|Styling a sandwich (photo by Wendy Kaho, Celiacs in the House)
If you follow along over at 52 Sweets, you know I’ve just returned from Eat, Write, Retreat!, an amazing food blogger conference in Washington, D.C. I mentioned I came home with some terrific swag and want to share with you one of my favorites.
When I checked in at the registration table at Eat, Write, Retreat!, I was handed a swag bag (a reusable Whole Foods shopping bag–love it!) that must have weighed 35 pounds. Seriously, I counted lifting and carrying that bag as my Friday workout since schlepping luggage through Dulles, onto an airport shuttle and into the hotel wasn’t sufficient. In that bag was a 12″ griddle pan from Calphalon. I own several pieces of Calphalon bakeware but previously had only one piece of their cookware. I was tickled to have this new addition to my slim cookware collection. And that was just the beginning of the Calphalon goodness!
During the foodstyling workshop on Saturday, a toaster of impressive size was placed on every table. Each table was charged with creating either a sandwich or salad to be photographed by the extraordinary foodstyling and photography team of Lisa Cherkasky and Renee Comet. Instead of using the gluten-full bread provided, I made a quick dash to my hotel room to retrieve the partial loaf of Udi’s Gluten Free Millet Chia bread that I tucked into my suitcase, my just-in-case food. As much as I travel, I should be proficient at packing clothes and snacks, yet often fail at both. I discovered a smooshed loaf of bread. I managed to salvage a few pieces and toasted them in this snazzy toaster from Calphalon. My tablemates and I created this stunning sandwich, truly beautiful and gluten-free. An OXO mandoline was used to create paper-thin waffle slices of apple, slender ribbons of cucumber and rounds of Chiogga beets.
|Photo by Olga Berman, www.mangotomato.com
Oh, how I loved that toaster. It toasted four slices at once. It had a bagel setting, toasting only on the cut side. It had a defrost button. Gluten-free friends, can you believe that? A DEFROST button! Most of us gluten-free folks keep our bread frozen. Having a defrost button eliminates countertop thawing, which requires pre-planning that I don’t seem to do or the dreaded microwave defrost that sucks the life out of any bread I have tried. I had serious toaster envy, especially since I had been using a $5 toaster. During that workshop, I realized it was time to buy a new toaster, a fancy brushed stainless steel and chrome number. During a brief phone conversation with my husband back home, I attempted to convince him of the necessity of an $80 toaster with lots of buttons.
It turned out I did not need to convince myself or anyone else of the necessity of such a toaster. I brought one home, compliments of Calphalon. Each attendee at Eat, Write, Retreat! brought home a terrific prize from the sponsors, awarded on the final day. Some folks got fully stocked knife blocks, some got bar sets, mandolines, autographed cookbooks. I won a panini grill. My terrific roommate, Wendy from Celiacs in the House, won the toaster royale. Since I already own a panini gadget (although not nearly as nice as the Calphalon one), we negotiated a trade. Safely tucked into my suitcase, breezing through a TSA inspection, the toaster royale made it home to KC and hasn’t had a day off since.
Since returning home, I’ve toasted bagels. I’ve defrosted and then toasted homemade poptarts. I’ve made plain ol’ toast and smeared it with white chocolate peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co., another great bit of swag in the bottomless goodie bag. If it can’t be toasted, I haven’t made it this week. I’m in love with this new toaster. The $5 toaster of days past has been retired, added to my travel cookware bin for extended trips to places with questionable appliances.
Convinced you need one of these toasters, too? Well, guess what? For the first time in company history, Calphalon is offering a 10% off sale just for you, the readers of those of us who attended Eat, Write, Retreat! Follow this link and enter coupon code C95926 at checkout to receive 10% off of your order.
I’m not being compensated, sponsored or otherwise bribed for sharing this code with you, but I am being entered into a contest to win a Calphalon Dream Kitchen. I can’t imagine what more I need than my beautiful new toaster though. Well, maybe I could use a new stir fry pan. Oh, and a knife block set. And a countertop convection oven. Okay, so maybe I really do want to win that Calphalon Dream Kitchen…
Fine print about the discount: Clearance Items and Gift Certificates do not qualify. Excludes John Boos & Co. Cannot be combined with other special offers or applied to previous purchases. Terms subject to change. Offer valid through June 6th, 2011.
|That’s me, trying out the toaster with Mike from Calphalon. Photo by Wendy Kaho, Celiacs in the House.