Camp Blogaway and Chicken Inspiration

Camp Blogaway collage

Yesterday I breezed down the 91 freeway to the beach after spending two action-packed days in the fresh air of the San Bernardino mountains at Camp Blogaway – the original boot camp for food bloggers owned by the intrepid Patti Londre. I unloaded bags and bags of booty, the sleeping bag I bought for the weekend which, of course, I failed at cramming back into the cute compact bag it came in, washed the fine dust from my car, and took a long hot shower. The dust may be gone, but the adrenaline rush lingers. Even today, I was having difficulty “quieting my mind” during yoga as fragments of words and ideas ricocheted around in my brain.

It’s not every food blogger conference where you find yourself cutting potatoes next to cookbook authors like Amy Sherman and Nancie McDermott, or sipping wine with LA Times writer and food editor Rene Lynch, talking recipes with Kalyn Denny, or having your submitted photos critiqued by Denise Vivaldo, food stylist extraordinaire!

Naturally, there was lots of tasting going on: honey: alfalfa, avocado, eucalyptus, and sourwood; Kerrygold cheese and butter from grass-fed cows in Ireland; mangos: we were amazed at the different flavor profiles for green, ripe, and over-ripe mangoes and how each can be used in cooking; and put our signature on yogurt dips made with fresh organic herbs in a tube from Gourmet Garden. We even cut two barrels of potatoes for Saturday night’s dinner using premium made-in-America CUTCO knives, and learned how to cut a mango without mutilating it.

Camp Blogaway

It was exciting to meet blogger friends like Carolyn and Laura in real life; reconnect with my Pixie girls Nicole, Ericka and Dorothy; chat with FBLA’ers Erika, Sara, Valentina, Cheryl, and Cathy; and meet a ton of new folks, too :)

Camp Blogaway group

I decided to make a simple dinner using a few of the products from the swag I came home with and some kale from our garden that I hadn’t cooked with yet. Don planted an unusual variety of kale this year called Dwarf Blue curled Vates from Burpee, more delicate and tender than lacinto or black kale with lovely blueish-green leaves.


Paper Chef parchment bags, Roland Foods pesto


Using Paper Chef parchment bags, farro from Melissa’s Produce that I had in my pantry, and Roland Foods Pesto = winner, winner chicken dinner 😉 I think you’ll agree.



farro and kale

Pesto Chicken with Farro and Kale

Cooking in parchment, traditionally called en papillote, is a low-fat way to cook. Fish is a natural choice because the juices from each ingredient are sealed inside the pouch to flavor the dish and results in wonderfully moist fish (or chicken). If you’re a salmon lover like me, you might like Sesame Salmon En Papillote.

Group photo courtesy of Camp Blogaway. Camp sign photo courtesy of Nicole Presley.

44 Responses to “Camp Blogaway and Chicken Inspiration”

  1. Laura @ Family Spice May 8 at 6:32 am #

    Soooo wonderful to finally meet you, too! Now I can read your posts on a totally different level! You cooked your first night back? We reheated leftovers!!!

    • Priscilla May 8 at 10:06 am #

      I feel the same way, Laura! Lol – Don ate all the leftovers while I was gone :)

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 8 at 7:41 am #

    Camp Blogaway sounds like so much fun! What a colorful and delicious dinner, too. It’s fun to change things up and cook in parchment.

  3. Carolyn May 8 at 8:08 am #

    Your chicken looks wonderful, Priscilla and it was so lovely to meet you two. You put up my “I just ate a whole huge pat of Kerrygold butter and I am laughing at myself” picture, you meanie! 😉

    • Priscilla May 8 at 9:12 am #

      You look cute and happy with a mouthful of butter :)

  4. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts May 8 at 8:12 am #

    What a great experience! This looks like so much fun, I would love to meet other bloggers, and experience something like this. Maybe someday :) Your chicken looks delicious, I love anything with pesto!

