On Monday I attended an event hosted by Rachael Ray and Richard Rosenblatt as they introduced a new concept and learning tool from eHow during Internet Week.
At the event, Rach’s eHow Buddies demonstrated different foods, cooking techniques and tidbits. In case you aren’t sure how eHow works, it is a mega source where you can learn to do just about anything. And now you can learn about all kinds of fancy things such as recipes, wine, and cooking techniques from the amazing Buddies that Rachael has discovered and is sharing with us.
The event was held at Bar Basque and everything from the décor to the food was phenomenal.
Eco-Friendly & Local: Peanut Rice Noodle Salad & Broiled Chicken Kababs with Sumac from Louisa Shafia. This was one of my favorite dishes. The noodles were so full of flavor and it was a perfect summer dish.
Latin Food: Blue Cheese and Carmalized Onion Empanada & Shrimp Ceviche “Xni Pec” from Daisy Martinez. The empanadas were unlike anything I had ever had. They almost tasted like french onion soup!
Mixology: Roasted Orange Negroni Sbagliato & Blame it on the Aperol from Joe Campanale.
And last but not least, a recipe from Rach herself. Bourbon- BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Fennel Orange Slaw & Milanese-Style Arancini.
My amazing friend Nichole came to the event with me and I guess you could say we had a little fun.
And while I was so happy to even be able to attend such a fabulous event, getting a chance to meet Rachael Ray was beyond anything I could have imagined. She was so sweet and down to earth, just as she you would think she is.
The night was any food bloggers dream and I am so thankful that I was able to attend. A big thank you to: Rachael Ray, Richard Rosenblatt, Patrick Durkin, and eHow!
Because there was so much to read in my posts which may be overwhelming, I’ve decided to make a brief top 10 list to highlight things that I learned that were most important to me.
1.) Take photos and notes while attending different sessions so you will have information to look back on and share with others.
2.) Tweet! I realize that this was one of my tips before I attended, but I wanted to reiterate its importance. This was the second food blog conference I attended and the first that I had a smart phone. I didn’t realize everything I was missing out on during the first conference!! Oh, and download TweetDeck while you’re at it.
3.) Keep an open mind and listen to any ideas and advice from other bloggers.
4.) Download Windows Live Writer !!! Instead of posting blogs directly through the site you use, you can write on WLW, which is similar to Word, but with all the blog features. Danica introduced me to it and it has made life so much easier!
5.) Try foods that you might not normally try. I tried bison for the first time and I retried lamb for the second time.
6.) Don’t be afraid to use public transportation. Just plan ahead and you can save yourself a lot of money.
7.) Ask locals for ideas of where to go and eat. I asked someone who lead me to a great shopping area!
8.) If you are going to be at a different hotel than the one where the conference is being held, make sure it is very close otherwise you will spend too much money and time going back and forth. I learned this at my first conference and this time was much better!
9.) Go against your routine. Wake up early, stay up late, try something new!
10.) Plan on attending next year!
I also wanted to point out that I added 5 additional tips to my travel tips for those going alone. I didn’t want to add this prior to leaving because I didn’t want to let the world know I’d be alone!!
Lastly, I wanted to announce a GIVEAWAY! While at Blogher Food 2011 everyone received a lot of swag and I wanted to share with you. So I will be giving one lucky reader a basket filled with samples/products/coupons for products including companies such as Starkist, Scharffenberger , POM Wonderful, Dole and more! To enter:
1.) Leave a comment and share something you learned while traveling.
2.) Follow me on twitter and comment saying you do.
3.) Tweet this giveaway and comment saying that you did.
Each entry will give you another chance to win! The contest will go until Sunday, May 29th at 11:59 PM EST. I will announce the winner and contact you via email. Good luck!
Welcome back! and thank you for being patient with me. I wanted to get this update up sooner but I was having some technical difficulties, but more on that during a later post!
On day 2 we were given the gift of sleeping in and arriving to the festivities at 10 AM, instead of 8:30 AM. And normally, I’d be all over that. But the night before, Danica and I talked about getting some exercise and since we sat for most of the weekend, learning and eating, we decided to go for a morning stroll. So we woke up and walked the streets of Atlanta with her hubs. I was surprised that even that early in the morning it was mild enough to not need any kind of jacket!
At 10, we headed in for a welcome and summary of how our day would go. Then, we were headed to session one. The seminar choices were:
I attended theVocation track because I am always interested in being more of "yourself”. Sometimes it can be hard in the blog world with so many amazing influences that it is easy to get lost and not be true to who you are. But this seminar really allowed me to realize that it is okay to still be figuring out who your blog self is and how to express the real you through your blog.
