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What a whirlwind that past weekend has been!  Just got back from an incredible weekend in San Francisco for the BlogHer Food Conference.  Talk about foodies everywhere, it was awesome.

I feel like I say this all the time, but the food blogging community is truly one of a kind.  They are the most genuine and kindest people.  Really.  It was great to be surrounded by the  bloggers we all look up to…The beautiful Ree, The Pioneer Woman, gorgeous Jaden from Steamy Kitchen, the incredible White on Rice Couple, Helen from Tartelette, Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes and so many more.

I really enjoyed listening to  the sessions but I must say my favorite part of the trip is chatting/networking with my fellow blogging friends.  It’s so great to put faces to names we see all the time on Twitter/Facebook.  Love my buddies I stayed with….Shanna, Marla and Amanda.  My trip wouldn’t have been the same without them!

We all had different experiences this past weekend, but here’s a glimpse at how I spent it :)  All 62 pictues, sheesh Jen!

Day one was crazy!  Check in, breakfast and chit chat filled the room.

My first session was with the White On Rice Couple.  I LOVE hearing their discussions on photography.  What talented beautiful people they are.

Fun cookbook library to browse through.

photo via Italian Dish

Me and Lori from Recipe Girl.  LOVE you Lori!!

The conference was held at the Intercontinetal.  After the morning session, we bolted out to lunch.

We went to “Out The Door” at the mall.  REALLY good :)

Love this picture of Lori and Amanda.  Love these ladies!

Some of our menu items.

photo via Amanda

….and more :)

A bit of a rewind here.  Thursday night we were off to a few fun events starting off at Ghiradelli Square to meet the Deen Brothers.

This was the cutest little pink shop, too cute not to take a picture of :)

This is where we met the “bro’s”

Here they are chatting with Kristen from Dine and Dish

All lined up for cookbook signing and pics.

photo via Amanda

Had to do it :)

photo via Amanda

After the Deen Brothers, we went to the Underwriter’s Laboratory Event.  We did a little Iron Chef competition.

photo via Amanda

Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod and I :)

Maggy and Amanda, love these ladies!

photo via Maria

Here we are at the la Petite Soiree Party Friday night, it was a blast!

Saturday morning, Amanda and I knew we were going to sight see around San Fran…or I should say bakery hop!

First stop was Dynamo Donuts that was featured on Food Network’s The Best thing I ever ate.  Talk about heaven sent.  They were incredible!

This maple bacon donut is their famous one.  It was really good.

This was my favorite….the caramelized banana stuffed one.  Delish!

This pumpkin chocolate chip was a close tie for second with that maple bacon :)

We ate….a lot of donuts.  Luckily just a couple bites of each :)

Next stop was Fisherman’s Wharf.  LOVE it here.  Lots happening in this area.

Pier 39 was such a treat.  Gorgeous!

How cute are the sea lions?  I could watch them all day!

Boudin Bakery/Cafe was so cool.  Take a look at the Alligator sourdough?  Love it!

These ones hanging from the ceiling were adorable.  I need this in my house!

Lunch time!  Amanda and I got a little soup bowl w salad.  How good does my crab and corn chowder look?

Tartine Bakery was next on our list.  Beautiful very classic desserts.  This was the Tres Leche cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart and a shortbread cookie.  We truly only had a few bites!

Next we went searching for Bi-Rite Creamery but first stumbled across the market.  How gorgeous are these flowers?

Love these colors!

Found it across the street :)

Gaby and Maria were talking about this salted caramel ice cream and I knew I had to have it.  Was absolutely worth the wait!

Later Saturday night we met up with everyone for the closing party that The Pioneer Woman, Steamy Kitchen and Simply Recipes threw.  This was such a fun night.  Great food, great company.  It couldn’t have been better.

My buddy Amanda and I.  Love her!

Fun appetizers :)


More bacon goodness!

