The Weekend Whisk – 10/19/13

by Kate on October 19, 2013

Sunny Anderson and Kate Donahue of

Happy Saturday everyone! I don’t know about you but man, oh man. What a week! This week I met Sunny Anderson. Eeek!! I love her show and her cookbook so I was beyond thrilled. I even had the opportunity to hang out with Star Jones, Haylie Duff and Jill Martin. This was all courtesy of QVC and In The Kitchen with David. But before I was rubbing elbows with the stars, I started my week with a simple family pumpkin picking trip.

Pumpkin Picking

October is probably my very favorite month of the entire year. I love that the weather cools and the winds pick up. I adore the crunch of leaves beneath my feet but never want to rake them unless of course, it’s for the benefit of little girls jumping into a giant pile.

Pumpkin Picking

Maddy has finally graduated from going for the little pumpkins and now she’s all about going for the biggest pumpkin she can carry. She’s got some muscles. Oh, and both girls got to ride a horse for the first time and loved every second of it!

Pumpkin PickingNear our home there’s a small animal park that has a blind horse. She’s old and just mosey’s around, grazing during the day. Her name is Katey and we love to go there in the afternoon with carrots or apple slices. The girls seem to feel such a connection with Katey.

Pumpkin Picking 2013 16

So when they saw horses at the farm where we went pumpkin picking they were so excited to be able to actually rise a horse. It was one of the best moments of the day.

Pumpkin Picking 2013 46

The girls couldn’t wait to decorate them with these cute Mrs. Potato Head Pumpkin Push-Ins we found! How adorable are those?? I felt like it was copping out bit honestly. I get so excited to carve pumpkins. The girls do too! This excitement lasts for about the first 5 minutes. Then no one likes their hands gooey, except me of course. Then they get cranky. Next, it’s just Mom carving pumpkins by herself until the end when they get excited again to see the finished product. This year, these push-ins made it a fun decorating project for all of us!

QVC Studio Park

After my normal ol’ family outing came a day that’s really been looking forward to. I was so excited when I received an invitation to bring a guest and spend an evening with QVC. So I grabbed Momma D (AKA: my mother-in-law) and off we went on our trek to West Chester, Pennsylvania. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend visiting QVC Studio Park.

David Venable and Kate Donahue of

What an incredible experience! I’ve never been to any sort of studio before and this was truly a unique treat. We started our evening sampling some recipes from David Venable’s new book, In the Kitchen with David: Comfort Foods That Take You Home. Yowza! I was thrilled to take home my own copy of that book because his Bacon Mac & Cheese is something I could live off of. Oh, and the Bacon Jam Bruschetta? Crazy good, y’all! Are you sensing a theme here? There was a lot of bacon involved in our evening. Perhaps that’s why I liked this event so very much!

KitchenAid Mixer

After we snacked and socialized, David arrived and we got to chat with him for a bit. We got to feast our eyes on all the food and kitchen products QVC has coming up for the holidays. So many beautiful pieces! I know my tv will be firmly fixed on QVC this holiday season. With my birthday right around the corner, I’m thinking I need that gorgeous lift bowl KitchenAid mixer. Love!

Star Jones & Kate Donahue of

After David mingled, he was quickly followed by Star Jones who popped in for a bit as well as Jill Martin. These two were preparing for a head-to-head cooking battle. Oh, did I mention neither one is a trained chef? That’s part of what made it all so fun! I’ll come right back to that.

Behind the scenes at qvc

Next on the agenda was a behind the scenes tour of the QVC campus. How cool! I’m was just amazed by everything going on and how they make it all come together. Tracking stats, watching a million screens, people popping in and out with messages written on dry erase boards to those on camera. It was all fast paced and so intriguing. Emeril was the guest of the evening and he was selling things like hot cakes!

behind the scnes at qvc

We got to sit in on the live set while Jill and Star competed in David’s Food Court. They each came prepared to make a meal to serve David as well as celebrity foodie judges, Star Jones and Haylie Duff. I had no idea but Haylie just came out with her first cookbook, The Real Girl’s Kitchen. I can’t wait to check it out. Star was whipping up some Lobster Mac & Cheese while Jill came with a 50’s diner theme of sliders and a boozy milkshake.

