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Birthday Goals

I usually find myself way too busy to come up with resolutions around the holidays.  Work is always crazy, not to mention buying presents, travelling to Texas, cooking meals, attending parties.  Gah!  It's way too much pressure to come up with resolutions (especially ones you are actually going to keep) at the beginning of the new year.  Instead I like to set goals for myself starting on February 16th of the year.  Why February 16?  If you're clever and read the subject of this post you might just be able to guess.  Today is my birthday, and I have some really interesting goals in mind for my 29th year (which means I'm turning 28... because you've been alive for a year when you turn one, right?  okay).  I'm going to enter into the goals slowly, revealing them to you over time.  Some of them are food related, others business and personal, but I think they are all good and attainable goals. They will be sacrifices, but that's to be expected in a goal, and the best things in life comes from sacrifices we make.


So in honor of my Mom, who worked really hard and sacrificed a lot to bring me into this world (story for another time) I'm giving someone a birthday present.  Because it's me, it's a food related present (I'll give you a minute to get over your shock.  Feeling better? Good.).


When I was looking around for companies and people to support this blog with awesome products to giveaway, I only looked towards companies and products I believe in.  Sadly for some of you that means I won't be giving out a life time supply of McDonald's Big Mac's anytime soon.  What it does mean is that if you trust me (and why wouldn't you) you can be pretty sure I think the products I'm sending your way are trustworthy.  Oh god, I'm so excited for this one!

This blog all started during/after my honeymoon back in October '07 when I needed something to occupy my time (because being a small business owner, owning a 117 year old house and working full time just wasn't cutting it).  One of the coolest places we stopped while on our lovefest in wine country was a little place called the St Helena Olive Oil Company.  They specialize in delicious food, and the interior of their building is like Anthropologie meets food.  GORGEOUS!  When they agreed to ship some of their delicious products to me I WAS ECSTATIC!  I'm so proud to be able to spread these amazing products with you. 


I could go on and on about how delcious the olive oil is (it is the absolute best I have had outside of the country of Italy.  AND it's fresh.  Harvested in November '09.  That's only 3 months old people.  I promise you the crap you buy at the grocery store isn't that fresh).  It's grassy and sharp and if you served it to me at your house I would snatch the bottle and run out the door leaving my personal belongings to you as payment.  The balsamic is the real deal.  Again, not the stuff you're buying at the grocery store.  It's tangy, a little sweet and is ever so slightly syrupy. And the butternut squash sauce?  We made pizzas with it.  One of the best pizzas I've ever had at home (you can see a picture here) and then we used it on pasta.  And I'm thinking tomorrow we'll use the rest for some risotto.  It's slightly sweet, with the nice bite of roasted bell peppers shining through the butternut squash flavors.

So, who wants it?


Comment below and tell me about your most memorable food experience while travelling.  Don't forget to leave your EMAIL ADDRESS in the space provided.  Comments will close on Friday, February 19 at 12pm CST and a winner will be chosen at random by Random Number Generator.  If you blog, tweet or facebook about this give away you MUST repost a link to your shout out on this blog to enter a 2nd, 3rd or 4th time.  If you do all four, four separate comments.


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Reader Comments (37)

Oooh! First Comment!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

So many memorable food experiences while traveling, it's hard to pick one. I do recall making Ragu with you in Urbino and adding WAY too much garlic. :-) I think we both reeked of garlic for the next year. I would also have to put the first time I was brave enough to have a full sit down dinner wine by myself and it being the best food ever in Florence.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicki

And I tweeted!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicki

My most memorable travel meal would have to be the night I got engaged. We were on a cruise ship on the way to the Bahamas, and the memorable dish was this amazing saffron shrimp risotto. SO good. Who would've thought you could find something like that on a cruise?

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen N.

I'm not cool enough to know how to paste the link to my facebook Happy Birthday wish with your link. But you can see it, I promise. Happy Birthday wishes.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicki

I am totally beating my wife to the punch on this post...haha

Pont des Arts with our friend Magilit. Got to find out what Camembert and Brie tastes like when it isn't pasteurized. Funny that the country that Pasteur is from hasn't embraced his process as fully (or as hysterically) as we have.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoeW

Hamasaku in LA with Dan. Lobster roll. Five bottles of sake. Carvel ice cream cake.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJon

The first time I ever had red curry was in Nashville. Not a likely place, but it was so, so good. We were licking the bowl to get the last bits of the firey, coconutty goodness.

Also, paupusas in Nicaragua. Dumped into a plastic bag, you squish them up with your hands, then tear a corner off with your teeth and suck them through the whole. Awesomely good, but possibly why I ended up in the hospital.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKassie

Too many to pick one fave, but the most recent was in Victoria, Canada at Red Fish, Blue Fish a take out stand housed in a shipping container located on one of the harbor piers. Salmon fish and chips and the most amazing seafood chowder I've had.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

My most memorable travel eating experience involved street food in Thailand (where I was traveling with Nicki and Alex). Nicki and I bought green papaya salad (yum!) and Alex bought mystery soup, which he described as "good-ish". None of us could identify the chunks that were floating around in the bowl. Apparently it wasn't too offensive because he finished it. Later we discovered that it had been chicken blood soup! Good thing we didn't know it at the time....

