It’s been a while since I felt nervous about meeting people. I mean, now (but definitely not back when I was a kid), I consider myself to be pretty out-going. Well, that is far from what I felt like on Thursday night.
I attended my first food bloggers conference this past weekend right here in Seattle and attended a cocktail party type event Thursday night. The conference started on Friday but some of us were invited to a private event the evening before.
For about 15 minutes, I felt like I was in high school again. I was late getting there. An hour late (previous commitment) and walked in to people already standing in groups at tables, talking and eating. I thought to myself. . I don’t know a single person here. My friends were attending the conference but I would meet up with them the following day. I quickly surveyed the room and made a beeline for the food table. After a few obligatory instagram food shots, I wanted to text my husband to come pick me up so I could get the hell outta there.
It was stupid really because within seconds I saw the host, introduced myself and started talking to some people. Then later, one of the sponsors came over to introduce herself and then I saw more familiar names and faces and listened to Tom Douglas talk about his employees, his family and his restaurants. I love Tom but he always manages to say something inappropriate. Think: his head between his wife’s boobs. I’m serious.
Isn’t it funny how we can be transported back to that younger, insecure, unsure adolescent self within minutes? Or is it just me?
But I am so glad I went to the event and as for the rest of the weekend? It was fabulous. I’ll be posting more recaps about the conference very soon. This was my first food bloggers conference so I had nothing to compare it to but I was seriously impressed with the sessions, people, organization and events. Especially the dinner that was hosted by Urban Spoon. Oh. My. Gawd. Sitka and Spruce. The BEST restaurant ever. The food was spectacular. I am so happy I went to IFBC. I seriously had the best time.
As individuals, sometimes, we have to challenge ourselves, step out of our comfort zones. And get un-comfortable. This is how we grow, right? Well, I’ll be doing a lot of growing and stretching next month when we move to Madison, WI, where I know one person. But I’m thankful for the one person. . at least I have that, right? I’ll be moving there just in time to enjoy the weather before the cold winter sets in. God help me.
Chili is one of my go-to comfort foods. I always make a big batch of this stuff and love curling up to a big bowl with some crunchy bread. I really loved this chili because it was so simple to make and it’s vegetarian. If you’re a meat eater, like my husband, and need something in your chili, you can try this one. This one is my husband’s favorite. Or if you have any Mexican beer, you have to try this chili recipe.
And since I had the pleasure of meeting these wonderful ladies (and gentleman) this past weekend at IFBC, I wanted to share their fabulous chili recipes:
- Chung-Ah from Damn Delicious: 5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili
- Emily from Emmy Cooks: Winter Vegetarian Chili
- Heather from Farmgirl Gourmet: Farmgirl Chili
- Nancy from Gotta Get Baked: Chocolate Chili Ice Cream
- Gerry from Foodness Gracious: Beer Bacon Chili
- Daytona from Outside Oslo: Chili and Tequila
I hope you enjoy!
Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 small zucchini; chopped
- 2 carrots; chopped
- 1 small yellow squash; chopped
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cans 19 ounces each beans: black, garbanzo and kidney, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 cups kale; chopped
- 1- 1 1/2 cans 1 can = 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 package 10 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1- 1 1/2 cups water
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Using a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, for about 4 minutes.
- Add zucchini, carrots, squash, chili powder, cumin and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to get tender, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the beans, kale, crushed tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water (start with 1 cup and add another 1/2 cup if needed). Simmer until slightly thickened, for at least 30-35 minutes. Serve, garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from MarthaStewart.com.