Project Food Blog: Video 411

I am so thrilled to still be standing in Project Food Blog. From 600 contestants who entered the first challenge, we are but 48 today and that number will be halved in the next week. Nerve-wracking enough, let alone that this challenge involved making a recipe come to life. Through video. Uh huh. Yiiiikes!  I mean, I video my students from time to time but make a cooking video? It’s a whole different ball game!  Thank you for voting me this far – I certainly wouldn’t still be here were it not for you!

I knew immediately which recipe I wanted to make because it really demonstrates my “culinary point of view” (if I may be so bold as to use the term coined by shows such as “The Next Food Network Star” without sounding *too* cheesy…).  In my dream future, I might not be on TV, but I would love to write a cookbook of recipes compiled from our travels – you know, “The World on your Plate” type thing…

Anyway, pipe dreams aside, recipes are one of my favourite souvenirs to bring back from my travels and this one has become a standard in our house, in either its most basic version or with modifications depending on what we have on hand.  The video tells a little about the back story of how we obtained the recipe and there’s also a little peek inside my kitchen. For those of you who haven’t met me in real life, you will get to hear my Australian accent.  All great reasons to watch, right? Right? (oh, and if you make it that far, Cleo the cat makes a cameo appearance towards the end!)

When I entered this competition, I did so with the idea of challenging myself. This week has been by far the most challenging – I am a writer and a photographer, not a videographer as I am sure you will figure out.  Neil and I filmed this by ourselves and the only person who has seen the footage is Neil. I have a ton of friends (like, you know, my IT department) who would have helped me but I wanted to do this for myself.  (one of my first ever words was “self” so I guess it’s not surprising how I turned out!).  So it’s all me. Homemade, warts and all kinda stuff!

Well, I guess I can’t stall any longer… so without further ado, here goes… (if you are reading this in an email, you will need to click on the title of the post to view the video)

If you’re still reading after watching (I hope you are!), I am also thrilled to announce that this recipe is one of two of mine published in the gorgeous new publication, Foodies of the World:

I was so excited to be asked to contribute to this book earlier in the year and recently received my copy.

The Slattery Media Group website (the publishers) describes Foodies of the World as “a collection of profiles and recipes from the best blogs around the world.  The publication covers an international spread of cuisines, courses and recipe styles, as well as profiles of the bloggers themselves, who come from all corners of the globe.  Containing stunning photography, styling and images, this is a high-quality cookbook with real food from real people.”

It’s a truly beautiful book and I am honoured to be in the company of bloggers I read and admire like La Tartine Gourmande, Steamy Kitchen, Mélanger, Chez Us, Guilty Kitchen and Whisk, a Food Blog amongst too many to name….  I really enjoyed reading the author bios as much as the recipes – it’s  little glimpse into the people behind the blogs.

To order your copy of the book, click here (it’s not available on Amazon).

If you liked my World on a Plate, Destination: Umbria video,  I would love your vote to move on to Round 8 of Project Food Blog, where we have to create a sweet or savory baked good featuring pumpkin.  I have some pretty fun ideas…  Voting will be open at 6AM Pacific Time on Monday, November 15th until 6PM Pacific Time on Thursday November 8th.  I will post a link to vote when it’s live.   Many thanks for your continued support.

** stock music for the video was obtained from iMovie and iLife sound effects as well as Royalty Free Music and AudioMicro

97 Responses to Project Food Blog: Video 411

  1. Kristina @ spabettie November 4, 2010 at 19:16 #

    as a dachshund owner … our dachshund is named Basil and he appreciates both pronunciations !! 😀

    I love this… and as someone who travels with a wine filled suitcase, YOU WILL GET MY VOTE !!


  2. Kath November 4, 2010 at 19:46 #

    Nicely done! I love the sound effects and the music you used. Oh, and the pasta looks divine and so easy to make. I’m voting for you!

  3. Nicole @ Making Good Choices November 4, 2010 at 19:59 #

    I’ll take this as another sign I should be going to Italy over spring vacation. First my best friends go, then Giada does a special on it and now this! I loved your video, you did an amazing job and I will be making that dish soon!

