Farmington woman a finalist for Reynolds' Real Mom

Story by Valerie Phillips
Mon, Mar 4, 2013
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Karen Petersen of Farmington is one of 10 finalists in Reynolds Consumer Products’ contest to become the Reynolds Real Mom.

Five of the 10 finalists will be chosen to be an official Reynolds spokesperson for 2013, sharing tips for using company products such as aluminum foil, slow cooker liners, muffin cup liners, and parchment paper.

Petersen is the author of and the popular cookbook, “365 Days of Slow Cooking” (Covenant Communications, 2012, $25.99).

Through March 27, the 10 finalists are competing on the Reynolds Wrap Facebook page at, dispensing cooking and household tips. Fans are asked to vote and help choose the five winners.

The five will be featured in Reynolds advertising, attend media events and will continue to provide recipes and tips in the kitchen online.

Besides Petersen, other finalists are:

• Trisha Furrow-Haas, Theodore, Ala.

• Tiffany Merritt, Chattanooga, Tenn.

• Katie Goodman, Erie, Colo.

• Utokia Langley, Bowie, Md.

• Emily Lyon, Yuba City, Calif.

• Whitney Gainer and Ashley Turner, Colleyville and Justin, Texas

• Rachel Matthews, Corpus Christi, Texas

• Maria Long, Henrico, Va.

• Jennifer Mercurio, Kissimmee, Fla.

“We know the kitchen is the center of where moms connect with their families,” Ken Lane, Reynolds’ vice president of marketing, said in a press release. “The Reynolds Real Moms will highlight how to simplify mealtime with creative ideas, tips and techniques using our products.”

Reynolds’ aluminum foil has been around for more than 60 years. It first hit the grocery store shelves in 1947 — a welcome boon to home cooks who mainly used waxed paper to wrap up lunch sandwiches or protect leftovers in the refrigerator. Tupperware and plastic wrap weren’t yet on the market.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of creative uses for foil. Campers fondly remember their first “tin-foil dinner,” cooked over an open fire, usually containing ground beef, sliced veggies and cream of mushroom soup.

Remember when people would wrap it around the “rabbit ear” TV antennae, supposedly for better reception? That’s one of those before-your-time tips that today’s young Reynolds Real Moms probably won’t be sharing.

I visited the Reynolds Facebook page and found some of the following ideas presented by the Real Mom finalists:

• Make mini meatloaves in muffin tins, using muffin cup liners for easy prep and cleanup. Using an ice cream scoop makes it less messy to portion the meat mixture into the cups.

• Wrap a chicken breast, vegetables and seasonings together in a foil packet and bake, for a flavorful dinner where the chicken stays moist and tender.

• Line baking pans and casserole dishes with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

• Use foil muffin cups to bake individual portions of mac & cheese, eggs and so on.

• Roast a chicken in an oven bag.

• Make individual servings of honey-glazed salmon and broccoli, cooked in folded packets of parchment paper.

• Line a pan with parchment paper and bake individual pizzas on it. Any tomato sauce or cheese drips won’t bake onto the pan.

• Bake individual breakfast-in-a-muffin cups, with a layer of refrigerated biscuit, bacon and an egg.

• Use muffin cups as drip catchers for Popsicles. Cut a slit in the bottom of a baking cup, and slide the Popsicle stick through it.

• To make hosting a kids birthday party easier, freeze scoops of ice cream in baking cups before a party and pull them out as the kids are singing “Happy Birthday!” Then you’re not stuck scooping ice cream when all the kids are clamoring for ice cream and cake.

• Make a breakfast of steel-cut oats that cook overnight in your slow cooker. Line the slow cooker with a plastic liner bag to make cleanup easy. You can also assemble dinner ingredients the night before in a lined slow cooker. The next morning, just take the pot from the refrigerator and place it on the heating element.

You can check back on the Facebook page as more tips are added, and of course, vote for your favorite “real mom.”

Valerie Phillips blogs at

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