Jam Packed

August 22, 2013

Last Wednesday mom and I got up at the crack of dawn for a full day of travel to and from New York City! I was invited to host a media event for Smucker’s® in honor of their new Natural Fruit Spreads.

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The trip worked out perfectly because we were able to take the train right from Penn Station in Baltimore into the heart of New York.

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I so wish our country had better train transportation because this was such an awesome way to travel with a baby!

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We were able to sit in an accessible seat and keep the stroller open so Maze had a seat of his own and a spot to nap. {Of course we would have moved should someone in a wheel chair needed it.} The napping part didn’t happen, however. The train was lovely with a huge bathroom, snacks, lots of space and comfortable seats. M did great both ways!

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While I attended the event, mom took M for a stroll in Central Park. They had fun crawling in the grass and enjoying some packed snacks. Mom said the time away flew by. Luckily it was a gorgeous crisp day.

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Meanwhile, I was busy having fun with editors of different food and parenting publications with Smucker’s!

Smucker's Natural Editor Event

I love fruit spreads because you can use as little or as much as you want to totally customize your toast, oatmeal, PB&J or recipes, and I love that Smucker’s new line of Natural Fruit Spreads are made with real food. When I’m giving nutrition talks I tell people my definition of real food is “something you could make in your kitchen if you had the time and ingredients.” These jams ring true to that – they are made from the same ingredients you have at home {fruit, sugar, pectin} and are great for those of us who don’t have the time to make all of our jam from scratch : ) Thus I knew this was a great partnership for me. I had a blast hosting this event, and I’ll be creating some pairings of my own over the next few months.

{All photos from here on (and the one above) were shot by Diane Bondareff for Smucker’s.}

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The event was held at Spring Natural Kitchen, and I wish I could have experienced the restaurant on a regular day because the space was so lovely.

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The restaurant was decorated front to back with jars of jam and the most gorgeous plump fresh fruit.

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The event was divided into 3 parts: a tasting of Smucker’s pairings, a hands-on challenge and a tasting of pairings created by Chef Direk Srongloop of Spring Natural Kitchen.

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A pairing is the simple uniting of unique and classic ingredients with the delicious addition of fruit spreads to pull it all together. The pairings we tried were all really tasty and new, inspirational ways to  use your favorite jam:

Raspberry-Fig Goat Cheese Spread

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Boston Bibb Lettuce Cups with Garbanzo Beans and Orange Marmalade

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Sweet Strawberry Bleu Cheese Belgian Endive with Jalapeno {my favorite!!}

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Blueberry-Grape Relish

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Crostini with Prosciutto and Avocado with Orange Marmalade

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Fruity Waffle Cone with Raspberry Yogurt and Mint {so clever!}

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Here we are listening to the team from Smucker’s talking about the new fruit spreads and the inspiration for the pairings concept

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Next up was my part of the event: the Quickfire Challenge!! I gave a short talk on who I am and the history of KERF and introduced the challenge.

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We divided the editors into 3 groups and had them create their own pairings from this lavish table of ingredients.

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They had everything from cookies to smoked salmon to bacon to arugula to butter to peanut butter to juices to chocolate chips. It was one inspiring pantry!

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Here are Editors Amy Eley, Working Mother, (Tiffany Valentine from Smucker’s), Melissa Knific, Family Circle and Lily diCostanzo, All You choosing their ingredients

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The editors did a great job inventing new pairings. Here Lorianne Lacey of Mom Central and Victoria Phillips from Food Network magazine making a holiday appetizer.

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It turned out to be a Christmas tree filled with raspberry jam and mascarpone cheese with cinnamon, chocolate chips and dried cranberries and raisins for ornaments. It was delish!

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And this group with Lily diCostanzo of All You made a killer quesadilla

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At the conclusion of the event we met Chef Srongloop and tasted his three pairing creations:

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Goat Cheese Orange Chickpea Crostini

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Turkey and Raspberry Grilled Cheese Bites

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And Strawberry Cream Cheese Tarts with Blueberries and Mint

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I left full and happy!

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Here is a pairing of my own I finished this week. I have used jam in salad dressings before, but this unique combination brings lavender into the mix for a fresh twist atop your greens.

