Special Events

Stirring Up Help for Haiti

Perhaps you’ve seen the Facebook page, Twitter hashtag #stirit28 or just received an email. There’s a movement coming together, and we hope it will include you–the foodie in you. No matter how you define foodie, we’re going to say it’s anyone who loves and appreciates the value, nutrition, sustenance, comfort and necessity of food. We understand and recognize the utter importance of food as it relates to our personal lives. As food bloggers, we are lucky to eat well, whether we do it lavishly or on a budget. Regardless, we are lucky. Following the January 12th earthquake in Haiti, the world was silenced by the devastation brought upon an already impoverished country. The recovery process has been slow and difficult considering the circumstances. People are trying to piece their lives together, but it will take months on the short-term side, years on the long-term.

Together with Bren of Flanboyant Eats and Courtney of Coco Cooks, we have formed Stir It 28: Food Bloggers Align for Haiti Relief–a blogger based fundraising effort to bring money to Haiti. As food plays a very large importance in our lives, we strive to raise money to bring food, water and other necessary supplies to the people of Haiti, which will hopefully do a small part to aid in the short-term relief efforts. We’re calling on all food bloggers to help us make this a nationwide, international even, movement during the month of February. From February 1st through the 28th, we will do our best to come together as a unified group, along with the food community at large, to help bring relief to the island nation. All money raised during the month will go to Share Our Strength and Yele. Here’s how you can help:

Each one of us will be hosting a food fundraising event on Sunday, February 21st in our respective cities–Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago. We’re asking chefs, restaurants, home cooks and food bloggers to participate by donating 2-3 dishes that will feed 15-20 people each. The events will be open to the public with advanced tickets or limited ticket sales at the door. You can tell your friends and colleagues to purchase tickets from Bren or Courtney’s blogs. Click the image that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st”. Be sure to indicate the city’s event that you plan to attend. Of course, if you are part of the volunteer team (that includes making food or working the event), you will not have to purchase a ticket. We’re still formulating our respective evening’s details, but here’s what we have so far:

Where: SPACE Atlanta: 1310 White St., Atlanta, GA 30310 (historic West End)
When: 4-7 PM
*DJ Rev Lee will make you shake your rump to each food station! Special surprise live performance by popular Atlanta-based artist!
*Complimentary wine courtesy of Montaluce Winery!
*Cash bar
$30 in advance
$40 at the door

Where: Three Peas Art Lounge, 75 E. 16th Street (Between Michigan and Wabash), Chicago, IL 60616
When: 3-6 pm
$30 in advance
$35 at the door
*Cash bar and delicious house cupcakes for sales

Los Angeles
Where: Private Residence of Greg at Sippity Sup. Please request address upon purchase of ticket.
When: 4 -7 pm
$30 in advance
$35 at the door (very limited door tickets will be available)
*Complimentary valet will be available for first 50 attendees! Service provided by Logistic Parking.
*A multitude of appetizers and desserts from 20 cooks
*Grey Goose vodka specialty drinks from Los Angeles brand attaché, Christophe Namer, and Natalie Bovis-Nelsen of The Liquid Muse, including the “Hearts for Haiti” cocktail.
*Wine bar also hosted by Natalie Bovis-Nelsen with sangrias featuring Fre Alcohol-Removed Wine and Sutter Home Wine and the Sparkling Pomegranate Snowflake “mocktail” from her book, Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be.
*Dollar raffle tickets for purchase at the door with a variety of GREAT prizes!
*Additional sponsors include Trader Joe’s, Ralphs and Party City.

New York
Where: NYU Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, 35 W. 4th Street, 10th floor, NY, NY, 10012
When: 4-7 pm
Advanced ticket sales only: $20 for students and $30 for adults/faculty & staff.
Students must pay via the PayPal General Online Donation button on Flanboyant Eats and Coco Cooks and indicate “NYU student ticket” in notes. Must show student ID at the door.
*Street parking and parking garages within walking distance

Washington, DC
* Details TBD. If you are in DC, and are interested, please email Stirit28@gmail.com with the subject: STIR IT DC

Each event requires donations of food, so if you’d like to share your talent of cooking with the public, this is your opportunity. You don’t have to cook to be part of the fundraiser. We’ll need help with media/publicity, set-up/clean up, serving, working the door, etc. You can be part of this! Contact each respective person to let them know you want to be on the team.

