Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I have Moved

Hello Readers,
I have moved to wordpress. Join me at www.franticfoodie.com, Please update your links.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Train Cakes and Automobiles

It was his first lick of frosting, ever!

It really was about him. I don't care what anyone says about first birthdays being all about the parents. Come on. When do babies get to shake parachutes, play with bubbles and shove frosting in their face? Yes, on their first birthday.
The cake was a train. He celebrated with two of his buddies so I figured that a train would be something that all the little boys would agree on.

I got the instructions from Betty Crocker. I had to adapt the decorations a bit since the babies were very young and I didn't want any tiny candies for babies to choke on. I also used India Tree natural food coloring which I found on Chef Shop.Com .I went to pick them up since they are located in Seattle. They also have other hard to find spices and imported food products.
I tried to limit the use of artificial flavors except for the licorice, jujubes and mini Oreo cookie wheels.

 I love party sandwiches but wanted something a little different and healthy since I knew the babies would be eating too.
I made three different spreads for the sandwiches the night before. This morning I went to Macrina to pick up 6 loaves of bread and I assembled the sandwiches.
The three types:

Tahini-eggplant yogurt sandwiches with roasted peppers
Cilantro-basil pesto with goat cheese
Olive tapenade with mozzarella and arugula

I will leave you with the recipe for the tahini-eggplant sandwiches. It was a hit with the babies and parents. Yogurt adds a special creaminess to this Baba Ganoush.
I used ciabatta but you can use any bread.

The tahini spread recipe is from a Hebrew Cookbook called " The Healthy Kitchen" . "The Healthy Kitchen" is a compilation of recipes from "On the Table" which is a Hebrew food magazine.
roasted peppers in a jar

Recipe for spread:

1 eggplant
2 tablespoons of tahini
1-2 cloves of garlic
6 tablespoons of yogurt (I used low-fat)
juice of half a lemon

1. Roast Eggplant (I poked holes in it and put it in oven at 450 for one hour)

2. Scoop out eggplant and mix well with all the other ingredients. Season with salt.
This spread can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.

3. Spread on Ciabetta with roasted peppers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Webinar with Lou Manna

Highly acclaimed food photographer and Olympus Digital Visionary Photographer, Lou Manna will share his digital secrets for capturing mouth-watering images in a intensive 7 hour workshop in Coral Gables, Florida on Saturday, November 21 from 10 AM to 5 PM eastern time.

Can’t attend in person? The entire workshop will also be streamed live on the internet and continuously available for repeat viewing after the event.

This comprehensive workshop will guide you through the art of food photography, including lighting, styling, composing and propping techniques plus professional secrets that will make your work distinctive.

You will learn about: SETTING UP THE PHOTO: Lou will conduct a live photo session in the afternoon with the Executive Chef from the Biltmore Hotel, allowing the participants to have an inside look at his method for shooting food!

LIGHTING: Understanding the different lighting set-ups for shooting food on location vs. the studio. Lou will also demonstrate a variety of lights, reflectors and mirrors to help you create memorable and delectable photographs

PHOTO ANALYSIS: Throughout the workshop the day’s images will be viewed on a huge screen in the auditorium and online in the webinar for instant feedback and instruction.

MASTERING YOUR CAMERA: Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and instruction manuals for lots of tips on appropriate settings for improving your photography.

HANDS ON TIPS: Lou will reveal his personal techniques, approaches and special tricks for photographing different types of foods.

BONUS RAFFLE: Two Olympus Stylus TOUGH Series camera will be raffled off. One to a lucky winner who attends in person and one to a lucky winner who is logged onto the webinar.

Registration Details:

Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009 Time: 10 AM to 5 PM eastern time

Place: Merrick Auditorium at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, Florida

Cost: $149 with lunch included and access to the webinar after the event

Webinar: $79 with the ability to view it anytime after the event
Register: http://www.digitalfoodphotography.com/

Or Call: 212 727-2505 by November 18, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Year Has Gone By, Seriously?

My son is turning one next week. It was just a year ago when I started saying the word "son" and it sounded funny. It's kind of like when you first get married and you say "my husband". It sounds so awkward. It feels like you are playing grown-up. The fact that I have "a son" baffles me.  The fact that
he is turning one, woah la! that just downright scares me.

The way I look at food has changed.

 My dear friend Rachel gave me this bagel book and wrapped it in bacon wrapping paper. This is me,
the night before I gave birth. Bagel in Bacon, not an oxymoron at all, that is how Rachel sees things. Here is her blog Jewshi (a Jew in Japan).

I will begin by saying (actually screaming) and happy dancing at the same time " I can't believe I nursed for a whole year". This is one of my biggest accomplishments this year. For some, nursing comes naturally and for many, well, it's like pulling teeth.

Nursing is the deep dark secret of motherhood. It's hard. The reasons are endless. Some babies don't latch on. Their mouths are too small. Some babies get nipple confusion (sounds sick huh?).
I won't go into detail with what happened with us. It's just not that interesting.

