I Came, I Saw, I Ate. with the Krusteaz #Bakers13

So before I head off for my next trip, I wanted to tell you about the International Food Bloggers Conference and my tour of the Krusteaz HQ.

I’ve never been to a food blogging conference before. I generally identify more with the mom blogger crowd and most of the blogging conferences I’ve attended have been geared to more general blogging so it was really fun to get a different perspective.

I particularly enjoyed the session on food photography. I tweeted quite a bit during that session. Todd Coleman encouraged us to use unusual props and taught us how to look for the right kind of light. He reminded us not to be afraid of “doing it wrong” and to look for beauty in unexpected places.

That afternoon, my fellow Krusteaz ambassador and new friend Jenn of Hostess With The Mostess led a session on creative entertaining. I am always so amazed by people who have the entertaining gene, and Jenn is a master at the trade.

entertaining-with-krusteaz

She set up a few table displays with examples of party themes. I loved the fiesta party best. All of her ideas are simple and attainable, but I would never think of them. She showed us how she makes a taco flatbread with the new Krusteaz flatbread mixes. I appreciated that she encouraged us to take shortcuts sometimes, that not everything has to be Pinterest perfect — of course THIS is, but she was speaking about the every day.

mexican-fiesta

Earlier in the trip, we got to tour the Krusteaz HQ and spend some time in the test kitchen. I always enjoy learning the story behind a business, and this one was quite entertaining. Evidently the founder of Krusteaz was a door-to-door dress salesman back in the 30s, and he one afternoon he visited a ladies’ bridge group and they served him pie. Somehow he left that day with a business plan and a bunch of business partners for a new venture they called Krusteaz because it was the first ever “just add water” pie crust mix to hit the market. Krust-Eaz… get it?

I love that it’s still a family company. Everyone we met seemed truly happy to work there.

In the test kitchen, we were given a fun challenge — a cookie exchange!

krusteaz-test-kitchen

We were presented with a variety of Krusteaz baking mixes and all the tools and other ingredients you could possibly need to make a sweet treat, and then we paired off and collaborated to create and make a fun cookie to share with everyone.

cooking in the krusteaz kitchen

Christi and I worked together with the gluten-free brownie mix (which is OUT of this world, by the way…. if you are ever entertaining gluten-free friends, this is a quick and easy dessert that everyone will love, gluten-free or not. Really. Try it.)

This was our final creation: a peppermint frosted brownie.

brownie

They were to. die. for. I did indulge, yes I did. And I had the sugar coma to prove it.

They also provided us with an assortment of supplies so we could wrap them up pretty for presentation and take-home.

wrapping

And they gave us adorable toolboxes that were loaded with baking tools to take the cookies home in. I was so impressed with everyone’s creations. There are some seriously talented ladies in this group! I am humbled to be a part of it.

cookies

Big thanks to Krusteaz,for bringing us to Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference and to get to see the inner workings of the Krusteaz facilities. Such a fun trip.