PLEASE VOTE • Why You Should Tweet & Believe

IT’S TRUE. I’M RUNNING A TWITTER RACE in the food lane. Why? Well, if there’s a tool I use more than any other to meet, greet, share, amuse, chat about chow, and generally make a buffoon of myself, it’s Twitter.

On Sunday, I skimmed the food category of the Shorty Awards a.k.a. “Twitter Oscars”  and noticed the Disney Food Blog was sitting comfortably in 20th place with 32 votes. How did a Twitter account with only 32 votes reach 20th place in an international social media contest? So I gave myself a small goal, asked my Twitter followers to vote, and, that same night, pulled ahead of the Disney food blog with 50 votes.

I started campaigning three days ago because not many other Twitter users seemed to be. After two days of messaging Twitter friends, I inched into the top ten. Today is Wednesday; I’m in the seventh spot.

Voting ends on Friday and I’m struggling to squeak past Chef John who is currently in fifth place. The top five continue to Round 2 where their “twittering” is monitored and voted on by a panel of judges and anyone who uses Twitter to determine who makes the most of 140 characters. I won’t win a popularity contest against Food Network star Tyler Florence, but to get that chance to “compete” with a man and his PR team will be one step forward for all unskilled but passionate food enthusiasts IN THE WORLD or, at least, on Twitter.

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Last week, I found crème brûlée in the fridge. It took a year of wishful thinking, but Jason was bored one night and did that “Surprise! I made crème brûlée!” thing boyfriends sometimes do in the first month of a relationship. (We’re way past that month.)

To friends who use Twitter, please vote and tell your friends! Making friends is free and Twitter makes it easy to connect with individuals who you’ll come to cherish even if you may never meet. Your network is there when you can’t tell the difference between tomato and pizza sauce, when you need a restaurant recommendation and when you want to learn more about urban farms in the Bronx (@ashleywillhite). You’d be surprised what a tweet – and positive thoughts – can do. VOTE HERE. Thank you!


January 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Blogs, random, twitter. Leave a comment.

Chocolate BREAKDOWN

Picture 3Nanaimo poster4:13PM I JUST REALIZED THE NANAIMO BARS I’m entering into tomorrow’s Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment taste rubbish at room temperature. I don’t think this would be an issue if they were normal Nanaimo bar-size, but my scaled down, bite-size version makes the chocolate-custard square melt quickfast! I am off to buy ice packs after I finish cutting and pasting a thousand colored squares onto the poster I’m bringing tomorrow. The weather isn’t cooperating and Jason, the boyfriend/chocolate assistant, is ill with something he caught from the fishes on holiday in Cabo. Happy day.

11:12PM UPDATE Poster done. And I only seriously snipped the skin off my finger once. Next task: 300 Nanaimo bites. That’s right. I am no longer calling them “bars” as they don’t really deserve that designation, being only a fraction of bar-size. So bites they will be. (Scroll down! More updates below.)

8:10AM UPDATE I ran out of confectioners sugar, unsalted butter, and steam by 3:22AM and decided to call it quits for the night. Left Layer 1: Cocoa Cookie Base to cool down and solidify in the refrigerator before falling heavily, like a tree, into bed with my alarm set to 6AM. By 6:30, I completed my first trip to the corner deli for two boxes of icing sugar and four sticks of butter.

At 7AM, I returned to the deli for another box of sugar. I need 12 cups of sugar for the amount of custard frosting I’m making. Sadly, by the time I emptied Sugar Box #4, I only had 10 cups. That’s one lesson I learned the long, circuitous way.

Quick note before quick nap as Layer 2: Custard cools: I accidentally stained two fingers with green food coloring and it’s not coming off.

370-56:19PM UPDATE Somehow, I survived the day or as Jackie put it – lived to tell about it. I haven’t said much since 4PM, actually, when I stopped having to shout over the DJ: “These are NA-NIE-MO bars! They’re from Canada! And they taste like Andes mint with a crushed cookie base!” I was flustered as hell during the first hour – refilling empty plates is a challenge when contestants are serving side-by-side, elbow-to-elbow – but Jason handled the plating with aplomb while I stood behind my poster wondering what it would’ve been like on the sampling side. The event was sold-out.

Around 3:30, the queue of chocolate fanatics began to die down and I had a moment to taste a few of the other chocolate entries, like the light and crunchy chocolate hush puppies sprinkled with corn flakes. Sadly, I didn’t get to try Roopa Marcello‘s terrifically unique Thai chili-lime chocolate ice cream with miniature hand-rolled cocoa ginger Thai basil cones that ultimately won the competition. (Read the recap by Always Hungry. They sampled and photographed each entry, including my own.)

It was an utterly eye-opening day. It is hard friggin’ work planning a recipe and executing it for 300 people. I would do it again but, next time, I may be more inclined to pay for the fruit of others’ labor than deal with supermarkets, ingredients, containers, and transportation again.

Picture 4MONDAY 11:14AM UPDATE I showered and scrubbed the chocolate from my pores before passing out at 8:30PM last night. Major kitchen clean-up on the agenda this morning, along with treating myself to mini lavender chocolate cupcakes by Keavy of Kumquat Cupcakery for breakfast. I met Keavy at the chocolate after-party and was struck by her sweetness and super cute chin-length haircut. She exemplifies her charming brand from head to toe.

As a native New Yorker with ample eatingGifted+Postcard+FRONT+FINAL experience, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of quality local goods and think Kumquat’s signature cupcakes are among this city’s best. I wish Keavy had a storefront, but til she does you can find her this holiday at Gifted Holiday Market, the Manhattan counterpart to the Brooklyn Flea market, between November 27th and December 24th.

NOON UPDATE All’s well that ends well. I’m meeting my new friend Adam (@avantsweater) for medium-rare cheeseburgers at JG Melon on the Upper East Side. Gonna thank him for his suggestion, which started it all.

Event photo from Metromix | Cupcake photo courtesy of Kumquat Cupcakery

November 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Brooklyn, Dessert, event, Manhattan. 6 comments.

Chocolate FOR THE WIN

chocolate thumbprint cookies ACI’VE BEEN BAKING. And crushing, chopping, melting, stirring, sifting, pressing, spreading, cutting, rolling, dipping, and photographing like mad. Two weeks ago, I entered the Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment thinking, “Fourteen days will surely be enough time to overcome 25 years of kitchen nightmares, to pick a worthy recipe and, of course, to write about it.” With only two days until the event, happening this Sunday at the Bell House in Brooklyn, I have a bona fide awesome entry.

It was a close call between Canadian chocolate bars and my sister’s chocolate thumbprint cookies pictured at left. In the end, I knew – No Guts, No Glory. So I confirmed: Amy Blogs Chow will be sharing 300 miniature Nanaimo bars.

Certainly, the chocolate thumbprint cookies were photogenic – cute, even – but baking 300 bite-sized pecan-coated butter cookies topped with chocolate kisses would have been akin to navigating a mountain with necessary equipment and years of experience. On the other hand, entering a chocolate dessert I’ve never known until two weeks ago (and never tasted until 2am last night) is like jumping off a cliff and building my wings on the way down. Should I fail spectacularly, I can always blame Canada.

I hope you’ll join the chocolate fest on Sunday. I even created a Facebook invitation. See you Sunday! You can meet my mom. She’ll be there since she lives, like, up the block.

November 13, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Brooklyn, cookies, Dessert, event. 2 comments.