Camping, Blogging and Baked Onions!

Remember going to camp when you were a kid? Have you gone back to camp as an adult?  And I don’t mean as a group leader or as a parent supervisor.  I mean drive out of the city, stay in a cabin in the tall pines, do crafts, learn things, meet new people, and gather around the campfire making s’mores kind of camp?  Well, I had never done either of these things . . . until this past weekend.

On Friday, I flew to California, rented a car, and drove up 7,000 feet into the San Bernardino National forest to attend Camp Blogaway.  From the moment my feet hit the campsite, I found myself immersed in an action packed conference where Foodie Mom Bloggers, cookbook authors, chefs, caterers, and others gathered to improve their blogs.  From lessons in food photography and styling, to recipe writing and monetizing your blog this was not a conference for the faint of heart.  This was serious learning and networking foodie style!  (If you’re looking for that Baked Onion recipe from Friday night, keep reading!)

The bottom line is, I had an amazing experience at Camp Blogaway both as a sponsor AND an attendee.  As a sponsor I was fortunate to present the seed to table story about onions and participate in a PR panel discussion about working with bloggers.  Thanks to donations from very generous growers, onions were on the menu at every meal and I had some great giveaways for some lucky campers.  But, the best part was what I took away from the weekend.  I learned so much and connected with lots of neat people.  I am excited to pour what I learned into this blog, but even more jazzed up about what kind of relationships will develop out of this past weekend.  Stay tuned; you won’t want to miss a thing!

PS – Special kudo’s to Camp Blogaway’s fearless leader, Patti Londre (you can find her at Worth the Whisk) and her support staff for putting together a weekend full of great information and networking sprinkled with camping fun.

Baked Onions the Camp Blogaway Way

5   medium onions, peeled

2    teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and white pepper to taste

1    cup low sodium vegetable stock

1    teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

1    cup manchego cheese, finely shredded

2    teaspoons powdered sage, or fresh, finely chopped sage

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.  Dish must be large enough to hold 10 onion halves.  Cut 1/4-inch from the top and bottom of each peeled onion, then cut them in half so they will sit flat in the baking dish.  Arrange onion halves, cut side up in the baking dish.  Brush onion halves with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake about 35 minutes.

Remove dish from oven.  In a glass measuring cup, mix vegetable stock and soy sauce.  Pour over onions and return to oven.  Bake about 1 hour or until onions are tender.  Baste onions occasionally with the liquid in the baking dish so the onions do not get dry.  If the liquid evaporates, add a small amount of water.

At the end of 1 hour, remove onions and sprinkle evenly with cheese and sage.  Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve warm as a side dish with fish or another lean protein.  If you have left0vers, they reheat well or can be chopped and used in almost any another dish!

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