Foodie Call – Bay Area LIFE

I just did a couple “Foodie Call” segments for Bay Area LIFE on ABC7 in San Francisco. I love the lifestyle feel of both of them and of course, doing the segment and being “forced” to sample the food afterwards, isn’t bad either! haha!!

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At any rate, I wanted to share the videos… The more recent segment I did was actually with a couple of my SJSU buddies who have started a gourmet, “handcrafted” Filipino lumpia business with The Lumpia Company, so on the segment below we featured their Bacon Cheeseburger Lumpia!

Previously the #FoodieCall segment I did was at Rocco’s Cafe in San Francisco where Chef Don Dial whipped up a very tasty Chicken Cacciatore.

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This was a fun segment where we cooked in his restaurant’s kitchen and talked about the cooking lineage he comes from as well as what makes Rocco’s such a great place.

Look out for me on more of Bay Area LIFE every Sunday at 6:30pm on ABC7!

#BakeAwayDBA Campaign

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An old classmate of mine, Monique, owns a bakery in Pittsburg, California called, “Sassy Sweets & Eats.” She has been featured on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” (season 9) and in 2014 was chosen for the  “Bay Area A-List” for best Cupcakes! Now she has reached out to me because she is doing a #BakeAwayDBA campaign.

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This is how she came up with the idea:

I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video of a 6-year old girl named Audrey. She has Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which is a rare bone marrow disorder. She just melted my heart. Her parents post videos of her singing Taylor Swift karaoke, doing Zumba and just being downright adorable. I started following her page and also started reading up on her condition. I instantly felt the need to help out her cause.

I contacted her parents, with an idea and I asked if Audrey wanted to create a cupcake and I would bring it to life and sell it at my shop and donate all proceeds to the DBA foundation… And she did! I revealed her creation and started taking orders and been shipping them across the country in mason jars! It’s been a hit so far!

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Monique’s goal is to spread awareness of DBA and raise money to be donated to the DBA Foundation, to fund research toward finding a cure. Every week she is coming up with new creations to fund the cause andin July she will travel to Kentucky to personally deliver the donation check to Audrey and her parents over the 4th of July weekend…I’m sure she’l be bringing her Sassy Sweets cupcakes too!

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So, whether you’re in the Bay Area or some other corner of the country, please consider supporting Monique through the #BakeAwayDBA campaign.

You can visit the Sassy Sweets website at http://www.sassysweetsbymonique.com

My VIP Tour of Raymond Vineyards

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I recently embarked on my first ever wine-tasting outing in Northern California’s “Wine Country,” and it was so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. I went with a group of ladies, as we were all celebrating my sister Adrienne’s upcoming wedding, so it was a girls getaway bachelorette weekend of sorts. Like I said, I had never been wine tasting, so I asked around for recommendations before finally settling on a VIP Tour Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena. The contact who booked gave me a heads’s up that it was a  non-conservative and atypical of a traditional winery..whatever that is. Honestly I was just expecting a plain room in the middle of a huge field of grapes on a vine and wine barrels. I couldn’t have been more wrong in “stereotyping” a vineyard/winery. This was anything but boring, typical AND oh so perfect for our occasion!

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I instantly fell in love with our VIP host Gina, she was a complete doll! As soon as she saw our group, we got our glasses and popped the bubbly. Then she proceeded to take us for a short tour of their grounds, with beautiful gardens, farm animals and even a “Doggie Winery” if you will. She explained to us that they create their own energy and do their best to be “green.”

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From there, the party started! We went into an indoor facility where they make the wine and this place is almost indescribable, you kind of have to experience it for yourself. It has sexy mood lighting with several Vegas showgirl-like outfitted mannequins…it had a Moulin Rouge feel…lots of “French” influence! There were elaborate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and lounge music pumping through the room..and of course we were surrounded by wine!

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From there we went to another outdoor area where we had an impromptu photo shoot on picturesque white lounge furniture before being ushered in to the “JCB Lounge.” JCB standing from wine maker and owner Jean Charles Boissant. The JCB Lounge is all-gold EVERYTHING! There’s also a huge projection screen and just a very rich, very high end vibe. My first thought was this is the perfect backdrop for a hip hop video! LOL!

