Thursday, 25 February 2010

STIR IT 28 – Food Bloggers join together to benefit Haiti!

On Sunday, February 21st, Chefs, Restaurants and Food Bloggers came together to raise money for the people of Haiti.  The event was held in 4 cities across the nation – Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Manhattan.  The Atlanta event was fabulous!  The food was great, the atmosphere electric and the people were wonderful! 


Stir It 28 - Atlanta

What is STIR IT 28?

STIR IT 28 is 3-part fund-raising effort to help in the relief of Haiti's devastating earthquake. 3 food bloggers came together to bring awareness and raise money for the island! 100% OF MONEY RAISED GOES DIRECTLY TO SHARE OUR STRENGTH AND YELE HAITI!


Baking Breads for STIR It 28 – Atlanta

I had the privilege of baking breads for the Atlanta event. I decided to make some of my favorite breads.  I practiced all week to make sure they were just right. I baked 27 loaves of bread last week – 19 for the event. Whew! Now I know what it would feel like to run a bakery. Well, not really! 

It involved a lot of bread-baking, but it was an honor to participate in such a wonderful event. The funniest part to me was that time after time, visitors to my table would ask me where my storefront (bakery) was and how much I sold my bread for. My response was that I didn’t normally sell my breads, I was just participating in the event to support this worthy cause. They just looked at me funny so maybe I should rethink the idea of selling my breads - or, not!

This one guy kept coming up to my table and asking me how much I sold my breads for.  It made my night, so I ended up giving him some of the Potato Rosemary Dinner Rolls to take home at the end of the evening.


This is a photo of my table before the event started. My stash of breads is on the ledge behind the table.

STIRIT28-Atlanta 005

Here are the breads I brought with me (from left to right) Potato Rosemary, Whole Wheat with herbs (made with HBinFive Master dough), and Pane Siciliano. In the back left is Cranberry Walnut Celebration bread and on the right side hidden under a cloth are the Potato Rosemary Dinner Rolls.  I also served fruit and cheese, homemade Festive Marmalade and Citrus Marmalade and some oil and spices for dipping.

On to the event…

Mark, from took some wonderful photos that captured the essence and spirit of the event. He graciously allowed us to download some of the photos to share with our visitors.  His photos look better than mine so I decided to use them.

This is one of my favorite photos. It’s such a great shot!  Everyone was enjoying the music.


Now, on to the food!

Here is my table during the event. I never knew my breads could look so good! That’s thanks to Mark, of course.


That’s the Pane Siciliano in the foreground of the photo. It’s one of my favorite breads from the BBA Challenge

It tastes really good with homemade Festive Marmalade and Citrus Marmalade.  Just ask the nice lady sitting down in the photo. She tried some of the Pane Siciliano with the Festive Marmalade and loved it!  Or, so she said.  She and her boyfriend were there representing Montaluce Winery.


Montaluce Winery donated some wonderful wine for the event.  They are located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains and I can’t wait to go for a tour soon. Lovely and very generous folks!



In the photo below, is Christina of (left), Bren Herrera of (middle), and Christina’s friend (right).  Bren was the host extraordinaire of the Atlanta event and part of the trio, along with Chrystal at The Duo Dishes and Courtney at Coco Cooks, that put together STIR IT 28.  She did a fabulous job!  Thank you Bren!



Christina had the table right beside me and showcased some of the most wonderful-looking and tasty sweets. Every part was edible.  I sampled some of the chocolate cakes below and they were scrumptious.  My eyes went cross-eyed when I tasted one, it was so good!



Both of our tables were near the front door so as everyone entered, they would take a look at Christina’s table of sweets, then at my table of breads and just shake their heads because they couldn’t decide what to choose.  Most of them came back for some of each – probably more for the sweets.  I don’t blame them, with all the great food around, it was hard to decide.


That’s Dwight Eubanks in the photo above with his personal chef Deborah Van Trece. Dwight is the outspoken and flamboyant stylist on “HouseWives of Atlanta.”

Another fellow food blogger, Gwen of stopped by to sample some bread.  She’s a baker, but doesn’t yet feature bread on her blog. She wants to start baking bread and I hope she does.  In the meantime, she features a lot of other great food.



Tara, the event floor manager and taster extraordinaire, is asking me about some of the breads.


What she really wanted was some of the Cranberry Walnut Celebration bread so she was waiting for me to cut it.



Here is Bren Herrera of again (on the left) and Cecille of (on the right). Cecille is also participating in the BBA Challenge.  Bren looks like she’s having a great time.  She worked hard putting everything together so she deserved it!


Cecille brought some fabulous cupcakes.  I tried one of her Cardamom-Carrot Cupcakes with Citrus Cream Cheese (pictured below) and it was to die for.  Yummy!



I didn’t try any of her chocolate cupcakes but they looked fabulous!



Here is my new friend Tara coming back for some more Cranberry Walnut Celebration bread.  She’s waiting patiently while I cut some more slices.


I must say the Cranberry Walnut Celebration bread was a big hit!  I decided at the last minute to make it. I thought it would make a lovely presentation. Well, it did!  Everyone took one look and said “what’s that!”  Needless to say, it was one of the first loaves to be eaten. 


There were so many wonderful chefs and bloggers at the event and so much delicious food.  Of course, I didn’t get to sample all of it.  My boyfriend and I got stuffed as it was.


I did try some of the House smoked salmon slides with capers from Serpas True Food (Exec Chef Scott Serpas-  Scott is a James Beard winner and his restaurant was recently named top 10 Best New Restaurants in the U.S. by G.Q. magazine. 


I can understand why!  Those smoked salmon slides were delicious!  Spicy, but really good!



I even tried some sushi from Maru Sushi Restaurant (Chef @marujoe in Smyrna, GA).  The chefs were at the table directly across from me so I had to try their sushi, with some prompting from my boyfriend I might add. I don’t normally like sushi, but I liked this. We both liked it!  It was really cool the way they made the sushi.  I guess that’s what was so tempting.


It was a wonderful experience!

The whole experience was truly amazing and rewarding.  I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to give of my time and energy to benefit the people of Haiti.


I could go on and on about all of the fabulous food, the wonderful people and music and the venue, but I’ll let you check it out for yourself.  Click here to see more photos of STIR IT 28 - Atlanta.

Thank you Mark of for taking such great photos! 


I would also like to send a big thank you to Bren at, Chrystal over at and Courtney at for putting together this fabulous event across the nation.


You still have time to donate to this worthy cause!

You still have a few more days to donate if you haven’t done so already. Click on the PayPal button on the right side bar of

The entire month February has been designated as one of solidarity and fund-raising. As of Feb. 1 and through Feb. 28th, you can donate in any increment amount. We’d like a minimum of $5.00. Maybe 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 and be selfless. We understand that economic times are hard, but even $1 from each of 500 or more bloggers WILL make a difference.

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