The miracle is this. The more we share, the more we have. –Leonard Nimoy
This post was sponsored by Aplat, but all words, opinions, and Art de Vivre are my own!
Sharing is at the core of everything I strive to do. Whether it’s a recipe, a meal, a story (through words or images), I’m sharing a bit of myself through the food I create, through the photography and ramblings contained within this blog. I love nothing more than to give Simon a bite of that perfect pasta sauce right when he walks through the door after a long day. Or mixing spur of the moment drinks at a friend’s house as we catch up when our busy lives finally allow. Or bringing homemade caramel and baked goods down to my mom’s—better yet coming fully armed with ingredients from home and cooking with my mom, brother, and sister, in our cozy family home.
I don’t have many close friends in LA. My neighbors tend to keep to themselves. And while I’m far from an extroverted social butterfly—I find myself longing for more opportunities to give and share with people. This space is one way of doing that, but moving into the new year I’m determined to find more ways to socialize and connect with others. Today’s spread was created with that in mind. I partnered with Aplat—a mindful company based out of San Francisco that designs elegant totes for every occasion.
Today I packed their Vin Totes with wine, a few ingredients for a simple sangria, some cheese, bread and crackers for snacking, and homemade white chocolate bark with candied cara cara orange peel, rose, and pistachios—the whole spread is a gift to enjoy with anyone from the love of your life or an old or new friend.
That’s one of the elements of Aplat that I love. Inspired by the French Art de Vivre (art of living) Aplat celebrates family and friendship; aiming to change the way we share and connect, transforming everyday moments into something more meaningful. Their deceptively simple design is both modern and elegant. From culinary, wine, bread, and garden there is a tote for everything. Not only are they the perfect vehicle for a gift, but a beautiful and lasting gift in and of themselves.
I used both their Vin Horizontal and Vin Vertical totes to pack this impromptu wine and cheese spread for myself and a friend. The vertical tote can hold two bottles of wine. The horizontal tote is designed to easily house a bottle of wine, with three front pockets for two glasses and a wine opener. The center pocket is also the perfect size for their Petit Bois, the most adorable mini cheese broad I’ve ever laid eyes on.
What I love is the versatility of Aplat’s totes. I could easily swap out the wine and glasses for two rocks glasses, bourbon, and the necessary ingredients for an old fashioned, using the petit bois to peel my citrus. The vertical is also great for a baguette and some infused olive oil or some jars of preserves—or could really be stocked with any number of items. I also appreciate the careful thought and planning that went into the brand’s sustainable design. Their origami inspired design means zero waste and they are made from 100% organic cotton and locally sourced denim. Washable and reusable they are ideal for sharing food and drinks and just about anything else you can dream up to put inside them.
Because this was a sort of impromptu spread, I kept the elements simple. I bought a few delicious items and included some simple ingredients to make a fun and quick sangria. I also included some homemade chocolate bark I’d made the night before. I tucked everything away in my Aplat totes and was ready to share good food and wine with a friend in a flash.
How would you use these totes in your day to day life? For details on how to win one of your very own visit my Instagram post here!
Simple Sangria on the Go
- 1 bottle of chilled red wine (I love Pinot)
- Jam or Preserves (I used strawberry and used this for my cheese board as well)
- 3 oz. bourbon (optional)
- 1 cup blackberries (frozen berries work great too)
- 1 blood orange
- A few sprigs each of sage and rosemary
I placed the berries and herbs in my wine glasses before packing. In each glass add .5 oz jam and .5 oz. bourbon. Mix to combine and add in an orange slice. Pour in wine and enjoy! Repeat as needed!
Petit Cheese Board Ideas
- A soft cheese like brie
- A hard cheese, like white cheddar cut with parmesan
- Use the jam from your sangria in this spread!
- Fresh berries or other seasonal fruit
Rose, Pistachio, and Cara Cara White Chocolate Bark
- 11 oz. white chocolate chips
- 3 Tbsp. chopped pistachios (I used roasted and salted to balance the sweetness of the chocolate)
- 2 Tbsp. dried edible rose petals
- 2 Tbsp. Candied Cara Cara orange peels, recipe follows
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Fill a medium pot with a few inches of water and heat on medium low. Place chocolate into a heat-proof glass bowl and place on top of pot.
- Stir frequently until chocolate melts completely. Alternatively, you can melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in 20 second increments, stirring in between each, until melted.
- Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread out about ¼ in thick.
- Immediately top with rose petals, oranges, and pistachios. Allow to cool and harden for several hours before eating. You can also pop in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so to expedite the process.
Candied Orange Peels
- 1 large, or 2 small Cara Cara oranges*
- 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, separated
*You could use naval oranges, blood oranges, even tangerines.
- Peel oranges, avoiding the pith.
- Cut orange peel into thin strips.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil peels for 6-8 minutes to soften.
- Strain boiled peels.
- In the same pot combine 1 cup of sugar with one cup of water and bring to a boil.
- Add in the orange peels and boil for another 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
- Strain again, this time saving the citrus flavored syrup for cocktails or pancakes!
- Place orange peels on wax or parchment paper to cool.
- As the orange peels cool sprinkle with remaining sugar. I rough chopped my dried and candied peels up a bit before sprinkling on top of the chocolate.