Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jiminy Cricket! It's the Relish Cooking Expo

After a long day at work, we headed to the Liberty Community Center to man a trade show booth for the hotel at the Relish Cooking Expo. It was a smaller show but well-attended for their first ever.

Our friends Gina and Janet own Ooey Gooey Chocolates in downtown Excelsior Springs and they were one of the sponsors for the show. They were set up in the backstage VIP area with a bountiful display of their luscious cupcakes. Between the show and the ones I took home, I tried them all. French Vanilla. Carrot with Caramel Icing. Chocolate and Strawberry. Sweet, sweet sugar overload. Their chocolate-encased bottles of wine make for terrific gifts. I also tried some tasty jalapeno and pepperjack sausage from Paradise Locker Meats in Trimble, Mo.

The cooking demo was hosted and produced by Relish magazine. The demo kitchen on the stage was an impressive set-up complete with hightop cocktail tables with floor-length linen for some of lucky attendees. Jon Ashton, a cheeky lad from Liverpool, was the guest chef from Relish. He tends to start every statement with "Jiminy Cricket!" Between Ashton's Brit wit and an auditorium full of the Real Housewives of Liberty the show at times was downright bawdy. I won't go into detail other than to say the first recipe involved meatballs. 'Nuff said.

The show was a kick and the first food expo we had done. Jon Ashton was an amiable host but we could have done with a little less performing and a little more cooking. We only made it halfway through the show and needed to pack up and head home as we have even bigger days ahead.

At Barnes and Noble, we just started carrying a truly unique gift item. They are called "Don't Break the Bottle" puzzles. They are wooden puzzles designed to be placed on a wine bottle. You gift the bottle with the puzzle attached and the person has to solve the puzzle in order to open the wine. These puzzles also include a corkscrew inside. Fun and slightly sadistic.

Lunch today was from Noodles, which is rapidly becoming my fave fast food. They do everything fresh and healthy, including my favorite Noodles dish, the Tuscan Multigrain Pasta with Parmesan Chicken. So flavorful and I always typically end up wearing part of it.

Those sauce stains on my shirt are the equivalent of a starred review.


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