spring giveaway

****Update: This contest has ended and the winners have been contacted. Thanks to everyone who participated!******

Man, I loved reading your answers on that last post. You people are awesome. So I’ve been thinking, you know what’s even better than fascinating discussions about weather vs. food?

Free stuff for your kitchen!

That’s right. It’s time for a giveaway.

smart blenderle creuset stock pot
Image credits:

The nice people at—a sister site of, where you can find can find all kinds of stuff, from an entertainment center to a corner TV stand—are letting me giving away two items!

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A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Update 11/30/09: (Congratulations to Carmen and Leslie, random winners of our Thanksgiving giveaway, whose packages will be arriving soon. Thanks to all of you who participated!)

Red Gold Tomatoes

It’s Thanksgiving week, and I’m thankful for you—every one of you.

And I’m also thankful for the kind people at Red Gold Tomatoes, who are sponsoring a very cool giveaway for us this week! Simply subscribe to Food Loves Writing (and e-mail me the secret word), and you’re eligible to win one of two giveaway packages: a large tin filled with three cans of their diced tomatoes, two cookbooks, a red canvas tote, a magnetic chip clip, other magnets and a toy truck.

Red Gold Giveaway

Red Gold sent me one of these care packages a few days ago, and I couldn’t believe how cool it was! The tomatoes were even high enough quality to use in the scalloped tomatoes recipe you may remember from a few months ago, with the results being just as delicious as when I’d hand-chopped fresh tomatoes from the garden, no kidding. And that giant tin? The perfect container for my kitchen recyclables before I take them outside. You’re going to love this.

    So here’s what you need to know:
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another giveaway!

saucy mama giveaway

Back in April, when I left you for a few days to walk through historic streets in Georgetown, tour our nation’s Capitol Building and eat at an awesome French bistro some friends had recommended (even though I forgot the e-mail and never got the text message, we landed there anyway, so my friends were right!), you were nice enough to take a survey and tell me interesting things like where your best meal was and about your kitchen fears and what we could do to improve the site.

So today, when I head to the airport and board a plane bound for M-A-I-N-E, where I will spend the last four days I have left of being 26, I thought we’d do something else kind of fun.

(If you were bummed about not winning the Destination Dinner or a box of homemade cookies, never fear.) It’s giveaway time. Again.

lime chipotle sauce

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Win a Destination Dinner!


(Update 8/8/09: This contest has closed, but you can still feel free to Tweet, blog and write about us, as well as become a fan of us on Facebook!)

Things are happening around here. Tomorrow marks this blog’s one-year anniversary. We’re having a party. We now have a Facebook page.

So to add further to the celebrations, I am giving things away! (thanks to very gracious sponsors!) At the party, there will be cookbooks and yummy desserts and prize packages and bottles of Country Bob’s sauce. But for all of you who don’t live around here or who can’t come for some reason, there’s something else.

destination dinners

Remember that Destination Dinner I tried out a few weeks ago? The one where you take a trip through your taste buds, sampling new cuisine with an easy-to-follow guide that provides everything but the perishables you need to grab?

There are actually twelve destinations to choose from, ranging from Japan to Lebanon to Israel to Korea. And the folks behind Destination Dinner are giving one recipe kit, of the winner’s choice, away here!

The contest starts NOW and will end at 7 PM CST this Saturday, August 8 (the same time that something else is beginning, ahem). The winner will be selected via a random number generator and contacted via e-mail Sunday, at which point he or she will be able to choose a kit, which will be mailed out directly through Destination Dinners.

(Plus, between you and me, there might be a prize for the runner-up, too, and it might involve homemade cookies.)

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for a good story


(This is a giveaway post. The prizes are pictured above, the right image, courtesy of

I like to hear people’s stories. (And I’m going to presume you do, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this site, which tends towards the autobiographical as much as the culinary.) It seems to me that we were made this way, or, at least, made to need the things stories are made of—relationships, experiences, plot, purpose.

In the 1940s and 50s, my grandma cooked for her husband and then later, for my mom, in a small brick bungalow in the Chicago suburb of Maywood. That was part of her story. She lived in an era when women married young and raised families; she survived the depression in an Italian family of five children. Today, I cook for pleasure, because I want to and I like to and, sometimes, because it reminds me of her. That’s part of mine.

What about you? Why do you cook, or why don’t you? When? How? Do you cook for yourself or for others? Do you enjoy it or hate it? What were your favorite food memories? Your least favorite? What is your great pleasure in eating?

Because they are tied to who you are, these questions are not just about food—they are about your history, your values, your story. M.K. Fisher said, “It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.”

On that theme, and to mark the six-month anniversary of this blog that occurred earlier this month, it’s time for a giveaway. I’ve shared 88 (!) stories with you since August, and you’ve been nice enough to listen. Now I’d like to return the favor.

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