Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ Ice Cream with Peaches

 SERVES 6-8 • It’s a sweet taste of summer in a bowl: warm, fresh peaches and velvety ice cream with just the right hint of cinnamon.



  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • 3 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch™
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


  • Fresh peaches, halved and pitted
  • Maple syrup (for brushing)
  • Butter (for grilling)
  • Pecans, chopped



  1. Start by pouring the milk in a bowl and putting ½ cup of the cereal in it. (You really only need one cup of milk, but some of the milk is going to get absorbed into the cereal, so it’s best to use 1 ¼ cups.)
  2. Let the cereal sit in the fridge for as long as you can. Six to eight hours is ideal. When you take it out of the fridge, it will be all soggy-like.
  3. Strain the milk from the cereal, making sure you have a cup of milk
    (if you need more, just pour more plain milk). Put milk in a medium saucepan. Heat the milk with the salt and sugar in the saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer and then remove from heat.
  4. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl. Pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then pour that back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Pour the cream into a separate bowl placed in an ice bath. Now, strain the warm milk mixture into the bowl of cream. Add in vanilla. Stir over the ice until cool. Then put the bowl into the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the cereal, so it’s nice and crunchy when you add it into the ice cream. First, put the two cups of cereal in a bag and crush it just a little bit. Heat the butter and brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave until it’s melted. Whisk it together and pour it over the cereal.
  7. Spread the cereal over a parchment-lined cookie sheet, so it’s in a nice even layer and bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350oF, until it’s nice and caramelized. Let it cool and then break it into little pieces.
  8. Process your ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon while the ice cream is processing.
  9. When the ice cream is almost done, mix in the Cinnamon Toast. Then store the ice cream in a separate container and let freeze for another few hours, or overnight.

from We are not Martha


Brush the peach halves with maple syrup. Smear butter on a grill or grill pan over low heat. Place the peaches cut side down onto the grill/grill pan and cook them low and slow for a few minutes, rotating them 90 degrees halfway through. Monitor the cooking temp and keep it low enough that the maple syrup doesn’t burn.

Remove the peaches when they’re slightly soft but not mushy and have great grill marks. Brush a little extra maple syrup over the tops.


Scoop ice cream into a bowl, then cut peach halves in half. Press the slices into the ice cream, sprinkle pecans and extra Cinnamon Toast Crunch™.

Posted in Reciplease! | Leave a comment

Our Best At Work Playlists

What’s IN our earbuds? Here are a few of our favorite playlists to listen to while we’re chipping away.

Caroline, Copywriter:

“I listen to the Spotify Orchestra: Cello playlist a lot at work because it doesn’t have words, which can be difficult when I’m writing. Often, I’ll play this on shuffle and test myself to identify cello repertoire—always finding little ways to challenge my brain. Otherwise, sometimes you just need a good mixture of Kendrick/Childish Gambino/Chance the Rapper/Macklemore to pound out some articles, you know?”

Ciara, Digital Marketing Coordinator:

“At work I listen to a bit of everything depending on my mood and what music will keep me focused or motivated throughout the day. One of my go-tos is an original playlist called Cold Brew that is a little upbeat but still kind of focused and includes tracks from Sylvan Esso, Maggie Rogers, etc. Other times I’ll just throw on my Discover Weekly playlist and let Spotify be the DJ.”

Maddy, Graphic Designer:

Lately I’ve been listening to the How I Built This podcast. It’s nice because when I want to fully engage while doing some mindless design tweaking I can, but the interviews are also relaxing to listen to and easy to tune out if needed. My go-to music is Head and the Heart because it’s calming (and the occasional Hairspray or Rent soundtrack if I need to get pumped up).”

Alyssa, Graphic Designer:

“I usually listen to my own curated Christian worship playlist in the morning and then in the afternoons I listen to my random mix playlist, which has everything from Disney to 80s and 90s hits to Rat Pack/Jazz.”

Lori, Creative Director:

“I just hum…Lift High the Cross.”

