Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Unilever Test Kitchen Tour

A few weeks ago, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to take a tour of the Unilever Test Kitchen and to learn all about cooking with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter products.  If you follow me on twitter, you probably saw me tweeting about it.  I'd been using their spreads for quite a while, so I was very eager to learn the ins and outs of cooking and baking with ICBINB products.

Early in the morning a towncar whisked me away to Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.  Once the entire group arrived at the facility, we were led into the test kitchen where we met Norma Jean Longfield, the manager of Unilever's test kitchen.  This is where culinary professionals work tirelessly to develop recipes that are simple and easy to follow for the consumer, using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter as one of the ingredients.  When we first arrived, we were treated to a delicious I Can't Believe It's Not Butter continental breakfast.  All of the baked goods were made using their products.  My favorite was the scone!

Along with all of the other attending bloggers, I watched Norma Jean prepare three amazing recipes, the Caramelized Onion and Fig Mini Pizzas
the Honey-Glazed Pear Upside Down Cake,
and the Roasted Vegetable Salsa recipe, of which the brief demonstration is displayed below.

1/4 cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40 sprays I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spray Original

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine olives, vinegar and tomato paste in small bowl; set aside.
2. Spray vegetables with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spray Original in shallow roasting pan. Roast 30 minutes, stirring once. Stir in olive mixture. Roast an additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature with chicken, seafood or toasted French bread slices.
After the demonstrations we headed into the conference room to discuss the products and our ideas. We watched the cute new commercial, and were also privy to some top-secret information that I can't disclose (had to sign an agreement), but just know that this company is constantly developing new and improved ideas that are still in the R&D phase.

Then there was lunch.  I won't bore you with all of the individual photographs, but trust me, everything was divine.  We had salmon, chicken, salad, and more.  And let's not forget dessert!  This was a day for pigging out.  At least no real butter was used.  Seriously though, everything there was so delicious.  You'd never know from the taste that these foods were made using products with less fat than butter that are trans-fat free.

As if that wasn't enough, we took to our stations and made the Delicious One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies.  There were no mixers, only wooden spoons, which made for a great workout.  This was to show how accessible these recipes are for everyone.  You don't need a mixer or a beater to make these yummy cookies.  I added heath bar, walnuts and dried cranberries to mine.  We were all given take-out boxes to bring them home, and between me and my husband, they were gone the next day.
This was the entire group.  I'm to the right of Norma Jean.  I look creepy.  Food coma?

It was such a pleasure to visit the Unilever test kitchen, and to meet all of the (mostly-food) bloggers, staff and PR representatives.  This was a fun time and I hope to be able to do it again soon.

ICBINB! covered the cost of my trip to the test kitchen for the tour.  It was a real treat for this mama to be chauffeured to and from the facility.  Thanks so much to everyone who made this event possible.

1 comment:

  1. Oh this post makes me hungry! How cool that you got to participate. :)



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