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September 27, 2011

Homefries U Recap!

Things you learn when you cook/bake/teach for a 30 person retreat in Palm Springs:


There’s a lot of palm trees in Palm Springs. I actually said that out loud to Joy.  Duh.

Two grown women can be absolutely terrified of a tiny mouse YET feel the biggest sense of accomplishment when they pull a dead mouse out of a swimming pool. Did I mention that the handle on this pool strainer is only a foot long and the mouse was at the BOTTOM of the deep end? Yeah…

Big blocks of ice & lemon slices in punch bowls make punches way more legit.

It’s a good idea to take a shot of booze before your guests arrive. Cuz really, what could go wrong?

Scotch tape makes nail painting 1000 times more fun. Women LOVE nail polish. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Brown butter is the loveliest addition to chocolate chip cookies. Milk is always necessary.

If you bring out a rainbow of embroidery thread and teach people how to make friendship bracelets, the whole room will suddenly be quiet (soo much focus!) but there will be trickles of giggles every few minutes.

Sometimes it takes coffee to MAKE coffee. Believe me on this.

Eggy breakfast pizzas & frittatas are great improvisational brunch foods.

Women who lay out around a pool in Palm Springs thoroughly enjoy & appreciate cucumber vodka spritzers.

Brie+ jam+ rosemary+ puff pastry makes an AMAZING appetizer. So amazing that it will be demolished by guests in 2.5 seconds. If you want to have a taste, you’d better be first in line. Guests go CRAZY for baked brie.

Grapefruit sugar tastes great on buttered toast & makes a good hand scrub (we made our own sugar infusions together!).

People love snacks. Especially when they’re drinking.

If your guests are taking both a wine tasting & gin workshop, it is absolutely necessary to feed them a ridiculous amount of carbs.

Also, never worry about having leftover garlic bread because it almost never happens.

If you have only 1 ice cream scooper in a rental house and you’re hosting an ice cream sundae party, pre-scoop your ice cream and let it sit in the freezer until you’re ready to go! It saves a LOT of time.

If your rental house doesn’t have a lot of serving dishes & bowls BUT there’s a lot of martini glasses (party much?), serve your ice cream sundae toppings in the martini glasses!

People go nuts of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. That’s a fact.

Some good brainstorming happens when you’re crouched down in front of a kitchen cabinet.

Fresh hot donuts are worth waiting for. Also, make a double batch. People LOVE their donuts.

Parchment paper is fun to write on. Spices are awesome. So are sharpies.

Friendship bracelets are great because they help remind you of the friend that made them for you. It is also OK to wear a friendship bracelet you made yourself. Being friends with yourself is important in life.

If you create a weekend around fabulous food & drink, people are bound to have a good time.

And when you work with someone you love & respect a lot of good can happen!

Last but not least, if you find a bachelorette mix CD left in a Palm Springs rental house you MUST play it.

We had guests travel from all across the country to be at our HomefriesU: BACK TO SCHOOL WEEKEND. It was a hit!

We’ll be hosting another one in the Spring so mark your calendars.

Also, we have a few very cool giveaways coming up. Stay tuned!

(Thank you Maryam for the extra pics!)

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  • Helen

    being friends with yourself IS important in life!

    Looks like you guys had an amazing time – I want to have a weekend like this with my friends!

  • Kasey

    You GUYS! This looks like SO much fun! I hope I can make it next year! xoxo

  • Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen

    Whaaaa?! Cookies, friendship bracelets, nail painting. Good heavens…this looks like such a rad time! I need to join you guys for the one in Spring!

  • Zoe

    We had the most AH-MA-ZING time Tracy!! You guys worked so hard and boy, did you rock it!! Erik was so pleased to be the token dude (oh you know…he really was sad that he didn’t get his toenails painted, and worked furiously on that friendship bracelet). But seriously, we love you ladies. It was rad. So rad.

  • Nicole @ The Dirty Oven

    I am so glad you posted this. Was thinking of you guys all weekend wishing I was there and not 34 weeks preggo AND chasing a 2 year old around. Maybe in the Spring that is if my husband will be up to watching the kids for the weekend. The podcast gets me over highway 17 to work from Santa Cruz and I could not be more happy to commute to work when I listen to you guys.
    Thanks :)

  • Leah

    This looks like too much fun!! I want to know how to paint my nails like that!!

  • judy

    looks like fun! dead mouse in the pool ….common desert phenomenon :)
    you gals sure know how to eat (and drink)!

  • Betsy

    Any chance that tantalizing shot of the Homefries U recipe packet will become, say, a downloadable PDF? WANT.

    Don’t mind me, I’m just SO JEALOUS.

  • Teri Lyn Fisher

    Wow. This looks so awesome. JEALOUS!

  • Kaley [Y Mucho Más]

    Totally jealous! That snack plate looks like it includes one of my favorite things – salchichón. While I highly doubt it was actual Spanish salchichón, it looks delicious!

  • Katrina

    I sooo wish I could have gone. Stupid Canada. It’s so far away! Glad to see it worked out though!

