Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summiting and Cleaning out the Fridge

This weekend Liz and I attended the much anticipated Healthy Living Summit, hosted by 5 "famous" bloggers.

Caitlin, Kath, Heather, Meghann, and Tina all have very popular healthy food and fitness blogs and decided to put on this summit in Boston for like-minded folks. The whole thing was definitely a unique experience. It was a little odd because these girls were sort of like celebrities. Pretty much everyone at the summit reads their blogs every day and knows just about everything about their lives. So it really wasn't all about learning about healthy living - a lot of people were also really interested in meeting these girls in person. They all seemed quite nice - and overall I thought they did a really good job of putting this event together.

Liz and I attended the Friday night cocktail party at Rustic Kitchen and made a new friend shortly after arriving - another Lizzie! Lizzie sat with us at the conference on Saturday.

After a breakfast of Stoneyfield Farm yogurt and Mix My Granola, we started hearing speakers on nutrition, natural beauty products, and fitness. The Zesty Cook was there to give tips on blogging, which I enjoyed. And by far the best speaker was Regina Beilder, an organic dairy farmer from VT. It was so cool to hear how their cows are taken care of, and how much love she has for her animals and farming life.

Lunch was a big spread of sandwich and salad fixings.

I made a veggie and cheese sandwich, with grilled veggies and pesto, tomato and mozzarella salad, and a little potato salad.

During the summit, Caitlin had a bake sale to raise money for team in training for the marathon she's running. I contributed a batch of Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chunk cookies. They were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. And I made them with chunks of my absolute favorite chocolate - Taza! Not sure how much they went for in the end, but the last bid I saw was $20.

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes about 3 dozen
adapted from Katy Sparks with Andrea Strong
8 Tbls unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 cup oats
2 cups chopped pecans
12 oz chopped chocolate (I used Taza 70%)
  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or silpat
  • Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.  Add sugars, salt, and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Slowly add flour to wet ingredients and mix until flour just disappears.  Stir oats, pecans, and chocolate in by hand
  • Scoop onto prepared baking sheets by the teaspoon-full, and bake 10 - 12 minutes or until slightly golden
Early tomorrow morning, Derek and I are leaving for Chicago. We're traveling together all next week for work, and we're going to Chicago a day early to explore the city. So since we're going to be gone for a week, I tried to clean out all the veggies in the fridge for tonight's dinner.

I made a batch of guacamole with a very ripe avocado.

Then dug out some potatoes and summer squash.

I boiled the potatoes for about 10 minutes, then sliced them and layered them with sliced squash, sliced shallots, and grated cheddar cheese.

Then I poured milk and cream over the whole thing, and baked at 350º for about 45 minutes until it was bubbly and browned on top.

I served this with a salad of arugula, kale, beets, green peppers, cucumbers, and more avocado.

That's just about all the veggies I could find! Leftover gratin went into the freezer. Because we're off tomorrow! See you in the windy city!


  1. I bought your cookies at the bake sale and they are wonderful! Thank you so much!

  2. I see how it is... you put the ugly pic of me and not the cute picture of us two! meanie!

  3. It was nice meeting you and Lizzy at the summit! I must agree with Lizzy above, that is not a good picture of me!

  4. Thanks, Sarah! I'm so glad you like them!

    And I think both the Lizzies look awfully cute in that picture :)

  5. I was drooling over the cookies you baked at the Summit... and this photograph of them is beautiful! The gratin looks delicious as well.