Sunday, August 30, 2009

Giveaway Winner and FoodSnap Photography Workshop

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to tell you about Foodsnap. Okay bloggers, if you are serious about blogging  then you have to be here. We all know that many bloggers, do not know how to take pictures.  Come on, you know who you are. I am one of them. I admit it. With so many blogs these days, blogging has gotten competitive. Sometimes it's not really about competition but time, so many blogs so little time.  Pictures help a lot. So that is why I am putting on this event with Foodista.  For two main reasons:

A) I really need some help with my pics and while searching online did not find many resources for this.

B) I love Lou Manna's work, after researching many photographers, we decided that we have to fly him to Seattle from New York because he is not only an incredible food photographer but a super charismatic teacher.

This event list is full of serious bloggers. Elise from Simply Recipes is flying in. Nancy Leson from the Seattle Times is there. There is a list on the website, if you bought a ticket and want your blog added, please let me know.

Photo by Lou Manna
So I will leave you with the press release and the winner of my last contest, the winner is Chris! You win a basket of OXO products. Thank you for all the interesting comments and I have to agree with many of you. The microplane is a genius idea.

Buy Tickets Here


Keren Brown Media and Foodista Present


SEATTLE, WA—(August 31, 2009)- Seattle's first of it's kind all-day workshop for food photography, titled FoodSnap! will take place September 18th at the historic Georgetown Studios (inside the former Rainier Brewery) at 5890 Airport Way S.

The event, organized by Keren Brown Media and, will feature New York food photographer Lou Manna, (, the Olympus Visionary and New York Times photojournalist, commercial photographer, educator and author of Digital Food Photography. Lou is an associate professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York and a consultant in the Food Studies Program at New York University. He also teaches digital food photography workshops in his studio, and accepts students for private, hands-on classes.

Lou will lead the workshop with the assistance of food photographer and blogger Lara Ferroni ( as well as Seattle's photographers and stylists, Rina Jordan (, Barry Wong, Charity Burggraaf and others.

The location, known as Georgetown Studios, is an ideal venue for photography and is often rented for commercials and advertising shoots. It is owned by Kathryn Barnard (, a professional photographer whose work has been featured in top publications such as Seattle Magazine, NW Home and Garden,

Ladies Home Journal and more.

FoodSnap! is open to anyone interested in food photography. The target audience of FoodSnap! is food bloggers, food-related social media, food companies and food photographers. Cost is $159 which includes all fees for registration before September 4st. (Price will be $180 thereafter.) Attendance is limited to 75 participants.

Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets

The sponsors, whose products will be used in the displays to be photographed, include Emily's Chocolates, Frost Doughnuts, Fooducopia, Wink Cupcakes, Red Ticking and Bluebird Grain Farms.

Kathy Casey will be serving a Foodsnap Gelee signature cocktail that will be used as photo inspiration as well.

The organizers will host a photography contest immediately after the event, providing participants with the incentive to upload pictures taken at the event and further enhancing the visibility of the photos and food products.

Please check website periodically for details on contest and where to upload pictures to be reviewed.

The Mayflower Hotel is offering a special rate for out-of-town participants, $139 plus tax for a classic guest room.

SCHEDULE for FoodSnap

No Experience Required

Georgetown Studios

5890 Airport Way S.

Hours: 10am – 5pm


Lou Manna will review and critique each participant's food blog or photographs. He will show his own blog, , and social network site .

Following that he will use a Power Point presentation to provide an overview of the basics of digital food photography and tricks of the trade. He will review the different features found on most digital cameras, highlighting how they can be used correctly to photograph in any situation.

LUNCH BREAK- lunch will be provided


The afternoon will be dedicated to hands-on practice.

Groups of participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at food photography with the help of Lou Manna and Washington State’s own food photographers and stylists.

Lou will demonstrate how to work with each specific light source, how to use mirrors, diffusers and small white cards to create mouth-watering photographs with a simple point and shoot camera.

Participants will utilize new skills learned in the workshop to shoot each set up while Lou and his associates offer individual guidance to optimize each participant’s photographic techniques.

About Lou Manna

Lou Manna is an award winning New York photographer and educator. After shooting for the New York Times for 15 years, he established his own Fifth Avenue studio, where he works with corporate, advertising and public relations clients. His work has appeared in major magazines, national ad campaigns, and more than forty books.

“He has a sense of style, color and composition with an inherent understanding of how to create a beautiful image.” “The ability to make food sparkle like a jewel with his lighting is Lou’s forte.”

Lou recently published his first book, Digital Food Photography, which is to date the only book on the art of food photography devoted exclusively to digital technology


Keren Brown Media

Keren (also known as “Frantic Foodie”) has been organizing the Seattle Food Blogger Events for the last two years, a series of monthly meet-ups that help bloggers create lasting contacts and connections. Keren is the founder of Foodportunity, food networking events that connect members of Seattle's vibrant food community: chefs, food writers, food bloggers, purveyors and more. Details at Information about Keren's food events can also be found online at Frantic Foodie at, and at


Foodista ( is a collaborative project to build the world's largest, highest quality cooking encyclopedia. With user contributions, Foodista is creating a free resource to help millions of people learn “how to cook everything and anything.” Launched in 2008 by a group of veterans, the site features thousands of recipes and articles about foods, cooking techniques, and kitchen tools. Foodista organized the first International Food Blogger Conference in May of 2009,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cookbooks and Kitchen Giveaway

I get a lot of cookbooks. I won't lie. I am not going to apologize either. I spend hours and hours of my precious time writing about things I like on my blog. I am honest. There are cookbooks that I will never write about. There are cookbooks that are gathering dust, there are cookbooks that I will never open again. I will not waste my time writing about a cookbook that I don't like.

