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Anyone that knows me, knows that I am the Princess of Procrastination. I love to be down to the wire, feel the adrenaline, and then panic that I forgot something. Maybe it’s adrenaline, maybe it’s anxiety. So imagine my surprise when a brand I had just got turned on to in the new year for having lower calories and less carbohydrates, invited little ol’ me to compete in their very first Hood Calorie Countdown Cook Off!
I don’t think of myself a a food niche blogger, basically because I aim for taste and my plating technique can be very subpar. Just because you can take a nice photo, does not mean you can plate the food to look as amazing as it tastes. Just for fun, I figured I had the day available, and I am typically really reserved in networking atmospheres. What could it hurt to have this experience?
For the competition we got to use a professional kitchen at Truffles and Trifles in Orlando, FL. We each got to choose a station and find all our cookware ahead of time. We were to have 45 minutes to prepare, cook, and plate our recipe. I opted to do a breakfast/dessert of Caramel French Toasted Angel Food Cake. It is a recipe that I have been serving my family for holidays as they typically would eat it so fast I never got any. Why would I do that to myself on the regular?
Our hostess Juliana Evans from Graciously Sweet was upbeat and fun to chat with. The solo judge was the Hood Calorie Countdown nutrition consultant, Elizabeth M. Ward.
While we were not to be judged on calorie counts, she had a tough job! I was very jealous smelling all these amazing recipes being prepared but as luck would have it, we all go to share our recipes with the other bloggers since we had made more than enough.
I was not prepared by any means for how fast the whipped cream on my recipe would melt between photos and serving. Again, I am NOT a professional food blogger. I blog about food because I love to eat!!
While I did not win, I did learn about some new ways to use my Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverages. Each blogger brought something unique with their own flair to the use of the product and created a tasty dish that they had confidence in! I can’t wait to recreate some of their amazing recipes.
The Hood Calorie Countdown Cook Off was the first of it’s type for the brand, they might turn it in to an annual event. While there was not much time to network, stepping outside of my element from behind the computer and camera was a breath of fresh air.
Congrats to the winner Josee Lanzi from Off The Hook On The Plate, her Sundried Tomato Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese Soufflé was not only beautiful but also tasty!
While I took some photos during the process, I will share those on another post. Hood Calorie Countdown brought in an amazing photographer – Lotus Eyes Photography – from Orlando, FL that was able to really capture all the moments. 45 minutes is a blur, she captured it all! See more of her work at the link above and check out the other blogger recipes on their websites below.
Amy Barrett from My World Simplified
Ashley Solberg from AshleySolberg.com
Brittany Marchese from The View From Up Here
Heather McMechan from Local Mom Scoop
My biggest takeaways from the Hood Calorie Countdown Cook Off were; I never want to compete on TV, I would probably embarrass myself. I am great at time management and beating the clock but that does not bode well for whipped cream, and I really want to work more on my plating techniques. It’s a whole other world serving up food photography and a judge than it is serving up a toddler and husband!
What recipes in your house will you swap for the better choice of lower calories, lower sugar, and lower carbohydrates? (I think it should be all, but I may be biased) Don’t forget that Hood Calorie Countdown also has beyond the reduced fat that I use, a reduced fat chocolate, whole, and fat free! Something for everyone. The switch is easy! Locate Hood Calorie Countdown near you.
Author: Nichole Arnold
I’m the owner of Mommy Needs a Bottle . I’m a 30- something wine enthusiast that resides in Tampa, FL. I love family traditions, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, fashion, tattoos, beauty products, and being a Mommy! I have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and sales.