Nina, Project Manager:

“I’ll listen to various coffee shop playlists to relax, personal development podcasts for inspiration, and podcasts about blogging (because I’m trying to be a blogger now HA!).”

Emily, Account Executive:

“I cannot listen to words when I work, so I usually listen to Workday Lounge or Brain Food on Spotify—sometimes jazz if I’m feeling fancy. When I have a big meeting, presentation, or some serious plank time, I get pumped up with Beyoncé (girl power) or steal some dance songs from my Sculpt playlists!”

Maggie, Account Manager:

Not sure how I ever landed upon it, but my go-to music station at work is Tyrone Wells Radio on Pandora – relaxing music with a few better-known songs mixed in. There are also times where I might have an upcoming concert and need a refresher (I’m terrible with lyrics and associating songs with correct artists…) and will listen to that particular band to attempt to quickly study-up.” 

Betsy, Graphic Designer:

“I listen to Spotify and typically browse their playlists. Some of the ones I’m drawn to are Coffee House in the mornings, and then in the afternoon I’ll switch to some Indie playlist—usually Indie Pop, Essential Indie, New Indie Mix, or Boho + Chill. Otherwise if I really need to focus I’ll listen to Relax and Unwind or Afternoon Acoustic.”

Drew, Account Coordinator:

“I’m almost always listening to something at work. I like a lot of sports/pop culture podcasts like the Bill Simmons Podcast or Men in Blazers because it’s a fun conversation to listen to with interesting guests. When writing or editing I listen to the This Is M83 Spotify playlist. Any other kind of work it’s usually the Spotify’s Modern Psychedelia playlist. If for whatever reason I need to get amped about something at work I listen to Nirvana or Kanye West.”

Posted in Current Obsessions, IN or Out? | Leave a comment

Get grilling: The wurst and best (cheddar) brats to serve this Fourth of July

Brat_Brand-TestWith the holiday around the corner and a season of backyard barbeques ahead, we were craving a summer staple in the office: brats. And with a fair amount of our office from Wisconsin, we threw in a classic twist. Cheese.

“My favorite brand test yet.”

—Maggie Alt, Account Manager & Wisconsin native, brings her own sauerkraut to the party.

The Contenders:

  • Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar
  • Teton Cheddar & Mild Jalepeño
  • Schweigert Smokey Cheddar
  • New Bohemia Mac and Cheese

The Criteria:

  • Overall taste
  • Texture
  • Packaging

The Breakdown:




For many of us in the office, Johnsonville is our go-to brat. It’s easy to find at any grocery store and always satisfies the “I need a brat” feeling. Compared to other brands, we noticed this brat seemed sweet and had a softer interior. The cheese was there, but it wasn’t as cheesy as the others and had an air of artificiality.


Our brat expert, Maggie, says, “Contrary to prior belief, I can’t always crush six brats in one sitting.” The resealable packaging Johnsonville uses is key and sets itself apart from other brands. Additionally, showing a cooked brat (grill marks included) gives the packaging taste appeal.




This brat surprised us (in a good way) with hints of jalapeño. It had a nice smoky flavor and the ratio of brat, cheese and spice was on point. Each bite remained interesting.


Teton’s packaging immediately stands out through their use of color and straight-forward design. Using “100% grass-fed beef” as a callout reaches an audience of people who care most about the quality of their meat. With this information larger than Teton’s logo, it can be implied that the company cares more about how their brats are made than about brand recognition.




Schweigert’s brats have a smoky, cheddar flavor. The brats’ wrapped casings give it a straight-from-the-butcher appeal. Overall, this brat has a great flavor and nice saltiness.


Schweigert’s packaging reflects a traditional-style that you’d expect from a mom and pop butcher shop. The nutritional information on the front, though promoting ingredient transparency, makes the design feel cluttered. The imagery provides taste appeal, but it gets lost in a dark background.


