Making Food Connections

About Food Connections:

Food Connections is a Twin Cities group of food professionals who meet 4-6 times per year to network, exchange industry knowledge and expand their own capabilities through trusted partnerships. We sat down with Anita Nelson, president/owner of IN Food Marketing & Design and Food Connections founder to learn more about how and why Food Connections was created.

Industry professionals gather for a Food Connections meeting.

About 13 years ago, a food packaging design company contacted Anita about sales and marketing support. This interaction sparked a thought: other companies might also be in need of specialized skills.

“I started to think of Minneapolis and St. Paul as a sort of food mecca,” Anita says, “With companies like Land O’Lakes, General Mills, and Schwan’s, there are so many professionals in the area that serve the food industry in a variety of specialties, like photography, package design, food styling, writing, media, and more.”

Anita set out to unite these professionals so they could be a resource to one another by sharing information, collaborating, and networking. The result was Food Connections.

When asked why she chose to start this group, Anita says, “I love connecting and bringing people together. I felt there was an untapped need for this type of group.” She continues, “Additionally, I thought this would be a great way for us to expand our network as a smaller agency. We don’t have all the specialized resources on-staff, but we have a trusted group through Food Connections that we can turn to.”

As trends, best practices and expectations continue to shift rapidly in the food industry, it’s important to have a group to rely on when change occurs. Anita hopes to see continued growth for the future of Food Connections.

“There’s power in a collective. My goal is to continue to expand the group and help others make meaningful connections. Hearing stories of people meeting at Food Connections now collaborating on projects, is one of the many benefits I get from the group,” she says.

A message from the members:

Throughout the years of Food Connections, members have built relationships with people they can count on. We asked a few people to share their experiences as members of this group and how it has impacted them professionally.

Here’s what Julie Kendrick, writer and Food Connections member has to say:

Food Connections members enjoy a breakfast over conversation and collaboration.

“We humans — all of us — are changing the what, why, when and how of the way we relate to food. Those of us who provide creative services to the food industry must respond with grace, agility and bareknuckled street smarts if we want our businesses to survive these many changes. One of the best ways I know to get through ‘interesting times’ is to openheartedly share with those who are experiencing the same thing. At Food Connections, we are given the opportunity to gather around the table and ask questions, share ideas and offer insights about what it all means and where it might be going. That, plus a steaming hot cup of coffee on an early weekday morning, should be enough to lift any weary creative’s spirits for the long days ahead.”

Jean Moench, marketing professional, and Food Connections member also shared her experiences.

She tells us, “I attended my first Food Connections meeting several years ago with no expectations. During this meeting, each attendee introduced themselves and concisely explained what they offer. We exchanged business cards, discussed, shared and mingled. I happily walked away knowing I met some great new contacts. The very next week I ended up getting a call from a company that was looking for a marketing contractor. As it turns out, I was blindly referred to them by a Food Connections attendee. The result was a 4-year, 15-25 hour per week ongoing relationship and multiple contacts in the company. Not all of my networking efforts have been this seamless and bountiful but, I have found that each networking activity usually has some level of benefit.”

She continues, “I am grateful for In Food Marketing and Design’s tenacity in offering a consistent forum for us to gather and collaborate.”

How to join:

Food Connections is open for anyone to join, and once you’re in, you’re in. It’s encouraged to attend meetings when available, but ultimately, it’s a low pressure and low-cost (read: no cost!) group.

Tasty treats provided at a Food Connections meeting.

“Opening our doors to people, offering them a good breakfast, and helping them make connections is what we enjoy,” explains Anita.

Since its founding in 2005, Food Connections continues to gather on a regular basis with a core group of about 65 people. One thing Anita loves about the group is the mix of people attending each meeting — there’s always an opportunity to meet someone new. Our LinkedIn group has grown to over 300 people and a recently created Facebook group is growing fast, too.

Interested in joining Food Connections or know someone who might be? Contact Anita Nelson at anita@infoodmktg.com.

