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    ConAgra Bows 1st Blogger-hosted Virtual Cooking School

    Online community “The Motherhood'” is helping the CPG company tout home-cooked dinners.

    ConAgra Foods has launched Cooking Connections, a first-of-its kind blogger-hosted virtual cooking school that aims to get families cooking through an innovative multimedia format. Celebrity chef and company spokesman George Duran will serve as host of the inaugural class, on Jan. 28 at Blissdom, a blogging conference site for women. The session will consist of an interactive cooking demonstration between attendees and at-home participants.

    Along with online community TheMotherhood.com, Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra has created the concept in response to such trends as moms’ increasingly use of the Internet to find different kinds of foods and recipes, and the preparation of family dinners at least several times a week.

    "Cooking Connections is a place for parents to connect online while learning that mealtime preparation can be simple, social and filled with creative twists," explained Cooper Munroe, co-founder of TheMotherhood.com. "We're looking forward to serving up an empowering cooking community designed to celebrate food and home cooks, [with] the opportunity to share real tips from real parents in real time.”

    The eight-week series of live blogging classes and conversations will occur on TheMotherhood.com and be cross-posted live on Twitter and Facebook. The classes will be text-based to make interactive conversation easier. Topic-relevant bloggers from the TheMotherhood.com community will host the sessions by leading discussions, preparing recipes, and generating rich and widespread conversation across the Web.

    Classes are open to all social media moms and dads who want to join, and participants can share their culinary experience via Twitter, Flickr and Facebook in help bring others into the Cooking Connections community. For those who can’t participate live, complete classes will remain available as text-based blog posts on TheMotherhood.com and ConAgrafoods.com, with class video content posted on Facebook, YouTube and other multimedia channels.

    Among the items to be covered on the curriculum in upcoming weeks are Navigating Food Allergies, Creating an Efficient Kitchen, Healthier Meal Makeovers and Cooking With Dad! The topics were chosen based on survey feedback from social media parents.

    Additionally, a Cooking Connections Student Hand Guide with social media links and content will be accessible online at TheMotherhood.com/CookingConnections to accommodate participants’ busy schedules. The guide will also include class schedules (with built-in reminders via e-mail) host bios, blog posts, recommended RSS feeds, recipes and live discussion opportunities via Twitter (#CookingConnections).

    Besides ConAgra, The Motherhood’s many clients include American Eagle, Verizon, Marriott, Clorox and Tropicana.

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