Archive for the ‘Giveaway’ Category

Another sneak peek!
Last week, I announced my most recent project: I published a calendar for 2014 full of some of my favorite photos from the blog! To celebrate, I hosted a giveaway to one of you!

And the winner is CathieJ!

As to her favorite month, she replied, “February. Both my husband and I were born in February. I also love to stay inside during the cold snowy month and indulge in my favorite things: crafting and baking.”

Congratulations Cathie! (Please check your email so we can arrange shipping.)
Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you’ll consider ordering a copy of the calendar, available now on Lulu! Use the discount code FBC18 to get 18% off, or FREESHIP to get free shipping!

2014 Calendar!
I can’t decide if I am more nervous or excited about sharing this with you. So bear with me.

Since I started this blog two and a half years ago, it has been solely a digital enterprise. Oh sure the cooking and the gardening and the eating exist beyond this little corner of the internet, but my writing and photography and recipes live only here. Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing some of that work to life, creating something that could live on a wall or a desk or a shelf. And no, I am NOT attempting to write a cookbook: I have neither the talent nor the time to take on a project of that scale.

So how about a calendar?

Sneak peek
It seems only appropriate: the available local produce marks seasonal changes for me just as strongly as weather and leaves and hours of daylight. I’ve sifted through hundreds of photos in the last few weeks to find my favorites for each month, and I am thrilled to present the final product to you. I’ve already received a proof, and I am very happy with the result: thick pages, bright colors, and a clean, simple month design make a good calendar in my mind, and this one has all three!

So if you’ve ever wanted some 30 Pounds of Apples swag, your moment has arrived.  If you think this looks like something you want on your own wall, or something you want to give to someone else, I hope you’ll order one! I really think you’ll like it. Everyone needs a calendar, right?

PS:

I also want to give away a copy to one of you. I get so much out of this blog, but my favorite aspect continues to be the conversation, the question-asking, the story-telling from those of you reading. I’m so glad you’re here.

Another sneak peek!

How to Win the 30 Pounds of Apples 2014 Calendar

1. Leave a comment on this post to answer this question: What is your favorite month, and why is it your favorite?
2. BONUS! To enter twice, head on over to 30 Pounds of Apples on Facebook and like the page. Then, come back to this post and leave me a comment saying you liked the Facebook page, and you’ll be entered twice. Fancy! (New likes only, but thanks to all the early adopters!)
3. Enter by 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 2. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 3.
4. Open to US residents only (sorry to my international readers, shipping is so dang expensive!)

Cookbook!

Last week, I started a giveaway for a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook signed by Deb Perelman, the esteemed food blogger and author of the book! The book is full of recipes for every occasion, thoughtful commentary, and useful kitchen tips. I love my copy and am excited to share!

And the lucky winner is… Diane H, whose favorite breakfast is fruit pie! (Check your e-mail so we can arrange the shipping of the book!)

Thanks to everyone who participated! Get out there and get cooking!

Cooking from the book!

The time has come to announce the winners of my Homemade Mulling Spices giveaway! After sifting through comments and Facebook likes and crunching numbers with Random.org, the winners (and their favorite holiday treats) are:

Monika (Russian Tea Cakes)
Carrie (Caramel Apple Cider)
Amy Z. (Vanilla Eggnog)

Congrats! Please check your e-mail so we can work out the details for mailing your mulling spices.

Thank you to everyone who participated and for sharing your favorite treats. I am currently exhausted from cooking up a storm over the weekend for a holiday party of my own, but it was filled with some old favorites as well as some new delights I’ve only just discovered. Which I will definitely be sharing with you here as soon as I reclaim my apartment and my horrifyingly messy fridge. Stay tuned, and thank you so much for reading! I’m so, so happy you’re here!

I’m not entirely sure where November went, but December (and with it, the holiday cooking season) seems to have arrived quite suddenly. Before Thanksgiving, I felt like I was finally on it for my holiday planning: I had lists, I had a rough cooking schedule (don’t judge me), I had some hard-to-find ingredients ordered. But now we’re here, hurtling through the first week of December, and I feel overwhelmed and scrambled and concerned that I won’t get everything done. As usual, I’ve probably scheduled waaaaaay too many recipes to try, I decided months ago that throwing a food-filled holiday party this weekend would be a good idea, and I have a fantastically busy schedule at work.

However, at least one of my gift-giving projects is already under way and is actually right on schedule. And just in case you think it’s a swell idea too, I’m gonna go ahead and ruin the surprise for those of you on my Santa list this year.

