Kim Becker {aka MommyKnows}
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Cooking with Kraft

in General

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, or if you read my previous post, you’ll know that I spent a couple days last week in Chicago touring the Kraft Kitchens.

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

I wasn’t alone. I was joined by a great group of bloggers. From left to right: Me (mommyknows), Dawn of Because I said so, Janice of 5minutesformom, Rachel of asouthernfairytale, Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods, Elizabeth of busymom, Silvia of Mamalatina, Sandy of 4 reluctant entertainers and Liz of thisfullhouse.

bob becker - kraft kitchens

We were welcomed to the Kraft Kitchens by Bob Becker. Bob is the head of Kraft Food’s new products division.

You’ll notice the kitchen behind Bob doesn’t look all that much different from your kitchen at home. That’s because it’s not. In order to make recipes that real moms can use, Kraft stocks their kitchens and pantries with all the same tools and ingredients most of us have a home. It’s the reason, that after I’ve looked through my Jaime Oliver cookbook for inspiration (sorry Jaime), I often go to (or in the USA) for a recipe that has a list of ingredients that I know and recognize, and most likely have in my cupboard.

kraft canada

For inspiration on the go, there is also the new iPhone app from Kraft called the iFood Assistant.

ifood assistant

It’s very cool. There are more than 7000 recipes, a smart shopping list with store locator, mobile recipe box, how-to videos and more.

Back to the tour –> from the kitchens we headed to the panty.

pantry @ kraft
It’s a little neater and larger than at home, but familiar nonetheless.

From the regular kitchens, we headed to the commercial kitchens.

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

You’re looking at John Li the corporate executive chef for Kraft Foodservice, me, and Liz of thisfullhouse.

After the kitchens, we headed to the photo studio.

photo shoot @ kraft

We were lucky and caught a holiday photo shoot in full swing. How I could use this photography setup at home – just saying!

anna @ kraft

Anna showed us several completed graphic projects, and it was off to the ‘prop room’.

prop room @ kraft

Cutting board anyone? The selection in here is incredible. I loved it.

PROPer location

Bwahahaha! I need this sign at home (in every room).

Before we knew it, it was time to start cooking. Let the fun begin!

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Danielle of Foodmomiac and I lucked out and cooked with Chef Harry Crane. We were the ‘salad group’. It was very fitting, I NEED help in the salad department. Normally, I get about as far as iceberg lettuce and then I’m stumped. Shhh … I don’t think they noticed.

We helped Chef Crane make two salads. The Kraft Team is working on both recipes for future release. Personally, I think they are ready.

salad and pizza

One of the recipes was a salad on pizza creation. It has a bistro feel, don’t you think? It tasted as fabulous, as it looked, take my word for it!

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

We also made a cornbread salad with grilled chicken and crispy bacon. Mm mm! We weren’t just cooking for the sake of cooking, it was for our lunch.

lunch at the kraft kitchens

The Kraft chefs, with the help of the mom bloggers, put on quite a spread. My mouth is watering, just thinking about it.

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

After lunch we sat down for ’round-table’ discussion, with the Kraft Executives. This is it folks, the crux of why the ‘mom bloggers’ went to Chicago. Kraft knows that mom’s run kitchens (who are we kidding, we run the whole darn world house). Kraft wants to know, what mom’s want. What YOU want!

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

The moms talked …

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

and the folks at Kraft listened. This is Armin from Kraft, she’s a mom as well (to gorgeous one year old Roxie).

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

The bloggers talked some more and twittered (we’re moms, we multitask, it’s a must). Those of you who were following the twitter stream live, and gave your feedback (hey Jenn), we spoke for you too.

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Photo courtesy of Todd Rosenberg Photography for Kraft Photography

Of course, I had to give my 2 cents (and more). There’s Bob Becker from Kraft beside me, he’s listening. Did you notice, Bob and I share the same last name? It doesn’t end there, Bob’s smart, a great host … hm mm … I think we must be related!

What do I want?

There’s nothing that matters more to me, than my children, particularly their physical well-being. Therefore, I am pretty particular about what they eat. We rarely eat fast food, drink pop, or keep candy in the house. While I do allow my children to have a candy bar or a bag of chips, they must walk to the store (about 3 blocks away) to purchase it. If you don’t make the walk, you don’t get the treat. I have myself convinced the exercise, will balance out the ‘junk’ factor.

