Monday, September 28, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter House Party

After the much lauded Domino's American Legends Pizza House Party I threw this summer, I was very excited to get a chance to host another party through the House Party website. This time, it would be sponsored by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. No joke! How does one have a party based around butter (or "non-butter" as the case may be)? Well, it actually took the form of a bake sale planning party. What a cool concept! As President of my daughter's school's PTO, this opportunity fell into my lap at just the right time. Our PTO is launching some new programming and events, and a bake sale was a good start to fund our efforts.

The party pack that came in the mail contained enough material for 15 guests. My party ended up being much smaller, so there was plenty of stuff go around. Each guest got a tote bag with the ICBINB logo (and another one tucked inside the bag, too), a refrigerator magnet/notepad, a recipe booklet, 6 $1.50 coupons for ICBINB sticks, and entries for a sponsor-related contest to use and to share with friends. To this, I added $1.60 Nature Valley Nut Clusters coupons that I had received from Pssst... that I was supposed to share with friends. I also added a pen (that I got free from CVS with all of their back to school shopping deals!) to go with that fridge magnet list, and a Zobmondo coupon and AMC theaters popcorn coupons that I still had leftover from the Domino's House Party. Not a bad little reward for people coming together to plan a charitable bake sale!

I gave the guests a baking-related word search to do as people arrived. I also had a jar of chocolate chips on display for the guests to study and make a guess as to how many chips there were in the jar. EVERYone who took a stab at it guessed in the mid-300's. Well, except for my three year old who guessed that there were FIVE chocolate chips (we need to work on those counting skills, sweetie...). In reality, there were 700 chips in that little jar. The guest with the closest guess won the prize, which contained two coupons for free ICBINB and an ICBINB butter dish from the sponsor's party pack, and a candle holder with season-appropriate scented candles for it and hand lotion... you know, to moisturize after all of that baking and washing up. The supplements were things that I pulled out of the stash of things I've gotten for free with deal/coupon shopping.

In the midst of the bake sale planning, we enjoyed some light refreshments - cheese and crackers, chips, chocolate chip cookies the size of your head (!) and lemon squares. To make things interesting, I prepared one batch of lemon squares with real butter and one with ICBINB. I asked my guests to take part in the butter vs. ICBINB taste test, just for grins and giggles. My guests actually uttered the line "I can't believe it's not butter!" afterwards. And so, yeah... maybe I prompted them just a little to actually say the line... but the consensus was that the lemon squares I baked with ICBINB were better than the ones I baked with real butter!

In the picture, the ICBINB batch is in the foreground, real butter batch in the background. And now, a few notes about my baking experience. Working with ICBINB was just the same as using real butter. The real test was tasting the crust of the lemon squares. The ICBINB crust allowed easier removal from the baking pan, but the real butter crust actually crumbled less when biting into the squares. One guest thought the lemon flavor was more enhanced with the real butter squares, but she still preferred the ICBINB batch. I'm the type of gal who buys what is on sale for most things, which includes ICBINB from time to time. I was glad to have done a side-by-side comparison for this product.

And while we didn't actually set a date for our bake sale yet, we did talk about a lot of school related projects and camaraderie was enhanced. We have some details to check on and some avenues to pursue, and we'll be well on our way to having our "better bake sale." What fun!

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1 comment:

Toni said...

Wow! Everything looks so wonderful - especially that cookie and those lemon squares! I wish I was there to taste test and see if there was a difference. Parties like this are always fun and you do such a good job presenting everything. I'm sure everyone felt lucky to be invited!