June 11, 2013

Weekend in Austin

What a blast this past weekend in Austin was! The annual BlogHer Food blogging conference was in Austin, Texas, this year, and this weekend fabulous foodies from all over were in attendance. It’s in a different city every year, and when they announced Austin as the destination for 2013 I was so excited for the chance to visit such a fun foodie city. It was my first time in Austin, and I loved every minute of it. And oh my goodness did we find some good eats, lol! I cannot believe this was my fourth year attending BlogHer Food. I had no idea what I was getting into the first year in San Francisco — it was my first blogging conference ever — but it was such a wonderful combination of inspiration, friendly faces, amazing talent, and way too much fun packed in one short weekend that I’ve attended every year since in Atlanta, Seattle, and now Austin. Can’t wait to hear where it will be next year!

Here’s a little recap of what you can expect at a blogging conference… :) Way too much fun, food, and silliness ahead! :)

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

I arrived in Austin at about 10 am on Thursday. No worries, I only had to get up at about 3 am to catch my flight, lol! Of course I went to bed at a reasonable hour and was not still packing at 1 am. Ahem. At the airport I met up with Sommer (pictured above) who writes the delicious blog A Spicy Perspective, and we hopped in a cab to the conference hotel.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

We had nearly the whole day to ourselves, so after hanging out in the room for a few hours gabbing and girl-talking, we were suddenly famished. We had heard all about the Austin Food Truck scene, and we definitely wanted to check out a food truck for lunch. We took a cab to South Congress, (or SoCo as the locals called it) where all the food trucks congregated, and found Torchy’s Tacos. On the menu was a fried avocado taco and we were instantly sold. We also got the green chile pork taco which was, while not as photogenic, AMAZING and might have been our favorite of the two. Everything on the menu looked incredible! They also have a secret menu, so be sure to do a search for it if you go! ;)

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

We’d heard the queso was not to be missed, and I’m glad we decided to get it at the last minute. It was delicious!

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

But oh my gosh, you guys. I could not believe my eyes when I saw this on the menu. Deep Fried Cookie Dough. I had never had anything even remotely like it, and I knew we had to try it. It had a crunchy, almost Frosted Flake-like outer coating…

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

And inside was warm, gooey, melty, chocolaty cookie dough. SO YUM!

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

Next we walked just a block up the street and met up with Jessica, Tina, Lauren (and her sweet buddy Blake!), and Jenny at Gourdough’s Gourmet Doughnut Truck.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

And this happened.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

We had heard all about Gourdough’s and knew it was a must see. They had decadent flavors like this Blackout Doughnut with topped with Brownie Batter, Chocolate Fudge Icing, Chocolate Covered Brownie Bites and Chocolate Syrup. A chocolate lover’s dream.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

Reese’s Pieces, for the chocolate and peanut butter lover.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

And an insanely decadent Banana Split doughnut with strawberries, bananas, brownie bites, a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and chocolate sauce all on top of a doughnut. Ridiculous.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

My favorites were the more simple, fresh and fruity doughnuts, like the Strawberry Shortcake doughnut (a doughnut topped with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries) and this Key Lime Pie doughnut.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

The Peach cobbler doughnut was also a favorite! We ended up walking the 2 miles back to the hotel to try and walk off all our doughnuts, lol!

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas Left to Right: Lori, Sommer, Sandy, Heather, Betsy, Jenny, Lisa, Me, Maria

 

By the time we made it back it was time to start getting ready for the first official party of the weekend. Our first event was appetizers at the Tasty Kitchen party, which was hosted by the fabulous Ree and her beautiful sister Betsy at Malverde, the gorgeous upstairs space of La Condesa. It had such amazing light! An amazing space. We were all oohing and ahhing. Oh! GUESS who else was there! Marlboro Man! It was a family event. Ree’s two adorable boys were there too. They were little angels! Ree’s mom and Betsy’s sweet little boy were there too. Such a fun family!

