Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show

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The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show was at the Washington Convention Center in DC November 5th-6th. Any foodie knows this is a must-attend event. What’s not to love about an event centered on our favorite subject? Add in amazing presentations from Food Network chefs and talk about two days of foodtastic fun! As food bloggers, we were ecstatic to get an invitation to participate as members of the media. 

Over 400 products and vendors were at the showGetting up before dawn on the weekend isn’t for most of us. However, doing so in order to attend the region’s best food event headlined by Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, and Giada De Laurentiis was worth sacrificing a few hours of sleep. We spent our day sampling food, checking out over 400 specialty food exhibitors and so much more. We learned new skills, tips and tricks from live demonstrations that ranged from knife skills to home decorating for the coming holiday season. One of the best parts was networking with other bloggers and food lovers. We loved chatting with others who are just as passionate as we are about food. 

We’d like share some of the things we learned from the show. Enjoy and please comment below if you attended and would like to share what you learned. 

Mary Beth AlbrightMary-Beth-Albright: Talk about one incredible women; what has Mary Beth not done in her life? She’s a former attorney turned writer, who finished in the final four of the Food Network Star (Season 7). She was doing beef cooking demos for the National Beef Cook-Off. We learned a marinating tip from Mary Beth; she called it the Ghetto Marinating Method. Salad dressing is a great marinate for protein. All the work is done for you - all you have to do is pour. The acid in the dressing will tenderize the meat, while the herbs and spices will add flavor. We loved her suggestion of keeping gallon sized ziplock bags handy in our car. All we have to do on the way home from work is pop in the store to pick up some protein and a marinade. While we are sitting in the car we can put the protein in the bag with the dressing and have it marinate while we commute home. Therefore, it will be ready for the grill pan when we get home. Less time prepping equals more family time for us. Thanks for the awesome idea Mary Beth; we will be using over and over again. 

Guy Fieri: Oh man, what a show man. We can totally see how he was able to score the winning prize of the very first Food Network Star. We loved his family man approach to cooking and his tips for getting kids into the kitchen. Guy believes in not cooking like a gourmet chef when it comes to family meals. If you really want to get your kids involved in what you are doing, his advice is to ask them what THEY want to make. Let them look though magazines or scroll through recipe websites to find something they would want to experiment with. Guy advised us to Guy Fieriadvocate and encourage young chefs as they are experimenting. Talk them through the cooking process by combining technical words with foodisms to help them understand recipe directions and instructions. Food does not always turn out and recipes go wrong , so we must adapt. If a recipe starts turning in the wrong direction, quickly figure a way to turn a failed piece into a success. We agree with Guy 100% and find his tips as proven facts. When we have family holiday meals, we like to think of fun foodie names for our dishes. Our niece is more inclined to get in the kitchen with us because we can turn a serious dish into something fun. When she has put her effort into making something, she not only tries the food, she asks for seconds. Cooking skills is something kids should know, it’s a life skill. Getting them involved will turn them away from processed foods and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Teaching them at a young age can help fight childhood obesity and diabetes as well.

CherylStyleCheryl Najafi: Cheryl is one they call the next Martha Stewart. She is CEO & Creative Catalyst of Cheryl Style. This lifestyle guru offers original twists on themes, invitations, room decor, table design and place settings. Tinsley particularly liked Cheryl’s live the moment approach because it matches her own idea of making simple elegant. Cheryl taught us how to transform our dining room table this holiday season. Her tip was to use wrapped presents from under our Christmas tree as decor for the holiday table. The packages serve as chargers for our serving plates. Her suggestion was to use different sized packages to our table; this would add height and drama. She showed us how adding items such as small ornaments, pieces of feather boa and ribbon to your packages creates whimsical theme that will be magical for your guest.

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