About to present my dish to the judges!
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.)
Like Food Samba on Facebook
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!
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.