Magical Moments at the Big Summer Potluck


Last weekend, on a small farm in central Pennsylvania, something magical happened.

A few dozen food bloggers from all over North America gathered at Linden Gardens for the second annual Big Summer Potluck. I’m struggling to come up with words that will do this event justice.

We laughed. We learned. We cried. We hugged (for at least 8 seconds). I didn’t see a single business card exchanged. Instead of “networking” we connected. Someone – I think it was Maggy – said that once you share a meal with someone, you’re friends. At Big Summer Potluck, truer words couldn’t be spoken.

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Light. Composition. Color. Moment. Those were the elements of photography that Penny De Los Santos shared with us in the first of her two (we should be so lucky) presentations, and none were lacking this weekend. In fact, I was so caught up in the moment — listening, absorbing, just being — that I didn’t take a single picture since before lunch on Saturday.

As speakers, Shauna (who I didn’t manage to get a photo of) and Penny were mesmerizing. They spoke about what they do with so much passion that there wasn’t a single dry eye in the room. Being surrounded by so many people who I can only describe as artists was beyond inspiring.

By the time I left on Sunday, my soul was singing and I had a new outlook on life; I feel such a deep sense of happiness and peace. I’ve been inspired to turn off my inner editor and stop worrying about what this blog is “supposed” to be. To live in the moment and see the world with new eyes. And to remember that beyond the Martha Stewart facades, we’re really all just a bunch of hot blogger messes.


This post wouldn’t be complete without a huge thank you to Erika, Maggy, Pam, and Sharon for putting together such a great event. You girls really outdid yourselves, and everyone appreciated it.

I’d also like to thank the event sponsors, who provided so much amazing food. I’m going to have to find a local source for Kerrygold‘s Cashel Blue cheese and Green Valley Organics yogurt and sour cream (so good I could eat it with a spoon!). And an extra special thanks to Green Mountain Coffee, who not only kept me caffeinated all weekend, but donated the keurig that I won as a door prize. (Thanks to Kitchen Aid and Popchips too!)


No recipe today. I had been planning to post chipotle chicken tostadas with fresh corn salsa, but I felt the need to write this post first. The tostadas will be up later this week. While I will continue to post recipes featuring healthy, natural food, I should also mention that this weekend has inspired me to make some changes to the way I blog. I’m not sure exactly what they will be, but I hope you’ll stick along for the ride.


  1. I so loved meeting you this weekend Lauren! You’re a doll!

  2. Now *this* is what Shauna was talking about. Heartfelt words, overflowing with “good sentences.” My heart soars knowing that for many of you, it was more than just a fun weekend. Thank you for being there, Lauren. None of it would have been possible without each and every one of you.

  3. This sounds like such a great time. I can tell how much it meant to you because your words are inspiring!

  4. Lauren! So wonderful to meet you. I feel like you were MEANT to be there :) That last minute ticket was meant for you.

    I echo Erika’s sentiments – I’m glad it was more than a “fun weekend” with food blogging friends. And how awesome that you won the Keurig!

    • Absolutely. I definitely needed to be there. (And there’s no way I’m missing next year!)

      Super excited about the Keurig. Anyone who know me, knows I love coffee. ;)

  5. Such an awesome way to sum up the weekend. You have a wonderful way with words, and I look forward to following your blog into the future!

  6. You hit the nail on the head…perfect! It was great seeing you once again and the setting couldn’t have been more perfect, could it? I could see you soaking it all in! Think we are all basking in the afterglow :)

    • Yes, it was great seeing you again too! We’ll have to make an effort to get together again before the next conference – if we meet somewhere in the middle (or in NYC) its really not far at all!

  7. What a beautiful post, it sounds like an amazing time! I’m only sad I missed it. I guess there’s always next year :)

  8. The words are still ruminating around in my head – too much inner editor! Thanks for a wonderful post that captures so much of what the weekend was all about. I hope we connect more fully next year.

  9. Nice recap and beautiful photos! It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend!

  10. Loved reliving the event through your perspective… Amazing seeing your “moments” from the weekend come to life through your honest words and photographs!

  11. A lovely recap Lauren – so wonderful to hear this was everything everyone needed it to be for them :) I missed being there but at least I can live vicariously through posts like this.

  12. These are magical events when the groups are smaller and more intimate. Thanks for sharing it all with us!

  13. Nancy @SensitivePantry says:

    You nailed it! It was a weekend that offered connections of many sorts–people, nature, food, and something more spiritual. Thanks for sharing. (And, loved meeting you!)

  14. wow. sounds like an awe-inspring time!
    Great photos!

  15. Sweet and honest. Such a nice reflection of the weekend. I wish you well in all your future endeavors – blogwise and otherwise.

  16. It really was magical, and everything you said perfectly sums up the weekend. I only wish we were able to chat more!

  17. Wow…sounds like an AMAZING event. (that is an understatement) Glad you were able to participate. All the best.

  18. So great meeting you Lauren! We’ll have to meet in the middle sometime for a few bites and good conversation :)

    • Definitely! I can’t believe you’re so close! I’m always game ot venture out your way if it means I can sneak in a Wegman’s trip. ;)

  19. I was so bummed when I realized last week that BSP was coming up and I missed registration. I’m so glad you had a great time, and hope I can join you there next year!

  20. You summed it up perfectly! I especially love the “we’re really all just a bunch of hot blogger messes.” *snort* so true! So very true!

    Cheers to no more editor’s voice!

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