Giveaway Winner!

I’m pretty bummed that the original winner didn’t claim her prize. However, that gives y’all a second chance to win the $100 credit to Joss & Main.

::drumroll:

The winner is:

Holly (commenter #54), who said:

I love this site, I’m already a member. Today I like the Cube Chair in Canary Moss Style. Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

CONGRATS Holly! Please contact me at niftyfoodie@gmail.com within 48 hours to get your prize!

 

Blogiversary Winners!

Thanks so much for the comments! I loved reading them, and I really appreciate your ideas on what you’d like to see on The Nifty Foodie in the future!

Ok, so you wanna know who won the Blogiversary giveaways?

Blogiversary Giveaway #1:
Jenn, who said “I would get an ice cream maker!”

Blogiversary Giveaway #2:
Lindsay Tjarks, who said “I’m guessing an apron!”

Blogiversary Giveaway #3:

Amanda, who said “I loved your tomato paste entry which I thought was so smart because I rarely need a whole can. So, I’d love more “nifty tips” and Louisiana dishes would be great as well.”

Congrats y’all!

If you won, please contact me at niftyfoodie@gmail.com to claim your prizes!

Blogiversary Giveaway #3

I hope everyone has had an awesome week!  I’ve had a blast reading your comments for giveaway #1 and giveaway #2 (both of which you can still enter). Giveaway #2, especially, because y’all are giving me handmade ideas for future giveaways. :-)

This last giveaway is actually a request from a couple of you. Last year, I held a similar giveaway, because I know that some of y’all aren’t able to find some ingredients that I consider staples in our Louisiana kitchen. It was probably the most comments I’ve ever received from a giveaway, which to me, shows that y’all want some Louisiana staples in your kitchen, for sure! (Can’t say I don’t blame you!)

New Orleans Giveaway Redux

So, here it is folks. Quite a few of these are things we use in our home regularly. The crawfish boil makes for some AMAZING mashed potatoes (and of course, boiled seafood). Tony Chachere’s seasoning is like the salt & pepper in the house, especially for my husband, who loves things WAY spicier than I do. Community Coffee with Chicory is a CRAZY strong coffee. While we don’t make coffee in our house regularly, I do get this stuff at the local coffee shop. This is NOT your typical Starbucks-like coffee. :-) Gumbo File is an ingredient that is a must-have for making gumbo. My friend in NYC said this stuff was no where to be found, so here it is..up for grabs. And of course, Zatarain’s Jambalaya, Gumbo and Pastalaya mixes for easy peasy weeknight dinners. :-)

Here’s the deets:

All you have to do to enter is comment telling me, what would you like to see more of on The Nifty Foodie?

For an additional giveaway entry, post this on your Twitter and comment back with the Twitter link: “I just entered @niftyfoodie’s Blogiversary Giveaway: Louisiana Staples for the Kitchen. Enter here! http://bit.ly/eyaKt3

You have until Monday, January, 24th at 11:59pm to comment.

Just a note: Only continental US readers can enter this giveaway.

FTC Disclosure: These prizes are provided by The Nifty Foodie.

Thanks so much for reading this blog for the past three years. I’ve had so much fun sharing my kitchen adventures with you, and best of luck with the giveaways!

Blogiversary Giveaway #2

I absolutely love reading your comments from the CSN store giveaway! Some of y’all are making me think I actually may ::need:: more kitchen gadgets. ;-)

Speaking of gadgets, giveaway #2 is ALL about gadgets. A book written by my favorite Food Network chef: Alton Brown!

Source

My friend actually introduced me to this particular book, and after skimming it at the bookstore, I was hooked! I knew I had to offer it to y’all as a giveaway!

Source

If you watch Alton’s show, you’ll love this book. He shows you the essentials in your kitchen, and also tells you what you don’t really need. I kind of wish I had this book back in the engaged days (when we made our registry). I really think y’all would enjoy it!

Also, as an added surprise, this giveaway includes a kitchen related surprise from my craft room. The winner is going to get something handmade from me that you will LOVE having in your kitchen, but shh….that prize is a secret! ;-)

All you have to do to enter is comment telling me, what do you think the handmade surprise will be? :-)

For an additional giveaway entry, post this on your Twitter and comment back with the Twitter link: “I just entered @niftyfoodie’s Blogiversary Giveaway: a book by Alton Brown & a handmade kitchen surprise. Enter here! http://bit.ly/gqfvSE

You have until Saturday, January, 22nd at 11:59pm to comment.

Just a note: Only continental US readers can enter this giveaway.

FTC Disclosure: These prizes are provided by The Nifty Foodie. :-)

I can’t wait to read what your guesses will be! ;-) Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final giveaway….it will definitely make you hungry!

