Posted by: Rachael | February 13, 2011

a new world blogger meet up

i can honestly say that nothing makes me happier than enjoying good food and conversation with friends – both new and old. friday night, i had the opportunity to do both with a bunch of lovely ladies at a fun capital district blogger meet up organized by heather. i have been trying to get together with these girls for months now, but my crazy schedule prevented it from happening until now. lucky for me, the meet up was a short 5 minutes from my apartment and took place at my favorite albany eatery – New World Bistro Bar! it doesn’t get much better than this folks!

i was one-part nervous and two-parts excited for dinner – i had never met anyone before, but knew from all of the emails exchanged that it was going to be a top night with some wonderful people. as soon as i walked in, i immediately recognized heather and some of the other girls from their blogs, and we were seated right away in a prime location right next to the exposed brick bar. there were a totally of 14 bloggers that made it out for the event! i was at one end of the table with katie, melissa, emily, and cynthia who were all so friendly and welcoming, i felt like i’d known them for years (thanks ladies)!

after a fun discussion about road races, the crazy winter weather we’ve been having, and the realization that sweetbreads are not in fact bread, it was time to order up some crazy delicious meals. we had an awesome server who was more than attentive to our large party – our water pitchers were never empty, and the staff were completely accommodating of everything from food allergies to vegan menu options.

while all of the NWBB specials sounded amazing (as usual), i just couldn’t resist my favorite item on the menu: the hudson valley salad topped with grilled tofu.

this is a gigantic salad beast consisting of huge, soft leaves of baby lettuce topped with apples, grilled red onions, hazelnuts, bleu cheese, hard cider vinaigrette and literally an entire block of deliciously grilled tofu! swoon! as far as i’m concerned, there is no better salad topper than a hunk of perfectly cooked tofu, and this one did not disappoint! melissa ended up getting the same salad but with chicken, which looked equally amazing – i may have to try that next time. i think we both enjoyed our salads – we cleaned our plates in a matter of minutes!!

some of the other fabulous eats from the night:

emily’s blue corn crusted seitan medallions off the vegan menu (photo courtesy of emily‘s blog) which looked amazing and came with some glorious sides. the portion was huge – it was definitely the kind of meal you can bring home and have for lunch the next day.

courtney’s toscano flatbread pizza (photo courtesy of courtney‘s blog) had to be one of the best looking dishes at the table. sadly, i didn’t get to talk with courtney much (hopefully we’ll get to chat at the next blogger meet up) but i was definitely eyeing her pizza from my end of the table! i mean, how can you go wrong when you top the best food in the world with fig jam, arugula, gorgonzola, and truffle oil. i’m pretty sure i could have shoveled three of these in my mouth in one sitting.

cynthia’s specialty plate of tapas (photo also courtesy of courtney‘s blog), which was thoughtfully created by the staff to accommodate cynthia’s soy allergy. this plate was probably the star of the table, and consisted of heaping mounds of different veggie and grain dishes – it was *almost* too pretty to eat! i was totally impressed by how attentive the wait staff and kitchen were to cynthia’s allergy – they checked up on every dish to ensure that nothing was cooked in soybean oil or came in contact with other soy products. major props to NWBB for being so great about that!

there were so many other great dishes at the table, but i was too busy stuffing my face with goodness to snap any more pics. after dinner, our fabulous server gathered us together for a group shot that heather was kind enough to send out to the group.

what a fabulous group of ladies! i’m so lucky to have finally met them and thoroughly enjoyed my evening out with them! i feel like i just made a whole bunch of new friends, and i can’t wait for the next blogger meet up!!! and of course, many thanks to heather for organizing the whole thing!

it’s just about 1pm on sunday afternoon and i want nothing more than to stay in my pjs and read my new italian issue of food network magazine in bed. unfortunately, i have no less than 1,000 pages of reading and 2 short papers to write for my class on wednesday, so today is all about being productive. i just whipped up this glorious salad beast for some brain food:

in the mix: romaine hearts topped with sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, edamame, peanuts, sunflower seeds, whole wheat croutons, baby heirloom tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. totally random but delicious! on the side, i enjoyed a raspberry-lemon water from target and one of these amazing crispy chocolate chip cookies from tate’s bakeshop.

 i’m usually a soft, chewy cookie lover, but these crispy cookies are amazing too! they were a new item at the fresh market and on sale so i had to give ’em a try. i have a feeling they’re going to be delicious crumbled over yogurt or oatmeal for a morning snack.

i’m also picking up my parents from the airport later this afternoon – they’re coming home from citrus hills, florida where they just bought a HOUSE so they can be snowbirds! i’m so excited for them!! this reminds me that i need to do a post to recap my adventures last weekend in orlando/harry potter world! coincidentally, one of the girls at the blogger meet up, jen, just got back from there as well! we didn’t get to chat much at dinner since we were on opposite sides of the table, but judging from her recap post, we will have lots of similar stories to swap!!

hope you all had a great weekend! i know i did! and even though i just ate a cookie, i’m already eyeing the chocolate bark and heart-shaped pops that heather and melissa made for the meet up on friday. hey, valentine’s day is monday after all!!



  1. I am SO HAPPY that you were able to meet up with us and that you enjoyed yourself 🙂 I can’t wait to see you again soon! xo

    • thanks Heather!!! i had sooooo much fun! =)

  2. It was so nice to meet you, and I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk more! Since I live 3 hours away, I don’t make it to a ton of the CDNY blogger meet-ups, but hopefully we’ll both be at a meet-up together in the future!

    • same here Julie!!! i hope to see you soon!!! =)

  3. […] Rachael’s first blogger meet-up recap […]

  4. Wonderful meeting you! I look forward to hanging out at more CNDY blogger events soon.

    • you too emily!!! can’t wait to get together again sometime soon!

  5. It was so nice to meet you! Also, I’m almost done with Catching Fire. I’m addicted!!!! Thanks for the suggestions 😀

    • So nice to meet you too Katie!!!! I’m soo glad you like the books! We’ll have to chat when you finish the series! I want to see if you’re team Gale or team Peeta!

  6. […] Rachael’s first blogger meet-up recap […]

  7. Hey! I found you! LOL It was great meeting you last weekend.

    Great minds think alike…that’s why we both ordered the HV salad. It was so good!

    I hope to see you again soon!

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