Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cleveland Rocks!

Hey! Well, I am slow to post these pics from my visit to Cleveland's Ripe! Food and Garden Festival over the weekend. I headed there Saturday evening so I'd be in town to judge the Healthy Food Fight with Aetna and it was a teeny bit chilly. Inspired by my Hot Choco Loco in the debut episode of the 8th season of Cooking for Real just that very morning, I settled in my hotel room and ordered a hot chocolate ... Ahem, as you can see in lieu of the 2 missing jalapenos, I subbed in two other ingredients :-).I was tired from the flight and this knocked me out! The next morning I headed to Cleveland's Botanical Gardens for the event and settled into a full day of small bites as I judged the competition. Here are some pics I took ...This is a salmon dish, I can't remember her name (Sunny note: it's Stephanie! she visited the blog in the comments section!), but I DO remember her sauce on the side with the chopped scallions. Mostly because after I ate the entire tasty plate, I asked if there was more of her vinaigrette back there some where. She replied yes and brought it out in a glass liquid measure, I took a spoon and went to town! Drank it all!! I don't feel too crazy because one of her relatives chimed in and admitted the whole family laughs at her for doing the same. Well, that's a crazy family! Anyone drinking that tangy, sweet goodness is smart! Thanks for letting me drink the rest! I don't know the tallies on the scores or anything so these are just the pictures I had time to take. Everything was so good!

Here's another contestant with a really moist and sweet apple cake that was a family treasure and she had the recipe card to prove it...That cake was so good we all kept asking, how is this healthy?! It must be, because at this stage of the competition the recipes have already passed a nutritional evaluation. I ate the whole piece and others were trying to figure out how to divvy up the rest of the cake.

Here's a picture of a really soft egg white omelet made by a fun contestant I traded some laughs with ...
The contest is not only judged on nutritional value, but for taste and presentation as well. So, the cool thing is some people really did their best to step it up in the plating and presentation department. Check out these pretty flowers for a gazpacho ... Pretty huh? And the gazpacho was the first of the competition so far, very smart! Actually, her presentation inspired me to get my paarty on ...Teeheehee ... I told everyone I was going to wear it in support of Aarti Party and they all smiled and said they liked her show and the flower! It fits her personality! Have you caught the show? My guy's mom says she LOVES it! There's a cool article she did in this month's Food Network Magazine that details the hours after she won and right through the taping of her first shows! Pretty cool read!

Ok, I'm headed to present an award tonight along with Anne Burrell at the 2nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising! Happy to be invited and involved!


Jen said...

Those flowers are beautiful!! So bright and colorful. I saw Aarti's article in the Food Network Magazine and I enjoyed reading it!

And girl you've got the right idea about the hot chocolate!

I'm ready for fall! These temperatures that are in the 80's gotta go!

Enjoy the Awards Reception! How fun! :)

Cooking Mama said...

Drinking vinaigrette? You go girl!! lol

Yay for Aarti! You know, the other day I caught the end of Paula's new show and SHE had a flower in her hair! Not sure if that was in ode' to Aarti or she just got a wild hair (no pun intended!) and decided to put one in. But I love the look. That article in FN Mag was very interesting.

Kase said...


I knows it's been a minute since I hit you up on the blog. I enjoyed you on the View. You looked great and came across just like a sister girlfriend trying to give your girl some help. I loved the part especially when you let her know not to beat the pancakes so hard,and she mentioned her exhusband, and you were like wait for the eggs, lol. Some friends and I are planning a trip to Costa Rica in January. If you and your guy have been there, any recommendations? It will be 4 of us, 2 guys and 2 gals...we leaving the men folk at home. Our philosophy is what happens in Costa Rica, stays in Costa Rica. I know you prob thinking we are a hot mess. Please give details about the GLAAD Media awards. I definitely appreciate you getting involved. I am hopeful that one day there will be equality for everyone.



Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Love the flower and the smile! And you just don't slow down much do you? Woman, you rock. I like Aarti's personality, but I don't know as a southerner that I'll be able to get into her recipes. I'll stick with you I think! ;)

Lindsey Christensen said...

As if your spicy hot chocolate didn't look yummy enough on Saturday's episode, seeing your spiked room service version has really got me craving one! Nothing wrong with giving it a little nip :)

Sunny Anderson said...

jen, i know right? the color reminds me of grade school when we put celery in tinted water to watch it turn colors. those colors are un natural!

cooking mama, i sure did ... drank it all and spooned out the solids! it was that good. glad you saw the article, plenty of stuff for her to deal with right after winning, eh? stress!!

kase, what happens on vacay, staaaays on vacay! lol. nothing wrong with that! that's what it's meant for ... an escape! i've never been so i can't offer any places, but i say make sure you find a dirty-down-low place to eat, no tourist food! ask the locals! the glaad event was swanky! i was happy to be invited, i totally agree with you, equality for all is overdue ... we are working on it and it takes us all. hope to live to see the day.

mary, thanks! ok, have you watched her show? i know it may seem a bit far from your style, but what i like about it is she does classic american dishes with her spin, not too far off the middle. so it can kind of work for you. or maybe just give you new ideas and techniques. either way, i'm lucky to have you :-). i actually feel pretty cool about the people here on the blog, if it's a representation of everyone else watching, i'm so honored. we are such a happy, inviting and friendly bunch of food people. thanks for being here mary. like the new pic!

lindsey, girrrrrrrl, at first i thought "will they judge me?" because i have not one, but 2 nips for 1 hot chocolate lol! the alc % isn't high enough on bailey's for it to live alone for me lol.

Charles said...

Was than an extreme close-up of the hot chocolate, or shown actual size? it's huge! Lol! Not mad at ya for the liquors, not one bit.

I like Aarti's personality, but I really dig the Spice Goddess on the Cooking Channel. She makes the most incredible food, simplified, and I just want to eat it all up! Yum.

Sunny Anderson said...

charles, it was an extreme close up, but it was also a huge cup! poured in all the baileys, then as i took sips i replaced what i drank with a pour of rum! lol! and i' have to catch that show on cooking channel, i've seen the commercials and haven't had a chance to see it. may just let my dvr catch it for me ...

lak21778 said...

I attended your show today with my wife and daughter ,who is about your age I guess, and had a wonderful time . You were wonderful . I've seen only one of your shows so far but I intend to see more in the future. You made my wife laugh out loud ,and for that I am grateful. I have comments but I will save them for another time. thanks for making this a great day.

LindaG. said...

Hi Sunny,
It was great meeting you and taking a picture with you today! I loved your cooking demo. I felt I was dreaming…it was so awesome. I love to cook and I've been obsessed with food hence why I came to see you. My dream is to be involved in foodservice one day. It was inspiring to see and hear how you left one career and pursued your love of cooking. I can't wait for you to post your hen recipe. I'm so looking forward to making the delicious meal. When's your next appearance live or pre-taped?