• BlogHer Food 2009: Part 2

    September 26, 2009

    BlogHer Food is flying by! I can’t believe the day is more than half over!

    After Break-Out Session #1, I grabbed a Pellegrino to rehydrate before the break and demonstrations started.

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    Break & Demonstrations

    The break and demonstrations were sponsored by Top Chef and Pillsbury.

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    The cooking demo featured Ryan Scott, who had previously appeared on Top Chef.
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    He prepared a frittata sandwich, which attendees had the chance to taste.

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    It was yummy!

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    Chomp!

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    After my mid-morning snack, I bumped into my new blog buddy, Janet!

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    During the break, I also tried some samples from Healthy Choice.

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    I wasn’t really impressed by their Sweet Asian Potstickers. They were kind of bland and mushy. :-?

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    The break and demonstration area got so crowded at one point. It was overwhelming, but, at the same time, a great opportunity to network and chat with other bloggers. I met some cool people!

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    Networking Lunch

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    When we entered the dining room for lunch, the tables were beautifully decorated with a fancy sliver-rimmed china, tastes of wine, and a gorgeous Grilled Tuna with Olive and Tomato Salad as the centerpiece.

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    I wasn’t sure about drinking wine with lunch after all of the vino I drank last night, but it went down pretty easy!

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    I love wine… at almost any time of the day! ;-)

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    Danica from Danica’s Daily ate lunch with us, so we made sure to snap a photo. I loved meeting Danica– she’s such a sweet person.

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    The roll served with lunch was AWESOME! It may have been the highlight of the meal. It had big chucks of green olive baked into it. Delish!

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    The Grilled Tuna with Olive and Tomato Salad recipe was created by Chef Rocco DiSpirito. So cool!

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    Yay, Rocco! I’m a big fan, so it was really neat seeing him in person. He had a ton of energy!

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    Bertolli Frozen Meals provided the food for lunch. I was actually pretty surprised that we were served frozen food at a food blog conference, but I gave it a chance.

    The first course was from the Bertolli Skillet Creations line: Lemon Herb Shrimp & Penne. The penne had a lemon-herb flavor with shrimp, green beans, yellow zucchini, and onions.

    I wasn’t a fan of this dish– the veggies were scarce, the pasta was mushy, and the flavor was somewhat bland. Ick. It really wasn’t worth eating, and I left most of it untouched on my plate. :-|

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    The second course was much better! We had the Meat Lasagna Rustica from Bertolli’s Oven Bake Meals. The meat was seasoned and baked in a creamy ricotta and savory tomato sauce, and topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. It was surprisingly tasty for a frozen meal.

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    I had high hopes for the final course, which was the Tri Color Ravioli. It smelled delicious when it was served to the table, but unfortunately, the texture was mushy and flavor wasn’t anything special– it also tasted sort of artificial. Boo!

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    For dessert, I snuck out into the hall to make another Pillsbury cupcake. This time I went with cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut. Yum! :-D

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    By the end of the meal, I finished my wine. :oops: Oh well. Apparently, I’m in vacation mode!

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    After eating all of those heavy foods, I was pretty stuffed, but I still wanted to try Rocco’s dessert: Milk Chocolate Pan Cotta garnished with caramel popcorn. It was heavenly! I had a few bites, but I was too full to enjoy much more.

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    Our second Break-Out Session is Principals of Photography featuring Todd Porter and Diane Cu from White On Rice. It seems like it will be an interesting and helpful session!

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    { 24 comments… read them below or add one }

    Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Don’t worry, I would consider drinking all those wines as “work”. I mean wine is grouped into the food category, and you are at a Food Conference right ;)

    Reply

    kay (eating machine) September 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    as long as you’re not driving anywhere there’s absolutely nothing wrong with some wine at lunch!

    (i’ve learned the hard way that if you drink at lunch and then have to drive you have a long, unfun time waiting until you’re actually ok to get in the car :-( )

    Reply

    Marisa (Trim The Fat) September 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Looks like you’re having an awesome time!

