Back to School Sandwich: Lunch Box Sushi & Cookbook Giveaway

My three kids start back to school in a little over a week so I’ve been trying to get back into the groove. I try to be really creative when it comes to school lunch for two out of my three children who insist on taking their own lunch. This year, I have more than enough ideas since the release of my new cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments”. One of our favorite recipes from the “Lunchbox” chapter is this recipe for Lunch Box Sushi. It’s really easy, healthy, fresh and kids love it. Feel free to substitute cooked chicken for the shrimp. In honor of the popular demand for sandwiches and back to school, I am giving away one copy of my new sandwich cookbook.

 

How to Enter:

1. Please leave a comment telling me your child’s favorite lunch sandwich or your favorite. This is only open to U.S residents. To earn additional entries, leave a comment for the steps below:

2. Tweet this on twitter: Check out @alisonlewis 400 recipe Sandwich Cookbook Giveaway just in time for back to school lunch ideas http://su.pr/4JG5mz

3. Follow @alisonlewis on twitter

4. Become a fan of Ingredients, Inc on Facebook

5. Stumble this post and follow me on Stumble Upon

6. Winner will be selected Thursday August 11th.

This recipe is from my book “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” 2011 by Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission and photo credit by Colin Erricson.

 

Evo Conference: Learning, Sharing and Being Inspired

Last year, I was lucky enough to win a ticket to my first ever social media conference: Evo Conference in Park City, Utah. I was lucky enough to go, and I was wowed. This year, I paid my way without a second thought. To say the least, it didn’t disappoint. Many have said that Jyl Pattee and Rachel Herrscher “made lightening strike twice.” The picture (above and thanks to Paul, Sandy’s husband) was taken while I was on the Alpine Slide at Park City Mountain Resort. Okay, what was this guy doing? I was freaking out that he was so close.

Evo, for me, is about learning, feeling inspired, seeing old friends and making new ones. I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer, (above) from Piggies & Paws, last year. She is one of the most incredible women with such a great heart that I have ever met. This year I made so many new friends. I love this group (below) with SandyAggie, and Maria. All are hugely talented food and entertaining bloggers. I am honored to know them in person, and I have a feeling we will be lifetime friends. Thanks to Maria for sharing her photo with me.

And while this wasn’t a food conference, there were two more amazing food workshops. We learned photography tips from Helene from Tartlette, one of my most favorite blogs (see below). She is so nice, humble and genuine.

Our lunch with Helen and the Chefs of the The Canyons was held at Lookout Cabin, a picturesque setting overlooking the mountains.

Just a look at our view from our table (below).

Our meal was scrumptous as well, and we learned how to make all of the fabulous recipes from the chefs. This shrimp dish was just one of the mouth-watering appetizers we learned to make at home.

Day two, I went to the other food workshop which was held at the Waldorf Astoria resort sponsored by Bushs Beans with Todd and Diane from White on Rice Couple. I was lucky to meet this dynamic duo last year, and words can’t describe their talent, generosity and gift of teaching. Here’s Todd in action.

We learned more about food styling from Diane, and then we each got to practice our styling. I couldn’t get over Jennifer, from Baby Making Mama, with her beautiful baby on her back while shooting away with her camera on the ground. Now that was inspiring!

She was a delight to photograph (even though I was supposed to be food styling).

I must admit that one of the scary parts of the trip is when we took a gondola ride up to another mountain to the closing party sponsored by Together Counts. It got really windy, and while in mid air, the gondola stopped for what seemed like an eternity. It was frightening to say the least. When we got to the top, we suggested maybe taking the edge off. So we did. I had so much fun with Annalise, Kelly and Lisa, three of the most talented and genuine people I have ever met. Extra thanks to Kelly (second to the left) for her incredible hospitality. We met at the conference last year, and this was the second time I have seen her this year.

