As you have probably read via all of the social media outlets I am on, I went on a little trip this weekend. Duncan Hines recently held a recipe contest featuring their new product: Frosting Creations. I submitted a recipe, and it won me a trip to Duncan Hines' state-of-the-art facilities in Parsippany, NJ. Can I get a fist pump?
My weekend started with a flight to Newark, New Jersey Friday afternoon. Have you ever had someone waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it? It's pretty satisfying. Next time you head to Denver, let me know. I'll head on up to the airport with the appropriate signage and pick you up. After collecting two other winners (there were 12 in total—one for each flavor of frosting), and a blogger come to capture the event, we were on our way.
Okay, is it totally weird that I just up and left in the middle of writing this to cover something in chocolate?
Anyways, so we arrive at the hotel, get a chance to meet the rest of the winners, and head to dinner at Delicious Heights. It was so much more awesome than I anticipated. So many people from Duncan Hines were there: chefs, product developers, the marketing team. It was really cool to get to mix and mingle with them. They really went balls out for this whole thing. Right off the break, the appetizers were ridiculous. And the Malibu Bay Breeze I had... I'm sorry, the TWO I had, were money.
Sitting down for dinner we had a nice spread of appetizers including tortilla chips, so what do you think my next request was? Ketchup. And, oh man, their ketchup was awesome. I managed to put some on pretty much everything I ate from then on...except dessert, which was more out of respect than anything else. During dinner, we had a chance to really get down and dirty with the people sitting around us. I learned a great deal about what it takes for DH to create a product from conception to sale. Also during dinner (and around the end of my first drink), I showed Chef Joe how I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. (Don't act like you're not impressed). Dinner ended on an extremely high note with a dessert made especially for us by Joe, the DH pastry chef. It was the bomb-diggity and I plan on making it as soon as he hits us up with the recipe.
Me and Joe (aka Best Friends for Life)
After a night of lying in bed wondering if it was time to get up yet and start the day, we all piled onto a bus and headed to Duncan Hines. As I said before, they hit us hard with awesomeness the entire way through. And that awesomeness started as soon as we got to the the facilities as we were greeted with a red carpet to walk down. I made sure to wave and blow kisses to all of my adoring fans.
We spent the morning learning about each other's inspiration for our recipes as well as Duncan Hines inspiration for the Frosting Creations and their road to getting to what the product is today. We got to do some taste testing and see what it was like to go through their product testing phase of development. And we spent a lot of time in the kitchen learning a number of fabulous things from Chef Joe. At one point during the afternoon, each of us were given the opportunity to share about our recipe and Frosting Creations in general on film. (Heads up to Duncan Hines, if you are looking for a spokesperson, I am totally available).
Here's my recipe, much improved by Chef Chris's skilled hands...
It was a day full of fun, fabulous people, and frosting. Oh my gosh, the frosting.
We got to sample each of the other winners' recipes (all made by Chef Chris): that's 12 desserts all featuring a different flavor of frosting. And this was in addition to sampling some other frostings earlier in the day. Needless to say I was full of sugar. See...
I was full of sugar running down the hall. I was full of sugar jogging in place. And I was full of sugar when they put me in the car to send me home... kind of like when you visit your grandparents.
All-in-all it was a mandible-claw-your-sister's-annoying-best-friend fabulous experience. A big shout out to the DH employees, the PR chicas and all the winners for making this weekend amazing.