The Thermador Steamy Soiree and Chocolate Toffee Oatmeal Whole Grain Cookies

by Irvin on June 9, 2011 · 44 comments

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Chunky Chocolate Toffee Oatmeal Whole Grain Cookies Jpg

Steamy Soiree. What naughty images does that invoke in your mind? How about a gathering of fantastic fabulous food bloggers to eat and talk about food? I recently was flown out by Thermador to Scottsdale, Arizona to meet other bloggers, talk food and learn a little bit about the Thermador brand and witness the unveiling of their new Pro Grand Steam Range. And of course eat fantastic food. From Barramundi fish, a sustainable fish from Australia (I had met the rep at BlogHer Food and was so pleased to have a chance to taste it on this trip) to beef satay to braised bok choy & shitake mushrooms to decadent a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, it was left me satisfied in so many ways, least of which, the chance to hang out with some amazing people. On top of that we learned a little bit about whole grain baking and it inspired me to make these chewy chunky whole grain toffee chocolate cookies. I baked them here at home in my (non-Thermador) sad E-Z Bake like apartment oven. They came out different from the cookies that we had at Thermador as I tinkered with the recipe to make them a little more chewy and thick and I’m sure that if I had a fabulous Thermador oven (hint hint AJ) they would have been even better but I’m not complaining with what I made.

Unveiling Thermador's Ultimate Culinary Center

Right on the heels of BlogHer Food, I ended up turning around and flying out to Scottsdale, Arizona, to meet up with a small group of food bloggers that Thermador had selected. We got to be the first media to see Thermador’s Ultimate Culinary Center and in the end most everyone fell in love with it the steaming oven and the crazy low heat burner. OK, well maybe I fell in love with it, but then I’m a total geek about that sort of thing.

The trip started with me waking up early to get to the airport and then arriving and having the flight delayed. *sigh* A familiar feeling, I sat around the airport alone and dejected this time ‘round, as I had no food bloggers to entertain me like my last delayed trip. Finally, as we took off and then landed, I found myself checking in an hour before dinner was scheduled but utterly starving. I ran down and bought about $25 worth of chips at the hotel market (I know, it’s ridiculous, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy an actual sandwich before dinner, so it was chips or red velvet cupcake and as much as I wanted the cupcake, it seemed even more wrong than the chips).

The awesome group of bloggers I would hang out with at Thermador

Luckily dinner was around the corner and I got chance to not only eat incredible food, but I got to meet some of the amazing bloggers I was going to be spending the next day with. Seated next to me was Kathy from Lunchbox Bunch and Finding Vegan who was just darling. She and I chitchat and chewed our way through dinner, discussing vegan food, health food, the awesomeness of vegan food (yeah, I may be an “omni” who eats all sorts of meat and animal products, but some of the best dishes and things I’ve made are totally vegan). BLT Steak, a steak house in Phoenix, treated her really well, with some amazing specific vegan dishes made for her, including a white chocolate dipped pistachio encrusted apricot & spun sugar dessert that looked spectacular. Kathy was definitely not wanting for good food, though she did look longingly at the popovers that they delivered to the table. I vowed to her that I would develop a vegan popover recipe for her, so look for that sometime in the future here at Eat the Love.

The BLT Steak Popover

Also seated at my table was Sarah from TasteSpotting. I tried to give her the stink eye for rejecting all those perfectly shot photos of mine, but it just couldn’t last. She’s totally winsome and lovely and at the end of the evening, I basically wanted to be her best friend. She had driven to Phoenix from Los Angeles and regaled the table with stories of frozen bottles of water (she was rather paranoid that she would get trapped in the dessert without water on the drive) and drinking date shakes, which I had never heard of, but apparently were quite popular in Palm Spring/Indio region of California. It also didn’t help that Sarah completely charmed me the next day by telling me that I would be perfect for a TV show (someone get on that for me will ya?).

