A couple of months ago I got a call from The Texas Beef Council about hosting a blogger event in Dallas on their behalf.
*YES! followed by the full disclosure that I was raised vegetarian and SCARED of cooking beef.
Yep, cooking beef frightens me.
I have learned to work with ground beef and the occasional pot roast, but beyond that I have not ventured due to beef intimidation.
Always one to spin a situation optimistically – I told them if they could teach me to cook beef, they could teach anyone.
Thankfully I didn’t scare them away and last Friday a whole bunch o’ bloggers joined me at The Milestone Culinary Arts Center aka the Viking Cooking School for Appetite for Inspiration with the Texas Beef Council.
We started with coffee, snacks and a whole lot of squealing as bloggers met each other.
Many were meeting each other in person for the first time.
Fellow blogger, Angela Lemond who writes Mommy Dietitian spoke to us about strategies for feeding our families (and picky kids) healthy food.
She encouraged us to continue to present new food to our kids even if it doesn’t seem like it is working. It may take almost 20 times of food exposure before a child is brave enough to try it…whew, I need to complete 19 more attempts on most vegetables.
Chef Richard Chamberlain from Chamberlain from Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House in Dallas demonstrated two recipes — Beef and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Syrup and Beef Pot Roast with Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cider Gravy.
He answered a lot of questions and emphasized the importance of a meat thermometer which can assure you cook beef the exact way you like it.
All the recipes were from The Healthy Beef Cookbook which was written by Chef Chamberlain and Betsy Hornick, R.D. We were able to try each recipe after Chef Chamberlain cooked it which was great because we witnessed how easy they were and then were able to confirm their yummy-ness.
We then broke into groups and headed to the kitchen to cook under the supervision of Chef Chamberlain. Each group was responsible for a different recipe — Chipotle Sloppy Joes with Crunchy Cole Slaw, Farmer’s Market Vegetable, Beef and Brown Rice Salad, Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, Mojo Beef Kabobs, Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers and Beef Brisket Tostados with Spicy Peanut Slaw.
Our recipes turned out AMAZINGLY well for a bunch of bloggers who were intent on talking, photographing and laughing while cooking. I was encouraged that with less distractions at home, even unsupervised, I might be able to make them.
We learned some new techniques – Chef Chamberlain showed Lea Ann how to properly dice tomatoes and my group learned to broil beef.
I think I can do this!
We tried each other’s dishes and then headed out for lunch…
Yep, this is one of the many reasons to LOVE the Texas Beef people…the whole day was fun, blog talk and eating. Three of my favorite things.
It was a really great day and I left much braver.
Brave enough to try something other than ground beef and pot roast.
Brave enough to branch out into the 29 lean cuts of beef.
The sweet beef people compensated me, fed me and sent me home with some goodies.
It was all a ton of fun and I am not just sayin’ that because they compensated me, fed me and sent me home with goodies.
Check out what other people are saying about Appetite for Inspiration:
- Search the #txbeef hashtag on Twitter for a good giggle and pics tweeted from the event.
- Flickr group for photos.
- Lynette eats beef.
- Holly (the other one) reports on a good day.
- Trista is frightened by dietitians.
- Where Trista might mention I did more photography and laughing than cooking.
- Misa guest blogs on her kids’ Food Challenge blog and reminds us to raise the veggies out of the drawer.
- Lynette is drooling…
- Rory has some super yummy food pics and then I admit to needing a translator.
- Amy makes tenderloin, cranberry and pear salad which is very picturesque in black and white.
- Nicole loves lean beef and is brave enough to carpool with Jamie.
- Kim is relieved Chef Chamberlain isn’t Gordon Ramsey.
- Jamie is awesomesauce.
- Arena knows what is for dinner.
- Brenda is cooking beef!
- Lynley reports to the Viking Cooking School for a special mission.
- Mariah takes a sweet shot.
- Allie learns how to pronounce “mojo”.
- I think that is all for now. If I missed one, please link in the comments below and I will add it!
Thanks Texas Beef Council!