Monday, June 10, 2013

Back from BlogHer Food

I’m back from BlogHer Food, and I am in withdrawal.

After two days of conference programming, meeting bloggers, checking out new products, and making new friends, I am exhausted. (Not to mention the day of travel it took me to get there and another day to get back.)

But I miss everyone… it’s so much fun to be with people who want to talk about food and especially other people with food restrictions (there were a surprising lot of us there) who want to talk about food. That’s just one of the reasons I am looking forward to The Food Allergy Blogger Conference in November.

I have now attended three BlogHer conferences and two BlogHer Food conferences. Between you and me, BlogHer Food is my favorite. It’s big, but not too big. The pace is fast, but not too fast. The sessions are all about topics I want to talk about, and it’s just the right level of exhausting. 

And then there’s the food. We were in Austin, a city that proved itself to be very food-allergy friendly. My favorite meal of the weekend was at a dinner hosted by Udi’s Gluten-Free at Second Bar and Kitchen. They made a fabulous fish dish with garbanzo beans:

A close second was the melt-in-your-mouth dinner at the closing party at Stubb’s Barbeque. Somehow I managed to forget to take a picture of my meal at Stubb's. I must have been hungry.

There was a lot of hype prior to the event about food trucks. I was intrigued. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I discovered food trucks to be not much more than ice cream trucks or hot dog stands.

Maybe it was because of all the hype, but I was disappointed. I’ll take New York street carts over an Austin food truck any day (sorry Austin).

The best part about a food conference is that every sponsor and every vendor exhibiting cares about food! There were some fabulous prizes given away; I didn’t win (I really wanted one of those Kitchen Aid prizes), but there were plenty of great things to take home and I managed to keep my suitcase under the weight limit. Here are a few of my favorites:

Udi’s Gluten Free rocked the house with products that were right up my alley:

Thank goodness Udi’s was there on Saturday morning – with skimpy gluten-free options for the conference breakfast, Udi’s fed me lemon muffins and dark chocolate brownie mini-muffins. The chocolate brownie bites are hands down my favorite.

Bob’s Red Mill was there demo-ing their whole grain line. At one of the breaks they were serving a savory Sorghum Curry. This was a sample I took home:

A great surprise was discovering Pompeian oils. I am looking forward to trying their grapeseed oil in baking projects, and the Mediterranean blend for cooking. The blend includes canola, olive, and grapeseed oils.

I was thrilled to meet the folks from Wholesome Sweeteners; I now use their organic sugars and sweeteners almost exclusively. Here’s what I took home to bake with:

Their line of flavored agave sweeteners is absolutely wonderful! Agave vanilla is my favorite.

Note to self: I must get better about taking pictures of the food I eat.

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