So what else can I say about EVO? I learned so much at this conference about social media, business, entrepreneurs, women, friendship, community and more. I have never met so many creative and passionate people in one place. There are so many others I want to mention who I don’t have photos of but Jen, Gena, Jenn, Alisa, Paul, Cameron, Marla, Diana, Jamielyn, Missy, Evan, Melissa, Heidi, Helen and Dara are just a few. I just feel lucky to have had this experience. It brings a smile to my face. Just look at it with Aggie (below) and Maria (bottom).

10 Health Benefits of Blackberries

While at their peak season, indulge in blackberries for a nutritious snack or dessert. One cup of fresh blackberries has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating blackberries:

1. Blackberries are one of the top ten foods containing antioxidants.

2. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

3. Blackberries are filled with anthocyanins (antioxidants which give blackberries their deep purple color) which help in memory retention and the risk of hypertension.

4. Blackberries are said to strengthen blood vessels, help fight heart disease and help improve eyesight.

5. The high tannin content of blackberries help tighten tissue, relieve intestinal inflammation, and help reduce hemorrhoids and stomach disorders.

6. Ohio State University found that blackberries may protect against esophageal cancer, a cancer caused by gastric reflux disease.

7. Blackberries have shown to protect against other types of cancers. They contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), a compound believed to play a vital role in preventing breast and cervical cancer.

8. Blackberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese and fiber.

9. The high fiber content of blackberries help reduce risk of intestinal disease and the risk of developing diabetes.

10. Blackberries are a healthy food choice that kids and adults love. They are a great way to refuel after a hard workout and help aid in fighting obesity. See a recipe for Blackberry-Blueberry Cobbler from my site last year.

Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes

This is not one of my typical “lightened-up” recipes, but I had to share these Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes with you. My daughter, Leigh, made this recipe for me the night I arrived home from being in Italy for a week. I was so excited to come home to my family and true comfort food. These are so spectacular. You don’t even need to make homemade icing. I wanted to post the recipe for Father’s Day, but I was traveling again this past week. I realized that this recipe is perfect for so many occasions: Father’s Day, birthdays, parties, showers or just because. I thought they would be a great way to start off the week so enjoy.

Part 2 Marche Region: Food, Fashion and Travel

For 4 nights, we stayed at Hotel Emilia in Portonovo in Ancona, Italy which sits on the mountain where you have a spectacular view of the coast. It’s a serene spot that speaks beauty and relaxation. I loved to sit out here overlooking the mountains.

An outdoor bar was the perfect place to sit after a busy day.

The pool was beautiful sitting in front of the rooms of the hotel.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the most exciting part of the trip, but visiting Tod’s headquarters seemed to be the highlight for some of us women. Tod’s is the largest shoe manufacturer in Europe and the largest business in the Marche Region, which is publicly traded on the Italian stock exchange. We saw the entire shoe making process; how they check the leather and why these shoes are such great quality. This is the coolest work of art when you walk in the lobby of Tod’s.

Do you think these boots will be the hit of fall 2011?

After the tour, we went to the Tod’s and Prada outlets nearby. This is also a must stop if you’re in the Marche region :). I love these kid’s shoes.

Next, we were off to lunch in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto at Ristorante Mattia with Chef Marco Cameli. I loved his Miami-style restaurant. His specialty is fish since his restaurants sits right near the beach. This clever way to present an appetizer was a favorite. I call this an Italian version of ceviche.

Next was a pasta course with clams and shrimp. I have never tasted a dish so fresh. I loved that the Chefs don’t over-salt their food.

One of my favorite dishes on the entire trip was this fish dish. It’s monkfish cooked in garlic, olive oil, white wine, with fresh tomato sauce and rosemary. I am trying to recreate this one for sure. Delizioso!

And the dessert was phenomenal and nothing like I have ever had before. Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with Chantilly Cream and Limoncello topped with chocolate.

There’s more to come. So much to say…This region is too spectacular for words.