Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Food Blog South 2012 Recap Part 3

FoodBlogSouth

Up next, Drink Blogging and Beer Tasting session with Ale Sharpton and Mike from Good People Brewing Company.

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We got to taste 3 different beers all from Good People Brewing Company. To be perfectly honest I do not drink beer so I didn’t like any of them. The Brown Ale was the most tolerable though. I did enjoy tasting and learning about each of them. This is what I learned.
4 Basic Elements of Beer:
  1. Water
  2. Yeasts
  3. Hops
  4. Mault
beer tasting 2

Snake Handler – pale ale, 9.3% alcohol, aromas of grapefruit and ginger, pair with a citrus salsa

IPA – #1 seller, 7.2% alcohol, aromas of pine and citrus, cuts through fried and fatty foods, pairs with Cajun dishes, Indian dishes, lemon salmon and citrusy dishes

Brown – 5.8% alcohol, aromas of maple and brown sugar, paired with honey glazed ham, blackened salmon, sweet bbq to pull out caramelization

After we tasted some beer it was time for Marketing Your Brand with Helene Dujardin, Lisa Ekus and Hanson Watkins. It was very interesting to learn the dos and don’ts of marketing your blog. I found out that I did something right when I made my business cards. I put my picture on them. Helene also has her picture on hers and thinks it’s a great way for people to remember you. Instead of just seeing a business card and not remembering who gave it to them they see your face and will be able to remember exactly who you are. FYI I did not put my picture on my card out of vanity but to be more memorable.

pecans

For a snack we had sugared pecans from Pecans! that were amazing! Go order some! It’s for a great cause too! I got some pecan butter to take home and try. I haven’t yet but I’ll let you know how it tastes!

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For dinner Kristen and I went to La Paz. I ordered a Skinny Margarita and the Taco Salad with chicken instead of beef and no olives. The margarita and taco salad were both great. I had a ton of food left though I wish you could order a smaller portion.

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lapaz

La Paz Mexican on Urbanspoon
 
Goodpeople collage

After dinner we went to the Good People Brewing Company for a beer and cheese pairing after party. It was in a big warehouse. It was very open. Great for parties.

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Cabot Cheese

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Other FBS 2012 Recap Posts:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Food Blog South 2012 Recap Part 2

FoodBlogSouth

Just a heads up this post is going to be pretty long!

Saturday I woke up and Kristen laid out a great spread for breakfast! I mixed 2 cereals and added blueberries and milk.

breakfast

The conference was at Old Car Heaven. I loved the venue. It had a lot of old cars and cool d├ęcor.

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The first speaker I chose to go to was Colleen Duffley. She is a professional photographer and works with Studio b. Studio b is in Florida and I really want to go take some classes there. It sounds like a great experience. Her session was on Camera-Phone Photography in other words “iPhoneography.” IPhones have so many great apps that can be used to take great iPhone pictures. Colleen has even done photo shoots for clients with her iPhone.

Here are some apps Colleen recommended to use to improve your pictures:
  • Hipstamatic
  • Camera Bag
  • Photoshop – I love this app!
  • Camera+
  • Best Camera
  • Big Lens
  • Slow Shot
  • Pic Grungier
  • Diptic – This is the app that I used to group the photos in this post. Totally worth the $0.99!
  • Tilt Shift
Other tips Colleen gave:
  • Turn off the flash on your iPhone camera and use another light source.
  • Do not use overhead lighting.
  • Use a mirror or foil to reflect light.
The next session I attended was Tammy Hart’s on Blog Design. Here are the notes I took away:
  • Psychology of Color
    • Red & Orange – stimulates hunger
    • Yellow – sociable, but be careful yellow renders differently among monitors
    • Brown – natural, calming, iffy when using around food
    • Green – calming, aids in digestion
    • Blue – appetite suppressant, do not use when talking about food
  • Make text large and easy to read
  • Make sure links within text are bold and stand out
  • Use space don’t cram
After Tammy’s session was over it was time for lunch catered by Shindigs.

lunch

I filled my plate with:
  • Spaghetti Squash & Vegan (L.A.) Balls - Tossed in EVOO, Green Garlic-Tomato Sauce, Fines Herbs & Garnished w/ Artichoke Tapenade
  • Spinach Salad with oranges, pomegranate seeds, fried goat cheese and some type of tasty vinaigrette dressing
  • Some grain with butternut squash and mushrooms
  • Sweet Soy Braised Short Rib
  • Some type of broccoli salad with pomegranate seeds
  • A piece of bread with some type of olive butter which I didn’t know had olives until I tried it and didn’t like it.
Dessert was amazing! Tiramisu with a lemon whipped cream. We also went back to the High Road Craft ice cream table for some Bourbon Burnt Sugar ice cream.

Food Celebrity Sighting! Justin Balmes from Food Network Star Season 7 was working the Roland sponsor table. I didn't want to be annoying and ask for a picture so I borrowed Kristen's picture. It would have been too weird and obvious if we were both taking creepy far off pictures in the same direction. So thanks Kristen for doing what needed to be done :)



After lunch the next session was Recipe Development with Virginia Willis. She has worked with many popular people and magazines such as Paula Dean and Country Living. I took so many notes at her session I am not going to post them since this post is getting long already. If you want them email me and I will send them to you! 

