BlogHer '11 Food and Hillshire Farms Video!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I said I was going to talk about it and I wasn't kidding. It just took me a little while to get organized! I learned so much at the BlogHer '11 conference it isn't funny. I have notes out the wahzoo. But before I go into anything I learned from the food photographer at Saveur magazine let me tell you a little about Hillshire Farms!

Hillshire Farms was at the conference, serving up samples of delicious food before giving bloggers the opportunity to make a video. I've shared the video on twitter and facebook, but had to wait to share it here until I came home.

Here is the video that Lindsay and I (I'm the one on the right with the du-rag) made from the Hillshire Farms booth at BlogHer:
I think we were pretty awesome together. I had no clue how to do a vlog type post and it was my first. I'm kind of proud of it. As you can tell though if you watched all the way through I messed up when I said that I ate a turkey club and tried to correct it real fast. I did have a turkey club the night before on my flight out at Wolfgang Puck's in Chicago. It was pretty good especially with the dijon sauce, but it was overpriced in my opinion. What I had at the Hillshire Farm "So Good Bistro" was the "No Responsibility Sunday", a strawberry lower sodium turkey wrap made with Hillshire Farm Deli Select Ultra Thin Lower Sodium Oven Roasted Turkey Breast. Boy was that a mouthful. In layman's terms it was a turkey wrap with spinach and strawberries. It was simple, elegant in presentation, and delicious. I actually preferred it to Wolfgang Puck's turkey club, but please don't tell him that!

I had a good time eating at BlogHer! The "So Good Bistro" was just a taste of the food I had. I ate at a booth for Michael Angelo's and let me tell you... Italian's know how to cook right. It's mama's food alright, comforting, quality, and fresh. I'll write more about them later. 

Tell me what you thought of the video Lindsay and I did... if I get enough responses in a good light I'll consider making more vlogs.


Linda's version of Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Sally's

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sally's Seafood on the Water is just outside the Grand Manchester Hyatt in San Diego, Ca. where I'm currently staying for the BlogHer '11 conference thanks to the awesome people of Accentuate Services and Twin Trinity Media. This little restaurant oozes with warmth, subtlety and ambiance.

I arrived at Sally's just as the sun was setting in California over the marina. I was promptly greeted by friendly staff who seated me outside where I wanted to be. A water was placed at my table and the waitress, Mandy quickly came to ask what I wanted to drink. I decided since I was going to eat seafood that a white wine would be sufficient. I told her to pick for me. She brought me a lovely white that complemented the dishes I ordered. I don't know how she did it before I ordered, but it worked.

I perused the menu which had lots of wonderful, mouthwatering dishes. I settled on miso soup and sushi rolls, specifically the California Sunset rolls. It was fitting for my first night in Cali sitting by the water in the soft flame lit atmosphere of Sally's. The first think to show up with fresh, hot bread. There was a variety of breads that were steaming. The bread was served with sweet corn chipotle butter and if you have never had this brilliant little concoction to put on your bread, you are missing out plain and simple.

Then my soup arrived. Hot, steaming delicious miso soup. But that wasn't the best thing I ever ate. Soon a beautiful little square plate arrived with my rolls. I adored the plate. Presentation means a lot and I want these square dishes for my house. Mouthful bites of sesame rice wrapped around seaweed, cucumber, avocado, and snow crab were beautifully arranged on the plate with takimi and wasabi on the sides. I lifted one of these little suckers and went for it. It was divine. All the flavors worked to enhance each other without detracting from the crab. I tried the wasabi, but it was a little to hot for me. I'm weak when it comes to spicy stuff. But it was still delicious.

If you ever come out to San Diego take a trip over to Sally's. The people are awesome and the food is divine. I give the restaurant a 5 star rating in everything from class to food. I felt like a star because of the wonderful staff and the price tag didn't harm my wallet at $20 for soup, rolls, and wine. I highly recommend Sally's!

BlogHer '11 and Food!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In just a few weeks I'll be off to San Diego, Ca. to attend the biggest conference in the blogosphere for women, BlogHer '11 thanks to the wonderful people at Twin Trinity Media. I'm positive there will be delightful foods to try at the conference after all DOVE® Ice Cream, Hillshire Farms, Jimmy Dean, Hershey's S'more's and Twizzlers, Knorr and McDonalds are all sponsors of the conference.

I'm certainly excited that DOVE® Ice Cream is going to be on hand. I absolutely love the companies ice cream. I've even sent an email off to get into DOVE®'s FirstSight Party which boasts "an evening of champagne and hors-d’oeuvres" on board a yacht in West Harbor, San Diego. I believe Lindsay Maddox of Silly Mom Thoughts put her name on the list to get into the party also. Wish us luck at getting in! We both could use a fabulous evening on board a yacht eating delicious ice cream and drinking champagne... actually, I'm not sure of anyone who couldn't use an evening like that!

I'm also planning on heading to the Hillshire Farms So Good Bistro which is the only eatery on the BlogHer '11 floor. I'll definitely be heading over to their booth (#100) on the conference floor to meet comedienne Wendi McLendon-Covey from "Bridesmaids" and to make a digital video for this blog. It should be incredibly awesome to become a "So Good" star.

Photo from Flickr by St0rmz

The Unashamedly Always Appetizing Urgelia Cheese

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It is semi-soft with creamy and aromatic meat body and is made in the Catalan Pyrenees mountain region of northern Spain. Urgelia cheese has a robust, slightly salty flavor with small eye holes through out. The salty flavor comes from the salt brine used to cure it. Otherwise it has a slightly nutty, beefy and creamy flavor.

Urgelia goes well with burgundy and merlot wines, is a great complement to crackers, olives and breads. This Spanish cheese is comparable to the French cheese called St. Nectaire made in the Auvergne region of central France.