After the session we were given another opportunity to speak and sample with the vendors and of course we had some more samples. The vendors were the same which is why I did not repeat any photographs. But, we did snap a photo with Charlie! I’m hoping to host a Starkist giveaway sometime in the future so stay posted for that!
Then, we headed to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
When we arrived there were several food trucks outside where we could purchase something for lunch.
We thought it was interesting that you could get half a hot dog!
One of the weirdest things we saw was this… yellow root tea. It looked like, uh, well you can guess.
Apparently, it can help heal all of these ailments.
And it comes from these twigs.
Not only was there an obvious abundance of veggies and fruit, but also baked treats, homemade candy, flavored popcorn and places where you could grab lunch.
Grindhousewas one of the places were we grabbed something to share. The meat that is used for their burgers is ground on the premises, hence the name.
We had the Grindhouse Burger: American cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, pickles, grindhouse sauce.
And we tried several items from the Sweet Auburn Barbecue.
A chicken taco and beef brisket with coleslaw.
And after all of our palate tempting tastes, we headed back for session two.
During this session I attended the Visuals track which wound up being my favorite session all weekend. Some of the best information that I obtained was to BUY A TRIPOD, use inexpensive props that you may have at home and to focus on lighting sources and ways to fix them for the best possible photos. I also learned new things about my camera while fiddling around with it while listening. I think pictures really mean the most and allow readers to understand what the food was like, so this session really hit home for me.
During our last demo and tasting session, frozen treats were offered and then we headed to the closing keynote about The Evolution of Food Writing.
And then before we knew it, it was time for the Closing Party, hosted by POM Wonderful.
The party was great and there was plenty to taste. I had a few small bites of everything but was trying my best to keep an appetite because I knew I was going out with Danica and Jay (her hubby) afterwards. My only complaint would be that the lighting was terrible for food photography, kind of ironic, no? But I understand that it was meant to be fun and have a great ambiance, which it did. I just can’t help it but try to take photos!
Then, we headed out to find somewhere to eat.Max’s had caught my eye when I was exploring so we decided to check it out.
We shared an amazing twist on a caprese salad. Fried green tomatoes, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese, arugula and balsamic glaze. All of my favorite things in one dish!
This pizza was a Mediterranean pizza: artichoke, roasted red pepper, mixed olives and cheese.
And a margarita pizza.
We all agreed that the Mediterranean was our favorite.
After a tasty dinner we said goodnight (and goodbye!) and I headed back to pack. I had another day left in Atlanta on Sunday and I visited Atlantic Station to shop!
I had an amazing time in Atlanta at Blogher Food and I learned so much! I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts and maybe you’ve learned something. (you can learn more by visiting the online seminars!)
I was sad to leave Atlanta and all of my new blog friends, but how could I be sad when I came home to this face?
Tomorrow I will be posting a summarized top 10 as well as a giveaway announcement so make sure you check back!
It was really hard to chose, but I decided to go to the Visuals seminar. Luckily, all of the seminars are posted on the Blogher Food 2011 site and if you click any of the links above you can read a summary of what was taught and discussed.
Irvin Lin and Sabrina Modelle inspired me in so many ways, the one thing that stood out to me most is the importance of a logo mark and creating a sleek, unique site that defines you.
Throughout the conference we had the opportunity to try products from different sponsors as well as have the opportunity to introduce ourselves and create relationships.
Of all the sponsors, Scharfeen Berger was my favorite. They gave you an opportunity to choose a baking product and 2 kinds of chocolate bars to take home. If you have yet to try their chocolate no need to fret because I may have a giveaway up my sleeve
Dole provided different items to taste throughout the day such as salad, fruit cups and at 3 pm…banana margaritas! Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
POM Wonderful was another great sponsor and I obviously was excited! They were giving away bottles of original, blueberry and cranberry juice as well as coupons and recipes.
Then it was time for lunch and even though I had been snacking all day, I was excited to eat!
Here was my plate before:
While we had lunch we listened to an amazing speaker, Molly Birnbaum, author of How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way. Her unique story described an accident where she suffered multiple injuries, including her sense of smell. As a chef and food enthusiast she learned to use all of her senses to create an in depth understanding and appreciation for the food she was making and tasting. When I tweeted her and asked at what moment did she realize that her smell was lost, she said, “The exact moment I realized was weeks later. My stepmother baked an apple crisp, held it under my nose, and there was nothing.”
