This weekend I will attend my second Creative Connection USA event. I’m excited to have an opportunity to connect with some of the wonderfully creative women I met at the first event I attended a few weeks ago. I also hope to meet some new friends, as I’m sure I didn’t even chat with half of the women gathered at the Tea Exchange.
That event was pretty monumental for me. I’ve been planning menus and blogging for a while now, but I still feel like I’m just starting out. I love what I do, but I’ve been struggling with the direction to take it in. There’s so much I want to do and learn, and so many different things that I love to do. So it can be difficult to focus when I’m wearing so many hats. I’m working on narrowing down my focus (and it’s so much fun!!!).
This is kind of a lot of information, and it’s getting a little more personal than I’d intended the blog to be… I hope you’ll indulge me and keep reading. I still have a lot to tell you.
I want to introduce you to a few of my new friends, who have been so influential, inspiring, and who have encouraged me more than they may ever realize.
Joanna Waterfall of Waterfall Creative is a new friend. She is creative, artistic, sweet and fun (and she looks a little like Audrey Hepburn, which I think is super cool!). She’s encouraging, supportive and excited about my work. She has designed a new logo for me, which I’m restraining myself from showing you right now, because it deserves its own post. I’ll show you in a few days. I can hardly wait! If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have known about CCLA. If it weren’t for the contest on her blog, I may not have attended the event. I’m so thankful for this new friend!
Emilee Hegg of Tasteful Tatters is the host of the CCLA events. She has encouraged me with her excitement for my menu planning venture. I’m humbled by and so thankful for her kind words and the way she makes me feel like I’m doing something special. She has an Etsy shop where she sells super cute accessories. She also has awesome vintage furniture and accessories you can rent for weddings, photo sessions, birthday parties and more!
Lizzie Metcalf of S’Wonderful Photography was the featured photographer at last month’s CCLA event. She’s sweet and talented and I’m so glad to have her as a new friend!
Laura Pedrino of Yours and Mine Photography was one of the women I spent the most time with at CCLA. We were in line together for something to drink, and ended up sitting together. She’s a newlywed, who has started a photography business with her husband. I’m looking forward to connecting with her at future events and watching their business grow!
Christy LeMire of Waterside Wellness is passionate about food and nutrition. She’s a health coach who provides personal nutrition, wellness and lifestyle counseling. It’s been fun to connect with her about food!
A few other friends that I’m excited to get to know better:
Becca Rillo of Becca Rillo Photography
Christy Schnurle of One Handspun Day
Kathy Le Backes of The Vintage Table Co.
Molly Reynolds Makeup Artist
Carson Saldivar of Itty Bitty Party Committee
If you’re still reading, I thank you. I hope I haven’t kept you from anything important. And, I hope you’ll continue to read. I have a few exciting thing coming up. I’ve kept the lid on things (mostly) and haven’t just haphazardly included them in this long post. However, I will not be able to keep them to myself for long. So, stay tuned for a new logo, something exciting to do with Abundant Harvest Organics (even more exiting than then contest for a free box of produce – have you entered yet?!), and an idea that Husband and I are working on – another facet to the menu planning art.
Wow, I wrote a lot… I’m getting to the end. I feel as though I should share a recipe. This is, after all, a food blog. So, in celebration of these new friends, of CCLA, of an AHO venture, of ideas with Husband… two recipes that are favorites of ours. My Homemade Burgers and my Shoestring Fries. I do hope you’ll enjoy them.
- 1/2 to 3/4 lb. lean ground beef (turkey or chicken would work as well)
- 1/4 oats, ground (I used the coffee grinder, cleaned out a bit first)
- 1/8 C flax seeds, ground
- 1-2 T apple cider vinegar
- pinch ginger
- 1-2 T honey
- pinch cumin
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 t paprika
- 1 t parsley
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- Sometimes I’ll add an egg (helps hold it together), some BBQ sauce, and a grated clove of garlic. Last time I added some grated zucchini, because I had it. We couldn’t taste it, but knew it was adding a bit more goodness to the burgers.
- Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. Don’t overmix (I don’t know why, I’ve just heard this said).
- Shape into burger shapes, pressing in slightly in the center of the burger with your thumb.
- Cook in a cast iron skillet (flipping once) about 10 minutes, or until they reach 160F, or on a BBQ (10-15 minutes). Top with Gruyere, if you like it, and caramelized onions and mushrooms (dry pan, sliced onions and mushrooms, add a few drizzles of honey, cook until caramelized).
Really good with a vanilla milkshake too! (We did, more or less: 1 C Trader Joe’s vanilla bean ice cream, 1/2 C greek yogurt, 1/2 C milk – use more or less depending on how thick you want them). Blend.
- 2 potatoes, cut into cubed strips (is that how to say it? you know, cut into french fry shapes) about 1 cm x 1 cm (or about 3/8″x3/8″)… this isn’t an exact science… if they’re larger, they’ll take longer to cook, that’s all
- 1-2 T olive oil
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t paprika
- 1 t chili powder
- pinch cumin (opt.)
- pinch ginger (opt.)
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Cut potatoes. Rinse and dry (if you want – this will help them to get a bit crispier). Toss in a bowl with olive oil and seasonings. Bake at 450F for about 10 minutes (or until browned and crispy).
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