Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Food Blog Forum Orlando 2012

Food Blog Forum is produced by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Todd and Diane of White On Rice Couple, July Deily of The Little Kitchen and Dawn Viola.

I had been to the first one that was held last year in Orlando, which was a memorable experience for me, as I have grown in leaps and bounds since then. So, when I read that Food Blog Forum was hosting another event in Orlando, I was so excited to sign up. Unfortunately, I thought I had missed the deadline by a day and it was totally booked out. However, my spirits weren’t dampened for long, as July Deily of The Little Kitchen emailed me back swiftly telling me that I could still register and I did so immediately.

The venue for the event was Walt Disney World Resort. Most of the bloggers stayed at Disney's Polynesian Resort. The welcome reception was held at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa by Walt Disney World.

It started with a welcome reception on Friday afternoon where I had the chance to see fellow food bloggers I had met the year before, Julius of Droolius, Wandy of My Sweet Zepol, Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen and Christine of Cook The Story, while meeting new bloggers, Julia of The Novice Chef, Suzanne of Kokocooks, Lana of Never Enough Thyme, Ann of Healthy Cooking For Me, Robyn of Grill Grrrl and Chris of Eat Local Orlando. We were having such a good that a few of us actually closed it down.
Roasted Shrimp
Salads Hanging in Martini glasses!
Asian Chicken Salad
Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Mushrooms
Mango Haupa Verrines
Blood Orange Timbale
The following morning, we all headed over to Epcot for the event.
Entrance to Epcot
Before the event started, we enjoyed a breakfast buffet to get sustenance for the morning ahead.
Breakfast Buffet
Banger and Mash

Egg White Frittata
Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, opened the event. I was intrigued, inspired, touched and moved. They shared their passion, story and work, reminding us that every picture has a story. 

“Your story is unique. Believe in your story!” and “Your eyes are your lenses. Your heart is the shutter!” "What you capture is unique. Don’t wait!” They had some of us in tears during their session.They have made me think twice about the pictures that I will now choose in the future. 
Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple
Jaden Hair, Rachel Barbarotta of KitchenAid, Arianna Bastianini of OXO and Tom Smith of Walt Disney World Resorts gave us pointers on how to form a relationship with brands and what they are looking for. Be passionate about your own brand. Do not be afraid of being persistent. Approach brands more than once. So don’t be disillusioned if it doesn’t work out the first time around.
Right to left, Rachel Barbarotta of KitchenAid, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Arianna Bastianni of OXO and Thomas Smith of Walt Disney World Resort

KitchenAid - See that blender on the right! I won one!
OXO Showcase - We certainly got some lovely gifts from them in our goodie bags!
David Leite of Leite's Culinaria also left a serious impression on me. His title was “How to Write Bigger, Better, More Badass Food Posts”.
He reminded us that enough is NEVER enough. Think fiction. Write non-fiction. Be a storyteller. He also suggested that we should get the book Grammar for Dummies and read it from back to front and then all over again. I will certainly take heed and get that book before the end of the week! 
David Leite of Leite's Culinaria

Dawn Viola took us from taking our blog from a hobby to turning it into a business. A piece of advice: Also, use your blog as a professional writing platform. “Pitch what you love” while “building trust and credibility”.
Dawn Viola
We were treated to a leisurely Taste of Disney luncheon, which was interesting as it was delicious. There was something for everyone and more. I had initially thought that 2 hours for lunch was going to be long, but once I got to the venue, I understood and time went by quicker than I had imagined.

Roasted Red Beet Salad with Field Greens, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans
Epcot Land Pavillion Sweet Greens with Vero Beach Arugula and Red Watercress
Seared Salmon with Couscous, Broccoli and Hummus - Chef Al Hopkins
Slow Roasted Bourbon Induced Black Pig Heritage Pork Tenderloin Slider and Super Grain Fries - Chef Damon Lauder
After lunch we had four 30 minute round table sessions with experts of our choice.

