Big Traveling Potluck |

I spent last weekend in the hilly wine and avocado country of Temecula, California, about an hour outside of San Diego. I was there for a food blogging conference cum retreat founded by Maggie and Pam of Three Many Cooks and Erika from Ivory Hut. Founded two years ago in Philadelphia as the Big Summer Potluck, the ladies have taken their show on the road and foraged their way west, in the incarnation of the Big Traveling Potluck.

This event is far from a traditionally architected blogger conference. Absent are formal seminars, sponsor booths and non-engaged attendees wondering what to do next. It’s less about what to wear and more about connecting over food, drink and the occasional chia seed pudding.

We were all there for the same purpose, to contribute to one another in a less formal, more intimate environment.

Let me make one thing clear: less formal does NOT mean less grand in scenery, attention to detail or heart.

I’ll be detailing far more about both conferences in the Summer issue of FoodieCrush coming this June. Until then, you truly owe yourself a read of the following recapif you’re of the food blogging variety. Or self-growth variety. Or if you’re just curious what happens when food bloggers gather together.

“Get out of my dreams and into my car. And by car, I mean, into your best creative work.” ~ Helen Jane

Conference speaker Helen Jane Hearn’s speaking commentary comparing 80’s R&B star Billy Ocean to blogging had everyone in attendance spellbound, laughing and connecting the dots all at the same time. A must read.

I feel like I can’t verbalize the experience nearly as eloquently as these very thoughtful and original reads from Brooke and Kate. Please jump over and feel their P.O.V.

I did take a few Instagrams from the weekend—and borrowed a few too (follow the hashtag #BtP1 on Instagram to see a visual snap of the weekend)—to illustrate some things I learned, observed and took away from the 2013 Big Traveling Potluck. Until next year…

Big Traveling Potluck |

1. I miss living by the beach

2. Always leave plenty of time for security

3. There comes a time when it’s time for your blog to graduate and get a job (pic: Carrie)

4. Wine and avocados are a marriage made in Temecula (pic: Jamie)


1. I’m a Brat

2. Friends push each other to do better, grow stronger and accomplish what they think they can’t

3. I will always order Baja style fish tacos if they are within 47 feet of the menu

4. If you ever need a food blogger’s cookbook, head to Recipe Girl’s house. She has every one of them. #recipegoldmine


1. Bus rides create conversation opportunities with people you haven’t yet had the luck to get to know

2. Those that have overcome adversity have amazing stories of appreciation (pic: Maggie)

3. Sometimes the brightest lights are found in the corners (pic: Mimi)

4. This is officially not a swag bag

Big Traveling Potluck |

1. There’s nothing like a Pink Moon to frame a party scene (pic: Kelley)

2. Brands can bring bloggers together  (pic: Sandy)

3. Tall girls rule. And they can cook. (pic: Sandy)

4. Learning from one another is even more valuable than learning from an expert. Unless that expert is one of you.


 1. I really, really like guacamole

2. Farm tours are always better with a margarita in hand (pic: Kristin)

3. It takes too much willpower not to dip your toe in

4. Bloggers do more than make food, they help people less fortunate than themselves (pic: Rachel)


1. Photo booths turn adults into 8 year olds

2. Food bloggers like to eat as much as they like to cook

3. I’m often asked to take pictures

4. Homemade Coconut Cupcakes make the perfect going home airport food 

And now, a short selection of this week’s Friday Faves. Have a great one.

While that song will always be a fave of mine, the duo’s new album out next week (have a listen here) will hopefully push this one out of my summertime-ditty memory bank. 

This Savuer Best Food Blog finalist spills the beans (no pun intended) with her 100 Rules of Dinner
7. There is nothing sadder than a piece of warm pie without ice cream.
68. If you want to get something crispy, the pan needs to be hot. And so does the oil.
83. Three secret weapons of salad dressing: Teaspoon of sugar, dash of Sriracha, chives.
(in the style of and via Yes and Yes) 

Who needs to train Rover to fetch cold ones when you have a remote control beer cooler 

From orzo pasta to coconut scented soap to DIY utensils, these upcoming FoodieCrush mag contributors found an ingenious use for those leftover cereal boxes. 

Have a case of the dinette doldrums? Problem solved thanks to these design ideas to bring your dining room into the latest century.

Happy weekend, and happy feast on Cinco de Mayo eats and cheering with juleps for the ponies.

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