**I was awarded a free ticket to SFU OTR Phoenix, but all opinions are my own.
A fried chicken chop salad with a creamy buttermilk ranch, inspired by a salad from Johnny Rockets I ate at SoFabU OTR Phoenix
You guys, I got to go to a fun blogger conference in Phoenix over Spring Break–SoFabU OTR Phoenix. It was a conference of bloggers who got together, brainstormed, talked, shared information, and learned. It was put on by one of my favorite networks to work with, Social Fabric. They have a whole division in place just to educate bloggers. It is called Social Fabric University, and this was their way of taking the classes on the road to cities near bloggers. They are holding 10 conferences (I think) across the US, and I got to attend the Phoenix one. Each conference is unique.
At the conference I attended we started the morning with other bloggers discussing things like SEO, Video, Story Telling, and more. We ate, learned about planning our editorial calendar, and more. There was a brand panel, and my absolute favorite part, a session with a food photographer and food stylist, Rick Gayle and Kim Krejca! I learned so much from those two I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t wait to get back into my studio and put into practice what I learned.
During the conference there was a breakfast sponsored by Mueller yogurt, and a lunch sponsored by Johnny Rockets.When I think Johnny Rockets I think burgers, but they had salads, and while I was initially disappointed, it was pretty good. They served their chicken salad with a chipotle dressing, but it was HOT, like burned my mouth and made me want to cry a little bit (secretly) hot. So I instead decided to go with a chicken chopped salad still, but top it with a classic dressing, this creamy buttermilk ranch!
What I really loved about that salad, and recreated here, was the crunchy pieces of chicken. They were super nice and crispy, even doused in the chipotle dressing, and then ranch I threw on top to try and tame it!
I made up a few salads, and stuck them in these little foil containers to make them easy to transport for our trip. I always eat like crap when traveling, so I figured having a few salads on hand would help me to cut back. After the conference, the family and I went to the Phoenix Zoo, a Spring Training Game, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and more. We had a blast, but it was a lot of driving. This super simple, and yummy salad helped me eat less junk! Try it, You will love it!
Fried Chicken Chop Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Ranch
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 1/2 Tbs sour cream
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs fresh dill
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbs fresh chives
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- Salt and pepper
Fried Chicken Tenders
- Romaine lettuce leaves washed and chopped
- Snap peas
- Whisk all ingredients together
- Adjust if you need to change the thickness or consistency
- Refrigerate until ready to serve
- Make chicken strips according to directions in recipe
- Chop tomatoes, snap peas, and cucumbers
- Chop Romaine lettuce
- Assemble salads as desired, and top with dressing, then mix together
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
- I learned how to make “fake” ice cream to set up my shot before I swap in the real thing…ya know, since the real thing melts. Want to know how? A can of cheap vanilla frosting mixed with a couple cups of powdered sugar. Mix and scoop like ice cream.
- Spray water on the outside of a drink glass to make it look like it is sweating, because it makes it more appealing. And guess what!!!? It totally does.
- Use makeup sponges to prop things, and get things to sit how you want them to. Mind blown! Blown I tell you.
- Use some vegetable oil to help meat look fresh again after you have been shooting it for hours, because sometimes it really does take that long for me to get a good shot.
- And one of my favorite tips…but probably a gross one…cut a maxi pad and stick it under a steak so that you can still cook it to medium rare, but not have a bloody mess all over the plate!
After their class there was a reception, but I was so excited about the useful tips they taught that I figured I could skip the reception and pick their brains a while longer. Jen and I sat and talked with them for a long time. They were SOOOO nice and even pulled up my site and gave me some real advice about my photos. Plus tons of great tips on things I struggle with shooting, like casseroles.
Guys, total disclaimer, these photos would not be a good representation of what I learned. Have you ever come back from a week long vacation with 4 kids? It requires a lot of work, and yeah, I had no time! Did I mention we are still packing? Yeah, moving soon. I am basically drowning in things to do, and sorry guys, but for the first time EVER, I think my blog took a backseat. And to laundry. So sad…right?
Anyway, I had a great time. I got to meet in person one of my favorite other bloggers: Jen from Yummy Healthy Easy
And I got to learn from some real experts. I always leave conferences feeling so motivated and excited about this crazy world we call blogging. And I can’t wait for the next one I get to attend!