Kathy Cooking

The Thermador people was lovely too. I had a chance to chat with my Beatriz from Thermador about why I don’t like blogging contests at dinner and she was genuinely curious about my opinion (pitting blogger against blogger? no thank you). Post dinner we head back to the hotel and I got a chance to get drinks with the lovely Jaden from Steamy Kitchen. How can they have an event called Steamy Soiree and not have Jaden there? Jaden, of course, is friggin’ amazing. I told her that I was in awe of her ridiculous amount of energy and asked her if she ever got any sleep. Her response was “Well of course not, I have kids!” Ha! I then asked her how come she wasn’t at IACP and she said she was flying out from Arizona the next day to go to Austin for it. The woman is crazy!

Jaden looking at me like I'm crazy

I also got a chance to talk with Dana of Dana’s Treat who now one of my new favorite people. We bonded over vegetarian food, healthy living and her love of the city I live in. She lives up in Seattle (which I love!) and though I somehow am fully connected with a slew of Seattle food bloggers, I somehow have overlooked her and her blog. Well no more. Gorgeous, warm, intelligent and so giving, after the weekend was over, she had me promise I would come up and visit Seattle again and cook a meal with her. I can’t wait.

The Bloggers waiting to get their lunch instructions

The next morning, bright and early, found us at the Thermador Showroom for a tour and presentation of the history of Thermador. Let’s contemplate for a minute the waiting entry room of the Showroom that looks like a spa for a moment. Is everything in Arizona zen like? I mean, our hotel was definitely zen like, with it’s 10 swimming pools. But then it was billed as a hotel/spa getaway. Thermador makes stoves and ovens (and fancy dishwashers too), but the waiting room looks like you should be ready for your massage!

The Thermador Showroom Waiting Room

That said, Thermador has a pretty rich history, which I found fascinating. Maybe it’s the design geek in me, but I do have that slightly obsession with brands and the story behind them. Turns out Thermador has a wonderful back story that include being part of the Brady Bunch set (no wonder I felt like I grew up with Thermador in my life, I grew up with Jan and Marcia!) as well as part of Julia Child’s set on her PBS show. Random fun fact, Thermador actually offered to give Julia Child an entire Thermador kitchen for the show free of charge, but PBS and Julia Child said that they never allowed for freebies, and insisted they would pay for the entire thing. True story.

Seven Decades of Innovation

Another random fun fact, if Thermador offered to put in a free kitchen stove/oven unit into my apartment so I wouldn’t have to bake everything in my dinky EZ Bake oven that my landlord gave us, I’m willing to sacrifice my morals and take it without paying. I’m totally easy that way. True story.

One of the Thermador Kitchens

All fun facts aside, it was the unveiling of the new Pro Grand Steam Range that was the reason that everyone came out to Arizona. Pretty to look at it, it packed some crazy features, including a super hot 22,000 BTU burner (hello heat! how awesome would that be for wok stirfrys?) and this awesome low heat burner that cycles on and off, which mean you could actually use it to melt chocolate, and not worry about using a double boiler. In fact, they put a paper plate on the burner filled with chocolate chips, as an example that the heat was so low that it could melt the chocolate but never burn the plate. Show offs!

The Ultimate Culinary Center

Paper plate with chocolate melting

But the best part of the unit is the new steaming oven. As a baker, I’m kind of obsessed with this oven. With a built in steamer, everything bakes better, from bread (man the crust on the bread is fantastic) to cinnamon rolls, to hardboiled eggs, to even sterilizing jars for jam. Tessa from Handle the Heat and Tabitha from Lady and the Blog totally pitched in and we all made super moist pineapple upside down cake using the steaming oven. Tabitha diligently cut the pineapples as I traded turns with Tessa in creaming the butter with the sugar by hand, with a spoon. Yep. We went old school (and have the cramps to prove it).

Tabitha chopping pineapple as Susan watches

Tessa getting an upper body workout.

