The weekend came and went in a split second. Well, now that it’s over it seems that way. The 2016 Food Wine Conference was non-stop incredible from the moment registration began on Friday to the live Sunday Supper twitter chat on Sunday evening. I met new friends and spent time with my fellow foodies. There were plenty of inspiring moments, both big and small. One of them is the reason I made Whole Grain Mixed Fruit Breakfast Bars.
The conference kicked off with multiple activities. Check in to get your badge and swag, head over to get a glass of CK Mondavi wine, make an Idaho Potato dancing heads video, and go to a Florida Dairy Farmers milk spa. After those festivities, Florida Strawberry Growers Association welcomed everyone with a strawberry milkshake cocktail, chocolate, and cupcakes. Then it was time for the Taste of Rosen feast. And let me assure you, it was a fabulous feast.
Isabel welcomed everyone on Saturday morning. Her talk of community, family, and coming together really resonated with everyone. She was followed by Donatella Arpaia’s brilliant keynote presentation. Break time came with tasty snacks by Duda Farm Fresh Foods and Stoneridge Orchards. We heard from the folks who work the farms and produce products. It was valuable to hear their daily challenges and passion behind producing quality food for our tables.
It was time to fuel up again. We took a culinary journey around the world with Idaho potatoes. Then Patricia Rossi gave a lively presentation on business etiquette. We learned about Instagramming from three pros who really know how to capture the moment. Of course we needed an afternoon snack by then. There were Duda celery snack packs and Cabot had a mac & cheese bar. The last session of the day gave us valuable information on working with the hospitality industry.
It was time for dinner after a little rest and relaxation. The theme was Denim and Diamonds. I went all out and got a tiara, sparkly shoes, and other bling to wear. I even had my hair professionally done because I wanted fancy hair to go with the tiara. Dinner was superb. We had cowgirl ribeyes by Certified Angus Beef® brand plus CK Mondavi wine pairings.
Guess what? I won an award! I was totally shocked and surprised. The Sunday Supper community voted me as the 2016 Influencer of the Year. Me?!?! Wow! I can’t thank them enough. They brightened my days through the rough times I had last year. I am floating with happiness because of them now.
The day ended with an after party. Duda gave a pool side treat with desserts and cocktails. Then Duda started our next day with a lovely brunch in Rosen’s rose garden. We were transported to Rosen College of Hospitality Management in luxury cars from Field’s Auto Group. Cabot farmers took us on a farm to table journey, wine and cheese tasting, and gave us a copy of their Cabot Creamy Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link). My Whole Grain Mixed Fruit Breakfast Bars are adapted from a recipe in the book.
Sunday continued with various sessions. I attended the ones on making videos presented by the Beef Checkoff and grilling beef by Chef Michael Ollier of Certified Angus Beef® brand. There was a fun Hashed cooking competition with Wish Farms and delightful lunch by Oceanus seafood. The last session was food styling and photography with Denise Vivaldo and Kita Roberts.
Sunday ended with a live #SundaySupper twitter chat. It was held at Tapa Toro restaurant. They provided signature cocktails, tapas, paella, and dessert. We tweeted, feasted, sang, danced, and ended the day fabulously. What a weekend! It was a total blast.
About the Whole Grain Mixed Fruit Breakfast Bars: They are chewy and packed with energy-rich protein and whole grains. They are also packed with a variety of dried fruit along with sunflower seed kernels. There’s Greek yogurt in the mix too. Wrap them up and take them on the go for breakfast or a snack.
I’m looking forward to the 2017 Food Wine Conference. I know there will be a lot of food, fun, festivities, and folks to enjoy. Oh yea, there’s learning involved too. Meanwhile starting the day in a tasty way is a good thing to do. Make the bars or Honey Nut Oatmeal Waffles or perhaps a Blueberry Green Smoothie.
PS. To see lots of 2016 Food Wine Conference photos, all you have to do is go to Instagram and search the #FWCon hashtag. While you are there, remember to follow me too: Renee on Instagram.
Whole Grain Mixed Fruit Breakfast Bars
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked rolled or old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour white whole wheat or wheat pastry flour recommended
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seed kernels
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt plain, vanilla, or fruit flavored
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom and up 2 sides of pan with parchment paper. Allow about 1-inch overhang of paper on sides (for easier pan removal).
Stir together oats, fruit, brown sugar, flour, sunflower seed kernels, wheat germ, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Lightly whisk egg whites in a medium bowl. Add yogurt, butter, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together until dry ingredients are moistened.
Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until center is set and top is lightly browned.
Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Run a knife between edge and pan on the 2 sides without parchment. Use the parchment to lift and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars.
Chewy Whole Grain Mixed Fruit Breakfast Bars are loaded with protein and whole grains. Wrap up and take on the go for an energy-rich breakfast or snack.
Recipe adapted from one in the Cabot Creamery Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link).