I am also fairly fanatical about sitting down EVERYDAY as a family for supper. I did it as a child and it is still important to me. Even pizza delivery requires a set table and total family attendance. I’d love to be able to tell you that every meal I cook is gourmet, organic, earth friendly, from scratch. I’d love to, but I’d be lying. In order to make sure we eat as a family, fit in sports, activities, homework, and parental downtime; it’s often required that I cut corners. A frozen pizza served with a healthy salad, lasagna made with a store bought sauce and pre-shredded cheese, or a store bought bottled salad dressing; all of these things make feeding my family at home little easier. They keep us out of the drive through line, and keep us together around the family table.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still rooting for less sugar, less preservatives, less fat and please, please, please less packaging. However, any recipe, software application, and/or food product that makes putting a nutritious and delicious meal on the table a little easier, is welcome. Kraft helps me do just this, both BEFORE and after my trip to Chicago.

Now, it’s YOUR turn. What do YOU want? Think recipes, think products, think green, think technology, think … I can’t wait to hear, what you have to say.

MK xo
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my feed.

A special thank you to Kraft Foods  for the tour and hospitality. Your passion for your products was evident everywhere we went. It was a terrific experience, I appreciate it. Thanks as well to the Edelman staff for taking such good care of us. It was great meeting you all.

Note: My trip to Chicago was fully comped by Kraft Foods, however, no additional compensation was made for the writing/publishing of this post. The writings and opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine only, and not influenced in any way by any corporation or any individual.

88 comments… add one

  • Justine August 24, 2009, 7:32 pm

    It says on my itunes that I can’t get the IFood assistant in Canada yet? Have you got it on your IPhone

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 7:46 pm

    It will not download in Canada, in the USA it actually finds the closest store and will even give the aisle # to make shopping easy. I am guessing that we don’t have the info available here.

    It sure would be nice!
    .-= Mommyknows (kim)´s last blog ..Cooking with Kraft =-.

  • witchypoo August 24, 2009, 7:55 pm

    Most processed foods taste overly salty to me. I wonder if Kraft can make tasty, lower-salt foods by using more herbs?
    The food looked beautiful, as did you.
    .-= witchypoo´s last blog ..AfterBill =-.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 8:43 pm

    Hey Witchypoo, thanks so much for the feedback. I’m a salt’aholic and have no heart issues etc. so I never notice these things. It makes sense to me though to use less salt, and let the rest of us salt to taste later.

  • Paula August 24, 2009, 8:09 pm

    Wow! Mommy knows went on a great trip. I love watching tv shows like how it’s made to see behind the scenes info. This would have been a dream trip for me. What was your favorite part of the tour? Was there anything which surprized you?

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 8:41 pm

    @paula – thanks for stopping by. It was a dream trip for me too. I guess my favorite part was meeting every one. Everyone was so nice, we had a dinner at the Bristol in Chicago the first night and it was like sitting around with family.

    I think I was surprized at the fabulous food that we managed to put out in about 30 minutes. It was impressive, all with simple ingredients!

    AND it was thrilling to meet Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods. Forbes ranked her as the worlds 6th most influencial woman. The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. What an honor.

  • Amber August 24, 2009, 8:11 pm

    I agree with Justine. It looks like a great iPhone app. I hope it does come over here soon.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 8:20 pm

    @amber – it is a very cool app. The mom bloggers on the trip who didn’t have iPhones were disappointed too. Lisa from Kraft joked about their ‘No mobile left behind’ policy. I imagine, we’ll get it soon! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Tracey August 24, 2009, 8:18 pm

    Love the photos. Being a regular reader of your blog, I know how much you love photography so I bet it was great to see the photo shoot set up.

    You look very smart in the first photo! Love the outfit. Don’t think we have seen you in a skirt before.

    If kraft do this trip again, I would love to go. I love giving my opinion – my husband would testify to that!

    My husband has high cholestoral and I would like to see more low sodium reciepes which are tasty.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 9:21 pm

    @Tracey – I did love the photography studio. I’d love a job in the photo editing department. Being a regular reader you’ll know that you rarely see me in photos. I absolutely HATE seeing myself in photos. I prefer the tall, thin mommyknows that resides within my imagination. I very nearly declined to go, for fear of being photographed and blogged. Then I decided that was ridicules. The only two photographs I really liked aren’t on the blog, they didn’t fit the message. However, you can see all the professional Kraft shots here:

  • Michelle August 24, 2009, 8:27 pm

    Excessive packaging really bothers me, and also the use of MSG.