 

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The Lowdown on Pizza Expo 2018

Pizza Expo 2018 in Las Vegas was one for the books – walking between booths with increasingly full bellies and slightly less-full wallets (what’s a trip to Vegas without a round of video poker?) we kept our eyes peeled for the very latest trends in pizza. Here’s what we saw…er, tasted:

pizza-expo-01

Emily and Anita meet with General Mills’ Pillsbury Doughboy

  1. Get on board with charcuterie. Booths everywhere displayed boards of artfully arranged cured meats, both alone and with honeys, nuts and cheeses. The message was clear: simple, elevated appetizers are in. Many pizzerias are choosing to create signature charcuterie boards with flavors that represent their operation, while others switch it up weekly in order to drive diner interest and use up extra ingredients they have on hand.
  2. Health-forward options are turning the tables on tradition. Besides “Non-GMO,” “Made with real ingredients,” and “Organic” signs everywhere, new companies are popularizing innovative ways to freshen up pizza. Cauliflower pizza crust, made with cauliflower as the first ingredient and thickened with almond flour, appeared at several different booths. We were pleasantly surprised by the taste of this unconventional crust, but the familiar texture is what really won our hearts. Who knew cauliflower could be such a satisfying alternative to traditional crust?
    • Another plant-based variation on the classic ‘za appeared at Pizza Expo in the form of vegan cheese. This trend isn’t entirely new to us since it’s already begun making its way around the Twin Cities (check out Parkway Pizza’s partnership with the Herbivorous Butcher!) but our hunch is that pizza lovers everywhere will be offered an increasing number of vegan cheese options in the future.
  1. Your booth makes a difference. Well-designed, well-staffed booths attracted more visitors, especially if samples or demos are involved. From one food industry expert (and bona-fide pizza fanatic) to another (you wouldn’t have read this far if you weren’t also obsessed with pizza, right?) here are some quick do’s and don’ts:
    • DO create a welcoming atmosphere. Try making a small café- or diner-like space in your booth. Not only does it give people a place to rest, it’s a great conversation starter.
    • DON’T overstaff sales reps. Balance the space you have with a non-intimidating number of personnel—no one wants to feel ganged-up on, even if that’s not your intention! If you have several team members at an event, take shifts. While some reps handle the booth, others can scout for new trends or competitive insights around the expo.
    • DO get interactive. Show what you know! Experiment with hosting a live demo or get conference attendees up close and personal to interact with your product. People need an enticing reason to stop by your booth.
    • DON’T forget water or beverages. Pay attention because this is important. There’s no way that we were the only Pizza Expo attendees searching for a water fountain between bites of pizza. While EVERYONE had mouthwatering food samples, there were no liquids anywhere! Try branded water bottles and cups to serve refreshments with your savory treats – trust us, attendees WILL find you.

Here’s to next year! (And no, we’re not sick of pizza).

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Emily Erickson promoted to Account Executive

IN Food Marketing & Design believes strongly in supporting, advancing and investing in our best and brightest. Put two and two together and you’ve likely already figured out why Emily Erickson was recently promoted to Account Executive at this Minneapolis-based communications agency. No, she’s not a good employee, account person or strategic thinker—she’s an excellent one.

Emily works tirelessly to ensure clients’ needs are not only met, but far surpassed and she does it with contagious excitement and enthusiasm. She is a quick thinker, adept at building, nurturing and maintaining relationships and helping foodservice companies connect with their target audiences.

IN Food Clients rest easy knowing they are in Emily’s capable hands, she worked as a Marketing Specialist at B2B e-commerce company Four51 before joining IN Food in January 2017. Emily’s personal interest in cooking, ordering and devouring mouthwatering food comes in handy here at IN. Emily’s clients include General Mills, T. Marzetti Foodservice, WholeMe, Burnett Dairy Cooperative and Pizzey Ingredients.

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You had us at pizza. Which brand is a freezer must-have?

At IN Food, all we’ve been thinking about is pizza (hey, Pizza Expo). Can’t say anything would be different if we weren’t going, we love this staple favorite. So, inspired by our love of cheesy, saucy goodness, we decided to compare a few frozen pizza brands to determine which is the absolute freezer must-have.

The criteria

We purchased 4 brands of frozen pizzas (all cheese only) and tested them based on overall taste, cheesiness, and sauce. After revealing the brands, we reviewed the packaging.

The contenders (price: low to high)

JACK’S

Price: $4.19

Overall Taste: 2.2/5

Cheesiness: 2.4/5

Sauce: 2.4/5

Notes:

  • Overall, we enjoyed the sauce, the crispy crust, and an even melt of cheese. However, compared to the other pizzas it left us feeling uninspired. When it comes to improvements, we wouldn’t say no to more cheese!

