I am thankful to BHG for allowing me this opportunity and helping to sponsor this blog!
Sometimes an opportunity comes along that is simply too amazing to pass up. I had to move mountains to attend the 1st annual (I gave it that ‘annual’ label, but with the overwhelming success of the first event I can’t think of a single reason why it wouldn’t be happen every year!) Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookies Experience.
When you have five kids, a hard working hubby, and very limited family able to come and stay with said five kids, making time to attend lavish functions like this are just not part of my reality.
But it was Better Homes and Gardens. I mean, da.
The experience started off on Friday evening. Myself, a few other bloggers and just about 100 BHG fans were treated to an evening of decadent cocktails, perfectly paired appetizers, finger foods as well as adorable desserts.
The whole event was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach! The mingling was the stuff you read in the society section. First I met an executive from the New York offices then a mother and daughter from LA who were fabulous then the Editor in Chief of Better Homes and Gardens, Gayle Butler.
I walked up to her and three other editors at the magazine and nervously said,
“Hi Nancy! It’s so nice to meet you!”
Then glanced down and realized I had just called Gayle Butler the wrong name. And I threw up in my mouth a little. And almost pretended to have a heart attack just because that seemed like it would be less awkward.
But Gayle, perfectly living up to the charming and graceful reputation she has earned, didn’t bat and eye and we had a lovely chat. She was kind. She was interested. She was interesting!
My right eye still twitches uncontrollably when I think about it.
After a very short presentation from all the editors, we mingled some more and headed back to the hotel. The next day was starting early, and for a very good reason. It was jam packed full of events and sessions!
This is what Saturday looked like:
7:30 am Holiday Pancake Breakfast
8:30 am How to Throw the Perfect Open House
10:00 am Hands-on Test Kitchen Sessions
11:00 am Never-Fail Holiday Menu with Scott Peacock (includes lunch)
1:30 pm Magically Delicious Desserts with Gesine Bullock-Prado
3:00 pm Hands-on Test Kitchen Sessions
4:00 pm Holiday Slow Cookers Reimagined
5:30 to 7 pm Holiday Happy Hour
7:30 pm Tastes of the Season Dinner*
Now, if you are like me you are thinking… that is A LOT going on in one day!
But I have to tell you, it was perfectly done. The sessions were entertaining and delightful. The staff at Better Homes and Gardens has a killer sense of humor… we were laughing most of the day! Quirky and spunky and just plain delightful. Such a great bunch! And we were fed fantastic food all. day. long.
Sidenote: They all have amazing fashion sense too. No matter the theme, be it dressy or casual, everyone looked adorable and refined and stunning.
One of my favorite parts was when Jan Miller (the magazine’s Executive Food Editor) was up on stage. Her personality is hilarious and contagious. I could have watched her and her cohorts all day!
Nancy Hopkins (deputy Food Editor) was also a surprise to me. Here are these brilliant, accomplished, well traveled and well-connected insightful women, and they were friendly. Funny. Personable. After the weekend, I felt like I could call her my girlfriend!
They put all my preconceived notions about high-powered executive women to shame!
And then Jennifer Darling handed me a Crock Pop. In true BHG style, it was the grandest of presentations and they came out saying, “YOU GET A CROCK POT AND YOU GET A CROCK POT AND YOU GET A CROCK POT!” I died. It was genius and such a treat!
It was an absolute honor to hear Scott Peacock talk about all things egg. (and other fascinating information of course!) He is one of the most charming and witty people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. When he gave his presentation I was on the edge of my seat. I didn’t want it to end! Thankfully he made an appearance at lunch (which was also his menu, distinctive and enjoyable!) and answered question after question and posed with adoring fan after adoring fan. #itwasme #fangirl
Since I love desserts it was interesting to learn from the brilliant Gesine Bullock-Prado. Her knowledge in all things pastry and sweet confections is second to none. And honestly, she is just darn funny!
My face is all red and puffy because I couldn’t stop drinking wine. It was worth it.
In the evening, we were treated to a four-course meal with wine pairings. The food was exquisite. Heavenly. The company even better.
The editors and staff at Better Homes and Gardens did it right. Every detail was perfectly executed and every provision thought out ahead of time. We, as the attendees, were treated like royalty. Like our opinions mattered and were appreciated.
Julianne from Beyond Frosting
While touring the facility we got to see the cover of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Today I am not only am I sharing a recipe with you, but I am GIVING AWAY one copy!!
But first, the recipe.
I had a hard time narrowing down what I was going to make, so I didn’t. I made five recipes the first week I was home after the event! But this one was so beautiful I had to share.
Recipe shared from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book with permission.
This beautiful recipe was so easy and so delicious, next time I may need to double it just to keep my family happy!
And now, for that giveaway!
Simply tell me, “What is your favorite thing about Better Homes and Gardens?” Click on the box right below this to get entered. (please be patient, it may take a moment to load)
This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada.
Check out my friend Jocelyn’s perspective of the BHG event as well!