Cooking with Windows Phone in Seattle

Hi lovely readers! I'm writing this from Seattle where I'm staying thanks to the awesome folks at Windows Phone. They've given me the opportunity to come to Seattle for the BlogHer Food 2012 conference and also to try their phone and see how it fits into my life as a blogger, writer, chef, (and the other 50 things that I do).

As you know, I really rarely do sponsored posts (I think I've only done about 2 since I started blogging in 2008), but I'm so genuinely smitten with this phone that I'm really happy to be working with them.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that this is actually my first time owning a touchscreen phone.

(I know! So lame!)

Until a couple weeks ago, I used a [rhymes with SmashSmerry] that had pretty horrific internet access.  I pretty much only ever used the phone to type a few emails and would regularly leave the phone at the bottom of my purse with the battery drained for days at a time. (Not even exaggerating here.)

So, understandably, I was pretty excited to get my hands on a "modern" phone.

First of gorgeous is it? It's this great bright cyan blue, super thin and sleek, with really bright graphics and pins on the home screen.

The phone is known to be the best for social media, with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media site functionality built right into the phone (vs through separate apps you have to go and download). It has this cute "Me" tile right on the front that I can click and instantly get ALL my notifications and mentions, plus access to my FB photo albums, and post new messages to all my sites in about 3 seconds.

There is also a dedicated camera button on the side that I can use without even having to unlock the phone. I've been using this feature a ton, especially at the event since it allowed me to switch back and forth from updating Twitter to taking snapshots in mere seconds.

A feature which came in handy Thursday night at the party.

We met up at Lark, which is a gorgeous, cozy restaurant in Seattle with big wood beams, art and wine bottles lining the walls, and gorgeous light fixtures dangling from the ceiling. It's headed up by Chef John Sundstrom. That night we sipped cocktails (French 75s! My favorite!), ate small bites, and worked together to prepare a few simple recipes.

My team worked on a Caramelized Chili Shrimp recipe that we got from the Betty Crocker cookbook app. It was a super easy "shake & bake" type recipe--we simply combined some spices and sugar in a zipped baggie, threw in the shrimp, and then sauteed them on a skillet.

The entire recipe literally took 5 minutes, and we then served it garnished with fresh cilantro and lime juice. It was sweet and smokey and salty and spicy--hit all my favorite flavor notes.

While we were working on the dish, the sous chef brought out a dish of live (live!) local shrimp for us to see. I've never seen live shrimp before and it was super fun. They were jumping all over the plate, so I whipped out my phone and took a little video. (Yes, that's me squealing and laughing in the background.)

After we ate, the waiters came around with these addictive tiny chocolate madeleines with little pots of chocolate dipping sauce.

I ate 7 of them.

Ok...maybe it was 8.

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Caramelized Chili Shrimp
Adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook App on Windows Phone

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
1 teaspoon chili powder or smoked spanish paprika
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb uncooked large shrimp (21 to 30 shrimp), peeled with tails left on, deveined
1/4 medium fresh lime
Fresh cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients except the shrimp, lime, and cilantro in a large zipped bag or container. Add the shrimp, seal the bag, and shake to coat well.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the shrimp and spice rub. Saute 2-3 minutes until the shrimp are fully cooked. Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and minced cilantro. Serve immediately.

Windows Phone is a sponsor of Always Order Dessert, but all opinions in this post are 100% my own. (Seriously, guys. I'm a little bit in love with this phone!)

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