Sunday, February 8, 2015

how to fall in love with roasted balsamic strawberry tarts

Last month the New York Times published an article called "To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This" as part of their Modern Love series. In it, the author shared a story of how she used a method developed by a psychologist to fall in love with a male acquaintance. The method involves asking each other 36 specific questions and then, at the very end, staring into one another's eyes for four minutes. The questions progress from typical icebreakers ("What would constitute a 'perfect' day for you?") to diary-only territory ("If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you must regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?").

You know what else the New York Times loves to talk about lately? Self-absorbed social activists unashamedly living in their parent's basement. Jobless left wing selfie aficionados. Binge-drinking environmentally conscious dating app veterans. Unpaid interns. Startup founders. Social media celebrities. That's right - I'm talking millennials. The seemingly contradictory and totally fascinating generation.

hold your horses, i'm getting to this in a second
Well I tweaked the list of 36 questions and the four minute exercise in a way that's specifically designed to make millennials fall in love - just in time for Valentine's Day! (Bonus: you can see the original question if you hover over the text.)

To fall in love as a millennial, do this:

Ask each other the following questions, in this order:

1. If you were forced to invite one of the Kardashians to dinner, which one would you choose?

2. Would you ever want to be social media famous? Which social media platform would you prefer?

3. Do you plan your #tbt in advance? Why?

4. What would constitute a perfect Hinge date for you?

5.What are the top three songs that shaped your life as a teenager? 

6. Would you rather be photoshopped Madonna or Steven Hawking?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about who's going to win the next presidential election?

8. Take three selfies together and upload them to your favorite social media account.

9. For what in your life do you feel most #grateful?

10. If you could change any of your former hairstyles, which would it be?

11. Tell your partner your life story in 140 characters of less.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one TV series on Netflix, what would it be?

13. If the NSA could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there a startup that you've dreamed of founding for a long time?? Why haven't you done it?

15. How many unpaid internships have you done so far? How many times per day did you curse capitalism?

16. What do you value most about your part-time minimum wage job?

17. What is your most liked Instagram photo?

18. What is your least liked Instagram photo?

19. If you knew that in one century climate change would destroy the planet, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many are actually your friends?

21. How often do you use Tinder?

22. Alternate tweeting something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five tweets.

23. How much longer do you plan to live with your parents?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your iPhone?

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room texting ... ”

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could binge-watch ... ”

27. Which Spice Girl was your favorite?

28. Tell your partner what you like about yourself; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. What was your most awkward Tinder encounter?

30. How much crippling student loan debt do you have?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about their blog already.

32. Which current social justice movement is your favorite? What have you been doing to help?

33. Have you ever put something on the internet that you now regret?

34. If Facebook was suddenly deleted and you could only save one status update, which would it be?

35. Of all the apps on your phone, whose discontinuation would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal concern about a problem the Boomers left for us to clean up (whether it's financial, social, or environmental) and commiserate with each other. Take another self together.

Finally: Turn off your phone for four minutes. Share a roasted balsamic strawberry tart.
Boom, you're in love. (It was the tart, wasn't it?)


These tarts rock. Baking the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar turns it into a sweet, sticky balsamic reduction that was destined to be paired with juicy roasted strawberries and light flakey pastry. Not kidding, I eat these tarts two at a time. And that's probably why I don't have a boyfriend.

makes two tarts

2 frozen puff pastry sheets (mine are usually about 8" x 8"), thawed for about 10 minutes
1/2 quart of strawberries, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
pinch of powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the puff pastry sheets on top. Using a fork, prick the sheets so they're covered in tiny holes. Arrange the strawberry slices on top of the sheets, leaving a border of about half an inch along the edge of each pastry sheet. Drizzle half of the balsamic vinegar on each soon-to-be-tart (it's ok if you get it on the border area). Sprinkle half of the sugar on each soon-to-be-tart (ditto).

Bake the tarts for about 17-20 minutes, until the edges are puffed up and golden and beautiful.

Let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

if you're not into falling in love right now, this tart also pairs perfectly with brunch and your college best friend

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