The lunch was pretty darn fantastic. Insane food, wonderful people and lively conversation abounded. Highlights included beef satay, miso glazed pan fried tofu, edamame and red quinoa salad, Hawaiian sweet bread, Southeast Asian lumpia, and a Thai inspired stir fry with glass noodles. And dessert included our pineapple upside down cake, chocolate cake, coconut macaroons and whole grain heath bar cookies (which is what inspired my cookies).

The Thermador lunch spread

The Thermador Lunch Spread

My lunch plate at Thermador. Yes I had to take one of everything.

And dessert too.

Afterwards we had a chat with the Thermador peeps about food trends (healthy, unprocessed and natural food came up a lot, which had me feeling a little bit guilty about the potato chip binge I ate the day before) and then we headed down to learn about grains from Chef Brad. Chef Brad is insanely passionate about whole grains and it was utterly infectious. He showed us some of his favorite grains including amaranth, which he popped (he adds it to rice crispy treats which is a great way to “hide” it), and firmly feeds his family of five kids (FIVE KIDS!) with an 80/20 rule. 80% good stuff, 20% not as good stuff. No one wants to eat a meal of just healthy food, and one of the worst things is when your meal tastes “healthy”. You want it to be delicious AND healthy. So if adding some of the not as good stuff, like chocolate, sugar or anything else, makes you eat more healthy stuff like whole grains, then it’s worth it. Talk about a sensible approach to eating (also, considering how much food I had eaten the day before and that day, I felt like those potato chips I got when I arrived really only counted as 10% of my intake, so I felt much better).

Chef Brad slicing into a giant chocolate layer cake.

Chef Brad popping amaranth

Chef Brad showed us a bunch of great whole grains like KAMUT® wheat flour, Quinoa, Spelt, Buckwheat and Barley. I bake with a lot of them (especially when baking gluten free) but I’ve only recently started to bake with some of the grains that have gluten in them like Kamut, Barley and Spelt. I’m lucky to have a grocery store that sells the flour in bulk though Chef Brad was pretty adamant that you should grind the flours yourself to ensure freshness. That said, AJ would probably kill me if I showed up with a flour mill to put on our countertop (as much as I would love one).

Chef Brad with eight of his favorite whole grains.

Random fun fact, I completely embarrassed myself at lunch when I referred to millet flour and how it was my new favorite flour to bake with. Apparently I never talk about flours and grains with anyone before (AJ’s eyes just roll to the back of his head when I start talking about baking) because I pronounced it “millay” and everyone looked at me as if I had two heads. Then I spelled it and pretty much everyone’s eyes lit up in recognition and said “OH! MILLET!” *sigh*

Brooke, Maggie and Kate looking adorable.

After packing up our things, including some homemade raspberry blueberry jam (I ended up mailing it back to myself as I only did carryon back) we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and go to dinner. I spent some time wandering about the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale pools (did I mention the ten pools?) with Tabitha from The Lady and the Blog looking at the ducks and talking careers. She’s both insanely talented (blogger, psychology major, work with autistic kids) and gorgeous (former model, current fashion student at F.I.T.). Gah! I can’t believe I was surrounded by everyone so amazing. I need less talented friends to hang around with. All these over achievers make me feel like such a slacker.

One of the pools. Fancy eh?

I don't like birds, but these ducks were cute

Dinner, of course, was wonderful. I was seated next to Tessa of Handle the Heat and the Kitchen Generation and she finally told me the secret origin story of how the Kitchen Generation came to be. Maggie of Three Many Cooks was there as well, telling us all about her new venture, Blogger Without Borders which is a brilliant idea (look for it to official launch in July). I can’t wait to help her out on this wonderful nonprofit that helps other bloggers in times of need (think Sweet Relief but for bloggers not musicians). Tabitha was there at the table, along with Liz and Shun from Thermador. Again crazy wonderfully warm people.

