Old Friends, New Faces, and a KitchenAid Lunch

by Shawnda on March 6, 2012

in Blog Events,Travel

Orange County

Last week, I jetted off to Orange County for a bloggers’ luncheon hosted by White on Rice Couple and KitchenAid. I was on the ground for 23 hours. In that short time, I discussed former-Presidential-candidates/current-Texas-governors with the cashier at Trader Joe’s, hoarded PoundPlus chocolate, chatted with 39 other bloggers, ate way too much of the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever had, and knocked back some seriously addicting Sriracha White Bean Dip. (You need that dip in your life.)

(You’re welcome.)

Trader Joe's

And I hugged Joy the Baker. Twice.

Joy the Baker

But it wasn’t weird, I swear.

Vegas, Baby!

Vegas, Baby!

I did manage to throw together my travel reservations so sloppily that I had barely an hour to inhale an airport lunch and slot machine-away the $3 I had on me in Las Vegas before finding myself in a hotel room in which I’m quite certain that [dramatization ahead] every “dead hooker scene” that has ever been on CSI/The Mentalist/Law & Orders I, II, III, and IV was filmed. I was bolted-in by dark and out the door super early, killing (ha!) time at the emptiest, quietest Chick-fil-A that this suburban mom of a chicken nugget lover has ever seen.

It was kind of nice. And I had such a memorable conversation with the nicest old man, a retired Naval pilot, who beamed with pride as he told me about his 3 children who’d followed in his footsteps as Naval aviators. All over Spicy Chicken Biscuits.

Mimosas

After juicing oranges for mimosas and chatting, we sat down to listen to Todd & Diane do the second thing they do best: talking about capturing life and telling stories through photography. It’s not the first time I’ve listened to their story – and it probably won’t be the last – but it’s still just as inspiring as the first time. They always project such a creative energy, and I (and sometimes Jason) always leave refreshed, renewed, and inspired.

Diane & Joy

I was super excited to get to have a mini-Food Blog Camp reunion and catch-up with Nancy (A Communal Table), Marie (Meandering Eats), Sally (A Food Centric Life), and Todd & Diane.

And I was giddy to get to chat with some blogging and cookbook heroes: Joy the Baker (long-time reader, first-time meeter), Cristina Ferrare (author of one of my favorite cookbooks from last year, Big Bowl of Love), Jenny (Picky Palate), and Naomi (Bakers Royale).

KitchenAid Lunch

After stuffing my suitcase so full of Trader Joe’s goodies that I had to literally sit on it to zip, wouldn’t you know it… my name was drawn out of the jar for some shiny KitchenAid goodies. I picked out a gorgeous red KitchenAid food processor. Because after seeing that beauty in action, I had already decided that I was going to cash-in my St. Patrick’s Day/birthday/Christmas present early this year :)

KitchenAid Food Processor

It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. And I nearly fainted when I saw that it had this fantastical adjustable width slicing control. I seriously cannot wait for it to arrive so I can put it to work.

Thanks to Rachel of KitchenAid and Todd & Diane for the invitation and for hosting such a fun event. Can’t wait ’til next time :)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn March 7, 2012 at 3:52 am

What a fun day and congratulations on your kitchen aid win! What a beautiful looking thing!

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2 Laura March 7, 2012 at 7:27 am

What a fun time! And *love* your new toy. She’s a “little red Corvette”. Well, maybe not, but that’s what came to mind when I saw it! lol

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3 Krystal @ {Mrs. Regueiro's Plate} March 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

Ahhh, glad to hear your OC trip went well! Let me know next time when you are in the area, I’d be happily to take you around to some fun eats! But at least you were in good company of some AWESOME bloggers and all that fantastic food. I was wondering how you were going to take that food processor in your luggage, glad to hear they are shipping it to you! That baby is sure pretty!!!!!!!

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4 Kristy March 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

Congratulations on the beautiful food processor! What goes around comes around, I say. Sounds like a great trip, and I’m only a tiny bit jealous you got to travel to California at the end of winter.

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5 BeckyS March 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Congrats on the Kitchenaid food processor! Your recipes and posts are such an inspiration. I look forward to visiting your site daily!

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6 Joanne March 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Sounds like an amazing time! And MAJOR congrats on your kitchenaid win!

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7 Kelly March 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Enjoy the food processor. We love ours! It is the key to great hummus, guacamole, chopped fruit for baking, and so much more!

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8 Jessica @ Sunny Side Up March 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I’m so jealous! Your weekend sounds like so much fun! I’m sure your hugs with Joy couldn’t have been any more weird than my first encounter with her. Haha. :) Congrats on that GORGEOUS food processor!

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