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  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread
  • Lemon juice
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Lavender buds, crushed
  • Kosher salt

Combine these simple ingredients  together and experiment along the way to find the right combination of flavors to suit you.  Start with a base of extra virgin olive oil and add equal parts Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread and lemon juice.  Add rice wine vinegar and kosher salt to taste.  Add a spoonful of crushed lavender buds to create a dressing with a light floral flavor sure to make your next salad dressing something you just have to share.

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Mom and I regretted not staying longer in New York, but we wanted to get back to my grandmother and maximize our time with her. We might plan a visit for the fall since we can take the train all the way from Cville!

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This post is sponsored by Smucker’s. Smucker’s paid our travel expenses to New York. 

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeri August 22, 2013 at 8:23 am

Those look really good! I’ve been trying to cut back on sugar and this looks like the perfect thing. Been spending $8 a jar (pint size) from the local farmers market for homemade jams/jellies. Hoping this is cheaper.

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2 Kayla August 22, 2013 at 10:50 am

But these DO contain sugar – in fact, sugar is the first or second ingredient listed in each of the varieties: http://www.smuckers.com/products/ProductDetail.aspx?groupId=1&categoryId=452&flavorId=1306. Don’t confuse “natural” with “no sugar added”!

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3 Brenda August 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Exactly. Half of these varieties have sugar and fruit juice (mostly sugar) BEFORE any fruit content.

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4 Jen D. August 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I’ve tried these and they are too sweet for me. LOTS of sugar in there!

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5 Hope August 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

They make a low sugar version but it is most definitely not natural. I buy it and I’m ok with that because I very rarely use jelly and only use a tsp at a time.

You are probably better off buying the more expensive local version.

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6 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I say choose local versions first (if you can afford them and have access to good ones) and use all-natural jams with real sugar (not artificial) when you don’t have a local favorite, are watching budget or for cooking. I use jam in such small quantities that I’m not worried about the sugar and would always chose real over artificial.

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7 Ella P August 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Baby fruit puree (no sugar version, of course) is a good alternative to expensive all- natural jams, especially when one needs only a tiny amount.

Ella

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8 Jackie August 22, 2013 at 8:25 am

Ill have to try the new jams! They look delicious!

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9 Katrina August 22, 2013 at 8:28 am

Hi kath. I love your blog and are a long time reader to both kerf and berf. I always leave positive comments but I feel the need to give you feedback from a longtime reader, as I know you value your readers :)

I have to say that these sponsored posts are getting to be over kill. It seems that at least every few posts are sponsored posts and direct marketing. I love the day in the life of, nutrition talk, baby updates, new recipes, cleaning & lifestyle posts, and your lately posts. But these sponsored posts are getting to be a bit much. I know you can’t please everyone but I wanted to give you constructive feedback from a longtime reader. Thanks for listening!

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10 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 10:17 am

Thanks for the feedback Katrina. All posts on KERF have been sponsored since the beginning – just in a different format with sidebar ads. I’ve been going on trips and partnering with brands from the beginning. I am working to keep a balance between all types of posts, so I’m glad you enjoy 90% of the rest.

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11 Mary August 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Hi Kath! I too am a longtime reader. I know you may not post this response, but I just wanted to interject my perspective because I’ve been feeling the same way as many other readers on this matter. You seem to consistently respond to negative feedback about sponsorship by saying that your blog has always been sponsored. But these new posts are much different, and I’m sure most readers can distinguish between posts that are basically commercials for a product (which sometimes seem inconsistent with your values) and an inobtrusive sidebar that doesn’t interfere with your content.

I’ve been feeling lately that more and more of your posts don’t feel genuine anymore, and it seems like half of your posts are completely sponsored by a third party instead of the occasional product review.

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12 Wendy Heath August 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I get that the blog is a gig, and therefore must make money… but I too have noticed a significant tone change in the “sponsored” posts. Maybe it’s because you have less time with caring for a wee one, but I’ve started skipping a lot of your product focused posts because I get enough advertising from other sources…

I’m cool with it being sponsored if you’re cool with me skipping those posts! ;-)

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13 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Totally fine : )

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14 Ashley Carroll August 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Love the blog! I’ve been reading for about a year and loved it so much that I read all of your early posts too! This is my first time commenting but along with the prior comments on this string, I did want to mention that I miss the old blog. I find myself not coming to your blog as often because I figure it will be just another sponsored post.