Packaging:

  • We found it interesting that Jack’s was the only brand that used photography of an enticing cheese pull on their packaging. They effectively matched packaging with their target audience (younger male, college students).

HEGGIE’S (local)

Price: $7.99

Overall taste: 3.5/5

Cheesiness: 3.2/5

Sauce: 3.7/5

Notes:

  • This local pizza offers a nice, cheesy flavor that’s rich and satisfying. It has a favorable amount of cheese and tangy sauce with notes of fresh tomato.

Packaging:

  • We like the smaller label that shows off the cheese and pizza goodness. A less-sophisticated design provides that ‘local brand’ appeal.

KOWALSKI’S (local)

Price: $7.99

Overall taste: 3.5/5

Cheesiness: 3.1/5

Sauce: 3/5

Notes:

  • Authentic ingredient flavor profile, topped with two cheeses and seasoning. The sauce leaves something to be desired – we wish there was more!

Packaging:

  • The busy design distracts from the pizza itself. The illustrated ingredients give an artisanal feel, but overall it doesn’t have us craving pizza. Compared to other brands, it has us wishing we could see some of the pizza.

 

BREW PUB- LOTZZA MOTZZA (local)

Price: $11.99

Overall taste: 4/5

Cheesiness: 4.25/5

Sauce: 4.2/5

Notes:

  • When they say Lotzza Motzza, they mean it. We LOVED the abundance of cheese on this pizza. Brew Pub perfected the cheese pull with great coverage and texture. Accompanied by a full-bodied and flavorful sauce, this pizza left us wanting another slice (or two!).

Packaging:

  • Again, we love the smaller label that shows off the cheese. Especially when this pizza has so much! The circular label works well with the shape of the pizza. We thought Brew Pub did the best job showcasing their pizza and brand with their packaging.

The results

Lotzza Motzza is the winner on all fronts. Though its regular price is most expensive, our taste test confirms that, in this case at least, you get what you pay for!

 

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Chocolate and stout…that’s what love is about!

Indulge your sweetheart (or office mates!) with decadent truffles this Valentine’s Day. As a nod to our North Loop neighbor, Fulton Brewery, we chose their Worthy Adversary Stout for this recipe.

Chocolate Stout Truffles

Ingredients:

Creamy Centers

1/4 cup Nutella spread
6 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Truffle Filling

1 1/2 cups (1 bottle) Fulton Worthy Adversary Stout beer
12 oz. good quality chocolate (60% cocoa content), chopped

Coating

8 oz. good quality chocolate (from a shiny bar, this means it has previously been tempered) can be milk, dark or white chocolate

Directions:

Creamy Centers

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat milk chocolate and Nutella in microwave for 30 seconds or until just melted. Stir until completely combined. With a teaspoon portion 36 1/2” dollops on parchment. Leave in the freezer for 1 hour, until frozen.

Truffle Filling

Add the beer to a pot over high heat. Reduce by half (about 3/4 cup remaining), stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Use a melon baller to scoop out a small amount of chocolate. Remove centers from freezer. Sandwich one dollop in the middle of the truffle mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Chill for 20 minutes to an hour.

Coating

Heat chocolate in double boiler, on low. Stir until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat. Roll each truffle ball in melted chocolate until coated.

Place on parchment paper, sprinkle with desired topping. Chill until ready to serve.

Topping Ideas

Cocoa powder
Coconut shavings
Chopped nuts
Crumbled bacon
Crushed pretzels
Crushed candy cane
Sprinkles
Crushed toffee
Caramel drizzle
Sea salt
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Why Giving Back is Part of Our Business Model

Food is our passion and our expertise, but it should never be our unique privilege.

At IN Food Marketing & Design we believe good business includes social responsibility. That’s why we invest a portion of our time, money and energy in combatting problems like food insecurity, poverty, illness and unnecessary food waste in our community.

Paul Newman, American actor, philanthropist and co-founder of the food company Newman’s Own once said “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Our team here at IN Food agrees: Paul was onto something.

Here’s where we’ve concentrated our efforts lately.

The Jeremiah Program

Last winter we rolled up our sleeves and traded our keyboards for cutting boards to cook dinner for families at the Jeremiah Program. This program, headquartered in Minneapolis, helps determined single mothers excel in the workforce and prepare their children to succeed in school. It also reduces generational dependence on public assistance—all around a wonderful organization to be involved with and a great excuse for us to cook together (as if we don’t already take every chance we get here at IN Food…)

Second Harvest Heartland—Click for Lunch

Our 7th annual Click for L.U.N.C.H campaign received enough clicks to donate 4,830 meals to Second Harvest Heartland’s Summer Food Service Program!

