• BlogHer Food 2009: Part 3

    September 27, 2009

    BlogHer Food 2009 ended with a bang! Jenna, Kath, and I attended, not one, but two rockin’ cocktail parties. ;-)

    Of course, we took advantage of the opportunity to get dressed up. :-D

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    The cocktail party was held on the open roof deck of the St. Regis Hotel, which was the perfect location for this type of event. It felt so swanky!

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    The party was sponsored by Campbell’s Kitchen, so all of the appetizers were recipes made with their ingredients.

    Unfortunately, these delicious-sounding appetizers were hard to come by, which was rather surprising and disappointing– considering we were at a party for a food-focused conference. We basically had to stalk the waiters to get a hold of some food!

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    While hunting for food, we enjoyed a couple of cocktails. (The alcohol was plentiful!) I ordered a glass of Chardonnay, while Jenna and Kath opted for Cosmopolitans.

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    I love vacation… um, I mean work! ;-)

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    The warm, thick Butternut Squash Soup Shots were divine! I could have eaten a whole bowl of it!

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    At the cocktail party, I bumped into Mary Kate of Kitchen Belle. Love her!

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    Kath and I shared a plate of the Braised Beef with Shallots and Mushrooms. I liked this appetizer too– but, I was also incredibly hungry, so maybe that had something to do with it?

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    Thankfully, there wasn’t a lack of Tomato Soup Spice Cupcakes at the party. I ended up eating 3 of them! I have zero willpower around cream cheese frosting. :oops:

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    Recreating these cupcakes is now a top priority for me!

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    With about an hour left of the cocktail party, I ordered a second glass of Chardonnay. It was free, so why not, right? ;-)

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    Towards the end of the night, Jenna spotted sliders, so we made a beeline for the waiter who was carrying them. The sliders were GOOD!

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    We left the BlogHer cocktail party to attend an after-party hosted by the lovely women of these popular food blogs: The Pioneer Woman, Simply Recipes, and Steamy Kitchen. Of course, I was a little star-struck!

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    Unlike the BlogHer party, the after-party had plenty of food! From the moment we walked through the door, we were practically bombarded with passed appetizers, cocktails, and a whole slew of desserts. Of course, I loved the desserts the best! :mrgreen:

    Scharffen Berger’s dark chocolate mousse cakes immediately caught my attention!

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    Party attendees were invited to “decorate” their chocolate cakes with a variety of yummy toppings: smoked sea salt, cacao nibs, crystalized ginger, and paprika. I added a little too much of the smoked sea salt to my cake, but I still ate most of it!

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    For me, the best part about the after-party was the huge sampling of goodies from Foodzie. Foodzie is “an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food directly from small passionate food producers and growers.” It’s basically Etsy for foodies.

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    I’m pretty sure I tried one of everything from the Foodzie display. I definitely left the party feeling a little sick. :oops:

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    Jenna’s friends from Murphy-Goode were serving wine at the after-party, so I tried a couple of tastes. I was pretty wined-out, so I didn’t end up finishing either glass.

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    We loved the after-party! :-D

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    Also sponsoring the after-party was my beloved Starbucks. Of course, I needed to sample something from them.

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    The nice Starbucks folks mixed me a VIA Blanca, which was made with their brewed VIA coffee (my review), milk, and vodka. The cocktail reminded me of a lot of a White Russian, but with a much stronger coffee flavor. It was heavenly, but I was so full (from baked goods!), I only drank about 1/3 of it.

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    HP was also at the after-party. They had a bunch of computers that attendees could test out and play with. I’m obsessed with their tiny notebooks! I want one so bad! Don’t you think HP should send me one to review on my blog? ;-)

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    After a little more mingling, Kath, Jenna, and I called it a night and walked back to our hotel room… with the coolest foodie swagbags ever! There were so many awesome products in the bag– fancy knives, a mini French press, an ice cream scoop, lots of spatulas. (Check out Kath’s blog for a rundown of the loot we took home.) I even had to mail some of it home because it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!

    At the hotel (long story short), the three of us ended up staying in a tiny room with just one queen bed. We had hoped to add a roll-away bed to the room, but we couldn’t finagle it and someone had to sleep on the floor. Ever since my hip injury, I’ve had a terrible back, so I offered to sleep on the floor while the other ladies enjoyed the bed.

    Sleeping on the floor wasn’t bad at all! I actually sleep really well and woke up pain-free!

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    We were such grandmas last night! The three of us were in bed (on a Saturday night) before 10:30 pm.

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    Sunday Morning

    At 5:05 (PST) this morning, a text message from Mal woke me up. It said: “My wife is coming home! Yea!” Reading his message made want to get up and go! I could have slept for another hour, but I just wanted to go to the airport, relax, and get ready to see my family. I miss them!