  4. Daydreamer Desserts November 4, 2010 at 20:09 #

    Mardi, you are a natural in front of the camera… I loved your video it was fantastic, and very well put together from beginning to end.

    You better start working on your cake post. 😉

  5. Paula November 4, 2010 at 20:14 #

    Bravo Mardi! There is absolutely everything to love about this video. The charming backdrop of your kitchen, the Italian scenery from your travels, the recipe and how you prepared it so creatively for the video, the charming music and the cameo appearance by Cleo. You have covered all the basis so extremely well and it goes without saying that you not only have my vote but many, many others I’m sure.

    Congratulations for being part of the Foodies of the World Book!

  6. Tunde November 4, 2010 at 20:20 #

    Bellisimo !! Beautiful video. The story behind the recipe made it for me as well !!

  7. Fuji Mama November 4, 2010 at 20:22 #

    You rock star! Loved how you shared a piece of Italy with us. Now I’m dyign to make that pasta…

  8. bunkycooks November 4, 2010 at 20:36 #

    Hi Mardi,

    What a great job you did with this challenge. I watched the entire video, so I know it was entertaining. 🙂 Good luck with moving to the next round.


  9. Mindy November 4, 2010 at 20:38 #

    Awesome video and congrats on the book!!

  10. Conor @ Hold the Beef November 4, 2010 at 20:41 #

    A perfect mix of personal bits and educational bobs, with some jaunty music to boot. Your Mum may not like the “bay-sil” (perfectly justified opinion of her to have) but as a teacher of digital media my Mum would love the transitions and use of sound effects 😀

    I think you’re on the money (literally eventually, I hope) with the degree of productionism, if I may create a horribly clunky word. Smoothly made video with a good use of photos, captions etc, but just unsleek enough to be endearing and not make me roll my eyes and wonder what member of your family has a job with a television company.

    Anyway, if all this isn’t enough reason for people to vote for you, they should do so for Miss Cleo. What a star.

  11. Winnie November 4, 2010 at 20:48 #

    There are SO many things I love about this video, Mardi. I love your kitchen, the nods to your trip, the music and other sound effects, your invocation of the mis en place fairy, the recipe itself, your accent, your kitty,…I could go on and on. I am really so impressed- it’s fantastic!

  12. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen November 4, 2010 at 20:51 #

    Great job on the video! I loved your story. The only souvenirs I get on vacation are cookbooks, I love how food reminds us of where we’ve been.

  13. Tonya @ What's On My Plate November 4, 2010 at 21:11 #

    I’m so proud of you! The video turned out really well.

  14. art and lemons November 4, 2010 at 21:29 #

    Okay, so now I’m really ready for my first trip to Italy! Fantastic work with the video, you’re a natural.

  15. Lynda November 4, 2010 at 21:36 #

    Congratulations – fabulous video. I am so impressed and I loved your topic!!

  16. Andrea November 4, 2010 at 21:45 #

    That’s awesome. Great job!

  17. Daily Spud November 4, 2010 at 21:53 #

    Splendid job Mardi – entertaining, informative and makes me want to both make the pasta (I will) and visit Umbria (I certainly hope I will!)

  18. Simply Life November 4, 2010 at 22:11 #

    Oh this video is adorable and the recipe looks amazing!

  19. K A B L O O E Y November 4, 2010 at 22:56 #

    Well, I did used to make film and video, and I found this utterly winning. Lots of personality and it truly makes one want to try the dish and get to hang out with you. Love the cartoon voice bubbles and mise en place fairy line best. Great job. And congrats on the book!!!!

  20. Alicia November 4, 2010 at 23:18 #

    Charming video! Loved it – I see a future on the Food Network for you my friend. Lovely whimsical touches – music, art, Cleo – that kept me engaged all the way through, along with the natural chef in front of the camera. And as someone who benefited from your labour, that was one delicious plate of pasta at the end of it. Yum! Good luck in the competition. Go Mardi!

  21. Rachèle @ a.k.a. jolie November 5, 2010 at 01:01 #

    What a great video! It made me want to make the recipe RIGHT NOW, and if that’s not a success…I don’t know what is! 🙂

  22. Ethan November 5, 2010 at 01:17 #

    Love the “World on your plate” concept and loved the dish.
    I know how you felt about this challenge, but you did great!
    Bien fait!

