Learning sleeps and snores in libraries, but wisdom is everywhere, wide awake, on tiptoe.
— Josh Billings
A funny thing happened this weekend at the Camp Blogaway conference. After weeks of build up, anxiety, and terror, all the while working myself up into a frenzy, once I arrived, I forgot to be nervous.
The camp setting was located in a beautiful forested area of Angelus Oaks, in Southern California. As I pulled to a stop at Camp de Benneville Pines , the clean scent of pine rose up to greet me, along with a very large woolly mammoth of a dog, wagging his tail, excited to see me. I took a quick look around and realized I had arrived yet again to another function way too early. Not a big surprise… my eager beaver attitude was out in full force. I hopped back in my car, thinking I would take a little drive to kill some time and came across our fearless leader and the organizer of Camp Blogaway, Patti (Worth the Whisk). She quickly and efficiently sent me off to my cabin to unload and then set me to work, unpacking boxes, keeping me occupied. Nicely done Patti, thank you!
All during the weekend I met up with kind and generous bloggers that were willing to impart their special bits of wisdom learned over their years of blogging. My first encounter was with Gary (Cooking Outdoors). His blog is chock full of amazing outdoor grilling, dutch oven and BBQ recipes. His nugget was the importance of getting involved in the community outside of my blog; great advice I plan on pursuing. Next up was Sara (My Imperfect Kitchen). I had already interacted with Sara prior to coming to camp online through social media. In all honesty I was a bit in awe of her and wondered how she had become so successful while holding down a full time job as well. She handled my fawning superbly, was gracious and humble, all the while making a huge impression on me, one I hope to remember and model.
While Camp Blogaway had quite a few Alumni, I was not alone in being a first timer. I gravitated toward Louise, another newbie, (Mom Start) right from the beginning. While this was her first time at Camp Blogaway, she was not new to blogging (not by a long shot) with many notable achievements under her belt. In fact, this week she is off to see the premier of Maleficent and then on to an interview with Angelina Jolie! Louise saved me a spot at the table our first evening; figuratively holding my hand and wiping my nose (just like a mom). This was a great comfort in all the newness. The cabin I slept in came with a roomie. I am always a bit nervous, not knowing who I will be paired with. Eureka, I hit the jackpot with Caroline ( The Grateful Foodie); no snoring, no talking in her sleep, and such delightful and enlightening conversation! Her blog consists of information on how to live a full life when one has food allergies and asthma. She does an outstanding job!
I could go on and on about the wonderful bloggers I met, but this post would be way too long and no one would finish it. Suffice to say each and every one had something to offer. My biggest surprise though was in the generous, down to earth, fun and engaging sponsors I had the privilege to talk with. Several were already favorites, with products I love to cook with. Two I particularly gravitated towards were Aifric O’Reilly (very Irish don’t you think?) from Kerrygold; producing some of the best butter you can buy anywhere, and Klondike Brands; featuring delicious Idaho Potatoes that are hard to resist. I loved the varieties that were presented. I had no idea potatoes had so many delicious varieties, textures, and flavors. Of course, potatoes and butter go together so I am sure I will be cooking up something special in the kitchen to commemorate with in the near future. All in all, a memorable trip filled with plenty of information to stuff in my brain. The trick now is to put it to good use. Can’t wait to get started!
I recently made Seared Salmon with Fennel and Sweet Pea Salad at the request of my Mother for her Mother’s Day gift. I was visiting San Diego at the time and wanted to do something special. She chose this dish with Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado. Never content to leave well enough alone, I tweaked the recipe here and there from the Eating Well Recipe she had chosen. The salmon was moist and cooked to perfection and the slaw was amazing. This is one dish I am sure to make again and again. Thanks mom, great choice!
- ¼ cup Lemon Juice
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp raw sugar
- 2 tbsp mince shallots
- ¾ tsp finely ground sea salt, divided
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, with fronds
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1¼ pounds fresh wild caught Alaskan Salmon, skin removed
- ***Fennel and Sweet Pea Salad;
- Combine lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, shallots, raw sugar, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground pepper into a large bowl, setting aside 2 tbsp in a small dish.
- Slice top of fennel bulb.
- Chop 2 tbsp of the frond and place in large bowl with dressing.
- Core and slice the fennel bulb thinly.
- Slice snap peas thinly on the diagonal into long pieces (about ¼ inch).
- Add fennel and snap peas to the large bowl, toss well. Cover and chill until salmon is prepared.
- Cut salmon into 4 pieces and season with remaining salt and pepper.
- Heat remaining oil in a large non stick skillet over high heat.
- Add salmon and cook on high heat for 2 minutes, reduce heat and cook an additional minute.
- Gently turn salmon, cook for 1 minute and turn off heat.
- Allow to sit in pan for two to 3 minutes. Salmon should still be slightly pink in the center, opaque towards the outside.
- Place salmon and salad on 4 plates and drizzle all with reserved dressing.
Adapted from Eating Well., May/June 2014 Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw
Seared Salmon with Fennel and Sugar Snap Slaw shared with:
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*The Pink Sprinkle: A Wholesome Bunch
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”