14 November 2010

Savor the Flavor

Thanks to the Foodbuzz Foodie Correspondent Program, I was able to attend Savor the Flavor yesterday as a member of the media.  Savor the Flavor is a food and cooking show put on by Taste Tri-Cities as a benefit for Modern Living Services which services and supports developmentally disabled adults in the community.

As a member of the press, I was able to get into the show early to examine the layout, talk to vendors and watch the amount of effort it takes to pull a show like this off.

I was impressed with the layout of the show.  There were 5-6 stages set up within the space, the aisles were roomy yet there were little seating areas throughout where people could enjoy wine and nibbles.  There were lots of local food vendors and establishments represented as well.  I learned about quite a few local food sources that I was unaware of before.  My favorites were locally canned salmon which was caught on a line by fishermen in Washington, a woman who was selling natural dog chews made from naturally shed local elk antlers, as well as all of the small businesses who were out there working hard for their living.

This man had a small cheesecake business that he had just started this year before the start of the Farmer's market season.  He was baking his cheesecakes out of the Pasco Specialty Kitchen which is a business that has an industrial kitchen it rents to small food businesses to help them get started.

Once the show officially opened, I was caught up in the excitement of the cooking demonstrations.  The first I attended was Chef vs. Chef, a local take on The Iron Chef featuring local chefs.  It was incredibly charming.  Of the first two chefs, one was the head chef from a local retirement community and the other was a chef of a local restaurant.  Being first up, they were a little flustered, but incredibly professional and polite to their sous chefs and each other.  I was tickled that the first two front rows were taken up by the chef's family members cheering them on.  I was so enthralled by the Chef vs. Chef competition that I watched two of them throughout the day.  Here are some of the chef's finished dishes after 40 minutes.

With these two, the secret ingredient was beef loin.  I thought the long, deep fried sweet potato strips were inspired!

 Secret ingredient:  White salmon.  I felt so sorry for the sous chef who helped make the above dish.  They didn't really have sinks, so he had to carefully drain the pasta into a small bowl.  Talk about pressure!

After Chef vs. Chef, it was getting to be about lunch time.  Savor the Flavor is all about trying out dishes from different restaurants.  You buy tickets for a dollar each and then use the tickets to purchase little sample dishes from attending restaurants.

This was a mini beef sandwich with coleslaw from Jacksons, a local sports bar
12 cheese Macaroni and Cheese from Cheese Louise, a local cheesemonger 
Thai spring rolls.  One of my favorite nibbles of the day!  

After my nibbles for lunch, I was starting to wear out so I headed over to the "celebrity" chef stage to watch the demos over there.  The first was a chef from a local country club.  There were only about 25 people watching his show so there was lots of opportunity to ask the chef questions.  He was extremely personable and promised to e-mail me his recipes.  I can't wait to try making his hazelnut chocolate truffle tart with spiced cranberries.

In addition to his chocolate truffle tart, he made short ribs with mushroom risotto
A sample of the lobster mushroom he used in his risotto.  It had a bright red outside!

The last "celebrity" chef show I attended for the day was a local chef who owns a Thai restaurant called Emerald of Siam.  She has published two cookbooks now which she sells at her restaurant.  I bought one of them yesterday because it had the recipe for tom yum (lemongrass with shrimp) soup which she demoed.  

This was my favorite nibble of the day!  With my sore throat, it felt so nourishing.

Savor the Flavor was a wonderful experience and a wonderful way to discover local food sources and restaurants who are using thoughtful, loving, local and sustainable practices toward food and food production.  My only complaint about the show was the inclusion of non-food vendors such as a local hair salon, as well as vendors selling bags, make-up and home fragrances.  These really detracted from an otherwise fabulous event.

02 November 2010

Healthy Halloween dinner

It's November already!  I thought I'd share a quick post today before this post became too outdated.

My goal this Halloween was to make a high protein, low sugar, healthy dinner to fuel my kids before the onslaught of post trick-or-treating sugar.  I had help from a Pillsbury Halloween magazine I picked up a few years ago.  Fortunately, they included all of the nutritional information on the recipes.  So many of those magazines don't.

Twice baked mummies

These were baked potatoes, cut in half with their insides scraped out.  I filled the cavity with cooked turkey meatball that had simmered in pizza sauce, laid mozzarella "bandages" over the meatballs, popped them back into the oven for a minute or two so the cheese could melt slightly, and then added green olives for the eyes and pickle slices for feet.

Jack o' lantern smoothies

This was a smoothie made with nonfat greek yogurt, orange juice concentrate, mandarin oranges, nonfat milk, and banana.  I added orange food coloring to really make it orange.  The faces were made with melted chocolate chips and were spread inside the glass.  I then chilled the glasses to set the chocolate faces before filling.

"Garbage" dip

This was a dip made with nonfat greek yogurt, cream cheese and a whole bunch of veggies.  I served this with a plate full of raw veggies.  The kids loved the "hand" sticking out of the dip.

Fueling up before heading out.