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Duncan Hines 2.0 Sweet Stars Weekend!

25 Sep

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Over the summer I was contacted by Duncan Hines with an invitation to come back to the test kitchen along with the other 11 winners from last year and 12 new winners from this year’s spring bake contest. I was THRILLED to say the least. Last year I got sick the first night so this year I was going to make sure that didn’t happen again and I am pleased to say I felt great the entire time! I decided not to bring my DSLR so the pictures are from my phone/small digi cam.  Enjoy!

You can find a post about my previous Duncan Hines experience HERE!

Friday evening we were invited to a cocktail hour followed by a fabulous dinner and dessert presentation that included all 12 new winners recipes.

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Here I am on the red carpet w/ my “sweet star”

Saturday we got up early, had breakfast and headed to the test kitchen where we were lead on a tour of the facility which is also home to Pinnacle Foods who owns brands like Hungry Man, Birds Eye, Vlasic, Log cabin, and of course Duncan Hines. After our tour we spent the rest of the day learning about food science, up and coming trends in the dessert world, watching demonstrations by Wilton expert decorator Beth Somers & Duncan Hines chef Joe Dipaolo. Saturday evening we were treated to the most amazing dinner that was cooked by fellow Duncan Hines chef Chris & several great desserts prepared by chef Joe.

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This is “5 A Day” the Birds Eye horse that welcomes you to Pinnacle Foods

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Beth Somers- Wilton expert decorator and winner of cupcake wars giving a decorating demo

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caked decorated by Beth Somers

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chef Joe demonstrating how to make sugar decorations

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Printed cake made by Duncan Hines chef Joe Dipaolo
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chocolate mousse domes made by Duncan Hines chef Joe Dipaolo
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(Baked Alaska)
These are some of the desserts made by chef Joe on our final night at the test kitchen
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(chocolate mousse cake)

This trip was amazing. I’m sad to be back home but I’m so grateful to have been able to spend time with the Duncan Hines crew again and to have had the chance to meet some awesome new people 🙂

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My new friend Andrea, chef Joe, and I at our final dinner

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Mccormick Spice!

6 Jun

Awhile back I stumbled upon a Pinterest contest that McCormick Spice was hosting so I
entered and was chosen as a winner!

mccormick1

cup

My recreation idea came from this Easter
Cupcake
recipe

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I ended up with these Easter Basket Cake Pops ( A tutorial for these can be
found HERE)

McCormick

My Mccormick prize package finally arrived yesterday! I was so excited to check
it out! It included Bake Me A Cake cupcake liners, McCormick Pure Vanilla,
McCormick Pure Lemon Extract, McCormick Ground Cinnamon, McCormick Ground
Ginger, McCormick Food Coloring, Whisk, Baking Rack, Wilton set of mini spring
cookie cutters, and a Macaroon baking pan!

Also attached was a nice note
from Mary at McCormick thanking me for entering their contest 🙂

McCormick has launched a new line of spices called McCormick Gourmet
To celebrate
their new line they’re hosting a Dinner Party contest over on their Facebook
page you can check out the details HERE
🙂

Duncan Hines Winners Weekend!

4 Jun

apple pops

These are my winning Cinnamon Caramel Apple Pops!

This weekend I flew out to New Jersey to participate in the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Recipe Challenge Winners Weekend! The challenge was to create your own recipe using the new Duncan Hines product Frosting Creations. The prize included a trip to Parsippany, New Jersey for a tour of the incredibly awesome Duncan Hines/Pinnacle test kitchen and a decorating/technique class with Chef Joe Dipaolo.

Frosting creations

Twelve winners were chosen, one for each flavor.
cin

I was chosen for the Cinnamon Roll flavor and my winning recipe was for Cinnamon
Caramel Apple Pops (You can find the recipe HERE)

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When we arrived we were greeted by the Duncan Hines staff on a red carpet and
given adorable red aprons that were scrolled with “Duncan Hines Frosting
Creations”

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Our first stop was the ideation room. It had big monitors that had a slide show
with pictures of each winner and their winning recipe.

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Next we learned more about all the people involved in bringing Frosting
Creations to life and got to see the very first version of the product (It
resembled a crystal light drink packet)

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A great feature in the ideation room were its dry erase walls, perfect for
keeping track of new ideas! We wrote our suggestions for new flavors. Mine were
Margarita, Peanut butter, Grape (Jelly), and Peach.

After that we were
off to tour the rest of the facility. The staff showed us where research for new
products takes place and explained everything that goes into product research.
We were also able to sample some new products that will be available in the
future 🙂

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We then were able to go into the pastry kitchen with Chef Joe to learn really
helpful tips and techniques for decorating. The staff at Duncan Hines went above
and beyond by gifting us with not only a copy of The Pastry Chef’s Companion but also a decorating kit that
included but was not limited to a Wilton turntable, tips, piping bags, icing smoothers, and so
much more! I’m really excited to receive that package in the mail!

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Piping is not my thing but Chef Joe showed us some great tips on how to fill and
use a piping bag that I’m looking forward to trying out in the future.

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Chef Joe also taught us about sugar molding, marzipan, using a blow torch, and
piping plates.

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My favorite part was working with modeling chocolate and making roses!

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(Mine is on the 2nd tier in the middle)

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Chef Joe & I with my Cinnamon Caramel Apple Pops that Chef Chris made

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You can check out all the winners HERE

You can also check out my other recipes with Frosting creations

chocolate moo

chocolate Moo-shmallow Fudge cow pops

caramel-filled-tiki-dudes-full

Caramel Filled Tiki Dudes!

cherries

Cherry Bomb Cake Pops

This post was packed full! Enjoy 🙂 and be sure to let me know how your
experience with Duncan Hines Frosting Creations goes!

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