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Food Network Magazine + Taste Buds Kitchen + Oliviakplay = AWESOMENESS

Summer vacation is over and school is back in full swing. I just got my new glasses so that I can see and learn better, and now I’m ready for anything! And this includes SNACKS!!! Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE SNACKS. What I also love is reading Food Network Magazine with my mom. We love taking the recipes out and trying them on my family during Sunday Brunch (you remember my blog about brunch, right?!?!?) So when I heard that Food Network Magazine, the expert on good meals, were teaming up with Taste Buds kitchen to host a Back-To-School event I just knew I HAD to be there. I went, I loved it and now I want to tell you all about it!

First, me, baba and mom took a train into New York City to Taste Buds Kitchen, which hosts unique culinary learning experiences for people of all ages. Their motto is “learn, laugh, cook,” and that’s a motto I can happily live by. By day, Taste Buds Kitchen is a Kids Kitchen, and at night it is an Adults Kitchen. They offer creative cooking classes, cooking parties, and special events for all to enjoy. Seriously – even 2 year olds can participate. My little brother would probably love it! Food Network Magazine and Taste Buds Kitchen worked together for over a year to organize this back-to-school event. That’s like the entire time I was in first grade! I learned 10 chapters of Go Math and over 100 spelling words in that time! Over 150 people RSVP’d! I’m so glad we were able to get a spot.

The Event

When baba, mom and I arrived at Taste Buds Kitchen, we were given a secret mission on a note card and were told to visit 4 different stations. Each station was set up to teach us how to make a different healthy snack using simple ingredients we can find in our fridge or at the store. These recipes were geared towards kids but my mom and baba had just as much fun making them as I did. So to me, anyone can make these snacks! There was a snack instructor at each station and they were amazing. Here’s why: they (1) told us what we were going to do and (2) showed us what we were going to do and (3) helped us make the snack. This made learning how to put the snacks together so easy and a lot of fun. Once we were done with each station, we got another letter that spelled out the secret mission word. I couldn’t escape the room until I was finished with my secret mission!


My mission- make great snacks!

Next, with our secret mission in our heads in cards in our hands we set out to visit each station and complete our mission. Writing this blog with mom is making us remember all the great snacks. I’m dreaming of the milk and cookies station right now 🙂

Grapes From California – Grape Cracker Flower Station

Here, the Grapes From California company taught us to make an easy snack out of grapes and crackers. First, you have to put cream cheese on a round cracker. Then, you cut the grapes in half and arrange them like flower petals on the cracker. Voila! You have grape cracker flowers – fruity with a crunch! I decorated my flower with both green and red grapes (red grapes are my favorite!). I loved eating this snack next to my favorite food book- DRAGONS LOVE TACOS!

Arla – Bagels + Cream Cheese Station

At this station I learned that almost any topping goes well with a bagel topped with cream cheese. Arla is a dairy company with yummy flavored cream cheese spreads. We put their creams cheese on a bagel and made it into a great snack with toppings of cucumbers, grape tomatoes, scallions & strawberry, and blueberries and honey. The instructor helped me put my pairings together, and you know my style. I had to try everything!


National Honey Brand – Veggie Wraps Station

Plain veggie wraps sound a little boring, so the National Honey Brand taught us how to make them exciting! Exciting is just my speed. They gave us a recipe for a dressing to put on our veggie wraps. You can make the dressing, too, by mixing honey, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, mayo, and salt and pepper. All I can say is WOW. Veggies never tasted so good. Even my mom, who knows a LOT didn’t realize how you could make such a delicious dressing out of honey and avocados.


Fa!r Life – Milk & Cookies Station

The Milk & Cookies station, sponsored by Fa!r Life was such a hit. This was my favorite station because it involved cookies! We took two chocolate cookies and made a sandwich with cream filling in between them. After that, we put sprinkles on the cream. It was so pretty, but I still ate it!



After I visited each station and marked all the secret letters on the card, I was given a prize for making it to the end. I am now the proud owner of a new spatula from the National Honey Board, a copy of Food Network Magazine Family insert, and a recipe card from Taste Buds Kitchen featuring all the snacks I made at the event.

But that’s not all…..besides GREAT food, I got to meet Jessi Walter Brelsford who is the Founder and Chief Bud of Taste Buds Kitchen. I also met two Food Network Magazine employees, Alex More and Kirsten Cheney. Everyone was so nice and helpful to us. Jessi actually took me on a tour of the kitchen! I felt like a professional chef. It was so much fun to see all of the professional cooking appliances and tools.

Being at this event made me think more about how much I love to cook and share food with all my readers. I can’t wait to make the snacks that I learned at each station and keep sharing with you all my favorite back to school healthy foods. I may even start to make my own recipes!

I hope my recap of this event inspired you as much as the event inspired me.

Until next time, as my little brother shouts HAPPY SNACKING!

Olivia xoxo

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