I still have 2 more sessions to write about and the after-party at Good People Brewing Company so be on the look out for Part 3!

Other FBS 2012 Recap Posts:

Help Me Fight for a Cure

My friend Anna and I created a team for Relay for Life this year. We are “e-LEMON-ate cancer” team.

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I have never been on a Relay for Life team before I have only volunteered with the organization to get food donations and luminaries set up for the event but that was years ago. I can’t wait to be a part of a team this year! I think it is going to be so much fun and it is for a fantastic cause!

relay for life

This year, over 1.4 million Americans will hear the words "You have cancer".

Like everyone else, I have had several family and friends affected by cancer, and that is why I have joined the American Cancer Society on a mission to save lives by being involved in the Relay For Life in my community.

At Relay For Life we celebrate loved ones who have won their battle against cancer, remember those who are no longer with us, and fight back against this disease that touches so many. I am determined to make a difference, and I hope you will join me. I will be walking on April 20, 2012.

If you would like to donate money please go to my My Relay for Life page! Any donation at all is graciously accepted. No donation is too small! Every dollar raised brings us one dollar closer to a cure, and to a time when the number of people who have to hear the words "you have cancer" is zero.

Question:
  • Have you ever or are you participating in your communities Relay for Life?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food Blog South 2012 Recap Part 1

FoodBlogSouth

Friday after work I headed to Birmingham to go to Food Blog South with Kristen. Not sure what was going on with my camera in this photo. I know I have no tan but I’m not that white!

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The pre-party was at Jim’N Nick’s in 5 Points. They had a complimentary appetizer bar then you could order dinner if you wanted anything.

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They are known for their Cheese Biscuits and I can see why! They were extremely good!

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I tried the Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip – scratch-made parmesan cream sauce, with spinach, artichokes, sour cream, jack cheese, and served with homemade pico de gallo and chips; Smoked Pork Hot Links; and Ham.

I had a glass of Crane Lake White Zin - Soft and fruity, medium-dry, with strawberries and peaches on the nose.

For dinner I ordered a small house salad with honey mustard dressing and a baked potato with sour cream, cheese and chives. Everything tasted great! They are opening in Tuscaloosa in March or April. I can’t wait!

Jim 'N Nick's on Urbanspoon

Food Blog South 2012 Part 2 will be posted soon!

Other FBS 2012 Recap Posts:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

All Packed

coffee beans

A court reporting company dropped off some transcripts at the office today and gave us these chocolate covered coffee beans. I had heard of them before but never tried them. I tried them and no thank you. They weren’t as bad as I was anticipating but they aren’t something I want to waste calories on. Cute packaging though! Give me some peanut M&M’s please!

egg beater

I got this package today from Nicole at The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie! I entered her giveaway and won! I can’t wait to make some eggs and try this out! Looks fun.

Marvelous Misadventures

If you have never checked out Nicole’s blog then you need to. She throws the most amazing parties! If I lived near her I would be inviting myself over for all of them. I love getting fun and cute party ideas from her.

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For dinner I had leftovers from last nights dinner. A friend came over and we cooked Shrimp and Veggie Lo Mein. I will try and post the recipe sometime. We didn’t use one so I will try and remember all of the ingredients we threw in.

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I am all packed for tomorrow! I can’t wait. After work I will be headed to Birmingham to stay with Kristen for the Food Blog South conference! You should go check out her blog too if you hadn’t already!

Follow me on twitter for updates from the conference!

Let's Talk:
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday # 2



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One night I made chicken quesadillas and then took a left over one for lunch the next day. It was really good!

Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla

by Brittany Ray
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (3 quesadillas)
  • 10 oz. cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell peppers, chopped
  • cumin, to taste
  • chili powder, to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tortillas, medium
  • cooking spray
Instructions
Spray medium skillet with cooking spray and turn on medium heat
Put onions and bell peppers in skillet. Cook until the peppers and onions start to brown.
Add in chicken.
Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder. I like lots of cumin but season to your taste.
Remove chicken mixture and place to the side in a bowl.
Spray skillet with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in skillet. Add some cheese to one side. Then add chicken on top of cheese. Add more cheese on top and fold over the tortilla.
Cook for just a little bit on one side then flip over and brown the other.
Serve with salsa and/or sour cream.
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I forgot to take a picture of my chicken stir-fry before I had almost finished it.

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Chicken Salad and Wheat Thins

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One of my favorite new snacks/desserts!

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Chipotle vegetarian bowl – cilantro lime brown rice, cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, black beans and guacamole

When did Chipotle start making brown rice?! It tastes so much better than the white!

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I had Zoe’s for lunch yesterday. It was good! I am in love with their potato salad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Pets

Today I got a few pets for my apartment.

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I love the top with the rocks and trickling water. It is very relaxing.

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Jelly Bean

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Tutti Fruiti

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Boomer



Here is a video of them eating. Feisty little things! They are so much fun to watch.

Questions:
  • Have you ever had these types of frogs before?