I was most excited to start off my first session with Elise Bauer of Simply RecipesShe was the reason that I first wanted to start blogging, she was such an inspiration, so you can just imagine how thrilled I was to meet her. Elise gave us advice on copyright issues. Reminding us to acknowledge the source, re-writing things in your own words and ask for permission before posting someone else’s recipe.

Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes. Was I happy to meet her at long last!
Then on to Scott Hair, who helped with moving your blog to a .com, by going through all the steps that need to be taken on the back end of things.

David Leite suggested sexy provocative posts, starting with a line that is the killer. Captivating your audience and being authentic is of utmost importance.

My final session was with Diane of White on Rice Couple and Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille who gave us a live styling and photography demonstration.

Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille teaching us tips on food styling
Right to Left, Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple and Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille
Although the event had come to an end, I was quite happy. Not only did I meet some interesting people, but also left with my hands laden. A great goodie bag and also a 5 speed KitchenAid blender, that I had won. Now how lucky was I?

On the way back to the hotel, Christine of Cook the Story and I had the pleasure of talking to David of Leite’s Culinaria.

Looking back, the day had been such a success in more ways than one. Julie of The Little Kitchen had organized such a wonderful event, as usual. Being able to meet some of the heavy weights in the food blogging industry who shared their knowledge with openness and kindness, as well as meeting new bloggers like, Ashley Pardo of The Grizzly Kitchen, LaTonya of Haute Cookture, Rashmi of The Primlani Kitchen, Carroll of Vanilla Lemonade, Kelly of Just a Taste, Sally of Cooking Lessons and Jessica of Chef Jessica Bright.
The day had come to an end, but the evening was still ahead…

As if the day wasn't eventful enough, we were all invited to a private dessert party at Epcot Center where we watched IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. It was a spectacular way to end the day, fireworks! I actually sneaked out a bit early to view the rest of the show with my husband!

On Sunday morning, we headed to Orlando Whole Foods Market who put on a spread for the brunch they sponsored. More goodie bags and gifts were handed out. 
Tomasa Spinach & Cheese Empanadas, Quiche, Tofu Scramblers and Thompson Fram 5 Plus Step Rated Sausages
Brunch at Orlando Whole Foods Market, with Scott Hair
Diane Cu, myself and Todd Porter of White On Rice Couple
It was a memorable weekend where I met new friends and know that I have learnt some invaluable information which will allow me to grow and excel as a blogger. Thank you Food Blog Forum!
Goodies from my Goodie Bag and my KitchenAid Blender! How lucky was I?


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Although I am not a sweet tooth, I just had a craving for some thick, gooey and chewy chocolate chip cookies.
The Perfect Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

I searched through my books and the Internet until I came up with a batch of cookies that looked good enough to bite into, but also sounded, based on the ingredients, exactly what I was looking for.

Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies from Brown Eyed Baker fitted my needs. So, I decided to try it out. All I will say is, love at first bite.
Photography by Heaven on Hearth

This is what you will need.
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons melted butter (1½ sticks)
1 cups dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips

For this recipe, you will need to use two racks.  Make sure the racks are evenly placed on the middle top and lower middle rack.

Pre-heat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt together in a bowl.
Melted Butter and Sugar
Mix 12 tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar together until well blended. 
Butter, Sugar, Eggs and Vanilla Mixture
Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla until well combined. 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Slowly add the dried ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips.
Large Scoops of Dough on Parchment Lined Cookie Sheet
Using an ice cream scoop that makes about ¼ cup balls, scoop out the dough then place on the baking sheet and press down gently. Make sure to place them 2–2½ inches apart, as they will spread out during the baking process.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Fresh from the Oven 
Bake cookies for about 12 minutes, then change move the bottom sheet to the top and the top to the bottom rack. Bake further for another 7 minutes, until golden. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and let cool on a rack.
How Good is This?

VoilĂ . This made 14 large Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Eat while still warm, which I can guarantee will not be a problem. I was able to save a cookie, which I had the next day and it was still nice and chewy! This is a must make, over and over cookie. 

Read more... Registered & Protected

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP