Sharing By The Shore Blogger Retreat – Traverse City, Michigan
You know you’ve attended a successful blogger retreat when you come home feeling refreshed and inspired. A few days with friends that you normally don’t have the opportunity to see if maybe once a year (or finally meeting for the first time!) is priceless. Throw some good food, wine and conversation in the mix – not to mention a beautiful location – you’ve got yourself the perfect weekend.
(the moment I felt like I was cheating on the Atlantic Ocean with Lake Michigan)
I got together with some blogger friends recently in Traverse City, Michigan. The weekend was put together by Rachel of Rachel Cooks and Erin of Well Plated by Erin and included other bloggers, some whom I’ve met before and some I was meeting for the first time. We snacked like crazy, cooked together and enjoyed some amazing local wines. We also spent time sharing knowledge with each other about what we do best, from food photography to managing time efficiently to writing cookbooks. Blogging can be a bit isolating at times so I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to learn from others, especially face to face! If you are wondering what a blogger retreat is, well there you have it.
Our group – Rachel, Brandy, Katrina, Kristen, me, Liz, Deborah, Krista and Erin (not pictured Monique) – enjoying some local bubbly from the most hospitable L. Mawby Winery. A truly beautiful afternoon in Michigan!
Traverse City happened to be hosting their annual cherry festival while we were there. We spent an afternoon walking around town and visiting Cherry Republic where we got to sample some of their amazing cherry products and food from their cafe. Guys, if you have the opportunity to visit this store, plan to eat here! The food was incredible – from their Bacon & Blue Fig Jam Pie (pictured below, pizza crust topped with blue cheese sauce, provolone & mozzarella, bacon and dollops of Cherry Fig Jam – omg) to their Cuban Sandwich with house made pickles and Cherry Mustard…the food was absolutely delicious. This place had a fun vibe and was very kid friendly. I went home with a couple of their top sellers – cherry sours (candy), cherry salsa, a cherry horseradish sauce as well as some other treats. By the time I’m writing this post the cherry salsa, cherry sours, sweet and spicy cherry trail mix and dark chocolate covered cherries are officially gone. I’m glad my family got to enjoy a taste of Cherry Republic with me. 🙂
We also enjoyed an elegant meal with an incredible view of the bay 16 stories up at the restaurant Aerie at the Grand Traverse Resort. We sampled quite a few appetizers and for dinner I had the Seared Diver Scallops with English peas, bacon jam and lemon curd. I am currently obsessed with scallops and these were truly over the top.
The rest of our time together was spent mostly at our rental house in Sutton Bay. There, we really got comfortable with each other and had the best time in the kitchen cooking our meals and just getting to know each other and our businesses better.
Put 10 food bloggers in a kitchen together and you know you will be eating well.
Our days started with pretty epic breakfasts.
(really great way to feed a large group of people breakfast!)
Yogurt Parfait Bar!
Goodness gracious did we eat well this weekend. Don’t you think? I really appreciated the healthy, local Michigan foods we enjoyed – especially at breakfast time. I live by the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and to me, it definitely sets the tone of the day. I included yogurt in my breakfast both days, I love using it as a topping for waffles with fruit (instead of syrup) and it’s no secret how much I love yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits. I could eat like this every day.
Get in my belly…
All of the food we cooked at “home” during our weekend was generously provided by Milk Means More, Door To Door Organics, Sabra and Bob’s Red Mill. Can not thank these wholesome brands enough for feeding us so well.
This was my first time in Michigan and I seriously can’t wait to go back with my family one summer. My friend Kristen wrote about her family vacation to Holland Beach a couple of years ago and I knew that my family would have to make the trip together one day. From what I could see, Michigan is a beautiful part of the country and I’d like to get to know it a little better, preferably in the summer. 🙂
I can’t thank Rachel and Erin enough, along with Milk Means More, for hosting us this weekend. I definitely went home with a full heart, full belly and renewed spirit. This mom needed a little getaway and I couldn’t have asked for a better one!
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