Camp Blogaway and Watermelon-Lime Mimosa Smoothie Recipe

by valentina on May 23, 2011

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Spending a weekend in the mountains with fellow food bloggers at Camp Blogaway has been a real highlight of my year!  It’s also part of what led me to this blog, so I don’t want to go another day without writing about it!

One day in April, I read a great article in the LA Times about Sarah Gim of  TasteSpotting, an exquisite food photography site whose images link to amazing recipes.  In the article, I read that Sarah would be speaking at Camp Blogaway, the original bootcamp for food and recipe bloggers. The camp was taking place in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, only about two hours from my home. The next morning, I tweeted: “Anyone been to Camp Blogaway? I’d love to go, but don’t want to leave my kids.”  Pattie Londre, the oh-so-delightful and enthusiastic founder of the camp, was the first to respond. She said, “I’ve had a lot of mommies say that, and when they do join us, they always come home happier and smarter.”  That was the push I needed.  Oh, and my husband agreeing to be “on” that weekend with our two energetic boys. So off I went!

Well, Patti was right, I came home happier and smarter about food blogging.  I met tons of amazing people, learned more than I thought possible, made wonderful connections, cooked s’mores over the fire and had so much fun!

I will try to nutshell a few highlights of the weekend and send some love to my new friends at the same time. . .

Sara of Average Betty was one of the first people I met, and I’m so happy I did! She’s quite the vlogger and blogger!  Bree of Baked Bree and Nancy of Taste and Savor were two of my very kind bunk-mates, both with beautiful blogs.  (Oh, did I mention, this was a real camp — with bunk beds?)  I was so thrilled to get a few minutes with Danny of Food Bloggers Unite — he’s the unbelievably talented photographer who taught me how to maximize the potential of my little point-and-shoot camera.

I was truly inspired by all of the speakers!  Since my life is such a balancing act (often a very unbalanced balancing act), I really appreciated “Balancing the Pressures of Blogging” from Recipe Girl, Savoring The Thyme and Sippity Sup.  I felt like they were speaking to me.  Kids, schedules, making it all work.  These folks are all so nice, too!  I learned so much about avocados and potatoes from the California Avocado Commission and the Idaho Potato Commission. I also adored Bibberche, Shef’s Kitchen, Rabbit Food Rocks, The Jolly Tomato, Food Blogga, 5 Second Rule, and Joy The Baker, and of course Sarah of TasteSpotting!  And the weekend would not have been complete without Andrew from Wente Vineyards, who joyfully poured out wine and shared a wealth of knowledge about blogging, too!  And a huge shout out to Patti Londre, “our fearless leader!”  Love her! And love Worth the Whisk! I truly enjoyed meeting everyone!

Did I just accept an Academy Award?  Has the “get off the stage” music started yet?

One of the food highlights from the weekend was the watermelon!  You see, at the last moment, the sponsor, Stephanie Simek, from the Watermelon Promotion Board couldn’t attend.  Since Stephanie couldn’t go to camp, Patti announced a watermelon photo contest to bring camp to Stephanie.  Andrew, who I so enjoyed meeting, of Eating Rules took home the grand prize.  (Check it out!)  Now on to a watermelon recipe of my own . . .

I think this Watermelon-Lime Mimosa Smoothie is a perfect, fun drink to serve your guests when they arrive to brunch in the spring or summer — or how about this weekend!?

Watermelon-Lime Mimosa Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 2

Recipe

2 teaspoons lime zest

3 teaspoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup vanilla bean ice-cream

1 cup orange juice

juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 cups roughly chopped, seeded watermelon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons Cointreau liquor

approximately 1/2 cup champagne

  1. In a tiny bowl, mix the lime zest with the sugar. Add half of the lime-sugar mixture to the ice-cream, orange juice, lime juice, watermelon, vanilla and Cointreau in the blender. Pureé until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Put the remaining lime-sugar mixture in a bowl just a bit wider than your serving glasses. Rub the rim of two large glasses with lime and dip them into the lime-sugar to get a nice, even coating. Pour the smoothie into the glasses and add about 1/4 cup of champagne to each. Garnish the glass with slices of watermelon, lime and orange. Yum!
http://cookingontheweekends.com/2011/05/camp-blogaway-and-watermelon-lime-mimosa-smoothie-recipe/

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

sippitysup May 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

1/2 cup Champagne huh? This is a colorful party in a glass! I am so happy to have met you at Camp. We should have lunch or something soon. I live about 2 hours from Camp too. We must be neighbors. GREG

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valentina May 24, 2011 at 4:50 am

Thanks Greg! Would love to lunch sometime. I’m hoping to make the next FBLA gathering, too!

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cheryl May 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Valentina, as a mom of 2 boys myself, I wish we’d had more time to talk, especially since we didn’t have too much time together on that last morning. I’m so glad you found all the sessions valuable and decided to make the leap and come to camp. Hope we can reconnect at another event before too long.

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Jeanne @JollyTomato May 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Wow, Valentina – This looks amazing! And I just bought a watermelon this morning – what a happy coincidence!
Loved meeting you at Camp Blogaway. As the mom of two boys (like Cheryl) I know that you and I have a lot in common (especially the part about not wanting to leave them). Hope to see you again soon!
best,
Jeanne

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Lana May 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

We can probably do a challenge: What’s worse, the unstoppable energy of little boys or the unending drama of little girls:) The camp did wonders for me, too, and I enjoyed talking to you. It makes me feel better that there are so many of us who live close by, that we can keep in touch and maybe meet soon. We are contemplating moving to LA County, as my husband just got a job in LA. I welcome a new adventure:)
The watermelon mimosa sounds divine – it matches perfectly with our Technicolor blue California sky!

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valentina May 24, 2011 at 4:56 am

Lana, please keep me posted on your possible move to LA! I loved meeting you!

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Lori Lange May 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Happy to have met you & glad you enjoyed! Hope to see you at another conference soon!

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valentina May 24, 2011 at 4:57 am

Thanks, Lori!

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amee May 24, 2011 at 2:46 am

hey thanks so much for the mention. i am soooo glad i got to meet you. It was so nice chatting with you and learning photo tips with Danny! Way to go on the photo!!!! I really like the combo of ingredients here – it’s like a vacation in a glass! Liquid Vacation! :P Thanks to your husband and kids for letting us borrow you for a weekend!

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valentina May 24, 2011 at 4:57 am

You’re so sweet, Amee! I wish I could take a real vacation! ;-)

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averagebetty May 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I’m so glad I got to meet you and spend time with you at Camp :) You know you’ve become fast friends with someone when you have inside jokes after two days! I need to get through the canyon for one of those Watermelon-Lime Mimosa Smoothies…

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susan from food blogga May 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’m so glad we got the chance to meet too. Everyone was so lovely, weren’t they? And as soon as I looked at your pic of the Watermelon-Lime Mimosa Smoothies, my taste buds started tingling and dancing. It’s definitely a happy drink!

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valentina May 25, 2011 at 5:41 am

Thank you, Susan!

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Nancy Waldeck May 25, 2011 at 12:40 am

What a lovely post. You captured the spirit and fun of the camp, perfectly! And…the use of the watermelon? looks fantastic:)

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valentina May 25, 2011 at 5:41 am

Nancy, thank you!

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Everest Trekking London February 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

The smoothie looks very delicious and I’m sure it tastes the same. Would love my friends to try this one over the weekend.

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