Here are the lovely ladies that attended the ICBINB event at Unilever test kitchens in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The common theme amongst all of our blogs were healthy eating so the folks from ICBINB wanted our input and opinions on their products as well as taste test and make some of their recipes!
Well they didn't have to ask me twice seeing that eating is what I do best. I sat next to Mary who runs a wonderful blog about healthy eating for the whole family. She was an absolute delight to sit next to with her warm personality and infectious smile!
Norma Jean was the head chef of the Unilever kitchens and she made some wonderful recipes for us to try. At Unilever kitchens, they produce a vast array of recipes using the ICBINB products. They try to keep all recipes to an 8 ingredient maximum with about a 20 minute prep time -- with much research they have found that this is usually what consumers respond to the most.
They made this wonderful Wheat Crusted Pizza with Caramelized Onion and Fig and the recipe can be found here.
The Roasted Vegetable Salsa was also quite tasty and would make a great appetizer for any party. I personally thought it would've gone perfect on top of scrambled eggs in the morning or maybe even on top of a seared chicken breast.
Though I have never used their product before, I was surprised to see that it contained no hydrogenated oils and no trans fat and is naturally cholesterol free. Anyone out there who's watching their weight or struggling with cholesterol issues, these recipes would be great options to check out.
It is amazing how much time and effort goes into each of these recipes. Not only are these recipes assessed time and time again to ensure perfect results each time, they are vigorously run through a course of tests such as different types of ovens and stove tops (electric vs grill) as well as several microwaves of various models.
You could say these recipes are practically fool proof! :) They invest a lot of hard work into making these recipes easily accessible and user-friendly for anyone that wants to make these recipes in their own kitchen.
Here we have a Honey Glazed Upside-Down Pear Cake - a nice moist and crumbly cake with delicious caramelized pears on top. The only thing missing? A big fat scoop of vanilla ice cream...I MEAN..frozen yogurt?
After the kitchen demonstrations, we met with the product managers of ICBINB where they provided us more information on their products and shared some television ads from the past, including one from the early 90s of FABIO. Aside from the overly dramatic romanticism throughout most of the commercial, the image of Fabio hugging a tub of ICBINB at the end almost made me die of laughter.
We then talked about current food trends (organic, healthy eating, no trans fats) and our concerns about food in general when we are feeding ourselves and our families. I am a big advocate on eating foods that are free of any kind of additives and preservatives, so it was nice to see that ICBINB was taking the initiative to broaden their perspectives to satisfy growing consumers demands.
(Pictured top left, Rebekah from Queen Mother Blog and head chef of Unilever, Norma Jean)
After meeting with the product managers, yes you've guessed it, we were fed MORE FOOD. They served us a wonderful lunch where they served - Balsamic Asparagus, Carmelized Apple and Onion Salad, Spinach Salad with Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa. They also had desserts like the Fudgy Brownie Torte and my favorite -- Coconut Banana Cupcakes.
Now, onto my FAVORITE part of the whole event -- we got to make our very own COOKIES!!!!! Once all of our bellies were full, in the kitchen they had prepared all the ingredients to make our very own batch of cookies using the ICBINB baking sticks. They even left additional toppings like white chocolate chips, pecans, heath bars, cranberries, raisins, etc to allow our creativity to create something magical :).
(Pictured top right, Alma from Take Back the Kitchen)
Adorned in our bright yellow ICBINB aprons, we were set free into the kitchen to bake our very own batch of One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies. I worked at a station with the lovely Alma from Take Back the Kitchen who writes a blog on overcoming the obstacles of cooking and appreciating the love and satisfaction of cooking a meal at home and Debbie from Savory Adventures, is a chef that runs private luxury culinary vacations (awesoooooomeeee).
I really wanted to go all out and after much deliberation, I opted to make some white chocolate cranberry chocolate chip cookies. Though butter will always be my first choice in baking, I was plesantly surprised at how soft the cookies were and would recommend it to anyone watching trans fats and saturated fats in their diets.
Everyone was hard at work making their cookies, while some went with my favorite, the traditional chocolate chip, others came up with wonderful cominbations like heath bar with pecans and chocolate chip oatmeal. The best part was we were given take home boxes so I had to take a cookie from everyone :)!
I had such a wonderful time at the ICBINB event at Unilever Test Kitchens. I met such an amazing group of bloggers and gathered inspiration from them as well. I would also like to thank ICBINB for sponsoring this wonderful trip for me to New York and being able to experience the wonderful kitchen tour in New Jersey. I am one lucky girl :)
**** Those of you looking for the giveaway, please see the most recent post. I had to move it due to a minor discrepancy. All previous entries for the giveaway will still be COUNTED, do not fret my pets :)