Pepperidge Farm #PuffDay14

#puffday 14 at Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center in CT. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI mentioned a few weeks ago that I was in NY for a super quick trip.  But I wasn’t just in NY.  For one whole day I had the chance to go to Connecticut and visit the Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center for their #PuffDay14 event.  It was kind of the coolest thing ever.  For SO many reasons.  So how did I get invited, I bet you are wondering.  I totally won a contest!!! Tori (in the photo all the way to the right) of Thoughtfully Simple was already working with Pepperidge Farm on their Puff Pastry product.  She hosted a contest on her site and I got chosen to accompany her to their headquarters.  Fun, right!?  There were seven other gals invited so it was super intimate and we had a blast!  And it is such a small world.  That is Cheri, of Adventures in the Kitchen, standing next to me.  Turns out she lives 15 minutes from me and used to work with one of my best friends!

@hostesstori and I at Pepperidge Farm #PuffDay14 event //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe got a tour of their massive facility and got to see their testing rooms, a small-ish factory where they test out new ideas for products, their employee cafe (yes – this is worth mentioning especially because you can order dinner to take home with you on your way out! Genius!) and so much more.  We got to hang out in their test kitchen area and met tons of Pepperidge Farm staff, from the culinary side, marketing, packaging, development, etc.  It was so neat to hear from all the different people and see the crazy amount of teamwork it takes to create and market each individual product.  This is a well oiled machine, folks.   [Read more...]

Great Gift for Men and Foodies : Mantry

*I was sent a Mantry box to review.  Well, I kind of let my husband review this one because he’s a man.  But I am telling you my thoughts on the Mantry box as a gift idea. Themed artisinal food boxes for monthly subscription.  Great way to try out new products.  Makes a great gift! //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI am always on the look out for great gift ideas.  I love to give gifts that are unique or super personal to the person I am buying for.  My husband is super hard to shop for.  So when I came across Mantry I was REALLY hoping it would be something I could get for my husband.  And it totally was.  Mantry is the “Modern Man’s Pantry” and is an artisinal, food-focused gift subscription aimed at men.  And I think this idea is amazing.  Each month is themed and the hand picked, American made items go together in some way.  The box we received was Thai themed.  This is totally something my husband would be in to.  He likes spice, he likes snacks and it’s always cool to try new things.  Sometimes it is hard to tell if a gift box subscription is going to be worth it.  I think this one totally is.  The amount and type of products received was great and I would happily gift this to our men friends.   

Mantry Gift Box Subscriptions for Men and Food Lovers  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI was going to hold this for his Father’s Day gift but decided that wasn’t really fair since he saw me shooting these photos.  And was asking a lot of questions.  I couldn’t really hide the part of the box that said “Mantry” so I guess his questioning was justified.  I had to do some traveling a few weeks ago and while away my husband made sure to tell me how delicious this jerky was.  I was hoping there was some left for me when I got home.  There was not.  We have not tried all the products yet but we are super excited to.  There are some really unique things in there.  Things we probably wouldn’t have picked out on a grocery store shelf but since they were sent to us, we are totally excited to try.  

Cool label design on this hot sauce.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhat I love about this idea is that it is a great way to feature small companies that people might now know about.  And some of the product design was fantastic like this hot sauce right here.  And the site also features recipes of how to use the products included.  For example, they show you how to use the sauce above for Thai Chili Chicken Wings.  And I think I might like to test out the Thai Basil Margarita this weekend.

Great gift idea for men! //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comEven better, each box contains a guide that tells you all about the products included and also a map showing where they came from.  This is a really well thought out gift box and I think Mantry is a great gift for men and foodies.

*Thank you for supporting the companies and brands that allow me to do what I do.  While some posts are paid and some are not, I strive to bring you the things that truly stand out to me that I think you will love too.  If there is a product you think I would love, shoot me and email! cupcakesandcutlery at gmail dot com.

 

16 Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining

*This post is sponsored by Foodie and Mode.  All opinions are mine.  And in my opinion, these recipes look freaking awesome and I can’t wait to make them.