    Looks like you had a nice time, I love hearing that big companies really look for ideas and input from “regular” people, although maybe a little more ethnic diversity would have been good? Asian, East Indian, African-American moms, too?
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..when you need an extra hand =-.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 8:57 pm

    @michelle – I hear you on the packaging. I recycle everything, so no packaging goes unnoticed by me. I have to say, the food manufacturers are way ahead of the toy manufactures, but I agree there is a ways to go.

    Regarding ethnic diversity, hmmm … good point. I won’t attempt to answer as I would only be guessing.

  • Kami August 24, 2009, 8:59 pm

    What a great experience for you! And the packaging, that is my biggest beef with most things purchased in the store. Does it have to be double and triple wrapped with a seal on top?

    I use the Kraft site a lot but admit that I often subsitute the packaged goods with from scratch ingrediants mostly because I don’t have the packaged good on hand.
    .-= Kami´s last blog ..My most amazing discovery, yet =-.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 9:10 pm

    I hear you on the packaging Kami. We separate paper, plastic, waste and organics. When I have to use 4 different bins for one product, it can make me pretty grumpy. However, I feel a little bit better knowing that I am not putting it in the landfill.

    I go back and forth, between using more processed items and not. If I am within budget and short of time, I will often grab the shredded cheese, if I am low on funds I’ll usually buy a big block and grate it myself. Just for the record, I hate grating cheese. I tend to do a lot more from scratch in the summer!

  • Hannah August 24, 2009, 9:13 pm

    Wow, a great opportunity! How did you score this? I love that the company cares about what moms want and invited them to come and look around, and give their feedback. Unfortunately we can’t get too many Kraft products here in NZ, but we have similar brands. I love to cook meals from scratch, and I try to do that when I have the time (and the inclination). But I’m a full-time working mum, so there are obviously many days where I make spag bol with spaghetti sauce from a jar … because I don’t have TIME to make my own using fresh tomatoes, and let it simmer for 60 minutes! So on those nights, I want to have good, tasty, healthy options to turn to. Sounds like Kraft provide those options for you “Northern Hemisphere” moms, and that’s great.
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Twenty-one =-.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 9:24 pm

    @Hannah – It was a fabulous opportunity. How did I score it? Honestly, I am not sure!? I received an email invitation that I just couldn’t pass up. Do you have Miracle Whip? It’s the one Kraft product I can’t live without. If you don’t have any, I’ll ship you some. It sounds like our cooking philosophies are similar.

  • Hannah August 25, 2009, 1:06 pm

    Hi Kim, no we don’t have Miracle Whip. What is it, exactly?
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Twenty-one =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 1:08 pm

    Oh you poor thing! It’s like mayonaise, with some ZIP (chuckle … I think that’s what the advert on telly used to say). Send me your address and I will send you some :)

  • LakeDweller August 24, 2009, 10:13 pm

    I don’t think we have a Kraft product in our fridge or cupboard. Its an allergy thing. We have been terribly frustrated with prepared foods having useless additives (allergens) included in the ingredients…as if the grain council of america pays for Kraft to include wheat in as many products as possible.
    Organic products usually get us half way there (to eliminating our allergens) but halfway doesn’t cut it with allergies.
    I ran to the cupboard and fetched a few top shelf products (the ones we don’t serve due to allergens) and compiled a list of products that have additives not matching the product.
    I couldn’t find any kraft products…until I checked the side of the Oreo’s bag. That is the only item in my pantry by Kraft. Oreo’s have wheat, so are a no go in our house. Maybe Kraft need to consider the need of the allergy stricken…

    MK, did you find out what soy lecithin was while in the Kraft kitchens?
    .-= LakeDweller´s last blog ..Lifestyle Inflation =-.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 10:32 pm

    @LakeDweller – I feel for you on the allergy front! One of my children has a severe, life threatening allergy so I am aware of how difficult it can be. Thankfully, for my child, it isn’t wheat or egg (those two products seem to be in everything).

    Oreo’s are the only thing? Wow? I was surprized to read on the internet that Kraft is in 99% of North American households. There are so many brands like Maxwell house, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Jello, Oscar Mayer … are you sure you don’t have any Jello? ;)

    I didn’t hear about soy lecithin while at Kraft, but I am familar with it somewhat. To my knowledge, it is used for food stabilization.

  • Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) August 24, 2009, 10:23 pm

    It was so fantastic getting to know you Kim!!!

    Seeing all this food again makes me wish I could eat lunch at Kraft everyday!

    I am so sad we can’t get the iFood Assistant here in Canada! :( But at least we have the healthy cookies and the Peanut Butter!
    .-= Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)´s last blog ..At our next SnazL Stories Party, we’ll be talking about… =-.

