A Taste of the Nation

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A few weeks ago, I won a ticket to a Taste of the Nation through Foodbuzz.  Taste of the Nation is an event of Share Our Strength, a national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry.   Since 1988, Taste of the Nation events have raised more than $70 million.


100% of ticket sales goes to charity, so we were more than happy to buy the Husband a ticket so I could have a date.


I was informed by the event organizers that vegetarian options would be limited, so I ate some crackers + hummus + grapes before we left. 


We decided to take a cab to the events because neither of us wanted the responsibility of being designated driver.  Plus, we NEVER get to go out like this!


When we arrived at the convention center, I was taken back by the sheer size of the event:


Somehow, we managed to run into Katy and her husband Lucas.  I really like Katy and the Husband and Lucas immediately clicked, so it worked out perfectly.  Love double dates!




Not going to lie, the first thing I did was grab one of the many wine glasses….


And found some white wine:


I began to scour the restaurant booths for some vegetarian options, but they were very limited.  That’s fine with me — I don’t expect events like this to cater towards my particular diet (but it would be nice).  At least all the food was pretty to look at!


I did find some Spanish rice, spinach and artichoke dip, and bread:


And a cucumber gazpacho, which was yummy but almost tasted like salad dressing after a few bites:


Then, I spotted a beer vendor:


And picked up a blueberry beer.  This was SOOOO good. I would definitely buy this beer again:


I spotted the cheese booth and literally attacked it!  I love me some cheese:


More white (I drank way too much last night):


And more beer:


(I swear I was not the only other person dancing).


And more wine (ugh, it seemed like a good idea at the time!).  One of these is a water!


And then it was back to eating some more food!  I eventually found an entirely vegetarian booth and asked for some green tea pasta:


And a red pepper and cranberry "cheesecake" cracker:


And a fried rice and cheese ball:


At this point, the Husband actually loosened his belt:


And I remarked how glad I was that I ran 10.0 miles that morning!  :)  More room in my belly! 


DESSERT TIME!  We split the most amazing carrot cake I’ve ever had:


And we waited about 15 minutes in a long, long time to get Banana Foster.  The Husband had never tried it before and he loved watching them light the bananas on fire:


We split the Banana Foster:


And last (but certainly not least), banana ice cream:


As you can imagine, we were both rather silly by the end of the night:


Twas a very fun and indulgent night.  I don’t feel guilty about the amount of food I ate at all.  No one should at special occasions like this!  The food was fabulous and the deserts were decadent.  I do wish I had stopped drinking a little earlier in the evening, though.  The Husband and I slept until 11 AM and now I feel like a million bucks (OK, maybe a quarter of a million!).  🙂


Off to pull my life together!  It’s a rest day on the marathon training schedule, but perhaps a walk is in order.  It’s so beautiful outside!



  • Meghann August 30, 2009, 9:40 am

    Looks like you found a good amount of vegetarian options 🙂 I wish I could have gone! Looks like a really fun event. Have fun with your hang over today hehe

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) August 30, 2009, 9:43 am

    It looks like a great event!! The pasta dish sounds quite interesting. Glad you had a good time 🙂

  • HangryPants August 30, 2009, 9:47 am

    You were soooo the only person dancing! The green tea pasta looks wonderful!

  • Rosey Rebecca August 30, 2009, 9:48 am

    Looks like such a great night!! All the food looks so yummy, especially the green tea pasta!

  • Nicci@NiftyEats August 30, 2009, 9:51 am

    Wow, all the food looks amazing. Glad you and the hubby had so much fun. Glad their was some vegetarian options for you!

  • platipus329 August 30, 2009, 9:58 am

    green tea pasta and carrot cake? Amazing

    And of course no regrets, nights like that only happen once in a blue moon and we all gotta learn how to live it up

  • Jenna August 30, 2009, 9:58 am

    Way to live it up! I love that you don't feel guilty, nobody should, having fun, having a few drinks, and eating good food should be part of everybody's life!

    Blueberry beer= heaven. Trader Joe's sells that kind, and I snatch some up every time I can find it!

  • angieinatlanta August 30, 2009, 10:02 am

    OH man, I love your attitude! You're so right; everyone deserves to splurge!

    Looks like you guys had a blast!

  • runsarah August 30, 2009, 10:03 am

    You and the husband look smashing!! The green tea pasta sounds amazing, too.

  • Kayla August 30, 2009, 10:18 am

    Looks like you had a fabulous time! I love that dress and your attitude towards having a "splurge".

    Oh and lol at The Husband loosening his belt. Haha

  • Kat (Kat's Daily Plate) August 30, 2009, 10:23 am

    Looks like so much fun. You guys make such handsome couple! You look great!

  • OhSheGlows August 30, 2009, 10:30 am

    LOL @ the husband loosening his belt!!!! Eric does that frequently 😉

    I agree with Heather- you so were the only one dancing! haha…more power to you!

  • VeggieGirl August 30, 2009, 10:32 am

    Incredible event!

  • janetha August 30, 2009, 10:34 am

    looks like it was good times! oh i was sooo full after i went to mine.. and no guilt at all!

  • leslie August 30, 2009, 10:40 am

    i would be all over an event like that – so much fun! limiting yourself and not going all out at an event like that would definitely be a waste. love your attitude – no guilt necessary, whether you ran 10 miles or not! 🙂

  • Anonymous August 30, 2009, 10:49 am

    Love your dress, as usual.

  • Sheri August 30, 2009, 10:54 am

    Looks like you had great time! Glad you found some vegetarian options so you could enjoy the food as well.
    I love events like those they are just so much fun! We have one called the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival it is pretty much the same thing and we always have a great time!

