Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak

You may have noticed that this is the first recipe post since I attended BlogHer Food in Atlanta. The conference was fabulous!!  The education top notch!! I left energized and (I have to admit) a tad intimidated by what my next move would be. After meeting so many fab bloggers I questioned where my little slice of the blogesphere would fit in.

Around the same time I was trying to figure out what to do with Home with Mandy... Jim accepted a job in California, with the plan to commute two weeks on and two weeks off. He left this month for a three week observation/training period and when he did my muse. The whole reason I cook is for my love. I enjoy preparing meals for the two of us. I cherish the look on his face after his first bite and he looks over at me (almost in surprise) to say to me every night, "Wow, this is GOOD!"

I've been cooking (a little), but I have not been inspired to take photos this month. I haven't been inspired to take notes or to post about my meals at all.

Until now...

I returned from a business trip today and spent a few hours with my sweet mother in law. She prepared lunch for the two of us and for once, I was the recipient of a lovely homemade meal. It was thoughtful and beautiful and most of all tasted delicious. She is such a sweetheart that she even sent me home with leftovers so I can take some to the office for lunch this week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BlogHer Food

I plan conferences for a living in Texas, but on a few occasions I also am able to play the role of attendee at conferences. This BlogHer Food conference was an event I looked forward to attending for months.  For three days I was surrounded by folks just like me who love to cook, write, photograph and talk about food. I didn't meet one stranger all weekend, seriously...everyone was incredibly friendly and so much fun to hang out with.

Why did it take me four weeks to post about my amazing experience? It's been one heck of a month for us... Jim accepted an exciting job in California (he's commuting, we are not moving), my mom finally had her halo brace removed, I've had several big events at work causing me to be on the road most of the month. It's been crazy to say the least! Believe me when I say that I was so jazzed when I returned from BlogHer, fully motivated by the people I met and the sessions I attended. I haven't lost the spark, just need a little more time to figure out my work/life/blog balance. Another reason for the delay in posting is the sheer length and information of this post...I started as soon as I returned and have been working on it sporadically since. I'm so happy (and releived) to finish and get this posted!

For those of you who might not know, BlogHer Food was held in Atlanta at the Westin Peachtree hotel on May 20-21, 2011. Even though the property was going through a renovation during our conference, the hotel was a nice host for the event...especially after my tweet regarding the long and slow line at the hotel registration desk.

The official conference kicked off Friday morning in the grand ballroom with a lovely breakfast spread consisting of farm fresh scrambled egg, sliced fruit, sausage, grits and pastries.

When we left the opening session and headed down to our first breakout sessions, each attendee received a "swag bag" with sponsor gifts and coupons.

It seemed that all the sessions I attended were filled to the max, including a few classes that had bloggers sitting on the floor and in the ails. My fellow attendees were mostly female, and we used a range of various note taking techniques. I wasn't alone in bringing my laptop, some brought iPads, some took notes the old fashioned way. Regardless of the method, attendees were fed rich information from an experienced panel.

There was ample time built into the schedule for us to peruse the sponsor area and I even snapped a photo with Charlie, the king of canned tuna!