    The food looks so fabulous! Love that cupcake, too!

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    angieinatlanta September 26, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Tina, something I have always admired about this blog is your HONESTY! I love that you are giving your honest opinions about the food at the conference!

    And seriously, wine (as long as you’re not driving) is ALWAYS okay!

    Reply

    Lynn (The Actors Diet) September 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    woah food!!! say hi to diane from “white on rice” for me – i know her b/c i have a movie out right now with the same name and people get us confused….

    Reply

    Leianna September 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Frozen food for lunch seems odd, but you get what you can get for free and you got to try it at least! The cupcake and other dessert with the wine definetely made the lunch!
    Enjoy being in “vacation” mode!

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    Jenna September 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    yummy eats tina!
    jenna

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    Liz September 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    That’s too bad the bertolli meals weren’t that good. I’m suprised they didn’t have fresh food! Oh well, they’re probably trying to push th product line. But you can’t go wrong with wine! ;)

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    Food Makes Fun Fuel September 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Rocco DiSpirito AND a top chef contestant. I’m convinced this is a dream that you’ve some how managed to take pictures of

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    brandi September 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    what a fun time! that stinks about some of the meals/pastas, but it’s hard finding good frozen options anyways.

    enjoy the rest of your day!

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    skinnyrunner September 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    cupcakes, yum! i think its so cool you guys got to see celebrity chefs up close! bummer about the frozen meals, you’d think this would be a huge advertisement for bertolli but if the food kinda bites won’t everyone write that?

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    melissa September 26, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    thanks for being honest! it’s good to know rocco is cool in person!

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    christie, honoring health September 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Yum! Everything looks delicious!! Enjoy the rest of the conference!

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    Sues September 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Yay to meeting Rocco!!! I’m vicariously living through you and your Blogher experience :) Wine is more than OK vacation or not!

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    Nicole September 26, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    So jealous! I need to visit San Fran. As a transplanted Bostonian in San Diego I am told it’s the closest feel you can get to an east coast city.

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    Madeline @ Greens and Jeans September 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    with rocco and top chef how can blogher be anything less than fabulous? glad you guys are having such a good time!

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    BroccoliHut September 26, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    So much to comment on!
    -Fritatta sandwiches–such a creative idea!
    -I’ve always wanted to try those Healthy Choice meals–glad you got to sample some!
    -Coconut + chocolate=best combination ever.

    Reply

    Lizzy September 26, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    hm very interesting infact that you were served frozen meals, but atleast you gave them a shot right?! Looks like your really having a great time! so exciting! :)

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    Rebecca September 27, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Looks like you’re having a blast! Love the updates!

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    CaSaundra September 27, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Sadly, I have been highly disappointed with the newer Healthy Choice meals lately :-(

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    Women & Wine September 27, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve been following this Bertolli lunch story since yesterday when Kathleen Flinn posted a ‘yuck’ on facebook.

    It seems that the sponsors got a lot of name recognition for the food – I’m curious that you didn’t mention the name of the wine sponsor – St. Supery.

    Love for you to add your blog feed to our site http://womenwine.com – you’re terrific!

    Reply

    Emily September 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    This conference looks amazing! I want to make it a priority to go next year. I want the recipe for the tomato soup cupcakes – so creative!

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    Michelle (What's Cooking) September 27, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Love seeing your posts from the conference. I think I was too overwhelmed to take photos – which, in retrospect, is a darned shame! I agree with you about the food at lunch. I don’t eat red meat, so it seems I missed the best of the three frozen food options. For a food crowd, I was really surprised at their choice… It might have been nicer for them to have used the Massa Organic Brown Rice with some of the fresh veggies that were being sold at the nearby farmer’s market. Maybe next year :-)

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    Danica September 28, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Awww, Tina – Thanks for the nice words! It was great eating lunch with you all and getting the chance to put a face with the words :)

    Reply

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