    At the airport, I learned a hard lesson about chicken broth. If you don’t check your luggage, a can of chicken broth is considered a restricted liquid as it is more than three ounces. The security folks didn’t appreciate my BlogHer Food freebie and needed to “inspect” my luggage. Oops! Lesson learned! No chicken broth in your carry on!

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    I arrived at the airport 2 hours before my flight was scheduled to depart, so I found a cute little cafe, ordered breakfast, and blogged. Life is good.

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    From the pastry case, I ordered a Low-Fat Pear & Almond Muffin for breakfast. The muffin wasn’t humongous, but had a big muffin top, which is my favorite type.

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    I paired the muffin with coffee, an orange, and some water.

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    All in all, it was an amazing weekend! It’s definitely one that I will never forget!

    After such an indulgent weekend, my body is ready to get back on track. Mal and I already have plans to hit the gym tonight and make a healthy dinner.

    See ya from the EAST coast! 8-)

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    { 51 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is September 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    How fun!!!!!!

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    Laura September 27, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Everything looked so GOOD!!! And, all your pictures came out great, you look very pretty, love the dress. =) Laura

    http://www.findingahealthybalance.wordpress.com

    P.S. Saw you in my Shape Magazine yesterday, so cool!

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    Mara @ What's for Dinner? September 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Looks like you had a BLAST!!!
    In addition to my Mac computer at home, we have one of the HP tiny notebooks… they’re pretty nifty! It’s really a blogging machine, since all we have on it is Windows Live Writer!

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    Leianna September 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Looks like a great night out in San Fran, great drinks!
    That muffin looks great, I’m a muffin snob and very picky, but thatone looks really yummy!

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    Allie (Live Laugh Eat) September 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    What a great vacation…I mean…business trip :)

    I learned my lesson the hard way too. After HLS my Barney Butter got stolen from me at airport security. I begged and pleaded but the lady was adamant about taking it from me. I bet she wanted it for herself!!

    I see your coffee was from Il Fornaio? They actually opened a restaurant RIGHT downstairs from my parents’ condo. I knew it was a restaurant from California but a coffee shop too?

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    christie, honoring health September 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I am glad you had such a good time! Travel safe!

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    angieinatlanta September 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Looks like a fun weekend!

    Seriously, I think those tiny netbooks are a must for bloggers!

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    Hangry Pants September 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    HP should definitely send you a laptop to review!

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    VeggieGirl September 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Fabulous fun! :)

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    Jaden September 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I’m so glad you had fun at the after-party! It was great meeting you!

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    Michelle-pure2raw September 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Wow everything looked great…especially the wine and desserts! I love sweets : ) I have never heard of Foodzie, thanks, I will have to check them out. I hope you had a safe flight back!!

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    kay (eating machine) September 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    i love hose decorate your own chocolate cakes!

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    Ahley September 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    That was an amazing weekend you had. I took some of your own tips and started a food blog. It would mean a lot to me if you would check it out. Thank you!
    http://www.octosquid.wordpress.com

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    Kirsten September 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Great recap! I have zero willpower around all cupcakes ;)

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    Jenna September 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    You guys all looked so cute last night! Those tomato soup cupcakes sound and look so intriguing, I am curious what is in them! I too would go home feeling sick from eating too much. But when everything looks good, it is hard to stop!

    Yay for going home to your family and seein’ the hubs and Murphy! Safe travels :)

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    Lisa September 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for such an excellent recap on BlogHer. Looks like such a great time. Your dress is so lovely and you look reall fab in navy! Can you tell us where your dress is from?

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    Jenna September 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    looks like you had a blast! so jealous ;)
    jenna

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    Tina September 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    @Lisa: The Gap.

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    Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) September 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Some of those photos of you look like professional modeling shots!

    Yes, those TSA nazis will take anything that even remotely resembles a liquid over 3 oz. NOTE to everyone- they’ve confiscated yogurt before (very very painful). And my gel ice packs for my mini cooler I used to bring with me when I was more anal about bringing food with me. Funny though they don’t seem to confiscate baggies of ice cubes.

    Sounds like you had such a great weekend- and a sweet text from hubby to boot :-)

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    Lee September 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I’m intrigued by the tomato soup cupcakes. Were they tomatoey?

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    Tina September 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    @Lee: Nope, they reminded me of pumpkin spice.

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    Emily September 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    What a nice trip with bloggie friends!! I can’t wait for you to recreate those cupcakes!! And what a very sweet husband you have… awwwww!! :)

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    Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope September 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Looks like you had an awesome time! I kind of stumbled upon your blog from Jenna and Kath’s blogs. I’ve been browsing and love the 31 day yoga challenge you did in March. I’m thinking of doing something similar, so I hope you don’t care if I steal your idea?;)

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    Emily September 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    BlogHer looks like such a fun event, and you girls look beautiful!

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    Lynn (The Actors Diet) September 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    sleeping on the floor is supposed to be great for your back, non?
    i saw the tomato soup cupcakes on kath’s blog and was confused when she said they were sweet?! i don’t quite understand? where does the tomato soup part come in?

