My Top Ten BlogHer Food Experiences and Bacony Bread Pudding

I went to high school with a guy who seriously thought he was David Letterman. He forever tarnished Top Ten Lists for me. And yet, when I sat down to write about my time in Atlanta at BlogHer Food a Top Ten List spewed forth.


Being filmed cutting a mango. Who’s idea was it to hand a very large knife to a very nervous shaky gal???


The Ketchum Media Training Session. Next time it’s offered, you shouldn’t hesitate to enter the raffle for this session. Thomas Barritt, Associate Director of Ketchum’s Global Food and Nutrition division, blogs at Culinary Types and trains foodies (including many Food Network Chefs!) to deal with media. The five hours I spent with him changed how I spoke to people throughout the conference. More importantly, it made me calm enough on camera to not mistake my finger for a mango. During the session I also got to know five women who amazed me with their on-camera presence and social poise: Lynn from Another Marvelous Meal, Melissa from The Fresh 20 and Well Prepped, Jennifer from Savor the Thyme,  Tara from Deal Seeking Mom and Unsophisticook and Yolanda from Cuponeando.


Having my mind blown by Salty Seattle’s shoes. Why didn’t I take a picture???


The long drive to and from the conference. Exhausting but a great chance to just listen to music, catch up on The Splendid Table and WTF with Marc Maron and to be in the car without having to listen to Barnie.


Sitting down to breakfast next to a new friend (Jim from Comfort in Crumbs) only to realize that I had also joined David Leite (also see Leite’s Culinaria), Dianne Jacob (also see her blog Will Write for Food) and Nancy Baggett (also see her blog Kitchen Lane). I was too starstruck to choke down my grits. I was, however, able to make a new friend, Susie from Return to Sunday Supper.


Listening to the panellists share their honesty, humour, passion and knowledge. In addition to the aforementioned David Leite, Dianne Jacob and Nancy Baggett, there were many other forthright and compelling people who inspired me, such as Diana Kuan of Appetite for China, Alison Lewis of Ingredients, Inc., Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic, Marge Perry (also see her blog A Sweet and Savory Life), Donna Pierce of Skillet Diaries, Amelia Schaffner of Z Tasty Life, and Katie Webster of Healthy Seasonal Recipes.


Deep Fried Turkey


Discovering that the corporations (or at least the people they send to conferences) are not the devil. I totally loved hanging out with the Nestle gals and with Lindsay Olives (no, that’s not her name but the dunce I am totally thought it was). In fact, they even got me wondering how to weasel my way into their test kitchens.


Borrowing an iPhone charger from a total stranger. When my charger ceased being functional, Anna offered me hers. She not only became a friend but welcomed me into her circle of food contest winners and competitors. I danced the night away with some of these gals at the Tabernacle wrap-up party. This awesomely welcoming group includes: Anna of Cookie Madness, Lisa from Snappy Gourmet, Angela from Foodie Road Show, Lisa from Jersey Girl Cooks, and Lizzie from Corkscrews and Curls.


Taking my shoes off under the table during sessions. Nobody noticed, right? My feet still hurt from all the standing I did at Blogher Food. The fabulous conversation made it worth it though. Totally.


Hey wait! How did I forget about the swag??? Maybe I should swap that in for the deep fried turkey. Nope, can’t do it. The swag was good but that turkey…darnnit! Now I’m drooling again.

I got home from BlogHer late on Sunday. My sweet J was still awake and I can’t tell you how excited I was to see him. My just-as-sweet hubs (who had been on single parent duty for 5 days) gave me a hug and then charred us up some steaks, chopped up a salad and smeared garlic butter on ciabatta. Home sweet heavenly home.

I was still exhausted the next day. My plan to test a previously written recipe dropped away, much like my butt onto the couch. I still made the intended meal I just didn’t write down what I was doing (I hope that Alison Lewis, Marge Perry and Katie Webster are NOT reading this!).

So here I offer you a dish that I’ve cooked at least 50 times but that I’ve never made the same twice and have only ever written down once.

(Oh, I also didn’t have the energy to take pictures of the process or of the finished product. Thankfully, the leftovers looked alright.)

Stop by Cook the Story to get my recipe for Bacony Bread Pudding with Spinach and Mozzarella and to see pictures of my stylized leftovers


Chris from Cook the Story

Where stories that make you drool are better than those that don't!

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