Everyone on my list is getting homemade mulling spices! And, because it’s fun and I like sharing, I’m hosting a little giveaway so that three of you readers can have some too!

Last year, my holiday crafty-gift-project was making these little hot chocolate sticks. They were a hit, and they make a mean mug of hot chocolate, but this year I wanted to come up with something a bit more versatile. After seeing tiny containers of mulling spices being sold at a market in Ohio, I knew I had found my next project.

Read on »

Congrats to Jessica, the lucky winner of two awesome railing planters!

I’ve never grown my own food yet (Sad!), but when I start, I’ll want strawberries, green peppers, and peaches. How long it would take for a peach tree to fruit I have NO IDEA. But it would be delicious.

I’m not sure green peppers would be successful in these pots, and I’m 100% certain a peach tree won’t fit, but I wager strawberries might actually work!

Thanks to all who participated… the array of food you want to grow is intriguing and inspiring!

 

When we moved to North Carolina, I had some plans for our apartment on which I was unwilling to budge:

1. I would obtain a dining table and chairs.
2. I would paint some wall, any wall, some pretty color other than white.
3. I would grow some food on my dang porch.

Quick trips to Ikea and Home Depot made it easy to accomplish the first two goals, but it took me a couple of months to figure out the best way to complete the third. For one thing, I still, still, after two years of low-sun apartments in DC, struggled to get direct beams to my balcony for more than a few hours a day. To complicate matters further, the lovely lattices on our porch railings broke up what little sun that did reach the balcony: an excellent situation for lounging on the porch without getting too hot, but not so great for keeping plants alive.

Containers on the railings had to be the key. But alas! Every style I could find at stores in my area was designed with a bolt or a screw or some other attachment mechanism I’m sure our property managers would not appreciate.

But then.

I found them online! Two feet wide, six inches deep, and adjustable to whatever width of balcony railing you want to hang them on.  I bought some lettuce, some mums (to feel fancy!), and plopped ‘em into some soil. By the tim spring rolled around, well, I had expanded my little fleet to the size it was when I first introduced this hodge-podge little garden last April.

Read on »

It’s Monday!

To work, for many of us. But for one of you, it’s the day you win some hot chocolate sticks to get you through the end of January.

And after collecting the comments and new Facebook likes, that someone is…

Natalie! Whose favorite winter recipe, it turns out, happens to be one of my own favorite seasonal treats with a simple twist:

“My absolute favorite recipe is actually a drink! And it’s super easy to do, I feel guilty accepting complements for it at parties. It’s a simple Spiced Apple Cider. You take a bottle of organic apple juice (or cider) and add a few packets of Martinelli’s Apple Cider tea bags. Put them all in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it stew! Put a ladle nearby and people can help themselves. Of course you can add a few cinnamon sticks for flavor and decoration. The reason I like this so much is that it’s simple and a great base to build up from!

Thanks to everyone who participated in my little contest! And Natalie, make sure to check your e-mail so we can get you your hot chocolate ASAP.

Let’s take a minute to talk about real life.

Some days, there is time to make fresh pasta. Fancy desserts. Elaborate multi-course meals.

Most days though, it’s all I can do to get out the door in the morning toting a breakfast and lunch, and on show days, dinner, so that I can avoid the oh-so-tempting bounties of college food available at work. Especially in January, when fresh food is somewhat difficult to come by and most of my cravings are for something warm and filling.

But I’ve found an answer. An answer to the winter blues, the I-don’t-feel-like-cooking doldrums, and the whoa-we-have-so-much-leftover-turkey-from-the-holidays reality in my freezer.

Sierra’s turkey salad.

I know I’m probably way late catching this train. I’ve never really been a fan of chicken salads and won’t come within ten feet of tuna salads, so I suppose I thought turkey salad would be equally unpleasant. I. Was. Wrong.

Read on »

We have a winner! Using my highly scientific slips-of-paper-with-names-in-a-mixing-bowl technique, the toffee goes to Ben E! I hope you enjoy it as much as your peppermint bark.

Thank you so, so much to everyone for sharing your holiday treat favorites. It’s fascinating not only to hear about new treats I may want to try (I’m super intrigued by the ice box cake and the Dutch Apple Pie…), but to hear the stories and memories you have off those treats that make them even sweeter. I wouldn’t be blogging if I didn’t love sharing my tales, but I really love reading yours.

As for me, my holiday posts have only just begun. Stay tuned for more!