Some of the bloggers at the Steamy Soiree

During the dinner, we did pause a moment to sing happy birthday to one of my new favorite people (I know, I have a ton of new favorite people, but I can’t help myself, I love them all) Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen. It was her birthday and the restaurant decided to bring out a flaming pineapple for her. I guess I wasn’t the only thing flaming at the restaurant that night.

Oh Happy Birthday Brooke!

Brooke slightly embarrassed but I know she loved it!

Dessert on Fire

Back at the hotel, people hung out for a little bit drinking nightcaps and then Maggie and Brooke and I decided to jump in the pool for a midnight swim. We had the entire pool to ourselves but let’s face it, it was pretty awesome. We finally left the pool wrinkled, wet but completely satisfied that we had wrung as much out of short but productive trip as possible.

Brooke, Maggie and me hanging out in the pool at midnight.

The next day found us all leaving bright and early for the airport. I shared a ride with Sara and Kate of Our Best Bites who I now adore and who were giving me sage advice about my blog, as well as Amanda of Kevin and Amanda who said she would turn my handwriting into a font (I love that! Have you bounced over there and checked out her free fonts on her blog? So cool!). I didn’t want to leave, but life goes on. Of course, I nearly didn’t get through security as they found the truffle salts that Thermador gave me suspicious. Luckily they decided they were harmless because I wasn’t going to give those up without a fight!

Truffle Salt can be suspicious.

Finally, landing in San Francisco, whisking myself off to a client meeting directly from the airport and then coming home to bake a pie for the DIY Desserts event that I was hosting that night at 18 Reasons, I was able to collapse and think of the whirlwind event that was the Steamy Soiree. Meeting people like Maria & Josh from Two Peas and Their Pod, Sandy and her husband Paul from the Reluctant Entertainer, Robyn from Add a Pinch and Anne from fANNEtastic food made me made me realize that the blogging community really is a special community, of the warmest, friendliest people I have had the pleasure of meeting, all of whom kind of kick ass with their blogs, and make me wonder why I’m such a slacker (hello, I’m posting only twice a week? How does Anne wake up early to go for a run at 5am AND post every single day? I’m exhausted just thinking about it).

The team behind Reluctant Entertainer

Josh and Maria of Two Peas and their Pod

On top of that, I met some kitchen designer bloggers and editors and they were all brilliant as well. Susan of the The Kitchen Designer, Linda from Better Homes and Gardens and Leslie from KB Culture were all stylish and knowledgeable in a world utterly foreign to me, but that I was intimately familiar with, as I have to spend a good chunk of my life in our kitchen. They were refreshingly smart and down to earth and gave me such insight on designing a kitchen.

Waiting for a demo to start

And perhaps, one day, I’ll have a home (not an apartment) that I will own, where I can actually design my own kitchen. Who knows when that will happen and who knows how that will happen, but I know I’ve drunk the KoolAid and will buy myself a Thermador. You know, unless they *cough* give me one or something.

Thermador stove and chef

In the meanwhile, I’ll be happy with these cookies. One taste, and I’ll be instantly transported back to that amazing trip to Arizona, where I lusted after an oven and met some lovely people. And I’ll eat this cookie and think “we’ll always have Arizona and the Steamy Soiree with Thermador.”

Chunky Chewy Chocolate Toffee Oatmeal Whole Grain Cookies jpg

Thermador was kind and generous enough to compensate in full the travel, accommodations, meals and tour of their showroom during my trip to Arizona. That said, while my costs were covered, everything I wrote above was my own opinion and I stand by them. Thank you everyone at Thermador and DGWB for organizing and hosting me.

Feel free to visit these other awesome bloggers (who I now adore and love) and read their thoughts on the Thermador Pro Range and the Steamy Soiree event:

Chunky Chocolate Toffee Oatmeal Whole Grain Cookies

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Nisrine M.. June 9, 2011 at 5:22 am

Irvin, the vent looks like a lot of fun. I wish I were there.

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

It was SO much fun. I give props to Thermador for making it not only a fun event but also an informative one, with the session on whole grains.