New Bohemia:


Local to Minnesota, we were excited to try this brat. In tasting, we noticed a sweetness and greasiness (the kind you want in a brat). We loved the strong prevalence of cheese, but the softer texture, likely due to the cheese, was a bit of a turn-off.


The authenticity and simplicity of New Bohemia’s packaging draws us in. Like Schweigert, the packaging offers a style that seems like it’s straight from the butcher shop across the street. We suppose in this case, as a local brand, it sort of is.

The Verdict:

The winner of ‘Best Brat’ in the IN Food Taste Test was the Teton Cheddar & Mild Jalapeño. Distinguished by a smoky flavor and zing of jalapeño, this brat left a mark on our palates. It’s flavor, firm casing, and seasoning kept each bite engaging and delicious.

Posted in Brand Test | Leave a comment

What’s a typical day like in an agency?

A common question many advertising professionals will get in their lifetime is: What does a typical day look like for you? The only sound answer we agree on is: There is no typical day.

Most of us chose this path because each day is different. Multi-tasking has a way of keeping us sane. We defy routine and will come into work only to find our expectations of to-dos for the day shuffled around to accommodate a range of projects, clients and deadlines.

However, if we had to go in and describe the day to day doings at IN Food, here it goes…

A majority of the IN Food crew at our annual retreat.


Once everyone is in the office (around 8:30 a.m.), Nina, our project manager hits a “Yahoo!” button to call a morning status meeting. This serves as our time to brief on upcoming projects and usually turns into time to share a short story or two about something going on in our lives or the world.

Then we part ways to start the action. Our designers design, our writers write, and our account team works seamlessly with our clients and team to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

Each day is filled with kick-off meetings, brainstorming sessions and touch-bases. Although each day differs in the scope of projects and tasks, we can always count on a few things to be the same:

  • Lori’s morning oatmeal (which has been consistent for 10 years)
  • Dozens of projects being hammered out via Slack (and a few goofy conversations too)
  • An attempt at a team plank session to #stayfit
  • Alyssa’s routine eating schedule (she has this timed to a T)

Food also plays a huge role in our daily culture (as you might have guessed, we’re a food marketing agency, after all!). When we’re not eyeing—and admiring—each other’s lunches, you can find us putting brands to the test to see who has the best product or stopping by Black Sheep Pizza (conveniently located beneath our office) for a group lunch.

And before we know it, it’s about 5:30 p.m. and time to get out of the office for the day (or 1 p.m. on summer Fridays).

Despite the daily shuffle and manageable chaos that comes with the advertising territory, we wouldn’t have it any other way. So, here’s to the not-so-typical days that make up the week and keep things interesting all-year round at IN.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

25,000 Meals to Kids in Need

We are truly amazed by all the support for our Click for L.U.N.C.H campaign. Our initial goal was to provide 15,000 meals to Second Harvest Heartland’s Summer Food Service Program, but due to overwhelming clicks and support, we upped our goal to 25,000 meals and crushed it! That’s over 20,000 more meals than last year! From all of us here at IN to all of you who participated, our warmest thanks for making this year’s Click for L.U.N.C.H. campaign the best yet.

“We are beyond thrilled about the support for our Click for L.U.N.C.H. campaign. It’s such an easy way for people to give back, and I think that this incredibly accessible platform, along with some exciting coverage on local news, helped boost participation this year,” says Anita Nelson, president of IN Food Marketing & Design. To participate in Click for L.U.N.C.H., all you had to do was visit our campaign’s landing page. In turn, we provided 3 meals per click on the page.

Did you know?

During the school year, more than 40% of K-12 kids in Minnesota are eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. However, when the school year ends for the summer, these children may not have access to the nutritious meals they need. The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals to children 18 and under to fill this gap.

Here at IN, we’re passionate about food and are glad to help ensure fewer children in our community live at risk of hunger this summer. Our partnership with Second Harvest Heartland has been an incredible experience. You can find information about donating to or volunteering with this great organization at

Stay up-to-date with next year’s Click for L.U.N.C.H.

Follow us on social media and be in-the-know for next year’s campaign!

