Kelly the Culinarian: Food Tasting Panel at Now We're Cookin'

Monday, December 22, 2014

Food Tasting Panel at Now We're Cookin'

So in my dreams, I've always had a spacious kitchen perfect for entertaining. Multiple sinks, a roomy stainless steel refrigerator, spotlessly clean wall mounted double ovens and a range with six burners. Because when I dream, I dream big. When I walked into Now We're Cookin', it was like peering into the Pinterest-fueled kitchen of my dreams. I was invited this weekend to the facility to test out new products and provide my feedback, which is cool enough in itself. The product were interesting and we had a chance to work with some of the items hands-on in the kitchen to find out what it was really like to use it in a home kitchen.

Now We're Cookin' is a food incubator featuring a rentable commercial kitchen that helps small start ups create their products or demonstrate their culinary techniques. It's a massive kitchen and dining area that celebrates food and the entrepreneurial spirit.

And I had to be spirited that day - we were cooking with bugs. We started with tasting Chapul protein bars, which were made with cricket flour. It's a gluten-free paleo option that's high in protein. We gave feedback on the packaging and flavors before tasting one of my favorite products on the planet, coffee. Chapin coffee is a Guatemalan product that provides three meals for a child in need for every bag sold. It was really tasty, too.

Then, we were off to the main event - baking with Bitty cricket flour. There were several stations set up and all the ingredients were laid out for pizza, savory crepes, chocolate chip cookies and a rustic apple cake. My station, the apple cake, was clearly the winner in terms of ease. I sliced apples while my partner mixed up the batter and it was in the oven in no time.

This gave me a nice pocket of time to try out Majani Teas, which is a newly launched line of luxury teas that have the cutest packaging. I like the breakfast tea the best, and am presently sipping on some with a puppy on my lap.

By that time, the buggy entrees were coming together nicely. I tasted everything and was really happy with how our cake turned out - the only issue was that since the flour is brown already, it was hard to tell when the top was browned. The recipe was supposed to bake at 350 for 35 minutes. I think it would have been better if we baked it at 325 for 60 minutes.

We rounded out the day with my favorite product of the whole experience, Macbubl. These babies were coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. So image those fudge-dipped Oreos that are super popular this time of year, except moist, with better ingredients and a tastier filling, and that's what Macbubl is. I enjoyed every last bite and was sad I didn't take one home.

Anyhow, what was cool about this experience was the ability to help small business in the food industry by providing my feedback. It's also great to see a facility that helps people break into food production, which can be daunting because of the need to process and create products in a commercial kitchen.

No comments: