Sunday, September 28, 2014

Paleo Chicken and Waffles

Last weekend was the 2014 International Food Bloggers Conference, where brands and bloggers got together in Seattle to network, learn and enjoy good food.  With breakouts on Food, Writing and Technology, there was something for every food blogger. I had an enjoyable time and actually got to meet some bloggers in real life. Ironically, some of those I met live in my same neighborhood.

What was great about this year's conference was that there were many brands represented in the healthy space, and for me, that means acceptably paleo.  Dinner last night was brought to us by the swag from these brands.

  • The local sausage company, Isernio's, which makes clean chicken and pork (didn't know this before the conference) sausage.
  • Nutiva, which makes coconut products, like coconut oil and flour
  • NestFresh, a cage free, organic egg producer
Almost mis en place!

I had a hole in my tummy that was looking to be filled with waffles, so that's what I decided to make.  After going through my paleo waffle recipes (thank you PaleOMG), I found that they all required coconut milk, of which we had none.

It was almost 8pm and we were getting hungry. I knew that its only an 8 minute trip, one way, to the grocery store. So, yes, I did make a grocery store run for coconut milk and a few add-ons as I dashed out the door.
Paleo chicken and waffles.

 I made PaleOMG's Savory Waffles and topped them with browned Isernio's Chicken Breakfast sausage and some of Heather's spicy (homegrown) ketchup. While the savory herbs in the waffles complimented the sausage, the waffles were dry. Her recipe actually tops them with a gravy and they needed the moisture from a gravy, for sure.

What was neat about IFBC was that these were all products I already enjoyed in my clean eating and I got to meet brand representatives and see some new products (more on that later).

Disclaimer: The chicken and eggs used in this post were some swag from the conference.  I ate this stuff already, so I already thought it was great before I got some free coupons! While I wasn't compensated for this post, I did receive a blogger's discount for attending the conference and this post is meeting a part of what I had to do in return for the discount.

Monday, September 08, 2014

How to Poach Eggs [Video]

I've always enjoyed Poached Eggs. They've always had a special cachet to them - most restaurants don't have them on the menu, unless you get Eggs Benedict, another favorite of mine. And it takes a certain caliber of restaurant to have Eggs Benedict. I used to only make poached eggs when I was making a special brunch, New Years, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day or having friends over for brunch. I have several gadgets and even a special pan with inserts to make poached eggs, which I would leverage quite frequently.
My go to breakfast: poached eggs, mashed sweet potato and bacon. Photo by Heather.

But after some research, I learned how easy it is to make Poached Eggs in just a pot of water. And now, sadly, Poached Eggs have lost a bit of their cachet, because I eat them just about everyday (which makes me happy - a net increase in happiness).  Heather had posted several photos of the breakfasts I make for her with poached eggs, and one of her friends asked how to make poached eggs.  I decided to make a video of the method.

Without further ado, here is my first ever cooking video! Enjoy.

If you give it a try, let me know how it works out for you in the comments, either here or on YouTube. As a teaser for a future post, you can also make poached eggs in the microwave! Think how awesome your breakfast in the office could be!

The rest of this post is about making the video, so if you just wanted to learn about poaching eggs, that's all I've got for you today. If you want to see what I learned about making a YouTube video, read on.

It's not the greatest video around, but it was my first go. In making this video, I learned how easy it is to make videos for YouTube. The YouTube editor is pretty nice for working with multiple clips and provides some reasonable editing capabilities. I shot all this video with my phone, and in fact, the last half was inverted because I held my phone with my left hand, upside down so I could reach the buttons. Little did I know that the display would be right side up, but the video wouldn't be. However, YouTube came to my rescue and I was able to invert part of the clip!

Almost a year ago, I attended the International Food Blogger's Conference and a blogging chef recommended I try out food videos. IFBC 2014 is less than two weeks away, and I've finally done it. Here are a few things I learned while making this video - its probably the quality of what would be turned in for a high school project, but the lessons are still a good foundation.

  1. Shoot in multiple clips. The editor can help you put them in sequence, even if you need to re-shoot a portion, and trim the starting and ending points. You'll notice that the video hadn't started when I was talking about bringing the water to a full boil.
  2. I recorded my audio at the same time as my video. I didn't script it or prepare too much for it. You'll notice I was repetitive at times and stumbled over the words and simultaneous actions. With the editor I can turn off the volume on the video clip and lay an audio track down. That audio track could even be a new video, but it will only play the audio portion. This way you can go sequence everything and even talk through the transitions. I'd plan on redoing this video with a better audio track, with some introduction speech and some voice over the "what you need" picture.
  3. Its easier if you have a helper to actually hold the camera. When it comes to food preparation, there is only so much you can do with one hand. Talk through the shot with them before hand. I didn't tell my son that I'd want to show the eggs right after plopping them in the water, hence the finger pointing.
I thought that this was a fun medium to work with and I plan on making more of these in the future. if there are any things you'd like me show you how to make, just leave a comment!