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Happy 1st Anniversary!

1 Jan

Exactly one year ago today, I started this blog. I decided to greet 2011 as a vegan and wanted to record my experience.  I’d just finished watching Food, Inc. and was so grossed out by eating meat, poultry, fish, and dairy, being vegan seemed like a cinch. Staying vegan at home was easy, but dining out felt so hard and often complicated. I slowly transitioned to a mostly vegetarian diet with occasional fish and ate this way the rest of the year.

And then December came…the first time that I craved meat all year. I sent 2011 off with two back-to-back meals of steak and short rib.  I’m not sure why but when the body asks, I like to answer.

Steak & Fries at Salt's Cure, LA

It has been an interesting journey with food this year. I’ve spent the year letting my body tell me what it wants, which has taken me from vegan, to vegetarian, to flexitarian (if we have to label it something). And what I’ve learned is, I doubt I’ll ever be one thing. There may be days where I detest chicken, and then a week where that’s all I want. I don’t have to declare myself vegan, vegetarian, or anything else to explain it. It seems obvious but you’d be surprised how comforting a label can be sometimes.

On my quest to achieve the highest level of health and nutrition, I’ve tried to go with what my body tells me but use the highest quality, organic, cleanest version of whatever that is. I’ve developed such a deeper understanding and interest in nutrition, connection to my food and where it’s sourced, and compassion for other living things. It’s made me more creative in my cooking and more mindful in my eating. And when I started writing for Clean Plates, I realized the principles I stick to at home should also apply to the restaurants I choose and so have adopted a more mindful approach to dining out.

Thank you all for reading and supporting my blog. I will always be in a place of discovery so The Food Buff will continue to evolve. Thanks for sticking around to see what happens next.

If your New Year’s resolution is to start a blog – what are you waiting for? Do it, stick with it, and just like they teach us in kindergarten – be yourself. Write honestly and share openly. There are so many wonderful blogs out there that the only way to be unique is to stay true to your own individual goals, interests, and perspective. Not everyone will agree. Not everyone will love you. It’s ok. At TechMunchGardenFork.TV said “Done is better than perfect.” And when it comes to blogging and other Type-A virgos like myself, this is the best piece of advice I could ever give.

Happy 2012 everyone, and Happy 1 year Anniversary TheFoodBuff.com!

Chelsea

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TECHmunchNYC 2011: Informing and Inspiring Food Bloggers

16 Jun

I love blogging, but as with most things in life, there are times when we all need a little encouragement and inspiration.

A few weeks ago, I was exchanging emails with BakeSpace.com founder, Babette Pepaj. She asked if I’d considered attending TECHmunch NYC. It hadn’t been on my radar, but the second she mentioned it, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

TECHmunch is a series of food blogger conferences held across the US. Founded by Babette in 2010, the NYC conference was held Saturday, June 11, part of Internet Week. TECHmunch was started to give bloggers like me the tools to create great content and build loyal audiences (like you). I really enjoyed listening to all the panel discussions, particularly Chris Pearson of DIYThemes (and creator of Thesis), who shared useful tips on great website design.

Although the SEO panel discussion was overwhelming and gave me a little agita, it was eye-opening and educational. The only disappointment was not having more time to focus on the subject. I kind of wanted to kidnap the panel and host a private Q&A in my apartment.

Click here to check out the agenda from this year’s TECHmunch NYC, and here to find out if TECHmunch is coming to your city this year! And to read some of the handouts from the event…click here.

But I know all you food hounds are only interested in one thing…. a conference for food bloggers hosted by BakeSpace.com?? That’s gotta mean good eats!!! And you’re right, it did. Here’s a peek:

New Chobani Yogurt Flavors

Chobani Champions for kids - I had no idea they even had a kids line!

Banana basket at breakfast. Nice to have a vegan option.

Thank you 'Wichcraft for providing a ridiculous spread of sandwiches and salads for lunch!

And for providing a vegetarian option! The chickpea sandwich was delish.

'Wichcraft chickpea arugula salad

HUGE shout out to @KitchenAidUSA for all the product donations. There were giveaways throughout the day and consequently, a lot of smiling bloggers.

KitchenAid Appliances for Giveaways

Oh and I neglected to mention that I won this KitchenAid convection bake countertop oven during one of the giveaways! WAHOO. Now, I just have to figure out how to make room for it in my kitchen.

KitchenAid Countertop Oven

Snack time was ridiculous. There was everything from fresh made smoothies by Chobani, tons of sandwiches and salads from ‘Wichcraft, plus crudite, chips, and desserts further than the eye could see.

Ridiculous buffet for snack time

This was one of the most ridic crudite platters I’ve ever seen. It had everything from traditional carrots, cucumbers to brussel sprouts! All the vegetables were fresh, vibrant, and beautifully arranged. I absolutely loved it.

Crudite

I know there are many theories here but I grew up in Maine and thus believe, New England is where Whoopie pies were born. Growing up, I had my share of these heavenly sandwiches and Rubicelli’s were divine. I liked that they didn’t have an obscene amount of filling which many often do.

Robicellis Dessert Menu

Cupcakes & Whoopie Pies by Robicelli's

Cookies by Tasty Morsels Bakery

We were all disappointed that Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres, had a last minute engagement, preventing him from appearing at TECHmunch, but he was kind enough to do a video interview. And oh man, that guy is pure spunk. He really is absolutely hilarious.

Cookies by Jacques Torres

Amazingly fresh mixed berries with mint (I think in simple syrup sauce)

Four Roses Bourbon Cocktail

Four Roses Bourbon was kind enough to post the recipe to this cocktail.

Four Roses Bourbon Cocktail from TECHmunch NYC 2011

 3 Cups of Four Roses Bourbon

6 cups Water

2 cups strong tea

1 cup sugar

1 6-ounce container frozen orange juice, thawed

1 12-ounce lemon juice container, thawed

Mix and serve. They garnished with a lovely mint sprig.

Thank you to all of the following companies for making this day happen. It was truly a great learning experience and I’m so pleased to have met so many creative and inspiring people. Can’t wait until next year…or I may need to travel to another city.

BakeSpace.com

Cupcakes Take the Cake (Also co-produced TECHmunch NYC)

Chobani

KitchenAid

The Harvard Common Press

Driscoll’s

Brooklyn Brewery

Robicelli’s

Four Roses Bourbon

‘Wichcraft

Excel PR Group

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