The photo booth at the party was so much fun!  Here are my So Cal ladies!  Amanda and Lori at the top, Marla, me and Kathy at the bottom.  LOVE my sistas!

…and one more :)

Love this one too!  Think we had way too much fun w the photo booth!  Lol!

Ok, we are ridiculous now!

Soooo happy I got to see Angie of Bakerella Saturday night.  Wish we were in the same town, I just love her!

On our way to the airport.  Had a blast rooming with you Amanda!  Until we meet again…..better be soon!

This is my favorite.  Amanda, me and Marla on the right, my fellow OC buddy.  Love her to pieces too :)


Loved every minute of BlogHer Food!  So glad I was able to go :)

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We had a great time with our family visiting from AZ over Labor Day weekend.  We hit up Newport Beach and Crystal Cove….2 of our absolute favorites!  Here are some of my favorite shots of the weekend :)

It was totally overcast at Newport Beach, but the kids still had fun!

Jane’s Corndog’s is a must at Newport Beach!

Crystal Cove Beach is so beautiful.  LOVE it!

Thanks for stopping by :)  See you soon!

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I knew one of the things on my “absolutely do” list in NYC was Levain Bakery.  When I was in NY a couple years ago, I never made it there and I told myself this time I am going for sure!

Levain Bakery was on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay and  the second I saw those beautiful gigantic cookies, I just knew I had to go!

Amanda and I had our big cameras ready to go and ordered one of every beautiful cookie they had.  Not even kidding, these were the best cookies I have ever had, by a mile.

Sitting out front of the bakery and a shot of the display case, mmmm!

Ok, starting up at the top left we have the Dark Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin and my absolute favorite…Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip :)

Does it get any better than a tower of Levain Cookies?  Seriously!

No joke, Amanda and I were taking photos of these cookies for a good 45 minutes.  People probably thought we were nuts!  Lol.

The ooey gooey inside of the Chocolate Chip Walnut

Hands down this Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie was the best cookie on the face of the planet.  I might just have to order some through the mail :)

This Dark Chocolate Chip was a very close 2nd place.  Heaven!

Loved this Oatmeal Raisin too!

Thank You Levain Bakery for making my NYC trip so sweet.  I am beyond thrilled I was able to FINALLY get to taste your cookies.  Will definitely be back….in the meantime I’ll be placing my order for cookie in the mail today :)  xoxo

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All I can say is….”Wow” about this trip that Unilever took me on.  First the awesome hotel room, then we got our feet massaged, hair done, fed and so many other fun things?  I feel so lucky to have been invited to such an amazing event.  THANK YOU.

On 3 separate occasions Amanda and I had the opportunity to go up to the Penthouse Suite where Unilever turned it into a Culinary and Pampering getaway.  It really was beautiful.  Bloggers from the BlogHer Conference were invited to pop in to enjoy the treatment as well. Pictured above was the “foot massage” room.  None of us wanted to get up after our 5 minutes!  It was awesome especially after walking all over NY :)

This was some of the goodies over in the Culinary part of the Penthouse.  For breakfast we had muffins and scones then for dinner we had PF Changs new home menu along with Ragu pictured below and so many other tasty dishes.  Photo by Ragu team.

Another room of the Penthouse was set up with baskets of  flip flops, craft decorations and glue guns.  I got right to work on my own design.

Cute huh?  Love my yellow flippies :)

Here was another room where there were 2 little salon stations set up to get our hair done.  Amanda and I were so excited for this :)

Tada….here we are right after our “hair” appointment.  Loved the girl who did my hair, she was so great.

Saturday morning Amanda and I went to the BlogHer Expo and had so much fun.  Can you believe I met Padma from Top Chef?  I was so nervous to talk to her so Amanda ran over to her and asked if we could take a picture with her.  I would have never had the nerve to do it.  So glad she did, I am a huge Top Chef fan.