Obviously life is different now with a cute little baby, but I definitely miss the old blog without all of the sponsored posts. Still love some of your posts though :)

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15 Ttrockwood August 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I agree and feel that the sponsored posts are actually harming the integrity of the original blog and potentially your own repore with the very same readers who brought you the success that attracted said sponsors.

I can read a very similar “non-ad” on a few hundred other so-called blogs. It makes me sad to find it here too.

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16 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh August 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

I’ll have to give them a try! There’s a Smuckers store not too far from my Mr’s old hometown that usually has every flavor ever invented, so I’ll have to make that a side trip next time we get that way. I think I’ve only seen 2-3 natural flavors in the regular grocery stores here.

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17 Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves August 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

Wow it looks like it was a delicious and fun trip! All the pairings look unique and thoughtful. I love your definition of real food– it’s simple and makes so much sense! We actually have some lavender buds that have yet to be used, so that dressing may just be it!

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18 Farah @ Fabulously Farah August 22, 2013 at 8:55 am

Sounds like a fun event. I’d love to do something like that one day. I can’t wait to try the fruit spreads. Thanks for sharing with us!

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19 CaitlinHTP August 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

I love jam. It’s one of my favorite things, truly. :)

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20 Christine@ Apple of My Eye August 22, 2013 at 9:03 am

All of those small bites look divine! I’ve seen the natural Jams by Smuckers in the store and have been thinking about picking some up to top my english bagel with :). You might just have given me that extra little incentive!

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21 Liz @ The Shrinking Owl August 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

I like your dress. Cute.

How does Daniel and his jam feel about your cheating on him? Is this the end of your relationship? (that’s my lame attempt at a joke)

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22 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 10:00 am

I have a jar of his in my fridge too. Jam is not monogamous : )

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23 Sally August 22, 2013 at 9:19 am

Thanks for sharing! By the way, I love the dress you wore at the Smucker’s event – so cute! Where did you buy it?

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24 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

Thanks, a Target find

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25 Gloria August 26, 2013 at 6:40 am

I was just coming here to ask that! It’s adorable and looks great on you :-)

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26 Abbey August 22, 2013 at 9:42 am

Where did you get the lavender buds?

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27 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

I found them in the Whole Foods bulk bins

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28 Jennifer August 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

Looks delish! However, I am quite partial to the Polaner fruit spreads…absolutely no added sugar and still so sweet from the fruit. Learned to use that from my mom who has to have a no sugar diet. I make a mini plain bagel..top it with cream cheese and some Polaner Rasberry and it tastes like a cheesecake!

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29 ciely August 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

Team Polaner here too…reading labels has made food shopping alot less fun.

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30 Danielle August 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I just looked up Polaner. I had never heard of it. Thanks! I will definitely be trying this!. Information on lesser known brands is always great to come across. :-)

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31 Renee King August 22, 2013 at 10:34 am

Wow Kath what a fun trip. I would love to visit NY one day and see all the fun sights. What an honor to be able to host the event, it looked so wonderful and the dressing sounds so yummy.

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32 Carly @ Snack Therapy August 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

All of the jam recipes look delish, but I HAVE to comment on your dress. It’s adorable! Totally my jam ;).

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33 Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties August 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

your outfit is so cute! also, i’d looooove to take the train somewhere. need to find a cheap ticket somewhere cool!

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34 Chelsea @BigBitesLittleBudget August 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

What an exciting event! Everything tastes better with a little sweetness mixed in. I love that recipe for salad dressing. I’ve never thought to put jam in a dressing before, but it sounds delightful.

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35 The Many Thoughts of a Reader August 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

yummmmmmmm

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36 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna August 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

It’s great to hear that these jams are made with natural products – I’m always a bit skeptical even if the label says ‘natural’ ;)

I just ran out of my mom’s homemade strawberry jam, so I might have to try out a flavour!

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37 Anna @ On Anna's Plate August 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Looks like a fun trip! I agree with you about train travel– when we lived in PA, we used to take the train in to NYC (well, we did it a few times, ha!), and it was always SO easy! Wish we had more trains like that!

