef, after all, they’re the one that has been working in front of an 800-degree grill and preparing your meal for the last 6 hours just to meet your satisfaction!

Katie – When Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets a magic crab and a witty sous chef, you know you’re in for a great movie experience! This film actually coins the phrases “emotional eating” and “all the feels!” And I love it for that!

Image: 20th Century Fox
Image: 20th Century Fox

Simply Irresistible is one of the last of the great late 90’s chick flicks – lighthearted, utterly silly and enjoyable. Gellar plays Amanda, a terrible chef, who thanks to a magic crab and a pair of “good luck” earrings, becomes an incredible chef, who creates fabulous food renown not only for their flavor but for the emotions they evoke in the person who eats them. Anger in a chicken paillard ends up with a patron throwing plates around the restaurant; passion ends up with an intense scene in an elevator over caramel éclairs.

I might include this movie on my short list of factors that got me interested in food in the first place! Scenes in a farmers market. Whipping up fabulous gourmet meals without batting an eye. Baking incredible desserts that waft out of my television screen….Sarah Michelle Gellar slices an apple perfectly, adds vanilla flowers to her desserts; even cooks a peach dessert so when opened, a vanilla fog floats out. If you haven’t watched this, or it’s been awhile, definitely put it back into your mix of cheesy feel good movies. It’s on Amazon Prime for $5. As a bonus, I found a recipe to the caramel eclairs!

Nin – I didn’t run to the theater to watch Julie & Julia when it came out seven years ago, but I really should have. This film is my absolute favorite food-based movie. I can relate to Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams) but aspire to be Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep), almost like Julie Powell tried to do in her real life blog the “Julie/Julia Project.”

Image: Columbia Pictures
Image: Columbia Pictures

I’ve had a lot of trials and a TON of errors in the kitchen. The idea that Powell had to blog her way through each recipe in Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for a year was as brilliant as Child’s actual attempts to master the French cuisines herself during her time spent in France at Le Cordon Blue after the second world war.

Even though there are high profile stars in Streep and Adams, the real star(s) were the dishes of yummy looking nosh. I believe the term “food porn” was created specifically because of this movie. With all the mouth watering images of the meals both women prepare, the food preparation also symbolizes the “courses” through life each woman experienced in their journeys. An analogy for life was conveyed throughout this film. If you let things simmer too long, it can boil over, but if you pay attention and take great care in all of the details, you can have a delicious outcome. The same can be said if you rush to do anything, you will wind up either getting burned or undercooked/underwhelmed.

Not only is this a movie about cooking, but it is about putting your mind to something and to go through with it. I haven’t been as ambitious as Julie and Julia in life when it comes to trying to make my mark in the world, but some (ok maybe all in my opinion) of the movie’s little anecdotes can and do apply to all people if you really (over) think about it.

Image: Fox Searchlight
Image: Fox Searchlight

Amanda – One of my absolute favorite food movies is a little indie film for pie-lovers (or bakers in general), called Waitress (2007). In this movie, Jenna (Keri Russell) is a pie genius at an old-fashioned diner (but thankfully for the pies, without roller skates). Her confections are described as “biblically good” and “a thing of beauty”—high praise a baker can only hope to attain. A true artiste, Jenna channels her unhappiness in her life and marriage into culinary masterpieces, and she names her pies accordingly.

A surprise pregnancy invokes “Bad Baby Pie,” a brie and ham quiche. Her particularly nasty spouse, Earl, (Jeremy Sisto) inspires an oddly-delectable “I Hate My Husband Pie,” a mélange of unsweetened chocolate “drowned in caramel.”  Waitress is funny, heartwarming, and at times, genuinely poignant. But be warned: don’t watch it if you’re on a diet; you’ll be up to your elbows in pie crust before the credits stop rolling.

Image: Columbia Pictures
Image: Columbia Pictures

Fatboi Tendencies – Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is the animated adaptation of the popular children’s book of the same name. Growing up, it was one of my absolute favorites. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town where it rains orange juice and hails meatballs?! The film follows the misadventures of budding scientist Flint Lockwood of the small island Swallow Falls, and his pet monkey Steve. Once the town’s sardine business fails, he creates an invention called the “Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator”, or FLDSMDFR for short, that can turn water into food. Flint finds a new friend in Sam Sparks, a weather intern for the local TV station when she is sent on a mission to cover his new invention. Cheeseburgers rain from the sky as the townspeople rejoice, becoming increasingly greedier from their newfound fortune. The town is renamed to Chewandswallow and becomes a hit tourism spot.

