As I had shared last week I was chosen to be 1 of 14 bloggers to go to Glenview, Illinois and attend a Delicious Byte Blogging Conference at the Kraft Kitchens. I was lucky enough to attend last year and so was able to see some people I had seen there before and meet some great new people who I likely would not have met otherwise. The Kraft team and PR group are amazing and put together a very well-organized and executed conference for us from our flights into Chicago, our transportation to the hotel, our meals, the day at the Kraft Kitchens and then our transportation from the hotel and our flights home.
During the conference I got to see some great new products I am very excited about, taste some of the most delicious things and even push myself to try stuff I normally wouldn’t like a salad with leeks in it as well as work in a team of four and develop a recipe of our very own. I was also introduced to four really great people who helped us with some things like Vlogging taught by Tom Shea & Ian Cohen, Food Photography taught by Caroline Lubbers of Whipped The Blog and SEO training with Chris Humber who is the Group Director with 360i.
I arrived in Chicago very early in the morning and so did Tammy from Three Different Directions so we went out for lunch and did some shopping before meeting up with Kelli from 3 Boys and a Dog, Jen from The Mom Reviews and Kathleen from Life with 4 Boys to have a drink and catch up as I had met Kelli and Jen at last years Delicious Byte Blogger event and Kathleen at Brandcation in 2010.
Once we were all ready and assembled we headed to Maggiano’s for dinner.
There was lots of delicious food and stuff I would have never thought to eat but I did try it and loved most of it. There was before dinner cocktails and snacks, then three courses to our dinner. We had lots of laughs at our table with Sage and Janet both from Kraft it was a real blast. The Chocolate Bacon Crunch dessert and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies were very different, I liked the brownies but the bacon was not really something I loved although Lee says I should have brought him some home in my purse haha so I guess he probably would have liked it. I wish I would have taken more pictures during this but my camera stayed in my bag I was having too much fun chatting to get it out and shoot pics. At the restaurant they had some great cocktail choices including Sludgy Chocolate-Peanut Butter Martinis with Halloween Oreo rimmers. After dinner and dessert and interviews and pictures OH MY! we headed back to the hotel to get some much-needed rest before the next day when we headed to the Kraft Kitchens.
After we arrived at the kitchens and had a delicious breakfast prepared but the Kraft Kitchens team we got right down to the serious business. We were split into teams by picking spatulas, the number on the spatula also indicated the kitchen we would be working out of with one of the Kraft chefs. My team consisted of Kelli from 3 Boys and a Dog, Barb from Blogfully.net and Bridgette from The Not-So-Blog’s Experimental Mommy. Our job was to come up with a recipe during a recipe development challenge using one, two or all of the three special ingredients:
- Jell-O instant pudding
- Planters Peanut Butter
- Oreo Cookies
We got right down to brain storming and Kelli came up with the initial idea of our dessert with everyone contributing to it. We came up with a pan dessert that would be perfect to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge to bring to a family function around the holidays. Prep was really quite easy and in one hours time we came up with our amazing dessert. It had a crust layer, a layer of chocolate and vanilla pudding swirled together, a layer of cool whip and brownies mixed together, a layer of cool whip and cream cheese mixed together and then on top some peanut butter mixed with Cool whip in drops topped with half a Oreo cookie. In the picture I ran out of the stuff to put on top but ideally you would put enough that when you cut it each person gets one, the bars would make 12 servings per pan.
After we finished the recipe challenge we spent the day sampling delicious foods, learning about products especially a surprise new product that while I wish I could tell you about now I cannot but I promise you it is worth the wait. I unfortunately had to leave a bit early to make my flight and missed a knife skills session and I also missed out on being able to ride around in the Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile although I did get to take some pictures of it and even go inside to check it out, silly flight times they need to push it back later or I need a new airport lmao.
It was a very quick two days but an experience that I loved nonetheless and have my fingers crossed I will be invited back again next year as this is one conference that I can honestly say I would never want to miss.
Keep your eyes peeled because as I was writing this my box of goodies arrived from Kraft and once I get it pictured and some information together I will be posting a giveaway for the same box for one of my lucky readers to win and trust me it is well worth it (pic below is a sneak peek). I will also have a giveaway coming up for a Tassimo coffee machine and of course some really amazing recipes are on the way as well.
I was invited to participate in a behind-the-scenes blogger conference with the Kraft Kitchens, for which Kraft provided full travel expenses, meals and accommodations and product samples, coupons and premiums, however my opinions are completely my own and I have not been compensated to publish positive or negative reviews of the event or products associated with my experience.