Check out Outdoor Entertaining

by Sharon Garofalow (Cupcakes and Cutlery) at Foodie.com


Ahhhh, Memorial Day.  Does that signal the start of summer for you too?  I mean, we still have about a month left of school (I know, it is SO late!) but that doesn’t stop us for hosting barbecues and kicking off the summer grilling season.  But eating outside sometimes means we either make a signature dish over and over (because we nail it every time) or that we are scared to try something out of the ordinary because eating outside provides a host of challenges (breakable plates, temperature control, grody bugs).  These 16 recipes for outdoor entertaining are just what you need for all your upcoming parties.  I’ve included some drinks, entrees and side dishes for creating a delicious meal for your guests or even just your family.  I’ve included some familiar dishes, like a bbq burger that looks crazy good (and has a little whiskey in it…) but I’ve also included some not so traditional grilled items like Grilled Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries.  How good do those sound?!  Make what you are comfortable with but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I speak from experience when I say that even if you make a mistake in front of people that you don’t know very well, it is not the end of the world.  It happens.  More than I care to admit.  I remember this one time in particular when I realized I had used tablespoons instead of teaspoons a little too late.  Oops!  But it wasn’t the end of the world.  And they’ve even come back since.  I am excited to get creative this summer with my recipe repertoire.  And I’m going to start with these Basil Beerades.

 

Easy Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe

Homemade chocolate coconut milk ice cream.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis chocolate coconut milk ice cream is ridiculous.  Like, super tasty, delicious ridiculousness.  And it is super easy to make.  The flavor is rich, a little bit bitter but sweet and nutty from the coconut milk.  And the texture!  It’s smooth with a touch of grit.  Reading that back, it doesn’t sound like it should be good.  But it is SO good!  I first made this recipe when my son couldn’t eat traditional ice cream because of his allergies.  It was an awesome alternative for him during the summer months.  I recently made it again and guess what, I like this ice cream more than he does.  He has been able to add some milk back in to his diet so it has opened up the door to some ice creams.  So these days his tastes run sweeter.  But I love that when I want something cold, creamy and easy, I can make this in about an hour.

The easiest chocolate coconut milk ice cream you can make at home. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe biggest hurdle is making sure that you remember to put the freezer bowl in the freezer ahead of time.  Once that is well chilled (overnight) you just mix up the ingredients in a blender and then add them to the ice cream maker.  The ice cream is made up of cocoa powder, sugar and coconut milk.  I prefer the Trader Joe’s coconut milk and keep a few cans in the cupboard.  They last for a long time so it is easy to keep them around, at the ready, for this recipe.  Pretty awesome that the ingredients are simple and not chemical laden.

Easy chocolate coconut milk ice cream.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe original recipe also included crushed up Oreos which my son never wanted to add in.  Which is crazy since he LOVES Oreos like a fat kid loves Oreos.  You should definitely put this on your “to make” list immediately.  I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.  And I think I am going to make this again and try it out with the Oreos.  That just sounds amazing.  And maybe my son will like it more that way.  If he doesn’t that is just more for me!

I followed this recipe for Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

 

Muddled Tangerine Basil Infused Water

Muddled tangerine and basil infused water for summer. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd for my grand finale I present to you… a muddled tangerine basil infused water.  I know, that name needs work.  But I just could not bring myself to use tangerineade.  In an effort to keep you deliciously hydrated this week I’ve shared several easy muddled fruit water recipes.  In case you missed them  you can check out my muddled ginger limeade and muddled raspberry lemonade.  But I am kind of in love with this one.  I love basil and the smell of these tangerines is truly intoxicating.

Easy muddled tangerine and basil refresher.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI love fresh herbs in my drinks.  And basil is one of my favorite smells ever.  Every time you lift this glass to your lips you are met with a nose hug from the basil.  Gah.  So good.

Tangerine and basil are two tastes that taste great together. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy kids keep me on my toes.  One minute they love those little cutie tangerines and the next they are ignoring them as if they were chicken (my kids swear they are allergic to chicken).  I am so glad I figured out a way to use them and not let them go to waste. [Read more...]