This film is my absolute favorite food film because it plays on every kid’s dream of endless ice cream cones, pizza slices, and french fries the size of buildings. As every good family film has a lesson, it highlights the effects of greed, gluttony, and tampering with mother nature. At the same time, it also stresses the importance of family, friendship, and coming together as a community. If you can’t get enough of the first movie, there is a sequel that I believe to be even better than the first, where these monstrous food items come to life. Both films are must-sees for foodies of all ages!
-Jess (@fatboitendencies)
2909248258_1372b033b2Julianne – Collaborations are some of my favorite posts here to edit because I get to see who writes what and write based off that. This post is tough because I love Chef, Julie & Julia, and Simply Irresistible. So I was slightly scratching my head trying to remember a film where the scenes featuring food that were memorable for me.
Then I remembered the movie that caused me to binge on French pastries so hard I got sick after, (totally worth it, though!) Marie Antoinette. I wouldn’t say this was a great movie, but the art direction, wardrobe, 80’s new wave soundtrack and scenes of pure hedonism make it worth watching.
I don’t even have much of a sweet tooth, and even I was craving eclairs, petit fours, and tarts after watching this film. I remember rushing to my local European bakery, Ettores, (#sacramentoproud) after watching this. I can still taste that slice of princess torte I ate alone in my shoebox-sized studio apartment ten years later. Let them eat cake!
Be sure to follow Girls on Food on Instagram and Twitter, @girlsonfoodblog! 

Friday Faves!: Good luck, good health and good travel

Here’s a wrap-up of the little things we can’t get enough of this week:

MONIQUE

ACVAdmittedly, this is an unusual “fave”, but it serves a serious purpose. Last year people in my office were dropping left and right to terrible flu symptoms. One girl stayed sick for an astonishing four months. Her sickness fluctuated from mild to severe, but since her desk was next to mine, I needed to do something to boost my immune system that wouldn’t leave me feeling hungover daily. I did a bit of online research and found that Apple Cider Vinegar has a lot of health benefits. Just two tablespoons of the stuff works for everything from lowering cholesterol (well, okay…allegedly) to fighting off bacteria responsible for the common cold and flu. I sing its praises because while I watched my co-workers whittle down their sick time last year, I was able to cash out my days for a nice little Christmas bonus.

Not only is ACV beneficial to health but it also adds a tang to your food. What’s your favorite food to put ACV on? Let us know in the comments!

 

DAWN

Image provided by Guidrr.

Problem: you are traveling to a destination you have dreamed about. You get there and do the ‘recommended’ activities. Now, what? You feel disappointed and frustrated. You want to pilot your destination as the locals, but that is hard to do without another’s insight. The Guidrr app is that insight. It allows you to walk in someone else’s shoes. The free app offers on-demand travel guides written by real people who have experienced the destinations themselves. The guides are purchased, downloaded and viewed from your mobile phone. It gives you an advantage: the advantage of someone else working out the kinks and you reaping the rewards of a well-planned journey. Problem solved.

 

compartes

JULIANNE– I found myself in Brentwood (Los Angeles) for a meeting last week, so I decided to take a trip into one of my favorite chocolatiers, Compartes. I always knew their chocolate was amazing (cause I could practically taste them after scoping out their IG) but when I actually lived in Brentwood, I had to be very tight with my money. Come to think of it; I had zero business living in a studio in Brentwood. What was I thinking?
I scrolled through the flavor options and decided to “treat yo self” to the Cereal Bowl bar. It’s white chocolate with Lucky Charms. Lucky Charms is my all-time favorite cereal so I couldn’t turn this down.

The white chocolate acts as milk, and I felt like I was having an elevated and concentrated bowl of cereal. It usually takes me about a month to eat one chocolate bar (I don’t really have a sweet tooth), but I ate this all in one sitting. Worth it! You can also find Compartes bars at one of our favorite candy shops, Lolli and Pops if you’re not in the Los Angeles area.

Be sure to follow GOF on Twitter and IG @girlsonfoodblog

GOF Dish and Discuss: Favorite Winter Fruits/Veggies

LIANA – Mini Oranges 

clementimesMini oranges, satsumas, mandarins, clementines… I can’t say I know the difference between them yet, but I can say they are the best thing that happens every winter! With all the options, I’m not sure what type I typically go for at the store – this time, it appears I grabbed a big ole’ bag of clementines – but either way, they were DELICIOUS! Every winter for as long as I can remember, my family has had a bowl of these little guys in the kitchen. They’re super easy to peel, work as a snack or addition to any meal, and usually don’t come with the dreaded seeds familiar to their larger citrus counterparts.