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Shawn June 9, 2011 at 5:57 am

OOOHHH, those cookies have me wanting to turn on the oven in this 97 degree heat!
P.S. Loving your “blog travels”…When ShawnsPlate grows up, it wants to be like you :)

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

LOL! I dunno about growing up. I feel like I’m still in my infancy here at Eat the Love. And 97˚ sounds HOT! Though I guess that’s what Arizona was when we were there. But you know, it was a “dry heat”… (actually it strangely humid so I don’t know what all those Arizonians were talking about).

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Sandy @ RE June 9, 2011 at 7:05 am

Are you home this weekend? We’re coming down for some of those cookies.

What a fabulous recap! You get an A+! Seriously … you really captured so much of what went on, except how did we miss out on the hot tubbing?? ha!

Have a great weekend, friend! (Can I steal the pix of me and Paul for FB?)

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

Thanks Sandy! And you’ll have to blame Maggie for the hot tubbing. It was her idea (though I had the waterproof camera).

And please do steal the pic for FB. And find me on there and friend me! So great meeting you and Paul. You guys were adorable together.

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Anne P June 9, 2011 at 8:17 am

So great meeting you! I just went for an 18 mile run, wrote 20 blog posts, and saved the world before breakfast. No big deal. ;) p.s. I want that cherry tart thingy you posted about in your last post!

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:35 am

Oh to be young, beautiful and energetic like you Anne. *sigh* My biggest accomplishment this morning was showering. Ha!

That cherry tart was pretty fantastic I will say. It was gone super fast at the dinner party!

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Shauna from Piece of Cake June 9, 2011 at 8:27 am

That event looks crazy fun! Those appliances are killing me softly–gorgeous. And these flavor combo in these cookies sounds like perfection, too.

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

It so WAS crazy fun! And trust me I sort of went to appliance heaven when I was in the showroom… and then went back to reality when I went home to my EZ Bake oven. *sigh* Whaddya gonna do?

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Lori @ RecipeGirl June 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

Absolutely lovely- all of it! Next year, I’m there… I hope… with all of you!!

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

I hope so too! I felt like I barely had a chance to say hello to you at BlogHer Food before your legions of fans pulled you away from me! It was nice to go to a more intimate event like this and just get to know people more. Next time!

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Maria June 9, 2011 at 10:59 am

Fantastic recap! I want to go back right now! And I really want one of those cookies! You set off a mad craving for this pregnant lady:) We enjoyed meeting you! You are a joy to be around! I hope we can meet up again and soon!

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

It was such a pleasure meeting you and Josh too! And if you were around, I would totally give you a box of these cookies. They’re pretty fantastic. I too, hope we can meet up again soon!

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Damaris @Kitchen Corners June 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I want to be your friend and I’m way less talented than those people you hung out with so there!

How fun that you got to go to this. Looks like everything was amazing and now I really want that stove/oven/machine that is bigger than my kitchen.

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:55 pm

LOL. I can’t believe you would say that your way less talented than the other bloggers. You have more talent in your tiny pinky finger than I most do in their entire body!

That said, I totally want that culinary center. But yes, it would pretty much eclipse every other thing in my kitchen. (it would be worth it though)

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Dawn (KitchenTravels) June 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Cue the sound of angels singing and harps playing as the Thermador folks unveil the Ultimate Culinary Center in your photo. WANT. I don’t even care that it would be completely out of place in my tiny, 1940′s era kitchen.

Having lived in AZ for years (my parents are still there), I can tell you that yes, it is a very Zen place. Except for the politics. And ASU.

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Damaris @Kitchen Corners June 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

This has got to be one of the best comments ever! You have some great readers :)

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I LOVE my readers. All six of them.

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm

It really felt that way! I mean I felt like the clouds parted and I could see. It was that brilliant.

And I was surprised that Arizona was EXACTLY how I imagined it would be. Cactus, desert, sand, and southwest style artwork EVERYWHERE I looked. Even the highways had some sort of earthtone art installation on the underpasses!

