Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Kitchens

I had so much fun learning about the Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Kitchens! My fellow food bloggers and I had a cook-off in one of the kitchens, and you have to see what we made!

The Welcome Sign at One of Better Homes and Gardens' Test Kitchens

Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Kitchens

What a fun few days I had in Des Moines last week for the Better Homes and Gardens Cook-Off in their official test kitchens. I was there with 5 other bloggers who were so much fun to spend time with. Take a peek below and see what we were up to 🙂

Six Food Bloggers Posing in One of the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchens

Here are my fellow competitors Left:  Dan from Consumer Queen/King, Amy from Mom Advice, Kate and Sara from Our Best Bites, Aly from She Knows and me 🙂  By far some of the best parts of these trips is getting to know other bloggers, such a great group of people here!

A Test Kitchen Counter, Sink, Stove, Oven and Microwave

Our afternoon started with a quick tour of the test kitchens to make sure we had all of our grocery items for the cook-off, this place was so beautiful!

A Large Bookshelf Behind a Long Wooden Dining Table

All of the books in their library were covered in parchment paper. Looked so cool!

A Close-Up of Books and a Tea Kettle on a Dark Wooden Shelf

Our Dinner Table at D'Jango with Candles, Menus, Waters, Plates and Napkins

That night we were off to dinner at D’Jango. No doubt about it, all the menu items were rich and fabulous!

A Plate of Stuffed Chicken Breast with Blue Cheese and Mushrooms

Here was my stuffed chicken breast with blue cheese and mushrooms and a bunch of other yummy things.

A Close-Up Image of the D'Jango Dinner Menu Next to a Candle

Did someone say dessert? Lol! Kate, Sara and I pigged out and shared 3 different desserts. Yes, they were incredible!

A Plate of Creme Brulee on the Table at D'Jango

Creme’ Brulee….was heavenly

A Bowl of Chocolate Pot de' Creme Topped with Whipped Cream

Chocolate Pot de’ Creme….so sinful! We had one more not pictured, I believe it was a chocolate raspberry cake.

A Sepia Image of Three Food Bloggers Posing with Full Spoons

Having way too much fun devouring our desserts 🙂

Four Female Food Bloggers Posing and Smiling on a Bench

The Cook-Off

The next morning we were back at the Test Kitchens for breakfast, prep time then the big cook-off. Here is Amy, Sara, Kate and me right before Breakfast 🙂

A Plate of Eggs, Berries, Bacon and Sausage

Breakfast was delish, all of the recipes were from the new Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

The Cook-Off Judge and Two Cook-Off Contestants Sitting at the Breakfast Table

Cute Katie in the red plaid, a judge for the cook-off joined us for breakfast. She is a food editor for the BH&G website.

A Close-Up Shot of a Better Homes and Gardens' Test Kitchen Apron

Here are our official aprons, fun!

Jenny's Better Homes and Gardens' Kitchen Area for the Cook-Off

Time to get any prep work done, here is a peek at one side of my kitchen space for the day.

Jenny's Cooking Station with a Sink and Counter Space

….and here’s the other side. Lots of great space to work in.

A Plate of the BHG Cook-Off Lunch Next to a Can of Diet Coke

Back for more food….lunch time. Not sure if we got enough food this trip 🙂

Two Brownies on a Small White Dessert Plate with a Fork

Macaroon brownies…to die for!

Jenny's Spaghetti Pies Recipe on a Clipboard Next to a Potted Plant

After lunch we got right to work for the cook-off. We had about 3 hours, plenty of time.

The Better Homes and Gardens' Red Flannel-Print Cook Book

Jenny's Spaghetti Pies on a Rack in the Oven

My spaghetti pies couldn’t have been cuter! They turned out exactly how I wanted them too and the judges loved them. Phew!

Aly in Her Kitchen Section Working on Her Fish Tacos

Here’s Aly, hard at work on her Fish Tacos 🙂

The Best Bite Girls Drinking Soda in their Kitchen Space

The Best Bite Girls taking a soda break 🙂

A Group Photo of the Cook-Off Judges, PR People and Contestants Behind a Counter

The judges were really complimentary to each of us, probably the most relaxed cook-off I’ve ever been to. Kind of refreshing 🙂  Nice big group shot with the judges and PR peeps.

A BHG Stylist Walking and Posing in a Hallway of the Prop Room

After our cook-off was over, we got the grand tour of the rest of the building. We started down stairs to their prop room. This place was HUGE….and so many goodies to choose from. This was one of their stylists passing through.

Plates and Other Dishes in the Better Homes and Gardens' Prop Room

We were all drooling over all of the cool dishes to choose from. Fun room.

Two Photographers Shooting for the Next Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

The tour continued and these guys were shooting for an upcoming magazine page.

A Piece of a Casserole From a New BHG Recipe on a Plate

We also walked through the kitchen/photo studio where they shot their food. They let us snap pics of their recipe that will be in an upcoming issue. How pretty! Wish I had that set up in my kitchen 🙂

Colorful Hanging Decorations on the First Floor of the BHG Building

Cool decor in one of the main offices downstairs at BH&G, so colorful and festive 🙂

Food Bloggers in their BHG Aprons, Talking and Snapping Photos

Snooping around the offices 🙂

A Close-Up Shot of Two Yellow and Pale Pink Flowers

Our last day, we got to walk through the actual gardens at BH&G. This was a great way to end our visit. So beautiful!

Two Bright Pink Flowers in the Better Homes and Gardens Garden Space

A Freshly Bloomed Pink and Red Flower in the BHG Garden

Purple and Pink Flowers in the BHG Outdoor Garden

A Little Frog Perched on a Branch By the Garden

This little guy was my favorite, hanging out in the garden sunshine! How cute 🙂

Thanks for sharing my time at BH&G! Was such a great time meeting everyone and spending time in Des Moines 🙂

The winner from the cook-off is decided by votes only, not our recipes over at the BH&G page. A few more days left to enter, looks like Our Best Bites will take this one, Congrats ladies!! xoxo

Thanks to all of you Picky Palate readers who voted faithfully. Love you guys!! We’ve got 4 more sets of cookware to give away and some cookbooks coming soon, stay tuned. In the meantime, there are 2 days left to enter the 6 sets of cookware giveaway HERE. Good Luck!

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10 Responses
  1. Sara @ Our Best Bites

    Your pics turned out so great! We had such a fun time with you all, until New Orleans! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Amy

    It was such an honor to meet you and hang out with you. As I said before, you are stuck forever with me as your new BFF! Thank you for making the trip so memorable- these are the times when I am really thankful for opportunities such as these!! Love you!!

    1. Jenny

      Amy! We are like long lost sisters! So glad to have met you and to have time to chit chat. We’ve got to meet up again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Shanna - My Favorite Everything

    Love the recap! Looks like a wonderful time, and I agree, one of the best parts is meeting other bloggers and making new friends!

  4. Melissa Ventura

    Beautiful! I love your spaghetti pies and they are soooo cute. My kids would love those…ahem and me too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jenny

      Thanks Melissa ๐Ÿ™‚ They really are such a fun dinner, the kids and adults really enjoy them!

  5. Amanda :)

    Gorgeous pictures, Jenny! You always capture these trips so perfectly. Love the froggy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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