NEW SITE! Some good news and some bad news…

Hello Foodie Friends!!

For the past few months the wonderful Mike and Melissa at Nerdy Connections have been busy creating a logo and building a new web site for My Imperfect Kitchen! Isn’t it awesome?  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this new opportunity!!
pintrest_pic_MIK  
All my recipes and photos have been moved to the new site at www.myimperfectkitchen.com (no spaces or hyphens!) That’s the good news!!!!

The bad news: If you signed up here to get Emails every time I post a new recipe, we were not able to transfer the list over to the new page. If you want to continue to get Emails and updates from me, please, please, please visit the new site and register there so you won’t miss a single delicious moment!!

Thank you all for your patience and understanding! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in our new space and sharing many, many more recipes and foodie adventures with you!

All my love,

Sara~

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Follow That Chef – Cat Braithwaite

I’m so excited to share a fellow home-chef with you today! Meet Cat Braithwaite! Doesn’t she have the greatest smile?
Cat Braithwaite

Cat was our hostess for “Follow That Chef” at The Santa Monica Farmers Market with The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I LOVE doing these events! This is a great concept from Gourmandise! They offer the opportunity to follow Chefs, Cookbook Authors, and other Fun Foodie People around the Farmers Market and then return to the school for a demo and tasting!

Here we are wandering the Market on Wednesday:
At the Market
Market Veggies
Choosing seafood!

Cat’s menu for us consisted of a variety of different things, including mussels, salmon, avocados and a lot of fresh vegetables! She had fun showing us different ways to use spring roll wrappers, plus she deep-fried mushrooms for us. How can you not love that?
Food prep
Veggie Rolls
Demo Time!
Mussels
samples
Cat Cooking
Sliders w/fried mushrooms

Cat has a cookbook called “Farmers Market Frugal” that shows you how to eat fresh food on a budget. She gives you four weeks of recipes and some great tips and tricks on eating healthy.
Cat's Cookbook

We thoroughly enjoyed our morning with Cat. She works right there at The Market at Santa Monica Place, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing her often! Thanks Cat!! You did a great job!

To see all the pictures of our time with Cat, check out my Facebook Page Album titled “FTC-Cat Braithwaite”

Feeling Lucky? A Nikon Giveaway!

This Guy!

I wish the shirt said “This Girl” instead of “This Guy”, because THIS GIRL feels lucky, and blessed, to have such wonderful Foodie Friends! I’m not saying that because it’s St. Patricks Day and I’m hoping for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I really mean it. You all make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I get to cook for you, I’ve been blessed to attend a few foodie events, take awesome classes, go on walking tours and share my passion with you every single day! My life is full and I am deeply thankful for all you who are sharing this adventure with me!

In fact, I’m so thankful, I want to give YOU an opportunity to feel lucky too! I’ve teamed up with 9 other bloggers for a “Lucky Day Giveaway” and a chance for YOU to win a Nikon D3100 SLR Camera and a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens!!

I have this camera myself and I love it!

Lucky Day Giveaway

The Specs:
Nikon D3100 SLR Camera {Body Only}
14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor
Active D-Lighting
3.0 inch Color LCD Monitor
Picture Control System expands creativity
Nikon Integrated Dust Reduction System
Full HD 1080p movies with sound and full-time autofocus
ISO range of 100 to 3200 (expandable to 12800-Hi2)
6 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes- Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Fast, f/1.8 prime lens is perfect for low-light conditions, travel, environmental portrait and general photography
Engineered for Nikon DX-format D-SLRS, the AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens renders a picture angle approximating the classic normal angle of view of a 50mm lens on a Nikon FXformat digital SLR or 35mm film camera
Aspherical lens element minimizes coma and other types of lens aberrations, further improving image integrity
Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers color consistency and reduced flare
Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus
Close focusing to 1 foot for creative perspectives and versatility
Rounded 7-blade diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural
Accepts 52mm filter attachments

Pretty awesome, right? I think so!! So, here is how you enter… my blog is a little weird, so you’ll need to click on the link below in order to get to the Rafflecopter widget. Once you’re there, follow the directions to leave a comment about what picture you’d take with your new camera! (I can’t wait to see your responses!) There are plenty of other options for extra chances too, so don’t be shy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck Foodie Friends! I hope my good fortune rubs off on one of you and we will be sharing camera tips and tricks together very soon!