    • Zoe

      It would’ve been really great if you could’ve been there!! However, I’ll have to disagree on ‘stupid’ Canada…heh heh…Canada rocks!! Maybe next time you can make it!! 😉
      PS- I’m from Toronto (but living in Northern California made it a little more do-able…an 8 hr drive to Homefries U in Palm Springs)…

  • lynn @ the actor's diet

    prescooped ice cream – genius!
    hoping i can make it to the next one!

  • Rachel (De Ma Cuisine)

    Sad to have missed this amazing weekend! The photos are making me hungry, for not what we’re having for dinner tonight. :)

  • Beth

    Holy heck, what an amazing weekend. Love all the crafts and cooking! Must go make myself a friendship bracelet . . .

  • Rita D.

    I’m so glad you posted this. I was already on a pre-planned vacation, but thought about what was going on there while we were vacationing with family. I have hopes for the next one in the spring.

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    I now might cry a little bit every time you mention the ah-may-zing time you had on your podcasts because I wasn’t there. And I might cry a lot when I likely can’t afford to join you in the spring. UGH.

  • Kim

    AMEN to the cucumber vodka spritzers by the pool!!! That’s when vacation happened.

  • Joline

    WOW! This looks like SO much fun! I am SO jealous! I love all the pictures I can live vicariously through you!

  • To Kiss the Cook

    Umm yeah, about that Spring event? I would like to be a stowaway.

  • Amanda

    wow. i have no words. i am SO bummed that i couldnt have been there. maybe next time :) looked lovely!

  • meki

    You sure had a lot of fun 😀 the food looks awesome *jealous stare*

  • rachel @ sweettarte

    Had SUCH a great time this weekend! Joy and Tracy are lovely, my friendship bracelets and nails are looking fab, and Tracy’s garlic bread is like crack–I could eat it every day. For serious. Awesome job ladies!! xoxo

  • Laura

    Oh my gosh- that looks like so much fun! Hope I can make it next time around! I live in Minnesota- it’s COLD here and I’d love to see a palm tree growing outside naturally, as opposed the the random houseplants that totally would not survive outside 😉 I’d also love to paint my nails with you ladies, and eat absolutely anything you’d bake! SO glad it went well for you guys!! p.s. what was on the bachelorette mix???

    • Tracy

      you don’t EVEN want to know. The most random collection of songs EVER. I wish I met that bride to be…so I can ask WHYYYYY?!!!

  • Jessica @ bake me away!

    Carbs, booze, and beauty fest! I’m so bummed I missed out but am glad it was so much fun! And yep, brown butter in chocolate chip cookies is totally how I roll.

  • marci

    You two are amazing! I love the pics – looks like an incredible time. I love the comment: Sometimes it takes coffee to MAKE coffee. LOL!!!!!!!!!!! so true! 😉

    • Tracy

      Haha! It’s true. I somehow managed to fill up 4 of those coffee containers with only a sip of coffee. I did have a french press explosion…but shh. Don’t tell anyone.

  • Rachel

    this looks like so much fun! do you have to be a blogger to attend?

  • Nicole

    Whoa, I love the pics of you and Joy and Joy with the big bowl of spaghetti! I fully appreciate the rainbow organized friendship bracelet materials, too :)

  • steph

    Oh man, I SO wanna come next year! Carbs, colored floss, parchment paper, I like ALL THOSE THINGS!!!

  • Tejas

    Hi Tracy,
    This looks so nice…I would love to come next time….(Well, minus non vegan food )

    I made maple glazed pecan the other day using your recipe and none left for me to check how long they will stay fresh? . Do you make any hot drink? I can not have alcohol so I am always looking for hot bev options like apple cider…(I never made it at home though).
    Love to see post on hot beverages ….other than tea

    Tejas

    • Tracy

      When the weather is cooler, I’ll totally make a hot beverage!
      Btw- if you come to a homefries retreat and let us know you’re vegan, we’d TOTALLY make something special for you! None of our retreaters this round were vegan, but we did accommodate 3 vegetarians. :)

  • Annie

    Great recap! Sounds like it was a fabulous weekend. I’d love to come to the next one!

  • Gwen Edwards

    Are you wearing salt water sandals? I heart you for this.

  • MaryB

    Oh! This weekend looked like it was amazing! I’m going to start saving my pennies, lots of pennies I’m from Canada, and hopefully make it to the next one! The food, the drinks, and friendship bracelets, amazing!!!

  • laura k

    Wow, this sounds like so much fun. How do I get in on the next one?

    • Tracy

      When we set a date, we’ll post it on the homefries website & talk about it on the podcast! STAY TUNED!

  • Kris

    Please oh please do a Scotch tape nail tutorial here. :)

  • Becky

    Guess what I’m about to do to my nailz! Thanks for the tip, this trip looks like it was awesome!

  • Holly

    I wish I was there. You guys look like you are so much fun to hang out with! Love it.

  • Katy Riddle

    Only just caught up with the photos from this somehow…this looks like the most amazing weekend ever! So much great food (and booze!) and fun activities…please start the HomefriesU tour and come to the UK next summer?xxx

  • CANNING PARTY! › shutterbean

    […] It was a LOT of fun and a LOT of work. Oof! I hadn't felt that exhausted since the weekend at the HomefriesU retreat.  I took some pictures on my cellphone throughout the day so you could see what we were up […]

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