I recently was invited to attend an event hosted by California Strawberries. Granted, at the time I had a four pound box of strawberries from Costco in my fridge, so it's possible to say that I'm a fan already. And it was hosted at The Chopping Block downtown - which is where I honed my cooking skills and is still one of my favorite places in the city. How could I say no?
It was interesting to hear from the various speakers, farmers and marketers and the most entertaining dietitian I've ever met. They shared tons of information that made me feel even more confident buying strawberries. I was interested to hear how they irrigate strawberries - from the bottom, covered in plastic, etc - to ensure that they are as disease free. Anyone going into the fields has to be noted and checked to ensure there are no contaminants getting into our food supply. The safety taken was comforting.
Then there was the info about how they're picked. They are all picked by hand and packed into cartons in the field. Those are the cartons we buy them in - they aren't processed any further (so umm don't forget to wash before you eat them!), which keeps them fresher. Trucks have to get to the distribution within three hours, and they arrive in the midwest in three to four days after picking. No wonder they taste so good!
We also had David Grotto, dietitian/comedian, chat with us. He shared the new FDA guidelines, apologizing that it had only vegetables and no fruits, since the only one he had was one sponsored by a vegetable company as it's so new. And he complained that his suggested dessert and alcohol food groups were left off the plate. He was a hoot, and he imparted great information. I already knew they were super low in calories and good for you. But I had no idea strawberries were so full of fiber or that they had more vitamin C than an orange. Go fig!
It was a super fun event, and of course they shared strawberry recipes with us. I think my favorite was the strawberry goat cheese pizza, which I've already made, but there were some really awesome and unique items that we all enjoyed. In fact, I was lucky to get the strawberry gazpacho, as it ran out - so I shared with Vanessa from French Foodie Mama. I made a pregnant lady happy.
We also had some awesome muddled strawberry mojitos both with and without balsamic vinegar (I preferred it without). Because we have to prove you can even use strawberries in alcohol, right?
And then there were the crab tostadas. It's a shame that Melisa from Suburban Scrawl didn't want hers. I was forced to eat her portion and oh was it a chore. I think I ate someone else's portion, too, but I promise they umm didn't want it either.
All the food was incredible from the strawberry sliders to the panino
The recipes all came from a really fun cookbook that I promise you can make room for on your shelf. The California Strawberry for Everyday cookbook had tons of great recipes beyond this, many of which I can't wait to try. Have I mentioned my addition to the four pound boxes of strawberries at Costco?
And I have a copy for you, too! I am giving away one copy of this awesome cookbook. So what do you have to do to win? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Tuesday August 23 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me - what do you love most about strawberries?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter, then tweeting this contest with the following tweet: "Because we all need more cookbooks! Win a Strawberry Recipes for Everyday cookbook from @honestandtruly. http://bit.ly/nihXRo #giveaway" (leave a link to your tweet as your comment and make sure you do all the steps!)
2) Earn one additional entry by following Honest And Truly Reviews publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.
While it won't get you any extra entries, I do encourage you to like Honest & Truly on Facebook so you can stay up to date on giveaways and other cool info and news.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was attended an event by California Strawberries that featured their product and information about them. I also received my own cookbook. That said, I received no compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.