Blogiversary Giveaway #1!

I hope y’all had a great weekend! For us, it was a pretty long, 3-day weekend that resulted in getting a good bit of housework done. I’m ashamed to admit that the kitchen was basically closed most of the weekend (we ate out…a lot.), but hey, it’s ok to take a cooking/baking break every once in a while!

I’m sure you want me to stop rambling and get to the good stuff. ;)

The first of the blogiversary giveaways is for a $20 credit to CSN stores! I actually really never knew about them until a few blogger friends held giveaways, and after winning one myself, I was able to see if they are a good online store or not. I ended up not buying anything food related, since I have WAY too many kitchen gadgets as it is!

I was actually first looking at their luggage stores for a few upcoming trips I’m taking, but I ended up purchasing something for crafting (typical). I’m happy to say that I got my order within a week, which is pretty awesome since I didn’t pay extra for shipping.

So, when CSN reached out to have a giveaway at The Nifty Foodie, I knew I couldn’t say no! Free moolah? Why not go for this?!

All you have to do to enter is comment telling me, what you would buy from CSN stores with the credit. :)

For an additional giveaway entry, post this on your Twitter and comment back with the Twitter link: “I just entered @niftyfoodie’s Blogiversary Giveaway: $20 credit to @csnstores. Enter here! http://bit.ly/hRWZB2

You have until Friday, January, 21st at 11:59pm to comment.

Just a note: only US/Canada readers can enter this giveaway. (Just as an FYI to Canadian readers, CSN’s shipping may cost more due to international shipping charges.)

FTC Disclosure: This prize is provided by CSN Stores. :-)

Best of luck! Oh, and stay tuned….tomorrow’s giveaway is going to feature my FAVORITE guy from Food Network! :-) 

 

 

Three years ago..

Three years ago, I sat in my parents’ kitchen trying to figure out a way to surprise them with dinner. My skills were limited to scrambled eggs, boiling hot dogs and reheating Chef Boyardee. I was feeling ambitious, so I went to the store and bought the ingredients to make Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs.

I can’t tell you how intimidating it was to cook a real meal, but after fleeing from the kitchen fighting onion tears, washing my hands multiple times because raw meat scares me, making sure to take pictures of something (since I wanted to start a blog) and meticulously measuring each individual ingredient, the meatballs were in the oven. It was all up to the oven to make sure that my meatballs actually came out….and they did. Oh, and they were YUMMY!

I love to look back on my old posts. This was my very first blog post. Unorganized, full of small, awkward pictures, but I love it. Those were my first real kitchen successes, and they were all delicious!

In fact, one of those recipes from my first post is actually now a family tradition during the holidays: the white chocolate cranberry pistachio biscotti.

Biscotti

So, here I am 3 years later. An identity crisis solved since, well, I’m not the perfect dieter. I’m still learning how to cook/bake, and I’m loving it. I love sharing my cooking adventures with y’all too! As lame as this may sound, I still get butterflies in my stomach when y’all leave comments. I love it!

Since you guys have been super awesome, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for every year that you’ve been around. So, there will be 3 giveaways next week! That’s right…3! I hope y’all don’t mind. :)

Thanks again for reading! Here’s to another yummy year! :)

Some Goals for 2011…

Christmas Aftermath

I can’t believe it’s a new year AND a new decade! Super exciting stuff, y’all! Of course, that means time to make some goals happen, too. In case you don’t read my life blog, a while back, I made a 101 goals in 1001 days list. This list of goals ends in May of this year! There are a good chunk that aren’t done yet, and some of those involve food and this blog! Check out some of these…YUM!

63. cook 4 times/week for 20 weeks (0/20)
68. successfully bake a loaf of crawfish bread
69. learn to make Memaw’s spaghetti and meatballs
72. make fresh pasta
75. update food blog 20 times in one month
76. make fruit roll-ups
77. make beef jerky
78. go to a Pampered Chef party
80. make a cookie bouquet
81. smoke and BBQ a piece of meat

It’s quite a list, but I’m looking forward to making these happen. I have a feeling a couple of these won’t get done on time, but hey, even if I miss a couple of goals out of 101, I think I’m doing pretty well!

What are your foodie goals for 2011?

Top 10 Recipes of 2010

What a year! I can’t believe that 2010 is almost over, but I have to say, it’s been a pretty great year! This year, I moved my food blog (and changed the name), made some amazing food blogger friends and tried some great recipes. I’m so excited to see what 2011 will bring. :)

A lot of food bloggers are doing their top 10 of 2010, and I personally love the idea. It’s great to look back on the year, and I know I’m starring a lot of posts for recipe ideas from posts like this. :) So, here’s the top 10 based on popularity of posts!

