Our First Blogoversary + Celebratory Giveaway

I’m so happy today because yesterday marked The Avid Appetite’s 1st birthday! I wanted to share this article yesterday, however, with big changes in our eating, I had to just push it off a day. I’m thrilled and a little in disbelief that this little blog is a year old. How did a year go by so fast? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was reviewing site designs and functionality (for hours upon obsessive hours).

I thought it would be fun to share a little behind-the-scenes stuff with you about what goes on here in the avid kitchen. Oh and scroll down to find out about our giveaway in celebration of the big blogoversary!

10 Things You Might Not Know About The Avid Appetite
1.  TAA is a recreation of my original blog, Between JC & Manhattan, which focused on my exploits in and around New York City (though there was a lot of food involved). There were hardly any recipes on there until its final few months when I was already working on relaunching the site to be more food-focused.

2. Until very recently, I literally received 0.00 comments on my articles. The only ones I did receive were from my sisters (Kimberly has commented on almost every post I’ve ever written), my mom and Shaun, who would comment under different aliases so that I’d think it was a random reader. Love them all for this.

3. The design of the site was done by a friend and ex-colleague from my Sesame Street days who used a photo of my Anthropologie apron as inspiration for the color palette and pattern. When she came up with the logo I literally squealed with excitement. I adore its whimsy and playfulness.

4. Shaun and I brainstormed the name of the blog for months. Painfully, I might add. Shaun would send a list of names. I would send him a list of names. Repeat. Again and again. None of them felt right. When I suggested The Avid Appetite it was like the skies opened up and started singing ‘Hallelujah!’ because we found ‘the one’!

5. I often take many, many photos of every dish that I make. Like 10 from every angle. This has led to a serious overload on my Mac Book and I have since had to get an external hard drive just to house my photos. I hope that once I get better with the DSLR I can cut down on the number of photos I take. But using the DSLR is so fun, that it’s probably unlikely this will ever happen.

It took sooooo many photos to get this just right.
6. Speaking of photos, Shaun often has to wait extra long to eat dinner and sometimes dinner even needs to be reheated before we eat since it takes such a long time to get just the right photos that I want. I’m not crazy, I just like things the way I like them.

7. Readership has grown about 6 times of what it was last January. Yowzah! I’m so thankful for each and every single reader, I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to get comments on the site or in person about the blog. I do put a lot of time, energy and effort into creating solid content for you guys, so it’s extremely exciting and rewarding to see how far we’ve come in just one little year.

8. I’ve made lots of blog buddies! This is one of my favorite aspects of blogging. I have virtually met so many fantastic bloggers and I hope to one day meet some of them in person!

9. After cooking up 83 {!} recipes this year for you, I have a whole new view on celeb chefs. While some of them I admire, think are fab and just want to hang out with for a while (Ina Garten, Tony Bourdain, Mario Batali), others I’m a little over. They’ll remain nameless except to say, really?

Ina's chocolate cupcakes. She never fails me.

10. I’m always blogging - 24/7, even when I’m doing other things. I like to say that it kind of takes over my life at times. Though through any of the unmotivated moments, failure to receive comments, botched recipes, wasted money on said botched recipes, I wouldn’t give up this blog for the world. It has become the most rewarding and gratifying hobby that I could ever imagine enjoying! So a giant thanks to everyone who reads and comes back for more!!

Now for the giveaway part. To celebrate TAA’s birthday, I’m giving away something that I am currently digging: Rocco DiSpirito’s Now Eat This! Cookbook! I'm semi-obsessed.

I won this in Heather’s giveaway and I truly adore this book. I have made the buffalo chicken tenders and penna alla vodka and cannot wait to make them again and again. So I thought I’d do a pay-it-forward of sorts (but with a new book, you can’t pry mine from my cold lifeless body). I’ll also throw in some other surprise goodies as well, so be sure to enter. Here’s how it works:

You can enter the giveaway starting now!
The deadline to enter is Thursday 1/20 at 6pm EST.
To enter, simply leave a comment! Any comment ya like!
For an extra entry, like us on Facebook and leave yet another comment telling me that you did so (shameless self-promotion, booyah!) Oh, and if you already like us on Facebook, just leave a note about that too :)
The winner will be announced on Friday, with the giveaway shipping out on Monday morning.

So there you have it. A little Happy Birthday to us, if you will! I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading over the last year as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing with you :)


Holiday Cookie Giveaway Winners

Tonight Shaun and I hosted our familes for a little holiday brunch-for-dinner party. While we're post-party relaxing and watching Planet Earth (the penguins are so stinkin' cute I just want to take one home), I thought I'd finally get around to announcing our giveaway winners!

Me want

Thanks to everyone who entered the Holiday Cookie Giveaway! Though I wish I could send cookies to all of the people who take time to not only read this little blog, but also to comment and subscribe to the email notifications, today I'm sharing with 2 lucky readers, selected by Random.org. Christine H., who loves her mom's chocolate chip cookies and Kim (kimmie72278) who loves layered rainbow cookies and candy cane cookies (I'm going to need further info on these btw!), you have won the giveaways!

So ladies, I need your addresses of where you want the cookies sent along with your 2 cookie picks (check out this article for the available cookies to choose from)! Please email me at theavidappetite@gmail.com as soon as possible so that I can get crackin' on your cookies and send them out early next week!

Now I'm going back to couch and Christmas tree-gazing time with my man. Have a great weekend to all, and to all a good night!

Holiday Cookie Giveaway

There’s been an awful lot of cookies going on around here lately, so I think it’s only fair to offer up a giant batch of ‘em for a couple of lucky - and wonderful - readers. A holiday gift from me to you, if you will. And since I love you guys, I’ll be choosing 2 winners for the homemade cookie giveaway.

Don’t say I don’t love you.

You’ll get: Holiday cookies, made by yours truly, in a pretty box with ribbon - perfect for bringing to a holiday party, giving as a gift or for personal consumption with a giant glass of milk or tea (my personal favorite of the aforementioned options)!

You can choose two batches of cookies from the following options (2 of one kind, or 2 different kinds):

Mint (or non-mint) Chocolate Crinkles

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread

Almond Sweets

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

The deets:
The giveaway opens...Now!
The giveaway ends Friday 12/17 at 12:00pm EST (that’s noon time, not midnight)
The winners - chosen at random - will be announced Friday evening here on the blog. Once chosen, please email me (theavidappetite@gmail.com) your home address asap to ensure Santa can get these to you before Christmas!
The goods will be shipped out on Monday via Priority Mail for delivery by Wednesday/Thursday - just in time for Christmas!

To enter:
1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite cookie of all time. Is it homemade by Mom? Is it a Double Stuff Oreo? I’m not judging, just curious.
2. For an extra entry, subscribe to receive TAA email updates, which you can do in the left side bar by simply adding your email address and clicking enter!

Hope we’ll get lots of entries for this one since I can’t wait to get baking up your goodies this weekend. Oh and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I can make all of these non-Christmas themed, so please still enter to win. After all, who doesn’t love cookies, regardless of religion?

Psst...We're still taking entries for our Virtual Cookie Swap! Email them on over (with photo, please!) to theavidappetite [at] gmail [dot] com, we'll continue posting them as they roll in!