I had so much fun hosting a Fun Food Blogger Retreat last month and I can’t wait to share a recap with you. We made candy clay using Wilton Candy Melts and will share with you some of the cute treats we created. We also decorated some back to school snacks using Farm Rich snacks. Be sure to check them all out. Our food blogger retreat was sponsored by Wilton and Farm Rich.
I hope you enjoyed the guest posts from Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie, Kim, The Partiologist, Norene, Party Pinching, and Sue, Munchkin Munchies, It was so nice of them to share some fun food tutorials with you all while I was traveling in South Africa over the past few weeks.
Yes, I was in Africa!
My husband and I enjoyed a 16 day vacation to South Africa and it was so nice to be able to unplug knowing you all were in good hands. I really needed a break from work. The months leading up to our trip were crazy busy.
Just before leaving I wrote Candy Clay Creations, a 118 page e-book detailing how to make candy clay to use to decorate treats. The in depth book is loaded with detailed instructions for working with candy clay. If you’ve been following me here at Hungry Happenings for a while, you know how much I love using candy clay (modeling chocolate). It tastes great, is easy to use, and looks fantastic on any treat.
I launched the book during the retreat and was excited to see so many sales over the weekend.
If you’d like you a copy of the e-book, click on this link to go to my sales page.
The fun didn’t stop there, the week before we boarded our first flight, I hosted a group of amazingly creative food craft bloggers for a Fun Food Blogger Retreat. Jill from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, joined Norene, Kim, Sue, and Meaghan for a weekend of fun at my home.
I live in middle America in a quaint hometown that isn’t a tourist destination but these bloggers traveled from all over the country to spend 4 days with me in my candy kitchen. It was pretty cool!
Can you imagine hanging out with these talented ladies? It was truly incredible.
The Public Relations Manager from Wilton, Desiree Smith, joined us for a few days during the retreat which was such a pleasure. She presented each of the bloggers with a lovely gift bag loaded with some of Wilton’s best cake decorating and candy making supplies. It felt like Christmas!
During the first day of the retreat, I taught the ladies how to make candy clay using Wilton Candy melts then everyone had about an hour and a half to design and craft some treats and clean up their mess so that we could go live on Facebook.
If you didn’t catch our live broadcast, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this 40 minute instructional video. Desiree and I hosted the event. I showed everyone how to make candy clay, then Kim and Desiree showed how to create a candy clay decorated treat.
Be sure to also check out Meaghan’s tutorial on making Candy Clay Frog Oreos and Other Swamp Things.
Before the event all the bloggers had some fun in their own kitchens creating snacks using Farm Rich products, then when we got together we put our creative minds together to make even more cute snacks. It was quite exciting getting to see how all these food artists worked at their craft.
There were no egos at work in the kitchen, everyone helped each other to make the most creative snacks out of Farm Rich Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Pepperoni Rolls, and Potato Skins.
During the event I crafted a few cute bears using Farm Rich Pepperoni Rolls. To make them, simply attach two small crackers using cream cheese then add a cracker snout. Cut three small circles from black olives using a medium plunger cutter or a straw and attach using more cheese. They are so easy to make and your kids will love them.
Meaghan shares how to make the cute students out of cheese sticks and sail boats using potato skins on her blog, The Decorated Cookie.
You can see all the other tutorials here:
Puperoni Pizza Snacks • Mozzarella Bites Caterpillar
Mozzarella Stick Caprese Skewers • Smart Owl Meatball Snack
Mozzarella Bites Bookworm • Lion Mozzarella Bites
Paint Pallette Meatballs • Sunny Snacks for Back to School
I have to give a big shout out to Wilton and Farm Rich for sponsoring the big event.
In addition to these two amazing companies, we had support from a lot of local companies too.
Meaghan, Desiree, Jill, and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Dayton Racquet Club in downtown Dayton. Our meals were exquisite. We shared a plate of zucchini fritters and a selection of amazing desserts and I enjoyed a wonderfully prepared fillet for my main course. It was so much fun watching the sun set over the city as we dined.
The other ladies were still in the air when while we were enjoying our meal. I was sad they could not be with us, but excited to have been able to get them all together at the Denver airport so they could fly in to Dayton together.
Our first day together was jam packed with candy making and fun. The ladies loved the lunch catered by Dorothy Lane Market. We dined on the best pasta salads and gourmet cheeses then indulged in Killer Brownies and Laura’s Cookies for dessert. Dorothy Lane Market generously provided each of the bloggers with Killer Brownies, Laura’s Cookies, t-shirts, and bags to take home.
After spending the day making candy clay and homemade chocolates, we went into downtown Miamisburg to have dinner at Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro. It’s one of my families favorite local hang outs and we had so much fun. The lively atmosphere and great food made for a really exciting evening on the town.
To tell you how much my family likes this place, my parent’s were there for dinner. We were all surprised to see each other and I was so happy to get to introduce them to my friends. I ordered my favorite, the Ribwich served with sweet potato fries. It was great, as always.
On Sunday morning, I got to sit back and relax as Kim, The Partiologist went live to show everyone her cool buttercream cookie decorating technique. This video is short and sweet. Be sure to check it out.
Then we were served brunch by Bob Evans. This was such a huge treat. Not only did Michael S. Agee the Sr. Director of Corporate Services bring us a huge spread of freshly made food from the local Bob Evans Restaurant, but Kevin Rabideau, the Sr. Mgr. of Product Development demonstrated how to make one of their newest menu items, a fresh veggie omelet. Did you know that all of the products used to make the menu items at Bob Evans restaurants are all fresh, never frozen? That is why we love dining there so often.
The folks from Bob Evans could not have been more generous. In addition to the amazing brunch we enjoyed, they also gave everyone, including a few friends who had stopped by, gift cards to enjoy a meal at their restaurant, and coupons for the grocery store products, including the best selling mashed potatoes in the country. They are my fave. We also got some fun “Go Pig or Go Home” t-shirts, coffee mugs, and bags of their freshly ground coffee.
The ladies enjoyed brunch so much that the next morning we headed to our local Bob Evans Restaurant for breakfast all decked out in our t-shirts.
If you think we did a lot of eating, you are right. Sunday night we enjoyed dinner and a show. Well, we got to watch as the pizza makers tossed dough into the air before adding locally grown, fresh ingredients to our pizzas at Dewey’s Pizza.
For dinner, we were served bowls of freshly made salads and five different pizzas. They were all so good that no one could agree on the best one. Everyone had their own favorite. Mine was the Green Lantern, topped with Red Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Minced Garlic, Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Artichokes, Pesto. Yum!
I mentioned before that we felt like it was Christmas. Our sponsors were so generous. Wilton supplied each of the bloggers with Candy Melting Pots, Candy Melts, Silicone Shot Glass Molds, Color Right food coloring, Easy Layers Pans, Color Mist, Perfect Results Pans, and ColorSwirl 3-Color Couplers.
We were compensated and given free products in exchange for promoting all of our sponsors and were so happy to work with each and every one of them. Thanks to all of our sponsors for making the first Fun Food Blogger Retreat a huge success. I can’t wait to host the next one. If you’d like to sponsor next year’s retreat, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might have noticed the adorably cute t-shirts we were wearing during our retreat. Meaghan and I designed these shirts and were so excited with how they turned out that we wanted to offer them to you too. These shirts are available in light or dark colors through Teespring.com.
Until September 16, 2016, you can save 10% on each shirt purchased using code – FUNFOOD