I will just say that I found it exhausting and decided that I would take it one day at time. So I did. Here I am. I crossed the finished line. One year was my goal, now I need to decide if I am ready to move on.
Here is a little more about my experience with nursing,

My way of cooking has changed this year. I used to be such a snob. I would never ever buy anything I could make. From the croutons to the bread. I could do it all.  Now I understand one thing. You do what you have to do to avoid having crackers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And now even more, my little one eats everything that I do. And every calorie counts.

We are trying to make the right decisions. We know kids who are deprived of sweets are the first to raid the cupboards at friend's houses. We know that white bread has no nutrional value. We know that if a baby doesn't know what sugar tastes like, he won't know to ask for it. We know that rewarding a child with food is self-destructive. Now what? Choices. Choices.

Here are some of the things that we did for the first year. I don't know if they are rules but more like things we believe in

1. No juice
2. No TV, not even Baby Einstein Videos ( Did you know that Disney wil refund your money if you bought them?)
3. No cookies, cakes or other sugary snacks. (I can count on one hand , the times that we broke this rule)
4. Baby eats on his own when possible, no matter how messy the floor looks. He feeds himself.
5. We never bought baby cereal. It was just a waste of money. We crushed our regular cereal and he ate it that way.

I am sorry to dissapoint all my foodie friends but as much as I let my baby taste most of what I eat, I tried to keep it super healthy. Why ruin the one perfectly white tooth he has (yes, just one)?

Now I need to re-evelauate. His first birthday is coming. He will eat cake. It will probably be colorful and full of frosting. I want him to experience all the foods that we eat. I don't want to deprive him of the joy of food. I also don't want him to fill his tummy with junk.

I am curious to know. What are your rules? Do you offer dessert? How much is too much?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Seattle Food Blogger Events and More

photo by Ronald Holden

This month I met two inspiring authors. I had a private Seattle Food Blogger event with Langdon Cook, Author of Fat of the Land.  We met for coffee at Bustle in the cute little private area. He charmed us with his stories of foraging, showed us some stunning pictures of his adventures and answered every question that came to our mind. He is a great guy;  genuine, smart and motivating. Check out Cornichon's post and the picture he took above.

I met Julia Usher, Author of Cookie Swap. I organized another Seattle Food Blogger Event, this time at the Sur La Table in the new Bravern. They set up a cute little area for us and Julia gave us tips on how to get published and on how she got her idea to start her book. It was so inspiring to connect with her and look at all she has done.  Julia will be in town for the next week, doing events just about everywhere.  With the holidays coming up, it is your chance to learn how to organize a cookie swap and make cookies that will leave your guests drooling. Here is her schedule.

I attended an event demo and dinner for the new Sous Vide Supreme. I was invited to try all different foods in this machine with Chef Heston Bluementhal of Fat Duck. My favorite food Sous-Vide was the salmon.
The texture was so soft. The chiken had a texture that was a little different than what I am used to but I definitely liked that it was almost as soft and moist as the salmon.  You can order this on the website or at Sur la Table.

Hope to see you at Foodportunity. I probably won't have too much time to write because I am busy getting all the last minute details together.
Rebekah Denn is having a giveaway on her blog.
Not many tickets left so if you plan on coming, get them soon.  The authors of Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day, Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois will be in town and Jeff is coming to Foodportunity. Come meet him.

Check out my post in My Northwest.com for this week's upcoming food events.

Happy Friday

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Foodportunity November 2nd

Hey Everyone,
Here is the press release from my next event. It's a really great way to connect with the foodie world.
Tickets are selling fast!

Second “Foodportunity” to Showcase

Local Culinary Success Stories

A new networking event to connect

Seattle's vibrant food community

For Immediate Release:

SEATTLE, WA- September 28, 2009: The second “Foodportunity,” a series of networking events for Seattle food professionals, will take place on November 2nd, 2009, from 6 to 9 PM at Tom Douglas's Palace Ballroom.

Attendees are expected to include local food writers, bloggers, restaurateurs, food producers, PR professionals and other companies from the food and hospitality industry.

Following the sold-out success of the first Foodportunity in July, Seattle event planner and food blogger Keren Brown has invited three particularly successful restaurant entrepreneurs to tell their stories and give tips for succeeding in Seattle's culinary world.

The evening will begin promptly at 6 PM with presentations by the panel:

• Thierry Rautureau (proprietor of Rover's and the soon-to-open Luc, author of "The Chef in the Hat" cookbook)

• Ethan Stowell (with four restaurants— How to Cook a Wolf , Anchovies & Olives, Tavolata and Union)

• Kurt Dammeier (Beecher's Cheese, Maximus Minimus, Pasta & Co, Bennett's Pure Food Bistro and a cookbook, "Pure Flavor".