I’ve kept the tradition up at my apartment with my roomie now, and I’ve decided they are probably the most shareable food around, not to mention health conscious. With all those winter germs hopping around, I’ll take all the Vitamin C I can get. Fingers crossed but I’ve skirted many a germ lately what with all the nannying I do, and I dare say these puppies deserve some credit.
I’m still working on creativity surrounding mini oranges. The furthest I’ve gotten is binging on an entire bag at once.  Other ideas include clementine cake, clementine cocktails featuring vodka or champagne (no complaints on either of those but more for champagne!), satsuma marmalade or smoothies the list goes on, but I’m confident that any recipe involving such citrus goodness will be delightful!
RENO TASTEBUDS – Butternut Squash 

BS2My favorite winter vegetable is butternut squash, so I decided to share an indulgent recipe with it as the star ingredient. Nobody can beat my Mom’s lasagna. I’m going to start with that. She is the lasagna master and will take on the entire country of Italy if given the opportunity. For every Birthday celebration for as long as I remember, I always asked for Lasagna when my mom inquired about dinner plans. Of course it was loaded with sausage, layers upon layers of every cheese possible, oozing marinara sauce and spices galore. As much as I love Mama’s lasagna, I need to clean it up a bit so I can enjoy it on a more frequent basis. Clean it up a bit? Ok, I changed the entire thing including the pasta noodles. Check out the new recipe using my favorite winter squash, Butternut!

Ingredients:

  • Butternut Squash – Peeled and sliced.
  • Spinach, cleaned
  • Asparagus tips
  • Zucchini
  • Diced Yellow Onion (1/2 an onion)
  • Chopped Garlic Cloves (2)
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Low Moisture Mozzarella Cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese

BS1

Preparation:

First, you may be looking at the squash like, WTH!?! Follow these steps to get your squash cleaned and ready.
  • Cut off each end of the squash.
  • With a potato peeler, start peeling the squash until you see only orange
  • Where the skinny part meets the round bulb, make a clean horizontal cut.
  • With a mandolin slicer, or if you have mad knife skills, start slicing thin pieces of squash, resembling lasagna noodles.
  • Now we are ready to prepare the lasagna.
    • Bring a stockpot of hot water to a soft boil. A rolling boil will break your noodles apart. Place the squash noodles into the water and let boil for 8-10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce through.
    • Chop all your veggies. Mushrooms, asparagus, onions, spinach, garlic and zucchini.
    • Heat a saute pan over medium heat with extra virgin olive oil.
    • Mix all the veggies in the pan, and after a minute or two, add a little water to extract the moisture out of the spinach and mushrooms. Your veggies will begin to wilt and become translucent. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and give the mix a couple of cracks of black pepper. You can also add chili flakes for a little heat.
    • Drain your noodles. Be careful, they will break if you just dump them into the strainer.
    • In a square casserole dish, (8×8) first lay down a little olive oil.
    • Start layering your squash noodles, veggie mix, dollops of ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
    • Continue to layer until you have used your ingredients.
    • Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg on the top layer of the squash noodles.
    • Add a final layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
    • Sprinkle a dash of rubbed sage on top.
    • Bake in the oven, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
    • Let cool and then dig in! It’s increeeeedible!

JULIANNE – Feijoa 

feijoa

feijoa 2I love Los Angeles, but I consider moving back to Sacramento after every Christmas, cause I love my mom’s feijoa fruit tree. For those not familiar, feijoas (or acca sellowiana, its real name) is an egg-size fruit similar to guava. To eat the fruit, slice a ripe cleaned feijoa in half and scoop out the pulp, just like eating a kiwi. Feijoa has juicy pulp with a slight grit to it, but it tastes like sweet edible perfume… I’m probably making this sound strange, but it’s so good. Feijoa fruits grow primarily in New Zealand and South America and aren’t available for mass sales due to their ability to bruise easily. But if one of your neighbors or family members has a tree, have them provide you with some. I have fond memories of my mom letting me eat the petals before they’re ripe (don’t worry, they’re edible).