  23. Belinda @zomppa November 5, 2010 at 02:08 #

    Love seeing you in action!!! I wanna go.

  24. Jenn November 5, 2010 at 02:12 #

    omg Mardi, I love this! I am so making this recipe tonight now, and your video ROCKED!!!!

  25. Cathy/ShowFoodChef November 5, 2010 at 03:09 #

    Mardi, Brava!!!!!!! your video is charming, fun and made me hungry! Che perfetto! Auguri!

  26. Corinne @ Gourmantic November 5, 2010 at 03:20 #

    Loved the video! I wasn’t paying much attention to the food, I was too busy checking out your accent 🙂 and I loved it!

  27. make my day November 5, 2010 at 03:40 #

    really enjoyed the video!!! this will now become a weekly one in this house – pasta is required at least once a week for my hungry active horde! good luck! cheers kari

  28. Sally - My Custard Pie November 5, 2010 at 08:37 #

    Goodness – the work involved in editing that video must have been hours and hours. Well done (from another person who travels with wine in her suitcase, and cheese and….

  29. Mr. Neil November 5, 2010 at 08:41 #

    Director’s Note:

    No cats were harmed in the production of this film… 😉

  30. Jen H November 5, 2010 at 08:49 #

    Awesome video! Made me so nostalgic for my time in Italy and the dish looks delicious, very similar to one I make but I use ricotta salata instead of feta.

  31. Lynne November 5, 2010 at 08:54 #

    What a fantastic job you both did! I definitely will be saying “we knew them when”. We will want full details on how you did that video at our next dinner party.
    By the way that recipe is one of our favourites too.

    Well done Neil and Mardi.

  32. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 5, 2010 at 09:45 #

    Hooray! What a great video… You did an awesome job. And, you know that I LOVE that pasta dish because I just can’t get enough of Italian food. Bravo!

  33. Annalise November 5, 2010 at 11:05 #

    Bravo! Excellent video, what were you so worried about? 🙂 And the dish looks fantastic, I really think I might try it sometime!

  34. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz November 5, 2010 at 11:17 #

    Very nice video! Love the music and host :-D, oh and the recipe! And love the good tips you give like how to cut the basil. Congrats

  35. Beth November 5, 2010 at 11:47 #

    Congratulations on moving up in the Foodbuzz challenge, and on inclusion in the cookbook. You’re a star!

  36. Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) November 5, 2010 at 11:52 #

    Mardi and you were worried !! So enjoyed your video you are a natural ! Start baking 🙂 We always travel with wine & champagne in our suitcase – why else do you travel with t-shirts 🙂

  37. Liren November 5, 2010 at 14:28 #

    Mardi, you were fantastic! Great job, it’s evident you are a an excellent teacher 🙂 And your cat is too cute — I have a black cat that could be a twin; she loves to do quality control, too 🙂

  38. Maria at Fresh Eats November 5, 2010 at 14:31 #

    The video is fabulous — you are charming and delightful. Congrats on all of your great accomplishments lately!

  39. Joy November 5, 2010 at 16:47 #

    Bravo! That was a great video, Mardi! You’re a natural and not self-conscious at all (which would be typical of me). I enjoyed the bits and pieces of info you added in, from you writing Gourmet, to the basil bruising. I really enjoyed it.

    Good luck with this next round of PFB! And congrats on the book as well. 🙂

  40. Charlotte November 5, 2010 at 16:50 #

    miss mardi – i love your video!!! i like how you added the music, and the recipe looked good.
    charlotte 🙂

  41. Cat November 5, 2010 at 16:51 #

    bravo, mardi, bravo!!! the video is *excellent* and the pasta looks heavenly! having actually been fortunate enough to enjoy this dish in your beautiful kitchen with cleo winding her way around our ankles, i can attest to how delicious it is in real life as well as on screen. easy, authentic, and truly tasty – a perfect combination for any dinner. you definitely deserve to move on in the contest . . . off to vote now!

