Friday, June 19, 2009

My First Blogoversary and my first Giveaway!!


Hi there my fabulous readers! Today is the 1 year Blogoversary. Back then the site was called Cooking with Jen, which I relaunched in November 2008 as Piccante Dolce. I never thought I'd make it doing this a year or that it would have grown as much as it has. To take a page from the wonderful Susan at She's Becoming Doughmesstic I thought I'd put together a list of some of the things I'd done or accomplished over the past year, in no particular order

Baked bread – after many failed attempts. Still need to post this since it's something the boy gobbles up before I can photograph

Made pasta – without a pasta machine - this is recent and will be posted soon!

Perfected pie crust – finally!!

Submitted a recipe to the Food Network Ultimate Recipe Challenge

Submitted 2 recipes to the Tillamook Mac & Cheese Contest

Placed in the Safeway Cheese Champions contest for my Raspberry Mascarpone French Toast Strata. Stay tuned for the cookbook on sale this July in your local Safeway!

Won the Cooking Club Challenge with my sweet potato version of Michael Smith’s gnocchi

Went from being a self-proclaimed non-baker to a good baker who has even developed her own cake and pie crust recipes

I bake with the fabulous ladies over at You Want Pies With That and just won my first challenge for my peach pie.

Participated, twice in Taste and Create

Had a two photos posted on Food Gawker and one on Tastespotting

Made some fabulous blogger friends all across the US and Canada. If you're even in TO stop by for a glass of wine!

There you have it twelve accomplishments, one for every month in a year. To help keep me honest here are a few of my goals for the upcoming year:

Actually make a dent in the cookbook I want to write

Have some of my baked goods and other creations sold at local cafes

Enter the Shelburne Orchards Apple Pie contest in September

Host more giveaways

Make homemade ice cream, without an ice cream maker

Make homemade marshmallows and graham crackers

Now on to why you are really reading this post, the Giveaway! For my blogoversary I wanted to do something special for my readers, especially my loyal ones who faithfully read and post comments, you are the best! And for the new ones, take it as a bribe of sorts to keep you reading :)

I recently became a TasteBook affiliate (see the little widget over in the left sidebar). TasteBooks are these fabulous cookbooks that you can customize with your own recipes or search some of the great sites they partner with like Epicurious, AllRecipes and many others. I put one together for my dad for his birthday with all of my grandmother's recipes. I also created a Piccante Dolce TasteBook with 40 of my favorite recipes from the blog and some that haven't been posted yet for you to purchase and there's even room to add some of your own recipes.

But, I'm honor of my blogoversay I decided to give to one lucky reader at $25 TasteBook gift certificate!

I'm sure you're all wondering how do I win this fabulous prize? Well, for a chance at the TasteBook Gift Certificate all you need to do is post a comment below. What specifically do you need to post, you ask? Quite simply what do you think makes the most perfect s'more?

You may have already guessed that my goal of homemade marshmallows and graham crackers will be used for gourmet s'mores and to help me jazz them up a bit more I'd like to know what you think should be in there to make them even more special? Over on twitter @jo_jo_ba suggested a slice of banana which I think sounds divine. But I know you guys are creative so I want to hear your thoughts.

UPDATE!! DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY AT MIDNIGHT EDT!! The winner will be chosen randomly after midnight EDT Sunday June 21. So post your comments below. For an extra entry tweet about the contest with a link to this post and come back here to post again telling me you tweeted.

Good luck!


Maria said...

Yahoo for you and your blog. Love it! For Christmas treats for friends/neighbors we made homemade graham crackers and marshmallows. We dipped the crackers in chocolate. They were so cute!! I also love putting a Reeses PB cup in the middle instead of just plain chocolate. It melts the PB and is so good!

CB said...

What a fun question! Of course it has to have graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate but I've also added caramel or nutella too! I hope I win! Happy Blogiversary!
Clara @ iheartcuppycakes!

Becca said...

Congrats on all your accomplishments this year! I'd say that my perfect s'more has a melty-in-the-middle marshmallow that's lightly toasted on the outside, then smeared with chocolate ganache and eaten between 2 slabs of graham crackers that are made with a hint of ginger. Everything with ginger tastes better to me! Oh, and if it's made while at a bonfire on the beach, all the better!

The Food Librarian said...

Congratulations! Although I don't comment as much as I should, I love your blog! So much fun to read and your enthusiasm is wonderful.

I've only has traditional s'mores! I did make Martha's S'more cupcakes and they are really yummy! :)

Sarah R said...

What if you added shredded coconut to the graham crackers and coated one side of them with chocolate, then make vanilla marshmallows and use a good dark chocolate square in the middle?

Tania said...

CONGRATS!!! Your blog totally ROCKS! You know I love it!

I am a purist when it comes to S'mores....but I have recently tried one with a Ghiradelli Caramel filled square and it was absolutely me some caramel!


Julie said...

How about mint chocolate? Or raspberry sauce over dark chocolate?
Congrats on so much success and good luck in this next year!!!