 

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GOF Dish and Discuss: EGG-Stravaganza

Fairfax - egg slut
The Gaucho

IMAN
Eggslut in Downtown Los Angeles was at the top of my list when I visited last winter. These people are my brethren – I’m a huge fan of eggs in practically every style. The star of the eatery and the menu is eggs, and each menu item is mouth watering.
Eggslut is located in Grand Central Market in DTLA, and you’ll know which one it is because the line will wrap all around the stall! Each egg is made to order, so you can request it to be cooked all the way through like I did for my Fairfax sandwich that had scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun. It might take a little longer, but the staff is enthusiastic and rightfully proud of their amazing sandwiches.
Take the Gaucho, for example, which has seared waygu tri-tip steak, chimichurri, pickled onions, shaved manchego cheese and seasoned arugula topped with a medium egg, all sandwiched in a warm brioche bun. It sounds like the perfect way to ring in a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The Slut - Egg slutOr their signature dish, the Slut: a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato puree poached in a glass jar and served with a demi baguette. Not only does it look adorable, but it is also one of the most comforting dishes I’ve had in a long time. When the yolk mixes with the buttery potatoes, it creates a magical combination, especially when you dunk bread into the mixture.
Whether you like eggs over easy with meat, coddled runny eggs, or classic scrambled eggs in a bun, Eggslut combines rich, gourmet ingredients into deliciously casual, balanced dishes. I dream of Eggslut on the regular, and pray to the Egg gods that one day they’ll think of coming to the Bay.

SUMMER
As a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, (meaning my schedule is insane) I really needed a breakfast that was going to keep me full and prevent me from getting hangry within the hour. With that said let me preface this with the fact that I was never much of a breakfast person. However, on my journey to becoming a more fit, healthy version of myself I learned how important that first meal of the day is. So I started eating breakfast. I ate oatmeal every single morning. It sucked. I needed something savory.

avo

Enter the hardboiled egg. I am sure you all know eggs are an egg-cellent source of protein (I am not apologizing for that cheesy play on words). Protein is the thing that keeps us full and from hulking out midmorning. Allow me to share with you my go-to breakfast that takes no more than a few minutes to make. It is super yummy, keeps you satisfied and is really good for you.

Take two hard boiled eggs and chop them up.

Add half a ripe avocado, dash of salt and pepper and then mash them together with a fork.

I spread this amazing concoction on a slice of sprouted bread and serve with a side of fruit. Sometimes if I am feeling extra fancy, I add hot sauce. Talk about heaven in your mouth.

OH eggsMONIQUE

When you can make eggs scrambled, poached and sunny-side up, why would you ever fry them? That’s something that I would have thought before I fried and egg for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich. My routine is to workout in the mornings, and that often leaves little time for me to have a big breakfast before work. So, what do I do? I make my very own egg breakfast sandwich. I take a small bagel, a slice or two of prosciutto and a fried hard egg white or full egg and make the best post-workout breakfast. The best part? Preparing a hard-fried egg is super easy to do! It is different from a sunny-side up egg in that you can beat the egg fully before tossing it into a hot skillet. Or, you can crack the egg into the pan as if you were going to prepare a sunny-side up egg, take your spatula and break the yolk so it spreads a bit before flipping the egg to cook the other side. If you are going to enjoy this quick breakfast treat, be sure to pair it with a bagel, English muffin or any bread of your choice and whatever else you like. Spinach, smoked salmon, and the classic breakfast staple, bacon, are all some foods you can enjoy with your fried egg. Bon Appetit!
SAMANTHAssup
The egg is a very versatile food. It’s used for so many savory and sweet applications as an ingredient but is also fully capable of being a stand-alone meal. Hard boiled, scrambled, or even egg salad is just an example of some of the ways eggs can be prepared, for any meal of the day. My personal favorite though…with bacon. Oh, you meant a style of preparation…right, sorry. I love my eggs sunny side up; with bacon, haha.
Sunny side up is perhaps one of the simplest preparations of eggs, but not an easy task by any means. The whites should be bright white and set; a light brown border should garnish the very edge while the yolk maintains an ooey-gooey center. I love being able to break open the center with my fork and dip my toast in the rays of sunshine that just poured into my plate. What’s your idea of an egg-cellent egg dish?

