I’ve mentioned Ally Phillips’ (the woman behind Ally’s Kitchen) name a few times on the blog, and it’s all thanks to our meeting at last year’s Dole Blogger Summit. We then spent time together filming her Dole Foods cooking video series, and finally there was that little Dole Cook-Off. I’ve seen her in action in the kitchen, and I’ve also tasted a few of her dishes. She’s a woman who knows how to throw down. Ally spent several months working on her first cookbook and invited several bloggers to receive a sneak peek copy. I’ve been flipping through mine for a couple of weeks now, and today, I’m going to share a winning summer salad from her cookbook. Continue Reading »
Last week, a few local food bloggers spent the evening cooking with the guys behind SORTEDFood. The British quartet behind the food and recipe-sharing site are currently on the U.S. leg of their #LostandHungry tour that includes hopping from city to city, tasting some of the best specialties in that region. NBC’s The TODAY Show is a partner along the ride, sharing videos and interviews from the road. While they were here, Erika behind Not Ketchup hosted a meet-up and dinner party at her home. A select few of us uploaded recipes to the SORTEDFood website, and a crowed of folks packed into the kitchen for an all hands on deck kitchen experience.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the last class in the Cafe Pinot The Art of Charcuterie series. If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with fresh meats, intestines and heavy kitchen machinery, this is the class for you. It was a hands-on experience with interactive instruction, group participation and finally a wine and charcuterie reception. The previous classes were led by from Cafe Pinot’s Executive Chef Joe Vasiloff, but the final class had Ray’s & Stark Bar’s Executive Chef Viet Pham and Sous Chef Jake Eaton at the helm. After three hours, I felt prepared to make my own sausage at home. Well, not yet. But soon! I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert, but the charcuterie class armed me with enough information that most of the anxiety has dissipated.
One of the things I never pictured in my life is the explosion of mothers in my circle of friends. It makes sense, but when I was younger, I had visions for my life and how it would look. I forgot to envision everyone else. It’s a strange thing, getting older. Years and years ago, I had a list of all the things I would have completed by 21, 25, 29, and so on. Being married with children was on there, but the age I had in mind has come and gone. Marriage and children haven’t happened, but I do have many women in my life who have been there and done that, or who have just started along the road. Ziploc® brand contacted me about a recipe development and product review opportunity that would be helpful for all the tough mothers out there. I immediately thought of three women who have impressed me with their tough mom abilities.
I don’t know what it is that draws me to posting so many sweets on this blog. Obviously a raging predilection for sugar pushes me in that direction, but I think there’s also something very structured about baking that I enjoy. As much as I appreciate the free flowing nature that comes with cooking, I know that baking requires rules to follow. Steps to obey. And if you adhere to the standard guidelines, you will most likely end up with something good. Here’s a recipe that follows many of the standard chocolate cake rules with just a few changes here and there, and the final result is a red wine chocolate cake. Well, make that a sangria chocolate cake. Continue Reading »
Last year was full of Dole fun. First up, the Dole Blogger Summit, followed by a series of cooking videos starring Ally from Ally’s Kitchen. Finally, the Dole Cook-Off where three home cooks battled to the final buzzer for a chance at winning $25,000. I truly believe in the “better late than never” philosophy. I found myself looking at a few of these photos over the weekend and figured it would be a great time to share them. Continue Reading »