behind the scenes at qvc

Her Rygell High ensemble completed the theme.  But wait, there was a twist! As they were prepping, David announced that he’d like for them to both incorporate his favorite vegetable. Broccoli. Da da daaaa (Enter dramatic music and fanfare here)

behind the scenes at qvc

It was such a cool experience, being in the audience and seeing everything behind the scenes. All those ladies were so much fun and have such huge personalities. I’m all ready to be BFF’s with Sunny. She’s a trip! She had me laughing and she was just so friendly. Fun was definitely had by all. After a nearly 2 hour drive home, Momma D and I arrived around 1am. I settled in a while later but morning quickly came for me when it was time to get up at 6am. Why was I up so early? Well, because there was even MORE fun to be had!

LHJ Get Social - Photo Courtesy of Kenny Pang

Photo Courtesy of Kenny Pang

I’m telling you, this week was awesome! I woke up, wiped the Sandman’s sleep from my eyes and hit the ground running. A quick shower, a cup of coffee and I was Manhattan bound to join The Ladies Home Journal at their first ever Get Social conference. What an amazing learning and networking experience. This unique event gathered not only a talented group of panelists, editors, and more but also cultivated an audience of talented women striving to make their blogs better and create an even better space for all of you to enjoy.

Kate Donahue | Food Babbles and Casey Barber | Good. Food. Stories.

I was so excited to spend the day goofing off with my friend Casey as well as reconnecting with Tara,  Audra and Jennifer, my King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake alums! I even got to see Brandy at the QVC event also. It really was a Blog & Bake reunion for me this week. The Ladies Home Journal Get Social event was a wonderful day spent learning, connecting, tasting and even discovering new products thanks to the generous sponsors. I’m sure if you follow me on Instagram you felt like you where a part of my whirlwind week already.

Silly faces

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed both events, it was nice after being on the run for two days to come home to some much needed relaxation,silly faces and puppy snuggles. I hope you all had an amazing week too. As always, you’ll find a recap of what was going on around here this week. Have a great weekend!

Puppy Cuddles



One Year Ago: Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Pear Tea Bread 

Two Years Ago: Jarlsbery Rosemary Breadsticks


Spiced Oatmeal Baked ApplesSpiced Oatmeal Baked Apples

Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream FrostingPumpkin Tres Leches Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

and the most popular post of the week was something out of the archives …

Kissed Caramel Apple MartiniKissed Caramel Apple Martini

Disclosure: I was provided food, drink as well as gifts courtesy of QVC, Ladies Home Journal and other sponsors during these events. All opinions are completely my own and were in no way influenced by this face.

FTC Disclosure: Food Babbles is an affiliate and receives a minuscule commission on all purchases made through Amazon links in our posts. If you’d like to support the site further,  please use this link  or use the Amazon ads placed in the sidebar to make your purchases.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer | Bake or Break October 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

That’s quite a busy week for you, Kate! It was great to see you at the LHJ event. We need more chances for Blog & Bake reunions!


suzanne October 20, 2013 at 8:40 am

What fun, you had such a great week, fun with the kids in the pumpkin patch and that trip to QVC was great. You much still be on cloud 9!!


Chocolate Shavings October 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

That pumpkin patch photos is SO cute!


ChristineM October 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Glad you had fun Kate! The girls are so cute together!


Kim Beaulieu October 22, 2013 at 1:19 am

I love Sunny. Aly got me an autographed copy of her book when she saw her. I was so floored. I’m a huge fan, she seems so real. You had a stellar week lady. I’m seriously jealous.


Mary Kay October 22, 2013 at 10:49 am

What a week is right, so many awesome experiences! I will totally agree with you on the pumpkin carving as I did it with 5 kids on Friday night – a lot of work! And the deer already ate Lyla’s pumpkin so we may need some Mr. Potato Head push-ins for her replacement.


Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos October 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

What an amazing whirlwind of events Kate and that’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain at QVC! I watched Food Court that night when I heard Sunny was on and watching Star go head to head with Jill – hilar. I’m thrilled you were able to meet Sunny – she’s amazing and her cookbook – well, let’s just say mine is flagged to the hilt – so many fabulous recipes 🙂


Anna (Hidden Ponies) October 26, 2013 at 2:23 am

What a fun busy week!! Thanks for sharing, Kate 🙂


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