Finally, to the cooking part of my cooking trip! We headed to a small town called Spongano the morning after our welcome dinner in Lecce. This is where the castle was located. Some people may call this a manor house, but call it what you want. There were like 20 bedrooms and bathrooms and an awesome pool and a garden filled with all sorts of fruit trees… I’d call that a castle. (Also, thanks to my mom, the host of the trip, for most of these photos! I was too preoccupied to take pictures most of the week. If you think you would like to go on this trip next time she takes people, check out her site here!)
I feel like I am constantly hearing about new products and health facts. First they say artificial sweeteners are better for you, then they say they will give you diseases. They say don’t eat this, then they realize you should. It is hard to keep up sometimes. One of my main issues is whether to use real butter, margarine, olive oil, or something else. I recently learned about cooking with coconut oil, and am really excited that I did! Coconut oil has saturated fats, BUT they are actually a good kind of saturated fat. Coconut oil contains lots of antioxidants, helps the body absorb important nutrients and minerals, eliminates harmful bacteria, and fights the signs of aging. It can be substituted for fats in recipes, such as butter, olive oil, etc. If you are substituting it for butter, I would suggest using about 3/4 cup coconut oil for every 1 cup butter.
Being a part of the food blogging world is awesome; of course I am sure many of you already know that. Apart from meeting so many new people, great non-profits and soo much delicious food- I have found something ELSE! The Secret Recipe Club. No not like it’s a secret, because otherwise I wouldn’t be telling you about it. The secret recipe club works kind of like secret santa gifts; you get assigned a fellow blogger, then you have to re-create a recipe from their blog for a certain date. Check them out here, although I think there is a wait list to join now since so many people are wanting to participate.
The day has finally come! I have been waiting to throw my Foodbuzz 24×24 party all month and it finally happened. The 24×24 is a special event where Foodbuzz picks 24 featured publishers to throw 24 over-the-top dinner parties in the same 24 hour period. My themed party was called Hot Summer Daze.
Once everybody thought they couldn’t eat any more at my Foodbuzz 24×24, I made dessert. I was really excited about this dessert because I have never lit anything on fire in my kitchen (on purpose). Even though it was hot, and even hotter in the kitchen with the stove on, I sucked it up and got my rum and lighter ready for the bananas flambé .
When I first began blogging, I didn’t really know what I would put on my blog or where it would take me. Actually, I was forced (well maybe required is a better word) to make a blog for my advertising media class last fall and figured I love food, music, photos, etc. so why not focus on my senses. Almost a year later I am at a point that I would have never imagined. I am completely submerged in the blogging universe and loving it! When I tell people that I am a blogger they are always a little uneasy, but then when I tell them I am a FOOD blogger they always seem so intrigued. I am so excited about all of the opportunities I have been given because of my blog, although I must say that the next few weeks are kind of filled with different blogging opportunites, I hope you enjoy them too!
This summer has been filled with friends’ 21st birthdays. Besides being suckered into going out to bars more than I probably should, I have also been consuming ridiculous amounts of junk food and desserts at all of these birthdays. I have had baked mac ‘n’ cheeses, spinach artichoke dip, ice cream cake, way too much hummus (recipe coming soon!) and this lovely champagne cake.
Last weekend, we went to San Francisco for my 21st birthday (restaurant reviews coming soon!); it was a blast! The only problem before leaving was that I didn’t own “city-type” clothes. I had to go buy a few new tops that would be club worthy. The first place I passed as I walked into the mall was Cinnabon. The smell that comes from that place makes you melt immediately as you walk in. It always takes everything I have not to stop and get one! I don’t know what it is about cinnamon buns but they are just so addicting.
It really doesn’t get much better than eating a cool, creamy tart with juicy fresh fruit on a hot summer evening. A few friends and I had a delicious bison barbeque this past week. We had one dish after another until we could hardly eat anymore… but then came the dessert. Consumption of this dessert took place around my kitchen counter with moaning, mmm’s and oh my god’s coming from stuffed faces.
Cooking fancy breakfasts for friends is always a ton of fun for me, but I don’t get to do it often. Usually, when a large group of friends end up spending the night at the same place, breakfast doesn’t get made for everybody for one of three reasons; 1- they wake up with the thought “Man I need to go home”, 2- nobody is in the mood to cook, or 3- you don’t have the ingredients or kitchen to use. If you are not a twenty-something year old you probably hardly ever wake up in a random friend’s house. This means planning a breakfast party if you ever want to have a big breakfast with friends, which for some reason just doesn’t happen as often in our busy lives. I am happy that I was able to cook these delicious crepes for a group, rather than just myself! These are also the perfect idea for a Father’s Day surprise!
This is also my entry for the Highbush Blueberry Council’s recipe contest!