BlogHer Food Conference, Austin, Texas — Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of the BlogHer Food 2013 recap from Austin, TX! :) Here’s Part 1 if you missed it. So after lunch with Michael Angelo’s on Saturday, Maria, Jenny, and I stopped by the conference and they were making freshly spun cherry-flavored cotton candy! Fun! I haven’t had cotton candy in years, lol! That afternoon we took off exploring Austin. Loved all the fun boutiques downtown. So many cute jewelry and dress shops! We got in a workout walking all over the city! :)
That night Land O’Lakes treated us to a dinner at Moonshine, hosted by Ree, Maria, Sommer, and Julie. They had a photo booth set up, so of course we had to do it! I can’t resist a photo booth. :) This was our first attempt — we didn’t know it made an animated gif, so we just smiled the whole time, lol!
Here’s where we got the hang of it. Almost! Lol! Too silly.
Loved these neat party favors from Land O’Lakes. They gave us each a vintage-style recipe tin filled with a special recipe from each guest in attendance. Here’s my Peanut Butter Cookies with Homemade Honey Roasted Peanut Butter.
The next day I was so honored to host a lunch for Nestle at the famed Parkside restaurant with two of my favorite friends, Maria and Jenny. Pictured with us are Chris and Cynthia, part of the Nestle team who put together this fabulous event for us. If you are not following Chris on Instagram, head over there and check her out ASAP! She is always posting the most delicious treats she’s created from Nestle products. Chris is the head of the Nestle Test Kitchens and has worked with Nestle for 20 years. Right now the Nestle kitchens are being renovated so the Nestle Test Kitchen is in HER actual kitchen! How fun would that be?? :) Chris is also one of the sweetest, most generous and genuine and people I’ve had the opportunity to work with. It was such an honor to have the opportunity to host this lunch with such an amazing group of gals.
Our lunch at Parkside was downright delicious, and for the perfect ending they created a trio of mini desserts for us with Nestle products. We had a mini key lime pie made with Nestle’s Le Lechera sweetened condensed milk, a Butterfinger mousse with salty peanuts and a scoop of roasted bananas, and a dark chocolate crisp & berry parfait. I cannot get that dark chocolate crisp out of my mind! Chocolate perfection.
You know this particular group of bloggers could not get together without going on a little bakery tour of Austin! ;)
We popped into Delish Bakery and had to try the Cookie Dough Millionaire Bar with layers of shortbread, caramel, cookie dough, and chocolate ganache. So yummy! I would totally order this one again. They also had some gorgeous cupcakes. The lemon zest one looked amazing! Kicking myself for not ordering that one now. :)
We heard we had to check out Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, so we headed there next. They won Cupcake Wars for their “Marilyn Monroe” cupcake — a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting — which of course piqued my interest since that is my favorite cupcake combo! :) It did not disappoint, it was definitely a perfect vanilla cupcake. The ginger molasses cookie up front was another favorite as well! Kristan already has a copycat recipe up. You have to try it! :)
Spicy little devil’s food cupcake!!
One of the final parties of the weekend was a Strawberry Shortcake party hosted by Driscoll’s Berries. They had a make-your-own strawberry shortcake bar with melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuits, poundcake, angel food cake, fresh strawberries, and freshly whipped cream for us to create our own strawberry shortcake creation. I tried one of each and could not choose a favorite! They were all too yummy! Talk about strawberry shortcake overload. But in a good way. :) They also had these seriously amazing strawberry shortcake cupcakes that were made especially for the party and flown in from More Cupcakes in Chicago. The cupcake was dense, rich, and lightly sweet like pound cake, and the bottom was a shortbread cookie crust. Genius. It was topped with a fluffy whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries. One of the most perfect cupcakes I’ve ever had. I will definitely have to check out More Cupcakes in Chicago this summer when I’m there for the BlogHer Conference!! (If you click on that link, check out the details for the DSLR Debrief workshop. Look who’s teaching it!)
The final closing party of the weekend was hosted by Ree, Elise, and Jaden at Stubb’s BBQ. They were serving Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches and I was so excited to finally try one! Every time I go to NYC I attempt to hunt down the truck but so far I’ve never been able to find it. Lucky for me, it was right there at the party! :) It was worth the wait, this was one of the most delicious ice cream sammies I’ve ever had. Softest chocolate chip cookies ever with coffee ice cream and OREOS!! How fun is that?? :)
I love seeing everyone at the closing party for one last hug and goodbye. So bittersweet! The weekend goes by way too fast. So fun seeing the Six Sisters again after speaking at their Build Your Blog conference.
On the way back to our room we ran into these girls in the lobby and had to squeeze together for one last group hug and photo. Jenny and I found a comfy seat at Starbucks (which was conveniently located right in our lobby) and stayed up way too late chit-chatting with one of my favorite friends Cheryl of Tidy Mom and Amy of Living Locurto.
Sunday morning came way too quickly. After we were all packed up and ready to go, Jenny (my fabulous travel buddy and best roomie ever) and I headed down to the lobby to hang out and say goodbye to everyone leaving. I am wearing my standard travel uniform, a comfy maxi dress and a cardigan. This is the maxi dress from Forever 21 I was telling you about a few months ago. It works if the plane is freezing cold or burning hot!
Most everyone left around noon, but my flight wasn’t until 5:30 pm so I had most of the day to explore. I was so glad to meet up again with Erin, my Berlin travel buddy, whose flight didn’t leave until 5:30 as well. Yay!
We had a late brunch at Max’s Wine Dive because we kept hearing about the almond crusted french toast with whipped cream and blackberry coulis. We only got a half order which was the biggest mistake of my life. Seriously. I was dying over this french toast. It is my sole mission in life to get myself back to Max’s Wine Dive and order more of this french toast. And get the FULL order this time, for heavens sake! We also ordered the chicken and waffles, which was a last minute decision and I’m so glad we did. We flagged down the waitress and had her change our order. The waffle was seriously unlike any waffle I’ve ever had before. It had a wonderfully light citrusy flavor, not just plain like bread, and the outside was SO crisp — like the exterior of a funnel cake — if I didn’t know better I would say it was fried! So good. I would 100% get both of these if I were to go back tomorrow.
When we made it to the airport, we were excited to see we had some fellow blogging friends to hang out with while we waited for our flights!
Then we learned ALL our flights had been delayed!! Sad faces for the Delayed Flight Club! Fortunately Erin and I made it out on time, but I think poor Karly and Aimee missed their connections due to the delayed flight and had to spend a night in Dallas! As far as I know, we all made it home though. WHEW! My luggage arrived a day later than I did, but it all came in one piece. (Not that I would know for sure– I haven’t unpacked yet!)
Thanks so much for looking and following along on our Austin adventure!! :) Do you guys want a fashion recap?! I can post one tomorrow or Friday! :) Have a great day!! xoxo