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas Left to Right: Maria, Julie, Sandy, Me, Lisa, Jenny

 

My favorite part of conferences is getting to spend actual face time with the amazingly talented bloggers I’ve gotten to know over the years through our blogs.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

Finally got to meet the sweet Jocelyn of Inside BruCrew Life! Isn’t her hair amazing??! :)

Our next stop was dinner at Uchiko with KitchenAid, which was incredible — highly recommend — and finally a dessert party with ZipList at Max’s Wine Dive. We went back to the hotel and crashed!

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

The next day we had lunch with the wonderful Michael Angelo’s family. I had not seen them since our Italy trip and it was so great to see Mike, Sara, and Cheryl again!!

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

They treated us to an intimate lunch at The Back Space, a casual Italian pizzeria from the chef and owner of Parkside. Their pizzas are authentic Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas made with the freshest, local ingredients and fired in an Italian brick oven.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas

Pizza perfection! Such a delicious lunch.

A Recap of the BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference in Austin, Texas Left to Right: Deseree, Maria, Julie, Jenny, Lindsay, Me

 

A few of the lovely ladies at lunch!

***

Okay, whew! I had intended to write this recap all in one post, but I am about to crash out! I always need a day or two to recover from these blogging events, lol! I didn’t want to just not post anything today though, so I’ll just go ahead and post what I’ve got now and finish the rest of the weekend tomorrow. So much more fun to come, including a lunch I hosted for Nestle!

Thanks for looking! See you tomorrow!! :) xoxo

Click HERE for Part 2!!



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39 Comments





1
Averie @ Averie Cooks June 11, 2013 at 4:16 am

Thanks for posting this wonderful recap! I know all these pics have got to take forever but it’s so appreciated! No way I could swing a trip to Austin right now, and am grateful to live vicariously through your gorgeous pics and wonderful story-telling! Everyone looks amazing! So much fun! :)

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2
Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet June 11, 2013 at 5:37 am

Followed on Instagram and it looked like a great time. Thanks so much for the detailed recap and great photos! I think I gained five pounds just looking at those doughnuts!!

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3
Ann des June 11, 2013 at 5:39 am

OMG! Can’t wait to go to Austin and EAT! What a thorough, descriptive recap of your stay there. How are all you girls so trim though? Is it the 3 bite rule; no more, no less? Anyway, I have to include that I love your colorful dress with the pink sash. Stunning!

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4
lori p June 11, 2013 at 5:52 am

How fun!! Love to read & follow all of your adventures!! Would LOVE to go to SoCo! I’ll put it on my bucket list!!

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5
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh June 11, 2013 at 6:19 am

Great. Now I have dust on my tongue from licking the screen. Looks like you girls had a wonderful time, as usual! One day I will actually get my rump to one of these conferences.

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6
nessa June 11, 2013 at 6:35 am

Oh my…those doughnuts! And deep-fried cookie dough- I die.

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7
Amy Christine June 11, 2013 at 6:43 am

We recently got a Torchy’s Tacos in Houston. People went crazy here, since it has such a huge following in Austin. So yummy. Haven’t been to that doughnut truck yet. Must try it!

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8
Debi June 11, 2013 at 7:04 am

Amanda, your photos continually amaze me! That… and the fact that you still manage to retain your figure after eating all these scrumptious looking treats! You go, girl!

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9
Erika June 11, 2013 at 7:09 am

Looks like you had a great time! All the food looks so delicious! I would love to know where you bought your hexagon print dress? Too cute!

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10
Heather June 11, 2013 at 7:23 am

I so wish I’d been able to go this year! You gals always look like you have the BEST time :)

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11
devona June 11, 2013 at 8:03 am

would love to see more pics of your gorgeous house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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12
Alisha June 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

Well now I just feel silly. We’re in Austin all the time and my hubs is even from there and I haven’t eaten at hardly any of the places you went to! Now I’m going to have to do the “Kevin and Amanda Tour” of the city that’s in my own backyard!

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13
Bev @ Bev Cooks June 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

Missed you missed you missssed you!

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14
Stephanie @ Plain Chicken June 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

YUM! Everything looks great – especially that pizza! Can’t wait to see the rest of the trip.

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15
katie June 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

It was so great seeing you again this weekend! Dinner at Uchiko was surreal and delicious! Your luncheon with Michaelango’s sounded awesome! On my last day in Austin I finally got to make it to Torchy’s and Gourdough’s! Both were equally amazing!