More than 40% of K-12 kids in Minnesota rely on free or reduced-price lunches, and our partnership with Second Harvest Heartland helps keep these kids fed even when school’s not in session. 

#NationalSandwichDay traditions

For the second year in a row, we celebrated National Sandwich Day by making and donating over 100 sandwiches to Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., a local nonprofit serving homeless and disadvantaged youth and families in our community.

The cheese for these sandwiches came entirely from a client photoshoot. We didn’t want the delicious Cady Creek Farms cheese left in our fridge to go to waste, and since we couldn’t use it all ourselves we made sure it went to people who could. (For more about our efforts to minimize food waste, click here!)

Open Arm’s Turkey Drive

This Thanksgiving we participated in Open Arm’s Turkey Drive, and in doing so helped provide Thanksgiving dinner to families in the Twin Cities facing life-threatening illnesses.

Participants in this year’s drive collectively:

  • Raised $61,288 thanks to 409 generous donors—a number that both exceeded Open Arms’ goal and set a new record for the drive.
  • Delivered prepared turkey dinners to 188 families on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Offered frozen turkeys and trimmings to 378 families to prepare with their loved ones.

We see time and time again that food is more than just sustenance for our clients and their customers. Open Arms recognizes this too—giving Thanksgiving feasts to families coping with severe illness as a way to nourish their bodies, and their hearts.

Adopt-a-Family

The University of Minnesota Student Parent HELP Center is a program that serves low income undergraduates who are pregnant or parenting children while pursuing their degrees. These hardworking students might not be able to afford holiday gifts for their children after paying for tuition, books, rent, child care, and other family expenses, which is why the HELP Center has set-up Gifts for Little Gophers.

A few of us snuck away from our desks to go Christmas shopping for one of these families—picking out presents for three little girls, one boy and their parents. Back at the office, gifts in hand, we cranked the holiday tunes and carefully wrapped presents, enjoying the knowledge that they would bring holiday cheer to a family in our community.

Cookie Cart

Cookie Cart is a local organization that creates opportunities for Minneapolis youth to gain meaningful work experience and develop leadership skills through food (specifically, cookies!) We love the work they do and were thrilled to design their new van. Keep an eye out for the sleek new cookie-mobile around town.

As part of our partnership, we also welcomed Cookie Cart students to our North Loop office for brainstorming and a Q&A session about our industry. These young people are engaged and inspiring—a wonderful example of the way foodservice organizations can contribute to positive change in our community.

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10 Takeaways from 2017: The IN Food Annual Roundup

From the value of programmatic advertising to the wonders of the 21st century (have you tried Slack?!) to activating latent badassery in our office, here are 10 things we’ve learned in 2017.

1. Social media is a great place to test new creative ideas. Trying to decide between two versions of a headline? Two different images? Post them both and see which one resonates better with your audience. Voilà, there’s your answer.

2. Direct mail still works, folks. Call us crazy, but when we have a wild thought with big potential here at IN Food, we like to see where it takes us.

Case in point: We’re not afraid to go retro. Did you hear that direct mail marketing is dead? Certainly not from us. As an element of recent campaigns, we (er, a bunch of US Postal Service employees) took to the streets with some old-fashioned paper-and-ink marketing, and even we were surprised by the results. In campaigns with multiple touch points, we’ve found that direct mail can still out-perform other more “advanced” tactics.

3. Budget a little tighter than you anticipated? Programmatic advertising provides the best bang for your buck. The “golden age” (or not-so-golden-age, if you were a woman…) of advertising recently romanticized by the TV show Mad Men, is ALL about the creative. But today’s placement-driven marketing landscape is pretty darn sexy too—albeit a bit more futuristic. Programmatic advertising uses an automated bidding system to reach targets, resulting in a lot of impressions to a wide audience on a small budget. Employed strategically, a good programmatic ad could take Don Draper’s most creative idea any day.

4. Babies boost office morale. Our office manager, Erin, was between daycare providers for a few weeks this year and brought her son Felix to the office on Tuesdays. Suddenly there weren’t enough Tuesdays in a week for any of us with little Felix scooting around our desks and assisting his mom with conference calls.