I do want to write about some cookbooks that I really like.

by Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Goodbody.

I was skeptical about this book. Another Tapas Cookbook?

Not at all.

A cookbook that has a party menu already planned out for you. Perfect for people like me, who plan to make a million things and then realize how much work it really is. The Albondigas (meatballs) in this book are to die for. They have a secret ingredient, one that I refuse to tell my husband about.... The secret: anchovies. Before you tell me that you don't like anchovies, try this recipe!
Fields of Greens is the ultimate vegetarian cookbook. I am not a vegetarian but always looking for healthy grain recipes. I have been using recipes for this book for the last few years. When I asked blogger Dana from Dana Treat what her favorite cookbook was, she named this one.
Ready Steady Spaghetti is a kids cookbook. The unique part of this cookbook is that the recipes are not kiddie recipes. There are some simple recipes but many of them are actually recipes I use in my home for my husband and myself (the baby has no teeth yet).
Introducing your child to homemade gnocchi, pork and chive dumplings and fresh spring rolls is a great way to make sure he/she is open to different foods.
I admit that I have been using this cookbook to train myself to make quick dinners during these busy hectic days.
I even decided not to make a complicated birthday cake for my husband and chose the chocolate cake in this book. I strongly recommend this book if you are a mom and looking for ideas for cooking with kids.

And Now for the Giveaway...........

A bowl full of OXO products. Everything you need for the kitchen.

Cherry/olive pitters, a mixing bowl , spatulas, whisks and more. You all know what a difference a good spatula makes. I discovered this only in May when I got the goody bag from IFBC. Sur La Table gave away some amazing kitchen stuff including a Shun Knife.
I tossed all my cheap dollar store kitchen stuff and filled the drawers with high quality swag.

Leave a comment with the name of your favorite kitchen gadget and a little explanation. I will make sure you get this bowl of goodies. Limited to U.S.A only. Deadline is August 30th.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Guess the Fruit

Do you know what these are?
Can you guess what they taste like?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Multitasking, Blogs, Twitter and Mom Life

When people ask me what I do, I never know what to say. I think that I need to hold a card that lists all the things I do.

_ Founder and organizer of the Foodportunity events (next one coming soon)

- Founder and organizer of the Seattle Food Blogger events

- Co-founder of The Mommy List with Kim Ricketts

- Write a blog in the Seattle PI

- Write a weekly dining To Do list for

- Currently working on the Canvolution, (save the dates, August 29-30, a weekend of canning events that will knock the lid off you)

Public relations and consulting for restaurants

- Avid Breast feeder and mom of a 9 month old baby boy

I have decided to put this down for all of you. Oh and there are a couple more projects that I can't really talk about yet.
The breastfeeding part sounds trivial but it is the most important job I have. It exhausts me and comforts me at the same time. Being a mom is the most important priority and sometimes I have to remind myself of this. I would quit every other job for my baby in a second. Watching my baby grow, wiggle his fingers to say bye bye and giggle when I kiss his thighs is my reminder that life is short (hey didn't I just give birth a few months ago).

The food world tears me into many directions, keeping up with twitter is another job I should add to the list. Should I be at every event? Should I be cupcake walking through the streets, should I be at every food related party in the world and making sure to taste every morsel of fruit that comes anywhere near the farmers markets? No! No! No!

I just feel like sometimes I need to take a step back and ask myself : Do I really want to talk about food right now? Yes, I am a food blogger, but I am also a mom, a wife, a yogi ( even if it's been a while) a friend and many other things.

Don't get me wrong , I have a love-hate relationship with twitter. Sometimes, I really am sick of reading tweets from people boasting about who they know, sometimes the food obsession is a little too overwhelming and sometimes I realize people are losing life's most precious moments (I am talking about you who tweets between every bite of a food). I am probably guilty of doing one of the above although I really try not to.

Sometimes twitter sweeps me off my feet, especially when I bought bottled salad dressing for the first time in 3 years, it was a liberating experience. We try to make most things from scratch at home but I decided that as a mom sometimes you have to let go.

I tweeted about it (felt guilty but still liberating) and tweeted " any chef want to make me salad dressing?" I got one response from Chef Becky of Chef Reinvented and a few days later, picked up a jar of pomegranate molasses vinaigrette that has brought me back to heavenly lettuce land. Now isn't this what twitter is about? Making friends, strengthening bonds and connecting the food community. Did I mention that twitter has been used to schedule play dates between friends such as Alice from Sweet Savory Life and Nurit of Family Friendly Food?
Want to know who to follow on twitter? Check out this article. I can't believe that I am on this list.

Anyway, I don't know what this post is really about but I really wanted to say to some of the people who I want to hang out with but can't, it's just timing.

I also wanted to say to all those moms out there, let go! You can't do everything!

I also wanted to write a post about me, I spend so much time writing about other people's events that I never get the time to sit down and use the blog as my own form of therapy.

End of post, whew I feel better!