scrambledLIANA 
As a vegetarian, there are a few foods I strongly rely on than eggs. Cheese (because…cheese), beans of any type, hummus (okay, technically that’s beans too), veggies, bread, and eggs. And contrary to popular carnivoristic belief, many of the meals I eat are actually pretty exciting. Eggs, however, are a bit more tricky.
As eggs aren’t the easiest food around to work into any meal of the day, and are more often than not an ingredient in things rather than the main course, I’ve been learning to get creative with them. Flavored olive oils – from spiced to mushroom-filled to basil-infused – act as a delicious base for any scrambled egg platter. For this particular meal, I used Olio Basilico from my favorite store at Pike Place, Sotto Voce. I keep things fairly simple and usually just crack my eggs straight into the pan with the oil and get in there with a spatula. Once they’re ready, I’ve been peppering them with a big ol’ dash of Lavender Pepper, which I found on a recent trip to San Juan Island’s Pelindaba Lavender farm and gift shop. I find the use of local ingredients to be extra satisfying, especially since I can easily stock up when needed – but I do think these places ship out of state as well 😉
The final result is a fluffy yet stable mound of protein that offers both palatable satisfaction and a feeling of fullness. A note for aromatherapy geeks: the minty basil aromas are perfect for alerting the senses on early mornings, and when you add in those of the anxiety-reducing lavender, you have one brilliant dynamic. Reverse the time frame and you have a meal that will relax and clear your mind after a long day!
So far, this has been a successful routine at any hour, and my next goal is to find more exciting gourmet salts and peppers. Cheers to culinary b”egg”innings!

OVE
From Egg Harbor Cafe (19 locations in Illinois).

JULIANNE
I am an egg-a-holic, so I can eat my eggs any style. All of the above are a satisfying way to start the day, but my favorite style lately has been over easy. Sunny side up comes close, but I prefer the whites to be cooked a little more. I love being able to dip sides like toast, bacon or sausage, even sautéed veggies in the yolk. My mom used to add Lawry’s seasoning salt to top it off, so I’ll always be attached to that, but I’ve just been satisfied with fresh cracked black pepper. I got to start watching my sodium intake.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went to Illinois-based breakfast and lunch restaurant Egg Harbor Cafe, which has 19 locations all over the state. Their classic breakfast with two eggs, sausage patties, grits, English muffin with blackberry compote hit the spot! They even have Intelligentsia coffee, which is a staple in Los Angeles.

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GOF Dish and Discuss: Eat This, Not That!

Reese's Nice

A few of the Girls on Food are doing their best to enjoy food but keep it on the healthier side so we can give the upcoming holidays 100% of our stomachs. Our favorite healthy foodie swaps are below:

Jillian: Banana Nice Cream is all the rage in the health foods world right now, especially for vegans like me that still want to enjoy yummy desserts. Dairy is very inflammatory to the body and causes a myriad of health problems like heart disease and cancer. Plus, ice cream is sugary and fattening. But the main ingredient of Banana Nice Cream (bananas of course!) is chock full of potassium, fiber, magnesium, folate, and other cancer fighting nutrients. This dish is so healthy that you can consume Banana Nice Cream for breakfast, as a pre-workout snack, dessert, or pretty much anytime of day.

Nice Cream

To make one serving, slice up two ripe bananas and place in a Ziploc bag or container in the freezer for a few hours. Put slices in a food processor and blend until they break down and produce a whipped, creamy consistency like ice cream. This only takes a couple of minutes and it’s pretty cool. Who knew bananas could do that! Dress it up with different flavors and toppings, especially if you want the banana flavor to be subtle. My favorite is Reese’s Nice Cream! I blend the bananas halfway, and then add some ground cinnamon, peanut butter, and cocoa powder. Finish blending and top with semisweet chocolate chips. I also topped mine with fresh raspberries, unsweetened organic coconut flakes, and pecan pieces. It’s seriously delicious and tastes just as good as dairy ice cream, but without taking a toll on your health!

coconut oilReno Tastebuds: Every few months I get on a health kick and start reevaluating my life. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I do evaluate what choices I make regarding food and beverages. Who would’ve thunk I would be whipping coconut oil into my coffee every morning? I love a good sugary coffee creamer more than anything. Especially pumpkin spice or sweet cream, but you really can’t beat the health benefits of what coconut oil has to offer. I did a lot of research and after curiosity got the best of me, I caved and tried it out for myself. I was extremely pleased with the taste, and with the texture as well. When you blend the coconut oil with the hot coffee, you get a frothy creamer that gives your coffee a hint of tropical bliss. I was sold, and I have actually made this part of my daily routine. Be careful though, blending hot liquid can cause splatter and you don’t want to burn yourself.

Kind

Ellen: Sometimes a girl just wants chocolate in snack size. Instead of reaching for a candy bar which is packed with excess sugar and preservatives, go for one of the delicious healthier snack bar options instead. Kind Bar and Lara Bar make some of my favorites! They come in a variety of flavors to mimic your favorite candy bar or cookie, yet are made with more wholesome ingredients which actually contain some nutrient dense substances – like whole nuts or dried fruit.