A great example of the culture of flexibility and understanding that we cultivate here at IN Food, we’re all secretly hoping Erin might switch daycare providers again. (Although she feels like the arrangement she’s got going now is a good one…you sure Erin?)

5. We are among the smaller agencies in the Twin Cities, but we still play ball in the big leagues. Small can be mighty, especially when you put your whole heart into an endeavor. This year we were selected as the agency of record for General Mills Convenience & Foodservice and reminded just how big a role passion, grit and ingenuity play in success—regardless of the numbers.

6. A little playtime pays off. In 2017, we made an effort to do more things together—inside and outside of work. From dinners to happy hours, retreats, birthday celebrations and taking turns making soup for office lunches, we’ve discovered that quality “team” time really does translate to a near-seamless work environment.

7. All aboard the Slack train! No, really. Bringing this cloud-based messaging and collaboration tool to our office has streamlined communication between colleagues and departments and given us all an excuse to giggle at our screens together (as if we needed another platform for inside jokes…) Slack makes communication fast, easy, effective and fun!

8. Giving back feels great. As a food marketing agency we’re passionate about serving our community and helping to combat hunger. In addition to our annual Click For Lunch campaign, this year we also cooked and served dinner for the Jeremiah Program, made over one hundred sandwiches for the homeless, and volunteered at Second Harvest Heartland.

9. Everyone can be a badass. As part of our agency retreat in October we read Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass. Her refreshing, realistic and often-hilarious take on life, work and success gave us all a new idea or two to mull over, a little extra swagger in our step, and a reminder of our own badassery.

10. Staying active keeps you fresh. From #PlankTime (one minute planks every hour on the hour, anyone?) to complimentary Sculpt Yoga classes taught by our very own Assistant Account Executive, Emily, we’ve been reminded that a little physical activity throughout the day improves performance, productivity and happiness.

 

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Food Connections: Happy Hour Edition

food connections happy hour

There are Happy Hours…and then there are Food Connections Happy Hours.

Voluntarily or not, you’ve probably attended a version of the former: pre-packaged cheese platters, mediocre wine served in plastic cups with a side of stilted conversation. Sound familiar? It’s no secret that happy hour networking events range from mildly enjoyable (on a good day) to downright agonizing.

Last month’s special Food Connections Happy Hour, however, was a different story.

In keeping with our values of integrity and transparency we do have to fess up to one unfair advantage in the happy hour category: Creative Director Lori Gerdts. You might have seen the lasagna she whipped up with leftover cheese this fall? Our Food Connections appetizer spread was—if possible—even more mouthwatering.

spicy cauliflower

Menu highlights included:

  • Spicy Cauliflower Bites with Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip
  • Short Rib Flatbread with Smoked Gouda Sauce, Caramelized Onions, Jalapeño and Cilantro
  • Tortilla Chips topped with Chipotle Shrimp and Lobster Guacamole, and a Garlicky Black Bean Puree

apple brie

Happy hour success isn’t just about creating extraordinary taste sensations though. It was a treat to catch up with familiar faces and meet new professionals serving the food and marketing industry in the Twin Cities area. Plus, it’s rewarding for us to see valuable connections being made among our friends, colleagues and contacts.

IN Food president and founder, Anita Nelson, launched Food Connections in 2005 with a simple—but powerful—idea: the creation of a forum for Twin Cities’ food professionals to share information, build networks and forge trusted strategic partnerships. IN Food clients also benefit from Food Connections—we’ve got friends in every food industry niche you can think of, and the rapport to tap into their knowledge and quickly expand our capabilities.

Interested in becoming a Food Connections member? There’s no cost to participate, we simply ask that you have a genuine desire to connect with other professionals serving the food industry. Breakfast meetings are held four to six times per year at the IN Food office. You’ll have the opportunity to share about your areas of expertise, participate in roundtable discussions on relevant trends and topics, and—of course—network.

Join the Food Connections LinkedIn group to receive updates and meeting notifications. Shoot us an email if you’d like to stay informed about all things IN Food (Food Connections included) via our e-newsletter, or follow us on social media. (We’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!)

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Gingerbread Cookies

MAKES 7 DOZEN 3-INCH COOKIES
A nostalgic holiday cookie, perfect for rolling and decorating to keep a classic holiday tradition alive.