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kathy June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

so fun! Love your commentary. You painted the Thermador picture perfectly. So nice to meet you!!

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Irvin June 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Kathy it was SO awesome to meet you to! I hope we get to hang out with each other again soon!

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kellypea June 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Whoa. This is one whopper of a write-up in your always lively tone which I love. Looks like you all had a great time and I’m wowed by the cost of that range having recovered from the cost of mine (a duel fuel 6-burner + griddle Wolf…shhhh) which oh snap doesn’t have a steamer drawer, but yes, an uber low chocolate burner. Bragging. But only because I didn’t get to go on such a very cool trip. Okay, going to check out the bloggers you linked to I don’t know :)

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Irvin June 10, 2011 at 12:01 am

I know. The sad thing, I did edit this down a little bit. I should really learn to write more concisely though. These epic recaps always nearly kill me. That said, I like writing them, because I can always go back to them in the future, re-read them and think to myself “Oh yeah, I loved that when it happened!’

Ahhh. Wolf. I would “settle” for a Wolf, but the dream is the Thermador. That said, Wolf, if you’re reading this and wanna give me a range unit, I’m totally open to it. Because I’m flexible and opened minded that way.

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Jennifer (Savor) June 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Brooke and I met at this event last year and she is super special to me and my family. I will share her with you a little bit.

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Irvin June 10, 2011 at 12:04 am

Brooke is so amazing that I don’t think ANYONE should be able to keep her all to themselves. I mean c’mon, she’s fantastic!

Also, how utterly adorable is she in that Bisquick commercial? Love it. Love. Her.

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Brooke June 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Irvin!?! WHY, oh WHY are you the BEST?! Well, you are, so there. This recap is GORGEOUS, for one thing. It’s so thoughtfully written, with little shout outs to each of the incredible bloggers from the event, and the perfect amount of details about Thermador’s beautiful brands. (Wouldn’t you just die to have one in your kitchen?! So gorg!)

It was an absolute treat getting to know you (and disagree with you during the trend chat. Not. I totally agree with everything you say). And I do so hope we’ll be able to get together soon for a plate of your gorgeous cookies, pastries, and more midnight swims. You are lovely pants.

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Irvin June 10, 2011 at 12:07 am

OMG. I was just talking about you with Jennifer in the comment above! Did you know we were talking about you?

And just as an FYI, I think I have to disagree with you. I think YOU’RE the best. So there.

Also, I hope we get together again soon! Midnight swimming and pastries. It’s a date.

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Lori June 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I covet my neighbors Thermador. It’s a problem. And I don’t see a solution in the near future. *Sigh* In the meantime, I will just have to control my Thermador envy and whip up a batch of those yummy-looking cookies you made!

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Irvin June 10, 2011 at 12:10 am

If I had a neighbor that had a Thermador, I think I would probably be over there all the time baking/cooking. But luckily for all my neighbors, I do not. I have my EZ Bake Oven.

I don’t really see a solution either. But maybe one of these days I’ll have a grown up range. With a grown up apartment and grown up job…. One of these days.

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Brian @ A Thought For Food June 10, 2011 at 5:07 am

You, my friend, live quite the life! I’m a bit envious (if you couldn’t tell already). Great recap (amazing group of people) and a wonderful recipe!

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 1:43 am

Awww, thanks Brian! It really was an amazing group of people at the event. All thanks to Thermador. And these cookies. Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

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Dana June 10, 2011 at 8:07 am

I think you get the award for best recap for sure. Wonderful photos and so thoughtfully written. Thank you for your kind words and know that I am holding you to your promise to visit! Can’t wait.

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 1:46 am

Ooohhh. Is the award a Thermador range?!? You’re so the best and I can’t wait to come up and visit. I just need to carve out some time. I wanna cook a meal with you!

