Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ONE YEAR and a Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!

One year ago, today, I posted my very first blog entry. I started this blog after my sister, Sarah, casually mentioned that I should start posting some of the recipes I was trying--I certainly never thought I would enjoy it this much! I have met some extraordinary people and have truly enjoyed following so many different blogs...both cooking and otherwise. As you've all probably noticed, I do tend to go in spurts...I'm either posting up a storm or you'll notice a 2-3 week gap in posting. This past year has been quite challenging for so many reasons, but cooking has almost become a therapeutic outlet for me--I love experimenting and becoming more "adventurous" and am always so excited to share recipes that I feel are "keepers". It's also been a fun bonding experience for my family--my husband, son and even my daughter all enjoy helping in one way or another and it's great feeling as if the preparation of dinner was a "team effort" :) I'm anticipating some fairly major life changes in the next couple of months, but once things calm down a bit, I am unbelievably excited to get back on track and post more regularly...and comment on all of your blogs!

In honor of my one year "blogiversary", I wanted to give a little something away to my faithful followers--I am so touched that I currently have over 125 people following my blog! While I was running my errands yesterday, I picked up a new "Taste of Home Prize Winning Recipes", featuring 200 "best-of-the best recipes". I'll have you know...I'm kicking myself right now that I didn't pick up a copy for myself--I mean, seriously...the front picture is of Bacon-Cheese Topped Chicken...does it get much better than that?!? I was flipping through it this afternoon while waiting for my son to get out of preschool and spent the entire time drooling! There's an entire section on muffins, ham, party foods, chicken, one-dish classics, pasta, soups and stews, cakes, and a TON of other assorted desserts. Just at quick glance, I know that I would be interested in trying well over half of the recipes! I will DEFINITELY be stopping back at the grocery store to pick up my own copy :)

To enter for a chance to win this magazine, all I ask is that you leave me a comment, letting me know if you have a favorite recipe of mine that you've tried or if there's a particular recipe you've been itching to try. Winners will be selected at random...more than likely, I'll put each name in a hat and let my son pick--it doesn't take much to excite a four year old :) All comments must be posted by 11:59 EST on Sunday, January 31st and the winner will be announced Monday morning. PLEASE make sure you either include your email address or another way to get in touch with you. If the winner does not claim their prize within one week, another winner will be selected.

Now, just for a quick recap of my first year blogging! Here are some of my favorite recipes...

77 Meatballs

Beijing Beef

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Frosted Fudge Brownies

Triple Layer Banana Cake

Crunchy Garlic Chicken

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

Chicken Noodle Soup

Oatmeal Butterscotch Toffee Chip Cookies

Orecchiette with Spinach, Sausage and Tomatoes

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

The above recipes are all exceptionally good and it was VERY hard to pick just a handful to feature! Of all of the recipes I've posted, there were literally only a couple that I wasn't completely sold on--and those were recipes that I thought could in fact have great potential, with a little "tweaking". I hope you all have enjoyed my blog as much as I have enjoyed all of yours and I can't begin to tell you how much I have appreciated all of the very sweet comments and feedback. Wishing you all a wonderful year and I'm so excited to see what everyone has in store!


  1. Congrats Rachel! I didn't realize our 1 year blog anniversaries are only 1 week apart. You know I'm a big fan of your site and check each and every post. I've made your bourbon chicken,hoedown bbq chuck roast, sweet and sour chicken, hasselack potatoes, crash hot potatoes and the smoked sausage dish (I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones I could think of off the top of my head). I can't wait until spring comes so we can fire up the grill and make that chuck roast! Keep up the good work and I can't wait to see what you'll be cooking in the next year.
    I love taste of home and I'll keep my fingers crossed because I don't have that book yet!

  2. Congratulations! Your blog is one of my faves & I've been tempted to try many of your recipes but always chicken out, lol.

    The one that I did actually make & LOVED was the Fiesta Taco Casserole. It was delicious & a huge hit with the family! Thanks for all the great recipes :)

  3. Woo!!!! Happy Blogiversary!! My kids and I are absolutely addicted to the Fiesta Taco Casserole ... we have it at least once a week, and my son makes it for his friends when he visits them in the dorms. Seriously tasty business!!

  4. For the past year you've been giving us such tasty recipes!! Happy Anniversary. I love the Taste of Home!

  5. Congratulations on posting for a year! I love blogging and never thought I would love it as much as I do! Your site is wonderful and I love your crash hot potatoes...they are sooo good!!!!

  6. One year - good for you!! I have bookmarked many of your recipes, the most recent being the Bourbon Chicken, which I plan to make soon.

    Thanks for sharing all your great recipes, and thank you for having this giveaway.

  7. Congratulations on your anniversary!!

  8. Congratulations! I love hearing what you're up to in your kitchen. I remember reflecting back on my one year blogoversary and feeling a little amazed at how much had happened in a year of my life and how much I'd grown as a cook and a blogger in one year.

    I haven't read a single one of your recipes that I didn't think I'd like, but that Crunchy Garlic Chicken is still on my list to try.

  9. I have cooked the Whole Baked Chicken in the Crock Pot before and it turned out wonderful! Congratulations on the first year of our wonderful's to many more years and lots more receipe's for me to feed my family!

  10. Congratulations for your blog anniversary! Once again, your photos had me drooling.

  11. happy blogiversary! i reallly want to give that chicken noodle soup a try, one of my favorites!

  12. Congratulations on your anniversary! Looking forward to many more of your delicious recipes. Thank you for all the work you put into your blog. It's a great place to visit.

  13. I've been following you for a while, and check out each posting. I am for sure trying out the frosted brownies (probably today!), and the caramel french toast. Happy Bloggiversary!

  14. Awesome to be celebrating your one year anniversary! congrats! Your site is wonderful and we keep on making those crash hot potatoes.....can't wait to try more of your recipes! thanks!

  15. Happy Blogiversary!! I have to say we love your crockpot shredded chicken tacos. YUM! and so easy. I am dying to try your crunchy garlic chicken though. It looks so delish!

  16. Congrats on your blogaversay Rachel!!! Doesnt a year just fly by? I wish you a fun filled happy years of baking Ü. My favorite are the frosted brownies (deadly) and I cant wait to try the Beijing Beef that looks right up my alley. Thanks for the chance to win a recipe booklet. I am cookbook junkie.