10. Iced Coffee – This recipe will make you wonder why you ever spent $4 on an iced coffee. This is delicious and very refreshing!

Iced Coffee

9. 4th of July Cupcakes – Basic white cupcakes with a basic vanilla buttercream. Can’t get more traditional than that!

4th of July Cupcakes

8. Strawberry Cake – A light, summery dessert which is very easy to throw together!

Strawberry Cake

7. Berry Mash Bruschetta – I made this recipe for a contest. These make wonderful little desserts and no utensils needed!

Berry Mash Bruschetta

6. Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs – This is a quick dish to throw together. Very flavorful and healthy!

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs w/ Grilled Vegetables

5. Louisiana Strawberry Jam – One of my canning adventures. I love Louisiana strawberries so much, so I knew I had to can them to keep them around all year!

Louisiana Strawberry Jam

4. Sloppy Joes – a very classic American recipe. Beats the pants off of Manwich!

Sloppy Joes

3. Pumpkin Blondies – This is a new way to enjoy pumpkin in the Fall. Warning…these are very addictive!

Pumpkin Blondies

2. Caramel Apple Pie A La Mode Bites – This was another recipe I made for a contest. No utensils needed for this one either and it’s SO easy to throw together!

Caramel Apple Pie A La Mode Bites

1. Blueberry Scones – This was the most popular recipe of 2010, according to blog stats! These scones will knock your socks off. WAY better than coffee shop ones in my opinion, and the time you put into making them seems daunting, but it’s worth it!

Blueberry Scones

Thanks so much for reading! I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year, and I’ll see you in 2011!

A fun (hopeful) challenge ahead

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m no stranger to a challenge. One of my favorite shows on Food Network is Chopped, because I enjoy watching chefs come up with ideas for random ingredients. Lately, I find myself brainstorming ideas with the ingredients as well. It’s just so fun to think up ideas.

Check out this challenge:

Iron Foodie 2010 | Here's Why that will be me:
MarxFoods.com -- Fine Bulk Foods The Foodie BlogRoll

When I got the email from Foodie Blogroll about an Iron Foodie challenge, I was intrigued. 25 bloggers will get chosen to compete to come up with a recipe using a few random ingredients sent from Marx Foods. The winner will get a $200 credit to Marx Foods.

So y’all, I need you to cross your fingers for me again. This blog post counts as my official entry for the Iron Foodie challenge. I’m really hoping to get chosen, because Marx Foods has some really interesting ingredients that they offer, and I’d love the opportunity to come up with a dish for this contest!

Here’s the blog interview questions:

  1. Why do you want to compete in this challenge?
    Answered above
  2. Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in & why?
    I’d have to say Julia Child. She changed her career so late in life, and I find that so inspiring! She was very driven and her food is just AMAZING. She’s got a great sense of humor and I imagine we’d get along awesomely.
  3. What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family & friends’ plates when they aren’t looking?
    Chocolate….don’t leave your chocolate sitting around unattended. I’m serious.
  4. Sum your childhood up in one meal.
    Mom’s Beef Enchilada Casserole. I requested this meal every year for my birthday after my Mom discovered this recipe for a potluck in my Spanish class one year. It’s delicious.
  5. The one mainstream food you can’t stand?
    Beans. It’s a texture thing. Totally gross to me. I might be from New Orleans, but you won’t see me eating a red beans and rice dish. Yuck!

Thank you!

Millie (1)

::insert puppy picture just because::

You guys, my readers, are amazing. From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate every comment, email and lately, votes for Project Food Blog. I made it to challenge 2, which was very surprising, because there are so many wonderful bloggers out there. I still think of myself as a blogger with 5 readers, and I was so overwhelmed with happiness when you guys pushed me through to round 2.

I appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the talents of other bloggers got the best of me. I didn’t make it to round 3. I will admit that I cried a little, because I’m a girl and girls are emotional :). However, on the bright side of things, I can now fully support/cheer on my awesome blogger friends who are still in the running! I can’t believe one of them can possibly win $10,000! How life changing and amazing is that?!

So, instead of voting for me from now on, can you take a minute to vote for/support these spectacular bloggers? Round 3 was a Luxurious Dinner Party, and I sort of wish I crashed each party. The menus were spectacular and these gals are just so dang creative. :)

Amy of Sing for your Supper
Tara of Smells Like Home
Jessica of The Novice Chef
Serena of Big Apple Nosh
Erin of Milk & Honey

Again, thanks so much for y’all’s support during Project Food Blog! Making it as far as I did gives me warm fuzzies. :)