  • MommyKnows August 24, 2009, 10:37 pm

    @Janice – I enjoyed getting to know you as well. It’s been a bummer editing all these food photos, eating is about the only thing I can think about since getting home! The Peak Freans are pretty fabulous, aren’t they?

  • debbie August 25, 2009, 4:56 am

    I love Kraft Food and Family mag and their website. I am so envious of you going there!
    And no, that does NOT look like my kitchen:)
    .-= debbie´s last blog ..The one in which I fall off my literary perch =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 11:02 am

    @debbie – It was loads of fun. Well if you remove the coffee maker, kettle, junk mail, dishes, cook books, vitamins from my counter tops, it looks quite a bit like home. YAH, I’m cluttered!

  • Liz@thisfullhouse August 25, 2009, 5:35 am

    Great recap, my friend. It was SO great meeting and getting to know you (my favorite part of attending this event) what great fun, eh?
    .-= Liz@thisfullhouse´s last blog ..19 Years of Marriage and She’s STILL Got Nothin’ =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 11:03 am

    @Liz –> the best part was all of the great people! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Jenn B August 25, 2009, 7:41 am

    ok, ever since our tweetversation regarding kraft I’ve been pondering, ‘what DO i want from Kraft?’ I asked my husband and he said, “to leave you alone?”. ha. kind of…but not quite. I am REALLY neurotic about food. Like..super crazy person. I try to keep it within the confines of my home & even still there are some prepared items I’d rather not live w/o. (mayo…i like the IDEA of making it, but it goes bad too quick compared to our usage levels). and there are those times that time wins over ‘total control of ingredient quality’. And when i can swing the extra dough, shredded mozzarella wins over block for pizza night. and there are some thing i would use (canned soup for casseroles) were it not for my son’s garlic allergy…but i would be frustrated with my use of them…b/c i’m neurotic. Add to that MY idea of healthy is vastly different from mainstream. I think (particular kinds of) saturated fat is healthy & low-fat is bad news. I think whole grain is a good step, but that it should be sprouted or at least soaked whole grains.

    So this is not the entirety of ‘what i want’ regarding food. REALLY what i want is a personal farmer (have that in some regards, ha), lots of expensive time saving kitchen equipment, a sous chef so i can have the time to cook more from scratch & a maid to deal with the mess. :) I’m working on the kids in that dept. ;)

    right, now to answer what you asked! ha. what i would like from KRAFT: Less salt (i too am a salt-a-holic, but i want unrefined sea salt with kelp granules. so that way i can add my own), less preservatives, definitely less random gluten ingredients as preservatives in otherwise gluten-less items, less sugar (& sugar subs…i won’t consume chemical fake sugars at all), expeller pressed oils (i get angry when i see “trans fat free” on the front & then see hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list. also, if it just says, ‘oil’ & not what kind i assume hydrogenated). & last but not least, packaging. def. less packaging though i agree completely that the food industry is WAY ahead of the toy industry. One of the (many) reasons i buy in bulk is to conserve packaging. I suppose asking for them to use meat from pastured animals in their meat products would be too much? I know it would not be super cost-effective….it’s not in my house either…we get it whenever possible though…

    ok, sorry for the blog post in your comments section! believe me, i edited a lot out. :)
    .-= Jenn B´s last blog ..Subversive Jam =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 11:11 am

    @jenn – I have my periods of neurotic too! Like when I read the ‘100 mile diet’ (seriously the book for you). I aspire to it, but it would be nearly impossible, especially at my latitude and location. What would I live on? Bear fat, berries, wheat, potatoes and crude oil? Seriously, even my great-great-grandparents had the sugar and spices and coffee shipped in from west-indies.

    See my comment to Madeline below … I think there are degrees of ‘packaged’ food. It is the ‘packaged meals’ I tend to avoid, however, the packaged ‘ingredients’ not so much!

    I love that you are passionate about food! I expected to hear from you on this subject. Dude, you wander around your urban neighbourhood picking berries – YOU ROCK!