  42. Lawyer Loves Lunch November 5, 2010 at 16:53 #

    Mardi, this is so charming! I loved the look around your kitchen treasures. Of course you have my vote! 🙂

  43. Cat November 5, 2010 at 16:56 #

    oops, didn’t pay attention – can’t vote just yet . . . and also should have said a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your recipes being included in what looks like an excellent new book!!! crazy impressive, girl.

  44. 5 Star Foodie November 5, 2010 at 17:42 #

    I have to admit that when I first saw that the video was over 5 minutes I thought it would be way too long, but as I watched it I found myself completely drawn in and totally paying attention to every single detail! I love how you put all the different components together – the stills of the beautiful scenery and the food, and the cooking, and all the informative tips. Your first video, you say? Well, my friend, you are in business now – we will expect more excellent videos like this in the future 🙂 Seriously you have a great camera presence!

  45. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle November 5, 2010 at 18:31 #

    Very charming and I’m loving everyone’s video in this challenge; they are each so unique! I love that it was a simple and easy to make recipe too…one of my mainstays is a very similar dish; easy and yummy at the same time.

  46. StephIrey November 5, 2010 at 19:13 #

    Great video! I’ll definitely be voting for you. Loved the editing.

  47. Lora @cakeduchess November 5, 2010 at 21:29 #

    Brava Mardi! Love your accent. Love your video. You did a great job. I love the beginning. Umbria is one of my favorite parts of Italy. You totally rocked this and I think you will be in next round!!(Love how you say basil!!) xx

  48. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best November 5, 2010 at 21:35 #

    Oh Mardi! This is such a fun video! It embodies the spirit and experience of Umbria.

  49. penny aka jeroxie November 6, 2010 at 00:39 #

    love the video! you did really really well. 🙂

  50. Tamanna November 6, 2010 at 18:16 #

    what a beeeutiful demonstration! love the video. and i have to mention that i love your stainless cookware, lol. pasta looks awesome. i followed you for a while but had no idea you were from Toronto like me! yayy!

  51. Trix November 6, 2010 at 20:54 #

    you did a fab job!! so much fun to get to see my bloggy friends actually walk and talk and cook. two thumbs up!!

  52. Lucy November 7, 2010 at 01:18 #

    hi cousin – great video and I hope you win too – I love simple recipes which taste good and you can see that this one with fresh ingredients is a winner. Lots of love from Oz xx

  53. SMITH BITES November 7, 2010 at 08:51 #

    you did a FANTASTIC JOB on this Mardi – BRAVO, BRAVO!!!

  54. Renee (Kudos Kitchen) November 7, 2010 at 09:18 #

    Your video was/IS FANTASTIC! So creative and clever. The music, the tone, the editing, the recipe, YOU! It all works perfectly together. I can easily see you hosting your own TV show or something. SOOO fun. I want to see more. Will you be hosting more videos? Please say yes!!! LOVE! Congratulations on a job extremely well done. You get my vote for sure 🙂

  55. Shari November 7, 2010 at 12:44 #

    Congratulations on being part of the Foodies of the World! It was so nice to meet you in Seattle, too! Your video makes me want to head off to Umbria…someday! 🙂

  56. Marie (FoodNouveau) November 7, 2010 at 14:38 #

    Mardi, you have to reason to doubt your video, I really liked it! The pace is very entertaining, I loved the addition of sunny Tuscany pictures, the music and the additional info displayed as a caption. You are photogenic, I saw why not to the idea of a travel & food TV show? Sky’s the limit 🙂 Congratulations, I hope you go on further in the competition.

  57. Anna Johnston November 7, 2010 at 17:19 #

    Congratulations Mardi. I loved the video…, really good easy to follow instructions with that cool little bit of fun added to the mix.
    Fingers crossed for you.

  58. Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris November 7, 2010 at 17:35 #

    You know why I love your video? Because it is what it should be (in my humble opinion, of course!): a great cook, with a great recipe, showing this simply, no frills..

  59. Hot Polka Dot's Mom November 7, 2010 at 21:16 #

    Great video and a fabulous recipe. That sauce is intriguing. Must make! Well done!

  60. Tami November 7, 2010 at 22:10 #

    I am sooooo ordering that book!! Well done Mardi, I can only just begin to imagine how excited you are. WOW, I’m friends with a published author (and soon to be $10,000 prize winner!!). You certainly deserve everything and if not more of what you have achieved in such a short time.

