Cooking with Chips

I recently got the chance to cross off an item on my bucket list:
SANY0209.JPGStand on top of a Times Square Billboard.
While I may not have actually had that particular life experience on my bucket list, when the PR team for Frito Lay invited me to watch Frito Lay’s executive chef Stephen Kalil, prepare a meal on top of a billboard, they definitely piqued my interest and I decided it was time to add that to my list.
At the time, I thought that the chips would be featured as a snack that would go along side whatever dish was being created. Little did I know that they would actually serve as the breading for a mango crusted tilapia that was out of this world.
But let’s start at the beginning. I arrived at the event at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square and was escorted to a green room where some of my favorite parenting bloggers, Amy from Selfish Mom and Mitch from GayNYCDad were already there sampling some of Frito Lay’s latest creations. In lieu of lunch, I savored jalapeno ranch sun chips, kettle chips with a parmesan ranch flavoring and garden tomato basil Lays potato chips which, as a snack maven, are incredibly addictive.
5617791428_a60f90de59_m.jpgWe were then escorted to the billboard/Frito Lay’s Times Square Flavor Kitchen. If you were thinking I’d be standing on a narrow billboard high a top the city, then think again. This billboard looked like a platform or roof deck with views of Times Square and ABC News Studios. Once we arrived, we were greeted by chef Stephen Kalil who had been hosting a live webcast where he was cooking up his latest creation – mango flavored tilapia coated with tomato basil chips. We had arrived just in time for a taste taste and trust me when I tell you, it was delicious.
5617794310_f627d4d664_m.jpgAfter the tilapia, we got the chance to sample two dips that Frito Lay is considering placing in their latest chip creations – they actually have focus groups who taste chips with dip for them and then share their opinions (somebody better sign up my husband or kids for that one). Who needs dip when the chip is covered in tasty flavorings that incidentally, are all natural? Plus, if you look at the ingredients of the chips, you will also find that you’ll be able to read and understand the name of every single item. No more red dyes or mono sodium glutamate, sorbitol or other chemicals I can’t pronounce. Frito Lay is committed to creating snacks that are all natural, delicious and healthy.
What was amazing (aside from the food) was the fact that the platform we were standing on came equipped with a state of the art kitchen provided by Electrolux. As part of the Frito-Lay/Electrolux partnership, fans who visit and “like” the Frito-Lay Facebook page between April 11 and April 15 can enter for a chance to win an Electrolux appliance each day; at the end of the week, one grand prize winner will receive an entire suite of Electrolux kitchen appliances including an induction cooktop that boils water in 90 seconds[1]. Official sweepstakes rules and more information can be found at www.facebook.com/fritolay.
Following our Frito Lay Flavor Kitchen experience, we got the chance to bring home a stash for our families and I have to say, I put them in front of the ultimate focus group. I took all three bags of chips to the ballfield and during my daughter’s softball game last night, her friends and parents found themselves munching away. In fact, after the game, one of my daughter’s friends commented about how tasty the chips were and another mom said she couldn’t wait to purchase the garden tomato Lays chips at the supermarket.
As I sit her savoring the garden tomato basil chips, I have to say, Frito Lay has done it again – chips you can snack with, cook with and share with friends and family – a priceless combination!
For more information visit www.fritolay.com or www.facebook.com/fritolay.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for my post but was given three bags of potato chips and sun chips that have since been devoured by my family, friends and a few kids on my daughter’s softball team.

Taste Test: Dr. Oetkers Pizza

Risto-USA-Mozzarella-Web.jpegI recently participated in a fun online chat with The Motherhood about preparing dinner at home for my family. The event was sponsored by Dr. Oetker’s pizza, a company that boasts the #1 selling frozen pizza that’s sold in Italy. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, then I don’t know what is! Following the chat, we were informed that within a few weeks, we’d get the chance to try out Dr. Oetker’s pizza since it’s now officially available in supermarkets nationwide. And last week, a special delivery arrived on my doorstep.
Let me first say that as someone who was born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, I pride myself on being a pizza connoisseur. I particularly love a good slice of pizza that has the perfect blend of crust, cheese and sauce. I am also a huge fan of thin sliced pizza – perhaps it ties into my fixation with weight loss – the thinner the crust, the less caloric intake. I first sampled the traditional pizza mozzarella which includes tomatoes, edam cheese and a flavorful mixture of herbs. I have to say – the taste is unlike any frozen pizza I’ve ever tried. The crust is thin and crispy, there’s a perfect amount of sauce and cheese on the pie and the herbs give it a flavor that’s completely unique. Trust me when I tell you that you definitely can’t mistake it for any other frozen pizza brand.
The next pie we sampled was the Quattro Formaggi, which features a blend of mozzarella, Edam, Emmental and blue cheese, complemented by basil seasoning on a crispy thin crust. Since my husband is the resident cheese lover in the family, I gave him the dubious honor of tasting this pizza and the overwhelming consensus was that it too was muy delicioso!
So if you’re like me and you’ve hit the end of the week dinner doldrums, bring home a Dr. Oetker’s pizza pie and get ready to please all the palates in your family!
*The compensated post was sponsored by The Motherhood.

Educational Apps for Kids

I don’t know about you, but every time I turn around, my iPad is filled with new apps that I didn’t download. The latest one to show up was the Hershey’s chocolate milk app where you squeeze a bottle into a glass of milk and then tap a straw to slurp out the contents. While there’s not much educational value of seeing a virtual glass of chocolate milk disappear on the screen, I was happy to find out this morning about some important apps for kids that’ll actually help them with their school work.
EM - Baseball Multiplication Facts 2.jpgFollowing the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference, McGraw-Hill Education announced that its lowering the price on its Everyday Math apps to give teachers and parents the opportunity to download them and offer feedback.
The Everyday Math apps offer K-6 students a quick and easy way to practice and reinforce different concepts in mathematics. The apps, which are available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod, will be free from April 13-17. You can download all of McGraw-Hill Education’s apps here.
One of the apps – Baseball Multiplication Facts (1-6) – was recently featured in the “New and Noteworthy” section of the App store.