  • Pam August 25, 2009, 7:53 am

    I loved hearing about your trip! I already use the Kraft website quite a bit and like it. I always wish there was “leftover” section on how to use up leftovers.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 10:56 am

    @pam – thanks for stopping by Pam! Very good suggestion. Two meal recipes were brought up at the ’round-table’ –> recipes where you could make meal ‘a’ one night and then turn it into meal ‘b’ the next. You’re so smart :)

  • Naomi August 25, 2009, 8:52 am

    Hey there globe-trotting mommy! What a great trip and an enviable selection of cutting boards… too cool.
    .-= Naomi´s last blog ..Virtual Sandwich Swap’n’Share =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 10:53 am

    Globe-trotting I wish! I loved Chicago. I’m going back for sure. Oh, the cutting boards were plentiful, I really love the serving dishes the best though! Too many people blocking the shot!

  • Madeline August 25, 2009, 9:20 am

    It’s pretty cool to see behind the scenes. The prop sign might just be my favorite part. ;)
    I’m really not a big fan of prepackaged food. On rough days when there’s just not enough time to go around I use canned spaghetti sauces, canned tomatoes, and canned beans. Those are about the only foods that I think can still taste really good when made in a factory. Other than that I steer far far away from the stuff. Now if prepackaged food looked as yummy as the food in your photos, I’d probably try it out more often.
    .-= Madeline´s last blog ..Sweet Dreams =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 10:52 am

    @Madeline – the behind the scenes tour was VERY cool! Wow you are a good woman.

    There are packaged foods I don’t buy, but they usually fall more in a ‘packaged meal’ category like ‘waffles’ or ‘frozen dinners’.

    There are loads of things that I buy prepackaged that I wouldn’t even consider making –>sour cream, yogurt, cheese, raisins, pasta, miracle whip, crackers, salami, pepperoni, bacon, tortillas, milk, bread, cream cheese, chocolate chips, coffee … the list goes on.

    Most of the recipes we made at Kraft, used ingredients from my second list and they were very delicious!

  • Madeline August 25, 2009, 1:00 pm

    Oh, I’m so not superwoman. I don’t make all of those things, but we don’t use most of them either. Due to various health needs of the people I cook for we stay away from dairy, most meats, and highly processed grains. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not. It’s just a different way of cooking. I will admit to the occasional overdose of chocolate chips though. ;)
    I forgot to mention how cool it is that y’all eat together as a family. We’re the same way. The family meal seems to be dying out though.
    .-= Madeline´s last blog ..Sweet Dreams =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 1:15 pm

    I think you are right about the family meal. It’s a shame, really. It’s a good time to connect, regroup, enjoy each others company. I remember as a kid, feeling sorry for my friends who didn’t have that sit down family meal. Funnily enough, several of them often made their way to our house right around supper time.

  • Cathy Benes August 25, 2009, 9:39 am

    I’m a Kraft employee and find your blog amazing. I’m delighted that you had such a great time visiting the Kraft Kitchens. Hope to see you visiting again soon!

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 10:41 am

    @Cathy – Thank you Cathy for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Kraft really was wonderful. What a great place to work!

  • One Scrappy Gal August 25, 2009, 12:10 pm

    Firstly, I loved reading about your tour at Kraft Foods. I have never really purchased their items, but now I think I might make a conscious decision to do so. It warms my heart to know that they care about what we mother’s think…and try to make life just a little bit easier (and healthier!) for our families.

    I don’t know why I said “firstly.” I don’t really have anything else to add. :)

  • One Scrappy Gal August 25, 2009, 12:11 pm

    Firstly, I loved reading about your tour at Kraft Foods. I have never really purchased their items, but now I think I might make a conscious decision to do so. It warms my heart to know that they care about what we mother’s think…and try to make life just a little bit easier (and healthier!) for our families.

    I don’t know why I said “firstly.” I don’t really have anything else to add. :)
    .-= One Scrappy Gal´s last blog ..He sure cleans up nicely… =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 12:42 pm

    Firstly, I am glad you enjoyed the tour. ME Too!

    Secondly, please do (get the products)!

    Thirdly, I think you did have secondly, so your firstly was appropriate!

  • One Scrappy Gal August 25, 2009, 12:14 pm

    Please delete my multiple post. Apparantly, my opposable thumbs are just for show.
    .-= One Scrappy Gal´s last blog ..He sure cleans up nicely… =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 12:40 pm

    Sorry … no can do! If I do that then this comment will make no sense, which means I ‘d have to delete it as well. It’s funny, I am keeping it!

  • Silvia August 25, 2009, 1:18 pm

    Hello my friend, love the post! I would love to know how did you prepare the cornbread salad, it was delish!!

    So now every time I read a post from “the bloggers” :) I wish I were in Chicago again.

