Cuisine - Desserts, Places - Massachusetts, Places - New England, Shopping

Rockin’ Cupcakes: A Social Media Case Study

Rockin' Cupcakes signBack during Christmas when I was finishing up some gift shopping, I stumbled upon a new cupcake spot at North Shore Mall in Peabody, Mass. Of course I had to snap some pictures when I saw this new little spot so I could feature it on the blog.

As soon as I took out my camera and started grabbing a few pictures of the cupcakes and signage, the person on-duty asked (in a rather condescending and snappish tone) if I was going to post these online or if I’m getting ideas for recipes. I responded that, yes, I probably will post the photos online since I like taking photos of food as well as to get new ideas.

Most times, when I take photos of a merchant’s food, I’m greeted with huge smiles or anecdotes about the product, simply out of their sheer pride. Other times, I get the raised eyebrow and a shrug to just continue taking photos. Never have I received this sort of response with rude undertones, so I was somewhat taken aback by her attitude. We decided to step back, linger a bit longer and take a closer look at the goods…

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My 2011 Eating Restructuring Plan

Note: This post is more personal than others I have written. I hope this series will help me examine some of my eating habits and help me make better choices in the New Year.

I hate the word “resolution,” especially when it has to do with New Year’s Resolutions. It’s like a pie crust promise – easily made, easily broken.

Still, I want to make 2011 great. I want to feel better, and I think my weight has a lot to do with why I don’t sometimes. I have asthma, eczema and allergies. I eat when I’m stressed out. I eat when I’m bored. I eat because it also makes me happy.

I’ve always felt like I’ve struggled with my weight. In high school, while I was a swimmer and quite active, I still weighed 145 pounds at my best. Just outside what my “healthy” weight and BMI should be at for my  height (5 foot 3). For someone my height, I should be between 105 and 140 pounds (18.9-24.9 BMI), depending on my body build. Currently, I’m at 176.6 – a BMI of 31.2 (I took the photo on the right after I ate lunch and had clothes on). My measurements are 38.5 inches at the waist and 42 inches at my hips.

My weight has fluctuated constantly since I left grad school in 2005. At that point, I was down to a size 10 jeans. Today, I’m in a size 16. The yo-yo effect of trying to lose weight has been because of various events and reasons – my wedding, someone else’s wedding, a reunion, wanting to exercise more, etc.

Nearly a year and a half ago, while I was at my last employer, I was getting ready for our biometrics screenings – a test of your weight, BMI, cholesterol and other factors. If it were a graded test in school, I didn’t too so hot at it. I felt horrible. I needed to make a change. So, my boss (and good friend) told me that she was doing the South Beach Diet to get her numbers in check for her test. I read the book and it sounded like a good plan.

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Celebrity chefs, Places - Milwaukee

Gourmet vacation and treasure hunt from Andrew Zimmern

Mix together social media, food, a tropical getaway and a celebrity chef …what do you get? A chance to win a gourmet trip to Mexico this fall from Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern and Travel Leaders.

Using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, contest participants will find the clues so they can find the place in Milwaukee where the grand prize trip tickets are located.

“I have accumulated so many frequent flyer miles that I decided to give some of them away in a creative way to someone here in Milwaukee,” said Zimmern, who hosts “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” on Travel Channel. “Knowing how much I love to travel and explore different locations, I want to give them to someone who has a sense of adventure, a love of travel and a passion for the Greater Milwaukee Area.”

The grand prize for the participant who interprets the clues and finds the prize will be a Mexico vacation package from Travel Leaders and Funjet Vacations.  The winner will receive roundtrip airfare and stay at the El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma in Riviera Maya. The seven-day trip features an all-inclusive gourmet food menu available 24-hours a day during the trip.

Finding the tickets won’t be easy, but it should be fun. Participants must correctly answer trivia questions about Milwaukee, travel and Andrew Zimmern, and fill in a puzzle. More details about the contest, and the actual clues, are available at, on Facebook at and Twitter at

The first trivia question is: What Milwaukee baseball player has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom? (Hint: He’s also known as the Hammer.)

Zimmern will be in town at Alterra on Prospect Ave. on Saturday, Oct. 30, to give the prize away to the winner.

Good luck hunting, Brew City!

Cuisine - Italian, Cuisine - Mexican, Food - General, Foodie Firsts, Recipes

New phenomenon? Spaghetti tacos

Spaghetti tacosUpdate 12/29/10: Read about my recipe for spaghetti tacos.

There was a really interesting article I saw pop up in my Facebook feed this morning from The New York Times about a trend among tweens – spaghetti tacos.

Thanks to the Nickelodeon show “iCarly” starring Miranda Cosgrove, kids are requesting the bizarre combination of spaghetti and tacos for dinner and birthday parties. Or, is it not really that bizarre?

When you think about it, how strange is it to put spaghetti into a tortilla or a hard, corn shell? We put rice – another carb-heavy starch into them all the time. Why not noodles?

In the article, they compare this phenomenon to the “Festivus” episode on “Seinfeld:”

Perhaps the nearest pop-culture equivalent — that is, a sitcom artifact that thrives in the real world — is Festivus, an alternative to Christmas introduced on a 1997 “Seinfeld” episode, Mr. Thompson said. Festivus now has a number of real adherents.

A simple Google search for “spaghetti taco recipe” returns nearly 300,000 hits. Who knew? I wish my peanut butter, Oreo and chocolate chip-stuffed French toast had that much of a following.

I’m slightly tempted to want to try the “iCarly” recipe but add a little flair for the adult palette. Maybe some spicy Italian sausage, a lot of garlic, some fresh mozzarella and a bit of basil for garnish (instead of a taco’s cilantro). For the tortillas, baste them similar to a garlic bread with a spread and bake them for a few minutes until golden and stuff with fresh pasta. I think this definitely has some possibilities.

Food - General

Just added! Foodie Blog Roll

You’ll notice that All’s Fare has added some new widgets to the sidebar. I was just accepted to be a member of The Foodie Blog Roll community. (I’m kinda excited about it.)

Created in 2007, The Foodie Blog Roll has nearly 9,000 bloggers and is growing. It’s a great place for food bloggers to connect, and for foodies everywhere to find new blogs to read. I’ve also added a link to Blogarama, a community to access thousands of new blogs about various topics.

Also new, you can follow All’s Fare on Facebook. Using the NetworkedBlogs app, you can receive all of AFFB’s posts straight to your Facebook profile so you don’t miss a recipe, review or news. Remember, you can also follow me on Twitter @CRelacion for even more musings.

I hope you enjoy the new features and accessibility. Thanks for reading!