  • Jolene - EverydayFoodie August 30, 2009, 11:13 am

    Ooooooh all that food looks so good! Looks like you had a lot of fun 🙂

  • brandi August 30, 2009, 11:14 am

    glad you two were able to have a fun night out and for a good cause. the food sounds awesome!

  • Tay August 30, 2009, 11:33 am

    Awww looks like such a fun time! And what interesting pasta! I love going on long runs the day of a big-eating event like that because then I'm extra hungry for it all 🙂 hehe. Rest up today!

  • Courtney W. August 30, 2009, 11:35 am

    That looks like a blast! 😀

  • Annamarina (Running Tails) August 30, 2009, 11:50 am

    Looks like a really fun event! I love going for a long run and then being able to eat whatever I want the rest of the day!

  • Lizzy August 30, 2009, 12:12 pm

    the event looked like so much fun!!!! 🙂 and tons of good food!

  • Liz August 30, 2009, 12:38 pm

    What an awesome event! That is great you and the hubby were able to have a date like that. Good looking food and good looking drinks! Blueberry beer…now that sounds interesting. Have a great day!

  • Lauren August 30, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Fabulous event and yummy food! I love blueberry beer, and all of the little bites of goodies look delicious.

  • Lauren @ Dragonflie's Journey August 30, 2009, 12:39 pm

    You look GORGEOUS and it seemed like such a fun evening….I love the pics and especially love that you and Kristien went together…what an awesome experience!

  • Kristen@Simply Savor August 30, 2009, 1:06 pm

    gorgeous dress! and green tea pasta sounds so interesting! glad you two had a great date night! 🙂

  • Bec August 30, 2009, 1:08 pm

    I love your dress, its so cute! Glad you had a great time out 🙂

  • Megan (southerngracesblog) August 30, 2009, 1:17 pm

    Oh my goodness looks you had SO much fun! The food looks delicious, but the desserts you had…YUM! What a wonderful way to spend your Saturday night 🙂

  • Jenny August 30, 2009, 1:17 pm

    dare i say you and the hubs were the hottest couple there 🙂

  • Lainie August 30, 2009, 2:05 pm

    Oh wow – all the food you ate looks absolutely incredible!!! I am especially intrigued by the green tea pasta…yum…

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? August 30, 2009, 2:19 pm

    What a cool event!

  • Kath August 30, 2009, 2:56 pm

    Totally my kinda event!!! We went to the Charlotte one one year. I ate too much 🙂

  • Sarah August 30, 2009, 3:12 pm

    sounds like a fun time! you look great!

  • Whitney@whitsgettingfit August 30, 2009, 3:22 pm

    It's official, you and the husband are the cutest couple ever! How cute is that dress?

    Thanks for the e-mail btw, I picked up some tofu at TJ's yesterday (Kath recommended!) and I will be trying your tips!

  • Lucas August 30, 2009, 3:43 pm

    How did we miss the carrot cake and green tea pasta? I must have spent too much time in line waiting for the Stella! It was wonderful to meet you both and I look forward to getting together again soon.

  • Michelle August 30, 2009, 4:14 pm

    C$ –would that be an appropriate thug name? 🙂

    I just want to say THANK YOU FOR NOT FEELING GUILTY.

    There are people, bloggers included, who wouldn't have had as many wines or food and/or would have felt guilty about it.

    I love that you didn't. You show all of us that life is about balance, enjoyment, and indulgences once-in-awhile.

    You looked fab!


  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point August 30, 2009, 4:29 pm

    xoxo thanks everyone for the lovely compliments. my dress is a calvin klein that i got at marshalls on sale and then had it tailored. thanks!

    michelle – C$ is sweet!!

  • Sara August 30, 2009, 4:44 pm

    Wow, looks like a fantastic event! What a great treat. Just to play devil's advocate, though, would you have felt as un-guilty if you hadn't done so much running earlier? 😉 My guess, based on your awesome attitude, is "yes." Not trying to be "that guy" at all, just a question that popped into my head. Well, life IS a balancing act, I suppose. Glad you had a fabulous time!!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point August 30, 2009, 5:01 pm

    sara – naw i wouldnt have felt guilty without a workout, but i also wouldnt have eaten as much food naturally (10 milers make you hangry!!). i do like to balance indulgent meals with a great workout in the morning, not because it gives me a free pass but just because then i have more room in my belly LOL. im famous in my famous for doing 10 miles on thanksgiving LOL

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) August 30, 2009, 5:18 pm

    Your dress is adorable!!!

  • Amelia (AC/DC: Highways to Health) August 30, 2009, 5:48 pm

    Cute dress! Looks like a really fun event. The red pepper and cranberry cheesecake sounds really interesting.

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life August 30, 2009, 6:49 pm

    Caitlin, you look beautiful and I love your dress!! Looks like you had a lot of fun!

  • Shilpa August 30, 2009, 8:24 pm

    Glad you had fun! Your dress is so beautiful, by the way!

  • Jenna August 30, 2009, 8:57 pm

    sounds like a great night!
    you should never feel guilty at eating all that food, it was a special night out and you deserved it, you ran 10 MILES this morning girl!

  • Betsy August 31, 2009, 11:40 am

    Looks like fun!! I love your dress, where did you get it?

  • MarathonVal August 31, 2009, 4:57 pm

    What a fun night!! I'm so glad you could find plenty of vegetarian options!

  • Taste of the Nation Orlando September 1, 2009, 5:58 am

    Caitlin, we are thrilled that you enjoyed Taste of the Nation Orlando and that you were able to indulge in a variety of vegetarian options! We hope that you will attend again next year and that you will keep blogging about Taste – your support is appreciated.

    Other foodies feel free to follow Taste of the Nation on Twitter at @OrlandoTaste! Looking forward to the 21st Taste of the Nation Orlando already!

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