    Hugs to you
    .-= Silvia´s last blog ..Bienvenida a la rutina!/welcome back routine! =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 2:19 pm

    @Silvia – Thank you! I figured I better get it posted, it was getting so long, it was nearly an ‘epic saga’. I think I will post how-tos for both the salad/pizza and the cornbread salad later this week. Hopefully, people aren’t too sick of me talking (writing) about food. Chicago was fun! Hugs to you too! xo

  • Karyn August 25, 2009, 2:40 pm

    Super duper awesome! I’m so jealous!
    .-= Karyn´s last blog ..Tri-umphant | Fort Worth, Texas Triathlete Photographer =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 3:43 pm

    @Karyn – it was super duper awesome! I am still thinking about the food. Speaking of awesome, your photography retreat looked pretty freaking fabulous. Getting a little green with envy myself. Thanks for stopping by.

  • jafer August 25, 2009, 5:03 pm

    Wow,that was fabulous – I never heard anything about it… I gotta log into my twitter once in a while, I’m so lazy.

    Now I’m wondering if I can get that app for my itouch since I don’t have the iphone. I’d love to look up recipes – and, as you said, not be looking at some cookbook that’s telling me to cook my cornish hens with some creme fresh – as if that’s what’s in my house.

    Great for you – that sounded like so much fun. Next time, invite me!
    .-= jafer´s last blog ..I Was a Little Pissed =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 8:39 pm

    @jafer – you are not lazy, you’re busy!

    I don’t think iTunes will let you download it in Canada. Bummer. However, the site is excellent. My favorite part, all the ingredients are available in Canada. I hate finding a great recipe and it has a product I can’t buy.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Midlife Slices August 25, 2009, 6:50 pm

    You are one very lucky gal!! Thanks for sharing the experience.
    .-= Midlife Slices´s last blog ..Maybe Someday We’ll All Live Our Lives Out Loud =-.

  • MommyKnows August 25, 2009, 8:40 pm

    @midlife slices – don’t I know it! You are welcome.

  • Jodi Renshaw August 25, 2009, 9:04 pm

    First of all — you do such cool stuff. I want to hang out with you — more so for your wit — but I wouldn’t mind your connections & adventures either :)

    Secondly, here is what I want regarding my “Kraft” food products:

    1. Organic
    2. Corn Syrup / Corn by-product FREE
    3. More flavor
    4. Real sugar … no aspartame or nutrisweet
    5. Fiber rich products

    Thank you for asking!
    .-= Jodi Renshaw´s last blog ..Instilling the Love of Reading … No Matter What. =-.

  • MommyKnows August 26, 2009, 10:35 am

    @jodi – I’d like to hang out with you too! Mostly for your good looks. HA! I crack myself up.

    Fibre is good :)

    Thanks for stopping by and giving me your 2cents!

  • Jo August 25, 2009, 11:27 pm

    Hey Kim. Awesome trip! It must have been a blast. Your photos are amazing (as usual). You have such a talent with the camera. I have to agree with one of your earlier commentors, you look great. Haven’t been in touch for a while, but good to see you looking so vibrant!

  • MommyKnows August 26, 2009, 10:37 am

    @jo – hey Jo, it was a blast. Thank you! I am stilling having a hard time looking at the pictures of me. Come for coffee.

  • Traveller Online August 26, 2009, 12:26 am

    I love to cook and prepare salad. When it comes to cheese, Kraft is my choice.
    .-= Traveller Online´s last blog ..Vacation in Paradise from Sandals & Beaches Resorts =-.

  • MommyKnows August 26, 2009, 10:39 am

    @traveller – I buy Kraft Cracker Barrel cheese in big 2lb blocks. My 4yo and husband LOVE it (me too). I love the shredded cheese in bags. EASY :)

  • Marcela August 26, 2009, 7:00 am

    Hi.. I found you through mamalatina’s site… Great picts! You guys look like you had lots of fun!

    What I would want?…. healthier ingredients, how about mac & cheese with whole wheat pasta ( i think that would make me feel a little better), brown rice added to their meals, you know, like you said, less fat, less sugar etc.

    The iPhone app is very cool, I have been using it for months now and often.

  • MommyKnows August 26, 2009, 10:42 am

    @marcela – thank you for stopping by! Silvia @ mamalatinatips is so darn sweet. Any friend of hers, is a friend of mine! Welcome!

    I wish we could use the iPhone app in Canada. We’re always 2nd (*wink*)!