After lunch I attended a seminar about cooking without recipes.
Sarah Breckenridge, senior web producer for Fine Living, taught us how interchangeable recipes are by allowing us to pick the ingredients and make a unique dish based upon the choices we made. She also taught us about flavor notes that pair well together and how those flavors can be inspiration for creating new ideas.
I hopped between Taking your Blog Content Mobile, which discussed using different applications and programs you can use on your phone to make your blog more accessible and The New Generation, where young bloggers discuss their role in the blogosphere and what it is like growing up blogging.
It was then time for some more tasting from sponsors!
We loved these Bays English muffins topped with feta cheese, jam and walnuts. They were crunchy, sweet, savory and came together perfectly for a great afternoon snack.
We stopped by Quaker Oats where Danica got a little friend with Mr. Quaker.
Each time we had the opportunity to check out the sponsors there were different snacks for us to munch on.
Snacks includes cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, kalamata olives, pita chips, natural potato chips and black bean dip – all of which was fresh and satisfying.
After attending an interview that touched on Food, Health and the Environment, we had a few minutes to refresh ourselves before we attended the welcome reception.
We then stopped by a dinner hosted by The Pioneer Woman (no she was not there) to get everyone excited about the new Tasty Kitchen. Not only was there great food, swag, t-shirts and bloggers, but The Pioneer Woman’s sister was also there!
As if we didn’t have enough food, I went with Danica, her husband Jay and Robin to Ted’s Montana Grill.
I had to try some sweet tea, it just seemed like the right thing to do in the south.
We decided to try several things that way we could try more things. The homemade chips and dip were amazing! And they were unlimited.
We also tried bison sliders, steak with green beans and squash casserole and a chip salad. I think the salad was my favorite although everything was delicious!
And to end our amazing fun filled day we ended up at the Sun Dial, a revolving bar on top of the Westin.
The view was gorgeous and gave you a breathtaking view of the city at night. These pictures do it no justice!
There is plenty more to tell about so stay tuned for more!
Hey readers…those attending BlogHer Food and those just catching up on how it is all going! I arrived in Atlanta this* morning at 8:00 from Philadelphia. And my flight was at 5:50. So you do the math and try to guess how tired I am! But that does not matter because I’m having a blast! The official convention doesn’t start until tomorrow but I arrived a day early so I could see the city and attend the pre-party, RockHer, at the Hard Rock Café.
I managed to figure out the MARTA, Atlanta’s train system, which wound up saving me a good deal of money! And I was able to drop my bags off at the hotel so that was nice not having to lug everything around. The I was off to adventure!
I seriously started off just walking and taking photos. Not before grabbing some Starbucks of course ;)
I wound up in Centennial Park where I strolled through and soaked up some sun. As I continued to walk I just so happened to come across the World of Coca Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. I had heard a lot of good things about both of these places so I decided that I might as well be tourist and check them both out!
Because it was so early in the morning I was literally one of the first in line for the Coke exhibit. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but everything was very interesting! Basically, they give you a background of when and how Coke was developed (in Atlanta of course!) and you get to see all kinds of interesting pieces like old commercials and artwork.
My favorite part was getting to try the different sodas that Coke produces!
These were my 2 favorites:
And this one was just awful:
Next up I went across the street to the Aquarium, which is the largest in the world. I’ve been to many aquariums before but this one definitely stood out. Everything is very organized and there was a huge variety of fish and sea life to see.
I then decided I needed to eat something so I tried to find a farmers market but apparently my phone mislead me because I was walking around for almost an hour trying to find it. I wound up eating at the Vietnamese Noodle Soup restaurant which wound up being very tasty. It was the first time I tried Vietnamese food and I was pleasantly surprised.
I had lemongrass chicken which came with rice, a salad and some veggies. It reminded me a lot of Japanese and Korean food.
By that point I was getting pretty exhausted so I headed back to my hotel and waited for my room to be ready. I was able to relax a bit before heading to RockHer!!
I met up with some awesome ladies ahead of time and we all went over together. There was a ton of delicious food being served and the atmosphere was amazing. While we were all eating and mingling we also had the opportunity to win some prizes by tweets companies that sponsored the event which was fun!
And now I’m just hanging out in my room, relaxing and getting anxious about the next few days. I love learning new things about being a foodie/food bloger but I guess I better get some sleep to I can make it through the long day ahead of me! Goodnight and I hope to be able to post tomorrow :)
Note: I wrote this post Thursday night and was just now able to upload it, thanks for understanding!