INGREDIENTS

COOKIES

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks – reserve whites for frosting
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 5-6 cups flour

FROSTING

  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. vinegar
  • 18 large marshmallows
  • 2 egg whites
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS COOKIES

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the yolks one at a time and beat until incorporated. Beat in the molasses, buttermilk, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cream of tartar.

Add the flour a cup at a time, waiting to add the next cup until the previous is mostly incorporated. Dough can be a little sticky since it will be rolled out with flour.

Chill the dough until firm. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out chilled dough with flour about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out shapes as desired. Bake for about 6-7 minutes until cookies look set and are starting to brown on the edges. Makes 7 dozen 3-inch cookies.

DIRECTIONS FROSTING

Put all the ingredients in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with an inch or 2 of simmering water. Cook and stir until marshmallows are melted. Add egg whites and beat 7 minutes over the double boiler. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

TO ASSEMBLE

Spread frosting on cooled cookies or transfer to a piping bag to decorate cooled cookies. Let frosting harden before serving.

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Doing our part to reduce food waste

Stories from the IN Food Kitchen

To say that food waste is a huge problem in this country is an understatement. About 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten. Seriously. Chew on that stat for a second.

As a marketing and design agency specializing in food, this carelessness around food waste is our problem too—and we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Recently we did a photoshoot for the Cady Creek Farms brand of our partner Burnett Dairy Cooperative, and challenged ourselves to use the leftover (and delicious!) cheese from the photoshoot as creatively as possible. Here’s what we did:

Lori’s Luscious Lasagna

If you know anything about our office, you know that Lori Gerdts, dauntless Vice President and Creative Director here at IN Food, could be just as successful as Chef de Cuisine at a swanky five-star restaurant. (We’re just glad she wants to stick it out in the office with us!)lasagna

Recently, after every mouthwatering shot had been prepped and captured to her exacting standards, Lori went to work on the photoshoot leftovers. The resulting lasagna was like nothing any of us had ever tasted before. Here’s what she used:

  • Perfectly savory-sweet caramelized onions left from sandwich preparations in the shoot.
  • Scrumptious sautéed mushrooms also used for sandwich preparations in the shoot.
  • Deliciously crispy leftover prosciutto.
  • Liberal amounts of 4 different flavors of Burnett Dairy cheese.

To these left-over ingredients she added a dangerously delicious béchamel sauce (made with more Cady Creek Farms cheese of course) and alternated layers of béchamel with layers of Lori’s Secret Red Sauce (a recipe she’ll take to her grave) between lasagna noodles, finishing it all with more cheese and a sprig of herbs.

Grilled Cheese Gala

Grilled cheese became a lunchtime staple at IN Food in the weeks after the Burnett photoshoot—and no one complained about eating rich melty goodness between slices of bread also left over from the shoot on more than one occasion. Cooking together is something we love to do here at IN Food, and what better excuse than making a whole bunch of darn delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch at the office?

#NationalSandwichDay traditions

sandwiches to reduce food wasteEven with Lori’s decadent lasagna and grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen at lunch, we knew that our small-but-fierce agency couldn’t consume pounds and pounds of leftover cheese fast enough to use it all. So, for the second year in a row, we celebrated National Sandwich Day (November 3rd for those of you ready to mark your calendars for next year) by making and donating 150 sandwiches to Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., a local nonprofit serving homeless and disadvantaged youth and families in our community. If we couldn’t use all the perfectly good cheese ourselves, we wanted to make sure someone else could.

Perks of being ‘in’ with the IN crowd

If you’re not already in good standing with one or more of our team members, you may want to move that up your to-do list. Many of our nearest and dearest benefitted from this commitment to using Cady Creek Farms’ photoshoot cheese responsibly: from neighborhood chili cook-offs to birthday blowouts for 3-year-olds, logs of delicious leftover cheese proved—once again—that it pays to be on the INside.


Looking for more ingenious solutions to the problem of food waste in America? Here are some resources we’ve found informational and helpful!

Forbes on the latest food waste solution in the food industry: Wasted Bites Get Culinary Love From All-Star Chefs And Startups.

Hungry Harvest—a non-profit that delivers “ugly produce”, food that is wasted due to aesthetic imperfections or logistical inefficiencies, to subscribers of their market box service and additionally subsidizes and donates this produce to people in need.

TC Food Justice combats food waste and hunger right here at home in the Twin Cities area!

 

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