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily B-S

Not sure if this worked but here's the facebook repost:

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily B-S

Paris. Crepe.

I question how quality the crepe actually was vs. how amazing it tasted because I had been eating bread and peanut butter for the previous 6 days straight.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael W

We've been to St. Helena and use that wonderful rosemary olive oil at home. It's fantastic.
My favorite food memory: wow. Such a tough question. The romantic overseas food memories are always there: the nutella crepe outside the Eiffel Tower while I was in college visiting the woman who's now my wife was a big one.

But now it's more about sharing food with my kids. Most recently: the time my 4-year-old ate goat at Curry Up in Maple Grove, and decided he liked it. Hilariously fantastic.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason DeRusha

Happy Birthday, Kat! (John, likes it when I call you Kat).

On our honeymoon, 33 years ago, we had Mussels Parisienne in a great restaurant in Martha's Vineyard. Delicious. They were to die for!

Have a scrumptious day.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersusan

It's a tie, I think, between lunching on caviar at an all-caviar restaurant in NYC (this was pre-9/11, it's probably not there anymore) and eating lobster at a beach restaurant in Jamaica, surrounded by wild dogs.

Tee hee...I know the quality isn't comparable to this olive oil, but I did, just this past weekend, pick up some Costco olive oil that notes it was harvested Nov/Dec 2009. So you can too get something that fresh in the grocery store!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

On our honeymoon we ate wonderful food in Vancouver & Seattle. But what I remember is our dinner on the final night - at the Hunt Club in Seattle. The Sommelier took us to the wine cellar and let me taste wines until I decided what I liked - then treated me to a glass! I had a gigantic steak (must have been 12+ ounces) with shoestring fries and homemade ketchup. It was mouth-wateringly delicious!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLara

And I tweeted (goodcookdoris)! Happy Birthday!

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLara

For many years I have been searching for the recipe for creme brulee oatmeal that I enjoyed for breakfast every day at the Tampa Bay Marriott for a week. It was beautifully presented with plenty of fresh strawberries and blueberries to share with my little one. It was also the cheapest thing on the breakfast menu ;). Katie, if you ever a similiar recipe let me know.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBridget Smith

What? No lifetime supply of Big Macs? You know, at one point in my life that would have been heaven. Luckily I've moved on - ha.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

I'll go with my first memorable experience while traveling, because my travels have been limited to the US and Canada thus far in my life. When I was 16, I went on a Royal Carribean cruise with a friend and her family. It was the first time I ate escargot (18 of them to be exact!), and ate conch (which I LOVED, but haven't come across since). It was the first time I realized how much cuisine was out there, and that I had no qualms about trying foreign-to-me foods.


February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa MC

Happy birthday! :)

My most memorable food experience while traveling was actually just a couple months ago, while I was visiting my dad where he lives in Guaymas, Sonora (Mexico). I was traveling with my boyfriend (total meatatarian), roommate Z (vegetarian) and boyfriend's best friend J (vegan), so finding places we could eat out was...a bit interesting. There's a little corner taqueria called Dony's Loncheria that has the absolute BEST carne asada tacos (I dream about those tacos), so my boyfriend and I were completely excited to go there, but we were a little unsure of what Z and J would eat. Turns out the place serves something they call "papas locas" ("crazy potatoes"), which are giant baked potatoes ordinarily topped with Mexican table cream, cheese, and carne asada. We managed to order a meat-less potato for Z and worked our way around to getting J a potato that substituted minced garlic for all of the usual toppings. The hardest part was trying to explain veganism to the server--it isn't very prevalent in the area, and the gentleman just looked rather flabbergasted as my dad was trying to explain it. My dad's the jokey type (to put it mildly) so once we got that sorted out he leaned over to the server and (in Spanish) said, "it's by the grace of god that he's still alive, you know?" and they both had a good laugh. It's a pretty good thing J's Spanish is rudimentary at best, though...

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfig

Happy Birthday to you!!!

Sadly, my most memorable travel meal was where I got food poisoning from something unknown and spent the flight home in utter misery. Although, the time I spent in France as a 17-year-old eating cherries in the park, being completely in love with the surroundings, my youth, my experience is very memorable and a really happy time of my life.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

My most memorable meal while traveling was in Valencia, Spain at a restaurant called Pepica. I ate there on two seperate occassions. Once with my best friend and once with my now husband. The restaurant is right on the water and they have the best paella I have ever tasted. Combine that with a great atmosphere and great company, I will never forget it.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Easily the first time I ever had boar. I was in Italy and it was woven into a really light pasta sauce. I fell in love with food at that very moment.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHungryinSW

When I was 15 I was an exchange student in Strasbourg, France staying with an awful family that wasn't even French; instead of learning all about French food, I learned all about bad, bland Polish food- I got food poisoning TWICE!!! So every morning I'd get up and out of the house ASAP and hasten to a bakery and chow down on the most lovely pastries and croissants and breads I've ever had.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

it may not be fair to enter this, since i won the last of your fabulous giveaways, but it's too awesome to pass up. my most memorable meal was undoubtedly in italy, but there are so many! i have to choose one of the meals eaten at da Felice in Rome. it's my favorite restaurant, hands down. their cacio e pepe invades my dreams.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

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