A Trip to NYC, a Giveaway & a Recipe!

About to present my dish to the judges!

Happy Sunday!

A couple of weeks ago, I was chosen as one of five finalists to participate in a “toast-off” for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! The lovely people from ICBINB! flew me out to NYC to recreate my chosen recipe, Garlic-Shrimp and Mango Salsa Crostini at the Unilever test kitchen. Besides being terrified of the 6 hours flight, I was ecstatic about this exciting opportunity! 


Having a blast, watching Chef Norma Jean's demo! Photo Courtesy of Cheeky Kitchen

Before flying to NYC, I, like any other serious competitor, decided to size up my competition: Bren from Flanboyant Eats, Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen and Fiona from A Boston Food Diary. After glancing at each ladies’ toast-off recipe, I knew I was up for a big challenge!

Preparing my quick-fire challenge dish, avocado-marscapone spread on chocolate toast!

After arriving in NYC, getting some sightseeing and shopping out of the way, we headed to the Unilever test Kitchen. There, we were greeted by Chef Norma Jean, who demoed some of her fabulous recipes for ICBINB!, which can be found here. The demo was followed by a delectable lunch prepare by Chef Norma Jean and her staff.

When lunch was over, we were all ready for a nap. But, our laziness didn't last for too long... We were surprised with a  "quick-fire" challenge and told that the winner would win extra points towards their "toast-off" score!

Getting ready to present my quick-fire challenge dish to the judges!

I quickly spotted some avocados sitting on top of the counter and decided to pair it up with the chocolate bread I had gotten earlier during our morning brunch. I made a creamy avocado and mascarpone cheese spread. Even though, I got plenty of compliments and the avocado spread was gone quicker than I could say "butter", I didn't take the win.

Brooke, me, Bren, and Fiona. Courtesy of Cheeky Kitchen

Then, came time to prepare and present our toast-off recipes. I was the last to present to the judges. After huddling in a room for about ten minutes, they came back and announced the winner, Brooke and the Girlfriend Toast! Her simple and delicious spread had won her the title of "Toast Ambassador" and a hefty cash prize. But, as you can see from a the pictures, there were no sore losers. We all were truly happy for Brooke, for the experience we had on our NYC trip, and for getting the chance to meet each other!

My 'Toast-Off' dish, Garlic Shrimp and Mango Salsa Crostini

Now, for some exciting news...

First and foremost, my Garlic Shrimp and Mango Salsa Crostini recipe can now be found on Food Network's website! How cool is that? Just knowing that my recipe is up there mingling with the Stars' recipes puts a smile on my face! Pinch me!

Second, I've got a chance for y'all to win some cool prizes. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is offering you a chance to win a special kit that will help you recreate my recipe at home!

Here's what you'll get:

· Spreader and set of four herb jars
· Simply Calphalon Non-Stick 12" Covered Fry Pan
· Nonslip Bamboo Small Cutting Board
· Avignon Serving Platter

Now, I know you're dying to make these crostinis at home so here's how to enter:

- Must be a Food Samba follower (the follow button is on the right sidebar).
- Leave me a comment telling me about your go-to appetizer and/or dish when for entertaining and how you could incorporate I Can't Believe It's Not Butter in it! (Make sure your comment links back to an email address or provide me with your email so I can contact you if you win.)

+1 point:
Like Food Samba on Facebook

+1 point:
Follow Food Samba on Twitter and RT the following:
"I just entered a chance to win a #ICBINB cooking kit on @FoodSamba."

Giveaway closes on Monday, August 1st at noon PST. The winner will be contacted via email.

With the winner, Brooke, and her bread bouquet!

Avocado-Mascarpone Spread

1 small avocado
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp sugar

Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
Using a fork, mash the avocado.
Add mascarpone cheese and sugar and mix until everything is well incorporated.


Ashley said...

I usually make cheesecake bars when I entertain. I would spritz some I can't believe its not butter over the tops. I'm also a gfc follower.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Ashley said...

