Sunday, November 6, 2011

Foodbuzz Festival 2011 - Review

I'm just going to say it -- I'm disappointed.

I didn't make it to the events Friday night, but the consensus among the blogger on Saturday morning was already foreboding. The event did not compare to the previous years. In fact, it seemed that each year the event got consistently less exciting. I have my theories, but I will keep them to myself for now.

The morning sessions on Saturday were entertaining. The first panel emphasized that to be successful a blogger must be his or herself and that there is a LOT of work that must go into a blog over years to accumulate into a successful product.  A few tips on what that hard work entailed specifically would have been nice but I guess they don't want to share any secrets ;)

The second session was about taking good photos without using a DSLR camera. One option is by using a "point and shoot" camera ( ie: my $100 camera from Costco), another option is to use a micro four-thirds camera ( but it cost upwards of $700) and finally, using an iphone camera.  Did I learn anything from this session? It only reinforced what i knew

1) Make the best of whatever camera you have
2) Natural Daylight works best
3) Take a copious amount of pictures and hopefully you will get a winner among the bunch.

The final session discussed using social media to increase awareness of your blog and your presona. They were huge advocates of using twitter. But the degree of twitter-dependency they suggested seemed almost anti social to me. I would much rather meet and have conversations with individuals in person instead of "making friends" of twitter.  They also advocated using facebook and google plus. The pitch for google plus is that it is in its beginning phases and its something you can be a part of before it booms. It's something to think about, but I'm not convinced. However, apparently google has adopted hash-tags recently, so if you create a page for your blog and post a status update like " #pumpkin pie in the oven", people can search pumpkin pie and you will show up.

Finally, I don't want to stress about my blog being "perfect" in everyway. I want to have the freedom to ramble, to make mistakes, to talk about whatever my heart desires in whatever" blog voice" I feel like. It's like when you are in love with a certain subject and enjoy researching and reading about it until you take that class in college where they overanalyze it, subject it to scrutiny and dissect all your thought and opinions on the subject matter -- stressing you out so much over aiming for that " A" that your passion for the subject turns to disdain. I don't want that to happen. If changes occur, it'll be because I feel its right.

There was a "goodbye" bunch this morning in San Fran. Yesterday, the majority of bloggers I spoke to expressed hesitation and a blatant lack of enthusiasm for attending and I can't blame them. I myself chose to stay in Palo Alto and hang out with my friend rather than make the drive to SF for what was likely going to be another disappointing experience.

Plus, it's just food and honestly people ( not bragging, I swear) but my food would have been much more satisfying than the foods I had yesterday and last night.  If i can make the same meals with a better quality and a more satisfying flavor, then i'd rather do that than go have a "free" meal.....



Thai Spiced Sweet Potato Fries by ALEXIA
Dill Tossed Fries by ALEXIA
Tyler Florence Cooking Demo

Friday, November 4, 2011

How do you like your greens?

Do you indulge in your favorite foods then compensate by taking a 2 oz shot of pure kale juice like this??

or do you prefer to cook your veggies and eat them as a meal??

Recently, I went to a japanese BBQ restaurant. What did I order? An order of spinach and the mushroom medley?

How do you "BBQ" these veggies you may ask? In foil, just as shown below ...

Using foil, create a pocket. Make sure to secure all ends by folded multiple times. Next, stuff the foil pocket with as much spinach as possible

Now add salt, pepper, 2 cloves of freshly sliced garlic and a pat of butter

Seal well
Now you can either place the above packet on a BBQ and grill on both sides for about 5 minutes each (Depending on the heat of your BBQ) or you can do as I did and set your toaster oven to 450F for 10 minutes.

The result? Fresh fragrant juicy spinach will all the vitamins and liquids retained. Sadly my copious spinach turned into barely a 1/4 cup of cooked spinach.  Next time = larger pocket, bigger oven, more spinach :)

Served along side : fries made of russet, and purple sweet potato; scrambled eggs with swiss and gruyere ( I ended up giving away all my fries to my youngest sister-- I enjoyed the eggs and spinach too much as is)
Tonight I'm spending the rest of the evening googling past Foodbuzz Festival blog posts by fellow bloggers because that's where I will be this weekend!