The easy recipe this week is perfect for the crazy night when you don’t know when all the kids are going to get back from their activities. Because this recipe is so easy it is perfect for the family on the go. You can increase portions to accommodate all the kids and friends.
Here we go.
Tomato – sliced thin
Basil – fresh – sliced
Mushrooms – sliced
Flat Bread- store bought
Store bought grilled chicken – chopped
Pinch of Italian spices
Swirl BBQ sauce onto the flat bread. Then add tomato slices, onion, and mushrooms. Next add the chicken, and then the basil. Top with a swirl more of BBQ sauce. Place olive oil on the clean grill, next BBQ pizza on the grill for 4 minutes on medium high heat. Near the end add parmesean cheese.
Boom – you can keep making these bad boys until everyone is safe and home for dinner.
Easy Recipes and Stuff was launched in late January 2011. Setting the blog up was easy. Coming up with recipes and stories was fun. But, pretty much I was operating on the fly. I wondered if there was a resource group for food bloggers. My search initially led me to Foodista. I enjoyed the Foodista site and even submitted a recipe. I had found a great recipe resource, but not a group of people to converse with and learn from. My quest continued.
In late February or early March I began to search food blogger conventions. Rather quickly I hit on a post discussing how much fun the blogger had at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle. The Seattle event had everything I was searching for, and ironically it was a production of Foodista. I had been close all along.
I began frequently logging on to Foodista anticipating that eventually the location and date of the next conference would be announced. Finally Foodista announced the date and location for two IFBC events in 2011, and one was in my area. Sweet! I registered the very day I found the announcement. And then, the wait started.
The days slowly passed. After a couple months the New Orleans conference came and went, but the Santa Monica (SaMo) conference was still months away. Finally, it was 11/11/11 and I was on my way to the conference.
But first, a step back. She Who Must Be Obeyed has labeled me as, at best shy, and perhaps worse, a shut-in. For years I have argued that I love people, how else could I have functioned marketing my firm, and appearing in court. My logic was lost on her. The gotcha moment came when I announced to her that I was going to the IFBC in Santa Monica….. alone.
I planned my commute to the IFBC conference to allow for a timely arrival. But traffic was flying. I arrived way too early. So there I was sitting in the hotel lobby, IFBC posters placed at every corner, but not many people milling around. I did what I excel at, I began to pace back and forth. And, as people began to filter into the lobby, I began to feel nervous. Can’t tell you how much it annoys me that She Who Must Be Obeyed is always right.
The registration process had not commenced yet, and a large number of people, er, strangers were everywhere. I reached for a lifeline and texted the little lady, telling her it was kind of scary. Who knew I would be in the midst of so many strangers. Let’s just say she relished in her moment of victory.
I bucked up, registered, went into the large conference room, and took a seat. So there I sat, relatively calm in a room filling up with more strangers with every passing minute. Next thing I knew, an extremely vibrant and cheerful person broke through my safety zone and happily proclaimed, “Hi my name is Tess” while extending her hand. The ice was broken. And one by one the strangers became friends.
I could go on and on about how great the speakers were, how wonderful the wine and food was, and how absolutely polished the event was. But I am certain others will accurately catalogue the wonderful event. For me, the thing that made the event was something that cannot be planned, scheduled, or put in play during staff meetings. This conference differed from other professional conferences I have attended because of the people.
I met wonderful people from Australia, Israel, Canada, Germany, Chicago, Texas, California, and other great places. Every single person I met was at the conference to meet other bloggers, advance their skills, and have a fantastic time.
But it did not stop there. Even the Foodista and Zephyr Adventures people were great. I recall Sheri announcing her goal was to speak with every attendee personally. And I think she came pretty close. Then there was the session were Barnaby’s dad scrambled under a row of tables trying to get power back to a bank of computers. The family feel was further displayed as I occasionally sighted Barnaby or Sheri pushing a baby stroller around the lobby area. I will not forget the wonderful husband and wife, Organic Valley Farmers from New York, or my new snowboard buddy Reno.
The main event dinner was prepared by Chef Michael Moore, and even that was about much more than just great food. Chef Moore would drop into the dining venue every now and then to say hello, and explain what they were preparing in the kitchen. And then, after we enjoyed his spectacular meal, he came out and discussed his take on the relationship between blogger and Chef. Then the whole family tone arose again. Chef Moore disclosed that years before he had been diagnosed as diabetic. And much more recently, while barbequing, he had suffered a massive stroke, which was supposed to end his career. Yet here he was, full of energy and humor, no residual stroke issues, cooking for us. Chef Moore discussed how he had developed new more healthful recipes for his latest book. And again, there I was feeling as if I was amongst family dealing with and rejoicing in life.
So, I guess that’s it, the International Food Bloggers Conference was everything I had hoped for professionally, and as it turns out, much more. The conference was a gathering of friends. I look forward to gathering with my food blogger family next August in Portland.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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