At BlogHer Food in San Francisco last weekend we were indulged with quite a few product samples, from cooking gadgets and Nutella specialty spatulas to the Cuties mandarin orange and thyme martinis we sipped on at the end of each day.
I had so much schwag to take home that I ended up leaving some with my friend, checking in a bag, and even carrying an extra bag on the plane. My luggage sparked a bit of interest at the ticket counter as I inquired about the legality of some of the items. "You have such a cool job!" The attendant exclaimed when I pulled out a natural stone baking tray from Haeger for their inspection. I had to admit it was more a labor of love than a job, but there are definitely some perks.
One of the prettiest treats came from the Food Fête after party--these white chocolate covered mini chocolate cakes from Donsuemor. Sort of a cupcake/petits four hybrid, they've called them "Cute Cakes." They made a great breakfast on Sunday morning.
I almost passed up the 4-pack of spices from McCormick when I realized that I could use three of them in Cincinnati Chili. The Saigon Cinnamon was a nice touch too. My friends pointed out that they are also ROASTED, which is what makes them NEW NEW NEW. I can't wait to do a side-by-side with my regular dried spices.
The tray is the aforementioned natural stone tray. I think this is my favorite because it is sized to fit into a toaster oven. I've been looking for a replacement for ours without any success, and it just landed right it my lap!
I wish I was more into baking, but those of us who are were oohing and aahing over the generous bag of chocolate and various other items from Scharffen Berger. You know, I saw a recipe for spicy chocolate cherry brownies in this week's Los Angeles Times and since I have the chocolate I might as well give it a try...
I almost walked right by the table with this unfamiliar candy, but the gracious representatives at the Hi-Chew table insisted I try at least one of the flavors they offered so I picked a pack of mango. My friend, Casey, however, knew the secret of the Hi-Chew and loaded up. These guys don't know how happy they made her.
The little Le Creuset silicon prep bowls were a perfect fit for Japan's #1 selling soft candy.
I think I'm most intrigued by the sample of coffee we got from Boca Java at the closing party. In keeping with the theme of the Michael Ruhlman Bacon Experience, we went home with a sample of Maple Bacon Morning coffee. If any two words describe the kind of morning I like to have, it's "maple" and "bacon," so I'm looking forward to trying this one as well.
I also almost passed on this great little espresso set from Bodum when my friend, Garrett, pointed out I'll probably regret it sometime if I don't bring it home. He was right, it was perfect for this shot.