Los Angeles:
chrystal [AT] duodishes [DOT] com

bren [AT] flanboyanteats [DOT] com

cococooks [AT] hotmail [DOT] com

New York:
christy.spackman [AT] gmail [DOT] com

If you are not in LA, Atlanta, NY or Chicago, you can still help raise money. Perhaps donate what you would normally spend to create a dish for a post or give the amount you’d spend on a lunch or dinner out with friends. It’s not about how much you give, but the spirit in which you decided to help others. We understand that economic times are hard, but even $1 over 500 or more bloggers would make a difference. Spread the word to your friends, tell your families. Talk to restaurants in your area, chat with cooking school, visit bakeries! The idea is to bring the food community together as a whole, so anyone who lives and loves food should hear the word. You can donate through Paypal. The associated email address for the donation is stirit28@gmail.com

Bren has a hunger campaign called One Comment. One Eats., and this is a great opportunity to combine this effort with our Haiti relief project. For every comment you receive on your first post of February, we hope you donate one non-perishable food item to Share Our Strength. You can campaign for the full month of February in order to get as many comments as possible. We will let you know how to get your food to Share Our Strength. Email Bren directly at bren@flanboyanteats.com to get your badge that reads: “I gave to One Comment. One Eats.”

We can only make this work if everyone bands together. The cool thing about food bloggers is that we are a supportive bunch. Most of us have never met, but we forge virtual relationships with people in our own cities and across the world over food. If we combined that same strength and applied it to a great cause, imagine how powerful it would be! Sign up as a cook/volunteer for the LA, Atlanta, NY or Chicago events, join the Facebook page, use the Twitter hashtag #stirit28, get the word out to your friends, solicit donations, sell tickets. We can make a huge difference! And for anyone in any city who is interested in starting their own fundraiser event, please email stirit28@gmail.com to let us know. You do not have to have a huge blow-out. An intimate dinner of 10 or 15 on Sunday, February 21st will still make a difference! As long as we’re donating as a solid group of the food community, that’s all that matters.

We hope you’ll join in the Stir It 28 movement. We’re excited to get started, and we want you on the team!

Other Sweet Treats

If At First You Don’t Succeed

We totally bombed with our initial aebleskivers attempt.  A complete bomb.  What should’ve been puffy popover-like Danish pancakes turned into sticky, gunky mess. The main reason this happened is because we didn’t follow directions.  We are both well-educated, intelligent young adults, yet we tend to fail when it comes to directions.  We’ll read them, but we don’t follow them.  That is usually not a problem for recipes, but it doesn’t work when you’re using a cast iron pan for the first time.  It’s just a fact.  You have to season your cast iron pan.  If you don’t season your pan, you’ll end up with a mess on your hands and in the pan.  Cleaning it up is not fun, and you may feel discouraged with the second attempt. And that’s exactly what happened.
Continue reading “If At First You Don’t Succeed”

Poultry & Pork

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: A Collective Consumption

We were lucky to have our proposal accepted by Foodbuzz for the
January 24, 24, 24 meal event. Our idea was simple–turn the tables on our friends and have them prepare the meal. We had no intentions of shying away from work, but we wanted to get our friends involved. With a table full of various ingredients from all levels of the food pyramid, we gave them complete freedom to choose what would be on the menu. It was their chance to learn how to experiment in the kitchen, which is just how we love to cook.
Continue reading “Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: A Collective Consumption”

Special Events

Good Food Live: Down Under

On Sunday, January 17th, we braved Los Angeles’ rain and chilly wind to attend KCRW’s Good Food Live cooking demonstration and wine tasting at The Paley Center in Beverly Hills. The evening’s occasion fell towards the latter end of G’Day USA: Australia Week 2010–several days of events in Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs and New York designed to highlight the technological, economical, environmental and cultural growth and advancements of the expansive continent. On January 16th and 17th, the public was encouraged to ‘Come Walkabout in Beverly Hills’. Evan Kleiman, host of Good Food, lead us on an afternoon of food and wine with chefs Curtis Stone and Pete Evans, mixologist Gus McShane and wine connoisseur James Gosper.
Continue reading “Good Food Live: Down Under”

Cookies & Bars

The Spice of Life

There is one ingredient that causes friction between us. You could sit around and guess all day, but you’d probably never get it right, so we’ll just tell you. It’s black pepper. Amir loves it. Chrystal does not. Whenever we’re cooking together, no doubt one person will want to add pepper, and the other half will not. We can go into the reason for this another time if you’d really like to know, but right now we’re talking about how pepper works specifically in these cookies. Oh yes, there is black pepper in them and on them. Squint a bit, and you can see the black flecks sitting on top. Who would’ve known that black pepper could make a dessert blast off into the atmosphere like a NASA spaceship!
Continue reading “The Spice of Life”


Two Sides to Eggplant

The eggplant has a story to tell, and it is one rarely heard. The eggplant is a vegetable of power, prestige and beauty. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors.  Even if all you have is the standard purple Italian or American eggplant that you will find in most mainstream markets, you can create completely different meals with them that may appeal to the more adventurous side of your taste buds.  Eggplants mesh so well with a variety of flavors, so it’s hard to go wrong.  A quick and easy stir fry type meal is one of the easiest ways to cook eggplant.  Just chop, toss them in a pan, and you’re just about half way to a good meal.  Take a look at a how one eggplant can be made in two different ways for two meals. Or a few more if you have leftovers!

Continue reading “Two Sides to Eggplant”