Best of the West – Chowderfest!

“Southern California Seafood goes ROGUE in the Ultimate Seafood Challenge” Local taste and local talent showcased the “Best of the West – Chowderfest” at the Aquarium of the Pacific this last weekend.

Aquarium of the Pacific

I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, than hanging out with my favorite foodie friends at the beach and eating chowder made by great local chefs, using fresh local ingredients!

We had such a good time! Sometimes I think I should pinch myself. It’s hard to believe my life is so richly blessed with these opportunities. Many thanks to The Aquarium Of The Pacific, Seafood for the Future, Edible Westside, The Sustainable Kitchen, Weiser Farms, Savor Magazine and all the other sponsors for a fun event. Here was the lineup for the day!

Chowderfest lineup!

When we arrived, things were just getting started. The Chefs were putting out there samples and the tables were finishing getting decorated. Each Chef was required to use fresh LOCAL ingredients in their dish. Not only were the Chefs and their creations displayed on the boards at each station, but so were the fishermen/farms involved in supplying the seafood and the seafood was highlighted as well!

Chowder Fest Chef Display

There was a Judges Choice Winner and the Peoples Choice winners. There were cooking demonstrations by Savor Magazine and of course, the samples!

Roe's Chowder

BlueWaterGrill

Chowder Samples

Gladstone's

My Favorite!

Tuna

Samples

Our little group was evenly between the Mussel Chowdah from Gladstones Long Beach and Kellet’s Whelk Chowder with smoked Potatoes from SIP Lounge at the Renaissance in Long Beach. My personal favorite was Chef Michael’s Kellet’s Whelk. It has so many layers of flavor and the fried leeks on top were outstanding!

Visitors

So who won? “Mussel Chowdah” created by Chef Pete Lehmar from Gladstones in Long Beach, using Mussels from Carlsbad Aquafarms won BOTH the Judges Choice AND Peoples Choice Award! It was tasty chowder, or should I say “Chowdah!”

Mussel Chowdah

Here was their display!

Gladstones

“Scott Breneman’s Sablefish Curry” created by Chef Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy Events and Catering Kitchen, using Sablefish from West Caught Fish Company won Second Place in the Peoples Choice. They had pumpkin in their Curry! It was an interesting twist.

Primal Alchemy

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And finally, tied for Third Place, was “California Dungeness Crab Chowder” by Chef Robin Higas from Market Broiler and (my favorite) “Kellets Whelk with Smoked Potatoes” by Chef Michael Poompan from SIP Lounge in Long Beach, with the Whelk provided by Fisherman Stephanie Mutz!

It was a delicious day! This is what our table looked like when we were done…
All gone!

I hope Aquarium of the Pacific does this next year. It was a great event and a great way to highlight local and sustainable seafood!

Thanks everyone! On to the next adventure! 😉

Wise Coffee! Pairings and Tastings!

Some of you know, I am part of a fantastic group of women, called W.I.L.F.S.(Women In the LA Food Scene). We get together monthly to network, share, plan, learn and of course, eat!

In February, our meeting was all about Coffee. Sheila Okabayashi and her husband Ryuichi, own their own micro-roasting coffee company called Wise Coffee.

Wise Coffee

They generously brought some amazing coffees for us to sample, and as we have incredibly talented bakers in our group, several ladies made specialized pastry items to go with each coffee. It was an afternoon of pure bliss!

“Until you’ve had great coffee, you really don’t know what you’ve been missing. But once you have an amazing cup of coffee, freshly roasted and respectfully brewed, you’ll never be able to go back to retail coffee again.” Ryuichi Okabayashi. Roaster & Founder, Wise Coffee, Inc.