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Our last stop on the VIP tour was the private Red Room. Think velvet and leopard fabrics…it was out of this world, the room just sucked you in and invited you to relax. Gina was even kind enough to let my sister pic the Beyonce Pandora station to provvde our soundtrack for the room. All in all, I was blown away by this place..and I’m sure when I return there’ll be so much more to take in that I missed this time around. We may not have went to Vegas for this bachelorette, but Raymond Vineyards made us feel like that’s where we were..and the wines were amazing too! It couldn’t have been a more perfect VIP Tour of the Winery or for my sister’s special outing. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to visit it.

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I would highly recommend this as a stop for anyone’s next jaunt into wine country. It’s nothing short of amazing and didn’t disappoint..both of which I never expected to be saying about a winery.

Grape Stomping

In late January I participated in the Coastal Virginia Wine Fest “Grape Stomp”…and my competition was a Nathan James of iHeart Media. At the time I didn’t really consider that the weight and (foot) size difference might give him the advantage..but in hindsight…grrr!! All in all it was lots of fun, and I finally just found some photos and a video of it to share! For the record, it was my first time EVER doing something like this and I stomped out about 16 ounces…which I thought was pretty good! Nathan on the other hand had done this once before and he trumped my with something like 22 ounces?? Sheesh!! Enjoy the pictures and video below…

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And — YES, I did take a taste of my stomped grapes…since I was on the losing end!! :/

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Check out this video below for a quick glimpse of the competition… stomping is from about 1:20- 1:50

Birthday in the Nation’s Capitol

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I spent my (pre) birthday weekend in the U.S. Capitol with some of my best girlfriend’s. I’m not really big on making a BIG deal out of my birthday as I get up there in age…LOL, but since a few of my girls have relocated to the area and a few others willing to travel to hang out for a girl’s weekend…why not?

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My first night in town we had dinner at The Hamilton, which is not only a very tasty DC spot, but they have a great ambiance and a performance venue there as well. A couple of my fellow NFL Pro Cheer Alumni gals (Joi and Mari) came out to break bread with me, and we shared so many laughs…weekend got off to a great start.

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The next day we did some sightseeing…whenever you are in DC, a stop at 1600 Penn is a must! It was a beautiful weather over the weekend for walking around and taking in the DC sights…we squeezed in a little shopping too! 😉

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That night we enjoyed a yummy dinner at STK in Dupont Circle. Pictured above (l-r) Cat, Dara, Cherisse, Norma, me, Rene and Rohelia. I am so flattered that all these girls made time to hang out…we all get so busy in our lives that sometimes it is tough to find time, and especially as a Mom now, my social calendar revolves around their activities…it was kind of different to be around so many “grown ups!” haha

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One of the other big motivators to get to DC that weekend was to see my girl Anjelah Johnson’s show at Warner Theatre! She provided lots of laughs and I even got some one on one time with her at brucnh before we all headed home the next day.

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Fun times for sure…it was “Miami” reunited in DC!! 🙂 Love my girls!!!

CoVa “Best Of” Event

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Last week I attended the “Best Of Gala” for Coastal Virginia Magazine. It was held at the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in downtown Norfolk, VA. It as a fun event with lots of food tasting opportunities with various “best of” restaurants from around the Hampton Roads area being represented!

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T and I were able to get a caricature of us made….however in the collage above, it’s actually my TV Co-Host. Chris Reckling, who jumped into the artists’ seat when he went for a break! He did a great job, right!?!?

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Chris and I were actually there to present the award for  “Best Of People’s Choice” for the night, and that went to Chef Scott Simpson at Swan Terrace. All in all a fun night out!

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T and I enjoying the party, you can see our “real” caricature drawing that was done, in my hand…

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Me with The Hampton Roads Show Executive Producer, Stephanie.

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And — with Face of Fox 43…Andria Lea

Bobbing for Bananas

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Things went  a little “bananas” on The Hampton Roads Show today… Special guest co-host Alex Scott joined me in studio, he’s a comedian/actor/writer and has appeared on Def Comedy Jam as well as BET’s Coming to the Stage, and most recently he was a writer for the Arsenio Hall Show. Well, we had a bobbing for bananas contest on the show today. I’ve never done anything like that before in my life….and well, you’ll have to watch the video to see how the competition turned out…

In the Kitchen with Chef Kyler

Everyday on The Hampton Roads Show…we have a chef or people cooking in the kitchen. Today we had a chef who is competing on the new season of The Next Food Network Star – debuts this Sunday! He is a Virginia native and wants to give his food a “modern” spin…check out my interview and cooking segment with Chef Chris Kyler…