I’ve always been a fan of Smuckers…can’t beat their original strawberry jam. :-)

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38 Alex @ Kenzie Life August 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

You have such a fun life! That trip looks like a blast and I have to agree with you about the transportation. I love Amtrak!! I used to live in Philly and would take the train or a bus into New York City for weekend getaways. It was so convenient and trains are by far my favorite way to travel! So much easier and comfortable than a plane in my opinion. I tend to be really picky about the jams I eat (and I don’t eat many), but I like that this is a natural line that doesn’t seem to have a bunch of artificial ingredients and things I can’t pronounce.

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39 Hope August 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

That dress is so flattering on you!!

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40 Kori August 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Love this post and all the unique pairings!

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41 Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit August 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Oh man, those all look so good! I need to re-create the goat cheese crostini for sure. What a fun event!

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42 Jennifer August 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

You said these jams “are made from the same ingredients you have at home {fruit, sugar, pectin},”
but I’ve never had pectin in my panty or fridge (don’t even know how to store it!) ever. Is pectin natural?

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43 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Pectin is found in many fruits and is a polysaccharide derived from plants. When heated it thickens consistency and is commonly used in jams. You can actually extract your own if you have the time : ) Or you can buy it commercially (hence the pantry mention).

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44 Mom August 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Gosh that was a fun day! And Maze and I were so happy to return to the restaurant and sample the fabulous foods!

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45 Kim August 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Cute title!

All those tastings sound delicious! And your Strawberry Lemon Lavender dressing looks awesome…. I’ll have to add that one to my list of recipes to try :)

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46 Erika @ fortheloveofpeanutbutter August 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Ohhh looks like fun! I love that Smuckers is trying somethin’ a little more real :)

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47 Wendy August 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I’m glad you guys had fun, I love NY & the trains too! & Mazen is gorgeous as ever.

& I want to note I do agree with some of our fellow readers regarding Kath’s [sponsored] posts, they do feel less personalized & has made Kerf lose that something special that it had from the beginning/ middle, but I feel like this happens with most if not all blogs/ businesses/ TV shows/ actors/actresses performances/ restaurants/ & etc. There is something special when you start something from nothing, especially when it stems from not for profit- I think that “spark/ magic” gets lost once you reach a certain level of success. So when a [blog] grows, subsequently the blogger also grows & the whole evolves. & while I do miss the old Kerf- I believe change is inevitable & is to be expected.

While the mood of the blog has definitely changed, I still find Kath’s sponsored posts helpful- they are well written & leave me inspired to try some of Kath’s suggestions & recipes- they do sound delicious & original.

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48 Ella P August 23, 2013 at 5:52 am

Wendy has a good point here. I share it. This might be an unavoidable phenomenon. I try and think of it this way: if I were a successful actress and were offered (and paid) to do an ad for a perfume that is not – let’s put it this way – part of my world, would I refuse? would you?

Let’s take an easy-going approach to this and read these posts with just one eye…

Ella

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49 Katherine August 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

While I see what you guys are saying about sponsorship and profit are inevitable at some point, I think what some readers (myself anyways) are taking issue with is the fact that the brand partnerships she has chosen seem to completely go against the supposed mission (and title!) of the blog. Smuckers jam is just not real food, any way you look at it. Sugar-laden nut butter isn’t either. Neither is ocean spray juice. And so on.
Ella P, if you were a successful actress and were offered to be paid to do an ad for something that went against your core values, would you really do it just for the money?? Or would you want to use your high exposure, and financial freedom to choose what you publicly endorse, to attach your name and image to things you actually care about? The choice seems easy to me.

What these posts make it seem like is that Kath doesn’t actually care about eating real, homemade, local food. Either that, or she doesn’t know the difference between real and processed food, which hardly makes her an authority on the subject.
I am sure there are companies (e.g. cookware, recipe books) that would want to sponsor her and be consistent with the real food image.
And Kath, as someone who works from home, should have ample time to prepare ‘real’, homemade versions of the products she endorses and I think many readers would be happy to see posts about that process.

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50 KathEats August 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

Just gotta jump in here and say none of the brands I have worked with are against my core values. You guys seem to have made up a list of food rules for me, but I have never had rules about my diet. Beliefs, yes. Guidelines, yes. But supporting local food does not mean I am not “allowed” to ever eat anything commercial again.

And this line is just offensive to any new mom. I take it you don’t have kids?