Also, plain water can be, well, plain. So I totally understand the desire for soda. Yet soda is absolutely toxic. It has complex sugars your body has a difficult time breaking down and nasty preservatives such as Aspartame (which has been linked to cancer). Plus studies show that people tend to go over their recommended daily calorie intake because of what they drink! Ditching soda really just makes sense.

soda stream

The great thing is that there are many sparkling water options to fill the flavor gap. You can buy them pre-made at the store, or make your own at home with a SodaStream (I have one and love it!). If you go the SodaStream route you can buy your own soda syrups, some of which claim to be natural and/or use Sucrose, a more simple sugar. Or you can do what I do, and just add some fresh lemon juice (which has the added bonus of alkalizing your body!). Just make sure that if you buy sparkling water at the grocery store you check the ingredients! Not all of them are made the same. There are some that include the same junk as sodas, so just be on the lookout. Arrowhead and Trader Joe’s sparkling water are a couple brands that I go for.

Julianne: I totally get where Jillian is coming from on milk. I’ve actually curbed a lot of the milk/dairy I was ingesting by replacing it with almond milk. But sometimes I still get cravings for something creamy at night. Instead a batch of ice cream, cupcake or some sort of high sugar dessert, I recommend 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt. I like to add 1/2 tablespoon of flax seeds for an extra “oomph” to it. This may sound a little strange, but I also add a very light drizzle of fig balsamic reduction. It’s a great swap for syrup and sugary toppings. This filling switch will provide you with less fat, sugar and more protein than other dairy based desserts!

greek yogurt

GOF Dish and Discuss: The Best Halloween Candies

Trick or treat! Smell our feet! Give us something good to eat! It’s our favorite time of year when things get a little spooky and kooky. Below are our favorite traditional candies that made our Halloweens extra special:

SAMANTHA
It’s no secret that I have an insatiable sweet tooth. As a little kid, I looked forward to Halloween every year, because I knew that at the end of the night I’d be toting home a pillowcase full of candy goodness.

kit kat

While I love M&Ms and Skittles just fine, amongst a few other confectionary concoctions, the Kit Kat is the number one contender for my favorite Halloween candy. It’s the perfect Halloween candy. It comes wrapped in an orange wrapper, somewhat of a similar orange that a pumpkin would have. When you bite into it, the chocolate is smooth and warm, and the wafers crunch in between your teeth like autumn leaves when you walk on them. I don’t know what it is about those chocolate covered wafer rectangles that I love so much, but you can always break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!

ALEX
candy cornWhen it comes to candy, I definitely don’t discriminate, but in October, there is only one candy for me and that is candy corn. I can credit that to my mother, who is just as obsessed as I am, even including it in her candy bar at her wedding in JULY (hey, it was orange and yellow themed, how could we not?). These little guys are quite the divisive candy, with most thinking I’m absolutely insane for loving it, and everyone else taking heaping handfuls from my bag when I’m not looking. Imagine my excitement when I found them miniature! Everyone knows everything is better when it’s mini, and the same goes for candy corn, mostly because it means I can eat about a thousand of them with less guilt. To be perfectly honest, the only difficult part of doing Whole 30 for the month of October was not popping candy corn in my mouth the entire month, and I can’t wait to eat an entire bag for breakfast the second it’s over!

BONNIE
Who doesn’t feel like a kid at Halloween? Dressing up. Make believe. And CANDY!!!   They even call it “fun size”, because it’s fun!

bonnie candy

I rarely get trick or treaters, although I’m always prepared with candy…..uh, because some little waif might come a-knockin’ at my door. Sure, that’s why.

Naturally, I stock up on my favorites – no point in wasting perfectly good candy. This year I’m limiting myself to only one bag (albeit the largest one they had…you know, just in case we get a mob), so I had to pick amongst the many.

As an actress who is always watching my weight, I chose M&M Peanuts. There’s a peanut in every candy, and peanuts are healthy. And that peanut takes up the space that sugar and fat would, so they’re good for you. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

MEGAN
This one is a hands down no brainer. Any candy bar that has existed for years with the sweet slogan “nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger” and spent several years being promoted by The Simpsons is aces in my book. I vividly remember an adolescent Megan Lohne poking through the contents of her neon orange plastic pumpkin past the snickers, over the dots, through an endless supply of stale tootsie rolls until with a grandeur unmatched lifted the peanut butter and chocolate goodness and proceeded to chew as the gooey flakes would stick to my teeth like gum to the bottom of a an overzealous shoe. Lolling my tongue around to capture the moment, it was a Halloween treat of note that I would look forward to each and every trick-or-treat season. And I do say, it was glorious.

butter

Did I mention in my old age-this nostalgic nosh also makes a killer cream pie? Don’t take my word for it…..get out the kitchen aid and give it a whirl.

