Thermador Event, Scottsdale Arizona

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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Memorial Day in San Diego!

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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Bertolli Trip….Last But Not Least…Rocco DiSpirito


Photo via Pat.

Our last activity with Bertolli was a quaint meet and greet with none other than Rocco DiSpirito.  Our limo drove us to the beautiful Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel where we would meet Rocco for a “small bites” dinner at the gorgeous Culina Restaurant.  What a beautiful place it was.  Everything was just perfect there.  Take a peek at our time with Rocco :)  Thanks Bertolli!

Lovely restaurant!  Photo by Pat

One last group shot before meeting Rocco :)  Photo via Shelisa

Our fun place settings.  Photo via Briana.

Love this one of Rocco.  He was so much fun to chat with!  Photo via Pat.

Our lesson on fine wine :)  I don’t drink, but you better believe I ate!!  Photo via Pat.

We were all ooing and ahhing over these gorgeous flower bowls. They were all real flowers and were just beautiful!  My photo :)

Mandy and I were literally right in front of Rocco during dinner.  Yes, we were totally staring!  Lol!

Oh my gosh, I love this picture of Brittney!   Photo via Amanda

We watched the 4th video of “Into the Heart of Italy” before it was even posted online :) Photo via Pat.

Our fabulous “small bites”  dinner menu :)  Photo via Shelisa

I had to snap a picture of the fancy water we were poured :)

Before I took a bite, you better believe I had to get a good shot of this work of art!! Involitini De Manzo=Pure heaven!!  Thank you Chef Victor!

Oh man this was good too!  I snapped this photo of Caponata Di Carciofi….baby artichokes, this was really good too :)

This was probably my favorite!  Suppli Al Telefono….. Risotto and mozzarella?  Incredible!

Here is Chef Victor Casanova, he is incredible!  Rocco asked if he’d bring out the slab of Kobe beef to show us.  That square of beef is worth a small fortune!  Photo via Amanda.


Kobe beef in all it’s glory :)

After we ate dinner, we all got in line to have Rocco sign our cookbooks. Photo via Pat

I jumped in first :)

Hmmmm, I don’t even remember what we talked about!

I think I just laughed alot :)

Amanda… go girl!!

Cute Mandy and Rocco :)

Brittney with Rocco.

Sarah and Rocco :)  Photo via Pat

How adorable is this?!!  Yes, I snapped this one of Shelisa and Rocco :)  Love it!


Photo via Pat

Congrats to entry #26 Allie who was chosen as the winner from to win a signed copy of Rocco’s new book.  I’ve sent you an email Allie :)

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Bertolli Trip…The Best Gelato Shop Ever, Scoops and The Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills


Photo via Brittney

Right after we ate all we could stand at the Gourmet Food Trucks, we jumped back into our limo and headed to Scoops.  I really can’t begin to tell you how amazing this place was.  You just must try it for yourself.  The owner Tai Kim is the sweetest man ever.  He gave our whole party free Gelato.  Thank you Mr Kim!!  He creates very unusual different flavor combinations of gelato.  My favorite that I could eat all day was the lavendar honey.  YUM!!  The salted caramel and salted chocolate was amazing too!

Photo via Pat

When we arrived at Scoops, we ran into Chef Tal Ronnen who had a stack of his latest cookbooks with him.  He signed them and gave them to the Bertolli girls who picked 5 of us to take his book home (drew from a hat to make it fair).  I didn’t win, but Thank you Amanda for giving me your book!!  I am anxious to flip through it :)

Here I am with Tal, who was busy chatting with someone else :)

Photo by Amanda

Ahhhh, here is Mr. Kim.  If you are ever in LA you have got to stop at Scoops.  Love him and his cute shop!

Photos via Pat via Amanda :)

Photo via Pat

Photo via Pat

How cool is his little spoon chandelier?!