  • Terry August 26, 2009, 1:09 pm

    I recently watched a tour of the Kraft Food kitchens on the Oprah show and was equally impressed by their attention to producing more healthy foods. I’m also particular about what gets put into my children’s mouths. If you can control the sugar, food coloring and fat intake, your winning half of the battle. Also, a friend once told me a simple and effective rule about healthy food shopping. Restrict your purchases to food that your great grandmother would recognize.
    .-= Terry´s last blog ..Cheap At Home Pen Teeth Whitening System That Really Works Offers Free Trial =-.

  • MommyKnows August 26, 2009, 11:26 pm

    @terry – Great tip Terry, I love it. I missed the Oprah show on Kraft. Hopefully, I can catch it during a rerun.

    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  • Baby Nursery Bedding August 26, 2009, 4:20 pm

    Terry that’s excellent advice, but is there still food available that my grandmother would recognize? Kidding. You’re right though, if you control your children’s intake of sugars and fats, they are much less likely to beg for it down the road as they won’t have a taste for it. The problem lies with their exposure to other kids on schools where they pick up the bad habits. So that’s the next obstacle.

  • MommyKnows August 26, 2009, 11:31 pm

    @baby nursery bedding – Our school is getting pretty verbal about the kids should have in their lunches. They of course can’t insist on healthy lunches, but they encourage it and strongly recommend it. It think it is helping. The pop machines are gone, NO candy is permitted at school including lunches, and our kids do a fitness program/route everyday. We have no cafeterias in elementary and junior high school in our province, so it is up to the parents to send healthy food.

    As always, thanks for stopping by.

  • Uncorked Ventures August 27, 2009, 4:10 pm

    Looks like a fun day….bloggers getting together is always an interesting mix….not lots of down time

  • MommyKnows August 28, 2009, 3:52 pm

    @uncorkedventures – it was a very fun day. The mix was interesting, loads of laughs! Thanks for stopping by.

  • The Lawyer Mom August 27, 2009, 6:21 pm

    This is fascinating! Their kitchens, their employees, their methods. So interesting.

    Once, I tried Kraft’s “family recipe” Mac and Cheese and it was a disaster. An unmitigated disaster. Afterwards, Kraft and I had a week-long email exchange and Kraft was unbudging: it was utterly and all my fault. This, despite the fact I’m a total nervous Nelly in the kitchen and follow the instructions to a recipe to the nth degree. Oh well. Sigh.

    This post makes me think, though, that at Kraft they’re not such bad folks after all — even if they never offered me even a 10 cent coupon to encourage me to give their processed products another try.

    Still, hell hath no fury like a scorned novice chef.

    P.S. Since Kraft owns Oscar Myer and my son is manic to eat their nitrite laden Lunchables, next time you’re there, could you prevail upon them to clean up on their preservatives? I would be so, so, so grateful!
    .-= The Lawyer Mom´s last blog ..Is It All in Your Name? =-.

  • MommyKnows August 28, 2009, 3:51 pm

    @thelawyermom – It was very interesting. You’re right, they are not bad folks, in fact they’re fabulously nice folks. I would give my left arm (and maybe one of the kids) to work there! It’s very much a family environment.

    Your Lunchables comment made me laugh. We bloggers, didn’t hold anything back (right Janice?) and it’s safe to say, they’ve heard this before! Funnily enough, right after the round-table we went to see several new products and one was a Lunchable with water, and healthier food choices.

    Seriously, you screwed up mac and cheese?! Even most Y-chromosome college students can handle the mac and cheese! Yikes! *wink*

  • The Blushing Hostess August 27, 2009, 11:24 pm

    What a fabulous opportunity and thank you for sharing these beautiful photos!
    .-= The Blushing Hostess´s last blog ..The Hostess Answers Last Week’s Challenge: Wedding Vendor Attire =-.

  • MommyKnows August 28, 2009, 3:44 pm

    @theblushinghostess – it was a great opportunity and so much fun. Thank you for stopping by.

  • Ventrilo August 28, 2009, 7:44 am

    This is really cool. Loved the photos, the food and the content of your article. Kraft is definitely one business I will keep an eye on. Thanks for sharing.

  • MommyKnows August 28, 2009, 3:44 pm

    @ventrilo – Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by.

  • Cover And Cook August 28, 2009, 8:38 am

    I love the pictures! I get the Kraft magazine in the mail and I love it! It has quick and easy recipes for working moms. I use my professional cookware on everything I make and it makes a difference. Kraft keep up the quick and easy recipes that are really good.

  • MommyKnows August 28, 2009, 3:43 pm

    @ cook and cover – thanks, most of the good photos were taken by the fabulous Todd. The grainy not so great ones are my handy work. I grabbed a magazine on the way out of Kraft and I love it too! Great pictures, easy recipes.

