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I am happy to announce that I have now moved my blog and all of its contents to a self hosted site! Here are some pointers on this –

What’s new? – My blog link remains the same – www.aplateofgoodfood.com. However, the look and feel of the blog is new. There’s even a spanking new logo in place!

Why? – Attending the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle a couple of months ago spurred me on to revamp my blog and give it a fresh new start.

What does this mean for my subscribers? – This is where I need a wee bit of help especially from my fellow blogger (WordPress.com) subscribers. You may have noticed that you haven’t been receiving any email notifications from my blog of late. Believe me, the blog is alive and well and there may be quite a few posts you’ve missed out on! To keep receiving email notifications, please visit my new site and resubscribe to my blog. I really hope you’ll do so!

I am confused, I did receive email notifications recently for posts on your new site! – Great! This means that you are an email subscriber (followers who do not have a WordPress.com account) and kept receiving emails without interruption. So you don’t need to do anything!

I’m still fine tuning the appearance and layout of my new site, so any thoughts/comments/feedback are more than welcome!

I hope that you’ll rejoin me in my renewed journey and share my adventures!

 

 

 

The IFBC opened on Friday evening and ran through Sunday afternoon. On Saturday evening, we had a ‘Taste of Seattle’ fair  – a showcase of some of the best local gourmet products and food from some of the best restaurants in town. There was a lot going on. There was vegetarian and regular sushi, tuna poke, root beer floats, spiced and candied nuts, and sous vide steaks to name just a few nibbles on offer. All this was accompanied by wine from local wine merchants and even an eclectic fashion designer who fashioned costumes out of mussel shells and the backbones of deer. If  you’re curious at all, the complete list of vendors who were there, can be found on the Foodista website.

food fair ifbc

Local produce Seattle

Food Fair Seattle

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The elevator doors opened and there I was on the fourth floor of the Westin where all the action would take place. Just as I expected, there was a crowd of faces, all strangers – I did not know a single soul! Of course, I could have networked before the conference and exchanged tweets and made friends even before getting to Seattle but of course, I didn’t do that. I wanted to take a slow organic approach to it all (or at least that’s what I kept telling myself).

ifbc seattle goodies

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We spent the last weekend in Seattle – Peter explored the city while I was busy attending the International Food Bloggers Conference hosted at The Westin. This conference has been bringing together food bloggers from all corners of the country (and some corners of the world) every year since 2009. When we were still living in Europe, I was always envious of people who lived in the US and could easily travel to the conference location. So now that we live in California, this was my chance to experience first hand what a gathering of food bloggers is all about. Conference and air tickets and hotel reservations were all arranged well in advance. All I had to do was to remember the dates, pack my bags and make sure I was there, exciting!

Seattle Washington

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Cherry Almond Cake

You can tell from the title that this is definitely not a post for a seasonal recipe. It’d be quite difficult to find a bag of fresh cherries now in the middle of September. This is simply a reminder of summer (not that it’s any cooler here in California than it was a couple of months ago) and a lazy afternoon spent creating something delicious in the kitchen.

 

cherry cake

cherry loaf

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There is something deeply comforting in cooking a big batch of slowly braised meat. I’ve always wanted to make a slow roasted pork shoulder ever since coming across a recipe for this in my first ever proper cookbook – Jamie Oliver’s ‘Cook with Jamie.’ I never got to do it though since I never could find the proper cut of meat for it in Dublin. I did, however, slow roast a monster of a pork shoulder once during our time in France and knew it would be a winner whenever I tried it next.

pulled pork recipe

shredded pork recipe

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The last couple of months have flown away in a whirlwind of 9-5 days. Yes, that’s right, am back working a regular office job albeit a temporary one! Exciting as it has been to have a daily routine again, my love for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen have taken a backseat. The result? No new posts here for quite some time now!

As I work on remedying this, I thought I’d share moments from our recent weekend trip to Paso Robles (short for El Paso de Robles or ‘Pass of the Oaks’), a wine region not too far from where we are in the South Bay. A few weeks ago, we had a much needed public holiday on a Monday and decided to make the most of the long weekend. We packed our bags, got into our car and drove through the mad holiday weekend traffic to get to our destination – a lovely little cottage set in the vineyards at Berardo Winery. Run by a couple with Italian roots, that showed in the Italian grape varietals they grow, it was in the best spot possible. Our backyard opened out to the vineyard. The patio was just a few feet away from the vines themselves. We couldn’t have asked for a better view and a better deal!

paso robles trip

vineyard in paso

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I have always wanted to make a braided loaf of bread – those shiny knots are so beautiful and appealing. As with any kind of home made bread, this requires an investment of a few hours. Which is why it is only quite recently that I tried out a challah bread recipe I found on The Kitchn. It turned out so well and was such a hit with my bread loving husband that I had to make it again. This time I was determined to take a few pictures and share it here. In my naivety, I thought that sharing a traditional kosher challah recipe would be perfect for the occasion of Passover that’s coming up.

how to make challah

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We love Asian food in all its guises – diverse Indian dishes and subtly flavoured Chinese ones, the various kinds of nasi you get throughout south east Asia, the fusion cuisine of Malaysia…the list goes on. I have also always loved recreating these dishes in my own kitchen. Whenever an attempt at making a rendang or a nasi lemak turns out well, I am over joyed!

asian satay recipe

Indonesian cuisine is very dear to Peter’s heart (what with the Dutch connection to Indonesia) especially as he grew up in Holland. As a child, a visit to the local Chinese restaurant was a much anticipated event for him. These Chinese restaurants actually serve a combination of Chinese and Indonesian dishes, something that’s unique to them and cannot be easily found outside of the Netherlands.

asian grilled chicken

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As far as food trends go, coconut oil has been in the news for only a little while now. It has been touted as a miracle worker – good for your skin, hair and health too. I find it slightly amusing because where my family comes from, coconut oil is a commonplace ingredient. It is used not only in cooking but also as a natural moisturiser. As kids, we were forced to slather ourselves in the oil from head to toe, including our hair, before every shower.

I am happy that with the newfound glory of coconut oil, I can find it in any ordinary supermarket. If you have ever wondered what to use this very nutty flavoured oil for, then make this chocolate cake and you’ll be hooked. Did I already mention that it is also great for your skin and hair?

cake with coconut oil

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