Photo via Pat

Amanda and I snapped pics of her Gelato outside, look at that!!

original photo of me by Mandy

Shelisa in heaven with her “scoops” :)  original photo by Mandy

original photo by Shelisa

Off to the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills!!  Photo by Mandy

What a gorgeous cheese shop this was, loved it and all it’s stinkiness!  Photo via Pat

Look at all this cheese!  Yum!  Photo via Pat

The nice cheese man let us all try a fabulous gorgonzola!  Photo by Pat

Mmmm, Prosciutto!  Photo via Pat

Love this photo I snapped :)

Wishing I would have got some of these chocolates!

Photo via Pat

Thanks for coming along with me as I share my gazillion photos of the Bertolli Trip :)


Up next, last but not least…..our Hour with Rocco DiSpirito!!

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Bertolli Trip….Chasing Down the LA Food Trucks!


Right after the Farmer’s Market we were off to chase the LA Food Trucks!  This was one of my favorite things we did last week with Bertolli!  We meet the adorable Sarah from Tastespotting who helped Bertolli plan our fabulous day around LA.  She is as beautiful as she is talented.  Sarah jumped on Twitter and found exactly where the trucks were.  We hit the jackpot, there were at least 6 trucks lined up ready and waiting to be sampled!!  Take a look at our tasty finds…..

Our first stop was the World Fare Truck which had this fun upstairs eating area.  We hung out here for a while and sampled one of everything on their menu.  Not kidding! Photo by Shelisa

Here we are on top of the World Fare “Bustraunt!”

They brought us brownies….cookies…

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes….

This darn Butterscotch Bread Pudding was too good for words.  I might drive back to LA just to sink my teeth into this again :)

How fun that these trucks are in a different location every day.  They tweet of their whereabouts and people show up….lots of people!  I can see why, the food is incredible!

These fried mac and cheese balls were ridiculously good.  Photo by Briana

Amanda modeling the inside of the mac and cheese balls!  I believe they were truffle mac and cheese balls, yum…

This was a medley of peppers….don’t remember the title of the recipe, but I remember they were fantastic :)

Cooks working hard!

Head chef Andi….how adorable is she!?  She was so nice too, came and chatted with all of us.  She is very talented.

Had some gorgeous shrimp plates from the shrimp guys.  I was so full by this point, I just looked :)

Mandy and I

Snapping pictures of….

These gorgeous tacos.  I remember being so full, but sampled a bite and YUM! Photo via Amanda

Jenny, Shelisa and I….full as can be.  Photo via Amanda

Jenny, Shelisa, Amanda and I.  Photo via Amanda

Sarah from Tastespotting, Amanda and I

Up next…..the best Gelato Shop ever and a Beverly Hills Cheese Store to die for….told you we took a zillion pictures!


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Bertolli Trip…LA Farmer’s Market


As soon as we finished breakfast at the Griddler Cafe last Tuesday our next stop was the amazing LA Farmer’s Market.  We had so much fun browsing around and snapping hundreds of pictures.  I’m sure people thought we were nuts!  I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from the market :)

Mandy and I getting ready to check things out :)


I had never heard of Rambutan.  How crazy does it look?!  Wonder what it tastes like?

There were dozens of gorgeous bakery shops.  I couldn’t help but snap pictures of the yumminess!

Wishing I would have ordered a couple of these!

The adorable Amanda :)  Photo by Brittney

Brittney and Jaclyn….photo by Mandy

Shelisa in action…photo by Mandy

This hot sauce store was hysterical!  Couldn’t help myself…had to snap a pic :)

You better believe I bought a bottle of this one :)

Gorgeous little candy shop….photo by Amanda

Sticker Shop….photo by Amanda

One of everything Please!  photo by Amanda

Uh….Yum!  photo by Amanda

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake…Photo by Amanda

Photo by Amanda

Love this picture :) Photo by Amanda

Good thing my boys didn’t see this, how fun does this treat look?!  Photo by Amanda

Mandy and I couldn’t help ourselves at this cute little purse kiosk.  She snapped this one :)

Shelisa took this one of us deciding what bag to get!  I ended up with the one I’m holding but in black…Love it!

