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.
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 toÂ KraftCanada.com (or Kraftfoods.com in the USA)Â for a recipeÂ that has a list of ingredients that I know and recognize, and most likely have in my cupboard.
For inspiration on the go, there is alsoÂ the new iPhone app from Kraft called the 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.
From the regular kitchens, we headed to the commercial kitchens.
You’re looking at John Li the corporate executive chef for Kraft Foodservice, me, and Liz of thisfullhouse.
After the kitchens, we headedÂ to the photo studio.
We were lucky and caught a holiday photo shoot in full swing. How I could use this photography setup at home – just saying!
Anna showed us several completed graphic projects, and it was off to the ‘prop room’.
Cutting board anyone? The selection in here is incredible. I loved it.
Bwahahaha! I need this sign at home (in every room).
Before we knew it, it was time to start cooking. Let the fun begin!
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.
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!
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.
The Kraft chefs, with the help of the mom bloggers, put on quite a spread. My mouth is watering, just thinking about it.
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!
The moms talked …
and the folks at Kraft listened. This is Armin from Kraft, she’s a momÂ as wellÂ (to gorgeous one year old Roxie).
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,Â and gave your feedback (hey Jenn), we spoke for you too.
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.
A special thank you to Kraft FoodsÂ 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 theÂ 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.