Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I was invited to take a peek inside the Kraft kitchens a couple weeks ago. Despite the fact that I was sick (and possibly served some sneezwiches to my fellow bloggers - sorry about that), I had a great time.

We started with dinner where we were able to get to know our fellow bloggers and the folks from Kraft.

Kim from Mommy Knows
, Silvia from Mama Latina Tips, me, Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer, Rachel from A Southern Fairytale, Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom, Liz from This Full House, and Elizabeth from Busy Mom.

The next day, we took a tour of their facilities. We saw their photo studio. Kraft does their own photography for magazine layouts, packaging, etc. Every few months, they go through their pantry, which is FULL of serving pieces, and clean house, donating dishes to a local shelter.

Then they had the nerve to put us to work! I know, right! :) Actually, we all had a great time whipping up lunch together. Kraft comes up with recipes that use 5 or 6 ingredients for us busy moms who don't want to/can't spend all day in the kitchen. They don't just use any ole ingredients either. They make sure that the items they use can be found in most of our kitchens at home, because, let's face it, no one (unless you're like Alton Brown) wants to run out for saffron or quail eggs at the last minute when you're trying to get a hot meal on the table before football practice.

Here's John Li, chef extraordinaire, in the Kraft kitchens. He's coming home to cook for live with me. Shhh, he doesn't know it yet.

I don't even remember what all this was, but it was soooo good!

The smorgasbord of yumness that we prepared in no time at all!

You Canadians are SO LUCKY! These are the most delicious coconut lime cookies ev-ah and they're only available in Canada!

Here we are with CEO, Irene Rosenfeld.

After lunch, we spent time telling the folks from Kraft what we want. You know, foods that are inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare, and healthy. Is that too much to ask for?

Kraft does have a lot of healthier options these days, but they still make the classics like Kraft mac-n-cheese and Oreos. I'm one of those people who likes to make healthier choices when possible, but still thinks that junk food has its place in moderation.

You've got to bookmark Kraft's website HERE as a favorite! They've got recipes, lunch ideas, entertaining ideas, budgetwise meals, healthy meals, and so, so much more! You can even plug 3 ingredients into the site and Kraft will suggest recipes using those ingredients! How cool is that? And now, if you're sitting on the train on the way home from work, wondering what you can make for dinner using the chicken you pulled out of the freezer and the abundance of zucchini from your garden, you can use Kraft's new iPhone app, iFood Assitant. This is a very cool app! It's like their website only mini. They even have cooking videos you can watch, a recipe of the day, and a "store locator" link to find the closest store to your exact location so you can get your ingredients. And it's only .99!

After my visit to Kraft, I'm sure they're committed to making dinner easier for us moms. They've given us all sorts of tools to help us cook healthy and/or inexpensive and/or quick meals for our families. And I'm a big proponent of eating together as a family. What better way to learn about your kids' days, their friends, schoolwork, and how they can burp their ABCs?


Jazzy said...

I would love to check out the Kraft website but cant get the link to work.

Peggy said...

me either

Anonymous said...

Another great post, Dawn. I get the Kraft Food and Family magazine in the mail and I swear, It's my dinner-making bible. I love it! You're right, their receipes are short and very easy to prepare. I have all of the issues in my kitchen cabinet and use at least one or two of them a week. Great stuff!!

Donna in PA :)

Me said...

It sounds like a super-fun field trip!

Lorna said...

I adore Kraft. I'm allergic to dairy fat - I can eat their fat free singles.. and they're STILL healthy!

The thing that scares me is I can eat their Kraft Dinner Easy Mac (the microwavable..) but not the regular KD.

And yes, Canadians are lucky. Not only are we Canadian with all the glory that that entails, but there's a real health movement going on in our grocery stores.. Stuff that you had to go to some obscure health store before can now be found on the shelves with everything else. Most of the chains have their "healthy options" lines in thier no-name brands. And McCains fries are the best fries on the planet.

Just sayin'.

Sandy in Illinois said...

So Dawn,
If you type in "ketchup, Italian dressing and half an onion" into Kraft's web site, will you get a recipe? Just asking.

Sara said...

So if you put in Brooklyn's favorites, ketchup, chocolate syrup, and...maybe air?...what should you make for dinner?

Anonymous said...

The Kraft Food & Family magazine is the bomb! I use it all the time, and I save all the back issues in my kitchen cupboard.

-Beth in MI

Lisa said...

Oh what a hoot! I just love your blog, I follow it daily. Thank you so much for your writting.

kim @ mommyknows said...

Great post Dawn! It was great to meet you in Chicago.

I hate to break it to you, but ... I am pretty sure John is coming to live with me ;)

Deirdrea said...

I LOVE the Kraft website. Their 5 dinners 1 bag is a FREQUENT favorite in our house. I don't necessarily use a full week of meals from it but we have 1 to 2 meals from the Kraft site a week. It has been a lifesaver and things that my VERY picky family actually will eat. Everything you said about their site is right and it's awesome to have easy quick dinners that are actually healthy and good all at the same time.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

This was my favorite trip and I had so much fun with you, as usual :)

Can't we ALL just, you know, share John?

I got dibs on Mondays & Thursdays!

Legossi said...

Ooh. You should have suggested them adding some gluten free items. That would have been cool. Betty Crocker (I believe) has added a few Gf items as well as Chex.

Chris P in MN said...

I get the Kraft Food & Family magazine in the mail! Love it! How lucky are you to get to go on all these "field trips"?!!

Lora said...

Hey Dawn! Wondering if you asked them about the artificial dyes they use in their foods or if any other ladies brought it up? I think I read that one of your sons helps control his ADHD via diet, just wondering if anyone asked them about some natural alternatives and dye free products? I would LOVE to be able to give my son Kraft mac n chz but I can't due to the use of food dye in it (we are food dye free here)! I would love it if they would offer some dye free alternatives to some of our favorite products they make! Thanks! PS...Canada is lucky, I wish we had those cookies here too! :)

Silvia said...

Hi Dawn, just stopping bye to say hi!! it's been a month but is seems like yesterday to me, I had so much fun those two days and it was a pleasure to meet you.

Michelle said...

Very cool. We're trying to cut down on anything processed here and I will not put ANYthing with HFCS or trans fats into our house. But do you have any idea how hard that is? I now have to buy only plain yogurt and adding my own flavorings to it. Ditto with crackers (Ritz Crackers need HFCS why again?). And applesauce. And so many other things. Yay to Kraft for making things healthier and here's hoping they do so soon. I love the quick ingredient tricks -- so smart! And you all look like you're having so much fun!

Spielzeugkiste said...

As someone who prefers to cook everything fresh, I was exited by all the offerings Kraft has. it is not so that I don't know their products, but it's fascinating to see what you can do with good combinations. Btw, nice photos.

Katrina Russo said...

I get the Kraft Food recommendation whenever I'm shopping. I trust my family to their food. I will have to look into magazine in the mail and I hope I get to visit one day.
Kraft! I love it!



ps find me on twitter - katluvsshoes

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

Someone else wrote:
"So Dawn,
If you type in "ketchup, Italian dressing and half an onion" into Kraft's web site, will you get a recipe? Just asking."

Do you come up with a sundae that gives you rancid breath? I'm easy like Sundayyyy Morninnnnn'

Sandy said...

Yay for fun times at Kraft! And easy dinners!

One thing I remember is your raspy voice in Chicago - hope you're better! ! !


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