Adam Gertler from Next Food Network Star was also at the expo, he was really nice.  Had a great morning chatting with all the sponsors at the expo.  Even got a photo with a Milk Mustache at the Got Milk? booth :)

Also got to meet Marmaduke the dog!  He was the cutest ever :)

This was a kitchen set where they were filming for the Rachael Ray Show….never saw Rachael, but kept hearing about it :)

Ahhh, my long lost buddy the Dough Boy!  It was so great to see my Pillsbury friends I have worked with on Picky Palate.  Love them all :)

At the Pillsbury booth, they asked us to do some video for them for about baking tips, etc.

Later Saturday night Amanda and I went back to the Hilton to pick up a book and lo and behold Ree….The Pioneer Woman walked through the doors.  I immediately saw her and had to chat for a second.  I just love her, she is as beautiful and sweet as you picture her to be.  So glad I finally got to meet her even for a second :)

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Photo via Amanda

Thursday evening rolled around and it was time to get ready for our Martha Stewart Blogging Party.  Amanda and I got dolled up and first stopped by a Smucker’s Dinner party.  As we were looking for a taxi we saw this very tempting bike taxi (below) and we decided to jump in.  We are lucky we are alive, it was a little crazy!  These guys zip in and out of traffic like they are nuts!

Our driver took a second to snap this photo of us with my iPhone, Lol!  We look so calm here.  Most the time we couldn’t stop laughing because we thought we were going to die!

Photo via Amanda

After our Smucker’s Dinner we had to hurry over to the Martha Party.  I had NO idea what to expect.  The second we walked through the doors, I knew we were in for a treat.  We checked in by our blog names, received our official badge then were escorted upstairs for the party.  Unfortunately we arrived a little late and Martha had already left….but we still enjoyed ourselves, trust me.  There were oodles of beautiful cupcakes, cookies and these adorable mini burgers below.

Photo via Amanda

These little burgers were awesome.  I think we had plenty of these :)  I LOVE that Amanda found the recipe in Everyday Food below.

Photo via Amanda via Everyday Food

Photo via Amanda

Not only was there great food, but there were Nars Make-up Artists applying individual lashes for everyone.  How fun is that?!  I love that the guy told Amanda…..”No photos of me please.”  Lol!

Photo via Amanda

This was the view from the room where the party was.  How gorgeous is this?!

Photo via Amanda

Little break for our “Martha Party” Photo :)

Friday morning, we experienced the NYC subway station.  Needless to say, Amanda and I both agreed it seemed like we were walking into Hell as we ventured down the dark, hot and completely filthy stairs.  I must say Amanda is awesome, girlfriend was able to get us to our destinations with no problem, like she was an old pro.  I was so impressed and would have been completely lost without her.  Glad that I can say I have “done” the subways.  Definitely not my favorite form of transportation, but talk about saving cash.  It was much cheaper than the ol’ crazy taxi driver.  Actually kind of fun too :)

Right Photo via Amanda

Here’s our subway.  Amanda was brave enough to snap photos inside our train.  Love it.  Most of the time they were very full.

Doughnut Plant may have been the highlight of my weekend.  You probably think I am nuts, but these doughnuts were the best I have ever tasted.  Take a look at their flavors…

The Creme Brulee Doughnut was out of this world.  It’s the little one on top in the next picture.

So, we each purchased 2 doughnuts (at $3.00 a piece) and shared.  Before we dug into them we had to stack them up and take some photos.  Top was creme brulee, dulce de leche, carrot cake and peanut butter and jelly.  Drool!

This was the tiniest little doughnut shop ever, but was packed with people lined up almost out the door.  This was the little doughnut area right by the check out.

I believe this was the blueberry one, we didn’t try it, but it looked fabulous.

Here’s the peanut butter and jelly ones.  Square with peanut butter glaze on top and jelly throughout.  YUM, loved this one too.

