When I pulled out my black wheelie suitcase, I was overcome with guilt. The last time I had used it was eight years prior, when I was still working. This time, I was pulling it out to desert my kids, still fragile from the emotional aftershocks of our move to Ohio, to travel to the Minneapolis headquarters for three nights.

I felt incredibly guilty, but the lure of an all expense paid trip to peek inside a food brand behemoth was too strong. So I kissed the kids goodbye and flew off to Minneapolis.

I expected a frozen landscape with people darting in and out of tunnels, but was amazed to see a lush landscape dotted with lakes from the airplane window. At the hotel, I met up with some old friends like Liz from This Full House and Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks and made some new friends like my almost neighbor Marcy from Stretching a Buck. A few hours after check in, we headed to the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis for our welcome dinner. There we learned all about the tie between the many waterfalls of Minneapolis and how it came to be the flour capital of the US. I had never given much thought to the history of the grains in my cereal bowl, but seeing the Pillsbury building strategically placed across the river from the Mill City Museum made it alll come alive for me. I also learned that flour is seven times as explosive as gun powder, making the production of the brands we grew up with like Bisquik and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls a very risky proposition.

The next day, we started out with an open house featuring many of the new General Mills products. Although it was 9:30AM, I was blown away by the Tomato-Olive Bruschetta with Goat Cheese made with the Muir Glen Fire Roasted canned tomatoes. I’m sharing the recipe below. I’ll save what the afternoon held for us for next week’s post. A clue to whet your appetite: it was a food blogger’s dream come true.

    Tomato-Olive Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, Drained1/4 cup Kalamata Olives, coarsely chopped1/4 cup coarsely chopped drained roasted red peppers (jar)2 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil leaves1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1/2 cup of soft goat cheese (4 oz)24 slices of 1/2 inch thick baguette, toasted1) In medium bowl, mix tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, basil and oil.2) Spread goat cheese onto toasted baguette slices. Top with tomato mixture. Serve immediately.This is an original Traveling Mom blog post. Head over to Chefdruck Musings for more recipes.