  5. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious May 8 at 8:31 am #

    Hey Priscilla,It was great to meet you at camp! This is an awesome camp blog post, I really have to get my butt in gear now :)
    Take care and stay in touch!

    • Priscilla May 8 at 9:32 am #

      Hi, Gerry – definitely, Long Beach is so close! It was great to have some men at a food blogger event – I’m referring to you guys as the Magnificent 7 :)

  6. Krista May 8 at 9:16 am #

    It was so wonderful to meet you Priscilla! What a great recap and a tasty recipe! Like you my mind is still racing. I can’t wait to have more time to put my thoughts on paper.

    • Priscilla May 8 at 11:53 am #

      Likewise, Krista! Look forward to reading your recap :)

  7. Lana May 8 at 9:49 am #

    Even though nothing can replace actually being there, you allowed me to spend at least a few minutes at Camp Blogaway through your post:) Everyone says it was the best one yet, and I am happy for you and the experience:)
    Your chicken dinner looks amazing!

    • Priscilla May 8 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you, Lana. I was even inspired to actually USE my tripod and some different settings on my camera :) I hope you’re able to attend next year.

  8. Patty May 8 at 9:55 am #

    Sounds like a fun experience! I’m impressed you went to camp with your sleeping bag and came home looking to your kale patch for recipe inspiration, great minds think alike;-). I just booked my flight to Santa Ana, will Facebook you the details, hope we can connect;-)

    • Priscilla May 8 at 12:01 pm #

      It was fun – and, informational as well. Yes, I am going to miss our garden when we move :( We will definitely figure out a time to meet while you’re in So Cal!

  9. Cathy/ShowFoodChef May 8 at 11:38 am #

    This is such a gorgeous collection of colors and tastiness! I loved meeting you and look forward to more fun. Fabulous post, too (I still haven’t had time to wash my car of 3 inches of dust 😀 )

    • Priscilla May 8 at 11:58 am #

      Thanks, Cathy :) I want to visit my original ‘hood, so we have to make a date soon and dine at MB Post!

  10. Jen L @ Tartine and Apron Strings May 8 at 12:42 pm #

    Wow! Looks like you enjoyed your Camp Blogaway! I’m so jealous at all the events you guys have there in California! Wish we had the same going on here…

    I haven’t cooked farro yet, but this is one good reason for me to just throw it in to a pesto / salsa-inspired chicken dish! The people who bought your home are very very fortunate to inherit a beautiful garden! I’m still dreaming of mine…one day, one day…!

    • Priscilla May 8 at 8:09 pm #

      Wish you lived closer, Jen. We met the buyers of our home and really liked that they found the garden to be a big plus. My husband worked very hard at it for many years. One day you will have yours :)

  11. Jeanne @JollyTomato May 8 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m so impressed that you cooked as soon as you got home – This looks amazing! So great to meet you this weekend. I hope to see you at an FBLA or other food event soon! Cheers, Jeanne

    • Priscilla May 8 at 8:11 pm #

      Same here, Jeanne. Once I get moved into our new home, I’ll volunteer for to host an FBLA beach party – Huntington Beach is half way, so hopefully everyone will want to come!

  12. Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers May 8 at 3:56 pm #

    Fortunately, farro is something that my kids eat wholeheartedly so I get to cook it often. I will try your recipe soon. It’s very healthy!

    • Priscilla May 8 at 8:13 pm #

      That is really great that your kids love farro – its chewy, nutty taste is very appealing :)

  13. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } May 8 at 5:38 pm #

    What a super fun event! One day I need to go to camp blogaway. Looks like there was a wonderful group of fellow bloggers. Your inspirational recipe looks and sounds divine!!! Thank you for sharing the highlights of your adventures!

    • Priscilla May 8 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi, Lisa – you should totally come – there were people from as far away as Iowa, Massachusetts, and New Jersey!

  14. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) May 8 at 7:36 pm #

    What a healthy, beautiful, tasty meal. I love that you either grew the ingredient or brought it home from Camp Blogaway. I bet that was fun. Maybe one of these years I’ll drive down to experience it all. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

    • Priscilla May 8 at 8:15 pm #

      Thanks, Jean – you and Lisa should carpool to Camp Blogaway next year!