I like food samba on fb.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Delicious Dishes by Debbie said...

I follow Food Samba Blog.

Delicious Dishes by Debbie said...

I like Food Samba on FB.

Delicious Dishes by Debbie said...

My favorite "go to" appetizer recipe is grilled shrimp scampi. I could use "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" in my recipe instead of real butter.

Delicious Dishes by Debbie said...

"I just entered a chance to win a #ICBINB cooking kit on @FoodSamba."
I posted this on twitter and I am a follower.

Eliana said...

I'm so glad I just discivered your blog and now of course, "like" you on facebook :)

Eliana said...

I love serving little tea sandwiches as apps at my more casual get togethers. And using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is a great to keep them compact so that fillings do not fall out.

Eliana said...

Now following on Twitter and have tweeted the giveaway too :)

Tracy said...

(1) Primero, Congratulations, Kudos and WEPA to you! Your recipe looks delish!

(2) I am following via GFC, Tracy

(3) I'm a huge ceviche lover, and my signature party/get-together appetizer is seafood ceviche served in a cored avocado! :)

Tracy said...

Extra Credit: Following on Facebook

Tracy said...

I am following @FoodSamba on Twitter, I am @Tracy_Iglesias

Tracy said...

I also sent a tweet to over 4,800 followers on twitter here: http://twitter.com/Tracy_Iglesias/status/95644426877140992

CBH said...

it looks you all had a great time! i use I can't believe it's not butter b/c of my cholesterol... great alternative to butter. congrats to all of you! my go to app is croquetas de pollo where i use icbnib.... soo good.

CBH said...

like you on FB, too!

cookies said...

Parabens, Emme!

I really enjoy your blog. Now I can get updates through your blog, Twitter, and Facebook!

One of my go-to dishes for entertaining is a "Vietnamese-French" beef salad. It is beef marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and ground black pepper. The beef is stir-fried in ICBINB and served over a bed of mixed greens with a caramelized onion-vinaigrette with a bowl of steamed rice on the side.

mavisg at gmail dot com

Magic of Spice said...

Wow how fun is this...your famous now :)
Great giveaway, shared for you!

glamah16 said...

Well done. The Crostini looked wonderful!

stephchows said...

You are so good at getting chosen to compete in recipe contests!! Sorry you didn't win but great job anyway! My go to appetizer is fiesta dip... no way to add butter to it though :(

Gina said...

Lol, my comment didn't go through for some reason so I will try again. Congrats, so happy for you. Love the butter and could use it all kinds of ways, would be perfect on a grilled crostini with a little of my homemade apricot marsala jam.

Bren Herrera said...

didn't we have a blast! too much fun! I'm glad we got to meet and taste each others' food! It was all so delish! No on to the giveaway! ;)

1. already like FS on FB
2. just followed you on GFC
3. about to tweet the giveaway!

Let's Go!

Bren Herrera said...

oh and my go to appetizer for now is my winning quick-fire dish! ooh wee, it was so good! ;)

Moo said...

that crostini looks yum! i liketo make garlic butter noodles for the ones who are not afraid of garlic :)

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

This sounds like such an awesome opportunity, Emme! We're huge ICBINB fans but I've never gotten as creative with it as your recipe! We generally just make compound butter, smear it on bread and call it an appy :) Love the ideas :)

karma-free-cooking.com said...

My favorite go-to recipes to make with ICBINB are my vanilla cinammon baked plantains and garlic parsley bread. They're both easy to make and delicious sides to any pasta dish.

Hope I get to win...

1. Liked Food Samba on FB
2. Following Food Samba on Twitter
3. Tweeted the giveaway... i know we're on the last leg of this race...
4. and you can certainly contact ME via karmafreecooking@yahoo.com just in case LUCk is on my side.

The Duo Dishes said...

Following! And like you on Twitter. An easy app for us are dips. A new fave is three onion dip with scallions, leeks and shallots!