Thursday, November 12, 2015

BlogHerFood15 Recap and Conquering A Fear or Two!

Hi there!
If you follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, you probably noticed that I was sharing a lot on social media over the weekend.  Ok, I was sharing like crazy!  This past weekend I attended BlogHerFood15 in my own backyard, Chicago.  I am like a kid waiting for Christmas morning and it finally came!  But, before I recap the fun, let me share with you a couple of little, teeny, tiny fears. 
Pinky swear that you won't see, I don't like escalators.  Ok, I HATE escalators!  My heart pumps so fast and I get sweaty palms as I approach those technological advances in movement.  And I just knew there would be some at the conference, some fast ones because I was in the city.  Escalators in Chicago are super fast and are perfect for the places to go, chop chop I am in a hurry kind of city worker.  I am the hesitant, need to wear a sign on my back, "keep the distance," kind of escalator rider, not conducive to the city.  Yes, there were elevators but I was determined to ride the escalators without incidence.  Now, for the second fear.  As excited as I am about Christmas morning, I mean BlogHerFood, there is always last minute worries.  Worries that range from "I won't know anyone, my numbers aren't as good as others or am I just to new and small to even go."  
Well, not even close!  Those worries are gone within minutes!
Oh my goodness!  There is this amazing atmosphere of excitement!  Everyone is so positive and willing to share.  You sit next to someone who instantly becomes a friend because you share the same common interest, the love of food and cooking.  So, today I am going to share some hi-lights from the conference.

Chicago never ceases to amaze me.  Usually, my experience is just going down for the day, but this time I stayed overnight.  The Hyatt is right smack in the middle of all the action in Chicago!  Everything can be easily be reached on foot, even in the middle of winter.  :)

I packed my schedule with informational sessions for the blog, kitchen demos and breaks with sponsors.  Of course there was food...lots and lots of food!  Samples from various brands, breakfasts, lunches and cocktail parties.  My taste buds were extremely happy!

My camera phone did not do these tasty appetizers justice.  Trust me, they were worth it.  I think I had quite a few of the crab cakes!

Stemilt hosted a breakfast and provided an apple tasting.  I had no idea some of the other apple varieties out there that are incredibly delicious.  I'll be sharing more on that later.  I also attended a luncheon with a cooking demo by Chef Andrew Zimmerman of Chicago's Sepia restaurant.  He cooked 4 different recipes with protein as the main ingredient.  I am in love with an English Pea and Mint Hummus made with tofu.  Yes, tofu!  I will be making that and sharing it soon!  

That evening after the BlogHerFood 15 welcome reception, I attended a cocktail party hosted by Stonefire at a super trendy spot, Brique Chicago.  Wine, live music, appetizers made with flatbreads (a new Stonefire line, by the way) and a cooking demo completed the evening.

Did I mention the food?
I woke early Saturday morning to attend a Milk and Mimosas breakfast.  Women farmers spoke all about the farms they run, not their hubbies, the women!  We even skyped with some farmers on their actual farms.  Ok, I want one of those baby cows!  Farmers are amazing!  Laura Daniels of Heartwood Farm in Wisconsin provided information on dairy farms with the most inspirational stories about her family.  I could have listened to her talk forever and I also wanted one of her baby cows!  Ha!

All the sponsors/brands had the very latest goodies coming or just entering the market.
Let me just tell you...
Full belly = happy blogger.  :)

 On the final day, the closing keynote was an interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar, aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Talk about a down to earth woman!  She was so real and incredibly inspirational.  
A perfect way to end the conference.

With that, BlogHerFood 15 came to a close for me.  It was time to head back out to the 
western burbs...

In the words of Sarah Michelle Gellar, food brings people and family together.  That is exactly why I love to cook and share recipes with you.  My hope is that you will be inspired to share them with your friends and family.  It gives us all a chance to slow things down and catch up with those we love while sharing yummy home-made food.  My take-away?  I am energized and ready to share more goodies with you!  Sounds like a win win situation!  Sampling for the family and recipes for you!

I am so going to attend next year's conference without any worries, escalators or not!  I am thinking they are slower in the south...maybe?  If not, you will know me because I am the girl that hesitates before stepping on to those contraptions.  At least I am challenging my fear and there is always the possibility that I wear a back off sign.  Ha!

Until BlogHerFood16!

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet,

By the way, I'll be back tomorrow with a perfect appetizer for the holidays!
It's sweet and savory!

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