RENO TASTEBUDS
reno candyEvery year, my mom would give us pillow cases and we would attack the neighborhoods for hours and hours collecting treats. We would yell in our loudest voices possible, “TRICK OR TRRRRREAT”, collect and move our asses to the next house. My mom would be at the end of the drive way telling us not to be shy and say it louder. We were maniacs.

As soon as we got home we would dump all the candy out in piles on the floor. My sister, brother and I would be careful not to mix our candies, and then the trading began. Mom always swooped in and grabbed our Almond Joys and then disappear for about 10 minutes. Oh Mom!

So the topic this week is what our favorite Halloween candy is and mine is all of them. Over the past week I sat and contemplated, but cannot choose simply one candy. I love them all and will continue to put myself in a sugar shock every single year.

There is one thing I always wanted to say to the entire world when I was growing up and here’s my shot… To all the dentists out there who leave their porch lights on, STOP GIVING OUT RAISINS, TOOTH PASTE AND TOOTH BRUSHES! LET US HAVE OUR FUN!

JULIANNE
But I love raisins and toothpaste. :(….

Kidding. I was all about the “fun size” Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m a little weirded out cause I just got back from CVS to discover they’re now being referred to as “snack size” what gives? I preferred “fun size”, it made me feel like I was eating something exciting. I guess times change, but the delicious peanut butter cup of my childhood never will. Venice doesn’t get a lot of trick or treaters so I guess I’ll hand out Reese’s to the homeless people this year.

resese

GOF Dish and Discuss: Wine and Junk Food Pairings

Who says wine is always classy? We have no shame in matching our favorite vinos with unexpected foods. After all, being a Girl on Food doesn’t mean being a snob. Below are our favorite wine and junk food pairings.

ELIZABETH 
Popeye’s Fried Chicken & French Sparkling Wine

I am a classy lady, but I’m also from Texas. This basically means a sparkling-wine-soul-food combo was inevitable, but fried chicken with champagne just sounded like the best possible solution to a long day. I did cheat in two regards- I got chicken tenders from Popeyes because a) I hate eating meat off the bone because I’m lazy and b) Popeyes is my comfort food don’t judge and also this is technically a French sparkling wine and not an actual champagne. I’m saving the real, $40+ a bottle for the next time I can fly back to Oklahoma City and eat at my favorite college joint, but I digress.

Elizabeth Junk

Why is fried chicken and sparkling wine such an amazing combination? Mostly because champagne goes with virtually anything, but also because it actually compliments a fried food like this perfectly! The crispness and acidity cut the fat and give the palate something exiting to savor. Plus bubbles! It also makes your $8 Popeyes feel extra ~fancy~ so there’s that. Many champagnes also have a flakey pie crust quality, which means it’s perfect suited to go with that buttery biscuit you get with that fried chicken. But don’t take my word for it- hit up your favorite fried chicken spot, pop open a bottle of bubbly and have the best night in $15 can buy.

LIANA
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Syrah & Crispy M&Ms

I’m gonna be real here and say that this was a difficult post for me – I love wine, and I love sweets. Typical twenty-something woman, right? I’m not the pickiest wine drinker out there (not in an alcoholic sense, come on now), mainly because I find it exciting to explore all that the wine world has to offer. But there is one thing I have discovered whilst broadening my wine horizons: I may love sweets, but I prefer a dry wine over a sweet wine. And a dry wine pairs pretty perfectly with a sweet snack, if I do say so myself.

Liana pairing

Meet Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Syrah. Its smoky, straight-from-the-barrel notes add a fine contrast to pretty much any cuisine, but you don’t have to get too luxurious with it, hence the uh, crispy M&Ms… The crispy, chocolatey goodness of these colorful little guys curbs the cravings, but doesn’t contribute to a sweetness overload, thanks to the Syrah. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Wine and chocolate, so original.” But I happen to think the pairing offers a unique movie-theater-meets-wine-bar dynamic. Plus, fancy chocolate is overrated. PLUS, if you weren’t aware, crispy M&Ms totally existed years ago when I was a wee elementary school, uniform-clad kid, but they disappeared for a decade-long hiatus… and now they are back. So seriously, take advantage of them while they are here, ‘cuz you never know when Mars will retract the offer.