    AND…..I cannot belive no-one has made the pasta yet. It was on my menu soon after you blogged about it. Although must admit has not made a reappearance BUT now I have a replacement for the original recipe I misplaced.

  61. Amy K. November 8, 2010 at 10:23 #

    this is my kind of dish – so easy and quick.

    video was very informative! you are a great teacher!

  62. Sara @CaffeIna November 8, 2010 at 20:42 #

    You made me very nostalgic with this video. I love that you chose a very simple recipe! They are the best! You look very spontaneous and still very professional. Great tips on the single steps of the recipes

  63. saltyseattle November 9, 2010 at 17:32 #

    Ok, I am FINALLY getting around to seeing some of these videos and this has got to be right there at the top. The hilarious soundtrack adds to the allure and I especially appreciated the speedy shots and respect to timing. The kitchen tour at the beginning was great to- nice to offer a sense of place…

  64. theveggie November 9, 2010 at 20:32 #

    Great video. I really got the sense that you were in Umbria with the kitchen tour and the music. Thanks for the tip re: adding the garlic after the tomatoes to prevent accidental burning. I will have to incorporate this into my routine.

  65. Shea M. @ Blissfully Unrefined November 10, 2010 at 00:32 #

    Wow, Mardi! I considered this challenge to be the hardest of all since very few bloggers do videos. Your video was great – good length and pacing, not too “talky,” lots of great pictures, and very true to who you are (as I know you in a blogging/Twitter sense, as I’ve never actually met you!). Bravo!

    PS. Extra points to anyone who has to deal with kitties on the table 😉 I have 2, so I understand 😀

  66. Jamie November 10, 2010 at 08:01 #

    You are so adorable, Mardi! And I think this is a great video! Loved the meal but I really think the video was wonderful! Cooking show! And boy you really brought me back to Umbria (*sigh*)

  67. Jason Phelps November 10, 2010 at 21:06 #

    The Academy will be calling any day now!!

    Thank you for sharing a great recipe.


  68. Mariko November 13, 2010 at 18:36 #

    You were awesome on the video and your editing was perfect. (Hmmm. Bloggers are so MULTI-TALENTED! I need to work on that.)
    I am drooling at that recipe. I know my hub won’t like it (doesn’t like lemon or spaghetti OR tomatoes– I know, what’s wrong with him???) but I already have some plans in my head.

  69. Joan Nova November 13, 2010 at 21:46 #

    Really nice job, Mardi. You can now videography to your list of talents.

    I liked the recipe too (I would add black olives + capers).

  70. RhodeyGirl November 15, 2010 at 08:43 #


    I LOVE this recipe! I am going to make it tomorrow for dinner for sure! What I love most about it is that I have all those ingredients on hand most of the time, so it is great for a quick dinner when we don’t have time to go to the market! And great tip about the garlic- I never knew that!

    Fantastic video. I can’t wait to vote for you.

  71. Edite November 15, 2010 at 09:48 #

    Bravissimo Mardi!!!! (and Mr. Neil, and Cleo, of course)!!!

    FABULOUS video – put me right back in Italy. And guess what I’m making for dinner tonight!

    You’ve got my vote.

  72. megan @ whatmegansmaking November 15, 2010 at 10:44 #

    I love this! You’ve got my vote for sure. You did an outstanding job – fun music, great description without being boring, and cute little asides, like the cat 🙂 Well done!

  73. Heather November 15, 2010 at 11:02 #

    You get a vote not only because the video is good, but because you said “Mise en Place Fairy.” Hahahaha! Awesome. 😀

  74. kate November 15, 2010 at 11:31 #

    can i purchase this book from anywhere in the uk?

  75. sabrina November 15, 2010 at 11:37 #

    Great video! I love this dish and no pretending Im there as I live in Firenze but I am pretending that was the weather here right now 😀 I gotta say I have never eatten this dish before and I am egar to make it for my husband but at the end when you add the feta and basil do you cook it longer? and for how long? I wasnt completely understanding this part. The only part that scares me is the pine nuts those are going to cost a fortune! I will have to halve what you used 😀

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 15, 2010 at 11:42 #

      You just have to let it sit for a little bit once you add the feta so that it melts a little into the sauce. Not too long. Enjoy!