After we bought our purses, we walked around the Grove.  Gorgeous outside mall/movie theater

Brittney found the Dancing With The Stars Band walking around at the mall.  Tried to sweet talk us some tickets but drats, they wouldn’t budge!  Photo by Shelisa

Shelisa snapped this one…heading back to the limo ready for our next adventure!

Up next….The LA Food Trucks!  YUM :)

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Bertolli Trip, Arrival at Thompson Beverly Hills and Breakfast at Griddler Cafe


Bertolli really went above and beyond last week.  I truly can’t say enough about it.  I feel so lucky to have been a part of the “Into the Heart of LA” Blog Event.  I don’t even know where to start so I am taking you to my first night at the gorgeous Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel :)

I arrived at 7:00pm and checked into this cool room pictured above, picture taken by the talented Pat.  I was so excited to meet my blogging buddy Amanda from Her and her guest Jenny were right across the hall, we were running around like college girls :)  Shortly after I arrived I also met Brittney who won the trip from Briana of  She is hysterical and sweet talked a very large security man into getting us into a swanky, very LA party on the rooftop of the hotel.  It was a premier party for a new show coming out called Haute and Bothered.  We walked around for a few minutes, trying to act like we were “supposed” to be there, took some photos at a complimentary photo booth, then took off back to our rooms…we were starving.  The cast seems really sweet.  Little youngsters, I’d guess 17.

Jenny, Amanda and Me….ok, we are geeks!

Once we got back to our rooms, we put our pj’s on as fast as we could, got on the phone to room service and ordered practically their entire menu!  There were 5 of us eating dinner, you’ve got to see all of this food.  The guy looked at us all like we were crazy as he brought in plate after plate! Take a peek at our Pajama Party/Room Service Dinner Extravaganza :)

Amanda loved the cute little ketchup bottles :)  Thanks for taking all of our room service pics Amanda!

We ordered a ton of sushi….

Couldn’t resist the Parmesan Truffle Flavored Popcorn….

or The Kobe Beef Sliders…..

The Chicken Club…..

Lobster Tacos (these were incredible)….

LOVED the Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese….

Penne Bolognese

Here’s half of us, what pigs we were that night!  Me, Amanda and her guest Jenny.

So, after we ate until we busted, my guest arrived, Mandy from Gourmet Mom on the Go!  I LOVE her, we had so much fun.  She brought us all the cutest necklaces, chocolates and a ton of other sweet gifts.  We stayed up and chatted then went to sleep anticipating our big day in the morning…..

We all gathered in the lobby at 8:30am to meet for breakfast.  Here’s where most of us met officially, what a wonderful group of women!  Picture by Briana.

Part of the group:  Brittney, Amanda, Jaclyn from Bertolli, Jenny, Me, Mandy and Shelisa.

What a fun surprise to see a massive stretch limo that would be our ride for the day.  Typical of all of us bloggers snapping pictures :)  Picture by Pat.

YES, a limo!  I don’t think I’ve been in a limo since my high school prom!!  It was awesome :) Picture by Amanda.

Mandy and I :)

One half of the limo:  Jenny, Brittney, Amanda, Mandy and Me

Mandy and I

Ahh, finally arrived to our breakfast stop…The Griddle Cafe, seriously YUM!

Woo Hoo, breakfast time!

Half the table ooing and ahhing over how massive our plates were.  Ridiculous amounts of food at Griddle Cafe!  Shelisa and I shared some raspberry lemon curd pancakes and a chicken cobb omelet.  It was fantastic.  2 thumbs up for sure.

Their pancake selection was amazing.  Just about anything you could possibly imagine as a topping was an option in your pancake :)  The left one is Amanda’s Strudel Pancake and the right is Shelisa’s Raspberry Lemon…Mmmm!

The size of Brittney’s French Toast was probably the biggest slices of bread I’ve ever seen.  The right is my oh so yummy Chicken Cobb Omelet.

Note:  I received the trip courtesy of Bertolli Frozen Meals (all-expenses paid covering transportation, hotel and meals) and my opinions are independent of the paid or sponsored relationship.”


