Photos from the BlogHer Food Conference in Miami

Here are a few photos from the BlogHer Food conference in Miami! The BlogHer Food conference, held at the Downtown Hilton in Miami, FL this past weekend, was the perfect place for great food, drinks, and making new connections. So many incredible men and women passionate about cooking, food ethics, food politics, healthful living, community service, and partying (can’t forget that!) gathered for two days of workshops, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and loads of fun!

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View of downtown Miami from the rooftop pool at the Hilton.

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I was volunteering at registration for the event so my day got started at the sponsors morning break and the McCormick sponsored luncheon. The keynote speakers addressed superfoods, what are they and how they are impacting American diets. Adding foods like kale, blueberries, wild salmon, legumes, walnuts, and a key ingredient for us spicy food lovers, capsaisin, among a few, delivers the nutrients the body needs to help ward off diseases and live an healthy life! Yes, chile peppers are good for you according to Dr. Bazilian, one of the keynotes.

Hats off to McCormick and Hilton chefs for bringing the heat to the luncheon with this amazing international flavors menu. The food was definitely a hit with starters like grilled paneer cheese with mango tomato chutney, grilled Moroccan spice chicken with roasted red peppers and honey harissa sauce, roasted spicy chickpeas with spinach, and roasted curry cauliflower with piquillo peppers. For dessert we had a three chile mole fondue with churros and fresh fruit. Definitely all dishes I need to make. My mouth was on fire and I loved every minute of it!

McCormick-Luncheon

You can’t go to a food event and not pick up conference swag and sponsor freebies! Below were the gift bag items but there was much more to be had in the sponsors area.  This loot here was just half of what we got. I had to ship a box back home because there was no way everything I collected was fitting in my suitcase.

BlogHer-swag

One of my favorite items given to all who stayed at the Miami Hilton was this adorable little cast iron skillet. Perfect for smaller portions and less muscle power needed when using it! I love my cast iron skillet but that thing is like 10 lbs! This one here will be much easier to handle.

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I was also lucky enough to score a programmable slow cooker from Hamilton Beach! I just dropped my business card in a bowl and next thing you know I got a tweet announcing my win. Woo hoo! The good folks over at Hamilton Beach were also gracious enough to pay for shipping box back home. Thank You! Oh the things I can make. First up will be the chocolate cake and monkey bread recipes featured at the event, I’ll be sure to spice those up for you. I had no idea you could make cakes/desserts in a slow cooker. Did you? Have you made any desserts? Please share!

Day 1 also included sessions like turning online into a product line where awesome moderator Julie Van Ullen from IAB, Jadah Sellner and Laura-Jane Koers discussed how they built successful product businesses. Many great takeaways here like how you should chase the vision and not the money when launching a product business. Many focus on getting rich quick and lose sight of what’s really important; listening, connecting and building trust with your audience to deliver products that are useful and needed. One of my favorite sessions from event.

There’s so much more to share but I’ll post those later. I found a few spicy products I want to tell you about that I think you’ll like. Stay tuned and have an amazing Memorial Day weekend!

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Tacos 24 Hours a Day

I’m on a mission to get back to Florida. They’ve been having great weather since I left! Hate that! A few days before I got there the temps were in the 80s but it was downhill from there. So another trip is in order to get a little sun, some beach time and some kick-ass tacos! Nothing fancy here at Tacos Al Carbon in West Palm Beach Florida but what you will get is authentic Mexican food. That simple and that good.

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Tacos for $2? I’ll take it!

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Tacos Al Carbon is also open 24 hours so when you’re starving at 3AM after a night of hanging out there are several locations to check out.

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This one is on Lake Worth Ave and has a huge outdoor seating area.

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Love the smell of roasted corn! Sprinkle a little chile pepper, crema cheese and you’ll never have plain corn on the cob again.

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The tortilla chips are homemade and they’re pretty thick so watch your teeth!

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The steak, chicken and al pastor tacos were well seasoned and so good that I forgot to take photos of them all! The guacamole is creamy and well-balanced flavors so you have to try that as well. Check them out if you’re in the area, you’ll thank me later.

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A Smorgasbord of Mexican Foods in a Southern Florida Flea

I was in the West Palm Beach area a couple of weeks ago and found a little gem of a place off of Forest Hills Blvd. If you’re in the area make sure you stop by the Sunshine Flea Market for great authentic Mexican foods like tacos, tostadas, tamales, pozole, menudo, you name it, they have it. It’s a typical flea market of steeply discounted clothes, jewelry, Mexican sweets, and other services but I came for the Michelada. I was told Juanita’s had one of the best in the area and they weren’t kidding! A Michelada is made with beer, spices, tabasco sauce and served in a salt rimmed glass. If you haven’t had one yet put that one on your list.

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I picked up a bowl of spicy roasted corn with a squeeze of lime, crema, cheese, ground chiles and drizzled with hot sauce, the perfect street food.

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Even though there was great looking food around, I was on a hunt for spicy candy and found plenty of it! Mexican candy is spicy, sweet, tart and addictive! Here are a few you can find here at the flea.

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The sales lady laughed when I asked if this was a chicken flavored lollipop! I don’t get why this wrapper has an image of a roasting chicken but this was my favorite. The right blend of sweet, sour and spicy…and no chicken!!

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These spicy mango lollipops were a little too sour for me but you might like them. They’re coated with chile powder too!

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The flea market is in a nondescript strip mall area which cannot be seen from the street but it is next to El Bodegon supermarket. If you go during the weekend be prepared to deal with the crowds and kids running everywhere. People go there to shop but also go there to hang out with their families, surely for the food, candy and snacks! So if you go on a Sunday looking for pozole, get there early, if not I’m sure you’ll find some other delicious treat!