You can buy this cheese at specialty store but it can get pricey. Venissimo Cheese, Inc. out of San Diego sells urgelia for $11.00 a half pound.

Very Vanilla Fruit Salad fits the V

Do want to make something delicious and sweet but have very little time? Very Vanilla Fruit Salad is a quick recipe that can be thrown together, tastes so good even kids will love it, and it has very little calories (56 per serving!) and absolutely no fat!

Visit Start or End the Day with Very Vanilla Fruit Salad to view the recipe and a drink mix that is a perfect match. I made this recipe at home in just a few minutes and it didn't last much longer. My kids absolutely loved the fruits I put in our fruit salad but don't let my recipe fool you. You can change it up to add any of your favorite fruits to create a fruit salad everyone in your house will love!

Happy Eating!

Waffling for Waffles

Waffles! Waffles! Who wants waffles? Waffles are a dough-based batter that is cooked using a waffle iron to create pattern. This pattern gives waffles their unique look with little crevices through out (great for catching all that syrup!).

Waffles are often served as a breakfast food but they can be served any time of day and they can be sweet, savory and even decadent depending on what you put in the batter or on top of them. Some foods that compliment waffles are fruits (bananas and strawberries are a favorite), chocolate, whipped cream, maple syrup, and even ice cream.

In Sweden, an entire day is dedicated to this typically American breakfast food. Waffle Day is held on March 25 and people eat waffles through out the day. According to a bunch of waffle sources that cannot necessarily be relied upon, the world's largest waffle was over 3,000 square feet and existed briefly in Chicago in 1986 before it disappeared the next day.

If you are looking for something new give this Food Network recipe for Savory Sour Cream and Chive Waffles with Sausage and Lingonberry Syrup a try.

Yum for Yakitori!

Yakitori is the basic food on a stick. Traditionally it is Japanese skewered fowl or chicken. Non-poultry foods can be considered Yakitori but it most often made up of chicken parts on a stick. Some of the common types of chicken found in Yakitori include chicken heart, liver, chicken meatballs, gizzard, skin (until really crispy), gizzard and all white meat (called toriniku in Japanese).

Just because you put chicken pieces on skewer doesn't make it Yakitori yet. How it is cooked and the sauce applied are what give this food item its unique flavor. Yakitori is cooked over a charcoal grill and is either salted and then cooked or covered with tare sauce. Tare sauce is made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar.

So, the next time you are outside cooking up some grub for family think about making Yakitori the highlight of your meal.

Unleash the Fiesta this Cinco de Mayo with THE CLASSIC MARGARITA by mike’s®

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. wants you to "Unleash the Fiesta" this Cinco de Mayo with The Classic Margarita, a new ready to drink margarita available in three flavors; Traditional Lime, Raspberry and Peach. To celebrate the launch of the new margarita drink Mike's has created a mobile app for iPhones and Androids called "The Mariachi Maker" where users can create their own grassroots mariachi jam with friends.

The app is available at the iTune's store for iPhone users and at the Android Market for Android users. To use "The Mariachi Maker" you choose an instrument; guitar, maracas, or trumpet, to create your own music by strumming, tapping or shaking your phone. Along with playing some grassroots music you can easily find Mike's new margarita drink with the product locater that the app comes with.

Andy Horrow, Chief Marketing Officer for Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. said of the new app and product, “We want to give mike’s fans a fun and innovative way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mariachi Maker mobile app and the real margarita taste of THE CLASSIC MARGARITA by mike’s® With our ready-to-drink product and the ability to form your own mariachi band, it couldn’t be any easier to create an instant fiesta at home -- without the hassle of mixing multiple ingredients or using a blender. Now that’s what we call a fiesta!”

Whether your at home or out with friends this Cinco de Mayo give THE CLASSIC MARGARITA a try. Remember to drink responsibly. To see a video of the real Mariachi Band behind "The Mariachi Maker" check out Mike's Hard Lemonade's Facebook page.

As Mike's slogan goes, "MIKE'S IS HARD. SO IS PRISON. DON'T DRIVE DRUNK.®"

Xigua better known as Watermelon

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Xigua is a common melon found in Africa. It has a hard rind that can be yellowish to green and has a soft fleshy inside that is pink and edible. American's refer to Xigua as watermelon. We eat it often and in abundance especially in the summertime. Why the fruit's name was changed is anyone's guess. Perhaps, Xigua is too hard to pronounce or maybe watermelon describes the fruit in the most sufficient way.

Some odd facts about Xigua (watermelon):
Xigua is 92% water, 6% sugar (probably the reason it is called watermelon!).
Xigua seeds were found in the Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb suggesting that the fruit was grown in the Nile Valley in 2000 B.C.
44 U.S. States grow watermelon for commercial use.
There are over 1200 varieties of xigua fruit available in the world.

Zeppola, Zeppole, Zeppoli!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It doesn't matter how you say it. The taste is what matters. Zeppola better known as Zeppole, is a fried dough ball dusted with powdered sugar and sometimes filled with cream, jams, custard or even anchovies.

Zeppoli's are an Italian food that are sometimes called St. Joseph Day Cakes because they are eating during the feast day of St. Joseph (March 19th). These delicious pastries can be sweet, subtle or savory depending on what ingredients are used with it.

The sweet variety commonly found on board walks and in pizza shops in the U.S. is often filled with a custard or cannoli-style pastry cream and topped with powdered sugar. A savory variety can be found in Malta during the fasting period of Lent. The Zeppoles or as they are known in Maltese, sfineġ, are stuffed with anchovies making them a savory dish rather than a sweet one.

Whether you call a single one a Zeppola, a few of them Zeppole, Zeppoli or sfineġ in another language, this food item ought to be on your list of foods to try. Don't be afraid to indulge, just do it in moderation!

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