Inside the Betty Crocker Kitchens

Last month I trotted myself over to Minnesota and spent two fabu days in THE Betty Crocker kitchens, located in the heart of the General Mills campus, right in the center of a very cold and chilly Minneapolis.  Day Two was set aside to film two videos for Bisquick (here and here), and Day One was filled with a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. Want to see what it looks like to live with Betty?

The General Mills campus was massive. I had no idea. It’s clean and slick and well-organized and buzzing with some of the finest people I’ve yet worked with. Everyone was lovely nice. And talented. And nicely coiffed. They have a hair salon right there in the GM headquarters. Serious.

In fact, to celebrate the talent of the Betty Crocker employees and freelancers, the company hosts an annual art competition where participants are invited to submit photos of General Mills products used in clever ways.

Seriously clever ways.

Can you spot the fruit rollups? Clever, eh?

I got to walk through the Betty Crocker prop room, which is pretty much food blogger heaven. Can you imagine if you had all those plates…and bowls…and serving platters? That’s straight up nirvana right there.

Oh, and there are forks. Drawer after drawers of color-coordinated forks and spoons and knives. Red ones.

Green and yellow ones.

Blue. Blue. Blue and Blue. I’m trying to decide between nabbing the red drawer or the blue one. I think red.

After I came down from the Prop Room high, I joined up with the lovely Kristen Olsen, Food Editor and Betty Crocker celeb extraordinaire. Not only does Kristen have perfect skin, she’s talented in the kitchen, fabulous in red, you can also catch her in a new series of baking videos appearing on BettyCrockerTV. Oh, and she’s a beekeeper. How do you not love Kristen already?

Kristen and I cooked up a batch of Fluffernutter Cookies. They were ridiculously scrum.

Day two was filled with filming. The crew from Three Volts handled all of the dirty work. I’m really tempted to cut and paste the thesaurus terms for “incredible” here because that’s pretty dang much what they all were.  Business partners Jake Nyberg and Bill Prouty made the entire experience fun, fast, and entirely enjoyable.

I had me a lovely makeup artiste, Desiree.  She’s a cutie.

Des also happens to be girlfriend to this cameraman, Andre. I think they’d have absurdly cute children. Just sayin’.

And my favorite gal of the day was the food stylist. She had every step of every recipe prepared four times, on exactly the same plates, and laid everything out with such precision and care. I really need her in my kitch. Stat.

The day ended with pictures of the crew. Random things pictures. Apparently they do this after every shoot. Hilarious!

Then, I was off to meet up with another group of my favorite Minnesotans…

Shaina Banaina and her Food for my Family crew, including the infamous hubby Ole, who was actually crushing garlic when I arrived at their home. Yep. Crushing fresh garlic. With his bare hands. The rumors are true, people. Ole and Shaina are mad awesome.

Shain and I spent a handful of hours trotting around Mall of American (rollercoaster, anyone?) then headed over to Psycho Suzies for cheese curds and a lengthy midnight chat.  Yum.

I owe a HUGE thank you to Naomi Alford, the brains behind the whole trip, for inviting me to join her. Such a treat!

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39 Responses to “Inside the Betty Crocker Kitchens”

  1. 1

    Kendra on May 4, 2011 at 6:37 am Reply

    You were awesome!!! I can’t wait to try the shortcakes.

  2. 2

    Liz on May 4, 2011 at 8:13 am Reply

    How exciting. I love their prop room! What a dream!

  3. 3

    Colleen on May 4, 2011 at 9:23 am Reply

    The videos were so fun to watch! It’s obvious you had a BLAST making them! Sorry our weather wasn’t nicer for your visit…we have had an unusually cold spring. Must mean our summer will be fantastic! I have been meaning to go to Psycho Suzi’s. I’m putting it on my summer-to-do list!

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

      I LOVE Summer To-Do Lists!

  4. 4

    Jessie on May 4, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply

    I have been following your blog for the last few months and I just have to say you are just too fun! :) Your videos were awesome and it was fun to see the woman behind the fabulous blog and tasty recipes!

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

      Jessie, thank you. And I love YOUR blog. You are SO creative!!! My children would LOVE to have half of your creations. Adore!

  5. 5

    Amy Allen on May 4, 2011 at 10:25 am Reply

    Did you pinch yourself a lot? I imagine, (after seeing your I can’t believe it’s not butter song and dance) that you are quite natural on camera and that it was a blast!! Our family was on a TLC home show last fall and it was maybe the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Of course we didn’t get paid for it, so that would just be icing on the cake. But my oldest daughters did get a really fun room makeover out of it and I got to eat catered lunch every day.

    I can’t even tell you how happy I am for you. You are so uber talented and you deserve every bit of success and joy your are (hopefully) experiencing. Thanks for letting me/us come along for the ride.

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

      Oh, how FUN is that?! What show?! Now I have to hunt it down and discover you on it for myself!

  6. 6

    Stacy (Little Blue Hen) on May 4, 2011 at 10:40 am Reply

    First I was jealous of all the props, then I was jealous that you were at Psycho Suzie’s.

