Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kathy’s Excellent Adventure at the IFBC Seattle~Part 1 and a Pistachio Quick Bread

Seattle’s Pike Place Public Market…an incredible place
My excellent adventure began two weeks ago, when I boarded a plane in Atlanta bound for Seattle to attend the Foodista IFBC 2013 food bloggers conference. This was more than a bloggers conference for me. I was finally going to meet a group of bloggers I have been blogging with for the the last three years, as part of the French Fridays group. Virtual friends! I arrived in Seattle on the 19th of September, and that evening attended a meet-up at the Trace Lounge in the W hotel. There I met Dorie Greenspan,  and many of our French Friday Group. The meet-up was amazing. However, I was quite nervous about meeting everyone.  I am always early…I hate being late. So, as usual I was the first to arrive at the Trace Lounge. We sat on a bench seat and waited.  My husband ordered me a glass of wine.  He told me I needed it! Did I look that nervous?  As I sat there sipping my wine, I felt so out of place. What was I doing here?  Then a lovely young women walked in and headed over towards me.  She looked at me and said “Kathy?”  It was Cher, of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler.  We hugged and I immediately felt so much more at ease.  She was very sweet and, I could tell just as nervous as I was.  It was all down hill from there. Alice of A Mama, Baby and Shar-Pei in the Kitchen arranged the get together for that evening, for all the early arrivals. Alice is our official, unofficial social director. She is such a darling young lady with two beautiful little girls, who I got to meet that evening.

Adriana, Tricia(Patty), Liz, Me, Betsy, Mary and Patty at breakfast in the Trace at the W hotel
Dorie and me
Soon the other girls started to trickle in, Liz (That Skinny Chic), her husband, Bill, and very lovely daughter, Katie. Guyla (Lola’s Kitchen), Patty (Patty’s Food) , Adriana Greatfood 360, and Karen (Our crazy blessed life). They were all so easy to talk to, and get to know. Then the highlight of the evening, our mentor Dorie Greenspan and husband Michael arrived.  The room started to liven up with lots of chatter, laughter, hugs, and many photos! It was a fabulous evening.
The next morning, all the girls met again in the Trace for breakfast, hosted by Mary (Lights On Bright). Time to meet the girls who were not there the night before.  Betsy (A Plateful of Happiness),  Michelle (jemangelaville),  (Tricia and Nana Cooking), and Susan (Create Amazing Meals)Again, Dorie joined our group for breakfast.  She was so very lovely, taking photos with all of the girls, genuine, humble and funny.  She also brought all of the Doristas cookies from the Burre & Sel, her bakery in NYC.  What a treat!
Most of the Doristas just before opening session
Guyla, Patty, Nana, myself and Susan
Our reserved table

After breakfast was the sign-in for the conference. There was a lot of activity, with the room full of commotion and promotional products! We ate lunch at the booth manned by Poquitos authentic Mexican cuisine.  It was a perfect lunch to start off the conference. That’s when Trevor (Sis Boom Blog) arrived, just in time to hear Dorie speak.  Did I mention that Dorie was our keynote speaker? Sheri Wetherell, CEO of Foodista  reserved two tables in front of the podium for the Doristas, a name that was coined by Trevor.     

Dorie was so inspiring! 

Dorie gave such an inspiring speech. She spoke about how she got started writing cookbooks and her time working with Julia Child.  She then spoke about how technology has spawned and grown a community of food bloggers. She also told us about how thrilled she was to have a dedicated group of bloggers cooking and baking through her cookbooks. It all began with the group started by Laurie Woodward, Tuesdays With Dorie and, about the community it fostered. How these groups were not brought together by a publishing house, but rather by a mutual love of baking and cooking.  This was a weekend of Kindred Spirits, and it felt so right!

I have much more to say about the conference but, it will have to wait for another post.  For now…Happy Wednesday everyone!!

Oh, I almost forgot! Since this is a baking blog, I have a wonderful Pistachio Quick Bread to share with you!  Pistachio paste gives this bread an incredibly moist and dense, almost pound cake like texture!  You’ll love it!

Delicious Pistachio Quick Bread

Pistachio Quick Bread

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup of pistachio paste (If you would rather make almond bread you can subsitute a 7oz. package almond paste and change the nuts to almonds)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
Baking spray with flour (such as Baker's Joy)
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Dash of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients (through pistachio paste) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in vanilla. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and 1/2 cup milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined.
3. Scrape batter into a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray; sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.
4. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon milk and dash of salt; stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over top of bread; let stand until set.

 View of Seattle from our hotel dining room


  1. love your pictures: beautiful and fun and love your cake recipe yumm!

  2. Nice post - great memories! I loved meeting you! You're one of my longest standing blogging friends! Doristas rock!

  3. A bunch of elegant ladies! You sure had lots of fun in Seattle.
    The quick bread looks super, Kathy.

  4. So great to meet you and Bill, Kathy! We did have fun, didn't we :-)

  5. What a lovely time you had, it's always so fun to meet people in person after getting to know them online!

  6. So great to see your pictures. What a wonderful group. It is terrific that this group is more than cookbook sales. It really is about a love of cooking and connecting with like minded people. Hope to meet you some day.

    1. Diane, We are hoping for an east coast meet-up! You will have to join us! I will keep you posted.

  7. Oh, Kathy, it looks like you had a wonderful time in Seattle! Looking forward to part 2 of this post!

  8. Loved meeting you Kathy..such great memories of the weekend and a delicious bread ;)

  9. Your enthusiasm glows in this post, Kathy. I'm so happy for you and the "Doristas." How exciting for all of you.

    Pistachio Quick Bread may just need to go on my weekend menu. I just bought a huge bag of pistachios!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  10. Kathy, I enjoyed reading about your wonder meeting in Seattle with the Doristas. The photos are superb, and such a fantastic write-up you included along with the photos. You all look amazing...thanks for sharing!

  11. Kathy, what a wonderful time you had. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing pictures.

  12. What a great write up, Kathy! I want to hang out with you all again SOON! And your pistachio bread looks wonderful.

  13. Pistachio bread! That is what's missing... Nice trip Kathy!