I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Unilever Test Kitchen Event Part 2

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?

(The Lovely Norma Jean, Head Chef of Unilever Test Kitchens in Englewood Cliffs, NJ)

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.

(Pictured Sous Chef of Unilever kitchens and Kendra)

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.

(Pictured left, Heather from The Penny-Pinching Mama; pictured right, Stephanie from Middleberg Nutrition)

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 :)!

(Pictured above, Sahar from Fat Fighter TV; not pictured, Abby from Eat Drink and Be Aware and Anne-Marie from Mom Central)

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 🙂

29 responses to “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Unilever Test Kitchen Event Part 2

  1. Joy, this is such a great event to join meeting wonderful people and tasting great food. And you also have a great giveaway. Anyone in the world could join? I love the orangutan. They’re so cute funny and smart.

    • Divina, ANYONE in the world can join 🙂 It’s unfair that the international bloggers can’t participate in giveaways so I will open this giveaway to everyone!

  2. That is the cutest pancake pan ever!!
    I love big reptiles, doesn’t matter which specifically, they’re all awesome! They make me think of dinosaurs, which I’m a huge fan of. If there were dinosaurs in zoos, those would be my favorite animal =)

  3. Hey Joy,
    Thank you for visiting and your nice comments! Looks like you had a lot of fun there. Would love to participate too. Favourite zoo animal would be giraffe. Can never seem to see the end of them. Have a blessed day!

  4. Hi Joy,
    I can see that you had lots of fun there. I would love to be in your shoes 🙂

  5. First off I have to say that had to be an awesome experience for you. I agree with them about rciepes I prefer ones that don’t have a long list of ingredients because the true taste begins to become masked and there is always a chance of making a mistake that can ruin the intire dish. I like it simple.

    Thanks for having the giveaway that pan is so nice. I know it may sound strange but at the zoo in my area they have an amphibian house and I love to go and see all the frogs, they are so colorful.

    We are already following each other on twitter but I did fan you or the new thing is like you on Facebook.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us and for this giveaway.

  6. This looks like such a fun event! I really wanted to go too but couldn’t make it on those dates. The zoo animals pancakes would be so neat!

  7. Joy! It looks like you had so much fun! I’m so jealous 😉

    My favorite is the lion because… rwar! I miss you and can’t wait to see you in just a little over A MONTH!!!

  8. I’m an elephant fan! I’m also a fan of yours on FB:)

    I have a little girl that already loves pancakes, but would really LOVE them with animals embossed into them! Crossing my fingers:)

  9. I just so enjoy reading your blog…in fact I think I get a little annoyed when a day is skipped! 🙂

    My favorite zoo animal is the elephant. And my reasoning would be that I think they’re awesome. They’re the largest animal (impressive for a vegetarian) yet seem so gentle. I love them so much, that I have a cute little elephant statue/figurine sitting on my mantle.

  10. That pancake pan is SO cute! My favorite zoo animal is the hippo because I love how lazy they are and it’s fun to watch them float around in the water.

  11. Beautiful pictures!
    My favorite zoo animal would have to be turtles. I love to watch them bask because rarely do you see an animal that is so clearly enjoying itself. 😀

  12. hi friend

    my favorite zoo animal (or aquarium) is the penguin because they’re adorable and they love each other.

    i follow and am a fan 🙂

  13. Favorite zoo (aquarium?) animal is the beluga whale. Think about what a monster sized pancake a beluga mold would make! Would love to follow you on Twitter but my limited tech skills have not made it to the Twitter world yet 🙂

  14. Congrats on your first giveaway! I’m sure it will be a success.

    My favorite Zoo Animal is probably the Giraffe. Their just cool, they are tall and they have a beautiful pattern.

  15. My favorite animal has got to be penquins. I love how the waddle and because I loved happy feet.

  16. Hi Joy! Kristan sent me your way a while back, and I’ve been following along via Google Reader ever since. 🙂

    Congrats on the giveaway! My favorite zoo animal has always been the tiger.

  17. Joy – you did great! I love your photography. You are multi-talented!

    Thanks for stopping by to share it with me. 😀

    Things are going alright here, I’m looking forward to more events like this.

  18. Oh that looks like so much fun! and those photos make me dream…my fav zoo animal is the elephant, I adore elephants! They’re so intelligent, the female leads the group and incredibly cute…

  19. My favorite zoo animal is the mokey because I was born on that year.

    It looks like you had so much fun. Isn’t it amazing how involved professional recipe testing is?!

    I like the giveaway, but I have to admit, I totally dig the pictures you take. I would be thrilled to have any one of them. 🙂

  20. My favorite zoo animal are polar bears! They’re adorable.

    I’m also a fan and following you on twitter 🙂

  21. The lion looks cute! Time for Japanese Red Bean Pancakes 😀

    This Unilever event is so exciting. How I envy you…

  22. this is awesome would love that kind of opportunity lucky girl!

  23. My favorite zoo animal is the giraffe!


  24. I’m a FB fan

  25. I joined via facebook and twitter.

    In terms of zoo animals, I can’t think of a specific type beyond monkeys and primates. I just like seeing how close to us humans they really are and how quickly they adapt to captivity — as sadly does history show human beings do as well.

    We’ll be having our next contest/giveway on my blog next week so I hope you’ll enter that, Joylicious.

  26. My favorite zoo animal is the giraffe and koala bears!

  27. Love all the pictures – you are very talented. It was great to meet you! 🙂

  28. How exciting it must’ve been to be whisked off to… ummm, New Jersey?!?! Okay, well the exciting part is being so awesome that you were invited by Unilever to participate in this event!

    Great job, Joy!

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