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

      Oh, Stacy. It was such fun. And yummy. And full of moody atmosphere. The perfect way to enjoy a friend.

  7. 7

    megan @ whatmegansmaking on May 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm Reply

    This sounds like an awesome trip! And all those plates?? Total heaven :)

  8. 8

    Gina @ Skinnytaste on May 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm Reply

    Wow, that prop section might be my favorite part of this post, and I really could use my very own food stylist! That must have been so cool to see behind the scenes. I think I want a job there!! : )

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

      I know! Could you just die over how gorgeous all that dinnerware is? Amazing!

  9. 9

    Katrina on May 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm Reply

    Very cool! Thanks for this!

  10. 10

    Jennifer (Savor) on May 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm Reply

    LOVE that you called me during all this fabu fun and share all the joy. Hugs and Kisses to you, the BC stockroom crew (give them my addy) and to the Shaine/Ole clan!

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

      Absolutely!

  11. 11

    Kate@Diethood on May 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm Reply

    Oh my…that is fantastic! An amazing time, I’m sure! Lucky! :-)

  12. 12

    Cookin' Canuck on May 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm Reply

    It looks as though you had a fantastic trip. That prop room is a thing of beauty!

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

      Dara, it was a lovely trip. But, you’re right. That prop room. Sigh and sigh again gorgeous!

  13. 13

    Heather at Multiply Delicious on May 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm Reply

    What a fabulous trip! I don’t know if I would ever leave the prop room…amazing!! So many pretty things.
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. So neat!

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

      I know, huh? And organizing it all by color is pretty much eye candy city! Gorg!

  14. 14

    Jamica WIlcox on May 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm Reply

    Oh, Brooke! This looks like a dream! Heaven. Heaven. Heaven. I’m so happy for you!!! (And I’m so happy for Betty Crocker….. I hope they know how lucky they are to have YOU!) xoxo

    • Brooke replied: — May 4th, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

      Oh psh, Jame. You are much too nice. ;)

  15. 15

    bridget {bake at 350} on May 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm Reply

    How FUN!!!

  16. 16

    Amy Allen on May 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm Reply

    Brooke-It was HomeMade Simple. I’m not sure that many people watch it in general, but it was fun.

  17. 17

    Christy Denney on May 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm Reply

    Brooke,
    Just wanted to say hi and welcome you to the Platefull family. I fimed a video there in November and it was such an awesome experience. I loved Kristen and all the girls over there. Love your blog! Your video turned out awesome. I can’t even watch mine…I was so nervous…
    Christy Denney

  18. 18

    Winnie on May 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm Reply

    Wow how fun does this look?! Your videos are awesome and those props? Amazing!

  19. 19

    Delishhh on May 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm Reply

    WOW – so jealous. . .looks like so much fun. And all those plates and silverware. . heaven.

  20. 20

    Robyn | Add a Pinch on May 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm Reply

    How FUN! Congratulations on your trip. I wonder if they would ever find me if I hid out in that prop room? That looks like a dream come true!

    • Brooke replied: — May 9th, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

      Seriously huh? It was like a dream come true. And all organized by colors! Gorgeous! The gal giving the tour said you’d be astonished because the Betty Crocker food stylists will literally walk into the room and know exactly which plate they want…or else, they’ll insist on purchasing a different plate because the prop room doesn’t have exactly what they are looking for. Wild!

  21. 21

    Dez on May 10, 2011 at 12:51 am Reply

    Yay! These turned out so cute! Great job!

  22. 22

    Stevie Nanstad on May 14, 2011 at 5:48 am Reply

    I just found your blog from MyBlogSpark..I took a survey on your bisquick videos ;) You did a GREAT job! I look forward to reading your blog

    • Brooke replied: — May 15th, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

      Thanks a bunch! So glad to have you here!

  23. 23

    mel Tardy on May 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm Reply

    just “stumbled” upon your bisquick video on another food blogger’s site and had to “cyber-hop” my way over to check out your blog. Lllllllooooovvvveeee it!!! Love the food, the kids, the video’s of your fancy-footed son and all your great ideas. Found myself a new regular spot to view! Thanks for all your work..

    • Brooke replied: — May 28th, 2011 @ 9:21 am

      Thanks so much, Mel! I’m delighted forever to have you along!

  24. 24

    Jenny Flake on June 2, 2011 at 8:10 am Reply

    How fun Brooke! Love seeing your smiling face on the Platefull ads right now, hope they keep them running for a LONG time :)

  25. 25

    Kristen on June 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm Reply

    So much fun! You did a great job, Brooke!

    • Brooke replied: — June 5th, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

      Thanks so much, Kristen!

  26. 26

    Guadalupe on March 25, 2014 at 12:57 am Reply

    Maybe skelild to see but not skelild to eat.The red paste is really disgusting, makes me reckon of artificial pigments, aditives, and all kinds of chemicals. I would never place such things into my mouth.

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