An audience Q&A session will be moderated by Mina Williams, editor of the online restaurant industry magazine NorthwestStir.com.

Following the panel presentation, Foodportunity participants will enjoy appetizers from several of Seattle's most talked about restaurants, contact with food companies, and, for the first 40 to send email to info@foodportunity.com , a “speed networking” session. "Speed networking is the best way to meet 20 people in 20 minutes," Brown says.

Tom Douglas, awarded National Restaurant of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine and a national James Beard nominee for Restaurateur of the Year, will provide his Palace Ballroom facilities to host the event and serve appetizers along with other local restaurant favorites. Seven additional participating restaurants are: Rover's, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, La Spiga, Lunchbox Laboratory, Joule, Campagne Restaurant and Beecher's Cheese. DiStefano winery will pour its wines, and a wide range of food products from local sponsors will be on display.

Foodportunity is open to food journalists, bloggers, public relations professionals, restaurateurs, farmers and all food-passionate people. Admission is $25 (plus tax and booking fees; $30 after October 7th) which includes bites and a glass of wine. Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/84687

Palace Ballroom is located at 2100 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle. More information is available online at Foodportunity.com.

About Keren Brown, aka Frantic Foodie, is the founder of the highly popular networking event known as Foodportunity. She also organizes monthly events for Seattle food bloggers, creating lasting contacts and connections. Keren's food events information can be found at Frantic Foodie in the Seattle P-I , FranticFoodie.com and on the events page of MyNorthwest.com

Schedule For Foodportunity

6:00 - 6:45: Panel Discussion and Q & A with Seattle's influential food entrepeneurs

Moderator: Mina Williams, editor of Northwest Stir, Industry news of the Northwest for culinary professionals


Thierry Rautureau (proprietor of Rover's and the soon-to-open Luc, author of "The Chef in the Hat" cookbook)

Ethan Stowell (with four restaurants— How to Cook a Wolf , Anchovies & Olives, Tavolata and Union)

Kurt Dammeier (Beecher's Cheese, Maximus Minimus, Pasta & Co, Bennett's Pure Food Bistro and a cookbook, "Pure Flavor"

6:45 - 9:00: Networking time and bites from restaurants and companies

8:30 - 9:00: (Optional) Speed Networking session

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FoodSnap, Lou Manna and More

Sometimes life just swirls by you. It happens when you wait for something for so long and then it just comes and goes. It passes by so quickly that it kind of tiptoes past you and you don't realize it's gone until it's way too far ahead.

Lou Manna left Seattle on Sunday, I took a cruise to Victoria, relaxed for a week, spent hours in the Jacuzzi, grazed on healthy vegetables and unlimited protein (my idea of foodie heaven) and just jumped back into the working/mom/wife/foodie/ life.


FoodSnap came and went. FoodSnap was an event that I put together with Foodista.com.

Here is the picture of us above (myself in the turquoise shirt, Lou in black and the entire Foodista family).

 I had a great time learning from Lou and tasting all the food and displays. We had some amazing people help out . Lara Ferroni along with a long list of talented photographers and stylists.

Chef Wayne of Andaluca provided lunch. Some really interesting local companies provided samples and sets to be photographed. There is a whole contest around it on Flickr. If you go to Flickr and search groups for Foodsnap. There is a list of companies and photos that people uploaded. Check out the pics and tell me what you think.

 I would like to thank Siiri Sampson and Mari Osana (Bitter Buiscuit on twitter) for assisting me and helping me out with my event. I feel truly blessed to have met such great people.

Thank you Elise from Simply Recipes for flying in to Seattle. If for some reason, you don't know her website, check it out. Elise has been featured in Time Magazine, Redbook and basically anywhere else where top websites are mentioned.

Thank you to all the bloggers, companies and foodies who attended the event.

The next day we had lunch at Rover's, in which we had a special 2 hour restaurant photography session.
The food at Rover's is a masterpiece.

We then went to watch Lou photograph at Olivar and snacked on tapas with Chef Philippe. I am addicted to the albondigas. If you haven't been there, you have to try the place.

Then we continued to Andaluca which is located in the Mayflower Park Hotel where Lou was staying. Chef Wayne cooked up the entire menu so Lou could photograph it. I did my job as a taster and tasted the entire menu. I love Wayne's food and his personal touch.

The next day Lou taught a class at the Pike Place Market and then later joined me and some friends for some shmoozing at the Urban Picnic, another great event by Chef's Collaborative. The event had a nice list of restaurants and local celebrity Robin Leventhal from Top Chef was cooking.  Urban Picnic was a wonderful way to end Lou's trip to Seattle, with lots of nice people, live music and a relaxed warm Seattle foodie atmosphere.

Lou really had a great time in Seattle and got to meet many from Seattle's food community, he dined at all the restaurants above as well as the incredible Canlis and left Seattle with a whole network of Seattle foodie friends.

Lou we miss you, come back! We need your New York charm and flavor!