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    Kelly September 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Aw man! They took your chicken broth! I wouldn’t have thought of that right either!

    Looks like you had a ton of fun and props to you for sleeping on the floor and letting the other girls have the comfy bed!

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    Cynthia (It All Changes) September 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I think I would have died with all those sweet treats too and left feeling quite full. How decadent.

    How nice of you to offer to sleep on the floor. I’m glad you woke up feeling okay.

    I’m sure the TSA people did not understand the whole food blogger conference thing. But at least you were early and got to enjoy a good breakfast and some blogging. I’m sure Murphy and Mal are super excited to see you :-)

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    Food Makes Fun Fuel September 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    3 separate blogs and those cupcakes still have me drooling. I hope the recipe is on their website!

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    Amy September 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Just thought I’d mention that I love to read your blog! Have a happy week!

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    Marisa (Trim The Fat) September 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    What a fantastic time with amazing food! Glad you enjoyed it =)

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    Krista September 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    All of the food looks incredible… thank you for sharing your experience at Blogher with us! I have had a similar experience with TSA… oh well, lesson learned :)!

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    skinnyrunner September 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    yum…. cream cheese frosting, my favorite, and white russians… sounds like a perfect meal. albeit slightly unhealthy :)

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    maria September 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I guess I never realized that Starbucks sold alcoholic beverages… or was it just a special occasion deal? Never been to one that did!

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    Ali September 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    what an awesomee weekend! looks like you really enjoyed it. and tomato soup cupcakes?! amazing!

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    Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers September 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    what a sweet text from your hubby! hope your travels were safe. the trip looks like it was amazing and amazingly delicious! enjoy sleeping in a real bed tonight. :o)

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    Whitney September 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    The Pioneer Woman! I would have been uber starstruck! I LOVE HER.

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    Bree September 27, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I was going to make pumpkin muffins today, but then I saw the tomato soup cupcakes! When I was little my mom used to make it as a cake and funny enough I had picked up a can of Campbell’s Healthy Request tomato soup a while back to make them one day, well today was the day! I made up my own recipe trying to improve the nutritional stats:
    1.5 C spelt flour (whole wheat pastry flour would probably sub nicely)
    3/4 C sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp allspice (clove would work too)
    1 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 Tblsp ground flax
    1 10 3/4 oz can condensed tomato soup
    1/3 C water
    1/2 Tblsp canola oil
    1 C raisins
    Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add tomato soup from can, then pour 1/3 cup water into can swirl about & pour into bowl. Add oil and stir until combined, stir in raisins. Pour into muffin tin (makes 12). Bake about 20 minutes (I started checking around 15 min).

    They came out pretty good!

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    RunToTheFinish September 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    wow look at all of that fantastic food!! what a great night

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    Pam (Highway to Health) September 27, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    It looks like you had an amazing weekend! The picture of the three of you is so nice! Hope you had a safe trip home.

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    Joelle (The Pancake Girl) September 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I’m glad you had such a nice mini vacay! That muffin looks yummy, esp from the airport!

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    katie s September 27, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    You all look so great! Looks like an awesome weekend!! And Tina! Where did you get that dress?? Is it new? Please say yes!

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    Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I always get home sick really really easy, no matter how busy I am. I also worry about my bf, when I’m away, he’s not so good at making edible food.

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    Lizzy September 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Tina i love your Gap dress! :) i almost bought that too!

    So glad that you had such an amazing time! its such a bummer that you girls couldnt get an extra bed for you to sleep on, but atleast you woke up pain free! All the eats from the night were lookin amazing! I’ve dev overindulged this weekend too, so it’s going to be good to get back on track. after weekends like that my body always craves veggies and fruits!

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    Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness September 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Those cakes at the after party… oh my. How decadent!

    How lucky are you to have a fab sushi place next door, I am jealous!

    Cheers,
    ~Laura
    Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness
    LauraMKE.blogspot.com

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    Madeline @ Greens and Jeans September 28, 2009 at 1:09 am

    it looks like you guys had a fabulous time, but in the words of dorothy, “there’s no place like home!”

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    Madeline @ Greens and Jeans September 28, 2009 at 4:02 am

    it looks like you guys had a fabulous time, but in the words of dorothy, “there’s no place like home!”
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

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    Tina September 28, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I love, love, LOVE my Hp mini. It’s perfect for blogging on the run and writing in my fave coffee/bookshop.

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    Jessica September 28, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    My older brother also had those cute butternut squash shots at his wedding last week!! I loooooved them. And want the recipe!!

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    Elina September 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

    This looks like so much fun. I’m sure you miss it already :)
    Thanks for mentioning Foodzie. I have a feeling it’s going to become my new favorite site! :D

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    Sarah October 1, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I love that picture of the three of you, so beautiful! Glad you ladies had a good time. I hope I make it there someday :)

    Reply

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