Photos of inside of doughnuts via Amanda

My favorite part was that they all had filling inside.  The carrot cake doughnut had cream cheese frosting throughout.  Wish I could grab one right now :)  Make sure to visit Amanda’s blog for her post about the Martha Party :)


Hope you enjoyed more of our trip.  Still to come…BlogHer Expo, Unilever Pampering, milkshakes, rice pudding and Skyline Views :)

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This image of hotel from Google

Last week was such a whirlwind of excitement.  My buddy Amanda and I literally ate and shopped our way through NYC for 4 days straight.  I’m not even sure where to start.  Together we took almost 1,ooo photos over our 4 day visit!

Unilever put us up in this ultra Swanky and totally fabulous Royalton Hotel during BlogHer10 for some Culinary Fare and Pampering before and after the conferences. Can you get over how cool this place is?!  Take a look at our awesome room!

Loved our room, very chic :)

It was so nice to find a note under our door that said….”open door for fresh muffins.”  Sweet!

Ahhhhh, we loved this :)

this photo via Amanda

We also came home the first evening to find these adorable make-up bags full of lotions and LOTS of deodorant.  It was so hot in NY last week, so we appreciated the goods!

The streets of NY are incredible, such energy everywhere you go.  This was directly to the left of us towards 5th Ave.

This was to our right, just one block from Time Square.  People EVERYWHERE always on the go……and always on cell phones :)

Love these streets.  Amanda and I walked all over them.

After Amanda and I got settled last Thursday we headed to SoHo area and ate at this famous mini food truck, Waffles & Dinges.  Talk about the best waffles ever!  Definitely worth hunting down if you are in the area :)

I’ll leave you with Amanda’s waffle :)

Up next is our Martha Stewart Blogger’s Party and more of the fabulous places we ate!

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photo from google images

Last Wednesday through Friday I was fortunate enough to spend time with 19 other bloggers at the first annual, Now your “Steam” Cooking Thermador Blog Event.  They graciously put us up in the beautiful Gainey Ranch Resort in Scottsdale, AZ and boy did they feed us….well!

Thermador wanted us all to see an upclose and personal demonstration of their latest product…..The Thermador Steam and Convection Oven.  Watching the staff at Thermador show us all the bells and whistles of the oven really showed how passionate they are about this product.  It was amazing to see everything that could be done in a small but completely effective space.  I have been a fan of the Thermador brand since my competitive cooking days when I won a recipe contest to be in a cookbook of theirs.  Being in their gorgeous showroom and around the wonderful people who run their company just assured that they are a great company and brand.

I’ve posted probably one too many pictures of our trip, but thought I’d give you a run through of our time with Thermador :)  Also, see bottom of post for a list of all of the attendees :)

First stop was dinner at Mastros.  Delicious food. Really enjoyed chatting with everyone.

This shrimp appetizer was the star of the show.  Talk about gorgeous presentation!!

Thursday morning we all gathered in the lobby awaiting our 5 SUV’s to take us to the Thermador Showroom.

I have a weird thing for light fixtures!!

We got a full tour of their showroom and caught a glimpse of the chef preparing breakfast!!

Chef Kyle telling us all about the delicious breakfast.

You should have seen all 20 bloggers snapping pictures left and right through the entire event.  Was quite entertaining!  We’re such foodies!

A little oven demo.

Chef Kyle baking our tenderloin in the convection oven.

Time for lunch.

More foodie Paparazzi!  I have to say that I just LOVE the White on Rice CoupleTodd and Diane could not have been sweeter sharing their incredible talent with all of us.  It was such a pleasure to spend time with them on this trip.

Lindsey firing up the torch for our creme brulee!

My roomie and food bloggin’ buddy Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen working those mashed potatoes.  They were so yummy!

My fellow OC buddy Shanna from My Favorite Everything.

Lunch was awesome hence the thousand pics I took of the beautiful food!

The creme brulee was adorable in these star ramekins!

This tomato jam was irresistible.  Shanna posted the recipe HERE.

