A visit to the Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minnesota.
Last week, I was able to visit Minneapolis for a few days as part of the General Mills blogging team. If you’ve noticed all of the recipes I’ve done for Betty Crocker and Pillsbury lately, it’s because I was chosen to be part of a team that develops recipes for their Today’s Dish and Doughboy Dish features on their websites. This wasn’t my first trip to the Betty Crocker kitchens, but it was such a great and informative trip – and my favorite of the two!
The first night there, we went to dinner at Cafe Lurcat, a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. It was a fabulous dinner, and I didn’t take one single picture. It was amazing food, and the company at our table was fantastic!
The next day, we woke up bright and early for a full day at General Mills. After a quick tour as we headed through the building, we were led to the Betty Crocker kitchens. Let’s just say – so many kitchens, and such great light!! This isn’t even all of the test kitchens that they have. I have decided that if I lived in Minneapolis, I would totally want to work in the test kitchen.
We took a short tour around the kitchens, and my favorite was the library. Thousands of cookbooks. Thousands of them. I could seriously get lost in here for hours. Days. Weeks. My collection at home looks so small now!!
After checking out the library, pantry, freezer, etc, we headed back to the main kitchen. We were divided into 4 groups, where we were each given a basket of ingredients that we had to use in a recipe. We also had a small pantry, where we could I think it was 5 additional ingredients.
Our group got started on some delicious cookie cups that will be up on the Betty Crocker site soon. It was fun to see everyone’s different thought processes as we sat down to formulate our recipe.
Joanne from Inspired Taste – putting on the final touches
We had an hour and 15 minutes, and luckily it was plenty of time for our recipe to come together without stressing.
When the time was up, we plated up our cookies and headed over to the taste panel.
Every day at 2pm, they have a taste panel in the kitchens, where the day’s recipes are tasted and critiqued. Talk about a fun job!! They told us how the panel went every day, and how they even have spit cups so that they aren’t just eating and eating all day long. It was so interesting to see how everything happens in a professional test kitchen. Each group got in front of the panel to answer questions about the recipes and to hear critiques. Luckily, it was all pretty painless!
After, we headed to the photography studios for my favorite part of the day. They showed us around the photography prop room, which is HUGE.
Check out all of those cutting boards!
Then we headed to the photo kitchens where we separated back into our groups and made our recipe again, this time to be photographed. We had a photographer and a stylist between 2 teams, and it was so interesting to watch them work. They let us do what we thought we should do, but then I loved seeing them step in and tell us what they would do.
I really did love this part of the day, and I learned a lot – especially about styling. It was an awesome experience!
That night, a group of us headed to the Mall of America for some fun and for dinner. Most of them rode a few of the rollercoasters. Unfortunately, I got to watch since it’s not the best idea to be riding on rollercoasters when you’re pregnant! (and I was bummed, because I love rollercoasters!) Then we headed to dinner at Crave, which was delicious.
The whole experience was so great, and I learned a ton. And I feel so lucky to be a part of such a great team of bloggers. And the General Mills team was amazing – I already loved working with them, but meeting them face to face and feeling their energy and passion for their jobs and company validated that it is a great company to work with. I’m super excited ot continue working with them. I seriously have the coolest job!!
And in case you wanted to know, here are all of the fabulous bloggers that I get to work with. If you haven’t checked out their blogs, you really should!
Angie from Eclectic Recipes
Bree from Baked Bree
Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen
Cheri from Adventures in the Kitchen
Jessica from Lil’ Miss Bossy
Joanne & Adam from Inspired Taste
Lauren from Healthy Delicious
Mark from The Manly Housekeeper
Paula from Bell’alimento
Paula from Blogging Foods
Rachel from Coconut and Lime
Sarah from Sarah’s Cucina Bella
Stephanie from Girl Versus Dough
Follow my travel board and never miss any eats or adventures while I’m out and about!