I can’t begin to tell you how true this is!

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

The table was beautifully set and we happily began! Ryu carefully prepared each coffee, as Sheila walked us through the pairings and why she’d chosen the specific foods to go with each one.

Pairings - tasting mat

Not only did Sheila and Ryu prepare the coffee, we each had a tasting mat and a whole folder of information including a Glossary of terms, Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel, Coffee Tips on Storage and Brewing and a nifty paper explaining each coffee and the dessert that went with it!

Fresh Fruit and Brazilian Coffee

We started with Ethiopian Sidamo and Brazilian Coffee, paired with fresh fruits!

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

After we had our fruit, the next pairing was a Guatemala “La Reina” and a coffee from Peru. These were paired with an incredible Apple Pie.

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com

Photo courtesy of heiserphotography.com


The cinnamon and spices in the pie brought out the flavors in the coffee, especially the Guatemala. Although the nutty notes in the Peruvian Coffee complimented the apple pie as well.

Apple Pie

The next delicious offering was a Colombian Medium Roast and Sumatra. Both strong in body with rich flavors, we paired this with a Butternut Brioche spice buns swirled with coffee and spices, topped with maple coffee icing.
Red Bread
Coffee baked into both the pastry and the icing, really enhanced the coffee notes and flavors of these particular coffees.

The dairy round of our tastings consisted of another Colombian – Light French Roast and a Mexican Oaxaca. These coffees were dynamically different, but paired well with a raw Mocha Cheesecake and French Vanilla Ice Cream.
Raw Cheesecake

Finally, a chocolate and caramel round of tastings ended our afternoon. We had a Shade Grown Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, paired with a pice of hand poured dark chocolate and a dark chocolate flour-less coffee cake with salted caramel drizzled over the top.
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Both of these pairings also used coffee as an ingredient in the pastry.

If you’ve never done a comparative tasting between two coffees matched with a perfect food item, you are missing out on an incredible experience.

More important than the food, is the way Wise Coffee offers 100% organic, micro-roasted, single origin coffees for the highest quality flavor and aroma. All their coffees are certified organic and fair trade certified. Even their coffee bean bags are made from 40% recycled and 25% PCW (Post-Consumer Waste) brown paper. The lining of the bags is PLA (Polylactic Acid), a thermoplastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch. They use stamps to mark their bags rather than toxic labels. So what that means is when you’re done drinking their amazing coffee, you take the wire off the top of the bag and you can throw the whole thing into the compost pile or your recycle bin!

How AWESOME is that?

If you want to know more, follow this link and check out Wise Coffee for yourself!

Cupcakes for a Cause!

I love foodie events! Especially events when there is chocolate or pastry involved! Cupcakes for a Cause is the Inland Empires FIRST Cupcake Fair. There will be cupcake tastings, baking competitions: both professional and amateur categories! There will be live entertainment, complimentary massages, a photo booth and even a Kids Zone!
IESO_CupcakesFAC_flier-frnt_rev

IEShineOn is hosting this event and I am excited to help spread the word!

Cupcakes for a Cause will be held Sunday March 17th from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, in Riverside California. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Foothill Family Shelter and the California Riverside Ballet.

ALL the event info can be found HERE!!

Are you a baker? Do you want to share your cupcake talents? Consider entering the baking competition! You can find all that information by clicking HERE

Don’t want to bake, but just want to attend? I am giving away TWO free general admission vouchers! You get entry to the event and six tasting tickets!

To enter leave a comment telling me your favorite cupcake flavor and who you’d bring to the event if you win!

Want extra chances?

“Like” My Imperfect Kitchen Facebook page and leave another comment telling me that you are following. If you are already following, leave a comment and say “I’m already following you!”

“Like” IEShineOn on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you liked their page.

Follow My Imperfect Kitchen on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you are following!

Follow IEShineOn on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you are following them!

That’s FIVE chances to win!

The winner will be chosen at 12:00 PM PST Friday March 15th so spread the word!! GOOD LUCK! I’ll see you there!

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