Monday, July 25, 2016

IFBC 2016 - Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Excursions

I'm excited to be going back to IFBC this year, to hobnob with fellow food bloggers, brands, and sponsors again! I had so much fun last year in Seattle, and this year they've moved it to Sacramento! We get to meet local growers and tour farms - I can't wait!

Since this year the conference isn't local to me, I can't just drive over each day after dropping the girls off at school. So I chose to fly down several days early and take advantage of the amazing pre-conference "excursion" tours! (Hubby's going to work from home the two weekdays I'm gone to get the girls to and from day camp at their school. Maybe he'll even take pictures of their packed lunches!)

For Thursday's excursion, I opted for the tour of some olive farms in the Capay Valley. I'm not a huge olive fan like my 8-year-old, but it will be exciting to see where the magic happens and learn more about curing and how they extract the oil! Years ago when Hubby was moving back to Seattle from Phoenix, I flew down to meet him and we drove back up together with as much of his stuff as he could cram into his car. I remember stopping at an olive farm in California and buying a ginormous jar of garlic-stuffed olives (I hate pimientos!) It might even be one of the ones on this tour! Wouldn't that be something?

After the excursion, there will be a reception generously hosted by Raley's Markets and the California Cling Peach Board ("Millions of peaches, peaches for me...") There will also be nibbles from CA Almonds, artisanal cheeses from Marin French Cheese , aperitifs (that's fancy for "booze") from Jardesca California Aperitiva, and premium local cider sips from Gowan Orchards Cider! Since I don't drink, I'm hoping the cider is non-alcoholic!

On Friday before the conference itself officially opens at 1:30, they set up another group of excursions! I chose the Farm-to-Fork Adventure through Historic Sacramento Delta. We'll get a first-hand look at the indoor growing facility at California Endive Farms where they render endives (pronounced “on-deev”) from chicory roots! And then the California Pear Advisory Board will take us to see a "live action" harvest at a Bosc pear orchard! 
And then they're feeding us! On the banks of the Sacramento River, we'll get a light lunch featuring endives, pears, local wines, and other locally-grown "farm-to-fork" ingredients! Whew! All this, before the keynote speech and panels and such have even begun! It's going to be a full, amazing day! A full, amazing WEEKEND!

I'll be posting loads of pics on my Instagram the whole weekend, so be sure to follow me to see all the yummy foodie fun!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Scrumdiddlyumptious BFG Movie Lunches!

I was given 4 media passes to a pre-screening of Disney's "The BFG," so we had to celebrate with some "delumptious" lunches! My girls and I had fun brainstorming "glumptious" ideas for these lunches. But first, a whopsey look at the movie!

Image copyright Disney, 2016. Used with permission
It's been a few decades since I read the book, so other than generally remembering that I'd enjoyed it,  I really didn't remember the plot at all. So I was unprepared for just how much I was going to love the movie! My brother ended up coming with us because my husband had game night and my mom got sick, and it was so fun listening to a grown man enjoy this movie so much! As much or possibly even more than my kids did! So fun!

Image copyright Disney, 2016. Used with permission
The visuals were truly stunning, and the jokes and plot were appealing and logical to any child's mind. My favorite parts were when they were catching "phizzwizards" (good dreams) and "trogglehumpers" (bad dreams) and then mixing them together to create custom dreams. But of course both my kids liked the "frobscottle" (giant's special fizzy drink) and "whizzpoppers" (rocketing farts!) the best!

Sophie and the Phizzwizards
Strawbumbles, pickled snozzcumbers, Frobscottle, Phizzwizards and Trogglehumpers, and Sophie
For Sophie, I used a Bread Head sandwich stamp on a gluten-free tortilla and added glasses by gently using a small circle cutter. My preschooler doesn't like cheese, so she chose some Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter for her tortilla sandwich. This stamp was designed for bread, so the imprint was recessed a bit for some reason. So I had to push the cut tortilla inside and hand-press it into the stamp to make the impressions. It was annoying, but not terribly hard. And luckily both these sandwiches were able to recover from the tortilla being cut through in a few places by accident!

Image copyright Disney, 2016. Used with permission
My 4-year-old also helped me pack some natural dye-free jelly beans into a mini muffin cup because they reminded her of the phizzwizards [dreams] the BFG caught to mix into good dreams to blow back into the world. Plus jelly beans are delicious, and I don't pack treats into lunches often!

Frobscottle and Snozzcumbers
Phizzwizards and Trogglehumpers, Frobscottle, Sophie quesadilla, pickled snozzcumbers, strawbumbles
The snozzcumbers in the movie were pretty disgusting looking, and these mini pickles represented them perfectly. Plus bonus, both my kids love pickles, so they actually ate their veggies this day!

Apparently "strawbumbles" are only mentioned in the movie, but Sophie enjoys a big bowlful of them at the palace, so they had to make an appearance too!

I happened to find the perfect little 2oz glass bottles at a novelty shop just in time to send some homemade frobscottle for lunch! Mine was made with some Zevia Cream Soda and a dab of natural green food dye powder. Both girls noticed that the bubbles in mine went up, instead of down like the BFG's. I told them that I can't bend the laws of physics! I am assured that the resulting whizzpoppers were still plenty fun! [Note: the bottles leaked when set on their sides for too long, so I ended up packing them tucked snugly upright between the EasyLunchboxes and the sides of their lunch bags. The bags didn't come home sticky and green, so I assume it worked out okay!]

I'm really pleased with how well these turned out, and both girls ate practically every bite, which rarely happens lately! If you're a fan of more rummytot rumpledumpuses, check out these fun Roald Dahl lunches (including some BFG giant ear flatbread sandwiches!) from Bent On Better Lunches!

Tools of the Trade
Image copyright Disney, 2016. Used with permission
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