And don’t forget to come down and visit me in SF! Tartine is just two blocks away from me and there are TONS of vegetarian friendly restaurants down here. Heck I think ALL the restaurants in SF are vegetarian. I feel like the Board of Supervisors passed a law or regulation or something that requires all SF restaurants to be veg friendly… ;)

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Mrs. L June 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

The cookies look fantastic, you’ve given me many new blogs to follow AND I’m now craving a new Thermador!

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 1:53 am

The minute I walked into the Thermador kitchen, I TOTALLY was craving one. Too bad I can’t afford one! Oh well, it’s definitely something to aspire to.

And yes, you must check out the other blogs. They are all wonderful people with wonderful blogs.

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Sara @ Our Best Bites June 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Irvin you’re so fantastic! After getting the chance to hang out and chat that last night, I was bummed we didn’t really “meet” sooner! Kate and I will have to come to your neck of the woods and sneak into- er…I mean, pay to attend…another blogging event ;)

Also, your blog is amazing- I bet it’s growing like crazy! *muah!*

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 1:59 am

Right? I felt like I was still meeting amazing people that last night (you two included), even though there were only 20 of us! or 18? I can’t remember.

Definitely let me know if you come out here! I need to figure out a way to *ahem* attend a local blogging events that I might not be affiliated with. We shall see if that happens or not, but I usually figure something out. ;)

*hugs*

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Stacie Tamaki June 11, 2011 at 6:33 am

Oh My Gosh! I WANT that oven! It’s one of the many items I realized I don’t own but need if I ever want to experience the full potential of the Modernist Cuisine cook book. LOL at the moment the only essential I have on their list is a pressure cooker. Still need a sous-vide, vacuum sealer, steaming oven, kitchen siphon, the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, and the cook book :D

A little jealous but very excited for you that you had this experience. And your cookies look delicious! Will have to try them.

Oh yeah, and just saw in the news you won last year’s Pie War. Hadn’t heard of it until a few days ago. Tickets are sold out but I’m going to try for them next year. Congrats on your double win (but not your acceptance speeches). Found your blog post. It was hilarious :)

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Oh man. The oven is awesome. They had talked about doing sous-vide in the steam oven as well because it can go to really low temperatures but you can only measure in 5˚ increments and with sous-vide you really need more accuracy. But I like that they tried it and said it worked…

If I could afford that cookbook, I would so get it. It looks amazing. Just for the photography alone.

And yeah, the Pie or Die contest was awesome. Had a blast. Tickets sell out in 30 seconds I think. It’s crazy. I’m sad I’m missing it, but also kinda glad because it’s a ton of work!

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Gail June 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

That stove….THAT STOVE!!!! It’s….it’s…..giving me heart palpitations. What a fun event!!! And, those cookies sound divine…what a good ‘chew’. As usual, a bang-up job, Irvin.

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Right? It’s pretty amazing. Like REALLY amazing. I think I had heart palpitations when they unveiled it!

And thanks for the compliment!

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Beth (OMG! Yummy) June 11, 2011 at 8:02 am

Ok Irvin, so you know I really like you but Hawaii and Scottsdale? You are pushing the limit of my jealousy. I love Scottsdale and yes, pretty much everything is spa and zen-like there. And the Scottsdale Culinary Institute turns out so many wonderful chefs that seem to populate the restaurants there because we have had so many excellent meals in that town.

As for the event – it looks like it was top notch and I am so happy for you that you got a chance to participate! I only wish I had been wooed by Thermador before we remodeled our kitchen – I am certain at least one appliance in my kitchen would be quite different but I will keep that nasty brand story for an in-person conversation and not for your blog :-)

Cookies look great and the story was terrific – sorry about that airplane delay again :-)

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Irvin June 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I’ve actually never been to Scottsdale and the trip was WAY too short, but what I saw of it, I loved! The restaurants we went to were fantastic and super accommodating to all of us and definitely wonderful (though the excellent company I was in might have also helped). I can’t wait to go back.

And the airplane delay would have been much better if you had been there to keep me company. Ah well. The trip made it worth it.

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