Stay tuned….up next is our trip to the LA Farmer’s Market!

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Bubble Fest Mania!

Last weekend we had the opportunity to take the family to Discovery Museum’s Bubble Fest in Santa Ana.  Talk about fun!   A big circus like tent was set up with bleacher seats for everyone to squeeze in for the show.  This Bubble scientist named Fan Yang is amazing at creating beautiful bubbles.  My boys are officially Bubble Scientist Wannabes!

It was a great Saturday and I must thank Kelly George, the PR Manager for The Discovery Center who hooked us up with free tickets and bubble sets for the boys to take home.  They were thrilled and as you will see below and had a BLAST pretending to be bubble masters like Fan Yang!! I’ve never seen a bubble set that makes such beautiful bubbles, talk about a fun photo shoot!

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Food Bloggers Forum Seminar LA and Tartelette’s Photography Class!

While I was twittering early last week, I got this exciting message from Jaden of Steamy Kitchen that said, Congratulations Picky Palate, you have won a ticket to the Food Blog Forum Seminar in LA!  Oh my gosh, I was so excited. The Seminar was held in Downtown LA at Gallery 1018 put on by Jaden from Steamy Kitchen along with Diane and Todd from White on Rice Couple.

I don’t even know where to begin, it was a jam packed day full of incredible speakers, information and high energy.  I think it’s safe to say we all left feeling motivated to work harder at our blogs!

I had to show up a little late, but quickly found my seat in Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites and Adam Pearson’s Food Photography and Food Styling Class.  These two guys are amazing!  Seriously, their work is just beautiful and they really broke it down step by step to us.  I was a like a little sponge trying to soak up all of their information!

The next class was by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, the White on Rice Couple. They taught Food Photography Gear and Workflow.  These two are an amazing couple that have such incredible talent with their photographs.  Their information was priceless.  I learned about the importance of lighting that I can’t wait to play around with!  I was thrilled with this class if you couldn’t already tell!

Next up was Building Traffic with SEO and Social Media by Gary Nicholson, founder of Relevant Trafik that specializes in Web Design, SEO and Social Media to better your brand.  This was a really interesting class all about the ins and outs of working the “google” system.  Really interesting.  Definitely took home some good tips.

The closing class was done by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen, Marketing and Monetization.  Jaden has this way about her that lights up the entire room.  She has this amazing energy that motivated every one of us to work our booties off!  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to listen to her speak.  What a talent she is!

The last half hour was dedicated to a Q&A session with the entire panel of speakers.  They were all so great!  It was so much fun catching up with my new LA/OC blogging friends and even meeting new ones.  Kinda wish I could just travel around from location to location and go to every Blogging Conference out there!  What an awesome community food bloggers are :)

Here are our amazing speakers for the day…

Scott and Jaden Hair, Matt Armendariz, Adam Pearson, Gary Nicholson, Diane Cu and Todd Porter

Thanks for an AWESOME Saturday!


Thank you Donna from Dishy Goodness for lending me your beautiful picture!!

March 6th, 2010 I had the opportunity to attend a photography class held by Helene Dujardin, the incredible blogger and food photographer of  The class was held at the Academy of Culinary Education in Woodland Hills, about an hour drive from Newport.  This class exceeded my expectations.  Helen is so talented, her work is just gorgeous!  We all brought our cameras, some sort of baked good to photograph and some styling equipment.  Helen worked with each of us to answer any questions we had and to achieve a beautiful photograph.  It was a wonderful day!

Thank you Donna from Dishy Goodness again for allowing me to use the second photo!!

Helen looking oh so natural with her camera!  Me, Rachel from lafujimama and Gaby of whatsgabycooking comparing notes on our canon cameras!

My chocolate cookies styled with the help of Helen and Cathy/Show Food Chef’s Limes getting ready for their photo shoot.

Huge Thanks to Gaby, Jen and Rachel for setting this awesome class up!  Loved every minute of it :)

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