  • Kategvt August 28, 2009, 1:29 pm

    well..see Food, Inc….and i’m not sure anyone will wanna eat Kraft’s cold cuts or much of that junk. I just hope that they treat their workers better than most large companies.

  • leslie August 29, 2009, 2:12 pm

    Wow Kim!! Chicago looks and sounds like it was a blast. I’m so proud of you. Kraft sure knows how to pick the smart, talented ones! I am downloading the App for my iPhone and I am def looking up the pizza salad recipe. Looked sooo yummy.

    LESS PACKAGING!!!!!! PLEASE…….And I would love to be on the taste testing team for Kraft when they create the healthier version of Kraft Mac n Cheese. It is one of the real junk foods that I will never learn to live without. But a healthier version might be a good compromise!
    XO Les

  • MommyKnows August 29, 2009, 11:22 pm

    @leslie – it was a blast! I am jealous you can download the iPhone app. I’d love less packaging too. With all the info that is now required to be listed on food packaging, it’s no wonder it is so large, then again we Canadians can get two languages worth on one box … should be a bit of room for reduction in the USA *wink*.

  • Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck August 29, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Lovely Liz is one of my favorite bloggers. I am so happy you were able to participate in this cool event!

    I’m all about healthier Mac ‘n Cheese. Seriously. I can’t get my kids to eat any other brand so why not try to make it healthier?

  • MommyKnows August 29, 2009, 11:18 pm

    @amber – thanks for stopping by Amber. Liz is fabulous, so kind! She was the first blogger I met in Chicago and she made me feel at ease immediately.

  • Sandy August 29, 2009, 7:00 pm

    Hi Kim! Love the post and love you! It was so great to spend time w/you and the other ladies. Don’t you wish we could do it again? I wouldn’t mind getting more comfortable in their kitchen LOL. But eating like we did, every day? I’d be in trouble:)

    I agree with healthier MAC & CH! I’ve heard it from a lot of people out there …

    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Juicy Pear GIVEAWAY! =-.

  • MommyKnows August 29, 2009, 11:16 pm

    @Sandy – Hey Sandy, Thank you! I’d love to do it all again. With the blog post(s) and all the food photos, I’ve had nothing but food on my brain the past week.

  • Diane August 30, 2009, 4:13 pm

    It’s very refreshing to see a major food company actually listening to the feedback of moms like us. Imagine food getting more healthy as a trend. I wonder what it would take to get other major food brands to join in?

  • MommyKnows August 30, 2009, 7:08 pm

    @diane – firstly thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I couldn’t agree with you more :)

  • Christopher Lance September 17, 2009, 2:26 am

    I love crafts stuff tast good, but far as good for you I would stay away organic everything is the way to be.
    .-= Christopher Lance´s last blog ..How to Successful Install Floor Tile =-.

  • Marcie M. March 29, 2010, 1:56 pm

    I agree completely with what Terri says and watch what I put in my kids mouth. The funny thing is I actually grew up on kraft macaroni and cheese. Parents couldn’t afford anything better I guess.
    .-= Marcie M.´s last blog ..Just arrived! NEW DCWV mat stacks and paper stacks! =-.

  • Reggie Seto November 8, 2010, 7:58 am

    I’m so worried about the way our kids are heading in nowadays. Watching Jamie Olivers food revolution on tv the other day scared the thingies out of me. I suggest we all start cooking some healthy recipes like these at home if we’re going to fix this horrible situation. The ones on that site seem pretty easy, I tried last night and it’s the first time my family has eaten well in ages, I just feel wonderful.

  • Jerica Proenza January 29, 2011, 12:21 pm

    I think your blog is fantastic I found it on Google. Definetely will return tomorrow! Have a good day, Lisa

  • NoraJeanne@Pasta Atlas January 30, 2011, 10:39 pm

    I love making homemade pastas. Have been experimenting with my pasta machine to create different types and different shapes of pastas.

    Tried cooking penne the other day and this time I used Kraft’s cheese. My gosh the taste is heavenly. I guess the creamy and strong taste of Kraft Cheese goes well with the “robust” penne.

    Happy cooking

  • Nan "Manual Pasta Machine" Conner September 2, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I am sorry that everyone is doing I phone apps. I am tired of going to the grocery store and listening to everyone on their cell phones. Manners have gone out the window. Sorry thats just what I think.

    Manual Pasta Machine

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