And Kath, as someone who works from home, should have ample time to prepare ‘real’, homemade versions of the products she endorse

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51 Katherine August 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

No, I don’t have kids. But I do have a full time job that has nothing to do with food and which requires me to be away from my home most days. And I still have time to make jam from scratch. I am just saying, this IS your job. I’m not at all trying to suggest that I picture you lounging around the house doing nothing all day, I know kids can be a lot of work. But if someone like you can’t fit it in, then who can??

And if none of these brands go against your core values, then what are your core values? The last thing this society needs is more people shilling processed unhealthy food.. Yes, of course it is fine to indulge in a little junk food/packaged food/big corporation-made food occasionally. But we don’t need someone to tell us how to do that. I think your readers come to you for inspiration for ways to eat when not indulging in sugary treats.
I think we’d all like to see a little more content pertaining to inventive, healthy, natural meals!

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52 KathEats August 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

My core values lie in eating as much real food as possible the majority of the time. But that doesn’t mean I restrict my diet. Cheerios and store-bought jam are foods that have I have always eaten, maybe just not as much as oatmeal, kale or bananas. My focus here has always been to show that eating real food doesn’t have to be about subtraction and deprivation – it’s about addition and enjoyment. If you choose to make your own jam, then that’s fabulous. But I don’t think that everyone needs to to live a healthy life.

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53 KathEats August 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

And maybe I’m reacting in response to all the restriction I see online these days. Or to a wider audience who isn’t as into the “#eatclean” movement. I don’t want to make people who grocery shop at big stores and buy commercial foods feel like they aren’t healthy. I think it’s a broader worldview that has changed me, and the public health courses I took. And I think motherhood mellows people out – I just don’t think it’s necessary to eat a “perfect diet” if it means sacrificing enjoyment.

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54 KathEats August 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

I’m going to write a post about this..

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55 Katherine August 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

This is such a great point. While I can see why people might be frustrated by the new turn of the blog, I have been reading forever, and I really respect what you are saying here. The majority (huge majority) of Americans–working parents, single moms– cannot afford to spend the time or money to eat “clean” and shop at Whole Foods and Farmer’s Markets. That is a luxury of a few….

I actually think, Kath, that it would be a really important thing to incorporate into all of your posts on foods that are “processed,” cheaper, and not “farm fresh.” It would be helpful to discuss how these products can be used in a recipe with more natural ingredients– e.g. your salad above!

I think it is an important point to make, and it also can bring in a wider audience of moms and parents who feel alienated by the “eat clean and fresh” movement because they cannot afford to always (or ever) give their children the “perfect” meal. This is the America we live in.

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56 Katherine August 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

(I should note my name is also Katherine but I am a different reader!)

57 Alisa August 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Kath, I commend you for how you handled the first Katherine’s very unreasonable comments. As far as I can tell, Smucker’s natural fruit spreads contain fruit, sugar, and pectin, which I believe are the same ingredients in homemade jam. It seems like a nice alternative for those who either don’t have the time, don’t have the resources, or – frankly – don’t have any interest in making jam from scratch. By the way, I’m currently pregnant and considering being a stay-at-home mom. In addition to making my own jam, what else would I be expected to do – buy a cow and churn my own butter? ;)

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58 Jenna August 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

THIS is why you continue to be my favorite blogger Kath! Love your attitude towards food, weight loss and life. I can definitely tell you choose the companies you work with carefully. Oh, and I don’t have time to make jam either (and I am *only* a stay at home mom!)

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59 Jessica August 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm

I like this comment very much, Kath. I struggled with an eating disorder and there are SO many blogs that are very triggering for me to read so I avoid them. I try eat very healthily and feed my 13 month old very healthy as well, but our family is tightly budgeted and so we do the best we can, but eating 100% local and organic and all natural is never going to happen no matter how I tweak things.

Change happens. Life is short; there are foods that are good for the body and foods that are good for the soul and there is room for both.

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60 Laura August 24, 2013 at 7:24 am

I, too, am someone who has suffered from disordered eating for over 7 years and has now decided to choose recovery, Kath is one of my favorite bloggers because she eats REAL FOOD but she isn’t afraid to eat other things if they are more convenient. I have zero problem with Kath taking up an offer to promote Smucker’s new Natural line. It’s NATURAL. Kath eats cookies and cake at parties, and has alcohol from time to time. Kath is a human being who tried her best to incorporate real food into her day-to-day life, but isn’t afraid to veer from that if necessary (ie. a party). I think this is something that we should all admire about Kath, not “blame” her for it.

