Homefries U–Palm Springs Weekend

Last weekend, I had the fortune to attend the first ever retreat put together by the fantastic team at Homefries.com. The folks at Homefries are responsible for three of my favorite podcasts: The Joy the Baker podcast (with Tracy from Shutterbean.com), The Table Set, and The Crush. There were representatives of each at the retreat, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet these previously disembodied voices in person.

One of the most fun parts of the weekend was meeting the other folks who attended the retreat. There were legit food bloggers like Megan from scarlettabakes.com, Rachel from sweettarteblog.com, and Sasha from globaltableadventure.com. There were also lots of us who are just getting started with food blogging and wanted some inspiration, and also a few peeps who just wanted to spend an awesome weekend in the desert with some new friends. I think that all of us got what we wanted out of the weekend.

We met in a fantastic home that had a great kitchen for demos, so we all really enjoyed watching Joy and Tracy at work making everything from donuts to breakfast pizza. Above, you can see Joy twirling puff pastry into cheese straws while Tracy whips up some brown sugar-pepper bacon in the background. Yeah, it was that kind of weekend.

We also got some fantastic photography lessons from Michael, who is the technical genius behind Homefries. We learned about lighting techniques, f-stop, and other necessities for beautiful food photography. I also was inspired to use some of the photo apps for my android phone like lightbox and picplz. You can see another tip I learned from watching Joy in action–ladders give great perspective!

Whitney from The Crush podcast and Domaine LA brought  4 different sparkling wines for us to taste. We discussed the different methods for producing sparkling wines, and tasted wines from France, Italy and Spain.

Nathan from The Table Set provided many drinks over the weekend, including several champagne punches that were fantastic. He also led us in a gin tasting, from old-fashioned Genever to the modern-day Hendrick’s. I especially loved the Aviation he made for us.

By the last morning, we were all old friends, and laughed and sniffed our way through Tracy’s exploration of spices. We certainly weren’t shy with our cameras at that point, either!

This photo sums up Joy over the weekend–exuberant, moving 100 miles an hour, and feeding us amazing food (homemade donuts, in this case!). What a great experience!

If you’d like to see all of my photos from the weekend, you can visit the flickr set.

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