Friday, June 8, 2012

Arriving at Behind the Paw: Cooking for People, Not Pets!

We recently attended Behind the Paw, the influencer summit organized by P&G Pet Care and its Iams and Eukanuba brands. Three action packed days included tours of the P&G Pet Health and Nutrition Center, the Leipsic Manufacturing Plant and a visit with P&G leadership and Pet Care's headquarters in Mason, Ohio.

We learned tons and appreciate the depth of information shared. But more on that part of the summit later. Today we're talking food, and not pet food, mind you!

After arriving in Dayton, our base camp for the visit, we were greeted by the nice folks at Iams and Eukanuba and transported to our first activity, an interactive cooking challenge at the Dorothy Lane School of Cooking.
We were divided into teams, and each team was responsible for preparing a different course, with the help from the expert chefs at Dorothy Lane. 

Inside the cooking school, we were given our assignments. The tables were beautiful, decorated in rhodamine pink! Gentlemen (and women), Start Your Blenders!

Team Dessert gets cranking on their course, to the left, while a few of my Team Starch teammates get to work on our Risotto course. Read to the bottom for the recipe... it was delicious!

Outside, Team Meat works tirelessly. Who's doing all the work here?! That's Vicki Seiler and Jason Taylor, two of our hosts form P&G Pet Care, slaving over the grill!

Back inside, Team Starch, also known as Team Risotto, celebrates a bit prematurely. (I still say we were robbed!)

Fellow bloggers Sandra Alawine from Alasandra, The Cats and a Dog and Dr. Lorie Huston from Pet Health Care Gazette are looking smug with their Team Meat platter while their Dorothy Lane coach provides an assist.

The spread was impressive. The risotto, front right, was AMAZING! You can try it at home yourself... read down for the recipe!

A judge was provided a sampling plate. Yum! The winners were....

Team Meat! Even they were surprised!

Even though Team Risotto was robbed, the table did look beautiful and everything was tasty. And even the flat pets at the back of the table were well behaved!

And now, what you've been waiting for!
Creamy Porcini Mushroom and Mascarpone Risotto
(Courtesy of Dorothy Lane Market's School of Cooking)
Yield: 4 Servings

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
16 oz beef stock or vegetable stock
4 Tbsp Vera Jane's Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup finely minced shallots
2 finely minced garlic cloves
1 1/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Combine boiling water and dried mushrooms, let stand 10 minutes.
Drain over bowl, reserving the liquid.
Chop mushrooms.
Bring stock and reserved liquid from the soaking of the mushrooms to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.
Heat a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. Add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one more minute. Add the rice and chopped reconstituted porcini mushrooms and coat with the olive oil. Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add one cup of the broth and cook over medium heat until the broth has been absorbed by the rice.
Continue to add broth in small increments, letting the rice soak up the liquid completely before adding more. This will take about 25 minutes.
The rice will be done when it is creamy but still has a bit of a bite to it. Once the rice is done add the cheeses, thyme leaves and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Salt and Pepper to taste

We had a fabulous time with all the bloggers and our hosts from Iams and Eukanuba. Stay tuned for more posts about our visit!

Disclosure: Our trip to Behind the Paw Influencer Summit was fully paid for by P&G. Our opinions expressed herein are entirely our own. 


  1. Looks like a terrific time was had by all. What a wonderful opportunity!

    Dropping by on the pet blogger hop this weekend. Enjoy your weekend with your fur-kids.

    Drop by to hear Mike the African Grey sing, "I kissed a girl, and I liked it." Pretty cool...

  2. The risotto was really good, but the desserts were AMAZING!!!!

    1. Ok, I'll admit. I LOVED the desserts. The Strawberries and Creme was the bomb!!!

  3. We as of late gone to Behind the Paw, the powerhouse highest point coordinated by P&G Pet Care and its Iams and Eukanuba brands. Three activity stuffed days included voyages through the P&G Pet Health and Nutrition Center, the Leipsic Manufacturing Plant and an encounter with P&G initiative and Pet Care's central command in Mason, Ohio.