Thank you Thermador for the incredible day in your showroom.  The food was out of this world, your staff could not have been nicer and your products are gorgeous!  Loved every bit of this trip :)

Thursday evening we had dinner at 5th and Wine Restaurant.  Pretty much had to roll myself to the vehicles after this.  Massive Food Coma, but oh so worth it :)

Had a fun gondole ride after dinner back at the hotel with Kristen, Brooke, Chris, Russell, Jennifer and Me :)  It was….the most interesting gondole ride I’ve ever taken, don’t think our gondolier enjoyed our silliness much!!

Here are the fellow bloggers I had so much fun spending time with in “Steamy” AZ!

Kristen Doyle – Dine & Dish

Tina Haupert – Carrots N’Cake

Katie Goodman – goodLife {eats}

Lindsey Johnson – DesignMom Blog

Maria Lichty – Two Peas & Their Pod

Ciaran Blumenfeld – Momfluential Media

Diane Cu & Todd Porter – White on Rice Couple

Shanna Coady – My Favorite Everything

Brooke McLay – Cheeky Kitchen

Shaina Olmanson – Food for My Family

Jane Maynard – This Week for Dinner

Jenny Flake – Picky Palate

Jennifer Leal – Savor the Thyme

Russell Warnick – Endless Simmer

Sarah Freymoyer – Classy Mommy

Jenna Weber – Eat Live Run

Tanya Patrice – I Ate a Pie

Becky Bracken – She Knows

Disclaimer: Thermador paid my travel, room / board, meal expenses for my time in Scottsdale, AZ however the opinions expressed in this post about their products are my own.  Thanks!!

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We had such a fun day sight seeing in San Diego on Memorial Day!  The weather could not have been more beautiful.  We started off walking towards Seaport Village for lunch.  How adorable is Seaport Village?!  I hadn’t been there in years, there is nothing like walking around right by the water and feeling the sea breeze :)  Take a look at our trip through Seaport Village and the USS Midway Museum :)

The boys and I stopped for a quick pic before heading to lunch.

This picture is sooooo my boys!  They are like this about 90% of the day :)

The back part of Seaport Village around the restaurants.  I LOVE it here.

Waiting for lunch….

Some of us got Pizza from this cute pizza shop…..

and some of us got lunch at this yummy sandwich shop!

You know I had to take a picture of my sandwich before I ate it!!  How good does it look?

Hubby’s sandwich….yum!

Grilled cheese for the little guy!

Pizza was devoured, now onto the drink :)

Yikes!  I should have brought his toothbrush :)

I love this picture!

This is the cutest Fudge Shop, love their choice of colors!

I totally picked up some of these cute teaspoons, you’ll be seeing them in my photos soon :)

This balloon maker was incredible!  He made the best balloons I have ever seen.  Guess he’s been at Seaport for over 20 years!  You must visit him if you go!

The crazy fire eater!  Lol!

The boys loved this robot guy!  He was actually really good.

It was time for the aircraft carrier museum!

I think they enjoyed themselves :)

On the upper deck, LOVED snapping pics up here!

My guys are so cute!

I think they could have looked at these airplanes all day!

I’m sure they’ll hate that I dress them in the same shirts sooner than later, so I’m taking advantage for as long as I can!  I think it’s so cute :)

This statue was so awesome, it was ENORMOUS….hard to tell in the photo, but it was really incredible to see :)

Oh my, I was so excited when I saw the Fish Market Restaurant right next to the museum….this would be our dinner location!  We had a gorgeous view of the water from our table.  I had every intention of photographing my dinner, but my lighting was not very good and we were all STARVING :)

Love this picture….and his freckles :)

We had to steal the bread away from this little guy, he kept yelling “I love bread….and BUTTER!”  He pretty much filled up on this :)  This was the lighting I had to work with at dinner.  I kinda like it in this photo, but not so much for the food photos :)

Ice cream time!

Couldn’t help snapping all these pics of my cutie, love when they aren’t paying attention to the camera….which is most of the time :)


Thanks for sharing our little day trip!

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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!





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