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archive for September 2009

blogher food 09 recap (lots o pics)

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

The winner of the drawing: yes, I had a great scheme to pick the winner in San Francisco, and instead, was utterly distracted by our jam packed schedules and all of the beautiful, shiny people I met. So tonight, Jeremy and Kaweah played a few games and Jeremy produced a random number of 469 based on Kaweah’s ability to dig a treat out of her kong toy several times. Congratulations to Maressa! Because I’m hitting the road in less than 5 hours, I will email you at the end of the week (or you can email me) for your mailing address. Thank you to everyone for sharing your awesome autumn memories with me. Unfortunately, I was craving pumpkin and apples ALL WEEK :)

I’m home just in time to leave again! As some of you know, I was in San Francisco over the weekend for the BlogHer Food conference. If you want me to attend anything, hold it in San Francisco or Seattle, and I’ll be there. So while I’m about to hit the road to hunt down some Colorado Gold (leaf peeping), you can peruse the photos from the conference (it will be like you were there, and in some cases, you WERE there!) and read over my random musings regarding the weekend.

But before we get started with the conference, here is what was happening down the road from my house today:

aspen canopy

this guy was huge

a different bull elk, bossing everyone around

Helen (Tartelette) and I met at SFO for the first time! It’s old hat now when you’ve been friends for over a year that when you finally meet in real life (IRL) all the jokes and laughs come tumbling out. We made our way into the city and had ourselves some sushi for lunch at Akiko’s.

helen at akiko’s

white tuna belly sashimi

**Jump for more butter**

daring bakers: lobster vols au vent

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Recipe: lobster vols-au-vent

**I’m not really here, I’m in San Francisco yukking it up with all of the food bloggers at the Blogher Food conference. If I’m in the hotel room geeking out, then I’ll post some pictures. If I’m with Helen getting lit on cocktails, then I’m not in any shape to post any pictures anyway!**

Roll the tape, Harry! [Who is Harry? I dunno… it’s late.]

I made doubly sure I did not miss this month’s Daring Bakers challenge because I had an opportunity to recreate a favorite dish I enjoyed as a kid in a fancy pantsy restaurant. So there ya go!

the daring bakers do it ninja style!

And the official line is: The September 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Did I mention how much I adore these two women: Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice? Well I do. They are the founders of the Daring Bakers (Daring Anythings) – and I bow to their awesomeness.

So let’s hop to it! Our challenge this month was to make vols-au-vent pastries – savory or sweet. I barely had time to brush my teeth in the mornings, so there was only one option for me – savory. When I was little, I ordered lobster vols-au-vent at a restaurant (probably the Williamsburg Inn). It was heavenly. Flaky puff pastry drenched in a creamy sauce with lumps of tender, sweet lobster meat. Never thought to make it myself, just never occurred to me until I saw this month’s challenge. We’ve made puff pastry once before (Danish Braids) but this was a little different and… I love homemade puff pastry. Store bought puff pastry leaves this crazy horrid film all over my mouth because they use some sort of fake fatty compound – I don’t know what it is, but it’s disgusting. I hate eating it because I feel like I just sucked a coating of wax inside my mouth. So, when the DBs say “Make puff pastry!” I say, “Yes, Sergeant!”

score the dough

fold the rolled out dough around the butter

**Jump for more butter**

your assignment

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Recipe: brain teaser bars

**You can still enter to win an iPod nano! You have until midnight, September 27, 2009! MST**

Thanks for all of the birfday wishes, folks! Very sweet of you :) I’m going to begin a pre-post -birfday celebration with Helen, Todd and Diane, and so many others very shortly! By the time you read this message, I will either be en route to or in San Francisco for the BlogHer Food conference. Hey now! that doesn’t mean you can all go slacking off! There is some important business at hand – so let’s get to it.

Today, Good Bite is launching the Awaken Your Senses Challenge sponsored by Quaker Instant Oatmeal. use real butter is a part of this campaign to help food charities. Twelve food bloggers have been asked to share some of their favorite food memories with Good Bite. Using those food memories for inspiration, Chef David Lawrence (of Good Bite – and a total cutie!) will create an assortment of oatmeal dishes combining Quaker Instant Oatmeal and other ingredients. Every two weeks, a new round of videos will be posted on youtube at quakertalk where you can vote for your favorite topping. Semi-finalists will be selected from each round and at the end of eight weeks, the blogger with the most votes wins.

But what do they win?

Each food blogger is championing a food charity in this challenge. The winner will have $10,000 donated to their charity. That is a lot of money, but more importantly it will help a lot of people. The charity I have selected is the Farm to School Program which promotes a mutually beneficial community relationship between local farms and school lunch programs nationwide. Here is what they do in a nutshell:

Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.

As food bloggers, as people who love food and cooking and eating, it might be hard to imagine that there are others who go without food more often than not. For some kids, their best meal of the day is the school lunch. Sure, we all joke about school cafeteria lunches with the puke green mystery vegetable mush – but what if that was your only exposure to vegetables? Kids who grow up eating fresh fruits and vegetables have a better chance of making those choices a part of their daily lives as adults. The Farm to School Program seeks to improve school lunches and instill good eating habits in children while at the same time creating a demand for what our local and regional farmers work so hard to provide. It benefits two very important groups: our farmers and our children – but ultimately, it is for our collective future.

Okay great! I’m jazzed – what do I do?

VOTE for your favorite topping (or vote for your favorite blogger or favorite charity) each week at! Let’s see if we can make the semi-finals on our way to winning $10,000 for the Farm to School Program. I would love to have your support, but honestly, all of the charities are Good Causes. And thank you for doing this.


This summer I received a free copy of Julia Usher‘s new cookbook Cookie Swap for review, but never found a moment to actually make anything until a few weeks ago. That was fine though, because as timing goes, Ms. Usher will be in Boulder in a couple of weeks. Folks in the Boulder/Denver area can catch her at the Boulder Book Store on Wednesday at 7:30pm on October 7, 2009 for a talk and a book signing.

If you love decorating with icing and pretty things, this might be the book for you. The detail in Ms. Usher’s decorating is delightful, ranging from elegant cookies to whimsical cookies. As busy and as impatient as I am, I skipped all of those cookies looking for a recipe I could make quickly. Thankfully, she had some of those easier recipes for people like me.

ah yes, butter

**Jump for more butter**