Posted in Giving Back | Leave a comment

Click for L.U.N.C.H. 2018

We’re IN to food. For everyone.

This simple statement defines the way we think about business and the way we interact with our community. We’re thrilled to kick off our 8th annual Click for L.U.N.C.H.! Campaign to raise awareness for Second Harvest Heartland’s Summer Food Service Program.

For every person that visits June 18-22, three meals will be donated to Second Harvest Heartland. This summer, it’s our goal to donate up to $5,000, which would provide 15,000 meals, through our Click for L.U.N.C.H.! Campaign.

“We believe everyone should have access to quality food. While there are many food drives around the holidays, it’s less likely that people think about hunger in the summer months, particularly as it relates to children,” explains Anita Nelson, president of IN Food Marketing & Design.

Nearly 40 percent of children in Minnesota public schools depend on free or reduced-cost meals they receive during the school year. When the school year ends, these children may not have access to the nutritious meals they need.

We’re fully aware of the negative impact food insecurity has on a child’s overall health and ability to learn. For this reason, we are choosing to donate three meals for every person that visits our campaign page.

To help meet our 15,000-meal goal, please share this page with friends and family!

Posted in Giving Back | Leave a comment

Where’s the beef? Which veggie burger are we INto?

With the rise of plant-based diets AND an absurd amount of veggie-burgers stowed away in our freezer, it’s fitting for us food-honchos to sample a few veggie-based burgers and let you know which is on our menu this season.

The criteria:

Four types of veggie burgers are going head-to-head (or, should we say, stem-to-stem), critiqued on texture, flavor, and bonus points for packaging with extra pizzazz.

*All veggie burgers were cooked in the oven as a standard.

The contenders:

  • Hilary’s
  • Dr. Praeger’s Super Greens
  • Dr. Praeger’s California blend
  • Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy

The breakdown:



Although, branded as “The World’s Best Veggie Burger,” Hilary’s was one of our least favorites. The anemic appearance and bland taste left us unimpressed and uninspired. However, considering it is essentially free of everything (gluten, corn, dairy, egg, soy, and nut) there’s likely a niche consumer out there who loves it. With adequate sauce and toppings, Hilary’s burger can see lots of improvement.


We loved Hilary’s playful packaging and immediately felt drawn to it through its vibrant color and fun use of doodles – though, if you stare at the sun too long…it gets a little creepy. We also noted that the product loses appetite appeal in contrast to the fun, trendy packaging.

Dr. Praeger’s



When Dr. Praeger’s says super greens, they mean it. Like the name suggests, this burger was rich with spinach, kale, swiss chard and more, which was honestly a little too green for our tastes. The green assortment and seasoning profile provided a fresh flavor, but it fell apart easily.

California blend:


After two so-so burgers prior and flagging morale, our hungry team needed to regain hope for the veggie burger. The California blend pleasantly surprised taste buds with its flavor, crunchy texture, and maintaining its patty shape.


Dr. Praeger’s packaging makes you want to eat a veggie burger. They leverage appetite appeal expertly, showcasing the burger prepared and in the hands of a consumer. Their design offers a pleasing visual balance between the product and information. If we were to change one thing, however, it would be the brand name itself…”Dr. Praeger’s” doesn’t leave us craving veg-burgers.

Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy


Roped in by the southwest flavor, this quinoa blended veggie burger instantly became a team favorite. A crispy breadcrumb outside brought out the flavors of black beans, corn, and red peppers, while keeping shape.


After the brands were revealed, we immediately knew this was a Trader Joe’s brand because of their recognizable, visual-rich, and consistent packaging. But, we briefly second-guessed ourselves, as the Trader Joe’s logo gets lost in the imagery.

The consensus:

Ultimately, we have faith that there ARE really good, delicious, drool-worthy veggie burgers out there, but we’re just not sure that we found them today. The standout favorite among our team was Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy Burger, followed by Dr. Paeger’s California Blend. From there, many of us decided to hold on to our carnivorous identities a little tighter.