  15. Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} May 8 at 8:16 pm #

    I’m so jealous you got to meet some of the wonderful blogger I only dream of meeting.
    Your chicken dish looks so colorful!

  16. Angie@Angie's Recipes May 8 at 9:24 pm #

    Cool that you got to meet so many blog friends! The chicken with kale looks yummy!

  17. Jamie May 9 at 6:41 am #

    Soooo jealous!!! What an amazing experience and some of my favorite people were there, too!!! Oh man now I’m bummed but I’m sure a plate of this fabulous Pesto Chicken would set me right up! I love kale and farro and this is a stupendous meal, I am so not exaggerating! This really has to be made here!

  18. Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought May 9 at 12:49 pm #

    Great meeting you last weekend! That looks like a fabulous kale that you have grown! I haven’t cooked with farro and I am excited to try your recipe!

  19. Suzanne May 9 at 8:11 pm #

    It looks like it was a lot of fun Pricilla, I wish I could have stayed one more week and went to this with you. When I come out to Cal. in July let’s have some cook time together if you don’t mind since my parents home is so close to you.

    • Priscilla May 10 at 9:28 am #

      Hi Suzanne – we should definitely get together when you here next time!

  20. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 9 at 9:53 pm #

    It was fun reading your post! It must be so fun meeting new people and old good friends. I heard about this camp from Laura but I couldn’t make it this year. It sounds like fun weekend. Thanks for sharing with us who couldn’t make it. Pesto chicken looks delicious too!

    • Priscilla May 10 at 9:30 am #

      Maybe next year, Nami! Laura and I sat at the same table on Saturday – I’m glad I was able to meet and get to know her better :)

  21. Velva May 10 at 6:27 pm #

    Camp Blog Away what a great weekend for a foodie! You certainly did come home with a lot of booty, no doubt new friends too.

    Thanks for sharing.


  22. Diane {Created by Diane} May 10 at 10:38 pm #

    Priscilla, it was so great to see you at camp. Wish we talked more. What a fun recap!

  23. Michelle May 12 at 1:07 pm #

    Boy, Camp Blog Away sounds like it was a blast!! gotta add it to my list of things to do :) this recipe looks great.

  24. Bunkycooks May 15 at 8:30 am #

    Looks like another fun adventure at Camp Blogaway! I can’t believe it was just two years ago when I was there. Wow, what a journey. I hope you were able to meet Nancie McDermott. She is lovely. I hope we also get to meet some day. We both travel enough, I would think our paths would cross at some point!

    • Priscilla May 15 at 11:33 am #

      Hi, Gwen – I did meet Nancie. Sat next to her most of the day on Saturday – we cut potatoes using CUTCO knives and made dips with Green Garden herbs together :) I don’t go to many conferences, but we are bound to meet soon – either at a conference (I wish I could have gone to IACP in New Orleans last year) or I’ll sign up for one of your On the Road culinary adventures.

  25. Marsha @ The Harried Cook May 15 at 7:46 pm #

    Camp Blogaway looks like SO much fun! I love the idea behind the camp and the fact that you got to meet so many blogger friends! The Pesto chicken sounds really delicious too! I am going to make it for dinner sometime soon – for sure! Thanks for sharing :)

  26. Nancy May 16 at 12:02 pm #

    The camp looks like it was so much fun. Thanks for sharing with those of us that couldn’t be there. Your chicken looks amazing!

  27. Magic of Spice May 19 at 2:46 pm #

    Such a fun event, and your chicken dish is just fantastic!

  28. Mary Papoulias-Platis June 15 at 11:20 am #

    Love this recipe using farro! It’s a must try for my next farmer’s market recipe.
    Campblogaway was the best and although I didn’t get a chance to meet you, I feel I already know you! Maybe next year we can catch up.
    If you’re in San Diego give me a call and possibly we can connect!


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