Saturday, September 28, 2013

1300, IFBC, Doristas, and a Giveaway

Way back in June of 2005 I posted my very first blog post. I didn't know what I was doing only that I was at home with two small, sweet babies and thinking of things to do. My son had just turned 1 and a month into blogging we got the diagnosis for Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. In June of 2008, after many posts about kids and life in general I discovered Stumbleupon and posted one of my first food posts. In August of that year I stumbled upon Tuesdays with Dorie and made my first ever recipe (a chocolate banded ice cream torte) by Dorie Greenspan. The rest is history and this is my 1300th post! I have baked and cooked along in Baking: From My Home to Yours and Around My French Table (on and off as life happens) since that fateful August in 2008.

Several months ago one of the faithful French Fridays Doristas (as we like to call ourselves) posted a link and told everyone that Dorie was going to be the Keynote speaker at the International Food Bloggers Conference hosted by Foodista! Well, they had a deal that if you agreed to write 3 posts you only had to pay $95 for the conference. If you were not an active blogger it would be $395. Bobby and I started talking about it and thinking about logistics and if we could work it out financially. I was able to find a reasonable plane ticket, found roommates (I will tell you all about them in another post!), talked 2 of my sweet friends into coming and hanging out with me (I will tell you all about them too), and started saving money from teaching flute lessons so I could go and meet the lovely Dorie and her amazing husband, Michael (the original Dorista), in person!

Alice arranged a cocktail hour for all of the Doristas on Thursday evening before the conference at the Trace so we could meet Dorie and spend a little time with her before all the crazy began the next day. To meet all of these sweet people in person after so many years of seeing them on their blogs was priceless! Trevor designed a canvas bag for us and a pin that said "Beware the Dorista's". Susan also designed a pin for each of us to wear. Mary organized a newsletter with all kinds of information in it and the organizers also got two tables reserved for us right in the front for Dorie's keynote speech!

Adriana, Alice and I ended up in an improv class together. Liz was good friends with one of my roommates. Patty and I discovered I had lived in the same town as her. Cher, Kathy, Michelle, Betsy, Tricia and Nana, and Guyla were so sweet and fascinating to talk to actually in person!
The cocktail hour was really special to spend time talking to Dorie about baking but also about life and kids and family. She is incredibly easy to talk to and as sweet as you would think she is. My friend Sarah came with me and was included as a Dorista! Dorie brought each of us a container of Beurre & Sel cookies and Michael insisted that Sarah take some cookies too! :)

The next morning as we gathered for the opening session I was able to sneak in a few pics with my fellow Doristas and then pop to the front for the opening session. As luck would have it I got to sit next to Dorie at one of the front tables. She gave a sweet talk about social media but more about community. She had very sweet things to say about Laurie also, who started the Tuesdays with Dorie group all of those years ago.

Saturday morning several of us got up at 4:30 in the morning to visit Pike Place Market to see the shops opening and to capture some shots before the market was completely jam packed. I loved being down there with several of the Doristas and Barry, who organized our little excursion. He told us that the original Starbucks is not really the original Starbucks. The original actually burned down..or was destroyed. There wasn't a ton going on when we were there but I was able to capture some detail shots that I wouldn't be able to get with a million people milling about and being annoyed that I stopped in the middle of the road to take pictures. Some of the group went to Lola for breakfast and I walked all the way there with them but decided to go back to the hotel for the breakfast provided by Pastry Smart. I was glad I did because it was delicious but I would have enjoyed breakfast with them as well.
Sunday morning we decided on one last Dorista get together. We went to Macrina Bakery which was named one of the top 10 bakeries in North America by Bon Appetit. My throat was feeling a little scratchy so I ordered a lovely pot of jasmine tea with lemon and the pastry of the day which happened  to be an apple ricotta tart. So delicious!! Of course I had been out to a nine course dinner the night before so there was no way I could finish it. But I was glad I ordered it anyway.
I am so thrilled to be part of this group of bakers and cooks and that I got to meet all of these lovely people face to face! It helps put a face with each blog that I am reading each week!

Now on to the giveaway! I will ship anywhere in the continental US.  When you win I will ship to you 1 - 1 oz bottle of Lagrima vanilla, 1 - bar of Scharffen Berger chocolate, 1 - 1 TBSP packet of California Olive Ranch Olive Oil, and I will order a copy of Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours since that is where my baking adventure began! I am not sponsored by any of these companies but love the products.

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below about what you like to bake. If you would like to enter more than once I have a couple of options for you. 1. Tweet about the giveaway. 2. Share on Facebook. 3. Click that Plus 1 box for Google Plus. Make sure to leave a comment letting me know that you shared the post in those ways. I will accept entries until 3PM Central Time on Sunday October 6th.  4 ways to enter! 4 shots to win! May the odds be eva in your favor! :)


  1. Karen - it was so lovely to meet you! It looks like I missed out on quite a bit with the Doristas, but I enjoyed every minute I had with them!

    (I don't need to enter the giveaway, just wanted to say hello!)

  2. I love to bake pumpkin spice bread! I don't bake much else...I DO bake chicken but I'm guessing you mean something that is a dessert. :-)

  3. Cookies are my favorite thing to bake, but I also love muffins. When it comes to decorating, cupcakes are the best.

    Glad you had so much fun on your trip!

    Sara Hays

  4. Glad you had such a fun time on your trip! I'm super jealous!

    My favorite thing to bake is cookies, but I also really love muffins. When it comes to decorating, definitely cupcakes!

  5. I love your blog sweetie. Love the photography, too!

  6. Great blog. So glad you were able to attend the conference. I don't bake much anymore, but once in a great while might bake a chocolate cake (recipe includes buttermilk & cinnamon) from a recipe that I got from the wife of the pastor of the church I attended while attending college (University of Redlands). Made it so many times while the kids were young that I don't need to use the written recipe anymore.

  7. It was great to meet you last weekend, Karen. I enjoyed getting to know you. Love all your photos of Seattle. Brings back memories of a fantastic weekend with the Doristas! (I'm not entering the giveaway either.)

  8. I don't need to enter the giveaway, but just wanted to drop in and say I am so glad you came out. I really had a great time at the conference!

  9. Great idea about the giveway but I am also only here to say "Hi" (I am still trying to unpack all my gourmet goodies from Seattle and the two cookbooks I picked up on that trip :) Just had to say that it was lovely to meet you in person. I am so glad that you had a wonderful time and I truly admire all that you did to make this trip a reality. KUDOS to you- just as Dorie told "just said YES".

  10. Love the detail shots very much! I don't bake. I can cook, but my cookies are sucktacular. It COULD be my aversion to precise measurement. :)