Posted in Brand Test | Leave a comment

Navigating Trade Show Season 2018


Tradeshows can be expensive and overwhelming, but they are also an excellent marketing opportunity. If you’re on the fence about participating, read on! We’re laying out the reasons trade shows could be advantageous for you, tips to make your show a success, and a list of upcoming shows where you can make your splash in the industry.

Why attend a tradeshow?

Participating in a tradeshow means multiple days in the same room as thousands of people who have the potential to grow your business: buyers, sellers, distributors, influencers, packaging experts, marketers, etc. It also provides the unique and valuable opportunity to network with other food companies, see new trends in the biz, scope out the competition and build new friendships.

How to make your show a success?

Be as prepared as possible.

Just when you think you have everything on your list, there’s something else, right? Each tradeshow comes with a learning curve and it’s good practice to get as prepared as possible ahead of time. Note: printing materials, shipping, and set-up can be more time consuming than you think. It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to set yourself up for success. Shipping a pallet? Make sure to throw an extra roll of shrink wrap in for its return.

Other musts on your packing list:

  • Display materials (signage, tablecloth, banners, etc.)
  • Business cards (and a pouch to collect the ones you get)
    • We recommend writing a few notes about the conversation you had on the back of the card, so it’s easy to recall who you spoke with when looking through your stack of cards after the show.
  • Samples and small giveaway items
  • Sales sheets
  • Company information
  • Comfortable shoes – Trade shows make for lots of standing at the booth or walking around the show. Plus, if you’re traveling, you might want to do some celebratory sight-seeing after the show!


This is a balancing act. You need enough people to allow breaks and help with set-up, but you don’t want your booth to feel overcrowded. Three people manning the booth at a time is usually a good number (depending on how large your booth is). Other hands on deck can walk the show, checking out trends and competition.

Stand out

With hundreds of other vendors, this can be a tall order, but above all remember that it’s important to create an experience and remain true to your company. Pro-tip: Samples, freebies, and demonstrations attract an audience. Also, a lot of people get full (can you imagine?) from all the samples, so hand-outs and on-the-go samples are important to consider.

Know your talking points

What is the main message you want to promote? How does it align with your business goals for the year? Have this prepared ahead of time to keep your conversations on track.


Be approachable. This should be obvious, but tradeshows are a lot of work and exhausting. No matter how many cups of coffee it takes to get you through the day, keep a smile on your face and be ready to talk to anyone… you never know how far a good impression can go.

Convinced you want to exhibit?

Check out these upcoming shows!



Planning for a trade show?

Let’s work together.



Posted in Marketing Tips | Leave a comment

A growing movement: plant-based dining

grain-bowlRecently, we’ve noticed that many people are turning to plant-based diets in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. From flexitarian to vegan, we’re digging into how (and why) people adopt different lifestyles to lessen their impact on the environment. Plus, as card-carrying food industry buffs, we’ve got the inside scoop on why incorporating more veggie-based options might be the next best way to boost sales at operations across all segments.

The meat industry’s impact on the environment:

Phew, this could be a thesis-level analysis of scholarly articles, but we’ll spare you the lofty hypotheses and keep it simple with some cold hard facts. If you’re interested in learning more, we have a bunch of resources posted below!

  • Growing livestock feed in the U.S. requires 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer EACH year across 149 million acres of cropland.
    • The process generates copious amounts of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • Red meats such as beef and lamb are responsible for 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as common vegetables and grains
  • If diets continue the way they’re headed (that is, heavily skewed in the direction of carnivore), this will lead to an 80 percent increase in global greenhouse emissions from food production by 2050.

Amidst all these doom and gloom statistics we should mention that there’s a compromise that doesn’t translate to “eat exclusively rabbit food or we’ll all die.” It’s true that an overwhelming majority of the meat industry still relies on systems that are incredibly destructive to the environment. Fortunately, emerging agriculture practices, such as organic, grass-fed, and pasture-raised meats offer an environmentally responsible way to enjoy a nice juicy steak every once in a while.

