faces + food

Today was all about meeting new people + stuffing our faces.

It started with an amazing oatmeal breakfast at Bread and Cocoa.  There is such a thing as bad oatmeal.  [like from Starbucks, hehe]  However, this was an amazing bowl complete with a topping buffet bar.  Of course I forgot my camera battery in the room.  No lovely oat photos.  You can find a bunch of breakfast shots on Kath + Mama Pea’s blog though!

After breakfast, I led an informal photography session for anyone who wanted to attend.

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There was a great showing and it was honestly a ton of fun.  I was definitely nervous, never taking a formal photography class myself, or giving photography advice to more than 1 person at a time.  I felt really comfortable talking to this group of girls though.  There had great questions and lots of good feedback. 

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After that a bunch of us hoofed it over to this amazing lunch spot, Cafe Gratitude.  It was a good 2.5 mile walk and we were all STarving.  The menu was a veggie foodie lovers dream.  Full of vegan, veggie, + raw options.  Definitely not easy deciding what to get.

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I miss my doggies!  And Chris too!! :)

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Some of the lovely lunch crew!  Emily + Janetha + Mama Pea + Stephanie

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Allie + Janetha + Gabriella

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Amazing menu!!!!

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Kaitlin + Heather

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Sarah [aka Mama Pea] and I split this awesome sampler platter.  I love love love having a variety of things to taste, especially at such an eclectic spot.  Here is the menu description: I AM ABUNDANT SAMPLER PLATE - Sprouted almond hummus, hempseed pesto crostini, spicy cashew nacho cheese w/flax chips, olive tapenade, buckwheat crackers, spring roll & mini house soup

I think my favorite was the hempseed pesto crostini, bottom right.  The texture of the dehydrated bread/cracker was amazing and it was packed with flavor.

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Raw spring rolls…crunchy + delicious.

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This taco plate was freaking delicious.  The “cheeze” sauce was cashew based, but tasted like spicy sour cream.  The guac was piled high [covered by the cashew sauce] and some of the best I’ve ever had. 

I AM TRANSFORMED TACO PLATE Two handmade corn tortillas with brown rice, beans, salsa verde, guacamole & cashew nacho cheese.  Served with a side salad with fig balsamic dressing

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The house-made corn tortillas had the perfect chew + flavor.  Loved the sprouts on top too! 

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The yoga group met us there a little later!  After lunch we trekked back to the hotel and had a few hours to chill in the room. 

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Foodbuzz shuttled us all to the Street Food Fare at the Herbst Pavillion.  I had no idea what to expect but was really impressed with how everything was set up.  There were about 8-10 local restaurants that supplied the food for the night.  They were offering tapas sized plates of food, which is always fun because you get to try so many things.  There were a lot of meat options, but I found some awesome veggie goodness as well.  I had no problem filling up!

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First, we all sat at numbered tables and had a foodie gift exchange.  Can you guess what I brought?  Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter of course!  It was fun getting to know a whole table of bloggers I had never met before.  I was gifted chocolate truffles, that I will be sure to highlight once I dig in. 

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I really loved talking to these ladies all night long.  I talked so much my voice is about 50% gone.

Sarah + Michelle

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Sarah + Anne + Meghann

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Frog Hollow Farm deliciousness.

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Vegan paella. 

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Delicious vegan bean taco. 

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Indian spiced wrap, which was completely amazing and was filled with cubes of homemade paneer cheese.  This was packed with flavor and had a spicy kick!  Not sure what the wrap was made from…it wasn’t naan or a tortilla…but it was delish!

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Teri + me :)

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There was a local mini cupcake company that supplied this huge display.  It’s hard to tell but the orange cupcakes read FOODBUZZ.  We got to talk to the owner of the store, Mission Minis, and miiiight even be on The Food Network at some point!  They were taping there, and a few of us just happened to be standing in the right place at the right time.  We’ll see!!

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Honestly, hands down, best cupcakes I’ve ever had.  I’m really sensitive to sugar, and these were not overwhelming.  I could actually eat the frosting. 

  • the white frosting was Madagascar vanilla bean with a vanilla cupcake
  • orange was pumpkin cupcake with a ducle de leche cream cheese frosting
  • green was Saigon cinnamon spiced with some sort of cream cheese frosting

I’m a huge vanilla freak, so I loved the vanilla bean, but the pumpkin stole the show.  It was SO moist and had tons of flavor.  The cream cheese frosting was perfect.

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Dessert #2.  I’ve never seen a flavor like this and as you can imagine, it was extremely tasty.

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Kath + Lauri

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Kath got some action shots of me chomping away on the cupcakes. ;)

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Off to the Fresh Express breakout session where I get to be up on stage with a local chef that will be recreating my winning salad recipe.  Fun stuff!!!

<3 Ashley