  76. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot November 15, 2010 at 11:46 #

    Wonderful video! I feel like I just got back from a vacation in Italy. I just have to say I adore your accent! Good luck in the challenge!

  77. The Cuisinerd November 15, 2010 at 15:09 #

    Lovely! And very much liked the kitchen tour opening.

  78. Alison November 15, 2010 at 17:07 #

    What a terrific video! Food yummy? Check. Host engaging? Check. Setting charming? Check. Cat, partner and mythical fairies present? Check! Good luck and congrats on the book!!

  79. Karen November 15, 2010 at 17:11 #

    Very nice and a wonderful recipe. I’ve seen 10 vids so far and have voted for 2. Yes, I voted for you! Good luck 🙂

  80. Mhel B November 15, 2010 at 17:57 #

    Youve got the best of both worlds, travel and food. I wish i could the luxury of both just like you. Love the pasta dish. Its like a tomato pesto but chunkier with some feta. Youve got my vote dear…

  81. claudia lamascolo November 15, 2010 at 19:42 #

    Oh how amazing to see all the places love your souvenirs! the video was awesome… Congrats on this fabulous dish and awesome video, you did a great job!

  82. Quay Po Cooks November 15, 2010 at 20:25 #

    Love this video, I pretended I travelled with you while watching the video! I can taste the pasta and feel the ambience and wow! I smell the wine too:D Voted for you and best of luck.

  83. Heena @Tiffin Tales November 16, 2010 at 11:12 #

    The Australian accent took me by surprise even though I should have expected it 🙂 I love recipes that have a story behind them and the idea of recipes as souveneirs might have got you my vote even before I saw your lovely video. Good luck!

  84. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking November 16, 2010 at 21:02 #

    Oh yum!! Definitely want to accompany you to Umbria 🙂 Great video, Mardi!

  85. Jackie November 17, 2010 at 09:16 #

    Mardi, did I ever actually comment on this? I’m not sure that I did. You did an awesome job with your PFB video, and you were one of the most stressed over it! All you people worry for nothing 😉

    I’m seriously rooting for you in this competition, m’dear, not the least because you are (originally) a Brit and I’ve got love for my fellow-Brits! Good luck, crossing everything I can for you (oo-er)!

    Jax x

  86. Dan Clapson November 17, 2010 at 11:36 #

    I made this dish IMMEDIATELY after watching this video! Seriously!

    Awesome job!! Go Mardi!

  87. @pronosher November 18, 2010 at 10:42 #

    WOW!!!! You definitely got my vote! Mardi and Neil your knowledge, passion, talent and good taste really shine through in this video. Where can I get a print version of this recipe?

  88. Anne November 18, 2010 at 13:17 #

    I love your video – and the recipe looks devine. You got my vote!

  89. Amanda @ Bakingwithoutabox November 18, 2010 at 15:32 #

    Voted! Yay! Good luck.

  90. Marika Josephson November 18, 2010 at 19:39 #

    “Mise-en-place fairy!” You had my vote well before that, but that deserves a double vote. Good luck! In bocca al lupo!

  91. Quay Po Cooks November 22, 2010 at 00:34 #

    Yay! you are going to the next round! My finger is on ready, get set & go!… to vote for you again! Best of luck for the challenge#8!

  92. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 24, 2010 at 06:43 #

    Thanks everyone for your kind words and for watching all the way through! It certainly was a challenge but I am really pleased with the end result and beyond thrilled that I made it through to the next round! THANK YOU ALL!

  93. Marika December 1, 2010 at 00:55 #

    This video made me happy! Umbria holds a special place in my heart because I spent a semester in Perugia and loved it. Nicely done!


  1. Tweets that mention Project Food Blog: Video 411 -- Topsy.com - November 4, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mardi, Mardi. Mardi said: Project Food Blog: Video 411 http://goo.gl/fb/S2iJK #foodbuzz #projectfoodblog #cookbooks #eat #italy #pasta #recipes […]

  2. Between the Lines with Mardi Michels | Bromography - June 8, 2011

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