Environmentally conscious diets:


~22.8 million Americans are flexitarian. A flexitarian diet is exactly what it sounds like …a flexible vegetarian diet. Flexitarian is defined as a person “whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish.” Basically, eat a vegetarian diet, but make exceptions here or there.


~7.3 million Americans are vegetarian, meaning no meat at all. Vegetarians get their sustenance from things like vegetables, beans, grains, fruits, dairy, and eggs.


~1.6 million Americans are vegan. Taking it to the next level, a vegan diet eliminates all animal by-product. No meat, dairy, eggs, etc.

Fresh menu items we’ve got our eyes on:

Think outside the tofu container! There’s been a lot of great innovation happening in the plant-based category. Some flavorful ideas include, but are not limited to:

The Impossible Burger

Made from 0% beef, this burger cooks, tastes, and bleeds like the real deal. It uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas when compared to its beef counterpart.

Grain bowls

A meal composed of a grain base. Add sauce, vegetables, toppings, proteins (meat, tofu, eggs) and arrange in a fun, visually appealing way, because why not.

Superfood salads

Lunch runs to our North Loop neighbor Crisp & Green are a near-daily occurrence in our office. Packing a salad with superfoods like avocado, kale, blueberries, quinoa, seeds, and nuts elevates it from side to main dish. If our office is any indication, the superfood salad is a great way to go.

Blended burgers (not entirely beef)

An ongoing competition from the James Beard Foundation has encouraged chefs around the country to give blended burgers a try on their menus, which goes to show that support for experimentation with plant-based and blended proteins is coming from all levels of the food industry. We particularly love the one from our neighbor, Red Cow!

Curious about your carbon footprint?

Visit the WWF Footprint Calculator. Note: it’s a U.K. based-test so some terminology may be different, but it’s practical, robust and pretty accurate.

As a food company (or, for instance, an agency that specializes in helping food companies reach their highest potential…wait, that’s us!), it’s impossible to please everyone. However, taking steps to formulate more preference-inclusive products, offerings and menus can have huge benefits for your operation. Repositioning, repurposing or introducing veggies and grains can go a long way toward preserving our precious natural resources AND bring in business from the growing number of flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan consumers.







Posted in Current Obsessions, IN or Out?, Marketing Tips | Leave a comment

We’re growing – say hello to our five new hires!

Quick! Grab five extra plates and scoot over to make room, we’re growing and we’ve added five new faces to the IN Food crew over the past several months.

Graphic Designer, Maddy Baker (second from left), joined the team in August, bringing previous experience with mouthwatering food and foodservice imagery as a designer for HyVee Corporate. (She’s a perfect fit for an agency that specializes in heating up sales for food companies!)

Content Strategist, Caroline Carlson (far right), followed closely behind Maddy in September. Caroline adds her own food industry expertise gained as a writer for organic food cooperative Organic Valley, as well as a meticulous red pen, to the IN Food arsenal.

October welcomed Account Coordinator, Nina Bernardi (second from right), to IN Food’s office. The team benefitted immediately from Nina’s keen attention to detail, unparalleled organizational skills and previous experience doing account coordination for an agency in Des Moines, IA.

In February, Account Executive, Maggie Alt (center), pulled up a chair at the IN Food table. Coming from an Account Executive role at cloud-based retail software company SPS Commerce, Maggie has been a natural—and invaluable—addition to the team.

Not long after Maggie, Social Media & Marketing Intern, Ciara Metzger (far left), jumped on board. Ciara graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and brought to IN previous food industry marketing experience working for local muesli company Seven Sundays. Ciara keeps all things social media running smoothly here at IN…so smoothly in fact, that she has already been promoted to a full time role and will soon be our new Digital Marketing Coordinator!

Last week all five new team members received our signature IN Food welcome: a food fight featuring each new hire’s favorite food. We love how these images capture each person’s personality, and prove that as an agency we can handle just about anything that’s thrown at us.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment