Wrapping up the Kenmore Blogger Summit

I tweeted recently about life getting in the way of my blogging. I guess it’s better than the other way around. 😉 As much as I love coming here and sharing with you, my family takes priority. I’m sure you guys understand! I am excited to be back and finishing up sharing about my Kenmore adventures in Chicago. In all fairness, the photo collages take quite a bit of time, and my recap posts as well. But I’ll be back to posting recipes in no time, and I also have a few other new things to share with you!

How is it that Chicago was already over 2 weeks ago? Was it a dream? I’m still in disbelief (tell me to snap out of it….if you’re sick of hearing this part, just skim on over it!) that I boarded a plane and headed that far from home. Incredulous!! Those closest to me say they aren’t surprised and they knew I had it in me. Me? I shocked myself….and that’s a GOOD thing!

To further let you in on my insanity…I’ll admit a secret. I used to hear planes above and/or see them since I’ve become a mom. I’d sit on the beach and wonder about the people on the plane…where they were going, the freedom of hopping on board and heading out on an adventure. I was jealous, but at the same time terrified at the thought. Now when I hear a plane, I smile….I can picture and visualize that pre-children adventure again and it feels really good! Ahh….God has been so good to me! I am truly blessed!!

Ok…next! Saturday morning we headed down to a nice breakfast Kenmore had planned for us. I met a few other bloggers I hadn’t met already. Around 9:15 we boarded a charter bus to take us the few blocks to Kenmore Live Studio. I kinda felt like a kid on a field trip again. 😉 In collage above from top left: me and Michelle of Mommy Confessions, middle picture is Sara of Sensibly Sara, Michelle again and Rob of Look what mom found…and dad too. The bottom middle picture is Tanis of Redneck Mommy and Kat of Sassy Irish Lassy.

Ginger of Counting Callaberos and I took pictures of each other in front of the building after we navigated our way off the bus. At this point I wasn’t in boots and it was hard climbing down and over all the Chicago slush! I loved the snow, but I don’t envy them the task of keeping their feet dry….I thought Florida rain was hard enough.

My hat is off to Kenmore because a lot of thought went into our day! I knew they’d be filming for future videos for their website, but they went out their way to make sure we had fun! There was a perfect mix of sitting and learning versus actively participating in fun competitions with each other. The night before we’d signed up for teams.

Our first challenge was the slow cooker challenge. As you can see above they had a myriad of ingredients for us to use. We were given 20 short minutes to decide what we wanted to make with these ingredients and a mystery ingredient, in addition to actually prepping it and getting it all into the pot! Wow….talk about pressure! Our group actually finished a few minutes early and we had time to snap a picture of our group…..the Kenmore Elite.

A few slow cooker tips for you ~ we learned the proper way to clean a slow cooker is to use distilled white vinegar and hot sudsy water. Also, that if you pull the lid straight up instead of tilting it, you won’t get the condensation from the lid in the pot. You never need to stir anything in a slow cooker. Don’t add too much water (4 cups should be enough)…and don’t open lid while cooking as heat dissapates.

Everyone made a variation of a lentil soup or stew, and the meals cooked while we continued on our day. Later on that day….as the wonderful aroma drifted down, they judged our concoctions. Our team didn’t win this challenge, but in the bottom right corner you see us plotting our skit for our vacuum commercial, which in fact did win each of us a flip HD video camera!! Yay!

We heard from several Kenmore executives as they shared about Kenmore’s passion for improving everyday, and wanted us to know that, “Kenmore is not your grandmother’s brand.” Kenmore is still reliable, but works hard at keeping up with what consumers today want. We had a neat white board challenge throughout the course of the day….they wanted to hear YOUR ideas. As the board filled up (several times), they wrote down your ideas. Most of the bloggers (myself included) came prepared to share creative ideas given to us by our readers.

At the end of the day, they chose the top 10 innovative ideas of the day and we voted to see which blogger would win their dream appliance. Two of your ideas that I shared made it onto that top 10 list (a dry erase board as part of the fridge, and a refrigerator with a generator attached so that when the power goes out you don’t lose all your food). My friend Michelle of Mommy Confessions won a dual 50/50 convection oven. She was thrilled! The generator idea did win a 4 slice Kenmore toaster which they are sending to me! Yay!

In the top left of the above collage you’ll see Janice of Meal Makeover Moms. Later on that day she interviewed me for her Meal Makeover Mom podcast….I was excited to be a part of the podcast that I’d listened too so many times in the past. What an honor!

Also….being a food blogger, I can’t let the picture of lunch go undescribed. Kenmore had a beautiful lunch buffet catered by Truffleberry Market. There was an amazing spread of food to choose from. I picked up a slice of roast beef sandwich, 2 turkey cranberry lettuce wraps (amazing!), root chips….yum, roasted veggies in basalmic vinegar and an incredible strawberry pecan salad. It was nice to kick back, relax and get to know each other a bit better.

Kenmore really didn’t shove their products in our face…..they didn’t need to! These products speak for themselves!! I know I wasn’t the only blogger that had appliance envy just hearing a few descriptions mentioned ~

 ~ The 50/50 dual convection oven can hold up to a 28 lb turkey, and then you have the whole other oven for your sides and desserts. Two separate ovens so two separate oven temperatures.

~ The grab ‘n go fridge that I love has a huge capacity of 31 cubic feet, easy access, incredible vacuum insulation panels to increase capacity in fridge, led lighting along sides and top showcases food and is more space efficient, the freezer has 3 independent sliding drawers.

Overall we had an incredible day, and I feel blessed that Kenmore included me in their Kenmore Blogger Summit!

Things wrapped up with Kenmore around 5:30pm, and after a short time freshening up in my Sofitel room (ahh), a group of 8 bloggers including myself went out for dinner. Of course we wanted a true taste of Chicago while we were there, and a local blogger Kim of What’s that Smell? recommended Giordano’s deep dish Chicago pizza! We walked three blocks through the beautiful Chicago streets, had an about an hour wait…but the pizza was so worth it. Can’t you tell by looking?

The next morning fog had descended on Chicago, but I still loved my beautiful view! I organized my stuff for the flight home, and met up with Michelle and Rob in the lobby for a quick breakfast around the corner at Einstein bagels. Even though there was still snow and slush everywhere, I loved walking through the city one last time. My only regret on this whole trip was not having enough time to explore the beautiful city. I was staying only blocks away from Michigan Avenue, the American Girl place, Navy Pier, etc but due to the snow and extreme cold I wasn’t able to check it out. Next time I must visit in warmer weather.

It was so cool seeing South Florida from the air….it had been so long since I’d had that opportunity, and I found it super exciting! My hubby and girls picked me up, and it was great to see them. Hard to believe it’d only been 2 days…what a whirlwind trip it’d been, and it was good to be home!

If you enjoyed this post, won’t you consider sharing it with others? Handy share and “Facebook recommend” buttons are below. It really makes my day when you pass things along! To make sure you don’t miss a post or recipe you can either follow Creative Kitchen on Facebook or subscribe by Email in the sidebar. Thanks for reading….I love having company in the kitchen!

{Disclosure: This was an all expense paid trip thanks to the generous folks at Kenmore, but this post, images, thoughts, opinions and words are all my own.}

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2 Responses to Wrapping up the Kenmore Blogger Summit

  1. It was great to meet you at the Kenmore event, I had a great time too!
    Kim @ What’s That Smell? recently posted..A little “secret” about General Mills

  2. Pingback: My new food addiction ~ Chicago style hot dogs! | Creative Kitchen

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