She’s also a mother who is trying to make a living. Her blog doesn’t just document her life, it supports it. Stop nit-picking everything she does.

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61 Alyssa August 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hi – I just wanted to say that I’m a mom of two young girls, have a full time job, and I make my own jam. It’s easy and quick and even enjoyable if you like cooking. I wasn’t offended at all by Katherine’s comment and in fact, I agree with her that anyone should have the time to make jam (or anything else) if that’s where their values lie.

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62 KathEats August 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

“if that’s where their value lies” <– agree.

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63 Christina @ The Beautiful Balance August 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Wow, what an amazing opportunity!!

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64 Emily @ Life on Food August 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

That dressing looks wonderful. I have never used jam in dressing. What a great idea!

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65 Kristi August 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

How nice that you could combine a work trip with visiting your Grandmother. I’m sure she was very glad to see you and the baby!

As always, I’m curious about the inner workings of partnerships like these. I see that Smuckers paid your travel expenses but it also sounds like you were hosting in some capacity and not just a guest. Do you charge a fee for something like this? Does Smuckers pay you for writing the post and posting links? I think it’s great you’re able to support your family through your blog but I don’t understand how these sponsors actually compensate you (vs reimbursing you for expenses, which I do understand). Sorry if that is too many questions!! I’m just trying to understand how you benefit from these sponsored posts, especially since there seems to be some amount of negative feedback from readers.

Thanks for shedding some light on this topic!

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66 KathEats August 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Yes, I was hired as the host of the event and compensated for my time writing this post and creating the pairing. That’s what all the “This post was sponsored by Smucker’s” means : )

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67 Kristi August 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Thanks for clarifying. I misinterpreted your disclaimer as “smuckers sponsored this post (by) paying our travel fees”. I get it now! And it makes more sense why you would pick up these sponsors.

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68 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook August 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm

What a fun event to attend! I do prefer all fruit no sugar added fruit spreads to the sugar laden ones. As always you look adorable and how sweet that your mom could go and take care of Mazen while you worked!

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69 colleen August 23, 2013 at 1:44 am

Did you get the recipe for Boston Bibb Lettuce Cups with Garbanzo Beans and Orange Marmalade, it looks good and it looks like it would fit into my plant based eating lifestyle! :) Cant believe the baby will be one! (I have been reading for a few years but rarely comment.)

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70 Devon August 23, 2013 at 5:40 am

Wish I was there to taste all the different pairings and combinations you had going, must of been divine!

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71 Sabrina @ Living, Learning, Eating August 23, 2013 at 6:59 am

That looks like a wonderful trip, I’m glad you had fun! It would be awesome to have this kind of success, haha you’ve earned it :) Also, being a new mom seems to really suit you – yay!

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72 Linda August 23, 2013 at 7:33 am

I’ve been reading for several years now, I want to say that I actually enjoy the sponsored posts. I find it interesting to see what some of the major companies are up to. In addition, whether you or someone else takes the photos they are always inspiring. This post gave me a lot of ideas on how to use jam besides spreading it on a cracker.

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73 Jenn@slim-shoppin August 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

How fun! That’s so great you got to do that.

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74 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite August 23, 2013 at 8:31 am

Looks like a fun trip! And I’m a sucker for anything with jam and goat cheese together. All of the apps look so cute and petite!

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75 Eileen August 26, 2013 at 9:51 am

I can see both sides of the disagreement here. I think people are being a bit disingenuous about jam, for one thing. Do none of you have a jar of Smuckers in your refrigerator? Do you really make jam from scratch, every time? I am an avid cook and very healthy eater, and I have made my own jam exactly once. My kids eat plain old commercial jam pretty much every day. I would never think to agonize about it, especially since they eat probably about a teaspoon on a PB & J.

That said, I am not a huge fan of the increased frequency of the sponsored posts. There was a time that I LOVED all the women’s magazines, then all the parenting magazines, but over time, I started to realize that they are little more than vehicles for advertising, so I stopped buying them. Blogs have a lower barrier to readership (no purchase price) but I do think some readers will just give up if they feel they are being bashed over the head by ads.

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