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16
Lauren June 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

Did you have the street corn at La Condesa? Heaven!

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17
Gloria @ Simply Gloria June 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

Even from the Instagram photos, it looks like it was a blast with all of those fabulous and talented ladies! Love how you recapped it all for us here! (=

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18
Bailey K. June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

I live in Austin but had to be away on business during the conference. Wish I could’ve gone! You’ll have to come to Austin again, and check out all the other things that this awesome city has to offer, like the outdoors, the water, the hiking, the hills, and all of the other hole-in-the-wall restaurants that we have. :)

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19
Sandy@ReluctantEntertainer June 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

Fun recap, Amanda, and was so great to see you again! And the food here … wasn’t Austin just the best city? Loved it! :)

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20
bridget {bake at 350} June 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

So happy I got to meet you IN PERSON!!! And so sad we didn’t get much of a chance to visit!!! :( I hope it’s not long until I see you again! Sending much love to Madison, AL!

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21
Jennifer June 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

You should do a post on where you got the dresses and jewelry you wore. All of the dresses are so cute!

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22
Emily June 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

I agree. Your dresses are so cute. Let us know where they are from :-)

23
Maria June 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Girl, you are not helping me with my diet! lol! My mouth watered after each picture. So glad you had a good time, however, you always manage to have a good time – you’re awesome!

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24
Mary Ann Anderson June 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Your posts are wonderful!
Love your pictures too!
Can you do one on fashion for these chiffon wide leg pants
comming out?

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25
Chels R. June 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

So far it looks like such a BLAST!! I can’t wait to read about the rest! And I agree with everyone else, you all dressed so cute! Details, please!!! :)

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26
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl June 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Such a beautiful and colorful recap!!!! It’s too bad you didn’t find anything good to eat. ;-)

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27
Des @ Life's Ambrosia June 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

What a lovely recap! Wasn’t that lunch with Michael Angelos so good?!? I am still dreaming about those brussels sprouts (that is something I never would’ve thought that I would say. Ever.)
PS. I am so completely jealous of your trip to Gourdoughs. I need that Blackout Doughnut STAT.

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28
Nikki @Seeded at the Table June 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Wonderful re-cap! Highlights for me were definitely seeing some blogger friends again and meeting new ones like you! I agree, Gourdough’s was WONDERFUL!

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29
Becky @ So Very Blessed June 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

What a great initial recap. Your photos are incredible, as always! Torchy’s & Gourdough’s were definitely our favorites there! I’m so bummed that I didn’t get a chance to meet you! Maybe next year. ;-)

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30
leslie June 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Such fun! So sad I missed it this year :(

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31
Cat Yates June 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Oh my gosh, those donuts look DIVINE! I may have to take a trip just for that peach cobbler one. Wow. One day, ONE DAY, I will make it to Blogher Food.

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32
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts June 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Everything looks amazing! Wish I could have made it this weekend, I would have come home 10 pounds heavier!

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33
Mallory June 12, 2013 at 2:01 am

Your pictures are beautiful! I see so much amazing food!!! It’s making me so hungry. It sounds like you had a great time at the conference. I could eat that fried avocado taco right now.

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34
Manderley June 12, 2013 at 3:03 am

oh how I envy you these meetings … and those delicious meals

xoxo

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35
Angie | Big Bear's Wife June 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

Next year, next year, I WILL be there next year haha. Wow look at those amazing donuts ooo and that dinner! So good1!

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36
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel June 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

So sad I missed everyone and all of that amazing food! Will have to plan to do BHF next year.

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37
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life June 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I am so glad I had a chance to meet up with you! It was wonderful to talk with you in person and I hope we have a chance to do it again…you are seriously so sweet :-) A group of us went to Torchy’s and Gourdough’s right before leaving too. Oh my goodness! I left on a very full stomach, but it was so totally worth it!!!

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38
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective June 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Those donuts…. I’ve been dreaming about them ever since!

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39
Brooke June 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Your food photography is absolutely AMAZING!!! Truly some of the best I see on the web. I’m hungry!

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