Thursday, December 6, 2012
#MixedCon and the time I got to meet Duff Goldman
I was pumped to go the conference to learn how to do this better. But the dizzying array of prizes and giveaways that Susan and Paula put together didn't hurt either. Oh, yeah... and the chance to decorate cakes with Duff Goldman. I'm serious.
Upon arriving at the resort, each registrant got a swag bag bursting at the seams with goodies from sponsors such as OXO, Dixie Crystals, KitchenAid, Way Better Snacks, Hershey's, Dreamfields Pasta, Roland Foods, Duff Goldman, California Raisins, and the like. Score!
Friday night, there was a KitchenAid "Mixer", where the bloggers could mingle with each other over Captain Morgan cocktails supplied by Diageo, the importer of the rum, as well as many other brands. In the weeks leading up to the conference, Dixie Crystals sponsored a Bake-It-Forward cookie contest, in which bloggers could submit their best cookie recipes using Dixie Crystals sugar. Two finalists were chosen, and at the mixer, we got to sample the two finalists' recipes and vote for our favorite. Dixie Crystals would award a cool $500 to the winner, so a lot was riding on our tastebuds! Congrats to Aimee Broussard for her Pecan Praline King Cake Cookies recipe--a nod to her home state, Louisiana!
Saturday morning, we started early, learning food photography from one of the best--Bree Grossman of Baked Bree. Since I know next to nothing about any kind of photography, I was soaking it all up like a sponge and taking notes furiously. I think this was probably my favorite session because I learned SO much. I've already started playing around with some of the techniques she went over, and even using my iPhone camera, I think I'm getting way better pictures.
We had a session on food styling from fashion stylist-turned professional food styler, Tami Hardeman from the Running with Tweezers. There were so many tips she shared that, once I was hearing them make perfect sense, but just had never really dawned on me before. She addressed what to do with brown food--which is usually something delicious, but not that pretty. Some of the info was probably a little advanced for me, but what I took away from the presentation will definitely help me now, and down the road as my little blog grows!
Next, I got to decorate Christmas cookies with Marian from Sweetopia. It was a hands on session, and I love that. Not only did I learn a few tricks, I (well, Jeremy, mostly) got to eat my homework!