An Honestly Good Time

A month ago, I was in Chicago for a Blogging Conference. You know, the one that if you hear one more damn thing about you’re going to scream?

Yea. That one.

Well, this post isn’t about that… sort of.

In Chicago, somehow, I was invited to attend a luncheon presented by the Nestle Corporation, who is the brand owner of Lean Cuisine (among others), and a new line of products called Honestly Good.

It was delish. You can read all about it here.

When I returned home I, of course, blogged about it. No one paid me. No one asked. But someone listened.


A week ago, I received a charming email from their head culinary Illuminati, Lucien Vendome.

He asked me to come see his top secret super hush-hush culinary brain trust and kitchens.

I was actually going to be in the neighborhood (2,000 miles away, but whatever) the next day.

I get around.

I was met by the uber charming, and culinary brilliance of David Bailey (Specialist in Innovation- cool, right?) who showed me the works (and the pots-n-pans), answered all of my questions, and unlocked any door I just had to get behind (Some of them were very cold, as in freezing).

This wasn’t a tour of their manufacturing facility. Boring.

It was a look inside the spaces in which these chefs are creating, experimenting, and refining new dishes for a new country- 

The United States 
of I Don’t Want To Eat Crap Anymore 
But I Still Need A Convenient Meal Now And Again.
(probably not the way they would word it)

That Country. Your Country. My Country.

Let me be clear- they are not paying me in any way for this post.

There are no coupons. No give-aways. No chef showing up at your house to cook for you in person (except they are sort-of).

I am sharing my experience because I understand the what and why and how of the revolution they are championing in bringing healthy tasteful exciting dishes to our stores, and to our tables.

What I mostly want you to understand is that these are not faceless robotic combinations of processed foods. The ingredients are fresh. The flavors wonderfully potent. The presentation beautiful.

These dishes are designed for health and flavor, and prepared with the least amount of handling in the industry (fresh sourced, low heat, quick cool downs, no artificial preservatives, low salt, etc) in a real kitchen, with a pantry, and shopping bags, and dirty dishes at the end of the day. (All that’s missing is the family dog, kid’s underfoot, and a grumpy husband). 

There are real people behind the curtain. 

They care about you and me, and your kids and your cat (well, maybe not your cat, but you get my point). 

These men and women are passionate about what they do and I am passionate about them.

So instead of pshawing as you source your foods on your next trip by the grocer’s frozen section, why don’t we demand more from all the others. 

I think I know who’s already… 

Cooking Up A Better Future 

A Working Kitchen-
just like home. 
Walls of exotic species-
very similar to my spice wall, of course.
Even they need to visit the farmer’s market once and again.

The pantry has REAL ingredients!
I do not get my aprons dry cleaned, however.
I love the Virgins.
I don’t know any, but I love them


Chef David Bailey.
What a gracious host.

Plated at
A Pleasant House
Roasted Red Pepper Chicken
with fresh Broccoli & Cavatappi pasta.
moist, flavorful, filling & low in calories!

The three selections available at my local grocer.
There are six nationwide.
Proudly Cooking up a Better Future.

  • Janie Emaus - You’ve made me seriously hungry!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I’m sold. I would have liked to have learned more about the contents and healthy #s in this post, but I had a moment and looked them up myself. The sodium content is reasonably low and I like the convenience of frozen meals on occasion. Ok, I hate to admit how often “on occasion” really is. πŸ˜‰ I’ll be looking for these and giving them a try.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Oh, that’s wonderful- that you found your answers! Not only are these prepared dishes more healthful but others in the ‘industry’ are trying to catch up. And let’s all be honest- we do have the occasional need for the convenience of prepared foods. Anyone who says otherwise is just fibbing.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Glad you shared this – it brought back my faith (formerly a bit lagging) in the food future of our country.
    So much about the success of our children depends on good nutrition: their bodies and their brains.
    I wonder about the great thinkers and doers of our time – those who made great strides with inventions and creations. I wonder how much MORE they would or could have done had their families fed them more nutritious food?

    That thought helped me get on board with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Others of influence in the food industry are also contributing, like Rachel Ray. No matter what we think of their personalities, or even their motives, they are contributing to the well-being of our children and other citizens, thereby helping make our country the best it can be.

    Thanks again for posting this.

    And yikes! What fun to see all the ingredients in the pantries of the kitchen of goodness. Yum. I’m heading back into my kitchen yet again today to whip up more goodness for the family.

    Note: I am having issues entering my blog URL for some reason, despite multiple efforts. I may have to post as anonymous? If so, my URL is aka Julie PhelpsReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - So glad you took the time (and sorry for the difficulty) because your comment rings SO TRUE with me, and others I’m sure. There is a food revolution happening in the USA (Thank God) and my hat is off to everyone, be it homemaker, restauranteur, chef, author, prepared foods company that steps up to the plate. These people (and I say ‘people’ because that’s who’s cooking these dishes- not robots) are truly changing the face of what’s behind our frozen food lockers. Thanks for stopping by. Now I’m off to you!ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - I think the food industry will serve us what we demand. If people want better foods, and are willing to pay more for them, then I’m certain we’ll get them.

    I eat frozen dinners a couple of nights a week since I travel (it’s that our restaurant fare), and so I’m always looking for healthy choices in the frozen food section. So often the food I get is so terrible. I’ll definitely be checking out this line of foods.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I don’t think they will disappoint Chloe. But- they will not taste like what we are all so used to. They are better- more flavorful but less salt. Smaller portions. Whole grain carbs. Change is good.ReplyCancel

  • - Fantastic product to keep me out of fast food drive-ups on workdays!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Even the packaging is different- no colored plastics- all clear. No chemicals. And they have a 2-step process. Cook a little- add the sauce. Finish off. These are NOT all done for you, but it’s EASY!!! Hope you enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Lean Cuisine Honestly Good. I had not heard of this line before and didn’t know Nestle owned Lean Cuisine either. Since you are recommending, I will definitely try Honestly Good. I am also very happy they noticed you and invited you to their kitchen!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - What’s so weird is that I was on my way to Chagrin Falls, Ohio the very next day and they are headquartered in the next town over- Solon, Ohio. How weird is that! I think they were even a bit surprised when I accepted their invitation for the next day! HahaaaaaaReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - What a cool experience Cheryl! It sounds good. I’d try it. Bon appetit my friend!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - Where’d my comment go? Poof! So just in case…I’m gonna post another one. πŸ˜‰

    What a cool experience Cheryl! This looks and sounds good and I’d try it. Bon appetit, my friend!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - There you are! It really was fascinating. What I loved was the intimate and personal consideration they craft these recipes with. Real People! WHO KNEW!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Their food is definitely better than any other! How wonderful that you got shown around!! I see they have a liquor cabinet/rack as well!! Now, that makes it pretty homely for me! πŸ˜‰ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Loved it! And by-the- by tomorrow’s post you’re gonna like! You’re mentioned!!!! Yippie! I love Roshni!!!!ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - Now that’s a kitchen!ReplyCancel

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