I hope you try this pairing so you can see for yourself how delish it is! And for the white wine lovers, I also recommend Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer – a varietal that Washington state kills at. I have to tell you that because I’m the only blogger currently based up here, and there’s a whole world of Northwest wines that are waiting to be tasted by you. And paired with your favorite childhood candy! xoxo

KATIE 
Copper Ridge White Zin & Cheeze-Its

katie wine

When it comes to snack time, I’m a serious sweet n’ salty kind of lady. Bring on the wine and cheese! Well, the Cheez-It’s anyway… and make sure they’re the white cheddar flavor! The act of shoving handfuls of the creamy and smooth crackers into my mouth is only slightly classed up when I follow it with my favorite wine– please spare your laughter– white zinfandel. I’ll drink my cheap, pink “grandma wine” with pride, because I love myself and I like to drink wine that tastes like candy instead of pretending I like bitter reds (no shade to actual wine coinsurers!). The bottle I drank today was Copper Ridge’s White Zinfandel, a minor step up from my usual Two-Buck Chuck, and it was quite tasty! This snack pairing is yummy and the flavors both fall on the extreme ends of their respective salty and sweet spectrums making for a great combination.

MEGAN 
Chardonnay & Fish Tacos from The Royal in NYC

Who needs a four star restaurant and a 1982 Cabernet when I can hightail it down to my local dive bar and pair some of my favorite no meals with some delicioso vino? Granted, I am not a snob when it comes to a yellow tail chardonnay and a tator tot pairing. In fact, I think that’s an absolute dream but is my off the beaten path suggestion for a rainy Wednesday evening when all you need is a belly full of comfort food and light buzz.

megan pairing

Exhibit A: Fish tacos and chardonnay. Everyone knows the old adage, red with meat, white with fish, and when it comes to one’s junk food pairing there is no exception. These tacos have seared cod with spices, pico de gallo, Mexican creama, avocado all bundled like a new born babe in a tortilla. Take bites of this rustic fried delight in between sips of the light oaky house blend and you will find yourself floating off on the shores of Cape Cod on a brisk weekday afternoon.

RENO TASTEBUDS 
Michelle St. Chateau Riesling & Carnitas Frachos

reno pairings

Classy yet trashy is the only way I do junk food. My guilty pleasures are a glass of Michelle St. Chateau Rielsing with Carnitas Frachos. Yes, you read that right… Frachos. It’s a beautiful marriage of french fries and nachos. You just substitute the chips for fries and wash it down with that sweet glass of vino and BOOM! You are partying Reno style. #KeepItClassyReno

SARA
Cabernet Sauvignon & Jose Ole Taquitos 

cab sauvWhen it comes to wine and junk food pairings, nothing beats out taqsome delicious taquitos with a glass of cabernet sauvignon. I prefer eating the Jose Ole beef and cheese taquitos found in the frozen aisle. 30 seconds in the microwave, a glass of cab, and a Law and Order: SVU marathon is the perfect combination. Cabernet sauvignon is known to pair well with heavy meats making it great with the spicy, beefy Jose Ole taquitos.

Prosecco & Wing’s from Bru’s Room in Miami

processcoIt has taken me years, but I have finally found a junk food and alcohol combo that captures the essence of who I am. Seriously. As much as I love a good Sangria, Pinot Grigio, and especially Reisling, nothing says “I’m classy, but will still check you” quite like a champagne and hot wings combo. If I am feeling extra fancy, I will switch to Prosecco and chicken wings, for no other reason that most people have never even heard of Prosecco (in South Florida), let alone ordered it in a restaurant. I never substitute the hot wings because fried chicken wings drenched in blazing hot sauce is a national treasure. Some of the best wings in South Florida can be found a Bru’s Room. Sometimes after a long week at work, I treat myself to an order of hot wings and get a bottle of either Lamarca Prosecco or Vieux Clicquot champagne. Nothing else like it.

JULIANNE 
Barefoot Pinot Girgio with a Sour Patch Watermelon Slurpee & Doritos Unloaded from 7-Eleven

pairing julianneThere’s nothing like being that person and mixing wine in a Slurpee outside a 7-Eleven in broad daylight (I had to work that night, don’t judge!). It really makes you feel Grace Kelly level elegant.

This was my first time trying Doritos Unloaded, there was something very blush worthy about having the poor 7-Eleven employees make a new batch since they were out. They just seemed annoyed with me. Then I bit into it. Lord. It tastes nothing like Doritos. It’s just cornmeal and flour coated over fake American cheese. Not my proudest moment. But I am happy to share it with you today.

pairing
What’s your favorite wine + junk food pairing? Let us know in the comments below!
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